I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only card maker to have ‘nothing’.  That feeling–it happens with all of us at one time or another:  The Brick Wall.  No ideas, no motivation, no inspiration with/for or about anything creative.  We endlessly search for that ‘something’ that will re-ignite our flame of creativity.

For some of us, that first tiny spark could be found in a cool, crafty blog that you just happened upon; a new technique that you’ve put off trying; a fabulous embellishment you rediscovered in your stash or a new trend outside of your usual, crafting box.

For today’s Trendy Tuesday, I’m going waaay outside of the paper crafting box and stepping inside the photographic effect of Bokeh.  Bokeh (BOH-kay), in my simplest interpretation, is that out of focus region in the background of photos when the main focal point is in focus and within a shallow depth of field–Very technical indeed!

When the focal sources are points of light or light reflections, you see this in photography….

Photo Credit:  hdwallpapers.inPhoto Credit:  hdwallpapers.in

The Bokeh effect doesn’t necessarily have to be circular–Hearts, squares, diamonds, any shape can be incorporated into this ghostly and striking technique.

Square Diamond Bokeh PicPhoto Credit: iskin.co.uk

In stamping, that effect is being transitioned into a clean and simple style for card designs, with BIG WOW effect.  Think–2nd and 3rd generation stamping, with different colors of ink and you can achieve the look of Bokeh in your stamping projects, too.  What’s even funner still is, Kimberly attached white sequins to really bump up the Bokeh effect on her card to mimic sunspots!

Kimberly Crawford Bokeh CardSunshine card by Kimberly Crawford, image source For the Love of Paper-MFT April Release

Heat embossing, as Amy presented here on this card, not only gives the card texture, but an emboss-resist for the inks she used for her background.

Amy Rohl Bokeh CardEmbossed Bokeh card by Amy Rohl, image source Ink About Me-MFT Release Countdown

Although my online research did not find any other stamp manufacturers out there right now offering a line of Bokeh specific style stamps, My Favorite Things released this Bokeh Builder set this past April that will help inspire your own style of Bokeh flavored cards.

MFT Bokeh Builder Setimage source My Favorite Things

Here are a couple of more samples created with the Bokeh Builder set.  Debbie uses a top layer of vellum to soften her Bokeh effect of bright, vibrant spots of color.  She’s keeping that main, focal image of her sentiment in focus and her background blurred–just like you see in photography!

Debbie Carriere Bokeh CardBright Future Bokeh card by Debbie Carriere, image source A Simple Diversion-MFT Countdown

Jodi’s Bokeh background is colorful and fun and a perfect match for the sentiment she stamped in gold and embellished with a couple of sparkly, gold enamel dots!  Her background reminds me of shimmers of sunlight bouncing off of water; orbs of yellow, blue, orange, all shiny and metallic-like (can you tell I’m ready for Summer?).

Jodi Bokeh APRIL MFT FocusStand Where it’s Shining card by Jodi Collins, image source Stamping A Latte-MFT Release

Never fear!!  You don’t have to have the Bokeh Builder set to achieve your own Bokeh effect in stamping.  Look at what this clever card maker did…. Lydia’s interest in photography and technology led her to create her stunning blue Bokeh background, with *Spoiler Alert* a pencil eraser!!  Love That!!

Bokeh Blue ButterflyBokeh Blue Butterfly card by Lydia Fiedler, image source Understand Blue

And remember, Bokeh doesn’t have to be round in shape to be considered Bokeh.  This die-cut butterfly card that Pam created, uses varying shades of pink card stock and vellum to achieve her Bokeh effect.  Again, that top layer of vellum acts, almost, like a camera lens capturing those out of focus background elements.  Lovely and Elegant, indeed!

Pam Strobel Butterfly BokehElegant Pink Butterflies by Pam Strobel, image source Stamp and Stretch

Now, when you happen to hear your picture-taking hobbyist friends and colleagues talking about the cool effect of Bokeh in photography, you can confidently join in the conversation and take it to another level by talking about the fabulous card designs you’ve bee creating using the Bokeh effect in stamping!!  — Shari

3 replies on “Trend Watch – Bokeh in Stamping”

  1. What an inspiring step outside of papercrafting to bring back a concept and method for us to play with… great post, Shari – full of ideas and great results!
    Alison xx

  2. Interesting concept…I thought this was also known as “stamping off.” On the other hand, that stamps are being made to employ this technique shows that the popularity is increasing. Now that I think about it, stamping off is used to achieve the Bokeh look. Thanks for taking the time to research this design technique.

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