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

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

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

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