Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Muse U: Finding Inspiration

Last month my son took a card to school for his student teacher. She asked him where he bought the card and he told her his mother made it. He explained, "she just gets an idea, then makes a card from scratch."

First off, making cards "from scratch" is a lot easier with A Muse! And sometimes, it's the idea part that's the hardest part! My son makes it sounds so simple, but it got me thinking, where do I get my ideas?

When looking for inspiration to make a card or other stamped project, I just look around me. Like so many others, I use magazines, clothing or home-goods window displays and anything else that crosses my path. I also frequently look at stamping websites and blogs where, obviously, I find loads of ideas.

A few weeks ago, I walked past a window display at a Pottery Barn. These are great places to see new trends in color for each season. There was an outdoor lounge chair with some pillows on it, one of which had a coral pattern on it. I checked out their website when I got home to find the pillow. I made a list in my notebook of the things I'd need to make a simple card so that I could recreate this pattern later on.

Sometimes I'll go check out other housewares websites for more inspiration. Since I create with paper, I've cut back on the catalogue mailings in an effort to conserve paper - so I tend to hit their e-commerce sites quite often. I've found that decorative throw pillows are great for inspiration because each one has specific color scheme that I can use for a card. Plus, I will find color combinations that I wouldn't necessarily think about using. Then, I can make up a little card to add to my color combo ring. I found a really bold pillow on the Pier 1 website and made a card using colors that I tend not to use.

Late at night is when I finally have time to sit and really look at crafty websites and blogs. During the day I may catch a quick glance at a card or project but I will go back to look more closely if I find something that I like. Like many of you, I head to Julie Ebersole's stamping blog. So many of her 5 minute quickies (5MQ) inspire me. Again, I may look at her color scheme or layout/design, but sometimes I find that a small element or technique inspires me.

This card was a great 5MQ. I like white space on my cards. White space = time saver! But, instead of going for white space, I really liked the look of foreground/background by using foam adhesive on a stamped image. Talk about clean and simple and FAST! I stamped the vines on the notecard then stamped a sentiment over it, using a clear stamp. I didn't even have to pull out the stamp positioner. Clear stamps = time saver! Then, I stamped the rose, added some colored pencil detail, cut it out and stuck it on the card. This was a 7MQ, probably because of the colored pencils, but still a quickie.

Are you ready to get creative? Find a small notebook that you can use to write yourself some notes or draw a quick sketch or just dot down a design element or colors you want to use. I don't know about you, but I've got to make notes or else I'll use those brain cells for grocery lists or keeping the names of my kids straight. If you find time to be inspired, I'd love to hear from you and see what you've done!


TeaDub said...

Elena, love all the cards you showed us. I like how you went out of your comfort zone using colors you wouldn't normally use!

Anonymous said...

I love learning the process behind the card! Thank you for posting this =)

I always have a notebook with me with a pencil. That way I can sketch an idea as it comes to me, because otherwise I'll forget it in 2 seconds lol. I also email myself blog links with cards that inspire me. If something on a card catches my like a technique or color combo I jot it down too.

At times it is a particular stamp that inspires so I build the card around an image. Inspiration is everywhere I think!

Michellem said...

I LOVE your coral card!! What a CAS way to emulate current trends - your article was great!

Carly said...

Beautiful cards and I love the process to get to each one. Wonderful places for inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Very fun! THe brown/orange card is fabulous!!! I'll have to remember that layout ;)