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!

Hugs, 0aablog-signature

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





Altenew Academy Magical Markers course

alcohol inks, Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards

Happy Friday everyone! It’s a beautiful sunny day here in Ulm with temperatures up to 18℃, woohoo! Before I go out to enjoy the beautiful day, I wanted to share a card I made for my last class in level two of Altenew Academy’s certification course. The class is called “Magical Markers” and I left it to the last as I’m not very good with markers…

I don’t have any Altenew Artist markers, but I have a huge stock of Spectrum Noir Illustrator markers I got 2 years ago so I used them instead. I applied the techniques I learnt from the talented Sara Naumann during the course, and it worked really well with my markers too. Firstly I have to say how nice it was to see her use accessories I can easily find in Germany. Not being in the US, I often have to look for a European equivalent which sometimes I can’t find or do not give the same results.

Majestic blooms prducts

Anyway, back to my card, I got the inspiration for the layout from Laura Jane’s card in the student gallery of this course. I used her idea of masking my flowers and using a stencil for the background. I stamped my flower & leaves from Altenew’s Majestic Bloom stamp set, with dye inks from Altenew, on Spectrum Noir special alcohol markers paper.  Using my Spectrum Noir Illustrator alcohol markers BT1, BT5 and BT7, I first coloured in with the lightest colour, followed by the medium shade and lastly the darkest to accentuate. Following Sara’s advice, I went over everything with the lightest shade (BT1) again to help blend everything smoothly and not have too obvious stroke marks.


I used the same technique with the leaves and once I was happy with the colouring, I masked the flower and leaves and taped a stencil I made from Altenew’s Layered Floral Cover die A over it. I looked online for a colour palette, to see which colours would go with the colours of my flower and leaves, and I chose to sponge in Victorian Velvet Distress ink. I’m in a splatter craze at the moment so this card didn’t escape this! A huge blob of paint did fall on my card but I didn’t panic and just covered it with a little bauble!


As I am planning to send this card to Altenew’s Parents card drive for those parents in old folks homes, I chose to stamp a sentiment from Altenew’s Wild Hibiscus stamp set. I didn’t have a coloured card base that went with my card, I decided to use a tip from the course and coloured the edges of my card with the same marker I used for the flower!

Well, I hope you liked my card and that you won’t be afraid, like me, to use your alcohol markers now. I would love to hear your thoughts on alcohol markers! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend!

Hugs, 0aablog-signature

I’m also sharing this with:

Yes VirginiaYes Virginia’s Show and Share

CRAFT STAMPER_TIMI CHALLENGECraft Stampers Take it Make it challenge – Anything Goes

color crazyColor Crazy craft challenge – Anything Goes

Southern GirlsSouthern Girls challenge – Someone special


Altenew Academy Color Your Day

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Watercolor

How’s everyone on this wonderful Saturday morning? Here in Germany, the sun is coming out after a full week of non-stop rain and cold and the temperatures are rising at last… at least for the weekend anyway. I was never a fan of the heat until I came to Germany, now I just long to go somewhere dry and warm!

Anyway, I woke up early today to attend another online class at the Altenew Academy as I’m hoping to finish my level two courses this weekend, (I just have one more class to do before my “exam”!) after which I hopefully advance to the final level before getting certified. Today’s course is called “Color Your Day” by the amazing Therese Calvird. I have to be honest and say that as I’ve started learning to paint, I’ve read so many books and done so many courses about colour that I didn’t think I would learn anything new. But I did!

Altenew Botanical gardens prod

I knew about using the colour wheel and I would be lost without my inspirations to paint or make cards, but I think its the first time I heard about the 70, 20 10 colour rule, so I decided to make a card following this method. I used 70% blue, 20% green and 10% pink. As on Therese’s example card, I too used a variation of these colours. I also tried to have these colours a little everywhere on my card, so as not to have a block of colour. I used Altenew’s Botanical Gardens stamp set and the sentiment comes from their Beautiful Quotes set.

Altenew Botanical gardens cu

My no line water-colouring was done with Daniel Smith watercolours and I wanted to create an ombré look for the background, so I splattered it heavily at the bottom using liquid watercolours. Unfortunately, my sleeve ran over the splatters while they were still wet and turned some of the splatters into lines, but I thought it gave some movement to the overall picture so I ran a paintbrush through other splatters to create this windswept look.

Well, I’m off now, I wish I could say into the warm outdoors, but unfortunately not. I’ve volunteered to help at “Engineers without Borders” and we’ll be stuck indoors in a brainstorming session all afternoon, but it’s for a good cause. Well, thanks for dropping by and I would love to hear about whether you use the 70/20/10 colour rule too. Have a great weekend!

Hugs, 0aablog-signature

I’m also sharing this with:

Yes VirginiaYes Virginia´s Show and Share

challenge up your life.pngChallenge Up your Life – Bye Bye Winter

Mixitup badgeMix It Up challenge blog – Anything Goes with the optional twist of an inked background

ssswchallengeSimon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Whatever the Weather

Altenew Academy “With A Twist”

Altenew, Altenew Academy, Cards, Watercolor

If you haven’t noticed, I love taking creative classes. At the moment, I’m enrolled to no less than 5 art classes, 3 online and 2 in real life! I have a thirst for learning new things that’s unquenchable at the moment. 😉 I’m also listening to podcasts while I’m making my cards, painting, or when I’m in the car. I have to admit though that once the lesson/podcast is over, I tend to forget most of what I learnt… that’s my Alzheimer’s settling in I think.🤣

Altenew Tulip product

They do say though that the best way to remember something, is to practise it and then teach/share it to someone else. Which is why the Altenew Academy courses I’m taking as part of my certification course is perfect. Not only do I learn tons of wonderful new techniques, but I also have to make a card out of them and share them with you here.

Today’s card uses 2 of the 6 techniques I learnt from Therese Calvird’s “With A Twist” course. I used Altenew’s Tulip layering stamp set in a different way than what it was intended for and used an unusual colouring scheme to watercolour my card. I first stamped a single tulip in grey, using the outline stamp, as I was going to do a no line water-colouring. I then used the “layering” part of the tulips stamps, which normally add detail to the stamp and used them as grass instead!

As you can see, I partially inked these stamps, with Peeled paint distress ink, so they would appear like grass instead of tulip buds. I then proceeded to watercolour in the rest of my tulip, using my Daniel Smith watercolours followed by Prismacolour pencils once it dried. I was influenced by the colours in the inspiration post in Altenew’s March challenge but combined them in unusual ways. You can see that I painted the tulip red and orange, but also added a hint of light blue. For the leaf, I painted it green but added some orange and blue too. I then went crazy with the paint splatters! I finished the card by stamping the sentiment from the same stamp set, using Versafine ink.

Altenew Tulip cu

I really enjoyed this class and will try to incorporate the other techniques I learnt in my future cards. Thanks for stopping by and I would love to know if you think those colours go well together!

Have a great day! Hugs, 0aablog-signature

I’m sharing this over at:

Inspiration challengeAltenew March Inspiration challenge

the flower challengeThe Flower challenge – Anything

CRAFT STAMPER_TIMI CHALLENGECraft Stamper Take It Make challenge – Anything Goes

sssmchallengeSimon Says Stamp Monday challenge – Feminine/Girly

time out.pngTime Out challenge – Celebrating their 5th birthday! Congratulations!

Altenew Blooming Bouquet

Addicted to Stamps and More, Altenew, Cards, Watercolor

addicted to stamps

Hi all, its Wednesday, so another challenge starts at the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge blog! This week it’s “Make Your Mark” so bring out your pencils, pens, markers, watercolours… anything that will leave a mark on your project, and link it up here.

Altenew beautiful day product

I used my favourite colouring medium, my watercolours of course, and did a type of painting that’s apparently on trend at the moment, according to my Skillshare class “Watercolor trends 2019” by Irina Trzaskos, which is to paint a dark background to your florals. I started by stamping Altenew’s Blooming Bouquet stamp set with light grey ink, which I find is the best colour for a no-line water-colouring. I proceeded to paint the stamp with a light colouring as I knew the dark background would really make it stand out, so there was no need to overpaint it. I used 300g watercolour paper as then it wouldn’t buckle when I painted the background.

Altenew beautiful day cu

I prepared alot of dark blue paint for my background by mixing Indigo Blue and Payne’s Grey. (Sidenote: did you know that original jeans used Indigo Blue as it impregnated the cotton really well, but unfortunately they now use synthetic Indigo Blue made from petroleum and metals and really pollute the planet…) Back to my card, to create a homogenous background, my brush had to be loaded with alot wet paint so that it wouldn’t leave too many streaks. I also tried not to go over the background again as it would either remove some paint or leave marks, so it wasn’t really easy to do but I really really enjoyed it! Using a really sharp pointed brush really helped me get in between the flowers.

Altenew beautiful day main

The sentiment comes from Altenew’s Beautiful Quotes stamp set, which I stamped with Color Box Frost white pigment ink as its so creamy and thick that it still stands out even after being a little absorbed by the paint. I cut it with Hero Arts infinity rounded rectangle dies and matted it on a white card base, which I had painted pink on the edges.

I gave this card to a friend who wants to do so many things, like me, but doesn’t have the time to do it all, I’m sure you all relate to that! So I really do appreciate you taking the time to come and visit my blog and I love all the comments you leave me. Do pop over to the Addicted to Stamps and More challenge blog and leave my teammates some love too, as they have created wonderful cards to inspire you to join us in this challenge.

Have a Great Day! Hugs, 0aablog-signature

I’m sharing this over at:

sisterhoodThe Sisterhood of Crafters – Ladies/Girls

ssswchallengeSimon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – “Whatever the weather”…its always a good time to craft!

the flower challengeThe Flower challenge – Anything Goes

CRAFT STAMPER_TIMI CHALLENGECraft Stamper Take It Make it challenge