Sunday, January 13, 2019

Altenew Educator Final Certification

Hello everyone!  I am here today with my last post for my Altenew Educator Certification Program.  Because this was a class that I held at my home, this is a very photo heavy post!  If you want to watch the video of my class, You'll have to watch it on my Facebook Live HERE. Class actually starts at 13:41 if you want to skip the chit-chat.

Virginia Lu and Nicole Picadura joined our Facebook live so they could observe me in a class environment.  Nicole is the Operations Manager for Altenew and Virginia is in charge of the Altenew Educator Certification Program.

For my final assignment, I held a class at my home for 6 friends - new friends and longtime friends.  All but one of the ladies who is a neighbor in our new subdivision, my friends traveled anywhere from 45 miles to as many as 78 miles to be here!  Since we moved back to Texas this year, I don't know a lot of people in our new town but some of my longtime friends, (Jenica, Gloria, and Diane), drove a long way to see me and join me for the class.  I treasure these ladies and could never express in words how much it meant to me that they were here and came to support me.  I also got the chance to meet a fellow card maker, Carol Hintermeier, and get to meet her in person.  Carol is also doing the AECP so it was a chance for her to observe and see what it was like to hold a class when she gets to the final stage of her program.  We know each other from working in the same industry and we follow each other on Instagram so it was awesome to get to meet in person.  Gloria brought her friend Paula and although Gloria talks about Paula, we hadn't ever met before so it was great to put a face with the name.  Paula is pretty crafty and she was a natural for this class.  While I have met Trisha because we live in the same subdivision, we hadn't gotten to speak more than a few minutes for a few times.  Everyone has been busy moving and unpacking.  It was nice to get to know her a little more.

In order to prepare for the class, I did quite a bit of work ahead of time to make things go smoother for the actual class.  I prepared a simple outline to follow along to try to keep from rambling and the class taking too long.  We finished in about an hour and a half so that was great!

My outline consisted of a little bit about how the company got started in 2014 and then moved on to the basic products that we would be using for the class.  I talked about the beautiful layering stamps that Altenew has, their inks and some basic supplies that are needed if you want to make cards.  I kept the outline to one sheet of paper so I would be able to tuck it into my student packets so they could refer back to it later.

I also created three sample cards to show them what we would be making.  I die cut all of the elements for them and set up my MISTI's using the negatives as a place holder for the actual stamping.  I wanted my participants to be able to see how easy it is to stamp multi-layered images in this way and also be able to see how to mass produce several cards with the same design.

This was by far the best way to do this.  And it meant that I only had to change the stamp once for each MISTI.  Right now, I have the Original and the Mini MISTIso I used the larger MISTI for the blooms and the Mini MISTI for the leaves.

In the student packets, I included a picture of the sample card and a small copy of the layering guide, a half sheet that showed a picture of the card we would be making with simple, step by step instructions, and a small copy of the stamp set image that we would be using.  I stamped all of the sentiment strips in advance and included one in each packet.  

Here you can see the contents of the packets which included a card base, an envelope, the layering guide, the image of the stamp set we would be using, the die cut pieces we would be stamping, and the sentiment strip all ready to go for them.

We talked quite a bit about the MISTI and how it changed the stamping world.  Carol and I both commented that we really didn't care for stamping until the MISTI hit the market and how we would never go back to stamping without one for the multi-layered images or really, any stamping.  I used to make cards using die cuts only so the MISTI changed my cardmaking skills dramatically!  Jenica actually gave me all of her old stamping stuff and I inherited her Stamp-a-majig.  What a pain that thing was!  The MISTI is superior to that in every imaginable way!

Trisha, Diane, Me, Jenica Carol and Paula.  Gloria was behind the lens! 
Jenica, Paula, & Carol
We were able to get down to the stamping pretty quickly after that.  I talked about ink pad sizes and why I have a preference for ink cubes over regular sized ink pads, but how both options were available.  I can't count the number of times I've dropped a full-sized ink pad on my nearly finished project!  Because I have MS, it affects my balance and coordination so I stick with the ink cubes rather than the full sized pads.  Plus, as a bonus, I can have more colors that way!  You definitely need to have the reinkers if you use the ink cubes and stamp as much as I do. 


The ladies all loved the whole concept of and the actual process of stamping using the MISTI! Carol and I agreed that it was the thing that converted us to stamping - that ability to line things up and have them crisp, clean images. It can be really frustrating trying to use an acrylic block for layering stamps and once you use a MISTI, you just get used to using it for everything.

Seriously, how did we survive before the invention of that?  I know that until I got one,  I wasted a lot of premium cardstock.  There was also really no way to mass produce cards in an easy way and it was too frustrating to try. 


Once all the stamping was done, I had the ladies arrange their card front how they wanted.  Each person has their own spin on things and I wanted them to do it how they wanted it; it didn't have to be like mine.  I forgot to get a picture of Gloria's and Paula's Cards when they were finished, but they do show them during the LIVE class toward the end.  

Jenica's Card
Trisha's Card

Diane's Card
Carol's Card
Paula's and Gloria's cards were probably the most unusual because they added distressing to their sentiment strips and Gloria did a Horizontal rather than a Vertical orientation card.  

As far as my thoughts on the class, I feel I was very well prepared.  I gave them enough information about Altenew to interest them, but not so much as to overwhelm them.  I kept anything I thought might be needed nearby for quick and easy access (tweezers).  The one thing I would change would be to go back and wear quieter shoes.  My boots made a lot of racket on the hardwood floors but hopefully, no one besides me noticed that.  I would have liked to have everyone at the same table, but that just wasn't possible.  

Now, I just have to wait for feedback from Altenew and then I will be a fully certified Altenew Educator.  Wish me luck!  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Color Throwdown #525 - January 2019 Guest Designer

Hello all!  I'm back with this week's guest post for The Color Throwdown Challenge #525.  This week's colors are Black, Brown and White.

The inspiration image has a rustic farmhouse vibe and I really wanted to capture at least the "rustic" part of that in my project.  To that end, I recently purchased the Tree Ring Die from Altenew.  I felt like it would be an easy way to give a more masculine feel to guy cards which I sometimes really struggle with.

I started my project by selecting the papers I wanted to use.  As always, I started with a cardbase made from Papertrey Ink's Stamper's Select White Cardstock.  I die cut a 4.25 x 5.5-inch panel of Bitty Big Black and White paper using the larger checked background side to mimic the pillow and blanket in the photo.  I die cut three of the leafy branches from Stamper's Select Vellum using the Papertrey Ink Songbirds Dies.  This die puts a little stitch line down the center of each leaf.  For a more rustic feel, I used Delicata Gold Ink with a Stencil Brush to add a little bit of very light color to the semi-translucent vellum.

I die cut the tree ring from Tonic Studios Cinnamon Silk Cardstock.  I love this cardstock because of the texture it gives my projects.  They have a few in this style called Silk Look or Silk Effect.  I have another in Tonic Golden Satin Silk Look that is more of an antique gold rather than the brown of the Cinnamon.

For the sentiment, I used the Papertrey Ink 2012 Birthday Tags with the Limitless Layers 2¼ inch ovals and stamped in Black Amalgam Ink.  I wanted the black to be super crisp and it is.  My grandson, Charlie, turns 18 in a few weeks and I am planning to make a card similar to this for his birthday card.  He loves graphic design and I know he will appreciate the design of this card and the fact that it isn't girly.

I can't wait to see what you create using The Color Throwdown's Challenge colors for this week.

Here's the Blog List:

Vicki Finger, January Guest Designer (You are here)

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Color Throwdown #524 - January 2019 Guest Designer

Hello everyone!  I am guest designing this month for The Color Throwdown Challenge and I'm here today with my first week's card for The Color Throwdown Challenge #524 using the colors in the challenge graphic; yellow, green, black and white.

If you've been here before, you probably know that these colors are definitely not in my normal wheelhouse, so it was really a challenge for me to come up with something that I liked and felt was nice looking without reminding me of a bumble bee.  Although now that I think of it, a bumble bee would have made for a super cute card and I happen to have some but there's no time left to make another card.  I also wanted to try using some supplies that I have in my stash that I haven't used for a while, Prima Watercolor Pencils.  I stamped three of each of the two flowers for the Altenew Persian Motifs Stamp Set and heat embossed them using Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  Since I haven't used these watercolor pencils much, I wanted to be able to choose which version of each that I liked the best for my card.   I used the tip of a water brush to the tip of the pencil to grab the color for each area.

Once I had them colored, I selected my favorite from each of the two flowers then glued the other layers underneath with Ranger Multi Medium Matte for a stacked element. 

Next, I die cut a panel of Papertrey Ink Bitty Big Black and White Striped paper for my background panel. I grabbed the "hello" die from the Hero Arts Hello Stamp and Cut set and die cut one in gold foiled cardstock and laid out my card front attaching everything using Kokuyo Long Dot Tape Runner on a card base made from Papertrey Ink Stampers Select White Cardstock.  I have used this adhesive for years and it is my favorite by far.  It is also a great value for the dollar as it is 36 Meters long, which translates to 118 feet for those of us who use inches, feet, and yards rather than the metric system.  It is the absolute best value for the dollar out there! I was unable to find this for a long time, and only in the last couple of years has it been widely available again.  It is also refillable.  Simon Says Stamp carries this adhesive and you can also find it on  

This is my card for today.  I have completely depleted my stash of any kind of cards and after making so many Christmas cards, I am looking forward to making Just because" kinds of cards and sending them out to friends again.  I hope you'll join in the challenge over at The Color Throwdown this week.  I'll be looking forward to seeing your ideas as well.  

Monday, December 31, 2018

Altenew December 2018 Inspiration Challenge - Year in Review

Hello there!  I am here today with a post that will be just getting in under the wire for the Altenew December 2018 Inspiration Challenge.  I think I have until Midnight Eastern time to get this uploaded to their gallery.  As you might know, I've been working to get my Altenew Educator Certification Programs completed and so I wanted to end the year with a card made from Altenew products using several of the techniques that I've focused on during the classes.

When I started working on this card today, I selected a completely different stamp set that I was planning to use - Floral Flurries stamps and dies with some leaves from Beautiful Heart and Frosted Garden thrown in there too.  I had everything stamped and die cut ready for my card, so I wanted to add some texture and color to my background panel.  I also wanted to create a larger 5 x 7 card with lots of gentle spring colors as I've been working on Christmas Cards pretty much non-stop except for my Altenew class projects this past month.

One of the things I most like about Altenew is that you can mix elements from other sets to get a truly unique look.  It was with this thought in mind that I had stamped my original elements.  I also wanted to add some interest to the background so I used a larger embossing folder that I had in my supplies but had never used.  I tried to find the name of this one, but I couldn't find it and I'm thinking it might have come as a freebie with my Gemini Die Cutting Machine.  Using a piece of 5 x 7 Neenah Solar White cardstock, I ran it through my Cuttlebug to emboss the paper.  It took a little figuring out because this embossing folder is a bit thicker than most so you just have to figure out what works for your machine.  Once I embossed it, I wanted to add some soft colors to the background along with some gold watercolor splatter.  To do this, I grabbed a piece of scratch paper and some soft stenciling brushes and went around the outside edges with Frosty Pink and then some Harvest Gold (PTI) on the center and kind of blended it out.  The supplies I used today are all nearly all from Altenew except for that little touch of Harvest Gold Ink, the adhesives and the Finetec Gold Watercolor on the background. I didn't feel like I had a good choice in my Altenew inks, as I only have one set of the Yellow color family cubes and none of them worked very well with the Frosty Pink. 

I really loved how this turned out, so I went ahead and grabbed my Finetec Mica Gold Watercolors and spritzed the Inca Gold with a little water.  I used a #2 script brush to create the spatter which has longer fibers than other brushes and makes a very fine splatter.  I'm not very patient, so I used my heat tool to assist in drying the splatter from the back side.

Thinking I was finished with this background and ready to assemble my card, I grabbed all the elements and started arranging them on my background panel.  I realized immediately, that my stamped elements were all wrong for this background.  I loved the way the background looked so much, that I grabbed a different stamp set and started my bouquet all over again.  This time I chose Perfectly Perfect and heat embossed the images with Altnew's Rose Gold Embossing Powder onto Canson Bristol Cardstock.  I used a wet on wet technique for the flowers with Frosty Pink and Coral Berry Re-inkers.  I have one of the little flower shaped porcelain dishes that I add a spritz of water to with a drop of color from the reinker to get a light wash of color.  I used a lot of water not being particularly careful to stay in the lines although it seems like I did okay.  For the leaves, I used Forest Glades Re-inker.

Once everything was completely dry, I die cut everything.  I always stamp and cut extras of the leaves as that's what I seem to need more of.  In addition to the elements from Perfectly Perfect, I stamped and Rose Gold Heat Embossed one of the elements from Wings of Hope that I could use as a sprig of something to use as a filler in my arrangement.

When I started laying out my arrangement, I chose a sentiment from the Sentiments & Quotes Stamp set that I love.  I used a combination of Ranger Multi Medium Matte, Scotch 3-D Foam Tape, Scrapbook adhesives 3-D Foam Squares, and Thin 3-D Foam Squares.  I mounted the background panel on Scotch 3-D Foam Tape but it probably would have been easier to use a piece of fun foam.  I just didn't want to stop what I was doing to go get a piece.

I love how this card turned out and I wish I had time to make cards like this every single day.  This is so very much my personal style and I love it.  I hope the Altenew Team enjoys it as well as it is one of my all time favorites!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Papertrey Ink December 2018 Blog Hop

It's time for the Monthly Papertrey Ink Blog Hop and I am excited that I have time to participate this month!  It's been a busy year and I haven't gotten to participate every month as I did before our move so I'm excited to get to participate for the last one this year.

The image on the left is our inspiration photo.  I really wanted to do some embroidery, but I haven't been unable to unpack those boxes yet and I'm not certain that I kept any fabric that would have been suitable.  So I did the next best thing and tried to replicate the feeling using stamps.

I immediately thought of the branches in the Stitched Sentiments Stamp Set for this card.  While they are not in the shape of a heart, I could bend and curve them enough to make it seem like they are which is what I did.  I tested out my design on some plain printer paper beforehand to make sure that it looked right.  My heart is squattier than the one in the image, but it's not supposed to be a replica, just the inspiration.  I stamped that in New Leaf Ink.  Then I added in some roses with Lovely Lady Ink using one of the stamps from Grand Finale Stamp Set and a few dots from Nuvo Gloss Drops in Carnation Pink to add some interest and texture to an otherwise clean and simple card.

I added a sentiment from "Penned Elegance" using Versamark with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.

No long boring details for you today.  Just a quick and easy card that took me less than a half hour to make.  Thanks for stopping by today.  I have to go back into the city today for some medical stuff, but I'll link up my project at the Papertrey Blog as soon as I can!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Altenew Educator Certification Program - Holiday Envelopes

Hello!  I'm here today with a project for my next class for my Level III Class, "Holiday Envelopes" which is all about creative ways to dress up your envelopes when you send out your Holiday Cards.  Since I made a particularly special card yesterday and I knew this Class was next in my lineup, I planned to create a matching envelope for that card.  Just as a little reminder of that card, here is that card that I made to put in with my daughter's Christmas Presents.  We normally get a Movie Gift Card for the family, but this year since we are closer, and are spending more time with them, we wanted to forgo the Movie Gift card and get a gift for each of them.  We have something special for our daughter this year and I wanted to make a special card to go with it.
No photograph could possibly capture the absolute elegance of this card but I still wanted to make an envelope to go with it.  The card is an unusual size (4 x 7) so it would need a special envelope to go with it to accommodate the size and thickness of the card.

I have an envelope punch board, but I prefer to make a different style so I learned a long time ago how to make my own.  I took photos along the way to show you how I do it.
Start with an 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of whatever paper you want to make your envelope from.  My primary choice is a Shimmer Vellum that is lightweight, but works really well for envelopes because it is not as heavy as even text weight paper.  Because most of my specialty cards are for Weddings, I have silver and a few different shades of gold.  This particular one is Antique Gold Metallic.  My mom picked up a bunch of these for me a few years ago at Hobby Lobby when they were on sale for .25 cents per sheet.  Placing the paper in your Scor-Pal horizontally, figure out where you want your first score line to be; somewhere between 3.5 - 4 inches is standard.  It will be different for a larger card, but for my card that is 4 x 7 inches, I chose 3.75 inches.  I have an older Scor-Pal and mine does not have a score line at the measurement, for that so I scooted my paper over ¼ inch and then score at the 4-inch line.  I wanted 4¾ inches in between the score lines to accommodate the thickness of the card.  You'll need to choose a width that will work for your card.  For instance, if you have a pretty flat 5 x 7 card, you will want to allow 5¼ inches between the score lines.  Score at whatever measurement you need.  You'll have something that looks similar to this image.

I have the card in a plastic sleeve so that it won't get messed up or dirty while I'm working on the envelope.  I put all of my cards in these little sleeves with envelopes that you can get lots of different places.  My last batch of these I got from Amazon here, but you can buy them by the case if needed at places like U-Line.  I put a lot of time and effort into my cards, so I don't want them dirtied up before I give them away or use them.  If you want to sell your cards, you really need to do this as well.  You can get various sizes so I usually order A7 and A2.  I only use A7 occasionally, so I only buy one pack of those at a time.  I make around 250— 300 cards a year, so I buy 3 or 4 packages of bags at a time.  Storage space for a case of bags would take way too much room so I like the option of the smaller 100 packs.  It's not as cost effective to buy them that way, but I'm okay with that.

Next, you want to rotate your paper 90 degrees to put it in a portrait orientation and score at the ½ inch mark on each side of the paper like the image on the left.  I usually rotate my paper 180 degrees to do the other side, but you can just as easily score it at 10.5 inches. Then crease all of your score lines firmly and open it back up.  Your paper should look like the image on the right-hand side.  
Next, you want to trim off the excess paper from the ½ inch score lines.  This is pretty much the only time I get out my Fiskars trimmer that has a wire guide but you can use scissors if that is what you have. When I first started making cards, I only had a smaller little guillotine trimmer, so I used Scissors to make envelopes back then. 

I start with my blade at the bottom of the paper and cut up to the horizontal score line.  Then I lift my blade, skipping the next section and place it back down at the top horizontal line, repeating the same process on the other side.  When you are finished, it should look like this.

I just snip those pieces off with a pair of scissors so that you have something that looks like this:

Next, you want to fold the side flaps behind the center section and round the 4 corners of the center section.  Then fold them back in the normal way and do the other four corners.  This just makes for a cleaner presentation. 

Now you ready to put the envelope together.  Rotate the paper so that the bottom flap is closest to you.  

If you put double sided tape on the flaps that are sticking out, you'll have adhesive where you don't want it.  You can use any type of dry adhesive for this like a tape runner.  Liquid adhesive is a bit messy so I don't recommend that.  Remove the release paper and fold the bottom section up onto the flaps.  
As you can see from this image, my measurements accommodated the additional layers and dimension and it slips right into the envelope very easily.  
Normally, you would also want to put a strip of adhesive along the top line as well, but since I am putting this in a box with her present, I'm going to use a small bit of temporary adhesive so she doesn't have to tear up the envelope to get to it.  Since I decorated the envelope to go with the card for my class project, I don't want her to have to tear it up.  But now you are ready to decorate your envelope.

I wanted to use the same stencil that I used for her card, so I carefully positioned the stencil and masked off the rest of the area to make sure it stayed clean.  Using the same Decofoil Transfer Gel, I carefully applied a layer, putting any excess back into the jar.  Since this is much thinner than cardstock, I should have used a thinner coat so don't get too heavy-handed.  It took quite a while for mine to dry.  Here's a photo of what it looks like when you apply the transfer gel.  It goes on white but dries clear.
Once it is completely clear, you are ready to run it through your laminator or Minc Machine with the foil.  I wanted to use the same Emerald Watercolor Decofoil, so I did.  Here is my finished Holiday Envelope that matches my card.

Thank you so much for stopping back by to see my 'Holiday Envelopes" class project.  You can use stamps, dies, stencils, shimmer sprays, and a whole host of other options.  We spend so much time making a special card and we should consider spending a little time for the much prettier presentation by embellishing the envelopes on special cards.  It might just be a simple stamp on the back of the flap that says "Snail Mail" or any other sentiment we want to use.  Give it a try and just think of how the recipient will smile before they even open the envelope.    

Friday, December 14, 2018

Altenew Educator - Let It Shine - Holiday Edition

I am here today with another project for my Altenew Educator Level III Certification.  The class is "Let It Shine —  Holiday Edition".  This class was kind of a no-brainer as a choice, because, as you know, Shiny and Sparkly are my two favorite colors! 

Carissa Wiley taught this class and you know she loves some glitter or shine as well.  I still needed to make one card to go with my daughter's Christmas gift and I want to pull out the big guns (a.k.a. the Minc Machine) for this card.  I'm getting excited because Christmas is just 11 days away!  She doesn't read my blog or look at Facebook or Instagram and even if she did, I would still share this card here because no photo could really match the WOW Factor of this card.  It was a labor of love for me this morning.  I woke up early and couldn't fall back asleep, so I started working on it very early.  To get every little detail absolutely perfect, was a lot of trial and error and it took me about 6 hours to complete the whole card.  Anyhow, let's get to it so you can recreate one if you wish. 

I started with a stencil from Tim Holtz called "Festive" and grabbed my Minc Machine and a watercolor foil that I have been wanting to try but hadn't found the time to do so yet.  I also grabbed my spatula and some of the fantastic Thermoweb Decofoil Transfer Gel.  I planned to make a wider than usual horizontal card because the stencil is about 4 inches wide and the area for the design is just under 3.5 inches by just under 7 inches so I decided to make my card 4 x 7 inches.  I can make my own envelope to put that in.  I'm holding off right now, because "Holiday Envelopes" is next in my class line-up, so I'm planning to tackle that over the weekend.  I will most likely use this same technique to add decor to that envelope. 

On a piece of Cougar Super Smooth Digital White #110 cardstock, I used frog tape to hold my stencil in place and applied a smooth layer of the transfer gel over the top of the stencil.  I made sure I had even coverage, and then carefully removed the stencil from the cardstock, setting it aside to dry.  Transfer Gel is White when you put it on, but dries clear and is then ready to take the foil. Immediately take your stencil to the sink and wash the transfer gel off.  If you let it dry, it will be very hard, if not impossible, to get off.  The particular foil I was using is called Emerald Watercolor and I must get more of it soon!  There's also Amber, Amethyst, Lapis, and Summer Rainbow.  I have all but the Summer Rainbow and I am anxious to get that one soon. 

While I was waiting for the transfer gel to dry so I could foil it, I worked on my cardbase.  I wanted to use the glitter with the Scor-Tape like in my previous card here but this time I used some Elizabeth Craft Silk Microfine Glitter in Solar Gold. When you burnish this into the adhesive, it feels like velvet and doesn't come off at all.  Most of the glitter I have is pretty fine, but I have a few (3) of the Elizabeth Craft Silk Microfine Glitters and they are my favorites.  I got them when a Scrapbooking store in my area was closing.  They are easily the nicest glitters I have used and with Scor-Tape, it is super easy.  Just make sure you have a Swiffer dusting cloth there for the "after party" clean-up!  I think of have gotten glitter in every room of my house in the past week as I was working on a few other projects as well.  It's time for Ruby (my Roomba) to go through the house.  I put .25 inch Scor-Tape along the top and bottom of the panel and then burnished it in.  Once I had that done, I ran my cardstock piece with the transfer gel through my Minc Machine and even I was blown away with the results.  This is my second time using the transfer gel for one of my Altenew classes and I am every bit as smitten as I was in the beginning.   

The photo above is a pretty straight-on shot of this card and you can already see the dimension of the foiling but just wait until I turn this card into the light!  I tried several different things to go with this card from gold mirror cardstock to everything in-between.  In the end, I chose to use a piece of the black toner sheets that are available from Thermoweb and ran that through the Minc with some of the same watercolor foil.  I only had a small piece of the toner paper left, but for future reference, you should adhere the foiled piece of toner paper to a piece of white heavyweight cardstock so that the elements are a bit thicker.  The toner paper is so thin that it wouldn't emboss the detail in the holly leaves, but I didn't have any left to repeat the process, so I went ahead and used the small pieces I had already die cut.  You can see the vague impression of where I tried to emboss them, but that's it.

For me, a large part of this card challenge was figuring out how to enhance what was on the cardstock without covering up that beautiful watercolor foil!  Check out the beautiful color you can see when I tipped it toward the light from my window. 

I stacked 3 of the "Merry Christmas" white die cuts for a thicker embellishment and then put gold on the top.  That really didn't add anything so I checked my mirrored cardstock and found this teal colored one so I die cut another and added that to the top.  This looks way better than the gold did and I think it really helps to bring out the green and teal shades of the foil.  Here's a closer view of the dimension when you lay the card flat. 

I used a smaller stitched rectangle to cut a piece of vellum for the greeting so that you could still see the color behind it.  I tucked slivers of foam tape behind the sentiment on the back of the vellum so that it would be slightly more dimensional.  Then I added the holly leaves which are a Spellbinders Jolly Holly Die and did my usual grouping of three little berries using iridescent teal sequins with a gem in each one plus a couple more on the card panel to get that visual triangle.  I like to add gems to my sequins most of the time which added yet another element of sparkle and shine.

I made a lot of Christmas card this year, but this one is my favorite by far!  Isn't it just lush and rich and dreamy?  It is perfect for my mermaid-loving daughter. 

I used several of the techniques Carissa talked about in the class such as foiling, using Scoretape with Glitter and adding foam tape behind the letters on the vellum panel.  I do heat embossing all the time with Gold Embossing Powder or glitter embossing powder so I wanted to really kick my card up a notch and I think this might be my best project yet!  In fact, there is zero stamping on this card but it is so beautiful.  Even my husband loves this one although he doesn't pay a whole lot of attention to what I'm doing.  But I took a quick picture with my phone and sent him the photo.  He really loves this one and I can't wait for him to see it in person tonight.  Heck, if he plays his cards right, I might make one using the Amber Watercolor foil to put in with his gift. 

I hope you enjoyed today's project and be sure to check back to see my next project for the Holiday Envelopes class at Altenew.  I feel it's worth mentioning that classes at Altenew Academy run about $9.00 US Currency.  I have found them to be well worth the time and you always have access to the classes you take so you can revisit the lessons anytime if you want a refresher.  Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my project. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Altenew Educator - Last Minute Holiday Cards

Hello everyone!  I am back today with a few cards from my most recent class at Altenew - "Last Minute Holiday Cards" taught by Julia Alterman.  I have three different cards for you today!

One of the things Julia talked about the first day is how to go from very simple to very elegant by just making a few changes in your card.  She also talked about using Holiday images from your stamp sets to make other types of cards, thereby stretching your stamping dollars for more than just a single occasion.  I have a Christmas Card, a Thank You card and a more fun and festive card for you to send to a friend today.  The first two were from Day 1 of class and the last one happened to be from the bonus day of class.  I was enchanted with the way Julia used a Holiday Stamp for another type of card and knew that I wanted to try this.  All three of my cards use the Altenew Majestic Mistletoe Stamp Set.

As you probably know, I really enjoy cards with a lot of "white" space for the most part.  That also makes for quicker cards if you keep it very simple.  Majestic Mistletoe happens to be one of my favorites for Holiday Cards and is now one that I will reach for to create other occasion cards as well, like those Thank You notes for all the Holiday gifts you received?  I used just four  Altenew Crisp Inks for the first two cards of this post.  I chose the Green Meadows collection and I have to say I really love how vibrant these colors are.  The only color I did not use from this collection was Minty Mint but I brought in a cardstock that was a good color match it to use for a part of my background panel.  The colors I did use are Sweet Leaf, Just Green and Hunter Green.  I actually stamped 6 panels since I had everything lined up in my MISTI and a small stack of A2 Panels sitting right there.  For this, I used my Original MISTI and set the first layer up on the far bottom left corner, then set the next layer up using the far right bottom corner.  For the first panel, after I stamped the first two layers, I rotated my cardstock 180 degrees and did it again.  That way I could cut the piece on the diagonal to create two different cards.

I wanted to dress them up a little so I stamped the third layer of the greenery and then stamped the berries in Ruby Red Ink.  I could have gone ahead and stamped in the detail layers for the berries, but I knew that I wanted to use some Nuvo Drops for the berries, so stamping in the color was just a guide for where to place the Nuvo Drops.  I used Tonic Jewel Drops in the color Rosewater.  I let that dry overnight and then added just a touch of white to the top of each berry for a highlight.

Next, I took the panel and cut it diagonally then attached it to a piece of Mint Cardstock. I wanted to add a strip of glitter, so using Scor-Tape, I adhered that along the diagonal line. Once it was adhered, I die cut it with a stitched rectangle die.  This one happens to be a die that has been discontinued but it is 4 1/8th by 5 3/8th inches which leaves a very narrow border all the way around your front panel. I did this for both of the pieces.

After die cutting, I removed the release paper from the Scor-Tape and sprinkled gold glitter all along that diagonal line, then burnished it in with my bone folder.  This created instant elegance on my card.  Then because I wanted to create a card for two different occasions, I die cut a large word from Gold Cardstock - "believe" and "Thanks".  For the Believe card, I also added a smaller sentiment along the bottom of where that die cut would go.  It's important to do the heat embossing before you apply the die cut to eliminate the possibility of damage to your die cut.  The cardstock I used on these has a light layer of plastic film on the top to protect it.  This works great if you get a dab of glue where you don't want it because a tiny bit of alcohol on a Q-Tip will remove it.  But not so well if you melt the plastic coating during the heat embossing process.  Go ahead, ask me how I know this. *Ü*

Simply add the die cut word to your card front, attach that to a card base and voila, you have a clean and elegant single layer card that's easy to mail. I''m not sure if I have ever mentioned it before, but working on an A2 panel serves two purposes; 1) if you mess up during the stamping then you only destroyed a panel rather than a whole card, and 2) for some reason this makes the card stand up easier.  I like to do top folding Tent cards so they can be displayed if desired.  This is an important concept if you happen to be a card maker.

My third card for today used the Sea Shore Mini Ink Cube Collection although I only used three of the colors; Volcano Lake, Lagoon and Emerald.  If you look carefully, you can see that the stamp I used for this was the same all the way around and is also from the Majestic Mistletoe Stamp Set.  It is the top detail layer stamped all the way around using a mask to protect the center of the card.    Since I was planning to cover my circle area with the Teal Cardstock, I didn't have to use a mask, but if I had wanted to pop the circles up on foam tape, it would have been important to me for it to look cleanly stamped all the way around.

Julia did this card in a rainbow for the Bonus Lesson of this class and I just love it.  I'm planning to make a few larger cards for some upcoming birthdays that I will mail in a 5x7 envelope.  I learned a lot about looking at other ways to use a single stamp set in this class and really enjoyed it very much.

The sentiment for this last card is from the Gina K Designs All About You Stamp Set.  I stamped it with Versamark and heat set it with Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  The little hearts are from an older die from Simon Says Stamp called Mini Hearts.  There are three different hearts in three sizes each on this die and it's one I used to use a lot and will again now that it is back on my desk.

Thank you so much for stopping by today to see my projects.  I always appreciate it when you do.  I have just a few more classes now so I'll be back in a day or two with my next project for my next class.  Be sure to stop back by and check it out!

ETA:  I just had to try this last technique on a larger format card and share it with you as well!

And one more for your viewing pleasure.  Love these!