31 October 2020

AECP 1 - Let It Shine

Hello crafty peeps! I hope you have had a good week and you and yours are safe and well. It's time for another AECP submission and this is a favourite - shine and bling!

Given that I live in the UK, life is dark and wet at the moment, and the coronavirus situation is definitely not helping. So this class, here, is great for lifting the spirits, because who doesn't like a little bling?

Card One
I have two cards to show you, and this first one is as bright as they come! 

I love the Altenew Splatter Stencil, so I chose this as my background. I cut a piece of Neenah Classic Solar White 300gsm (110lb) card to 6" x 6" and used some tape to adhere the stencil over the top. I used some Decofoil Transfer Gel Duo and swiped a thin and even layer over the stencil with a spatula. The gel can be a little difficult to work with until you get used to it, so make sure that your stencil is properly covered before scraping the excess back into the jar. Make sure also to wash your stencil and tools straightaway, as they will be really difficult to clean if you let the paste dry on them. 

This paste is a little bit of crafting magic as it allows foiling and flocking with either heat or pressure, which is useful if you don't have lots of tools in your craftroom.

Now for the hard part - well, it is if you're impatient like me - let the paste dry thoroughly, which takes around an hour, and don't be tempted to rush ahead with the next step.  Once the paste is ready it will be clear and sticky to the touch. It shouldn't be wet at all. Your patience will be rewarded!I

I already had some gold foil in my stash from years ago - you can buy it easily though. I cut a piece of foil just slightly larger than my paper and placed it gold side up on top of the sticky gel. I took an A4 piece of vellum and folded it in half, placing the stencilled piece into the middle. I then ran the sandwich through my die cutting machine - I think I used my metal shim to make sure there was sufficient pressure applied. TIP: if your plates are particularly badly marked from previous cuts, pop a piece of ordinary copy paper between the foil and the vellum to prevent the marks transferring with the foil.

Carefully peel back the foil and, voila, a beautifully foiled stencil! I was so excited to see the result! 

But what to do with it now? It had to be something fairly abstract, I felt, so I dug out a couple more stencils: Altenew's Grid Stencil and Tim Holtz's Splotches Stencil. I taped down the grid stencil over the foiled piece and taped off a couple of splotches on the other stencil so that I didn't have to worry about stray ink. I used Distress Oxide Inks in Dried Marigold, Picked Raspberry, Shabby Shutters and Speckled Egg to ink through the splotches and grid in a fairly random fashion.

I chose some scraps of card in coordinating colours and cut some strips into banners, layering them to provide some contrast below the gold (yes, more bling) 'hello' die cut from Altenew's Hello and Hugs die set.

A colourful envelope completed the card.

Card Two
The second card could not be more different - a simple black and gold thank you card.

I used all sorts of shiny things on this card - foil, sequins and metallic pen. I used the Mod Vases Mask Stencil with the Decofoil Transfer Gel Duo, and foiled the vase in the same way that I foiled the Splatter Stencil above. I stamped leaf sprays from the Wallpaper Art stamp set in black ink - the ones that laid over the gold wouldn't dry properly so I dabbed off the wet ink and used a black Copic marker to draw in the missing leaves. If I had been able to find my Stazon ink pad it would have been the better choice in this instance.

I stamped the smallest image from the stamp set and cut it out with the coordinating die, adding a few centre details with a gold Gelly Roll pen, which I also used to draw some gold highlights on the leaf sprays.

I popped the flower up on some 3D foam pads and added a strip of striped paper to the bottom of the card, for the vase to 'sit' on.

The sentiments are from the Kind Reminders stamp set, and the gold sequins are from my stash. A black envelope, this time, for dramatic effect!

Thank you for taking the time to read - do leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Until next time, stay safe and keep shining.

Peri x

29 October 2020

AECP 1 - For The Guys

Hello crafty peeps! Thank you for stopping by - I always appreciate your support.

Today's post is my sixth submission towards my AECP Level One certificate. The class is For The Guys, a 6-lesson class with lots of fun ideas for those always-difficult cards for men! 

I love geometric patterns so chose them as the basis of my projects.

Card One
I had a good look through my dies and found two sets of triangle dies, one being unbranded and the other Altenew's Trigonometry die set. I used these two sets to cut a variety of triangles from a selection of card scraps. 

I used a sentiment from the Birthday Bash stamp set and stamped it in Permanent Black ink on a pale grey 6" x 6" card base. Then I laid out the various triangles, overlapping, until I found a layout I liked. I lifted the dots from two of the Trigonometry die set triangles with some light-tack tape and transferred them to the card too.

It's quite an unusual and busy card, but I like it!

Card Two
For this card I used one of my favourite Altenew stencils - the Diamond Builder stencil - and my favourite colour combination of the moment (inks listed below). 

I transferred the pattern from the stencil to a piece of black card and cut it out with a craft knife. 

I cut a square aperture in the centre of the stencilled panel, then layered the black cut out piece behind it and mounted the finished piece into a pale grey 6" x 6" card.

I used MFT's Scripty Smile Die-manic (which is no longer available, unfortunately) to cut the word 'smile' from dark grey, gold and silver card (all from my stash) and used all three, slightly offsetting the layers. 

The addition of a sentiment from the Altenew Sentiments Strip 2 set completed the card.

Altenew inks used:
Warm Sunshine, Honey Drizzle, Silver Lake, Morning Frost.

Thank you for taking the time to read - do leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x

25 October 2020

AECP 1 - Irresistible Inking Techniques

Hello crafty peeps! Making up for the long gap between previous posts, I'm bringing you my second post this weekend, and another submission for my AECP Level 1. This time we're playing with inks with the Irresistible Inking Techniques class. This 4-lesson class explores ways of stretching the use of your ink pads to create different effects, leaving one-colour stamping behind.

Card One - AECP submission
I chose to use my ink pads and my acrylic blocks to create a background for my card. I selected a few sizes of block, which I covered in ink, lightly sprayed with water, then applied the ink to some watercolour paper. 

I also coloured another piece of watercolour paper, and then used the Frosted Garden stamp set to stamp a floral spray with Versamark ink before heat embossing with white embossing powder. 

I cut out the stamped image with the coordinating die, together with an extra two layers in white card and one in navy blue card. I layered and glued the two white die cuts, added the navy blue on top, and then finished off with the stamped image. This gives a more interesting effect when seen from the side.

I cut down the inked panel and added it to a white card base, leaving a narrow border on all sides. I added a triangular frame cut from navy blue card and stamped a sentiment from the Frosted Garden stamp set, before adding the stamped image. The watercolour paper gave everything a slight texture, which I enhanced by brushing over the stamped image with a Spectrum Noir Crystal Clear sparkle pen, although it is difficult to see on the photo.

A few dots of Nuvo Jewel Drops in Sea Breeze and a handmade coordinating envelope completed this project.

But also...
Whilst I had my inks out, I tried out another technique that I saw demonstrated recently, using a felt ink blending tool. The idea is to cover a piece of card (I used Make It Colour card from Market Geek) with circles of colour:

This first example uses Distress Inks (listed below) to create the effect. A final all-over layer of Tumbled Glass smoothed and softened the effect, which I like. I stamped a couple of leaf clusters from the Leaf  Canopy stamp set with Versafine Onyx Black ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. Then, using a water brush, I applied a light wash of water to each leaf, blotting off with kitchen paper, to create a slightly lighter shade of ink.

I added some dots with a white gel pen, and heat embossed a sentiment from the Leaf Canopy stamp set. 

I liked this effect so I changed to Distress Oxide inks (as pictured) and a piece of gloss paper from my stash, and created another background. 

I used the Frosted Garden stamp set again and Picked Raspberry Distress Ink to stamp flower clusters over the background. I love this sentiment from the Woodware Hand Drawn Sentiments set and thought it perfect for this simple card.

Distress Inks used:
Tumbled Glass, Speckled Egg, Peacock Feathers, Broken China
Cracked Pistachio, Twisted Citron

Thank you for taking the time to read - do leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x

24 October 2020

AECP 1 - Celebration Stencil Techniques

Hello crafty peeps, I hope you're having a safe and happy weekend. I apologise for not being here earlier, but sometimes life gets in the way of crafty pursuits, doesn't it, and family has to come first. Thank you for your patience.

So  on with today's post, which is my next submission for my level 1 AECP journey. This 4-lesson class, Celebration Stencil Techniques, is a great introduction to getting more from your stencils. I love stencils and this class encourages experimenting with them to achieve different results.

Card One - AECP submission
I loved the idea of creating my own stencils using die cutting. I created two simple stencils from thin kraft card, using the Spellbinders Modern Stationery die set (which I think is now discontinued, unfortunately).

I used a variety of Altenew inks (as pictured) to ink through the stencils, which I moved around the page to produce a pleasing pattern. Then I used the Altenew Pile of Presents Mask Stencil and a black fineliner pen to draw squares, rectangles and dots to add a further later of interest.  

The sentiment comes from Altenew's Birthday Bash stamp set, which I stamped behind a window cut from the patterned piece with the Spellbinders die set mentioned above.

A handmade coordinating envelope completed this card.

And there's more...
After I had completed this project I was all set to move on and away from stencils. However, Altenew then released some new stencils, two of which quickly made their way into my stash, resulting in the next two cards. Neither of these were produced using any special techniques, but I couldn't resist showcasing them in this post also.

I love this stencil, and I love this colour combination. This is the Modern Circles stencil, inked with Distress Inks in Fossilized Amber and Seedless Preserves. I used the Weekend Doodles stamp set and Altenew Grape Agate ink to stamp a simple spray and some additional leaves, which I cut out with the coordinating dies. I cut an additional spray and leaf cluster from gold card and layered the stamped image over the top, slightly offsetting the two layers so that a touch of gold can be seen around the edges of the sprays. 

The sentiment is from the Weekend Doodles stamp set, inked with Grape Agate ink and cut with a generic small circle die. A few Nuvo Jewel Drops in Limoncello tied the elements together.

I used my EK Success mini scoring board to score lines across the flap of a handmade coordinating envelope, as a finishing flourish.

And finally...
The Mighty Corners stencil was my other must-have and I thought it looked very Christmassy when inked with Crushed Olive and Candied Apple Distress Inks.

So I used the Holiday Bow stamp set and its coordinating dies to produce a beautiful red poinsettia, two sprays of mistletoe and two lots of berry branches (ink list below). As before, I cut a further mistletoe spray and berry branch from gold card to offset behind one of each spray. I also cut another poinsettia in gold, on which I centred the stamped flower.

Some Limoncello Nuvo Jewel Drops and Ranger Cranberry Stickles enhanced the berries, and a sentiment from the Peace in Earth stamp set finished the card.

I scored diagonal lines on the flap of another handmade envelope and popped the card into my Christmas 2020 stash!

Altenew inks used:
Poinsettia:  Crimson, Ruby Red and Honey Drizzle
Mistletoe:  Olive and Buttercream
Berry branch:  Dark Chocolate and Heart Beat

Thank you for taking the time to read - do leave a comment to let me know you were here.

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x

13 October 2020

AECP 1 - All About Layering 2

Happy Wednesday crafty peeps, and thank you for stopping by. Today's post is my submission for the second layering class at Altenew, as part of my AECP journey. This is another free class (you can find it here) full of great instruction and inspiration for using more of Altenew's layering stamp sets. 

There are two cards for this class and I hope you'll agree that they demonstrate the lovely layering of the Build A Flower Rose stamp set and the Kind Reminders stamp and colouring stencil set. 

Card One - Build A Flower Rose

I love the Build A Flower sets. The layering results in a beautiful flower, whichever set you choose, and the matching die(s) makes cutting out a breeze! There are six layers to the rose in this set, giving real depth to the flower. And it looks stunning in any colour. 

I've also used the Pattern Play Diamond background stamp, heat embossed with white embossing powder to give a subtle texture to the base of the card.

As you can see, my ink choices were not all traditional. I wanted to introduce some interest by using an unusual colour in the leaves, to lift the pink and green. I list all the inks I used below.

The sentiment is from the same stamp set, and I stamped it with Versafine black ink. 

A few white sequins from my stash added the final touch.

Card Two - Kind Reminders Set

This is another of my favourite sets - I love colouring with the layered stencils. I've listed the inks used below. 

I stamped and coloured the pink flower directly onto the card base. The orange and yellow blooms were stamped and coloured separately then cut out and mounted on the card, the yellow flower on 3D foam pads for dimension. 

For the background I masked the flower and used Altenew's Grid Stencil to give some interest. The stencil is inked with Mountain Mist ink for a pleasing contrast with the vibrant pinks and yellows of the blooms. 

The addition of a few Blushing Red Nuvo drops and a striking red envelope, stamped with Versafine ink, completes the card. 

Build A Flower Rose 
Flowers: Blush, Rouge, Coral Bliss, Velvet, Coral Berry, Grapevine 
Green leaves: Bamboo, Olive
Blue leaves: Dew Drops, Ocean Wave, Dark Night

Kind Reminders:
Flowers: Fresh Lemon, Honey Drizzle, Coral Bliss, Vineyard Berry, Sunkissed, Orange Cream, Dark Chocolate
Leaves: Parrot, Bamboo, Olive, Moss

Thank you for reading - I hope you enjoyed this submission. If you would like to see some more of my work, you can find me on Instagram and Facebook @PeriMadeIt, or if you would like to follow this blog, scroll to the bottom to hop over to the web version, where you will find a follow button at the bottom of the page.

Until next time, stay safe and keep crafting.

Peri x

07 October 2020

AECP 1 - All About Layering 1

Happy Wednesday, crafty peeps! Today I have another of my AECP submissions, for the All About Layering 1 class.

Altenew are particularly well known for their beautiful layering stamps and this class is the first of five FREE classes designed to help you learn how to get great results every time. Every class comprises several lessons, each showcasing a different stamp set, demonstrating the layering technique and offering inspiration for your cardmaking. I recommend checking out these classes, particularly if you are new to layering stamps - you can find this first class here.

For this class I decided to use the same stamp set in different colourways for a pair of cards for twin friends of ours. I chose the Celebrate Us stamp set (a collaboration between Altenew and Pink Fresh Studio), together with the Deco Wallpaper stencil, and a variety of Altenew inks in yellows and peaches (see list below).

I also used a few additional solid layer leaf sprays from the Build A Flower Rose stamp set.

I began by preparing two card bases using the stencil with Misty Morning ink, for a light but interesting background. I used one of these backgrounds 'upside down' to add another point of difference between these two similar cards.

I stamped the flowers six times, three for each card, and followed the layering guide on the back of the stamp packet to stamp the layers. 

Although there is a matching die available for this stamp set, I don't have it yet, so I fussy cut the images with scissors, right on the black stamped line. 

I assembled both cards, letting some of the large images fall over the sides of the card base. I trimmed off the excess and used the trimmings to fill in around the sides of the card. I also stamped the first solid layer of leaves from the Build A Flower Rose set, to give me some extra foliage for the layout, adding some detail to the leaves with a black fineliner pen. 

I popped up the centre flower on each card with some 3D foam squares, to give some dimension.

For the sentiment I used MFT's Scripty Smile Die-namics, which I believe is now retired. For the peach card I cut two from brown card and one from copper card and glued these together to give a thicker die cut word. I repeated this in gold, with additional layers in white, for the yellow card. I lost my tittles (the little dot over the 'i') so I substituted some Nuvo Crystal Drops in Copper Penny and English Mustard, as you can see. 

I finished off with a further sentiment from Avery Elle's Banner Bits stamp set.

Pink Pearl, Rouge, Warm Sunshine and Firefly
Citrus Burst, Maple Yellow, Orange Cream and Parrot 

Thank you for your time - I really appreciate you stopping by. Why not leave a comment to let me know you were here? 

Until next time, happy crafting.
Peri x

04 October 2020

Have 'Yourselfie' a Very Happy Birthday

Morning, crafty peeps - I hope you're having a great weekend. Thought I'd just pop in with a quick post and a fun card.

There's a well-known fact in the crafting world that it is always a challenge to create cards for men. This is not because they're a fussy bunch, but simply that there are far fewer products on the market to inspire us. However, I recently picked up the Picture Perfect Party Animals stamp set from MFT Stamps and this set is perfect for cards for boys and men of all ages. I love the humour of these stamps. 

I chose the partying parrots stamp for this project, and coloured it with a ton of Copic markers, listed below. I wanted a background of tropical leaves so I chose  the Newton's Nook Tropical Leaves stencil and used several Altenew inks to create a layered background. I inked the stencil once with a variety of green inks, then moved the stencil and inked again, making sure to vary the inks I used so that I got some depth. Once I'd done that I decided that the white space left by the stencil was too stark, so I took another light green ink and simply inked over the whole piece, using a blending brush to achieve a smooth finish. This gave me exactly the result I was hoping for.

The sentiment is from the same stamp set and I stamped it with Memento Tuxedo Black ink. If I were to make this card again, I would probably stamp the sentiment at the bottom of the Polaroid frame, rather than on the background, but, hey, there's always a learning opportunity! 

I used the MFT Polaroid Shaker Frame Die-namics die to create a frame for the image, and then popped that up on the card with some 3D foam squares. 

Finally, I created a coordinating envelope from some free papers I had received with a craft magazine.

Copics used:
B00, B12, B14, B16, B24, B26
BG11, BG13, BG15, BG18, BG45
V15, V17, V25
YR07, YR16
YG01, YG17, YG23, YG25

Altenew inks (background):
Parrot, Olive, Shadow Creek
Frayed Leaf

Thank you for your time and I hope you've enjoyed reading.

'Til next time, happy crafting! 

Peri x

01 October 2020

AECP Level 1 - Easy Die Cutting Techniques

Well, it has been some time since I set up the blog but I have been really busy in the background, getting ready for my first 'proper' post. 

Every level of the Altenew Educator Certification Programme requires completion of a series of classes, each designed to consolidate and grow your creative card-making skills. As a Level 1 Participant, there are 10 classes to complete, in any order, and I decided my first one would be Easy Die Cutting Techniques. 

Just as a note, you do not have to participate in the AECP in order to take these classes - they can be purchased individually here at the Altenew online store. I had already signed up to several classes before being accepted on the AECP, and I can thoroughly recommend them to anyone wishing to improve and grow their card-making repertoire. 

So, back to my first class. Over the course of six lessons, this class covers the basics of die cutting right through to more creative use of your existing dies to help you stretch your stash. Lesson 4 caught my eye particularly, as it was a technique I hadn't explored very much. I ended up with three cards, each building on the previous idea. 

Card One

Starting with the Dotted Starburst Debossing Cover Die, I used Altenew Silver Lake ink and dragged it very lightly over the raised dots of the die. I use a Spellbinders Platinum 6 die cutting machine for all my die cutting and embossing and found it easiest to create my embossing sandwich 'upside down' for this technique, i.e. I placed my die on the platform, inked side up, gently laid my paper over the top and then placed my embossing mat didn't have to worry about where the die was going to emboss on the paper. I ran the whole thing through the machine and ended up with a nicely embossed image with a hint of colour to define the dots. 

I used this as a light background to my first Christmas card of the year, using Altenew's newly released Holiday Flower stamp set. I stamped the image twice and coloured it with Copic markers. I fussy cut the images, right on the stamped line, and then decided that I wanted to remove one of the flowers from one of the images, so I cut into the image on one of the lines. I used a black Copic marker to go around the cut edges of both images, just to redefine the stamped line. I used a Sakura Gelly Roll pen in Metallic Gold to add the centres of the flowers and highlight lines on the leaves.

I decided to use a piece of vellum for the sentiment, which I stamped in Versamark ink and heat embossed in gold embossing powder. The sentiment was also from the Holiday Flower stamp set and I love the style and font of the sentiments included with this set. 

I wrapped the vellum around to the back of the die embossed piece so that there was no visible adhesive on the front, then matted the die embossed piece onto a piece of gold card and assembled the rest of the card. I added a few bright gold sequins for an added bit of bling.  A handmade gold envelope finished the project off.

Card Two

The inking of the die before embossing really gave some added 'punch' to the pattern, so based on the success of this piece I set about using the technique again with a darker ink - Moss. The darker ink transferred more to the embossed piece outside of the dotted pattern, so I decided to cut a circle from the centre where it had embossed the best and cleanest image and to use this as a basis for another, smaller, card.

I used the Build-A-Flower Stargazer stamp and die set, together with the small flower from the Simple Beauty set. The flowers were inked with a combination of Sunkissed, Orange Cream, Autumn Blaze, Firebrick and Dark Chocolate inks, from the Goldfish Tails Mini Cube Set and the leaves were inked originally with Morning Frost, Evening Gray and Cloudy Night inks. However, the greys were too insipid against the green background (which is a sheet of Hot Off the Press paper, bought many years ago and taken out of retirement for this card) so I added a layer of Frayed Leaf ink over the top of each leaf, which just lifted the colour a little. 

To give a little dimension to the centre circle, I added a circle of fun foam underneath it before attaching to the card base. This is my favourite way of adding dimension to larger pieces as I feel it provides better stability than foam squares or tape. 

The sentiment is from Sentiment Strips 2 and I heat embossed this with white embossing powder over an extra piece of the background paper, so as not to introduce another colour into the card. A few green sequins and a handmade envelope finished this project. 

Here's a close-up of the embossed centre:

Card Three

My final card (and there won't always be so many for one technique, I promise!) was inspired by the previous two but I wanted to produce three layers of interest at once. To do this I used the  Leaf Mix Die Set in three different ways.

I took a piece of watercolour paper and misted it lightly with water. Once this had had a chance to soak up the water and become pliable, I laid it down on top of my cutting platform and placed several of the leaf dies on top of it, then laid the embossing mat and plate on top and ran it through the machine and back again. The damp paper picked up the pattern of the leaves very well. 

Next, I took some of the leaf dies that I had already used and lightly inked these with Moss ink. I laid these on the embossed watercolour paper, careful not to move them, and then ran these through the machine, and back again, in an embossing sandwich. There was a very slight movement but nothing to spoil the piece. I cleaned the ink off the dies and put them to one side, ready for the third use. 

Taking another piece of watercolour paper, I inked a panel with Distress Inks (Bundled Sage, Twisted Citron, Crackling Campfire and Evergreen Bough) and, once dry, used the same dies to cut out several leaves. I adhered these around the embossed panel and trimmed off any overhang, using the trimmed pieces to fill in around the edges. Here's a close-up showing all three textures. 

I stamped a sentiment from Birch Press Lingo Thanks stamp set onto some brown card, and heat embossed this with gold embossing powder, before cutting it out with the co-ordinating die. I matted the panel onto the same brown card and assembled the card, adding a few gold and orange sequins for bling, and finished off with a handmade envelope. 

Gosh! That was a long post! Thank you for your time - I hope you have enjoyed reading and like the results of my first class. 

Until next time, happy crafting

Peri x