Celebration: Stencil Techniques

The more I use stencils the more I like them. You can do soooo many things to your cards whether you watercolor, ink blend, add a texture paste — on a whole card, part of a card, diagonal, etc…The possibilities are endless.

I needed to choose — again I’m going for something I’ve had little experience with. I found a stencil in my stash, Altenew’s Flowing Drops. I wanted to use some paste or gel colored with ink for this project. Stencils work best when they do not gap on your paper no matter what the medium you use. To avoid these gaps, I sprayed the stencil with Pixie Spray (inside a box so it was contained rather than all over my studio) letting it dry for about a minute. This puts a fine low tact on the stencil that helps to hold it on the paper, keeping gel from getting underneath the stencil. Once the stencil was on top of the paper I then taped it and the paper to my Tim Holtz media mat.

I combined some Altenew Tide Blue ink and some Gina K iridescent glitter gel making this gorgeous color. Then I simply spread it on like butter over the stencil until all the spots were filled and it was smooth. The magical reveal was about to happen…I took off the stencil and had these awesome ‘flowing drops’ on my card.

Ok, gel can stick on your stencils really easily be be very hard to clean. So before I could admire it for too long I needed to get my tool and my stencil in warm water. I rinsed it well and took a paper towel to help get the gel off the stencil. I went back to the media mat and cleaned it up also setting aside the newly stenciled cardstock. The gel needed to dry for up to an hour so I just left it overnight to be sure it was completely dry.

In the morning I started planning the rest of the card. I tried different paper backgrounds and sentiment word dies to see what would fit best. I wanted as much as the colored stenciling to show as possible so I played with the size of the card and the cardbase ending up with a 4 7/8″ x 5 3/8″ stenciled piece on a 4.75″ x 5″5″ purple background. No, this isn’t a normal size card but it will fit in a square envelope just fine and in order to show off the beauty of the stenciling I needed an off size.

I chose the Altenew Mid Century Frame die, cut in vellum to go behind the happy birthday. I wanted the whole die to be used, including the inner circle that is normally cut out. Here I just positioned it as if it hadn’t actually been cut. The vellum helps to make the words stand out but also doesn’t totally cover up the stenciling. I cut the Happy Birthday die out three times in purple paper and glued them on top of each other for more dimension. To keep from seeing the glue through the vellum I turned the happy birthday upside down putting liquid glue on only the middle letters, attached the circle, then added glue to outside letters and put the outside ring of the Mid Century die on the letters. Then it was just a matter of again adding glue under the letters to hold it on the card front. I put an acrylic block on top for a bit until the glue was completely dry.

The finishing touches were some Ranger Glossy Accents added to the purple letters making them shine also. Shine, color, dimension of multiple sorts put together to make a magnificent birthday card. When’s your birthday? Would you like me to send this to you?

Let It Shine

“I rise to taste the dawn, and find that love alone will shine today.”

Ken Wilber (brainyquote.com)

One of the greatest things about the papercrafting industry is the encouragement and love its members give to each other. This lesson was called “Let it Shine” because it used shiny elements in making cards but more than that, homemade cards shine love around the world. This card was made with Altenew’s Sweetest Peas stamp set. The flowers are very delicate –just as love can be.

Continue reading

Easy Ink Blending Techniques

This next lesson deals with ink blending.  As beautiful as it is, there are so many ways to do it and tools to use that I wasn’t sure what direction I was going.  I settled on ink blending and watercoloring with the Altenew inks.  This was a totally new process for me and I thought I would give it up along the way but as many a great crafter has said…just keep working it and it will fall in place.

Continue reading

Easy Die Cutting

This lesson teaches a lot of different ways to use dies other than just cutting the images out for a card…you can dry emboss, deboss, stencil, create dimension, etc. The technique I chose to highlight can be a bit tricky — using the negative images of dies rather than the positive.

I started with the beautiful Altenew Wallpaper Art Stamp and Die set. Three gorgeous flowers and three different leaf arrangements. Since I was going to use the leaves as the background I took my 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of white cardstock and laid out where the leaves would go. When I cut them out I needed to be sure I was saving all the negative pieces of this cut to be sure the complete outlines of the leaves would show.

Next I took some textured green paper for the background cutting it to 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ to match the card base. Since now both pieces were the same size I trimed 1/4″ off the end and side of the white to make it 4″x 5 1/4″. I mounted my negative die cut with some foam tape, giving some depth to the leaves. This was the tricky part as there were some very small areas to put tape behind. I continued to cut my foam tape into all the little nooks and protrusions that needed some support to make the white card part be secure. This was actually the trickiest and most time consuming part of the card. Once the large white piece was on the green I found the small pieces to complete the outlines and put foam tape on them as well. There are some extremely small pieces of negative that help define the outlines of the leaves. For these tiny pieces I could not add foam tape but rather kept them in the die cut, added just a touch of Gina K Connect glue, then positioned the whole cut in its position and pushed down then tiny pieces with my tweezers to mount them directly on the green paper. When I took the cut out, these then showed the outline of the leaves. Phew, the leaves were done!

Continue reading

For the Guys

Geometric shapes are more masculine than flowers for sure, when making a masculine or a gender neutral card. The Altenew Dot Art stamp set is terrific for creating lots of variety on a card. Recently I had gotten the Altenew Spheres and Spirals stamp and die bundle yet I hadn’t tried it yet. I wanted to see what it looked like so I did some experimenting. It turns out these two sets coordinate with each other very well.

I knew I wanted to do the card in an ivory or a kraft color base but wasn’t sure what would look best. I cut out two dies from the Spheres and Sprials set in ivory paper and then stamped them…the larger one with Altenew Shadow Creek ink and the smaller die with Mountain Pine ink. When cutting the large die, I also had the inside circle. This I stamped with Altenew Starlight ink. Ok, now to work on using and laying out a design.

Continue reading

Clean and Simple Boutique

One of the best things in making cards is seeing ordinary paper become alive! Something that shouts beauty and shares love. In this lesson I reviewed many ideas to put some simple yet elegant cards together and to add some glitz or an extra touch to make a card stand out — like classy boutique stores on Michigan Avenue in Chicago or downtown New York’s Manhattan.

Since I love purple and it can be used for royalty this was just the right color for something special. The Altenew Craft-A-Flower is also a new special item. The latest is a TULIP. Tulips are such a welcome sight in the spring! They come in multiple petal formations and colors but always put a smile on our faces that nice days are coming with warmth and sunshine.

I love the Craft-A- Flower subscription at Altenew and even though I have several tulip stamps, these offer stunning beauty and dimension. So here I go to make my boutique card!

Continue reading

Altenew Educators Certification Program

All About Layering 1 Lesson 2

In lesson 2 the layering is a little bit more involved. I choose “Spring Daisies” because it is one of my favorite flowers and we all can use something bright and cheery these days. The stamping involves an outline then matching the inside flower color as well as the center of the flower. With coordinating dies, I then cut out the flowers and leaves to create the card. I wanted a little more interest in the background so I splattered some of the Altenew forest glade ink on the white of the card, matching the color of the leaves.

Continue reading