Altenew April 2023 Inspiration Challenge

Hello, everyone! I’m participating in the inspiration challenge for April! Joylita’s color pallette really inspired me.

I usually color leaves in gray. I’m not really sure why I shy away from green, so this was a bit out of my comfort zone.

I chose my favorite stamp set for this challenge. The Pristine Peonies stamp is so gorgeous that I use it repeatedly! It’s also large, covering a large area of any project.

I wanted a light gray outline, so I used the second-generation stamping method. This would provide lines I can see but still give me a no-line coloring-ish look.

To begin coloring, I chose the Altenew Red Cosmos Alcohol Marker set. I started with the lightest color (frosty pink) and then used Ruby Red to add color to the areas I wanted to be most vibrant. I use long strokes and flicking to color. I used the color berry to blend areas between the contrasting colors. I used Grapevine in the center of the flowers in small amounts.

For the leaves, I used three different Copic marker (YG11, YG06 G07) s to color in the same style I used on the florals.

For the background, I started with a white, A2-sized cardstock. I ink-blended three green Catherine Pooler inks. I began with Matcha as my lighter shade. I added ink in layers. I left the bottom right corner lightly colored, and I used Lime Rickey and Deck the Halls to darken the middle and top left corner of my base. I spattered Dylusions Island Parrot shimmer spray for a bit of shimmer.

I arranged one floral over the top left and adhered it with liquid glue. I added the second floral at the bottom right corner and trimmed the edges. I arranged the trimmings on my card base until I covered the majority of my card base.

For the sentiment, I used “I admire you” from the Build-A-Flower: Anemone Coronaria Layering Stamp & Die Set and used altenew double-sided tape to adhere it. And there it is!


Altenew Educators’ “Secret Card Recipe” Blog Hop and Linky Party + Giveaway


$130 in total prizes! Altenew is giving away a $20 gift certificate to 3 lucky winners and a $15 gift certificate to 4 winners! To win, please comment on the Altenew Card Blog and/or each designer’s blog post on the blog hop list below by 10/30/2022. 

There’s MORE! Join our party! We have included an Inlinkz at the Altenew blog for you to enter your beautiful, Altenew “Secret Card Recipe” creations. 

We will pick one of our favorite handmade creations from those who joined the linky party, and they will receive a $10 Altenew gift certificate!

Altenew will draw 5 random winners from the comments left on each blog hop stop and announce the winners on the Altenew Winners Page on 10/31/2022.

Welcome to my secret card recipe blog post! The secret recipe I have to share with you is a color combination.

My favorite color combinations for card-making are Red, White, and Black. The bold colors stand out and give a dramatic look to any stamp, stencil, or die cut.

I used the Golden Days Layering Stencil and Foil Plate for my first project.
I began with black foil to give the image and bold and clean outline. Then, for the petals, I used Altenew’s Red Cosmos Crisp Dye Ink Cubes and started with frosty pink for the larger area of the stencil, Coral Berry for the next, Ruby Red for the third, and Grapevine for the last layer.

I colored the left side of the card panel with Pure Graphite from the Altenew Artist Markers Rock Collection set. I also used it to add ink spatters over the petals. Next, I cut a small strip of black cardstock and placed it about half an inch from the bottom. I also die-cut “hello” with Altenew’s fancy hello die and adhered it above the black stripe.

I created a second card using Artist marker collections in Red Cosmos and Rock Collection.

I chose Paint-A-Flower: Magnolia Rustica Rubra and Artist Markers Red Cosmos set for this project. I started with the lightest shade and colored close to the edge but left the edges untouched. I used flicking motion strokes with the brush tip of the markers. I sparingly used the darkest color on the inner edges but was heavy-handed with Ruby Red.

I used rock collection artist markers to color the leaves and add ink spatter. I also used the darkest color to color the top portion of the panel. Next, I used the fancy for you die, trimmed it down to “you,” and adhered it with liquid glue. Finally, I inked a portion of a sentiment strip from Sentiment strips 2 to add “make me smile.”

Here’s the complete list of the designers joining our blog hop!

Hop list:

Altenew Card Blog

Laurie Patterson

Irene Mejia (you are here)

Roteja Galvan (next stop)

Virginia Lu

Pam Boedeker

Neha Aggarwal

Nancy Souza

Helen Kalb

Rachael Shedeed

Rosie Neustaedter

Nicki Baxley

Joylita D’Souza

Lana Taber

Bridget Casey

Nandini Karmarkar

Teri Duncan

Eva Bussom

April Leithner

Amy Hill

Jennifer Leonard

Annemarie Caister

Natasha Davies

Anna Patricia Mahtani

Fiona Duff

Supply list

Lovely Layers Fall Leaves Textured Card

I love a textured card, and especially one with texture that shimmers! I will share the steps to create your own textured card! I began by selecting a patterned paper from Honey Bee Stamps Marvelous Moments 6×8.5 Paper Pad. I chose this pattern because it looks like linen, and its a nice neutral color. I placed my card panel onto my Brutus Monroe Stick and Stamp Mat, and used highlighter Tape told the stencil in place.

Next, I scraped translucent Distress Grit-Paste over the stencil and then poured gold embossing powder over the entire thing. Do not remove the stencil before adding the embossing powder. I do this to avoid having to use anti-static powder. Once the paste is fully coated with powder, carefully remove the stencil, and use a heat gun to set the paste and powder. The embossing paste will bubble as it heats up.

Next, I chose the sentiment “Thinking of You” from the Honey Bee Stamps Fall Foliage Frame Stamp set and stamped it in “Icing on the Cake” Catherine Pooler ink, and I used the coordinating Fall Foliage Frame Die Cuts to cut the sentiment.

The links to the products I used are below. These are affiliate links, so it helps me a lot if you use them to shop at no extra cost!

AECP Final Challenge

In April 2021, I stumbled upon a three-year-old card-making video by the fabulous Jennifer Mcguire. I watched and listened, and she explained the steps to create your beautiful card. At this point, I had never seen a manual die-cutting machine, an embossing folder, or a die-cut. My curious nature and love of learning new things were sparked. I tried to imitate what she did with my circuit machine and minimal card-making supplies.

I returned to her YouTube channel, and I watched a video of her using clear stamps. I had seen clear stamps before, but I never understood what they were for or why anyone used them. I watched as she used layering stamps that created beautiful flowers. I had never seen this type of product before in my life. The stamp set was from Altenew. I quickly went to their website and scrolled through pages of beautiful products, and saw examples of the possibilities! I placed an order for my first Altenew products. My order arrived, and I used my brand new vintage roses stamp set. That’s how it all began.

Later that year, in June, I received an email from altenew about their certified educator program. I had only been making cards for a couple of months, but I decided to jump in, apply, and see how it went. The next day I received a response asking to see photos of cards I had made. Shortly after, I was accepted into the program, and this journey began.

I have learned so much through the AECP courses. I’ve found new ways to express my creativity, learned new skills, and grown more confident. I’ve also found very welcoming and warm people in the card-making community. Teaching a class is the perfect way to finish the AECP program!

My final challenge assignment was to teach a class virtually or in person. This class had to teach techniques learned in the AECP.

Class Proposal

The first technique I wanted to teach was using Layering Stamps. I wanted to incorporate this technique since it first drew me to Altenew. Ink techniques is another technique I think is essential, it maximizes the use of your stamp sets, and finally, masking techniques, all three together make beautiful things happen on paper!

I chose to have an in-person card workshop as teaching is not only new for me, stamping was entirely new for my students as well, and I wanted them and me to have a hands-on approach and be available to answer questions and assist them.

Class Preparation

I purchased six sets of Altenew’s Build-A-Flower: Wild Rose Layering Stamp
& Die Set & Ink Bundle. I created three card samples for my students to draw inspiration from, precut multiple card panels in different sizes and colors, plus blank card bases.

The card workshop was being hosted by one of my closest friends on a Saturday morning. Her home is more central to everyone, the dining table is large, the lighting is excellent, plus she’s the hostess with the mostest!

Time for class!

My morning started rather bumpy. The roofing company that’s charged with repairing our roof after it was damaged unexpectedly showed up at my door to do measurements they were scheduled to do two weeks earlier. This delayed my departure. My amazing friend was called into work early in the morning, I couldn’t get the wifi connected, and my zoom password did not work.

Thankfully, the wifi connected, and I changed my password. Virginia and Erum waited for me, and I am truly grateful.

I had five students in attendance. Each one is talented in their way, a home decorator, a talented singer/ songwriter, a business owner, an International HR rep, and a speech language pathologist (therapist). All of them were new to stamping and card making.

I began by teaching the basics of layering stamps, how to line them up, and the order the inks should be used. It didn’t take long before they began trying things on their own and using colors in the best way they liked. A little friendly competition started on who stamped the best flowers. As nervous as I was, I enjoyed how much fun they were all having, and I was proud of each one of my students for using their creativity to express their unique styles on paper. Before we knew it, the two-hour timeline flew by. We kept the stamping party going until each person completed as many cards as they wanted.

I’m so proud of each one of my students! In the class, I had two self-proclaimed noncreative non-crafters, and they both did very well! One lovely student told me creating something like this was a confidence booster. She never thought she could create something herself that “doesn’t look like a 3-year-old made it.”

As a gift of gratitude, I gifted each student with the stamp bundle they used for the class. They were all very excited and happy to take their kits home. It made me glad to share my love of card making this way, and I hope to see more cards made by each of them.

Thank you, AECP.

This experience has been wonderful. I’ve gained new skills and new friends! I’ve learned about new mediums in art and how to use them. I’ve also learned that while it may be scary to start from scratch and learn something you’d never thought about, it can lead to new and fun adventures!

Favorite Honey Bee Stamps products!

I love Honey Bee Stamp Products! You will find the links to some of my favorites at the bottom of the page.

Rainbow Builder A2 Card Base | Honey Cuts Paper Pad 6×6 – 24 Double Sided Sheets – Rainbow Birthday
Gem Stickers 210 Count – Rainbow Birthday

Affiliate links at no cost to you

Creative Coloring with Erum-Advaned Techniques

In this class, the fabulous Erum shows advanced techniques to give your cards beautiful details for beautiful results. I created cards with my favorite techniques and tips from this course.

Card 1

Watercolor drip

My first card was inspired by one of my favorite shirts. I began by die-cutting Arches Cold-Press 100% cotton watercolor paper with a stitched frame die. Next, I stamped Altenew’s Beautiful Day Stamp Set images in clear embossing ink and heat set them with gold embossing powder.

I added color with a detail brush and Artist Watercolor Pan Set. I began to add color to the floral images first. I added a light layer of water first and added pigment in layers, and I did this with each petal individually. Next, I mixed Green Hills and Tropical Forrest in the same manner for the foliage. Once dry, I cut the images with the coordinating dies.

I used one Arteza watercolor pencil in Tumeric Yellow to create the background. I began by adding the highest pigment concentration at the top of the card panel. Next, I added water to the top with a broad brush and held the panel upright to let the water drip. Finally, I added layers of color until I was happy with the look and set it aside to dry.

I first arranged the leaves onto the panel and adhered them with liquid glue. I then placed the flowers over the leaves, one directly onto the leaves and one with foam tape. Finally, I trimmed a few leaves and tucked them in where I liked them best.

Finally, I added the sentiment from Altenew’s Extra Special Stamp Set in jet black ink.

Card 2

I created my second card with 140lb cold press 100% cotton black watercolor paper and Altenew’s Metallic Watercolor Pan Set. I began by preparing the paper with anti-static powder. Next, I placed my paper and stamp into my Misti stamping tool, and stamped the Statement Flowers image in clear embossing ink, and heat set it in gold powder. 

I used the wet to dry method to add metallic pigment to the image. I began with Pink Quartz on the open bloom; after it dried, I added Garnet to the edges of the petals. For the closed flower, I used Garnet on the outer petals and rose quartz on the inner side of the petals. For the leaves, I used Jade and Prasiolite.

I added, “With all my love” from Altenew’s Sentiments Strips 2. First, I stamped the sentiment in clear ink and heat set it in gold embossing powder over white card stock. Next, I used Altenew’s Featured Sentiment Die Set to cut the sentiment strip and added it with foam tape. Finally, I added dew drops embellishments to compliment the florals and sentiment.

Card 3

For my final card, I used Altenew’s Elegant Swirls Stencil and embossing paste over pink card stock; before it dried, I added gold embossing powder and heat set it. 

Next, I stamped Statement Flowers onto white card stock with clear embossing ink and gold embossing powder. I used Copic markers E00 and E93 to add shading to create white flowers. For the flower centers, I used Y2. I lightly added E00 to the leaves as well.

Next, I fussy cut the large flowers and added them to the panel with foam tape. The sentiment “Sending healing hugs” is from sentiment strips 2. I made this one while I made the sentiment for card 2.

Botanical Illustration Inspired Watercolor

In this class, Jaycee goes over types of watercolor paper, color blending, color lifting, and the use of watercolor for documenting plant species purposes.

Card 1

I chose a no-line coloring image from Altenew’s Watercolor Coloring Book for this card and colored the floral images in Shades of Purple from Altenew’s Artist Watercolor 24 Pan Set. I used the wet-on-wet technique to lightly color the petals first. Then, I dried and added pigment along the inside of the petals in layers.

For the Foliage, I used Rock Collection to color and shade the images. Once the panel air dried, I darkened the foliage veins and partially shaded the florals with a colored pencil.

I heat embossed “If friends were flowers, I’d pick you” from HoneyBee stamps in silver embossing powder and attached it with black foam tape. Finally, I added silver sequins to compliment the sentiment.

“Card” 2

I began with another no-line coloring image from my coloring book for my second card and used the wet-on-wet technique to layer color onto my canvas. I first colored the petals in Cherry Blossom. Next, I darkened the inside of the petals in multiple layers and used the smallest brush from my Detailed Brush Set to add veins to each petal in small thin strokes. Then, I colored the center in Pockey full of sunshine and Summer Afternoon.

I colored the foliage and stems in Rain Forest first; once dry, I added Tropical Forest along the vein lines and lifted the pigment to give an illusion of light. I also used a white gel pen to add highlights to the edge of the petals.

I decided to frame this piece instead. I mounted it onto pink card stock to put into a gallery frame at a later time. This will be a gift for a dear friend.

“Card” 3

I picked up a couple of small frames while shopping. I thought they would make a lovely gift.

I began by stamping an image from Altenew’s Mini Hibiscus Tea Stamp Set in waterproof black ink onto Arches 100 % Cotton Cold Press Watercolor Paper. Then, I let the ink dry and began to paint the teacup in a mix of Summer Afternoon and Pocket Full of Sunshine. Next, I painted the hibiscus flowers in Red Cosmos and Cherry Blossom. Finally, I used Green Meadows and Green Hills for the foliage images.

I stamped “Hello Beautiful” below the teacup from Altenew’s Build a Flower Triumph Tulip Stamp Set.

Watercolor 101

The third class in my level three course is Artist Watercolor 101 for Paper Crafters with Emily Midgett. Emily goes over the basics of watercolor, the importance of paper, techniques, and creating swatches. 

Card 1

I used the Wet to Dry technique on a page from Altenew’s Watercolor Coloring Book for my first card. I used Cherry Blossom for the petals, Pocket Full of Sunshine for the center, Green Hills, and Rain Forest for the stem and leaves. The colors I used are from  Altenew’s Artists Watercolor 24 pan set. I added a concentration of color to the inside of the petals where the shading would be darkest and pulled the stain towards the edges with clean water. I used Altenew’s Detailed brush set, making it easier to color small areas. For the leaves, I added Rain Forest to the entire area first and mixed the two green shades to add shading to the underside of the leaves and the top of the stem.

Once the page was dry, I stamped “You are the Best” from Altenew’s Paint-A-Flower: Zinnia Magellan Rose. I added the reflections dew drops to compliment the sentiment.

Card 2

I used the Wet on Wet Technique on watercolor paper for my second card. I added Shades of Purple, Cherry Blossom, and Tea Party to create the background. Once dry, I stamped, and heat embossed the Zinnia Magellan Rose image in gold embossing powder. I added color to the floral along the color lines of the background to avoid a muddy mess. Next, I watercolored the leaves with a mix of Rain Forest and Green Hills. I added color until I was content with the look and added ink spatters in the same colors.
Once dry, I added a Simon Says Stamp sentiment and sequins for added detail.

Card 3 “White Flower”

Card 3

For my third card, I chose to create a white flower. I first colored the background from my coloring book. I first used Cherry Blossom and then Shades of Purple. Next, I used my heat gun to dry the panel between layers. To create a white flower, you must add more color than you think. I used Fall Harvest to paint the “white” flower and added more color to the center and under the petals. I used the wet-on-wet technique to achieve this. Next, I used a mixture of Tropical Forest and Green Meadows to paint the leaves. Finally, I added paint spatter with Rock Collection (also found in the Artist Pan Set).

I added a thin frame with a T-Ruler and Fine Liner Pen and “Celebrating you today” from Altenew’s Sentiment Strip 2 Set with foam tape. Finally, I added sequins for a touch of sparkle.

Transcending Tattoo Techniques

The second course I selected as part of my level three course is Transcending tattoo Techniques. This course is very interesting and has given me techniques I would have never thought of before. Jaycee explains every detail of each style and shares a bit of history for each technique discussed. I highly recommend this class to any carmaker.

Card 1- Traditional/OldSchool Tattoo Style

Before beginning my first card, I searched “traditional tattoos” for some inspiration. As I scrolled through the images, Although it’s highly unlikely, I thought about the type of tattoo I would want. I love floral designs, and I came across extensive, intricate, and modern designs.

I chose Altenew’s Vintage Flowers Stamp Set to create a traditional tattoo look. I decide to use brown and pink as my color combination. I first stamped the branch image with Memento Rich Cocoa and Tuxedo Black dye inks. I used no-line coloring ink for solid leaves and florals first and Rich Cocoa ink for detailed portions.

I used Copic markers to add color. E93 and RV21 for the petals and YG06, YG11, G46, and Y15 for the foliage. I cut a portion of my image using a stitched A2-sized die. I chose “believe in yourself” from Altenew’s Watercolor Roses Stamp Set for the sentiment. Finally, I added three embellishments and attached them to my card base.

Card 2- Dot-work

I chose Dot work as the technique for my second card. This technique is quite simple. All you need is an outline stamp image, a fine liner pen, and patience.

The image I used is Altenew’s Paint-A-Flower Dahlia Bright Eyes. I first stamped it in black dye ink and used my liner pen to add shading by adding dots. Next, I added dots closer together where I wanted shaded areas and more sparse where light would be. For the stem and leaves, I used Copic N6. Finally, I added, “Sending a smile your way,” included with this stamp along with three black gems.

Card 3- Trash Polka

Trash Polka uses mainly black and red, but other colors can also be used. However, I prefer black and red as it creates an image that really pops.

To create my “Trash Polka” card, I began with an almost craft paper-toned card stock. I stamped outline images from Altenew’s Beautiful Day Stamp Set. I used Copic N6 to color the center of the flowers and leaves. Next, I colored the petals with R35 close to the petal’s edge. I added shading to the petals with R46 and N6. For the leaves, I used N4 to color close to the edges of the images. Finally, I die cut the flowers and leaves and set them aside.

I created the background with Elegant Swirls Stencil and black dye ink. First, I inked the left side of the panel heavily while leaving the right lighter so it would appear to fade. Next, I used red dye ink and Warp speed stencil to add red ink to the background.

I placed two flowers and two leaves directly onto the card panel. Next, I used foam tape to place the center flower and some smaller leaves around it. Finally, I added ink spatter and “Hey Gorgeous” from Altenew’s Paint-A-Flower Himalayan Poppy Stamp for the sentiment.

Stencils Unleashed!

I’m happy to report that I have completed Level 2 of the AECP! It’s official; I am now in Level 3! I have selected the courses for this level, and I will be posting what I create just as before. The first class I will be talking about is Stencils Unleased. Stencils have been tricky for me as I’m never quite sure how to work with their results. I often feel they are too busy, and I find myself having difficulty using a very detailed background. This class has helped very much in my case. I learned ways to use stencils I had not thought of before. I hope you enjoy what I made!

Card 1

I chose to begin with the Altenew Leaf Bed Stencil. First, I sprayed the back with pixie spray and placed it over watercolor paper. Next, I grabbed a color pencil and a metal scrapper and began to distribute shavings over the stenciled area. Then, I used a misting spray with water to let the watercolor work its magic. I chose several green and a couple of yellow shades and repeated the process several times. Finally, I set the piece aside to dry.

For card centerpiece, I used Altenew’s Beautiful Day Stamp and Die set (a favorite of mine) and the SugarPlums Oval Dyes Ink set. The butterfly was created with Dovetail Butterflies Layered Stamp Set and Dies and Drew Drop Memento Inks in Dandelion and Cantaloupe. The sentiment is from Sentiment Strips 2.

I secured the black and white floral elements to the center with liquid adhesive. Next, I used foam squares for the butterfly and sentiment and added the piece to green card stock. Once the work was attached to an A2-sized card, I added green gem embellishments for a bit of sparkle.

Card 2

For this peek-a-boo card, I chose Elegant Swirls Stencil. I’ve had this one for a while but have been hesitant to use it before. I used Pixie Spray to secure this stencil to Neenah Solar card stock. Next, I blended Distress Oxide Inks in Seedless Preserves and Wilted Violet over the stencil. Next, I brushed Perfect Pearls in gold in a few areas before the ink had thoroughly dried and removed the stencil. Once the ink was dry, I began shading the lower lines and curves of the swirls with a black colored pencil.

I cut along the large curve of the stenciled image and out of a white notecard. Next, I die-cut “Hello” in black, purple, and white using Altenew’s Fancy Hello Die. For a seamless look on the inside, I glued the white “Hello” on top of the notecard first and then added the inked panel. Next, I added the purple hello directly to the white and offset the stacked black hellos. Finally, I added three black gems in a triangular pattern for sparkle.