Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Muse U: Combining Patterns

Welcome to A Muse U! Today is all about combining patterns... one of my favorite things about card-making!

I love patterns, and it's no secret that POLKA DOTS are my favorite! But there are lots of fabulous patterns to choose from, and learning a few simple tricks about how to mix and match those patterns is sure to take your card designs to an all new level.

Combining patterns is all about spotting what looks good together. Too many patterns, even if they match, can be busy and distracting. Not enough patterns can make your design a bit blah. If you like a lot of patterns, it can be a challenge to find a happy medium. Sometimes you might need to weed out a few. Other times you have to be daring enough to try a mix that you may not initially think will work. The results may surprise you.

The patterns you choose will likely be influence by your own personal style. An eclectic and whimsical style generally lends itself to a freer choice of patterns and might even include a few choices that seem somewhat mismatched. A shabby style lends itself to softer, muted tones and patterns. A simple style lends itself to fewer, well-chosen patterns that aren't too distracting.

You'll also want to think about the type of card you're making. A calmer mix of patterns is usually better for sympathy or encouragement cards, whereas you can be more liberal with your choice of patterns when you're making a kids' card or other cards with a more light-hearted tone.

More often than not, the first thing to come to mind when you think of patterns is paper, and there's no shortage of fabulous patterned papers to choose from. One advantage stampers have is that we can create our own patterned papers using background stamps or a random mix of coordinating images. Embossing folders are another great way to create patterns. This is an especially fun technique when you're using white core paper. By lightly sanding the embossed image, you reveal the white layer hidden underneath, and it really makes the embossed image pop.

There are lots of fun patterns to be found on this oh-so-sweet friendship card. Notice how I added a few extra polka dots by paper piecing the umbrella.

Here I mixed paisleys, polka dots, and gingham. Even the stitching on the ribbon creates a subtle pattern.

Patterns aren't only found on paper. They can also be found on ribbons, brads, buttons, paper flowers, and all sorts of embellishments. So why not get creative? Add lots of fun patterns to your next creation, and you'll be amazed at the outcome!

Be sure to stop by and see Krystie and Heather for more fun tips and A Muse U projects!


Michellem said...

Great article- I'm getting braver about mixing patterns but it is still a little scary for me! You are a master at it!

cheiron said...

What beautiful cards. Love all the patterns and textures!

Atticelf said...

I love seeing how people combine patterns but have a hard time doing it myself. Thanks for the tips!

JulieHRR said...

BECKSTER!!! YOU ROCK!!! This is an AWESOME article! You always inspire me to try mixing it up, cuz I love what you do so much! *smooch*

Frozenstamper said...

Great combo's - Good to remember to try things you might not think would initially work together!

Dawn said...

I have always loved the way you mix patterns. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how to do this.

Bobbie Lynn said...

Great cards layouts. Love all the colors and those stamps are so sweet.