Inky Creations with April

Sharing my love of handmade cards and papercraftting

Hello crafty friends! Wow, this is the 25th class I have taken for the AECP (Altenew Educator Certification Program). I have loved every class I took and every card I have made. This journey with the AECP has made me step out of my comfort zone in so many ways and I am so thankful. Technology is a struggle for me but I am learning everyday more about blogging, card photography, Instagram, and am working on the video aspect of things. These are all things I would have never tried had it not been for this program. I started this in memory of my mom and something we shared (love of card making) and it has been the best experience ever. I highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and following your passions.

Today’s card is for the Stunningly Styled Stencils class taught by Laura Jane and Jenny Colacicco. Stencils are so versatile and can be used in so many ways. I love to use them with embossing paste for all the texture. In the class they had several ideas for coloring the embossing paste and I was so excited to grab my Altenew Watercolor Brush Markers for this.

For this card I used the following:

I grabbed some colors I don’t typically use for this card and let the gorgeous background be the star on this card.

  • I used a piece of Fog Gray Cardsotck for my background panel. I taped the Trellis Stencil over the panel, then used a palette knife to smear Embossing Paste over the stencil. I did not cover the entire panel as I wanted some open areas around the edges of the panel.
  • Then I squeezed some pigment from the Sweet Leaf and Moss Watercolor Brush Markers over the embossing paste. I didn’t use very much pigment as a little went a long ways. Next I used the palette knife to move the pigment over the image. Then I removed the stencil and immediately washed the stencil and palette knife in warm soapy water and cleaned up my glass mat very well. You want to clean everything while the paste is still wet.
  • While the embossing paste was still wet I sprinkled small pinches of Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder randomly over the paste embossed image. Then I carefully set the powder with a heat tool. The embossing paste will bubble a little bit but it just added a little more texture to the background.
  • This was then set aside to dry completely.
  • I grabbed a piece of Pearlescent Vellum and used Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder to emboss the detail image of one of the flowers and two leaves from the Lush Garden Stamp Set. Then these were die cut using the coordinating dies.
  • Next, I die cut the Fancy For You die from Slate Gray Cardstock 4 times. These were layered using liquid glue for dimension. I then applied a layer of Glossy Accents to the image. This was set aside to dry.
  • When everything was dry. I placed the vellum flower and leaves in one corner of the images and adhered it with liquid glue at the base where the glue would not be seen. I adhered the For You on the panel before adhering the entire panel to a heavy weight card base.

I love the dimension and color of the embossing paste. This is such a great way to use stencils. The glossy accents adds a bit of shine to compliment the little bits of gold embossing powder. I had such a fun time creating this card.

I hope this inspires you to grab your stencils and use them in different ways. There are so many things that can be done with them. Thank you for stopping by and thank you for being with me on my journey. Have a great day!

Hello, crafty friends! Today’s cards is for my 4th class with the AECP (Altenew Educator Certification Program). I am so happy I picked Sentiments with Impact taught by Emily Leiphart. This class has some fantastic ideas to make your sentiments pop on your cards. Altenew’s new Craft Your Life Project Kits are awesome and the Hello Beautiful kit from September 2021 is my favorite. I keep reaching for it again and again.

Supplies used for this project:

I am a huge fan of a great 3D embossing folder background panel. When the panel is white, the background panel really looks elegant. Such an easy way to add texture to a card. I loved Emily’s idea to put many small sentiments together to create a larger sentiment. I used 3 different stamp sets to complete my sentiment for this card. She also suggested stamping in different ink colors to add some interest. I embossed my sentiments then ink blended over them to add a different color to each one.

  • I ran a white panel through my die cut machine with the 3D Embossing Folder from the Hello Beautiful: Craft Your Life Project Kit. Follow your die cutting machines instructions for the correct sandwich when using embossing folders. Also, I always spray my cardstock with some water before putting it in an embossing folder. I find this helps with any cracking of the cardstock.
  • Next I stamped one of the floral images from the stamp set in the kit with VersaMark Ink then poured Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder over the stamped image. This was then heat set with an embossing gun.
  • I used the Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes and the matching stencils in the kit to color the image. I used small I Crafter Blending Brushes to add my inks. For the flower I used Mango Smoothie, and Rouge and for the leaves I used Parrot. You can use one color for the different details of layering stencils. Just start with a soft hand and use a heavier hand to get more detail.
  • I then die cut this image with the coordinating die.
  • Next, I used sentiments from the Hello Beautiful Stamp Set, Fairy Tale Florals Stamp Set, and Sentiment Strips Stamp Set to create my sentiment strips. I embossed my chosen sentiments with Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder. I then blended each strip with a different ink color ( Chamomile, Mango Smoothie, Parrot, Rouge). Make sure to wipe the ink off of your embossed images after ink blending with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  • I then cut the sentiments into strips.
  • I popped the floral image up some foam tape and adhered the sentiment strips directly to the embossed background panel.
  • This panel was then adhered to a heavy weight card base.

I hope you found some inspiration to make your sentiments pop on your cards. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Hello, Crafty Friends! I usually stay away from watercoloring as traditionally I am not good with shading and adding details with traditional watercolors. However there is so much more to watercoloring and many of the watercolor techniques I am loving. I decided to take the Exploring Watercolor Mediums class for one of my Level 3 classes of the AECP. I took this class to challenge me and I loved the ideas given by Jen Rzasa and Ashlea Cornell.

For this card I used:

I used a couple different techniques from the class for this card. For my florals I used watercolor stamping. So fun and easy to add a little movement to your stamped images. For the background I did some loose painting with watercolor brush markers.

  • I began by creating my background. I used a piece of A2 Watercolor Paper and grabbed 3 blue markers from different watercolor brush marker sets. I started by going direct to paper with Sea Breeze my lightest maker then Dusk and finishing with Desert Night to create an ombre effect. Then I sprayed the background with water to get the pigment moving. I dried it with a heat tool then added more pigment and spritzed with more water.
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  • After the panel dried for the second time I dropped large water droplets on the panel then used a paper towel to soak up the extra water to leave water droplet spots on the background.
  • While this panel was set aside to completely dry, I created my florals and sentiment strip. Using another piece of the watercolor paper I stamped a couple of the floral images and leaves using the detail stamps from the Lush Garden Stamp Set with a Versamark ink pad. Make sure to use an anti static tool so your embossing powder doesn’t leave any stray pieces of embossing powder on your images. After I stamped the images I sprinkled Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder over the images, then heat set.
  • Then I used my Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes to do my watercoloring stamping. I inked up my most solid parts of the florals with my lightest colors (Rouge & Pink Diamond). Then I spritzed the ink with water before stamping onto watercolor cardstock. I then used the the next layer stamp for each flower and inked those with Coral Bliss and Puffy Heart. Again I spritzed with water before stamping. I used a third layer for one flower and used Rubellite to ink it up then spritzed with water before stamping. For the leave I did the same thing but only used one stamp layer and stamped it in Parrot. I also used Honey Drizzle for the flower centers.
  • The more water you use the more movement you get when you stamp your image. I only did 2 spritzes per image as I wanted to keep some of the details in the stamped images.
  • I used the coordinating dies to cut the images out.
  • I also heat embossed a sentiment from Heartfelt Sentiments with Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder. Then cut it down into a sentiment strip.
  • I cut down my background panel and added it to a top folding card base with foam tape. Then carefully arranged the florals in the bottom right corner of the panel. I adhered the leaves and one flower directly to the background panel. I popped up one flower with foam tape.
  • I also used foam tape to adhere the sentiment strip.
  • I added a little bling with just a few Boiled Sugar Baubles adhered with liquid glue.

I really enjoyed playing with some fun watercoloring techniques. I also love using the Watercolor Brush Markers so really enjoyed learning more ways to use them. I am going to need to order refills soon. As you can see in the photo of my dried background, it is not perfect. But this is a background and I knew I had images to go onto this background so those imperfections did not bother me. I loved the end result and will be making more backgrounds with this technique. Also it would be great to use with word die cuts. A great way to add some fun color and movement.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you are inspired to go create something beautiful today.

Hello, Crafty Friends! Today I have cards for the Cards in Motion class by Ashley Tucker. Cards that move and that are interactive are always so much fun. I really had fun making a full front shaker card for this post. I also made a shutter card as a bonus card. Ashley had so many ideas that I couldn’t select just one. I used the same design and colors for both cards. I will give you all the details for the full front shaker and suggest you sign up for Ashley’s class to get the details for making a shutter card.

Supplies for this card:

My full front shaker card is a bit different than Ashley’s but both are a ton of fun. My version uses some stamp packaging. I put all my stamp sets in storage sleeves when I receive them and keep the original packing for different techniques. It works great for full front shakers.

  • I created a background panel using the Fine Tulle Stencil, Unicorn White Ink and a Blending Brush. I have a dedicated blending brush for my white pigment ink and I like the one from Trinity Stamps as it has a nice cover for it. I store my brushes in a drawer and don’t want the white ink on everything. Also smoosh some ink from the white pad on your work surface and pick the ink up from there with the brush. This helps prevent getting any other colors on your white pad.
  • Next I created my images for the panel. I stamped a couple flowers from the Coneflower Build a Flower Set with black pigment ink on watercolor paper then sprinkled with clear embossing powder. I then heat set it.
  • Next I added water to the images with a waterbrush pen before adding pigment using my Watercolor Brush Markers. I used Persian Blue from the Winter Wonderland Set. Turquoise, Desert Night, Fresh Lemon and Lime from the Tropical Fiesta Set. As well as Warm Sunshine and Emerald from the Spring Garden Set. I used pigment from these beautiful markers to color the flowers and leaves. The water allows the pigments to blend wonderfully. You may need to use your watercolor brush pen to pull the pigment to the edges of your images. These were then set aside to dry.
  • Once dry I adhered these directly to the background panel.
  • I cut a piece from my packaging that was a bit bigger than my background panel. I then put score tape around the edges on the back on the panel. I carefully wrapped the packing around the panel securing it with the score tape on the back. Make sure to leave one end open to put your shaker bits in.
  • You will need to cut angles in at the corners so they lay flat as well. Then I added lots of shaker bits. I chose flat confetti as these work best with this type of shaker card as there is not added dimension to allow for movement of bigger shaker pieces. Once you add your shaker material seal the back so none escape.
  • I stamped my sentiment from Heartfelt Sentiments with VersaMark Ink on Onyx cardstock. Make sure to prep the cardstock with an anti static product before stamping your image. Then I used Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder to emboss the image. I cut this down into a sentiment strip that I layered on top of some Pearlescent Vellum that I wrapped around the front of the panel and secured with some more score tape.
  • I then adhered the panel to a top folding heavy weight card base using more score tape so it was extra secure.

I love the look of this type of full front shaker even though I need to use thinner shaker bits. Make sure to not pull your stamp packaging super tight around your panel so there is a little room for the bits to shake about.

Here is the bonus card that I made. To get all the details on how to create this shutter card sign up for Ashley’s Cards in Motion Class on the Altenew Academy. She has several other techniques in the class to get your cards moving.

I hope today’s post inspires you to create a card with some movement. They are always fun to make and fun to receive. These types of cards just seem to make people smile. Thank you for stopping by and see you soon.

Hello Crafty Friends! As I have said in another blog post, I love combining products from my favorite companies. The card for today’s inspiration began with the Slimline Diamond Builder Stencil Set from Pinkfresh Studio. Pinkfresh Studio does an amazing job with their layering stencil sets and their new slimline builder sets are awesome. I threw in some flowers from Spellbinders as well as used a couple great sets from Honey Bee Stamps. Spellbinders has the best flower die cuts. The sentiment sets from Honey Bee Stamps are always close at hand for me to use on cards.

For this card I used the following:

Yes, Pink is my favorite color and it is hard for me not to use it on every card. When I got this Slimline Diamond Builder Stencil Set in the mail pink was the first color I thought of so I had to use it. I love the pink, yellow and gray combination.

  • I used the Slimline Sentiments Eyelet to cut 2 border frames out of white cardstock. I layered these with some liquid adhesive to add a little dimension then adhered it carefully to my background panel. Make sure to use some liquid adhesive when adhering it to the background panel as it gives you a little time to get it lined up perfectly with the edges of the panel.
  • I cut 3 Hellos from the Bitty Buzzwords die set using Slate Gray Cardstock to layer together for dimension. I cut the shadow part of the Hello using Pearlescent Vellum Cardstock. I embossed Sweet Friend on Slate Gray Cardstock with white embossing powder for a sentiment strip.
  • I laid out 2 groupings of flowers in opposite corners of my background panel. Once I had them where I liked them I adhered the flowers with foam squares and the leaves directly to the background panel.
  • I them put my Hello on the vellum and layered it in the center of the panel. I put the sentiment strip under the Hello and tucked a couple more flowers and leaves around the Hello.
  • Lastly I adhered this to a heavyweight card base and added some Arctic Breeze and Luminous Lemon Baubles in the centers of all the flowers for some bling.

This card makes me smile every time I look at. I love the pink and how vibrant and happy the card is. I hope it inspired you to create something beautiful and vibrant. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Hello Crafty Friends! I took a little time away for some family things and I have been busy working on my Level 3 classes for the AECP (Altenew Educator Certification Program). I am so happy to be back on my blog and share what I have been creating. I love that at this level we get to pick the classes we take. So I, of course, picked a Laura Bassen class. I love Laura’s use of color as well as her love of all things rainbow and dimension. I was so inspired I did a quick ink blended warm rainbowish card then followed it with an idea from the class. I love ink smoothing and ink smooshing resist is even more fun. I included both cards for you to enjoy.

For these cards I used the following:

Seasonal Blooms (Craft Your Life Project Kit July 2021) – Altenew

Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes (coral bliss, pink pearl, sunkissed, mango smoothie, parrot, olive, marigold) – Altenew

Watercolor A2 Paper Set – Altenew

Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder – Altenew

Tim Holtz Distress White Heavy Stock – Ranger Ink

Versamark Embossing Ink Pad

Satin White Sequins – Altenew

Onyx Color Essentials Cardstock – Spellbinders

Clear Embossing Powder – Nuvo

Clear 10MM Sequins – Pretty Pink Posh

I love how similar these cards are but by using different techniques (ink blending versus ink smooshing resist) they are so different. As soon as I turned off the class Laura taught, I had to make a classic ink blended Laura card. I love how she uses color and how she talked about it in the class. She influenced me to step out of my comfort zone and do a warm pallete in a semi rainbow scheme. I didn’t have a warm blue ink color from Altenew so I just decided to leave it off the card.

  • While the first card panel was drying, I used the same ink colors and smooshed them on the craft mat that is on my Glass Media Mat. Then I lightly misted them with water. Using some stamp or die packaging I picked up the ink colors and smooshed them on the white embossed image in the same rainbow order I used on the first panel.
  • Then I used the dies from the kit to just out 4 hello’s for each card. Before layering them for dimension I stamped the word hello on a die cut for each card in Marigold. I then layered 3 die cuts behind each hello.
  • I then grabbed a piece of Onyx Black Cardstock and embossed I Love You twice using Pure White Embossing Powder. I used a paper trimmer to trim these down into sentiment strips.
  • I cut both panels down and attached them to a card bases using foam tape. Then I adhered the Hello die cut to the panel then using some foam tape added the I Love You close to it.
  • To finish the cards, I put sequins on each card for a little bling.

One last tip is to make sure to wipe all color off of your embossed image once the inks dry. I just use my microfiber cloth to wipe them clean. Also I am in love with these Craft Your Life Project Kits from Altenew. I, of course, signed up asap to join this monthly subscription. The ideas are endless with all the great products that come in the kits. These cards make me smile and I hope you are inspired to try a warm rainbow inspired card. Thank you for stopping by.



Hello, Crafty Friends! I love grabbing my favorite items from some of my favorite stamp companies and putting a wonderful card together. I absolutely love the layering stencil sets from Pinkfresh Studio. With many of these sets having matching dies and hot foil plates, I find I am reaching for these all the time. Honey Bee Stamps has me swooning over all their word and sentiment sets. I love that the matching dies cut not only the words but smaller sentiments too. Altenew is killing it with all their 3D Embossing Folders they have been releasing. Distress Oxides from Ranger Ink and Tim Holtz are my go to for stamping, blending, embossing, etc. I loved every moment of creating this card.

I used the following for this card:

  • I created my background piece using Salvaged Patina in distress oxide and embossing glaze. I blended the distress oxide ink in about a half an inch from all the edges then using Versamark applied the embossing glaze over that and heat set it.
  • I cut down a piece of Neenah 110 lb cardstock and ran it through my die cutting machine using the Cloudy Day embossing folder.
  • I then used my Glimmer Hot Foil System and my Platinum 6 to foil my Small Butterflies on some Simon Says Stamp 130 lb cardstock with Gold Foil.
  • The butterflies were then colored using the Small Butterflies Layered Stencil Set. I colored them with with distress oxides in Salvaged Patina, Salty Ocean, Mustard, Mermaid Lagoon using my blender brushes. I have a separate set of blending brushes for my oxides and my dye inks. I use them both all the time.
  • I used the coordinating dies to cut out the colored Small Butterflies. I love that you can both color then cut out so many images at one time.
  • I grabbed scraps of white cardstock and cut those to the sizes I wanted, then using my blender brushes I colored 2 pieces with the Mustard Seed and Salty Ocean distress oxide inks. I went over them several times to get the saturation I wanted.
  • I stamped Friend from the Bitty Buzzwords on white cardstock using Salvaged Patina distress oxide ink then immediately poured Salvaged Patina Embossing Glaze over it. I heat set the glaze. Once cooled I used the coordinating die to cut the word out.
  • I mounted the cloud background panel on the Salvaged Patina edged panel using foam tape. Then used liquid glue to attach my two colored strips one on top of the other. I used foam tape to add the Friend die cut and one butterfly to the colored strips. Using liquid glue I attached the other butterfly. Then I grabbed a sentiment from an Idea-ology Sentiment Labels sheet that came in a past Simon Says Stamp Monthly Card Kit. I put this on a piece of foam tape and mounted it above the word Friend.
  • This was all then mounted on a top folding heavy weight card base using liquid glue. I then added some Artic Breeze Pearls with liquid glue to add a little bling. I

I loved getting out so many products and putting this fun card together. It is a perfect combination of my favorite companies, products and techniques. Thanks for stopping by and I hope this card inspires you to grab your favorite supplies and create something you love.

Hello Crafty Friends!! Welcome to Part 2 of my Final Challenge for Level 2 of the AECP (Altenew Educator Certification Program). For this part we were to upcycle or alter an item. I chose 2 candy containers from Sugarfina to upcycle. One of my husbands favorite treats are from Sugarfina and he gives me the sturdy plastic containers when finished but until now I haven’t done anything with them. I knew the big one would make a great marker container and the smaller one would be great for other little items. I do think the flowers might be a bit large for the smaller container but I choose the Cora Louise Peony- Build a Flower Set in honor of my late mother. I lost my mom in April 2020. She was 91 and had suffered a stroke in July 2019. She was an avid gardener and peonies and lilacs were 2 of her favorites. I introduced my very crafty mom to card making and stamping in 1999. She and I shared a love for this until she just couldn’t use her hands due to arthritis anymore. After my mom passed away, I needed to do something with the extra time I had. So when I ran across the AECP I knew I needed to apply. I submitted my application and was accepted in July of 2020. I hope you enjoy this upcycled project!!

For this project I used the following:

I love using my waterbrush markers over an embossed image. The emboss resist technique makes watercoloring an image so easy for me as I am not super confident with any sort of watercoloring. I loved that Svetlana Marchenko used this technique in her Impressive Heat Embossing class. I now reach for my watercolor brush markers all the time.

  • I began by measuring the height and 2 sides of my large cube. Then the height and all 4 sides of my small cube. I cut Onyx Black Cardstock using these measurements. I placed my cubes in a box that I use as my splat box, then sprayed 3600 Spray Adhesive on all sides of the small cube first and 2 sides of the large cube second. I carefully wrapped the black cardstock around the cubes, holding tightly until the glue set a little. Using my fingers I creased the edges so the cardstock would lay flat. I then repeated this with the remaining 2 sides of the large cube. Make sure you spray this adhesive in a well ventilated room or outside.
  • I then cut some ribbon I found in my stash and used liquid glue to adhere it to the cubes as I wrapped it around the black cardstock.
  • While the glue dried, I got to work on my flowers and leaves. I first stamped 3 peonies and lots of leaves on Watercolor Paper A2 Loose Sheets with VersaMark ink. Make sure to use an antistatic powder tool before stamping so your embossing powder only sticks on the stamped images. I then poured Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder over the images and used an embossing gun to set the powder.
  • I wet down my images using a Watercolor brush and plain water. I chose to work on my peonies first. I used the Winter Wonderland and Tropical Fiesta Watercolor Brush Marker sets for these. I began by applying Rouge on the image leaving the edges of the petals and the middle of the flower open, then I added Ruby Red to the centers and Sunkissed to the outside of the petals. I used the Watercolor Brush to move the pigment around. You could also spray the images with water and the pigments will move that way as well. I added a little more of the colors where needed. When I was happy I set the images aside to dry.
  • Next I did the same thing with the leaves using Emerald and Mountain Mist markers. I let these colors stay very pigmented and did not use a watercolor brush on them to move the pigment around.
  • Once all the images were totally dry I used the coordinating dies to cut out all the images. I then adhered the peonies with foam squares and the leaves with liquid glue. I didn’t want to cut any of the images so I made sure nothing was hanging over the bottom edge.

I really love how these turned out and I have a bunch more in a drawer to make more storage containers with. The containers have labels that are hard to remove and leave the plastic looking bad so this allows me to make use of them instead of throwing them away. Also I like the things that I have out on my counter tops or shelves in my craft room to look nice so these are perfect. I did not use the lids as I wanted these to be open containers so I could grab what is in them quickly.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this idea inspires you to make use of something you would normally just throw away.

Hello Crafty Friends! Welcome to part 1 (part 2 will be in a separate post) of my Level 2 Challenge for the AECP (Altenew Educator Certification Program). For this challenge we were to make 4 masculine cards with specific themes (birthday, love/thinking of you, anniversary, and encouragement) as well as upcycle an item. The upcycled item will be in a separate blog post (part 2). We also needed to use components from the 20 classes I have taken so far for the program.

The components I chose are:

However I found that many components from lots of the classes I have taken worked their way into these cards and my upcycled project. An honorable mention is the Irrestible Inking Techniques class by Sara Naumann. Also I found that I was inspired by the classes to go above by being inspired by what they presented in class. Like using an ink pad direct to an embossing folder, cutting a stenciled image to add dimension, and using the emboss resist with the embossing paste and watercolor brush markers. I absolutely loved being inspired by all the wonderful educators who put on the 20 classes I have taken as part of this program.

For my first card I used:

  • I used Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes in Sand Dune and Espresso for the embossing folder image. I began by adding Sand Dune to a Distress Heavystock panel with a blending brush. The ones from Altenew are awesome but I don’t have one for each color family yet. The blending wasn’t perfect and that was on purpose. Next I placed this panel in my Deck Planks 3D Embossing Folder then ran it through my die cut machine. Follow your machines instructions for embossing folders as each are different. Also you need to decide what you want raised and what you want indented. I wanted the wood texture raised so I made sure I put my panel in correctly.
  • Next I used a blending brush and applied Espresso over the raised images and pounced the brush around to add texture with darker spots randomly around the image.
  • I then die cut 6 Hugs Circled Greetings from black cardstock. I used the Nesting Circles to die cut a frame around each hugs. I did both at the same time to save steps in the process. I layered 3 of these using liquid glue (I did this twice), then glued on set to a piece of acetate from my stash. Once dry I used scissors and cut the extra acetate away and glued this to the other set of black hugs.
  • I stamped a sentiment from the Sentiments Strips stamp set in Mocha using a stamp positioner. Without removing the sentiment, I cleaned it very well. Then inked it with VersaMark and inked over the top of the Mocha image. I poured clear embossing powder over the image and heat set it. This is my all time favorite technique from the Impressive Heat Embossing class. You can emboss any dye ink this way.
  • I trimmed down the wood panel and layered it onto a black panel using foam tape. I then used liquid glue to adhere my sentiment strip to my hugs layered die image. I trimmed off the excess following the circle. I used liquid glue to adhere it to my wood panel. Make sure to use plenty of glue as it is being adhered to an embossed images with ridges and dips.
  • This entire panel was then mounted to a heavy weight top folding card base using liquid glue.

Guys love nature and this card is my husband’s favorite of the bunch! I will be using this wood panel on several more cards for men. The acetate adds a little interest to the hugs circle die cut plus we used the die cut in another way than intended which shows its versatility. So look at your dies to see if there is another way to use them. They are an investment so it is nice to get more uses with them.

For my next card I used:

  • I began by using the direct to embossing folder (instead of direct to paper) technique. This is one of my favorite ways to use an embossing folder. I used the Diamond Stars 3D Embossing folder and Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes in Starlight, Tide Blue, and Turquoise. Instead of blending with blending brushes I started with my lightest color (Turquoise) ink pad and went direct to embossing folder being gentle so the ink only got on the raised part that I wanted. I then did the same with the Tide Blue making sure to overlap the two colors slightly. I then followed with Starlight. You can then dab each ink pad on a paper towel or cloth to make sure there is no residual color from the blending.
  • Then I ran this through my die cutting machine following the machine’s directions for embossing folders. I trimmed this down slightly so I could layer it on a background piece of cardstock.
  • Using a Large Blending Tool I used Starlight and blended the edges of a piece of Neenah Solar White Classic Crest 80lb Cardstock. I love this idea from the Easy Ink Blending Techniques class. It is such a fast and easy way to have a layer of cardstock match perfectly with the inks used on the front panel. Make sure to keep blending until you get the color saturation you want, as ink blending lays down a soft layer of color at first.
  • Next I die cut the Fancy for You Die from a piece of Holographic Cardstock and 3 more from white cardstock. I used liquid glue to stack these together for added dimension.
  • I stamped a sentiment from the Sentiment Strips Stamp Set with VersaFine Onyx Black Ink on white cardstock then quickly poured some clear embossing powder over it. Then I used an embossing tool to heat set it. Make sure to use an antistatic powder tool so your embossing powder only sticks where you want it to.
  • Once cool I cut my long sentiment into 3 sections. I placed my holographic For You on my embossed background panel with liquid glue. Then using foam tape and liquid glue I place part of my sentiment over the bottom of the For You and used foam tape to adhere the other two sections of the senitment below.
  • I added a little bling with some Silver Lining Sequins adhered with liquid glue. Then I used more foam tape to adhere the top panel to the background panel. This was then adhered to a top folding heavy weight card base.

As I learned in the For the Guys class, geometric cards are a winner for masculine cards. This class helped me get over my hesitation about creating cards for men.

My third card used the following:

  • I used blending brushes to color the tree line of the Mountain Scene Stencil with a Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cube in Mountain Pine and Rustic Wilderness Distress Ink. Make sure to clean your blending brushes off between colors if only using one brush per color family. I then lightly blended the tree line on masking paper and cut around the image very carefully.
  • I placed the mask for the tree line carefully over the top and used Starlight and Turquoise to blend a lake. I used Turquoise toward the middle and Starlight toward the sides.
  • Next I determined where I wanted my mountain scene to began on my main panel and used Espresso for one of the stencil images and Rocky Shore for the other of the mountain images.
  • I added some clouds with the Clouds Stencil and Sea Breeze ink. I used a very light hand when blending these clouds. I love this stencil from Altenew as it has such natural looking clouds.
  • I then cut my lake/tree image to fit the space at the bottom of the mountain and cloud panel. I used foam tape to add some dimension.
  • I then used a sentiment from both the Heartfelt Sentiments Stamp Set and the Sentiment Strips Stamp Set to make one sentiment for this card. I stamped them in VersaFine Onyx Black Ink and poured clear embossing powder over it. Then heat set it with an embossing tool.
  • This was then layered on to a piece of black cardstock and adhered with liquid glue in the clouds.
  • I put some Boiled Sugar Baubles on the lake and sentiment with liquid glue.
  • I then mounted this panel on a top folding heavy weight card base.

Men tend to love the outdoors and nature cards are always a huge success. Stencils are so fun and such a budget friendly supply. I find myself reaching for them more and my collection is growing fast. They are really versatile. You don’t always have to use them to make a one layer card. Cut them part out and add some dimension for some extra interest. Ink blending and stencils go together perfectly.

My fourth and final card, I used the following:

  • I first positioned the Fine Tulle Stencil over the Watercolor Paper, using some blue tape to hold it in place. Using a palette knife I spread Embossing Paste over the entire panel. I carefully removed the stencil. Make sure to quickly wash the stencil and palette knife as well as clean off your work surface. It is easier to remove the excess embossing paste when still wet.
  • I then quickly poured Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder over the embossing paste panel. After shaking off the excess I set the panel aside to dry.
  • While the panel was drying, I used a stamp positioner and stamped the XOXO from the Sentiment Strips Stamp Set multiple times with VersaMark Ink on a thin strip of Oynx Black Cardstock. I, of course, used my antistatic tool first. Using a stamp positioner allowed me to leave my stamp in place and just move the cardstock to get the line of images I wanted. I then poured Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder over the strip and heat set it with an embossing tool.
  • When the stenciled panel was dry, I used an embossing tool to heat set the embossing powder. I usually allow the panel to dry over night so it is totally dry and the embossing paste doesn’t bubble from the heat. This also takes some time to get all the embossing powder melted.
  • I then sprayed the panel with water and went direct to paper with my Watercolor Brush Markers. I randomly applied Persian Blue, Mountain Mist, Emerald and Sea Breeze pigments. The pigments moved nicely and I didn’t need to add any more water to get them to move together.
  • After this panel was completely dry, I cut it at an angle using a paper trimmer. I also cut it down on the sides so there was a nice white border. I then mounted this to a heavy weight card base.
  • Next I adhered my XOXO strip to the bottom angled part of my embossed panel with liquid glue. I then double stamped the Love and You from Parrot Tulip: Build A Flower Set with Starlight Ink using a stamp positioner. Double stamping allows you to get a more solid and darker inked image.
  • I then quickly cleaned my stamps and inked them with VersaMark Ink. I poured clear embossing powder over the image and heat set it.

Again, a geometric design for a masculine card. I love the dimension and shine from the embossing paste and embossing powder. Pictures do not do this justice. This takes the embossed resist idea from the Impressive Heat Embossing class up a notch by combining it with a technique from the Celebration Stencil Techniques class.

I will forever be greatful for all I learned from the For the Guys class. I learned to use what they love (geometric design and nature) and not get to over the top with their cards. The Easy Ink Blending Techniques made me understand that simple techniques (like edging a card, the amount of pressure used, or layers of color) can be very effective to take a card to the next level. Who doesn’t love to heat emboss. The Impressive Heat Embossing class reminded my of my love of emboss resist and gave me an all time favorite technique to make any dye ink embossable.

I hope you enjoyed these masculine cards and that you take a moment to check out all these great classes. Be sure to read my part 2 post with my upcycled project. I also share what led me to this journey with the AECP in that blog post.

Hello Crafty Friends! Today’s post is a special one for me. This card is for my 10th and final class for Level 2 of the AECP (Altenew Educator Certification Program). I am so excited to get started on my Level 2 challenge next. The Masking Unleashed class by Svitlana Shayevich was so helpful for me. I struggle with masking and Svitlana had some great tips to help me. Her basic masking and ink blending with masking helped me make this card look the way imagined it. I highly recommend checking this class out.

For this card I used the following:

I love that Altenew offers bundles with some of their stamp sets that include a stamp set, coordinating dies and masking stencils. I used the gorgeous Darling Rose Bundle for this one layer card. I don’t make one layer cards often but this card came together so perfectly in just one layer. I have always struggled with white areas next to a masked image. Svitlana had great tips to avoid this and it worked so great. I will be masking more often now. There are great masking papers available on the market but I just grabbed a 3×3 inch Post It Note that had sticky on the entire back of each note.

  • I stamped my first image from the Darling Rose Set with VersaFine Onyx Black Ink on Neenah 80 lb. cardstock. I also stamped this on to a post it note as I used more than one image. The bundle only comes with one masking stencil for the rose. I cut on the inside edge of the stamped rose on the post it note to create a second mask.
  • I put the masking stencil rose over my stamped image and stamped another rose next to it. I adhered my rose masking stencil down with a little tape. I followed this same procedure for the all leaves. I used a combination of the masking stencil and my post note masks to get the entire image stamped.
  • Once everything was stamped in black I used my masking stencils (both positive and negative) and post it note masks to mask off images around where I would be ink blending.
  • I ink blended the floral images with Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes in Peach Perfect, Rouge, Coral Bliss, and Pink Pearl using my I-Brush Ink Applicator Brushes. These are really small and fit the spaces perfectly. I made one rose image a little darker than the other.
  • I then used my positive and negative masking stencils to ink blend the leaves. I used Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes in Parrot, Moss, and Olive for these.
  • Once done I covered all the images in masks and ink blended a blue background in Sea Breeze around part of my images.
  • I left the masks over the roses and used the Jet Black from the Watercolor 36 Pan Set to splatter some black over the background and leaves.
  • Next I stamped the sentiment with some VersaMark ink and poured Antique Gold Crisp Embossing powder over the stamped sentiment and set it with a heat tool. Make sure to use an anti static product before stamping with the VersaMark so embossing powder doesn’t stick to anything but your sentiment.
  • I used some Satin Gold Sequins to add a little bling to the panel. I adhered these with liquid glue.
  • When dry I added this panel onto a top folding heavy weight card base.

I am so happy that the tips and tricks I learned in this class helped me get a great looking masked image. The masking stencils included in this bundle make masking a bit quicker and much easier. The masking stencils clean up really well by running them under water. I hope you are inspired to give masking a try. Thanks for stopping by!!