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Susan's Level 2 Challenge - Part 1 - Masculine Cards

I'm really pleased that I have submitted projects now for all the Altenew Academy Certificate Program's classes and have taken on the Level 2 challenge! The assignment is to create 4 masculine cards, and a project that reuses or "upcycles" something, so this challenge will be a bit longer than the others. Bear with me!

The first card is an anniversary card. The sentiments that come in the Forever in Love stamp set are so perfect for this theme. This is a "mini" slim line - 3 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches, which is just the right size for the smaller of the Slim Deco Cover Die frames. I started by using the Sunburst stencil and ink blended yellow to orange shades as the background. While the ink was still wet, I sprinkled on some iridescent embossing powder (which is hard to appreciate in the picture below). The frame is made from holographic card stock to give it some shine, and is mounted on 2 additional, white die cuts to give it some dimension. The central area that has the sentiment uses Nuvo Shimmer Powder which is a crystallized water color product that is SO much fun to use. (If anyone is interested, I'd be more than happy to do a short video showing these, but maybe you're already familiar?) The beauty of these is the variation in colors, tones and patterns that you get. The sentiment is heat embossed with silver embossing powder and the Happy Anniversary sentiment (from the Pen Sketch Mandala stamp set) was stamped in a royal blue pigment ink and then heat embossed with clear embossing powder. Because of the slimline size, the stencil pattern didn't cover all the way to the corners, so I chose to use a Crafter's Companion die (that came with my Gemini Jr. machine) to embellish the corners to give it a more finished look, using the same water color paper that I used for the sentiment area.

This card employs techniques from the following classes: Let it Shine, Easy Ink Blending, Stencil techniques, and die cutting. And of course, "For The Guys"!

Here's a closer look at the central sentiment - also gives you a better appreciation for what the Nuvo Shimmer Powder can do:

Next is the "Love" card. This background also utilizes Color Burst and Nuvo Shimmer Powder. The metallic dimensional elements are done using a hot glue gun. (This will be demonstrated in a video below.) You first put down the hot glue where you want it. It's okay to let it cool because the next step is to use your heat tool to heat up all the glue again. After getting all the glue warmed up, you need to act quickly to put embossing powder onto it. Metallics look great, but you can use any kind you wish. The embossing powder I used for this card is one from Brutus Monroe called "Milky Way." Then heat the whole thing again to melt the embossing powder.

The "Sending Lots of" sentiment comes from the Leaf Canopy stamp set (the whole stamps says "Sending Lots of LOVE" but I masked off the word "love" for this card). The "love" word uses the in-line alphabet dies with the letters cut from holographic card stock with 2 layers of white card stock below for dimension. Three small matte metallic silver hearts are added for embellishments. You have to be willing to let your "perfection" tendencies go a bit when you use this hot glue embossing technique but you can get some really interesting results! (Some you'll throw out... just sayin').

This card incorporated techniques from: Beyond Basic Backgrounds, Let it Shine, Die cutting, and I venture to say "In the Mood for Color" along with For The Guys.

Here's the video showing the hot glue technique:

The next card is intended as a birthday card, but the nice thing about it, depending on what sentiment you put inside, is that it could be used for other things, like a congratulatory card or other reason to celebrate.

I started with the Illusion Triangles 3D embossing folder and embossed a matte silver panel. I then used a very light swipe across the raised areas to provide a little color and contrast with a blue ink cube. The panel is set up on a layer of fun foam, and mounted onto a 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 inch note card that is framed in black. I then cut an oval piece of blue vellum to hold the sentiment. I used the "Celebrate" fancy word die, and will explain more about the process of creating the "celebrate" die cut below - stay tuned!!! I curved the "celebrate" word and then added "LET'S" cut from silver holographic card stock and heat embossed the word "You" with silver embossing powder. To adhere the oval, I put small glue dots in strategic places behind the embossing and the die cuts so it wouldn't show through. I added a few dark blue gemstones for a little sparkle and to fill in some of the open spaces.

This project utilized the following classes/techniques: Let it Shine, Easy Die Cutting, For The Guys, Beyond Basic Backgrounds.

To make the "celebrate" die cut, I utilized a product that is new to me - Angelina® Fibers. (Truth is, my husband, who is a fly tyer has all sorts of interesting materials and fibers that can be applied to card making and that's how I came by this one!). Angelina® Heat Fusible Fibers soften and fuse together using a heat source, such as an ordinary household iron, to form a luminescent, web-like material. Polyester based Angelina will adhere only to itself and not to other fibers, tissue paper or fabrics. It comes in lots of colors and the fibers are either flat (like the ones I have here) or crinkly which makes them even more sparkly. Here is a closer view of the die cut using the Angelina fibers:

I used iridescent fibers and then attached it with glue to a black piece of cardstock which gave me this aqua color. The same fibers against other colors pick up completely different hues.

Here is a brief video showing how to fuse the fibers:

The final card in the masculine series is the "Encouragement" card. The card is a 5 x 7 inch acetate card that was formed by using DuraLar acetate. [Be sure to get the heat resistant type if you want to emboss on it.] I cut a piece of acetate to 7 inches by 10 inches and then folded it in half. You have to crease the fold really well, and if it isn't flat enough by using a bone folder, you can run it through your die cut machine, just being sure that the plates don't have a lot of grooves in them as they might transfer to the acetate. I embossed on the top and bottom using the Pattern Power stamp set. I alternated the black and red, two of my favorite colors to use together, to give it a woven look on the acetate. A tip here is that you want to get your heat tool very hot, and then only hold it to the acetate for a short time, going back and forth to melt the embossing powder. You need to be a bit patient with this process, and there will likely be a small degree of warping of the acetate, even if it claims to be heat resistant. This is minimized by limiting the time you hold your heat tool to the acetate.

The front panel was done by using a red mirror cardstock and stamping the sentiment "You Got This" (which is from the Delicate Tiles stamp set) in the center. I then used clear embossing powder and heat set that. Once that was set, I again used the Illusion Triangles 3D embossing folder (yes - I DO like this one!). There were a few spots where it cracked a little, and I just used a matching red alcohol ink marker (a Sharpie in this case) to lightly touch up those spots. I then used black enamel drops and put a small drop in the center of each of the triangle clusters. The red panel measures 4 1/4 by 4 1/4. I mounted this onto a black, shiny piece of cardstock measuring 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 just to help it stand out and give it a small border.

This card utilizes techniques from the classes on heat embossing, Let it Shine, For The Guys, and In the Mood for Color.

The picture below gives you a better view of the dry embossing, the enamel dots and the sentiment:

Inside the card, I put a white panel measuring 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 right behind the black panel, and then lined up another white piece of cardstock measuring 4 1/4 by 4 1/4 to be the area on the inside where you can write your message. I also put another 4 1/4 by 4 1/4 piece on the back outside of the card so it would look finished, and the glue wouldn't show. This is the area you can put your own logo (or use those really nice stamps Altenew sends that use our own names - what a nice gift!). The pictures below show you want I mean. Here's the inside of the card:

Here's the back of the card:

So there we have it! Four masculine cards to demonstrate skills learned through the fantastic Altenew Academy classes. I hope you've enjoyed both the cards and the techniques I've shared.

Level 2 Challenge - Part 2 - An "upcycled" project

If you're like me, I love a bargain and like to find ways to use items that I've purchased and convert them into something more interesting. So I took a trip to our local Dollar Store and found this box:

It is about 6 inches round, and as you can see, has indentations in 5 places evenly spaced. I started by removing the pink flower on the top and I used the cover for this box as the base. Because I was going for a fall theme, I left the orange border. Inside the top of the cover and put some foam tape squares, just to give it a little more height. I then covered the surface of the bottom part of the box using a 2 inch wide, mustard yellow, textured cardstock. To the top edge, I added a fall themed, plaid ribbon (adhered with double stick tape). Likewise to the inside rim, I added a slightly more narrow ribbon, also using double stick tape that matched nicely with the color of the box as it originally came. To embellish the box, I used various leaves from the 2 sets of leaf dies (the original Leaf Mix and the Tropical Leaf Mix die sets - these are my absolute favorites!). I put them in clusters of 3 or 4 leaves in various fall colors (including metallic and holographic card stock) and adhered the cluster (I used both glue as well as glue dots) in the 5 areas that are indented on the side of the box.

Once the leaf clusters were in place, I added a square gemstone, set in a diamond configuration at the base of each of the clusters. Here are a couple of closer views of the clusters:

What I had in mind for this box was to use it to hold cocktail napkins for fall entertaining. Here's a picture with the napkins inside:

But of course, this box could be used for a number of purposes - you could put some candies inside to present as a gift (and wrap with cello paper), you could use it to hold jewelry or other small items, or a whole variety of things. I hope you might give this upcycled idea a try as well. You could make boxes for all occasions and any season, and with the great variety of stamps and dies that Altenew has to offer, there's simply no end to how creative you can be!

Thanks for looking at this long post!

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