Wednesday, February 10, 2021

AECP Level 1 Final Challenge - Masculine Card Set - Part 1

 Hello and welcome! 

Today I am very pleased to be sharing my final challenge for the Altenew Educators Certification Program in Level 1.

I really enjoyed this challenge as I got to use lots of different techniques and different Altenew products.

The Requirements:

Select ANY 3 components from the classes in Level 1 (e.g., layering 1/2, Let it shine, stencil techniques)

~Explain the 3 components that you’ve chosen for the project

~Share design tips (if any)

~Create a His and Her Card Set birthday/graduation/encouragement cards (your choice) as a gift set. This makes TWO sets one Masculine and one Feminine.

Each card (with various sentiments) can vary a little bit, but it should have a similar and cohesive theme as the rest of the set.

~Each card set should consist of 4-6 cards  

~Also, use one recycle element on a set or its packaging.

~The minimum card number is four (up to 12) per set. You will also design how you package the sets as a gift. Be creative!

~Challenge blog post: Detailed step-by-step photo tutorial and/or YouTube video

~Minimum of 10 photos (close-up and process)

Grab a cuppa and enjoy all the photos, process and a video at the end of part 2.

Masculine Set:

I decided to make six cards in each set and for the masculine cards I chose blues, greens and craft card stock with leaves as a common theme and gold as an accent colour. All the cards are A2 size (4 1/4" x 5 1/2")

My designs mainly came from inspiration from 3 Altenew Academy Classes but I actually used more!

1. All About Layering 1 & 2

2. Irresistible Ink-blending Techniques

3. For the Guys

Card 1 - Happy Birthday

This was such a fun card to make! I love ink blending so I blended 3 colours of Distress Oxide inks in Peacock Feathers, Peeled Paint and Squeezed Lemonade, making sure I overlapped the colours to create a smooth transition between colours and even a third lime green colour where the yellow and green inks blended together. When I was happy with the effect, I splattered some water droplets onto the panel then blotted them with paper towel to life some of the colour as the oxide inks react with water and this created some texture and interest.

To bring in the dark blue colour I cut from scraps from my stash a layering panel using the I used a spray adhesive to adhere this to the inked background. Next I created the sentiment using the , stamping it in Versamark embossing ink and applying Nuvo gold embossing powder, heat-setting it and then trimming around each word leaving a thin border. I popped this up with foam tape to give some dimension to the card. For more texture and in keeping with the masculine rustic feel, I added some jute twine I had kept from some packaging. This was just one occasion during this project where I used some recycled material.

Here is a close up photo of the card showing more detail.

Card 2 - Thank You

For this card, I used kraft card stock for the card base. I then die cut the base panel using the Diamond Dots cover die. I ink blended 3 colours of Distress Oxide inks in Blueprint Sketch, Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint. I added a spray of water droplets as well as some Blueprint Sketch splatters to be panel for added texture. The leaf die cut is from the Dot Botanical's Layering Stamp and Die set. I used the bottom layer only and heat embossed it using gold embossing powder. I used some jute to tie around the stem of the leaf and popped it up on foam tape. I used some scrap navy card stock for a banner across the middle and stamped the greeting from Layered Lily Stamp set and heat-embossed it with gold embossing powder. I also used my Versamark embossing stamp pad to run around the edges of the base layer and then dipped the edges into the same gold embossing powder and heat-setting. This was to create another "frame" around the edge of this layer. I cut off 1/8" on all sides then used liquid glue to attach this to the card base.

Here is a close up photo of the card.

Card 3 - Hang in There

Again I used kraft cardstock for the card base. I then used some Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock to cut the base panel to 4" x 5 1/4". I then used the Angled Mosaic 3D Embossing folder to create a great geometric background. The edges were embossed with Versamark embossing ink and dipped in gold embossing powder and heat-set. I love the speckled/rustic edge this created.

For my focal point, I did not have the correct colour cardstock so I made my own by using Distress Oxide ink in Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint to rub directly to the cardstock, allow to dry completely then use as a coloured cardstock. This is how I did this:

TIP: Make your own coloured cardstock with the direct to paper technique.

I used the Altenew Fine Frames Diamonds Die Set to cut out gold thin frames and the hand-made coloured cardstock to cut out 2 different sized diamonds. Some jute knots created the finishing touch to this clean and simple card.

TIP: When die cutting very fine pieces it is best to use a double-sided sticky adhesive sheet on the back before die cutting - I used Stick-It Adhesive sheets for this as it makes it so much easier to adhere to the card, rather than trying to apply liquid glue.

Card 4 - Hello

This was quite a quick card to create. I used the Altenew Grape Leaves Stamp and Die Set I stamped just the outline stamps using Versamark ink onto kraft cardstock. I then heat-embossed them using gold embossing powder. They were then die cut using the matching dies. The sentiment was stamped in the same way using the Hello and Hugs Stamp and Die Set onto navy cardstock and die cut with the shadow die.
I used more hand-made coloured card stock for the 3 vertical panels and off-set them to the left slightly, popped up the leaves with foam tape and attached the sentiment with foam tape. A jute knot around the sentiment added the finishing touch!

Here is a close up photo of the card.

Card 5 - Condolences

I used Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock 110 lbs for the card base and 80 lbs for the base panel. and cut a matting layer of navy cardstock to 1/8" larger. These were all adhered to the card using liquid glue. Next i dry embossed some kraft cardstock using the Angled Mosaic 3D Embossing Folder and cut it in half on an angle for some interest. This was placed at the bottom of the card. The 3 leaves were cut from the Leaf Mix Die Set and using custom-made cardstock in the same 3 colours I have used in previous cards in this card set. Before adhering them to the card, I protected the bottom half of the card with scrap printer paper and splattered gold shimmer spray and Distress Oxide Blueprint Sketch onto the white area and allowed this to dry completely. A gold strip of cardstock was adhered on the edge of the kraft angled piece and a jute knot attached using strong glue. I stamped the sentiment onto navy cardstock using Versamark ink and heat-embossed it using gold embossing powder. The sentiment is from the Altenew Starry Flowers Stamp Set

Have a look at the close up for more detail.

Card 6 - Congratulations

I used the Leaf Burst Stencil for the background on this card.      
Some of the leaves were heat-embossed using Versamark ink and gold embossing powder and the others were inked directly through the stencil using Peacock Feathers and Peeled Paint Distress Oxide inks. I used a finger dauber for this as the openings are very small and I did not want to contaminate other leaves next to the one I was inking. A simple sentiment strip using green cardstock from my stash and die cutting letters using the shadow/solid layer of the Linear Pathway Alpha Solid and Outline Die Bundle  cut from navy cardstock. Nuvo Chrystal Glaze was applied to the letters for shine and some jute was adhered above and below the sentiment strip. I added a thin strip of navy cardstock behind the base layer before adhering it to the card base.
Here is a close up photo of this card.

One of the requirements was to make some sort of container/box to present this card set in and all the step-by-step details and a video are linked to the next post where I created the feminine card set. 

AECP Level 1 Final Challenge - Feminine Card Set Part 2

 Hello and welcome back to my blog. I hope you enjoyed the post and got some inspiration from my cards. In this post I will take you through the 6 feminine cards I created and at the end there will be a video on how I made the packaging for each card set. 

I took most of my inspiration from 3 classes in the Altenew Academy to use to create my card set. 

1. Let it Shine

2. Easy Die Cutting Techniques

3. Clean and Simple Boutique cards

To ensure a cohesive look to all 6 cards, I used the same colour scheme of pinks, oranges and yellows from the Altenew crisp die ink cubes, all the cards have a floral aspect and I used white cardstock as a base colour and black cardstock as an accent colour which just adds a lovely striking contrast. For the bells and whistles as a finishing touch I have used some iridescent sequins from my stash. 

I hope you will enjoy some time out while you read my blog and watch the video at the end.

Card 1 - You're So Special

I love flowers, especially pink roses! Roses make me happy! 😍
For this very pretty card I used the stunning Altenew Kind Reminders Stamp, Die and Simple Colouring Stencils.

All the flowers in this whole set were made using Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 lbs cardstock and the card bases were made from the 110 lbs version. 

I began by ink blending some Altenew Butternut Crisp Die ink onto the base panel using a blender brush so that I would achieve a light colour hue which would ground the flowers. 

TIP: When ink blending, start slowly with a very light layer of ink and gradually build up the colour until you are happy with the look. I find ink blending to be very relaxing and therapeutic so I never rush this process. For a lighter colour I use blending brushes, for a more saturated colour I use ink blending sponges with a handle and for very small areas I use finger daubers. If you are creating a gradient of various colours always remember to blend over each colour with the next to create a beautiful blend. 

I used the matching colouring stencils to ink up the floral clusters and I used the layering guide provided in the pack as a guide. I find these layering guides very helpful. I used Butternut, Coral Berry, Ruby Red, Grapevine, Frayed Leaf and Evergreen crisp die inks from Altenew.
The images were then die cut using the corresponding dies and popped up with foam tape in the top left and bottom right corners of the card for some balance. I then turned the panel over and with some long bladed scissors I trimmed off the overhanging pieces of leaves etc. I used these bits to add to empty spaces. 
The sentiment was stamped onto black cardstock using Versamark ink and white embossing powder after applying an anti-static powder to the cardstock. The sentiment is from the Inked Lotus Stamp set
Some iridescent sequins added some subtle sparkle to the card.

Here is a close up photo.

Card 2 - Happy Birthday

For this card I ink blended a base panel with Butternut, Frosty Pink and Coral Berry die ink using blender brushes and making sure all inks overlapped to create the orange colour. 
I added an adhesive sheet to the back of this panel before cutting it using the Altenew Layered Geo Cover Die B. I was careful to let all the pieces fall onto my craft mat in their correct order. I then die cut 2 white layers and used a spray adhesive (E6000) to stack these together and onto the base card. I then used a jewel picker to pick up each coloured piece and puzzle-piece them into place using a dot of liquid glue. This is called Die Cut Inlay Technique and is one of my favourite techniques. It takes a bit of time but the end result is so worth it.

For the flowers I used the Beauty Within Stamp, Die and Simple Colouring Stencils Set. 

As the background is so colourful, I wanted to create some white flowers for this card. In order to still have some shading on the white flowers I used and Altenew crisp die ink in Limestone and very lightly inked though the stencils to create the varying shades. The leaves were inked in Frayed Leaf and Evergreen.
I arranged these in a triangle shape in the bottom left corner of the card and popped up the foremost flower with foam tape. I used some Glad Press 'n Seal to stick all the floral elements and leaves together on the card then lift them off once I was happy with my placement.

    •  Picking up the flowers with Glad Press 'n Seal
 Placing the flowers back into position after applying liquid glue to the back

TIP: In design it is always more pleasing to the eye to use elements in odd numbers like 3, 5,7 etc and to place them in a triangular shape. I have done this with the flower cluster in the bottom left corner and to balance this I have placed my sentiment closer to the top right. 

I used the sentiments from the Altenew Layered Poppy Stamp and Stencil Set , stamped them on black cardstock and heat embossed using white embossing powder. They were stacked close together. A few sequins in odd numbers completes this pretty card.

Here is a close up photo.

Card 3 - Thank You

I decided to create a shaker card this time as they are so much fun to make. 
The base panel was ink blended exactly as I did in the previous card but this time I blended the 3 colours in horizontal rows. Some water splatters created some interest and texture to the background.
 I used a set of stacking oval dies from my stash to cut out a window from the black layer as well as the white one. 
One of the requirements is to recycle something for the project and I always keep the plastic packaging from my stamp sets for all sorts of other uses as I store all my stamps and dies in proper thick plastic pockets. This was adhered using a thin line of liquid glue but you could use double-sided tape if you prefer.
I used some foam tape on the back of the panel to make a "well" and sprinkled some iridescent sequins into the well. I then placed the coloured background panel on top of that to seal the shaker. 

TIP: When using foam tape to conform around an oval or circular shape it is much easier to get it to bend if you remove both sides of the backing tape before adhering it.

Recycle some plastic from packaging to use to seal up your shaker window.
Preparing the shaker window with foam tape ready to seal in the sequins before attaching the whole panel to a card base.
For the flowers I used a mini stamp set which I recently received from Altenew as a thank you gift for my support. Thank you so much Altenew! I've put it to good use! 😍
You can see the stamp set in the photo above, it's called Sweet Cluster. I chose to use some alcohol markers in shades of pink, orange and yellow to colour the little flowers and a green alcohol marker for the leaves. This was very simple colouring as I still need lots of practice with my colouring.
I used a black glaze pen to add dimentional dots to the centres of the flowers and popped each cluster onto the card using foam tape.
The Thanks sentiment is from the Altenew Simple Greetings Die Set and I used both layers to make the sentiment stand out well. I added a few more sequins as a finishing touch.

A close up photo.

Card 4 - Hello

I'm really loving the 3D embossing folders that Altenew is coming out with lately so it was obvious that I had to try it out and I was SO impressed! 
I dry-embossed the panel using the Altenew Swirl Motif 3D embossing folder and ran it through my die cutting machine - I have a Sizzix Bigshot. For this machine you only need to use 1 cutting plate as these folders are much thicker than normal embossing folders.

For the flowers I used the Altenew Hibiscus Garden 3D Die Set which has some beautiful tropical flowers and foliage. This is a layering die set so no stamping, just layering up the different layers according to the handy layering guide and adhering them with dots of liquid glue. I used Altenew Gradient Cardstock Sets in Summer Afternoon, Green Meadows and Red Cosmos. 

All the pieces are cut and ready to assemble
The flowers were arranged to my liking and some were given some added dimension with foam tape.
The sentiment is from the Bold Greetings Die Set
and was cut from black cardstock, adhered with foam tape and then to give a little more dimension I applied Nuvo Chrystal Glaze to the letters and allowed it to dry completely before adhering the word to the card. I cut 2 thin strips of pink cardstock from the gradient set and adhered it to the left and right side to bring out more pink colouring. Some sequins completed the look.

Here is a close up photo.

Card 5 - Happy Anniversary

I wanted to make a peek-a-boo card this time. I began by using the Dotted Swirls Debossing Cover Die to cut into a panel of 80 lbs white cardstock.
I then used one of my favourite techniques to ink blend 3 colours in a circular pattern onto this panel. The ink helped to emphasise the debossed pattern. I trimmed this panel down to 4" x 5 1/4" then matted it with black cardstock measuring 4 1/8" x 5 3/8". 
For the peek-a-boo in the middle I used the Altenew Craft-a-Flower Rose Layering Die Set  I used the base layer of the rose to cut a window through the card front and then proceeded to die cut and piece together a rose with 2 leaves for the inside of the card.

Cutting the peek-a-boo window
Paper piecing the layers of the flower together. I added some extra shading with matching inks using a finger dauber so that the image appeared less "flat"
With the card closed I placed the rose into the hole and adhered it so that it was positioned perfectly in the opening. Inside I added some layered leaves to finish the flower.
Around the edge of the opening i noticed some white cardstock showing so in order to cover this and to also enhance the opening I used a black glaze pen to draw around the opening and give it more emphysis.
For the sentiment I die cut a sentiment from the Essential Sentiment Strips Die Set I adhered this to a piece of vellum with a small border showing and attached this to the card on the left and right of the opening, thereby forming a "bridge". Some iridescent sequins gave this card some bling and sparkle.

The completed rose inside the card
And a close up photo

Here is a close up photo of the finished card.

Card 6 - Thinking of You

For my final card in this project I used one of my favourite Altenew layering stencils called the Layered Dahlia Stencil Set.

I used the same 3 colours of Altenew crisp die inks and used finger daubers to apply the ink. The top lay adds more detail so I applied a slighly heavier layer of ink for more definition.
This panel was trimmed down 1/4" and adhered to a black cardstock with a 1/8" border showing. 
The sentiment was cut from 2 layers of black cardstock and 1 layer of matt mirror cardstock from my stash. I used the Thinking of You die and adhered each layer with small dots of liquid glue. The sub-sentiment strip is from the Starry Flowers stamp set and as I only wanted to use half of one stamp I masked the top portion off with tape before inking the stamp with Versamark ink, removing the tape then stamping it onto black cardstock and heat embossing it with white embossing powder.

Here is a close up photo of my final card.

And here is a look at all the cards in this Feminine Card Set.

And now for the video tutorial of how I created both gift boxes to present the sets.