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Learning through Inspiration with Joan Bardee

July 25, 2019

Welcome back to another edition of my Learning Through Inspiration series here on the Penny Black blog. This series is all about improving my cardmaking through studying other designers’ cards and I hope you enjoy it.

Today I’m concluding my study of the talented Peet Roeven. You can find her gorgeous cards at her blog and her IG account.



*As I mentioned in my earlier post on Peet, her signature style includes hand or die cutting. These cards are perfect examples.

*In her first card, the stamped black foliage background offsets the beautiful flowers, without detracting from them. And I love how the flowers and the die cut frame are popped up above the background. Peet’s use of dimension is fantastic.

*Peet included a lot of detail – the die cut frame, cut out flowers, clear sequins, watercolored background, black mat, sewed frame, etc.

*Even though it’s full of details, the entire card looks cohesive. It’s like a beautifully decorated living room. You walk in and are delighted, but it’s only when you sit down and relax that you notice the pretty lamp, the stunning artwork, and the gorgeous fireplace mantle. If you are making a card, or decorating a room, you don’t want a beautiful rug sitting under an ugly or clashing sofa. You want the whole room to be beautiful. And that’s what I like about Peet’s cards. They are like a beautiful living room, with each piece supporting the whole card.

*The second card is so clever. Those flowers are on one sheet of cardstock! Peet hand cut the space for the sentiment. LOVE this. One of these days I’ll have the nerve to try this! And I love how she placed the paintbrushes. They support the sentiment, both in content and style, without distracting from the beauty of the flowers. She’s so talented!



*It is possible to hand cut all sorts of flowers and stems and images; just go slowly and then edge with a black marker for a more finished look. I also learned that the beauty of Peet’s cards relies, not only on her great techniques, but on her eye for fantastic layouts. I can practice technique, but a good layout (like a well designed living room) takes talent and/or a lot of trial and error!

Speaking of trial and error…

*Over 3 days, I stamped and fussy cut and colored a pile of birds and flowers. I stamped backgrounds, and die cut frames. I watercolored birds, broke colored pencils, and dried out a Copic marker. Little pieces of cut up cardstock littered my table and floor.

In the midst of my “design work,” a friend of mine came over to stamp. Pam is an interior designer — she knows what she is doing — so I was anxious for her advice. Pam saw my piles and heard my whining. She recommended I use the bird I had colored with red Copics (I had colored around the bird with a blue/green Copic). She suggested I frame it with some of the cut out flowers in my pile. By the time Pam left, I was optimistic.

*The next day, my optimism turned to frustration. I couldn’t fit the flowers around the bird. They didn’t look balanced and they didn’t leave room for a sentiment. And the right side of the card, above and below the bird, looked empty. Finally, I gave up. I drafted an email to Jill Foster, explaining that I had hit a block and this card would have to wait until after I returned from vacation. In the middle of my draft email, I got distracted, and eventually went in to clean up my craft room.

But instead of cleaning, I reached for the panel with the red bird and stamped the sentiment. Then I placed the flowers around it. This time, rather than giving up, I cut out some leaves to fill in the blanks but didn’t pop them up so that they would be more like Peet’s stamped background. To balance the bottom right of the card, I cut out the berries and leaves under the bird (I had so many already colored!!), and popped them up, and finished the card in 30 minutes.

*I was so relieved to finish the card and thought about how much effort went into it. I realized that I stamp the same way I write. My first draft of this blog post was twice as long, rambling, unorganized, and full of typos and poor grammar. Then, I edited it many times until I was happy. It’s easy to do that with a laptop and word processing – typing and deleting are free! And, frankly, for me, writing is a lot easier than stamping.

But that process is relevant to my stamping. I learned that, after a decade of stamping, sometimes I need a few first drafts before the card comes together. I need time to fail before I can succeed. The 3 days I spent making one card weren’t a waste of time. I was editing my first draft, but didn’t know it. In the future, I’ll be more patient.

MOOD WHEN DONE: I’m happy with this card. Would I change a few things if I had more time? Yes, but I will send this someone, and that’s my ultimate test. Studying Peet’s work and trying to learn from it has changed my attitude towards my cardmaking process and I’m very grateful for that. Gosh, I love this hobby!

Thanks again to Jill Foster and Penny Black for providing me with some gorgeous stamps and dies, and the opportunity to share here on the Penny Black blog. And thank you to Peet for your talent and inspiration.

for the PENNY BLACK products featured on Joan’s cards above

Dreaming 40-673; Bouquet Ballet 40-674; Huggable 30-588; Copic Markers; Memento Tuxedo ink; Versamark; white embossing powder; white gel pen; detail scissors; Exacto knife; Neenah solar white and black cardstocks; foam tape.

Disclaimer: From time-to-time we have guest bloggers post on our site. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Penny Black Inc. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.
14 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2019 6:25 am

    Isn’t Peet amazing??

    • jillianfoster82 permalink*
      July 25, 2019 7:45 am

      You both are!! I learn so much from reading about your process and from seeing your beautiful interpretations and designs. Thank you so much for sharing your talents here on the Penny Black blog, Joan! And thank you to Peet for all of the inspiration, toO!!

  2. July 25, 2019 7:00 am

    You are amazing, Joan! I just LOVE, LOVE your card!!

  3. July 25, 2019 7:10 am

    Great post. Gave me a new way to look at someone else work.

  4. Maura permalink
    July 25, 2019 7:28 am

    Gorgeous Card!!! And I can totally relate to the process – sometimes I think to myself, this is insane to spend this much time on a card!!! But then I remember that I am learning things in the process and refining my style as a card maker! If there were just a few more hours in each day…..

  5. barbara lassiter permalink
    July 25, 2019 7:44 am

    This CREATIVITY thing could get me down if I DIDN’T ENJOY IT SO MUCH! Lol! I finally learned that I was still having fun even if what I was working on didn’t turn out the first time and so I just kept going. Thus more creativity time. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your beautiful card is sure to brighten someone’s day! You, Peet and Penny Black are great inspiration!

  6. Betty permalink
    July 25, 2019 9:53 am

    love this series of yours and your turned out beautifully!

  7. July 25, 2019 11:44 am

    I’d say, your blood, sweat, but hopefully not tears, were worth the agony because your card is gorgeous. Love how the bird is the focal point but one’s eye is carried across the card looking and appreciating the other images. It’s full of color and makes me happy when I look at it.

  8. Ginger permalink
    July 25, 2019 12:00 pm

    It’s encouraging to see that many other stampers become frustrated when making a card. When you wrote..” I realized that I stamp the same way I write” , it was an “aha moment”. It answered questions about my stamping process. Thank you for your candor. As always love your cards and the way you analyze the cards. It is very helpful.

  9. July 26, 2019 2:48 am

    Oh, MY! Joan, the inspiration pieces you picked from Peet are amazing, and your card is equally beautiful! I love reading about your process. I need to up my game.

  10. Janice Pignanelli permalink
    July 26, 2019 3:30 am

    Your card is gorgeous, Joan! The colors! Love it!

  11. July 26, 2019 7:00 am

    Joan, you are an inspiration to me. I so related to your comment about your writing being similar to your stamping process. I’m the same way. I always have to go back & edit out
    “extraneous” words. I think I ramble. Just like I’m doing now… lol Love your card & I think it’s so cool your are on this inspiration journey & are sharing it with us.

  12. July 28, 2019 11:42 am

    I so enjoy your posts. Like you, I have to fuss and fuss with a card before it finally looked good. Thanks for sharing your process so honestly.

  13. July 30, 2019 9:01 pm

    Something to remember, is that many of our favorite YT’ers fuss with a card design the first time too. Many admit to making the card first on their own and then again for the video (leaving out that it will go much faster once they take all the thought process out of it). They would rather make it twice then to do all the painstaking editing especially when it requires a lot of editing. I love your interpretations of Peet’s designs and the subsequent card implementing them. We are all learning from your observations… both of the original artist and of your process. I will appreciate my “editing” process more knowing that’s just what it is… not a failure, but part of the process! Thank you!!!

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