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WWC308 – Tristan\’s Challenge: All About Occasions

 Hello and welcome!  We are making \”Occasion\” cards this week at Watercooler Wednesday and Tristan is our hostess.

I created a simple silhouette card using Altenew\’s just released Tall Foliage set.  I masked the edges of my slimline panel and then ink blended my background.  After the panel was completely dry I  black heat embossed this pretty sketchy flower.  This is a pretty card that was fairly quick to make.  

We would love to see your card in our GALLERY.

Thanks for stopping by!
Karen
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Altenew Love & Friendship Stamps/Dies/Stencils/Embossing Folders Collection Release Blog Hop + Giveaway

Altenew Love and Friendship Blog Hop

Hello and welcome!  I am so excited to be hopping along with Altenew for their February 2021 Release!  They have so many beautiful new products!  I was very inspired by this Collection and I think you will be too.

I would love to show you three projects…so keep scrolling.  There are also loads of prizes so check the details below and start hopping!

Masculine Valentine

Altenew Tall Foliage Stamp, Die and Coloring Stencil

The first card is a valentine that I made for my husband using The Tall Foliage Bundle.  I positioned the two die cuts so that to me, they looked like they were dancing.  I ink blended a slimline panel using Altenew\’s Large Ink Blending Tool.  While that panel was drying, I stamped and colored the two elements using the coordinating coloring stencil and Small Ink Blending Tool.   I love the Lagoon leaves (The Rainbow Mini Cube Set) against the green background. The \”So Glad I Found You\” sentiment is included in this stamp set.

TIP:  The first thing I did was make a stamp guide template.  I die cut each element out of sturdy cardstock and then used this as a template to layout my stamp so that everything lined up well.  The stamp is tall and this method worked well for me.  You only have to make the template once and then I just store it with my bundle.  

The The Tall Foliage bundle is gorgeous and  includes the stamps along with loads of sentiments, the coordinating dies, the coloring stencil and I used all three on my two cards.  Altenew also included a multipanel inspiration guide that was very helpful. These two stamps are large…the tall foliage is 7 3/4\” tall and the flower is 6 3/4\” and adds a lot of impact to your projects.

For my second card, I wanted a dramatic background to contrast with the white and green folliage,  so I used the \”direct to paper\” inking method.  I selected 8 different colors of ink pads in shades from turqouise to dark blue.  I rubbed each color in sections of the cardstock and I kept the middle softer and the edges darker.  At first, the background looked like a terrible mess but as you add layers it turns into a bold and complex panel. 

I used the coloring stencil,  Small Ink Blending Tool and  Green Valley Mini Ink Cube Set (Shadow Creek) to shade parts of the leaves.  The sentiment is from the  Inked Lotus Bundle.


I wanted to make a coordinating background for my roses and found the The Organic Linen 3D Embossing Folder from this release was perfect!  The end result was a subtle textured background with a hint of color in the valleys of the panel. 

Organic Linen 3D Embossing Folder

I dabbed a generous amount of pink pigment ink on my work surface and then ran a brayer across the ink.  I then ran the brayer across the embossing folder, placed a sheet of cardstock in and then closed.  I found that I liked the result best when I inked the embossing folder side with the sticker.  Either, side works, but I liked that pattern the best. The sandwich I used was one embossing plate + embossing folder + magnetic shim  + plastic shim.  Note, I only used ONE embossing plate, not two.  This sandwich was recommended by Jennifer McGuire in a video I watched last year.   I did make some other panels using dye ink that I will use in a future blog post. 

3D embossing folder with pink pigment ink.

The roses are from The Bellaroma Hybrid Tea Rose  BUILD A  FLOWER that was released last week.     I wanted to make a valentine for my mom,  so I chose pink for the blooms and  vivid green for leaves.  I used The Green Valley Mini Ink Cube Set.  and used the middle two colors, Green Fields and Shadow Creek.   I added a small piece of Painted Grid Washi Tape to the top of my sentiment for a little added interest.  

Here is a  Link to Altenew\’s Love and Friendship Blog Hop.        


Click HERE to see the entire Love and Friendship Collection.                             

                                                GIVEAWAY:


$300 in total prizes! To celebrate this release, Altenew is giving away a $50 gift certificate to 2 lucky winners and a $20 gift certificate to 10 winners! Please leave a comment on theAltenew Card Blog and/or each designer’s blog post on the blog hop list below by 02/08/2021 for a chance to win. Altenew will draw 12 random winners from the comments left on each stop of this blog hop and announce the winners on the Altenew Winners Page on 02/11/2021.

  

Altenew is also running a free gift promotion:


                                                BLOG HOP:


Thanks for stopping by!

Karen

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Altenew Tall Vase

Altenew Tall Vase Stamp and Die

Hello and welcome!  Just a quick post today to spotlight this fun new Altenew mini-stamp set called Tall Vase.  This card was fast and easy to create.  A masked ink blended background with this beautiful die cut botanical image.  

Thanks for stopping by!
Karen

 

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WWC300 – Tristan\’s Challenge: Anything Feminine Goes

Hello and welcome!  There is a lot of \”new\” on the card that I created for this week\’s Watercooler Wednesday challenge.  I love ink blending and have been wanting to try Altenew\’s Ink Blending Tool so I recently purchased the large blender and this was my first time giving it a \”go\”.   I was immediately impressed by how well the blender worked my background.  We are making \”feminine\” cards this week  so I went with some fun bright coral, pink and purple for my background.  This is a new color combination for me, but I really like it and will definitely use it again.  


A while back, I won some stamps from Crackerbox and Suzy and I wanted to use their Christmas tree, which I thought was quite girly too.  

I started my project by masking off the bottom of my card panel and then began my ink blending.  I created a crude tree mask with a post-it and  added white pigment dots with a fun stamp.  After that was dry I added the script stamp.  I didn\’t want the script to be uniform so I dabbed off some of the ink prior to stamping.  Last, I heat embossed the the tree.  

What is new for me on this card:

Altenew\’s Ink Blending Tool for the background

Crackerbox and Suzy\’s Christmas Tree Fancy Swirl

The Distress Ink background combo (coral, raspberry, seedless preserves)

MFT\’s Romantic Script (I purchased this months ago but had not used it yet)


Supplies:

Crackerbox and Suzy Christmas Tree Fancy Swirl

Altenew Large Ink Blending Tool

Altenew Pinstripe (dots)

MFT Romantic Script

Hero Arts Unicorn Pigment Ink

Distress Ink:  Abandoned Coral, Pickled Raspberry and Seedless Preserves (Ink Blending)

Distress Ink: Frayed Burlap (background script)

Black heat embossing

Bristol Cardstock

I am also playing along with:

Allsorts: Christmas Flowers, Wreaths and Trees Challenge  I am playing along with my Christmas Tree.

Krafty Chicks All Occasions Challenge  I made a holiday card

Love to Craft December Anything Goes Challenge

I am so happy you stopped by!

Karen

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Altenew Academy Level 3 Workshop

 

Hello!  I am so excited to share the final project for my Level 3 Altenew Academy Educator Certification Program.  At left I am talking about my samples for the ink-blending card we created.  

This has been such a fun journey for me! I started the certification program in May and since then I have taken 25 classes, written 25 blog posts about what I learned and completed a final project for Level 1 and Level 2.  The class instructors taught me new techniques and improved the skills I had.  I\’ve worked hard, learned a lot and enjoyed every moment!

I invited four good friends over for a morning of card making and it became an \”international event\” with the on-line attendance of  Virginia Lu of Canada and Erum Tasneem of Pakistan.  They have been so encouraging and were with me every step of the way.  

I started by creating two beginner level card projects to teach to my participants:  faux watercolor stamping and ink blending with stencils.  I worked on my lesson plan, came up with a timeline and created sample cards which I submitted to Virginia in advance.  The day before, I set up the workspace for my class.

Each work station had a silicone mat, microfiber cloth, blending brush, stamps, stencils, washi tape, A2 card panels, two die cut sentiments, acrylic blocks, ink, liquid glue, A2 card bases, colored envelops, tags and ribbon.  

We talked about analogous, monochromatic and neutral colors and demonstrated how to use the color wheel.  Next we selected our ink colors, inked our stamps and then spritzed with water for a faux watercolor look.   We set our faux watercolors aside to dry and practiced ink blending on a panel.  Several of my friends liked their practice panel so much that they made a third card even though the class plan was for two.  I had plenty of extra card bases and sentiments so our impromptu cards came together just fine. For our planned second card we did ink blending over a stencil.  We then trimmed and assembled our cards and we made such a happy mess!
This is what the table looked like when we were done.  Liz created the three cards above.  The one on the right is faux watercolor, the middle is the practice ink blending panel and the left was the planned ink-blending over a stencil card.  Below is Liz with her three cards.

 Nancy and her cards are below.  Nancy created a bonus card also.



Rhonda created three cards as well.
Kathy\’s cards turned out great too!

Of course we needed a group photo as well.

I think my friends had a great time….as Nancy said \”Making cards is relaxing, fun and therapeutic\”.  Exactly!
A big thank you to Virginia, Erum, Kathy, Rhonda, Nancy and Liz. What a fun day!
Essential Altenew Supplies:
Block Print Stamp Set (for faux watercoloring)

Flowing Drops Stencil

Hello Die

Thanks for stopping by!  It was most enjoyable and I am happy to share the experience with you.
Karen








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Finding and Incorporating Inspiration Into Your Project

Hello, hello and welcome!  Today I am blogging about a fascinating class I took at Altenew Academy called Mission Inspiration. Nicole Watt was our instructor and instead of focusing on technique, this class was all about finding inspiration for our creations.  

For this post I wanted to use a combination of color and layout inspiration for my cards.  I envisioned a trio layout with color selection coming from Pinterest.  Nicole had great ideas for searching for \”color combos\” and I found this quite fun! I also decided to work on staging and styling my photographs and I am pleased with the result.


I loved the graphic below and used the red, orange, citronella green and teal as the color inspiration for my card. 

I hand inked the background because I thought the result was more vibrant than the colored card stock I tried first. The center of the flower is a fun enamel dot.



The second card is very similar but I used three flowers from the same stamp set and a different color inspiration graphic.

Here is the inspiration swatch for my second card.
Again, I ink blended the background and then colored the blooms in melon and pink.  The centers are enamel dots which adds a fun detail to the card.
Here are the cards together and I think they are a bright and happy duo.  Inspiration is everywhere and I will be drawing on these six classes as I create in the future.

Altenew Products Used: Link Here

Altenew Doodle Blooms

Altenew Pinstripe (sentiment)

Altenew New Day Enamel Dots

Altenew Jet Black Crisp Die Ink

Altenew Envelope Variety Pack

I am also playing along with:

As You Like It \”Bright or Pastel\”  I almost always go with bright on my cards because I love bold colors.  🙂

Thank you for stopping by!

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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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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WWC285 – Karen\’s Challenge: Anything Goes with a Masculine Twist

Hello and welcome!  I am so pleased to be hosting this week\’s \”Masculine Challenge\” at the Watercooler Wedenesday Challenge. My husband\’s birthday is coming up and this is the card I created for him. I was going for a playful summery card.  
My process:
  • I started out by inkblending over a stencil to create the background panel.
  • I then ink blended another small panel for the circle die-cut inserts.  I let both panels dry for a few hours.
  • I die cut the decorative wave border and then three circles from a piece of white card stock.
  • I then die cut three ink-blended circles from the small panel.
  • I stamped, Copic colored  and die cut the animals.
  • I adhered the white panel to the blue background using foam tape. I also used foam tape to add the colored circle inserts for an inlaid look.  I popped on the animals with foam squares and added the sentiment.
My husband loves animal die-cuts so I think he will really like the card. 

Supplies Used:
My Favorite Things Lucky Dog
Simon Says Stamp Stacking Animals
Sugar Pea Designs Element Builder (wave border)
Simon Says Stamp Grid Stencil
Simon Says Stamp Stitched Circle dies
Distress Ink
Bristol Card Stock for ink blending
XPress It Card Stock for the animals
Copic Markers

I am also playing along with:
Inspired By “Critters” Challenge My husband loves critters, dog etc. so that is the theme of my birthday card.

AAA Birthday “Tic Tac Toe” I went with bright (summery colors), embossing (sentiment) and masculine (for my husband).

UPDATE:  I was so pleased to see my card was selected \”Top 3\”  at The AAA Birthday Challenge. 

I am so pleased that you stopped by!
Karen
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Altenew Academy – Impressive Heat Embossing

Hello!  I just completed another course at Altenew Academy called Impressive Heat Embossing.  So many great cardmaking techniques from Svetlana Marchenko!


This card is from lesson #3, Heat Embossing for Resist.

I love to ink-blend so I chose to ink blend over my embossing.  For ink blending it is best to start with light colors and then add the darker tones.  I started with my palest yellow, then added sunshine yellow and finished up with orange highlights.  For the stem I used two shades of green.  I die-cut my \”thanks\” from aqua paper and I like the big showy sentiment.  I love how bright and cheery this card turned out.

Altenew Supplies:
Altenew Inked Lotus
Altenew Thanks die

I am so pleased that you stopped by!
Karen