Die-namics Design: Shape it Up

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We love STAX for their versatility and value. Basic shapes in a variety of sizes make them a fantastic way to beef up your toolbox with supplies that will stand the test of time and never go out of style. Beyond simple matting, these die cuts can be layered and combined in completely new and unique ways and this month, our team will give you just a taste of their capabilities. While STAX run the gamut to include stars, hearts, and flags, this month we’re focusing on the most elemental shapes of all: squares, rectangles, circles, and ovals. We’ve opened things up a little bit to include a variety of border options so you’ll see some stitched and pierced detailing, but you’ll be astounded by how creative you can be with a few simple lines and curves.

Handmade card from Torico featuring the Pure Innocence Tutu Cute stamp set and Die-namics.

Torico backed her beautiful ballerina with lots of stitched layers and delicate scribbles. Her soft color palette, patterning, and scallops reinforce the graceful feel of the card.

Handmade card from Teri Anderson featuring the Stars & Wishes Die-namics from Laina Lamb Design and Cross-Stitch Circle STAX Die-namics.

Bold and graphic is a hallmark of Teri’s style and this card, featuring lots of circles and stars, is no exception!

Are you itching to stock up on STAX? Save 10% on all in-stock Die-namics in our STAX category today only! Happy shopping :)

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Want to see more inspiration from our team? Keep on clicking to see how they interpreted this month’s Die-namics Design challenge.

BarbaraJodiJuliaJulieKarinKayKimberlyStephanieTeriToricoYoonsun

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Line

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxSharpen your pencils and take your seats! It’s time for another lesson in design. We hope you’ve been soaking in all of the good stuff we’ve shared this week. And better yet, we’d love to see what you’ve been learning!

Achieving Balance is essential to good design. Balance is the way the elements of a card (lines, shapes, colors, textures, etc.) are arranged to create a feeling of stability; a pleasing or harmonious arrangement or proportion in a card design. We’ll round out the week with two lessons on keeping everything balanced! Today’s lesson is about the intentional use of Line in your designs. Horizontal lines can be calm and quiet or an anchor, while vertical lines can convey movement.

Lesson #4 – Balance: Line

Say hello to today’s instructor, My Favorite Things Design Team member Kay Miller. Kay has prepared an excellent lesson on achieving balance in your design by using Line.

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To begin with, Kay has some key points to remember about using line:

Lines are very important in graphic design and in card making. Lines can do many things to add visually interesting content to your design. Understanding how to use lines can help you communicate a certain feeling or idea in your work.

1. Lines draw the eye to the focal point.

2. Lines can divide  space and direct the viewers’ eyes.

3. Lines direct the flow of content.

4. Lines can help give emphasis to a specific area.

Lines can be created using so many different things. You can use strips of paper, stencils, line stamps, or dies. You can also watercolor lines or use text to create lines.

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Kay cut four lines and inlaid them into white card stock to make everything flat. Once that step was complete, she cut the entire panel with the stitched rectangle from Blueprints 20.

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These colorful horizontal lines become the perfect place to place a Focal Point as they ground the design.

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Pop up the Focal Point and accents with foam tape, and the design is complete. Notice, too, that the horizontal lines are placed on one of the imaginary line of thirds that Kimberly covered Monday in her lesson on the Rule of Thirds.

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And there you have it. A well balanced card with perfect composition! Thanks for a great lesson, Kay!

Better with Friends Card by Kay Miller Featuring the Laina Lamb Designs Tickled Pink stamp set and the Flower Medley and the Spring Garden Die-namics #mftstamps

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link belowMaster the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve Line in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Movement/Flow

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxWe’ve made it to the third day of summer school. Are you having fun learning? You’ve had 24 hours to stretch your legs, get some rest, and do your homework, but now it’s time to get back into the creative classroom for more design tips from My Favorite Things! Be sure to check out Lesson #1 and Lesson #2 if you happened to miss them.

 Our third and final composition lesson will help you understand the idea of incorporating Movement/Flow in your designs. Movement/Flow is the arrangement of the elements on a card to create
 a sense of motion by using lines, shapes, forms, and textures that cause the eye to move over the design. Creating a visual triangle with sentiment, paper, and focal point is a great way to show movement as well!

Lesson #3 – Composition: Movement/Flow

movement-detail-shot-julia Even though a card is a stationary thing (and also a stationery thing for that matter), you can create movement by following some simple guidelines. It just takes a little knowledge, and we’re here to help you with that!

Today’s instructor is My Favorite Things Design Team member Julia Stainton. Click HERE or simply watch the video below to glean some fantastic tips from Julia about creating movement in your designs.

That idea about using text to create movement was so great. I had never thought of that!

Pretty Hello Card by Julia Stainton featuring the Zig Zag Stitched Circle STAX, Feathers and Arrows, and Happy Hellos Die-namics #mftstamps

Julia has such a knack for creating visually pleasing cards, and her attention to the movement and flow of her elements is obvious in everything that she creates!

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link belowMaster the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve Movement/Flow in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Focal Point

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxHello again, dear students! We hope you enjoyed yesterday’s lesson on composition and how to use the Rule of Thirds to your advantage when designing. If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to check it out HERE. Kimberly Crawford’s tutorial makes so much sense!

Today our composition lesson will help you understand the concept of creating a fantastic Focal Point. The Focal Point on any given project is the main area where an embellishment or image stamp is placed. Typically it works best if there is only one focal point.

Lesson #2 – Composition: Focal Point

I’d like to introduce you to today’s instructor, My Favorite Things Design Team member Keisha Campbell. Let’s settle in for a lesson in creating a fantastic Focal Point!

Start with a pretty background to be the stage for your focal point. Bold or subtle, the background grounds everything and showcases the focal point to perfection.

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Keisha used a bullseye design to draw the eye to the center of the card using circle Die-namics. By adding foam tape to the circles, she puts even more attention on the focal point.

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Using one of the inner circles created when die cutting the bullseye, Keisha stamps a pretty pattern. The lacy design pairs well with the bold background, but the delicacy of it makes you want to look closer.

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Next Keisha adds a bright yellow butterfly to the bullseye. The color alone draws the eye to it. Notice her placement to the right of the circle still allowing the lace design to show. Just lovely!

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Finally, add in the sentiment to tie it altogether. Notice how the banner extends across the whole Persimmon circle. The layered circles with the orange ring and bright butterfly with the sentiment across it all draw the eye to the center.

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And what a lovely card Keisha has created drawing the eye to her dramatic and very pretty Focal Point!

What Makes You Happy Card by Keisha Campbell featuring the Lace Background stamp, Flutter of Butterflies - Solid Dienamics, and Bold Paisley stencil #mftstamps

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link belowMaster the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve the perfect Focal Point in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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Creative Challenge: Go Overboard

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Come sail away with the MFT crew this month as they demonstrate their nautical prowess. Cards and projects featuring a decidedly water-oriented look are the theme of this month’s Creative Challenge. Peer into the porthole of creativity as we explore all of the stamps, Die-namics, and stencils that will have you yearning for an exciting day at sea or a relaxing day spent lounging at the shore.

Handmade card from Kay Miller featuring the Penguins in Paradise stamp set and Die-namics from Birdie Brown.

Kay used the Stitched Scallop Edges Die-namics to create her layers of sea-worthy waves. Her creative use of the porthole from the Let’s Get Nautical Die-namics frames her sweet penguin focal point perfectly while the addition of the wheel element introduces the perfect pop of color.

Handmade card from Karolyn Loncon featuring the Sailboat Die-namics.

Karolyn created a gorgeous ombre sunset to back her silhouetted sailboat. I love how the Making Waves Die-namics includes waves in both directions and two size options – layering them really adds movement and dimension to the finished look!

Our talented team has even more inspiration for you so click on through to each of their blogs to see how they managed to keep their sea legs in these choppy challenge waters.

BarbaraDonnaFrancineJodiJodyJulieKarinKarolynKayTeriTorico

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Summer School – It’s Your Turn to Learn: Rule of Thirds

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxWelcome to a wonderful week of learning brought to you by some phenomenal instructors here at the My Favorite Things blog. We’re excited to share five lessons this week to take your creativity to the next level.

School may be out for the summer for most kids (cue Alice Cooper!), but we’re all about life-long learning around these parts! Grab a fresh notebook and a newly sharpened pencil and get ready to take notes as we share insights on some of the rules of design.

Perhaps you’ve been working on a project at your craft table and aimlessly moving around elements trying to find just the right position. Sometimes there’s that magical A-HA moment when it all falls into place. It’s likely that you struck upon one of the design rules without even knowing it!

We’re hoping that by the end of the week, our lessons will give you the confidence you need to create cards and projects that are pleasing to the eye just by following a few simple rules. Are you ready class? Let’s begin.

Lesson #1 – Composition: Rule of Thirds

Composition is the arrangement of elements on a card; the intentional ordering of elements for a visually pleasing and emotional reaction resulting in unity and consistency. We’ll have three lessons that fall under the composition umbrella this week.

Beyond Happy for You Card by Kimberly Crawford featuring the Totally Happy stamp set, Roses All Over background stamp, and the Upsy-Daisy and Happy Hellos Die-namics #mftstamps

The first composition lesson centers around the concept of using the Rule of Thirds. The Rule of Thirds is the division of your card into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. This type of design leads to an overall visual that is pleasing to the eye.

Today’s instructor is My Favorite Things Design Team member Kimberly Crawford. Click HERE or simply watch the video below to learn more about using the Rule of Thirds in your designs.

I love Kimberly’s idea of creating a vellum grid to help in the design process. Super smart!

Beyond Happy for You Card by Kimberly Crawford featuring the Totally Happy stamp set, Roses All Over background stamp, and the Upsy-Daisy and Happy Hellos Die-namics #mftstamps

What a lovely finished product! And now that you know the thought process, you can see why it all makes sense!

To aid in your learning , we have created a My Favorite Things Summer School Study Guide. Download it HERE, and then print it. It will be a handy tool that you can refer to as you design!

This week you’re the student, and instead of grades, we’ve got two prizes per day and two ways to win. Using today’s lesson, we’d love for you to create a project that exemplifies what you learned and upload it to the link below. Master the lesson and win a $50 voucher from My Favorite Things and be featured on the blog on June 30. Just by participating, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $20 voucher, so everyone has a chance!

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All entries must be submitted by noon EDT on June 26th. Winners will be announced here on the blog on Tuesday, June 30.

Here’s your homework for your chance to win:
  1. Create a project following the lesson you learned today.
  2. Be sure to link your project below for your chance to win!
Before you go, be sure to stop by the blogs of these members of our Creative Team for more lessons in how to achieve the Rule of Thirds in your projects.

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Now make sure to do your homework! Class dismissed.

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

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Watercolor Wishes

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Hey everyone! It’s Carissa here and I’m so excited to be guest posting here on the My Favorite Things Blog. I’ve been a fan of My Favorite Things for quite some time. I often use their products over on my blog. Today I’m sharing two different card projects with you, which both feature the new Stars & Wishes Die-namics as well as two different watercolor techniques.

Handmade watercolor cards from Carissa Wiley featuring Stars & Wishes Die-namics from Laina Lamb Design.

I wanted these big bold sentiments to take center stage on my card projects, so I kept the backgrounds soft. I used two different watercolor techniques for the backgrounds.

The first card features a basic watercolor background. I used pink, orange and yellow to create a beautiful blend. It kind of reminds me of a sunset. After my background was completely dry, I used the Simply Circles Background to add some more interest and pattern. I love the way this background turned out. It’s fun to layer embossing over watercolor to add texture and interest.

Watercolor Wishes handmade card from Carissa Wiley featuring the Stars & Wishes Die-namics and Simply Circles Background.

I cut the Wish sentiment from the Stars & Wishes Die-namics out of some gold glitter card stock. I also used the Count the Stars Die-namics to create a mat for this beautiful sentiment. The mat is cut from vellum and creates a halo effect around the sentiment. I love how it adds softness to the bold glitter sentiment. You could also add more to your sentiment with the Count the Stars stamp set. There are sentiments like “make a” and “big” that would fit perfectly above or below the die-cut sentiment.

Watercolor Wishes handmade card from Carissa Wiley featuring the Stars & Wishes Die-namics and Simply Circles Background.

I used die cuts from the Blueprints 25 Die-namics and the Stitched Circle STAX Die-namics to finish off all of the layering on this first card. I love all of the versatile shapes that come in the Blueprints Die-namics sets. These shapes are perfect for adding the finishing touches.

For the second card, I created a watercolor background on a vellum piece using Copic makers. I used two aqua colors and a little bit of rubbing alcohol to blend them out and create the soft look of watercolor on the vellum piece. I layered this over a white card base that was stamped with the Myriad Dot Background. I love how the dots peek through the vellum and add just a touch of pattern and texture to the card.

Watercolor Wishes handmade card from Carissa Wiley featuring the Stars & Wishes Die-namics and Abstract Cover-Up Die-namics.

I used the Abstract Cover Up Die-namics to add a fun and funky gold glitter grid over the vellum piece. This Cover-Up is so much fun! I think it will be the perfect die for creating a funky shaker card.

For this second card, I wanted to incorporate the black that I used on the Myriad Dot background stamp, so I cut my wish sentiment from black cardstock. To keep it center stage, I added a generous layer of glossy accents to really make it pop!

Watercolor Wishes handmade card from Carissa Wiley featuring the Stars & Wishes Die-namics and Abstract Cover-Up Die-namics.

I have created a video tutorial over at my blog, walking you through the entire creation of both of these fun cards. Be sure to visit me there to see how I put these cards together. I’ll also give you some tips as I walk you through.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these projects and have been inspired to create your own watercolor cards. Thanks for stopping by today! And thank you to the awesome people over at My Favorite Things for letting me take over for a day! Have a fabulous day!

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It’s Your Day

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Marion Vagg is joining us again today on the blog. The birthday card she shared a few days ago was such a beauty, we’re happy to have her here with yet another project today. Thank you for sharing your talents with us, Marion!

Handmade card from Marion Vagg featuring the Sailboat and Chevron Stripes Die-namics.

I am so inspired by that gradient of blue Marion created with the Chevron Stripes Die-namics – what a fantastic way to create a sky backdrop from solid colors that still provides interest! The sailboat, in a simple white silhouette, is set off by a pair of tiny, nautically-inspired stars included in the set.

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Feeling creative? We’d love to see how you’re using Die-namics to create backdrops for your cards. Tag us, #mftstamps, so we can see what you’re working on!

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A Few of Our Favorite Things

With a name like My Favorite Things, we’ve got some pretty strong opinions about what we like. We decided it was time to poll our talented team of designers to find out which products in the MFT boutique are their current favorites.

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So tell me, what’s catching your eye in the MFT shop? We’d love to know what your indispensable tools and Replenishments include. And when you put those goodies to use crafting beautiful cards and crafts, be sure to tag #mftstamps so we can see what you’ve created!

Creative Construction: Hit the Waves

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We love Blueprints because they take the guesswork out of crafting beautiful cards in quick fashion when we’re short on time or inspiration. We also love them for their versatility and ability to be mixed and matched when we have the time and inspiration to create something truly unique. Our Creative Construction Challenge focuses on these attributes each month, challenging the team to either assemble a card based on one of the provided Blueprints sketches or design an original card combining elements from the featured Blueprints.

Did you know you can find ALL of our printable Blueprints sketches in one spot? Our Printable Resources section over there in the sidebar is packed with handy reference materials including Blueprints. Blueprints 11 marked a cool new innovation in our collection with a fun curved panel complemented by coordinating sentiment elements. We’re revisiting this shapely favorite with the Creative Construction with Blueprints Challenge this month.

Handmade card from Torico featuring Penguins in Paradise from Birdie Brown.

Torico paired Blueprints 11 with the adorable Penguins in Paradise to create this cheery look. Don’t you love how she used the sentiment and wave-shaped element to ground her sweet penguin?

Ready to start your next card from the ground up? Stock up on Blueprints and save 15% with code BLUEPRINTS – today only so act fast!

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Keep on clicking to see how the rest of our team interpreted this month’s challenge.

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