Ah, my last class for Level 2.  Here’s hoping it’s good enough to keep going.

The dictionary gives the definition of Polychromatic as “of two or more colors; multicolored”.  Lots of color and multiple colors can be beautiful together.  Probably the most “famous” polychromatic system is the rainbow.  So, with this in mind I set out to use the colors of the rainbow somewhat differently than arches in the sky.

I recently received the Altenew Modern Circles Stencil so I put it over some white cardstock and dry embossed it.  It comes out with interesting texture with the raised half circles.  Before I took it off the stencil, I ink blended it with Altenew Crisp Inks of Ruby Red, Lemon Yellow, Forest Glades, Blue Tide and Hydrangea.  I then powdered them with my anti-static tool and put Altenew embossing ink on top of the half circles. Put Altenew translucent pearl embossing powder over them and heat embossed the sparkly powder.  This made the colors even more vibrant.

I then cut it down by using a Gina K Master stitched die and backed it with a piece of black cardstock to give a thin boarder.  Next, I took a piece of white cardstock and ink blended straight lines with the same inks twice, one more vibrant and the second more pastel. 

Since most of the card was about circles, I also cut two stitched circles out of the ink blended cardstock using Memory Box Double Stitched Circle frames.  The inside circle I dry embossed with the stitching rather than cutting it through.  On it I stamped the sentiment from the Altenew Everlasting Happiness set and then also heat embossed it with the same Translucent pearl powder.  I cut the circle down a bit as it was covering too much of the background.  I then added a ring of the pastel rainbow popping it and the full circle up with foam tape.  I liked how the spacing of the ring around the circle still allowed for color to come through on the front.  To finish it off I took five sequins – one of each color to fill some of the white space.

This was a simple and quick card to make and one whose message should always be in front of us. To me, it is a very cheerful card…helping us all to remember in pandemics and everywhere in life that


Creative Watercolor Media

The AECP Level 2 watercoloring class teaches ways to watercolor WITHOUT the usual watercolor paint pans.  Options include using re-inkers for ink pads, layering inks from pads to help show depth, smushing, and shimmer sprays or regular spray ink.  I don’t have Altenew re-inkers or colored shimmer sprays so I chose the smushing technique.  I do have some Altenew Antique Silver ink spray so I made something of my own!

A new acquisition was the 6 stamp cubes in the Icy Lake collection from Altenew.   I love the deep blue Sapphire color.  Since I wanted shimmer, I experimented by mixing the Sapphire ink – smushed onto my Tim Holtz media mat—with the Antique Silver spray.  I sprayed it with a bit of water and took my brush to mix the two colors together.  Then I dabbed and rubbed my 41/4” x 6” Canson XL water color paper into the mat of ink. I dried it with my heat tool then added more ink the same way until the whole piece of paper was covered.  I waited for it to dry completely and it gave me exactly the look I wanted…that beautiful deep blue with some iridescence to it.  This became my background piece for this card.

I love hydrangeas but my hydrangea stamp hadn’t come yet so looked for another big flower to use as my focal point.  The Bergenia Builder Stamp set has a great large flower that worked well for this.  I used again the Altenew Sapphire blue on one part of my mat and Altenew Pinkalicious on another part.  After spraying each with water I took turns putting my paper into each color, drying in between so they only blended some but each color still showed.  When totally dry I positioned the large Bergenia Builder flower stamp over the area of the paper I wanted in my Misti stamp positioner.  I used anti-static powder then Altenew embossing ink.  I poured Altenew Pure white embossing powder over it and heat set it.  And, again, because I like shimmer, I sprayed the die cut flower with Ranger white Perfect Pearls in water.  Once dry, it shimmered also.

Since the background came out so well, I wanted to make a larger card.  I laid out my design and decided to add some white splatter to the blue background.  I smushed some white pigment ink on my mat and took my Tim Holtz splatter tool and splattered LOTS of things on my desk.  Luckily the background was there too and did collect most of the splatter as intended.

 This card base is 5” x 6.5”.  Watercolor paper warps some from the water used so I needed a strong adhesive to attach the background to the card base.  I used some strong double side tape.  Then I heat embossed the sentiment, also from the Bergenia Builder stamp set, with the same white embossing powder.

To finish, I popped up the flower with foam tape and sprinkled some iridescent sequins around; tucking some under the flower to have them peek out.  The layout is simple – but that helps to show off the beautiful watercoloring and shimmer overload.

I sure hope you like this!  It really taught me not to be discouraged if I didn’t have certain supplies.  Instead, take what you have and make it good!

Masking Unleashed

Well, it’s almost Halloween so of course we want to get out the masks!  For cardmaking you can create some depth and dimension by masking your stamps to show one behind the other.  This AECP lesson showed six different ways to do this masking.  At first, I was struggling with which one I’d do and how to best do it but…I think I got it.

Many of the examples were of flowers and leaves using both negative and positive masks.   A positive mask is one where you cut out the image from another piece of paper or sticky note and put it over your stamped image.  A negative mask is one that you use the part left over after cutting the positive mask.  Both give some really cool effects. I used only positive masks and chose leaves since it is Fall and the leaves in Michigan are turning beautiful colors.

I used a general layout that was in the Inspiration guide that comes with the Altenew Grape Leaves stamp and die set.  First, I decided which would be my top leave, and worked down to the bottom leaf.  I used Distress inks of Ripe Persimmon, Aged Mahogany, and Fired Brick for the main leaves.  Before stamping any on the card front, I stamped them first on Gina K masking magic paper – an adhesive low tack paper just for this technique.  I fussy cut them out so that I could cut inside of the outline.  Because any mask has some thickness to it you want to have your mask slightly smaller than your image or your next stamp will show a gap between it and the original.  Using the mask cutouts also helped me to layout the card and be sure of where I wanted each leaf. 

I chose an ivory card stock as it lent itself more to Fall rather than traditional white.  I stamped the TOP leaf with Ripe Persimmon on the card front then took off the backing of the Gina K masking paper for the coordinating leaf and stuck it on top of that leaf.  Then I stamped the MIDDLE leaf and largest one next with Aged Mahogany.  Part of the masking paper of the first leaf also was stamped.  When the masking paper is taken off it give the impression that the first leaf is on top of the second.  For the third leaf, I first put the masking paper over the second leaf then stamped the BOTTOM leaf with Fired Brick ink.  I applied the coordinating mask to the third leaf keeping all masks on, at this point.  In my Misti stamp positioner I arranged the stamps again to stamp background leaves first in Distress Tea Dye ink then Altenew Forest Glades ink.  I wanted to give even the background leaves the hint of fall with brown in the green.

I debated about gold embossing the veins and outlines of the leaves but was inspired by Virginia Lu to cut out these with gold paper.  Virginia did this on her example card but used the gold as an inlay to the rest of the leaf.  Inlay is usually for cut out leaves so I couldn’t really use that technique here. I glued the cutouts directly over the stamped images.  As with the inks, I also had to layer the outlines to show the top, middle and bottom leaves…this made them all stand out so much more and enhanced the masking. 

Next, I practiced on scrap paper with the Altenew Woven Stencil to see what ink would look good in making a slight background particularly in the upper and right part of the card.  I practiced with several inks and decided on Altenew Crisp Dye Ink in Sand Dune color.  I taped my stencil to the card on the back and with a light hand added some texture to the background. 

To complete the card, I cut the front down to 4”x5”, applied foam tape to the back, and backed it with deep red cardstock cut to 4.25”x5.25”.   Then applied the whole thing to a white card base and trimmed off the ¼” of the base still showing.  Using the same ivory cardstock, I heat embossed the sentiment taken from Altenew’s Heartfelt Sentiments set.  I used the Aged Mahogany ink to lightly edge the sentiment before adding some foam squares and adhering it to the card.  Since I think my husband and I will be sending this to his friend who just had hip surgery, I did not want to add any addition ‘bling’.  We are sending some

Warm wishes for a speedy recovery!

Before using the Distress inks, I also tried Distress Oxide inks in mostly the same colors but stamping the black outline and veins on the leaves.  It didn’t stand out as well.  I also put some Wink of Stella on the leaves but they turned out a bit chalky since the Oxide ink reacted to the wet Wink of Stella.  I’ll use this in the future and finish out a card with it as well.  Once I got the hang of masking it was fun.  It takes a bit more planning but will definitely go faster in the future. 

Impressive Heat Embossing

This is another class in my Level 2 of Altenew Educators Certification Program.  Altenew is known for their beautiful floral layering stamps.  They can have up to six different layers and you get different effects based on if you use them all or only some of the layers.  So, it stands to reason if you heat emboss in layers, you can also create some gorgeous images.

I started with the Altenew Crown Bloom stamp set.  I tried it three ways before I was satisfied by the outcome.  I’ll walk you through this so you can decide if you want to try this and how it might work for you.  I am using embossing ink and powder for layers rather than dye ink.  There are three ways you can do this –1. Emboss the stamp (normal embossing), 2.  Stamp a color then use clear embossing powder over it (in case you don’t have the color of embossing powder you want), and 3. Emboss, heat, then emboss another powder over the first, second, etc. I did all three in this card.  The small floral sprig was done by straight embossing.  I put white cardstock in my Misti Stamp positioner, then used anti-static powder on the paper.  I positioned my stamp then inked it with Altenew embossing ink.  I did this twice just to be sure I had good coverage.  Then I took it out of my Misti and poured Altenew Antique Gold embossing powder on it before heat setting.  Then took the coordinating die and cut it out.

The next stamp was the leaf.  I started first by prepping with the cardstock in the Misti and then adding anti-static powder.  First used the Antique Gold for the outline of the leaf.  The next layer of the leaf was more solid and since I didn’t have green embossing powder, I stamped it with Altenew Firefly ink. Then again used the anti-static powder and stamped it with embossing ink.  I applied clear embossing powder and heated with my Wagner heat tool.  The clear embossing powder nicely allows the green ink to show through but gives it a bit of a shine.  I chose not to use the third layering stamp of the leaf.

In the flower I planned to layer the embossing flowers over each other.  Whenever embossing powder is used it is always best to use anti-static powder all over the cardstock so the powder only sticks to the area you want.  Plus, when doing multiple layers, you need to use anti-static powder between each layer for best results.  I tried this flower three ways before really getting what I liked.  On the first try I embossed the gold outline, then on the next layer stamped pink ink, (I forgot the clear embossing powder layer), the continued to emboss the next layer with the Altenew Rose Gold embossing powder, then Altenew Caribbean Sky (Blue) embossing powder, then gold again for the stamen ends.  Not happy.  It looked sloppy.

Second try, I stamped the second layer first with Altenew Rose Quartz ink.  The following steps were taken beyond this:

  1. Embossed the same stamp as pink layer with clear embossing powder and heated it.
  2. Embossed the third layer of the stamp using Rose Gold powder then heating it.
  3. Embossed the base center stamp with Caribbean Sky Blue powder and heated it
  4. Embossed the Antique Gold outline stamp over all of it which helped to show more detail.

This was better but still not as good as I wanted.  Starting again I

  1. Prepped the cardstock in my Misti with anti-static powder
  2. Positioned the SECOND layer of this stamp and stamped it with the Altenew Rose Quartz ink
  3. Wiped my stamp clean
  4. Inked the same stamp with embossing ink, stamping it once
  5. Added Altenew Translucent Pearl embossing powder and heat set it
  6. The THIRD layer in the set I positioned over the already stamped second layer, matching points on the flower as best as I could.
  7. Used the anti-static powder, then embossing ink to stamp once
  8. Added Rose Gold embossing powder and heat set it
  9. Went to the base center stamp for the flower insides.  I positioned this again, lining up the points with the already stamped images.
  10. Used the anti-static powder on the paper and embossing ink on the stamp to stamp once.
  11. Added the Caribbean Sky Blue powder and heat set it

At this point it was looking better than any before it so I finished by using the anti-static powder on the paper, positioned the FIRST outline layer stamp, matching up inside and outside points the best I could.  Then stamped it once with the embossing ink, added the Antique Gold embossing powder and heat set it.  That layer brought the flower all together with some detail but with multiple layers of color.  Even the translucent pearl embossing shined in the light.  YAY, I could then use the coordinating die to cut it out.

Now I had my three components to add to a card base.  I created an oval cut from a piece of cardstock that matched the lightest pink in the flower.  I cut an oval on size larger out of Reflections Shimmer Gold cardstock…just gives a nice shimmer to the white paper…and glue it to the inside of the card front.  I then positioned my elements with the sprig and leaf glued flat and the flower popped up with some foam tape.  I chose the Altenew peace dye for my sentiment, cutting it from the oval I cut out the pink cardstock.  I decided I wanted it to stand out a bit more so I followed all the embossing steps and heat set the lettering with the Rose Gold powder.  When cool, I glued it in place with liquid glue.

There was one more element that this class taught.  Embossing powder will stick to any wet surface, not just the embossing ink.  So, I splattered some water on the top of the card and sprinkled the Rose Gold embossing powder on it then heat set it.  It came out looking as if there was splattered ink…just enough to add some interest.  To finish the whole card, I added some Studio Katia clear drops.

This was a big lesson.  Lots to take in.  Here are some takeaways:

  1.  Always use anti-static powder between layers
  2. Practice to get the desired results
  3. Don’t be afraid to use only some of the stamps as the embossing powder is thick –it’s hard for fine detail to show
  4. Don’t be afraid to use the layers in a different order than what is on the packaging.
  5. Only one stamping of embossing ink was enough for a fine layer of powder rather than thick with two stampings.

Then most of all:  ENJOY your results!!  May PEACE be with you all today!