For The Guys (AECP Level 1)
Updated: Jun 6, 2021
Today I have three cards for you as part of my Altenew Educator Certification Program, from the For The Guys Online Cardmaking Class.
I have to be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to this class because making cards for guys have always been super tough for me. In fact, when people ask me to make a male card, I have a mini panic in my head! I usually say, 'I don't make man cards'. Well, this online class completely changed how I view making cards for men. Since doing the class I have been getting ideas for masculine cards from all over the place. It really opened up my eyes to making cards in a different way. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The For The Guys class was taught by Jen Rzasa. We covered various techniques in the programme. My three cards are based on three of the six masterclasses from this training, 1) Geometrics, 2) Artistic Backgrounds and 3) Pop Art.
Here's what I came up with ...
Card One - Geometrics
True to my 'I don't make man cards' mantra, I had absolutely no stamps suitable for guys, so I picked up the Geometric Menagerie stamp and die set. This set has three geometric animals in it, a lion, a giraffe and a polar bear, plus lots of sentiments, and it's perfect for guy cards.
I started out by stamping the lion in black Versafine ink onto watercolour paper. Using my Zig pens I coloured him in as if he had no geometric shapes, shading darker and lighter in areas to create some dimension. I then die cut him and put him to one side.
I sprayed the back of my Altenew Geometric Landscape stencil with some Pixie Spray before laying it across one corner of my white 6' x 4' card base. I masked off the remaining area of the card because I know what I'm like with inky fingers!! There's nothing worse than creating a card you like, only to find a big smudge on it.
Using three Altenew mini ink cubes, Bamboo, Olive and Warm Sunshine I blended over the stencil. I started with the darkest colour (Olive) in the top right (shows as bottom left in this pic), then added Bamboo next, blending slightly over the Olive and finally, I added the Warm Sunshine, which again I blended over the Bamboo. Once I was pleased with the colours I gently removed the stencil and then stamped the sentiment. I added pop dots to the back of the lion and attached him to the card base.
To finish, using a stitched rectangle die, I cut a piece of black cardstock, and then added the full panel to my white card base. I attached the stencilled panel on the front and the card was finished. While I was colouring this olive ombre lion, I also did lots more colour variations of him, so that I have some ready for cards in the future. This card came together really quickly. The longest bit of the card was the thinking time of the design.
Card Two - Artistic
For my next card, I followed Jen's video on how to create a galaxy background. I've always been in awe of people that create gorgeous ink blended backgrounds and wasn't sure I could pull it off, but she gave such great instructions that it was actually pretty easy.
I won't give away how she does it, you'll have to watch the class ;) I used the following Altenew Ink mini cubes, together with my black Versafine ink. I did initially use Black Soot Distress Ink but found I got a deeper black with the Versafine:
Starlight (Deep Blue Seas)
Midnight Violet (Shades of Purple)
Warm Sunshine (Summer Afternoon)
Crimson (Red Sunset)
I wanted the galaxy background to be the focal point of the card, so kept this design super simple. I die cut the background using a stitched rectangle die and attached it to the card base.
Using a piece of the remaining galaxy background, I stamped the polar bear using Versamark Watermark ink, and heat embossed him with white powder. I have been making cards for years but I still find the whole embossing process magical as it goes from powder to the beautiful glossy outline. When I first did embossing you didn't have heat tools, you had to heat it up over a toaster! I know, right?!!
The bear needed to be grounded, and initially, I was going to use one strip of silver cardstock across the bottom of the card to pop him on, but it looked a bit too stark and took your eye away from the bear. Instead, I die cut some thin strips and attached them with small gaps in between to make it seem 'less heavy'.
I then stamped the 'What's Up' sentiment in black and used a banner die to add some interest. I attached the sentiment top left and added a small silver strip underneath to finish the card off.
Card Three - Pop Art
I loved the idea of using Pop Art (Andy Warhol) as inspiration for a card. Since then, I've been playing with ideas in my head for more cards! I told you - this class really has been SO inspiring. I feel like I can now make man cards, and not go into a mini panic of 'What on earth can I make?' I can't stop singing Jen's praises! It's not that it's rocket science. I just think she gives you lots of different ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
To make this card, I did a bit of Pinterest research (any excuse!) and I found this image of baseball boots.
I thought I'd create something similar with my polar bears. I stamped and coloured four bears based on four baseball boots. I just did simple colouring and didn't worry too much about blending. Sidenote: We were having a discussion in our house about the boots - are they called baseball boots, sneakers?? What would you call them? Let me know in the comments :)
I decided to use the following colourways:
Navy background with pink and red (dark pink, sugared almond, wine red, carmine red)
Lime background with orange and yellow (bright yellow, yellow, lemon yellow)
Turquoise with pink and yellow (dark pink, pink, bright yellow, yellow)
Orange with purple and blue (violet, lilac, cobalt blue, light blue)
Using a square die, I die cut four square panels. One in navy, a lime, turquoise and an orange, not the ones you see on the card though. I had gone for more muted shades and they just didn't match the Pop Art style, so I rummaged through my cardstock again and chose much brighter colours. Ones that 'popped'!
I then attached the four squares together to form the base, and then pop dotted my various coloured bears on top of each one.
Tip: If you find something isn't working, try swapping out your colours. It's amazing the difference it can make.
I was inspired by another card that Jen shared where she had printed a Pop Art background. I decided to spend a few minutes searching online for a Pop Art font. I found a free font called Shaka Pow on dafont.com. I downloaded the font and created the Happy Birthday sentiment in Pages (Mac version of the Word programme). I printed it out onto a piece of white cardstock and then stacked up some scraps of white cardstock behind the sentiment to create dimension before attaching it to the centre of the card. (I learned this fab little tip from Jennifer McGuire).
So that's it from me today. I hope you like my geometric-inspired cards, and that they have given you some ideas on making your own masculine cards.
I really enjoyed getting creative with my geometric set. I love when people do one stamp, three-ways style posts (using one stamp in three different ways) and wanted to challenge myself to do 3 different cards/styles.
What are your go-to tips for making masculine cards? I'd love to know. Share in the comments below :)
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