The Rule of 3

The Rule of 3 is a real thing (although not “scientifically accurate” according to Google). Items delivered in 3’s have been found to be engaging, interesting, and memorable.

Mind, body, spirit.
Reading, writing, ‘rithmatic.
Lather, rinse, repeat.

This rule applies to pattern recognition and covers many creative endeavors like drawing, photography, and writing. It is a familiar tenet to religion and can be used in business, sales, and composition.

I mention it today in regards to OnStage, the Stampin’ Up© convention I attended a few weeks ago. There were several live demonstrations focusing on Simple, Casual, and Avid crafts. The presenters showcased examples of the 3 levels of cardmaking. Pretty self-explanatory, they vary from the basic paper and message method to elaborate folds, layered designs, and stamp techniques. But what I really connected with were the lessons in adapting the levels.

Beginning with a design for a novice crafter, the Simple design was easy to create but still impressive. By adding 3 things, say a fun-fold, layered cardstock, and a sentiment, you upgraded to a Casual card. Add 3 more things, maybe patterned paper, a heat or dry embossing, and embellishment, and you have a card for the Avid crafter.

Then, they worked in reverse. Consider an idea for a fancy card. If you remove 3 things, you get an intermediate craft. Remove 3 more things and you have a simple yet elegant piece of work.

I loved the idea of ramping up and/or simplifying by 3s, making an idea accessible to everyone regardless of experience. I think this particular rule can apply to more than just crafting. Feeling overwhelmed? Remove 3 things. In a state of disinterest? Add 3 things.

By breaking tasks, duties, or obligations into steps, they become easier to deal with, whether expanding or condensing.

How could augmenting or reducing apply to your day?
Give the Rule of 3 a try.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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