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With a Twist (AECP Level 2)

It's been a while since I posted. I had a really nasty fall last year, which was debilitating, and I ended up with vertigo due to the fall, so my cards had to take a back seat. Anyway, I'm back and ready to share 3 of my latest cards as part of my Altenew Educator Certification Program.

The first two cards are for my submission. The third card was made using one of Lydia Evans' cards, and the fourth 'card' is a panel I painted using a video from Erum Tasneem for inspiration. I've started learning how to use watercolours, and I'm at the very beginning of my journey, so I've been watching some Altenew videos and following along to practice.

If you've never used watercolours, it's definitely a skill that needs patience. I thought I'd share some of my watercolour hits and misses with you over the coming weeks and months. I'm not very patient when it comes to learning. If it doesn't come easily, I am quick to let projects go and move on, but I have wanted to paint with watercolour for many years, so I decided I need to just be willing to practice and enjoy the journey!

Anyway, here are my two cards for submission, plus the two bonus pieces, with more info on how I created them below:

The cards were made for my assignment based on the With a Twist masterclass by Therese Calvird. This masterclass had six lessons, each with a different perspective on creating cards with a unique twist. Some ideas Therese shared that I loved were using unusual colour combinations, cutting things oddly, and mixing modern geometric shapes with vintage stamps. I love watching her videos and could listen to her gorgeous Australian accent for hours :D

Card One - Shaker Card with Vellum Window

Edited to add: After creating this card, I came across a card made by Jennifer McGuire that was very similar. I ended up with nearly the same colours, yet I'd used the Coolors colour app to develop some ideas. Very strange! I didn't copy her card, so I can only assume I've subconsciously registered the idea. For this reason, I am withdrawing the card for submission for the two challenges and my Altenew assignment.

For my first card, I'm playing along at Freshly Made Sketches and Simon Says Stamp's 'Anything Goes' challenge. I decided to flip the sketch and use the Altenew Sentimental Florals set to create a shaker window.

I started by stamping and colouring the floral frame with my Altenew Artist Markers.

The colours I used were:

  • Tropical Garden Artist Alcohol Markers Set E - Firebrick, Autumn Blaze, Orange Cream.

  • Sunshine Valley Garden Artist Alcohol Markers Set F - Pink Diamond, Pinkalicious, Rubellite and Firefly, Grass Field, Shadow Creek.

  • Mediterranean Terrace Garden Artist Alcohol Markers Set B for the flowers Soft Lilac, Lavender Fields, Deep Iris.

I then die-cut the coloured image and four extra die-cuts in white cardstock to create a faux chipboard image. I layered up the four white die-cuts with the coloured image on the top to create the shaker window.

Tip: If you look closely, you will see that part of the frame is quite fine (top right and bottom left). Adding many layers allows you to create a well for the sequins to go into.

For my twist, I used vellum as the window instead of the traditional acetate. I couldn't die cut this as the centre of the frame pops out, so I fussy cut the vellum around the flowers for the best fit, attached it to the 'chipboard' and then added some Satin White sequins that I coloured in pink and purple using the Altenew Artist markers. I also added in some Antique Gold sequins for a bit of bling.

I set the panel aside and worked on the background. Using the Dotted Tile Debossing Cover Die, I debossed a white panel and ran it through my die-cutting machine again to add the stitched border and added it to a white card base. As I wanted to use the words, 'Sparkle on, darling,' I used my Wink of Stella glitter pen to add some sparkle. I then attached the vellum panel to the card front. Next, I stamped the two sentiments, 'Happy birthday' and 'Sparkle on, darling', using the smaller and larger dies as with my first card. I stamped onto white cardstock for the top banners (Featured Sentiment Dies) and coloured the shadow banners in purple to match the flowers on the card. The sketch has one sentiment strip, but I wanted a double sentiment, so I used a bit of artistic licence.

Tip: I'd already used orange and pink for the sequins. To tie your card together, think about ways to add all the colours as accents.

I attached the sentiments over the vellum panel to finish the card.

Card Two - Tri-Fold Card

For my second card, I wanted to use colours that were different for me and to create a twist of a card. I created a tri-fold card, something I rarely do, and I used pale pink, which is not one of my go-to colours. If you stretch yourself by doing the educator programme, it's also the perfect time to try new colours and styles. So pink it was.

I started by stamping and colouring my focal image for the inside of the card using the Bouquet of Love stamp set. This large bouquet stamp makes it easy to pull together a quick card (once you've done the colouring). It's a beauty to colour. Once coloured, I ran it through my Bigshot machine using a stitched rectangle die to create some added interest and added a little sparkle with my Wink of Stella glitter pen.

The colours I used for this card were:

  • Sunshine Valley Garden Artist Alcohol Markers Set F - Pink Diamond, Pinkalicious, Rubellite for the pink flowers, with some Maple Yellow to blend the orange flowers.

  • Tropical Garden Artist Alcohol Markers Set E - Autumn Blaze, Orange Cream.

  • Mediterranean Terrace Garden Artist Alcohol Markers Set B for the flowers Soft Lilac, Lavender Fields, Deep Iris and for the warm greys - Morning Frost, Evening Gray, Moon Rock, Lava Rock.

Next, I set about making the card base. I cut two card bases from pink cardstock and scored each card down the centre to make two portrait-folded cards. Then, I slotted one card into the other and added double-sided tape to create the tri-fold card.

Using the Fine Diamond Frames die set, I played around with the die to determine the best area to cut as a window to show the flowers peeking through on the front. I marked these with pencil marks and taped the die down with masking tape. I ran this through my machine, and it created a window.

Using the Fine Diamond Frames again, I die-cut a darker pink diamond frame to outline the window. I added four pearls to draw the eye towards the panel. The pearls were originally a natural pearl colour, so I coloured them with my Altenew Artist Markers.

Tip: If you don't have the colours you need, create your own using the Artist Markers. They work on various things, such as ribbons, twine, pearls, sequins and small pieces of cardstock.

Next, I die-cut two 'banners' using white cardstock, and the Essential Sentiments die set (a 'must-have' product, I think). One banner in the smaller size and then the matching shadow banner. Using my Altenew Artist Markers, I coloured the larger banner using the same pink to match the rest of the card. Finally, I die-cut a little rectangle to pop inside the card and stamped the sentiment before attaching it to finish.

A window front is a nice way to create a little surprise for your recipient.

Card Three & Four - Bonus Watercolour Cards

The following two cards are not part of my submission, but I thought it would help to share them as they are both part of my watercolour journey.

I was really struggling with water control with the brushes I'd bought. They were artist-grade, but they just held too much water. No matter what I tried, I was getting a gush of water, making it impossible to paint.

I watched many YouTube videos and found a lovely girl, Jenna Rainey, who takes you through a two-hour masterclass on watercolour basics. That helped with the water control to a degree, but I was getting quite frustrated as I could get it to work sometimes, and then other times, the water would be flowing all over the place.

I kept seeing the Altenew designers using the Altenew Artists' Watercolor Brushes - Round, so I thought I'd bite the bullet and pick up a set. This was honestly a game-changer. People say you need the 'right tools for the job'. My colouring drastically improved overnight just by changing the brushes. I was over the moon and can't say enough good things about them!

Anyway, onto the cards:

Card one - A watercoloured flower

I watched Erum Tasneem's video on Watercolouring Statement Flowers, a divine flower for colouring. It's so dramatic. I LOVE it! You can watch Erum's video here. I watched it multiple times and paused, going back and forth, copying every little element I could. Now, I know it's nowhere near Erum's level, which will take years of practice, but I feel that it is at the level where I could send it to someone without hiding in shame. If I'm honest, Erum keeps me motivated to practice watercolour. Her cards are absolutely stunning.

I thought I'd have a play with a different colour palette, but as I was doing the smaller flower on the left, my lack of colour theory let me down, and I ended up with a muddy mess. This was a good thing, though, as it made me realise that I could make some colour mix swatches to better understand my colour palette.

Instead of wasting the flower, I thought I'd keep it as a little reference card and mix some other colours to see what messes I could create. I mean, see what other lovely colours I could come up with, lol.

Card two - A rainbow watercoloured background - I saw a video from Lydia Evans using a watercoloured background and had a play, doing the play-rewind process I did with Erum's card. You can watch Lydia's video here.

The die-cut sentiment is cut from navy cardstock with the Not Just a Number die set. I omitted the shadow die.

I thought showing you my feeble attempts and progress pics below might be useful. No laughing!! Definitely, more practice needed!

Tip: If you want to learn new cardmaking skills and techniques, YouTube videos are your best friend. The Altenew channel posts daily videos. They're a great way to inspire you and generate creative ideas. There's always something new to learn, plus being able to pause and follow along makes such a difference.

I was pleased with how the final card turned out. Could it be better? Absolutely, but I was pleased with my progress in three takes. I love the idea of having vellum as a front cover to give a softer focus to the card. I will be keeping that one in mind.

Supplies Used:

Please note: I've linked to various companies in the thumbnails below. Some of these are compensated affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission if you choose to buy something after clicking through. This is at no additional cost to you. I really appreciate your support.

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4 commentaires

Erum Tasneem
Erum Tasneem
30 avr. 2023

Beautiful work, Ruby!! You have done a fantabulous job!! Each and every card is a peice of art. Your watercolor wonder card is gorgeous too. Color theory will come to you eventually, dont worry about it, you are great with colors! Kepp up the amazing work!!

Ruby 2 Shoes
Ruby 2 Shoes
30 avr. 2023
En réponse à

Thank you so much 🤩


04 avr. 2023

I'm so glad you are back to crafting and how fun that you dived right into watercoloring!! You have some beautiful results here! Thank you for playing along with us at Freshly Made Sketches.

Ruby 2 Shoes
Ruby 2 Shoes
14 avr. 2023
En réponse à

Thank you. Great challenge :D

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