Tuesday, July 14, 2020

CAS Christmas Challenge & TE July 2020

Hi all! Don't you just love Christmas in July!? I am sure some do and some don't, but I definitely love Christmas all year round (except maybe not January & February!). I wanted to participate in this month's challenge for both CAS Christmas - Nativity 
and Taylored Expressions' Facebook Challenge for July: 
CAS cards are not always the easiest cards to create. You would think they are, but think about it - you need a good focal point, lots of visual imagery and all while keeping plenty of white space and limited embellishments. Not to mention just keeping all the white space clean from ink smudges!
I have had this stamp in my Taylored Expressions stash for a while now and thought this would be the perfect challenge it use it. I stamped the entire image on a piece of Neenah White 100 lb. Classic Crest card stock with Altenew's Obsidian Black Ink. This is a large stamp and fills an A2 portrait card entirely from side to side. 
I wanted to include some "sand" in the image and cut a piece of Bristol Smooth card stock, with a die in my stash which had a hill line. I ink blended 2 Distress Oxides to get a sand color - Vintage Photo and Wild Honey onto the "hill" and glue it to the card front over the word "Rejoice". In order to keep it CAS, I decided to cut the image down and give the 3 Wise Man and the Star the focus.

A simple ink blended background was created with the same Distress Oxides and MFT's Radiating Stencil. I used the same Spellbinder's Gilded Nested Rectangle Die Set to cut this piece as well as the center image. I like the squared off corners.
The outside sentiment is from Simon Says Stamps Tabbed Sentiment Holiday in my stash (not affliated) and the inside sentiment is from Impression Obsession's Kalani Allred:
If you haven't looked at her stamps, give it a look, for she has the best sentiments! They are funny, serious, a mix of all different fonts. If you are a card maker you will enjoy her work.

Taylored Expressions' Challenge is for Masculine/Star/Black and I believe this card fits all 3 requirements. The full "Nativity Background" stamp is beautiful and I hope to use it with a blended night sky with lots of twinkling stars.  Stay tuned!! 

Thanks for joining me today! Be safe, my friends.

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Altenew Final Challenge - Level 1

This is an exciting post for me...for those of you who follow me you know I have been working on my Altenew Educator Certification Program. I have finished the first 10 classes and have been given the final challenge before I can move on to the next 10. 

The final challenge is:
1) Use any 3 components from classes in Level 1 and explain them; Share design tips.
2) Create a cohesive his and hers card sets of 4 -12 cards, each, for a theme of either birthday or encouragement. 2 sets total.
3) Design gift packaging for each.
4) Use one recycled element on the card or packaging.

Wow! How does one start? I have a favorite saying (from Kristina Werner) "Inspiration Exists, But It Has To Find You Working"! So true, if you sit and ponder, you will find inspiration.

I went through all my notes and cards that I had created for the first 10 classes and then pulled out my Altenew stamps set that I felt could be either feminine or masculine. One of my favorite type of cards are artistic techniques, as Jen Rzasa taught in the "For The Guys" class. Jen did a Galaxy background. I wanted a similar look, but with a lighter feel.
To begin, I used the technique taught by Yana Smakula in Easy Die Cutting Techniques to dry emboss with a die cut. I covered 2 A2 size pieces of card stock with Altenew's Peach Gold Washi Tape. I do this to keep the stencil template nice & sturdy for many future uses. This full size washi makes it so easy.

I next ran it through my Big Shot with Altenew's Garden Trellis Cover Die. I popped out all the positive pieces on the one I ran through with a shim and only some on the pieces on the other (without the shim). 
My idea was a mixed media sort of look where some are randomly raised with the dry embossed and other have the full panel with the dry embossed. I used Altenew's watercolor cardstock (8 pieces) and ran them through the Big Shot with the washi die cut panel facing down, several pieces of card stock for shims and cranked them through back & forth about 6 times. Here is a close up of 2 of the 8 panels after the dry embossing:
Since I was planning to watercolor I taped my panels to a hard board. It helps keep the paper flat. I use yellow painters tape from a hardware store and do multiples at one time:
I used Altenew's 36 Pan Watercolors. Always swatch out your colors before starting to use them. It helps you see the true colors and will greatly help in choosing your color choices. You can also use a scrap of the same watercolor paper that you will be using and to see how the colors blend together. 
To watercolor the panels I started with a wet on wet technique: totally wet the paper with clean water, just where you want the color to follow. Blues/browns for the masculine set and pinks/oranges for the feminine set. 
My secret for any coloring is to always leave white! It gives movement and life to the work.
I let the panels dry overnight on the boards. I don't like to force dry watercolors. I feel they have a more natural look left to air dry.
Once dried, I splattered with the darkest watercolor used. Now for the recycled part. We save plastic bottle caps and generally use them in the bottom of our planters for drainage and to fill up space. But I thought, why not stamp with them? I put Tsukineko Frost White All Purpose Ink on an acrylic block and stamped with a small round cap. You can see the results in these pictures: 

 I really liked it! Gave the panel that mixed media look I wanted.
Now, the panels are all dry and adhered to a nice layer of fun foam for stability and just the perfect amount of dimension. In Easy Die Cutting Techniques, Lesson 1, Yana used vellum instead of card stock or paper. I knew I wanted to use the graphic designs from the Geometric Flower stamp set.
I thought to heat emboss them on vellum would allow the background to show through and yet give the front a good visual image.
All were stamped with Versamark sticky ink first and then sprinkled either with Altenew's Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder, Ranger's gold or Wow Super Fine Copper Embossing Powder. Be sure your heat tool is good and hot before bringing it to the vellum and keep it moving to prevent warping. They were all fussy cut out which I have to say was very easy to do.

For the sentiments, I made my own colored card stock as Sara Naumann taught in Irresistible Inking Techniques. All the sentiments now have color matching card stock and all were heat embossed with Altenew's Pure White Crisp Embossing Powder.
I edged all the panels with the ink to paper technique Sara taught just so they stood out from the white card base.You can see the ink to paper color on the edges here. Simply run the edge of the card gently along the ink pad for a nice crisp line of color.
It was fun to put all the encouragement cards together and finally create the box to package them. I watched several You Tubes and made simple scored boxes in dark colors to match the cards. To decorate I used more recycling: drywall tape that is no longer sticky enough to be used as originally intended. A simple ribbon around each cover and a tag to match finished my gift boxes.
Here is a look at all 8 encouragement cards and their boxes:

If you are still with me after this long post, I thank you! I learned so much from the first 10 classes and really look forward to the next 10!

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

My Favorite Things - The Birthday Project

Hi friends! I hope you are enjoying your summer and keeping safe. I do enjoy being home and now have the chance to participate a bit more in fun challenges, such as My Favorite Things' challenges. This month they have a birthday project challenge which must include a party scene:

I love the designs of Stacey Yacula. This is her Sending Sweet Celebration Wishes stamp set:

The images are just so sweet and I knew they would make a perfect slimline card. I use my Trinity Stamps Slimline Scallop & Banners Die set to make the inside panel from Neenah Solar White card stock:

I stamped all the images onto Ranger Watercolor Paper, my new favorite, bright white with a smooth side. It's nice & sturdy for card making, too. I used Altenew's Obsidian Black Ink which is perfect for watercoloring and is a great dark black ink. I love it and and use it for everything now.

I always color at night watching TV with hubby. My Derwent Inktense Pencils are at my table and are my go-to pencils for water coloring. I love the soft look they give and yet have such intense colors. Once dried, I die cut all the images with the matching dies. It even cut out the swirly ribbons for the celebration!
Now the fun part! Laying out the scene. I cut some scrap copy paper to create the ground, taped off the scallop edges and ink blended Distress Inks to create grass. I figured out how I wanted the scene to look and stamped the sentiment before anything was adhered. Then, at last, all the little guys were either glued flat or popped up with foam circles. Finally, I used Nuvo Crystal Glaze in various parts of the images, like the turtle shell, to give a nice three dimensional glaze.  Give it a good 24 hours to dry.

Here is my birthday party:
The inside has a simple "Happy Birthday" from the stamp set and another fun party turtle. The envelopes are for slimline cards from Trinity Stamps.
Thanks for coming to my birthday party scene today. I had a lot of fun making this card and hope you enjoyed it as well!

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.


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