Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Card Spotlight: Air Male

It's interesting to note that many paper crafters have a hard time when it comes to designing and constructing projects for a male recipient. I think it's safe to say that many of the leaders in the crafting industry cater to a mainly female clientele. As such, many of the designers collections are specifically created with that demographic in mind.

Of course, there are male crafters out there (obviously). It stands to reason that the larger the market share (customer demand), the more companies start to offer alternative lines and color palettes. I am very pleased with some of the new product lines being introduced for Fall/Winter 2008 and beyond.

I think the largest stumbling block some crafters face is the idea of avoiding certain colors (pink, pastels, etc.) and themes (florals, intricate patterns,etc.) when planning a male-oriented project. As a male crafter (and perhaps because of my own personal aesthetics), I do not have a problem receiving cards and projects made with florals or bright colors. However, right or wrong, there is a concern that a project be "masculine" enough. I hope such narrow thinking one day becomes the exception instead of the rule.

Oops, I guess that's enought of that rant...at least for a while. What brought the subject up for me was that I recently set out to make cards for a few of my friends that definitely skew toward the "manly men" end of the spectrum, lol. I thought I would share one of the cards I created in this card spotlight.

An interesting thing about this project is that it was all inspired by a piece of scrap paper from a DCWV paper stack: High School. The inspiration was this bit of design left over from another project. (I'm generally not very good about saving or using scraps, so this was a breakthrough for me.)

When I saw this flourish pattern, I was immediately drawn to the theme of flight and birds (wings) specifically. With that thought in mind, I hit my supplies and rounded up a few things.

For this project, you will need:

--one sheet of white cardstock cut to 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"
--one strip of textured cardstock cut to 5 1/2" x 2 1/8"
--one strip of decorative paper cut to 5 1/2" x 1 3/8"
--Tsukineko VersaMagic Chalk Ink Pad (Jumbo Java)
--Marvy Stippling Brush
--rubber or clear acrylic stamps
--Sakura Metallic Gel Pen
--adhesive (Xyron 510)
--Scor-Pal (or other scoring tool)

To begin, I took the white cardstock piece and scored it at 4 1/4" to create the card fold.

I chose to work in a brown palette for this card. For visual and color interest, I used a VersaMagic chalk ink pad and a stippling brush to create a textured background on the white cardstock.

Using the Jumbo Java chalk ink, I inked my stippling brush directly on the ink pad surface and pounced both the front and back sides of the card. After the initial application of ink in a circular motion, I used a few diagonal sweeps of the brush on the card face to muss the stippling effect slightly. I also inked all of the card edges using the VersaMagic pad.

Once you've achieved the desire color depth and texture on your card, allow the chalk ink to set before proceeding to adhere your decorative elements to the card. For my card, I chose a piece of textured Bazzill cardstock in Chocolate as the base mat for my decorative strip. As mentioned, the decorative strip for this project was a scrap from a DCWV High School paper stack.

This textured cardstock was trimmed to 5 1/2" x 2 1/8" and the edges were inked with the VersaMagic pad. Then it was run through a Xyron 510 and attached to the card face. The decorative paper was trimmed to 5 1/2" x 1 3/8", inked, run through the Xyron and centered on top of the textured cardstock.

To go with my theme of flight and wings, I used two stamps to finish the look of my card. The first was a rubber stamp (SeeD's) for the greeting that said "Air Mail". The second was a clear acrylic stamp (Autumn Leaves) from Rhonna Farrar's "Gypsy 2" collection of a bird in mid-flight. I used the same color chalk ink and stamped the greeting in the bottom right-hand corner and strategically placed the bird in the center of my decorative paper strip.

I like the symbolism on this card. The freedom of flight expressed by the bird juxtaposed with the wink-and-a-nod "Air Mail" greeting made me smile. I also think the bird picks up on the free-flowing airiness of the swirls from the flourish design.

As a final touch, I took a Sakura metallic gel pen in Galaxy Bronze and put in a few accent lines along the borders of the paper strips to add a bit more definition and visual interest. All-in-all, it was a fun and relatively creative project to put together.

Create--and keep crafting!


okie_ladybug said...

*rolling eyes* Must you always show off??

Ruelysi said...

Just happened to come across your blog, and I love it, your so talented. Gonna visit often!!