Congrats, Graduate for PPA249

I’ve been making so many sunshiny and flowery sweet cards lately that I thought it might be nice to make a formal, yet fun, graduation card that’s perfect for a boy graduate or girl graduate – is that what we call them?  That sounds so silly, but I can’t change something that’s already written down, so…boy graduate and girl graduate it is.  Here’s my 4-1/4″ x 4-1/4″ square card for this week’s Pals Paper Arts Sketch Challenge:

Blue Ribbon, Stampin' Up!, Brian King, PPA249And here’s Nicole Watt’s sketch that inspired my card:


Tips, Tricks and Reminders

  • KISS.  I know you’ve heard the saying “Keep it Simple, Stamper” – that’s how it goes, right?  As I was making this card, I really wanted to add more.  Could there be a ribbon down the black panel?  Could I add texture to the panel?  Could I stamp an image on the background of the strip?  I fought myself and decided to Keep it Simple, Stamper.  I rarely have a huge block of black on a card front, so it felt unnatural to me.  Once I decided to keep it as is, I began to really like it.  You know I like white space on a card – well, black paper just creates white space that’s really dark.  🙂
  • FOCUS!  The more I study Nicole’s sketch, the more I love it.  When I set out to recreate the sketch, I knew wanted the circle to be the focal point.  The white ring around the sentiment almost creates a halo around the sentiment, which draws your eye directly to the sentiment.  Yay!  Just what I wanted.  The white borders around the outside of the card are created to mimic the width of the border around the sentiment.
  • Going, Going, Gone.  I selected Blue Ribbon for this card when I was designing the card this weekend – I didn’t have any inside intel, but I guessed the set would be saying, “bye! bye!” when the Retiring List was announced later in the week.  Well, folks, my Spidey Senses were right, and it’s there!  Check out the entire list of Retiring Products here.

Stamp Sets:  Blue Ribbon  Papers:  Stacked with Love Designer Series Paper Stack, Basic Black, Whisper White  Inks:  VersaMark  Accessories:  White Stampin’ Emboss Powder, 1-3/4″ Circle punch, 2″ Circle punch, Stampin’ Dimensionals

I hope you’ll pop over to The Pals Paper Arts Challenge site see the cards by the design team members and to play along with this week’s challenge.

Thanks for stopping by today!


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  1. I just love this card! It’s so elegant in its celebration. Sadly, the stamp sets seem to be missing from the products used list, would you have a moment to put them up? Thanks so much for all that you share with us!

  2. LOVE this card Brian. It’s striking!

  3. Love this KISS card! The white. Borders make the black background stand out perfectly. I love Al that black space!

  4. Oh, Brian!
    It is 3:52 AM in Calgary and your Grad Boy Card just arrived – I LOVE IT! Crisp, clean and to the point. I really like your style – you never seem to hesitate, you jump in and ‘tah-dah’ it’s great. Thanks so much for sharing!
    PS: Do you ever sleep?
    PPS: My husband of 44 years is named Brian – this is to explain my somewhat impertinent familiarity.

    • Candace, I am not allowed to sleep. 🙂 I am happy you like my style. There are times when there’s lots of hesitation, but you don’t see anything until I’m happy with it. 🙂 Hi, Brian!

  5. Great card for guys and a good idea for that Back To Black dsp.
    I had to giggle when I read Candice`s P.P.S. above my comment. Funny !

  6. Superb interpretation of the sketch Brian! Am I surprised? Heck no – you’re cards are always magnificent, just like you! 🙂

  7. Woooohooo Brian, love it , that’s going to bee a Case for sure !!! Thanks my friend !!!
    Hugs frenchie

  8. Great card, Brian! I might try it in Night of Navy, which I love, love, love. I, too, enjoyed Candace’s PPS. I think I might be impertinently familiar way too often, but it makes for great conversation!

  9. Great card Brian, your last name suit you…and thanks for making it easy to be impertinently familiar with you!

  10. Beautiful just like it is. TFS

  11. A very striking card that’s full of style. The white is very sharp with the black. The layering is classic Brian. Nice job!

  12. love the card Brian. I think you really nailed the design with a
    square card vs the traditional A2 card. it’s all perfectly balanced.
    great job!

  13. Great card Brian, I love it. I wonder what it would look like in red and white? I have a former student who is graduating from Ohio State and I think she would love it.

  14. WOW!! This has to be the most elegant and sophisticated Graduation card I’ve ever seen!!! So classy and beautiful Brian, love the clean lines and perfect embossing, thank you for sharing.
    PS. So that’s your secret, eh? You do not sleep!!! I wish I could do that too but my hubby and I are about to collapse by 9pm, we are very early birds. 😉

  15. Love it Brian! Clean crisp and square….what could be better, can’t wait to get home to my basement and get back to my paper….on “holiday” now as the Brits say, loving Prague and Budipest, but ready to play….planning to work on some graduation cards.

  16. Beautiful Card! My youngest son is a senior in high school this year and the school colors are orange and black. Hmmmm…. 🙂

  17. Love it Brian. You can never go wrong with black and white!

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