All posts by Espresso Expressions

I am a card designer and paper artist who loves creating cards and paper projects. I enjoy learning new techniques and sharing ideas with friends. I am now a Certified Altenew Educator having successfully completed all leveled lessons /challenges and teaching a Zoom virtual workshop. Take a look at my Instagram posts of my paper projects. My favorite color in case you wanted to know is- Glitter!



This lesson focused on techniques to add visual interest and included watercolor resist, masking and inking, focal point, repeated stamping, inking and shading and ideas to repurpose the Altenew stamps and supplies that I had in my collection. I like using bright colors in my paper crafts and these lesson techniques will be applied to many of my paper projects. So great to learn new techniques. Hooray!

Here is the list of stamping techniques that were covered in this class-

  1. Golden Garden- using stamps to create a wreath shape
  2. Generation Stamping
  3. Ink blending and Flicking
  4. Masking and Blending
  5. Watercolor Resist and Multistep Stamping
  6. Smoosh Inking Technique


Using Free Form Greenert stamp to create a wreath

This lesson focused on how to multi purpose a leaf branch stamp to create a wreath around the edge of a die cut circle. After watching the lesson video I had to search my collection of Altenew stamps that would work to create a rounded edge. I used the Freeform Greenery stamp from Altenew. I stamped the branches several times using My Favorite Things black hybrid ink. This is a great ink to use when using Copic markers to color and shade. I stamped the branch five times, colored with Copic markers and fussy cut each branch. I also stamped a small bunch of berries and colored with Copic markers in shades of red. The front of the card had a large die cut circle and shaped the branches around the circle opening, overlapping when I needed to. I tucked in the colored berries and there were some I had to trim. I cut another circle, slightly larger than the opening on the front and stamped “Thinking of You” in the middle of the circle. I glued this circle inside the front cover. This also covered the inked leaves that were in the opening of the circle and created a clean surface inside the front of the inside of the card. I added Nuvo clear drops to each berry. Clean and simple and multipurpose as I can also use this layout for a holiday/Christmas card. My take away– the importance of thinking creatively to get more use of the stamps and materials that I have.



This second lesson focused on the technique of multi generation stamping. Again I had to rethink what stamp I was going to use as I did not have an outline shape like was used in the class video so it was time to revisit the stamps and resources that I had. I used a small circle stamp from the Funky Flower set. It was small enough where I could stamp the image lots of time that would cover the entire front of the quarter sheet of white card stock. I used my MISTI stamping platform to secure the paper and the position the small stamp. I stamped the funky flower using Altenew ink cubes in a variety of shades of purple. I inked the stamp, stamped the card stock and then moved the paper and re-stamped for a lighter image. I also changed the inks, and repeated the stamping. Where there was a empty space I went back and added another funky flower. The variety of purple hues created an interesting card front. I stamped the sentiment- You Are Simply Awesome from the Build a Flower Flourishing Zinnia stamp set. I die cut the piece using a stitched rectangle edge from My Favorite Things. I use this layered die set often for a finished piece for a card front. My take away- restamping to create a faded image and using multicolored inks to create a clean and simple card front and that can be adapted for multiple occasions.



This next card lesson used a variety of techniques to add color to a stamped image beginning with applying ink to the flower and flicking on another layer of color using coordinating colors from Copic markers to ‘flick’on shading. I went back to my collection of Altenew stamps and selected the small daisy stamp from a set I have used many times. I did not have a coordinating die so that helped me to decide what flower I wanted to use. I stamped and embossed the image with white embossing powder on white card stock. I used a foam blending handle to add yellows and orange inks using Altenew ink cubes. I could color outside the lines of the flower which made it easier. Then I added flicks of darker coordinating colors using Copic markers. I did the same steps for the leaves. The lesson video shared a great technique to create visual interest using colored paper accent. I selected pieces of patterned paper in shades of yellow and orange and added them to a strip of white paper. Then I trimmed it to create the piece I would add to the card front. I die cut the white card front piece using the stitched edge rectangle die from My Favorite Things-my go to die! Added the accent strip and I stamped the Hello in the bottom right hand corner. The last step was to add the flowers using foam tape or glue. My take away– was another technique to color stamped images and the patterned paper strip for visual interest.



Lesson 4 focused on a masking technique and blending inks. Another lesson that I had to think’outside’ the box. I searched through the stamps and inks that I had. I had plenty of 1″ Post It paper tape that I could use to mask off areas to create inked stripes. First I stamped and embossed the half tone smile stamp on white card stock. I selected ink cubes in pinks and purples from Altenew. I marked off a 1/2″ strip to begin the inking creating a diagonal pattern. After the first stripe, I marked off another 1/2″ stripe and covering areas that needed to be kept clean. I used purples and pinks varying the colors as I covered the quarter sheet of card stock. I buffed the inked piece when I was finished to remove any extra ink. I used the Mod Square die from My Favorite Things to die cut the piece. I stamped and embossed the remaining sentiments on black paper and die cut those as well. I assembled the card to a half sheet of white card stock and added stick on purple sequins for a bit of bling. edaway– this was an easy technique to create a background paper.



On to lesson 5 and this technique was to create a background. Another card where I had to made modifications. I used the half tone dot stencil from Altenew and white pigment ink to create a background on watercolor paper. I added white embossing powder and heated the powder. Next step was to watercolor the paper. I used several different colors from the Kuretake watercolor set in blues and greens. I blotted the excess water with paper towel to dry the paper before applying another color to keep the colors from over mixing. I had extra layered flowers and leaves from the dahlia set from another card projec. I stamped the sentiment and die cut it using a stitched oval shape from My Favorite Things and also the stitched rectangle die. I added some gold thread behind the oval before I put all the pieces together. My take away– l liked that I could use a stencil to create an embossed background for watercoloring. Another option to extend what I have in my stamping collection.




The last lesson in this series of class videos. The technique used a stamped and embossed image and then added watercolored ink and a piece of clean acetate. Once again, I reached for the Altenew leaf canopy stamp set. I cut a piece of watercolor paper to a slightly larger quarter sheet and stamped and embossed two of the leaf branches using the MISTI stamping platform. I wanted to cover most of the paper background, I picked distress inks-Evergreen bough and Stormy sky to create the ‘smooshed’ background, I swiped the green ink onto the plastic and sprayed with water to create puddles and touched the plastic to the paper and dragged it across the paper. I used some paper towels to pick up the really wet areas and used a heat tool to dry the paper. Then I added the blue ink using the same technique and overlapped some of the colors but kept the blues and greens clean. When dry, I die cut the piece using the same MFT stitched edge die. I stamped the sentiment using Versaclair black ink that I used clear embossing powder to create a crisp image. I added some white twine for accent and attached the sentiment to the card front. My take away– I really liked the smooshing technique as it is very versatile and can be used for many different cards and occasions.


STAMPS– Altenew leaf canopy, free form greenery, funky flowers, halftone smile, daisy, dahlia, build a flower flourshing zinnia and stamped sentiments

DIES– Altenew dalhlia flower and leaves, daisy and leaves

INKS– Altenew ink cubes pinks and purples, oranges , yellow and greens

STENCIL-Altenew half tone dots

DIES– My Favorite Thing- stitched rectangles, stitched ovals, banners, mod square and circle

INKS AND PAINTS– Distress ink Stormy sky and Evergreen bough, Versaclair black, Kuretake watercolor Blue #63, Blue #64 and Green #51

MARKERS-Copic YG 05 Salad green, YR 02 Light orange, Y06 Yellow, E13 Light suntan, YR02 Light orange, Y13 Lemon yellow, Y19 Napoli yellow, Y000 Yellow fluorite, YG25 Celadon green, YG17 Grass green, R29 Lipstick red, R35 Coral

OTHER- white embossing powder, Park Lane/Joanns stick on sequins, Post it paper tape, antic static powder, MISTI stamping platform , heat tool, Canson watercolor paper, white card stock, Scor Pal scoring tool. Fiskars paper cutter, May Arts twine, pieces of pattern paper-yellow and orange, Nuvo clear accents, 3M foam tape, 3M glue tape runner



After reading and watching all the lessons my big take away learning how to create backgrounds for cards that were using different techniques for coloring, painting, blending and stamping. I was able to repurpose the Altenew stamps, stencils and dies that I had to create cards based on the lessons and video techniques. As you read the blog post, you will recognize some of the stamps and resources from other blog posts. Being creative and learning how to repurpose my supplies was a great take away for me.



I selected the Funky Flowers set from Altenew to create the background. I stamped the outline smile at the bottom of the paper to plan the layout of the card. Then used the MISTI stamping platform to stamp the word ‘just’. The next step was to stamp a mask and die cut it to cover the stamped word. Then I was ready to use the Altenew ink cubes in shades of orange and green to create the background on the quarter sheet of card stock. I stamped the smile outlne stamp on white cardstock and used Copic markers to create a gradient colored image. I die cut it and layered it over the original stamped image. I used my T square ruler to draw a fine black line across the bottom of the paper. I die cut the piece using a stitched edge rectange die from My Favorite Things. The last step was to outline the veins on the leaves with a sparkly glaze pen to add some shimmer.



This card lesson used a masked section for a focal point on the card front. I die cut a piece of masking paper using a rectangle die and placed it in the middle of the white card stock. I did not have a large background stamp to use so I used the Wavy Grid stencil from Altenew to create a background. I used several shades of Oxide inks and a foam blending tool to apply the ink and overlap the colors. I then used coordinating Prisma colored pencils to add shading to each inked block to create visual interest. I removed the mask and used the MISTI stamping platform to stamp ‘sending you a ‘ in the square that was masked, I stamped and die cut the smile word. I used the stitched edge rectangle die from My Favorite Things for the card front. I completed the card by attaching it to a A2 white card base. I used small pieces of foam tape to add dimension to the die cut smile and added it to the square to complete the card.



For this card technique I stamped the large flower stamp from the Altenew Sketchy Floral set. I used permanent black ink and stamped the large flower image on watercolor paper. I painted the background using oxide ink weathered wood blue ink. Then I used oxide ink in worn lipstick/pink and cracked pistachio/ green to paint the flowers and leaves using a water barrel paint brush. When that was dry, I used the fine tip Zig markers to add another layer of shading to the flowers, leaves and yellow to the center of the flowers. When dry, I used My Favorite Things stitched rectangle edge die to trim the paper. I used a sentiment from another Altenew stamp set using Versaclair black ink and heat embossed using clear embossing powder the sentiment. The oval stitched die is from My Favorite Things . I added white twine from May Arts around the front painted piece and added the oval using foam tape for dimension. I added the piece to a A2 white card base. The last piece was to add glossy clear accents from Nuvo to the center of each flower. I like the soft blended colors using this technique.


Copic markers used for blending and shading techniques

This lesson focused on layering colors using markers and masking techhiques. After watching the video- several times, I selected an Altenew floral stamp that did not require any maskinfg but had many flowers to practice the coloring techniques using Copic markers. The lesson also focused on using alcohol markers to color, shading and blending to create a background for the stamped image. I modified the background to use a dot stencil from Altenew instead. After several attemps to use Copic markers to add a background color, I switched to using the inked stencil. That gave a must softer look that matched the colored flowers. I liked the new technique of layering the inked strokes to fan out from the center of the flower which created a softer colored flower that radiated from the center, buds and leaves. To continue the one layer concept, I used the MISTI stamping platform to position the sentiment- Enjoy The Little Things. I stamped the flowers using black hybrid ink from My Favorite Things for as I using alcohol inks and Versafine black ink for the sentiment. The final touches were adding white gel pen dots to the flowers and clear Nuvo drops to the flower centers. I die cut the piece using a stitched edge rectangle die from My Favorite Things on to a A2 white card base. Love the soft pink colors.



This objective for this card was adding shading for dimension. For this card I used watercolor paper and the Altenew Leaf Canopy stamp. I stamped the branches to cover as much of the paper as I could. I used a smaller stamp to fill in the space in the bottom left corner. I painted the leaves using a wash of distress inks- stormy sky, evergreen bough, bundled sage and a wash of blue and gray for the background. When that was dry I used Zig markers- olive green and gray brown to shade the leaves and add depth behind the leaves. I decided to stamp the sentiment- Just A Note- on a separate tag to avoid any stamping problems. I die cut the piece using a stitched edge rectangle. I also used a larger stitched edge die for the larger stamped and painted piece, I added them to a A2 left fold white card stock. I really like this shading technique as it looks more like a painting than just a card front.


Shades of gray overlayed with Copic marker coloring

One more lesson and this lesson objective started with the shading first. I stamped Post It paper to cut and create masks for the large dahlia, small dahlia and leaves. I stamped the largest dahlia flower first, covered it with the paper mask, stamped the smaller dahlia twice, left the masks in place to stamp the leaves and the single flower bug. Then I began the first layer of adding the lightest color of gray Copic marker. The lesson also focused on the importance of adding the shading to areas of the flower petals that curled and the leaves under the petals as well. The next step, was to add another slightly darker shade of gray. I did this for several other shades of gray slightly darker Copic marker each time. The last step was to add color in shades of yellow, going from lightest to darkest using Copic yellows. This step allowed the yellow layer to accent the shaded petals tone down the yellow. I did the same steps for adding color to the leaves. The background was colored with a small blending brush with light yellow ink. I stamped the sentiment with black ink and added distress oxide ink in antique linen using a blender brush. I added some pen glaze orange dots using a Kaiser Craft pen to the petals for accents. Almost done, then I used a stitched edge rectangle die for this piece and added it to the A2 white card stock base. Done!


Altenew stamps/die – Charmed stamp set, Leaf Canopy set, Sketchy flower stamp set, halftone Smile and die, Funky Flowers

Altenew inks– Blush ink cube

Altenew stencils– halftone dot , wavy grid

Dies– My Favorite Things stitched edge rectangle dies and oval stitched die

Inks- Ranger distress inks- Stormy Sky, Evergreen Bough, Bundled Sage, My Favorite Things black hybrid ink, Versafine black ink, Versafine Clair Nocturne Ink Ranger Distress Oxide Worn Lipstick, Oxide Cracked Pistachio, Weathered Wood blue, Distress Oxide Antiqiue Linen

Markers- Copic markers YG 05 Salad Green, YG13 Chartruese, Y19 Napoli Yellow, R20 Blush, R21 Light Pink, R32 Peach, RV 02 Sugared, YG25 Celadon Green, YG41 Pale Cobalt Green, YG63 Pea Green, YG23 New LeafAlmond Pink, N00 Neutral Gray, N2 Neutral Gray No.2, C1 Cool Gray, Y15 Cadmium Yellow, Y02 Canary Yellow, Y15 Cadmium Yellow, YR02 Light Orange, Y11 Pale Yellow, Y02 Canary Yellow, G24 Willow Green, G21 Lime Green, Zig Marker- Olive Green, Gray Brown

Paper– watercolor paper, white card stock



The lessons in this class focused on the following techniques-

Repeated stamping to add ink and color

Coloring and shading using Copic markers

Coloring and shading using colored pencils

Coloring and shading using watercoloring

Glitter paper and shading with markers

Embossing using embossing powder to create an accent frame


Stamping using different shades of coordinating inks.

This card was created using a variety of pink ink cubes from Altenew and the large poppy stamp. The objective of the lesson was using a variety of inks to create a gradient of colors. I had to improvise using the resources that I had so I decided to begin with the lightest shade of pink ink, then a slightly darker ink cube and the last one is poppy pink. Every time I stamped the flower, it created an embossed edge. I also used several shades of green ink for the stem. I then added Altenew washi tape corner accent and a layered gold paper die cut hello. I like the clean and simple card that highlights the color variations using different ink colors.

Steps for the process I used to create the Poppy card.


Stamping and shading with Copic markerst

This class focused on techniques to create shading for flower petals. I used a favorite stamp from Altenew that has large flower petals. I watched the video several times before I was ready to give it a go. I used several different shades of yellow Copic markers- cadmium yellow, lemon yellow and celadon green and new leaf green for the leaves and stems. I learned many new techniques and the shading of the petals really looked dimensional. I used Altenew wonky grid stencil to ink the background. A die cut sentiment, gold cording and black glaze ink dots finish the card.


Watercoloring and shading

It was time to breakout the watercolor set that I have. I stamped the flower branch using the Altenew Sketchy Floral stamp set on watercolor paper. I selected this stamp set because of the large petals so I had room to paint and shade the petals. I used a wet paint brush to ‘paint’ each of the petals and twigs with water. I added the lightest watercolorcolor first, and continued to blend in darker shades of paint to continue to blend and shade. I used the same technique for the stems and leaves, I created a coordinating stamped sentiment with color cordinated green and melon colored banners. And of course a few colored Nuvo drop accents.


Shading and blending using colored pencils

The next card was to use colored pencils to layer each color and add shading and dimension to each flower petal. I stamped the daisy type flower from the Altenew Smile More stamp set. I used heavy weight white card stock and black pigment ink and my MISTI stamping platform. I stamped the larger flower first and then added in the remaining spaces the smaller version of the flower. Following the steps in the video, I used the lightest shade of yellow in my Prismacolor colored pencil set, then added the next darker pencil color starting at the top of the petal closest to the center of the flower. The petals now had shading and dimension. I used the same shading technique for the center of the flower using shades of brown and few spots of white for accent. I used the stitch edge die from My Favorite Things and a triple accent banner sentiment on a white card base. A few copper accent dots from Nuvo.


Glitter paper, stamping and coloring

This card was creating a background that used glitter paper for stamping. I had in my paper collection a package of Micro Fine Glitter Paper in Cool Highlights from Krazy Kreations. I cut a piece larger than the inside of the rounded corner rectangle die from Altenew which was going to be the front of the card window frame. I selected a branch from the Leaf Canopy stamp set and black permanent ink. I used Tombow markers in shades of green and a blender marker after I finished coloring in the leaves. This last step was important to blend in all of the shades of ink. I let it set for awhile to dry while I worked on the rest of the card. I used the rounded rectangle corner die from Altenew to die cut a window from white card stock and then used a larger stitched edge die for the rest of the quarter sheet of white card stock. I stamped the “Thinking of You” sentiment in the bottom right corner using black ink. Before I put all of the pieces together I touched the inked leaves with a piece of scrap paper to help to dry the inked leaves. I used white glue to secure the glitter stamped paper to the card front and then I used foam tape behind the white paper frame. Simple but elegant card. I am glad I had this special paper in my collection!


Heat embosssed gold accent frame

This last card in the lesson was to create a visual accent and I created a gold embossed frame for the layered stamped Dahlia flower and leaves. I used a stacked set of square dies from Essential Squares by Ellen, This is a unique set and has many sizes but also cuts just a narrow frame. I used Versamark embossing ink and Egyptian gold embossing powder and heat set the gold frame. I used another square paper piece to ink dots using the gradient dot stencil using an Altenew ink cube. I added the stamped layered dahlia image and leaves to the dotted square using foam tape. The front of the card was a textured light melon colored paper. I stamped the sentiment and die cut the banner from My Favorite Things die. The gold accent frame added a visual accent piece to the card.


Altenew Stamps- layered Dahlia flower and leaves, Canopy leaf branch, Charmed flower, Sketchy Floral, Forever Poppy, Smile More daisy, and a variety of Altenew sentiments from other stamp sets

Altenew Stencils– gradient dot and wonky grid

Altenew Ink Cubes– sunkissed yellow and orange, and pinks

Altenew Dies- hello script and rounded corner stacked rectangle set

Altenew– wide washi tape gold stripe

Tombow Markers- 133 Light Green, 173 Green, 192 Green, N00 Blender pen

Copic Markers– Y15 Cadmium Yellow, Y13 Lemon Yellow, YG25 Celadon Green, YG23 New Leaf

Colored Pencils– Prismacolor yellows and light brown

Watercolor Paints- Kuretake Gansai Tambi paint blocks

Dies- My Favorite Things stitched rectangle and word banners, Essential Squares by Ellen

Supplies– Nuvo drops, black glaze pen, gold embossing powder, Memento black ink, embossing ink, Krazy Kreations glitter paper, foam tape, MISTI stamping platform, Scor Pal score board, 3M large tape runner, May Arts gold twine, white card stock, Fiskars scissors, blending brushes, 3M foam tape

on to aecp level 3 classes!

On to Level 3 Quick and Simple Cards Lesson. I selected this class as the course content focused on techniques to create cards that were ‘quick’to create. I of course added my own ‘spin’ to each card. I had to be creative when planning and completing the cards using the Altenew supplies that I had. I applied the techniques that Laurie shared in the videos and I am pleased with the lesson cards.

The card lesson objectives were-

  1. Creating sentiment strips
  2. Masking and stenciling’
  3. Background stamping
  4. Covering a card with stenciling
  5. Masking and stencilng
  6. Embossed / scored accent edges


Masked Edges and Stamped Sentiment Strips

This card combined Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 objectives. Lesson 1 focused how to stamp multiple sentiments using a stamping platform and grid lines. Lesson 2 focused on masked edges and inking a background using a stencil and a black and white stamped image with a colored accent image. I taped off the card edges using 1″ Post It Note paper tape, inked the Half Tone stencil with Firefly ink cube. I stamped the floral bunch from the Charmed stamp set using black Versamark ink and fussy cut the image. I stamped a single flower from the same stamp, colored the flower and leaf using Copic markers and fussy cut that as well, It needed a pop of color to compliment the inked background. I then used my MISTI stamping platform and spaced out three sentiments, black paper and white embossing powder. I then die cut each strip and also die cut the inked paper to fit the front of the A2 card. I added the sentiment strips and added it to a white card base. Finishing touch was adding black Glaze pen dots to the flowers.


Card 3 Creating a Stamped Background Using Multiple Stamps

This lesson focus was to create a backgroud using a large stamp and different colored ink to cover the quarter sheet of paper. I created my own background stamp using several different stamps from the Funky Flower set. I masked off diagonal stripes using 1/4″ Post It Paper to cover the paper. I used several large and small stamps from the Altenew Funky Flower set on small acrylic blocks. This allowed me to stamp using different colored ink cubes for the different Funky Flower stamps. I used Altenew ink cubes that were shades of yellow and orange for the smallest stamps. The stamps overlapped in some areas. When I removed the paper strips, the paper looked like it was made from one large stamp. Which was the goal of the lesson. I added a sentiment strip which was die cut, the stamped piece was also die cut and adhered to a A2 white card base. I will try this masking technique again.


Altenew Layered Medallion Stencil A and B

This lesson video demonstrated inking a large floral stencil and then stamping inside each stencil opening to create additioinal visual interest. After several attempts of cutting my own stencils and researching my Altenew supplies I decided to use the same lesson objective using the Layered Medallion A and B stencil that I had. I selected a light medium colored beige piece of card stock like Laurie used in the video. I inked Layer A with Cotton Candy ink cube to cover the entire piece of card stock. Layer B stencil I used the Ruby Red ink cube which was a much darker color which would create a contrast to the first layer of ink. This second stencil added darker lines which were contrasting to the color of the card stock and first inked stencil. The stenciled piece reminded me of a mosiac tile with the contrasting colors. I die cut the stenciled piece using a stitched edge die. I inked a piece of white card stock to match the stenciled piece, stamped and embossed the sentiment. I did several at the same time using the technique from Lesson 1. I layered three die cut banners to the bottom of the card. This was another A2 card half sheet of paper with a left side scored fold.


Masking technique and inked stencil

Following the theme of quick and simple, Laurie demonstrated how to create a masked section of a card for visual interest. You could work on the rest of the card keeping the masked section clean. I used white cardstock to start with, masked a section using 1″ wide Post It tape and the Altenew Wonky Grid stencil. I inked the first layer with a light pink ink cube and a foam applicator handle. I used the next darker ink cube and move the stencil to the right which would create a new ink grid. Using the same ink and I moved the stencil down and over one set of lines. This now created a plaid inked image. I loved the background that I created using the same piece of paper, grid stencil, and ink cubes. I removed the Post It tape and then worked on the sentiment. I stamped the half tone Smile stamp with black ink and die cut it. I also die cut three other smiles from white paper and layered them to create a raised imag. I stamped on black paper the word just, inked a coordinating pink piece of paper for accent strips for the top and bottom of the white masked section. This helped to transition from the grid to the white section. I used tiny piece of foam tape to the layered smile die and tucked the just tag under the smile. This piece was glued to a A2 white card base. I added three stick on silver sequins to the top right hand corner of the card front for some bling. This lesson reminded me of how easy it is to create unique inked background papers. I am glad that I had the Altenew Wonky Grid stencil to use as it was a recent purchase.


Embossed raised edge using the Rounded Rectangle die and a painted Poppy stamp and die

This is truly a clean and simple card layout with a single visual image. Laurie demonstrated how to create a raised outline using to create a border. I then used that concept and to create an embossed edge using the Altenew Rounded Rectangle die. I used a quarter sheet of white card stock, my Sizzix die cutting machine, a rubber embossing mat and the largest rounded rectangle die to run through my Sizzix. This set up created an embossed edge using the die. I really like the raised accent edge using this die, it was smaller than the paper as it was centered on the paper which allowed me to die cut the rest of the paper using my stitched edge die.

The Altenew poppy was stamped using Versamark ink and embossed with gold embossing powder. I painted the flower and stem using Altenew ink cubes using a watercolored blended look. I stamped and embossed the sentiment using the technique from Class 1. This was attached to a white A2 card base. Another technique that I will use again, especially that I figured out how to use a die for the embossed feature. I really liked this technique once I figured it out. A nice frame for the large painted poppy image.


Altenew Supplies

Rounded Rectangles Die Set

Layered Medallion A and B Stencil

Wonky Grid Stencil

Gradient Dot Stencil

Smile half tone stamp and die set

Charmed stamp set

Funky Flower stamp set

Poppy stamp set

Ink cubes- pink, yellow, orange, green


My Favorite Things dies

Cardstock-white, beige

Double sided tape and foam tape

White and gold embossing powder

Versamark embossing ink, Versafine black ink

Post It paper tape

Stick on sequins Park Lane from Joanns store

AECP Level two challenge final projects. It’s all about the guys!

After completing Level Two lessons and having some time to reflect on the lesson techniques I have added so many new ideas, resources, techniques to my card making skills. I was ready for the final Lesson Two Challenge. Well, here they are!

The Level Two Challenge included designing four different masculine cards and the themes included- Birthday, Love/Thinking of You, Anniversary, and Encouragement.

And the final challenge was Altereing/ Upcycling a piece. After researching/reviewing the lessons, checking my Altenew stamps and resources and my paper crafting supplies I was ready to begin!

First, take a look at my Photo Gallery of the four masculine cards and the Altered/Upcycled project that I designed and completed.



I selected the Altenew Leaf Canopy stamp and coordinating die set. I already had this set in my collection and have used it in many card making projects and it is one of my favorites. I began researching the embossing powders that I had in my collection and ones that would be just right for the leafy branches. One of the Lessons focused on Shine On and was on the search for a shiny look for the leaves.

Different embossing powders I did a test sample of embossing powders

I tried Peppered Turquoise Opaque, Golden Cadillac, Lime Sherbert, Copper Tex Opaque and Lime Sherbert embossing powders. I selected the Lime Shebert as it had a nice textured green and had a shine when embossed. I stamped the leaves using Versamark embossing ink and heat set the stamped branches with the Lime Sherbert embossing powder.

Nex step was to die cut the branches and I selected one large branch and a smaller one to layer them in a group.

After completing that step it was time to create the watercolor painted background. I used Canson watercolor paper and my Kuretake Watercolor set of paints to create a light wash of color to creae the background.

I selected No.64- Blue and No. 61- Light Blue, a wide flat brush to wet the paper and to add the wash of color to the paper. I let the paint drip and move adding more paint and water to cover the entire half sheet. Then I had choices when I cut the paper to a quarter sheet to be die cut. I splattered some paint to create interest, blotted up wet areas to speed up the drying process.



I used a large stitched edge die from My Favorite Things, I die cut the branches and stamped and heat embossed the sentiment- You Are Simply Awesome from the Flourishing Zinnia stamp set. I used black Versaclair ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. I die cut the sentiment using a stitched oval die from My Favorite Things. I layered the pieces, glued them into place and added thin gold cording bow from May Arts to the top of the branches. A clean and simple card layout that has visual interest points.


  1. Altenew Leaf Canopy stamps and dies
  2. Lime Green embossing powder
  3. Distress ink for watecoloring
  4. Canson watercolor paper
  5. Black Versaclairink
  6. My Favorite Things stitched dies



On to Card 2 for the Anniversary card. I used Masking Techniques Unleashed and Scene Building techniques from Lesson 2 classes. When I was planning and researching my supplies for this card, my planning starting with the sentiment You Are Everything To Me. It is part of the Forever and Always Altenew set. I liked that it was appropriate for either the sender or recipient of the card. I love the set Garden Silhouette stamp and coordinating dies. A versatile set I have used for a variety of cards since I purchased it. This card involved a few more steps but I really liked the layered look of the vases which added visual interest.

I created the textured vases using an inked paper using light blue distress ink on watercolor paper to create a blended background. When that was dry I sprayed the paper with Tim Holtz distress texture spray. This created a textured and shiny paper backgound. I die cut the vases using the coordinating die and lightly inked the edges with sage green distress ink for shading. Then I could use the placement of the vases to determine where I was going to mask and stamp the flower stems and branches. I die cut the vases from Post It paper squares which I used for the masks when positioning the floral stems.

I colored the stems with a Tombow green brush tip maker and inked the flowers with three shades of orange Altenew ink cubes. I drew a light pencil line for a blue table where the vases would sit. I used a wash of the blue distress ihk to create the table surface and used a wet paint brush to paint in the table line.

I used the graduated Altenew dot stencil to create a light green background on the white card stock using a foam blending handle. I die cut the piece using a stitched edge rectangle die. A piece of melon colored solid paper was slightly larger than the inked piece which added a complimenting color to the layout. Pieces of foam tape was used to adhere the vases to the paper and visual interest. I added black Glaze pen dots to each flower bud and then added clear Nuvo glaze to the flowers when dry. I stamped, stenciled and die cut the word banner and used foam tape to adhere the sentiment strip to the card. My favorite sections are the textured vases and the bright orange flowers. Love this happy card!

I created

  1. Altenew Garden Silhouette stamps and dies
  2. Altenew Forever and Always stamp set for sentiment
  3. Canson water colored paper
  4. Distress blue ink
  5. Distress bundled sage ink
  6. Tim Holtz distress texture spray
  7. My Favorite Things stitched rectangle dies and banner die
  8. Tombow brush tip marker
  9. Altenew orange ink cubes
  10. Altenew gradient dot stencil
  11. Black glaze pen
  12. Nuvo clear liquid for flowers
  13. 3M foam tape
  14. Round paint brush
  15. Post It Notes sticky paper to create the paper masks




For this guy card the theme was birthday card. I always like to have some guy birthday cards in my ready to mail collection. I went back to the Canopy Leaf set as I wanted to use Copic markers to color and shade the leaves to practice the technique from the Magical Markers lesson. The color theme was shades of green applying the techniques from the Polychromatic color theme. I stamped the leaf branches using black Memento ink and solar white Neenah paper. This is a nice smooth paper which is great for blending alcohol ink markers. I used G21 Lime Green, G24 Willow Green and G21 for blending. When I was finished I used the large tag die from Sizzix to die cut the part of the stamped and color branches. that had the most coverage on the paper. I also die cut the reinforced circle for the tag from the die set as well. That finished the look of the tag. Then it was time to create the painted background. I cut a quarter sheet sized water color paper. I painted the background paper with a wash of Bundled Sage distress ink. I heat set the paint and to speed up the drying time. I used a embossing die from Lawn Fawn . I use this versatile die often as it adds texture and visual interest to a background. I stamped the Altenew sentiment usin black Versclair ink and heat set using clear embossing powder. The banner die is from My Favorite Things, another die that I use alot. I tied a double bow using black twine from May Arts to coordinate with the green and black color theme. The back ground paper was die cut to an A2 size using stitched rectangle die from My Favorite Things. The Lesson 2 was great about using a single color helped me when I was researching and designing this card.




For this last card, I focused on the information from Lesson 2- Easy Die Cutting and Heat Embossing. I used another piece of Canson water color paper painted the paper with a wash of green watercolor from the Kuretake paint box, adding more paint and water to create a shaded painted piece. This painted paper is where I used to die cut the leaf cluster branches. However, my first try was to ink the leaf cluster stamps with two shades of green Altenew ink and die cut them. After that attempt, I decided that there was not enough dimension to the leaves and then tried the watercoloring the back ground instead. The branches had the variety of colors I wanted to achieve.

After the painted paper was dry, I die cut the leaf clusters trying to use as much of the paper for die cutting as I did not know how many I would select to use for the card. The next step was to ink each cluster with Versamark ink and clear embossing powder and heat embossed each cluster I had selected.


Now I was ready to create the card using the painted background paper and the embossed leaf clusters. I die cut the background paper using the stitched edge die from My Favorite Things . I stamped the sentiment “Enjoy The Little Things” from the Altenew Charmed stamp set and was a great match to the theme of the card which was Encouragement. I trimmed the leaf clusters to fit onto the blue paper and added the sentiment. Love the simple card layout and vibrant shades of green.

  1. Aletenew Leaf Cluster stamps and die
  2. Altewnew sentiment
  3. Altenew green ink cubes
  4. Versamark clear ink
  5. Versaclair black ink
  6. Clear embossing powder
  7. Heat tool
  8. Sizzix die cutting machine
  9. Canson water color paper
  10. Watercolor paints
  11. My Favorite Things dies


This picture frame started out as a simple wooden 5 x7 frame from a long ago project that I had covered with several different papers. The challenge was to remove the layers of glued paper to reveal the wooden frame. After sanding and wetting the frame and sanding again, I finallywas back to the original unpainted frame. Then I gave the frame a coat of white acrylic paint to prep for the next step of the upcycled frame.

The first step was to remove the paper that was covering the frame, sand it and paint the frame white.

I covered the frame with Altenew wide black and white dot washi tape. I mitered the corners and wrapped the washi tape around the sides and back and the inside of the frame. This covered all of the painted edges. I used a piece of printed paper from a Gelli Plate project and was a bright color and would be a nice contrast to the black and white washi tape,

I stamped the Altenew Halftone smile from a solid piece of painted paper I had and then used the coordinating die. I die cut a rectangle from white paper and stamped the Just above the smile stamped die cut. I added the trimmed background paper to the frame, added the sentiment piece using foam tape to create a raised effect. This simple forgotten frame now had a new bright upgrade!

  1. Wooden 5×7 picture frame
  2. Altenew Half tone smile stamp and die
  3. Altenew Many Dots wide black and white washi tape
  4. Gelli print painted background


Using embossing poweder on small die cut pieces be challenging and I found a ‘tool’ that makes it easier. A fellow crafter on Pinterest with a You Tube video on tools that every crafter needs that come from home improvement stores like Home Depot or Harbor Freight. This home crafting tool is a narrow wooden piece that is about 2″ wide and 18″ long or a flat 12″ wooden ruler would work too. The next part is to have a black Teflon oven liner. Cut a piece from the oven liner that will cover the wooden piece/ruler. Use rubber cement to glue the Teflon strip to the wooden piece/ruler. When you have the paper you want to emboss, especially small pieces, spray the Teflon with Pixie spray and secure your paper to the sticky sprayed piece. Stick on your piece, cover with embossing ink and sprinkle on the embossing powder. Heat set, allow to cool and remove the piece. With the melted powder that is left rub it off to clean and empty in the wastepaper basket. Clean off the Pixie spray and its ready for the next time. Easy Peasy!


Aletnew Educators Academy Level 2 Lesson Masking Unleashed

This lesson focused on the technique known as ‘masking’.  A stamped image is covered with a cut out of of the stamped image.  I used the sticky edge of a Post It Note.  I have also used masking paper for images that are very intricate and needed the entire image covered. For this card the most important part that needed to be masked was the top of the vase and the Post It note paper worked well for this card layout.

I used Altenew stamps from the Garden Silhouette set and coordinating dies.  My paper choices were white card stock for the card base, yellow pin dot paper for the card front and Cason watercolor paper for the tag. The twine bow is from a May Arts spool.  The hugs stamp used Versamark black ink.  The vase was stamped using Stormy Sky blue distress ink. The flower was  inked with  two shades of Altenew yellow ink cubes set and stem was colored with a green Tombow marker.

First step, was to ink and stamp the vase on  a piece of watercolor paper.  I stamped it again on a Post It note, die cut the vase and covered the stamped vase.  I colored the stem and flower, stamped it using my MISTI stamping platform.  I had to ink and repeat the stamping to get a darker image.   Next I die cut largest tag  from Sizzix set that included seven different tag sizes. The die cut image on the watercolor paper creates an embossed edge which adds visual interest to the card.  I stamped the hugs on the yellow dot paper, die cut it to fit the card front and was ready to assemble the card. I tied a twine bow to the top of the tag.

The last step after adding the dot paper was to attach the tag using double sided foam tape.  A clean and simple masked card.


  • Altenew Garden Silhouette stamp and coordinating die set
  • Altenew yellow ink cubes
  • Sixxiz Framelits tag die set
  • Distress Stormy Sky blue ink
  • Versamark black ink
  • Tobow markers
  • Pin dot printed yellow paper
  • May Arts twine
  • My Favorite Things stitched rectangle die
  • White card stock
  • 3M double sided foam tape
  • MISTI stamping platform

Nancy Souza Masking Unleashed
Nancy Souza Level 2 Masking Unleashed

Aletenew Educator Academy Level 2 Impressive Heat Embossing

On to this lesson which focused on the use of heat embossing when creating a  stamped card.  I used heat embossing when I stamped the double flower image.  I used the small double flower from the Forever and Always poppy set.  I stamped the double flower image over a quarter sheet of mixed media paper using Versamark ink and then heat embossed using Ranger silver embossing powder.

I painted the flowers using shades of Altenew ink cubes in light purple and pinks. When that was complete I used a scalloped curve My Favorite Things die for the bottom of the piece.  I added a piece of pink patterned paper to create the card front.  I then I die cut the card front using a stitched rectangle die from My Favorite Things. I stamped the sentiment from another Altenew stamp set in Versafine black ink.  I added a few glittery pink Nuvo dots for accents.

Nancy Souza  Heat Embossing JPG.JPG
Nancy Souza  Heat Embossin


  • Altenew Always and Forever stamp set- smll double bud stamp
  • Altenew stamp sentiment Hello Starshine
  • Altenew ink cubes- purple and pink
  • Ranger silver embossing powder
  • Heat tool
  • My Favorite Things die- curved scallop edge, stitched rectangle dies
  • Versafine black ink pad
  • Water barrel brush
  • Nuvo glitter drops
  • Fan brush
  • 3M double sided tape
  • MISTI stamping platform
  • Scor-pal scoring tool



AECP Level 2 Color Your Day Lesson

“Color Your Day” lesson focused on including color to a card.  I enjoy creating cards and other paper related projects that include that pop of color including even the smallest detail.  The topic of this lesson was focused on using colors so I reached for my  Copic alcohol markers.

I selected the Altenew Forevery Always stamp set and used the double poppy stems.  My paper selection was Neenah white card stock which works well with Copic markers.  I stamped the stems twice using black Memento ink and my MISTI stamping platform.  I varied the placment of the stems and was ready to color the stamped stems.  Starting with the lightest shade of orange for the buds and stems I colored in the images.  Then I blended and shaded moving to the mid range and darker colors to create depth in the images.

When I finished I used the gradient dot Altenew stencil and Altenew sunkissed ink cube and a blending brush to apply the ink.  I stamped an Altenew sentiment- Thinking of You- on white card stock, die cut the piece and inked the paper with the same ink I used on the stencil.

I created a window frame using  two different sizes of the stitched rectangle dies I had.  It was an A2 size to cover the front of the card.  I used liquid white glue to position the window frame onto the colored piece.   I assembled the card.  The word tag I popped it up using foam tape.  The last step that pulled it all together by adding dots to the open blooms using a black glaze pen.

What did I learn? Shading and blending add depth to the stamped poppy buds and focusing on a simple color palette.


  • Altenew Forever and Always poppy set
  • Altenew dot gradient stencil
  • Altenew Sunkissed ink cube
  • Altenew sentiment
  • Copic markers- YG07 Acid Green, YG13 Chartreuse Green, Eii Barely Beige, YR21 Cream, YR02 Light Orange
  • Memento black ink
  • Neenah Solar White card stock
  • My Favorite Things- stitched rectangle dies in several sizes
  • 3M foam tape and double sided tape
  • White glue
  • Black glaze pen
  • Blender brush

Nancy Souza Color Your Day Lesson





AECP Level 2 Beautiful Details Lesson

Level 2 Beautiful Details Lesson took a bit of thinking and reviewing my collection of Altenew materials.  And watching the lesson videos again.  The Antique Rose stamp set has a matching stencil and masking option and the shape for the stencil is simple  and easy to outline.  I used a piece of heavy weight white card stock and inked the rose stencil using Altenew soft lilac ink cube. I moved the stencil around the paper to cover as much as I could cover rotating the stencil as I inked.  The ink color has a light gray shade to the purple inking.  Then I used a fine tip black marker pen from Faber Castell to outline each inked flower.

I die cut  matching light blue card stock for the background and the inked paper using several My Favorite Things stitched layered rectangle dies.  I added the black and white wide dotted Altenew washi tape to a strip of white paper and die cut that as well.  A stamped sentiment from Altenew “Just Because”, a black banner complete the trio of die cut banners.  I layered the pieces onto a A2 white card base.  When everything was in place, I added three raised black dots using glossy Nuvo drops.  That brought the three colors together- soft lilac ink, black and white.  The rose stamp from the set is a multi layered one and how I used it here looks very different than the stenciled on its own.  I included a card that I created for the lessons that I used the layered rose stamp on another card.


  • Altenew stencil small Antique Rose
  • Altenew soft lilac ink cube
  • Altenew black and white dot washi tape
  • Altenew stamped sentiment
  • Versamark black ink
  • Stampin’ Up light blue paper
  • My Favorite Things  stitched rectangle die and banner dies
  • Nuvo drops- black glossy
  • Faber Castelle fine tip black marker


Nsncy Souza Beautiful Details AM.JPG
Nancy Souza  Level 2 Beautiful Details 

Nancy Souza Antique Roses layered die cut flowers 

AECP Level 2 Polychromatic Class

On to the next class in Level 2 and the title is Polychromatic.  I watched the videos, took notes and watched the videos again.  I finally decided that the mono color layout was the technique that was the one that I found one that I had limited experience with.  I selected a large daisy like stamp from the Smile More stamp set.  I thought yellow would be a good happy color to use for the card layout.   The card stock is a light yellow from Stampin’ Up I had in my paper collection.  I cut the sheet in half so I had more space to stamp the flower and then select the part of the paper I liked the best.

Stamping was done using Versaclair Cheerful Yellow ink which versatile ink.  It is stays wet enough to emboss with and can be used as a dry ink.  I dusted the paper with my embossing buddy anti-static poweder first. I used my MISTI stamping platform, secured the stamp to the cover, inked the stamp.  I added clear embossing powder to the image, heat set it and then rotated the paper to stamp the next flower and emboss.

When I was finished I used my awesome set of Prismacolor pencils and the different shades of yellow that I had in my set.  I started with the lightest shade of yellow to color in the petals.  Then I used a slightly darker shades of yellow to begin the shading and coloring  of the petals.  I added a darker yellow for the center of the flower.  That worked the best without being too dark.

Once I was finished coloring I selected the part of the paper that came out the best as I need to die cut a piece for the card front.  The card layout was a horizontal one with a left fold.  I used a stitched edge die from My Favorite Things for the yellow paper and for the piece of striped vellum. I die cut the Altenew hello  from a light yellow card stock.  I have a embossing and die from Stampin’ Up that creates paper buttons.   I tiny hole punch allowed me to thread the jute string to tie a bow.  Some carefully placed white glue  for the hello die and then behind the die to glue the vellum to the card front.  I few tiny pieces of foam tape for the paper button.  Another class done!

Souza yellow
Nancy Souza Level 2 Polychromatic


  • Altenew Smile More flower stamp
  • Altenew hello script die
  • Prisma colored pencils- shades of yellow
  • Versaclair Cheerful Yellow ink
  • Clear embossing powder and a heat tool
  • My Favorite Things stitched rectangle dies
  • Stamapin’Up button embossed and die
  • May Arts thin jute twine
  • Embossing buddy
  • Stampin’ Up yellow card stock
  • Stiped vellum
  • White card stock
  • White craft glue
  • 3M tape runner and foam tape