AECP & LCS: Garden Hello

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

Do you get stuck trying to start a new project?

I know this is something many crafters struggle with – where to start? There are times that I don’t know where to start either, and looking at card after card on Pinterest doesn’t really help!

I find that I always fall back to one of three aspects of design, no matter what the occasion or sentiment I have in mind. A while back, I came up with a word mnemonic (oooh, fancy!) to help remember three key principles:

Layout, Color, Style or, Let’s Create, Simply!

(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!)

I thought that my Altenew Educator journey was the perfect opportunity to bring back the LCS (Let’s Create, Simply) concept, so instead of a video or tutorial today, I’ve got those LCS tips and Pin-worthy images for you.

Class #3: Color Your Day

Another reason why I wanted to bring my LCS concept back to the mix was because of this class! Therese Calvird is the amazing instructor for this course, and she has lots of really good foundational tips for incorporating color into design. She talks about color wheels, the 70/20/10 principle she uses for color balance in a design, and different ways to incorporate color into design through various mediums like watercolor or color pencil. If you get stuck on color, the Color Your Day class will help bolster your confidence to make smart color choices!

My Project

My project really backs up a lot of what Therese teaches in her lessons. With a pop of color and lots of neutrals and whitespace, along with contrasting embellishments and a sketch-worthy design, it really hits all of my LCS principles too!

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

Let’s Create Simply – Layout, Color, Style

These three principles are key to my designs. With this method, I break them out individually so you can see how they come together! Keep track of the three elements over various projects and you’ll have your own reference file of L-C-S elements to mix and match for fun and exciting designs!

Layout

Loads of rectangles make up this layout! The key to keeping it interesting is to offset the placement instead of centering everything. A simple shift to the left or right can make or break this look. The great thing about rectangles is you don’t need any special equipment to make them, which makes this sketch great for beginners! If you have a paper trimmer, you can use this design!

Color

This is a classic color combo with a twist. Blue/greens are stunning with neutral brown shades, and so are oranges. When you put all three together, you get a great vibrant combo. Be careful to keep the blue/greens and oranges to a minimum, using just a POP to keep it classy. Need a good, dark brown for your sentiments? Versafine Clair Fallen Leaves is the clear winner. Opting for dark brown vs. black makes a huge difference!

Style

This is a very CLEAN style. With crisp, corners and lots of rectangles, we let the color really shine. TEXTURE is secondary here with the woodgrain and the hand-stamped sepia-toned panel giving somewhere for the eye to wander from pop of color to pop of color. There’s also a bit of WHIMSY with the fun flower shaped sequins to bring the subtle gardening theme to the forefront.

3 down, 7 to go!

I can’t believe I’m already on the third project for my Level 2 Certification! I cannot tell you how fun this has been so far – not that I would ever expect learning and reviewing craft techniques and tips to be boring! LOL! I’ll be back on Saturday with my next project. Yippee!

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

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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: Swatching Gray & Black Dye Inks

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!...

AECP: How to Ink Smoosh & Emboss

What can you do with embossing powder?
I think our craft supplies are only limited by our imagination. All it takes is the willingness to try something that comes to mind in order to discover a really cool technique or effect

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

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: Swatching Gray & Black Dye Inks

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!...

AECP: How to Ink Smoosh & Emboss

What can you do with embossing powder?
I think our craft supplies are only limited by our imagination. All it takes is the willingness to try something that comes to mind in order to discover a really cool technique or effect

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

AECP: Three Spacing & Alignment Tools

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

Do you have a crooked eye?

If it seems like your elements end up crooked every time you glue something down, then stay tuned for today’s video! Even if you have a pretty good eye, I’ve got some tips that might help your alignment skills even more.

(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!)

Now, I have to say, this post isn’t all about my alignment tips – it’s also about my first Altenew Educator Certification LEVEL 2 project! I finished Level 1 over the weekend and am diving right into the next set of classes and assignments. So, let’s take a look at the class and my project, then we’ll get to all those crooked eyes out there.

Class #1: Polychromatic

The Polychromatic class is great if you struggle with color. For me, this was a nice review as I work with color every day as a graphic designer, and I’ve never really been afraid to experiment with different color combinations. But, if color is a struggle for you, this class will help give you some tools to build your confidence.

My Project

I looooove the monochrome look, and I’m also crazy for a pop of color, so, why not combine them?! I stretched my artistic skill by planning out this beautiful stamped background. It did take me a while because it’s not something I do often, but I’m finding that, more often than not, I’d rather take the time to do a spectacular background than rely on patterned papers. Don’t get me wrong – patterned papers are great, but I just don’t use them enough and really dislike having stashes of paper that I’ve bought and never used. So, I thought this might be more my thing.

The Technique & Design

Though the sentiment is incredibly meaningful and uplifting, it is pretty simple so that the rest of the background can shine. Using Altenew’s coordinating inks made it easy to find grays that would go together for the monochromatic look I wanted. I chose the Gentleman’s Gray color set accented with flicks of black and white from Ranger Distress Sprays (Picket Fence & Black Soot). I added some small details to the leaves – which I’m 50/50 on, but I think they add just a hint of detail instead of having the plain, solid leaves.

Of course, a stamp positioner was a key tool for stamping the background so I could be sure to get even, crisp stamping. But, I also used my stamp positioner to set up the sentiment lines to make it easy to cut them out into perfect 1/4″ strips.

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

Crafter’s Toolbox Video

Three tools I use for precision spacing and alignment are my stamp positioning tool, my paper trimmer and a clear t-square. Let’s take a look at my latest Crafter’s Toolbox video to see how they contribute to crafting success!

1 down, 9 to go!

Moving into AECP Level 2 I can see there are a lot of interesting classes to explore. I’m really excited to be continuing on this journey and expanding my toolbox! I hope you enjoyed getting a look into my monochromatic design and that your eye is feeling a little less crooked after checking out my tips video.

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: Swatching Gray & Black Dye Inks

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!...

AECP: How to Ink Smoosh & Emboss

What can you do with embossing powder?
I think our craft supplies are only limited by our imagination. All it takes is the willingness to try something that comes to mind in order to discover a really cool technique or effect

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

AECP: Make an Awesome Multimedia Card

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

Everyone appreciates a work of art

Especially when it is custom made for them! That’s what every handmade card is – a custom work of art! One of the things I like to stress is that guys can appreciate a work of art too! That’s why just a simple change can take a card from feminine to “masculine”. What is “masculine” anyway? Who’s to say what a guy will appreciate? Perhaps he likes glitter, or a bit of sparkle and shine? One thing’s for sure, whether it’s a guy or a gal, they will love that the card was made with them in mind!

(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 1: FINAL

I received my Level 1 Final project assignment from Virginia last weekend, and I got straight to work! I wanted to have some extra time to try out a few ideas and get my project just right. My assignment included the following requirements:

  • Use techniques from three of the Level 1 Classes to make a birthday, graduation or encouragement card
  • Explain the components and share tips
  • Create a Masculine and Feminine version
  • Do a step-by-step photo tutorial and/or YouTube video
  • Complete the assignment by March 31st!

Wow! That’s a lot! Fortunately, some ideas started coming to me right away, and I had some idea of who these cards would go to – yes, even some guys! So, let’s get into the project and all of the how-to details!

My Project

The trick to combining multiple techniques is to not go overboard and make sure that they are in harmony with each other. In most cases, that means that the background will receive the majority of the techniques. That got me thinking along the lines of a “multimedia” project, and that’s where I ended up!

 

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

How To:

Here’s the step-by-step! This project pulls from lessons in four classes: For The Guys, Let it Shine, Celebration – Stenciling Techniques, and Easy Die Cutting. The techniques are called out in bold throughout the steps, with a citation to the class in parenthesis after. Project Supplies are listed and linked at the end of the post.

  1. On a 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ piece of Solar White 80# cardstock, trace an A2 sized (4 1/4 x 5 1/2) rectangle in pencil. This is the key working area. We are using a larger piece to allow the background to take shape more freely.
  2. Pick three Altenew Crisp Ink colors for the stenciling step. This is how you can skew the project more masculine or more feminine. Go for pinks and yellows for a more light & feminine look. Pick grays, greens and/or blues for a more masculine look. Of course, it all depends on your recipient – pick colors they will like! Here’s some ideas:
    Flirty feminine – Rose Quartz, Puffy Heart, Warm Sunshine
    Monochrome Gray – Silver Lake, Cloudy Night, Jet Black
    Masculine blue/gray – Silver Lake, Cloudy Night, Desert Night
    Masculine green/gray – Bamboo, Gray Denim, Evergreen
  3. Use the Calligraphy Maze stencil (Class: For the Guys) to apply three layers of color. Clean (if necessary because of color changes) and rotate the stencil 90-degrees between each color so they overlap at different places. This is a partial stenciling technique (inspired by Celebration: Stenciling Techiques), so don’t attempt to cover the entire background – focus the pattern in the mid to lower right side of the piece.
  4. Next, it’s time to do some background embossing (Class: Let It Shine). Coat the background panel with an anti-static bag. Then, using the Reason to Smile stamp set, pull out some inspirational words and stamp them on the background panel using Versamark. If you stamp the images on white, they will be more hidden. If stamped on the stenciled areas, they will be more visible. Once stamped, coat in white embossing powder and heat set with a heat gun.
  5. Arrange the “YOU ARE” stamp towards the left-center of the background panel. Stamp with Versafine Clair Nocturne, coat with black embossing powder and heat set. Once cooled, cover the “YOU ARE” with a bit of Post-it note to mask it off.
  6. Next, create a stencil from the Halftone Cover Die (Class: Celebration: Stenciling Techniques) using some scrap ca.rdstock. Place the stencil over the background panel and apply embossing paste with a palette knife (Class: Celebration: Stenciling Techniques).Use a heat gun, if desired, to speed up the drying process.
  7. Flick a lightweight glue onto the background panel. I created my own by watering down Tombow Multipurpose Adhesive with rubbing alcohol. Allow it to dry for a minute or two – until tacky.
  8. Apply Nuvo Gilding Flakes (Class: Let It Shine) in your choice of color (Gold, Silver, Copper or a mix). Once all the glue spatter is coated in flakes, remove the excess flakes with a soft brush.
  9. Cut down the background panel to 3 3/4″ x 5″ , remove the Post-it mask, and adhere to a standard A2 card base.
  10. Coat a strip of Lawn Fawn Vellum with anti-static powder. Then stamp the “awesome” stamp from the Super Script stamp set using Versafine Clair Nocturne. This will help make the black even more black! Before it dries, add black embossing powder (Class: Let It Shine) and heat set the vellum. Use a low heat setting, or be sure to move the heat gun around so it does not scorch the vellum.
  11. Diecut the finished sentiment with the coordinating die. (Class: Easy Die Cutting Techniques) I omitted the tiny center of the “s” as it is difficult to place, and unnecessary for this design. Add small bits of foam adhesive to the back of the diecut sentiment.
  12. Remove the foam strip backings on the vellum sentiment, then add some swirls of metallic thread (Class: Let It Shine) to the back and adhere to the card base.

Click to enlarge slideshow:

Project Tutorial Video

Even though I distilled the how-to into 14 steps, this card does take some time to make. When I created the video, I went on for about 30 minutes! That’s when I knew I’d have to give a voiceover speed video a try. I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you to understand some of the steps and techniques better. Please don’t hesitate to leave questions in the comments – I’d be happy to answer you!

Here’s a closeup  look at the fantastic texture in that background:

Can you see the hidden words?

On to Level 2!

I thoroughly enjoyed working to a requirement – it was a challenge to have to focus on specific aspects and to not think of them as limits, but as opportunities to approach the assignment in my creative way. I’m looking forward to learning more and refining my techniques as I move on to the Level 2 coursework!

Oh! What about the giveaway?!

The winner from my Blog Candy giveaway is Sue D! She shared, “My favorites are All About Layering and Seasonal Scene Building.” She will be receiving the Nuvo Gilding Flakes and 2 cards from the roundup!

Gwen and Beth will also receive one of the cards from the roundup! 

Ladies – please email me with your mailing address!

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: Swatching Gray & Black Dye Inks

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!...

AECP: How to Ink Smoosh & Emboss

What can you do with embossing powder?
I think our craft supplies are only limited by our imagination. All it takes is the willingness to try something that comes to mind in order to discover a really cool technique or effect

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

AECP Level 1 Roundup & BLOG CANDY!!!

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

Five weeks can really fly by when you’re on task!

Five weeks – 10 classes – 10 projects and I’ve completed all of my Altenew Educator Level 1 coursework. I thought that we could take a look at this amazing body of work, and, why not celebrate with some BLOG CANDY!!!

(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!)

Blog Candy

Here’s how you can enter the giveaway for some Blog Candy:

  • Leave a comment by Friday, March 22nd at 8 PM, sharing what your favorite project is and why.
  • For an additional entry, create an account here and start collecting Pixel Points.
  • For even more entries, share this post on social media using the tag #pmretreat
  • The giveaway is OPEN to INTERNATIONAL participants.
  • One Grand Prize winner will receive a container of Nuvo Copper Gilding Flakes, as well as two of the cards from this roundup.
  • Three additional winners will receive a card from the roundup.
  • Winners will be selected at random using a random winner generator.
  • This giveaway is not sponsored by Altenew or Nuvo.
  • Comments DO qualify for the separate, monthly giveaway event.

Project Roundup

Let’s revisit all these great projects! To read the original posts, click on an image or link.

 

Here’s a roundup of all the videos from these projects:

Don’t Forget about the BLOG CANDY!

A comment on today’s post about your favorite project will qualify you for the special Blog Candy drawing. Additional entries can be earned by sharing the project on social media (use the hashtag #pmretreat), and by subscribing for an account here (to earn Pixel Points).

Good luck, and HAPPY CRAFTING!

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

Here's some other projects you'll like!

 

AECP: Swatching Gray & Black Dye Inks

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!...

AECP: How to Ink Smoosh & Emboss

What can you do with embossing powder?
I think our craft supplies are only limited by our imagination. All it takes is the willingness to try something that comes to mind in order to discover a really cool technique or effect

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