Altenew Academy: Beyond Basic Backgrounds

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s Beyond Basic Backgrounds class.

I was inspired by the additional card project that was shown for lesson 1. In the first lesson, the instructor Lydia made a stencil by diecutting multiples of the same flower die from a piece of cardstock, to create her own stencil. She then blended an ombre color scheme through the stencil onto another piece of white cardstock, and then stamped an outline flower stamp over the inked flower base layer. Her additional card project used a similar stencil to stamp multi-layer flowers onto cardstock. She then attached the stencil as an overlay, using foam tape, to add dimension. This is the approach that I used.

The stamp set that I selected had small flowers with both individual petals and leaves. I thought it would be pretty to create a cascade of falling flowers, with a few leaves and petals sprinkled in. I started by laying out the placement on my stencil, and then die cutting the various dies into the stencil. I used Neenah Solar White 110 lb Classic Crest for both the stencil and the background. I made sure to cut a few flowers hanging off of the top and side, to add some movement. Once I had my stencil cut, I used it to position the base layer stamps for the flowers, leaves, and petals. I used my Misti stamping tool to apply the stamped images through the stencil, so they would line up. After the first layer was stamped, I removed the stencil (to keep it clean) and finished stamping the reset of the flower, petal, and leaf layers.

After all the stamping was completed, I attached the stencil to the card front with dimensional foam tape. I used a Mother’s Day sentiment from my stash. To get a clear stamped image that wouldn’t rub off the Vellum paper, I found a similar color purple Pigment ink, and then used an iridescent embossing powder on top, and heat set it. I placed the sentiment band at an angle, and folded it around the stencil, cutting off the extra. The photo really doesn’t do this iridescent embossing powder justice. It was beautiful and very eye-catching over the purple ink, and really made the card. I added a few flat iridescent sequins to complete the card.

This technique would work fantastic with any small stamps that you have. It’s a great way to stretch the usefulness of any smaller stamp by repeating the image and adding interest with the raised top stencil piece. You can repeat the stamping in a set pattern, or stamp randomly, like I did. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you give this background technique a try – I’d love to see what you create! It’s a pretty straight-forward technique with impressive results!

Altenew products used:
Vintage Roses Layering Stamp Set
Vintage Roses Die Set
Crisp Dye Ink Sets – Enchanted Garden, Green Fields

ScrappyShak Design Team: Sizzix Eileen Hull Silverware 3-D Textured Impressions Embossing Folder

Hello crafty friends! Today, I’m sharing this card that I made for a ScrappyShak Design Team. My challenge was to use Eileen Hull’s Silverware embossing folder. And… as it just happens to be MY BIRTHDAY, I seem to have cake on my mind. I usually (I said usually) eat cake with silverware, so it seemed like a good fit.

I wanted to use the eroded metallic technique that Tim Holtz has been demoing recently. He uses various Distress Paints to color mixed media paper, dries the paint, then applies a thin layer of metallic Distress Paint. After that, water is applied, more in some areas, and the metallic paint is quickly dried. A paper towel is used to soak up the water and wet paint, exposing some of the base colors, giving an eroded metal look.You can find the technique in his YouTube video from 4/22/23.

I didn’t have any Distress Paints (placing my order to ScrappyShak today!), so I thought I’d try it with oxide inks. I applied some Oxide inks randomly to a piece of mixed media paper with a sponge blending tool. I then sealed the inks with Distress Micro Glaze, applied with a sponge blending tool. I wiped off the extra microglaze with a paper towel. I dried it slightly with a heat tool. In hindsight, it might be good to let it air dry for a while. I will try that next time. I think this yielded decent results, using what I had. What I learned was that after I applied the layer of metallic Brushed Pewter Distress Paint it began to dry quicker than I anticipated. It’s a quick process. Once you put the metallic Distress Paint down, you need to quickly add the water (don’t overthink it!), apply a few seconds of heat from a heat tool, then use a paper towel to soak up the wet paint. I know it will work better with the paint, but it worked okay for me with the sealed oxide ink. It might not exactly be the look I expected, but I like it for this card, and I’m glad I took time to experiment with this technique.

After the background was dry, I embossed my panel with the Eileen Hull Silverware embossing folder.

The sentiment for the card is from the Bold Text Halloweeen Thinlit dies – “I’m here for the candy”, but I replaced “candy” with “cake”, I have in the past found the letters that I needed to change the wording within the Bold Text die sets. Recently, I got the Alphanumeric Bold die set, which matches the font for all of the Bold Text sentiment die sets. I don’t believe ScrappyShak has the Bold Text Halloween in stock at the moment, but you can also find great sentiments in Bold Text #1 or Bold Text #2. Or, use a Birthday die or stamped sentiment that you already have. To add some dimension, I cut the letters out of white cardstock, and layered two layers underneath my teal cardstock. The cake is from the Celebrate Colorize Thinlit set. I used scraps to cut out the shapes, and used Bearly Arts glue with the precision tip to assemble the cake. Not quite as delicious as using frosting to assemble a cake, but easier to mail.

I hope you enjoyed this card. I had a bit of trouble with the lighting for the photography, as it’s been pouring and/or overcast for days here in Northern Virginia. Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Sizzix Eileen Hull Silverware 3-D Textured Impressions Embossing Folder
Sizzix Tim Holtz Celebrate Colorize Thinlits
Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits Bold Text #1 or Bold Text #2 (option)
Ranger Distress Oxide Ink Pad – Salvaged Patina, Uncharted Mariner, Peeled Paint
Ranger Distress Paint – Brushed Pewter
Ranger Distress Micro Glaze
Bearly Arts Glue with precision tip

Also used:
Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits Bold Text Halloween
Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits Alphanumeric Bold

Altenew Academy: Level 1 Final Challenge

Hello crafty friends! This was definitely what it was supposed to be – a challenge! Of course I may have overthought it, but I guess we shall see! I am participating in the Altenew Educator Certification program. You may have seen some of my posts as I worked through the Level 1 courses. After completing the courses, I am given a final challenge to complete in 3 weeks. That seems like plenty of time, unless your work life gets busy, and the gardens need spring clean up, and your kid is getting married, and… Well, you get it. There’s never enough time for creativity!

My challenge was to create a gift set of his and her cards, one masculine and one feminine, The cards were supposed to vary, and have a similar and cohesive theme. There had to be a total of 8 to 12 cards, and I needed to use one recycled element on the cards or in the packaging. I also needed to use and reference techniques that we used from 3 of the 10 classes we took for the Level 1 course. I could write a blog post or a video.

Although I used techniques from each one of the 10 classes that I took, I concentrated on techniques from Celebrations: Stencil Techniques, Easy Die Cutting Techniques, and All about Layering 4. I used ideas from Celebration: Stencil Techniques in all of my cards. These included dulling the stickiness of low tack tape, circular motions when ink blending through stencils, securing the stencil on the back of the cardstock, cleaning tools immediately, tinting texture paste with ink, using watercolor cardstock, using complementary colors, using anti-static powder, and heating vellum gently from the back. Easy Die Cutting Techniques reminded me to get the matching dies when available for stamp sets, use negative die cutting (shaker window), use shaker cards, and mix and match die cuts from different sets.Some of the techniques used in All About Layering 4 include snipping away parts of die cuts you don’t need, creating die cut stacked sentiments to add dimension, using both glue and foam tape to add dimension, coloring texture paste, and ink blending behind images.

To keep a cohesive theme, I stuck with one color scheme for each of the sets. For the feminine set, I used Altenew Crisp Dye Ink Sets in Rose Petal, Enchanted Garden, Green Fields, and Summer Afternoon. The masculine cards used Altenew Fresh Dye Ink Sets in Woodland Escape, Frosted Foliage, and Blue Mountains. I also limited myself to one stamp set and one die set for the focal points of each card in the feminine series. For the masculine series, I added one additional stamp set, so as to not have them all floral themed. All of the cards used white cardstock for the majority of the background. All of the cards used the same stencil in one way or another. 6 out of the 8 cards used the same Sentiment die set (Versatile Greetings – love this one!).

Let’s take a quick look at each card, starting with the feminine set. For the first card, I used the Square Weave Pattern stencil to dry emboss a piece of white cardstock for the background. I did not have an embossing pad for my die cut machine (Sizzix Big Shot), so I used a piece of fun foam under the paper, and laid the stencil on top of the paper. I ran this through my machine 3 times, using the standard plates. It’s very subtle, but also adds just the right amount of interest. I like the effect, and it’s a simple way to get more use out of your stencils, For the flowers, I used 110 white cardstock with the Sulfer Cosmos Layering Die Set. After I cut the dies, I placed them back in the negative space, and ink blended the petals, before gluing them together. For the purple base layer and “hugs” sentiment, I used the darkest shade, Andromeda, in Enchanted Garden direct-to-paper. The sub-sentiment is from Sentiment Strips 3 Stamp Set, and was stamped in black and then embossed with clear embossing powder.

The next card used the Golden Days stamp set with the coordinating dies. For the background, I dyed some opaque texture paste with Forest Glades ink, and then applied that through the stencil. After that dried, I layered the flower and leaves with dimensional foam squares that were two different thicknesses. The “sweet friend” sentiment was cut from cardstock to coordinate with the background, layered on top of a white diecut, and then popped up using dimensional foam squares which were cut to fit.

The “celebrate” card used the stencil to create an ombre effect for the background. I used the 3 lighter colors from the Rose Petal ink set. The main sentiment was cut from silver shimmer paper, and layered on to another white die cut. I glued that to the card, and then popped up the sub-sentiment, “Sparkle on, Darling”, from Sentiment Strips 3, with extra thick squares. I wanted the sub-setiment to be more prominent than the “celebrate” main sentiment. The smaller Sulfur Cosmos flower was lightly inked using the Summer Afternoon yellows and light greens from the Green Fields mini ink set.

The final feminine card is a shaker card. I had the idea to use vellum instead of clear acetate for the shaker window, just because I had never seen it done before, and I didn’t have any super interesting shaker elements. I stamped the outine from Golden Days in black ink, and then applied clear embossing powder and carefully heat set it, so as not to burn the vellum, I added a strip of paper that I had ink blended through the stencil, and then die cut the window for the shaker using the Golden Days die. Two leaf clusters were layered on top of the card around the window. After applying the vellum flower to the back of the cardfront, I created space for the shaker filler using foam tape, added the sequins, and then sealed up the card with a piece of pink cardstock, which would also serve as a border. I applied a few sequins and the “hello” sentiment from Versatile Greetings.

The masculine cards were made with a similar thought process as the feminine cards, but with the goal of having them be distinctly different. The first masculine card used the dry embossed stenciled background, only one of the Sulfur Cosmos flowers, and a different layout. The background border and sentiment were colored direct-to-paper with Redwood Fresh Dye Ink. Different thicknesses of foam sqaures were used to create dimension.

The second masculine card used opaque texture paste through the stencil, but the paste was colored with Eucalyptus from Frosted Foliage. I had originally thought I would use a different set of leaves on this card to mix things up a bit. I used the leaves from Jumbo Garden Picks Layering Die Set, lightly blending some Silver Sage onto one of the layers. I just wasn’t super pleased with the finished card, I ended up making some different leaves using the Golden Days stamp set and the Woodland Escape Fresh Dye Mini Ink set. This is way out of the box for me! Brown leaves? And it’s not Fall? Well, I actually liked them a lot better. Sometimes I have to walk away from my desk for a bit, and come back with fresh eyes. When I was a winemaker, we would talk about “palate fatigue” from too much wine tasting (without consuming). It’s like sensory overload for your tastebuds, and soon you’re not able to differentiate or determine flavor components. I suppose it’s the same with my eyes, or my brain. After a short break, I was happy with this card, and happy with myself from stepping out of my comfort zone.

For the next card, I decided to bring some black in. I used black shimmer paper to add a touch of sparkle, like my feminine Celebrate card. I blended Water Hyacinth, Alpine Aster, and Crystal Violet from the Blue Mountains Fresh Dye Mini Ink set through the stencil to create the background, and tried to stick with the rule of thirds, which I learned in one of the classes, but I can’t remember which one!

The last masculine card was a shaker card, again using vellum for the windows. This time I brought in a more “masculine” stamp set that I saw in the “For the Guys” course. This was maybe the hardest card to design, as I don’t tend to do a lot with critters or scene building (yes, there’s a good course for the too). I ended up making this shaker card with 4 different compartments. To try to line everything up as close to perfect as I could get, I used strips of paper between multiple square dies (from Sizzix Tim Holtz) to get my windows straight and evenly spaced. For the sentiment, I used this lovely Oscar Wilde thought (not Altenew). I put a small strip of ombre blended stenciled paper in the background to keep this card within my theme.

The final piece was to create a gift box for the cards. This is where I used my recycled component. I had a nice cardboard box that came with my Invisalign retainers. The top closes with a magnet. I had saved it because I thought I could store something in it, like colored pencils or something. Even though the cards didn’t exactly fit, they fit well, and I thought I could tie them in separate bundles with ribbon. The outside of the box was black. I decided to cover it with some beautiful Altenew Fabric I has gotten as a gift with purchase a while back. Since the fabric had a white background, I first covered the outside of the box with white cardstock, using Ranger Collage Medium. Then I ironed the fabric, turning under the edges to fit the box, and applied that using more collage medium. There happened to be an insert inside the box to hold marketing literature, which was a perfect place to put a little “For You” message, including a “handmade by Vicki Fedor 2023” stamp that was a bonus 9th Anniversary celebration gift from Altenew.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Wish me luck on passing this challenge! I appreciate you!

Altenew products used:
Craft-A-Flower: Sulfur Cosmos Layering Die Set
Golden Days Layering Stamp Set and Die Set
Square Weave Pattern Stencil
Geometric Menagerie Stamp Set
Sentiment Strips 3 Stamp Set
Sending Hugs Outline Stamp Set
Fancy Celebrate Die
Fancy For You Die
Versatile Greetings Die Set
Crisp Dye Mini Ink Sets – Rose Petal, Enchanted Garden, Green Fields, Summer Afternoon
Fresh Dye Mini Ink Sets – Woodland Escape, Frosted Foliage, Blue Mountains

Also used:
Hero Arts Literary Quotes Stamp Set
Sizzix Tim Holtz Thinlits Stacked Tiles Squares

Altenew Academy: Irresistible Inking Techniques

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s Irresistible Inking Techniques class.

I was inspired by the lesson on using an acrylic block as a background stamp. I had never tried that before. I happened to have a round acrylic block, and I thought that would be fun to use. Looking through my products, I found the Paint-A-Flower: Camellia Waterhouse outline stamp set. Each flower in the stamp was about the size of the acrylic block. I thought I would start my inking my circle block and stamping two circles with Warm Sunshine and Pink Pearl, and then stamp the flowers on top. I used watercolor paper, as I was pretty sure I would end up painting part of this card. I stamped the flowers in black ink, and then embossed with clear embossing powder, as the lesson suggested, to help keep the painting crisp.

I decided to paint the leaves with ink that I pressed out of the inkpads onto my craft mat, using the Green Fields Crisp Dye Ink set.. I applied the ink with a waterbrush. After I colored the leaves, I decided to leave the flowers as they were, simply colored with the acrylic block stamping. I used the acrylic block again to stamp the green background. Since the embossed edges of the outline stamp was raised, when I stamped the background with the acrylic block, the ink didn’t go all the way to the outline stamp, leaving a white highlight, which I liked.

I also used the spattering technique that was described in the course. As suggested, I created a mask for the flowers before adding the black and white spatters. I used gouache white paint and Ranger Distress Black Paint.

For the sentiment, I used the Fancy Hugs die, cutting one layer out of black cardstock, and two layers out of white cardstock, and stacking them up for dimension. I used a sub-sentiment from the stamp set as well, stamped in black in and embossed in clear. To finish the card, I added 3 orange gems and layered the panel on black cardstock, and then applied to my card base.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope you try some different inking techniques – I’d love to see what you create! I appreciate you!

Altenew products used:
Paint-A-Flower: Camellia Waterhouse Outline Stamp Set
Fancy Hugs Die
Crisp Dye Ink Sets – Tea Party, Green Fields, Summer Afternoon

ScrappyShak Design Team: Pink and Main Scratch-Off Gender Reveal

Hello crafty friends! Today, I’m sharing this card that I made for a ScrappyShak Design Team challenge. The challenge was to use any of the Pink and Main Scratch-Off stickers or sticker sheets. I came up with this idea for a gender reveal card that did not involve pyrotechnics. No person or animal was hurt while creating this card, and I suspect the same will be true when the gender is revealed!

I thought it would be cute to use balloons to reveal the gender. I used the Sizzix Tim Holtz Celebrate Colorize Thinlit dies to make some paper balloons, I had recently gotten the incredibly adorable Lawn Fawn Elephant Parade stamps and dies. The stamps include “It’s a girl”, “It’s a boy” and “Hello baby”. They’re small enough that they fit on the balloon. I just inked up the part that I wanted, and stamped away. I decided my gender reveal was going to be for a girl. I stamped “girl” on one of the balloons (a blue one… ha ha), and “baby” on the rest.

I wanted to cut out the Pink and Main Scratch-off sticker sheet to cover up the words using a circle die. You get both silver and gold Scratch-off paper in the package, and since you only need a little, I imagine the package would last a long time. I found this neat small circle die with a zigzag edge in the Sizzix Tim Holtz Postale set, which I thought was perfect for this. The Scratch-offs also come in precut circle stickers in silver, gold, and silver glitter, but they are about an inch in diameter, and too big for my balloons. I suppose I could have diecut them to be smaller too, but I didn’t think of that initially! I made an A2 sized card, and for my design I was able to fit 6 balloons. I could have made a larger card, with more balloons. Imagine a large table decoration with as many balloons as people invited to the gender reveal party! Everyone gets to scratch off a balloon until the answer is revealed! After I had used up my sample Scratch-off sticker sheet, I realized I didn’t have to use pink and blue balloons, and might have picked better colors. But it’s okay – you. do you – I’m sure you can come up with a prettier balloon bouquet for your card!

I used a Lawn Fawn stencil to add some grass with Mowed Lawn Distress Ink. I stamped an elephant from the Lawn Fawn Elephant Parade stamps onto a piece of watercolor paper that had been inked with several layers of Lost Shadow distress ink, and then used the coordinating die to cut him out. I also added a banner that I stamped “It’s a” and then added “…” in black marker. I added a background border with a dry embossed piece of printed paper that had been in my scrap pile for years, and a few clear confetti sequins.

I hope you enjoyed this card. I think it’s kind of brilliant, but I bet it’s been done before, like everything else! Well, I haven’t done it before! Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Pink and Main Scratch-off Sticker Sheets
Sizzix Tim Holtz Celebrate Colorize Thinlits
Sizzix Tim Holtz Postale Thinlits
Lawn Fawn Clear Stamps Elephant Parade
Lawn Fawn Lawn Cuts Dies Elephant Parade
Distress Ink Pads – Mowed Lawn, Lost Shadow
Bearly Arts Glue with precision tip

Also used:
Lawn Fawn Grassy Stencil

ScrappyShak Design Team: Tim Holtz Blossom

Hello crafty friends! Today, I’m sharing this card that I made for the ScrappyShak Design Team. I’m not gonna lie, it took me a couple days or three to finish this, so don’t think I just sit down and this happens! 🙂 There’s lots of try this and maybe that, with some good old prying off foam tape and trying again. I’m pretty happy with how it came out in the end.

To start off, I planned on using the Tim Holtz Sizzix Blossom Die. I know it’s pretty big, so I was leaning towards a bigger card, like a 5×7. But first, the flower… I picked dried marigold, scattered straw, and antique linen to start. I colored some watercolor paper with those inks, and also inked some paper with mowed lawn and rustic wilderness, which I was planning on using for the leaves. I also did a piece of iced spruce, just to see if it would fit in for the background. After messing around a bit, I decided the flower was going to be too washed out. I colored some paper with rusty hinge, and liked where that was going. It felt better with the colors for the leaves. So for the flower, I was going to use the rusty hinge, scattered straw, then dried marigold. When I cut those layers out, the dried marigold seemed too washed out. I put that piece back in the negative space of the watercolor paper, and blended some spiced marmalade over it. That looked better. Fitting the die back into the negative space helped to keep all the detailed edges from getting out of shape when I blended over it. I colored some scraps with walnut stain ink and gathered twigs oxide for the center of rhe flower.

I really wanted to use that piece of Iced Spruce, but it just wasn’t working in my mind. Maybe too outside the box for me? I decided to try my go-to blue background, Stormy Sky. I colored a piece of watercolor paper, then ran it through my machine with the Dotted embossing folder, and rubbed some lost shadow oxide ink, direct pad to paper, over the raised dots. This showed up better before it dried, but I’mn happy with how the lost shadow just lightly highlighted the dots after it dried.

I got a little stuck with how to finish up the card, but lucky for me, my ScrappyShak order arrived! I had ordered some of the new idea-ology papers and ephemera and stuff! Yippee!! Because I knew this was going to be a blog post eventually, I wanted to be sure that the card would be something you could reproduce. So I kept the stuff I added to the card to just the Backdrops #5, the Ephemera Palette Pack, and the Quote chips, so you don’t have to purchase the whole release like I did!

This is the fun part for me, pulling out things that I like, or just things that are the right color. I picked an orange piece from the Backdrops #5 pack, as well as a darker blue floral piece. I thought I’d layer them for the background. I also used a piece of the dark blue paper to cut a die from the older Crochet set to add some feminity to the card. I used my favorite squiggle from the Media Marks dies to add some more orange. You can use whatever you have, if you don’t have these same sets. The goal was just to add a layer of something interesting with a touch of coordinating color. You could add some small cirles instead. You could even use the center flower dies to cut some circles out of a coordinating color. Use your imagination! Look through what you have! Shop your stash!

I really wanted to use the oval photo of the young girl reading the book that is in the photo above. But, in the end, it just didn’t seem to work with this card. I chose another piece (this moth) from the Palette Ephemera pack. It sort of has that same neutral silvery blue color that iced spruce has, that I had wanted to use in the beginning. I used the new Large Fasteners on the Quote chip, but I actually just used them as a decoration, and used foam squares to attach the quote chip to my card. I wasn’t sure exactly where I wanted to put it, so this way was more flexible. I could wait until the end.

I hope you enjoyed this card, and I hope you can add some of the new idea-ology items to your stash. It’s so much fun to have more color! If you can only add one thing, I’d suggest the Backdrops Volume #5, because you can always cut it up, and get lots of use out of each piece. Easy to say of course, I had a hard time cutting it because I didn’t want to use up all of my favorites! Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Blossom die
Tim Holtz Sizzix Dotted Embossing Folder
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Backdrops Volume #5
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Ephemera Pack Palette
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Quote Chips
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Large Fasteners
Distress Ink Spray Stains – Rusty Hinge, Scattered Straw, Stormy Sky, Rustic Wilderness, Mowed Lawn
Distress Oxide Spray – Gathered Twigs
Distress Ink Pads – Walnut Stain
Distress Oxide Pads – Spiced Marmalade, Lost Shadow, Dried Marigold
Bearly Arts Glue with precision tip

Also used:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Crochet Dies
Tim Holtz Sizzix Media Marks Dies

ScrappyShak Design Team: HBD with Celebrate Colorize

Hello crafty friends! I wanted to share this card that I made for the ScrappyShak Design Team. I was inspired by the Sizzix Celebrate Colorize die set by Tim Holtz. And, it just so happens to be my hubby’s birthday next week! SHHHH! Don’t tell…. it’s a surprise!

After picking the die set, and the format for the card (slimline), I started working on a color scheme. At first I thought red and blue, because I just had to have a red balloon (I’m a Stephen King fan). But I didn’t want to be all July 4th red and blue. Also, in an effort to keep it simple, I decided to go through my paper stash instead of inking paper myself. I found some lighter blues that seemed to work together for the hat (you need 4 shades). I found some lighter mint green paper that I liked for the present, but I only had two shades of paper. I got another shade by blending a little Cracked Pistachio Distress Ink onto the lighter paper. I also didn’t want all the colors to be too light, like baby colors, so I picked a darker yellow.

I assembled the party hat, the present, and a couple balloons. The rest should be easy, right? Pick and background and a sentiment, and boom! you’re done! Well, this was the hard part for me. I decided to have three parts to the design, the hat, the present, and the balloons. To anchor them, I cut out 3 rectangles with an older dies set – Stacked Deckle. You could also use the Deckle Trimmer to cut similar squares or rectangles, or use any other geometric die you have. I can’t even remember how many different colors I cut before I settled on off-white. I tried black, white, green, darker blue, lighter yellow, light orange… nothing seemed to look good behind all of the diecuts. I also tried to add texture to the off-white rectangles with an embossing folder, but that just got too crazy busy in my opinion for this card. The light orange for the rectangles wasn’t so bad. That’s when I thought maybe orange would be a good background.

Before gluing anything down (I’ve learned my lesson!), I was trying to find a place for a sentiment. Nothing seemed to fit. I had an idea to use “HBD” instead of spelling it out, so I started playing around with the new Alphanumeric Bulletin dies. What colors? Here we go again… but, it’s just paper! After walking away a few times, I convinced myself red would balance out the balloon and make it seem not so out of place. I used yellow for the outline. These things are tiny! You will want to either back your cardstock with double sided adhesive before you diecut the letters, or make sure you have some good, thin, glue with a precision tip applicator. I love my Bearly Arts glue. It worked great for this.

After I got the HBD aligned as good as I could and glued down, I played around arranging the other diecuts. I decided to add another balloon – blue. I attached the dies to the card using foam tape for dimension.

I don’t usually make slimline cards. My mind words in A2. But I felt I needed more space to add all the elements I wanted to add. For the base of the card, I cut an 8.5″ by 7″ piece of Neenah Classic Crest Solar White in 110lb, and folded it half. The orange base was 8.25″ by 3.25″. I built my card design on the piece of orange cardstock, and then glued the panel onto the base.

This really wasn’t a difficult card, it just took me a while (days) to figure out the colors, mostly. I wanted a color scheme that would not be absolutely feminine, but could be used for anyone. And, I wanted it to be fun! I will be making duplicates of this card while I have all of my paper scraps out. It does go together fairly quickly and easily. When I do finish a card that I start from scratch, and I’m happy with the results, I like to make a few more to have on hand. Then it seems like the time I spent figuring it out was well spent! (of course it was well spent, I enjoyed it!)

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Celebrate Colorize dies
Tim Holtz Sizzix Alphanumeric Bulletin dies
Distress Ink Pad – Cracked Pistachio
Bearly Arts Glue with precision tip

Also used:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Stacked Deckle dies – try the Torn Edge Deckle Trimmer instead

Altenew Academy: Easy Die Cutting Techniques

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s Easy Die Cutting Techniques class.

I was inspired by the technique of inlaying a die cut into another piece of paper. This course also taught the technique of using a die cut for dry embossing. I didn’t have an embossing pad to do that technique, but I was inspired to use the inlay technique, and then emboss with an embossing folder. It’s a pretty simple technique, and definitely gives a unique look to a background. I think I’ll definitely be using this again in the near future.

I used the Craft-A-Flower Sulfur Cosmos Layering Dies as my focal point. Since I wanted to inlay the leaves into the background, I needed to figure out the placement of the leaves before I cut them into the background. First, I diecut the bottom layers of the flower so I could figure out the placement of them, then tuckes the leaf dies into place. When I was happy with the layout, I taped down the leaf dies onto my blue background, and then ran it through my diecutting machine. I then used the same dies to cut the leaves out of green cardstock. I adhered the blue cardstock to a piece of white cardstock, and then glued the green leaves into the corresponding spaces. After the glue was dry, I ran the panel through an embossing folder that had a nice leaf pattern, to give the whole background some leafy texture.

I decided the pink cardstock I had selected for the flowers at first was a little too dark, so I picked a lighter one and cut out the flowers a second time. I randomly darkened parts of the petals with a blending brush and some dye ink. I guess I could have done a better job at shading where they should be shaded… maybe there’s a class I can take on that! After assembling the flowers, I curled up the petals a little to give them a little more dimension. I used Versatile Greetings for the “thanks” sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope you try this fun inlay-then-emboss technique! I appreciate you!

Altenew products used:
Craft-A-Flower: Sulfur Cosmos Layering Die Set
Versatile Greetings Die Set

ScrappyShak Design Team: DIY 3D Woodland Animal Kit

Hello crafty friends! I wanted to share this project that I made for the ScrappyShak Design Team. My Design Team friends and I were asked to make something with a potential new product line that Melanie, the owner, was exploring. The products are these adorable Woodland Animals that are laser cut out of Bass Wood. They are easily assembled into a 3D animal. Melanie had three different animals for us to use in a project: a deer, a bear, and a fox. I was drawn to the fox, as my new rescue pup is about fox sized, and has similar colors in her red brindle fur. Below is a photo of what the deer and the bear kits look like, and of course the fox kit is similar.

These kits are not yet available, but if you love them, we’d love to hear from you! They may be available soon, depending on feedback and interest from the Design Team posts. Please email if you’d like to pre-order some of these! I used Distress paint, inks, and crayons on this wood with good success. It’s beautiful quality. I am more of a paper crafter than a painter… I considered using paper to cover the wood pieces before putting them together, but thought it would probably require a whole lot of cutting. For this project, I went with inks and paints.

I started by coloring my fox. I thought Rusty Hinge would be a great fox color. I tried painting some spray stain onto a scrap piece of the wood first, to make sure the wood would take the ink, which it did. I knew I wanted parts of the fox to be white, but white ink is hard… it’s never as intense as I want it to be. I didn’t think it would cover the wood as well as I wanted it to. Instead, I used Picket Fence Distress Paint, again testing a bit on a scrap piece of wood, before potentially messing up my fox. I thought I should apply the paint first, as it’s permanent when dry, and I can always adjust the ink with water if I had to. So I painted Miss Fox where I thought she should be white, and then added Black Soot Distress Paint to the tips of her ears, her nose, and her feet. I should say that I didn’t put her together until the end. I painted each “puzzle piece” separately, but had to fit them together at times to figure out how the colors should line up, like her cheek fluff. After the paint was where I wanted it, and dry, I painted the rest of her with Rusty Hinge Distress Spray Stain. After that was dry, and I removed any stray marks with water, I assembled her with a tiny bit of collage medium. Later, I used Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to add some shading around the edges to give her a bit of a primitive look. I suck at painting, and I can’t draw a straight line or a circle to save my life! I considered making her look more fur-like, adding different paint, or maybe texture paste, but I know when I’m out of my league! I didn’t want to make a mess, so I stuck with simple.

I thought Miss Fox would fit perfectly in the largest of the Square Vignette boxes. I wanted her to be sitting in a field of flowers. I started by creating a sky background, and then planned to add flowers with die cuts. I hadn’t figured it all out yet… I was kind of just winging it, which I have learned is not the best way to go, but I continue to do so anyways! For the background, I used Stormy Sky Distress Spray and Tumbled Glass Oxide Spray. I was happy how it came out, so I cut it to fit, and glued it inside my box. Then I thought… I should add a sentiment, or an inspiring quote… make this a pretty little decoration for a desk or a shelf. But… my glue had dried already. I tried stamping my sentiment inside of the box, but that was just a hot mess. No worries, it’s just paper. I took a step back, and made another sky colored piece for the inside of the box, but this time I stamped it before gluing it in the box. I stamped the sentiment (which was an older Hero Arts stamp) using my Misti and black VersaFine Ink, then embossed it with clear embossing powder.

I wanted to use the new Brushstroke Flowers Mini dies to make the flowers. This took longer than I thought… the pieces for the flowers are soooo tiny! All of the piece to complete each type of flower are on one die. If the flower has three layers, you would either have to run the same die through your machine with each different color (for example, light pink, dark pink, and yellow for the big rose type flower in my project), or use white cardstock and color each piece individually. This is what I did. Since the pieces are so small, to hold them in place, I used a piece of Sticky Grid underneath, and left the die cuts in the negative space. This helped to hold them while I colored them, and I didn’t lose anything. I used Distress Watercolor Pencils and a waterbrush to color the die cut pieces. I chose to use the watercolor pencils because they are highly pigmented, and I knew they would give me some nice, rich colors for my flowers. I scribbled a little pencil onto each piece, and then blended it out with the waterbrush. I didn’t worry about being precise here, and I think being a little “free” with the coloring added some interest to the flowers.

The leaves in the Brushstroke Flowers Mini set are teeny tiny as well. I wanted something to fill up more of the space, so I went back to an older die that I had in my stash, the Flower Field die. I colored some watercolor paper with Rustic Wilderness and Mowed Lawn, made a couple die cuts out of it, and attached them inside of the vignette box, wrapping them up the sides as well. If you don’t have this die, you could certainly use any kind of flower stems you might have. Or use the leaves that come in the set, and cut strips of paper for the stems. There are lots of different ways to achieve a similar look. It’s the fox and the flowers, and the sentiment, that will draw people’s attention. Use what you have!

To finish up, I covered the outside of the box with idea-ology Paper Stash paper, and used Design Tape to finish the front edge of the box, for a clean look. Of course at the very end, I thought I should have added Tiny Lights! Another reason not to glue anything down until the very end!

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
ScrappyShak D.I.Y. 3-D Woodland Animal Kit: Fox
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Square Vignette Boxes
Tim Holtz Sizzix Brushstroke Flowers, Mini
Distress Crayon – Walnut Stain
Distress Spray Stain – Stormy Sky, Rustic Wilderness, Rusty Hinge
Distress Oxide Spray – Tumbled Glass, Mowed Lawn
Distress Paint – Black Soot, Picket Fence
Distress Watercolor Pencils – Sets 1 and 2

Also used:
Tim Holtz Sizzix Flower Field
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Paper Stash
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Design Tape – Butterfly/Papillon/Mariposa

ScrappyShak Design Team: My Bunny Valentine

Hello crafty friends! OOPSIE! I wanted to share this card that I made for the ScrappyShak Design Team BEFORE Valentine’s Day, but I just found this post hanging out in my Drafts folder… I had shared on Social Media, but forgot to finish my blog post! It stinks getting old, that’s for sure!

The idea for this card started with the bunny, and thinking of him leaning back in recline, munching through a box of chocolates. He’s just so darn cute! Then I thought of the Easter Bunny, who obviously loves candy. What would he be doing on Valentine’s Day? Well, he’d probably just be there for the candy, and thanks to Tim Holtz, there’s a die for that! It’s in the Bold Text Halloween set.

I started by making a bunch of candies from the Tim Holtz Sizzix True Love Colorize Dies. I used colored cardstock to speed things up, as opposed to coloring my own paper. I wanted my bunny to be holding a candy with a bite out of it, so I made one without the wrapper, and cut some bunny teeth marks in it. After making the candies, I got the idea to use the top of the candy box heart in the True Love set on my card, and die cut the words out of it. I used Victorian Velvet to color a piece of watercolor cardstock, and used the Bold Text Halloween sentiment. I wanted a brownish red for the background of the card, so I used Fired Brick Distress ink, leaving room to layer over Kraft cardstock for a border.

I made the bunny to coordinate with the chocolates. I started with white Canson XL watercolor paper, and colored it with Brushed Corduroy and Vintage Photo Distress inks, using the several layers of ink for interest.

All that was left to do was to add my bunny and chocolates to the card, and finish off with a little distressing around the edges.

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Products used, available at ScrappyShak:
Tim Holtz Sizzix True Love Colorize dies
Tim Holtz Sizzix Bunny Stitch
Tim Holtz Sizzix Bold Text Halloween
Distress Ink Pads – Vintage Photo, Brushed Corduroy, Fired Brick
Distress Oxide Ink Pads – Victorian Velvet