AECP: A Gift Set for Guys

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

Guys need card stashes

It’s not a question, it’s a statement. Guys. Need. Card. Stashes. It’s soooo annoying every time the hubs forgets about an occasion and pops into the Retreat while I’m working and says “got a minute to whip up a card for <fill in the blank>? I need to send it today/tomorrow/yesterday”.

No. No, I do not. I am working diligently on something completely different and ‘ain’t got time for your last minute request! 

Ok – I don’t really say that. But, he might get a little eye roll and a huff and a “sure, I’ll whip something up”.

That’s why guys need card stashes. And, this Altenew challenge reminded me of that – Brian needed a card stash, and this one is his.

(affiliate links are used in this post. When you click on them and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting my blog!)

Level 2: FINAL

I received my Level 2 Final project assignment from Virginia last weekend, and boy was it involved. I knew it was going to take some time to put everything together, and even though I was given a month to submit it, there’s no use in proCRAFTinating, and my personal goals wouldn’t allow me to wait too long to see this assignment through! Besides, it’s always good to challenge oneself – keeps the mind young! Here’s some specifics behind the challenge:

  • Select ANY 3 components from the classes completed in Level 1 or 2. Explain the components and share tips.
  • Make 4 MASCULINE cards in the following themes: Birthday, Love/Thinking of You, Anniversary, and Encouragement.
  • Also create an Altered Item/Upcycled Project.
  • Think of this as a set for a guy to use. It’s like creating a gift set for your husband/nephew/brother.
  • Do a step-by-step photo tutorial and/or YouTube video.
  • Minimum of 10 photos, both close-up and process.
  • Complete the assignment by May 29th!

So, there you have it. If you’ve been thinking about applying to the Altenew Educator program, it is well worth it, and will stretch your creativity. If you are aspiring to make money at blogging and/or teaching crafting, not only will you learn techniques, you will also see how great online craft classes are put together. You’ll also build some good blogging and business skills like planning, scheduling, working to a creative brief and working to a deadline!

**Note: Though I call out the classes that relate to each project and a related technique, the technique is not always directly taught in the class, but is inspired by something I learned in the class.

** Another Note: This is an EPIC post, but it’s worth it to hang in to the end. I’ve got an extra surprise for you if you do… Oh, and don’t forget about the Blog Candy…

Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of the post to qualify for my monthly giveaway!

Hello (Thinking of You) Card

This first card was the foundation of the entire set. If you recognize the Cube Builder stencil panel, yes, it is the one I created in the video! It’s been sitting in my scraps pile for weeks now. I always save gems like this to speed up projects later! It’s a pretty straightforward design, with a little twist of vellum. That little bit of diffusion breaks up all of the sharp lines and draws the eye around in an unexpected way. 

Techniques:

How To:

  1. Prep the card base by adhering a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of Storm Cloud cardstock to the card base. 
  2. Stencil the Cube Builder design on a piece of Neenah Solar White Super Smooth cardstock using two shades from the Sea Shore Mini Cube set. 
  3. Stamp the “just saying” image on the stenciled panel, using the hello die to make sure you leave enough space to the right.
  4. Diecut a sheet of vellum using the Heffy Doodle Imperial Stitched Rectangles. Adhere it to the stenciled panel using Zig 2-way glue (it doesn’t show through!). Trim the panel to 4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″ and adhere to the card base.
  5. Stamp the “hello” image and diecut. Diecut a second “hello” in Storm Cloud cs. Adhere the Storm Cloud layer so it leaves a shadow behind the stamped diecut. Adhere to the card.
  6. Add enamel dots.

Here’s a video on using the Cube Builder Stencil!

Birthday Card

Brian needs four masculine birthday cards for the year. Most of the birthdays have passed, but this timeless gem will work later this year, or next! After the first card, I decided that Super Script and stencils would be the additional unifying theme in addition to the color palette. We know that a color palette will help create a unified set, but sticking to a specific stamp set and other common elements (like the stencils and even the enamel shapes) really get us matchy-matchy – in a good way!

Techniques:

How To:

  1. Prep the card base by adhering a 4 1/8″ x 5 3/8″ piece of Storm Cloud cardstock to the card base. 
  2. Stencil the Feeling Dotty design on a piece of Neenah Solar White Super Smooth cardstock using one shades from the Sea Shore Mini Cube set. 
  3. Stamp the “celebrate” image on the stenciled panel.
  4. Shift the stencil and use Versamark to add embossing ink to random parts of the stencil. Emboss with gold.
  5. Diecut the “celebrate” sentiment from the stenciled panel. Diecut a second “celebrate” using foam sheets or chipboard. Adhere the two together. 
  6. Stamp the “hello” image on a vellum strip. Emboss in black. Snip the left end at an angle and trim for length.
  7. Adhere the stenciled panel to the card base. Then, adhere the diecut sentiment back into the space. Add the little cutout bits if desired.
  8. Adhere the vellum flag with glue dots and add enamel dots.

Here’s a video on the distressed offset stencil look!

Encouragement Card

This one is Brian’s favorite! I love how crisp and bright it is. It was at this point that I was glad that I went for more of an aqua blue than a traditional blue as it really pops against the white, black and gray. The double stencil technique really results in some “advanced” looking stenciling, but it’s so easy! Adding in the sketching somehow reminds me of comic books, and the dots look like little Pac Man dots. Oh, and that little bit of blending on the center panel – that was money! It softened up the stenciled lines and allowed the diecut sentiment to stand out. I think this one is a favorite for me too!

Techniques:

How To:

  1. Stencil the Calligraphy Maze and Feeling Dotty designs using the double stencil technique on a piece of Neenah Solar White Super Smooth cardstock using two shades from the Sea Shore Mini Cube set. 
  2. Use a fine-tipped black pen to add in sketchy lines, following the stenciled maze. 
  3. Trim the stenciled panel to 4″ x 5 1/4″. Diecut the center using a Heffy Doodle Imperial Stitched Rectangle die.
  4. Softly blend in some ink over the center diecut panel to soften the edges of the stenciling. 
  5. Stamp and diecut the “awesome” image.
  6. Using the “awesome” die as a placeholder, arrange the “you are” and “just saying” stamps and stamp on the cutout stenciled panel. To get “just sayin'”, mask off the “g”. Once stamped, use the fine-tipped black pen to add in an apostrophe and put parenthesis around the words. Adhere the “awesome” diecut in the space.
  7. Diecut a stitched rectangle in vellum. Make sure it is larger than the stenciled cutout. Adhere the two together.
  8. Cut a piece of foam sheet to back the diecut layer. Adhere the background stenciled image to the card base, then add the diecut center to the card base, making sure the stenciled images line up.
  9. Add enamel dots.

Here’s a video on the double stencil technique!

Anniversary Card

This is another favorite for me because I love the halftone background, and the watercolored flowers. I have a feeling I might find this card back in my possession in December, unless Brian gives it to someone else to use for their anniversary. I don’t normally let elements stray so far off the edge of a standard card size. I made an exception for this one as I figured it will be hand-delivered! 😉

Techniques:

How To:

  1. Prep the card base by adhering a 4″ x 5 1/4″ piece of Storm Cloud cardstock to the card base. 
  2. Stencil the Halftone pattern in one direction using one shade from the Sea Shore Mini Cube set. Then, flip the stencil 180-degrees, making sure the first stenciled images fit in the spaces evenly, then stencil a second color from the same set. I like the high contrast look, but you can go with two closer colors for a more subtle difference.
  3. Diecut a sheet of vellum using the Heffy Doodle Imperial Stitched Rectangles. Adhere it to the stenciled panel using Zig 2-way glue (it doesn’t show through!). Trim the finished panel to 3 7/8″ x 5 1/8″.
  4. Arrange the “you are”, “my” and “everything” stamps to the lower left corner of the stenciled panel. Stamp and emboss in black. Then adhere to the card base.
  5. Stamp, emboss and diecut the “celebrate” image. Adhere to the card base.
  6. Stamp floral images from Lacy Scrolls. Watercolor the flowers using shades from the Sea Shore Mini Cube set. Stamp leaves in black. Diecut the images and arrange. Adhere to the card base using foam adhesive to pop it up.
  7. Add enamel dots.

Here’s a video on watercoloring solid images!

Upcycled Gift Bag

I am not a “thing hoarder” or a “tchotchke” person, so I don’t often save items that can be upcycled. BUT, I get these lovely muslin bags from an online beauty company, and I just can’t seem to part with them. The logo is so small that I knew there was a way I could cover it up to make the bag my own. In this case, GESSO to the rescue! (I love that stuff!!)

Techniques:

How To:

  1. Prep the material, ironing if necessary to remove wrinkles. Mask out an area for applying gesso. Insert a piece of plastic/acetate or cardboard in the bag to keep the gesso from bleeding through – even if you plan on painting the back.
  2. Apply gesso (white, tinted or black) over the area, covering any undesired logos. Dry (air dry or with heat gun). Add additional layers of gesso if necessary to cover any show-through.
  3. Create a stencil by cutting the Gradient Stripes Cover Die out of heavy weight cardstock or chipboard.
  4. Place the stencil on the gessoed area. Cover the edges with wide masking tape. Stencil in one or multiple shades from the Sea Shore Mini Cube set. If necessary, shift the stencil to the left or right to allow the pattern to extend all the way across the area. Allow the inking to dry (air dry or heat gun).
  5. Mask out an area for the gold embossing. Swipe Versamark across the masked area and emboss in gold.
  6. Stamp “for you” on the bottom colored stripe.
  7. Spray the finished design with a fixative such as clear spray lacquer (matte, semi-gloss or glossy).

**Note: even though the finished design is protected with a spray finish, avoid getting the bag excessively wet as water can still get to it from inside the bag. Wipe any stains or water with a cloth. Do not wash.

Here’s a video on upcycling a cloth bag!

A BONUS FOR YOU!

Thank you so much for sticking around all the way to the end of this epic post! Putting this project together was absolute fun, and a really lovely result. It’s been a while since I penned an Inspire File, and since I had so much to share with this assignment, I thought I would bring back a new and improved version of the PDF tutorial.  

In the future, the only way to get the latest Inspire File will be by subscribing to my newsletter.

Download the SPRING 2019 Edition here!

(the PDF will download immediately to your computer or mobile device)

Still time for Blog Candy…

The Blog Candy giveaway is still going on. You can get an entry by following the steps on this Instagram post, and a second entry by leaving a comment on Tuesday’s Level 2 Roundup post. Winners will be announced next week. 

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Get everything you need to make this project!

The supply list is right here! Just click a product to get started. The links I'm sharing are Affiliate Links, meaning that I will receive a small commission on your sale, at no additional cost to you.
This helps keep the lights on and the inspiration flowing here at Pixel Maven's Retreat!

The Latest...

  • FREEBIES!!! There's no catch - check out my Freebies Page for all sorts of downloadable resources to help take your crafting up a notch!
  • Need a Color Coordinator to inspire color choices for your projects? Get yours today! 2019-20 Coordinators are NOW SHIPPING!
    "I love this! I have a hard time getting color combos together and this takes all the guess work out so I can start creating right away! I think every stamper should have one thank you for this amazing product." - Sandra

Here's some other projects you'll like!

 

On the CASE: Simple Shapes

Let’s CASE this card…  It’ll be easy!
Yup – that’s what I thought when I was researching designs to CASE this week. I found this lovely design by Jen Rzasa over at Altenew and thought that it would be pretty simple to recreate.

Father’s Day Cards Featured on Scrapbook.com

I’m excited to share that I’ve been PUBLISHED on Scrapbook.com!
I hope to be invited to do more of these posts as I truly enjoyed putting these projects together. 😀 My creative brief was Father’s Day Cards.

AECP: Will It Emboss?

I wonder…. will it…?
Ever hold a craft supply in your hand wondering if it will take on a certain technique or medium? That’s how I come up with all of my crazy, innovative ideas!

Festive Friday: Easy Valentine Treat

Yippee Skippee!! Are you ready for a new Papercrafting Challenge? Say HELLO to Festive Friday!

A few months ago, fellow Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators, Ann Schach and Beth McCullough and I started brainstorming on a new, innovative papercrafting challenge. We didn’t want it to be just like all the others. What could get people really interested in playing along week after week?

We knew it depended on two things. First, a unique challenge; Not just colors, or inspiration photos, or sketches — there’s plenty of those kinds of challenges. Second, a unique rewards system; Not just weekly picks and guest designers, but a way for everyone who participates to qualify for “something”.

A Unique Challenge:

Festive Friday is built around festivities and holiday and “days”. Basically, any “special” event. It could be traditional “holidays” like Valentine’s Day, or a festivity like birthdays or a fun “Day” like National Ice Cream Day. To make sure everyone can participate, there’s a second component of a design element (sequins, glitter, ribbon, specific shapes, etc). The challenge is an “And/Or” challenge, so participants can use the festivity and the element, OR just one of the two (the festivity, or the element). Don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day? Just use the sequins part…. make sense?

Festive Friday challenges go live the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month, and run for 11 days! I hope to see you play along!

Our first challenge is Valentine’s Day and/or Sequins

Play along at the Festive Friday Challenge - Earn Fest Points for free stuff! Find us @festivefridaychallenge or festivefridaychallenge.com. New challenges every 2nd and 4th Friday!

My project is a simple heart treat holder! I was able to put 20 of these together in less than an hour! I opted for both of the elements – Valentine’s Day and Sequins, using both the new DTIEF Sequins folder, and mini sequins trim.

As I was putting this project together, and realized how easy it is, it dawned on me that it’s a great treat holder for lots of different events – especially baby showers and weddings! Just change up the colors to match your event and voila!

Don’t forget to join us at Festive Friday Challenge!

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Don't Forget about my MONTHLY GIVEAWAY!

Every month, I give away a sweet surprise to one lucky commenter. So, don't forget to leave a COMMENT on today's post to enter!

If you loved today's project, I'd love to know! The blogosphere can be a lonely place, so please don't lurk! Leave a quick word or two to tell me you were here!

Share and Inspire Someone Today!

On the CASE: Simple Shapes

Let’s CASE this card…  It’ll be easy!
Yup – that’s what I thought when I was researching designs to CASE this week. I found this lovely design by Jen Rzasa over at Altenew and thought that it would be pretty simple to recreate.

Father’s Day Cards Featured on Scrapbook.com

I’m excited to share that I’ve been PUBLISHED on Scrapbook.com!
I hope to be invited to do more of these posts as I truly enjoyed putting these projects together. 😀 My creative brief was Father’s Day Cards.

AECP: Will It Emboss?

I wonder…. will it…?
Ever hold a craft supply in your hand wondering if it will take on a certain technique or medium? That’s how I come up with all of my crazy, innovative ideas!

The Latest...

  • FREEBIES!!! There's no catch - check out my Freebies Page for all sorts of downloadable resources to help take your crafting up a notch!
  • Need a Color Coordinator to inspire color choices for your projects? Get yours today! 2019-20 Coordinators are NOW SHIPPING!
    "I love this! I have a hard time getting color combos together and this takes all the guess work out so I can start creating right away! I think every stamper should have one thank you for this amazing product." - Sandra

Lovely Leaves for PPA 267

I am loving this week’s Pals Paper Arts (PPA267) color scheme. It’s fresh, but also fall-like. Kind of like the transition from Summer to Fall. The days are still bright and the trees haven’t turned to the rich hues that tell us Winter will soon be here.

Pals Paper Arts 267 - play with us today! (www.palspaperarts.com)

 

Looks bright to you? Well, let me show you how this fresh trio can move into Fall:

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA267). Features: Lighthearted Leaves, Leaflets Framelits, Square Pillow Box Thinlits, Cherry on Top DSP; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #thanksgiving

By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA267). Features: Lighthearted Leaves, Leaflets Framelits, Cherry on Top DSP; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #thanksgiving
By Nicole Watt for Pals Paper Arts (PPA267). Features: Lighthearted Leaves, Leaflets Framelits, Square Pillow Box Thinlits, Cherry on Top DSP; For more details, click through to my blog! #StampinUp #PMRetreat #thanksgiving

Maven’s Mastery Tips

Go for White:

Lighthearted Leaves is already a stunning stamp set – take it over the top with white embossing! It really pops against these fresh colors. Add even more depth by using the corresponding Stampin’ Write markers to add some deeper color to parts of the leaf designs.

Nothing's Off Limits!

The DSP for this project didn’t come from the Holiday Catalog. It’s from the Cherry on Top DSP Paper Stack. Did you know that it has Crushed Curry as one of its primary colors? So, you thought that paper stack was just for kids’ birthdays…. WRONG!

Make Extra:

When I started on the card, I created extra leaves because I wasn’t sure how many I would need. I had a handful left over that were just begging to adorn a matching pillow box. If you’ve not made any of these boxes yet, watch out – you’re going to fall in love! I know people that are addicted to the pillow box…. and there’s no cure, but to make more!

[bctt tweet=”Try white embossing to really make an image pop! #makermastery #PMRetreat”]

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Your Turn!

Are you inspired? Time to play along with Pals Paper Arts! Take the challenge and create something beautiful with this week’s colors. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Sale-a-Brate the Occasions Catty!

Welcome to Tuesday! It’s a big day here at Stampin’ Up! Not only do we have some great new Weekly Deals, but the new Occasions Catalog has gone LIVE! Oh, and did I mention Sale-a-Bration is ON too?! This is a triple whammy – maybe even a quadruple if you consider all the great stuff still on the Clearance Rack. Wowza!!!

I thought I’d kick off our annual Sale-a-Bration with a product bundle that will get you free stuff. Don’t know what Sale-a-Bration is? Well, it’s only our biggest promotion all year! For every $50 you purchase (not including tax and S&H), you can pick a FREE product from the Sale-a-Bration catalog! There’s stamp sets, embellishments, paper and tools to choose from – even BLENDABILITIES!!! Woo Hoo!

So, here’s a picture of today’s recommended kit (full product listing is at the end of this post):

stampinup stampin up Stampin Up! Nicole Watt SAB Bundle

stampinup stampin up Nicole Watt You Brighten My Day

Maven’s Mastery Tips

Make it easy: Our pre-made Tiny Treat Boxes and Notecard packs make this project a snap. No cutting – just fold and you’re done!

Paper Packs = variety: This card only demonstrates one of the 24 designs in the 4.5 x 6.5 Stacked With Love DSP Paper Stack. That means you can have a whole variety of Valentines with no effort!

Washi & punch: That sweet treat box fits a handful of candies (about 5 or 6 Hershey Kisses), and it’s decorated simply with a strip of washi tape and two punched hearts from the DSP paper stack. My suggested kit doesn’t include the small heart punch from the Itty Bitty Punch Pack, but you can fussy-cut out the little hearts from the DSP sheet if you’d like.

pmr_swatch_divider

Sale-a-Brate Good Times, c’mon!! Here’s the product listing from today’s project. the total is $57.60, and the free SAB stamp set is You Brighten My Day (c:139106 w:139103). Buy any of these products from me during Sale-a-Bration and you’ll receive a PDF with detailed instructions for today’s project!

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Pals Blog Hop: Winter Wishes

2014dechop_badgeWelcome to the last Pals Blog Hop of 2014. This month we want to help you start your holiday wish list by sharing projects featuring our favorite Stampin’ Up! papers, stamps, tools and accessories. Get your wish list ready as you move along through the blog hop.

You may just be starting the blog hop or may have come from Peggy Noe at Pretty Paper Cards, #22 on the Pals Hop. If you get off track at any time, the full lineup below will help you move along from blog to blog so you see all of the project.

I just know you’re going to love today’s project. It’s proof-positive that a subscription to Paper Pumpkin needs to be on your holiday wish list!

By Nicole Watt for the December 2014 Pals Blog Hop; November 2014 Paper Pumpkin; @pmretreat #stampinup #paperpumpkin

Neither of these projects is what the kit was designed to make, but aren’t they just sooooo cute?!

First, let’s look at the gift card holder:

By Nicole Watt for the December 2014 Pals Blog Hop; November 2014 Paper Pumpkin; @pmretreat #stampinup #paperpumpkin   By Nicole Watt for the December 2014 Pals Blog Hop; November 2014 Paper Pumpkin; @pmretreat #stampinup #paperpumpkin

 

By cutting off one of the card base gate-fold halves and using some sticky strip to adhere the other gatefold half to the base, I had a gift card holder in literally seconds! A little stamping, a little embellishing, and voila, I was done!

By Nicole Watt for the December 2014 Pals Blog Hop; November 2014 Paper Pumpkin; @pmretreat #stampinup #paperpumpkin   By Nicole Watt for the December 2014 Pals Blog Hop; November 2014 Paper Pumpkin; @pmretreat #stampinup #paperpumpkin

These lovely boxes are filled with chocolate covered pretzel rods! YUM-O!! They’re the perfect gift for all of the services that come to our house – pest control, housekeeping, the mailman and of course UPS! In this case, I used the card from the Paper Pumpkin kit, cut in half and re-scored to fit around one of our Tag a Bag Gift Boxes. I also stamped on the box and embossed the acetate cover. Isn’t it just sooo fancy?!

I hope my projects helped you to see the versatility of our monthly Paper Pumpkin Kits! You can become a monthly subscriber through the My Paper Pumpkin website, or you can purchase a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month pre-paid subscription. Subscriptions are great gifts!

The next stop is Amy Hoptay at Inking of You!, #24 on the Pals Blog Hop! Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you in 2015.

  1. Michelle Gleeson at StampinMojo
  2. Shannon Hokanson at Paper Works by Shannon
  3. Dawn Tidd at Tiddbits from Dawn
  4. Sherrie Gross at Stampin Sunshine
  5. Beth McCullough at Stamping Mom
  6. Kalyn Shubnell at The Stamping Chronicles
  7. September Gray at www.septembergray.com
  8. Debbie Mageed at Secret Stamper
  9. Patti MacLeith at Papercrafts by Patti
  10. Nancy Gleason at MyStampinSpace
  11. Maggie Mata at Maggie Made Cards
  12. Debbie Crowley at expressivelydeb…
  13. Wendy Klein at Doggone Delightful Stampin’
  14. Amy Whelan at Amy’s Inklings
  15. Brian King at Stamp with Brian
  16. Amy Williams at Stamps and Spice
  17. Mary Fish at Stampin’ Pretty
  18. Pamela Sadler at Stampin Pink Rose
  19. Jackie Diediker at Stampin’ Jackie
  20. Candy Ford at Stamp Candy
  21. Susan Lankford at Stamp and Create With Susan
  22. Peggy Noe at Pretty Paper Cards
  23. Nicole Watt at Pixel Maven’s Retreat
  24. Amy Hoptay at Inking of You!
  25. Lynn Kolcun at Stamping with Avery’s Owlery
  26. Beth Beard at My little craft blog
  27. Sue Becker at RnR Stamping
  28. Lisa Ann Bernard at Queen B Creations
  29. Kerry Willard Bray at Peonies and Paper Chains
  30. Rae Harper-Burnet at WildWestPaperArts.com
  31. Deb Cozzone at Deb Cozzone’s Stamping Zone
  32. Debra Simonis at Deb’s Stampin’ Grounds
  33. Susan Itell at Simple Stampin
  34. Jane Knudsen at see jane stamp
  35. Katy McGloin at Just Fun Stamping
  36. Martie Pollard at The Crafty Bandit
  37. Natalie Bradley at Natalie Bradley Events
  38. Becky Volpp at InkBlossomWithBecky