I have been doing a great deal of research into styles and techniques in card making and scrapbooking. In the January 2009 edition of "Creating Keepsakes" there is an article called "2009 Trend Watch." The piece highlights 5 upcoming trends. It discusses stamps, patterns and images to watch. Among these trends is a "new" style called "White + 1 Color." I did a SCS challenge way back in January that included using these "new" trends. http://paperspadsandpictures.blogspot.com/2009/01/welcome-to-my-garden-scrapbook-layout.html I have always preferred a Layout that augments the photographs rather than competes with them and "white + 1 color" certainly does that.
A week or so ago, I had a conversation with a friend who is also an avid crafter. She mentioned a thread on the Split Coast Stampers site discussing is there a place for the paper crafter who doesn't do those fancy chalked, layered, colored, stitched, nestiabilited, cuttlebugged, watercolored, bradded, embossed cards. Hum....I stumbled around and found the thread. And, what I learned was there are many people pondering this same question. From this simple rhetorical question a new style is emerging...Clean and Simple cards. There is even a weekly challenge that I have been monitoring and it is growing with a vengeance.
On the thread, I found someone who posted the description of a Clean and Simple card:
"Definition: A clean and simple card has limited layers and sometimes just a card base. It leaves a lot of "open space". It uses little or no embellishments. Any techniques should be the old standard everyday kind like sponging, distressing and piercing. Limit the number of tools you use. Any colored images should be small and quick. Don't go overboard on tons of punches and embossing. CAS cards should be easy and quick."
Card making and Scrapbooking is here to stay. Both have been with us for years. I marvel at the complexity, the talent, the sophistication of many of the cards. But, as the SCS thread suggestions, it can be intimidating. Let's face it, it IS an expensive hobby. The fancy tools and stamps are costly. That is why the group project at my recent Open House demonstrated several different ways to use one stamp. I knew that several of my participants were new to stamping and I didn't want to overwhelm them. It is addicting. We see a tool, a stamp or a set of designer paper and we have to have it.
Why is the Clean and Simple style exploding? Is it because in today's world we can't buy all the tools we want merely from an economic standpoint? Is it because there is so much turmoil in the outside world that people are searching for simplicity somewhere in their lives? It is because some crafters just don't have the time for the sophistication?
I realize that I am raising more questions rather than answering them. As I am writing this post, a TV commercial touted the need to return to simple ways when making the family dinner. The same theme as the CAS card and White + 1 Color Layout. A return to basics. There will always be a place for the sophisticated card...they are beautiful, true works of art. I love using my Prisma Markers and water coloring. If card making and scrapbooking is to grow and evolve, those of us dedicated to promoting the craft must acknowledge trends. We must acknowledge the needs of all of our fellow artisans.
I completed this card yesterday for the most recent CAS challenge on Split Coast.
Give a Clean and Simple card a try. They are harder than they look. Stick with the definition I cited above and you can really get your creative juices flowing! There is room for all levels of talent, room for varied techniques and styles and room for everyone to enjoy our favorite pastime. For Now, Happy Crafting!