On my blog today I’m sharing a wonderfully bright card that I’ve made for my first Altenew Educator’s Class on level 2. If you’ve been following along with my card makes, you’ll know I’ve been taking part in this certification program since the start of April. For any of you interested in joining the program yourself, or even just taking some of the classes independently of the Altenew Educators Certification Program, click this link to go straight to the Altenew Academy pages.
Creating my Card
When I’m making a card, I rarely have a vision for the complete card right away. Normally I have an idea for either the focal point or the background and the other is inspired by how the first turns out. This card was one of the few where I could see the whole card layout from the start.
There is a huge stack of bright orange cardstock in my stash, and I have literally no idea when it got there. Orange isn’t a colour I use very often, but it’s the perfect colour for making a bright and bold card. And that’s what the theme of this card is all about after, all.
I began by stamping the floral outline stamp from the Altenew Beautiful Heart Stamp Set onto heavyweight watercolour card from Crafter’s Companion and then heat set it with WOW! Embossing Powder in Bright White. White is a fabulous colour to outline flowers if you plan to watercolour them, but it also looks good with marker pens and coloured pencils too. Once the embossing powder was set, I painted them with my Crafter’s Companion Aquatint inks. If you haven’t used them yet, these inks are the ultimate in watercolouring. They are so highly pigmented you need only a tiny drop to get the most intense colour. I love them!
I didn’t want to make the flowers too detailed because I was planning on having a busy background, so I kept the painting fairly one-dimensional. I also made sure that I chose a green for the leaf that had a hint of yellow and ochre. If they had been painted the bright green I normally go for, they would have clashed with the orange card.
With the watercoloured flower stamps fussy cut out and put to one side, it was time to start on my background. The Leaves and Berries Stencil from Altenew is a really pretty one for creating interesting backgrounds. This time, I laid it over orange cardstock and covered it in a thin layer of DecoFoil Transfer Gel. This is a great way to add shiny foil to your projects without needing heat or reactive printer ink. Once it has been left to dry – which takes about an hour – it changes from an opaque white to translucent gel. It will also be set in place so it won’t smudge when you apply pressure to it, but even though it has hardened it will still be tacky enough for the foil to stick to.
An hour later, I laid a square of orange foil on top and then ran the card and foil through my Sizzix Big Shot Pro. There are other ways to apply the pressure to the foil – you can use a bone folder or a brayer, for example – but if it’s a large area I find it easier to run it through a die cutting machine. I love peeling the foil paper off my project to see what it looks like – I’m like a kid in a candy store when that happens.
I mounted the foiled background on a top folding card (4.25″ x 5.5″) and arranged the flowers on the front with double sided tape and foam squares. Finally, I cut the word HUGS out of a distress oxide background using the MFT Die-namics die set and glued them across the front.
Ta-da! All done!
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I loved making this card because it was the first time I’d made a card where the background was as much a focal point as the floral elements on the front. I thought it might have been a little too busy, so I was definitely over-thinking every element before I placed it. In the end I was pretty surprised how well it all worked together. I might have to make bright and bold backgrounds a bit of a trend!