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

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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: 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.

Organic Embossing & Vellum Stamped Watercolor

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

BLUF: Necessity is the mother of ingenuity

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front. (It’s one of my favorite military acronyms and completely unrelated to today’s post – kinda like TL;DR…) But, I digress! Today’s project was born from one of those “I wonder if”… scenarios.  I really, really, really wanted to have some bold, vibrant florals on vellum, but after stamping, I was not happy with the result.

(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 #8: Irresistible Inking Techniques

Altenew’s Irresistible Inking Techniques class has four lessons that can help you approach ink in new ways that you might not have considered before. It was a great reminder of techniques I’ve used in the past, and of course, one of my favorite techniques – watercoloring (using the ink from an ink pad).

My Project

Inspired by the class, I new I wanted to share a technique that achieves a watercolor look on vellum. But that “what if” moment came when I wanted to add in embossing.

The Technique & Design

The watercolor technique is simple. Stamp the images on vellum, then use a watercolor brush to move the ink around. When dry, it achieves a watercolor look! BUT, I wanted to keep the bright, vibrant color, so, I thought I would add some embossing. The problem was trying to use an anti-static bag without drying the ink. Once the ink was dry, it took on a dull look, which I didn’t want to lose. So, I skipped the anti-static bag all together! Normally, I wouldn’t advise this as the powder will stick everywhere – especially on vellum. But, since it was clear, any stray would only add to the texture. So, I took a chance!

The embossing powder stuck beautifully! It stuck more thickly on the wetter parts of the watercoloring, and less where it was more dry. Once heat set, I ended up with an amazing, organic kind of embossing that really accentuated the lines of the watercolor underneath. Perfection!

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

Crafter’s Toolbox Video

A picture can show a lot, but video is even better in this case! I think you’ll really enjoy learning more about the two techniques I used!

8 down, 2 to go!

Level 1 is almost within my reach! Do you have a favorite project yet? I’d love to hear if this one is your #1!

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.

AECP: How to Align Builder Stamps

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

Do you avoid builder stamps because they just look too difficult?

If there’s one thing Altenew is known for, it’s their Build-a-Flower stamp sets. Of course, as I shared last week, some are more forgiving than others. Today, I’m diving into the sets that require more precise alignment, and I’m sharing a Crafter’s Toolbox video about a method I created to help with precise alignment – the Dot Method.

(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 #7: All About Layering 2

All About Layering 2 is another free class that will help you align a handful of Altenew Build-a-Flower stamp sets. These lessons are invaluable in helping to understand how the layers work together! Of course, each lesson has a full project tutorial along with the alignment video. You can copy the project exactly or use it for layout inspiration.

My Project

I love the clean, soft look I achieved with today’s project. The flower didn’t come together as quickly as I hoped because I needed to figure out how to stamp the images on top of each other as perfectly as I could. That lead me down the path of devising an alternate way to align the various layers.

The Technique & Design

Overall, this is a pretty straightforward design. There’s a watercolor wash in Rouge on Strathmore cold press watercolor card. I dried it and added some Wink of Stella for shimmer.

Then, I stamped the peony bloom and leaves and diecut them out. When I went to assemble, the bloom looked a bit naked on the wash, so I added some additional floral images (just the outline stamps) in Morning Frost. It really brings all of the elements together, don’t ‘cha think? Of course, a perfectly placed greeting really finishes off the design. Even though the peony element is popped up, you could wait to add the sentiment until later when you have a specific need. As long as you use a stamp positioner and make sure the card is securely in place, it’s no problem to add the sentiment whenever you want!

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

Crafter’s Toolbox Video: The Dot Method for aligning builder stamps

After a few tries with the bloom I was getting a little frustrated in matching up the layers. Perhaps there was a better way for me? I started to work out a technique that would help me to align builder stamps more quickly, and that I could apply to any builder stamp (Altenew or otherwise!). Anyone can do it, and I know you’ll be seeing it a lot in my videos. All it takes is a bit of patience, the Altenew alignment guide and a Sharpie marker!

7 down, 3 to go!

Have you been enjoying this series? I hope that you’re seeing my style change a little bit as I get used to all sorts of different stamping products.

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 or if you have any questions, 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.

AECP: Stencil Background Technique

Altenew Educator Certification Program Participant Badge

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! Each video will give you a technique, tool tip or organization tip that you can add to your own Crafter’s Toolbox!

For the next few months, these videos will work in conjunction with another endeavor – my Altenew Educator Certification. I was accepted into the program last week and can’t wait to learn, share, and get through the levels to become an official “Educator”.

Class #1: Celebration – Stencil Techniques

The main focus of the AECP program is to work through a number of Altenew classes and then apply the principles to one’s own, unique design. I decided to do the Stencil Techniques class first as I was looking for some ideas for a new stencil that I just added to my collection. After watching the lessons in the class, I had a great idea for a design.

My Project

The Floral Drape stencil coordinates with the Sketchy Floral stamp set, both of which I used for my project. I wanted to use the stencil, in coordination with inks (Distress Oxides) to create a really cool background. The effect was just amazing and beyond what I thought I would achieve! In the end, I was able to make two cards from the panel I created. This was my favorite for sure.

The Technique & Design

In the end, the technique was quite simple, and tons of fun! After stamping the image on watercolor paper, I used Distress Oxides on a teflon sheet, along with the stencil to add layers of Oxides. I added in some Tsukineko All Purpose Ink (Vegas Gold) as the final layer to really make the design shine. Once the background technique was complete, I added depth to the flowers by watercoloring in black. I chose black so it wouldn’t compete with all of the color in the background.

Initially, the panel was larger, but I cut it down for this finished card. To pull the black base layer and the floral layer together, I spattered some more Vegas Gold on the black, then adhered the floral layer. The sentiment (from Altenew’s Wispy Begonia) was stamped on Lagoon cardstock and diecut with a circle die.

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 this fantastic tecnique!

1 down, 9 to go!

I’m on my way to reaching AECP Level 1 status. If today’s design is any indication, I know this is the perfect fit for me! I’m so excited to see what I’m inspired to create next! 

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.