Saturday Seminar #1

The first Saturday Seminar at OWH Stars & Stamps blog was presented this week. The topic is “Creating a Focal Point”.

“One of the most important principles of design, emphasis, is fortunately also one of the easiest to master. Emphasis can best be described as creating a focal point or a center of interest. It is the most important area compared to the rest of your composition. A focal point is the part of the card that catches the recipient’s eye first. The stronger your focal point is the better your final card design will turn out, so planning ahead can have a big payoff.”

Most of the time my cards comply with this principle (to one degree or another), but not always. Our assignment was to find a card we had previously made that did NOT fit within the standard. Then create a new version of the card using the information learned in the seminar.

I found 2 cards that were totally without focus. This first one seemed the easiest for me to “fix”. Here is the original card, made in 2005 for a friend’s birthday.


Boring, right? And yes, there is a design on the card, but it is so weak that there is no emphasis, no focal point at all. And I didn’t even put a sentiment on it! What was I thinking!?!?

As luck would have it, I still had a piece of the same two-sided printed paper only in blue, not lavender. So I set about making another card, but (hopefully) better this time.

card 056

The first thing I did was to leave a white border around the solid blue at the edge of the card. I felt that gave the whole thing a little more definition. Secondly, I did not press the cut and folded parts so tightly to the backing, allowing for more dimension.

I emphasized the yellow in the flower print by using a large yellow flower in the center. I also wanted a sentiment on the front and used a gold cutout I’ve had for quite some time. Placing the two items in close proximity keeps the eye moving to one single spot on the card – the focal point.

I’ll make a new posting with second card if I can actually figure out what to do to fix it. That’s part of the assignment, too – keep doing it daily. So, I’ll try.

Thanks for viewing my homework.


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Velda
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 18:25:54

    I liked the original card too, but it was hard to see the parts. This definitely highlighted the focal point. This is a good learning experience for all of us. It will be fun to keep practicing this principle. Good work.


  2. Yolanda
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 14:10:00

    Wow! I want to know how to do that fold.


  3. Kate
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 14:36:33

    Hi Donna! Beautiful cards. Are you interested in writing or helping with a tutorial for the Stars & Stamps blog? I’m hearing from people that they would like to learn how to make this fold. Please write me at Thanks!


  4. Barb Housner
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 15:26:18

    I didn’t even realize it was folding until I saw the second card – great update.



  5. Sandy Allnock
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 15:33:32

    Wow you really did make a great improvement!! The first one was pretty but the second is even better 🙂 Great job!


  6. Karen (Kajikit)
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 16:01:33

    Lovely work… the first card is lovely cutwork but it doesn’t have enough contrast to pull your eye to any one place in the pattern. Adding the flower really makes it pop.


  7. Paula S.
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 16:38:08

    The yellow flower you added really does draw attention right to the middle and I think because of it you notice the folding (which is fantastic) on the remake so much more.


  8. Rufus
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 23:20:20

    That fold is really pretty and the second card is def. more visually interesting. The yellow flower draws the eye to the center and then you see the folds. I like the second one lots!


  9. Ann Merkins
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 12:09:03

    Very beautiful cards. The first one was a little harder to see the fold, the second one is fabulous!!!


  10. Ginnie
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 21:28:08

    all of the above!! i love the dimension added with the absence of pressing down the blue flower, and the yellow is a wonderful contrast! and the sentiment adds a little something special too!


  11. Cindy O
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 23:43:17

    Very interesting example! In the first one, I feel like there is no place for my eye to settle. In the second, I like the white border for definition. The yellow and gold pull my eye in, and the blue fold pattern jumps off the page more. Thanks for sharing it.
    P.S. I’m also a non-stamper.


  12. Seongsook Duncan
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 15:28:12

    Wow… it turned out such a prettier card. Great job! Thanks for sharing how you did in detail.


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