I hope you're having a great week. We have been having incredible weather up here in Scotland. It's been beautiful, so I've spent quite a few hours doing the garden.
We moved into our current house 3 years ago this month and took on a beautiful garden, but we are not gardeners at all. Well, we weren't! It was becoming a bit overwhelming this year, so I decided I could feel overwhelmed about it, or I could learn about gardening. Being a lifelong learner, I chose the second option. I'm learning something new every day, so if you have some good tips for beginner gardeners, send them my way!
Side note: If you wonder what the little coffee cups are in the above photo, I've noticed loads of people 'stage' their photos with flowers and other items. I'm well known for being a caffeine addict and wanted to create a theme that sums me up.
I was reading a very old magazine that I found when I was doing some clearing out, and it had an article in there that showed someone had used some miniature bathroom pieces to store their gems which I thought was such a great idea. In my efforts to find something miniature I came across these super cute Costa Coffee mugs.
They are so tiny! I've got plans to get some other little bits to go with them. Let me know in the comments below, are you a coffee or tea kinda person? I'm coffee all the way!
Onto my cards for my AECP (Altenew Educator Certification Programme) Level 1.
For my 6th assignment, I took the online class, Let it Shine, with Carissa Wiley. I've always loved her designs, and she is a great teacher. In this class, you learn different ways to add shine to your cards using glitter, foils, mirror card, glitter pens and more.
I really enjoyed this class and wanted to play with a couple of different ways to make my cards shine.I made three cards for this assignment.
Card One - Glitter
I'd like to say I took the inspiration from this stunning poppy in my garden, but it came out after I'd made the card. Maybe seeing the poppy heads ready to bloom was in the back of my mind when I made it!
This was a very simple card to make, once I'd figured out the design. I decided I wanted the poppy to be my focal point and as it's a pretty dramatic flower, I thought I'd team it up with some black and white.
I found this great sketch over at the Fusion challenge blog and thought it would work really well for my card design. Sketches are just a great way to kick start your creativity. As you can tell from my finished card, I used a bit of artistic licence with the three circles and the placement of the strip :)
Using one of the flowers from the Altenew Wallpaper Art stamp set I coloured the flower using the following Copic markers: YR09, YR07 & YR04 for the orange and E39 and E59 for the centre. I then stamped the leaves from the same set in black and die cut both out.
Next, I dug out some lacy 'ribbon' that I bought a gazillion years ago and added it to the base of a 6" x 4" base card. It was quite tricky to adhere so I decided that rather than fuss around with it, I would simply glue the whole area behind the lace, and then add shimmer using my Wink of Stellar pen. This covered up the glue marks perfectly and added a bit more shine too, so it looks really pretty in the light.
Using circular dies I then die cut a circle in white and then using two circle dies, one smaller than the other, I created the circle 'frame' using gold glitter card stock. I attached the circle to the card base using a very strong red double-sided tape. I added the die-cut leaves behind the flower before attaching them to the card using pop dots.
To finish, I added some white dots to the centre of the poppy for a bit of detail.
I decided to leave the card blank this time, so I can add the right sentiment when I need to post it out. I often need cards for different things and I find I don't have the right sentiment on them. Plus sometimes it's nice just to have the sentiment inside, it doesn't always need to be on the front.
Tip: If something isn't working quite right with your card (like my black lace), think creatively about how you can fix it.
Card Two - Glitter
While I had the Wallpaper Art stamps out, I decided to colour some more flowers. The flowers reminded me of a paper I had, so I used that as my inspiration for this card.
I coloured the poppy with the same colours as the first card above and then used additional Copics in BG15, BG10. My BG10 was running out so I used the tip to tip method to get as much as I could out of the pen, which created a nice light colour.
As the paper is really busy I decided to die-cut a small rectangle in vellum that I attached over the top. If you look closely, you'll notice that you can still see the design through the vellum but it softens it and pushes it more into the background.
I hear lots of people talking about how the glue shows through vellum. My hubby makes me a glue mix from PVA glue and Gorilla wood glue and that works a treat. I don't get anything showing through with this method.
Next, I die cut the word, 'Happy', from the Altenew Script Words 2 die set, in glitter once, and white card stock three times. I then glued all of them together to make a solid sentiment.
I attached this to the vellum. I then stamped the word 'birthday' from the Altenew Label Love set using Altenew Lagoon ink and added it over the top of the sentiment.
Before attaching the poppy, using a 0.8 black Uni Pin pen, I added some dots to the aqua leaves, and I added some white lines to the black leaves using a white Signo pen. I then attached the poppy using pop dots to finish the card. I added some sparkle with my Wink of Stella pen.
Tip: If you have a busy paper that you like but it's taking over your design, add a piece of vellum to soften it.
Card Three - Foiling
For my third card, I wanted to play with foiling. I don't have a foiling machine (yet! It's on my birthday wish list) so I followed the method that Carissa shares in the video. I created the word fabulous using some silver deco foil (not the kind you bake with! See the link at the bottom of this post). You simply add the foil sheet on top of your sentiment, and then run it through your die-cutting machine. She said that it won't be super perfect, but it will look aged, and it's a really fun effect.
I started by creating the silver and black foiled sentiment. Using the Altenew Script Words 2, I die cut the word 'Fabulous' in black cardstock a few times and then added some glue to the bottom half of the letters of one of the die-cut pieces. Using the silver foil sheet over the bottom half, and then running it through my die-cutting machine I created the two-tone sentiment. I then did the silver dots that you can see inside the circle using the same method by using a glue pen to create the dots, and then adding the foil before running it through the machine.
I wanted to create an interesting background and had seen an inspiration colour card by Farrow & Ball with their new colour range on it, and that inspired me to do the striped background (see the mini picture below). I simply die cut strips of white cardstock and then coloured them all in with my Copic markers. I didn't opt for the muted colours on the inspiration colour card as I wanted something brighter, so I used the following colours: YR65, B91, YG01, YG41, C5, C7, C9. I then adhered the strips to form a striped pattern onto a piece of white cardstock, before die cutting a circle out of the top third of the panel.
Using a banner die, I die cut three little banners from white cardstock. I coloured two of them, one in blue, one in lime, and then using the Altenew Tie Dye Motifs stamp set I stamped the final banner with the black and white stripes. I attached the banners behind the striped background before adhering the silver dotted panel behind the circle.
I then stamped the sentiment, 'you are simply' from Altenew Simply Roses stamp set and stuck this to the card front. To finish the card I stuck the striped panel onto a piece of white cardstock. I then stuck the entire panel onto a black card base to finish.
Please note, I can't take credit for the overall design as I used Carissa's card for inspiration.
I hope you enjoyed my assignment cards. My favourite technique was the foil as I'd never used it before. The whole AECP programme so far has been fantastic. Check out the class, it's really fab :)
Until next time, thanks for popping by!
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