January 2, 2008

52 Cards a Year: Challenge Number One!

Simple Horizontal Stripes: Black or Gray and White: Birthday Card.

Recently at a family gathering I had occasion to visit with my uncle; J.D., a talented artist living in the Austin area. We were chatting about painting and where to start if you are thinking of diving in on your own... or getting back into painting. He suggested buying a blank canvas, a gallon of white latex paint and a gallon of black... and going to town... not worrying about color; only design, composition and texture. I think this will be well applied to card making too!

So that's your assignment in a nutshell. Using only black, white and gray tones, create a birthday card. I will simplify the assignment further by adding a super basic sketch; this horizontal line design. 6-8 lines of varying tones and shades of blacks, grays and whites... use patterned papers, solids, ribbons, stamped strips of paper... all in various thicknesses, to create your design. Incorporate a birthday related sentiment if you can.

Here is the sketch...

Here are my samples:

This first card uses all Kitchen Sink Stamps. It's pure black and white... and features lots of bold patterns and hard textures. My own personal criticism of this card is that it's a tad top heavy... that bold image in the top stripe sort of draws my eye away from the sentiment... which I think needed to be the focus of this card. This is actually why I decided to add the element of depth and texture close to the sentiment with the addition of the brads... which absolutely helped.

I really like the variety of patterns in this design, and how the black and white color ties everything together.


This design was created with justjohanna images. I used a lot more gray in this design... using black only for the scroll at the bottom and for the sentiment. Choosing the darker color for the base of the card helps keep in grounded and using black for the sentiment helps to make it pop. In turn, balancing the black with a light toned gray and a charcoal gray helps the lightest tone to also become a focal point... which is why the birds also stand out even though they are the lightest of the images. Of course placing the birds toward the center of the card also helps draw your eye to them.

I also used negative space to draw the eye around the card. Leaving white space around the sentiment and the birds brings the images forward, even though this is a one layer card.


Lastly... this card created with images by Lizzie Anne Designs. I used mainly grays and vanilla in this card. Only the stamping was done in black. You will also note I created the design in a horizontal layout rather than vertical.

It's easy to spot the focal point of this card; placing the party hat/gift patterned stripe in the center, making it significantly wider than the other stripes and matching the paper to the sentiment really helps to make them pop. Plus, I used only one patterned paper on this card, so there is not much to distract your eye from the focal images. Notice the gray dots I used in the focal image stripe? They were stamped with a pencil eraser, and added because I felt that there was too much negative space... especially because I was only shading the hats and gifts... not coloring them.



The Challenge Rules: This being the first assignment... let's chat about rules. There are no rules! Feel free to mix it up; make a card of a different theme... make a vertical sketch horizontal... whatever you please. The goal of these challenges is to help you expand your creative card making, to motivate you to try something new each week and to encourage you to share your work.

That's right... you must share! But don't worry if you don't complete the assignment this week... as soon as you create your card for this, or any assignment, share a link to it here in the comments. You can post it on your blog, or on your favorite message board.... just share a link with everyone here whenever you decide to jump in and play!

I hope you will join me... I am really excited about this series for 2008... if just to keep me thinking outside the box!

Have fun!

22 comments:

Julie Masse said...

Great challenge Sarah - I hope to get a chance to try it!! :) All your samples are wonderful!

angie said...

Wow, Sarah, these are all really great examples! Fun challenge!

Altered Kat said...

Happy New Year Sarah!...may 2008 be filled with creativity, inspiration and happy healthy times!

Kat :o)

Catherine said...

Way to start a new year!

I've been struggling making cards lately but hopefully i can start with this...thanks for a fun challenge =)

care-in said...

Thank you for the challenge Sarah! Mine are posted on my blog.

Heather said...

Excellent challenge!

Debbie said...

wow, all of these cards are excellent! You and Tracy are making such cute cards with your Kitchen Sink Stamps I just might have to get my stamps out now.

Diane Dolan said...

Thanks sarah. I have posted my first card challenge over at sis. I'm not exactly sure how to link it here, but here is the link - http://www.scrapinstyletv.com/portfolio/view_layout.php?layout_id=58027&user_id=663. I can see that this is probably not a very helpful link, but if you go to sistv on the 52 card challenge thread, I posted it there. Can't wait for the next one.

~missprissme said...

This looks like fun... I like the rules too... just my speed since I work ft outside the home... count me in. I'll add a back link on my blog. Yay

Maggie said...

Here is mine...
http://www.scrapinstyletv.com/portfolio/view_layout.php?layout_id=58571&user_id=7894

Kate said...

Here's mine...http://www.scrapinstyletv.com/portfolio/view_layout.php?layout_id=58612&user_id=2166

Michelle said...

hi there, happy new year, i am new to your blog and look forward to the challenge each week, fab project.. here is my take on the sketch this week
http://wifeyscraftingcreations.blogspot.com/2008/01/challenges.html

lianne said...

I did mine, thanks for the challenge, was very motivating.
http://www.scrapinstyletv.com/portfolio/view_layout.php?layout_id=58917&user_id=3696

K_Kreklau said...

Here is my card. I am excited to complete the challenge every week. It is in my SCS gallery cuz that's the only place I have to put it.

http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/763483?cat=500&ppuser=39439

weebbt said...

A fun card to make!
You can see it here: http://www.scrapinstyletv.com/portfolio/view_layout.php?layout_id=59013&user_id=4322

Lori said...

I love the look of these black, white and gray cards. Here's my take on the challenge: http://inkingaloud.blogspot.com/2008/01/black-and-white-birthday.html

SmilynStef said...

I did a black & white birthday, but the sketch was so easy I had to try another Thank You card in color as well. Thanks for the fun challenge.

http://ingeniousinkling.typepad.com/ingenious_inkling/2008/01/sarahs-52-cards.html

Emilia said...

they are gorgeous! I gotta find some time to play this! Thanks for the beautiful challenge!

Korbyn said...

Fun Sarah!! Here is mine:
http://www.scrapinstyletv.com/portfolio/view_layout.php?layout_id=60100&user_id=5498

Thanks for the inspiration!!

Teresa said...

I love the justjohanna card - I can't believe you got it looking so interesting with just one layer!

Lori said...

Love this!! I always need to make more cards!!!

Mine is here:
http://www.scrapinstyletv.com/portfolio/view_layout.php?layout_id=60943&user_id=448

HAL said...

Your card are very cute and your challenge inspire me so much.
Please count me in!
Here is mine:
http://inkingaloud.blogspot.com/2008/01/black-and-white-birthday.html