Sunday, 4 August 2019

Altenew Irresistible Inking Techniques

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend and enjoy time with loved ones. I've had some family time with my hubby and the kids and also managed to get some crafty time in as hubby had a work function to attend last night (I was meant to go out also, but the kids are still not 100% so I decided to stay in instead).

It was the perfect opportunity to take the last class (OMG!!!) of Level 1 in the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP).  I have enjoyed the classes in this level so much! This last class is called Irresistible Inking Techniques. There were so many great techniques shared in the class that it took me a while to work out what I would do for my projects.

As I was inspired by so many of the techniques I decided to include 3 of them on this one card (I think that this might be my favourite card of all the cards I made for Level 1 of the AECP). I combined painting with inkpads, stamp block inking and direct to paper inking for this card.

To begin I decided on a composition for the card. I knew that I wanted to use the Spring Daisy stamp set. I played around with some simple layouts then decided on a colour palette. I chose to do some stamp block inking in the lightest shade of three sets of Altenew inks (Sea Glass from Cool Summer Nights, Arctic from Glacier Caves and Soft Lilac from Shades of Purple). I wanted to create a halo for the flower images so I used a round acrylic block to add ink to. I simply pushed my ink pad all over the acrylic block then spritz it with a spray bottle and stamped it onto some watercolour cardstock.  The colour didn't come out as dark as I had hoped so I repeated the process, heat setting in between with a heat tool. I actually really like how this turned out and thought that for another card I could use this as a background piece on its own.

For this card though, I used my MISTI to stamp images from the Spring Daisy stamp set.  Using the MISTI ensures that you get a nice crisp image everytime, especially on watercolour cardstock as it is often a rough surface. I stamped a flower in the middle of each of the acrylic block inking that I did.

Once stamped out, I used the next technique I was inspired by, painting with inkpads. As you can see, I smooshed colour from my inkpads onto my glass media board and used a waterbrush to pick up colour. I used the corresponding darkest colour in each ink set to colour each flower e.g the flower I stamped on the Soft Lilac stamp blocked area I used Midnight Violet from the Shades of Purple ink set. I then did the same using Sapphire and Desert Night. To colour the centres I used Caramel Toffee and for the stems and leaves I used Evergreen.  Once dried I trimmed the panel down and added some Midnight ink around the edge of the panel using a direct to paper technique to give it a nice black edge.

I did some more direct to paper inking with a Sapphire ink pad. If you rub the inkpad with a light hand onto the paper you will get some awesome texture (as the inkpad itself is linen). I popped up the watercoloured piece onto the inked cardbase and added a simple embossed sentiment.

I think this was one of my favourite classes I have taken from the AECP course. You can find it over at Altenew Academy if you'd like to check it out. I hadn't used stamp block inking on my cards to highlight images before, so I was happy to learn something new, and that my results came out better than I had hoped.

I hope I have inspired you to use your ink pads in different ways, to use multiply techniques on one card or to take one of the fabulous classes at Altenew Academy.

Eeeekkk, and just like that I have finished my last card share for Level 1 AECP.... now for the challenge! So excited!

I hope you have an amazing day,

Jodie xx

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Altenew Easy Die Cutting Techniques

Hello Lovely People,

It is the weekend here in Australia. It was meant to rain today, so we decided to stay in, but it hasn't yet. After doing some chores and organising the kids have gone for a nap and I was able to play.

I watched the videos in Altenew's Easy Die Cutting Techniques classes. I took this class as a part of the Altenew Educator Certification Program. The teacher for this class is Yana Smakula. I've been a fan of not only Yana's cards but also her photography skills for a long time now. I highly recommend checking out not only her Altenew class over at Altenew Academy but also her blog, Instagram and Youtube channel. Her style is simply fabulous.

In the Easy Die Cutting Techniques class, Yana talks about a range of uses for dies ranging from coordinating dies for stamped images to doing creative things to stretch the uses of your dies such as negative die cutting and embossing using dies. 

Since I have been crafting for a long time, I decided to give one of the more involved techniques in the class a go.  I was super inspired by a card that Yana made, using a coverplate die to emboss a background instead of diecutting it and really wanted to try it. My problem though was that I don't own any of Altenew's beautiful background dies. In the video Yana mentions using single dies to emboss paper. So I thought I'd try making a background using one single die.

I used the Layered Rose dies for my card, and actually aside from one sentiment stamp, this is the only thing I used for my card, along with some Altenew inks. In her video, Yana uses a different die cutting machine to emboss her background. I used my Big Shot and it still worked really well. You just need to use a tan embossing mat and follow the instructions from the manufacturer.

I chose the most detailed rose die in the set and embossed it repeatedly on a white piece of cardstock that I spritzed prior to running it through my die cutting machine. This is a tip I learnt some time ago for general embossing folders, and Yana reminded me of in her video. The reason you want to do this is so that the paper fibres are more malleable and are less likely to rip or tear with the pressure from the machine.

After I made my background piece I toyed with the idea of ink blending over it, but decided I liked the simplicity of the plain white embossed piece. To add a little colour to my card I made some layered roses and leaves from the same die set I used for the background. I die cut each piece from white cardstock and then coloured them by adding Altenew inks direct to paper.

For the rose I used rouge, crimson and velvet inks. Fir the leaves I used frayed leaf, forest glades and evergreen. I layered them up with some Tombo Mono Multi glue, but you could definitely make it easier on yourself by using adhesive sheets prior to diecutting your pieces.

I trimmed down the background panel and added it to a regular sized cardbase (that I added Evergreen ink direct to paper).  I then added the rose and leaf images in an arrangement that I liked.

To finish up I stamps a sentiment from the Birthday Builder stamp set (yes this is my favourite haha! ... and I always need Birthday cards more than any other kind of card). I didnt want to detract from the rest of my card so I keep the sentiment super simple but leaving it on white card and just creating a few banner ends.

I hope you like my card today and are inspired to try out some new die cutting techniques. For more info, I really do recommend taking Yana's class over at Altenew Academy.  I hope that you are enjoying your day and have a fabulous weekend! Hopefully it is wonderful weather in your part of the world.

Jodie xx

Friday, 2 August 2019

Altenew Seasonal Scene Building

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are having a fantastic day. Hopefully it is sunny where you are. Even though Winter is technically over here in Australia, the forecast is for heavy showers for the! Today, however it is fabulous. It has been a bit of a miserable week for me as my children have both been sick (of course this happens just as our normal activities resume after school holiday break). The only good thing has been that they have both been quite sleepy so Mumma has been able to hit the craft room running.

Today I completed yet another class for the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP).  This time I created a card to show what I learnt in the "Seasonal Scene Building" class.  The Educator for the class is Nichol Spohr. She is amazing! I have followed Nichol for years. I love the way she teaches.  I highly recommend taking any of her classes (but especially this one, you can find it at Altenew Academy).

Scene building can be daunting sometimes, as you need to get the right composition. Nichol gives some great techniques & tips in this class to enable you to be able to create some amazing card designs.

For my card today I was inspired to create a card using multiple techniques that Nichol shares. I really loved the card she created using some plant themed stamps, so I decided to find one of the plant sets I had on hand and use it.

The first of the techniques Nichol used when making a scene card is masking. This technique is amazing for creating 1 layer cards, which was my original intention with this card but I changed my mind later on. You can use masking paper for covering your images or you can use the fully sticky post-it note paper, which is what I did here.

I tried not to be too fussy with cutting out the images, as only part of the images would need to be masked in some cases. You do, however, what to be pretty precise with what you do cut out so that you get a nice crisp image.

One thing that I have found over the years too, is that because the masking paper will create a "layer" which you need to stamp on sometimes you end up with a little white space around the masked image. To avoid this, you can cut into your mask ever so slightly.

For my card I masked out several plant images as well as some pots from the Potted Plants stamp set. To ink them up I used a variety of Altenew inks (frayed leaf, forest glades, evergreen, ocean waves, dusk, mango smoothie and cotton candy).

For some of the images you can layer one colour directly over the other stamping the same image. By doing this you can create some interesting colours.  This is a fabulous way to create a variety of colours when you may not have many ink colours.  You could use a MISTI for this, but I chose to just "eyeball" it.

Once masked and stamped, I coloured the pots with some brown markers from my stash.  When I saw my completed scene I decided I wanted to step it up. In the Seasonal Scene Building class Nichol talks about oversized scenes and framed scenes.

 I thought I would combine those two ideas and create a framed scene that appeared to extend beyond the frame. That is the brilliant thing about Altenew Academy classes, and something that I have learnt, is that once you complete all the lessons within a class you can pick and choose which techniques you like and which you could use together.

 A diecut frame from white cardstock added like a view finder to my masked technique piece really framed out my design and enabled it to become the focus of the card.  You'll want to the cut off all the excess cardstock from behind the frame.

For some final touches I used a technique learnt in a previous class and used the Halftone stencil and some embossing paste to create a tone on tone, textured background. Once dried I glued all my pieces together and added a simple sentiment from the Birthday Builder stamp set.

A little tip, if you are unsure of where to place your sentiment, temporarily place it on your card and move it around, taking a photo on your phone each time you move it. Sometimes viewing your card on your phone can help you decide which placement is most visually appealing.

I have been creating scene cards for a long time now, but Nichol's class inspired me to create a scene out of my comfort zone.  To grow, we need to try new things right?! I had so much fun creating this card. I hope it inspires you to create something similar or to take one of the incredible classes over at Altenew Academy.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and you get to spend some "me time" creating (I sure did!),

Jodie xx

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Altenew Celebrations: Stencil Techniques

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to/back to my blog.  I hope you have had a nice weekend and enjoying your week so far.  I had a great weekend, celebrating a birthday of a friend's son and spending some quality time as a family.  The start of this week has not been great though, my oldest son is sick :(. I hate when the kids are sick. I feel so helpless. So we have been doing a lot of T.V watching and lounging about. The only good thing about being sick is jelly beans. I used to get them every time I was sick as a kid. So I got some to share with my son. He only ate 1 and wasn't the biggest fan (so weird), so that was a win win for me. 1. He won't ask me for them again and 2. I get to eat the whole pack minus one. LOL!

Well, enough about my crappy start to the week, the reason we are here to to hear about and see the card I made for the Celebrations: Stencil Technique class at Altenew Academy.  This is the card that I have submitted for the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP).

This class was awesome. The teacher is Laurel Beard, and let me say, she is wonderful.  She has SOOOO much personality. I follow her on all social media platforms. She often has really funny stories over on Instagram. The way she explains things is soothing to me and I enjoy listening to her.  This class is no different. Most of the techniques that Laurel shows in this class are techniques I have done before, but the way she explains and shows them inspired me to do more stencilling on my cards. There really is so many techniques you can do with stencils.

For my card I decided to use the Kaleidoscope Stencils (both A and B) and try out/ revisit the stencil overlay technique, where you use a stencil over a background (in this case, over a stencilled background).  I used the A stencil first and did some ink blending with inks in Velvet, Crimson, Rouge and Blush. I love these colours. I have struggled to find a nice red set for layering and blending, but this set really is beautiful. I wanted to see how I could then use white ink to soften the stencilling so I used some white pigment ink through stencil B.

I was super happy with the results but I wanted to step it up a notch. Inspired by Laurel's use of embossing paste, I pulled out my glass bead glitter gel and used it through the A stencil (that I lined up with my first use of the stencil).  I will never, ever get tired of pulling up a stencil that has had any sort of paste through it. The results are super duper stunning, and the glass bead glitter gel looks more amazing as it dries, as it starts out white and dries clear. These stencils by Altenew are simply stunning. At first I thought there was only 1 way to use them but my experimenting today has shown me otherwise.

I took so much time and effort to create the beautiful background that I didn't want to cover much of it. So I decided to only add a sentiment (man this was hard to do, as I find clean and simple super hard). I used a Happy Birthday sentiment from the Birthday Builder stamp set.

I hope you like my card today and are inspired to create your own cards with stencilling techniques or perhaps you'd like to go over to Altenew Academy and take Laurel's class, you won't regret it!

Hope you have an amazing day,

Jodie xx