Beyond Basic Backgrounds

Yes, I passed Level 1 and now onto Level 2 with a new badge to display!

For my first class here, I chose Beyond Basic Backgrounds.  There were 6 magnificent ways to do something out of the ordinary for the background of your card.  Instructor Lydia Evans showed how they vary and how beautiful each could be.  She made the comment on the sixth version how she doesn’t do this much but ought to do it more…so I took up this challenge.  For these backgrounds you color paper, die cut images, keep the outline, die cut again with white cardstock keeping all the little piece inserts of the background.  Then put them together as a jigsaw puzzle to create a background.

I played with a couple of dies before choosing the Altenew Hanging Garden Die Set.  First, because these were leaves, I colored paper using green shades using my Altenew Artist Markers starting with the lightest and working to the darkest:  Mountain Mist B802, Volcano Lake B714, Lagoon B815 and Emerald B635.  I wanted these to stand out so for the other colors I chose grays: Morning Frost WG01, Evening Gray WG03, Moon Rock WG05, and Lava Rock WG07.  I simply colored them in an Ombre patterns on the white card stock.  The larger die I cut out in the greens, and I cut 2 smaller dies from gray.  That would give me some play in how to arrange the leaves. 

With the colored outlines cut out I arranged them on a piece of 4.25” x 5.5” white cardstock to see how they would fit.  I cut the dies figuring I would then trim the cards when done but I ran into a couple of problems…the background would be too big for a frame of color around them – which was needed.   When I cut out the dies from the white cardstock, I figured I could just glue it on another piece of cardstock and all would be easy to piece together – not so.  First there was too much white space with the larger size and secondly, the white die cut needed shape to be put in place properly.  It was glued down but the leaves were not in the right spots for making the correct layout. 

Glad Press’n Seal to the rescue.  I trimmed another piece white cardstock to 3.75”x 5” to begin with, then cut the dies as I wanted them, being very careful when they were cut to not lose any of the pieces.  I tore off a sheet of Press’n Seal from the roll and placed it on the wrong side of the card. This held almost all the small pieces in place.    I then took the white die cut positive out and leaving only the small negative pieces.  I next could take my colored positives in place before gluing.  Now I knew everything would be lined up appropriately.  I folded over the Press’n Seal to capture the pieces on the front of the card as well, turned it upside down and took off the back.  This would allow me to glue everything in place as it was lined up.  I took another uncut piece of cardstock at 3.75”x5”, added glue and backed the front of the card.  At least 75% of the pieces were in the right spot and had a bit of liquid glue to hold them there.  I turned it over and sought to complete the puzzle, adding any little pieces that didn’t stick and also to be sure they were all glued down.  With my trusty tweezers this was all accomplished.

Filling in the negative spaces isn’t so bad but I also had to be particularly careful that all the edges and corners – and a spot between the two dies – were all lined up properly.  The colored die cuts hung out the edge of the card front which I decided would add dimension.  This showed especially well when I put foam tape behind to pop up the card front on the dark gray background.

To finish out the card I added a sentiment from Altenew Best Sentiments stamps, using Simon Says Stamps Intense Black ink, Versamark ink and Altenew clear embossing powder.  To set it off just a bit more from the card I added a small piece of velum and foam tape to pop up the sentiment.  The Altenew Sea Shore Enamel Dots set match the colors of the inks on the greens, finishing off the final details.

This was a great class.  Kinda picky in putting together but I really liked the final outcome.  Again, it stretches my limits which is always a good thing.  So, when you read this, please remember the sentiment and know that


AECP Challenge Level 1 Part 1

My level 1 challenge is to make 4-6 masculine cards and 4-6 feminine cards, following a theme and using at least 3 of the lessons from Level 1 classes. The lessons I chose were

  • Clean and Simple Boutique for the theme
  • For the Guys – aspects of this class were incorporating nature, whimsical, interactive and geometric shapes
  • Layering – even though the layering class described layering stamps I found that layering the 3D and Craft-A-Flowers used the same principles as when layering stamps.  Finding the match points of each layer is what makes these beautiful flowers striking.

I really like Altenew’s current large background stamps.  Many are geometric in nature which lent themselves to masculine or feminine cards.  For colors, I used purple shades for feminine and, of course, blue shades for masculine.  My general plan was to stamp backgrounds with these stamps, add strips of dark paper and glitter paper, a focal point and a sentiment.  I knew I wanted the layered flowers for the feminine cards but needed inspiration for masculine cards.

Continue reading