AECP Level 2 Final Challenge

This was the Challenge put before me at the end of the Level 2 classes of the AECP.

~Select ANY 3 components from the classes in Level 1 or 2 (e.g., layering 1/2, Let it shine, stencil techniques)

~Explain the 3 components that you’ve chosen for the project

~Share design tips (if any)

~Please make 4 MASCULINE cards (Themes are; birthday, Love/Thinking of You, Anniversary, and Encouragement)+ Altered Item/Upcycled Project.

~Challenge blog post: Detailed step-by-step photo tutorial and/or YouTube video

~Minimum of 10 photos (close-up and process)

~Submit to the gallery within one month (11/26)

The three components that I chose are:

  • Irresistible Inking Techniques — different ways to use the inks to get a different effect
  • For the Guys – generally florals are not considered ‘manly’ therefore some of the ways to make masculine cards include leaves, nature themes, building texture, geometric shapes, using colors that are metallic, blues, greens, blacks or grays, muted colors rather than bright colors.
  • Scene building – tell a story with the picture you create on the card…imagine yourself there and what’s happening?  This what I like to do when I build a card by Scene building.  Who’s in that cozy winter cabin?  Is there a fire going?  Where are you camping?  What’s the weather like?  Did you catch any fish?  Is it night time? Sunrise? Sunset? Daytime?  What mood are you picturing?

My first card was the simplest with beautiful leaves cut from bronze paper.  First, I used some Shimmer white gold paper from Recollections to start the card base.  Using Altenew leaf mix dies I cut a bunch of leaves from Paper Rose’s copper cardstock…saving the insides and the outsides.  I played with placement on the whitish card front and knew it needed some splattering to give it texture, yet flat.  I took some Forest Glades ink, smushed some on my glass mat, misted it with water, and took a brush to add the splatters.  Atop the dried background I then fanned out some of the leaves.  They looked great against the green.  I mounted the card front with some foam tape onto dark green to go with the splatters then cut the sentiment out from the same green.  This is a new sentiment die set called Essential Sentiment Strips Die Set.  This is a great one for masculine cards as the font is simple and not fancy or frilly.  It is a quick and simple, yet fitting card for this challenge.

The second card I had fun with.  My son-in-law’s birthday was in September and he and my daughter love to camp.  I used the Camp Life Stamp and Die set to create his birthday card above on the bottom right – matching the colors of their tent and chairs even.   This stamp set has lots of possibilities so for this challenge I used it to Scene build another event…Fishing!  I started with the Altenew Birch Tree background in a s soft grey of Silver Lake.   I purposely didn’t stamp the bottom of the trees completely so that I could add in some ‘ground’.  To make the ground I used a small sponge and dabbed it in three colors – Milk Chocolate, Expresso, and Charcoal Suit.  It came out well to show DIRT.  Of course, the fire is warm and cozy with the chair near by and the fishing pole and its catch waiting to be cooked.  For the fire I used Mango Smoothie, Warm Sunshine, Firebrick from Artist Markers then covered it with some Aqua Shimmer because fires glisten.  The chair is done with Persian Blue and Desert Night Artist markers along with some gray for the frame of the chair…which also shines so more Aqua Shimmer pen was used there.  The fishing pole was a combination of light brown with a touch of green to make it look realistic.  I just played with the colors until I got what I wanted.  The bale is metal though, so it needed to shine with Aqua Shimmer too.  The stamp and die do have line that comes out from the end of the pole but I cut that off and added some Altenew Silver metallic thread for line.  There was no fish so I just cut out a simple one, colored with greens and gave it an eye.  The fish isn’t shiny cuz it got caught and will soon be dinner for the fisherman.  I added the fire chair and pole to the card base with some foam tape for dimension. For the sentiment I had to improvise a bit.  I took the stamp from the More Than Words set and cut the word ‘this’ off the end so that I could stamp it below, making it fit better.  Perfect sentiment for my husband, brother-in-law, nephews, etc.  The hunting and fishing run deep in my husband’s family.

Card number 3 was another challenge to see if it would work.  Since slimline cards are the rage right now, I wanted to do something in geometric patterns that would be slimline.  I practiced a little by cutting out the Altenew Garden Trellis Cover Die…but not completely.  I left one end off each time I cut it, doing so twice.  For each I used some DCWV adhesive backed paper but before taking off the backing protecting the sticky paper, I matched up the ends the best I could to create a long trellis.   I marked where it should be cut and cut off the matching ends so they would look as one across the card.  Taking the backing off I stuck it down on cardstock.  Then trimmed it all down to 3.5” x 8.5”.  For the diamonds on the front I used the Fine Frames Diamond Die set, spreading them out across the card over the trellis. I liked it going from largest to smallest, letting your eye follow the path.  I used the Fancy For You die, cutting it three times, once in holographic paper and twice in white.  I glued them together for more dimension then placed it over the largest diamond so it would stand out the most.  Once that was done, I mounted it with glue onto a 4”x 8.5” card base.

One more to go…but it turned into two more.  Sometimes you can get so much more out of a technique than just one card.  That is the case with the Irresistible Inking Techniques.  Instructor Sara Naumann shows how she used a brayer to create an interesting background. With this in mind, and looking to do something in black and white, I set off for the last card.  I smushed some Distress Black Soot ink on my Tim Holtz media mat and sprayed it with water.  Picking up the brayer, I went back and forth in the ink then took it to the paper.  Yuk, didn’t like it.  I added some Distressed Speckled Egg on another spot on the mat, misted it and ran the brayer through both colors.  When I took this ink to the paper it gave a great variable background.  I did this again with just the Speckled Egg, and another time with both colors.  Then, with ink still on my mat, I took a blank piece of white cardstock and smushed it into the left-over ink.  The result of that was a more dotted effect.  Wow, now I had lots to play with!  Ok, so what part of the dotted paper did I like best?  I trimmed away until I got a piece that 5 ¾” square.  I cut a black square 6” square for the background frame. I made the black and speckled egg really stand out.  Another element for masculine cards is to add something metallic.  So, I cut the Circle Hello die out 4 times in black, stacking three of them together with glue.  The fourth one I used Altenew Antique Silver embossing powder on it.  But not just once…. three times making sure it was well melted each time and well covered.  The outcome is a very smooth silvery look.  Once cooled I offset that on top of the 3 stacked black ones so that the silver stood out more and had a shadow.   It seems like it needed just a touch more, thus I used the Mid-Century Die Frame (inside and out) to put behind the Hello.  I also wanted it to say ‘thinking of you’ so I stamped that (from the Dainty Swiss Dots set) onto vellum in a way I hadn’t done before.  I had just gotten a pad of VersaFine Nocturne. Stamping the sentiment with that would be black.  It also stays wet enough to add embossing powder.  Since ink on vellum can smudge sometimes, I thought that embossing this with a clear embossing powder would seal the ink and keep it from smudging.  Time to put it all together…first the thinking of you sentiment, then the Mid-Century die cut, then the hello on top.  I used Zots to glue down the velum as liquid glue can show so easily.  The zots seemed to work fine without an obvious glue mark.  The finishing touches were some enamel dots very close in color to the Speckled Egg ink.

I still had a lot of backgrounds left from the braying.  I again picked out the area of the paper I wanted and trimmed it down to 3 ½” x 8”.  I mounted that with liquid glue on a piece of black 3 ¾” x 8 ¼”. I cut out three cuts of the “happy birthday” die and glued them on top of each other.  On top of them I added Glossy Accents to make them stand out even more.  From the same Dainty Swiss Dots set I took the “you’re awesome” and stamped and embossed the words on a vellum strip, just as I had done with the first card.  I had to wait for the Glossy Accents to dry…I gave it an hour to hour and a half, just to be sure.  Then took Zots to hold down the sentiment on vellum, glued on the stacked happy birthday.  It’s always helpful to put an acrylic block or something on top of stacked letters to ensure the letters will adhere to the card. Instead of just round enamel dots I used the three black heart dots that came with the Altenew Green Fields dots set.

So that finishes up the part of the Level 2 Challenge of making four masculine cards…plus a bonus one, plus one that was made in September that would have fit well with this challenge. 

Now, onto the second part of the challenge…the Altered/Upcycled item…. See Part 2.

8 thoughts on “AECP Level 2 Final Challenge

  1. Sande Woodson November 17, 2020 / 8:23 pm

    Awesome cards Penny! I really like that you also included some slimline cards in the group. I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of your project! Big kudos to you! 🙂


  2. Forestwood November 17, 2020 / 11:14 pm

    Beautiful cards. I found inspiration here. I have recently been making some cards with a groups of enthusiasts here and I find the matching of colours and techniques inspirational and transferable for my painting. Looking forward to more posts from you.


    • Penny November 17, 2020 / 11:40 pm

      Thank you so much! This is one of the highest compliments you could give. I am honored.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Forestwood November 18, 2020 / 12:34 am

        You are very welcome, Penny.


  3. Mandi Chau November 19, 2020 / 8:47 pm

    Your cards looking awesome, great job Penny! I Love them all.


    • Penny November 19, 2020 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks, Mandi. I really appreciate your support. How are you doing on yours?


  4. Erum Tasneem November 22, 2020 / 2:21 pm

    Very well done Penny!! I like your cards! You have grungy ones, clean ones, scene one! You have everything here! I really like the campfire one, Fine Diamonds and the inky goodness with Happy birthday you’re awesome!
    Thank you for submitting your fabulous work to the AECP assignment gallery.


    • Penny November 22, 2020 / 10:34 pm

      Thank you Erum — I tried for some variety


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