WWC296 – Michelle\’s Challenge: Anything Feminine Goes


Hello, hello and welcome!  This week we are creating feminine cards at The Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and we would love to see your creation in our gallery.  Michelle is our hostess this week.  

I\’ve had my eye on the Altenew Hibiscus Garden 3D die set for sometime and finally bought it.  I wanted to use seasonal jewel tones  so I die cut my pieces from Altenew\’s Enchanting Washes Cardstock.  I like the gorgeous colors and the fact that it is thick like cardstock.  For the leaves I ink blendeded  4 colors of green on watercolor paper.  My background is a light watercolor wash where I then softened the edges with a towel so it fades out.  I dried the panel and then  added purple and black paint spatters.  Next I mixed gesso with Iridescent Shimmer Spray and added more splatters.  I assembled and paired with a Bold Envelope and my birthday card is now ready to mail.

I am also playing along with:

Festive Friday FF0071 I included die cuts, patterned paper (hibiscus), flowers and sentiment.  

UPDATE:  I was excited to see my card was selected as a \”Festive Fave\”!

Crafty Hazel Nuts Patterned Paper Challenge  I used Altenew Enchanting Washes Patterned Cardstock for the two hibiscus.



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.



Altenew Academy Watercolor 101

Hello, hello and welcome!  I was so pleased to learn that I passed the Altenew Academy Level 2 Final and can now begin working on Level 3 courses!  For my first level 3 class I chose to take Artist\’s Watercolor 101 taught by Emily Midgett.  It may be my favorite class to date!  Emily\’s explanations and demonstrations are excellent and so easy to follow.  I had so much fun during this class that I included two cards in this blog post encompassing three of Emily\’s lessons.

I watercolored the lotus using techniques in we learned in Lesson 2:  Basic Watercoloring and the background is from Lesson 3:  Ombre Backgrounds. I chose to use the lotus stamp because the \”sketched lines\” help indicate where the shadow should go.  
My Process:

I wanted to use fall colors so I started by heat embossing the bloom with chocolate brown embossing powder. Emily taught us to slightly elevate the panel and then slowly build layers of color starting at the inked lines and then pulling the color out with a damp brush.  The watercolors were fairly diluted.  I started with yellow, then moved to orange, then scarlet and then a more concentrated scarlet in the deepest shadows.  The first layers should have with widest application of color and each new layer should stay closer to the inked lines.

Keys to Remember:  
  1. In the past, I think I\’ve had too much water on my brush. Emily showed us that if you dab your brush on a stamp shammy you will have the correct amount of water.  This really helped me.
  2. Use fairly diluted watercolors.
  3. Keep the tip of the brush pointing away from you. Rotate the paper and use the slant of the board to move the paint.
  4. Remember to let each layer dry before beginning on the next layer.

I wanted a coordinating background so I used the same colors that I used to paint the lotus.  I taped the watercolor panel to a board to reduce warping, elevated the board and then started painting at the top with a #12 brush.  We learned to put darker color at the top and then pull the color down with a damp brush. Keep adding color and then maneuvering the color around with a damp brush.  Flip the board, skip an area and then add the third color then pull the color toward with scarlet.  Pull color down and push the middle color up.  Continue adding layers of color and keep blending.  I die cut the lotus, heat embossed a sentiment on cocoa card stock, assembled with foam tape and added some buttercream jewels.  I like how bright, intense and cohesive the color palette is.  I am very pleased with this card.

I find no-line watercoloring very intimidating so I was eager to start lesson #5.  I feel like it is an advanced technique but Emily broke the steps down in such a way that I was comfortable painting.  I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast the same lotus flower painted with the two different techniques.
Emily recommends no line stamping with Ink on 3 Fadeout.  This was my first time using this ink and it worked well.  The key to no line watercoloring is to maintain contrast between the light and dark areas.
I started with fairly diluted paint, put my first color down and then pulled it out with a damp brush.  Skip to an area that does not touch and then repeat the process until the first layer is down.  After the first layer is dry, start with the second color but don\’t cover all of the first layer. Dry and add color 3 to the nooks and crannies.  Do not add the third color to each petal as this keeps interesting contrast.  Add the 4th color to the darkest shadow areas.  

For the background, I randomly stamped \”mini branches\” on about half the background with pink. Next, starting at the top, I ink blended a gradient toward the bottom. The bottom third of the card does not have any color.

I assembled the card and added a navy die-cut sentiment and some water drop embellishments.  

Here are both cards side by side. Which do you like best?
Altenew Featured Products: Here
I also wanted to play along with:
The Rainbow Card Challenge #21 Autumnal Amber.  I am submitting my first card that was done in shades of autumnal amber.  
Thank you so much for stopping by!


Altenew Academy: Creative Watercolor Media

Hello and welcome.  I just completed The Altenew Academy \”Creative Watercolor Media\” class and wanted to share this card with you.  

In class #4 we were taught how to watercolor with shimmer sprays.  I don\’t have any shimmer sprays so I hydrated some shimmer powders and used that instead.  In class #5, we learned to make watercolor backgrounds so I made a coordinating panel for the lotus.
My Process:
  • I thought Altenew\’s Inked Lotus would be so pretty with this technique so I stamped the images on watercolor paper using Versafine Onyx Black ink.  I then let it dry.
  • I hydrated 5 colors total, three for the lotus (pink, purple and blue) and two for the stem (green and yellow).  I then used the wet on wet technique as I dropped color into the the petals of the bloom.  The colors don\’t blend as well as watercolors, but the shimmer patina is so pretty in person.
  • I popped the watercolor panel back in my Misti and restamped the outline after the paint dried.
  • I decided to make a coordinating background so I spritzed the leftover shimmer paint on my media mat with additional water and then dipped a piece of watercolor paper into the puddle.  I dried and re-dredged until I liked the background.  I still had leftover ink so I was able to make a second background panel to keep with my \”made ahead\” backgrounds.  
  • The sentiment is from the same Inked Lotus stamp and die bundle.  I love when a stamp set has usable sentiments included.
Pro Tip:  The key to these watercolor backgrounds is to add lots of layers of color.  Dredge, dry and repeat until you like the panel.  

I am also playing along with The Flower Challenge and their Summer/Winter theme.  Summer for me!  I used cool blues and purples that remind me of a swimming pool.

I am so pleased that you stopped by!

Altenew Academy: Celebration Stencil Techniques

Hello and welcome.  I just finished a wonderful Altenew Academy course and I am excited to share my card with you.   Laurel Beard taught us stencil techniques and I loved them all!  This is my favorite card from the class.  I also used my favorite Altenew stamp and die bundle called Weekend Doodles.
Bright card featuring Altenew Watercolor Stripes Stencil and Weekend Doodles stamp and die bundle.
My inspiration came from lesson 3:  Stamping with Stencils and  I chose to watercolor over my stencil.

My Process:
  1. I taped my stencil to a 6 x  6 piece of watercolor paper.  Next, I wet my watercolor paper well with a brush.  I then \”pounced\” three colors of distress ink onto the wet watercolor paper.  
  2. I haven\’t used my Zig markers in months but they were exactly what I wanted for this project because of their bright vibrant colors.  I heat embossed my floral image, colored with Zigs and then die cut.
  3. I die cut a white panel for the sentiment and to provide some contrast with the bold stripes and then heat embossed the sentiment.  I glued the white panel to the background and then used foam tape to adhere the flowers.
Altenew Watercolor Stripes Stencil
Distress Inks:  Salty Ocean, Mermaid Lagoon and Twisted Citron
Zig Markers:  Emerald, Green Shadow, Pale Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Yellow and Bright Yellow.
Watercolor Paper
Neenah Cardstock
Versafine Onyx Black ink and Clear Embossing Powder
Liquid Glue
Foam Tape

I am also playing along with:

I was so pleased to see this card chosen as a Top 3 at Tuesday Thowdown!

I am so pleased you stopped by and I would love to hear what you think about this card.



WWC262 – Marsha\’s Challenge: All About Occasions

Hello and welcome!  This week we are creating occasion cards at The Watercooler Wednesday Challenge and Marsha is our hostess.
I wanted to make a spotlight background for this joyful girl. I started by drawing (in pencil) an off-center circle.  With a brush, I filled in the circle with clean water and then dropped in three different watercolors (yellow-green, green and blue-green) and let them blend.   I wanted the background to be mostly green as I associate that color with March.  After the panel dried, I erased the pencil line.  I stamped, Copic colored and fussy-cut my girl and then adhered on the watercolor.  I popped on an embossed sentiment and my card was complete.

Picket Fence Studio Sweet Dear Friend Stamp
SSS Birthday Mix 1 Sentiment
Watercolor Paper
Kuretake Watercolors

I am so pleased that you stopped by!

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WWC238 – Tristan\’s "All About Occasions" Challenge

Hello and welcome!  This week it is all about occasions at Watercooler Wednesday and I chose to make a birthday card.  Tristan is our hostess this week.  Pop by the Watercooler Wednesday Challege website for more details and to link your creation.

WPlu9 Doodle buds stamps and coordinating dies.
I bought a new die, Sunny Studio Frilly Frame Stripe, so I wanted to incorporate it into my card design.  I started by making a background with my Kuretake watercolors and then added the overlay to my background. I stamped, Copic colored and die cut the floral images.  I wanted the sentiment to match so I inked a piece of cardstock with a coordinating Copic marker.  Learning lesson….Let the ink fully dry before attempting to die cut. The first sentiment stuck to the die and came out in 100 tiny pieces.

Sunny Studio Frilly Frames Stripes die
WPlus9 Doodle Buds stamps and dies
SSS Happy Birthday die
Kuretake Watercolors
Distress Watercolor Paper
Neenah cardstock

Thanks for stopping by!
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Guest Designer for Craft Stamper Magazine

I am so pleased to have been selected to be the Guest Designer for Craft Stamper Magazine this month!  Hop over to their July \”Take It or Make It\” website for some inspiration or to enter your stamped creation.
Heat embossed seahorse
Since it is summer I went with a bold nautical card.  I won the Visible Images Create Your Own Calm stamp set in a card challenge and this is what I crafted.  The background is watercolored with three colors of blue/blue-green watercolor paints.  I wet the watercolor paper and then dropped in colors randomly and let them blend as they pleased.  I then white heat embossed the darling seahorse and rings.  I trimmed the panel down so that I would have a contrasting white strip when I mounted on a white A2 card.  I heat embossed the sentiment on vivid blue card stock and then trimmed it with a stitched die.  

I hope you like this card and that you will submit your creation to Craft Stamper Magazine\’s Take It Make It Challenge.

I am entering this card in:
The Rainbow \”Blue Breezes\” Challenge

Country View Blues and Greens Challenge
Help yourself to our buddy button

Thanks for stopping by!

Coffee in the Garden

Hello and thank you for stopping by!  I always love a good scene card and I came up with the idea of \”Coffee in the Garden\” using Altenew\’s Garden Grow and Tea Time sets. Garden Grow is a longtime favorite set that I love to pull out and create little vignettes with and Tea Time worked just great to finish the scene.  I am entering this card in the Altenew May Challenge.

Handmade card with Coffee in the Garden theme.

I watercolored a background with two shades of yellow and then set my panel aside to dry.   I stamped, colored (with Copics) and die cut the garden and coffee images and then adhered to the background panel with  foam squares for added dimension.  I think I\’ve created an idyllic little scene that is going to my sister on her birthdy.

Altenew May Challenge:  I loved this close-up garden scene inspiration.   I chose to back up and create the macro view.

Coffee Loving Card Makers Spring/Summer Hop I am so excited to participate in this hop. My entry is \”Coffee in the Garden\”.

UPDATE:  I was so pleased to see that my card was selected as one of Coffee Loving Card Makers Designer Picks. and Flash Prize Winner.  Thank you to Cats Pajama\’s Art Stamps for the gift certificate to their store!



Altenew Garden Grow Birthday Card

Hello and thank you for stopping by!  I was asked to be a \”Guest Designer\” for the CAS on Friday \”Butterfly\” Challenge.

Altenew\’s Garden Grow stamp set is a longtime favorite so I thought it would be fun to have a gardening vignette with pink and yellow butterflies landing on the watering can and potted plant.

I started by making a simple blue watercolor background.  Next, I stamped and used Copics to color my gardening trio.  I wanted a spotlight circle so I used a stitched circle die.  I assembled the card and added a birthday sentiment.

This card is for my mother-in-law who loves butterflies and gardening.

I am entering this card in:
Altenew\’s April Inspiration Challenge.  I used the pink, yellow, blue color scheme for my background and butterflies and used the rainbow colors for the flowers in my pot.  I just adore this Altenew Garden Grow stamp and die set.  Every spring I seem to pull it out and make loads of cards.

Allsorts Blossoms, Butterflies and Bugs Challenge.  I chose to focus on the blossoms and butterflies for my spring gardening card.
Grab our logo

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge.  I love the spring mood board this week and thought my garden vignette worked well.