Beautiful Day


This card is the second card I have created for the Altenew Educator Certificate Program Level 1 (AECP) and applies techniques from the class ‘All About Layering 2’. This class expanded my knowledge of layering stamps by practicing the principles from the previous class using various different stamp sets from Altenew.

For this particular card, I started by making a background piece using Altenew ‘Cube Cover Die’ adhered over a piece of pink ombré card stock. I used Altenew ‘Beautiful Day’ stamp and die sets to make the pink flowers and green leaves. I then adhered them to my background piece using glue and foam tape in a way that I thought was visually appealing.

The ‘Best Wishes’ sentiment is from Altenew ‘Dandelion Wishes’ stamp set. I stamped this onto a strip of white card stock and fishtailed the end. I adhered this to my card base with a small amount of glue but used a staple in the side as a decoration. When my card front was complete, I adhered it to a white card base. By doing this part last, the back side of my staple doesn’t show on the inside of my card.


Supplies Used:

  • Altenew ‘Beautiful Day’ stamps and dies
  • Altenew ‘Dandelion Wishes’ stamps
  • Altenew ‘Cube Cover Die’
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink in ‘Industrial Diamond’ (outlines of flowers)
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink in ‘Frosty Pink’, ‘Coral Berry’ & ‘Ruby Red’ (large flowers)
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink in ‘Sweet Leaf’, ‘Just Green’ & ‘Hunter Green’ (leaves)
  • Pink ombré card stock (or you can make this using ink blending techniques)
  • White card stock
  • Glue, foam tape and staples
  • Light pink marker (accent flowers)

Painted Butterflies


This card is my first project in the Altenew Educator Certification Program (AECP). I used techniques learned in the class ‘All About Layering 1’ to make this card featuring Altenew ‘Painted Butterflies’.

The ‘Painted Butterflies’ stamp set is perfect for practicing layering stamps because it is designed to look imperfect. The stamps in this set are not meant to line up exactly over the others and because of this, if your layering is a little bit off it still looks great. Coordinating dies are also available from Altenew.

These butterflies are three part stamps. First you stamp the sketchy outline stamp and then you stamp on top of it with the more solid stamp to give the wings some color. Then, if desired, there is a third stamp which adds an accent color. The ‘All About Layering 1’ shows this in detail and has some great tips to line things up. There is also a layering guide which can be found on the Altenew website.

For my card, I stamped the outline using ‘Industrial Diamond’ Crisp Dye Ink. The wing color is ‘Soft Lilac’ and the accent color (used only on the big butterfly) is ‘Lavender Fields’. I used the smaller butterflies to form a background and I die cut the largest one to give the card some dimension.

The ‘I MISS YOU’ sentiment is from the same stamp set. I stamped this in ‘Industrial Diamond’ and cut it into a small strip. I ran the edges against the ‘Lavender Fields’ ink pad to make it stand out and I attached it to my card front using foam tape for dimension.

I finished the card by positioning my card front to the left side of my card base and I decorated the right side edge with some thin washi tape. I accented the piece with some light pink sequins.


Supplies Used:

  • Altenew Painted Butterflies stamps & dies
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink ‘Industrial Diamond’
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink ‘Soft Lilac’
  • Altenew Crisp Dye Ink ‘Lavender Fields’
  • Neenah Solar White 110lb card stock
  • Pink/purple washi tape
  • Pink sequins

Galaxy Backgrounds 4 Ways

When I first learned to make galaxy backgrounds I was taught to start with white card stock and use many layers of Distress Oxides in various colors. Then once the colors were laid down, I was told to go over it in black. The result was beautiful but it was time consuming and used a lot of ink. I began to make them using black card stock which allows me to use a lot less ink and it saves a ton of time. Watch this video and see how I turn black card stock and Distress Oxide into brilliant galaxy backgrounds using four different methods.

Each background starts with my standard base background and I use these 4 products (or a combination of them) to complete the galaxy:

  1. Perfect Pearls
  2. Paint splatter
  3. Embossing powder
  4. Texture paste

Here are close ups of our final background pieces.


Base background + Perfect Pearls

Base background + white paint splatter

Base background + embossing powder (Brutus Monroe Milky Way)

Base background + texture paste (Brutus Monroe Glow in the Dark Glitter Glaze)

Base background + Perfect Pearls, paint splatter and embossing powder

Base background + Perfect Pearls, paint splatter, embossing powder and transparent gloss texture paste

Galaxy background used on a card

Out of this World

This card is for my son’s friend who is having his 6th birthday! I mixed Lawn Fawn and Queen & Co. products to make this shaker card and Ranger Distress Oxides to make the background.

I made the galaxy background a long time ago so I am not sure the colors of Distress Oxides I used but I applied them using an oval blending brush to black card stock. I applied a speckling of VersaMark with Brutus Monroe Milky Way embossing powder and speckled it with white paint. You can see a video tutorial of my methods here. I used Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangle die to cut it out.

For the earth, I started with a piece of white card stock cut with a large stitched circle die by Rubbernecker Stamps. I used the Distress Oxide colors Pine Needles, Salty Ocean and Ground Espresso to make rough land and ocean forms. I used a small amount of Brutus Monroe Alabaster white pigment ink for the top to hopefully make it look like the Arctic. I speckled it with white paint for visual interest.

The sentiment is a mix of two Lawn Fawn Sets. “HOPE YOUR DAY IS” is from Reveal Wheel Sentiments and “OUT OF THIS WORLD” is from the set called Out Of This World. I cut the sentiment using Lawn Fawn Extra Sentiment Banners and layered it on top of another banner in solid black.

Lastly, The Rocket is from Queen & Co.’s Space shaker kit and is filled with Queen & Co. ‘Rubble’ style toppings. I used Craft Perfect satin silver card stock for most of the rocket and a sparkly red card stock for the flame.

I accented the card with some iridescent star gems that I’ve had hanging out in my embellishment drawer for a while (so I have no idea where they came from).

Hope you like this one!

Blending Brushes: do you get what you pay for?

If you keep up with paper crafting trends, there is no way you will have missed the introduction of brushes like these to the craft supply market. Supposedly they blend ink smoothly, are easy to clean and you don’t need a brush for every color ink you own.

I first saw these at Stamp and Scrapbook Expo in the summer of 2018 and while I was initially going to buy them, the price made me put them back on the shelf and walk away. I believe they were about $49 for a pack of 10 and at the time, I had no idea if I would even like them. I’ll just stick to my daubers and sponges for that price.

A few weeks later I was out shopping and I noticed similar brushes in the cosmetics aisle at Walmart. Of course – makeup brushes! I went on Amazon and searched for ‘oval makeup brushes’ and what did I find? Brushes that look ‘almost’ identical to the ones being sold as ink blending brushes within the crafting community. Here’s the thing though, these ones were only about $12 for a set of 10. I compared photos to the expensive brand name crafting ones and the size and shapes looks the same for each brush in the set. See this photo above of the brushes I bought and compare them to the brand names brushes for yourself if you wish.

Let’s go back to the part where I said these are ‘almost’ identical. I want to be clear that I say ‘almost’ because I didn’t have both kinds to compare side by side and I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to the craft brand (which I am not naming here) that their version was in fact something more than cheap makeup brushes. I would like to believe that they were not buying $12 packs of makeup brushes and sticking their label on them to sell for $50. I eventually did buy a sample pack of two from the craft brand so I could compare them side by side and I found two differences. First, the Amazon brushes are a little more flexible in the handle of the brush. Second, the more expensive blending brushes have a slightly more rounded/convex shape to the bristles compared to the Amazon brushes which have a flatter surface. Do these things make a difference? Do the cheap ones work just as well or should you splurge on the expensive version? Watch my video to find out!

Ok, so you’ve watched the video! What are your thoughts? Do you also have both kinds and do you find any difference in how they blend? Have you bought makeup brushes for blending ink and do you like them? Please leave comments at the bottom of this page!

One last thing that I want to make clear. I do not support buying knock off craft products. I do not buy unbranded dies or stamps because the designs may have been illegally stolen from small businesses and sold by companies overseas who are not licensed to reproduce them. This is wrong on many levels and I only buy from reputable craft companies when it comes to my stamps and dies. I strongly believe that you get what you pay for and I respect copyright law. In this case though, this style brush has been around a lot longer as makeup brushes and the craft community has only recently taken notice and started selling them as a craft product. Lots of products have multiple uses and I don’t believe that any craft company independently came up with the idea for these brushes that just happen to look and feel just like makeup brushes. If you have the money and want to support small craft business, by all means – buy the branded blending brushes! Your independent craft retailer and the craft brands that sells these will thank you. In my case, I would rather buy cheap makeup brushes and spend the rest of my money on other craft supplies.