Birthday Bliss: Evolution of a design

Hi All,

Still recovering a bit from the recent Birthday Stamp a Stack held with my Stampin’ Up! partners Linda and Cheryl but thought I would share the evolution of the design of one of the cards while I gather up the rest of the details to show you all the designs created that day.  I always think its fun to see where a design comes from and how it gets to where it ends up.  Probably why some  of my favorite blogs are ones that show the process in full including a few of the side steps along the way.  So…….

Mission: Design a Masculine or at least gender neutral card for a Birthday Stamp a Stack and feature a set if possible available through Sale-a-Bration.    My choice:  Birthday Bliss (also recently featured on this Tightwad Tuesday post).  And a personal goal was also to use every stamp in the stamp set!

Here’s the card we made at the SAS:

And here’s the start of the idea….  

This card was a recent Valentines card sent to me by a very good stamping buddy and fellow demo Mary Fife (hi Mary!).    Designed for a UStamp Swap,  Mary was good enough to include the details on the back of the card.  Gotta love a sister stamper who recognizes the important things in life!

 Besides it being cute as the dickens, as my Grandmother used to say, I was captivated by the different style of fold and it got me thinking…..

So here is my first Birthday Bliss version:

(note: the clip isn’t actually part of the design just a photo prop since Cheryl didn’t have 3 hands 😀 )

Stamps: Birthday Bliss,  Bitty Birthday (Balloons), Woodgrain Background

Ink: Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry, Dusty Durango, Bermuda Bay, Black Marker for Balloon strings

Paper: Crushed Curry, Bermuda Bay, Whisper White

Other: 1-1/4″ square Punch, Large Tag Punch, Wide Oval Punch

While this was bright and colorful (originally I was thinking kids more than masculine) it didn’t feel quite right.  Though as it turned out a number of people took pictures of this version so I might not have been so far off after all!

 I also ran into the problem of how I was going to get the card to stay closed.  Without all the mats that Mary’s original card had the “doors”, for lack of a better description, weren’t heavy enough to stay folded down.  I tried offsetting the wide oval punch piece and using a bit of Dotto so the card could be open and closed with the Dotto hopefully holding it closed but that didn’t end up working very well.


On to idea number two….

Stamps: Birthday Bliss, Woodgrain Background

Ink: Crushed Curry, Bravo Burgandy

Paper: Bravo Burgandy, Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise, Crushed Curry

Other: 1-1/4″ Square Punch, Large & Small Tag Punch, Wide Oval Punch, Black Gingham Ribbon

This design was a little closer to the masculine idea I was reaching for but not quite there.   A tad too somber in its colors and Cheryl thought the three windows all across the bottom would weaken the card fabric itself.  So tried a version with fewer windows:

Basically the same design but without the square windows and with mats placed under the Ice Cream sentiment squares (mats punched with the 1-3/8″ Square Punch).  Hmmmm……not a bad card but still not quite there.   So back to the drawing board.  At least this time the basic design felt right it was more a matter of color and the style vibe it put out there.

Ended up using an online color tool to play with a variety of possible combinations and eventually came up with the set that was used in the final version.   Another consideration ended up being what paper was already on hand as well as realizing that neutrals come in larger packs with a slightly lower cost.  Always a consideration for a Stamp a Stack!

And Ta Da!! here’s the final version (picture the green as being a bit darker – for some reason the camera and lighting didn’t show this off particularly well).  The base and Woodgrain image were done in Sahara Sand – an often overlooked but fun neutral.  And the Real Red of the ribbon, ink and paper really pops and lends a punch of color.   Summer Sun gave a bit of an accent and the Green is an all boy color according to my nephew.  The Birthday Bliss oval image was stamped first in Real Red for the base image and then again in Garden Green, cut out and popped up on dimensionals.  

Funny note that shows my brain is not always there.  When stamping the Green version of the Birthday Bliss I first punched it with the wide oval and then cut the saying out with my scissors.   Then I noticed Cheryl giving me a funny look…asked what was up and she noted that I probably didn’t need to punch out the piece before cutting out the saying!   Hmmm….I guess it pays to have a smart partner!   She also gently pointed out that I didn’t really need a full wide strip since the only part that mattered were the words themselves….like I said it helps to have a smart parner….Thanks Cheryl for always being there for your sometimes distracted and dittzy stamping partner.

Stamps: Birthday Bliss

Ink: Sahara Sand, Garden Green, Real Red, Summer Sun marker (candle flames)

Paper: Sahara Sand, Summer Sun, Real Red, Whisper White Cardstocks

Other: 1-3/8″ & 1-1/4″ Square Punches, Large and Small Tag Punches, Wide Oval Punch, Craft and Paper Scissors, Red Gingham Ribbon, Dimensionals & Snail Adhesive

So there you have it…the evolution of a design.

Cheryl and I were both pretty happy with the final version.  I thought it reflected the retro feel of the Birthday Bliss stamp set.  Kinda like a 50’s diner combined with a bit of a barn feel after we added the woodgrain background.  If you wanted to accentuate the barn feel you could cut angles from the top corners of the card to give a bit of a barn shape.  The colors are still birthday bright and the woodgrain adds a bit of masculine feel though the card has an overall gender/age neutral feel.   Fairly simple though does take a bit of work with all the punching.   I did come up with a template to make the punching a wee bit easier so that our stampers could relax about getting the Tag Window properly spaced.  After that it’s just stamp, punch, adhere.  Couldn’t be simpler!

Hope you enjoyed this peak into the creative process at work and I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you have to share.   And of course if you want to make this card for yourself you can always order the supplies at my online shopping site – just click on the button in the upper right hand side of the blog to start your shopping.

Hugs and Blessings – Jean

P.S.  If it’s your birthday today….Happy Birthday and may your days be bliss filled!


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