Thursday, December 31, 2020

Beautiful Details with Altenew

Welcome friends to my continuing journey with Altenew Certification. I have taken a couple of months off with working on holiday creations, but have been watching this class called Beautiful Details and wanted to create a card, but not a floral card.
Marika Rahtu, the instructor, has very unique techniques for her designs. There are 6 classes and my card was inspired by the last class. She uses an alcohol marker base as an underlying layer with colored pencils on top. She felt it was faster and more effective than all colored pencils. If you have ever colored with just colored pencils you know that you use a very light hand and multiple layers. It can take a while.
I've done quite a few florals with Altenew and have Altenew's Hug Me Stamp and thought the (alcohol marker base coloring with colored pencils over top) technique would work well with the fox and balloons. Time for a change from Christmas cards!
I stamped 2 of the fox with balloons images with Altenew's Gray Denim Crisp Dye Ink and partially colored them with Altenew's Alcohol Markers as Marika demonstrated in her class. I have all of Altenew's Alcohol Markers and wanted a rainbow of colors for the balloons. I used colored pencils from my stash in coordinating colors in a gentle stroking motion on top of the Alcohol Marker base.  Finally, I used the coordinating die to cut them out. You can see that the die also cuts between the strings in the balloon, which is always a great feature. I did layer them with a slight offset.
I did want some interest in the background and used a favorite technique using a cover die  making my own stencil. I cover a piece of cardstock with Altenew's Peach Gold Washi Tape. It's wide enough to cover in one piece. I also like that it is somewhat neutral in color and doesn't distract from the ink blending.
Then I place a cover die over it and ran it through my Big Shot. In this case, I used Altenew's Garden Trellis Cover Die.  I then have my own homemade stencil which works like a charm for a subtle ink-blended background. Plus, it can be saved for many many uses.
I used Altenew's Sea Glass Crisp Dye Ink with's Foam Blending Tool to create the background onto Blick Studio's Bristol Smooth Paper. I buy the 11" X 14" pad and cut it down to card size. It blends perfectly and I not only use it for ink blending, but also with water color markers, such as Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers.
The Sea Glass Crisp Dye Ink is such a nice subtle color which doesn't distract from the focal image. You can see the pencil lines better in this close up:
I added a few gold stars and a "Happy Birthday, Sending the Biggest Hug Your Way" sentiment from the Hug Me set inside. Lastly, over the balloons I added some sparkle with Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen

Thank you for joining me today on my Altenew journey and check out Marika's Class if you want to see some amazing "Beautiful Details"!

*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.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Penny Black for The Flower Challenge #51

My last blog post for 2020 and such a beautiful challenge on which to leave this year behind:
I am also going to play along with NBUS for December, for I have never before used this Penny Black stamp!
This stamp by Penny Black is called Becoming. Penny Black has the most amazing line of stamps and this type is perfect for watercolor techniques.
If you ever need to make quick cards, this type of stamp is perfect. Place the stamp on a large acrylic block or your Stamp positioner, like MISTI. I used Ranger Distress Ink because it is water soluble and works well for this technique.
Stamp the lighter color first. I used Spun Sugar on the floral images and Crushed Olive on the leaves. Spritz with water (gentle spray) from about a foot above the inked stamp and close onto your card base. In this case, I used Bristol Smooth from BLICK Art Materials. Works beautifully with water.

I let it dry, just a bit, so its not soaking wet and then inked the dark pink, Picked Raspberry, around the edges of the floral image and the dark green, Forest Moss, here and there around the leaves. Another spritz with water and stamp again. You should have a beautiful blend.

Don't wipe your stamp between the 2 colors. This was you'll get even more of a blend.

Lots of fun blends can be achieved. It's a really fun technique! Here are a couple more (I actually made 12 cards!):
My Heartfelt Sympathy sentiment came from Honey Bee Stamps With Sympathy set. This set has so many options for mixing and matching sentiments, it is one of my go-to sets:
I trimmed the card fronts with my all-time favorite rectangle die that leaves little tiny bead stitches all around the edges. It is from Sugar Pea Designs:
Lastly, as per the challenge, I had some clear sequins that I have had in my stash for a long time. Just a little sparkle, because this is a sympathy card.

Thank you for joining me today and I hope you give this technique a try. It's addicting, for sure. Happy Holidays to all!

*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.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Watercolor Doodled Christmas Card

More Christmas cards?! Yes, in fact these were mailed today! I played with 2 challenges. The first is with the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown. The challenge is to pick any challenge featured this year and I choose May 2020 Embossing:

The design of the cover card is based on the sketch challenge by Paper Craft Crew Card Sketch #404:
I was totally inspired by Catherine Côté from Montreal, Canada, aka Creationsceecee ( I follow CeeCee faithfully on You Tube: Her calm manner and approach to watercolor and mixed media is mesmerizing. She almost always uses gold in her watercolor designs often in a doodling manner.
Her recent You Tube was about small designs and gold doodling. If you have time to watch her is the link: \
So thank you, cee cee, for the inspiration! I started with a 3" X 6.25" Prima Watercolor Pad which I had received in a Mystery Box. It is a nice heavy cotton paper and took watercolor beautifully. I simply dropped red, green and gold from my Altenew 36 half pan set onto a thoroughly wet piece and let it flow.
I always let my watercolor air dry and usually wait overnight. Next, I doodled with this beautiful gold watercolor from Altenew's 14 pan Metallic set and one of my  favorite Silver Brush Black Velvet - size 8.
The leaves are cee cee's design, so she gets total credit. I added a few bit and bobs of my own. The panel was cut into 2. One card I made landscape and one portrait. Both have embossing - dry embossing folders and heat embossing sentiments.
This embossing folder is from my Stampin' Up! days, but I love it and the soft effect it gives in the background. Both card panels were mounted on black cardstock. The embossing folder from the landscape design is a Sunny Studio design called Dapper Diamonds. It gives a wonderful dimension.
The sentiments are from Taylored Expressions Simple Strips - Christmas and the Simple Strips Well Rounded Die for one and Simple Strip Die for the one with the flag ends. If you haven't checked these out, you're missing on one of the greatest time savers there is. One stamp pass and one die pass and you have many sentiments strips. They can be heat embossed or just plain stamped. The little squares on the sides line up and the strips come out perfectly every time!

There are very reasonably prices storage boxes with 2 layers, so that it holds all of the sentiments for each set and
labels so you can easily find the one you want. There are many different sets: Christmas, Birthday, Sympathy, Friendship, Cats, Dogs and smaller sets for holidays, too.
I use them on almost every card I make and can't say enough good things about them!
Here is a shot to show that beautiful gold watercolor from Altenew:
Well, that's my post for today and I wish you all Happy Holidays From Our House To Yours!
*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, December 12, 2020

Christmas Tag Card with Digital Stamp

Hi friends! Today's card is playing with 2 challenges. One is a sketch from Freshly Made Sketches:
And the other is The Sisterhood of Crafters last challenge for the year: Anything Goes/Christmas/Winter:
I have this beautiful Snowy Church Digital Stamp from Power Poppy by Marcella Hawley:
I have had an ornament die in my stamp for a long time and wanted to use it with this digi stamp. I sized the church to fit inside the ornament and printed on my Brother laser printer using Ranger's Water Color Paper on the smooth side. Then I cut it out with the ornament shape. You could use a circle or oval die and add a bow and twine to the top if you don't have an ornament shape.
I watercolored the image with my Altenew 36 half pan set using favorite water coloring brushes: Silver Brush by Black Velvet size 2, 4 and 8. They hold a nice sharp point and I am able to get into corners easily no matter which size I use. The size 8 just holds more water and paint, but I can still paint tiny images with it. To get the dry paint moistened I use a pipette and drop a little bit of water into the half pan. It loosens up in a few minutes. I am usually painting in the living room with the hubby watching TV and using this collapsible cup works well home and travelling.

Once the image was totally dried, I used some liquid adhesive (Tombow Mono and Gina K Connect are my favorites) here and there to reflect snow and sprinkled glitter onto the image. It really gives a nice shine. I tried to capture it in this picture:
The background is a piece of olive green cardstock in my stash (Taylored Expressions has a very similar color) and I used MFT's Romantic Script Background stamp with's Olive Hybrid Ink for a tone on tone look.
I can't tell you how much I love having all these sentiments ready! I spend a little time embossing various ways or just stamping and die cut them out. One pass - the are all stamped and one pass they are all cut. This time I used the Simple Strips Well Rounded Die, just to mix it up! It's so great to have them when you need to finish a card and don't really feel like embossing. I have all of the Simple Strips Stamps sets that Taylored Expressions has made in this size: Woof, Meow, Friendship, Crafty,  Birthday, Sympathy, etc. and their storage container!
To finish, I die cut the ornament topper from gold card stock and add gold string. Lastly, I stamped an inside sentiment from's Christmas Wishes stamp set and adhered a few Crystal Clear Rhinestones from Trinity Stamps.

Well that's it for today. I really liked how this came out and made a few more just to have on hand. One will be for an ornament exchange for my painting group. We are having a Zoom Christmas party this year and have a "Dirty Santa" exchange, but it has to to mailable in an standard envelope. 

Happy Holidays, be safe and stay 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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