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Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Bootcamp, Stars and Stamps | 13 comments

Design Bootcamp – Year in Review

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It’s almost impossible to believe that it’s once again December and that we’re at the close of another year! Since most of us are busy with all that the hustle-n-bustle that the holidays bring and the last thing you need is one more thing added to your ‘to do’ list, I thought it would be good to use the December Bootcamp post to take a look back at the lessons we covered this year. I’ll only be able to share a few of your cards here but encourage you to go back and see all the great cards that were shared over the course of the year.


The ABCs of Color Theory kicked it off way back in January and you all rocked it! Color is such a big part of designing and lots of fun to explore so it’s no surprise to me that the color lessons were among the most popular.

1 Bev (ABCs)Bev used an Analgous Color Scheme in this design.


In February we talked about Focal Points. Probably the single most important lesson when it comes to creating a strong design and again you had lots of terrific examples to share.

2 Kara (focal)

Kara combined a sentiment & image into a single, strong focal point.


March, found us doing some slicing and dicing with Composition and The Rule of Thirds. Do you recall that imaginary grid, and are you still envisioning it as you decide where to place your elements?

3 Lisa  (thirds)

Lisa found that ‘sweet spot’ for the sentiment/focal point in this design.


We explored the time-tested concept of Using Odd Numbers in April. I don’t think this was a completely new idea to most of you so it wasn’t surprising that we had so many great examples shared.

4 Velda (odds)

Velda put the Rule of Odds to use in this design.


In May we got to thinking about Variation and how using it on our designs could add interest. If you recall, there are several ways to add variation including value, texture, color, shape and size.

5 Erika (variety)

Erika blended a variety of colors, papers and shapes into this card design.


By the time June rolled around we started repeating ourselves (just kidding!) but we did talk about the principle of Repetition and how using it requires a bit of a balancing act so that it keeps your design interesting without making it boring.

6 Bobbi (repetition)

 Bobbi’s fun card has repeating colors and shapes.


July had us discussing color once again, as we considered the idea of choosing a Major, Minor & Accent Color to help us achieve a strong design. The 60-30-10 formula is worth committing to memory.

7 Seongsook (mma)

Seongsook used the 60 (green) – 30 (dark purple) – 10 (light purple) formula in this design.


Relationship advice (the Principle of Unity) was the topic in August, when we discussed how creating a strong relationship between your design elements was the surest way to avoid ‘sneeze’ and have your card turn out looking marvelous.

8 Sherry (unity)

 Sherry tied all of the elements together in this card.


September brought us the element of White Space, to the delight no doubt, of all the lovers of the CAS (clean and simple) style of design. Although all of the lessons play a role in improving our designs, mastering the use of white space is one of the most important.

9 Kristie (white space)

Kristie reminds us that ‘White Space’ doesn’t have to be white in this design.


Balance (Symmetry, Asymmetry and Radial) were the topic in October and again I think this was a subject that many were familiar with. Even the most experienced designer can benefit from stopping to consider what kind of balance works best to achieve a strong design.

10 Rose (balance)

Rose combined elements of both symmetry & asymmetry in this layout.


Last but not least in November, we wrapped up our bootcamp lessons with the subject of Texture as we stopped to consider how even a small amount of texture could add a truly polished and professional finish to a card.

11 Sybrina (texture)

 Sybrina included loads of texture in this classic Christmas card design.


I hope that you all enjoyed the year of Design Bootcamps and want to thank you for your kind words and feedback throughout the year. While the InLinkz on the monthly posts are scheduled to close in just a couple of weeks I’ve included one in this post that will remain active through 2014 so that if you decide to go back and revist some of your favorite lessons or some you may have missed you can feel free to share them here.


  1. Paula, all theses lessons were fantastic. Thank you so very much for putting all this information together in a format that we can easily access when we are stuck. Much appreciated!

  2. Thank you Paula for Bootcamp. I learned so much. I loved today’s year in review and seeing a card made with that month’s lesson right above. Great job on it all Paula!!!

  3. Paula,
    Thanks very much for all the lessons. They were wonderful. You made the topics easy to understand with your great explanations and examples. I’ve learned a lot and hopefully, will be using what I learned in my card making.


  4. Paula, thank you so much for all of the Bootcamp lessons! I learned so much and my confidence in making cards increased tremendously. The year in review cards are fabulous examples for each lessons. They are all simply gorgeous.

  5. Paula, thank you, thank you, thank you! This has been a “college course” in design for me, without the exams, thank goodness. 😉 Your lesson plans were all very clear, challenging in a good way, inspirational and fun too. I’d be a student in your class anytime.

  6. Wonderful job Paula! This was a lot of work. We all learned a lot!

  7. Paula – Thanks ever so much for all your Bootcamp brilliance. As a former member of the Army National Guard, let me say “Yes, Drill Sergeant!” to all your lessons. I use so many of the tips and hints with every card I make. (Also, SQUEE, that’s my zebra!)

  8. Paula, Thanks again for sharing so many wonderful lessons. Who knew bootcamp could be so much fun! (And, it was such a thrill to see that you included that red and gold Victorian ornament card.)

  9. The bootcamp lessons were full of wonderful info that I’m sure I’ll turn to over the years. Thanks so much for your hard work on this year long effort, Paula, and I’m happy to see one of my cards above. We all will benefit by making better cards which in turn will benefit the soldiers and families who receive our cards. It’s been a lot of fun and something I looked forward to each month!

  10. Thanks Paula for all that you do … You are awesome!

  11. Thanks for all the boot camp lessons in design, Paula! Great work! We card makers have benefitted, especially those of us who are fairly new to the craft (moi). Keep those lessons coming!

  12. I have learned so much from Boot Camp! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful lessons!
    Merry Christmas!!

  13. Thanks again, Paula, for a year of Bootcamp! Your explanations and examples made it easy to follow. I enjoyed the lessons and learning the basics of card design.

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