Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP) – Impressive Heat Embossing

Heat embossing is a technique that can be used to give a pretty simple and straightforward look or a very detailed and elaborate look. Either way, it adds shine and a bit of character to your card. In Altenew’s Impressive Heat Embossing class, I learned a few new techniques  and revisited some techniques that I knew about but haven’t used. Now this class is a part of the Altenew Educator Certification Program but can also be taken as a stand alone class if you wish. One of the techniques is layering your heat embossing.

I opted to use Altenew’s Festive Foliage stamp set to try to layer my heat embossing. While I didn’t overlap the heat embossing, I did still have to heat emboss in stages. As with all heat embossing, I started off my prepping my card panel with an anti-static powder bag. This helps to keep embossing powder where you want it and helps to stop stray powder from sticking on other areas of  your panel.

Now…since I’m using Altenew Crisp Dye Inks, I had to stamp in two stages as embossing powder doesn’t stick to dye ink. I started off by stamping the fuller tree image using SweetLeaf. Then, in order to get the embossing powder to stick I inked up the tree again using Versamark ink. In situations like this, a stamping tool like the MISTI is handy, because it allows you to stamp in the exact same spot repeatedly.

There are a few ways that you could stamp the image out to get the embossing powder set up:

  1. Start with a dye ink, and then stamp again using an embossing ink (this is the method I chose)
  2. Start with an embossing ink, then stamp over it with a dye ink
  3. Stamp with an embossing ink, then use coloured embossing powder
  4. Stamp with a pigment ink, then use a clear embossing powder

There isn’t a wrong way to do it really…it just depends on what supplies you have on hand to make it work. I don’t have a ton of pigment inks so I opted for option 1.

After the image was stamped using both the coloured ink and the embossing ink, I used Brutus Monroe’s Icicle Embossing Powder and my WOW Dual Speed Heat Tool.

I repeated the same ink technique using the heart of the tree and Crimson Ink.

I wanted a small star for the top of my tree, so I used the star stamp from Altenew’s  Happy Holidays stamp set. I stamped it with Versamark ink, and used Brutus Monroes’ Gilded embossing powder for a gold finish.

Then I grabbed a “Season’s Greetings” stamp from the same Happy Holidays stamp set and stamped it just below the tree using Altenew’s Obsidian Pigment Ink.

I cut the panel down to approximately 5×3.75 inches, then adhered it to a panel of  Simons Says Stamps Glitter Cardstock in PINE measuring approximately 5.25x4inches. Then I used some liquid glue to adhere everything to an A2 cardbase of Neenah Solar White cardstock. Voila!

Altenew Stamps:

Festive Foliage

Happy Holidays

Altenew Inks:

Crimson

Sweet Leaf

– Obsidian Pigment Ink

– Tsukineko’s Versamark Ink

Other Supplies:

– Neenah Solar White cardstock (SSS)

– Simons Says Stamps Glitter Cardstock – PINE

Brutus Monroe’s Gilded Embossing Powder

Brutus Monroe’s Icicle Embossing Powder

Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue (SSS)

Tools:

– My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool (SSS)

Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer (SSS)

Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks (SSS)

Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency (SSS)

WOW Dual Speed Heat Tool (SSS)

Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP) – Beyond Basic Backgrounds

Another very interesting class that’s a part of Level 2 in the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP) is Beyond Basic Backgrounds. Sounds like a straightforward class, right? Well it is and it isn’t. There are some really interesting techniques in this class. Of course I picked to use one technique that I’ve tried before, but not quite like this. Bleaching….yes bleaching, but instead of using bleach it’s with water. Most inks react with water, pigment as well as dye inks. Some of the best inks for water reaction are Distress Inks and Distress Oxides. I love the look of the oxide inks as they have a muted chalky finish and are easy to blend. I’ve done ‘bleaching’ before on oxide inks but I’ve typically just done it with water splatter, never with stamps before…so this was an interesting option to me. I wanted a birthday card for a friend, and thought this would be a really cool technique for this look.

I started off using Ranger’s Mini Ink Blending Tools and Distress Oxide Inks in Cracked Pistachio and Evergreen Bough. I started by dipping the blending brush into Cracked Pistachio and covering approximately half of my panel, then completed the panel with the Evergreen Bough.

I overlapped the colours slightly in order to create a smoother blend and went over the colours a couple of times to make sure the transition was smooth.

I let my inked panel sit overnight to ensure it was dry. Alternatively you could use a heat tool to speed up the drying time. Then i grabbed the leaf stamps from Altenew’s Happy Dreams stamp set. Now … how would I add the water? In the class the instructor used a sort of sponge to add water to the stamps similar to an ink pad…but I didn’t have anything quite so sophisticated. Instead, I added a couple of drops of water onto the stamps while they were attached to the cover of my My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool (MISTI) and then used my finger to distribute the water across the stamp. I also made sure I wiped away any excess water off the lid of my MISTI so I wouldn’t get water where I didn’t want to.

Then I pressed down the cover of my MISTI onto my inked panel. Then I opened the MISTI, and used a clean paper towel to remove any excess water. You can see in the picture below that there’s a very faint change in the colour of my panel. I wanted something a bit more obvious, so I repeated the last step…added more water to the stamps and stamped again. This is one of the advantages of having a stamping tool as I can be sure that my stamps are in the exact same position every time.

Below you can see that I got a much more obvious change in the colour of the panel…perfect. Going forward I knew I need to ‘stamp’ the water on my panel twice in each position.

I wanted to have a nice background of the pattern so I moved my stamps into another position on my panel and stamped again with water. I repeated this a few more times to fully cover my panel with the bleached images.

I cut my panel down to approximately 5.25×3.75 inches, then grabbed a sheet of coordinating patterned paper from Reverse Confetti’s Winter Solstice Patterned Paper Pad. I trimmed the patterned paper down to be approximately 0.25×5.25 inches and adhered it to the left side of my panel. I wanted to add a bit of detail without taking away from the beautiful green colours.

On to my sentiment. As previously mentioned I needed a birthday card…so I grabbed Altenew’s Birthday Builder stamp set. This is a great stamp set to have in your stash as it has lots of various styled ‘Happy Birthday’ stamps, so I’ve always been able to find something to go with any card! I used to Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency align my sentiment perfectly in my MISTI.

I grabbed a strip of Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock in Slate and treated my cardstock with anti-static powder bag to eliminate any static and stop any embossing powder from sticking to places I didn’t want it to. I used and stamped the sentiment using Tsukineko’s Versamark Ink. Then I used Brutus Monroe’s White Alabaster Embossing powder and my WOW Dual Speed Heat Tool to heat emboss the sentiment. Then I adhered the strip to the lower right portion of my panel and ended up trimming off the excess.

Then I took the same leaf stamp I used to bleach the panel and used Cracked Pistachio to stamp on the lower left corner of the coordinating envelope.

I adhered the bleached panel to an A2 sized Neenah Solar White cardstock cardbase.

After taking the first couple of pictures of the finished card, I opted to add a few gems as I felt that something was missing. I added 3 of –Studio Katia’s Iridescent Crystals  using  Ranger’s Glossy Accents and my Crystal Katana Jewel Picker. That made it feel a little more complete to me, however the jewels could have easily been left off making the card a bit more masculine.

Altenew Stamps:

Birthday Builder

– Happy Dreams

Inks:

– Tim Holtz for Ranger Distress Oxide Inks – Cracked Pistachio, Evergreen Bough

– Tsukineko’s Versamark Ink

Other Supplies:

– Neenah Solar White cardstock (SSS)

– Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock – Slate

– Reverse Confetti’s Winter Solstice Patterned Paper Pad

– Brutus Monroe’s White Alabaster Embossing powder

Studio Katia’s Iridescent Crystals (SSS)

– Ranger’s Glossy Accents (SSS)

Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue (SSS)

– Ranger’s Multi Media Matte

– Tonic Deluxe Adhesive Nuvo Glue

Simon Says Stamp Big Momma Foam Tape (SSS)

Tools:

Crystal Katana Jewel Picker (SSS)

– My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool (SSS)

Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer (SSS)

Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks (SSS)

Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency (SSS)

WOW Dual Speed Heat Tool (SSS)

Ranger Mini Ink Blending Brushes (SSS)

Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP) – In The Mood For Color

Lots of things can affect your mood. As a part of Altenew’s “In the Mood for Color” class we explored the effect of a variety of colours in a person’s mood in relation to cards. Some of the colours explored were yellow and orange and they were related to encouragement and happiness. So when putting together a birthday card for a family friend, I immediately was drawn to yellow and orange. I have always liked using yellow on cards as I’ve always found it to be a cheerful colour.

I started off with Altenew’s Charming Doodles stamp set – it’s really one of my faves! I used the stem out of that set and stamped it starting in the bottom left corner using Altenew’s Crisp Dye Ink in Jet Black.

I added a second partial branch using the same stamp, making sure I only inked up the portion I wanted for the extension of the branch.

On a second panel of Neenah Solar White cardstock I stamped 3 of the medium flowers from Altenew’s “Garden Treasure” stamp and die set using Jet Black Ink.

Then I stamped the first layer of the flower using Warm Sunshine Ink – this is my favorite yellow ink as I find it to be a really bright yet warm shade of yellow.

I stamped the second layer of this flower with Chamomile ink.

For the center (third layer) of the flowers I used Marigold Ink for a slightly more orange hue.

I used the coordinating dies to cut out the three flowers and I then stamped the leaves using Forest Glades Ink.

I wanted a large enough, but not too large, Happy Birthday Sentiment that was also a little scripty. So I grabbed Altenew’s Birthday Builder stamp set as it has a great selection of birthday sentiments in a variety of sizes and fonts. I dry fitted the die cut flowers that were closest to where I’d be putting the sentiment to properly gauge the placement. To make sure that my sentiment was straight, I used Simon Says Stamp’s Stamp Grid Transparency . This grid has made my life much easier when placing sentiments and it’s extremely easy to use. Just place the grid over your card panel in your stamping tool, use the grid lines to line up your stamp, close the lid/door on your stamping tool and the stamp will be in the perfect position when you ink it up and close it. Just remember to remove the transparency before trying to ink up your stamp 😉

I used Altenew’s Obsidian Pigment Ink for the sentiment. It’s an extremely crisp black ink that is wonderful for sentiments as it’s juicy and crisp so you get a really nice solid black image. I also cut a panel of Simon Says Stamp’s Banana cardstock to measure approximately 5.25×4 inches and adhered my main panel to it to give a small yellow border to match the flowers and add a touch more brightness to the card. I then adhered everything to an A2 sized Neenah Solar White Card base. I opted to add the panels to the card base at this point in order to avoid pressing down onto the flowers once added since I’m planning to use them for some dimension.

I added some 3M Foam Tape to the back of my die cut flowers to add some dimension to my card, then placed them down onto my panel so the flowers were close but still had space in between them – this helped to fill some of the white space on my card.

To add a little bit of shine to the card, I added Studio Katia’s Iridescent Crystals to the center of the flowers. Since the crystals are clear, they still allow the original stamped colour to shine through but just a add a bit of pop.

To create a coordinating envelope I stamped the same flower that’s on the card to the bottom left hand corner of a white envelope.

And that’s it! A cheerful and bright birthday card using a pop of yellow and a hint of orange!

Altenew Stamps:

– Charming Doodles (Altenew)

– Garden Treasure Stamp and Die set (older stamp set)

– Birthday Builder (Altenew)

Altenew Crisp Dye Inks:

– Jet Black (Altenew)

– Warm Sunshine (Altenew)

Chamomile (Altenew)

Marigold (Altenew)

– Forest Glades (Altenew)

– Obsidian Pigment Ink (Altenew)

Other Supplies:

– Neenah Solar White cardstock  (SSS)

Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock – Banana (SSS)

Studio Katia’s Iridescent Crystals (SSS) 

– Ranger’s Glossy Accents (SSS)

Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue (SSS)

3M Foam Tape (SSS)

Tools: 

Crystal Katana Jewel Picker (SSS)

– My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool (SSS)

Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer (SSS)

Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks (SSS)

Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency (SSS)

2019 Caring Hearts Card Drive – My Submission!

I have been looking for somewhere to donate some of my cards and found the 2019 Caring Hearts Card Drive

The purpose of this card drive is to collect handmade holiday cards for the elderly that live in nursing homes or live alone.

Submissions are being accepted until November 15th, 2019 and there are mailing locations in the US, Canada and Australia. If you’re interested in helping out this awesome cause, visit the blog post for 2019 Caring Hearts Card Drive.

I sent the following set of cards, which are super simple, to one of the a Canadian addresses and hope that they’ll be used as this is an amazing cause and exactly the kind of thing I’ve been looking for. If you know of any other card donation options, please let me know.. I’d love to be able to do something like this year round!

Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP) – With A Twist

I’ve finally started on the Level 2 courses for the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP). With so many great topics I opted to start with “With a Twist” taught by Therese Calvird. I’ve watched several of her videos and I love the way she explains things. This class is all about adding unusual elements to your cards, like using unexpected colours or cuts to your cards. I decided to make my twist adding a unique spin on a traditional stamp. My inspiration for this card is a sad one. A dear friend of mine recently lost his mother, and I wanted to make sure I sent the family some paper love, so I opted to make a Sympathy card for the family.

What makes this “With a Twist”? Well….You wouldn’t normally stamp with dye inks on dark cardstock…so I did! I also liked the idea of heat embossing in silver on the dark cardstock to add another little twist, while keeping the foliage in just a black outline. I love the look of this card!

I started by cutting a panel of Simon Says Stamp’s Slate cardstock to measure approximately 5.5×4.25 inches. I treated my cardstock with an anti-static powder bag as I was planning to heat emboss all over the panel.

I took one of the flower stamps from Altenew’s Build-A-Flower: Anemone Coronaria stamp set and stamped repeatedly over the panel using Versamark Ink.

Then I heat embossed the panel using Brutus Monroe’s Sterling embossing powder. I love the way the silver shines on the dark cardstock.

I grabbed Altenew’s Tide Blue Crisp Dye Ink and stamped the second layer of the flower stamp. I stamped it a couple of times to get a richer colour and make sure it filled in nicely. This stamp set has a more artsy look when you fill it in, which can help to hide imperfections a bit 😉

I completed adding the second layer to all of the flowers.

Then I took one of the smaller leaves and used Altenew’s Jet Black Crisp Dye Ink and filled in some of the open space. I opted not to add the second layer of the leaf stamp for a more artsy and unique feel.

I wanted a clean looking sentiment so it wouldn’t take too much away from the image. I grabbed Altenew’s Fresh Freesia stamp set and used the “With Deepest Sympathy” sentiment. I stamped the sentiment using the Jet Black ink on Simon Says Stamp’s Fog cardstock and then trimmed it down to a strip slightly larger than the sentiment.

I adhered the sentiment to the bottom right of the card panel. I cut down my floral panel slightly to approximately 5.5×4 inches and then glued down the panel to an A2 sized card base of Neenah Solar White Cardstock. This allowed just a smidge of the white to show at the top and bottom of the front of the card. I didn’t want too much of the white to show as it would’ve been a harsh contrast considering that the floral panel is on a dark cardstock.

I then stamped the same flower on the envelope using Jet Black Ink, then for a little element of colour I used the Tide Blue Ink but instead of stamping the second layer of the flower, I stamped the center of the flower as I didn’t want too much colour on the envelope.

Voila! I unique sympathy card for a dear friend. I can only hope that sharing a little paper love will help his family in their healing process.

Altenew Stamps:

Fresh Freesia

– Build-A-Flower: Anemone Coronaria

Altenew Crisp Dye Inks:

– Jet Black

– Tide Blue

Other Supplies:

– Tsukineko’s Versafine Onyx Black Ink

– Tsukineko’s Versamark Ink

– Neenah Solar White cardstock

– Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock – Fog, Slate

– Brutus Monroe’s Sterling Embossing powder

– Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue

– 3M Foam Tape

Tools:

– My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool

– Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer

– Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks

– Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency

– WOW Dual Speed Heat Tool

Very Simple Hex Birthday Card

A Very Simple birthday card for a friend. I wanted something masculine, and not overly complex. I’ve been eyeing this Reverse Confetti cover die in my stash for a while and figured if not now, then when? So I grabbed it… Not knowing what I was doing with it yet… And away I went.


I started with a panel approximately 4.25×5.5 inches of Neenah Solar White cardstock and ran it though my die cutting machine with

Reverse Confetti’s hex cover panel.



I popped out all of the hex cut outs. I want the main panel with the cutouts, but the hex pieces will be saved for a future project.


I took one of the ‘Happy Birthday’ Sentiments from Altenew’s Birthday Builder Stamp Set and stamped it using Tsukineko’s Versafine Onyx Black Ink. I chose a small sentiment so it would fit in between the open spaces in the panel.


Then I gathered scraps. This is a great technique to use up some of your scrap paper. I had left overs from Altenew’s Verdant and black. And white paper pads, as well as some left over Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock, DCWV Glitter Cardstock and some Stampin Up specialty paper.

I cut them down to squares that would cover the hex shapes in the cover die and used a bit of purple tape to hold them in place. Then I ran it through my die cutting machine.


Voila! Perfectly fitting hexes of colour. I adhered my cut out panel. To a A2 sized card base, then put a bit of liquid glue in the hex spaces.


I then popped the coordinating pieces into the slots.
I used Altenew’s Simple Shapes stamp set along with

Altenew Crisp Dye Inks in Heart Beat, Maple Yellow, Parrot, Tide Blue, Autumn Blaze & Lagoon to make a coordinating envelope.



Done! A very simple but cute birthday card for a friend 🙂


PRODUCTS USED:

Stamps/Dies/Stencils:

– Altenew simple shapes stamp Set

– Reverse confetti hex cover panel

– Altenew Birthday Builder Stamp Set

Inks:

– Altenew Crisp Dye Inks: Heart Beat, Maple Yellow, Parrot, Tide Blue, Autumn Blaze, Lagoon

– Tsukineko’s Versafine Onyx Black Ink

Other Supplies:

– Neenah Solar White cardstock
– Altenew Black and White Paper pad
– Altenew Verdant Paper Pad
– DCWV Glitter Cardstock
– Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock

Tools:

– Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer

– Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency
– Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks

Anniversary Card for a Wife

So… I was asked to make a nice card for someone’s wife on their 40th wedding anniversary. Now… I went through elaborate card design possibilities… Inlay dies, watercolour, ink blending, etc., but ultimately I settled on a simple die cut with a stencil detail. Here’s the kicker… I used alcohol markers! Now… I NEVER or rather Rarely whip out my markers. I struggle so badly with colouring using alcohol markers, but I thought it’s a simple stamp design, why not?

So I started off by stamping Altenew’s beautiful Lady stamp on scrap Neenah White cardstock using Gina K’s Amalgam black ink. This ink is great for your stash as it’s compatible with other Inks, watercolour and alcohol markers and its a really nice crisp black.

Then I grabbed my alcohol markers and got to it. Unfortunately I didn’t take any in process shots as I really wasn’t confident it was going to come out properly :/

I tried all the fancy colour blending techniques (kind of). But really only used 3 colours for the flowers (purple shades) and two for the greenery. Than I ran the image though my die cut machine using the coordinating die.

Then in to the background. I gtabbed Altenew’s Elegant Swirls stencil, picket fences life changing blender brushes, and Altenew’s Buttercream crop Dye ink. I taped the stencil down to my panel using purple tape and then lightly brushed the colour on starting in the top left corner , gradually darkening the colour as I moved towards the bottom right corner.

I stamped ‘for my Beautiful wife’ using bits and pieces from the Beautiful Lady stamp set.

I trimmed my sentiment panel down to approximately 3.75x5inches and adhered my die cut flower using foam squares for some dimension. I cut down a panel of Simon Says Stamp’s white glitter cardstock to approximately 4×5.25 inches and then adhered my floral panel to it. Then I put everything onto an A2 card base.

For a little extra Sparkle, I added a few jewels. That’s about it really! Not bad for a non marker person I think 🙂

Products Used:

Altenew Stamps:

– Beautiful Lady

– Elegant Swirls Stencil

Altenew Crisp Dye Inks:

– Buttercream

– Altenew Artist Markers

Other Supplies:

– Neenah Solar White cardstock

– Simon Says Stamp’s White Glitter Cardstock

– Ranger’s Glossy Accents

– Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue

Tools:

– Krystal Katana Jewel Picker

– My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool

– Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer

– Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks

– Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency

Tag! You’re It! – Papercraft Challenge #23 (New DT)

So I’ve been accepted by an awesome design team at Papercraft Business Challenge. It’s a great monthly challenge for paper crafters and definitely a way for me to think outside my usual box. I’m beyond excited! One way to help keep track of dates for this as well as other challenges grab a Challenge Planner! They’re handy and stylish.

The October challenge #23 is Tags! Check out the blog at Papercraft Business Challenge for all the details and to submit your entry!

My entry for this month is a Halloween inspired card using a tag.

It’s a pretty simple card but I thought it was really cute. I started off with Simon Says Stamp’s ‘Jack O Lanterns’ stencil, Spectrum Noir Midus Pigment ink in Silver and Pickett Fence’s Life Changing Blender Brushes and stencilled faces on the black cardstock tag.

I repeated that several times using different faces from the stencil until the tag was filled. Then I used Clearly Besotted’s ‘Spooky Spirits’ stamp and die set to stamp and cut out several ghosts.

I cut a sheet of zig zag patterned paper measuring approximately 4.25×5.5 inches from Tim Holtz’s Ideology Halloween Kraft Stock Paper Pad. I adhered the tag using a 3M neon orange washi tape and stamped a sentiment across the bottom using Gina K Amalgam Ink.

I added the ghosts using some foam squares around the tag.

Then to add a smidge of dimension I used Nuvo Drops in ebony black on the eyes of each of the ghosts.

I then added the panel to a card base measuring approximately 4.25×5.5 inches and my Challenge card is complete!

Stamps/Stencils:

– Clearly Besotted ‘Spooky Spirits’ stamp set

– Simon Says Stamp’s ‘Jack O’ Lanterns ‘ Stencil

Inks:

– Gina K Designs Amalgam Ink – Black

– Spectrum Noir Silver Midas Metallic Pigment Ink

Other Supplies:

– Neenah Solar White cardstock

– Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock – Fog

– Tim Holtz Ideology Halloween Kraft Stock Paper Pad

– Tonic Nuvo Drops – Ebony Black

– Tonic Nuvo Aqua Shimmer pen – Glitter

– Scotch 3M Xpressions Washi Tape

– Tonic Deluxe Adhesive Nuvo Glue

– Scrapbook Adhesive 3D Foam Squares

Tools:

– My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool

– Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer

– Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks

– Spellbinders Platinum 6 Die Cutting Machine

– Pickett Fence’s Life Changing Blender Brushes

Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP) – Level 1 Final Project (Part 2): HIS Cards

I’ve finally competed the level 1 courses of the Altenew Educator Certification Program and have now moved onto the Final Challenge of Level 1. This by no means is a simple challenge but it was very useful as it helped to push me a bit more with my card making. I’ve made sets of cards before but never with such specific requirements!

My Masculine Set (details below) :


Requirements:

  • Select ANY 3 components from the classes in Level 1 (e.g., layering 1/2, Let it shine, stencil techniques)
  • Explain the 3 components that you’ve chosen for the project
  • Create a His and Her Card Set birthday/graduation/encouragement cards (your choice) as a gift sets. This makes TWO sets one Masculine and one Feminine. Each card (with various sentiments) can vary a little bit, but it should have a similar and cohesive theme as the rest of the set.
  • Each card set should consist of 4-6 cards
  • Also, use one recycle element on a set or its packaging.
  • The minimum card number is six (up to 12) per set. You will also design how you package the sets as a gift. Be creative!
  • Challenge blog post: Detailed step-by-step photo tutorial and/or YouTube video
  • Minimum of 10 photos (close-up and process)
  • So.. Not simple! This is going to be rather long post as I will be showing a total of 12 cards. So I’ve opted to split it into two posts (slightly easier to read I think) – 1 for the ‘Her’ Cards (this post) and 1 for the ‘His’ cards (posted here). I hope I can pass along what I’ve learned from Altenew’s Educator Certification Program Level 1.

There are so many great classes and so may amazing techniques. For this challenge, I opted to use:

– Easy Die Cutting Techniques

– This class covers all of the basic die cutting techniques, like Stamps and Coordinating dies, to more elaborate techniques, like Inlaid die cutting. I’ll be using Inlaid Die Cutting, Embossing with Dies, Negative Die Cutting and Stamps and Matching Dies throughout both my sets.

– Clean and Simple Boutique Cards

– I LOVE Clean and Simple cards. Do I exclusively create CAS (Clean and Simple) cards? Nope! This class is one of my favourites as it really shows you how to add some amazing details to your cards to help them pop while keeping a very clean look. I’ll be using Simple Styling, Stamped Backgrounds, Metallic Details, Letterpress and Luxury Papers throughout my sets as well to help my cards stand out.

– Let It shine:

– This class is all about adding details that can really help your cards stand out, from embellishments and heat embossing to foiling and specialty cardstock. I usually like adding at least one element to my cards to add a pop, be it Nuvo Drops, SEQUINS, Shimmer Pen Accents or Glitter and Metallic papers. This class was right up my alley and also showed me that something I use every day adds pizzazz – Heat Embossing. Throughout my sets, I’ll be using embellishments, heat embossing, Metallic Paper and Shimmer pens to help add a bit of pop to my cards.

I’ll be incorporating one element from each of those classes on every single card. I’ve mentioned the supplies used for each card in the descriptions and also at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy!

Since this is such a long post, I’ve split the Feminine “HER” card sets and the Masculine “HIS” card sets into separate posts. The HER card set can be found here.

CARD #1 Hello Card:


I started with Altenew’s Weekend Doodles stamp set. They have this really cute little leaf stamp which I thought would be perfect to create a background. I didn’t want it to be symmetrical, but instead give great coverage over the card. Since the image is so small it doesn’t feel overwhelming across the panel. I used Altenew Parrot ink for the leaves. 

Now, Onto the sentiment / die cut element. I chose Altenew’s mega Hello die and placed it over the background for placement. I went ahead and die cut out this very lovely sentiment die. I’ll be using the leftover panel with the cutout and leave the die cut for another card later. I made sure that I kept the little pieces inside the cut out to fill in the word clearly.

I cut a piece of Black Shimmer cardstock to measure approximately 5.25×4 inches to add an element of shine as per the Let It Shine class. I adhered the leaf panel to it so that the die cut out was visible in shimmer black. I dry fitted the hello word due cut out so that I would know where to place the little bits that pop out when you die cut.

I added some liquid adhesive in those spots and clearly popped those pieces in, then removed the word to save for later.

To make a coordinating envelope, I took the same leaf stamp and stamped it a couple times in Parrot ink.

And Card #1 is complete!

Card #2: Sympathy Card:

I started with Altenew’s Charming Doodles stamp set and stamped of of the larger leaves on the panel to create a background as per the Clean and Simple class. 

I went ahead and die cut the leaves out. I’ll save the actual leaf cut outs for another card in this set.

I took a Sympathy sentiment from the Fresh Freesia stamp set and head embossed it on Simon Says Stamp’s Vellum using Brutus Monroe’s Gilded embossing powder. 

I also stamped a couple of the leaves on the coordinating envelope.


Then I cut down a panel of green shimmer paper to approximately 4 x 5.5 inches and adhered the die cut panel to it so allow the shimmer paper to show through the die cuts as well as on the sides of the card. This is called using the negative space of the die cut. I really like this technique as it adds a bit of pop to a relatively simple card. I also added some Nuvo drops to add an element of shine to the card without using gems. I adhered the vellum strip about 3/4 of the way down the panel.

Card #2 is complete!

Card#3: Thank you Card

I love the looks of wreaths, so I thought having a wreath card would be nice. I also love at the look of embossing with die cuts – I think this is my favourite technique from the Easy Die Cutting Techniques class. 

I started with Altenew’s Weekend Doodles stamp set and stamped the lined wreath on a scrap piece of white cardstock using Shadow Creek Dye Ink and die cut the image out. 

I then dry embossed Altenew’s Gradient Lines Cover die on a panel of white cardstock. When dry embossing a die, remember to use your embossing mat. It makes the difference between leaving and impression (dry embossing) vs. cutting the image out (die cutting). Then I pulled a small “Thank You” stamp from Altenew’s Thank You Builder stamp set. I needed to make sure it would fit nicely inside the wreath once everything was put together. I prepped the card based with my anti static powder bag and used Versafine Black Onyx ink and Brutus Monroe’s Icicle Embossing powder and head embossed the sentiment near the top of the card. 

I cut a panel of Black Shimmer paper to measure approximately 4×5.25 inches. I cut my main embossed panel down to approximately 3.75 x 5 inches and adhered it to the Black Shimmer paper to allow a small border of shimmer paper. 

I added foam squares unto the back of my die cut wreath and adhered it around the Thank You sentiment.

Then I adhered everything to a White A2 card base.

I took one of the small sprig stamps from the same set – it looks pretty similar to the pattern on the wreath so it was perfect – and stamped it on the coordinating envelope in the same colour. Voila! A clean and simple card, with interesting die cutting techniques and shimmer! I love the simplicity of this card. It’s definitely a card I’ll remake in the future. 


Card #4: Happy Birthday Card:

So I absolutely LOVE the way this card came out. I love the pattern, the Inlay…just love it.

I started off with Altenew’s Engagement Wishes stamp set and took one of the large leaves and stamped it in Sweet Leaf Die ink. I think that name is soooo appropriate here! 🙂

I repeated the pattern, being sure to turn the image with each stamp for some variation through the panel.

Using Altenew’s Maga Happy Die, I cut out the word Happy from the panel. By the way…Altenew’s Mega Dies are AWESOME (I’ve used several in this challenge).

I also cut out this die two more times in white cardstock so that I can stack the die cut word together for some added dimension. 

I adhered all the layers together and ended up with a panel with the word Happy cut out, and the word Happy. I was very careful to make sure that I didn’t lose any of the negative space in the word since I’d be putting it all back as is. 

I took a Birthday sentiment from Altenew’s Mega Greeting 2 stamp set and white heat embossed it using Brutus Monroe’s White Alabaster embossing poweder unto Black Shimmer Paper. 

I cut down the sentiment into a smaller rectangular strip and adhered is near the bottom on the right below the cut out. 

I cut down another piece of that black shimmer cardstock to approximately 4×5.25 inches and adhered the die cut panel to it. Right now, the happy is nicely cut out with a Shimmery black cardstock showing behind. I could’ve stopped right here as it’s quite lovely, but I wanted an Inlay…so I kept going. 

I added back the stacked die cut word into the open space. Have the die cut stacked adds dimension, so while it’s still quite subtle, in real life it’s very visually appealing.

I also stamped the same leaf using the same Ink colour on the envelope to coordinate.

And finally Card #4 is completed.

CARD #5: You Make My Heart Happy Card:

Alright – this card I hesitated with multiple times throughout the process. It wasn’t what i envisioned when I started, but I think it turned out pretty well in the end.

I started off with a leaf sprig from Altenew’s Weekend doodle stamp set in Volcano Lake dye ink. 

I repeated the pattern all over the panel until it was covered…here is where I hesitated as it didn’t turn out as crisp as I had hoped it would be. 

I then dry embossed the Gradient Dots Cover Die on Neenah Solar White Cardstock. It’s always important to remember to use your embossing mat when going for dry embossing (imprint on the cardstock) vs Die cutting (getting a clean deep cut through the cardstock)

I got a “You Make My Heart Happy” sentiment, but since I’ll be using the “Happy” from the Mega Happy Die set, I used a post it note to mask the “happy” part of the sentiment before inking it up with Versamark and stamping on Gina K Black Onyx cardstock. Alternatively, you could stamp the entire thing, pour the embossing powder then just brush off the portion you don’t need. As you can see below I didn’t get the cleanest mask off so I ended up just brushing off the little smidge that got powder on it. I then heat embossed using Brutus Monroe’s Sterling embossing powder.

I then trimmed down my sentiment strip to fit my panel, then cut a fish tail on the internal edge for a bit of pizzazz and adhered to the upper portion of the panel. I also trimmed down two strips of Gina K Black Onyx cardstock to match the sentiment strip. This would just show to small black strips on either side of the panel. I then added this panel onto a white A2 cardbase.

I used the Altenew’s Mega Happy Die to cut out one image from the patterned leaf cardstock I made, and one from Gina K Black Onyx cardstock. I stacked the patterned Happy on top of the Black Happy and shifted it slightly over to create a shadow. The shadow helps to break up the two busy patters – the leaf pattern and the dry embossing.

Of course I also stamped the sprig on a coordinating envelope…and I’m done!

CARD #5: Thinking Of You Card:

Wondered where I was going to use those die cuts from Card #2? Right here!

I started with Altenew’s Charming Doodles stamp set and stamped of of the larger leaves on the panel and die cut them out.

I cut a panel of Gina K Black Onyx cardstock down to approximately 3.75×5 inches and dry fitted the leaves in a circular almost wreath like pattern in order to fit the Thinking of you sentiment from Altenew’s Thinking of You stamp set

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I heat embossed the sentiment using Versamark ink and Brutus Monroe’s White Alabaster embossing powder. I cut a panel of Simon Says Stamp’s Fog cardstock to approximately 5.25×4 inches and adhered the black panel on top. I then glued everything onto a white A2 card base.

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I glued down the leaves around the embossed sentiment.

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I added a little bit of “shine” by adding some Nuvo Stone Drops in Rusted Iron in between the leaves. I also stamped the same leaf on the coordinating envelope.

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And FINALLY, my card sets are complete!

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PACKAGING:

As a part of this challenge I was required to package these cards as a gift set. I opted to save my recycled item for the packaging. I found a really simple tutorial online by Catherine Pooler on how to make a simple card box. I opted to modify this tutorial to add a window in the cover of the box. I used old acetate packaging to make this window. The following will give a high level description of the process.

I started with two pieces of cardstock, one in grey for the base of the box, and one with Orange on one side and yellow on the other for the cover. I cut the panels down to 8 9/16 x 9 13/16 for the cover, and 8 1/2 x 9 3/4 for the base. 

I then scored both panels at two inches all the way around. Then snipped the corners to create the box folds. I used tape runner adhesive by Gina K to adhere the sides up and close the base of the box.

Learning from the box I made for the Feminine set, I cut out the panel for the acetate BEFORE taping the lid closed. I cut out a window that would be slightly smaller than my recycled acetate piece. I used liquid adhesive to adhere the acetate to the lid of the box. 

I wanted to add a bit of green to the inside of the box, and also to hide a bit of the acetate seams. So I cut strips of the green cardstock and adhered it to the inside around the window. Then I taped the lid of the box closed. 

I had some left over die cut pieces from my projects in this set, so I used them to decorate the outside of the box.

Having a “fancy” window in the lid of the box means that I can show off one of my cards, so I picked to display the “Thank You” Card. I also added some Nuvo drops in Bright Gold to the front of the box. I didn’t want anything to feminine, but wanted to add some shine to the packaging.

And Finally, the first part my Level 1 challenge is complete!

WANT TO SEE THE FEMININE CARD SET? HEAD OVER TO THE BLOG POST HERE.

PRODUCTS USED :

Altenew Stamps/Dies:

-Hello Card: Mega Hello Die, Weekend Doodles stamp set,

-Sympathy Card: Fresh Freesia, Charming Doodles,

– Thank You Card: Thank You Builder, Weekend Doodles stamp set, Gradient Stripes Cover Die,

Happy Birthday Card: Mega Happy Die, Engagement Wishes stamp set, Mega Greetings 2,

 

Thinking of You Card: Charming Doodles, Thinking of you,

Heart Happy Card: Weekend Doodles stamp set, Mega Happy Die, Halftone Cover Die, Floral Shadow Stamp Set,

Inks Used:

– Altenew Crisp Dye Inks (Colours listed in descriptions)

– Tsukineko’s Versafine Onyx Black Ink

– Tsukineko’s Versamark Ink

– Altenew’s Permanent Black Ink

Other Supplies:

-Brutus Monroe’s White Alabaster,Gilded, Sterling, Icicle Embossing powder

-Nuvo Drops – Bright Gold, Pale Gold-Simon Says Stamp Vellum-DCWV Metallics Paper Pad-DCWV Shimmer Paper Pad

-Studio Katia’s Sparkling Crystals

– Neenah Solar White cardstock

– Gina K Designs Cardstock (Black Onyx)

– Simon Says Stamp’s Cardstock (Fog)

– Ranger’s Glossy Accents

– Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue

– Ranger’s Multi Media Matte

– Craft Foam

Tools:

– Krystal Katana Jewel Picker

– My Sweet Petunia’s MISTI Stamping Tool

– Tim Holtz Mini Comfort Trimmer

– Simon Says Stamp’s Acrylic Blocks- Simon Says Stamp’s Grid Transparency