A Touch of Texture

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Watercolor

Hi all, its Friday so the beginning of the weekend! Yippee! It’s been a rather strange hectic week for me as I settle into my new role as Brand Ambassador for Spectrum Noir and trying out all their colouring products. At the same time I’m trying out a new way to learn German as typical classroom methods don’t work for me and I realised that all the words I know today are those I’ve heard people say often. I’ve also decided to become a Business English trainer and I’m attending courses to learn the methods used. So whew! All in all a very busy week and it’s just the start! BUT I still had the time to do an online course with the Altenew Academy called “A Touch of Texture” with Svitlana Shayevich.Wood grain bgI’m not used to adding texture to the background of my card as I normally prefer one layer cards, but Svitlana’s cards, which she made during the course, using different woody backgrounds were so beautiful, along with all the tips I learnt, that I had to try it too. I decided to try and make a white woodgrain background, like the one I see people use as card backdrops.Wood grain bg productsI first embossed my card with a woodgrain embossing folder by Darice and then lightly swiped a grey ink pad over the top of the embossed areas. I then added leftover die cut flowers from Altenew’s Fantasy Floral 3D die which came from my previous project here but gave it a branch from the Vintage Flowers die set, to rest on.Wood grain bg cuFor the sentiment, I decided to write a quote from Rumi, as I remembered that before I started making cards, the only reason I bought a card was that I liked the sentiment written on it, the image was secondary. Now that I’m a cardmaker, I focus so much on the image that the sentiment is secondary, but it’s not that way with non-cardmakers and as I give all my cards away, I decided to start making cards for the people who receive them too.

Well thank you for stopping by and I hope you liked my card. Thank you for your comments, each one really warms my heart!

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I’m sharing this over at:

altenewAltenew May Inspiration

Yes VirginiaVirginia’s show and share

the flower challengeThe Flower Challenge – Embossing heat or dry

DiesRUsDies R Us – Flowers

Paper Crafting & Beyond

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Die cuts, Watercolor

Hi all! Today I am here to share with you a card I made after I attended another excellent online course over at the Altenew Academy, called “Paper Crafting and Beyond”. This is part of my Altenew Educator’s Certification course and I’m already on the last level, Level 3! I have just 2 more classes to take, do the last assignment and hopefully be certified.Fantasy Floral product pinterestThis course was all about how to use our designer papers in many innovative ways to create beautiful house or party decorations, cards and scrapbooking projects. My card today was inspired by her very first lesson where she showed us how to make a flower wreath using Altenew’s beautiful watercoloured paper and their 3D dies.
20190502_160304.jpgUnfortunately, I didn’t have any of their paper, but I did have tons of my own watercolour pieces from my (failed) attempts to create loose florals. So in the true spirit of the origin of Scrapbooking, I used my scraps to create the flowers using Altenew’s Fantasy Floral 3D die set. I just love how they look once cut out from my failed paintings! I layered them and arranged them around the Sweet friend frame die from Altenew, which I had stamped and heat embossed with Rose Gold Wow embossing powder.Fantasy Floral cuThe sentiment comes from Altenew’s Beautiful Quotes (I love every one of them!) and even though I used a stamp positioner to stamp it, it still came out bleary because I moved the card before I stamped it a second time 🙄. I tried to rectify it by filling in the double letters with a black pen but please forgive me if it still looks a little blurry. To finish, I added splatters with liquid watercolours and a little blue bauble.Fantasy Floral die pinterestI really enjoyed this class and I’m going to use the other ideas in this course to create party decorations and scrapbook layouts. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I look forward to reading them.

Have a Great Day! Hugs, 0aablog-signature

I’m also sharing this card over at:

altenew.jpgAltenew’s inspiration challenge 

DiesRUsDies R Us – Flowers

the flower challenge.jpgThe Flower challenge – Embossing

Crafty friends.pngCrafty Friends challenge – use more than one die

Zentangle Garden and Video

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Spectrum noir

Hi all! Today I’m very excited to share something I’ve never done before…Zentangling! Do you know what “zentangling” or rather drawing Zentagles is? If you don’t, neither did I before I took the “Zentangle for Cardmakers” course by Amber Davis at the Altenew Academy.Hennah ElementsI don’t even know how to doodle, or rather I never doodled, even when I was a child. Unless you count writing my future husband’s name to see how it looked beside mine…lol! But after this course, I was able to create afew tangle patterns on my drink coasters and a card using stamps to start with. I made a video to show you how I did the card and you can find it at the end of this post.zentangle-drink-coasters.jpgWhat is Zentagles? The official definition of Zentagles by the person who patented the method (I won’t say created, cause patterns and tangles existed before) is as follows: “The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. We call these patterns, tangles.” So it’s just doodling but in a more structured form, which fits me perfectly as I’m not very good at aimlessly drawing anything!

So I was very excited to take this course and I learnt so much from it. Drawing different zentangles has allowed me to be more creative and I found myself doodling on my zentangle patterns to create new patterns! Word of warning though, it’s so meditative that you shouldn’t do it when you’re tired as you’ll be nodding off mid tangling, like I did!Hennah Elements cuAmber Davis shows how to draw the different zentangles really well and it was easy to follow. So after practising on my drink coasters, I was confident enough to create a card with my newly learnt tangles from the course. I first stamped my base elements using Hennah Elements from Altenew, and started drawing zentangles with a size 01 black marker from Spectrum Noir’s Art Liner series.Hennah Elements pinterest.pngOnce I finished drawing all the zentagles and adding shadows with a grey Spectrum Noir ArtLiner brush, I stamped a sentiment from Altenew’s “Beautiful Quotes” in red with Versafine ink and splattered red ink all over my card using liquid watercolours.

Well here’s a short video showing my process in a speed up form. I hope you enjoy it and that it will inspire you to start tangling too!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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I’m also sharing this over at:

addicted to cas.jpgAddicted to CAS – Contrast

HLS CASHappy Little Stampers CAS challenge – One Layer

ssswchallengeSimon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Anything Goes




Altenew Academy Watercolor Basics and Beyond / Video

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Watercolor

Hi all, today I’m excited to share a card I created after taking the “Watercolor Basics and Beyond” course at the Altenew Academy. I made a video to show you my painting process and you can find it at the bottom of my post.

watercolor bouquet main

As I passed my Level 2 assignment and went up to Level 3, this is the first of the last 5 courses I have to take before hopefully becoming certified as an Altenew Educator! I was eager to take this class even though I have been watercolouring for the last 2 years, as I know I always learn something new during the courses at the Altenew Academy, and this course was no exception. I learnt that you can use your watercolours like inks and create beautiful loose watercolour cards!

watercolor bouquet cu

I have been meaning to paint this loose watercolour bouquet ever since I got it as an assignment during a watercolour course at my local community centre, but I never got round to it as it was too loose and messy and I didn’t know where to start! But watching Jennifer Rzasa create those loose watercolour cards during her course inspired me to finally create the bouquet, using stamps as guidelines. In fact, I think using stamps is a great way to learn how to watercolour for those afraid to start with a blank page.

watercolor bouquet products

I used Altenew Versatile Vases for the vase and Altenew Majestic Bloom, Wallpaper Art and Perennial Beauty for the flowers and leaves. My watercolours are from Daniel Smith and I painted on Arches 300g cold press watercolour paper.

As promised, the video tutorial where I share how I painted this loose bouquet using the stamps from Altenew. If you like it please give me a thumbs up over at Youtube and subscribe to my youtube channel if you want to see more of these videos.

Thanks for popping by and have a great day!

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I’m sharing this over at:

altenewAltenew Inspiration challenge – I went with the colours

ssswchallengeSimon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge

stamping sensationStamping Sensations – April showers bring May flowers

Crafters Castle challenge – Anything Goes

Home decor project for Altenew Academy Assignment

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Home decor, Watercolor

paper coastersHi all. Today’s post is a special one, as it is for my level 2 assignment for Altenew’s Educator Certification program. If I pass this assignment, I will go onto the last level and finally finish the program… and hopefully be certified! So for this assignment, I’ve been asked to create a home decor and a tag, which is perfect, as I’m making watercolour paper drink coasters at the moment. I made a video, which I attached at the end of this post, showing how I did it.
20190328_151105These pulpboard coasters are made from compressed paper and are exactly like the drink coasters you find in your local pub, except they are blank and without any coating. So they are very absorbent. In my video, I show you two different ways of using them. One without any coating and one with clear Gesso, which is a surface preparation. Without Gesso, the coaster is very absorbent, which makes it difficult to blend my watercolours. You can see above on the coaster without gesso, that the different shades are not blended in, but you can still make beautiful coasters, as you can see below.coasters wout gessoI first stamped the flowers from Altenew’s Wild Hibiscus stamp set with Altenew inks and added a first light watercolour wash to each flower, followed by darker colours in the middle. The outline and the accents in the middle of the flowers were made using my Spectrum Noir Illustrator alcohol markers. Once everything was dry, I sponged in the background using Altenew’s Halftone stencil and Ocean Waves ink20190330_152913For the second bunch of coasters, I first sprayed a layer of Gesso surface preparation on my coasters and let them dry overnight. (I sprayed a whole bunch, out of the house, at the same time so I would have them available for future use).  This turned the surface of my coasters into watercolour paper type surface so I could do normal blending with my watercolours. You will see the difference in my video.coasters with gessoFor these coasters, I used the gorgeous blooms from Altenew’s Botanical Garden stamp set and a paper stencil I made from Altenew’s Layered Floral Cover Die A. I stamped in the flowers and painted the background before painting the flowers so that the orange from the flowers wouldn’t leak into my background. 20190330_150355I placed the paper stencil over my dried coaster and blended in yellow and orange distress inks.  To finish, I sprayed all the coasters with a clear gloss varnish to make it waterproof and resistant to fading and once that dried, they were ready to be used!tagNow onto my gift tag which I wanted to coordinate with the coasters, so I went for the floral theme with a spotty background too.  This was really quick to make as I had some scraps from an experiment with embossing gel and liquid watercolours, which I used for cutting the leaf and flower from Altenew’s Floral Shadow die set.

I used the Halftone stencil again to create the background of my tag so that it would resemble two of the coasters. This time I used a shiny paste from Shimmerz called Coral Me Crazy. Don’t you love the shine? tag cuSo now its packaged and all ready to go to a mother’s friend, as a Thank You gift, as she brings me Altenew products whenever she comes to Europe!

For my two projects, I used the following techniques: stamping, masking, watercolouring, stencilling with inks and pastes, doodling with markers, ink blending and die cutting and you can see all that in detail in my video below. Please give me a thumbs up in Youtube if you like my video, and if you want more helpful tutorials, please subscribe to my channel!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you! Have a great day!

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I’m sharing this at:

altenew.jpgAltenew Inspiration challenge – I’m providing coasters for the mugs!

ssswchallenge.jpgSimon Says Stamp – Spring Mood Board

Mod squadMod Squad challenge – Use a stencil

work it wednesdaySimon Says Stamp – Work It Wednesday Spring Flowers