Friday, January 25, 2008

Freestyling with Fragments

Since I began stamping and scrapping, I have become a paper hoarder. If it is larger than 1"x 1", it somehow finds its way into my scrap drawer.

Recently, I used my scrap drawer as a way to jump start my creative process. The idea was simple. Pick one piece of paper and one image and see where it led me.

I picked out a piece of newspaper print paper first which had a green tinge to it. I paired this with two shades of green paper and a few images from nature, leaves and the ever-striking swallow from Carte Postale (Stampin' Up).

Cardstock - Old Olive, Handsome Hunter (Stampin' Up)
Paper - vintage ads (K & Company)
Stamps - Carte Postale and Stippled Stencils (Stampin' Up)
Inks - Old Olive, Handsome Hunter (Stampin' Up)
Embellishments - white buttons, thread, white organza ribbon

The second scrap I laid hands on was a piece of slate blue with lovely script all over it. A piece of vintage cartography paper shared the same shade of blue so I grabbed that piece too. Again, I wanted to offset the very man-made feeling of the maps and writing with natural images. This time, I picked the flower from the Heartful Thanks set. To mirror the colors in the papers, I selected blue, brown and deep green for its coloring.

Supplies: Cardstock - Creamy Caramel, Handsome Hunter (Stampin' Up)
Paper - blue script paper, vintage map paper (K & Company)
Stamps - Heartfelt Thanks, Canvas (Stampin' Up)
Inks - Creamy Caramel, Handsome Hunter, Not Quite Navy, Chocolate Chip (Stampin' Up)
Punches - corner rounder
Embellishments - white organza ribbon

The final card was created from leftovers I had from invitations I had made for a Summer party last year. The retro flowers called out for a bird to sit among them. I selected the bird from my Touch of Nature set as its more traditional tone was a nice contrast to the open, modern feeling of the flowers. To tie in the paper, I used a blender pen to color the bird in pink with yellow and brown accents after I had stamped it on cream paper. I then framed the bird in the remaining colors in the paper, blue and brown.

Cardstock - medium brown, cream and light blue (The Paper Company)
Paper - retro flowers (Paper Pizazz)
Stamps - Touch of Nature (Stampin' Up)
Inks - Close to Cocoa, Old Olive, Pixie Pink, Barely Banana (Stampin' Up)
Tools - blender pen, paper piercer
Embellishments - blue ribbon flower and 2 gold brads

This activity is not only a great way to jump start your designs, but it also is quite effective in using up those dozens of scraps left over from other projects. To further push myself and my designs into new places, I not only grab a random scrap but also a random stamp. The results can be fantastic, refreshing, disastrous, jarring or completely out of the ordinary. No matter what the outcome, it is a great way to exercise your design muscles and add to your repertoire.

If you are feeling the urge to stamp but don't have an idea in mind, grab a scrap and envision it as a fragment of a new project in progress!

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