AECP: Swatching Gray & Black Dye Inks

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

No PINK was used in the making of this card!

I know you don’t believe me now, but by the time you finish this post and video, you’ll see how it happened. I was really looking for an amazing mottled gray background for this project, we took a hard right turn – fast! It’s a story of getting some lemons, but making the best lemonade ever, so keep reading!

(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!)

Class #6: Creative Watercolor Media

This project was created with lessons from the class Creative Watercolor Media in mind. If you take any class from Altenew, take this one! It is a collaborative course with lessons from Jennifer Rzasa (Altenew co-founder), Debby Hughes, andLaura Bassen. I mean, can you get any more amazing teachers?

My Project

I wanted to create a mostly one-layer card by combining an ink-smooshed background with a watercolored image. I certainly accomplished that goal, but maaaannnn, it was touch and go for a minute there…

The Technique & Design

I started the design by stamping the vase and the floral stem as well as the sentiment. After that, I took quite a while to use masking fluid to cover the vase and the flowers so I could work on the background without worrying about getting any stray ink on those parts. All is good, so far!

Once the fluid was dry, it was time to have some fun with ink smooshing. I started with Silver Lake ink – because, you see, I wanted a beautiful mottled-gray background. So, I put some of the ink on a piece of acetate, added some water and spread the ink around, then smooshed!

I’ve done this hundreds of times before, so I was confident. But, then, I turned the paper over and to my horror, it was PINK! Ugh… it was so NOT what I wanted. Since the panel was “ruined” I thought I’d try one of the darker colors to see if it was a fluke, but it certainly was not. All of the shades in the Gentleman’s Gray color quad had PINK in them. 

Well, after I got over it, I realized that the pink and gray and little bits of greenish were really quite beautiful, so I continued on and finished the design. It ended up being one of my more favorite designs, but it came with a big reminder: Always swatch your inks!

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

Crafter’s Toolbox Video

I thought we’d take a deeper dive into swatching grays and blacks so you can see exactly what happens and how you can test out your inks. It’s super-important for dye inks, but really, if you swatch all your inks (including markers and watercolor pans) you’ll get to know your color mediums so much better which will make you a more skilled crafter!

6 down, 4 to go!

I’m just a few weeks away from finishing my Level 2 journey. This has been a wonderful educational experience, and a great way to occupy my time over the cold winter! I’m starting to think about ways that I will fill in these bi-weekly posts with new content, so if you have a request for something you’d like to see me cover in the Crafter’s Toolbox or a Project Tutorial, please leave a comment to let me know!

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!

Kick-start Your Creativity

Subscribe for for exclusive specials, updates and free tutorials & sketches

Share and Inspire Someone Today!

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! "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

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!

Here's some other projects you'll like!

 

AECP: Create a Rotating Stamp Design

Today’s technique is going to blow your mind!
I have been a fan of the rotating stamp style, like Concord & 9th’s Turnabout ™ stamps, for a while now. It’s just so cool how you can turn the paper 90-degrees, stamp the same image, and end up with a filled-in design that looks like wallpaper or wrapping paper!

AECP: Double Stencil Technique

Let’s go next-level with stencils!
Stencils are pretty popular right now, and there’s so many ways you can use them. I was inspired by my latest Altenew Academy class to see what new and innovative way I could use them for my latest project.

Festive Friday: Lattice & Rose For Any Occasion

Welcome back for another Festive Friday!
It seems like every time I check the calendar, it’s time for another Festive Friday challenge! We’ve got a pretty predictable challenge this round – since Mother’s Day is coming up soon.

On the CASE: Flower Power!

It’s time to take CASE-ing to the next level!

I shared last time that CASE-ing a design doesn’t always mean that it needs to be copied exactly. Sometimes you just want to try your hand at recreating something, and sometimes you’re just inspired – by the color scheme, the layout or a technique – or all three! With today’s project, going forward, I won’t always copy a project exactly – sometimes I’ll just take inspiration. But, I’ll share what inspired me, and hopefully you’ll see the similarities as I put my design next to the original. So – on with today’s project!

(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!)

Today I’m introducing a new-to-me company – The Stamp Market. I saw some samples out on Instagram and just fell in love! The products are fresh, clean and inspired – and the sample designs reflect that too. It’s a relatively new company (only 2 years old) and is a 2-person team, Amy & her husband along with some support staff and now a few designers. 

My project was inspired by one of the first samples I came across. I loved the white on white where you almost don’t see the floral background until it’s angled the right way. I wanted that to pop a bit more, and thought that I could shake up the design a bit by rotating 90-degrees and changing up some of the color. 

I didn’t have the exact sentiment either, so I pulled out a similar one from an Altenew set – and kept it on the small side, just like the original.

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

Stamps and Paper and Inks … Oh, My!

Stamps: Flower Power (The Stamp Market)
Paper: 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ Solar White 110lb CS (Neenah), 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Kraft CS (Lawn Fawm), scraps of Solar White 80lb CS (Neenah), Walnut Cream CS (Bazzill) and Deep Iris CS (Altenew)
Inks: Versamark (Tsukineko)
Accessories: Rock Collection Enamel Dots (Altenew)
Other: Big Shot (Sizzix), Bloomin’ Cute dies (The Stamp Market), White Embossing Powder (Ranger), Clear Embossing Powder (Ranger), Anti-static bag, Heat Tool, Stamp Positioning Tool (Tonic)

On the CASE Notes

(your step-by-step guide – click on the images to view a larger slide gallery)

  1. Score the card base at 4 1/4″. Fold and burnish with bone folder. Set aside.
  2. Stamp the flower power image in Versamark on a piece of Kraft cardstock – larger than the finished image so it can be trimmed.
  3. Emboss with clear embossing powder. Trim to 4 1/4″ X 5 1/2″ and adhere to the card base.
  4. Diecut the flower outline pieces from Walnut Cream cardstock, and the flower head background in Solar White 80#.
  5. Assemble the finished diecut flower. It just needs a small dot of adhesive at the center of the background flower – then, add the stem, and the flower outline on top.
  6. Adhere the finished flower element to the card base.
  7. Stamp and heat emboss the sentiment in white on a thin strip of Deep Iris cardstock.
  8. Trim the sentiment to size and adhere over the flower stem.
  9. Add an enamel dot or any embellishment to the center of the flower.

How Hard Was It to Crack this CASE?

Difficulty Level: 2 out of 5 – The technique and design behind the original design was pretty straightforward, so it was easy to break down the components and reuse them in a new way. The neutral palette with a pop of color was a great option to bring forward into my own design – shifting the colors a bit to make it my own. Rotating the design 90-degrees brought bigger focus to the background which made sense since it was more visible than the white-on-white sample.

We hope our projects today inspired you to try CASE-ing our projects, or another project you’ve been eyeing!  We hope to see you again in 2 weeks when we’ll be On the CASE again!

Kick-start Your Creativity

Subscribe for for exclusive specials, updates and free tutorials & sketches

Share and Inspire Someone Today!

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! "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

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!

Here's some other projects you'll like!

 

AECP: Create a Rotating Stamp Design

Today’s technique is going to blow your mind!
I have been a fan of the rotating stamp style, like Concord & 9th’s Turnabout ™ stamps, for a while now. It’s just so cool how you can turn the paper 90-degrees, stamp the same image, and end up with a filled-in design that looks like wallpaper or wrapping paper!

AECP: Double Stencil Technique

Let’s go next-level with stencils!
Stencils are pretty popular right now, and there’s so many ways you can use them. I was inspired by my latest Altenew Academy class to see what new and innovative way I could use them for my latest project.

Festive Friday: Lattice & Rose For Any Occasion

Welcome back for another Festive Friday!
It seems like every time I check the calendar, it’s time for another Festive Friday challenge! We’ve got a pretty predictable challenge this round – since Mother’s Day is coming up soon.

AECP: Make Shimmer Ink in Any Color

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

Make everything shimmer with one simple product!

If you’ve ever wanted to have shimmery inks in all sorts of colors, but couldn’t justify purchasing a whole bunch of specialty inks, then you’re going to love my project and video today. In today’s project, you’ll see some amazing subtle shimmery effects, and then in the video you’ll learn how to take any water-based ink and turn it into a beautiful, shimmery medium with one simple additive. You’ll want to make everything shimmer!

(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!)

Class #2: In the Mood for Color

My second class for my Altenew Educator Level 2 certification is In the Mood for Color. In this six-lesson course, we explore colors and the underlying mood that is associated with that color. I really felt like I wanted to tackle an orange design, so, whether they come in orange, or not, I made some begonias a beautiful shade of orange to represent health, happiness, and most of all – courage!

My Project

After having CASE’d a project using Wispy Begonias for Wednesday’s post, I definitely had my mind set on using it again for this project. I love the bloom, leaves, and the four sentiments in the stamp set. It’s one of those many-occasion, many-technique kind of sets that will get a lot of use in my studio.

The Technique & Design

I thought I would try out the Birch Wood sheets from Altenew, along with a watercolor/emboss resist technique. I added some clear gesso to the wood panel to keep the ink from bleeding too much. It worked pretty well! Then, I stamped each begonia separately, heat embossing in clear, masking it off, and then repeating the process to get the three overlapping blooms. I did the same thing for the leaves, masking off the flowers first.

Then, I started to watercolor, using the new Golden Sunset ink cube quad pack. Once I got to the darkest shade (Marigold), I decided to add some shimmer into the ink using Tsukineko All-purpose Ink in Frost White. Just the tiniest drop will add the most amazing shimmer to any water-based ink. It is an even, subtle look that is stunning in person.

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

I added some shadows to the lower blooms using both Espresso and Grapevine inks. Then, I finished off the leaves with Lime and Fresh Leaf (two colors in the new Spring Bouquet 6-pack). I added a background wash in Iceburg (from the new Lapis Lazuli quad set), and spattered on some of the Frost White All-purpose Ink. The design was finished off with the sentiment in Versafine Clair Nocturne.

Crafter’s Toolbox Video

Let’s take a closer look at that subtle shimmer on the flower petals. You can make this shimmer paint in any color!

2 down, 8 to go!

Using the wood sheet really had me flying by the seat of my pants for this design. Fortunately, I have a lot of tricks in my Crafter’s Toolbox! That’s why I’m happy to share these videos with you – so you can have the same techniques and ideas to draw from when you’re stuck for ideas, or feeling like you’re not sure how to make a vision come to life.

I’d love to hear what Crafter’s Toolbox video you’ve found most helpful – let me know by leaving a comment on today’s post!

Don’t Forget about the 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!

Kick-start Your Creativity

Subscribe for for exclusive specials, updates and free tutorials & sketches

Share and Inspire Someone Today!

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! "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

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!

Here's some other projects you'll like!

 

AECP: Create a Rotating Stamp Design

Today’s technique is going to blow your mind!
I have been a fan of the rotating stamp style, like Concord & 9th’s Turnabout ™ stamps, for a while now. It’s just so cool how you can turn the paper 90-degrees, stamp the same image, and end up with a filled-in design that looks like wallpaper or wrapping paper!

AECP: Double Stencil Technique

Let’s go next-level with stencils!
Stencils are pretty popular right now, and there’s so many ways you can use them. I was inspired by my latest Altenew Academy class to see what new and innovative way I could use them for my latest project.

Festive Friday: Lattice & Rose For Any Occasion

Welcome back for another Festive Friday!
It seems like every time I check the calendar, it’s time for another Festive Friday challenge! We’ve got a pretty predictable challenge this round – since Mother’s Day is coming up soon.

Instagram Hop & GIVEAWAY

(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!)

Quick & Simple is the name of the game today —

Today’s project is a part of an Instagram Hop (starts at 11AM Central) featuring spring projects from some fellow Scrapbook.com Affiliate Bloggers. As I was busy working on a number of other projects, I decided on something quick and simple. It’s always good to have one of these kinds of cards in your back pocket so you can put together a quick card when you need it!

I originally put the idea together months ago when I saw this amazing die from Waffle Flower. There are so many possibilities from using different color combinations or patterns to filling each section with a different texture or using the die as a kind of mask…. I know this will be a staple die in my toolbox!

So, here’s the crazy thing – the die works either direction!

Here’s a sample from Alix Davis, a designer for Waffle Flower with the die used the way it was intended, and my take, with the die flipped:

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

I created my version using various Lawn Fawn cardstock. Then I stamped the sentiment in Versafine Clair (Nocturne) using a Scrapbook.com exclusive stamp set – Sentiments for Every Day (50% off through today!)

So, do you think there is a right way?

Don’t forget to check out the Instagram Hop starting at 11AM Central. This is part of a 2-week hop. One lucky winner will receive a $50 Scrapbook.com gift certificate! Woo Hoo!

You can start at my account

Kick-start Your Creativity

Subscribe for for exclusive specials, updates and free tutorials & sketches

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!

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! "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!

 

AECP: Create a Rotating Stamp Design

Today’s technique is going to blow your mind!
I have been a fan of the rotating stamp style, like Concord & 9th’s Turnabout ™ stamps, for a while now. It’s just so cool how you can turn the paper 90-degrees, stamp the same image, and end up with a filled-in design that looks like wallpaper or wrapping paper!

AECP: Double Stencil Technique

Let’s go next-level with stencils!
Stencils are pretty popular right now, and there’s so many ways you can use them. I was inspired by my latest Altenew Academy class to see what new and innovative way I could use them for my latest project.

Festive Friday: Lattice & Rose For Any Occasion

Welcome back for another Festive Friday!
It seems like every time I check the calendar, it’s time for another Festive Friday challenge! We’ve got a pretty predictable challenge this round – since Mother’s Day is coming up soon.

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!

Festive Friday: Somber Yellow

Friends – Our Chosen Family…

Over at Festive Friday We’re getting ready to celebrate Friendship Day (it’s on July 30th). A “friendship” card is a pretty broad subject and can really span the gamut of sentiments.

Play along at the Festive Friday Challenge - Earn Fest Points for free stuff! Find us @festivefridaychallenge or festivefridaychallenge.com. New challenges every other Friday! #cardchallenge

Looking for ideas for this week’s challenge? Here’s a few:

  • Use sentiments with the word “friend” like, “Hello, Friend”, or “I’m Lucky to have a Friend like You”
  • Make a card with a special friend in mind and share who it’s going to!
  • Avoid the “friend” theme all together and focus on the color option – exploring ways you can use Yellow as the focal point of your project.

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

For the Festive Friday Challenge #FF0012). Featuring: Flourishing Phrases stamp set, Flourish thinlits dies, Big Shot Embossing Mats, and Brusho crystals. #nicolewatt #pmretreat #stampinup #sympathy #yellow #handstamped

You could call my design a “friendship” card as true friends are there for each other during the highs and the lows. But, I just stuck with the idea of Yellow. It’s a fun, cheery color, but can also be elegant and reflect somber occasions….

Today’s project can be completed in just a few short steps. 

Kick-start Your Creativity

Subscribe for for exclusive specials, updates and free tutorials & sketches

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!

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! "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!

 

AECP: Create a Rotating Stamp Design

Today’s technique is going to blow your mind!
I have been a fan of the rotating stamp style, like Concord & 9th’s Turnabout ™ stamps, for a while now. It’s just so cool how you can turn the paper 90-degrees, stamp the same image, and end up with a filled-in design that looks like wallpaper or wrapping paper!

AECP: Double Stencil Technique

Let’s go next-level with stencils!
Stencils are pretty popular right now, and there’s so many ways you can use them. I was inspired by my latest Altenew Academy class to see what new and innovative way I could use them for my latest project.

Festive Friday: Lattice & Rose For Any Occasion

Welcome back for another Festive Friday!
It seems like every time I check the calendar, it’s time for another Festive Friday challenge! We’ve got a pretty predictable challenge this round – since Mother’s Day is coming up soon.