Sunday, May 30, 2021

AECP Level 2 Final Challenge - 4 Masculine cards and an up-cycled/re-purposed item (plus a bonus!)

 Hello Everyone and welcome back to my blog. 

I have been very busy this month completing my final projects for level 2. I am very happy to be sharing them with you today. 

Let's start off with the 4 masculine cards I created. The brief was to create 4 cards using the themes Birthday, Love/Thinking of you, Anniversary and Encouragement. I was inspired by the following classes in the Altenew Academy program:

I thoroughly enjoyed taking all 10 classes for Level 2 and my inspiration for the cards came from "Polychromatic", "With a Twist" and "Impressive Heat Embossing".

I love colour but for this project I decided to challenge myself and use a black and white theme with silver as an accent colour. I felt that this colour palette would work well for masculine cards.

I was required to use the themes "Birthday", "Encouragement", "Love/Thinking of You" and "Anniversary".

Birthday Card

To make this card I used the Altenew Modern Birthday Faux Letterpress debossing folder. to deboss some black cardstock, I swiped Versamark ink over the raised areas then sprinkled silver embossing powder over this and heat set it. I used a nesting circle die to cut out the circle. The white panel was embossed using the Diamond Stars 3D embossing folder to add extra texture and more interest to the background. I also heat embossed some silver embossing powder around the edges to tie in with the silver on the focal circle which was adhered using foam tape for added dimension. . I love the grungy, yet sophisticated look of the finished card.

Encouragement Card:

For my next card I used the "swinking" technique to apply Altenew black  mini ink cube direct to the card panel to create a distressed woodgrain look. This is a quick and easy way to create an interesting background. 

TIP: You could also use a regular size ink pad to create a similar look but I prefer a mini ink cube for this technique.

I chose the Monstera Leaves 3D embossing folder to emboss a piece of black cardstock, I rubbed Versamark ink pad over the raised parts and sprinkled small pinches of silver embossing powder over so that some of the embossed details would show up but not change the leaves to a solid silver colour.
The leaves were fussy cut and arranged to leave some space on the right side for the sentiment which comes from the Fancy Greetings stamp set
I used Versafine Onyx black ink to stamp the image, heat set it with clear embossing powder and matted it onto some black cardstock so that it would "pop" on the card.

Love/Thinking of You card:

The background panel was cut 3 times using the Garden Trellis Cover Die to give extra dimension and texture. I used a spray adhesive to stick the 3 panels together - much easier than using liquid glue! 

TIP: You could also use Altenew double-sided adhesive sheets for this.

I cut 2 ovals, adhered them together to form the base of the focal point on the card. The sentiment is cut from the "Thinking of You" script word die using silver cardstock from my stash. The sub-sentiment was stamped using words from the Starry Flowers Stamp set using Versafine Onyx black ink onto white cardstock and I nestled this under the die cut sentiment.
I think the black and white looks so striking! What do you think?

Anniversary card:

I chose to use the mini moon stamp set for my final card. . I used a piece of 6x6 paper from the Poured Acrylic paper pad , trimmed it down to just smaller than an A2 size white panel so that a small white border would be visible. I felt like this background looked a bit like space or a galaxy and would work well with the moon theme. I stamped the word "moon" using Versamark embossing ink, added silver embossing powder and heat set it. The layered moon was stamped with Altenew Silver stone and Industrial Diamond dye inks from the Rock Collection . The rest of the sentence was stamped in onyx black, the moon image raised with foam tape and the whole sentiment matted on a 1.5" strip of black cardstock. I die cut the Happy Anniversary from black cardstock using the Essential Sentiment Strips die set and added this to a strip of white cardstock so that the letters would show up well. I use this versatile die set often, especially on masculine cards.

I have a process video for you to watch which I hope you will enjoy. 

Upcycled/re-purposed project:

For this project I had 2 ideas in mind right from when I was busy with Level 1 cards! I loved both ideas and just couldn't decide which one to I made BOTH!! 

I really wanted to create something useful and that I could actually use or display in my craft room.

My first idea was to make a decor item to hang on my craft room wall. I took inspiration from the beautiful bespoke blind I had made for my window. My absolute favourite flower is the rose and my favourite colour is hot pink. Here are a few photos.

I also really love the subtle lime green and ice blue spots in the background and I incorporated these colours into my design.

I found 4 6x6 inch canvases which I had stored in the garage along with some other bits and pieces which were left over from children's crafting classes which I had taught a few years ago. 

I have recently purchased some of Altenew's gorgeous 3D embossing folders which are also 6x6 inches so I started by embossing some white cardstock using 4 different 3D embossing folders:- 
Beautiful Bergenia 3D

I currently only own a very basic set of coloured pencils which I've had for many years. I made the best of what I had and tried to capture the 4 main colours in my blind and blend the pencils just over the embossed/raised areas of the panels. The debossed/background areas between the flowers were coloured with a light blue coloured pencil. I then adhered these onto the 4 canvases using a strong liquid glue.

I wanted to create a shadow box frame around each panel using the Altenew Thin Frame 3D Dies which I have been itching to use! The largest die is just shy of 6 inches so I did some partial die cutting of each piece to extend each piece to 6 inches. I folded all the scored lines, burnished them with my teflon bone folder and glued them for form the "boxes" which fit into each other to form a complete frame. I then adhered these to the panels. 
I had considered using black cardstock instead of white but thought this would be too stark so instead, I remembered I had some Peel Craft sticker sheets in my stash and luckily a sheet of very fine black sparkly strips which were perfect to add to the outer edges to create some interest and tie in the black of the words.

I used the Altenew Mega Brush Alpha stamp set for my words. I stamped each letter onto vellum using Versafine Onyx Black ink, applying clear embossing powder and heat setting each letter so as not to smudge the ink as it sits on the vellum which is non-porous. I used my Misti stamping tool to assist me with placement and allowed me to double stamp each letter and also line them up so that the letters joined. I then fussy cut around each word and adhered them to each panel using small dots of liquid glue behind the black lettering. 

I'm SO happy with how these turned out. Here is a photo of them up on my wall in my craft room.

For my BONUS project which I just had to make, I was inspired to create a holder for all my blending brushes (I have a set for dye inks and another for my Distress Oxide inks). I have also recently acquired some Altenew detailed blending brushes and some small blending brushes.

At my previous job, I had collected many cardboard tubes from the inside of the extra large toilet rolls which you often see in public toilets as well and the inside tubes from our patient label maker machine. I just knew that these would come in handy one day!!!

I also used an old piece of foam core board for the base, cutting it down to the correct length to fit 5 large tubes with the front 2 cut in half.

I then painted the base and each tube using some black acrylic paint from my stash. I stuck 2 small tubes together so that they would be the same height as a large tube.

Using the Altenew 6x6 Poured Acrylic paper pack I cut paper to fit around each large tube. I then hot glued each tube together, 4 sets of small tubes inside each large tube to make compartments for each blending brush to stand in separately and then hot glued everything to the base.

And here is my finished project. I just LOVE it. It works so well and has a special spot on my craft desk now.

I hoped you enjoyed reading my blog post and watching the video. 
I would love it if you could leave your thoughts and comments below.

Until next time, happy crafting xx


  1. SO FABULOUS!!!! I love what you created. From the cards to both your projects!! Super AWESOME job, Annemarie!! Thank you for submitting your excellent work to the AECP assignment gallery.

  2. These are all fabulous Annemarie! I am definitely going to have to create some pics for my room now too. Thanks for the inspiration! :)