AECP: Clean & Simple Galentines

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

As an adult, how many Valentine’s to you make?

Up until this year, my answer would have been ONE. One for my one and only sweetheart. (If you missed the card I created for him, check it out here.) But, there were plenty of years that I didn’t have a beau to share the holiday with, so I would hang out with my gal pals. Today, even though we’re all over the U.S., I thought I’d let them know that they have a place in my heart too. So, I put together a pile of fun CAS cards for all of my GALentines!

My inspiration for these sweet cards was a class I just finished for my Altenew Educator Certification Program – Clean & Simple Boutique Cards.

Class #2: Clean & Simple Boutique Cards

In the class, instructor Jennifer Rasa shares 6 different lessons featuring card design ideas inspired by a visit to the National Stationery Show. The theme of the class is “less is more”. Well – if you know my design style, you’ll know that I steer away from CAS and one-layer cards because I just can’t seem to create an end product that I like. I feel like there should always be a layer, or an embellishment. I knew this class would be a tough one for me. So, I thought I’d get it done sooner rather than later!

My Project

I am truly surprised at how well this design turned out. Perhaps it was because I was inspired by the recipients – some of my favorite gal pals! I know they’re going to love receiving the happy mail for Heart Day.

The Technique & Design

In one of the lessons, Jennifer talks about adding metallic elements in the form of foiling or heat embossing. I knew this would be my key to success. Adding some metallic embossing would be the perfect trade off for going sans-embellishments or layers. Then, I decided on the Mega Greetings 3 stamp set so I could add in another great technique – ombre inking. I did this both with the large greeting, and with the background words. Those smaller words came from Sketchy Floral. I stamped those in three rows, with three shades of pink to match the ombre in the large image. Then, I added in some gold embossing and a little flag with the rest of the sentiment, and I was done! I was able to whip up five of these in no time!

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

Crafter’s Toolbox Video

Of course, a video is way better than reading through instructions, so here’s the official Crafter’s Toolbox video showing two fantastic techniques I used for this design!

2 down, 8 to go!

I’m on a roll! I plan on accomplishing two classes each week, so be on the lookout for my next submission on Saturday.

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!

 

On the CASE: Oh, Hello!

It’s a new year, with new adventures!
Happy 2019! Ann and I are back with another On the CASE.  Last year,  Ann and I worked our way through Stampin’ Up!® catalogs, breaking down samples step-by-step, providing you with free tutorials so you could CASE your own. This year, Ann is still working on unsolved Stampin’ Up! CASEs, but I’ve been “reassigned” to a new unit!

On the CASE: Detailed With Love

It’s time to celebrate!
This is the last CASE file for Ann and I this year! Wow! How time flies 😀 I thought I’d revisit a past suite and share another quick and simple design.

Festive Friday: Happy Happy Happy (Mail)

Play along at the Festive Friday Challenge. DT members provide written or video instructions for their projects each challenge! Find us @festivefridaychallenge or festivefridaychallenge.com. New challenges every other Friday! #cardchallenge

My New Year’s Resolution Is….

It’s here! That time of year that we reflect on what was and hope for what could be. Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I’m not big on calling them “resolutions”, or tying them to New Year’s as I always feel like they never last. So, instead, I think throughout the year about things I want to improve, and I work them in, piece by piece as I have time, energy and willingness to do so. 

For instance, I wanted to be more physically active, so I worked to increase my weekly workout frequency this year. I ended up working out 170 times this year (not including all the days I golfed), which is fantastic! But, I can do better 😀 So, that’s what I’m resolving to do in 2019!

One other goal is to send more cards! This aligns with my blogging and business changes. Instead of making tons of cards for nobody in particular, I’m making less cards, but always with someone in mind! Having a reason for the card makes it easier to design, and sometimes, quicker to make.

That’s what the new challenge at Festive Friday is all about! How many times do you save a text or an email? Probably not very often. But, when you get a letter or a card in the mail, I bet you hang on to it. So, let’s celebrate the good ‘ol fashioned art of letter writing! That basically means you can make ANY card for this challenge. When you share your design on your blog or Pinterest page, be sure to share who it’s for.

Play along at the Festive Friday Challenge. DT members provide written or video instructions for their projects each challenge! Find us @festivefridaychallenge or festivefridaychallenge.com. New challenges every other Friday! #cardchallenge

Looking for ideas – here’s a few:

  • Make up some New Year’s cards to catch those folks that missed out on your Holiday cards.
  • Work up your January birthday cards and get ready to send them out, on time! LOL!!
  • Send a card for no reason – just to say Hi! Don’t you love good surprises from your mailbox? I know I do!

Here’s my take:

For the Festive Friday Challenge #FF0024). Featuring: Lawn Fawn - Happy Happy Happy, Perfectly Plaid Chill patterned paper, Prima - Watercolor Confections - Tropicals, Heffy Doodle - Imperial Stitched Rectangles #nicolewatt #pmretreat #happymail #justbecause #lawnfawn

Don’t forget – we changed the challenge a bit. Instead of collecting points for prizes (which didn’t really catch on so well), the DT members will provide a tutorial post in the form of instructions and pictures, or a video. Yea! Instant CASE-worthy projects that you can Pin for reference! So, be sure to stop by at the other DT blogs to see their projects and instructions. Let’s get on to the Party Plan!

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!

(Affiliate shopping links are listed at the end of the post)

Stamps: Happy, Happy, Happy (Lawn Fawn), 
Paper: 8 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ – Solar White 110lb (Neenah), 3 3/4″ x 5″ Perfectly Plaid Chill (Lawn Fawn), 3 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ – Blue Jay CS (Lawn Fawn), 3 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ – Watercolor Paper (Canson 140lb)
Inks: Watercolor Confections – Tropicals (Prima), Jet Black (Staz-on), Copics (C01, C03, Y13), Sharpie Pen (Thin Line), 
Accessories: 3/8″ Crumb Cake ribbon (Stampin’ Up!)
Other: Big Shot, Stamp Positioner and/or acrylic blocks, Heffy Doodle Imperial Stitched Rectangle dies

Party Plan

(your step-by-step guide to CASE-ing this design)

  1. Score your card base at 4 1/4″.
  2. Diecut the plaid paper with the 2nd largest stitched rectangle die.Adhere to card base. Set aside.
  3. Diecut the watercolor paper with the 4th largest rectangle die.
  4. Draw an envelope on a scrap piece of white cardstock. I just used a ruler to make the top and bottom, then freehanded the rest of the lines. It doesn’t need to be perfect – and probably looks better that it isn’t!
  5. Color in the lower part of the envelope to provide some shading, I used C1 and C3 Copic Sketch markers. Then, fussy-cut the envelope.
  1. Apply a blue watercolor wash to the stitched rectangle watercolor piece. Air dry or heat dry.
  2. Add plain water spatter to the wash and pick up with a paper towel. This will leave waterspots and extra dimension.
  3. For the last layer, spatter on some Frost White All Purpose Ink. Air dry or heat dry. If you heat dry, be careful to not let the All Purpose Ink bubble up.
  1. Stamp the sentiment in Staz-on. Using a stamp positioner is a good idea so it can be stamped a few times to fill in the watercolor paper texture.
  2. Adhere the finished watercolor panel to the Blue Jay cardstock layer.
  3. Add the fussy-cut envelope to the sentiment element.
  4. Add a small flag of crumb cake ribbon – use mini glue dots to adhere.
  5. Adhere the finished panel to the card base using pop-up foam.

PS: At the last minute, I decided to stamp the little smiley face from the stamp set on the back of the envelope and color it in with a yellow (Y13) Copic. I love the way it pulls in the yellow from the patterned paper!

Now it’s your turn to link up!

Now that you’re all inspired, what will you create? The clock is ticking away for #FF0024 and we want to see your design. Link up your project over at Festive Friday and you might just be named a Festive Fave!

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!

 

On the CASE: Oh, Hello!

It’s a new year, with new adventures!
Happy 2019! Ann and I are back with another On the CASE.  Last year,  Ann and I worked our way through Stampin’ Up!® catalogs, breaking down samples step-by-step, providing you with free tutorials so you could CASE your own. This year, Ann is still working on unsolved Stampin’ Up! CASEs, but I’ve been “reassigned” to a new unit!

On the CASE: Detailed With Love

It’s time to celebrate!
This is the last CASE file for Ann and I this year! Wow! How time flies 😀 I thought I’d revisit a past suite and share another quick and simple design.

Festive Friday: Snowflake Sentiments

Are your holiday cards done yet?

We’re here to help over at Festive Friday where we’re celebrating Christmas (if you don’t know, it’s on December 25th). That means we’re looking for Christmas inspired projects. Of course, you’re free to add in the second element – Snowflakes. Or, if you don’t need or make Christmas cards, just make a design with snowflakes!

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 – here’s a few:

  • Done with your Christmas cards? Good for you! Snap a pic and link it up.
  • Use the Design Team’s projects as inspiration to speed up your design process – you can eek out a few before it’s too late to send. We know you can! Share your CASE’d project with us we’d love to see your take on our projects.
  • Looking for something different? Make up a holiday garland – that would surely count for this challenge.
  • Or, perhaps you have some treat packaging you’re working on. ‘Tis the season of giving, so share what you’re sharing!

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

For the Festive Friday Challenge #FF0022). Featuring: Snowflake Sentiments, Stitched Shapes Framelits, Under the Mistletoe DSP. #nicolewatt #pmretreat #stampinup #christmas #seasonsgreetings #cleanandsimple

This card is a classic red and green workup, wouldn’t you say? I love how this paper makes it super easy to whip out dozens of these cards in no time! This is my go-to card for the season. I do have a few other designs, but this one is getting the mass-production treatment for sure. 

Even my husband will help! He loves to run the Big Shot, so, guess who’s cutting out all of those ovals?! Even the assembly is simple enough that I will be able to get him to help with that too. 

Today’s project can be completed in just a few short steps. Earn the PDF tutorial by playing at Festive Friday and earning Fest Points that you can redeem for tutorials and other great prizes!

Be sure to check out Ann’s post this week. We’re trying something different over there and we’d like to know what you think!

Kick-start Your Creativity

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

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!

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: Clean & Simple Galentines

As an adult, how many Valentine's to you make? Up until this year, my answer would have been ONE. One for my one and only sweetheart. (If you missed the card I created for him, check it out here.) But, there were plenty of years that I didn't have a beau to share the...

AECP: Stencil Background Technique

Are you ready to add to your Crafter’s Toolbox? It’s been a while since I published a new video… life happens, right? Since I changed my business direction in December, I’ve been working up a plan for some great video series – this is the first one. The Crafter’s Toolbox!

Festive Friday: In the Stars

When you wish upon a star…. you might time warp to February and be only a few days away from Valentine’s Day! Oh No!!!!

Product Spotlight: Brusho Crystal Colour

Is Brusho Crystal Colour a mystery to you?

I have had my little pots of Brusho for almost a year now and I really have been tentative in using them. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because it could get everywhere and make a massive mess. Yah – that’s probably it. I have visions of little crystals all over a workspace and my hands covered in blue or red or gamboge. But, if you’re careful with it, there’s no reason to be scared. It’s tons of fun to use!

For the next few days I’ll be exploring Brusho, and I’m bringing you along! Today’s project was inspired by two things – a crafty friend’s birthday, and The Paper Players’ current color challenge.

I had a very specific idea in mind when creating this project. I wanted to explore using a new tool – Masking Fluid in combination with Brusho. Masking Fluid (Amazon Affiliate Link) is a liquid rubber/latex that can be painted over an area to mask it off from stamping or coloring – including watercoloring, even with Brusho. Here’s a quick step-by-step:

  1. I stamped the images to the left in Staz-on, made sure the ink was dry. (Note that in this instance, some images were masked so they would overlap)
  2. Then I applied the Masking Fluid over the imagery with a small paintbrush.
  3. After the fluid was dry, I applied the YELLOW Brusho crystals and spritzed with water.
  4. After drying the panel with the Heat Tool, I was able to rub off the dried Masking Fluid and the images were perfectly white.
  5. Then I watercolored the images as usual and added my sentiment.

The whole watercolored panel (which is Shimmery White Cardstock) was adhered to a Thick Whisper White card base.

For The Paper Players (PP418) color challenge - Poppy Parade, So Saffron, Smoky Slate. Featuring, Crafting Forever and Brusho Crystal Colours. For more details including additional samples and videos click through. #pmretreat #stampinup #celebrate #brusho #craft #handstamped #birthdaycard #watercolor

Super-WOW, right?! It was not difficult! I think the Masking Fluid really levels the playing field for those who are tentative in applying watercolors to a background – especially when using Brusho. This is literally a one-layer card! No fussy cutting pieces, etc.

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

For today’s Product Spotlight, I thought I’d share a video from Colourcraft and Kate Dachovska about other ways to use Brusho!

Here’s a few more projects where I used Brusho. I hope you’re inspired and give it a try 😀

Kick-start Your Creativity

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

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!

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: Clean & Simple Galentines

As an adult, how many Valentine's to you make? Up until this year, my answer would have been ONE. One for my one and only sweetheart. (If you missed the card I created for him, check it out here.) But, there were plenty of years that I didn't have a beau to share the...

AECP: Stencil Background Technique

Are you ready to add to your Crafter’s Toolbox? It’s been a while since I published a new video… life happens, right? Since I changed my business direction in December, I’ve been working up a plan for some great video series – this is the first one. The Crafter’s Toolbox!

Festive Friday: In the Stars

When you wish upon a star…. you might time warp to February and be only a few days away from Valentine’s Day! Oh No!!!!

Eastern Beauty: Bright Smile

Are you a color-phobe? Do you avoid bright, bold colors and patterns?

I certainly do! But, I’m working on introducing more of both into my life – in clothes, home design and in my card-making. Enter Eastern Palace!
I dabbled with this Annual Catalog product suite when the catalog came out almost a year ago.

Honestly, the Tranquil Tide and Dapper Denim combo was just too much Regal for me…. but, there’s so much else to love about the DSP (especially Lemon Lime Twist!) that I knew I had to give it another try!

Today’s card was designed for Tic Tac Toe Challenge. Design Team O is up this week with another fun challenge board.

Play along at the Tic Tac Toe Challenge - Inspiring you 8-ways each week! Find us @tttchallenge or tictactoechallenge.com. New challenges every Thursday!

 

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

For the Tic Tac Toe Challenge (#TTTC038). Featuring: Eastern Palace product suite (Eastern Beauty Bundle, Eastern Gold Vinyl Stickers, Mini Tassels Assortment, Eastern Palace DSP), Very Vanilla Notecards & Envelopes. Earn Pixel Points towards free tutorials and other products! For more details click through. #pmretreat #nicolewatt #stampinup #hello #friend #smile #handstamped

I opted for the diagonal this week: Green, Sparkle, Happy.

Is Lemon Lime Twist green or yellow? I guess it’s either! But I always see it as more green than yellow. Especially when paired with blues.

Does the tassel qualify as “sparkle” – Definitely! That gold tassel is just too much fun, and oh, so easy to use. The 1/8″ hole punch is the perfect size to slip the metal ring through. Just don’t go too far from the edge of your element. There’s some sparkle in that 1/4″ Natural Trim too. See it peeking out there?

And lastly, Happy. That sentiment is definitely one of “happiness”. It’s perfect for a friend, or any loved one. People who hold a place in your heart should always bring a smile to your face! But that pattern – oh, that DSP makes me soooo happy! I L-O-V-E the medallion pattern. It’s a very popular shape right now. I’m sure you have seen all the tile backsplashes and wallpaper using similar patterns.

 

Kick-start Your Creativity

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

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!

Share and Inspire Someone Today!

AECP: Clean & Simple Galentines

As an adult, how many Valentine's to you make? Up until this year, my answer would have been ONE. One for my one and only sweetheart. (If you missed the card I created for him, check it out here.) But, there were plenty of years that I didn't have a beau to share the...

AECP: Stencil Background Technique

Are you ready to add to your Crafter’s Toolbox? It’s been a while since I published a new video… life happens, right? Since I changed my business direction in December, I’ve been working up a plan for some great video series – this is the first one. The Crafter’s Toolbox!

Festive Friday: In the Stars

When you wish upon a star…. you might time warp to February and be only a few days away from Valentine’s Day! Oh No!!!!

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