Altenew 3rd Anniversary Blog Hop & Giveaway

Hello there! I’m super excited to join Altenew today for their Anniversary blog hop! I can’t believe they are already three years old! Do you still remember when they first came up with multi-layering stamps? They totally blew my mind off and I’ve loved them to this very day!
I have missed crafting so so much! During my “absence”, I’ve been collecting different inspirations from artists. I really enjoy trying new things and I never get tired of finding new techniques and styles! Hopefully my cards today will inspire you too!

Remember This (1)

Remember This (4)

For my first card, I’ve created a romantic watercolor card using the Remember This Stamp Set. I first stamped the outlines of flowers and leaves with Antique Linen distress ink on Arches cold press watercolor paper. Then, I slowly watercolored the images with my Schmincke watercolor palette, I have used shades of peach, pink, oranges, red and green in my flowers to bring variations. To add even more depth to the flowers, I used my Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils to darken parts of my shading. During coloring, I didn’t follow the line of each petal so I ended up altering the floral images a bit. You can see all the stamens are gone! I really like this process because it made me feel so free and creative!

Remember This (2)

For the background, I did a soft wash with Antique Linen and Worn Lipstick distress inks. Then, I die cut out the panel with Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die Set. For the sentiment, I used the same green paint to watercolor a strip of paper. Then, I white heat embossed the loving sentiment from Sentiments & Quotes Stamp Set. To finish, I simply mounted the whole panel on Simon Says Stamp Fog card base with foam tape.

Amazing You (3)

For my second card, I did a completely different style with Spring colors. I wanted my card to have a more cartoony style. So I altered the style of the Amazing You Stamp Set. I did it by stamping the images using a light ink, then using the outline as a guide, I doodled in the flowers with a Sepia Copic Multi-liner. I’ve added in folds and dots to make the flowers more cute and cartoony. Then, I colored the flowers and leaves with Copic markers.

Amazing You (1)

To complement the cute flowers, I painted a simple Spring scene with my Copic markers for the background. I scribbled in some grasses and added in some small dots to indicate wind movement. I left out a lot of details in the background because I didn’t want to distract from the flowers. Turns out I really love this style! I can feel the warm breeze by looking at it!

Amazing You (2)

To finish, I framed the scene with some White Wood paper and foam tape, added the sentiment (from Bejeweled Stamp Set), and embellished with some Pretty Pink Posh sequins. I have used a mix of colored sequins from Sunshine Glow 4mm, Wisteria Blossoms Mix, Holiday Shimmer Mix and Clear Sparkling Mix.

Special Offer:

Altenew is offering FREE U.S. shipping with code HAPPY3RD or $5 OFF international shipping with code ANNIVERSARY at checkout. This offer is valid from April 11th through April 16th at 11:59 pm EDT. Not valid on prior purchases. Cannot be combined with other promo codes.

Prizes:

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Altenew is giving away $50 gift certificates to FIVE lucky winners. There are also 10 awesome companies who are celebrating with us, and they are offering the following prizes:

Be sure to leave comments by Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT for a chance to win! 15 WINNERS will be chosen at random from the comments left on any of the participating blogs and will be announced on the Altenew blog on April 28th, 2017.

Your next stop is the Simon Says Stamp blog! Enjoy your hop and I will see you next time!

Supplies:

  1. Altenew Remember This Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  2. Altenew Amazing You Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  3. Altenew Sentiments & Quotes Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  4. Altenew Bejeweled Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  5. Altenew White Wood Paper: Altenew
  6. MISTI Stamping Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. Arches Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  8. Simon Says Stamp Fog Card Stock: Simon Says Stamp
  9. Simon Says Stamp Wood Grain Card Stock: Simon Says Stamp
  10. Schmincke Horadam 48 Half Pan Watercolor Set: Dick Blick
  11. Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils 36 Set: Dick Blick
  12. Copic Markers: Ellen Hutson
  13. Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die Set: Simon Says Stamp
  14. Pretty Pink Posh Holiday Shimmer Mix: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  15. Pretty Pink Posh Clear Sparkling Sequin Mix: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  16. Pretty Pink Posh Sunshine Glow 4mm Sequins: Simon Says Stamp
  17. Pretty Pink Posh Wisteria Blossoms Mix: Simon Says Stamp
  18. Ranger Perfect Pearl Powder: Simon Says Stamp
  19. EK Success Powder Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  20. Versamark Watermark Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  21. Hero Arts White Embossing Powder: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  22. Hero Arts Wagner Heat Gun: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  23. Scotch Double-Sided Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  24. Cheaper Alternative Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson
  25. Be Creative Tape/ Scor-Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp

The Secrets to Coloring Dimensional Flowers

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Hi crafty friends! I haven’t posted for a while so I thought I’d come back with a bang, or rather a very useful technique! Today’s post is all about flowers and it’s going to be long. Just sit back and relax as I walk you through my discoveries and tips 🙂

I started my cardmaking journey with a lot of critters, because obviously they are cute and I couldn’t resist them! Besides that, I also thought cards with critters can be very creative. Not that I don’t like critters anymore, I still love them to death, but lately I’ve discovered the beauty of flowers and leaves. I began to realize that to be an all-rounded artist, I have to be good at coloring everything. Or maybe I’m just getting older and beginning to appreciate Mother Nature more 😛

For today, I want to share a recent unlock of my coloring skill that I’m really happy about! It took me like a year to realize my problem and really face it. Let me describe it to you. In the past, when I colored a flower image, I’d color petal by petal and I’d use the exact same color and shading on every petal. So it would end up looking like this. I made this card last year so I thought it’d be a good example for comparison. I thought my coloring was pretty good back then, but now when I look at it, it doesn’t look very dimensional nor realistic. There’s not enough interest to it. Not to mention that my photography skill wasn’t very good at the beginning as you can see 😛

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After studying the works of artists and trying out a few experiments, I finally figured out how to achieve more dimensional and realistic-looking flowers. Here are my results. So, how to do it? There are three things you must do in order to have results like this.

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First, look at references e.g. real flowers, photos of real flowers or references on the stamp set itself. I’ve used Altenew’s Peony Bouquet Stamp Set for this example. There is an illustration on the back of the stamp set. I look at it, study it and identify the darkest and the lightest areas and all that in between. If you can replicate that in your coloring, I’m sure you are already halfway there!

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I used to think it’s not really creating if I have to reference something. Creation has to come from my head, right? NO! WRONG! Many artists study references when they draw and paint. Even the most abstract art style has to base on reality. Reference is so important to artists! So, there is nothing to be ashamed of to look at a reference while creating!

Use This

Second, light source. In the past, I didn’t consider light source at all when I colored. I always started at the bottom with the darkest color and lightly move towards the top. It works most of the time, but it wouldn’t work for realism. Once I started to identify the light source, I actually can easily map out the darkest areas and the highlights, making it super easy to color each petal. Take this flower as an example. It’s from Altenew’s Beautiful Day Stamp Set. My light source is on the top left hand corner, hence the shadow would fall on the bottom right hand side of each petal or fold. You can see that in all of my petals. Try to color each petal a little different too because in nature, they are all different and imperfect, but once you look at them together as a flower, it would look perfect!

After the first round of shading, I would gradually increase the contrast by layering on darker colors until I am happy with the overall image, usually after 3-5 rounds of additional shading. Value is the key. It’s the third important thing. Don’t be afraid to use really dark colors at the darkest places. I know it can be scary! I’ve been there! But now I’m not afraid anymore and I’m using those dark colors more.

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For both images, I have stamped them onto Strathmore Drawing Paper with Versafine Smokey Gray ink and colored with Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils. I have the 36 color set. I like experimenting shadowing with colored pencils as I can have full control over the intensity of the shading. If it’s not dark enough, I can simply add on layers and layers as opposed to using markers (may not have the exact shade that I want). I also don’t need to wait between layers as opposed to using watercolors.

I ended up using both of the flowers on two separate cards. Here are some photos. I am loving this new artsy style! All supplies I used are linked at the bottom.

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For my first card with the pink peony flower, I went with a simple ink-blended background with a little texture from embossing paste over a stencil. The focus is still on the flower itself. I finished with a broad sentiment strip and some colored sequins to bring out the colors in the flower.

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For my second card, I went with a darker green background and some vellum clustered leaves to bring out the softness of the flower.

One last thing! Keep in mind that the more shadows you have in your flower, the more serious it will look. So if you want a more airy style, refrain from adding too much shadow.

It’s really not that hard when you follow these three steps when coloring flowers. Try it out and let me know if it works for you! That’s it for today! I hope you understand what I was trying to communicate in this post. Thanks for stopping by and have a good week! 🙂

Supplies:

  1. Faber Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils 36 Set: Dick Blick
  2. Altenew Beautiful Day Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  3. Altenew Beautiful Day Die Set: Simon Says Stamp
  4. Altenew Peony Bouquet Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  5. Altenew Peony Bouquet Die Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  6. Altenew Remember This Stamp Set: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. Altenew Evergreen Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  8. Altenew Rouge Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  9. Altenew Frayed Leaf Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  10. Versafine Smokey Gray Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  11. Neenah Solar White 110lb Cardstock: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  12. Simon Says Stamp Fog Card Stock: Simon Says Stamp
  13. Vellum Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  14. White Embossing Paste: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  15. Simon Says Stamp Falling Snow Stencil: Simon Says Stamp
  16. Simon Says Stamp Clustered Leaves Die: Simon Says Stamp
  17. Simon Says Stamp Stitched Rectangles Die Set: Simon Says Stamp
  18. MFT Die-namics Single Stitch Line Oval Frames: My Favorite Things
  19. Pretty Pink Posh Clear Sparkling Sequin Mix: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  20. Pretty Pink Posh 4mm Clear Droplets: Simon Says Stamp
  21. Pretty Pink Posh Wisteria Blossoms Mix: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  22. Pretty Pink Posh Metallic Rose Gold Sequins: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  23. EK Success Powder Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  24. Versamark Watermark Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  25. Hero Arts Wagner Heat Gun: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  26. Simon Says Stamp Antique Gold Embossing Powder: Simon Says Stamp
  27. Ranger Ink Blending Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  28. Ranger Ink Blending Tool Replacement Foam: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  29. Scotch Double-Sided Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  30. Cheaper Alternative Foam Tape: Ellen Hutson
  31. Be Creative Tape/ Scor-Tape: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp

Simon Says Stamp – Sending Hugs

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Happy Friday!! Today I am popping in to share a “sending hugs” card using Simon Says Stamp supplies. I finally got to play with the beautiful Winter Flowers Stamp Set. This set was designed by Kristina Werner and it was meant for Christmas, but I used it in a more generic way today.

SSS Sending Hugs (2).jpg

SSS Sending Hugs (3).jpg

I first white heat embossed the images from the Winter Flowers Stamp Set on a panel of Arches Watercolor Paper. I used this high quality paper today because I will be painting a lot of layers. This paper handles water much better than the Canson XL Watercolor Paper and the Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper, which I use all the time for both ink blending and watercoloring.

sss-sending-hugs-1

I slowly watercolored the flowers, berries and leaves and then followed by the beige/brown background. After the panel was dry, I added in some shadows using some dark browns and grays. Then, of course I had to add some splatters. I have used the same colors I used earlier – red, green and purple. Finally, I also added in more white dot-and-line details for highlights using some white gouache.

Here are some close-ups:

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To finish, I stamped the sentiment from the Big Scripty Greetings Stamp Set in black and clear heat embossed it. That’s it for today. Thank you for stopping by! Happy crafting  🙂

Supplies:

  1. Simon Says Stamp Winter Flowers Stamp Set: Simon Says Stamp
  2. Big Scripty Greetings Stamp Set: Simon Says Stamp
  3. Arches Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  4. Canson XL Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  5. Tim Holtz Watercolor Paper: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  6. EK Success Powder Tool: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  7. Versamark Watermark Ink: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  8. Hero Arts White Embossing Powder: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  9. Ranger Clear Embossing Powder: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  10. Hero Arts Wagner Heat Gun: Ellen Hutson // Simon Says Stamp
  11. Versafine Onyx Black Ink Pad: Ellen Hutson //  Simon Says Stamp

 

MFT September Release Replay

Print

Hello! Welcome to My Favorite Things September Release Replay!

Today our team is taking a fresh look at our most recent release with inspiring ideas and innovative takes on the complete collection. We love the opportunity to look at our products with fresh eyes, envisioning entirely new ways to showcase the possibilities they present. We can’t wait to share our ideas with you!

I didn’t have a chance to use the Bold Blooms Stamp Set during the release, so I am playing with it today. MFT’s flowers are very versatile. You can really make creative things with them. Here is my watercolor card. The flowers are going crazy and are growing out of the boot 🙂

AmyLee_MFT_Sep_ReleaseReplay

Boots (6)

Here is how I made my card:

  1. Stamp the flowers and leaves from the Bold Blooms Stamp Set on watercolor paper using MFT hybrid inks. Watercolor around them with distress inks. Add white and silver watercolor splatters. Die cut the panel with Die-namics Blueprints 27
  2. Die cut and stamp the boot from You Gnome Me Stamp Set. Watercolor with distress inks
  3. White heat emboss the sentiment on vellum paper. Trim into a strip
  4. Mount everything as shown using glue and foam tape

Boots (5)

I hope you like my card today. Don’t forget to head to MFT blog for more Release Replay creations by other designers. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Supplies:

Bold Blooms

BB You Gnome Me

Die-namics BB You Gnome Me

BB Magical Unicorns

Die-namics Blueprints 27

Foam Tape 3/8″

Translucent Vellum

Gold Detail Embossing Powder

Summer Splash Hybrid Ink Pad

Grapesicle Hybrid Ink Pad

Pineapple Hybrid Ink Pad

Hybrid Ink Pad Lemon Drop

Orange Zest Hybrid Ink Pad

Peach Bellini Hybrid Ink Pad

Coral Crush Hybrid Ink Pad

Hybrid Ink Pad Paver Red

Hybrid Ink Pad Red Hot

Hybrid Ink Pad Bubblegum

Ripe Raspberry Hybrid Ink Pad

Cotton Candy Hybrid Ink Pad

Latte Hybrid Ink Pad

Limeade Hybrid Ink Pad

Hybrid Ink Pad Sour Apple

Field Day Hybrid Ink Pad

Limelight Hybrid Ink Pad

Spearmint Hybrid Ink Pad

MFT Birthday Celebration – Top 10 Creations

Print

Hello friends! It is really amazing that I can celebrate with My Favorite Things for their 10th birthday! I am so thankful and blessed! Today, I am joining our team in sharing my top 10 MFT creations of all time. They are the cards that are truly my pride! I will share the story behind them and why I chose them 🙂

#10 – Camping on the Moon

Camping on Moon (1)

I love anything space. I also love being adventurous and a little crazy. The concept of camping on the moon is creative to me! The flower constellations make it even more perfect 🙂

#9 – Kitties Family Photo

9 cats (1) AMY blog

I love Birdie Brown’s kitties! Putting a whole gang of them on a soft ink blended background made this extra adorable. It is like a family picture 🙂

#8 – Distress Ink Watercoloring

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I made this card for Wednesday Sketch Challenge #286. I enjoyed watercoloring this card so much and the result came out so soft and colorful! I cannot stop staring at it!

#7 – Loose Watercolored Scene

Wildest dream (1)

I also love watercoloring scene! The vibrant colors on this card is no doubt my wildest dreams.

#6 – Traveling Hog with Sunglasses

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This card tells the story of Mr. hog traveling around the world. I love the theme, the colors and the hilarious pig!

#5 – Soft Ink Blended Flowers

rainbow grateful (1)

Rainbow colors are amazing! I love the soft ink blended colors on the amazing flower stamp!

#4 – Kitty with the Fish Tank

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This time the cute kitty is staring at the fish tank, yearning for food. So cute! I literally poured all my creative energy into this one. I have combined many sets to make this happen. So I have to pick this card 🙂

#3 – Watercolored Gift Bear Scene

AmyLee_MFT_July_Release_Day4

I was channeling my inner Debby Hughes for this watercolor card and I am very happy with the soft and colorful result!

#2 Watercolored Bunny in Musical Paris

MFT DT Announcement - Amy Lee (1)

I came up with the idea of using vellum as reflection. The watercolor background looks amazing with the white embossing and the Paris die cuts. Of course I also love bunny and clear sparkling sequins. Plus, this card is the very first one I made for My Favorite Things as their design team. It will always hold a special value in my heart 🙂

#1 Pop-Up Bears with Vibrant Distress Ink Blending

AmyLee_MFT_July_Release_Launch (1)

This card has to be my no. 1 because I am IN LOVE with the bright colors. I am recently addicted to ink blending and making confetti-like backgrounds. I love these popped-up bears! They are also celebrating MFT’s birthday! I just love every inch of this card!

That is all for today! Don’t forget to head to MFT blog to see other designers’ Top 10 Creations. Thank you so much for stopping by! Lastly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MFT!! May there be more adorable products and more pretty cards made by us crafters :)))))))

supply bar

#10

Pretty Posies

Warm & Fuzzy Friends

Die-namics Warm & Fuzzy Friends

Hybrid Ink Pad Black Licorice

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #1

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #3

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #5

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #8

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #12

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #14

#9

BB Cool Cat

Die-namics BB Cool Cat

BB I Knead You

Die-namics BB I Knead You

Stencil Diagonal Stripes

Milk Chocolate Hybrid Ink Pad

#8

BB Polynesian Paradise

Die-namics BB Polynesian Paradise

Pure Innocence Fun in the Sun

Die-namics PI Fun in the Sun

Die-namics Blueprints 27

Die-namics Blueprints 29

Milk Chocolate Hybrid Ink Pad

Marshmallow Seed Beads

4 mm Sparkling Clear Sequins

6 mm Metallic Rose Gold Sequins

Sweet Pea Sequins

Ranger Watercolor Paper

#7

Pretty Posies

Snuggle Bunnies

Milk Chocolate Hybrid Ink Pad

Ranger Watercolor Paper

Die-namics Blueprints 25

#6

Die-namics Paris Skyline

Die-namics New York Skyline

BB Hog Heaven

Die-namics BB Hog Heaven

BB Adventure Is Calling

Die-namics PI Fun in the Sun

Die-namics Oval Shadows

Black Licorice Prestige Card Stock

Hybrid Ink Pad Black Licorice

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #1

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #9

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #13

#5

BG Bundles of Blossoms Background

Grateful for You

Die-namics Blueprints 29

Sparkling Clear Mix

Heavyweight Card Stock Grout Gray

#4

BB Cool Cat

Die-namics BB Cool Cat

LJD Fly-By Friends

BB I Knead You

Gumball Greetings

Die-namics BB I Knead You

BG Lined Chevron Background

Heat Resistant Acetate

Hybrid Ink Pad Black Licorice

Hybrid Ink Pad Grout Gray

Foam Mounting Tape 1/4″

Glossy Accents

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #1

#3

Die-namics Big Birthday Balloons

Die-namics Blueprints 30

BG Transparent Triangles Background

BB Beary Special Birthday

Die-namics BB Beary Special Birthday

Die-namics Blueprints 25

Milk Chocolate Hybrid Ink Pad

Orange Fizz Heavyweight Card Stock

Translucent Vellum

Sparkling Clear Mix

Wink of Stella Brush – Clear

#2

Sheet Music Background

BB Strike up the Band

Die-namics BB Strike up the Band

Die-namics Inside & Out Diagonal Stitched Rectangle STAX

Die-namics Paris Skyline

Sparkling Clear Mix

Milk Chocolate Hybrid Ink Pad

#1

Die-namics Pop-Up Elements Narrow

BB Beary Special Birthday

Die-namics BB Beary Special Birthday

Big Birthday Sentiments

Die-namics Blueprints 25

Wink of Stella Brush – Clear

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #4

Tim Holtz Distress Mini Kit #7