Monday, February 13, 2012

Techniques, Tutorials & Tips - Clean and Simple Cards!

Happy Monday, everyone!! For this week's Techniques, Tutorials, and Tips post, we will be filling a frequent request by many of our more clean and simple cards! The definition of "Clean and Simple" will vary depending on the person with whom you are speaking. Most view Clean and Simple as lots of open space, white or neutral colors, very few layers, and very few embellishments. Others believe that if you spend very little time or it is very simple to create, it's Clean and Simple. In the slideshow below, you will see many variations and styles....some are very clean and open, some let the designer paper do the talking, and some focus on a simple die cut or embellishment...... there is something for everyone here!! Grab a cuppa and enjoy!!

Well, did you get your Clean and Simple fix? As I mentioned, there are different "degrees" of Clean and Simple. The cards I chose are very easy to duplicate in your own craft room, with little supplies and little time. (Please remember, if you re-create a card that you see here or in any stamper's gallery, please be courteous and give the designer credit for the card design if you post on line.)

Some of our readers have also asked for advice on basic card-making skills. Though that is not an easy question to answer, I can give some advice (through trial and error) of things to do which can really make a difference in your card-making or any paper-crafting.

1. Pray before you create! We sometimes forget that the Lord tells us to pray for anything! Pray for creativity, guidance, inspiration, etc. Pray that He be glorified by your finished project. Even pray for the recipient and that they will be blessed by receiving your card or gift. And of course, thank Him for the talents and gifts which He has given to you. You will be amazed at how easily your project will come together!
2. Set some rules for yourself, for example, no eating or drinking in your stamp room....accidents can and will happen! A clean work space (and clean hands) will prevent lots of unwanted smudges on your project.
3. Take your time when cutting your cardstock.....measuring correctly and making straight cuts makes all the difference in a card. If you use a Fiskars type cutter, replace your blade often so that you don't have shredded edges after a cut.
4. Keep those ink pads inked up so that you have bold, crisp stamped images or scriptures.
5. Keep scratch paper on hand for practice stamping before you stamp on your cardstock....first, to make sure your ink is in good shape, and secondly, you should get a better stamped image when you ink it more than once.
6. To make sure that your scripture or sentiment is not crooked once you stamp it, I suggest using a Stamp-a-ma-jig Stamp Positioner. They are very simple to use and ensure that your stamp goes exactly where you want it. Please see this tutorial on the Stamp-a-ma-jig HERE.
7. Never adhere any layers together, unless you are finished with the card designing. When I began stamping, I would get in a hurry and get "the cart before the horse" and then try to deconstruct it without tearing it up. For example, don't pop up a layer and then decide that you want to put paper piercing on it....that will not work!!
8. Be mindful when you adhere your card layers together.....take your time and get things straight.
9. Find a well-lit spot to take your photographs. If you don't have a talent for "staging", use cardstock or designer paper as a background behind your card. You never know when someone will showcase your project, so appearance is everything!
10. To get the most out of your photo, please use a camera instead of a scanner. Even though your card is well-made and gorgeous, a scanner cannot show it's real beauty....that is a shame!

Well, I've covered the basics....all I can think of at the moment, anyway! As far as "how to design a card", I have to be honest, I study other stamper's work, read magazines, play in challenges, etc. for inspiration. Though you may get stumped, don't give up.....just look for's everywhere!!! My last piece of advice is to be mindful of the little things when you's those little details which make the difference between a good card or a GREAT card!

Happy Stamping!! God bless!

Product Review/Tutorial Writer


EllenaElizabeth said...

They're great tips, thanks for taking the time to post. Appreciate it.

Sherry Gardner said...

These are great thing that might also help the newer card and layout to take a picture with your phone before you deconstruct your design...this has been a real time saver for I tend to forget as I an reconstructing my layouts, and apparently I tend to move things out of place...and I just refer to my photo...oh, what a blessing this has been for me...

Jacqy said...

Great tips. I will definitely act on a lot of them. Some I already do , like pray before beginning, during, after. I need all the help I can get. LOL Again thanks for sharing those inciteful tips .

Nancy said...

Such great advice! Especially the time for prayer before creating! I will remember to do this!

Marlena M. said...

Thanks for the tips and clean and simple cards, Angie! I agree, the Lord DOES inspire! ;)

Robyn said...

Angie, your tips are great. I, too pray as I create. When creating specific for someone, I pray for that person's known as well as unknown needs. Sherry, I love the phone photo idea!!

Kathy said...

Awesome information, Angie!!! I need to do more praying! Blessings! Kathy

Judy McMullen said...

Thanks for the tips and the inspiration with the clean and simple cards! Blessings!!