Moving to a new blog

I have been quiet online as I have been trying to learn the new blog site and building a new blog.

The reason is that WordPress starting to put annoying adverts on my blog I am now moving to a new website.

https://www.serendipityfinchcrafts.co.uk

This will be a blog covering my jewellery making musings, card making musings, and general crafting thoughts. I hope you can join me over there.

This blog will still be live so you can access previous blog posts.

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Let it Shine

I recently completed the ‘Let it Shine’ class on Altenew Academy. This one was quite different from previous classes, it looks at how to add shiny elements to cards without overpowering them. This could be achieved by using glitter, embossing powders, metallic paper or Zig Wink of Stella pens. There were a couple of interesting techniques introduced that I hadn’t tried before in this class.

My best card from this class is the summer themed ice cream one featuring stamps from the ‘Way Too Sweet’ stamp set from Altenew. I initially used white embossing powder with the ice cream stamps. Then tried a new technique using the Zig Wink of Stella clear pen and Altenew inks. The result was very sparkly. I fussy cut the ice creams and then used Glossy Accents on the ice cream part to give an extra shine.

I like the idea of eating ice cream after a picnic, so decided to give the card a green/yellow background like when the grass is drying out in summer. This was created on textured paper using Altenew Citrus Burst, Honey Drizzle, and Sea Breeze ink pads. The blue on the yellows creates the green.

I decided to try to heat emboss silver on the textured card so that it felt like a part of the background. It did take a few impressions to get all of the stamp image onto the card due to the texture. (I used the We R Memory Keepers Advanced Precision Press for this.)

Finally, I added a green ribbon to highlight the green in the card and used foam pads for attaching the ice cream cones. The textured card was then attached to the 6 x 6-inch card blank with double sided sticky tape.

Things I learned from the ‘Let it Shine’ class:

  • Vellum can add a lot to any card.
  • The Zig Wink of Stella Clear pen technique with ink pads is fun and very effective.
  • There is a method of adding embellishments so that they look good.

Supplies List

  • Way Too Sweet Altenew Stamp Set
  • Altenew Ruby Red Ink Pad
  • Altenew Puffy Heart Ink Pad
  • Altenew Turquoise Ink Pad
  • Altenew Paper Bag Ink Pad
  • Altenew Frosted Lemon Ink Pad
  • Altenew Warm Sunshine Ink Pad
  • Altenew Citrus Burst Ink Pad
  • Altenew Honey Drizzle Ink Pad
  • Altenew Sea Breeze Ink Pad
  • Wow Opaque Bright White Embossing Powder
  • Stampendous Detail Silver Opaque Embossing Powder
  • Versafine Ink Pad
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • Foam Pads
  • Textured Card
  • Green Gingham Ribbon
  • 6 x 6-inch card blank
  • Double Sided Sticky Tape

Here are a few other cards that I really like that I created as part of this class.

Organising Dies

I’ve been quiet on the crafting side recently as I decided that I really needed to organise. I had 4 different places to look if I wanted a particular die. There was a folder where the dies were not in any sort of order, just shoved in where there was room. This is not conducive to easy and fun crafting. So I thought to change that, and it has been a lot bigger job than I first imagined.

I always do research before any big project and was curious to find out how other people stored their dies. A big thank you to members of the Hunkydorables Facebook group for all their useful suggestions. I finally decided on sticking 2 sheets of the magnetic sheet onto a card so that I would have sturdy double-sided magnetic sheets.

I used 240 gsm card, mainly colours that I wasn’t planning to use anytime soon. Using normal double sided sticky tape I taped up the card. This particular pattern of tape does surprisingly work.

After removing the tape, I very carefully laid the magnetic sheet on top of the card. However, the first time I did that I stuck down the wrong side. So since then I always kept a die out to check that I was sticking down the non-magnetic side of the die.

It doesn’t quite matter if the magnetic sheet is not perfectly aligned. I then did the same on the other side of the card, again remembering to check with a die the magnetic sheet. After that, if needed I cut the sheet in half with a ruler and a craft knife.

I needed a lot of these sheets, and it took a very long time. I decided to accurately label all my dies so that I could refer to them by name in future. To do this I used Century Gothic size 12 on Word, and then printed on 160 gsm card. I used the Cutterpillar Pro to cut all the labels, I even got my husband involved in this part of the organisation. The Cutterpillar made the job so much quicker than if I had used my old cutter.

I ended up with 2 zipped Xcut folders, one for shapes and sentiments, the other for concept cards and things.

After helping me sort out all my dies, my husband has decided to do a pdf file of photos of all the dies in each folder. Mainly so that I can see what I have quickly, and so that I don’t buy something similar that I really don’t need.

So now I can craft a bit easier. Next job will be the organisation of all my stamps, gulp.

For the Guys

The ‘For the Guys‘ Altenew Academy Class by instructor Jennifer Rzasa is slightly different. It’s about using techniques to create cards that are suitable for men. I loved learning how to make a galaxy effect just using ink blending in one of the lessons.

The card, I’ve decided to blog about, however, is the one most outside of my comfort zone. I tend not to be good at doing cute. This is a card for boys, using normal stamps but putting smiley faces on them.

I decided that the ‘Garden Grow’ stamp set was the most appropriate for this style of card. To start with I blended half the card with the ‘Frayed Leaf’ ink pad. This was so that the colours matched, and the pale green reinforced the idea of the garden.

I then stamped the images I wanted using StazOn Jet Black ink. I decided that because the images were simple that I would faux watercolour using ink pads, water and a paintbrush. This is still a new technique for me but it is surprisingly easy, and a lot of fun to do. After it had dried, I used a Chameleon Detail Black Pen to draw some cute faces on the garden objects. Then I fussy cut out the images, there are dies available but I do not have them.

I added the yellow polka dot card to bring some brightness to the overall look. The cute stamped images were then fixed by using sticky foam pads. I used my Zig Wink of Stella Clear pen to give an idea of water coming from the watering can. Then stamped a sentiment from the ‘Birthday Builder’ stamp set. Finally, I rounded off the corners of the card with a corner punch.

Things I learnt from the ‘For the Guys’ class:

  • How to improvise with the stamps that I own.
  • The galaxy ink stamping technique.
  • Drawing smiley faces makes anything look cute.
  • Any stamp can be turned into pop art.

Supplies

  • Garden Grow Altenew Stamp Set
  • Birthday Builder Altenew Stamp Set
  • Frayed Leaf Altenew Ink Pad
  • Just Green Altenew Ink Pad
  • Galactic Storm Altenew Ink Pad
  • Dew Drops Altenew Ink Pad
  • Paper Bag Altenew Ink Pad
  • Warm Sunshine Altenew Ink Pad
  • Jet Black Altenew Ink Pad
  • Staz On Jet Black Ink Pad
  • Zig Wink of Stella Clear Pen
  • Water
  • Paintbrush
  • Glass Mat
  • Corner Punch
  • 5 inch square card blank
  • Patterned card
  • Foam pads
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Scissors

I created 5 cards for this class, all of them were very different. Below are a couple of my favourites.

Easy Ink Blending Techniques

Life has recently got in the way of doing the Altenew Educators Programme. I am now back on track and recently completed ‘Easy Ink Blending Techniques’ by the very talented Amy Lee. This class is the one that has taught me the most so far. I was nervous using inks to do anything other than stamp images. There are a lot of really interesting techniques included in this class, especially for a relative newbie like me.

The card that I thought was the best from this class is one that uses a faux watercolourEasy Ink Blending Techniques e name 1 technique. I really enjoyed learning this technique, and I suspect it will become one of my favourites. I used the stamp set Magnolias for Her, Versamark Ink, and Wow Opaque Bright White embossing powder to heat emboss the flowers. White is one of the hardest embossing powders I’ve used so far to tell when it is done. I suspect I will get the hang of it with practice.

Then using a blending tool, I blended 4 different colours over the flowers. (Puffy Heart, Warm Sunshine, Teal Cave, and Sweet Leaf ink pads) Using the same 4 inks, I then used a paintbrush to colour in the petals of the flowers. To add a bit more depth, I chose the next shade of each of the inks and highlighted bits of the flowers with a paintbrush. I decided that I had the time to wait for the ink to dry naturally.

Easy Ink Blending Techniques e name 2I sprayed the Puffy Heart ink using my paintbrush, so that it would have a more watercolour feel to the image. This design is very much inspired by Amy Lee.

After everything dried, I used the ‘Birthday Builder’ stamp set to add a sentiment. The image was then cut using a die from Hunkydory Crafts through my Fabmatic machine. (I am keeping the leftover as it will make a gorgeous frame for another project.)

Finally, it was stuck using double sided sticky tape to a 7 x 5 inch card, and little gems were added to give it a bit of sparkle.

Things that I learned from ‘Easy Inking Techniques’:

  • How to use a blending tool
  • How to use ink daubers to create an effect
  • How to use water with distress inks
  • How to watercolour with ink pads and combine it with ink blending
  • Not to be scared to mix bright colours

Supplies for the card

During the ‘Easy Ink Blending Techniques’ class, I created 6 cards. Here are two others that I really liked from this class.

 

 

Clean and Simple Boutique Cards

I have completed another class in the Altenew Educator Programme. This time it is ‘Clean and simple boutique cards‘. A truly interesting set of lessons, they do not concentrate on just one technique to produce beautiful cards. It looks at how to construct cards for a simple but effective look. I really did learn a lot from this class.

Clean and Simple Boutique Cards c nameMy best card was from lesson 3, which looked at using metallic elements in your cards. I do not have a laminator as the lesson suggested, so used embossing powder instead. I’d never used an anti-static bag before to get a cleaner image and was grateful for the tip. I decided to stamp an image from the Engraved Flowers stamp set with Versafine ink. I then used ‘Brilliant Gold Metallic’ embossing powder from Creative Expressions. I am not a huge fan of gold in my cards, but this class persuaded me that it could still look good.Clean and Simple Boutique Cards c name 2

I decided that the flower needed to be coloured in, except there were no layering stamps with this set. I used Puffy Heart ink pad with a water brush pen. First I inked my glass mat, and then added a drop of water. It is simpler than it looks to just paint in the flower. I did the same for the leaves with Forest Glade ink pad. To get the paint splatters I went back to using the Puffy Heart ink pad.

Clean and Simple Boutique Cards c name 1Following the lesson, I then embossed a couple of lines down the side of the card. I did this using the Hunkydory Adorable Scoreboard. I’d never thought of using it this way before. Finally, I stamped a sentiment and cut a ribbon shape into the card. This was then attached with foam pads.

I learnt a lot with this class:

  • how to watercolour with the ink pads
  • That you don’t need layers to make the stamps look good
  • To use different colour metallics
  • How to emboss with dies

I usually at this point show my 2nd best card from the class. However, this time I really liked all of the cards I created, so they are all presented here.

All about Layering 2

I know this seems a bit out of order, but I decided to continue in the Altenew Educator Programme. This class concentrated on looking at different layering stamps and how to make the most of them.

My best card from this class uses the Peony Bouquet stamp set. I have previously used this stamp set a lot because I love the big flower in it. I decided for this one that I would use parts of the stamp set that I hadn’t before, like the leaves and the small flower.All about layering 2 a name 2 I  played about with the leaves to create a background. I layered some of them, whereas others I just used the outline stamp. For the colours, I used: Frayed Leaf, Forest Glades and Evergreen. (All from the Green Fields Mini Cube Set)

This brought a nice texture to the card so that all it needed was something simple. I used: Sea Breeze, Turquoise, Tide Blue, Jet Black and Frayed Leaf ink pads to create the small flower.

I then fussy cut it and used foam pads to make the flower stand out. The ‘Thinking of You’ stamp is from the Floral Shadow stamp set. The overlapping of the side panel with the sentiment brings a bit more depth to the card.

All about layering 2 a name 1

Things I learnt from ‘All about Layering 2’

  • You do not always have to use all the layers if any in the layering stamps
  • One stamp set can produce many looks
  • To have the confidence to go my own way when creating a card

All about layering 2 a name

Deciding which card to use was a difficult decision, the card below was my second choice. Mainly because it used the same stamp set as my contribution to ‘All about Layering 1’. I like how I used the Zig Wink of Stella Clear pen, and concentrating on just the one rose.

All about layering 2 b name 1

 

 

Having fun with ‘All about Layering 3’

In my previous blog, I looked at the creation of the first card from this class. I decided to carry on and do a card for each of the 6 lessons. I learnt a lot during this class, and in this blog, I will highlight the most memorable lessons.

The next card was all about a letter. At first, I was stumped how to do this, as I do not painted flowershave any large letter dies. Thanks to Hannah Oxberry for the suggestion to print out a letter from the computer. I did have fun with this one as I decided to use one of my favourite stamp sets ‘Painted flowers‘ and got slightly carried away stamping it. I used the ‘Red Cosmos Mini Cube Set’, and ‘Green Fields Mini Cube Set’.

I fussy cut them all out, though I suspect it would be easier if I had the dies. Working out where all the flowers went around my letter ‘L’ (for love) was a lot of fun. I must have done at least 20 variations before I decided on my final one. I was very pleased with the result.

All about layering 3 c name 1

The next card made me worry a bit. It was all about a new technique using an ink spray. Now, I only have pink Altenew ink sprays, so decided on ‘Coral Berry‘. So I happily tried the ink splatter look. The thing is that that ink looks red when first applied. I mean, blood red, it looked like I was recreating a crime scene. This made me worry somewhat because that is not the look that most people want on a greeting card. Luckily, it dries a pretty pink with a metallic shine. So panic over.

All about layering 3 b name

This course is completely free. I do recommend it if you want to expand your stamping and card making skills.

Below are the rest of the cards created during this course.

Finding a Vellum Substitute

This week I thought I would start taking part in the ‘All about Layering 3′ class. Yes, I know I’ve jumped a class in the Altenew Educator Program, but it’s not part of the classes I need to do. The advantage of it adding a lesson every day is that there are competitions and a more active forum.

I eagerly started doing Lesson 1, the only problem was that it asked me to die cut vellum. I don’t have any vellum, I’ve never felt the need as a crafter to buy it. I asked my crafty friends what to use, and they said to just buy some vellum. That would take a couple of days to arrive, so I tried to think outside the box.

All about layering 3 a name 1

My first thought was tracing paper as it looks a bit like vellum. I was told that it probably wouldn’t die cut. I was curious to see if it did, and surprisingly it came out lovely. I had to be delicate with it but it worked fine. The tracing paper I used was a 63gsm that my husband had from years ago.

 

I finished the card. You can not tell by looking at it that I did not use vellum. I used the stamps ‘Vintage Roses’ and ‘Baby Zoo‘. The dies were ‘Layered Medallion sets A and B’. The inks were from the ‘Rose Petal Mini Cube Set‘ and Versamark.

I wanted to play more with the tracing paper. The latest edition of ‘Making Cards Magazine’ had arrived, and the images on the free papers just called to be made into cards. The pastel tones of the girl reading meant that I wanted it to have a delicate look. I decided to layer both the girl and the sentiment with the tracing paper. I was very pleased with the result. I then added a pink pearlised card and the gingham paper from the magazine. To finish off I used Zig Wink of Stella Clear Brush Pen on the thicker parts of the sentiment.

In conclusion, sometimes experiments pay off. I think I will be using tracing paper again.

A Beginning: All About Layering

I only started cardmaking this time last year. I decided that if I was going to learn a new skill, then I was going to do it properly. The Altenew Academy courses seemed ideal, not only are they going to teach me stamping and cardmaking but I will also be working altenew paricipanttowards a goal.

The first online class is ‘All about layering’ taught by Nicole Picadura. (She has such a friendly and informative style.) The class is divided into a number of lessons, looking at different stamps and techniques. The great thing is that they do not assume you already know certain things. I decided to create a card for every lesson, even though I didn’t have to, so that I would gain the most out of this class.

All about layering 1 g name 1My best card came from Lesson 7, though I did not use the stamps that were demonstrated. I used the stamp set ‘Painted Rose’ for the flowers, and ‘Floral Shadow’ for the sentiment. I particularly liked how these roses are nice and big, they definitely make a statement. I stamped the centre rose first using ‘Rose Quartz’, ‘Puffy Heart’ and ‘Purple Wine’ ink pads. (I’d previously practised on another piece of card). I then created a mask so that I could stamp two other roses near it. These only used some of the layers, this made the centre rose stand out more.

To create the leaves I used ‘ Frayed Leaf’, ‘Forest Glades’ and ‘Evergreen’ inks. I was quite random with their placements. To add a bit of depth, a further rose was added but this time foam pads were used to make it stand out. (I cut out the rose by hand as I did not have the die set, I suspect if I had it would have been easier.)

Finally, the sentiment in ‘Jet Black Ink’ and some random gems. To add a bit more bling, I used the Zig Brush Clear Glitter Pen, surprisingly easy to use, once you get used to it.

The final card is 7 inches by 5 inches.

All about layering 1 g name

Things I learnt from ‘All about Layering’

  • How to stamp with blocks, I had previously only used a stamping platform
  • How to create and use masks in stamping
  • Different ways to style cards
  • Generational stamping
  • How to use a Zig Brush Glitter Pen
  • That the Altenew stamps and inks are gorgeous, I sooo need to save up to get more sets and ink.
  • Next lesson I will invest in super smooth card
  • To have confidence in stamping

Card Making Musings

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