cardmaking · papercrafting

Altenew: A Year In Review Blog Hop + Giveaway ÔŅľ

Hello and welcome! You likely arrived from Juhi’s blog….don’t you just love her collection?

I am so excited to be participating in Altenew’s 2021 A Year in Review Blog Hop! I really enjoyed looking back through my projects and selecting some of my favorite creations. This first card was my most popular Altenew creation on Instagram and I still have it setting on a bookshelf in my studio. I love how bright, happy and cheerful the card is. I used The Tall Tales stamp and die set and you can read my original blog post HERE.

Altenew Tall Tales Bookcase Slimline Card in rainbow colors.
Tall Tales Stamp and Die Set

This mixed media card was by far my most popular blog post of 2021! I created my own color palette with gel press prints and die cut my blooms using Altenew’s Cosmos Craft-A-Flower. If I had to pick one favorite 2021 product it would be this Cosmos kit. You can read my original post HERE. I have another favorite card below that also uses this Cosmos kit.

Altenew Cosmos Craft A Flower card die cut from gel press prints.
Cosmos Craft A Flower Layering Die Kit

I love the Mega Alphabet Collection and I have several letters that I use frequently. This is a card I made for my friend Kathy. I used the ink smooshing technique and I really like how this project turned out. The Garden Trellis Cover Die is so versatile and I love the pop of white it provides on this card. You can read my original post HERE.

Altnew Mega Alphabet K ink smoosh card with Garden Trellis cover die background.
Mega Alphabet Collection & Garden Trellis Cover Die

I discovered the joy of gel press printing this year and I love how this project turned out. The Peruvian Lily Layering Dies create a big showy bloom that is absolutely beautiful! Altenew’s Essential Sentiment Strips Dies are also a favorite of mine. You can read my original blog post HERE.

Altenew Craft a Flower Peruvian Lily die cut from gel press prints.
Peruvian Lily Layering Die Set

Weekend Doodles may be my all time favorite Altenew stamp set! On this card, I combined the Weekend Doodles with Altenew Artist Markers (I used Water Garden Set G on this card) and Cross Stitch Cover Die for a crisp clean look. You can read my original post HERE.

Altenew Weekend Doodles card.
Weekend Doodles

As I said above, Altenew’s Cosmos Craft-A-Flower Layering Die Set is my favorite 2021 crafting product. On this card I watercolored panels for my die-cutting. This was my second most popular 2021 blog post and you can read it HERE.

Altenew Craft a Flower Cosmos card.
Cosmos Craft A Flower Layering Die Kit

I adore the The Doodle Blooms Stamp and Die Set! The stamps are whimsical and just make me happy. I again made gel press prints for all the elements of this card. You can read my original post HERE for all the details on how I created this project. I’d like to add that my favorite embellishment is Enamel Dots. I find they really add beautiful detail to projects and I always like to have a variety of colors on hand.

Altenew Doodle Blooms card die cut from gel press prints.
Doodle Blooms

Altenew’s Hibiscus Garden is the first layering die set that I ever bought and it is still a favorite! The potted hibiscus plants around my pool were the inspiration for this mixed media card created from gel press prints. You can read more about this project and a companion card HERE.

Altenew Garden Hibiscus card die cut from gel press prints.
HIbiscus Garden 3D Dies

I really like the simplicity of this card made with The Modern Squares Embossing Folder, white pigment ink and The Fancy Celebrate die. You can read the original post HERE.

Altenew Modern Squares Embossing Folder and Fancy Celebrate die.
Modern Squares Embossing Folder and Fancy Celebrate Die

Sometimes a mini stamp can have a big impact on a card and I think this Bee Kind stamp and die set is adorable and at a great price point. I added a simple watercolor background combined with a Garden Trellis die cut and three enamel dots. My Bee Kind blog post with additional companion card can be found HERE.

Altenew Bee Kind Mini Stamp + Garden Trellis Cover Die.
Bee Kind Mini Stamp Set and Garden Trellis Cover Die

Prizes:

Altenew is giving away a $30 gift certificate to 5 lucky winners and a $15 gift certificate to 4 lucky winners! Please leave a comment on the Altenew Card Blog HERE or share Altenew projects with #AltenewBest2021 on social media by 01/06/2022 for a chance to win. 9 winners will be announced on the Altenew Winners Page on 01/08/2022.

Additional Chance to Win:

WINNER: Marisela Delgado YOU are the winner of a $10 Altenew gift certificate! Please email winner@altenew.com by 01/18/2022 with the subject line Altenew 2021 Year In Review Blog Hop Winner from Karen Brown’s Blog.

I also have a $10 Gift Certificate to GIVEAWAY to the Altenew Online Store. I will choose a random winner from the commentors on this post and announce it here at my blog on 1/08/2022.

BLOG HOP:

Altenew Card Blog 

Alex Syberia

Amy Hill

Annemarie Caister

Bridget Casey

Cheryl Espie

Dana Joy

Daniel Diaz

Danielle Dunlop

Emily Midgett

Erin Thompson

Erum Tasneem

Fiona Duff

Helen Kalb

Ishani

Jaycee Gaspar

Jenny Colacicco

Joylita Dsouza

Juhi Khanna

Karen Brown You Are Here! ūüôā

Kari VanNoy

Keren Baker

LauraJane

Laurie Willison

Lilith Eeckels

Linda Westfall

Maryam Perez

Michelle Short

Mindy Eggen

Nancy Souza

Nandini Karmarkar

Natasha Davies

Nathalie DeSousa

Nicole Watt

Norine Borys

Pam Boedeker

Preeti Chandran

Reiko Tsuchida

Rosie Neustaedter

Sande Woodson

Sandhya Iyer

SathyaKala Sankaran

Seeka

Tenia Nelson

Teresa Litchfield

Teri Wilson

Therese Calvird

Vicky Papaioannou

Virginia Lu

Yasmin Diaz

Yoonsun Hur

Next stop is Kari and her beautiful florals!

You made it to the end! I don’t have one favorite card but these are what I consider my “Best of 2021”. I’d love to hear which is your favorite card in the comments section. If you like what you see, consider following me on Instagram: @karens_mini and my blog (see the subscription bar at the top right corner of this post). Thank you for stopping by!

Wishing you health and happiness in 2022.

Karen

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WWC297 – Helen\’s Challenge: All About Occasions

 

Hello, hello and welcome!¬† This week we are creating \”occasion cards\” at¬†The Watercooler Wednesday Challenge¬†and we would love to see your card in our gallery.¬† Helen is our hostess.¬† This week I chose to made a mixed media card.


I love that there are really no rules with mixed media. It seems the best thing to do is lay out your messiest supplies and then select a bunch for each card.  Do not be a minimalist when experimenting with multi-media.

The background was made by hand-dipping the panel and custom tinting my embossing paste.  
  • I mixed Zig Cobalt Blue with water and¬†Irridescent Shimmer Spray¬†and then dipped a piece of Bristol cardstock into the colorful puddle.¬† I dried the panel and then repeated.
  • I tinted my¬†Embossing Paste¬†with Carved Pumpkin¬†distress ink for a fallish vibe.¬†¬†
  • I swiped the embossing paste over my stencil with a palette¬†knife.¬† I wanted a rough look so I didn\’t cover the entire stencil and I made sure there was a variety of thickness to the paste.¬†
  • While the embossing paste was wet, I sprinkled just a bit of¬†Peach Embossing Powder¬†on the paste and then heat set. I love the texture and interest it adds.¬†
  • I heat embossed¬†Weekend Doodles,¬†watercolored with my Zig markers and then die-cut the image.¬†¬†
  • I added a bit of¬†Painted Grid Washi Tape¬†to the sentiment strip and assembled.¬†¬†
I really like the texture on this card.

I am also playing along with:
UPDATE:¬† I am was pleased to discover that this card was chosen as a \”Top Pick\” at The Mix It Up Challenge!

I am so pleased that you stopped by!
Karen

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Multi Media Cards With Loads of Gorgeous Texture

Hello, hello and welcome!¬† I am excited to share a couple of cards that I made after taking Demystifying Mixed Media¬†at Altenew Academy.¬† I think I can safely say this is the most fun class I\’ve taken to date.¬† Tania Ahmed is a wonderful and inspiring instructor and I went crazy making backgrounds!¬† I made 7 cards and 8 backgrounds, two of which I am showcasing in this blog post.¬† I will be sharing the rest of the cards in future posts.¬†¬†


I love that there are really no rules with mixed media. It seems the best thing to do is lay out your messiest supplies and then select a bunch for each card.  Do not be a minimalist when experimenting with multi-media.

This first background was made by hand-dipping the background and custom tinting my embossing paste.  

  • I mixed Zig Cobalt Blue with water and¬†Irridescent Shimmer Spray¬†and then dipped a piece of Bristol cardstock into the colorful puddle.¬† I dried the panel and then repeated.
  • I tinted my¬†Embossing Paste¬†with Carved Pumpkin¬†distress ink for a fallish vibe.¬†¬†
  • I swiped the embossing paste over my stencil with a palette¬†knife.¬† I wanted a rough look so I didn\’t cover the entire stencil and I made sure there was a variety of thickness to the paste.¬†
  • While the embossing paste was wet, I sprinkled just a bit of¬†Peach Embossing Powder¬†on the paste and then heat set. I love the texture and interest it adds.¬†
  • I heat embossed¬†Altenew\’s Best Mom spray (in brown) and then watercolored and die-cut the image.¬†¬†
I think the aqua, sherbet and brown make for a very striking card.

My second card uses watercolored embossing paste, tulle (a first on a card for me) and loads of paint splatters.

  • I applied texture paste through the¬†Feathered Leaves Stencil¬†and then heat set.
  • Using diluted watercolors mixed with shimmer spray, I loosely colored the background in blue and yellow.
  • Using a damp paint brush, I feathered the watercolor edges and then dabbed with a cloth to soften the edges.
  • I added blue, yellow and black paint splatters.¬†¬†
  • I stamped, watercolored and die cut the¬†¬†Weekend Doodles floral spray.
  • I cut an oval from some tulle gift wrapping ribbon and glued to the back of the floral spray and then adhered the combo to the card base.
  • I added a simple sentiment embellished with¬†Painted Grid Washi Tape.

I am also playing along with:

Creative Artiste\’s Mixed Media Challenge¬†I used paint, shimmer spray, embossing paste, embossing powder and of course paper.¬†¬†

The Flower Challenge #49 \”Circles\”¬† I love the textured circles on this background.

UPDATE:¬† The top card won at The Flower Challenge \”Circles\” Challenge

I hope you will stop by in the near future and see the rest of the Multi-Media cards that I created.

Karen

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WWC288 – Kath\’s Challenge: All About Occasions

Hello!¬† I am excited that you stopped by to see this card…I love how bright and bold it is!¬†


This week at The Watercooler Wednesday Challenge we are creating Occasion cards.  Talented Kath is our hostess.  There are so many occasions and we would love to see your project in our gallery.

I started by stamping, Copic coloring and die-cutting two floral sprays.¬† I wanted to ink blend a complimentary background, but in reverse order of the colors of the flowers.¬† Since the card is bold, I also wanted some contrast, so I masked off 1 1/2\” on the left side of the card base.¬† I started ink blending in the bottom right with yellow and then added six more colors to achieve the gradient I was looking for.¬† I arranged the two sprays along the border of the white strip and ink blending and used foam adhesive¬†to give added¬† and dimension to the focal point.
Supplies Used:
Simon Says Stamp Birthday Mix 1 sentiment stamp & die bundle
Distress Inks
Copic markers
Foam Squares
Masking tape

Time Out \”Seasons\” Challenge #169¬†with optional twist coloring.


UPDATE:  My card received honors at Time Out!

This card also was selected as a \”Top 3\” at Double D!

I am so pleased that you stopped by!
Karen
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WWC287 – Helen\’s Challenge: Anything Goes With A Feminine Twist

Hello, hello and welcome!¬† I can\’t believe it is September already.¬† This week at¬†Watercooler Wednesday¬†we are creating feminine cards and Helen is our hostess.¬†¬†

I did a bit of loosed watercoloring with Nuvo Shimmer Powders.  I very loosely painted the wreath and then made a coordinating background by sopping up the leftover pigment with watercolor paper. The secret to the background is to layer the color, dry and repeat.  It is hard to tell in the photograph, but there is a beautiful shimmer to the card.  I had enough pigment left that I made a second background to use on a future card.

Supplies:
Tonic Nuvo Shimmer Powder (hydrated into a watercolor)
The Greetery Crimped Frame die

We would love to see your creation in our gallery.

Karen
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Altenew Academy Level 2 Final Project

Hello, hello….so pleased you stopped by! I finished Altenew Academy\’s Level 2 Classes and wanted to share my final project.¬† I was challenged to make four masculine cards for four different occasions. I had loads of ideas and had a lot of fun creating.¬† To make my cards masculine, I used my husband\’s favorite colors….aqua, blue and green.¬† ¬†Mark probably wears an aqua or blue Columbia fishing shirt five days out of seven…he calls it his uniform!¬† ¬† I also used lots of die-cuts because Mark loves those on cards.¬† ¬†The unifying elements are handcrafted backgrounds and embossed sentiments on navy cardstock.¬† ¬†I\’ve learned so much over the past three months but I decided to spotlight three favorite classes:

  • Beyond Basic Backgrounds – We learned to make beautiful backgrounds to enhance our cards.
  • Celebration Stencil Techniques – We learned to expand our stenciling repertoire.¬†
  • Masking Unleashed – We learned various masking techniques that up the \”wow\” factor of our cards.

Encouragement Card:

This first card is my husband\’s favorite of the group.¬†Mark\’s beverages of choice are coffee and hot tea….he makes a pot of each every day and¬† the color yellow is very encouraging and optimistic¬†(In The Mood For Color). My idea was to make inlaid circle die cuts that coordinated with a hand crafted background.¬† We worked on inlaid die-cutting in Beyond Basic Backgrounds and stencil overlays in Celebration Stencil Techniques.¬†¬†

  • I started by taping my Altenew Watercolor Stripes stencil to a watercolor paper panel.¬† I then wet the paper with clean water and then dabbed and pounced three colors of distress ink onto the paper.¬† I LOVE this technique and think it makes a very fun background.¬†¬†
  • Next, I took a second watercolor panel and used the wet on wet technique to dab the same three colors of distress ink on the panel.¬† After the paper dried, I die cut three 1 1/2\” circles.
  • I die-cut a white watercolor paper overlay for the inlaid technique.
  • I stamped, Copic colored and die cut three coffee/tea elements from Altenew\’s Tea Time stamp and die bundle.
  • I heat embossed an encouraging sentiment on navy cardstock.
  • I assembled the card using liquid glue and foam squares (for the cups and sentiment).

PRO TIP:¬† Don\’t over-wet the watercolor paper.¬† If you do, the ink will flow under the stencil and you will lose the white lines.¬† You do want it watery enough that you achieve a casual watercolor look.

Birthday Card:

This card was inspired by the class on Color Blocking and the negative masking we learned in Masking Unleashed.  I think the bold colors are both festive and masculine.

  • I started by negative masking three 1 1/4\” squares.¬† I then used ink blending brushes to liberally apply ink to the squares.
  • I stamped and die cut three images from Altenew\’s Garden Grow stamp and die bundle.¬† I wanted the colors to be the star so I left the images uncolored.¬† I think this makes for a very eye-catching look.
  • I heat embossed a birthday sentiment on blue card stock and then assembled my card.

PRO TIP:  For a sharp edge, be sure your mask is evenly and securely adhered to the card panel.

Love/Thinking of You Card:

I love ink blending and negative masking so I again drew upon the lessons learned in Masking Unleashed.

  • I masked off a large negative mask around my card panel.¬† I blended in a medium blue and then applied a vivid blue around the edges.¬† So pretty and fun to do!
  • I stamped, Copic colored and die cut two images from Altenew\’s Garden Grow stamp and die bundle.¬† This is one of the first stamp sets I purchased and it is still a favorite!
  • I heat embossed my sentiment, assembled my card and attached to a top folding A2 card base.

PRO TIP:  I think using two shades of blue added depth to my one layer card background.  

Anniversary Card:

I knew I wanted to use the wreath from Altenew\’s Weekend Doodles and I thought it would be beautiful colored in green.¬† This was the starting point for my card.¬† After I had stamped, Copic colored and die cut the wreath I thought about backgrounds.¬† I finally decided to go with another bold color coordinated stenciled background.


  • I Copic colored the wreath with 3 different shades of yellow-green and green.¬†¬†
  • I started by taping my Altenew Watercolor Stripes stencil to a watercolor paper panel.¬† I then wet the paper with clean water and then dabbed and pounced four colors of distress ink onto the paper.¬† I told you above that I love this technique!¬†¬†
  • I die-cut and assembled the card on a top-folding A2 base.¬† ¬†¬†



Here is a photo of all the cards.  To see what I did with the muslin bag, please keep reading.

Upcycled Item:

Finally, we were asked to upcycle or alter an item. I ordered some muslin favor bags for my daughter\’s wedding and have quite a few left so I thought this would be the basis for my upcycle project.¬† I thought they would be cute \”envelops\” for cards given in person or fun little gift pouches. A lot of the techniques we learned at Altenew Academy can be applied to non-card projects and I would like to share the processes I used to¬† decorate my muslin bags:

·        Stamping on fabric

·        Coloring on fabric

·        Ink blending on fabric

·        Felt die-cuts adhered to fabric

·        Stamp layering on fabric

I started by personalizing a little bag for each of the cards that I created above. 


For the first two cards, I ironed the bag, secured it in my Misti and stamped just once.  That is all it needed and I was afraid the fabric might shift if I stamped it a second time.  I then did some easy coloring with my Tombow markers.  The fabric colors well but you can’t do much complicated shading.
















 
For the Encouragement Card, I masked three squares and then ink blended white pigment ink inside the squares. I let the ink dry and then I stamped (with black Pigment ink) 3 coffee mugs.  I finished by drawing a black border around each square with a permanent marker.  Simple but graphic looking.

For the Color Block Card, I again masked three squares and then ink blended with the same (distress) inks I used on the cards.  It is interesting that the colors change a bit on fabric, but the result is a bright fun pouch.

PRO TIP:  I inserted a piece of paper inside the bag to prevent the ink and glue from bleeding through to the backside. 

While I was at it, I wanted to do some felt die-cutting.  For my first card I die cut five balloons from felt and glued blue thread to the back.  For the second card I die-cut a Mega Alphabet B and added a sprig of die-cut greenery.


PRO TIP:  To keep the felt from stretching and tearing while die cutting, I first glued a piece of regular paper to the back of the felt.  I let it dry overnight and did my die-cutting the next day.  This makes a huge difference in the quality of the die-cut!

My final idea was to do a bit of stamp layering on fabric.  I used pigment ink, dried with my heat tool and then moved on to the next color.  This card is definitely feminine but I wanted to try the technique on muslin and all my layering stamps are flowers. 

Featured Altenew Products:

Altenew Watercolor Stripes stencil

Altenew Tea Time stamp and die bundle

Altenew Garden Grow stamp and die bundle

Altenew Weekend Doodles stamp and die set

Altenew Bride to Be stamp and die bundle

Altenew Mega Alphabet B die



I really enjoyed putting this project together!
Karen






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Altenew Academy: Beautiful Details

Hello!¬† I just finished¬†the Altenew Academy Class \”Beautiful Details\”.¬† I have to say our instructor, Marika Rahtu, is quite the artist and her cards are amazing!¬† Marika taught us that adding details can elevate our cards.


My style is more colorful and bold, but I incorporated several of her suggestions into my card.

Details I added to make this card special:

  • I love ink blending so I ink blended a complimentary background.¬† I reversed the colors from the floral images so I started blending from the bottom right in yellow (top flower) then added 5 other colors so that I finished with purple to get the gradient that I wanted.¬† I laid down a lot of ink and think this gives a bold and cohesive look to the card.¬†¬†
  • I masked the left side (1\”) of the card to give contrast to the bold colors.
  • I used foam adhesive¬†to give dimension to the focal point.
  • I added some shimmer pen to the flowers for a bit of subtle shine.
This Altenew Weekend Doodles stamp and die bundle may be my favorite set from Altenew.  I Copic colored the blooms and arranged them where the ink blending meets the white edge. 
I am also playing along with:
¬†Festive Friday FF0064.¬† I\’ve used¬† pink, a sweet sentiment, die cuts and colored my card for \”summer fun\”.
Little Red Wagon #560 Give Us Your Background  I used loads of distress ink to make this bold background.  
UPDATE:  I am so please that this card was chosen as a Festive Friday Fave!


Karen
 
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WWC261 – Kath\’s Challenge: Anything Goes With a Feminine Twist

Hello and welcome!¬† This week is our always popular \”feminine\” challenge at¬†Watercooler Wednesday.¬† Kath is our hostess.
Altenew Espresso Crisp die ink
I made this card for my sister\’s birthday.¬† I heat embossed,¬† watercolored then die-cut this beautiful floral image from Altenew.¬† I used watercolor paper for the painted panel and the card base as I liked the continuity of texture across the card.¬† I am not sure you can tell in the photograph, but I really like the textured look in person.¬† ¬†I also went with a brown sentiment for a more natural look.

Supplies:
Altenew Weekend Doodles stamp and die
Altenew Espresso Crisp die ink
Watercolor paper
White Embossing Powder
Kuretake watercolors

I am pleased with the card and look forward to popping it in the mail to my sister.

I am entering this card in:




I am so pleased you stopped by!
Karen
Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says \'AART WWC261 Kath\'s Challenge: Anything Goes With a Feminine Twist\'
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WWC251 – Dawn\’s "All About Occasions" Challenge

Hello and welcome. This week we are making \”Occasion\” cards at The Watercooler Wednesday Challenge¬†which means holiday cards to birthday cards to sympathy cards…the list is vast.¬† Dawn is our talented hostess.
I chose to make some thank you cards to use during the holiday season.  I wanted bright, festive and fun so I opted to go with my Zig markers.  

I stamped, colored and die-cut my wreath.  My wreath has five Christmas colors. I wanted a clean and simple look but with a bit of interest on the background so I dry embossed an A2 panel.  I liked that the planks look snow covered when embossed on white paper. I also wanted a small sentiment that would fit inside the wreath and within the boundaries of the plank so I looked through my sentiments and found this cute little one.

I like the top folding cards I see online but I had never made one until this card. I do think it adds a fun little twist to cards.  While I was at it, I made a batch of top folding cards so I will be making more in the future.

ZIG Clean Color markers in 036, 031, 033, 053, 041, 200, 202, 029
Supplies:
Tim Holtz Alterations Wood Planks Embossing Folder
Bristol Cardstock
Zig Markers:  036, 031, 033, 053, 041, 200, 202, 029 + blender
Versafine Black Ink for wreath
Gerda Steiner Hedge Hog Sentiment (with Archival Jet Black ink)

I am submitting my card to:
Bright happy colors raise my spirits and bring me joy.  




UPDATE:  My card was selected as a Top Pick at The As You See It Challenge:

Thank you for stopping by!
Karen
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