Wednesday, February 2, 2011

S&S Saturday Seminar #1 - Focal Point

OWH is running a series of bi-monthly design seminars on the Stars and Stamps blog. The first one was posted on the weekend, and it focuses on creating a focal point for your card. You can see the seminar post (and download a printable pdf for your files) here.

The idea is very simple - often when our cards look like they don't quite work out the way we wanted, it's because they don't have a good strong focal point to pull your eye in and tell you where to look first. We were asked to look through our files or collections and find some older cards that we weren't quite happy with, and to try to remake them with the seminar in mind. If I say so myself, I've got a pretty good eye for colour and design and I when I look at a card I can usually tell if it's a success or not. If I don't like it, it doesn't go anywhere except the trash can, and I certainly don't record it for posterity! lol But I had a pretty good example sitting on my shelf - last year I made birthday cards for our church and the one that came back to me when it was my turn was one that really didn't quite make it.

Here it is in all its unfocused glory. The elements are pretty enough, but it's a jumbled mess and nothing really stands out as the 'important' part of the card. I had some cute stickers and I had a cute butterfly punch and I had a RAKed frame... and I threw them together and called it a card.

I happened to have another copy of the image, this one in red, so I contemplated it for awhile and then made this card instead. I left a skinny white frame around the outside to help make it stand out, and coloured in very selectively. I used a very fine marker instead of wishy-washy coloured pencil, and I put a tiny little diamente in the center of the baby-sized flower.
I was very happy with the design, but alas, I made a big booboo. I stamped some 'shadow' butterflies onto the cardstock (actually looking at it, it would have been better off without them, but I was trying to echo the original card!) and after it was assembled I decided it needed just one more, and of course I managed to get ink on the white frame! With such a simple design that's enough to ruin it for good, unless I can think of a way to salvage it. :(

Okay, some quick thinking. If a card is messed up on the edge, what can you do? Recolour it (which would have been a distraction to the eye) or trim it off and remount it! I got my favourite deckle-edged scissors and made an edge, and remounted the card onto a darker cardstock that echoes the colour of the marker. I had a red-checked ribbon I was going to run down the side of the card, but it was too much of a distraction and the colour wasn't quite right, so I used a border punch instead. It echoes the red-and-white of the image and draws your eye down to that corner of the card. I was going to put a butterfly on the corner of the card overlapping the punch and image, but it was just too much of a distraction. When it comes to clean-and-simple, LESS IS MORE!!!!!!!!!!


djsown said...

I love your new card. It definitely has single focus and I like the new coloring of the frame. I'm definitely going to remember your trick for remounting the card front. Very clever and I think it even looks better.

Paula said...

Your remake is greta Kajikit. My eye goes right to the sentiment no doubt about it. I also love the deckled edge you added to it in the final version. It really frames the whole card nicely.

Velda said...

I really like your solution. You made good choices and the border punch just leads your eye to the sentiment without distraction. Good job.

Cindy O said...

Your "after" card has so much more focus! I enjoyed seeing your mistake and how you fixed it - the deckle goes perfectly with the border punch. The framed sentiment jumps right out as the focal point now, and then the border punch draw my eye up and out to enjoy the flowers, checkerboard frame, and deckled edge. Beautiful example for this seminar.

Ann said...

Great card! It is much more focused and I love the fix!!!