Monday, December 10, 2018

Holiday Wishes and Illuminating Definitions


I want to thank all of you and my talented Design Team for making the Twofer Card Challenge a success this year! I sincerely appreciate your support and enthusiasm! There won't be a challenge this month as we take time off to prepare for the holidays and enjoy time with our families.

As you know the Twofer Card Challenge is unique and, well, challenging! It encourages you to use your product more than once and to stretch your design skills. This first year has been a learning experience for us as well as our players. I have received several emails and comments over the course of the year asking for clarification of the challenge concept, terms, and rules.

If you feel like you've needed that kind of illumination as you have played along (or thought about playing along), I've put together this post for you explaining how I and the Twofer Design Team interpret the terms we use, as it relates to our challenge. Grab a beverage and a comfy chair!

Clarification of Terms.

Let's go through the basics set out in the badge:
1. "Two different designs."

What do we mean by "two different designs?" For that matter, what does "design" mean?

Design. For our challenge, design is the "sketch" or "layout" (the blueprint if you will) of your cards. We visually break your card down to the underlying sketch layout in much the same way you probably do when you mentally or literally sketch out the basic layout of your card before you begin creating.
Rather than having you make two cards the same or very similar, we are looking for you to stretch your design skills and create two different design layouts for your cards. 
Style. Style refers to the terms that we've all come to know in our community. Terms like "clean and simple" (CAS) or "clean and layered" or "shabby chic" or "mixed media," etc. There is another challenge in Blogland with an emphasis on style and that's The Card Concept. On the tabs there you will find an excellent description of common card styles, so I won't repeat them here.
You're welcome to use the same style or two different styles when you create your two cards, as long as the underlying designs are different for each card.
Technique. When we speak of technique, we are referring to elements such as embossing, smooshing, ink blending, masking, embossing paste, sewing, etc.
You may use the same techniques or different techniques when you create your two cards, as long as the underlying designs are different for each card. 
Here are some examples:

A. Different Designs. Using the same stamp, I recently made these two cards. I found similar sketches (to avoid my lame drawing skills) to show you the basic design sketch/layout behind the card:
 [The sketch on the top right is by Chrissy Larson and the sketch on the bottom right is by N@Ali, used on the CAS(E) This Sketch challenge. All these sketches can be accessed on Pinterest via a tab on the top of the CTS blog.]

These are very clearly two different designs using the same companion stamp and die. This is what the Twofer Card Challenge is looking for.

B. Same Designs.

Because we are looking for different designs, below are examples of cards that would not work for the different design aspect of the Twofer Card Challenge.
In this example, I turned my second card to a landscape orientation, I used different techniques of heat-embossing and watercoloring, and I added a piece of patterned paper. Even so, you can see that the basic sketch layout for both cards is the same: floral or leaf image above a sentiment with no image below the sentiment.

Another example of same design can be seen in a recent Penny Black video showing, "One Layout, Three Cards":
They all look different because of the different critters, patterned paper, and sentiments, but the underlying design layout is the same for all three cards.

And one more example:
Do the above two designs look like different designs or the same design? They are the same design. It doesn't matter if you change the shape of the aperture, move your sentiment to the right or the left under the image, or change your card orientation, the underlying sketch blueprint (design) is the same.

Here's an example of how you could change one of your cards so that each card is a different design even though the elements are the same:
You can see that now the card on the right is a different design. The sentiment has been moved to inside the aperture and the focal image has been moved partway outside the heart to a different location which changes the underlying sketch blueprint. Of course, you are welcome to make the Design Team's job a lot easier by creating two wildly different designs so there is no question that the two design layouts are different!

If you have trouble getting started when creating a card design, there are several card sketches available to you via Pinterest and Google. There are also sketch challenges so if you use one of their current sketches, you have the bonus of entering their challenge as well as the Twofer Card Challenge! A few examples are: CAS(E) This SketchFreshly Made SketchesCAS Colours & SketchesFusion Card Challenge, My Favorite Things, and STAMPlorations.
2. "Two different occasions." 

Even we on the Design Team have been caught up by this leg of the challenge. Oftentimes a prompt will automatically fit a particular occasion, such as "balloons" for a birthday card, "wreaths" for a Christmas card, or "hearts" for a Valentine's Day card, so sometimes it becomes a real challenge to stop and think of a second occasion for using the prompt on your second card!

Keeping in mind #1 above (particularly the Penny Black example), simply changing the type of occasion via papers, colors, or placement of your sentiment does not change the design of your second card. Note that we do allow you to leave your card front without a sentiment, but you must tell us in your post for what occasion you designed your card.

[A+ for the sharp-eyed among you who noticed that the two cards in example A above would not be eligible to win in the Twofer Card Challenge because they are for the same occasion!]
3. "Using the same stamps, stencils, and/or dies."

When you make your second design, make sure you use the exact same stamp (or portion thereof), not just the exact same set that you used on your first design. The same is true of your stencils and dies. 


Conventional / Unconventional.

When our challenge first started, a few players and members of the DT were very creative in how they used their same stamps and dies to make their second card. They turned butterflies into flowers and hearts into fishes, etc. As a result, I heard from many of you that you had trouble being "that creative" and you weren't playing as a result. 

I would like to reassure you again that this challenge has no rule about making one of your cards "conventional" and the other card "unconventional." That is strictly a personal choice. We welcome your entries that use the prompt in conventional ways on both of your cards, as long as your cards have different design layouts as talked about above.

Miscellaneous Reminders
  • Computer-generated images/digis. You may use CPI/digital elements in your designs, but in order to have a level playing field for our participants, you may not use them for the prompt element of your designs.
  • Gallery photo. We need to see both your cards in one photo for the link up.
  • Card challenge. We are a card challenge, so your two designs must both be cards.
  • Commenting. Please leave an encouraging comment for at least three other participants.
  • Follow this blog.
Thank you for taking the time to read this! You may also want to check out the FAQ tab at the top of the home page if you haven't read them before. If you have additional questions, please use the contact form on the side bar. 

I hope these clarifications, ruminations, and illuminations will help those of you who played last year and encourage newcomers to join us next year. We look forward to playing with you in January! As always, the most important thing is for you to have fun! That's always our main focus!!  

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!!

đŸ’‹Darnell and the Team:
Anita, Bev, Kara, Loll, and Susanne

Friday, November 30, 2018

Twofer Card Challenge #11 Winners!


It's time to announce our Winners and Honorable Mentions for Twofer Card Challenge #11! Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and your sensational card designs! You all did a wonderful job with the WREATH prompt! Once again, it was such fun seeing the ways you stretched your design skills and your stamps, stencils, and dies!

Here are your winners!

Congratulations to our November "Conventional" Winner!
Barb made her first card a traditional Christmas wreath with darling twin angels heralding a glossy embossed joy to the recipient! For her second design, Barb adorned her wreath with a beautiful fall bouquet, expertly colored. On a black panel under her wreath, Barb white heat-embossed her Happy Thanksgiving greeting!

Congratulations to our November "Unconventional" Winner!
Cat's bubbly Christmas wreath embossed in gold on vellum exactly fits her "be merry" greeting! The textured white card base lined with gold makes a perfect and interesting backdrop! For her second design, Cat went outside the box by cutting a "thanks" die from a red vellum panel embossed with gold bubbly wreaths! Again Cat added additional interest by using a textured card base and underlining her sentiment with gold tape.

Well done, Barb and Cat! 
Here is your Winner's Badge to proudly display on your blogs!
I will be in touch with details about being our future Guest Designers!

Congratulations to our fabulous November Honorable Mentions!

Greta of GG Creations #8
For her Christmas card design, Greta white-embossed her wreath on black which is very striking! The red-embossed sentiment on vellum and the silver-underlined foiled stripe on the top border add layers of elegance. For Greta's birthday card, she satin-embossed and overlapped the wreath stamp to create a pretty background on her bright pink circle. Attaching that to a doily dotted with pearls make this a fresh and feminine card!

Michele of I Card Everyone #26
Who could resist Michele's unique approach to the challenge? She chose a wreath that came wrapped in a wonderfully-detailed little penguin which she expertly colored! Her Christmas card shows a crisp and fresh little scene with heaps of texture both in the twine element and the background embossing. For her second card of appreciation, Michele created a lovely sense of movement both from the flowing lines of the snowdrift and from the stitched background sky!

Leslie of Running With Scissors #34
Leslie gave us lots of color and depth with her bold and bright Christmas wreath accented with pretty gold leaves! Her fun and funky bow is mimicked in the font of her sentiment. Using the same wreath stamp, Leslie went unconventional for her second design, creating a sweet leafy garland beneath her ric-rac and pretty yellow gingham! The little pink flowers are a lovely addition to the garland and pierced sentiment panel. 

Coni of Which Craft? #38
Coni's beautiful Christmas wreath is a delight in tones of peach, pink, and gold set on a textured specialty paper base! The inked and embossed layers of the wreath build up to a dramatic finish, topped with a pretty silk ribbon and added sparkle from the well-placed bling on the wreath and the sentiment. For her second design, Coni created a gorgeous Mother's Day card on commission! The lavender and purple shades are beautiful with the crisp white floral elements and the splattered white brings all the elements together.

Bonnie of Stamping With Klass #49
Bonnie's Christmas wreath design is a study in rich elegance and a celebration of all things shiny and gold! All those jewel-colored ornaments seem to light up against the black and gold! For her second design, Bonnie made a lovely fall gratitude card with her wreath, watercoloring it in warm shades of yellow and brown! She created movement with her diagonal die-cut sentiment and used slim borders on either side to draw the eye to the center.

Congratulations to all you talented ladies!
Here is your Honorable Mention badge for you to display with pride!
There will be no challenge in December in order for you and the Design Team to relax and enjoy the holiday season. We look forward to seeing your creative and awesome Twofer Card Challenge designs next year! The next challenge will run January 10 to January 24, 2019
Thank you again!! May you enjoy all the blessings of the holiday season! Mwah!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Reminder ~ Twofer Card Challenge #11 ~ Wreath


THANK YOU for your amazing entries so far in this month's challenge! We are enjoying your wonderful creations! There is still time to play or play again! The challenge is open until the end of day on November 24th!

This month the challenge prompt is:
Feel free to interpret the prompt however it inspires you, conventionally or unconventionally, but remember to use the same stamp, stencil, or die for the prompt on two different designs for two different occasions!

To inspire you a bit more I have made two more sets of designs:

For details, please click over to my blog, djkardkreations.

We hope to see you in the gallery and thank you if you have already played! Remember, the winners will have the opportunity to be future Guest Designers!

To all our American friends: Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving next week!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Twofer Card Challenge #11

Hello and Welcome!

THANK YOU for your amazing entries in last month's challenge! We appreciate your enthusiasm and support and love to see how you interpret the prompt and stretch your stamps, dies, and design skills! This month our challenge prompt is:
Feel free to interpret the prompt however it inspires you to make two different designs for two different occasions! Making a Christmas card is the obvious choice, but it will be a challenge to think of a non-Christmas occasion for your second wreath design. Not to worry, we think you are up to the challenge!

Remember, you are welcome to make two conventional designs or a combination of one conventional and one unconventional design. Every month we will have a "conventional" challenge winner and, if there are any "unconventional" designs, we will also have an unconventional winner!

Our challenge has always been a card-only challenge where participants use only stamps or dies for the prompt element on their cards and the badge has reflected that. In the past few months, however, some participants have used stencils for their prompt element which has disqualified them from winning. 
Because of the growing popularity of stencils and the fact that many of us are now making our own stencils from dies (which sort of gets around the rule), we have decided to allow the use of stencils for the prompt element on all future challenges! Of course, you will still need to create two different designs using your stencil.
The badge has been changed as a result. If you have kindly placed it on your side bar, please replace the old badge with this new one:
Guest Designers

This month we are delighted to have both a conventional winner and an unconventional winner from our September challenge as our Guest Designers! 

Please welcome our conventional winner, Carol (Our Little Inspirations) and her two beautiful WREATH card designs!
Thank you, Carol!

Please also welcome our unconventional winner, Sybrina (Chapter Three) and her two beautiful WREATH card designs!
Thank you, Sybrina!
Design Team

We hope you will be inspired by the example creations from your Design Team! You can find the details on all these inspirational Twofers on the designer's individual blogs. We hope you'll take a closer look!

(Loll is off this month hosting her 
Twelve Days of Christmas with Loll and Friends)

The challenge is open until 11:55 PM (PST) November 24th.
The winner and the Honorable Mentions will be posted 
at 12:05 AM (PST) November 30th.
The Winner(s) will have the opportunity to be a future Guest Designer!
For important details, please click on the Rules and FAQ tabs above. 
New questions are always updated to the FAQ tab.

Thank you for playing and leaving some encouragement for others!
Don't forget to click the Follow button on the side bar.


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Twofer Card Challenge #10 Winners!


It's time to announce our Winners and Honorable Mentions for Twofer Card Challenge #10! Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and your sensational card designs! You all did a wonderful job with the HARVEST prompt! Once again, it was such fun seeing the ways you stretched your design skills and your stamps and dies!

Here are your winners!

Congratulations to our October "Conventional" Winner!
Izzy (Izzy Scrap) #21
Izzy made two charming designs with her harvest of pumpkins, mushrooms, and acorns! Her adorable hedgie standing on the tree stump on a glorious day surveying his bountiful harvest is beautifully colored and staged. The spotlight circle, sentiment, and leaf bling are all thoughtful elements to complete the design. For her second card, Izzy brilliantly whirled her bountiful harvest into a wreath for her unique thank you card filled with movement and joy!

Congratulations to our October "Unconventional" Winner!
Sonja (Visiting Oldpunks) #15
Sonja was our only unconventional entry this month! She made two wonderfully clean and simple designs. Her apple stamp is so sweet hanging from its branch on her first design and she very cleverly turned her apple into a pumpkin for her second design! Sonja's warm colors, blending, and framing are all stunning and well executed!

Well done, Izzy and Sonja! 
Here is your Winner's Badge to proudly display on your blogs!
I will be in touch with details about being our future Guest Designers!

Congratulations to our fabulous October Honorable Mentions!

Even though the idea of harvest and Thanksgiving are foreign to her, Kylie forged ahead to play in the challenge. The three pumpkins on her thank you card are beautifully masked and stamped to show depth.  For her Halloween card, Kylie did an amazing job of carving her pumpkin and best of all it lights up! The jagged border and choice of sentiment work so well with the lines of the carved pumpkin!

Sue created two outstanding and different CAS designs with her wheat silhouette stamp. For her sympathy card, she added a brightly colored sunset behind the wheat which really makes an impact and the subtle side border balances the design. Sue's thank you card design features tone-on-tone hues and subtle copper stamping. Her finishing touches in black really bring this card to life!

Marina chose a loaf of bread which is the ultimate result of a grain harvest! It's her first-ever Thanksgiving card, made for an American friend of her daughter. The square design and beautiful choice of patterned paper were inspired design choices with great colors and shimmer. Marina made a very amusing second design for her new baby card by featuring her loaf of bread as a "bun in the oven!" Her simple coloring to light up the oven and her fun sentiments work perfectly to complete the design!

Sue's first design shows the impact that can be achieved with great placement of her wheat image and some crisp black-on-white embossing. The deckle-edged card base adds extra interest to her simple and elegant one-layer sympathy card.  For her second design, Sue created a gently drifting field of wheat for her thank you card. She achieved a sense of depth by using different shades of soft yellow and her pair of playful Brusho butterflies and use of rustic twine add lovely dimension!  

Rosi put a tremendous amount of thought and work into her two inventive designs. Her duo of cards tells the story of Miss Gorjuss harvesting apples, then baking a pie with them! Rosi created and expertly colored a sweet fall scene on her first card and her second card front is a real recipe for apple pie! Her fun design with many hand-drawn elements is very impressive!

Congratulations to all you talented ladies!
Here is your Honorable Mention badge for you to display with pride!
We look forward to seeing your creative and awesome Twofer Card Challenge designs next month! The challenge will run from November 10 to November 24, 2018

Thank you again!! Mwah!