Monday, June 23, 2014

Mastering Masculine

Hello Power Poppy Friends!  It’s Christine here and I’ll be guesting on Mondays occasionally throughout the year with some Power Poppy inspiration for your card making.

If there’s one thing I hear often from readers, it’s about masculine designs, and a real desire to get the hang of making them work. Today I thought I’d give you a few tips that will help you to create masculine designs that work for you!

With a husband, two sons, working on a staff with a lot of male colleagues, as well as teen guys as students, I am always in need of smart designs that will work for guys. Just this morning my daughter was raiding my stash of cards for two of her favourite male teachers…you just can’t go with something frilly and floral, for most guys that doesn’t work. But what does?  How do we go from stamped image to a sharp masculine card?

Masculine CardMaking Tips:  

1.  Think Menswear:  What does your husband, boyfriend, brother, or son love to wear?  I see this both in terms of material and style.  I think of stripes or plaids, plain blocks of colour, natural colours or textures, materials like chambray, leather, denim, canvas, linen, burlap, any of these materials can actually be used on a card, OR you can mimic menswear styles or patterns in the way you create the design.

2.  Think Texture:  When I am often using a more simple design with a masculine card, I’ll still amp up the quality and interest by using texture either in my embellishments or through something like embossing folders. But I’ll always look for designs that give masculine texture - stripes, plaid, geometric, houndstooth, letters, numbers etc. No florals or damask here! Try roughing up the edges of your cardstock to create texture too. Here are some masculine embossing folders or plates I like to use.

3.  Think Lines:  Most guys aren’t about too much swirly girly (unless it’s ON the girl :).  I like to use clean lines and be quite boxy in the layouts on my cards. Look for a sketch that has lots of horizontal or vertical lines in it. Think 90 degree angles.

4.  Think Manly Embellishments:  Again, I’ll often go back to what my guys wear or use, I look for masculine style buttons, wood, metal, bottlecaps, snaps, gears, balsa wood, etc. And when it comes to tying on ribbon, I’ll most often choose something like baker’s twine, hemp or linen thread, and I’ll always tie it in a knot rather then a bow.  For example, something like a sailor knot is a great masculine embellishment. And...even washi tape can be manly if it has good masculine colour and line.

5.  Think Image Cues:   What I love about Marcy’s work is that she gives us fantastic florals and feminine images, but then she’s so great at illustrating images like the one I’m using today that represent something a guy loves, baseball. These images can give you cues on your card as a whole. Because I’m using a baseball and pennant image, something like felt or leather would pair perfectly with this design, so would a woodgrain texture for the baseball bat that goes with baseball.  

6.  Think CAS or Warm:  Think cologne for men!  What are two styles of cologne that men often wear?  Clean crisp fresh scents - and that leads us to clean or CAS designs, which are always great for men.  Or if you’re me, the cologne I love on my husband is warm, earthy smelling. Warm designs work great for guys. For example, a treatment like sponging adds so much to a design, and so does rich earthy colour. Below you can see I chose Kraft Cardstock as the start to a warm design.

7.  Think Hobbies and The Great Outdoors:  What does your man love to do? Sometimes it’s as easy as walking out the front door. I’ve been known to use bits of twigs on my cards or little elements of nature that work great for rustic designs. I think this is the part I treasure most about card making - I can personalize a design to make it special for the receiver.

Now, with all of those ways to think MASCULINE, here is how my finished design turned out.  Can you pick out some of the tips I used?

It all starts with this great image from Power Poppy’s set Play Ball. I stamped it on a warm Kraft card stock, colouring it up with Prismacolor Pencils.  I chose a very boxy layout with lots of right angles. The woodgrain embossing folder on the long narrow horizontal panel gives texture and mimics a baseball bat.  I sponged the layers with Distress Ink to give it more warmth.  And for the bottom panel I added some red star designer paper that ties in with the themes.   

Funny story about baseball that Marcy will love...after our older son played this season on the JH Slo Pitch Team he told me again how much he loves baseball. He’d also been following MLB highlights most mornings getting ready for school. I told him he should consider choosing a team and following them, it would make the season more fun to watch. He decided to pick the St. Louis Cardinals because he had just read A Painted House by John Grisham. I laughed and told him that was one of Marcy’s teams :) I chose some Cardinals colours for the card...this also helps that masculine theme. Red, Blue and Gray with neutrals is a good guy combo.  

Then, when it comes to embellishments you can see I added a canvas star that I had sponged, red felt pennants (to match the pennants in the design), baker’s twine through a button, tied in a knot - not a bow, and another button to balance out the design.  

Inside the card I kept it simple, only inking the baseball themes in red and curving them to mimic a baseball.  

So there’s a tour through some of my ideas about Masculine Designs.  I hope they’re helpful to you and I look forward to the next time we can chat on an Inspire Me Monday!


Anonymous said...

Very great article, thank you so much for the great inspiration! Love your cards Christine, you do such wonderful work!! I check your blog everyday for inspiration!! Thanks for sharing your God given talent!! Joleen

Julie Koerber said...

Well isn't the most well thought out tutorial on the formula for a fabulous "guy" card! Gosh, all the thought you put into it and how it just "works!" Love the idea about looking into your man's closet for color schemes and pattern ideas! The way you paired all of these ideas into one fabulous baseball themed creation is just the icing on the cake! Thanks for sharing your talents Ms. Christine, you always amaze me!

Darlene Gabriel said...

Wow this is such a wonderful masculine card. Your colouring is fantastic. The colour combo is perfect for masculine cards too. Thanks for the tips on what to think about when setting out to do a masculine card. I agree most guys don't want the ribbons and bows, flowers and swirls, so I try to stay away from them. You've given many options to think about when sometimes it's too easy to think there are none.
Thanks for this.
darbaby on SCS

Leslie Miller said...

Christine, you've always been the BEST at masculine cards, and I remember from long ago one of your very useful tips -- just make your regular feminine card, but replace all the feminine stuff with guy stuff. Now you've taken it a step further and given us tips on what constitutes guy stuff. Brilliant! Thanks! Fabulous card, too!

Allison Cope said...

Absolutely fabulous Christine! I think you have thought of everything possible to get someone to think "masculine". Your card is awesome! Love the pencil colouring!

Conniecrafter said...

Terrific, love all the texture and the inside with it's baseball stitching, too cool!

Dawn Y. said...

Such wonderful ideas, Christine! I love your suggestion to peek into his closet for ideas of background patterns! Simple things, like tying knots, will make a big difference, too. Many thanks! ♡

Traci M said...

This is very well written with thoughtful tips and something that I can wrap my brain around...I will try this next time I am thinking masculine! Thanks, Christine!