Clean, Simple But Colourful! – AECP Level 3 Post 2

Hey Crafty People!

Whilst deciding which classes to take for my Level 3, I discovered that the incredible Laura Bassen had a class about her signature clean & simple, but bold & colourful style and I just had to take it!

I loved it and I was inspired to make these two cards using some of the principles that Laura talked about throughout the six lessons. (Plus these cards were a two-fer and I can’t resist a two-fer!!!)

As I’ve talked about before, the principles and techniques explored during levels 1 & 2, are really core things that we use all the time to create balanced and beautiful designs. For example, these two cards use:

  • Ink blending
  • ‘Shine’ elements
  • CAS Boutique style
  • Die cutting
  • Stencils
  • Beyond Basic Backgrounds
  • Direct to paper – Inking techniques
  • Colour, (Polychromatic, Color Your Day)
  • Masculine/Neutral design elements
  • Creative Watercolor
  • Beautiful Details

Prep Work

Whenever I am thinking about using colour within my design, or even on those days I have no idea what to make, I always start at the same place; my ink swatches make it easy to figure out which colours go well with eachother, and sifting through those beautiful colours it is almost impossible not to feel sparks of inspiration.

It wouldn’t be a Laura Bassen class without a rainbow, so I used my swatches to decide on the colours I would use to create my rainbow.

Once I had chosen all of my colours I blended a small patch of each onto some Neenah 80lb cardstock; I only needed each to be big enough for the smallest individual diamond from the Fine Frames Diamond set.

This die gives a fine frame and the inside of the diamond, so I cut it from each of my seven colours and then I cut it from white 80lb cardstock too.


Assembling Card 1

This is one of those times when it is the simplest looking designs that are the most involved to actually execute! This is because when you have a simple design like this there really is no room for error, nowhere to hide if the diamonds aren’t lined up completely straight, or evenly spaced.

I find the easiest way to achieve this is to line up your pieces on my glass mat then use a piece of masking tape to pick the up as one whole piece. To ensure I then laid this down straight I used additional strips of masking tape to mark out exactly where I needed to place them.

I glued the white diamond frames around, starting with the central diamond, green, then working outwards, so that the first frame is laying flat and the rest are lifted up onto the diamond to the inside.

I added some black paint splatters using a brush and an old gift card and to give the edge of the panel a little definition I swiped a black ink pad across the edges.

I chose to position my sentiment in this way as a juxtaposition to the straight & regimented diamonds because I like the way it balances the design.

I added a few sparkling black sequins as a splash of sparkle and to pull that black of the sentiment, splatters & panel edges and ground them to the colourful diamonds.

Assembling Card 2

Did you know that you can emboss with a stencil? I just ran it through my Gemini Jr using the same sandwich I would use to die cut, (*this may vary depending on your machine.)

This gave me a subtle texture in the background which looks really good in real life! It was a little difficult to get a photo that shows this, but you should be able to see it in the closest part of the panel here.

I took the solid white diamonds and glued each to some scrap paper, then added one of the coloured frames to each before cutting them out. This was the easiest way to keep the pieces together whilst I decided on my layout; it also meant I could easily pop some of them up on foam squares.

I also added some more of the black paint splatters, then cut down the dry embossed panel and matted on black cardstock. This works in the same way as the inked edges of my first card, and differentiates the card panel from the card base and draws the eyes into the middle.

Once I was happy with the placement I glued the diamonds and sentiment in place with a mix of liquid glue and foam squares.

In the same way that I placed my sentiment ‘wonky’ on my first card I purposely placed the sentiment straight and aligned, to juxtapose the random nature of this design.

I added the same sparkling black sequins on this card too.

I wanted to create two similar, but also very different cards for this class, to show that you can use the techniques Laura is best known for in so many different styles of card making; whether you enjoy the precise, measured style of the first card or the more random approach of the second card. You can incorporate rainbow colour anywhere!

Thank you for visiting my blog today. If you’d like to see more of my artwork & how to’s and/or hear my thoughts on living with a chronic illness then please consider subscribing. T.


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2 thoughts on “Clean, Simple But Colourful! – AECP Level 3 Post 2

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