AECP Group 17 Level 1- Irresistible Inking Techniques

It was time to try the last class homework for Level 1.  I watched the videos again to review what the task was. I also looked at the postings on the homework gallery.  That helped, too.  I selected the large stamp from the Sketchy Floral Altenew set.  I stamped the image in black ink on mixed media paper.  I used several different shades of Altenew pink ink cubes for painting.  I went for a loose painted flower.  When dry a bit, I added a second color for shading.  I used a green Zig marker for the branches/twigs.   When dry, I die cut the piece using  the rounded corner die from My Favorite Things.  I added a stenciled inked background using a light blue distress ink.  I assembled the card that included a oval die cut stamped hello with a gold thread bundle behind the oval.  I then added  yellow and pink Nuvo drop accents.  When planning for this assignment, I had to reflect on what technique worked best for me and the resources that I had.  I was pleased  with the painted card.

pink ink jpg
Nancy Souza Group 17 Inking Techniques

AECP Group 17 Level 1 Easy Die Cutting Techniques Homework

This next homework assignment I really had to think about die cutting. I use die cutting all the time when I have matching dies, but this time I wanted to create something different.  I used a borrowed stamp and coordinating die from a friend a few weeks ago called Leaf Cluster.  I inked each of the leaf clusters using two different shade of green distress inks.  This created some shading and depth to the branches.  Then I die cut them.  They looked better when they were die cut.  Now my challenge was to create a background.  I sprayed two leaf clusters I had inked with Pixie spray.  A low tack and removable spray glue and placed them face down on a quarter sized piece of white card stock.  Now I had a reverse stencil and more like a mask.  I inked the background with a spruce green distress ink and a blending brush.  I used a My Favorite Things rounded corner die for the inked piece, stamped a sentiment in the right hand corner.  I then adhered the leaf cluster branch to the inked paper and added a twine bow.  I piece of bright green card stock on the white A2 card.   Using a die cut branch two different ways added interest to the card layout.

Leaf cluster and die
Nancy Souza Group 17 Easy Die Cutting



AECP Group 17 Level 1 Scene Building Homework

Next on the homework assignments for Level 1 is the Seasons:  Scene Building task.  After searching through my  Altenew stamp and die collection,  I found a small flower stamp  and a leaf from the Smile More set that would be great as  solo images to create a wreath as my ‘scene’. First, I inked the background using the graduated dot stencil using a light colored Altenew yellow ink cube.  I die cut the inked paper using a stitched edge die from My Favorite Things.  I  stamped, colored with Copic markers  and fussy cut the flowers and leaves.  I created the wreath layout using eight flowers starting with the 12:00 place, 6:00 place and then the 3:00 and 9:00.  Then filled in the spaces in between.  It was easier to use the numbers on a clock face to figure out the layout and tuck the leaves under the flowers.  I used my MISTI to stamp the Hello in the middle of the wreath using black ink.  I added the piece to an beige card base.  It added a nice contrast to the white stenciled and yellow flower  piece. And of course some copper glitter Nuvo drops for the center of each  flower.  I take another look for any other small flowers that I could use for another wreath layout.  On to the next homework assignment!

Nancy Souza Group 17 Scene Building

AECP Group 17 Level 1 Celebrations: Stencil Techniques

The next Level 1 homework was for Celebrations:  Stencil Techniques.  I use stencils in many of my card designs and in mixed media projects.  I have an extensive collection of them.  For this card,the stencil I selected was the Altenew graduated dots.  A well used stencil. I like that I can selected the size dots I want to use.  I used the Charmed stamp set which includes a floral group and lots of word sentiments.  Lots to pick from.  I used Neenah white card stock cut to a quarter sheet to double stamp the  floral branch in black ink.  I would trim it later after I was finished stamping.  I colored  and blended the flowers and the leaves using Copic markers. I stamped the word sentiment and then die cut a stitched  oval  shaped.  Then it was time for the stenciling.  I used Altenew  Sunkissed dye ink and a blending brush. I like to add a few focal points-  a gold cord accent around the card from May Arts.  I used foam tape to secure the word tag.  A few clear and glossy Nuvo drops on the petals and flower centers.  The light orange petals, soft yellow ink  and soft green leaves are a nice combination of colors.

Nancy Souza Group 17 Level 1 Stenciling 

AECP Group 17 Level 1 Let It Shine

One to the next homework challenge. This time it was the Let It Shine.  Adding sparkly and elements that shine are one of my favorite things when creating a card.  So this homework I was ready for.  I selected one of my favorite Aletnew stamps which is a large, beautiful poppy from the Forever and Always stamp set.  I used the image using Versamark ink, my MISTI tool to stamp the flower on heavy weight white card stock.  I embossed the flower with detail gold  embossing powder.  I tried another gold powder but did not like the way it looked so I tried again.  I painted the petals using Zig fine tipped markers, using a water barrel brush.  I blended and added shading. When that was dry I reached for an old standby- Twinkling H2O paints to add the shimmer and shine to the petals.  The hello die is one of my favorites and use it all the time.  I die cut the top one from a gold paper, and then die cut two more from white card stock to layered the hello.  I die cut the paper using a stitch edge die,  I used some Altenew pink ink to spatter the background.  I glued the hello to the bottom right corner and added glitter gold Nuvo dots for accent.  I have used this set alot and I had the matching dies.  Simple and elegant.

pink poppy jpg
Nancy Souza Group 17 Let It /Shine

AECP Group 17 Layering 1- For the Guys

This homework assignment was one that I had to think about for awhile.  I watched the class videos again to better understanding what the task was.  I did not have any guy stamps from Altenew so I had to think creatively.  I have used the canopy leaf set many times so that was the only non-flower set, so that limited my choices.  I inked a quarter sheet of white card stock with  a variety of green distress inks that I had in my collection.  I used a foam blender tool to apply the inks for a shaded background.  Then I stamped the leaf branch all over the paper filling in leaves where ever I could.  I used a favorite go to technique- I die cut circles, lots of them, small, large, stitched edge or plain edge.  I started to plan out the design, even a circle inside a circle.  I die cut white card stock, a larger piece of black card stock.  I trimed the circles that were on the sides and  stamped a hello from an Altenew set I had inside one layered circle.  The stamp circles once arranged, looked like they were a camo background.  Next time I will try it using blended blue ink.

Layering 1 Group  17 For The Guy
Nancy Souza Group 17 Level 1 For The Guy


The homework assignment on the class schedule was Easy Ink Blending Techniques.   I watched the videos again to review the techniques as a refresher.  I have used ink blending for many of my cards and other paper projects.  My challenge was to figure out what Aletnew stamps I wanted to use, the newAltenew ink cubes I recently purchased and the layout for the stamps.  I decided to use the Dahlia stamp set as it had large flowers and would make it easy to paint with the distress ink cubes. I stamped the flowers using Versamark ink and white embossing powder on water color paper.  I painted each flower, adding paint for shading and accents.  I used a heat tool to dry between painting and to add shading.  I used a blue distress ink for the background and lots of water for a soft effect.  I added a word banner from my collection of Altenew stamps.  I used a stitched die cut from My Favorite Things to cut  the paper for the A2 card.  I love the soft painted colors.

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Nancy Souza Group 17 Easy Ink Blending Techniques



The title of this homework assignment is Clean and Simple Boutique. I was not sure what the title meant and how I was going to plan and create a card for this homework task.  I had to watch again all of the videos to get a better understanding of the task at hand.  That was very helpful.  Then I had to research and decide  which Altenw stamps  and inks I was going to use for this homework assignment.  I selected the Leaf Cluster stamp set to use the solid image cluster stamp.  I used Tim Holtz oxide inks in salty ocean, peacock feathers and iced spruce for stamping and a light green ink for stenciling.  I stamped each leaf cluster overlapping the middle image.   The ink colors were vibrant and complimented each stamped image.   I used the Altenew gradient dot stencil to create the background and add visual interest.  A stamped Altenew word sentiment using black ink finished the stamping.  The die cut is from a stacked set from My Favorite Things and the rounded corners added visual interest and colorful blue corners.  The final step was to use my black glaze pen to add dots to the leaves.  This pen is one of my favorites and the ink dots are raised on the paper. I use it often to add the finishing touch to stamped projects.   Makes a big difference.  Now after completing this homework, I have a better understanding that sometimes less is more but still can be impressive and creative.

Nancy Souza Group 17 Clean/Simple Boutique Card



After watching and watching again the video tutorials for Layering 2 All About Layering, I was ready to create several new layering cards for the required homework.  I ordered several new layering stamps, dies and ink cubes of gradient colors.  Using gradient ink colors is a key ingredient to successful layering.  I leanered that from  the Layering 1 course.  I used the Dahlia Blossoms stamps, die and oranges inks. I also borrowed a set from a friend called Ethereal Beauty for additional layering stamps.  I practiced many, many times using the pencil marks to line up each stamp layer.  I watched a few more videos from the Altenew blog and Pinterest posts. After I had several good samples, I was ready to begin getting the pieces stamped and die cut.  I used a set of ink cubes from Altenew in shades of orange. My submission to Group 17 is the card with the single dahlia flower.  I created the background using the lightest shade of ink cube, watercolor paper, and a spray bottle to dilute the ink to begin with.  Then I added another darker shade of ink for contrast.  I die cut the paper using a stitched edge from My Favorite Things. I added a small paper doily, taped some gold thread to the back of the flower and foam tape to secure the flower.  I tucked the leaves behind the flower and stamped the sentiment to the lower right corner using Versamark black ink.  A few flat enamel dots for accents, and gold Nuvo drops to the center of the flower. The focal point of the card is the flower and the paper doily was a nice accent piece.   The other pictures are other cards I created using the layering technique.  Still a work in progress, but getting more successful every time I stamp using using the layered flowers and leaves.

layering 2: orange 17
Nancy Souza Layering 2 Group 17

Additional layering cards using the Etherial Beauty set and Dahlia Blossoms set.