Project Life 2015 - Week 31

I have to write something today about embellishments and stamping. I was over at the Studio Calico message boards earlier this afternoon and found a thread where people were sharing what was going well/not so well with their Project Life this year so far. To my surprise, several scrappers mentioned using embellishments on the not-so-great list: they're too time consuming, they over complicate the process... I have to say it right now - I love embellishments! I really couldn't disagree more with all the embellishment negativity. Don't get me wrong, everyone has their own personal style and yours might be more minimalist than mine. But embellishments aren't difficult to use, not when you know how to use them well.

I also included stamping above because I think stamps are the most underrated, underused item in most people's craft stash. Stamps didn't even get a mention in the good/bad lists over at Studio Calico - which is such a shame! I can't rave enough about stamps. You know the most magic thing about stamps? You can use them over and over again and they don't run out. Magic. They're also a great way to get text onto your cards that is super neat (compared to my handwriting!) without putting your journalling cards through the printer which is, lets face it, hard work.

I do have a few rules when it comes to using embellishments and stamps. When I follow these rules, I always end up with a layout that feels finished without being 'busy.' For me, it's a never fail combination! The first tip for using embellishments and stamps is this: pair them up.

Rule 1. Use your embellishments and stamps together. 

Simple, right?

Rule 2. Keep 'em small. 

Also very simple. Tiny phrases and shape stamps (subscription kits are great for these) and tiny embellishments e.g. sequins, enamel dots, little puffy stickers, wood veneers and cork pieces.

Can you see there how I paired up a wood veneer, two stamps and a puffy star? Which brings me to the final rule:

Rule 3. Work from top to bottom. 

For this card, I chose the wooden piece first because I liked the sentiment, shape and size against the white space. I then looked for tiny word stamps that supported my story: I was observing what was happening in the photographs so I chose 'watching', and 'quiet time' explains that afternoon perfectly. Sometimes I stamp my stamps more than once, if it feels right. Go with your gut. The puffy star then just seemed to finish it all off. I'm pretty happy with this card right now.

I used a similar process with these two cards. They both had interesting designs already on them, so in my head the word 'life' and the picture of the fox were at the top and then I worked my way down from them using stamps and cute things from my stash. I don't always stick things down straight away, sometimes I like to move them around a bit or change my mind. Then I stick everything down at the end, after stamping.

Here's something a little bit different. I just wanted to add something extra to these cards which were already mostly filled with an image/photograph. So I dotted the stamps about and put a puffy sticker in each corner - job done. I haven't exactly stuck to the last 'rule' here but are my stamps and embellishments used together: yes. Are they paired up? yes.

So that's how I do it! :) Your way may be totally different, that's why I find hearing about people's creative processes so interesting. There's no right or wrong, there's just what works for you. So work it, girl!


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