Inspired by: One Tiny Photo


I’d like to try something new here at Sweet Paper Treats. Every once in a while I’d like to share a project with you along with the inspiration behind it. A few months ago I was planning to do a series on finding inspiration, but that never really materialized. Instead I thought it would be fun to share some “inspired by” projects here every once in a while as a way to share my process of finding ideas and then putting them to paper.

Sometimes when I sit down to create I really don’t have a plan in mind and I just take it as it comes. But other times I have a specific idea in mind that I just have to try. Something somewhere triggered an idea and I just have to get it out.

Sometimes inspiration just comes to me, right out of nowhere. But most times I go out looking for it. I keep my eyes open for interesting things around me as much as possible. I jot down notes in a note pad or on my phone, or take photos of interesting things when I’m out shopping, etc.

One of my very favorite places to go for project inspiration has been magazines. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it a while back. You can find it here.

A few months ago I was paging through the July/August 2013 issue of House Beautiful. I was finding lots of inspiration in this magazine, but there was one little photo in particular that caught my eye. In fact, it was a photo within a larger photo that caught my eye:


See that? Here, let’s look a little closer.

IMG_5936I don’t know what it was about it that just captured me. Maybe the fact that I love the ocean and this painting looked so serene. Immediately an idea began to form in my mind of how I could translate it into a card.

I was inspired, first of all, by the expanse of white wall around the painting. It felt to me like that was really what made the painting stand out and capture the viewer’s attention. So I knew a clean, white background for my card would be the perfect choice.

I also really loved the bands of color from the water and I liked that it was in the bottom portion of the picture. I drew me in, like I wanted to sail away into that horizon.

I also liked the clouds in the sky and the small black spots, that I think are beach umbrellas. I wanted to incorporate those things somehow too.

And here is what I came up with from the photo inspiration:

IMG_5938You can see how the elements I chose for my card were strongly inspired by the photo. I made layers of water and sand using small bits of card stock, curling it slightly at the torn edge for depth and for an ocean wave look. It might be hard to see in the photo, but I sponged some white clouds in the sky too. Lastly, I colored a wooden boat embellishment black and tucked it in among my waves.

And here’s the card and the photo that inspired it side by side:

IMG_5939The card went together quickly because I had a great idea in mind before I even began. Sometimes you just know something will work, and other times you just have to give it a shot and find out if it will. I love the clean lines in the card and how crisp it feels, but also that the playful, torn paper keeps it feeling relaxed and not too serious.

I chose a simple, stamped sentiment from paper trey Ink to finish it off.

Have you ever been inspired in a way that you just “knew” it was going to work? Did you ever just have an idea pop into your head that you just HAD to try out? I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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