What Inspires You?

We are all inspired by different things.  This past weekend, Mary Fish asked the Pals to share what inspires us.  We filled one of our private Facebook forums with original projects and shared our inspirations behind them.  For some members, projects were inspired by patterns and colors in home decor magazines, while others found inspiration in nature and holidays. 

I find inspiration in many different places.  I’ve been making and designing cards long enough to see patterns in the shape of a building front.  “Oooh!  That would make a cool layout!”  I see colors in Stampin’ Up!’s color families.  My coworker didn’t fully understand what I was talking about when I said I liked her Island Indigo and Pool Party necklace.  As you already know, though, I find inspiration in a good challenge – I love to push myself.  I love sketch and color challenges.  I love self-imposed challenges – to use a stamp set I haven’t used or to try something new and interesting.  I love competition shows like Project Runway and Top Chef where participants are challenged to create something amazing under bizarre or ridiculous constraints.  This card was inspired by Project Runway:     Million & One, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Tips, Tricks and Reminders

  • Very Little Stamping.   There’s only a little bit of stamping on this card.  The image of the corset is trimmed from a piece of Etcetera Designer Series Paper.  This piece is just large enough to pull in Night of Navy, Calypso Coral and [accent color] Baked Brown Sugar.  The only stamped piece of this card is the sentiment – don’t you think this is a perfect sentiment for a Project Runway inspired tribute?
  • Texture.  While this card appears to be a simple layout with some glued down pieces of paper, there are actually a lot of textures included here.  I used Core’dinations Cardstock, which gives the background of the card a lovely sheen and texture.  The ribbon adds some ruffly goodness, and the boutique detail contributes a little visual intrigue.  If I mail this card to you (which I might do), you’ll immediately want to run your finger over this card to explore its every surface:Million & One, Stampin' Up!, Brian King
  • Boutique Details.  This is the first time you’ve seen me use the 2013-2015 In Color Boutique Details.  I pull them out every once in a while, but they always end up on the cutting room floor.  I knew this card was “over the top” enough to add in the embellishment.  I mounted the embellishment on a Night of Navy punch from Boho Blossoms – the perfect foundation for this little guy. Million & One, Stampin' Up!, Brian King

Stamp Sets:  Million & One  Inks:  Night of Navy  Papers:  Night of Navy Core’dinations, Baked Brown Sugar, Very Vanilla, Night of Navy  Accessories:  2013-2015 In Color Boutique Details, 3/8″ Ruffled Stretch Trim, Boho Blossoms punch, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Once I find a tiny bit of inspiration, my mind is uncontrolled until that bit of inspiration makes its way into a project in my Fungeon.  Your kind comment every day on this blog inspire me to know how important my creations can be – and I don’t take this commitment to you lightly.  I’m not saving the world here, but I’m inspiring others to inspire others.  How cool is that?!  What inspires you to create beautiful things? 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!


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  1. I would squee with delight if I opened my mailbox and saw this!! I love project runway!! If they ever do a project stampin show I think you’d be the most awesomest Tim gunn type mentor!!

    Just sayin.

  2. Really love the colours on this. I didn’t think I was that bothered about the Etcetera DSP…but guess what?! It’s now made my long wishlist even longer!

    I also like the different sizes of the layers and the mats, and the embellishments, plus the ruffle trim is my favourite new products. In fact, the whole project is fab!

  3. Unbelievable job here Brian! Your selection of textured paper and designer papers are Designer the whole way! Love the contrast of the Baked Brown Sugar elements in ruffled stretch ribbon and your Boutique “button” how fitting -ha! How “fitting” I kill myself! 🙂

  4. Laurie Burns Gachewicz

    Woah Brian!! I am impressed!!! You combined colors & textures here that are definitely catwalk-worthy!! You and all my mentor demos are inspiring!!! Fashion is too!! Your attention to detail and execution are flawless!!! Thank you for being so committed to inspiring, entertaining, and dazzling us daily!!! 🙂

  5. WOW! That is one impressive card! I love the greeting with the image from the DSP, it’s perfect! Fabulous is just what this card is! 🙂

  6. GM Brian, Love this card, everything pulls together like, well, it was meant to be 🙂
    I love the Etcetera DSP, I think maybe because I sew and it just jumped out and said buy me, buy me 🙂 the first time I saw it!
    OH, I forgot to mention what inspires me. Because su is a hobby for me, well, even a blind squirrel gets a nut every once in awhile, I do sell a few here and there, but, it’s the person I’m making the card for :). is where my inspiration grows from, As I think about that person I go to their world, color, what inspires them, is this card going to make them happy, it always has 🙂 and down to the finish line, my envelope, color of ink and most important, the stamp, a USPS that is 🙂
    USPS has just came out with a stamp called Lighthouses of New England, I love slapping that little baby on there and calling it finished 🙂
    I also found a stamp from there that is a vintage pack of flower seeds, love it. I feel an inspiration coming on .

  7. Fabulous ! The details on this card are inspirational to me ! I love the cards that are layered and embellished with little touches here and there to catch your eye . Take Ten magazine does a feature in their magazine each publication on details in the cards they featured that issue . Love that sentiment font …love that candy like little In Color embellishment … and thank you for pointing out to others that cutting stuff out of dsp and using it on your card can be that exact thing you are looking for to top off your creation . And above all the textures . Tim Gunn would approve . Now if somebody would do a class on layering and adding embellies without going overboard that would be great ! Love this !

  8. I have to be honest… I only love 99% of the cards you make, including this one! This card is fabulous in every way. But even if I see one of your cards that I think I would never have reason to make, I am one of those fans that reads every word you write because of all your great tips and tricks that are way beyond my creativity level. Thank you for the daily inspiration!

  9. Brian, I love the way you zoom in on the details of this card – reminds of what I would do if this card were to arrive in my mailbox 🙂 Your blog is fun to read and I love your passion for your creative time. Things that inspire me…blogs like yours, the Pals’ gallery, movies, clothing, houses and good memories! Have a great day!

  10. What inspires me…….you and your blog. I did get a store bought card in the mail yesterday which I laid aside because of the color combination that I want to recreate. The thing I catch myself doing is counting your layers. Paper layers that is. I cannot believe the layers you so creatively use on your cards. I am sure lots of your cards require extra postage. After reading your blog I never have to wonder how you did something. Thank you for all the tips.

  11. Brian what a great card. I love your use of DSP and colors, Thanks you for all your wonderful ideas.

  12. Mail this to me sny dsy. Absoluty beautiful. Everything from design to embelishments to color

  13. Things that inspire me? My stamping friends and the lovely cards they make; walking and looking at flowers in my neighborhood; colors in the sky,…..actually the list is super long! Your blog has made me get up and walk into my stamp room, too, so never underestimate the power of what you do!

  14. There really isn’t anything I like about this card. That’s because I LOVE everything about it! Never would have thought to put the navy with the brown sugar, but now it’s one of my favorite combos. And the DSP? Didn’t think I needed it, but ……..All of your creations are amazing. Thanks for sharing your talent with us!

  15. I never know what is going to inspire me. The last set of cards I made (a gift of a dozen thank you cards for a friend) I was inspired by the bowl of gummy bears next to the monitor of my computer (yes, I admit it, I’m a gummy bear addict). Because I’m also a quilter, I often get inspired by the colors in a piece of fabric. When I start a card I always know “exactly” what it is going to look like when I finish but when I finish it never looks close to what I started to do. Go figure. Sometimes I wish I could be like you Brian – know exactly what I am going to do and doing it exactly as I had planned. I don’t know why that never happens with me.

  16. Brian–each card you share seems to outshine the previous one!!! You are amazing! Love your tips, too!!

  17. Wonderful card, Brian! You inspire me, as well as just looking around me. I too see our colors all around me….such fun to surprise people like you did your co-worker. Life is wonderful when I see your creations…thank you!

  18. Spending and hour and a half wandering around my local paper-crafting store (which I did yesterday!) inspires all sorts of projects for me! I love “Project Runway” too and it’s fun to see the connection you made to it w/this beautiful card.

  19. I, like so many others, find inspiration from a number of things…nature, pictures, catalogs, magazines, good friends in my stamping world, such as you. I am so grateful everyday when I see your email in my inbox. I so look forward to seeing what wonderful creation you have for us each day. You are so talented. I don’t know how I was able to enjoy my day before I stumbled upon your blog. You are always so good to give great tips and techniques. I truly appreciate your being so willing to include others in your creativity and terrific ideas. You always make me smile with your charming wit and attitude. Thank you!

  20. love how you challenge yourself and push beyond your comfort zone. this is where growth is found every.single.time. i am inspired by the people i’m making cards for, more than a sketch or a color combination. i take what i know about someone and what i’ve filed away about their favorite color or their style and that informs my card design decisions.

    keep after it, man. you’re good at what you do; it shows, and your love for it can’t be hidden!

  21. Brian, I am absolutely speechless! And trust me…this is a BIG deal! OMG! I cannot believe how you pulled all these elements together. Colors, textures, stamp, and right down to that little flower with the cute little boutique button. Inspiration you ask? YOU of course! I love nature, colors and anything earthy, so I’m pretty much “in to” anything that catches my eye. And your creations always catch my eye. I am in awe of your talent and I agree that YOU should be the next Tim Gunn. Maybe you should mail this card to the show….I’ll bet it would make one of the sets and when we watch, we’d see it on a table side somewhere. Thanks for all you do. Oh! And did I ever tell you how much I ADORE you? (will this get me this card?) 🙂

  22. I think we all want this card! Ha!!

    Brian = stampin Tim gunn

  23. I pop into your blog every day for inspiration. This card is one of my all-time favorites!

  24. Norma N Sánchez Webb

    Hello there! Love your work. Do you have a Facebook page where you have SU too? Would love to connect too so I don’t miss a thing. : D

  25. OH WOW!!! I agree – your card is FABULOUS!!!

  26. I love this card. There is so much to take but it is not at all overwhelming with busy-ness. You pull this off gloriously, Brian.

  27. Pingback: Get Well Wishes for Shelli and FMS101 | stampwithbrian.com

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