Altenew Academy: Seasonal Scene Building

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s Seasonal Scene Building class by Nichol Spohr.

I must say I was slightly intimidated by this class… I mean… Nichol Spohr was the instructor! I’ve admired her work since I started papercrafting again. But I found the sessions very informative, and not intimidating at all. She shared some good tips and helped me to understand her thought process. She’s a great instructor.

There were 6 lessons in this class. I chose to make a card using the masking techniques that Nichol shared in the first lesson. I love this Goldfish Pond set from Altenew. It was the first set I purchased from Altenew. I have a small garden pond of my own, and have always been drawn to water and fish.

For the first layer, I stamped the center goldfish, the flower, and the underwater plant on the right. I stamped again onto masking paper, cut out the images, and applied the masks. Next I stamped the darker lily pads and the other two fish. I made a mask for the lily pad with the flower, and then finally stamped the last lily pad and the rock/grass cluster.

Before removing the masks, I added the stamps to color the fish, using the Summer Afternoon Crisp Dye Ink Mini cube set. I colored in the rest of the images with Copic markers, using no skill whatsoever! I added a sentiment from the stamp set, masking off part of it. Finally I cut the panel down and added a piece of blue green cardstock as a border, before attaching the panel to an A2 card base. I added some water droplets as bubbles.

I debated making this into a shaker card, but I really wanted to focus on the masking process. We have a saying in our house – “No apologies for food”. This keeps me from being overly critical with myself. “I think there’s too much salt… I should have used a lower temperature… I think the bottom stuck…” I’m adding a new one: “No apologies for cards”, so I won’t be overly critical with my lack of Copic coloring skills, or a misaligned layer, or a couple random smudges. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit, right?

The course inspired me to practice my masking technique, and to break out my copic markers, two things that I generally avoid at all costs. I enjoyed the lesson on the window cards, as well as the shaker scene. I will definitely use a window in a project very soon. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Altenew products used:
Goldfish Pond Stamp Set
Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cube Set – Summer Afternoon

Altenew Academy: Celebration: Stencil Techniques

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s Celebration: Stencil Techniques course by Laurel Beard.

This was a fun class, and I really enjoyed combining several of the techniques discussed during this class into this card. In fact, I absolutely love this card, and it’s probably the first card I’ve made for myself, hence the “yay!” sentiment. I just love the watercolor effect that I was able to achieve with the the Blooming Flower Bed stencil set from Altenew.

I wanted the background to be blue, so I flipped over the last stencil, nunmber 3, the one with the leaves, and carefully applied 3 different shades of blue from the Lapis Lazuli mini ink cube set. I used the direct method from ink pad to stencil, pressing down to release some ink, but making sure not to catch any of the stencil cutouts on the ink pad. I randomly added Ultra Marine, Eastern Sky, and Iceberg until I felt I had covered the stencil. Then I misted the stencil with water, let the colors flow together, flipped it back over, and laid it on top of a piece of watercolor paper that I had cut to the stencil size (6×6). I put a piece of paper towel over the top, and pressed lightly, to get the ink off of the stencil and on to the paper. I carefully lifted the stencil off the paper, and thought, there’s a hot mess! But, as they say, you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit! The results are the first photo above. I cleaned off my stencil, and then placed it on the paper again, this time right side up, so I could blend on the leaves and the flower stems. I used Forest Glades green and Paper Bag.

I went back to stencil number 1 to do the flowers. I smooshed some Warm Sunshine ink onto my craft mat, and then added Distress Crackle Paste in Translucent, to color the paste yellow. I applied this through the stencil in a light layer, and then waited for it to dry. For the last stencil layer, I added yellow and clear Stickles glitter glue through the stencil. I picked part of the design, and cut a 4×5.25 inch rectangle for my card front, layered a piece of green cardstock behind it, and attached it to a white A2 card base.

I just loved how this background came out… very loose and almost Monet-esque. I chose the “yay” sentiment, cut from some green patterned paper, layered with 2 white diecut layers, and offset with another white layer.

The course inspired me to use several differnet stencil techniques, including stamping with the stencil to achieve the watercolor background, and using texture paste which I first colored with ink. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Altenew products used:
Bloomin Flower Bed Stencil Set
Fancy Yay Die
Crisp Dye Ink Mini Cube Sets – Lapis Lazuli, Green Fields, Summer Afternoon

Also used:
Distress Crackle Paste, Translucent

Altenew Academy: Let it Shine

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s Let it Shine course.

I found this to be an interesting course, and really reminded me of all of the different ways to add shine and sparkle to a card. I may have overdone it on this one, because I used a bunch: hot foiling (hello), silver embossing powder (Sparkle on, Darling), a strip of “glimmer paper”, and finally some highlighting on the flower with a ZIG Wink of Stella brush in clear. I tried to balance all of the sparkle with a matte black card front, a mostly white flower, and the vellum leaves. I’m pretty pleased at how it came out.

Not often do I immediately know what color scheme I want to use with a card, but this one came together in my mind before I even sat down at my desk. For the shine, I wanted to use silver. That made me thing of black paper, with white flowers, to really make it stand out. I wanted to give the flowers a hint of greenish yellow, so I thought of Distress Ink in Shabby Shutters. I’m sure there’s an Altenew ink color that is similar, but it wasn’t in the front of my mind, like the Distress colors are.

I used the Altenew Craft-A-Flower: Sulfur Cosmos Layering Die Set for the flower and the leaves. The set comes with two flowers. I used the smaller one. I die cut all of the pieces with a piece of watercolor paper first. Then I placed the die cuts back into the negative space to hold them, so I could lightly blend some ink onto them with a mini blending brush, staying mainly in the areas that would become the center of the flower. I also used a foam blending tool to lighly apply color to the edges of the petals. Wanting to keep the card on the “clean and simple” side, I used vellum for the leaves. To finish the card off with just a touch more sparkle, I added clear Wink of Stella brush marker highlights along the die creases in the flower petals.

The course inspired me to use a bunch of shine-producing techniques on the same card, in a hopefully balanced way. I used the rounded corner and strip of glitz down the left side of the card that the course instructor demonstrated. I really love the Craft-A-Flower layering dies from Altenew. They go together very easily, as they have a keyhole cutout in the center that helps you line everything up in the right orientation. It couldn’t be easier! The flowers are gorgeous as well, so you just can’t go wrong. One flower is large enough to create a beautiful focal point for your A2 sized card, or use both for a really impressive look!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Altenew products used:
Craft-A-Flower: Sulfur Cosmos Layering Die Set
Versatile Greetings Hot Foil Plate Set
Sentiment Strips 3 Stamp Set
Tim Holtz Distress Ink – Shabby Shutters, Scattered Straw
Tim Holtz Distress Heavystock – Black
ZIG Wink of Stella Brush II – Clear
Deco Foil – Silver
Ranger Detail Silver embossing powder

Altenew Academy: For The Guys

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s For The Guys course.

I send cards to guys, and in general I try to pick more “masculine” colors, but not all of the time. I don’t think most cards are gender specific, but I do understand the idea of more of a masculine theme. I had seen and purchased the new Altenew Fresh Dye Inks. When I first saw them together, a blue violet set, brownish pinks, and sage greens, I got a masculine vibe. I also loved how they coordinated together. So, I chose to use all three Fresh Dye Ink mini cube sets for this card. I wanted to use flowers, but incorporate the tips and suggesions that were shared in the course. I was inspired to go with a geometric theme, and used the lovely String Panel cover plate die from Altenew. To add more of a masculine flair, I cut the die out of wood veneer cardstock. I think using lots of texture or different mixed media can help give a card a masculine feel, and this wood veneer cardstock seemed perfect. It’s surprising to me how well it cuts, and how well it stays together, even when using fine detail dies. I cut the die twice, and turned one piece 180 degress to get more of a pattern.

For the flowers, I chose the Jumbo Garden Picks Layering Die Set. I made all of the four flowers, but in the end, decided to use two of them, with one leaf sprig, sticking to the idea of three elements.

I cut the flower pieces out of Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110 lb. cardstock, as I like to blend on this paper. After I cut the pieces, I placed them back into the paper, and held them in place with low tack tape on the back of the paper (that’s the green). This helped hold the pieces so I could use domed blending foam to apply the ink. It’s very helpful when you are trying to color the smaller pieces especially.

I had the idea of added the sentiment to one of the leaves instead of cutting a strip of paper for it. I think it turned out well. The “BE FEARLESS” sentiment strip in all caps seemed on the masculine side to me. When I was arranging the flowers and leaves on my cardfront, I thought it would look cool to layer some of the String Panel over and under the flowers. I played around with it until I liked it, then applied low tack tape to the top of all of the pieces to hold everything in position, flipped it over, and added glue and foam squares to the back. Then, when I flipped it back over in place onto my card base, everything stayed where I wanted it. After the glue sets, you can carefully peel the tape off the top of your card.

The course inspired me to use geometric elements, color combinations that had a masculine feel, and interesting paper (wood vaneer) to create this card. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I appreciate you!

Altenew products used:
Jumbo Garden Picks Layering Die Set
String Panel Cover Die
Sentiment Strips 3 stamps
Fresh Dye Ink mini cube set in Blue Mountains, Woodland Escape, Frosted Foliage
Sequins in Satin White

Altenew Academy: Easy Ink Blending Techniques

Hello crafty friends! Today I’m sharing a card that I made after participating in Altenew Academy’s Easy Ink Blending Techniques course.

I had just purchased the Layered Medallion Stencil Set from Altenew, and wanted to try it out. This is a nice larger stencil, 6×6 inches. I thought I would only use a small portion of it on my card, but I went ahead and blended the whole stencil (almost) on a half sheet of Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock. This is my go-to white cardstock for doing anything other than watercolor techniques. I wanted to use some lighter color inks for blending, as there are two stencils in this set that layer on top of each other. Parts of the layers will blend together; some parts will show either the top or bottom color, or the cardstock color. I picked a Tim Holtz Distress Oxide ink pad in Speckled Egg to start with. I only have Altenew inks in the mini cubes, and I find it easier to fill my brush with color from a larger ink pad. I also wanted a break from Christmas and winter colors! I chose to use blending brushes, because they’re more precise when working with a stencil than using a foam applicator. As I began blending the Speckled Egg through the first stencil layer, I thought it was a little lighter than what I wanted. I wanted to make sure there would be nice contrast, so I decided to blend Salvaged Patina on the other half of the first stencil layer, gradually blending the colors together in the middle.

For the second layer, I went with yellows, knowing the places where they overlap will become green. I used two Distress Oxide yellows: Squeezed Lemonade and Mustard Seed. I blended them 90 degrees different than the blues. For example, I blended the blues from lighter to darker, right to left, and then I blended the yellows from lighter to darker, top to bottom, This gave me lots of options for the piece I wanted to use on my card.

For the focal point, I stamped some yellow flowers using the Painted Flowers stamp set. For the flower leaves, I used the new Fresh Dye Ink Mini Cube ink pad set in Frosted Foliage. I thought these colors complimented the green colors in my blended piece. I wanted the flowers to stand out a little more against the stenciled background, so I used some tone on tone white leaves that I cut from the Jumbo Garden Picks die set. The sentiment is from the Best Setiments stamp set. This was stamped in black ink directly on the card front, and then embossed in detail clear embossing powder. I used a tape runner to attach the stenciled strip to the card front, glued down the leaves, and used foam dimentional squares behind the flowers. The card front was mounted onto a teal blue panel to compliment, and a few clear faceted gems were added for interest.

The course inspired me to really take my time while I was doing my ink blending. It also inspired me to experiment with layering colors while blending, and to try something different with my color combinations. I also was more aware of how the ink blending looks different after it has a chance to dry. In my experience, it did look quiet a bit better. This is a great reason to take your time, use many lighter layers of ink, and have patience when blending.

Altenew products used:
Painted Flowers stamps and coordinating dies
Best Sentiments stamps
Jumbo Garden Picks Layering Die Set
Layered Medallion Layering & Background Stencil Set
Fresh Dye Ink mini cube set in Frosted Foliage

Altenew Academy: Clean and Simple Boutique Cards

Hello crafty friends! This course was a challenge for me – Clean and Simple…. I never know when enough is enough! This is also the first time I’ve tried foiling. I haven’t yet made the plunge into getting a hot foil machine, like the Glimmer from Spellbinders, but I’m hoping I was very good this year, and Santa helps me out. I did not know you could foil without a hot foiling machine or laminator by just using the Deco Foil Transfer Gel Duo, but you can! All you need is your die cutting machine to apply pressure. It worked like a charm, and opened up a whole new realm of possibilities!

I used Deco Foil Transfer Gel Duo through the Fairy Wings stencil from Picket Fence. Once the paste was dry, I used the “no heat” method of applying the Opal foil using my die cutting machine. I was completely amazed at how easy it was, and how well it came out!

I was inspired to make this card by the colors in the Opal foil. It’s hard to see in the photos, but there is a really pretty light shade of pink. I decided to keep the laves the same color as the background for the “clean and simple”. I used the large flower from the Golden Days stamp set, and the Cherry Blossom Crisp Dye Ink mini cubes to color the layers and the outline stamps. The course inspired me to use the foil that someone had given me, and which was collecting dust in my craft room! It also inspired me to use the clean and simple style of card design. I did add dimensional foam tape to the flower, but I could have just adhered the flower to the card front without dimension to keep in line with the clean and simple design.

Altenew products used:
Golden Days stamps
Crisp Dye Ink mini cube set in Cherry Blossom

Altenew Academy: All About Layering 4

Hello crafty friends, and Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have plenty of things to be thankful for today… the love of family and friends, good food to share, a warm and safe place to call home, or simply being given another day to be alive and do something that makes you happy!

I created this card after participating in Altenew Academy’s All About Layering 4 course. To create the background, I colored transparent matte texture paste with Caramel Toffee Crisp Dye Ink, and applied it through the Altenew square weave pattern stencil. I then sprinkled the wet texture paste with Ranger holographic embossing powder, and let dry before heat embossing the powder. For the flowers. I used the Beautiful Day stamp set with the Crisp Dye mini ink cubes in Lapus Lazuli and Jet Black. I used the Tropical Forest mini ink cube set for the leaves and the floral sprigs.

For the sentiment, I used a piece of glitter paper from the Tim Holtz Halloween Deco Sheets, adhered to a piece of heavyweight cardstock. I diecut the sentiment, and stacked it on top of two more layers to give it dimension. I also decided to use the Deco Sheet glitter paper as a layer under the main card front, to tie the card together.

I was inspired by the sample in the class that used two large blue flowers, and had them mirror each other on the top and bottom of the card. Some of the techniques that I used from this course were to stack diecuts for the sentiment to add dimension, texture paste, mirroring, and using a bold sentiment for the focal point. The flower on the top left is popped up with dimensional foam squares, while the one on the bottom right is glued down flat to the card so the sentiment sits on top of it. I made a second card using flowers from the Peony Bouquet stamp set, and creating the card with a different orientation.

Altenew products used:
Beautiful Day stamps and dies
Square Weave Pattern stencil
Fancy Yay die
Crisp Dye Ink mini cube set in Lapis Lazuli, Summer Afternoon, and Tropical Forest

Altenew Academy: All About Layering 3

Hello crafty friends! This is the first of a series of cards that I will be making as a participant in the Altenew Academy Educator Certification Program. I’ve been honored to be selected to participate in this program, however I believe anyone can sign up and purchase any of these classes. This card was made after taking the Layering 3 course, my first one in this program. Each stamped flower and leaf are layered using the different stamps in the set, but the course also focused on layering the components of your card. The course is divided up into several lessons which focus on specific techniques. I’ve really enjoyed the courses so far. The instructors are wonderful, and they often share their own tips and helpful hints.

Since this was my first course, I decided to use the first stamp set that I had ever purchased from Altenew – the Peony Bouquet set. I just love peonies, and I thought this was a beautiful set when I purchased it. Thank goodness I was smart enough to buy the coordinating die set at the time. It turns out I don’t like to fussy cut! At the time, I didn’t have any Altenew ink pads, so I tried to use what I had, with lots of frustration, and mixed results. Recently I’ve invested in some of the Altenew Crisp Dye Mini ink pad sets, and I’ll tell you, it’s made a huge difference! The colors in the coordinating sets are brilliantly designed to work together with these layering stamp sets. The results are just perfect in my opinion, especially compared to my results previously, not using Altenew inks. If you are going to invest in an Altenew layering stamp set, I strongly encourage you to purchase a set or two of the Altenew inks. It made a world of difference for me in being able to create beautiful cards that I’m pleased with.

I was inspired to make this card for my sister-in-law’s birthday. She’s elegant but down to earth, and is an interior designer. I knew she would appreciate these lovely flowers, and I wanted the card to be elegant and detailed. I chose purple because it was an accent color in a room she helped me decorate. Some of the techniques that I used from this course was to arrange the leaves in a triangle around the flowers, and to use an odd number of flowers in the arrangement. While there are two large peonies and two buds, I used the purple berry clusters to achieve this odd number of flowers. Another technique that was highlighted in the course was to use a large die cut shape in the background for a white-on-white effect. Instead, I used the Playful Circles 3D embossing folder. I was mindful in layering the pieces before adhering anything to the card, another point which was emphasized in the course.

Altenew products used:
Peony Bouquet stamps and dies
Playful Circles 3D embossing folder
Fancy For You die
Crisp Dye Ink mini cube set in Sugarplums, Summer Afternoon, and Green Fields