Inky Creations with April

Sharing my love of handmade cards and papercraftting

Hello Crafty Friends! I am here with another Altenew class project. Heat embossing is so much fun and so was the Impressive Heat Embossing Class taught by Svetlana Marchinko. She had so many great ideas. I used a couple of her techniques for this card. I did some layered heat embossing on my thank you die to give some shine and dimension and I did some emboss resist with my image.

Here is what I used for this card:

I love the simplicity of this card and its bright pop of colors. Emboss resist is so much fun. You can use white or clear embossing powder on a white panel for this technique. If you use white make sure to wipe the inks of the embossing when done blending.

  • I prepped a panel of Distress White Heavy Stock with an anti static bag, then stamped my floral image from the Camellia: Paint a Flower with VersaMark ink. I poured Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder over the stamped image. Next I heat set it using an embossing gun.
  • I don’t have the small blending brushes from Altenew yet so I used my I Brush Ink Applicator Brushes to apply Crisp Dye Ink (Fresh Lemon, Honey Drizzle, Firefly, Grass Field, Puffy Heart Magenta, Crimson) to my image. When done I wiped off excess ink with a microfiber cloth.
  • I die cut the Simply Thank You three times with black cardstock. I layered these with liquid glue. When dry I used VersaMark to apply ink over the entire die cut image then poured Crystal Clear Embossing Powder over the image. I heat set the powder using an embossing tool. Very quickly I applied more embossing powder over the image again to add another layer then heat set. This step was repeated a total of 4 times.
  • I cut down my background panel and stamped a sentiment from the Sunflower: Paint a Flower set under where I would place my Thank You die with Magenta Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cube.
  • I then mounted this panel on a piece of black cardstock with foam tape. This was all then mounted to a heavy weight card base.
  • I adhered the black Thank You on the card and some White Satin Sequins with liquid glue.

I love the dimension and the smoothness of layered embossing on a die cut. I hope this card brightens your day and makes you want to create something beautiful.

I only have a few more classes for my Level 2 with the Altenew Educator Certification Program. I have loved all the classes and how much this experience has made me grow both creatively and personally. It is good to step out of our comfort zones from time to time. Thank you for being there with me through this journey.

Hello crafty friends!  I hope everyone is doing well.  The Polychromatic Class by Nina-Marie Trapani at Altenew is a great class.  It was fun to see of her ideas for use of multiple colors on a card.  I always love a good rainbow so I instantly knew I would to use Nina’s idea of putting warm and cool colors together to create an awesome rainbow background.  I am really enjoying the classes offered on the Altenew Academy and have truly enjoyed my journey with them as I work my way through Level 2 of the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP).  I highly recommend checking them out as there are classes for all levels of stampers. 

This card was so fun and uses an awesome cover die that compliments the rainbow background so well. 

For this card I used the following:

There are multiple blending options available to create this background panel.  So use what you have (blending foams or blending brushes).  If you use blending foams you can get a little deeper color saturation but I used blending brushes. I don’t have the small blending tools from Altenew yet so I grabbed my Taylored Expressions brushes for this background.

  • First I grabbed a rainbow of colors in Crsip Dye Ink Mini Cubes from Altenew.  I used coral bliss, snapdragon, maple yellow, grass field, tide blue and deep iris. 
  • Using blending brushes from Taylored Expressions, I blended the inks in rainbow order starting with the cooler tones (deep iris, tide blue and grass field) then the warmer tones (maple yellow, snapdragon and coral bliss).
  • I kept layering more color and blending until I was happy with the color saturation and blend on the panel.
  • I used the Layered Geo Cover Die B and die cut it 4 times from Neenah Solar White Classic Crest 80 lb. cardstock.  I layered those to create dimension using liquid glue. 

I did spend several minutes debating on where to place the thank you.  After asking my husband’s thoughts on placement, I decided on placing it off center.  Also, my adhesive of choice is liquid glue.   I luse both tubes and glue pens.  I use several brands of both types.  I like that liquid glue gives me a little time to manipulate things into place and most have a nice strong bond. 

Thank you so much for stopping by today.  I hope this rainbow card inspired you to create something colorful and cheerful.

Hello Crafty Friends!  Today I have a card I made for the Altenew Color Your Day class.  This class is taught by Therese Calvird and is a must take class.  She presented how to use color on a card perfectly.  It really made me think about composition more when creating.   I loved her idea of using a neutral color with bright colors to really make them pop.  I couldn’t wait to use my Altenew Watercolor Brush Markers to create both the background and the images.  

For this card I used the following:

I love the Watercolor Brush Markers from Altenew.  I have 2 sets and can’t wait to get the other two.  I love that they can be used in so many different ways.  I tend to be a bit heavy handed with the pigment so I try to reach for them every chance I get to practice.  For this card I actually started very light with the floral images, then dried in between layers and layered color until I was happy with the image. 

  • For the background panel, I sprayed a panel of Distress White Heavystock with water so that it was fairly wet.  I then lightly applied my pigment with the Evening Gray Brush Marker to get color all over the panel. 
  • Using pigment mixed with water and pigment straight from the brush marker I continued to add color using vertical strokes until I got the look I wanted.  I set this aside to dry.
  • After stamping the floral image and leaves a few times on the Canson Watercolor Paper, I used a water brush to add water to an image. 
  • I worked on one image at a time, using my Water Color Brush Markers from the Spring Garden Set to add pigment.  I used Rubellite and Autumn Blaze for the flowers and Moss for the leaves.
  • I started with very little pigment and let that spread into the water.  After adding pigment where I wanted I used my Heat It Craft Tool to dry between layers.  I added layers of the pigments to the images until I was happy with they way they looked.
  • I left small amounts of white space on my images as suggested by Therese in this class.
  • Those were set aside to dry while I finished the background panel and sentiment strip.
  • Using the Evening Gray water brush marker, I gently squeezed some pigment into the bristles of the brush marker and flicked some splatter on the background panel only.  I set this aside.
  • Using a scrap of black cardstock, I prepped it with an anti-static powder bag before stamping my sentiments with VersaMark ink.  I then poured Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder over the stamped image and heat set it using an embossing gun.
  • To assemble, I added foam tape to my flowers and my sentiment strip. I placed the flowers in the upper left corner and used liquid glue on my leaves to place under the flowers. The sentiment strip was placed on the bottom part of the background panel.  Then I adhered the panel to a top folding heavy weight card base using liquid glue.

Therese talks about how to balance colors on a card by using percentages of each color. I tried to stick to this with this card and I loved how this card turned out. I hope you enjoyed today’s card and that you go create something beautiful today.  Thanks for stopping by.

Hello Crafty Friends! I had so much fun with Altenew’s Creative Watercolor Media class taught by Jennifer Rzasa, Debby Hughes and Laura Bassen. They used Altenew’s products in such awesome ways. I don’t have some of the supplies they used so I made a few adjustments to get the same results. I loved the idea of watercoloring using the metallic shimmer sprays which I don’t have yet, so I used Watercolor Brush Markers mixed with Perfect Pearls. This gave a great shimmer to the gorgeous pigments in the brush markers.

For this card I used the following:

I decided to add a couple of the ideas from this class to this card. I did ink smooshing but used ink pads spritzed with some water and watercolor brush markers with some Perfect Pearls.

  • I started with my background panel. I smooshed some Sea Breeze and Turquoise ink on a craft mat then lightly spritzed with water. I then grabbed some recycled packaging from a stamp set and used it to pick up the Sea Breeze and applied it on the panel. I used a heat tool to dry this then added the Turquoise to add some dimension to the panel. I did this until happy with the background. Once this was dry I cut down the panel a little so I would have a white border when mounted on my card base.
  • On some watercolor paper I used VersaMark Ink to stamp a couple flowers and some leaves from the Semi Double Chrysanthemum: Build a Flower Set. Then used Antique Gold Crisp Embossing powder to emboss the images. As always use an anti static powder tool on your cardstock before stamping your images.
  • Next, I grabbed my Spring Garden Watercolor Brush Set and pulled the Warm Sunshine, Autumn Blaze and Moss markers. Then from the Tropical Fiesta Watercolor Brush Set I pulled the Crimson, Sunkissed and Fresh Lemon markers.
  • I dropped some pigment from each of these on my craft mat then added a tiny amount of Perfect Pearls to each drop. I mixed all of these well. It does not take much powder to make the pigment shimmer.
  • Using a watercolor brush I added some clear water over the images so I could do a wet on wet watercoloring technique on the images using the pigment mixed with Perfect Pearls.
  • I started with the lighter colors for both the flowers and the leaves and added depth with the darker colors. When I was happy with the images I set them aside to dry.
  • While those were drying, I stamped a sentiment from the Semi Double Chrysanthemum: Build a Flower set with VersaFine Onyx Black ink on the ink smooshed panel.
  • I then used the Blue Gold from the Starry Colors Set to add some gold splatter to the panel.
  • When everything was dry, I added the flowers and leaves directly to the background panel. Then used some foam tape on the background panel to add it to the front of a top folding heavy weight card base. I did trim off the edge of one leaf that was overhanging my card base.
  • As a final touch, I added some Satin White Sequins to the card.

I am not sure if Chrysanthemum’s grow with this orange color scheme, but when I use flowers on my cards I use whatever colors I am drawn to that day. I hope you have a great day and that you create something beautiful. Thank you for stopping by.

March 9, 2021

Hello Crafty Friends! The With a Twist class taught by Therese Calvird had some great ideas for doing something a little different and fun to a card. As I worked my way through the class, I knew I wanted to make this a guy card. This led me to doing something in honor of our son in law who is a fireman.

For this card I used the following:

Therese’s ideas for putting a twist on a card were hard to choose from but I decided I needed to make a shaker card. I loved the idea of a see through shaker card as this allowed me to show more of the images and sentiments from the Firefighter Heroes set.

  • First, I decided where I wanted my opening and chose a circle die for my front white panel. I ran this through my die cut machine.
  • I then took this panel and placed it in the Diamond Stars 3D embossing folder, then ran it through my die cut machine. Follow the directions for your machine’s sandwich for embossing folders.
  • Then I placed this panel on the front of a black side folding card base and drew in where the circle needed to go using the white embossed panel as a guide. I then ran the black card base with the circle die through my die cut machine. Make sure to open your card base so you only cut the front of the card base and not through both the front and back.
  • Next, I added acetate to the back of my white embossed panel and to the front of my card base over the circle openings using a strong adhesive.
  • I added a layer of foam tape to my front panel and carefully poured some of the Charming and Blizzard embellishments in the middle of the circle on the card base. Then I carefully placed the front panel over this paying close attention to line up the 2 circles.
  • I added a cut down white panel to the inside back of the card base so there is a nice white space to write on.
  • Using the Crimson Crisp Dye Ink mini cube I stamped the helmet and fire hydrant on white card stock. These were both cut out using the coordinating dies. I also die cut a helmet out of black cardstock as well.
  • The sentiment for the front of the card was embossed using Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder on black cardstock. Make sure to prep your cardstock by using an anti static bag so you only get embossing powder where you want it.
  • I adhered the stamped helmet on the black helmet allowing half of the black helmet to peak out from under the stamped image. I adhered this to the front of my panel then used some foam tape to pop up the heat embossed sentiment next to the helmet.
  • Next I stamped a sentiment in black on the hydrant. Then carefully adhered the fire hydrant on the inside panel so you could see most of the hydrant in the window of the shaker when closed and made sure the sentiment was in the center of the circle.
  • I then adhered several of the Midnight confetti mix from Honey Bee Stamps around the card.

Guy cards are always a struggle for me but I loved how this one turned out. We are very proud to have a fireman in our family and we are grateful for his service to his community. I hope you enjoyed this card as much as I enjoyed making it. Thank you for stopping by. Go out and create something wonderful today.

March 3, 2021

Hello Crafty Friends! Welcome to my blog. I always love to learn new ways to use my products and create backgrounds. It is great to be able to stretch products that we have. The Beyond Basic Backgrounds class by Lydia Evans on the Altenew Academy gave so many ideas to create awesome backgrounds. I loved all the ideas I got from this class.

For this card I used the following:

Who doesn’t enjoy a good ombre effect? So I jumped at Lydia’s idea for making our own stencil and blending a beautiful ombre background. I reached for purples for this card which I absolutely love but do not grab often enough.

  • I used a variety of blending brushes as I don’t have a complete set from Altenew yet. Although I highly recommend Altenew’s Ink Blending Tools. I started with Soft Lilac, then Lavender Fields, Deep Iris and finally Midnight Violet Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes.
  • When I finished I removed my stencil and set the panel aside to dry as I would be heat embossing on it. I wanted the ink to be really dry so I didn’t end up with specks of embossing powder all over my panel.
  • While the panel dried, I stamped a couple layers of flowers from the Primrose Layering Stamp & Die Set using all the purple mini inks that I ink blended with. These weren’t at saturated as my ink blended panel so didn’t need much time to dry completely. I also stamped some leaves using Parrot and Olive Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes
  • I grabbed that ink blended panel that I set aside to dry and used an anti static powder bag over the entire panel. I then stamped the outline image of the flowers over all the ink blended flowers. I stamped using an acrylic block so all images weren’t perfect but that was fine with me. After I was done stamping all the images with VersaMark ink, I used Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder from Altenew over it then embossed with a heat tool. My heat tool, that is 18 years old, is started to give out on me, please share with me in the comments which embossing heat tool you use.
  • I did the same thing with my flowers and leaves. I did emboss the flower centers for these individual flower images as well.
  • I then used the coordinating dies to cut out my flowers and leaves.
  • Using Lavender Fields from my 36 pan Watercolor set from Altenew, I created splatter on my background panel and flowers.
  • I cut my background panel down and layered it on a cut down panel of Simon Says Stamp Slate cardstock.
  • Using a sentiment from the Peony Layering Stamp & Die Set, I created a sentiment strip. The stamped sentiment was mounted on Slate cardstock. I then mounted that on my background with foam squares.
  • I tucked my flower images around the sentiment strip using more foam squares. The leaves were then nestled around the flowers and mounted directly on the background panel.
  • The entire background was mounted on a top folding heavy weight card base. I then sprinkled some Arctic Breeze Pearls from Studio Katio around my card for some sparkle.

I had a ton of fun making this card and loved the end result. I chose not to trim the images that were hanging over my card base and will put this card in a larger envelope if needed. Honestly, that small decision took me thinking about it overnight. I hope you got some inspiration from this card and go out and create something beautiful.

February 28, 2021

Hello Crafty Friends! At the beginning of February I received the awesome news that I had passed my Level 1 challenge for the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP). I am so excited to be continuing on to my Level 2 classes. I took a little time to focus on my picture quality and some slight changes to my blog. I am happy with the progress I made but still have lots of learning to do. However I needed to take some time to focus back on my classes and creating, so here I am with my first post of my level 2 classes.

In the Mood for Color by Stephanie Klauck was very interesting and made me stop and think about how we react to colors. For this card I used:

I choose blues and greens for my card to invoke calm, tranquility as well as soothing aspects. I love that this card is simple and peaceful. Using the watercolor brush markers is still a learning process for me so I grabbed them to get myself more comfortable using them.

  • For the background I used my watercolor brush to put down lots of water all over my background, then applied Sea Breeze Watercolor Brush Marker to it. I let gravity pull it down as well as added more color in a few areas. When I was happy with the results I set this aside to dry.
  • Next I applied a generous amount of water to a couple pieces of watercolor paper ( I have all my papers cut down to A2 size and in a drawer ready to go when needed). I used Limeade Watercolor Brush Marker and Lime Watercolor Brush Marker on these panels to get a nice variety of color and dimension on my final product.
  • I once again applied a lot of water to another panel and very lightly applied some Evening Gray Watercolor Brush Marker to add just a hint of dimension to the flower petals when die cut. You can barely see it in the end results but it does make a slight difference.
  • After all panels were dry, I used my stems, leaves and flower petal die cuts from the Snowdrops Layering Die set to cut lots of all of them. I cut way more than I needed and just put the leftovers in my sleeve with my set for future projects.
  • After assembling my flowers I arranged them plus the stems and leaves on my cut down background panel. When I was happy with the arrangement I glued them all to the background panel. The new Altenew 2 in 1 Precision Glue Pen would be perfect for this. This glue pen is going in my next order.
  • Altenew has great sentiments in all their stamp sets to choose from. I had a had time chosing one. I stamped my chosen sentiment from Playful Plumeria on some white cardstock with black ink. Then mounted that on some slate grey card stock.
  • I mounted this sentiment over the bottom of my leaf and stem cluster with some foam tape. The bottom was a bit unsightly so this was a perfect way to hide that.
  • The Aqua Shimmer Pen added just a hint of shine to all the flower petals. The two different Nuvo drops in Morning Dew and Simply White were the perfect finishing touches.
  • This panel was mounted directly on a heavy weight top folding card base and set aside to dry.

I really enjoyed making this card and loved the feel of it once it was completed. I hope you found a little inspiration from today’s post and go out and create something wonderful. Make sure to check out all of the Altenew Academy Classes on their website. They have a ton of great ones to take. Thanks for joining me.

January 19, 2021

Hello Craft Friends! Welcome back. If you read my previous post you know that I am completing my Level 1 Final Challenge for Altenew’s Educator Ceritification Program. As previsouly mentioned in my Part 1 post, I had several things I needed to accomplish for my challenge. Today I am presenting you with my “Hers” cards and my packaging for all the cards. I had a ton of fun making the group of “Hers” cards. I chose my color scheme and sketched out my cards before beginning. I do not always sketch my card designs but for a project this size I found it very helpful. This set of cards are some of my favorite cards I have made in some time. The color palette is perfect for florals.

For this group of “Hers’ cards I focused of techniques and ideas for All About Layering 1 and 2 (layering of stamped and stenciled images), Let it Shine (embossing, glitter and sparkle pens, sequins), Irresistible Inking Techniques (ink smooshing, stamping parts of layered stamps). Honestly after taking all ten classes that were required for Level 1 of the AECP, I found I used bits and pieces from most classes on both sets of cards.

For my first pair of “Hers” cards, I grabbed my Trellis Stencil and the Cora Louise Peony Build a Flower set. I reached for some pinks and peaches for the flowers. I used Peach Perfect, Pink Pearl, Rose Quartz, and Pink Diamond Crisp Dye Ink mini cubes for blending over the stencil on the backgrounds for both cards. On one background panel I only blended on part of the card instead of the whole thing. Using some tape, I use painters tape, to hold down the stencil over your card panel before blending helps hold everything in place while you blend.

The first card I used all layers from the Cora Louise Peony Build a Flower set. I started by stamping the detail images in black ink. I then grabbed some Grass Field, and Shadow Creek Crisp Dye Ink mini cubes for the leaves. I then stamped other layers of the flowers in Blush, Pink Diamond, and Rubellite ink. For the center I used Sunray and double stamped it to deepen the yellow. Then I grabbed the coordinating dies and cut the flowers and leaves out. Using foam tape and glue tape I adhered the flowers to one side and corner. I stamped the sentiment on some white cardstock with Versamark ink after I used an anti static product over it. I then used Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder and heat tool to emboss my image. This was mounted on some black cardstock then used some foam tape to pop it up and placed it on my card panel. I mounted the entire panel on a top folding heavy weight card base. I trimmed off the overhanging images, then used a Gelly Roll sparkle pen to add some shine to the centers of my flowers. Getting sparkle and glitter to show up in photos is very hard but there is just a little sparkle in each flower center.

The second card I used the panel that was only partially blended. However, I did not use the outline stamp for the flowers or the leaves. This is a fun technique that I learned in the Irresistible Inking Techniques class. It totally changes the look of the images. I used all the same colors to stamp the images as on the first card and used the coordinating dies to cut out the flowers and leaves. I again used foam tape and glue tape to mount the leaves and flowers onto the card panel. I placed them diagonally over the line where I stopped ink blending the background. I then stamped my sentiment directly on the background panel in black ink. I then added some sparkle to all the leaves with a Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen. This was then mounted on a side folding heavy weight card base.

For the next pair of cards I did my favorite technique, ink smooshing. I used Pink Pearl, Peach Perfect, Pink Diamond, and Rubellite Crisp Dye Ink mini cubes for this. I once again grabbed an old stamp set or die set packaging. I have an entire drawer full of these as I save them all when I put my new sets in storage pockets. I smooshed the ink colors on my Glass Media Mat and spritzed with a little water. I then used the packaging to pick the colors up and placed around my card panel. After these dried, I used the Trellis stencil once again. This time I used it to emboss into the card panels with my die cutting machine. Look up how to emboss with your die cutting machine and follow their sandwich suggestions. I do use an extra cardstock shim with embossing with a stencil as they are pretty thin.

I used the Beautiful Day set to stamp the gorgeous flower and leaves for both cards. The flower outline images were stamped with black ink and I only used the most detailed layer with Rubellite, Puffy Heart or Pink Pearl for the flowers. The leaves were done the same way but I used Shadow Creek for the detail part. I made lots of the flowers and leaves so I could complete both cards in the pair. Unfortunately, I do not have the die set that goes with this, so I had to fussy cut all the images out. On the first one I grabbed a flower stamped with Rubellite for my center focal point. I cut the background panel down a little before using a strip of Pearlescent Vellum to wrap around the center point of the background panel. I cut my vellum a little longer so it wraps around the panel and I can then use adhesive on the back to hold the vellum in place without the adhesive being seen through the vellum. My sentiment was from the Label Love set. I used my Misti Stamping Tool to stamp with Rubellite first then directly over that with Versamark Ink. Then added clear embossing powder and a heat tool to make my sentiment shine. I love this trick I picked up in the Let It Shine class, I use it often. The leaves got a little sparkle with a Gelly Roll Sparkle pen before I used foam tape to mount the flower and leaves right in the center of the panel. Sentiment was layered on some black cardstock before being mounted directly on the panel. I used fun foam behind my panel and mounted it all on the front of a heavy weight card base.

The embossed image made by the stencil can barely be seen in the photo but it is gorgeous in real life.

The other card I mounted some Pearlescent Vellum on the right side of my cut down background panel. I lined three of my flowers up along the seam of the vellum. I popped 2 flowers up with foam tape and glued the other flower and all the leaves directly to the card panel. I heat embossed a sentiment from the Daffodil Paint a Flower set using Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder and a heat tool on white card stock then added this to some black cardstock. It was mounted on the panel with some foam tape. The entire background panel was then mounted to a top folding heavy weight card base.

My last pair of cards for my “Hers” set features the Layered Dahlia A &B Stencil. I used Puffy Heart, Pink Diamond, Pink Pearl, Grass Field and Shadow Creek Crisp Dye Ink mini cubes for these backgrounds.

On the first card I blended over the entire stencil paying close attention to the different parts of the image. I blended the pinks and peaches over the floral images and the greens over the leaves. I started very soft for the first layer (stencil A). Then carefully I layered the second stencil (B) over the image and used darker colors and more pressure to get all the details. After I was done, I used the Scalloped A2 Frames from Honey Bee stamps to cut out the center of the panel. I mounted the outside of the panel directly on my side folding heavy weight card base then used foam tape to pop up the center panel. I stamped my sentiment from the Clover Build a Flower set with Versafine Onyx Black ink and added clear embossing then heat set on white cardstock. Of course I used an anti static powder bag before stamping. I love the shine of embossed images on my cards. I mounted this on a piece of black glitter cardstock from the Memory Box Frosted Glitter pad. I mounted this with some foam tape directly in the center of my card. I added a sprinkling of Altenew’s Satin White sequins.

For my last card and the second of this pair. I used Puffy Heart, Pink Diamond, Pink Pearl, Grassfield, and Shadow Creek inks to blend the image on two opposite corners for this card. I only used parts of the stencil on this card as well. The All About Layering 1 and 2 classes not only help a ton with lining up layering stamps to get perfect images but I used those same tips with this stencil layering set. I stamped a sentiment from the Columbine Build a Flower set with some Versamark ink onto prepared white cardstock then used Antique Gold Crisp Embossing Powder and a heat tool to emboss the image. This was mounted on some Pitch Black cardstock. The background panel was trimmed down then mounted with fun foam on a top folding heavy weight card base. Then I popped up the sentiment with some foam tape and added a few Satin White Sequins around the card. At this point the card was way too simple for me so I looked around my desk and saw some leaves from one of the other cards, so I tucked these under a corner of the sentiment and covered them with Spectrum Noir Sparkle pen.

My final part of this challenge was to create some packaging for all these beautiful cards. I grabbed an old cereal box and decided to make a card sized magazine box to put them all in. I came up with the measurements on my own as to what was needed for them all plus envelopes to fit.

I did have to make a few adjustments as I went but in the end came up with ones that worked perfect.

After everything was cut and scored, I used double sided tape to secure it all in place. I wrap all my Christmas presents in kraft wrapping paper so I grabbed some of that and carefully wrapped the box. I dug through my crafty stash and found some ribbon and bakers twine to make the box look cute. I have a very large stash of ribbons and twines so this took a while. In the end I chose a burlap like cream ribbon and soem bakers twine in pink, green, and blue with white. I adhered the ribbon with some double sided tape and tied the twine around the box with a cute bow.

I wanted the packaging to be simple as I think the best part are the 12 cards inside. I have several friends who would be thrilled to receive this as a gift.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. I hope you learned a little something from the 12 cards I made for my AECP Level 1 Final Challenge. Go out and create something great!

January 18, 2021

Hello Crafty Friends! As most of you know I am participating in Altenew’s Edcuation Certification Program (AECP). After completing all the classes for Level 1, I was given a final challenge. So I have been busy working on this challenge the last few weeks. The final challenge was to create a cohesive group of “His” cards and a cohesive group of “Her” cards. I needed to include 3 components from the classes. I was to create packaging for the cards using a recycled element in either the packaging or cards.

I began by picking color schemes for both my “His” and Hers” cards, then sketched ideas for my cards. I had decided to complete 6 cards for each set and have 3 pairs within each set that have similar backgrounds. Also, I decided to break this up into 2 blog posts to cover all 12 of these cards plus my packaging.

For my “His” cards I used what I learned in the For the Guys (geometric, cool color palette, interactive), Easy Ink Blending Techniques (background blending over stencil, emboss resist), Irresistible Inking Techniques classes (ink smooshing) and Celebration Stencil Techniques (tinted embossing paste). I focused on simple, geometric, and fun for these cards. I threw in a spinner and shaker card plus some texture on these.

For my first pair of “His” cards I used the Kaleidoscope A stencil and ink blended over the stencil with Sea Breeze, Starlight, Firefly, and Grassfield Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes. The Altenew Ink Blending Tool blends colors so easily and is perfect for this type of blending.

On this first card I went for an interactive fun card. Spinner cards are always fun to make. I used a circle die from the Waffle Flower Nesting Circle Die Set to cut a circle in the stenciled card panel and the front of the card base. I mounted the circle I cut out on the inside of my card base so it would show through when closed. I used the Circled Sentiments set to stamp and emboss two sentiments. I stamped each sentiment using Starlight and Grassfield. I used a circle die to cut each out. I found some old silver thread in my crafty stash and sandwiched that between the two sentiments. Using some strong adhesive, I used the thread to place my sentiment spinner in the center of the open circle on my front stenciled panel. Once it was nice and straight I mounted that on the front panel matching the circles in the front panel and the circle cut earlier on the front of the card base. I grabbed the “You Are” from the Primrose Build a Flower set and embossed that with Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder on black cardstock. I used foam tape to pop this up. Before putting this card in an envelope to give to someone, make sure you twist the sentiment many times so that it spins when the card is opened.

The second card of this set, I let the stencil be the star. I use sentiments from Carnations Paint a Flower set. One I stamped directly on the card panel and the other on some Pitch Black Cardstock with some Versamark Ink then heat embossed with Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder. Always make sure to use some sort of an anti static product on your card stock before stamping what you want to emboss. This keeps the embossing powder from sticking to more than just the image. To finish this panel I added some Glossy Accents. I cut this card panel down quite a bit and mounted it on some Pitch Black cardstock before adding it to a heavy weight top fold card base.

The next pair of “His” cards uses a fun inking technique. I did some ink smooshing with Firefly, Grassfield, Starlight and Sea Breeze Crisp Dye ink mini cubes. I smooshed each color on my Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat. I then used old stamp or die packaging to pick up the color after I lightly spritzed the ink with some water. I put all my stamp sets and dies in stamp storage pockets when I get them, but I keep all the packaging they come in for this technique and others. I used the recycled packaging to pick up the colors from the glass mat then put it on a white card panel. I like this way of ink smooshing as I have more control of where the colors go. I wanted this to be bright and vibrant.

I used one of these panels to make a fun shaker card as guys like interactive cards. I used a Waffle Flower A2 layer Dies to cut a rectangle in the center of the card panel. Then I trimmed this down so I would end up with a nice white edge. I put some mirror card stock from Tonic on my card base so it could be seen through the shaker window. I added some acetate behind my opening on my front card panel. Then I used some White Satin Sequins mixed with some Simon Says Stamp Chameleon Sequins to fill my shaker that was framed out with a double layer of foam tape. Make sure to use a little anti static powder on the foam tape edges next to the shaker window. Do this before you remove the backing. This helps to allow the shaker contents to move around and not get stuck to the edges of the foam tape. Label Love stamp set is the best set ever. I stamped my sentiment from this set in black ink. I used some foam tape to pop up the sentiment before mounting the whole thing on a card base.

For the other card I added some angles and let this gorgeous background stand out. I cut my panel at an angle that I liked and mounted it on the front of a card base leaving a small white border around the outside. My sentiment was put together using part from Spider Mums Paint a Flower and part from Primrose Build a Flower. Part was embossed on a thin piece of Pitch Black cardstock using Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder. I carefully cut the angles to match the card panel I had already mounted and adhered it to the card base as well. Then I stamped my last entiment above this black strip in black ink. Super simple but a favorite.

My last pair of cards both use the Halftone Stencil, but 2 different techniques were used with it. For the first I did some emboss resist. After using an anti static tool, I used a blending tool with a foam round to apply Versamark ink over the stencil and pressed pretty hard to make sure the ink got in the holes really well. I then applied Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder before heat setting with a heat tool. Then I ink blended with Firefly, Grassfield, Sea Breeze and Starlight Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cubes over the embossed background. After I was finished ink blending I used a microfiber cloth to wipe over the panel to remove the ink from the embossed image. I then took several sentiments from Label Love and stamped them in black ink. Then used clear embossing powder and a heat tool to make them shine. These were mounted on the card panel with some foam squares. I cut down my background panel and mounted it on a cut down black card panel. I used liquid adhesive to mount this on fun foam before mounting to a heavy weight card base.

For my last card and my favorite card of the set, I again used the Halftone Stencil. I loved this technique from the Celebration Stencil Techniques class. After smooshing some Firefly, Grassfield, Sea Breeze and Starlight ink on my glass mat I mixed some of Altenew’s Embossing Paste with each color. Make sure to wipe your tools off between colors. I used a palette knife to mix mine as well as to apply it. I randomly placed the colored embossing paste over my stencil which was over a white card panel. I spread it evenly with my palette knife before removing the stencil. Wash your palette knife, stencil and work surface immediately so the embossing paste doesn’t dry on any of it. After letting the panel dry I cut an angled section out of the panel leaving room between the top and bottom for a sentiment. I then careful placed my two cut sections directly on a black card panel in my Misti Stamping Tool. This allowed me to know exactly where to stamp my sentiment. I used Carnations Paint a Flower for my sentiments. One was stamped in Versamark Ink directly on the black card panel and the other on a thin strip of black cardstock. I used Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder to emboss these images. Foam tape was used to add dimension to the stenciled background sections with the thin black sentiment strip mounted directly to the bottom section. This was then mounted onto a card base.

I love the way this group of simple “His” cards came together. I tend to struggle with cards for men/boys and the For the Guys class on the Altenew Academy really has helped me a ton. I hope you learned something today and are looking forward to seeing my “Hers” blog post. Have a great day making something fun.

December 29, 2020

Hello crafty friends! I am finally on my last card for Level 1 of the Altenew Education Certification Program (AECP). If you want to learn more and stretch yourself with card making this program is something to look into. I highly recommend it. This Seasonal Scene Building Class taught by Nichol Spohr is awesome. She is such a talented card maker but her scene building cards are amazing.

Succulents are a favorite of mine. I have a ton of them all over my house, so I grabbed the Be Strong stamp set from Altenew to build my scene. Any set with flowers or plants in pots would work great for this card. I had just received this set in an order so wanted to use it and the succulents are so cute.

This card had some masking involved and Nichol gave some great tips for masking in the class. I also love how she taught us how to lay the scene out with our stamps so we know which ones will be in the front as those are the first ones I stamped in black. I then put my mask over the top of those. I just stamped my mask in some black ink on some masking paper I had on hand but Altenew just came out with their own Masking Paper which will be in my next order. I have seen it used in You Tube videos and I can’t wait to try it. I then fussy cut out my mask before placing it on my images. Be sure to cut on the outside line of the image so your mask doesn’t leave white space when you stamp your next image. I built my scene using several masks to get some tucked behind others.

After stamping all my images including my Hello Friend, I grabbed my 36 Pan Watercolor Set from Altenew and a couple paint brushes in sizes 2 and 4. I only used the 4 to add the shadows at the bottom of the pots. Watercoloring is totally outside my comfort zone. I need to spend much more time practicing and playing with my watercolors but I felt they were perfect for this card. I took several shades of green, orange, brown, pink and red to mix together for the different parts of my scene. I mixed each color until I had what I was looking for for each pot and plant. The mixing of colors was new for me and I loved it.

I cut this panel down and layered it on a side folding Simon Says Stamp Fog Cardstock base with foam tape. I sprinkled a few Satin White Sequins from Altenew over my watercolored panel and that was it.

Although I still have lots to learn about watercoloring and scene building, I really like how this card turned out. I hope it inspired you in some way and you try masking to build a scene on your next project. Have a very Happy New Year!!