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Monday, August 15, 2022

 Cards For Guys

We are on the journey with the Altenew Educator Program. This time we are creating cards for the guys in our lives.

I don't know about you, but many of the card makers that I speak to feel challenged when they need to create masculine cards. It is always easy when we are making cards for the girls and ladies. So much to choose in design. But with the guys when you take away all the flowers, butterflies and girlie stuff, there does not seem to be a lot left.

When I found this stamp set, I was excited, because I knew that I would be able to use it for my guy cards and a lot more. The set is called Succulents. besides having three arrangements to choose from, there are also some lovely sentiments that could be used year-round. Or you could use these for other occasions. I will be making thinking of you, get well cards as well as sympathy cards. So, this is one set that will get a lot of use. In addition, there are dies available for the set that makes it easy to get good images every time. I am also planning on using them in my journals and scrapbook pages too.

I really like the detail in this set. I added the little smiley face for fun since this was a birthday card.

You can color the images with just about any media as long as you stamp them with Momento or Stazon ink. For any water media, make sure to use watercolor paper as I did.

Because the Altenew Crisp Inks will work with water, I chose to use them to color the cactus on my card, The colors that I used were Frayed Leaf, Just Green and Hunter Green on the plant. I used Seabreeze, Dew Drop and Teal Cove on the planter. 

I worked the cover of the card on a piece of cardstock. I cut the cardstock about 2 inches. Then I mounted the paper strip to the back of the card. Once all the trimming s were added on, I mounted that piece to a 6" by 6" cardstock base. That way, the card mounting was not visible.

The second sentiment was mounted with foam dots to give the card some dimension.

I hope that this idea gives you some ideas how you can use something simple to create your own masculine cards.

Thank you for taking this journey with me. Till next time, 

Happy Crafting!


Here are some of the supplies that I used for this project, should you be interested. There may be some commissions earned at no expense to you.

Succulents Stamp Set - $15.00
from: Altenew 

Just Green Crisp Dye Ink Sea Breeze Crisp Dye Ink Dew Drops Crisp Dye Ink

Friday, August 5, 2022

 Easy Ink Blending Techniques

I am continuing with my journey with the Altenew Academy. Each group of lessons brings me closer to my goal of becoming an Altenew Academy Instructor. Today I am sharing a technique from my Easy Ink Blending classes.

I love to blend inks to create colorful custom paper in the colors that match the images that I have used in my design. I will never be without the right solid paper again!

There are different tools that you can use to blend your inks. In larger projects like this, I prefer to use a blending tool. They come in both round and square. The pads last a long time. So, I keep them in a sectioned container with labels saying what color they are. That way I can use them for quite a lot of time, and I will get the color to match my pads.

I have found that the crisp dye inks from Altenew blend beautifully. They are nice and juicy which makes blending easier than other inks.

Use a craft pad or some parchment paper on your work surface. Load the ink on your blending tool. Tap the blending tool once on your mat, then working slightly off the cardstock, blend in circles working on the cardstock till you are pleased with the color. 

Different color combinations can give you different looks. 

For these cards, we used dies on the edge of the printed part of the card to allow the ink blended cardstock to show through. You can use just about any edge die to create an edge that fits in your design. Stamp your design. Then use the edge die to cut an interesting edge. 

Adhere the layers of your card with double sided tape. Add a sentiment and you have a one-of-a-kind custom greeting card.

I added some sequins and some gems to add interest to your project.

The stamp set that I used for this project is Vintage Roses Stamp Set. This is a wonderful set of layered stamps that gives you so many options when it comes to creating your cards.

The colors that I used:

Mango Smoothie Crisp Dye Ink
Honey Drizzle Crisp Dye Ink Galactic Stream Crisp Dye Ink
Bamboo Crisp Dye Ink
Forest Glades Crisp Dye Ink

I hope that this [project inspires you to give ink blending a try. This technique gives you opportunities to create your own custom projects with supplies and tools that you already may have.

We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and comments on this project. Please leave a comment to let us know what is on your mind.

Till next time,
Happy Crafting!

PS. We have left some links in case you may be interested in some of the projects that we used. A commission may be earned at no cost to you.  Any commissions are used to enhance this community.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Easy Die Cutting Techniques

Welcome to my journey as I move forward with my classes on the road to becoming an Altenew Educator. We often think of die cutting as being a difficult project when we are designing a greeting card to share with someone special. 

But it does not have to be all that hard once we understand the basics of die cutting. One of the things that I love about the products That I used was that the stramp set has a coordinating die set. I have to say that this makes the process so much easier.

One of my favorite techniques is to use vellum to create die cuts and then use inks to color the background of the die cuts. I love to stamp the die cut either with Versamark cear ink of any of the Altenew Crisp Inks. (Yes, you can use the crisp inks to apply white embossing powder.) Then you apply white embossing powder and heat emboss your die cuts.

The next step is to apply any color of ink to the back of the vellum. This gives your die cuts a very soft look.

Finally, you use the coordinating die cuts to die cut the shapes. Attach them to your card and you have created a custom card that is special in very little time.

So, what did I use to create this vellum flower card?
  • Puffy Heart Crisp Ink
  • Just Green Crisp Ink
  • Painted Flowers Die and Stamp Set
  • White vellum
  • Gold Embossing powder
  • Embossing bag
  • Heat gun
  • Cardstock
  • Pink gems
  • Double sided adhesive
  • Vellum glue
You can do so many other designs using the combination stamps and die cutting sets. I am eager to try using other combinations to create some custom and unique designs.

I hope that you will give this idea a try. Every time you try something new, you grow and get the satisfaction of gaining new talent in the paper crafts that we love to create and share.

Thans you for sharing this journey with me. We would love to know your thoughts and comments on this project.

Till next time, Happy Crafting!


We have added a few links for some of the products used for this project. There may be a commission offered at no expense to you. We offer these products for your connivence


Altenew Favorites For This Project

Puffy Heart Crisp Dye Ink
Just Green Crisp Dye Ink

Sunday, June 26, 2022

 Clean And Simple Boutique Cards

Clean And Simple Boutique Card

Simple minimal boutique cards have been all the rage for quite some time now. Keeping it simple with just a little bit of foil creates a card that will be memorable or a long time.

This is another of my series of classes as I journey towards the completion of my Altenew Educator Certification classes. I loved this particular class, because while I do enjoy foiling a lot, toner sheets and or toner products can be pricey. This technique shows you how to use foil without any toner products. As a matter of fact, you more than likely have everything that you need in your stash on hand.

You use two of the layered stamps to complete your card. The outline stamp as well as one of the detail layers. Instead of toner sheets, you use embossing ink (like Versamark) and clear embossing powder. The first layered is stamped in ink. The second layer as well as any other design pieces are stamped with embossing ink and covered with clear embossing powder that is heated with a heat gun. Foil is then used on top of the design, shiny side up and laminated with heat. If you have ever heat embossed, this card technique is a dream. The Altenew layering stamps make it easy to get the right impression both with a stamping platform or an acrylic block.

My design for this card added some color with Altenew ink after the foiling process was complete. I fussy cut the design and added it to a card base to create a little dimension.

My second card was designed staying true to the original concept with another twist. I created two flowers and fussy cut them. I stamped the layered leaves on the card base. Then I used a bit of foam tape to raise the two flowers up for added dimension.

Curious about the stamp sets that I used? I have listed them here in case you are interested. I may earn a commission at no cost to you if you decide that you would like to add these sets to your collection.

Beautiful Day Stamp Set

Mini Hello Stamp Set

Thank you for stopping by! The opportunity that I have been given through these classes gives me the opportunity to share with you, and I consider that a blessing.

Please drop a comment and let me know what you think of these designs. We always love to hear your thoughts, ideas and comments. 

Till next time, Happy Crafting!


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

 How To Load An Inkpad

One of the things I have always tried to do is be a conservative crafter when it comes to my supplies. I always try to use things more than once. And that is very true when it comes to stamp pads. So when I consider a new company to purchase my stamp pads, I always verify that they have reinkers for the pad.

The smartest thing is to purchase the reinker when you buy the ink pad. That means that you will always have the color you need. You are guaranteed to extend the life of your pad in case they discontinue the color, which often happens.

Make sure and double check the reinker at your purchase, Many companies carry the same color in dye and pigment ink. So be sure to read the bottle and the description before you click that purchase button.

Store you reinkers in a cool dark place. Sunlight may dry up the ink, especially any ink with alcohol. After you have used the bottle, make sure that the cap is on tight.

Loading your Ink Pads

There are just a few things that you will need to get your ink pads juicy again. It is best to start off with just a little ink and build up layers as you go.

Before You Get Started

Check the ink pad to make sure it is clean and free of dirt ot a contaminating color. If you need to clean it, just tap it with a clean paper towel. If you still see contamination, spray the ink pad with an amonia free window cleaner. Blot it with a paper towel.

Another thing to consider is the material used in your ink pad where the ink is on. A great many of the ink pads are foam. But there are exceptions to that. Memento, StazOn, and Stampin’ Spots are linen pad

  • Reinker bottle
  • Ink pad
  • Paper towels
  • Paper or parchment to cover your work area
  • Rubbe gloves to keep your hands neat
  • An old credit or gift card or a brayer
  1. Cover your workspace with parchment or newspaper
  2. Open both the ink pad and the reinker bottle
  3. Gently squeeze the liquid ink onto your pad in a zig-zag pattern to cover the whole surface area
  4. Use an old bone folder, gift card or brayer to gently spread the ink across the pad.
  5. Set the ink pad aside to let the ink pad absorb the ink. Give it a good 10-15 minutes with the lid on
  6. Use a stamp to test the pad. Stamp and image to see if there is enough ink on the pad
  7. Use the paper towel or a baby wipe to clean the ink off of the tools before you start on another color ink
  8. Repeat process if necessary
  9. If any ink sits on the pad after 10-15 minutes, use a credit card or a teflon scrapper to remove some of the ink

Ink Pad Tips

  • Always put the lid on the ink pad if you are taking a short break.
  • Store dye-based inkpads upside down so the ink falls the top of the pad. Pigment ink is sticky enough that you don’t need to store pigment inkpads upside down.
  • Hybrid inks tend to dry faster

Companies With Reloadable Ink Pads

  • Altenew Dye Inks
  • Brutus Monroe Embossing Ink
  • Catherine Pooler Inks
  • Hero Arts Inks
  • Gina K Design Inks
  • Lawn Fawn Dye Inks
  • Marvy Uchida Dye Inks
  • Paper Rose Studio Dye Inks
  • Ranger Archival Ink
  • Ranger Pigment Inks
  • Simon Hurley Dye Inks
  • Simon Hurley Pigment Inks
  • Scrapbook. Com Embossing Ink
  • Scrapbook.Com Hybrid Inks
  • Scrapbook..Com Pigment Inks
  • Stampin Up Classic Inks
  • Stazon Inks
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks
  • Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks
  • Tsukineko -Momento Dye Ink
  • Umbrella Crafts Dye Ink
  • Versafine Clair Inks
  • Versamark Inks

I know that there are more out there. I just listed some of the major inks that also carry reinkers.

Organize Your Inkpads

We have included some products that will be helpful to you. There may be some earnings at no cost to you.

Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment, idea or thought. We always love hearing from you!

Till next time, Happy Crafting


Thursday, June 2, 2022

 Creating Stenciled Backgrounds

Use embossing paste to create texture 

Using stencils to create backgrounds is more fun than you can imagine! We usually think of just using stencils with ink. But as I learned, there are a whole lot of other ideas that you can use stencils for. These techniques were in conjunction with my Altenew Educator classes. Today, I am happy to share some of the things that I learned with you.

One of the things that I do is create cards for charities. One of the charities that I support is sending cards to people who are in treatment for cancer. So, I really like to send bright, cheerful cards to them. These were fun to make, and I am looking forward to giving them away.

About The Supplies I Used

It is really important to have quality supplies to create these backgrounds. The first consideration is the stencil itself. Many stencils are very thin. The problem there is that they will have material or ink seep out of the edges of the designs, so you will not get clear impressions. I have to say that the stencils that I purchased from Altenew were nice and thick. They gave me good impressions every time that I used them. And they cleaned up quite nicely.

The second tip that I would share is to clean your stencils right after use. This is especially true after you use embossing paste or other heavier mediums. If they dry on your stencil, they will be very difficult to clean up.

Other Supplies

  • Cardstock of various colors
  • Watercolor Paper
  • Alcohol markers
  • Plastic half beads
  • Altenew Half Tone Stencil
  • Altenew Lacy Tile Stencil
  • Altenew Painted Butterflies Stamp Set
  • Altenew Wavy Flowers Stamp Set
  • Altenew Mini Hello Stamp Set
  • Altenew Turquoise Crisp Dry Ink
  • Altenew Snapdragon Crisp Dry Ink
  • Altenew Autumn Blaze Crisp Dry Ink
  • Water Sprayer
  • Paste
  • Double Sided Tape
  • White PVA Glue

Using Ink With Embossing Paste or Modeling Paste

I found that the dye inks were perfectly juicy to mix in with either embossing paste or modeling paste. The inks that I used mixed beautifully to create virtually any color of the rainbow. 

Run some color on a craft mat and mix the paste with your color ton create the perfect dimensional pattern with your stencil. 

Allow it to dry overnight for the best results.


Painting With Stencils

This is the exact same stencil but instead of using an embossing paste or a modeling paste, you actually use ink to paint through the stencil. 

The trick here is to make sure that the paper and the stencil are secure so that you get an exact design.

The Altenew inks work so well with water that once you try this, it will be your go to technique. 

Because you use water, you will need a watercolor paper. Do a water wash on the paper and secure your stencil to the paper as well as your work surface, Apply the ink to the paper. I used my ink applicators which are soft cosmetic type brushes. Let the ink dry and design your cards any way that you wish.

I used the same technique with the Half Tone stencil and was pleased with the results. 

The halftone stencil can be used in more ways than shown. It can be titled or used as a partial stencil too.

As I said, these were mad specifically for Cancer patients, so they were designed to be bright and cheerful.

I enjoyed mixing elements from different stamp sets. It gives you a lot more options when you look at your stash creatively.

Both of these stencils could be used for a variety of occasions and celebrations. 

Thank you for stopping by and sharing my learning experience.
As always, you would love to learn what your thoughts, suggestions and ideas are, so drop a comment or two. We always love hearing from you.

Till next time, Happy Crafting!


Supply Suggestions 

Painted Butterflies Stamp Set

Halftone Stencil

Lacy Tile Stencil

Autumn Blaze Crisp Dye Ink

Turquoise Crisp Dye Ink

Snapdragon Crisp Dye Ink


If you have some washi tape in your stash, you have a wonderful opportunity to add creativity to your art journal. Here are some ideas to get creative with your washi tape, 

Basic Washi Tape Tips 

There are just a few things to know and understand about washi taoe that will help you enhance your art journal experience:

  • We use a lot of different media on our art journal pages. Sometimes, the washi tape will not stick where we want it to. If that is the case for you, go ahead and add some white PVA glue to the back of your tape to get it to stick.
  • If you are collaging, go ahead and use Mod Podge or other sealing mediums. It won't hurt your washi tape

What Pens Work On Washi Tape

  1. Sharpie Markers-They come in different tip sizes and colors
  2. Microperm-comes in just a few tip sizes from .03 to .05
  3. LePen Permanent
  4. Bic Permanent Markers
  5. Papermate Flair

Use Washi Tape To Create Some Texture

You can create texture by adding bits of washi tape anywhere you need to add some dimension to your page. Ditch the scissors and just rip off a piece to place here and there. Just use it in random patches wherever you want to add texture and dimension. I would suggest gluing it down so that it stays put. Cover it with gesso and then you will have added some texture to the page. You can consider painting over it with acrylic paint or using ink over it.

Random Washi Tape Design

Put random pieces of washi tape on a page. Cover with geeso and add some paint. Write some thoughts on your page to complete your design.

Or you can fill in the empty spaces with some white paint. Let it dry and then use some distress crayons on top to add some color. Gently wipe some of the color away, until you are happy with the results, Now use any stencil you have in black ink like a silhouette. Add a word or two and you have a perfectly designed art journal page.

Create A Washi Tape Background

There is no right or wrong way to create your own washi tape background, Put it down in a totally colorful and random pattern.

You will want to add some glue to keep it in place. A glue stick works fine. Once you have all of your washi tape in place, give it a cover of clear gesso or Mod Podge to seal up your design.

Add A Border Around A Page

Use washi tape to create a border around your pages. Use strips tape to create a border on both sides of the page. Thus is a nice way to finish a page. 

Frame An Image

Create a frame around an image that you have already created. Use a rectangular or sqaure shape in the color or pattern of your choice. Pick a dominant color from the picture to make it look harmonious. 
The same colors that are in the picture will blend nicely. Contrasting colors will call attention to the photo.

1. Cover Up Your Mistakes

We all make them from time to time. Just use a piece of washi tape to cover up any smudge or mistake you might have made, Add a few more pieces and you will have created a designed piece.

2.Make Journaling Lines

Use washi tape to create lines that you can write on top on. It adds the perfect color to all your journaling

3.Use It Just As Tape

Rather than gluing something down, use the washi tape as you would any other piece of tape.

4.Mask Borders For Painting

You can create borders on your pages with washi tape. Use washi tape to define borders on your pages. Then either paint or ink the page. Once the paint or ink has dried, remove the tape and you will have crisp clean borders.

5.Create Arrows On Your Pages

It is so easy to create arrows on your pages with washi tape, Just use the tape to create an arrow shape.

6.Create Journal Lines

You can use washi tape to create lines on your pages that you can journal on. Lay a few straight lines on your pages with the washi tape. Then, using a marker write some lines expressing your thoughts and feelings. Yiu can leave the tape on as part of your design or remove the tape. 

7.Write On Washi Tape

You can add even more journaling by writing on top of washi tape, Make sure to use a matte finish tape and tdy it before you adhere it to your page.

8.Make Washi Tape Letters

Create letters and words using washi tape if you do not like your handwriting

9.Create Washi Tape Stickers

You can use double sided adhesive paper to create stickers, Just remove one side of the sticker and adhere the washi tape to it. Use an electronic cutting machine to cut a design. Then remove the backing and you have a lovely sticker. This works great with wider washi tape. use punches or cut shapes using your electronic cutting machine. 

10.Make Washi Tape Die Cuts

Adhere the washi tape to thin paper and cut it with ether a die cutting machine or a punch

11.Make A Washi Tape Flag

With a simple paper clip you can create a washi tap flag in just about a minute
  1. Cut a small piece of washi tape
  2. Insert it into the top of the paper clip
  3. Gently turn the tape so that you can adhere the piece together at the top of the paper clip
  4. Cut a triangle to create the flag shape

12.Use It To Reinforce a Binding

If the binding on your art journal seems weak, use some glue and adhere some washi tape to the binding of your book

13.Create A Washi Tape Garland

All you need is some bakers twine and pieces of washi tape. You just take a piece of the washi tape, fold it over and cut a pendent shape, Adhere it on your art journal page with some glue

  • You can work in the same color family
  • You can use different sized washi tape
  • You can do different shapes
  • Use random colors and patterns

You can make it long enough to create a single page banner or spread it across a double page.

You can also just cut the pendent pieces out and glue them on your page. Then draw the lines between the pieces for the banner,

You can also use washi tape to create a chain garland. Measure your pieces of tape to be equal. Then loop them into each other, using the tape to secure the loops.

14.Mask Borders For Painting

If you want to add some colors in a pattern, you can use the washi tape to cover the edges where you do not want the color 
  1. Lay some washi tape on your page in the design of your choice
  2. Burnish (rub) the tape to make sure it is firmly on the page
  3. Apply paint over the washi tape
  4. Allow the paint to air dry
  5. Remove the washi tape to reveal the design

15.Create A Grounding Design At The Bottom Of The Page

So simple and so effective, Just place vertical pieces of washi tape along the bottom of the page in different lengths and widths

Start your first piece in the center of the page. Make sure to place the piece straight so that all the other pieces will be straight too.

16.Create A Cover With Wide Washi Tape

Here are some of my favorite washi tapes. They have been selected for you. There may be some affiliate earnings if you add any to your collection at no cost to you.

I hope these tips are helpful to you. We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions, We would appreciate a comment, so let us know that you stopped by.

Till next time, Happy Crafting!