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Seasonal Scene Building || AECP

Hello, and welcome to my last card share for Level 1 in the Altenew Educator Certification Program! I was most concerned about the cards for this class because I really only have florals in my Altenew stash -- floral stamps, floral dies, floral embossing folders. Florals. And I just didn't know how to create a scene with florals.

Well, I think I did it. Or at least I hope I did it.

Window Scene:

This card features a nontraditional card design -- two card panels joined by an accordion on the sides. This allows the card to fold flat for mailing, and when it is removed from the envelope, it will pop up and stand on display. Both the inside and outside are decorated and, since the card does not actually open, the personal message can be written on the back. 
First, I embossed a white A2 card panel with the Altenew 3D Blossoming Branches embossing folder. This folder has a gorgeous flowering tree and a single little bird on it, and you just can't beat anything with a bird. 

Coloring the Scene:

To color this panel, I combined ink blending and Copic markers. Using a blending brush, I very lightly blended Gina K Powder Blue on most of the background, trying to avoid the raised areas as much as possible. I blended Gina K Bubblegum Pink on the flowers. This created a bit of purple shadowing around the flower edges where the blue mixed with the pink, and even though I had been hoping for pinky white flowers, these weren't horrible.

I colored the tree with Copic markers -- G43, G12, and G20 for the leaves, and E57 for the branches. The leaves also had a bit of blue in them, but teal is always a win, right? 
I colored the bird with Copic markers, too -- E41, E42, E43, and E47 -- and dotted his eye with a black Glaze pen. To be honest, I am not thrilled with how the bird came out. Even though the embossing folder creates shapes for coloring, this basically requires no-line coloring, and that clearly is not a skill I have just yet. I almost threw in the towel on this panel, but if there's one thing I've learned of late, it's to just keep going.

The Window Panel:

A window in the front of the card obscures some of the scene beyond it and gives the illusion the scene continues indefinitely. 

Using the smallest die in the (retired?) Sizzix Square Frames set, I cut four windows in an A2 panel. (I definitely drew guidelines for this!) I used Versafine Onyx Black ink to stamp a sentiment from the Altenew Garden Silhouette set just below the bottom, right window. 
I thought the plain white window panel looked a little boring, so I set out on a mission to dress it up. Check out this adventure:
  • Attempt #1 -- I inked up an off-brand 2D woodgrain embossing folder with Simon Says Stamp Fog ink. The embossing folder was not tall enough to emboss the whole panel in one pass, so I had to run it through once, reposition it, and run it through again. This left a weird inky stripe about an inch from the bottom where the edge of the folder creased the paper. This had to be fixed. 
  • Attempt #2 -- I figured maybe I could disguise the inky stripe by lightly blending SSS Fog ink over the entire panel. This wasn't worse, but it definitely didn't disguise the stripe.
  • Attempt #3 -- Maybe the panel needed more dramatic ink blending! Still using SSS Fog ink, I blended a heavier shadow of ink just around the edges. It was looking good, but the stripe still stood out. 
  • Attempt #4 -- I had the brilliant idea to make the woodgrain look more "woody" by creating "planks" across the panel. If one edge of a plank fell exactly on the offending stripe, it would look like it belonged there! To achieve this, I cut a 1/16" strip of masking paper and stuck it down over the weird stripe. I inked over this and, well, a 1/16" piece of masking paper is a waste of time. 
  • Attempt #5 -- You know what they say -- the 5th time is the charm. Using a stylus and score board, I debossed stripes randomly across the panel -- of course, covering the one stripe that had caused all this mess in the first place. 

Building the Card:

To create the accordion base, I cut a piece of card stock to 7.25 x 5.5" and then scored it on the long side at 0.5", 1", and 1.5" from both ends. That leaves a 4.25 x 5.5" panel in the center.
I folded on the score lines, like an accordion, and then reinforced those folds with a bone folder. I trimmed 1/8" off the left and right sides of the bird panel and then glued it inside the base. Then, I glued the window panel onto the accordion part of the base. 

To add a bit more interest, I added a few Gina K Dewdrops to the embossed background. 
Singularly, I could pick out flaws in each piece of this card, but together, it makes a lovely scene. 

Masking a Scene:

Remember, I don't have many supplies for scene building, right? 

Picture this: an early morning sunrise, where the moon is still in the sky. You're walking up a hill, knowing that, just on the other side of that hill, the sun is beginning to rise above a peaceful lake. Ooh. Aah. 

Okay, enough. Let's do this.
I started with the moon, stamping the Altenew Mini Moon near the top of a white A2 panel. I used SSS Fog ink for both layers of the moon, so the texture would be subtle. To create a hilly foreground, I cut a mask using a die from the Simon Says Stamp Layered  Hills set, and then I inked below the mask using Gina K Black Onyx ink. I then masked the moon and the black hill, so I could ink blend the sky.

Starting at the bottom, I ink blended Gina K Lemon Drop and Peach Bellini, SSS Fog, and three Gina K blues: Powder Blue, Blue Denim, and In the Navy. The SSS Fog ink was necessary to transition between the peach and blue without creating a muddy color. 
Let's address the elephant in the room, shall we? I have no idea what a moon should really look like. When I removed the mask, something was amiss. I had tried to leave a bit of a glow around the moon with lighter blue ink, but I don't even know if the glow is in the right place. I had also wanted the moon to be a bright sliver with the rest of the sphere in shadow but, well, you see how that worked out. Since the moon was clearly not what I'd hoped for, I blended on more SSS Fog ink to create a shadow on the back/bottom of the moon. With any luck, the recipient will be moon-ignorant, too. 
To create the idea that some elements (the foliage) are in the foreground, they have to be larger than life. Using Gina K Black Onyx ink, I stamped several florals from the Altenew Garden Silhouette stamp set. Now, these florals are intended to be in a vase, but by only stamping the floral fluff and not the stems, they work as waterfront brush. 
Finally, I stamped a sentiment from the Altenew Garden Silhouette set, curving it slightly so it would follow the arc of the hill.

Is there a Lesson Here? 

I don't know. Maybe. It's no secret we are our own worst critic. I know that someone else will look at these cards and think they are fantastic. And I will continue to see every blemish, every design flaw, every bit of weird. Because, even now, as I look at this blended sky, I want to run to my craft room and add some pink to cover up the gray. Because it's still not right. Still not good enough. 

This is probably one of those do as I say, not as I do moments. Be kind to yourself, okay?

Thanks for stopping by!


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