Jun 18, 2019

Learning Through Inspiration: Kate Shudrova (Day One)

Learning Through Inspiration is back! This is a series on improving my card making by studying other designers' cards. If you're unfamiliar with this series, you can learn more about it here.

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Today I'm introducing some lessons learned by studying Ekaterina a/k/a Katherine (Kate) Shudrova, who blogs at Little Things. It's the perfect name for her blog as every one of her cards is a little piece of design happiness. Kate is also on Instagram as Thingiewingie, and on Flickr.

Kate lives in Russia. Lately, I find that some of my favorite new-to-me designers are from outside the US, particularly in Russia and the countries nearby. There's a style to their work -- light and airy -- that I love.

Kate is not new to me -- I've been a huge fan of Kate's work for a long time, and am always thrilled when she posts a card -- which isn't as often as I would like! If you check out her cards, you'll see that they are "clean and simple," but often have an unusual layout or an interesting use of dies. She adds fun details, and the result is fun and fresh. I love everything she makes! 



  • The layout -- I never think to cut a layer on angles. It adds a lot of interest without a lot of bulk. 
  • The sewing on the top and bottom white layer is the perfect touch. Again, as her blog is titled, it's those little things that Kate does that I love so much.
  • Solid flowers -- Kate uses a lot of solid images and it's a refreshing break from all the coloring I've been seeing and been doing.
  • White and kraft is a great combination. 
  • Except for the sewing, this card is reproducible. I can do this! 


  • I pretty much set out to copy Kate's card. Along the way, I made a few changes, some were intentional and some were not. Take a moment to look at both cards. Can you spot the changes?
  • I learned that these changes make a difference. In general, everything Kate did added to the softness of her card, while mine ended up bolder.
  • The color and placement of my flowers differ. Kate used blue and yellow and I substituted a pink/coral combination for the blue. Kate's colors are a bit softer and that's a personal preference. Either one works.
  • But notice where Kate placed her yellow flower. It's slightly higher than the blue flower. When I stamped my card, I didn't notice that and placed the flowers on the same plane. Kate's is a bit more interesting -- the eye moves around the card more easily.
  • Kate added a few light splatters on her card and I opted not to do so. I just didn't want to risk messing up the card, and I don't think it made a big difference -- although the light splatters add to the softer look of Kate's card.
  • Kate chose a finer sentiment, which is consistent with her paler colors -- mine is bolder and goes better with my color palette. 
  • Kate added some fun sewing with loose threads on the top and bottom of the white panel. I don't sew. While I prefer her cleaner look, this is another style preference. It's neater and easier to mail and just plain fun. 
  • Finally, look at the bottom of Kate's white panel. The lower left corner does not extend all the way down the length of the kraft cardbase. Mine does. I think this does make a difference -- Kate's card looks more balanced. 
  • It's amazing what you notice when you really study a card. Go ahead and look at a card you like, close your laptop or phone, and make a copy. See what you notice about the first card after you are done! It's a great exercise.
My supplies: Altenew A Beautiful Day. Sentiment is from Concord & 9th.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Happy! I so appreciate Kate's willingness to let me post her card. I'll be back with a couple of more posts focusing on Kate's fantastic cards. 

It's so great to be back stamping. I'm feeling 100% and am thrilled to say that! 


I Card Everyone said...

Last things first... I have noticed that Explorer is giving me fits on occasion, so I open the blog post with Edge and that allows that comment box to open - just thought I'd share that.
Kate is new to me, so thanks for the intro! I love your bold rendition of Kate's card, Joan! I like that you're feeling 100% even more! Keep up the good work... xx

Vicki Dutcher said...

I love the different series you run in your blog. This learning one is awesome. I do like your bolder color (of course I do ☺) since I do adore bold!

Andrea Hastilow said...

I've not followed you for very long so I had to go to the post to read all about what this feature is. What a fabulous idea to refresh your style, learn new skills or get reminder of skills you've used in the past but forgot them. Will be following this & taking notes x Your card is brilliant but I also see the beauty & uniqueness of the original x

Diana K said...

I'm so glad that you're back to feeling good. I've been thinking about you. Love your card and your lesson. I did not know Ekaterina, but I'm following her now. Like you, some of my most favourite card makers are from Russia and eastern Europe. And western Europe too. And Asia and Australia. Well, really all over the world. But those Russian girls have something extra special, LOL.

whoistracy said...

I actually prefer the card you made to your inspiration piece! I love the absence of the splatters, the twine, the bolder colors.

Ginger said...

Glad to see your Learning Series is back. I didn't notice the flower placement or the size of the panel until you mentioned it. You are right about interest and balance. Perhaps I need to break out my sewing machine.

Vikki H said...

So glad you're up to crafting again and especially the inspiration series. Personal taste does make a difference when inspired. I like the bolder colors but prefer her diagonal line. Thanks for IG tip to follow Kate.

Leslie Miller said...

I do enjoy these posts. As you know, I'm one of those insane colorers, but I admire the extreme simplicity and white space of a card like this. I wonder if a person is born with the CAS gene? Your comparison notes are interesting. Happiest note is that you're feeling 100%!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for introducing me to Ekaterina's work. Her compositions are exquisit and while I love this style a lot I tend to fill my cards with color, color and more ... you guessed it: color! So I should take a cue from you and try to copy some of those treasures to let some whites and neutral into my card world. Makes for quicker cards too.
Your series has already sharpened my eyes -- noticed all those differences you point out when I first studied Kate's card before looking at yours. And I LOVE the sewing -- noticed it with other artists' works as well. Twine in any form just makes for great texture. Some of my favorite cards (I made years ago) used twine and I had since forgotten about it. Time to unpack the twine and start practicing less coloring...
On a very different note, I believe your card is the very first one I have seen that uses the flower from the "beautiful day" stamp set that I did not recognize as such. I mean that as a compliment. Shows how creatively and variedly you use your stamp sets and that is very inspiring to me (and I'm sure, to many of your readers). I noticed that with your card made with the butterfly garden (by PB) as well. Great work.
And as always thank you so very much for sharing and inspiring! I can't wait for the next installment of this series.
Best wishes,

LauraJane:) said...

Yes, Basic stamping can be so refreshing!! I enjoy seeing your take and what you learned by comparison Joan.