Thursday, July 30, 2020

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
 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

WWC282 - Fifth Week Anything Goes Challenge

Happy Wednesday!  "Anything Goes" this week at Watercooler Wednesday and I chose to focusing on coloring.  This mandala was so fun to Copic color.
We would love to see your creation this week on our website!
Thanks for stopping by!
Karen

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Altenew Academy: Polychromatic

Hello!  I just completed the Polychromatic Class at Altenew Academy and I have some cards I would like to share.  Our instructor, Nina Marie Trapani, taught us about color and  color combinations.  The cards in this post are from lesson #4 "Watercoloring with Similar Colors".  I will say this monochromatic look is difficult to photograph because of the minimal contrast.
For my first card, I heat embossed the spray in white and then colored the blooms and leaves with Zig markers and a wet paint brush.  I used 5 similar shades ranging from light blue to aqua to turquoise to teal.  I made an A2 card base from watercolor paper and heat embossed some leaves for the background.  I took the same five colors and scribbled in the leaves, sprayed with water and dried. The next round I added scribbles of color in the leaves and on the background, sprayed and dried.  I repeated one more time and then added paint splatters in the same five colors.  The background is subtle but really adds dimension to this monochromatic card.
I decided to create the card again but with similar colored embossing powder for a bit more definition.  The Zig colors ranged from Blush for the leaves to Sugared Almond, Light Pink, Peach Pink and Dark Pink.  On this card, I did not emboss the background but just scribbled color, sprayed and dried and repeated a couple of times. I finished with pink paint spatters.  
Altenew Supplies Used:
Altenew Best Mom stamp and die bundle
Altenew Mini Branch stamp (for blue background)
Altenew Golden Peach Embossing Powder

I would love to hear which card you like best.  Thanks for stopping by!
Karen

Thursday, July 23, 2020

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!
Karen

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

WWC281 - Heidi's Challenge: All About Occasions

Hello and welcome!  This is my design team card for Watercooler Wednesday's All About Occasions Challenge and Heidi is our hostess.

I've created a birthday card using a faux watercoloring technique.  I used bright summer colors and added a bold birthday sentiment die-cut using navy cardstock. 

Supplies Used:
Altenew Inked Lotus stamp and die bundle
Altenew Golden Peach Embossing Powder
Distress Inks:  Squeezed Lemonade, Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin, Pickled Raspberry, Twisted Citron, Mowed Lawn
Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday die cut
Picket Fences Blending Brushes
Watercolor Paper
Navy Cardstock (for sentiment die cut)
Cream A2 card base

I am also playing along at:
The Flower Challenge: Summer or Fall I love summer and used bright, happy colors that I associate with summer.


Inspired By "Pretty Blossoms"  I was inspired by the floral theme and the colors in the bouquet.

I am so pleased you stopped by and hope to see your card in our challenge gallery.

Karen

Monday, July 20, 2020

Altenew Academy "With A Twist"

I just completed Altenew Academy's Class "With A Twist" and I created a bunch of cards.  The class was all about trying the unexpected.  I am sharing my favorite card from the series and it was from Class #6 "Die Cutting With a Twist".  Our instructor, Therese Calvird, showed us how to do faux embossing with die cuts.  I had never done this technique before but it does result in a dramatic and showy card.
My Process:
  • I stamped two A2 Bristol panels full of leaves and blooms from Altenew's Smile More stamp and die bundle.
  • I colored them with Zig markers and used a damp brush to blend the colors.
  • I die cut everything.
  • I wanted to use a big scripty sentiment so I heat embossed Enjoy on an A2 card front made of Bristol cardstock and Your Birthday on a scrap of black cardstock.
  • I played around with the layout and when I was happy, I glued the die-cuts down with liquid adhesive.  I was sure to leave all the edge images over the edge and then I took sharp scissors and trimmed  the die-cuts flush to the edge.

Pro Tips:
  • Stamp and color a lot of images.  For this card I stamped and colored two complete A2 panels worth of  blooms and leaves.  You don't want the card to look skimpy and there is quite a bit of waste after your trim around your card.  
  • I made my own card base out of Bristol cardstock so the cardbase and die-cuts would blend well. 
  • I stamped one panel with Ranger Archival Jet Black ink and one with Versamark Onyx black and found I got a better result with the Onyx Black. The Archival required multiple stamping and after drying for one day, one bloom still smeared a bit.
I am also playing along with:
Allsorts "Flowers All Over"  I "faux embossed"  flowers all over my cardbase.

The Flower Challenge "Summer or Winter"  The answer for me is summer!  I love summer...the sun, warm weather clothes, bright colors, long days....  These daisies are very summery to me.  

Thanks for stopping by!
Karen


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

AECP Altenew Academy: In The Mood for Color

In The Mood for Color (taught by Stephanie Klauck) was such an interesting class.  We learned to select colors based on the mood we are trying to convey.  Adding the right color can add depth and nuance to your project.

I chose to make a Thinking of You card and decided to use yellow to project optimism.  

I love the look of colored pencils, but they intimidate me a bit.  Stephanie inspired me to dust off my Polychromos and give them a try.  She walked us through the technique and I was pleased with my coloring. 

My Process:
  • I put my Lotus stamp in my Misti and stamped the bloom and stem on grey paper. I left the stamps in there while I colored.
  • Stephanie taught us to start with our lightest color, then add shadows with  our darker colors and then blend with our medium tones.  The key is to add lots of layers of color.  
  • The lines blur a bit with the pencil coloring so I then put the paper back in the Misti and restamped which resulted in crisp lines.
  • I fussy cut the images and then went around the edges with a black pen.
  • I wanted an accent strip so cut a strip of this designer paper and then mounted it on a piece of the grey Strathmore.
  • I stamped my sentiment on another strip of grey Strathmore so that there was continuity across the card.
  • I made an A2 top folding card, assembled with liquid glue and added some clear drop embellishments.  
Pro Tips:
  • Strathmore Toned Grey paper works great with colored pencils.
  • Keep your stamps in the Misti so you can restamp after coloring. This makes a huge difference!
Supplies Used:
Altenew Inked Lotus stamp
Altenew Jet Black Crisp Ink
Strathmore Toned Grey paper (for flower, border and sentiment strip)
Faber Castell Polychromo colored pencils
Scrap of Designer Paper
Slate cardstock (for A2 card base)
Clear Waterdrop embellishments

I am also playing along with:
Inkspirational #217 Painting or Coloring  I chose coloring with colored pencils.



UPDATE:  I am so pleased that this card was chosen as a Rising Star by A Place to Start!

Thanks for stopping by!
Karen


WWC280 - Kath's Challenge: Anything Goes with a Masculine Twist



Hello and welcome.   We are making "masculine" cards this week at The Watercooler Wednesday and this is my design team card.  I was in need of some masculine get well cards and came up with this idea.  
I started by stamp block inking, but I used a minimal amount of water to get this speckled look.  I made a similar background (same ink color but more water here).  I trimmed the panel down and then inked the edges with the same ink as the background to give the panel a bit more definition.  I added a sentiment and then stamped, Copic colored and die cut the plant and snail and attached with foam tape.  I like how the card turned out.
Supplies Used:
Altenew Garden Grow
Papertrey Get Well Soon Sentiemnt
acrylic block to stamp the background
Altenew Sand Dunes Crisp Die Ink for background and edges
Copic Markers
Neenah cardstock
Foam tape

I am playing along at:


Thanks for stopping by!
Karen

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Altenew Academy Level 2: Beyond Basic Backgrounds

I was so pleased to learn that I passed my Level 1 Final Exam Project so I am able to start on Level 2.  The first course I took in Level 2 is Beyond Basic Backgrounds.  My two favorite lessons were Perfect Spacing and Water Bleaching.  Lydia Evans had great projects and tips and I was inspired to create a pattern stamped background.  These rainboots are a favorite stamp and I thought they would make a cheery get well card. 

In Lesson 2, we learned how to use a grid to evenly space our images.
  • I made an "X" on my panel by using a clear ruler.  I lined up the top edge in the upper left corner and the bottom of the ruler in the bottom right corner and then I drew a light pencil line.  I repeated this from top right to bottom left.
  • I then stamped my boot in the center of the X so I could decide how to space the rest of the images.  
  • I chose to space my lines 7/8" apart, so I used my ruler to draw lines parallel to my first "X" 7/8" apart.
  • Once my grid was complete, I started freehand stamping with an acrylic block by placing a boot in the middle of each intersection.  
  • Once the ink was dry, I used a good eraser to erase my grid and then Copic colored in a variety of colors.
  • I finished by adding a black heat embossed sentiment strip and mounting on a fog A2 card base. 
After studying my card, I wondered if the spacing was too close so I decided to make a second card adding an additional 1/8" so that my grid lines were 1" apart.  I was surprised to see that 1/8" really changed the layout of the card!  On the second card I added a die cut sentiment that fit in between the boots.
Here is a side by side of the 7/8" and 1" spacing.
I wanted to include this process photo also as it has the gridlines still intact.
Supplies used:
Altenew Garden Grow stamp set
Altenew Jet Black Crisp Die Ink
Tim Holtz Clear Ruler
Pencil
Arch Foam Eraser

I am so pleased you stopped by.  Let me know which spacing/card you like better.

Karen

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

WWC279 - Helen's Challenge: All About Occasions

Hello and welcome. This week we are creating occasion cards at The Watercooler Challenge and we would love to see your card in the gallery.  I chose to make a watercolor Get Well card as I need to replenish my stash.
Supplies Used:
Technique Tuesday Bowl Bouquet
Sizzix Wood Planks Embossing Folder.


Thanks for stopping by!
Karen

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Altenew Academy Level 1 Final Project

I've been working my way through Level 1 at The Altenew Academy and just completed my Final Project which was to create a set of "feminine" and "masculine" gifts sets.  I have to say I learned so much and had loads of ideas but I would like to show you the cards I created for my final project.  I incorporated lessons I learned in:
  •  Let It Shine where we discovered how to add just the right amount of sparkle and shine to a card.  I used metallic heat embossing and  metallic watercolors on my feminine cards.
  •   Easy Die Cutting where we learned to use die-cutting to up the "Wow" factor.  I used die-cuts on each of my cards as I think they add loads of impact and felt this unified both card sets.
  •  Easy Ink Blending - I used several ink blending techniques on my masculine card set. My two favorites were the soft blue background on the Healing Wishes card and the die-cut spotlight circles on the Get Well Soon card.  

For my "feminine" cards I wanted subtle metallic touches combined with watercoloring. I kept the set cohesive by using cream card stock/watercolor paper, floral images, a pink and green watercolor palette and navy die-cut sentiments.
For this first card, I created a metallic watercolor background which is so pretty in person.  I then stamped, heat embossed and watercolored the floral images.  After the flowers dried I added a pearlescent  white gold watercolor wash over the top which gave the flowers a beautiful sheen.  I die cut the images and attached with foam tape. The next photo shows the first three card in process.

Here are the cards that round out the gift set.  On each card I used big bold die-cut occasion sentiments cut from navy cardstock. 



I really like this feminine spray and think the navy die-cut sentiments are  beautiful and anchor the look of this set.
The painted Lotus die-cut is so pretty in person.
I did want to share this process photo as well.
The Feminine Set


For my "masculine" cards I chose to use an overall blue theme with ink blending techniques and Altenew's Garden Grow as the unifying elements.  For my first card, I ink blended a background and used peek-a-boo die cut  windows to spotlight my images.  During quarantine, I've been sending so many encouragement cards that I wanted to include one in this set. 
I made a companion card using the die-cut circles from the card above.  I ink blended the spotlight circle, added die-cut images and anchored with a strip of masculine brown paper.
The next two cards have a soft ink blended background to draw the eye to the die cut.
I thought a birthday and recovery card would round out the gift set.
Here is an in-progress photo.  The die cut elements were attached to each card with foam tape.
PRO TIP:  I blended one background on Neenah (Birthday) and the second on Bristol (Healing Wishes) to see which provided a smoother look.  The Neenah panel (below left panel that is now the Birthday Card) is whiter but the Bristol (right panel that is now the Healing Wishes card) is far easier to blend on and resulted in a smoother background.  In the future, I will remember to blend my backgrounds on Bristol cardstock.
And here is the masculine set.

We were challenged to use a recycled element in each set.  For the feminine set I recycled a small Kraft gift bag and for the masculine set I re-used an elegant chocolate brown box.  I heat embossed some tags to top each set.  

Altenew Products Used:
Altenew Best Mom stamp and die bundle
Altenew Inked Lotus stamp and die bundle
Altenew Garden Grow stamp and die bundle
Altenew Mini Branch stamp
Altenew Jet Black Crisp Die Ink

I am so glad you stopped by.  I'd love to hear what you think about these card sets.  Thanks!
Karen




WWC278 - Michelle's Challenge: Anything Goes with a Feminine Twist

Do you ever have a leftover scrap that you just love?  That is how this card came to be....I made a pretty background  (link to card here) and had a bit left so that was the starting point for this creation.  I thought it was a pretty feminine card so I selected it to be my design team card for this week's Watercooler Wednesday "Feminine" Challenge.
I added a bold floral focal point, heat embossed a sentiment, created a layered look with foam tape and added a couple of embellishments from my scrapbooking days.  
Supplies Used:
Altenew Watercolor Stripes Stencil
Altenew Smile More stamp and die bundle
Spellbinder's Sentiment
Distress Inks (Salty Ocean, Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron)
Zig Markers:  Emerald, Green Shadow, Pale Yellow, Yellow, Bright Yellow
Initial Embellishments

Make My Monday "Use Stencils" Challenge My background is watercoloring with distress ink over a stencil.

Festive Friday FF0062  I picked CAS design, birthday theme and floral theme.





I am so pleased that you stopped by!
Karen

Altenew Educators "Favorite Old/New Altenew Stamp" Blog Hop and Linky Party + Giveaway

    Hello friends!  I am so pleased to be participating in my first Altenew Educator Blog Hop!  I went through the certification program las...