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Old 08-23-2009, 02:18 PM   #1
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Default Hopeless at designing my own cards - HELP !!!

Hi...I call myself a "card copier" and not a "Card creator" although I would love to be. Some days I get a bunch of stuff around me (and - wow - do I have "stuff" !!!) and I just look at it and don't have any idea where to even start.

Then I go to some of the beautiful card samples on SplitCoast and think to myself " that looks easy - why can't I come up with some of these wonderful ideas". I have a huge collection of Stampin Up stamps, all the inks, watercolour crayons, markers and paper including the specialty papers.

Can anyone give me a few tips or hints on where you even start to creating on my own ? Please tell me there is hope for me. I love making cards and can easily spend hours on a card as I tend to like the "flower pot", "wiper Cards", "hinged cards" etc. I've made several - but only if I can copy.
I've been making cards for about 2 years now.

Thanks for your help !!!

"katielady"
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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Katielady there is no shame in copying. I do it all the time. Yes, I do come up with some on my own. Or maybe a take off something I've seen. What you did is right...........sit down with a set and just play with it. Do it on copy paper...............don't waste cs to start with and see what you can come up with. Let your mind go. Mine's already gone most of the time. LOL

You CAN do it.
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:54 PM   #3
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Hi katielady!! I think what helped me to think "on my own" is participating in challenges, there are daily challenges here, Stamp TV, blogs (The Daily Dare link in my signature is a great resource for daily challenges!!), etc. I have stamped for a few years but sometimes I need a starting point. I started noticing after participating in challenges regularly that I was able to come up with more of my own ideas. Hope that helps!!
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #4
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I copied for years and years and even now still need a spring board for my creations. For me it was stamping almost every night and surfing the internet for inspiration. There is definitely still hope for you!
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
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When I first started stamping, I CASED almost everything. Then I found some blogs with card sketches, and tried my hand at those. I really liked the sketches because I could still make it 'mine' by using my own papers, stamps, embellishments, etc. Eventually I felt comfortable enough to design my own cards, from start to finish. I do have a favorite card layout that I use a lot, and I still resort to sketches when I want to try something different.
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:03 PM   #6
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Hi There... well there is copying and there is copying.... if you take a card you see and add your own take on it it is not actually copying.... I have used some card layouts that I have seen but put my own spin on it. I will use different images, stamps, sentiments or even colors..
Practice makes perfect..... or almost perfect..... so hang in there and keep trying...
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Old 08-23-2009, 03:57 PM   #7
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Just remember, a lot of the cards on SCS have been 'copied', at least in part! I usually grab one thing to start with (usually a stamp set), and then use that to pick 3 or 4 colours to go with it. I use mojomonday sketches a LOT!
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:41 PM   #8
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I agree with everyone else, and i will add something too. I cased for a while. Probably 1 year solid, but that was me making a card every day. After a while I had the confidence and the repertoire of skills to sit down and make a card unassisted!!

How often do you create? you really have to spend a lot of time at this craft to start creating one-of-a-kind cards.. at least I did.. after a while you will sit down and have your own ideas and you'll suddenly realize they were from your own head!!! keep at it.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:55 PM   #9
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I still copy after four years.....I do my own at times but I don't have the desire or time to create from scratch. I only make a few cards per month. I did create my daughter's wedding shower invites on my own...don't know where that inspiration came from, but there it was weeks before I started on them. I enjoy having a "pattern" to go on and I change it up with the supplies I have available...This just works great for me!!!
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:59 PM   #10
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I'm a 95% copier, I rarely self inspire. I hope to be able to do my own designs some day, but I LOVE copying. I very rarely post my CASES in my gallery, I think there may be one or two, I'd have to go look...I generally copy as close as possible to what I see, including colors used etc. I make a damn fine reproduction lol, but it's not MINE, and I'm ok with that. You can keep doing it, and it will all be ok

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Old 08-23-2009, 05:19 PM   #11
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I am also a former CASE'r. I've been stamping for almost 2 years now and when I first started I used to be very active in the challenge threads and I really think that is what has helped me learn the skills needed to be able to create on my own.

But really, what 100% original these days? I'm sure a lot of what I've come up with on my own has been done before, I just don't know it
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:41 PM   #12
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First, as the other posters have said, copying is just fine. However, if you want to come up with your own designs, it often helps to start with a sketch. There are a lot of free sketches online. A good place to start is www.pagemaps.com. She has many card sketches that are really nice. Another tip I have for you is to limit the supplies you use. I find that if I limit myself to one stamp set (or 2-3 individual stamps) and 3 embellishments, I'm not overwhelmed by my supplies. I'm actually more creative that way too. Finally, try not to compare yourself to other card makers. Some have been doing it for years, some are professional designers, and some are just naturally gifted. Relax and have fun, and you will be surprised at how creative you really are.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:14 PM   #13
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A couple of things you can do

Look at your favorite samples, sites etc...

1) write down what it is you like about the cards that you are really drawn too. What details stand out to you, what colors, what embellishments, technqiues etc.
2) Gather a color scheme in papers, inks, & embellishments and a favorite stamp set or two and just play, don't worry about the finished product, play with your stuff
3) Try a new technique each week for fun

After a while, you will begin to see your style come through. Don't push it, copy all you want, the samples people post are there for you to use, most of all enjoy your stamping time and don't stress over it. There is plenty in life to stress over this shoudl be fun.
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katielady View Post
I love making cards and can easily spend hours on a card as I tend to like the "flower pot", "wiper Cards", "hinged cards" etc.
I think there's nothing to worry about...losing yourself in a card for hours is what this hobby is about, whether or not it's an "original" idea or not (although I will second all the suggestions about sketch challenges-they are a fun place to branch out, although you may also like the "try a new technique" challenges based on the cards you like to make).
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:27 PM   #15
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I'd recommend various challenges...take one sketch challenge, another color challenge, another inspiration challenge, and try to combine them! Or instead of totally CASEing a card, challenge yourself to change two things (color combos, stamp set, layout). I find that looking through the galleries or challenge entries inspire me when I can't find inspiration. We all go through creative ups and downs though so don't feel down-get one good creation and I guarantee you'll be on a roll!
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:57 PM   #16
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I am a total CASE'r too!! I've just started making cards and I just get overwhelmed by all the different ideas out there and by all my supplies. I don't know where to start. It's just easier to copy someone elses. I won't deviant from their design because Im so unsure of my own judgement. I hope that in time I will become more confident and just be ok with what I make.

Thanks for starting this thread. I will check out the challenges and see if that helps my OWN creative juices flow!
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:55 PM   #17
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Thanks for posting this, because I feel the same way! There are some great ideas here, can't wait to explore my 'own' creative side!
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:12 PM   #18
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katielady...You're not alone! I find that card sketches really help me if I'm feeling lost and unsure of what to do I LOVE Mojo Monday sketches...
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:34 PM   #19
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You are definitely not alone! I felt the same way you did and frequently do when the mojo's not working.

For me, the best thing to help are the sketch challenges or having a sketch to start with. From there, I can let my creativity go.

The more you stamp and try things out, the better you'll get. Don't be afraid to stop and take a break if it's not working or just start all over again. Most of all, have fun!
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:21 AM   #20
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katielady here again. Thanks for all your support. I must say that every once in a while I see a card, print it to copy it and then decide to do something a bit different so maybe my creative side is coming out. I will try the sketches and see if that helps.

Also...I know what you mean about not getting out too much "stuff". I find that I was more creative when I first started out as I didn't have much and had to be really inventive to copy something. I came up with all sorts of ways to make backgrounds etc. About the third card I ever made I had wanted to make a muted leaf background with fall colours. I kept the card and for the life of me I can't remember how I made the background. I had virtually nothing at the time as far as supplies go.

Thanks again for all your help !!

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Old 08-24-2009, 11:00 AM   #21
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Katie, I think I've only ever cased one card. Who knows what little bits may have lingered in the subconscious here and there - that's what inspiration is all about. But out-and-out, "I'm going to copy this design," I know of one time.

That said -- I know a lot of people case almost everything . . . and that's great!! But... you sound like you want to design cards all on your own. I started to think - well, how do I design a card? And I can tell you the process but I don't know if it will help.

I usually feel like working with a certain image or if a card is for a particular person, the image comes to mind. Sometimes I have a concept in my head of what to try. I'll be uploading a new Halloween card today that I have had on my mind forever!!

But, for a basic card, not a special technique or something different -- I choose the image, and then decide whether and how to color it. That determines if I use cardstock, watercolor paper, what medium, etc. Once it's done, I choose a cardstock base. Sometimes that's chosen to coordinate, sometimes the recipient's favorite color or appropriate palette determines it. For example, for my Dad -- he likes brown. I try to incorporate brown or very earthy colors; one of my sisters loves blue, etc.

Once the image is colored and cropped out, and the base determined, I try to see how the image fits best on the card and as I'm looking at it, usually coordinating cardstock layers, DP and embellishments come to mind. Hmm... where will they fit? If I go portrait, image to the upper left, what would I like for a sentiment on the bottom? Vertical up the side?? Punched out? Sentiment, embellishments, ribbon, etc., all start to come to mind.

Then I'll lay all the elements onto the card and see if it looks balanced for composition and color. Then ideas about using dimensionals, maybe distressing edges, sponging etc. come to mind. Sometimes I decide the DP isn't working, and I may just stamp some coordinating smaller images on the background/cardbase instead.

And sometimes when it's all together -- something is still missing!! I've pulled off embellishments more than once and completely started over a few times! At this point, I'm usually reminded of one of my DH's favorite sayings "The enemy of good is better."
Example: I made my Dad's birthday cards the other day and thought I should pop the button up on two dimensionals because it overlapped the image layered on dimensionals. Then I thought the edge of the dimensionals underneath was too obvious - too white. Pulled out the coordinating Copic and like an idiot proceed to color the edge of the dimensionals while in place on the card. Don't ever do this!! Of course, I got marker on the cardbase. Of course, I moved that stinkin' button - a millimeter at a time - about 10 times to cover it until I was satisfied. And I ended up using ONE dimensional and colored it BEFORE I put it on the card LOL!!!

It also helps to walk away for awhile and then look at it with fresh eyes. Once I even went to bed with the idea of tossing my card away because it was a disaster -- the next morning, I had the perfect solution pop into my head.

So... that's my usual M.O. Of course it varies from time to time, but when I'm stuck and don't feel creative -- it is always how I just jump back in. I stamp an image, color it and it craves a card to go with it!!

I think not having too much stuff out is a great tip -- you have plenty of cards in your future, so just try one medium at a time and don't even think about the rest. Pick an image, something like a coloring method you feel like working with that day, a color that suits your mood -- and let the artist in you play. I know you can do it!! And you'll come up with your very own creations. In the meantime, casing is fantastic -- you are learning as you go and enjoying it and that's what really matters the most .
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:18 PM   #22
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Hi Katie, I've been stamping for about 2 years, too. Sometimes when I have zero inspiration, I search for a card to CASE. Most of the time, happy accidents occur and the card starts to take on its own personality either due to my supplies on hand or an idea that pops up once I start in on the card. I LOL when I hold my card up to the computer screen because what I set out to copy is totally different than the original image. Like others have said, just play with your supplies and relax. Sometimes I want to copy a card just to practice a new technique.
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Old 08-24-2009, 02:21 PM   #23
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I cant do a card without a sketch, love sketches
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:29 PM   #24
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As a lifetime sewer & crafter, I think of it as a pattern, not a CASE. Just like sewing patterns, it will look different when I am done because I use my own fabric (paper) and notions (embellishments). Sometimes the ideas just come, but sometimes they don't, so I have some books that I look through to give me ideas, or I come to the gallery here. Sometimes the hardest thing is deciding what to do first, there are so many differnt techniques out there. So look through your supplies and find one thing that inspires you. If nothing inspires you, pick something and just start. Don't doubt yourself, you can do it.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:32 PM   #25
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Thank goodness for your post. I thought I was the only one like you!!
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:50 PM   #26
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OMG, I thought I was the only one that felt this way too!! Because of SCS members I can create using someone's art as a springboard for my own art.
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:35 PM   #27
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Donelda, at http://wiggysworldofcrafts.blogspot....s-class-1.html
has a set of lessons that are superb. She explaines and illustrates principles of design that she learned from a book.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:11 PM   #28
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Hi Katie and all the other posters,
I still consider myself pretty much a "newbie" -- and one of my favourite sketches for getting the creative juices flowing is the CAS25 challenge. A nice basic card design with lots of scope for improvising. Hope it gives as much inspiration to you as it has to me!
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