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Monday, January 14, 2013

Same but Different!

Compare this card with the next one:
They look quite different and have a different feel, despite the fact that they are made with the same card base (cream colored A2), the same patterned paper (stripe from HOTP), the same teal card stock cut with the same die, the same color ink, the same flower Dazzles, and even have a similar layout!  In part, the difference springs from the focal - as I'm sure you would have guessed - but the differences are greatly enhanced by a chalk/ink technique that I'll describe in a minute.

First, a look at the other elements on each card:
  • Most elements on these cards were cut with dies from the Marvelous Squares set by Spellbinders.  Most are pretty straight forward, but the diamond-shaped frame on the first card may need a bit more explanation. I started with a square of striped paper that was larger than the die that cuts the corner decorative elements (which were cut at the same time and used on the 2nd card - after being matted on cream colored card stock).  This gave me a square with decorative cut-outs and a diamond shape in the center.  I snipped out the diamond shape (with a pair of scissors) at the 4 attached points.  This frame was then backed with the blue card stock.  With the two pieces taped together, the outside edge was trimmed with a pair of decorative edged scissors.
  • For both focals, the die was used as a stencil and a bluish ink applied with a make-up sponge to give the softened edges you see, then the sentiment was stamped.  Though the color of ink is the same, it looks a bit different depending on whether it was stamped/stenciled on tan or blue card stock.
I wish I had pictures of these two cards at this point, as the difference from the finished cards was striking.  At this point, the focals just didn't seem to go with the cards!  Though they were colors that coordinated with the patterned paper, they just stood out too much.  Starting with the 2nd card, I decided to add a bit of tan chalk around the outside edges of the cream colored card stock to help pull the card together better.  That made such a difference!  The focal actually seemed to go with the card now!

The first card was a little more challenging.  I started by adding a row of Stickles dots on each side. This helped, but the card still felt somewhat disjointed.  I tried adding chalk around the edge like I had with the 2nd one.  The first color I tried was too green.  I tried going over it with a bluer chalk. That helped, but still didn't look quite right.  Finally, I grabbed the ink I had used on the focal and, using a make-up sponge, applied it over the chalked edge.  That finally did the trick. My focal finally felt like it belonged on the card. So, I guess the moral of the story is to keep trying different techniques until you get what you need!

Oh yea, one more difference.  On the first card, I ran my teal card-stock square through an embossing folder for added dimension.

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