I'm SO excited to announce that I have been accepted into the Altenew Educator Certification Program. I have been wanting to improve my card making skills for a long time, to learn lots of new techniques and when I heard about the Altenew Educator programme I knew I had to apply. I am so excited to have been accepted into the programme. I can't wait to hone my crafting skills and connect with some amazing card makers online.
For the programme, you have to complete 10 masterclasses and submit assignments for Level 1, another 10 for level 2 and lots of additional things for Level 3 in order to become an Altenew Certified Educator. You can find out more here.
You can choose which of the 10 online card making classes you choose to start with. Ichose to start with the Clean and Simple Boutique Cards class as I find CAS (clean and simple) cards so hard to do.
This class is taught by Jennifer Rzasa. She shares lots of ways to create clean and simple cards, and there are also many inspirational projects to spark your creativity. I had always thought that clean and simple was all about the white space, but I learned that there are many ways to interpret clean and simple. We covered things like faux letterpress, foiling and simple packaging for when you send your cards and so much more.
For this assignment, we needed to choose a technique we enjoyed and create a card with simple styling. I knew I wanted to test the less is more idea. I must have known that CAS was coming as over the past few weeks, I've been testing my abilities in leaving things off my cards, instead of adding more. I still don't like it haha. I decided to make two cards, as I'd not done faux letterpress before, more on that soon.
Card 1: Clean and Simple
And here's how it came together:
I stamped the tulip on Neenah Solar White 80lb cardstock. I coloured it in with my Copic markers. In one of the videos. Jennifer suggested adding some loose pen work to create more detail, so I added a few tiny dots to the tulip with a Copic Fineliner 0.3mm pen (you can see the detail below). I love to do Zentangling so I could have added way more doodling, but I remembered I'm meant to be keeping things clean and simple! I then die-cut the coloured piece and put it to one side. Here are the Copic markers I used:
RV09, RV19, RV25
YG21, YG23, YG25
Next, I set about creating the background.
Using my Altenew Mini Ink Cubes (Spring Bouquet), I stamped the dotty background with the Altenew Kind Confetti stamp set, using my Mini Misti tool. I could have done it with a block but I do love using my Mini Misti. I started stamping the image in Magenta, then I cleaned the stamp off and rotated it, before stamping it next in Fuschia, and then did the same again with the Baby Pink (rotate, clean, stamp). I always think anything with dots is super cute and adds just enough interest without being too busy.
I die cut the whole dotty panel using stitched panel dies, and then again in the next size up, this time in a hot pink cardstock that I found in my stash. I stuck the dotty panel directly onto the pink panel, and then adhered both to my card base.
To finish the card, I added the tulip with pop dots and stamped the sentiment in Versafine black ink, adding a pink Swarovski crystal for the *tittle. I think this would be a great card to do in batches and different colours, and just leave the sentiment off that you can then add something later, relevant to the occasion you need it for.
*(I learned from Laura Bassen that the dot that goes over the letter 'i' is called a tittle - who knew?!!) Just because I'm a word nerd, I thought I'd Google about it, here's what I found:
The dots over a lowercase i and j are called a 'tittle' or superscript dot. The word 'tittle' is known to be a combination of words 'tiny' and 'little' and refers to a small stroke or dot in writing or printing.
Onto my next card...
Card 2: Faux Letterpress
I have never tried the Faux Letterpress technique before, and I have to say it took a bit of time to get to grips with the right amount of layers to use to create the outcome I wanted. Before starting the card, I did a bit of Pinterest research to get an idea of the different ways people used the technique. I did a few run-throughs of creating the panel before getting the right balance. (Let's just say I learned lots of ways not to do it!) I really wanted to persevere though because I love the effect.
Using the Altenew Jumbo Garden Picks 3D dies, I cut out the rose pieces individually, following the layering guide that comes in the set. I'd seen Jennifer McGuire make up a card using similar dies and thought these big and bold dies would be gorgeous once they were made up.
I die cut each element once in Neenah Solar White 80lb cardstock and again in vellum. I matched up each piece of vellum die cut with the same shape in cardstock and stuck the vellum on the top of each piece, so once you're done you have each die-cut shape with a piece of vellum on the top. You then layer them all together, as you would if you were just using plain cardstock. You can see the layered cardstock/vellum flower and leaves in the picture below.
When making this again, I think I would use coloured cardstock instead of white, it would just make the process a lot quicker when layering where you can quickly see the different coloured layers.
I chose to use quite a thick watercolour card for the base. I thought the thicker cardstock would create a deeper imprint. I then inked the layered flower using Seedless Preserves Distress Ink. For the leaves, I inked them using Peacock Feathers Distress Ink.
To create the faux letterpress, once you have the layers all inked up, you place them on your card base, face down, and run them through your die-cutting machine. Placement is important, so check you are happy with your positioning before you run it through.
NB. You use the same plates on your die-cutting machine that you would use for embossing and run the stacked vellum piece through your machine and voila, you have a gorgeous faux letterpress image.
To finish the card, I stamped the word 'Hope' in the top left from Altenew's Whimsical Herringbone set. I then stamped the sentiment from the same set onto a piece of aqua cardstock and hand-cut each end into a banner shape before attaching it to the card base with pop dots. I really want to add more, but I won't!
Interestingly, we were provided with additional information for the entire programme about focal points on your cards. When I first completed this card, I wanted to add a couple of Altenew Sea Shore Enamel Dots. Notice what happened when I did in this picture though:
The whole design felt really out of whack, and I couldn't initially work out why. I don't know about you but I found my eyes were moving away from the flower and darting between the two dots at the top left and bottom right of the card, so I ended up trimming the card down as you can see from the initial photo. My brain much preferred that!!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my first projects. I also hope you'll enjoy the journey with me as I learn lots of new ways to take my card-making up a notch or ten! I'm looking forward to sharing more creative projects with you as the programme progresses.
I've watched so many videos now, I am literally creating cards in my sleep! My hubby told me this morning that he'd even dreamt about making a card in his sleep. Whoops!!
Until next time. Thanks for popping by!
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