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Hello Fellow Crafters!

As many of you know, I have a great passion for making cards as well as donating them. In recent years, I have come to truly love the Altenew Stamps and many of their various mediums that I used to create multidimensional mixed media art.

Several times over the past few months, I have streamed live my Mindfully Creative mindset discussions while creating various watercolor cards. This presentation of mindfulness, my personal methods in which I combine mindfulness and gratitude throughout my creative card making process. I often refer to this as my "mindfully creative" time. This is a link directly to the Facebook post. Although, not entirely centered around this final project, I share it, as creating these cards with artistic elements has truly become my personal Mindfulness reset button.

Thank you for indulging me in the small detour from the level one final project. Before beginning to showcase some of the cards I created for my Level One Final, I first want to take a moment to explain what this "final" is. As mentioned before, I am fully enamored with so many of the Altenew products, most especially their "coloring" stamps and their amazingly supportive and empowering sentiments. Of course, when I saw the opportunity to participate in the Altenew Education Certification Program (AECP), I applied. (Actually several times.) The certification program has three levels. Each level has a series of courses. Participants create and submit cards demonstrating some of the various techniques learned. Once a person completes all assignments in said level, they are presented with a final project.

Today I will be showing my final project for my level one AECP submission. Due to health and other unrelated challenges, this project spanned over several month period.

LEVEL ONE FINAL ASSIGNMENT CHALLENGE: We are instructed to create a set of 5 masculine cards and 5 feminine styled cards. We must demonstrate at least three techniques learned through the various level one classes. The cards in each set need to have a flow of continuity creating the feel of a "set" of cards. Lastly, we are instructed to create a box of recycled materials for the card set. (Personally, despite having a Cricut, I chose the re-dressing of boxes on hand.)

My first set of cards were created right before the holiday season. I chose to use the large Die Cut Letter to create the Word Joy. Each card, however, differed in the use of background stamps, blending techniques, and use of creative elements.

Please see below for the slide show of the cards created for my JOY collection.

JOY 1: The first card was created by embossing elements of one of the poinsettia collection. I stamped and heat embossed in gold. The background elements were lightly colored in with watercolors. The word Joy is created by the large die cut letters JOY in fun foam/craft foam and once again the dies' were used to cutout the letters from the gold mirror paper. This was adhered to the fun foam. The varying depth levels were achieved with the usage of adhesive foam tape.

JOY 2: The Second card I continued to use the poinsettias to create a simple one layer background. The images were stamped and heat embossed with black embossing powder. I layered the black and white stripe washi tape on white paper. Again, creating the letters JOY with the die cuts. I continued to create depth through layering with foam tape and fun foam for added height and interest.

JOY 3: As in the previous cards I used the poinsettia and the complimenting stamps to create the base layer. They images were heat embossed and lightly colored in with metallic paints from the Altenew Collection. For this card, I cut the letters for the word JOY directly from the background. The letters were finished off with black ink outline for added definition with foam adhesive tape for height.

JOY 4: For this card, I wanted to create a simple gender neutruel holiday card. I started with white card stock and layered a strip of the white and gold washi tape on the top and bottom of the card. I used smaller elements from the poinsettia collection to adorn and highlight the letter JOY. The letters were raised on foam tape for added dimension as was the sentiment.

JOY5: For this card, I began with an ink blending process to create the gradual blue tone affect. I stamped and heat embossed the background with the diamond cover stamp set. I used fun foam and the mirror gold card stock to for our central part of the word JOY. While creating this card, I wanted to add a little something extra, especially for a young boy. With the letter O I created a shaker card adding gold stars as the filler for the shaker.

I decorated one of my Altenew boxes with holiday paper. I also included several more cards showcasing the poinsettia stamps. In addition, I added in a few of my watercolored holiday seasonal cards.



Now that I completed masculine or gender neutral cards, I set out to create some beautiful water colored cards using the recently released Tulip Watercolor Stamp set. I truly enjoyed the exploration of color, several mixed mediums. While working on these cards I learned to truly let go and embrace the calmness and beauty when using watercolors. I also learned that one must continue working on a card, even if you believe you made a mistake. As many mistakes can in turn into a stunning creation.

My best advice is to be patient with the process, take time to enjoy it and most of all relax. More often, then not, your creation will be beautiful. If not for a card, you might find it a great adornment in a journal or better yet, a bookmark.

Please see the slideshow below showcasing my watercolored tulip cards. All these cards started With the embossing of the floWers on White cardstock. From here, each card took a slightly different turn While still exploring the usage of color and sentiments of empoWerment. On the second card in on the top roW, I had smeared the Water colors and decided to, in attempt to save the card, artistically smear the remaining floWers. On the last tWo card, I used die cut rectangular shape around the floWer.on The fourth one, I layered this on criss cross die cut on mirror gold paper and created a base With a several ink blended Water color base. On the last card, I raised the center die cut from the base.

This box, containing the cards is one of the smaller FedEx boxes I have recently received items in. I used colored cardstock with the rose washi tape for a little bit of added design and personalization. The box was tied together with ribbon.


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