• Hannah Oxberry

Altenew Academy - Level One, Final Challenge

Criteria - Create a set of cards that have a cohesive theme using three components from the classes in Level 1. Give thought to how to package the set. Be creative!

For my Altenew Academy Level One Final Challenge I chose to focus primarily on components included within the following classes, while drawing inspiration from the classes as a whole.

Easy Ink Blending Techniques - watercolour inked papers Let It Shine - glitter card strip

Easy Die Cutting Techniques - using dies as a focal

Step by Step Guide to create this card and gift box set

Step One

For this challenge I wanted to create a set of cards that were truly unique. To this end I decided to create my own papers. I knew I wanted to work with the Rose Flurries 3D Dies set and so tailored my colour choices to suit. I felt after following the Easy Die Cutting Technique class that I wanted to push myself to use something different as a focus, while still maintaining the layered look I love when working with stamps.

I selected tonal colours of Distress Oxides and cut strips of smooth white card to fit my mini die cutting machine.

Step Two

Beginning with the lightest colour ink, I patted out a small amount on to my glass mat. A light spritz of water gets the ink flowing, allowing me to dip my paper strips in to collect the colours. I dipped and dried my papers using a heat tool to form tide lines and textured effects on the papers. I worked up in colour graduation, not cleaning my mat in between to give a consistency to my colours. I create tonal strips for each layer of die.

Step Three

I repeated this process with orange, purple and green tones.

I was inspired to use this process after seeing the watercolour effects that could be achieved with inks in Easy Ink Blending Techniques, I took the concept and developed the ideas to suit my card design.

Step Four

Next, I cut out the die shape from the papers, running them through my die cutting machine. I work from the layering guide included on the packaging, cutting the most expansive layer from the deepest paper colour and working up in tones to the lightest.

I knew I wanted to include more of some die cuts, leaves and little flowers for example, so adjusted my cutting to account for this.

Step Five

Again, I repeat this process for the orange, purple and green paper colours. I found it quicker to cut everything first before moving on to assembly.

Step Six

Once I had a large stash of die cut elements, I could begin gluing the layers to build the die designs. I found it easiest to start with the darker base layers and work up to the lighter tones. Applying glue with a fine nozzle helps to control the amount and avoids it spilling out over the edges of the die.

Step 7

At this stage I also wanted to create my sentiments so that I had everything ready to begin building my card designs. I took strips of black card and inked up sentiments from the Leaf Medallion stamp set. I used clear embossing ink and sprinkled the stamped image with white embossing powder before heating with a heat tool to set.

To ensure a clean look, I used an anti-static bag rubbed over the surface of my black card. This stops flecks of embossing powder sticking to areas you don’t want it to.

Step Eight

Now I am ready to start building my card panel. My top folding white card blanks are cut to measure 5 ½” x 7”, I wanted my card panel to be slightly smaller to give a framed effect once the card was built. I trimmed my card panels to measure 5 ¼” x 6 ¾” and taking inspiration from the Let It Shine classes I decided to add a strip of silver glitter card, I feel this adds a fun element as it contrasts perfectly to the more delicate tones of the papers used for the die cuts.

Step Nine

Using foam pads to introduce height to the card panel, I begin layering my die cut elements. Overlapping them to give a more natural effect as well as letting some element flow over the edges of the card panel.

Step Ten

I add the sentiment, positioning it towards the top left of the card to balance the weight of the die cuts in the lower right. As per the challenge criteria I have created a variety of sentiments all with a “loving and kindness” theme.

Step Eleven

To finish my card I have mounted it on foam and adhered it to the card base.

Step Twelve

Next up I need to create something in which to present my card set. I decided to make a gift box. Using my cutting machine software, I scaled the design to fit my cards exactly. I then cut the bottom of the box from white card and again from black card. Cutting the file twice not only gives me a sturdier box but also allows me to choose a different lining colour to the outer. For the top of the box I decided to go with the silver glitter card, again, with a black lining.

Step Thirteen

I secured the box using ultra clear tape on the tabs and, just as I had with the cards, built up my die cut elements. I expanded the design a little, adding more flowers instead of a sentiment as on the cards.

I feel I have learnt a huge amount from following the classes on Level 1 of the Altenew Educator Certification Program. The program has given me the confidence to explore new techniques and design concepts all in a fun and informative manner.

Stamp Sets: Leaf Medallion Die Sets: Rose Flurries 3D Die Set Inks: Distress Oxides Pinks; Seedless Preserves,Picked Raspberry, Worn Lipstick, Spun Sugar. Oranges; Ripe Persimmon, Carved Pumpkin, Dried Marigold, Scattered Straw. Purples; Dusty Concord, Wilted Violet, Shaded Lilac. Greens; Shabby Shutters, Twisted Citron, Bundled Sage, Evergreen Bough.

Supplies: 7x5" White Card Blanks, Smooth White Card, Silver Glitter Card, Black Card, Embossing Ink, White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Cutting Machine, Die Cutting Machine, Water Spritzer, Bone Folder, Glass Mat, Foam Pads, Double Sided Tape, Ultra Clear Tape, Glue

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Norfolk | United Kingdom

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