Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Simplify - Day 3 {Being OK with White Space}

As a follower of this blog, you may be well aware that my style easily leans toward OTT - Over The Top.  It can be hard to simplify!  But sometimes there just isn't the time to go all out on a card.  Or maybe you want to widen your market if you sell cards; there are lots of people who like a simple look but still want to buy handmade. 

So what's the problem?

White Space.

Doesn't really sound like a problem, does it?  But for many of us it can be hard to be OK with all the "white space" on our cards.  I've even shown cards to my husband, who says, "Um, there's kind of a lot of white space over there".  So back into the craft room I go, with embellishments, ribbons, and glitter flying. 

No more!

I have learned to be OK with the dreaded white space.  I can accept it for what it is, just another tool to show off your design.  Think about it:  what color are the walls in a museum?  White!  Why?  Because they don't want the walls to compete with the art itself.  To translate that in card-speak, maybe let an individual stamp do the talking, and let the surrounding white space give it the opportunity to be showcased.

Here is the first card I made with this concept in mind:
What do you think, not so bad after all, huh?  Just two stamps.  The butterflies are all one stamp, and the 'just because...' sentiment is another.  I used all Ice Stickles on the butterflies to let their designs show through a bit.  From top to bottom Stickles: Coffee, Lime, Arctic, Blueberry, Cherry, Lemon, Strawberry.

A closeup of the Stickles' detail:

Here's the next one:
I just love this stamp collection, 'Plumage' by Fiskars.  I used a lone peacock feather and the word friend.  From center to outside Stickles: Purple, True Blue, Copper, Lagoon, Lemon Ice Stickles, then Lagoon again for the rest of the feather.

A closeup of that amazing feather {and I'm really happy with the Stickles' detail):

As we are coming up on the Christmas holidays, you will start to see more of these cards on the blog.  Here's an example of using the 'white space' concept for a simple Christmas card:

Merry Christmas stamped in Scarlet red ink from a ColorBox Cat's Eye Queue.  Crown from Inkadinkado set #98400, layered over with Icicle Stickles.

Some details on the crown:

It feels good to simplify sometimes.  It has made me pay closer attention to the stamps I'm using and focus on the sheer simplicity of this layout.

So what do you think?  Have you made peace with all the white space or do you think these cards are missing something?


  1. Really beautiful and elegant work. The white space is so much part of the effect.


  2. @Angela

    Thanks Angela, I think so too! It's hard not to plaster the whole card surface, but sometimes you gotta just let it be!

  3. Totally gorge and it works now I can see da pictures LOL X Fab

  4. Some of the best cards you've made!

  5. @Fabrizio

    Thanks Fabrizio, you were a life saver for me this morning - thanks for letting me know that my images weren't working. Glad I quickly figured out the problem!!

  6. As per usual, your cards are so lovely! I love your simplifying approach...I need to work on that too. I am especially loving the peocock feather one. It made me sorry I put that stamp set back! Sorry enough to go to Michaels and spend a ridiculous amount of money on a single stamp of a peacock that I can try my hand at your "simple" (read "glorious!") peacock card. If my husband asks, I am blaming you! For the record, I would totally pay six or seven dollars for any of the cards in your last couple of question! You are going to be selling these puppies like hot cakes!

  7. @Amy

    Aw, thanks Amy! I really like these cards...I think I might make a collection of them because I think lots of people do like this style. You should order the same stamp set off Simon Says Stamp or Amazon! It's by Fiskars called 'Plumage', maybe $16.50 for the whole set? Totally worth it. Really fab stamps. You can blame me, I'm fine with that ;-) I was at Scrappin in the City in Knoxville earlier and was kind of bad...came I blame you so we'll be even? ;-) BTW, is the lone peacock feather you have on a wood block by Stampendous? If so, I was considering that one. If it's any consolation, it is a very nice stamp. :-)

  8. These cards aren't missing anything at all! Though they're simple, they're still quite beautiful and striking. :)

    I want this stamp set!

  9. @Craftulous

    Thank you Craftulous! They are really growing on me ;) That peacock set really is stunning, I love it!


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