Hi Crafty Peeps, I hope you are all staying well. Thank you for taking time to stop by today.
Well, it’s here, my AECP Level 1 final project! After taking the first 10 classes, I must complete a cardmaking challenge to demonstrate what I have learned along the way. My challenge was to make a set of gender-specific cards, plus packaging, to give as a gift. Additionally, I had to include a recycled element in the final product.
Needless to say, this blog post is going to be really, really long (almost a book!) so I have split it into three separate posts: this one, and one for each set of cards. The preamble will be in this post, so grab a drink, maybe a biscuit (cookie) or two, and settle in for a read.
I thought long and hard about which of the classes to focus on, as there were interesting techniques in each lesson, and inspiration for all sorts of directions to explore, but I finally chose:
Celebration Stencil Techniques
This was a great class, led by Laurel Beard. In Lesson 1 she encouraged students to create their own stencils with die cuts, which I love doing, and you can see this in both of my geometric cards where I cut triangles and circles to use alongside the stamp sets.
Lesson 4 is all about using a stencil to add further interest on top of an ink blended/painted background. I stretched this further and used a stencil over another stencilled background – you can see this in both of the grid-stencilled cards, where I have used another stencil to apply transfer gel and foiled details over the top of the stencilled background. Just in case it isn’t obvious, I love stencils!
Clean and Simple Boutique Cards
I chose this class, led by Jennifer Rzasa, because I’m not very good at ‘clean and simple’ and thought it would extend the challenge for me to produce at least a couple of cards in this style - see whether you think I hit the right style with the masculine ‘Friend’ card and the feminine vase card.
Lesson 3 - Foiling/Metallic Details – was the inspiration for adding foiled elements to some of my cards, a new technique for me.
Lesson 2 – Stamped Backgrounds – inspired me to use stamps to create my own paper to wrap the lids of the boxes I made for packaging.
Seasonal Scene Building
In this class Nichol Magouirk offered lots of tips about layout and building layered scenes. I took inspiration from both Lesson 4 - Framed Scene, and Lesson 5 - Window Scene and applied this to cards in both sets.
I think every class that formed part of my Level 1 experience offered inspiration, whether by refreshing those skills I already had, or encouraging me to use new techniques. In particular, I took inspiration from the following classes:
For the Guys
I love Geometrics (Lesson 1) so was able to incorporate these in both sets, and Interactive (Lesson 4) gave me the inspiration for my fridge magnet cards.
Let It Shine
Who doesn’t love a bit of bling? This class with Carissa Wiley confirmed that there is rarely an occasion where you can’t introduce a little something shiny. Her use of embellishments (Lesson 3), metallic cardstock (Lesson 5) and foil (Lesson 6) taught me not to be afraid of getting my shine on!
Layering 1 and 2
These two classes were obvious inclusions. There aren’t any particular lessons I would refer to, but the general instruction and techniques for layering the stamped images are so helpful. I even found the general principles useful when I came to ink up the layered stencils on my cards, having become more confident with placement and accuracy, etc.
The challenge was to create two sets of cards, gender specific, and package them for gifting. Each set had to be cohesive and creative, and, of course, the cards must showcase Altenew products.
I wanted the two sets of cards to have something in common, and I also wanted each set to have its own common theme. I decided that I would use a stencil on every card, and that the sets would each have their own consistent colour scheme. Where possible, I would ‘mirror’ the stencil and produce a masculine/feminine version of the card (and I achieved this on three cards). I decided not to use the usual gendered colour schemes of blue and pink and instead chose a coffee palette (Sand Dunes and Rocky Shore inks) for the masculine cards and a fresh green palette (Firefly and Lime) for the feminine cards.
I also made the decision to produce square cards, a format which I love but which not many of my American friends seem to use. Here in the UK square cards are easy to get hold of, but I tend to make my own card bases (300gsm/140lb cardstock) and envelopes for ‘special’ cards. The cards in both sets are 14.5cm (512/16”) square.
I will list the products used at the bottom of each post. In the following descriptions, all products are from Altenew unless otherwise identified.
To see how I made each set, please follow the links below: