Friday, January 6, 2017

Starting Afresh

Today I sat down and got out some previously unused items for the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge "Start Afresh". The idea is to take something out of the package that hasn't been used before and see what you can make. For me, this meant I had time to play with a few things that I haven't had a chance to before now.  A few months back I got several sets of the Altenew Cube Inks that come in Color Families. While I have used most of the colors at least once I hadn't done any layered stamping to see how well the colors go together.

For the stamping I did today, I used the three lightest shades of the families Rose Petal, Glacier Caves and Cool Summer Nights.  I have 8 different sets of these cubes encompassing nearly every color group except yellows and greys. I have those colors in other brands of ink, but today was only about trying out the families of Altenew Inks. The containers I use for Distress Ink Cubes and Altenew Ink Cubes hold 32 colors each, so I'd have to add another container in order to expand either of those sets. This 5 drawer chest is on my wish list. I'm really good with the inks I have right now.  I have some larger style pads but I love the ink cubes for using with my MISTI tool as I have a tendency to drop the larger size pads.  They are also great to use for techniques and the Altenew Inks share many of the same characteristics as Distress Inks.  They blend well and easily, they are great to use for watercolor techniques, and they are easily distressed by adding water via spray or droplets.  I don't personally care for too much of that look but I like to keep my options open to include everything.

I want to spend just a few minutes talking about the Altenew Ink Cubes. These are, like many others out there, 1 x 1 inch raised felt ink pads.  The biggest and most important difference for me is how incredibly well the Altenew Inks keep their lids on. They "snap" on tighter one way vs. the other, so if I don't feel I got that snap, I rotate it 90 degrees and do it again.  I have never had an Altenew Ink Cube lid pop off (so far).  Even Distress Inks lose their lids from time to time and if you don't notice right away, it can dry out your pad.  I keep reinkers for my most used Distress Inks (Pinks and Purples) and also for all of my Papertrey Ink Cubes. Altenew's Reinkers come in individual colors or in the sets of four colors from the coordinating sets that can be bought together.  It's a pretty significant investment of funds so I haven't done that yet but when I do, I'm pretty sure I will start with the Rose Petals family of colors given my love for pink.  I really love how clear and transparent the Altenew Inks are as well.  For me, different inks accomplish different things so you have to know what you are looking for.  Simon Says Stamp Inks for example, are highly pigmented and give you deep rich color. Distress Inks require multiple layer stamping to get the deeper tones.

It's a little bit hard to figure out or narrow down your choices if you are just getting started with making cards. I chose the inks I wanted to try by asking lots of questions from some of my favorite designers.  I also try to stick to one or two lines of inks.  WPLUS9, Simon Says Stamp and Hero Arts Inks are all manufactured by the same company and have the same properties so it probably isn't necessary to buy all three lines.  There are so many inks to choose from out there but a good place to start is by watching Jennifer McGuire's Ink Comparison Video here.

I also pulled out a December release stamp set called Fresh Bouquet along with the Fresh Bouquet Coordinating Die from Papertrey Ink.  This may seem like a simple set but it is not to be underestimated. One of the great things about this stamp set is that it contains an outline image for the floral grouping and then individual layers for the various parts of the bouquet. If you're like me and love heat embossing, this set is genius.  It was designed by Nichole Heady and I hope she'll be doing more of this style in the future.  I love to watercolor but I don't always have the time to do it.  This stamp set gives me the best of both worlds!


The bouquet on this card was created using the Rose Petals Inks in Rose Quartz and Puffy Heart and the berries were done in Lavender Fields which is part of the Shades of Purple Family with the leaves stamped in Forest Glades.


This bouquet was stamped in the Cool Summer Nights family using the Sea Glass, Ocean Waves and Dusk inks.  Forest glades was again used for the greenery.  For these florals, I die cut the bouquet first, then heat embossed the outline image using Versamark with Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder.  The sentiments are from Papertrey Ink's Big Basics Die Collection.  All of the sentiments in this collection are large and impactful but you can pick and choose which ones work for you.  The little hearts are from the Simon Says Stamp Mini Hearts Die.  The card base is made from Simon Says Stamp Audrey Blue Cardstock with the Noted: A2 Scalloped Notecard Die.

Thank you so much for coming by today.  I hope you enjoyed my observations on Altenew Inks and I'd love to see what you make.  Your kind and encouraging comments are very much appreciated and I hope you'll take time to leave me one. Happy Friday everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Both cards are fantastic! Love the gorgeous gold embossing. Thank you so much for sharing with us a Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge. :)

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