February 27, 2018

Letterpress with Altenew - AECP

I just finished another Altenew Academy Class last week, this one is taught by Jennifer Rzasa and is called Clean and Simple Boutique cards. The lesson that really inspired me was how to do Letterpress using dies, this is a lot of fun and the result is remarkably elegant.

The first thing to do is figure out how to construct your letterpress elements - how many layers of card stock and vellum do you need and what your embossing sandwich should be. 
Each die cutting machine is different so it's hard to give an exact "recipe" but Jennifer's instructions in the class do help. This did take some time and there was a lot of trial and error involved but in the end I figured it out! 

So as not to forget I wrote out the instructions on an Altenew storage pouch that I will use to store my letterpress elements, they can be reused a couple of times. 
TIP: As you can see in the picture I also wrote the word "top" on the elements, once glued together it can be hard to see which side should be facing up so this will make it easier next time I want to use this technique.

So once I had created a couple of letterpress elements from dies I started making cards and it was really quite addictive and I love the embossing created on the card. You can see it quite clearly on this card below, both the balloon and the adorable elephant where letterpressed into the paper.

You can leave the letterpressing as is, I actually decided to stamp the details of some of the Baby Zoo animals, again, this is optional but I think it adds to these cards. 

Baby Zoo was the second Altenew stamp set I ever bought and I absolutely love it!
You can of course use it for a baby announcement or congrats-on-the-new-baby card, but also as a birthday card for a young child or even an adult - see below.

My husband was really happy to receive this card (he does love giraffes):

And you would never have guessed (or maybe you would) that the sun in this card was made with a flower die from the Striped Florals set!

Here is one final letterpress card, it is very simple but I do love this one so much because of the elegant line of that feather!

This is what I used to make these cards:
Altenew dies: Baby Zoo, Striped Florals, Faithful Feather
Altenew Crisp inks: Oink Diamond, Sea GlassMango Smoothie, Butterscotch, Jet Black

February 19, 2018

Watercolor poppies

Watercolor Wonders is a beautiful stamp set from Altenew, very free flowing and watercolor inspired. For some reason this set has always intimidated me, it was hard to get it to look right.

Now I think I know why - I was not taking this seriously, it was so free flowing and lose that I didn't pay enough attention when stamping. So to get good results I needed to look carefully and think where I wanted the petals to be and how I wanted to layer the colors. What kind of flowers are these?
I really love the resulting card.

Like all Altenew's layering stamps this one has a layering guide included in the packaging, it helps :)

I think these are poppies, how about you?

Stamp sets: Watercolor Wonders and Label Love
Crisp inks:  Ruby Red, Velvet, Crimson, Jet Black, Forest Glades, Evergreen

February 11, 2018

Rain or shine - be my Valentine!

There are a couple of stamp sets that are close to my heart, more so than others because they are unique in some way.
One of these is the Altenew Rain or shine set. It came out last year but I have not seen it used that  much (see a link for more inspiration at the bottom of this post), however it is so fun and ideal for an unusual Valentine, won't you agree?

Currently I am taking Altenew Academy classes in the pursuit of the Altenew Educator Certification Program, it's a lot of fun!
The latest class I finished was taught by the excellent Yana Smakula, the class is called Easy Die Cutting Techniques and as I am fairly new to die cutting (having been a stamper for 20 years but a die cutter for only 2...) this was a really fun class to take.
I used several techniques in this card, inlaid and negative die cutting and also partial die cutting.

To start off I stamped a couple of clouds using the following Altenew inks; Silver stone, Limestone and Dusk, these were then die cut using the coordinating dies.

The clouds are all different as I used two or three layers and mixed the colors up between them.

 I scored a dark blue card and did partial die cutting to have one of the clouds hang over the edge:

Now it was time to die cut the lightning rod and heart from gold mirror card stock.
I admit I do not own any gold card stock but I have kept a few chocolate boxes of gold mirror carton over the years and one of these came in handy.

Then I stamped the rain using Desert Night ink for a tone on tone effect. I did not make it perfect because since when is rain perfectly symmetrical and dense!

Planning out the final layout:

 I made a negative die cut in the blue card stock, glued the gold lightning rod on the inside of the card and stamped the sentiment in Versamark ink, embossed in Hero Arts white powder.

The inside of the card was kept very simple and I left a little space to write a love note.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, for other ideas using this great set, I would recommend visiting the very talented  Svitlana Shayeich' blog called Craft Walks  http://craftwalks.com/2017/03/23/altenew-stamp-focus-rain-or-shine/ 

Below are a couple of pics showing my photo studio (!!!) in front of the balcony window to try and catch some natural daylight and also the Altenew stamp and coordinating die set used in this post.

I hope to see you again soon!

February 6, 2018

A rose is a rose...

Some Altenew stamps remind me of English chintz - you know, beautiful prints with large florals. Not my style in home furnishings but in stamps and ink and cards I do love these florals!

As usual I did an initial layout in my Misti to see where to stamp the sentiment and figure out placement.

The frame is from the Concord and 9th Love set, I think it works well to set the stage for the rose and foliage in this card.

The final card is put together on a very light grey card base.

February 5, 2018

From the rooftops

I fell in love with the opportunities offered by this new set from Simon Says Stamp, so fun! A new set so why not try a new (to me) technique? I used my Faber Castell 12 set Polychromos and Gamsol to color the buildings and then blended in some clouds with Distress Inks in Stormy Sky.

This is the set - so many options here, I feel a lot of other cards in the making!

The coloring is far from perfect but I will do more for sure and get better.

A fun, colorful card for many occasions. 
I think I need more Polychromos :)

Christmas cards without Christmas stamps - Cartes de Noël non traditionnelles

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