In the Mood for Color

This class was great for giving you a “feel” for what your card can portray just by its color palette:  Blue – Calm, Tranquility; Red – Love, Passion, Energy; Green – Soothing, Growth, Natural; Yellow – Energy, Cheer, Optimism; Pink –Sensitive, Caring, Sweet; Orange – Health, Happiness, Courage.  And then the bonus was for Rainbow –Happy, Cheer, Optimism, Courage, Energy, Growth, etc….     It was interesting to see how instructor Stephanie Klauck used each color to help capture the mood of the card.  For my card, I chose PINK.  I needed a sympathy card.  It started as an experiment in no line water coloring which I had never done before.  It turned out to be a good example of never give up on a project until you are satisfied.

One of Altenew’s fortes is its beautiful floral stamps and the Statement Flowers stamp makes a huge statement of beauty.  I wanted to make it great and thought that the no line water coloring would do well, plus I had not yet used my 36-pan tray of Altenew watercolors.  I started by stamping the Statement Flowers stamp on Altenew watercolor paper with a very pale shade of ink just to give me a very slight idea of where the flower outlines were.  I tried both Cotton Candy and Coral Berry as pink colors on some scrap paper and decided to work with Coral Berry.  As I started to paint, I did not wet the paper first.  I started with more concentrated paint near the centers of the flowers and bases of the petals.  I tried to draw out the color toward the end of the petals to make them lighten as they went out farther.  I also put concentrated parts of paint near the edges to create the petal boarders.  It was not easy and I have a long way to go with a lot more practice before I work this medium well.  But there is something about watercolors that is very relaxing and enticing.  I just kept working with the colors as I went along to make it look halfway decent.  I only used Coral Berry on the flowers.  For the petals I used Bamboo and Forest Glades mixing them a bit to get some different shades of green. Again, I tried to vary the shades of green to mimic nature.

When I was done water coloring and letting it dry, in my eye, it was only okay.  I didn’t define the edges well enough to leave it as it was.  So, I went back to some of the lessons and watched again to see what I could do.  When I started, I put the stamp in my Misti Stamp Positioner and stamped lightly…the stamp was still in the Misti from that original stamping.  So, I used Versamark Embossing Ink and stamped the flower again, then applied Altenew Antique Gold embossing powder and heat set it.  The gold then defined the outline.


I created a mask by using the die for this stamp and cutting it from heavy cardstock.  I put the mask on top of the water colored flower and then took my brush and picked up more Coral Berry paint to splatter on the white background to give more interest.  I used the second largest Rounded Rectangle Infinity Die from Hero Arts to cut the colored flower to a 4”x 5.25” piece which I mounted on a 4.25” x 5.5” piece of pink cardstock (cut with the largest of the Hero Arts Rounded Rectangle Infinity Dies).

For the sentiment I went to Altenew’s Heartfelt Sentiments and chose the scripty “with Deepest Sympathy”.  I put some white cardstock into my Misti, used my anti-static bag, Versamark Ink, and again the Altenew Antique Gold embossing powder.  Once it was heat set, I added a strip of matching pink paper to the bottom and cut the left edge at an angle.  To give it a bit of dimension I used foam tape to pop up the sentiment and the card was completed.

I had my sympathy card…using Pink to create sensitivity, caring and sweetness.  I was amazed at the overall effect of the water coloring with the gold embossing…so far, I think this is one of my favorite cards.  Hope you like it too.

With A Twist

Again, AECP instructor Therese Calvird leads us in fun for the class called “With A Twist”.  She quietly tells us to leave our comfort zones and do something different than what we would previously – put unexpected colors together (just after I learned the color wheel 😊), cut your card differently, make background patterns with only part of a die, etc.  I tend to think out of the box anyway so this lesson was right up my alley.

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Beautiful Details

I’ve been looking for one of these AECP classes to help me create a flower similar to the Lily in our front yard this summer.  I was a bit scared and intimidated by this class as I watched Marika Rahtu draw in each of the six lessons she taught.  Her finished products were absolutely gorgeous and seemed to show so much dimension in a flat surface.  I had no idea what some colored pencils could do to inks. This was the perfect technique to try and create my lily.

from my front yard
Finished card

I started with the Altenew Build-A- Flower Stargazer stamp set.  This set has actually 6 stamps to build this flower but today I only used the two largest ones for both the flower and the leaves. Instead of stamping the multiple layers I used the pencils to add in the details.  For the flower I started with the whole flower being Distress ink – squeezed lemonade.  Then on the second layer of stamping, I went around the outside with Distress ink -festive berries, candied apple, and fired brick – going from the lightest to the deepest as I moved out on the flower. Each time I took a deeper red I stamped less and less of the lily but building the reds on top of each other.  I then came back in with Distress ink – mustard seed to add a little deeper yellow to the center.  When I laid out all the leaves and the flower on the card, I used liquid glue to place the leaves and some foam tape for the flower.  I also added some shimmer, very lightly, to the flower with my almost dry Tonic Aqua Shimmer pen.  I wanted some sparkle but didn’t want t o cover the details so this almost dry pen was just right.

Following Marika’s example of just letting the flower talk to you and draw in lines as feels right, I started in.  She always starts with the lightest color and works to the darker colors adding more and more detail.  I used Prismacolor Pencils, first the Canary Yellow PC916 to fill in some of the spots the ink didn’t fill with the stamps.  Then I used PC 924 Crimson Red and PC 925 Crimson Lake.  For the stamen of the flowers I used PC 947 Dark Omber.  When I did the leaves I again, only stamped the first two layers (Altenew Frayed Leaves and Forest Glades), then drew in lines with PC911 Olive Green and PC 988 Marine Green.  I was amazed as how much more depth the pencil lines give the flower and the leaves.  The details were definitely coming out. 

Notice the center left leaf has no pencil marks and how flat it looks compared to the others that have penciled details.

When all the leaves and the flower were done, I die cut them with the coordinating dies. Now, onto a layout. I tried several different colors behind the flower – reds, yellow, black, and then found two pieces of cardstock I had blended several months ago.  I had blended Distress ink – squeezed lemonade and festive berries…trying to get something like a peace rose.  This lent a nice soft tone to the background as well as made the flower stand out more.  This, a strip of deep red and DCWV glitter cardstock seemed to make the best combination for the card front.  I also had enough of the blended cardstock to cut out the ‘for you’ sentiment for the front.  I was pleased with the overall outcome and loved the softness the blended paper added to the card. I added some Honeybee gems to give the last finishing touch.

How did I do in recreating Mother Nature’s beauty?  The flowers are so stunning in real life it’s hard to duplicate.

Magical Marker Techniques

I’ve used the Altenew Artist Markers (alcohol markers) with great joy and have been pleased with how they work but I learned a lot about them in this Level 2 AECP class by Sara Naumann.  She is great to listen to and has lots of good FAQs to share and tips (pun intended) to using these markers.  I had so much fun with this I did two cards, two different techniques.

The first card I want to share is the second one I made but was quick and easy to do in one evening.  The hardest part was cutting the papers to the right sizes so they could be laid out appropriately.  The center horizontal white cardstock is 1” wide by 5.5” long…the length of an A2 card.  The wider strip of white cardstock is 3” x 5.5”.  The square in the center is 2.25”.  The square and the 1” band each have black cardstock behind them that gives a 1/16” boarder…just enough to make the white stand out.  For the large 3” wide white cardstock I simply put thin strips of black paper along each edge.  I also cut a 2 1/8” square of vellum.  So, having all my pieces already cut but not glued made the rest go fast.

There are three key parts of this lesson: One to use a brayer and another to use alcohol markers on vellum as well as embellishments.  To use the brayer, simply scribble marker onto your craft mat then spritz with alcohol and rub the brayer over the ink.  Then rub the ink on the brayer over the white cardstock…purposely leaving some white spots.  I used two marker colors on this:  B714 Volcano Lake and R926 Sapphire.  In combining them there were only hints of the Volcano Lake.  The outcome made me think sky.

My next item was to pick out a stamp to stamp on the vellum.  Following along the sky theme I chose a nice dragonfly from the Altenew Wild and Free stamp set to stamp with the Altenew crisp Jet-Black ink.  It was a new stamp so I rubbed my fingers across it several times to be sure I would get the manufacturing finish off, thus giving a cleaner, crisper, stamp.  Since vellum does not absorb ink like cardstock, I had to be sure the stamped image was completely dry before applying any of the colored ink.  I used my Wagner heat tool to dry it plus gave it a little extra time to be sure it was totally dry.  While waiting I put the card layout in my Misti stamping tool and stamped the sentiment from the Altenew Blooming Mandalas set.

Going back to the dragonfly I used the same two colors from braying and ‘pounced’ color into the wings by just making small dots with the markers inside the outlines.  The pouncing gives a different effect than just brushing and filling in color.  I also colored in the body with the black Artist Marker.   I set that aside to dry and began gluing my card together.  I adhered the black strips on the 3” wide cardstock (it was a little to wide to just glue next to so I glued it under the white to give a smaller black line).  Then glued that piece directly to the card front.  Then I carefully glued the 1” strip of white with my sentiment onto the black background and then onto the center of the card base.  I glued the white square on top of the black square and then to the card base.  Now it was time for the vellum.  I didn’t want the glue to show so I carefully put it behind the body only of the dragonfly and adhered it to the top of the square.  The vellum curled up a bit so I added just a tiny drop of liquid glue on the white cardstock…left it to dry about a minute before pushing the vellum onto it.  It was still tacky but did not make an obvious mark of glue on the vellum. The corner was no longer curling up.

To brighten the card a bit and to embellish it I took some chunky glitter crystals I had and spread them out across the card.  Their blue sapphire coloring matched the blue in the wings of the dragonfly.  Another tip from Sara is to use the markers to color embellishments to match when you don’t have them.  I took a creamy pearl and colored it black with the Artist marker as I didn’t have a black one.  This became the head of the dragonfly. And, thus, this was finished!  I loved the way the dragonfly looked as if it was flying across the sky.  And just as its wings sometimes sparkle, so did the finished card.

The second card was even simpler.  Again, scribbling some color onto a craft mat and spritzing it with alcohol, I was able to pick up ink with my Tim Holtz splatter brush and put down some fine splatters in blues (B204 Ocean Waves and B227 Desert night) and orange (Y817 Firebrick).  These were close to the colors of my high school colors so it was a fun remembrance.  My husband had some orange twine or kite string which worked perfectly to wrap around the popped-up center cardstock.  I striped the sides of the card base first before attaching the center piece with foam tape.  I cut the sentiment out of corresponding blue paper using the Bold Thanks Dies set after stamping ‘ever so much’ from the Apothocary Labels stamp set. Then embellished it with some colored gems by Honeybee and adding an orange plaid bow.  Simple but attractive.

I can see using these techniques over and over again with lots of fun variations.

Thanks for visiting today.  Please go to the right and click FOLLOW to continue with me on my journey in the Altenew Educators Certification Program.