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





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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


AECP Level 2 Creative Watercolor Media Lesson

Next lesson is lesson four and the challenge is Creative Watercolor Media.  After watching the videos for the lesson and reviewing the Altenew stamps that I had and I was ready to start planning.  I selected  several liquid/ re-inks- twisted citron and tumbled glass , to paint with and a half sheet of Canson watercolor paper.   The stamp set is Leaf Canopy outline. The set also has solid stamps and I have the matching dies.  I used Versamark  ink and an embossing buddy anti-static powder before stamping the outline leaf branches. Next, I applied gold embossing powder and heat set the branches. I rotated the paper to stamp another part of the paper and heat emboss the branches again.

 I used a small bubble paint palette to drop in the liquid re-inkers and added some water to the inks. Next, I used a large flat paint brush to apply  water on the paper.  The first was very light as that was okay for the background.  Next, I added more inked color to the leaves and some of the ink puddled to create some contrast and shading.  I used a heat tool to dry and move some of the  ink around.  I used  a fan brush to splatter the diluted tumbled blue glass to the background.  Next I used a curved scallop edge die from My Favorite Things to cut the bottom of the piece and then trimmed it to the quarter sheet for a horizontal card front.

Almost finished- I cut a small piece of white cardstock and covered it with the gold  stripe  wide washi tape.  I attached it to the bottom of the card front and then adhered the painted piece to the rest of the card. I stamped  hugs on a left over piece and die cut it using s small rectangle  size  I added some gold thread behind the tag and a piece owf foam tape to adhere it to the bottom of the card.

What I learned? I enjoy watercoloring  and have used many different mediums to paint.  This was the firs time I used liquid re-inkers to paint with. I was able to add depth/shading to the leaves just by adding more ‘paint’  to the leaves.  A new option to paint with and I have a small collection of re-inkers.  That’s a good thing.

Nancy Souza Level 2 Watercolor Media PG
Nancy Souza Level 2  Watercolor Media


  • Altenew Leaf Canopy – outline stamp
  • Altenew wide gold stripe washi tape
  • Ranger distress liquid re-inkers- Twisted Citron and Tumbled Glass
  • Gold embossing powder
  • Versamark embossing ink
  • Embossing powder buddy
  • Versamark blsck ink
  • My Favorite Things scallop curved die and stitched rectangle
  • Wide flat paint brush, round paint brush and fan brush for spalattering
  • Heat gun
  • Stamping platform
  • Fiskars paper cutter
  • Score pal scoring board
  • White card stock

Level 1 Badge1


AECP Level 2 Lesson With A Twist

On to the next Level 2 lesson and this technique is titled With a Twist.  The lesson videos shared many ideas to create unique backgrounds.  I wanted to try something new which was the inlaid technique of stamping and then die cutting the pieces, adding color and returning them to the background paper.  I selected the Altenew Ethereal  Beauty stamp set and coordinating dies. These flowers have a great outline stamp and would be easy to color/paint.  I used watercolor paper for the stamping using Archival black ink as I would be painting the flowers.  Then I die cut the stamped flowers.  Painted them with Zig markers in shades of yellow and light orange.  When dry I added black dots using my favorite pen- black Glaze pen.  I stenciled the background using the Altenew gradient dot stencil with a light organge ink cube from Altenew a foam blender to created the inked background.

Next I put the die cut flowers back in the original space and taped them in place on the back side of the paper.  I die cut the piece using a stitched edge rectangle from My Favorite Things. To keep with the organge color theme, I stamped the sentiment on to light orange paper and stitched die cut oval from My Favorite Things.  I assembled the card using foam tape and then added a few pieces for the back of the tag.

Nancy Souza Level With A Twist jpg.jpg
Nancy Souza Level 2 With A Twist


  • Altenew Ehtereal Beauty stamps and die set
  • Altenew stamped sentiment
  • Altenew orange/yellow ink cubes
  • Altenew gradient dot stencil
  • Archival black ink
  • Zig watercolor markers and water barrel brush
  • Black glaze pen
  • My Favorite Things stitched oval die and stitched rectangle die
  • Canson watercolor paper
  • 3M foam tape0



AECP Level 2 Lesson In The Mood For Color

On to the next lesson and the focus for this lesson “In The Mood For Color” is using color to express a mood.  I created a card to express happy thoughts.  I used a stamp set from Altenew Garden Silhouette. The bright colors would create the mood and I used Tombow markers in  bright pink, yellow and light blue for coloring the flowers and bright green for the stems.  The leafy branch was inked with Altenew light green ink cube.

I used a simple clean layout that started with a quarter sheet of white card stock.  I colored the first stamp using the bright yellow marker and  green for the stem.  I stamped the yellow flower in each corner.  Next was the pink flower in the middle of each side and filled in  the other spaces with another flower and this one was light blue.  I filled in the other spaces with the stamped mini-leaf branch.

Next,  I stamped Happy Thoughts sentiment in black Versaclair ink and clear embossing powder.  The next step was to add light green ink using a foam blending pad and the small dot stencil.  The last step was to die cut the piece using a stitched edge die cut from My Favorite Things.  I used double sided tape to attach finished piece to white card stock.  Great easy card to customize for other occasions.

Nancy Souza ILevel 2 n The Mood .jpg

Level 1 Badge1.png


  • Altenew Garden Silhouette stamp, leaf, branches and matching sentiments

  • Altenew Happy Thoughts sentiment

  • Altenew gradient dots stencil

  • Tombow markers- Yellosw 062, Pink 743, Blue 451, Green 133

  • Black Versaclair ink and clear embossing powder

  • My Favorite Things stitched edge rectangle die

  • Foam blending tool

  • White card stock

AECP Level 2 Beyond Basic Backgrounds Lesson

It was time to work on another lesson 2 menu and I started this time at the beginning of the list.  After watching the lesson video and taking a look at the card inspiration I was ready to begin.  I used a new stamp set from Altenew called Garden Sillouette.  I ordered this set as liked the selection of solid flowers, leaves, branches and the canning jar and vase stamps.

level 2
Nancy Souza Level 2 Lesson Beyond Basic Backgrounds

As the lesson focus was using a stencil I had to create one first. I used a piece of stencil paper from a pad that was from Melissa and Doug.  That was a great find one day.  I used two different leaf dies from the set to die cut five branches.  Next I used white card stock and my MISTI tool to ink the flowers using Tombow marker 553 and 192  for the stem.  I had to add more ink from the markers to get a darker image and for the final stamp I spritzed the flowers with water to blend the ink a bit.  I then die cut the coordinating from white paper for the three flowers.  I lightly sprayed each die cut using Pixie spray and covered each flower. I layered the stencil on top , used paper tape to secure it and used a foam bleding pad and Altenew firefly green dye ink to add color to  the branches. Now the flowers are in the foreground and the branches are in the background.

I added a  strip of black and white stripe paper  from paper pad fromMy I avorite Things.  I used the Thanks stamp from the set for the sentiment and banner die and a coordinating blue banner die cut as well.  I used my favorite stitched edge rectangle die from My Favorite Things  and then attached it to horizontal A2 card base.  I splattered the piece with water diluted light blue ink using the Tombow marker I used on the flowers.  Simple card layout using only a few colors.

I created the  stencil  using dies from the Garden Silouette set using stencil paper from Melissa and Doug


  • Altentew Garden Silouette stamps and coordinating dies
  • Altenew dye ink Firefly green ink cube
  • Tombow markers 553 and 192
  • Ranger foam blending tool
  • My Favorite Things  mini banner dies, stitched rectangle die
  • My Favorite Things black and white stripe paper pad
  • White card stock and strip of blue
  • Versafine black ink
  • Pixie spray adhesive
  • Fan brush for ink splatters
  • MISTI stamping platform


AECP Level 2 Magical Markers Techniques


Level 2: magical markers
Nancy Souza Level 2 Magical Markers 

Hooray!  I received my Level 1 badge for successfully completing the Level Challenge!  Now it is on to the Level 2 lesson homework.  This lesson objective was to use markers to create a card with visual interest.  I have a sizable collection of Copic markers and of course I had Yupo paper.  I combined the two to create the background.  I like using Alcohol Ink (AI) and have done lots of projects using this ink on Yupo paper both the white and transparent paper and many different techniques including using canned air to move the ink  on the plastic paper. The homework for Lesson 1 is to use markers, so I used my Copic markers.  I created stripes of shades of green on Yupo white paper using five different Copic greens.  I added more ink to each stripe to darken them.  Then I used a spray bottle that is filled with 91% Alcohol and lightly misted the paper.  I only wanted to created some visual interest and keep the stripes intact.  Next, I taped the hello die to the inked paper and die cut it.  This created a matching colored hello. To cover up the die cut ‘hole’ I die cut a piece of white cardstock  using a stitched rectangle from My Favorite Things.  I also die cut the Yupo paper using another stitched rectangle to fit the front of the A2 card.  Almost done- I used some white glue to adhere the hello die cut to the white rectangle.  I stamped a sentiment from an Altenew set I had in my collection -You Make Me Happy that coordinated with the Hello sentiment.  I die cut it using a mini banner  die from My Favorite Things.  I used 3M foam tape to attach the completed rectangle, I added  a small piece behind the end of the word banner  and tucked the end behind the panel.  Done!  I love the shades of green.  This would look great in any color and is generic depending on the colors that you use. Happy Mail!

Nancy Souza


  • Yupo medium white paper pad Legion brand
  • Altenew Fancy Hello die
  • Altenew sentiment stamp
  • My Favorite Things stacked set of stitched dies
  • My Favorite Things banner die
  • Versafine black ink pad
  • Copic markers- G21 Lime Green, G24 Willow, YG 05 Salad, YG 25 Celadon Green, YG 21 Grass Green
  • Mini spray bottle with 91% Alcohol
  • 3M foam tape
  • Narrow roll of double sided paper tape
  • White glue
  • White card stock


AECP Level 1 Project Challenge- Girl Power

pink cards:box
Nancy Souza Level 1 Challenge  Girl Power  cards and gift box

This post is the second half of the end of Level 1 Project Challenge and for this part I  focused on designing four cards and a packaging box for the cards.  For this part of the challenge, I focused on using  coordinating shades of a pink and shades of purple  palette  for the four cards and gift box.  And the theme was flower related sentiments.  I used many of the same Altenew stamp sets, inks, dies that I used for the Level 1 homework lessons, including the techniques and tips I learned after completing the lessons. I also created some of my own tips and techniques for the cards and materials that made stamping more user friendly when using the Altenew layering stamp/dies set/ink cubes.

Here are the stamp sets and coordinating Altenew materials  I used-

  • Charmed stamp set- abstract flower and sentiments

  • Antique Rose stamp set/stencil/dies- layered roses and leaves

  • Wonderland stamp set/ coordinating dies- poppy like large stamp, stems and buds

  • Dahlia Blossoms stamp set/coordinating dies-layered stamps large and small flowers and  coordinating dies

  • Forever and Always stamp set- anniversary set with many sentiments

  • Fancy  Hello Die-single hello die

  • Gold Stripe Washi Tape- wide width Washi tape

Tips and Techniques- I numbered the ink cubes  covers for the sets I purchased for the classes.  This helped me line them up by color gradient first without uncovering them.  This simple set eliminated the step of inking paper to determine how light or dark the ink cubes were prior to using.  Suggestions-  I would include the name or number of the ink sets on the bottom of the ink cube or a sticker on the side to match the ink cube back with the right cover.   This simple step helped alot without guessing and selecting the wrong shade of ink I wanted to use.

Helpful Hint- I used the tip of using pencil marks for the layering stamped images. This was helpful as I had not used layered stamps prior to completing the lesson on layering .  I also found using my MISTI stamping platform super helpful when using the layering stamps. I could set up each layer of the set, stamp many images then line up the next one in the set, ink and stamp the next layer until the flower was complete.  I had more aligned flowers. Hooray!  I found this technique when searching on the Altenew page on Pinterest.


Card 1- You Make My Life Blossom/ Technique- Layering Stamping




layering guide

I selected this stamp as my first for my Girl Power card set.  Using the layering set and coordinating dies was great practice using the rose layering stamp set.  I purchased a set of colored ink cubes to use with layering stamps.  I numbered the pink ink cubes to guide my selection of the colored ink I wanted to use for the layered rose image.   I also used my MISTI stamp platform to stamp multiplies of each layer which made my layering more accurate.  Previous I was tossing alot of my ink layered attempts as they did not line up correctly.  I die cut the completed roses and accuracy in die cutting which was important too.  I then used  a curved scallop edge die cut from My Favorite Things for the printed paper.  I then added a piece of white paper for the bottom and covered it with the wide gold stripe Washi tape and adhered it to the back of the scalloped die cut piece. It was ready to attach to the white card stock card base.  The You Make My Life Blossom! sentiment was from another Altenew stamp set.  I die cut the sentiment using a stitched oval die from My Favorite Things.   A bundle of gold thread behind the oval and some foam tape to attach the oval.  I layered the three roses and tucked the leaves behind the flowers. I used the focal element of three- 3 flowers and 3 leaves.  A few pink glossy Nuvo drops for the center of each flower.  The roses came out better with a bit more praetice.

Stamps and Supplies

Stamps- Altenew Antique Rose layering set, Altenew sentiment

Dies-  Altenew coordinating  dies, My Favorite Things scallop edge and stitched oval die

Inks- Altenew shades of pink ink cubes, VersaFine Onyx black ink, VersaFine Clair Green Oasis ink and Verdant ink

Paper- white card stock , pink pattern paper, pink card stock

Supplies- Altenew washi tape, MISTI stamping platform, Sizzix die cutting maching, Scor Pal scoring tool, gold thread, 3M foam tape, 3M tape runner, Fiskars paper cutter, white glue, Nuvo glossy drops

Card 2-Live Life in Full Bloom/Technique- Masking  and



For this card I used the masking technique for the Altenew Dahlia Blossoms stamp set.  I stamped the first flower on the Neenah solar white card stock, one in each corner top and bottom.  I stamped the same flower on a piece of Post It paper pad sticky edge.  For the stamped en covered the flower and stamped three leaves.  I then made another paper mask of the leaves and stamped the flower bud.  For the bottom flower I also added a flower bud from Wonderland poppy stamp set to add to the elememt of three in the card layout.  l liked the big flowers and I used my Copic markers to color and blend the ink for each petal.  I use RV11 Pink, RV10 Pale Pink and YG03 Yellow Green.  I stenciled the background using the Half tone circle stencil usimg Ranger distress ink Victorian Velvet and a foam pad on a handle to add soft inking.  The sentiment was stamped with Versafine Clair Nocturne black ink and embossed with clear embossing powder.  The die was a stitched oval from My Favorite Things  and so was the stitched rectangle die for the stamped paper.   I double wrapped gold cording from May Arts and used foam tape pieces to attached the tag on top of the gold cord.

Stamps and Supplies

Stamps- Altenew Dahlia Blossom set,  Altenew Wonderland flow blossom, Altenew sentiment

Ink- Versafine Clair Nocture black ink and VersaFine onyx black ink

Paper- Neenah solar white card stock, pink paper and white card stock card

Supplies- Altenew washi tape, MISTI stamping platform, Sizzix die cutting maching, Scor Pal scoring tool, gold thread, 3M foam tape, 3M tape runner, Fiskars paper cutter, white glue, Nuvo glossy drops

Card 3- You Make My Life Blossom!/Technique- Create a Scene


For this card I used only one flower stamp and one sentiment stamp.  I created the wreath as my scene. The flower double blossom stamp was from the Wonderland poppy set on Neenah solar white card stock. I stamped double flower eight times using VersaFine black ink.  I fussy cut each stamped image.  I colored and shaded using Copic markers- BV00 Mauve Shadow, BV31 Pale Lavender and BV01 Viola.  I die cut a circle outline using the Essential Circle layered set.  I began the wreath starting with the 12:00, then 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 places using white glue. The remaining pieces I used foam tape.  I die cut the purple dot paper using the  scallop edge square die.The white card base was trimmed to a square.  I die cut a circle and stamped the sentiment in the middle.  I layered all of the pieces together to complete the card.

Stamps and Supplies

Stamps- Wonderland poppy set- double flower, Altenew sentiment

Paper- Neenah solar white card stock, purple Lasting Impression

Stencil- Altenew Half tone stencil

Supplies- MISTI stamping platform, Sizzix die cutting maching, Scor Pal scoring tool,  3M foam tape, 3M tape runner, Fiskars paper cutter, white glue,  Essential Circles by Heather, VersaFine black ink

Card 4- Hello!/ Technique- Let It Shine!



let it shine0-7


This card was all about the shine.  I stamped the flower image  from the Charmed stamp set. twice with a small space in the middle.  I used VersaMark watermark ink, static powder pouch to stamp  the images on to watercolor paper. I used the MISTI stamping platform to get a good stamped image  on to the watercolor paper.  I colored/painted the flowers and leaves using Zig markers light green, light carmine, pink  and yellow and painted and blended using a water barrel brush.  I die cut the Fancy Hello die from gold metallic paper and twice from white paper. I layered the die cut paper gluing the gold paper on the top.  I used the dot stencil  and light green distress ink and foam pad and handle.  I die cut a stitched rectangle from vellum paper.  I assembled the card.  I added tiny glue spots to the back of the word die to hide the glue.

Stamps and Supplies

Stamps- Altenew Charmed set

Dies- Altenew Fancy hello die,  My Favorite Things stitched rectangle dies

Paper-  card stock, water color paperk vellum, gold metallic paper

Inks-VersaMark water mark ink and Zig markers

Emossing Powder- Stampendous gold detail

Supplies- MISTI stamping platform, Sizzix die cutting maching, Scor Pal scoring tool,  3M foam tape, 3M tape runner, Fiskars paper cutter, white glue

Gift Box for Cards



pink box.jpg

 I repurposed a flat cardboard gift box left over from a long ago  holiday gift project.  I cut thecchecker paper to fit the  front of the box. I then stamped the same flower branch twice on the pattern paper using Versamark ink and white embossing powder.Then glued it to the front of the box.  I then added the wide washi tape to the left side of the front of the box and wrapped it around the side of the box.  I stamped a tag using another Altenew sentiment  to pink paper and die cut that as well .  I used gold twine from May Arts, wrapped twice around the box. I punched a hole in the tag and tied it with gold cording to the gold twine that was wrapped around the box.  A perfect card set for a Girl Power gift.





AECP Level 1 Final Challenge-For A Special Guy

Set 2 Final

Level 1 Challenge Project For a Special Guy CardsChallenge? or Challenge!  I approached the Level 1 Guy Challenge as a  way to apply  all of the new techniques that I learned and practiced together in one final assignment.  I was ready! Or was I?  I had to take time to revisit the Altenew stamps and coordinating supplies that I had and to coordinate them with the stamping/card making materials that I in my supplies.    Being resourceful and think creatviely was essential to completing the task.  I found that taking the time to visit posts from other participants was really helpful and inspiring.  I appreciated that resource that Erum shared in an email. I selected the Freeform  Greenery stamp set for all of the cards and the packaging project.  I have a limited supply of masculine stamp sets and I had not used this set and that added another layer to the challenge.  Reflecting on the technique lessons I learned from Level 1,  I had to decide what ‘homework’ I wanted to focus on. I chose- Let It Shine, Stencil Techniques and Masking Unleashed.  I also applied other technqiues as those complimented my planning and creating each card and the final packaging task.   I had a theme that coordinaed all of the pieces and that was color based.  All of the pieces included blue and green ink colors and I used stamps from the Freeform Greenery stamp set as my primary stamp set, and some sentiments were from other Altenew stamp sets that I had as the Grenery set did not include sentiments.  The techniques in each lesson added to my stamping/card making knowledge.  Coordinating these two elements was critical to completing the challenge.  The following descriptioins and photographs will explain my card making steps and the resources/materials that I used.  A list of supplies and materials is included at the end of the post.

guy final
Nancy Souza Level One Challenge Let It Shine

Card 1- Life Is Better With Friends /Primary Technique- Let It Shine

I began with a piece of 3 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ piece of heavy weight white card stock and used my MISTI stamping platform to stamp the entire piece of paper. I positioned the stamps on the paper to cover as much of the paper as I could.  I used an embossing anti static powder prior to stamping.  I used Versamark ink to stamp the images, then added the Stampendous detail gold embossing powder and heat set the stamped images.  I moved the paper and not the stamps and repeated the process.  Then I used a foam applicator tool  and Ranger Stormy Sky distress ink to cover the entire paper.  I  repeated the process to add more ink to create a dark background.  I added some water splatters for some visual interest.  I buffed the piece with a paper towel to remove some of the blue ink that was covering the gold embossed leaves.   I die cut the inked/embossed paper using a stitched edge die from My Favorite Things.  I  die cut another piece from  gold card stock and a larger white piece of card stock for a layered look.  I stamped the sentiment using Versamark ink and gold embossed that as well.  This was a My Favorite Things banner die cut.  The small leaf accents were die cut from the same gold paper and are from the Altenew Leaf Cluster die set.  This added some visual interest to the corners  and helped to balance the card layout.

guy prep jpg
Nancy Souza Let It Shiine

guy 1
Nancy Souza Let It Shine

Nancy Souza  Level 1 Let It Shine

Supplies and Tools

Stamps- Altenew  Freeform Greenery, Altenew sentiment

Dies- Altenew  Leaf Cluster die, My Favorite Things stitched rectangles and banner

Ink- Ranger Distress Ink- Stormy Sky, Versmark watermark  ink, VersaFine Clair Nocturne black ink, VersaFine Onyx black ink

Embossing Powder- clear embossing powder, Stampendous Detail Gold

Paper- heavy weight white card stock, gold card stock

Tools- Sizzix die cutting machine, Fiskars cutting tool,  MISTI stamping platform, 3M Tape Runner, Scor Pal scoring board, heat tool, blending and foam pad handle, Fiskars scissors, non static powder pouch, Lawn Fawn white craft glue


Card 2- Stay Awesome/ Primary Technique- Masking Stamped Images

Guy masking
Nancy Souza Level 1 Project Masking Technique

The layout for the second card was a horizontal half sheet of heavy weight white card stock, scored at 5 1/2″. Other paper was Canson watercolor paper cut to a 3 3/4″ x 5 1/2″ I continued to use the Altenew Freeform Greenery stamp set and selected only two stamps from the set.  The single leaf bud and the five leaf stem.  The technique for the card was creating a mask that would cover the primary stamped image to create an illusion of a background image for the five leaf branch.  I stamped the single leaf  twice on a 4″x 4″ squares of Post It paper close to the sticky edge. I then fussy cut the images.  Then  I  adhered the single leaf stamp to  Ranger clear acrylic grid block  and inked the stamp using VersaFine Onyx black ink.  The first image I stamped was the middle one and then two other images to the right and left for a total of three. I covered the leaf stamped images with the Post It masks and  stamped four leaf stamp between the stamped images for a total of four  new images.  I removed the Post It masks and now I had created the illusion of images th were in the foreground and recessed.  I have used this technique before and the stamps have simple outline shape, it was easy to create the Post It paper masks.

Hint- I orginally used Mask It sticky plastic masking paper and the stamped leaf stem was very thin, the mask was challenging to adhere to the paper.  I went back to using Post It paper instead. That was successful!

Next, I used Zig water based markers in light green and slate blue and a water barrel paint brush to add color and shading to the stamped images- green for the single leaf and blue for the five leaf stem.  I added paint splatters to add interest to the background using a puddle of blue Zig marker and a fan brush to tap in the splatters.  I stamped the Altenew Stay Awesome word using black Versafine ink nd die cut a banner. I die cut the stamped piece using a stitched edge rectangle from My Favorite Things.  I added the black and white stripe die cut banners from a paper pad from My Favorite Things. I tucked the top banners behind the stamped piece. My 3M tape runner was used for gluing the card together. I used my T square ruler to line up the final stripe banner to the bottom edge of the card

I used the element of three for the banners and the three primay single leaf  images.   Clean and simple stamped images and  basic colors.

guy prep jpg
Nancy Souza Masking

masking 1
Masking Step One

masking 3
Masking Step Two

masking 4
Masking Step Three

guy 2
Stamped, Masking and Painted


Supplies and Tools

Stamps-Altenew Freeform Greenery, Altenew sentiment

Dies- My Favorite Things stitched edge rectangle and banner die

Ink- VersaFine Onyx black ink, Ranger distress Stormy Sky blue ink

Markers- Zig water color markers- green and blue

Paper- Cason water color paper, white card stock, My Favorite Things black and white stripe paper pad

Tools- MISTI stamping platform, T square ruler, Fiskars cutting tool, Scor Pal scoring tool, Sizzix die cutting machine,  white glue, 3M tape runner, Post It  4×4 note sticky paper pad, Fiskars scissosrs , fan brush 

Card 3- Live In The Moment- Impressive Heat Embossing  and Water coloring background

card 3.jpg
Nancy Souza Level 1 Group 17 Final Chalenge For A Special Guy

The third card in the For The Guy card set focused on heat embossing and water coloring resist painting.  A fairly simple technique but with  great results.  I decided to revisit this technique as this stamp set had stamps with outline images instead of solid images and this would allow the painted background to fill in the spaces of the stamped and embossed images.  I used mixed media paper pad and cut a quarter sheet of paper which allowed me to have more room to stamp.  Then I could decide where I wanted to trim the paper for the card front.  I used the MISTI stamping platform to plan out the position of the stamps to cover as much of the paper as possible.  I used my embossing anti static powder pouch before stamping.  I then stamped the leaves using Versmark  watermark ink, heat embossed using Stampendous white embossing powder.  After heat setting, I moved the paper in the MISTI stamping platform to finish stamping the rest of the paper.  I repeated the same process as before.

HINT-  stamping a  second piece of paper as a backup was helpful as I did use the second piece!

Next was water coloring .  I am a big fan of using Post It wide paper tape instead of other tape adhesives.  It does the job, is reusable and is not super sticky and does not tear the paper when removing if from the paper.  I taped both pieces of stamped paper to my glass work mat.  A size 14 round brush, a small container for water, the same distress ink as before, Stormy Sky and Shabby Shutters. This would be my paint source.  I swiped the ink on my glass work surface,  lots of water and I created colored bands on the paper, alternating between green and blue.  I removed the paper tape, dried it with my heat tool, turning the paper over to avoid warping of the paper.  I wanted to create die cut stripes, so I used an large die cut banner from My Favorite Things that had a stitched edge.  It was shorter than the paper I used but that was fine as I knew I was going to trim down the paper to fit the A2 card front.  I used both pieces of the paper I stamped and painted in the process of gluing I had a few pieces I did not want to use.  I followed the green and blue pattern and for the fourth strip I substituted a light green card stock piece as that was the piece I was going to add the sentiment banner.  I started to use a teal piece of card stock for the solid paper, but it was too dark, then I used the light green piece instead.  The I added them to a white piece of card stock  and trim the painted paper and the background paper so it would be slightly smaller than the card front.  I used my T square ruler to line up the sentiment before gluing to the card front.  I liked that I had an odd number of strips (five which included the solid piece of green paper). The sentiment strip was from my collection of sentiments from Altenew. I wanted to continue the theme of  friendship  for the set.  Another clean and simple guy friendship card.

Nancy Souza Embossingg

blue and green
Nancy Souza Embossing

painted stripe 2
Nancy Souza Embossing

in progress

Supplies and Tools

Stamps- Altenew Freeform Greenery, Altenew sentiment stamp

Inks-  Ranger distress inks Stormy Sky and Shabby Shutters, VersaFine onyx black ink, VersaMark water mark stamp pad

Embossing Powder- Stampendous white embossing powder

Dies- My Favorite Things banner dies

Paper- mixed media paper, card stock , green card stock

Tools- Sizzix die cutting machine, 3M tape runner,  Size 14 round paint brush,  Post It 1″ wide paper tape, Sizzix paper trimmer, Scor Pal score board , white glue, T square ruler


Card 4- Stay Awesome My Friend  Primary Technique- Stenciling and Embossing Paste

For the last card in the set I used a newer type of embossing paste. It is  from The Crafter’s Workshop/ TCW and it is called Light and Fluffy.  It has a lighter texture and dries quickly.  After revisiting some of the Level One videos and planning  for the last card,  I thought that a card that had texture would be a good addition to the set and also use the color group of blue and green.  The Altenew Halftone Stencil is one of the few Altenew stencils that I have and one that I reach for often in many of  my cards and mixed media projects.  I like the graduated dots and works for a variety of cards, including cards for the either gender.  I used my glass craft mat to mix ink from the same two distress inks- Stormyn Sky and Shabby Shutters.  I used a plastic palette knife to mix the ink colors with the fluffy embossing paste. I use white card stock and taped it to my glass work surface.  I alternated colors and started in the left hand corner with the blue paste that I tinted and then gradually changed to the green tinted paste.  The paste dried quickly and that was good.  While that dried, I worked on the rest of the card pieces.

Hint- rinse off the stencil right after using, including the palette knife and the work surface.  Keeps all of the tools ready to use the next time.  Taking care of my tools, extends their crafting life.

Next, I used white card stock and stamped using VersFine Clair Nocturne black ink.  I really like this line of inks.  It can be used for direct to paper stamping and can also be used with clear embossing powder to heat set the stamped images.  I have several of these ink pads.  I then inked the stamped paper using the Shabby Shutters distress ink using the foam pad blending handle.  I covered the paper and the inking created a nice contrast with the black stamped leaves.  I used a new die set of stacked circles from Essential Circles by Heather for Essentials by Ellen.  This set is unique as it also die cuts an outline circle that can be used with the the circles or alone.  The set has 15 stacked circles so I can die cut lots of different combinations of circles. I used a piece of teal paper for the stitched edge circle as a contrast and continuing with the blue theme.  I also used the same paper behind that had the embossing paste to tie together  the colors. A stamped sentiment from my Altenew sentiments die cut using a mini banner die from My Favorite Things. I used double sided tape and foam tape for dimension to finish up the card.  I like the texture and continuing visual interest of using circles and dots.

tinted paste
Nancy Souza Embossing Paste

stencil paste2
Nancy Souza Embossing Paste

stencil paste
Nancy Souza Embossing Paste

card 4

Supplies and Tools

Stamps-  Altenew Freeform Greenery, Altenew sentiment

Inks- Ranger  distress ink Stormy Sky, Shabby Shutters, VersaFine Onyx black ink, VersaFine Clair Nocturne black ink

Embossing Powder- clear embossing powder

Dies- My Favorite Things banner die, My  Favorite Things stitched circle die, Essential Circles by Heather for Essentials by Ellen

Embossing Paste- TCW The Crafter’s Workshop Light and Flufy Modeling Paste  2 oz jar

Stencil- Altenew Halftone Stencil

Paper- white card stock, teal blue card stock

Tools- Sizzix die cutting machine, 3M tape runner,   Post It 1″ wide paper tape, Sizzix paper trimmer, Scor Pal score board , white glue, T square ruler, handle with foam pad for ink blending, plastic palette knife

One More Project- The Guy Gift Box

I repurposed a flat paper box that I had saved from a long ago holiday  craft  project and discovered it in a drawer.  I used coordinating green card stock and stamped the leaves and stems from the same stamp set that was used on the cards.  This time I heat embossed the images using VersaFine Clair Nocturne black ink and clear embossing powder.  Trimmed for the front of the card box.  I use a left over stamped and ink piece of paper and circle die cut and a slightly larger circle die cut to create. tag.  I wrapped twine from May Arts aroud the box and tied a bow.  I punched a hole in the tag and tied that to the box as well.

Nancy Souza plain flat boxes

Nancy Souza decorated box

Set 2 Final
Nancy Souza final project



Cards To Perk You Up!