These Retiform Technique cards were designed in a live video where participants helped pick elements. Design ideas and concepts were shared.
This is Part 2 of 2 videos and blog posts featuring the retiform technique. In my first post/video, I created three unique pieces plus showed the card that inspired my creative play. In the second video below, I took the pieces from Part 1 and designed three cards with some live on-the-spot design and discussion about design choices. My goal was to essentially have a conversation about how to design cards.
Each card maker has their own unique creative style and way of designing cards. There is no one right way!
So, in this exercise, I shared my approach to designing cards and I included participants watching the live video in the design options and decisions. In the photo below the card on the top right is my original card design that inspired the other three cards. To learn more about the design process and key decision points as I made these cards continue reading this post.
See my previous post to learn about the Retiform technique and how it was done on each of these cards. Click HERE to see Post #1.
To get started designing the first thing I do is pull out cardstock for the colors I’ve used on my piece.
Next, I contemplate a variety of design choices one by one.
Here are some of the things I considered when designing today’s projects:
- Cut Down or Leave Whole?
- Orientation… Landscape or Portrait?
- Top vs Bottom and Left vs Right?
- Add a Sentiment or other Decorative Element?
- How much do I really want to cover up?
- Is there any part I want to cover up?
- Does it need a Frame? If so what color?
- Additional Matting Layer(s) and Matte Size(s)?
- Embellishments for balance, texture, or shine?
- Decorate Inside and Envelope? Use Scraps?
What determines whether to cut down or leave the piece whole?
For my first piece, while I loved the color combination, I was not super happy with the amount of each color used or how I distributed my colors and shapes.
Cutting this piece down allowed me to use a section that I really liked even if I didn’t like the piece so much as a whole. So I started by cutting this piece in two and using the top section only for my card.
Below is the first of my three finished cards.
On this piece, I used ⅛” strips of Tear and Tape between each shape as an alternative way to add a uniform space between each of the shapes. My plan was to add either embossing powder or gilded leafing to the adhesive strips. I decided to use gilded leafing.
After my gilded leafing was added I then played with my various colors of cardstock to see which one looked best as the layer behind the stamped piece.
The Starry Sky looked best to me and was an easy choice. Orchid Oasis pairs beautifully with Starry Sky and was an easy choice for the card base. I did play around with different layering but this combination was hands down the best one to me.
Next, I played around with putting a strip of gold specialty paper along the bottom to break up the large swatch of Starry Sky but nothing looked quite right so I abandoned that idea and contemplated shapes to use on the front with a sentiment. I tried some shapes with sharp angles but since my stamped piece had lots of angles, more for the sentiment piece just looked like too much. When I put a circle shape on the front it immediately looked perfect. The lines looked a bit like the rays coming from the sun.
The size of the circle filled out the front of the card quite nicely but after stamping and heat-embossing the sentiment there was a lot of dead space around it. Stamping some tone-on-tone images for added texture helped to fill up that space and frame my sentiment beautifully.
The gold sequins and cord provided the finishing touches of texture and interest to finish off this card. I love the end result!
For the inside, I added a bit of Starry Sky ink to a strip of the Naturally Gilded Specialty paper and attached it near the bottom.
For this card, I’ve used the Magical Meadow Stamp Set, Phrases For All Stamp Set and the Stylish Shapes Dies.
The color scheme is Garden Green, Starry Sky, and Orchid Oasis.
For this next one, I chose to cut down my piece just a bit to adjust the color balance.
I was wishing I had used a bit more green so it worked perfectly to cut down this piece as a way to remove some of the Real Red & Cherry Cobbler.
My piece started as a 4-¼” x 5-½” quarter sheet of cardstock. I started with a larger piece than I figured I’d use, knowing that if I cut off a bit I might end up with some scrap strips to decorate my inside also. You should also know that I was strategic about how I cut down this piece. You may be able to see that at the top center of this piece I got a bit of red on the green. Plus, there are some overlapping shapes that didn’t seem consistent with the rest of the shapes.
So, I cut about ½” off of the top thinking that I’d be removing the shapes I didn’t love. Plus, the red ink on the green might be easy to cover up with a ribon accross the top or a sentiment piece. In the left to right dimension, I only cut off the right side so I’d be removing more red than green and would leave the small green triangles on the left.
Again, my goal in cutting it down was to fine tune the color balance!
Here is my second finished card:
As you can see, the sentiment piece is covering up that bit of red on the green.
Using Garden Green cardstock for my sentiment and additional layers it allowed me to further adjust the color balance. The sentiment was heat embossed in black to make it really stand out on this busy background.
Since all my stamping on this piece is done with black, using layers of black worked perfectly. The black bakers twine at the bottom added a bit of texture and grounds the piece in a way that is very pleasing to my eye.
I contemplated embellishments on this card but decided against them. There’s plenty going on with the Retiform Technique that it didn’t seem necessary to me.
I used the strip cut off the top of my retiform technique piece for the inside for a simple coordinating accent.
For this card, I’ve used the Magical Meadow Stamp Set, Joy To You Stamp Set and the Countryside Corners Dies.
The color scheme here is Garden Green, Cherry Cobbler, and Real Red.
I really loved this last one so much that I wanted to use the whole piece as-is! I decided to make an extra large card as a result.
Yellow is not really a go-to color for me but there’s something so bold, bright and cheerful about this piece! The color balance also looks perfect to me!
This piece also started as a 4-¼” x 5-½” quarter sheet of cardstock. I ended cutting off just ¼” from both sides to work with my matting. That left me with a very small scrap strip to decorate my inside.
This card when folded measures 4-7/8″ x 6-1/8″! It’s large but a super simple card.
The Garden Green shapes on the piece are basically toward the center of the piece. The Lemon Lime Twist shows up in three spots and there’s Crushed Curry in three spots too. These are both very bright colors which are perfectly balanced out by the more muted Garden Green.
I considered using both Lemon Lime Twist & Crushed Curry for the matte layer but they both overpowered the piece. Garden Green was hands down the best choice.
I played with different options for the sentiment; black heat embossing on vellum cardstock, Lemon Lime Twist behind the heat embossed vellum, white behind the vellum and probably a few more. The pop of Lemon Lime Twist cardstock with the bold black sentiment was simply the perfect choice. I love this retiform piece so much that I wanted to cover as little as possible!
This card was finished off with three Lemon Lime Twist Tinsel Gems, Parakeet Party Metallic Woven Ribbon and some black Bakers Twine. These elements add some added interest plus some subtle shine and texture.
Last but not least, I added the ¼” scrap strip to the inside of my card plus some additional cardstock layers.
For this card, I’ve used the Magical Meadow Stamp Set, and the Phrases For All Stamp Set.
The color scheme here is Garden Green, Crushed Curry, and Lemon Lime Twist.
Here are my three finished cards. I love them all!
Did you enjoy learning about how I designed these cards? I sure hope so and would love to know what you think.
Make sure to check out the video at the end of this post to watch the “live design” *video. Plus, check out last weeks post and video to learn how I created the retiform technique pieces used to create these cards!
- Note: When watching on YouTube, you can change the playback speed to watch it on fast speed. Just go to the gear symbol and choose your speed.
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