Artistic Compromise

When I started out making cards, it was just an outlet for my artistic cravings that was pent up in me for so long that I never even knew I had them! Since I started turning my card fanaticism into a tiny business though (only in size not in hours spent…), I have been confronted by what I call artistic compromise.


Unless you’re a card maker or artist or otherwise artistically inclined, I realise that most people will not appreciate the work that goes into making a card. Whether its designer paper or hand painted backgrounds, the general public doesn’t see the difference. (My hubby says that I should see it as a compliment!) A friend once told me that she liked that one of my cards was crooked, as it showed that it was hand made! I also realised that most people go straight for the sentiment in the card…I used to be one of them…without paying much attention to the design.


So now, before I start making a card, especially if its a gift, I think about what most people will like and not about what I like making the most. This is probably why I started making shadow box cards. People loved them because they were different and could also serve as a home decoration. Its lucky that I really do enjoy spending hours on my computer designing them and then hand decorating them with some heat embossing or a little watercolour. I also get an extra pleasure knowing that  people are willing to pay for something I designed, its a real confidence booster!

Yet it still doesn’t satisfy my cravings to make cards that most people will not fully appreciate.  I love making clean and simple cards for example, or create my own backgrounds with stencils and inks…or nail polish, but then I think, thats not enough! Theres not enough die cuts or 3D effect or… so people won’t really appreciate it.

brusho flower heart.jpg

This is why I am so grateful to all the card challenges out there. I can create, satisfy my cravings for new techniques, and be virtually surrounded by people who will appreciate what went into making the cards, even if its not your style of cards. (I actually find it ironic that we love doing something “old-fashioned” like card making and then spend more time in the tech world, photographing, editing and blogging about it! Lol)

I’ve also been wondering what to do with all the cards I make for challenges. Maybe we could start a Card Exchange challenge, or a platform to exchange our cards… We can then all be sure that our cards would be appreciated & treasured! The ones I’ve been lucky enough to receive from a few of you, have been put through an X-ray to examine all the different techniques you used and are up on my inspiration board! So if anyone out there knows of such a challenge or wants to start one, I’d be eager to join!

In the meantime, I’ve decided to give away the cards I make for challenges. This one is going tomorrow to a blogger friend who is going through some hard times.


Anyway, sorry for the ramblings! If you made it through to here, thanks for listening and now to the card I made.

Therese’s card over at “The Flower Challenge” has been haunting me for the last few weeks and I’ve been dying to CASE her. Seeing the heart in Uniko’s “Anything Goes with an option of Love”challenge gave me the idea how.

Using my Silhouette portrait plotter, I made a die cut from one of Uniko’s Valentine digital freebies (Beverly, I hope you make a die cut out of this, cause its gorgeous!) and inlaid it over a watercolour panel I had painted using my Tombow pens, Momento inks and Brushos. I actually wanted to use a nail polish marbling panel, but I also wanted to take part in the many watercolour challenges out there too, and I wasn’t sure if nail polish qualified as watercolour!

The sentiment from Stampendous was simply stamped with Versafine black ink to keep it nice and clean. The whole panel was cut with My Favourite Things scallop rectangle and adhered onto a kraft card stock.


I really love how the colours blended together. When my daughter saw it, she said “Wow you made that! Its awesome!” THAT really made me feel proud 😊

Thanks again for bearing with my ramblings and I would love to know your thoughts on artistic compromise.

Thanks for stopping by.


I’m also playing along with:

CAS Watercolour Card challenge cas-watercolour

AAA Cards – Watercolour aaacards

Happy Little Stampers – Watercolour challenge HLS watercolour.png

Here’s Therese’s card I CASEd, Isn’t it pretty!  the-flower-challenge at flowerchallengecaseourguestdesigner

and Uniko’s challenge: uniko

32 thoughts on “Artistic Compromise

  1. Love how you have used the Uniko digital freebie and cut it with your silhouette, beautiful and so creative. Glad you enjoyed using the image 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing and joining in on the Uniko Challenge. My apologies for coming by and commenting so late. Hugs Bev x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First off, your card is so beautiful! I love that lacy overlay on the watercolored background! Thank you so much for joining us at CAS Watercolor challenge! I sell my cards off and on – mostly for fundraisers. I just love making cards and like to give them away to my friends who will send them to their friends and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you didn’t use nail polish marbling as we wouldn’t count it as watercolour at the CAS Watercolour challenge! I love your beautiful card – gorgeous mix of colours and a wonderful design. Thanks so much for joining us.

    Great blog post too. The part you wrote about doing this old-fashioned craft of cardmaking and then getting all techie and blogging about it made me laugh – so true!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good to know Susan about nail polish…yeah its ironic isn’t it about all the things we do AFTER we make our card…keeps us in the 21st century i guess! 😆 Thanks for stopping by!


  4. This is such a gorgeous card, and I love the beautiful background behind the papercut heart. I think it is hard for non crafters to appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating a card so it is a good job that we enjoy the creative process so much.
    Thanks for sharing with us at Happy Little Stampers and I hope you will join us again soon.
    Carol x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fabulous post, you had me at hello and I totally hear you, every word. I know the amount of time does not reflect the result so I choose wisely which card goes where lol. Otherwise I have a group of friends who appreciate boxes of cards and then I start again. Your card is wonderful, the artsy look of the background colours, well, it’s perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Therese for stopping by and for reading my post, it means alot to me as you’re one of my fav designers! I even cited you in an interview I had with a Singaporean craft group called Crafty Singapore, as one of my inspirations. (Now I sound like a groupie…).


  6. What a beautiful card, totally love your colours used for the inside of the die cut. Also thanks for mentioning Bev’s free digital, I just went and downloaded. Thank you so much for joining us at The Flower Challenge and I hope you will keep coming. Aileen DT

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Gwendolyn, such a gorgeous card here! as a card maker myself I really appreciate how much work goes into making each card. I think only other card makers do lol ! It’s a great hobby and a great outlet for making our own ‘art’. I have piles of cards in boxes,…. I am going to give more away…I am sure they ‘breed’ overnight lol. Anyway I love your card, the pretty die-cut heart and fabulous background you created too…awesome! Thanks so much for sharing with us over at ‘The Flower Challenge’ and we hope to see you again soon 😉 hugs Viv DT xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Viv for leaving me your thoughts. Its true its an alternative to make art for me who’s not a real artist!


  8. Hi there! I had planned to write a long message, but I’m a bit tired now, so I’ll just say I can completely relate to your thoughts! Your card is gorgeous and I’m sure it will cheer up your friend! I hope to be back for a visit soon:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Gwendolyn,
    First of all, your card is just lovely and whoever receives it will be thrilled!

    Second, I also read your post and I too understand where you are coming from in the terms of how people perceive a hand made items these days.
    I personally, do not try to sell my cards because I would never be able to recoup the cost of the an materials I invest in each one of my cards and I’m okay with that.

    I love to try different techniques or experiment. It’s keep me interested and my mind active and I find joy in knowing that my friends and family appreciate each card I make for them.

    I have heard there are several organizations out there that appreciate the hand made cards. I really liked Loll’s comment on bundling up cards and gifting them to friends and family. I used to do that for both my Grandmothers along with envelopes and stamps. They loved them!

    You could also check with local charter schools and churches. Sometime they have events and need items to raffle off. Just a thought :O)

    Anyway, keep the cards coming. CAS is my go to style and I love seeing your creations.
    (Hugs) Cara


    1. Thanks Cara for taking the time to share your thoughts. I do donate my shadow box cards to raise funds for my kids school as they’re the ones that sell well…good idea about charities! Maybe for a Home for retired cardmakers! 😂


  10. Hi Gwendolyn, I’ve really enjoyed reading your post. I think many people enjoy the homemade cards or say they do anyway. I sell some of my cards and give more away. I’ll have to look more at your blog and see if there are any of your shadowboxes on it!

    I love, love, love your heart! What a gorgeous die cut and a beautiful background for it.

    Oh, and the other challenge is CAS Mix Up. I have an idea that you can share and inspire us a lot over there too. Thanks so much for sharing with us at CAS Watercolour!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Gwendolyn. First of all, I want to concentrate on your beautiful card. The die-cut flowers in the shape of a heart are beautiful in itself, then add in the gorgeous watercoloured background. This card makes my heart sing!

    I read your blog post in full. I personally don’t sell my cards. I make cards for the pure enjoyment of creating. I like to try different techniques, and my designs are almost always CAS, because that’s what I like.

    People that are crafters … and some friends of mine, appreciate the work that goes into them. Other’s don’t. This is where it gets harder to make money at this hobby.

    I make a lot of cards but usually don’t have a lot of stock. I send them out to blogging card-making friends. And I bundle up five or six cards at a time to give as a gift to family or friends for birthdays, Christmas, etc. I find that uses most of my cards and I never have a lot on hand. I also make a lot of Christmas cards and donate them to charity. It makes me feel good that my cards are appreciated, and that money from selling them goes to a good cause.

    Bonnie Klass and I have started two challenges that are just for the fun of the hobby. It gives crafters a starting point (theme, technique or product), and they create and join in to share their makes with our team and other participants.

    Loll 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post in its entirety and to share your thoughts Loll, I really appreciate it. I sell my shadow box cards so I can legitimise buying more craft supplies lol, I know I will never make a living doing it, and calling it a business justifies the 8h/day i spend cardmaking cause I love it so much! Bundling them up as a present is a great idea. Which challenges did you just start? CAS watercolour and…?


  12. I lost my comment? hmmm let me paste I have the copy hehe

    I love your cravings wooow I am not good at it
    and your handmade BG with that Paint wooowww cool really cool
    and I did not read all sweety here is 23:00 UHR Abend hehe
    is the flower on your card also your cravings?
    wooow woow and woow
    you are really an artis
    but I know some of the Product Hero Arts or Penny Black…they always asked to join the challenge with one of their product
    also last time 2009 I started to collect Hero Arts Stamp to joining the challenge and I won 2 times thats all
    now I joining some challenges and feel so happy if they recognized and like my card and being honorable Mention..
    oh ya my hubby told too
    make cards I cant do it as JOB its only hobby
    I cant earn much and the time was gone and some people paid with small amount of Euro hehe
    But Beside work halfday I made card at night and joning challenges
    So happy if my card win if not ,….make more beautiful and more special cards…learn new technique and joining other challenges again and again…
    Gwen……see you soon on Saturday sweety
    I will go sleep

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read all the comment you got…yeah you got much words than mine…(not fair haha….) and even you did not reply me…how dare you sweety….but I am so happy to meet you one post this week will be a Post about our meeting and if I dont read your long commentar…hmmm I will sent you my Pile of make your Pile more and more hehehe JOKE..
      already 23:33 kids holiday tomorrow mami must cook also I go to sleep soon…(again Long comment..its me Monika..I comment with my heart hehe…love to know you my new friend hope you too..)thanks for the Ticket yaay…you are so generous…hope the Emboss Folder pile you can used it and really appreciate if you added my Blog if you used one of them..I will promote your blog too if I added Our Pict hehe 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was so great to meet you too and thank you for all the embossed cards! I’m sorry if I didn’t reply to you in blogland, I thought I did, as we spoke so much by email & whatapp I must have been confused, but I really love it when you stop by 😍 so plse continue to leave me long thoughts whenever you want. Und ins Deutsch auch!😘😘


Your comments are like little virtual hugs to me, so thanks for the love!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.