Handmade Card by Linda Fields

Everyone has or still is experiencing loss. The pain is deep and real. Me, my brothers and sisters, all the grandkids and great grandkids, we all experienced that loss when my mother passed away just weeks ago. It seems only yesterday. Now, my sister is also in the hospital and the doctors have little hope she will last much longer. I would argue they don’t know our family but then again, my sister is so very tired. She’s ready to leave her lifetime of suffering behind. I entered my sacred space tonight and with God by my side, I created this prayer card. I hope she feels our love despite the miles between us. God bless her sweet heart.

AECP Level 2 Homework – Beautiful Details Course

The Materials

Sacred Space

Do you have a special place where you can go to craft and create? That sacred place to heal? And when there, where do you pull your inspiration from? I often times start with a color palette, one that fits how I’m feeling or how I want others to feel. Sometimes that’s all I need to start. Let the therapy begin!

Altenew’s Inspiration Challenge

Did you know Altenew has a monthly Inspiration Challenge? It was my first contest so I was really honored to be one of their November winners. I’ve decided to enter again for the April 2023 Challenge. If you love to be creative then check out Altenew’s fun contests and wonderful blog hops!

Techniques, Tips ‘n Tricks

  1. Mood: I used watercolor paper (hot press) to create the card. I was going for a relaxed, vintage look using Pinks and Tauny Browns as my inspiration. I wanted to create the feeling of warmth, love and hope that is everlasting.
  2. Smooshing: I used 3 different distress inks and water on my glass mat, swirling the colors together, so I could press the watercolor paper into the inks. Dry with a heat gun between layers and use watercolor scrap paper to clean up the leftovers.
  3. Die Cut Frames: I cut 3 frames from the scrap paper, stacked and glued them together to create height and strength. This is an awesome technique I first saw watching Jennifer McGuire. You can use it for sentiments or anything you want to give a dimensional look to.
  4. Vintage Aging: I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks and foam applicator to age the edges of the card and the frame. I also used water and pounced with a paper towel to add distressed water marks.
  5. Shadow Stamping: You might know this technique better by the term, generation stamping. That initial stamped image is the 1st generation so if you stamp again, without re-inking, you now have a 2nd gen image. I was going for a fading shadow effect for the sentiment “Follow Your Dreams”, a great background technique.
  6. Stamping: I wanted to make sure no matter what medium I used, my stamped image would look perfect and unmarred so after using Archival Black Ink to stamp the Iris flowers by Altenew, I dusted the surface with powder and used clear embossing powder with a heat gun to set it.
  7. Triad Coloring: I prefer to use 3 shades from each color family I’m using. It helps me create the smoothest transition possible. I used the brush nib of my Altenew Alcohol Ink Markers to create various width lines and shading. It’s important to color in the direction that makes sense. If you have a flower petal that’s drooping down then color using downward strokes. A leaf is growing sideways so color the leaf following the same direction. Start from your lightest color (1) then medium shade (2) to the darkest shade (3) and end by returning to your lightest color again to blend (4).

All In The Details

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it’s true – it’s the little things that really add that special finishing touch to the card. I used a Micron Drawing Pen (005) to draw missing lines that were covered by the frame. I added in fine details, drew some leaves, added petals and did some stipple shading (painting with dots). I used Nuvo drops to make black and yellow spots and I’m letting them dry overnight as I write this. And before I forget, I decided to offset the flowers and frame instead of putting them dead center. This turned what could have been an ordinary card into a very special, vintage card, created to send love across the miles.


Handmade Card by Linda Fields

I never thought Christmas would come in Spring but that’s exactly what happened yesterday when I checked the mailbox. A wonderful surprise gift was waiting for me. I was instantly inspired and knew a watercolor effect using happy colors would reflect my tears of joy, and adding a vintage tone after would lock in that memory forever. So, what emotion do you want to share or have others feel? Welcome! Join me as I create my latest, thank you card.

AECP Level 2 Homework – Creative Watercolor Ink Course

The Materials

Create Emotion

The first thing I did was use the flower stamp using ink that wouldn’t run in water. This is very important since the image was going to get very wet. I used a stamping platform to re-stamp several times since the watercolor paper has a texture. Using a small, round, watercolor brush, I used clean water to loosely paint below the flowers. I added green using an Altenew Watercolor pen then blue. Let your layers dry before adding more color. The color will change once dry.

TIP: Once you add you can’t take away so it’s always best to create one light layers at a time until you get the depth of color you want. However, should you make a mistake, you can use water to thin what you put down and create a nice gradient.

I added more water, holding the card up so it would drip down. Let the colors blend and create something beautiful! I fussy cut the upper edge of the flowers creating a unique edge and opening. Using Altenew Crisp Inks, I used the same water technique but started with a dry brush so I wouldn’t get water on my ink pad. Add more water later, letting it drip down, and watch how the ink gives a brilliant watercolor finish!

TIP: Can’t find or have this stamp? Don’t worry! Look for a stamp that is large enough to extend past the sides of the paper but small enough to play with it for layout. I did an angled corner cut but maybe your stamp is better suited running along the bottom or side? Use the way the card opens as your baseline to finding how to cut one side of the stamp you use.

I continued using the crisp inks to paint my flowers and leaves. I used a micron pen after to add fine details and to crisp my lines by going over the stamped image again. I used a sponge applicator around the edges and corners to add that vintage look using Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Vintage Photo and Ground Espresso. I added the You’re So Thoughtful sentiment and thought I was done but realized a few Nuvo drops were needed. Never underestimate the power of that last little touch!


Handmade Card by Linda Fields

Imagine a beautifully aged copper door, covered in a gorgeous patina, pull inspiration from ancient pottery, or combine the two to create an amazing color palette! Welcome and enjoy my latest Persian inspired Birthday card!

AECP Level 2 Homework – Impressive Heat Embossing Course

The Urdu Language

Wikipedia Source: There are over 100 million native speakers of Urdu in India and Pakistan together – there were 50.8 million Urdu speakers in India (4.34% of the total population) as per the 2011 census; approximately 16 million in Pakistan in 2006. There are several hundred thousand in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Bangladesh. However, Hindustani, of which Urdu is one variety, is spoken much more widely, forming the third most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English.


The Background

You could use any box or spray booth but I used the Tim Holtz Splatter Box to create my background. I sprayed many layers of colors and stood the paper at an angle so the stains would move and drip down. Warning! The paper you use for this is important. I would recommend using watercolor paper or something equally as thick. While my card stock did work, it took a very long time to dry.

Heat Embossing

After cutting down the backdrop to size, I lightly powdered the surface before stamping Persian Motif Flowers with sticky, clear Embossing ink. I used Altenew’s fine copper embossing powder and a heat gun for this entire project. The powder to metal transformation is magical! I used the embossing pad like a stamp to create copper edging on the card. Caution! When embossing parchment paper, get your tool hot prior to shorten the time needed to emboss. This will lower your risk of warping or melting the paper.

A Beautiful Jewel Finish

I thought the card was done but there was something missing – jewels! After putting the front on the card base with foam tape, I added royal blue gems to each flower because every birthday should be this special.


Handmade Boxed Set by Linda Fields

Hey there! I’m so glad you’re here! Today is all about the “happy”. Grab your paper, your sprays, and dies! Join me for a bit of sunshine crafting!

AECP Level 2 Homework – In the Mood for Color Course

Name That Spray

What mood or emotion do you want to evoke? From passionate pinks to soothing blues, I was long over due for some joy. Using thick, bright white card stock, I grabbed my homemade Metallic White Pearl formula and combined it with the Tim Holtz Mustard Seed Distress Spray Stain to get the beautiful, sunshine happy backdrop you see above. You’ve seen all those wonderful metallic pearl sprays but how many do you actually own? They aren’t exactly cheap and if you’re like me, they don’t last long. Time to make your own! Mix any color(s) of Blick Liquid Watercolor with Metallic Pearl and water to make any color you want! The best part after you find that perfect ratio is naming your new color spray!


I added a nice mat to frame my backdrop so it would look clean and finished. Now to create the tone on tone flower. I combined Altenew’s Craft-A-Flower Cape Marguerite flower petals with the stem piece from Altenew’s Craft-A-Flower Snowdrops set to reimagine my happy card. I used Altenew’s Pure White Ink Spray first followed with a thick coat of my Metallic Pearl Spray on all the flower pieces before putting them together. You’ll really want a good heat tool for this. It’s a great way to naturally curl your petals while speeding up the drying time.

1 / 7

I highly recommend using Nuvo glue to give you time to move your pieces exactly where you want them to be. Once the flower was put together, it needed a perfect finish to it’s center so I used Nuvo Vintage Drops to lay down coordinating matte black. And for the sentiment, I used Simon Says Stamp Word Mix 2 Stamp and Die set with sticky ink and Altenew’s Fine White Embossing Powder to create a bunch of tags. This set is a great way to get multiple sentiments quickly and Altenew’s fine powder gives you amazingly detailed, crisp results you’ll love.

Box It Up

I decided to change things up and make my first ever, slimline box to hold my card. I wanted it to have a fun, country free feel so I used wood grain, heavy weight paper to make the lid and a coordinating black base for the slimline card to fit in. Yellow baker’s twine and a hole punched sentiment was the perfect fit to tie it all together. May your day, and every day, be filled with beautiful joy and happiness.


Handmade Card by Linda Fields

What if you could use water to stamp your design? Prepare to have fun with this great technique stamping with H2O!

AECP Level 2 Homework – Beyond Basic Backgrounds Course

The Background

I used black cardstock for my base to create depth in this water stamping effect. Using Altenew’s Mini Branch Stamp, Tim Holtz Oxide Inks in Mowed Lawn, Speckled Egg, and Iced Spruce, with a sponge applicator, I was able to create the velvety smooth background with a watermarked effect. Blend at least two layers of complimentary inks over the entire card front. The more ink the better! You’ll absolutely need a stamping platform to restamp the image in the same spot several times. Use a sponge applicator to apply water to your stamp as if it were ink. The chemical reaction creates a very cool shadow effect!

The Rest of The Story

Have you ever come up with a cool idea only to realize you didn’t think the process all the way through? That’s exactly what I did. I was so focused on creating the backdrop I forgot about the rest of the card. So, inspired by our son serving overseas in South Korea, I decided to turn this into a Korean Birthday Card. I pulled out some scrap metallic watercolor backgrounds I made from my previous Level 1 Asian themed project and die cut some flowers using Altenew’s Rose Queen Die Set.

Finishing Touches

After I used Altenew’s Birthday’s Around the World Stamp Set for the sentiment, I finger painted Rub ‘n Buff Antique Gold around the edges and pulled gold down the front to create an aged, wooden panel. This project was incredibly fun to make. I’m so happy with the finished card. Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment and yes, you might make mistakes but you’ll soon discover it’s all part of the creative magic!


Handmade Card by Linda Fields

It’s great to be back and creating in my sacred space again. If I should come up missing from the creative action again, I want you to know it’s because me and my husband are in the process of moving the studio so thank you for your patience! Now, on with the blog!

November last year I was honored to be accepted into Altenew’s Education Certification Program (AECP). Our of the three levels, I successfully passed Level 1 and I’m now working towards my Level 2 award. This is my first blog post for this new level. Enjoy!

AECP Level 2 Homework – Color Your Day Course

Color Inspiration

Pinterest – it’s the perfect place for inspiration. The first lesson in Altenew’s Color Your Day Course talks about finding inspiration. From photographs to the cup of coffee in your hand, inspiration can be found anywhere! I found the perfect photo posted by Contrast By Moon Beam on Pinterest. It became my color palette guide.

Slide to Compare Inspiration vs Creation

The Supplies

It’s important for me to have all my supplies picked out and ready to go before I start creating anything. The mediums, papers, and tools don’t just excite me but continually inspire me to that finished product. Does my Butterfly Blessings card inspire you? Do you want to create too? I used Altenew’s Swallowtail Butterfly Dies, Altenew’s Flower Vines 3D Embossing Folder, Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Sprays in Wild Honey, Antique Linen, Abandoned Coral, Tea Dye, and Spiced Marmalade, and Rub ‘n Buff’s Antique Gold. (Click on photo for online tag)

The Creative Process

Having all the right tools makes such a difference! This 3D card looks difficult to make but it was fun and easy to do. After picking my palette and selecting my supplies to match, I used 3 of the 4 largest Swallowtail dies cut from heavy black cardstock. I brought the pieces together, glueing only the center body together. I used heavy white cardstock in the Flower Vines embossing folder to create the backdrop.

TIP: Water mist your paper on both sides before embossing to get the best results.

I sprayed layers of Oxide Inks on the embossed paper and sprayed with water after to get the colors moving. Tilting your paper is a great way to move and blend one color into the next. I used a heat tool between layers. I blotted the last layer with a paper towel to remove the excess water drops and oxidized color. To stress that vintage look, I used fine sand paper to scrap ink from the highest embossed areas. Rub ‘n Buff was the perfect finishing touch. With a little finger painting, I turned paper into metal! I lightly hit the high points, paper edges, and butterfly with gold.

TIP: Antique Gold Rub ‘n Buff on black paper creates the illusion of old copper!

Creative Finish

What mood do you want to create? What colors inspire you? How do they compliment each other and what you’re trying to convey? When all is said and done, do you need a sentiment or does your creative finish say it all? Happy creating!


Handmade by Linda Fields

Welcome to Part 2 of this two part blog series where I show the steps I took to create Asian Inspired Cards with matching Envelopes and handmade Boxes to hold them.

Slide Between Yin and Yang Cards

Cutting Edge Perspectives

Ever want that perfect backdrop but just can’t find it? Make it! As shown in part 1 of this blog series, I used metallic watercolors to create my backgrounds that change in the light. I experimented by creating one big back drop that I cut down after versus cutting the paper in advance to make 8 different designs. Both have their pros and cons. I encourage you try both to see which one you love most.

Laying Out

I highly recommend doing temporary layouts. Play with your pieces! Look to see what looks best. This is a great way to get different ideas and yes, while you can keep referring to your originally sketched ideas, you may find new ideas emerge from creative play! Remember, know where your focus is. This is where the eye goes first. Use texture, color, movement to direct the eyes over your entire piece but your goal is to finish where you start and so keeping the eye in a loop. You can do this in so many ways. Tip when stamping, do your mock layout within the stamping tool so your stamp placement is perfectly placed!

All That Glimmers

I could have stopped with the metallic backgrounds stenciled with watercolor but temporary layouts showed me I needed more. First black and white mats to create a finished frame. I used to measure these before cutting but now I use a pencil to mark placements and found it far more accurate when cutting. I attached these pieces using foam tape to create dimension but it still felt ordinary. Introducing the many wonderful uses for embossing powder to create shimmer, shine and wow! Run or dip the paper edges on your embossing ink pad! Pour the powder over, heating one side at a time. I used Altenew’s Fine Gold and Silver Embossing Powders to create beautiful frames. I also embossed the Tall Foliage Stencil and some of the sentiments. The gold and silver fine threading was that perfect, final touch to tie it all together.

Make Any Box

Need a box to hold all your beautiful cards? You can make any box you want! What size are your envelopes? Your box needs to be 1/4″ larger than your envelope size and the lid needs to be 1/8″ larger than that. Stack your cards and envelopes. How tall is your set? I found creating a 1″ tall base for my 4 dimensional cards with matching envelopes was the perfect depth. So for 5″x7″ cards with 5.25″x7.25″ envelopes, I needed 8.5″x11″ paper cut down to 6.5″x8.5″ for the base and a second sheet cut down to 6.58″x8.58″ to make the lid. Use a scoring board to create a 1″ crease on every side. Repeat for both sheets of paper. Flip the paper over and use a bone folder to set the crease on all sides. Cut once for each corner, tapering the sides, to create flaps. Glue these tabs in place to create your box base. You can use your fingers to keep pressure on the paper until the glue dries, you can use reusable tape to keep it in place, or you can use these wonderful corners by We R Memory Keepers. Repeat for the box top and you’re done!

Wrapping It Up

I highly recommend decorating your box before you glue your flaps in place. I know, you’ll be so excited to glue those flaps in place so you can hold your finished box but it’s so much easier if you glue the flaps last, after you’re done designing. As stated previously, I up cycled cardboard from my Altenew purchase. It was perfect to glue behind my backdrops to hard strength and stability. I didn’t have the right color ribbon so I used Altenew Black Ink to color half a chiffon ribbon. The covered the brass coins with Metal Wax to make one silver and the other gold. They create a wonderful finishing touch but to up that special touch one more notch, I did not secure the coins down so they slide back and forth! The inked, dual ribbon makes such a pretty, unusual bow. I made two boxes, one black the other white, and exchanged the lids to mimic the Yin-Yang symbol because we are, after all, very much the same and yet uniquely different at the same time.

The Grand Finalle

This was such a satisfying, wonderful process creating and completing this project. Thank you so much for being here! I was wonderful sharing this with you. Are you inspired? I hope you share all your creative makes with the world!


Handmade by Linda Fields

Take your card making to the next level! Welcome to Part 1 of this two part blog series where you’ll learn the tips and tricks I used to create Asian Inspired Cards.

From Inspiration to Creation – Slide Between Photos


Last year November I was honored when my application to participate in Altenew’s Education Certification Program (AECP) was accepted. This blog is my Level 1 Project. The assignment was to create two card sets; one masculine, one feminine, with matching envelopes complete with packaging. There are so many great Altenew classes to learn from but Clean & Simple Boutique Cards, Let It Shine, and the Celebration Stencil Techniques courses were my favorites. I highly recommend these great courses you can take whether you’re in AECP or not!

Finding Inspiration

Have you ever been so excited you can’t focus on one idea? Or get so nervous your mind goes blank? Finding your inspiration can help turn your creative energy into something beautifully unique. Pinterest is a great platform I use to find inspiration. Check out my “Inspiring Cards” board to spark your next amazing idea!

Developing Ideas

Getting inspired, while important, is only half the battle. Do you own a journal to sketch your layouts and fine tune your ideas? Take notes and draw your answers to questions like: 1) What card size? 2) What measurements? 3) What colors? 4) Simple or dimensional? 5) What theme? 6) Who is this for? 7) What occasion if any? Your answers are only as limited as your imagination so sketch your layouts, write the details down, and start a great reference book for all your future makes!

Getting It Together

Feel that? You’re focused and ready but hold on… you must pull your materials together first. Remember those questions? I took the same steps when creating my Asian Inspired project. I wanted clean, simple styling reminiscent of ancient Japan but with a slightly modernized look. The Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) theme was the perfect choice. Black and white became my baseline colors with green, gold, pink and silvers completing my palette. I used rice paper for delicate, earthy texture and metallic watercolors for beautiful, watery movement. Shimmering embossing powders and thread helped tie everything together.

Penny Pinching

Think you can’t afford the materials you need? Time for great substitution tricks! Need a heat gun? Use a blow dryer! Want a stamp shammy? Use a lint free, cloth paper towel! Only have white paper? Perfect! Use any color ink(s) to create the paper you need! Don’t buy more ribbon. That’s right, use your ink pad to color the ribbon you already have! Don’t forget about up-cycling. I ordered Altenew’s “Tall Foliage” stencil and used the included cardboard packaging to add strength and stability to handmade boxes! (see packaging, part 2)

Creating Backgrounds

I absolutely love creating my own papers. It’s downright addicting! I used both black and white watercolor papers. Spray a pan of watercolor paints 2 or 3 times and let it sit a few seconds to get the colors started. I used the wet-on-wet watercolor painting method. I used a fat round brush with a fine tip similar to what the Japanese used for their beautiful calligraphy. Using clean water, I got the paper wet before adding color, letting gravity paint for me, and drying each layer with a heat gun before repeating the process. Metallic watercolors have a magical ability to change color depending on your perspective and lighting!

Stencil Painting

Let me be clear, using watercolors on a stencil is risky! Water allows your paint to be transparent but use too much, it leaks beneath your stencil until you have a mish-mash mess. So I encourage you to experiment on scratch paper before applying new techniques to your project. I’ve learned since but I had to turn my boo-boo’s into happy mistakes. I used black micron pens and white gel pens to ink fine details over the stenciled leaves.

Conclusion – Part 1

Excited to see more? Check out Asian Inspired Card Sets – Part 2, for more tips, tricks and all the steps I took to create this project. I can’t wait to see you there!


Handmade Card by Linda Fields

My second try at making a shaker card. It was easier this time despite creating it in bed! It’s flu season, so yeah, I’m sick too but that didn’t stop me from crafting.

AECP Homework – Season Scene Course

Almost everything I used was from Altenew – the Dotted Blooms Stamp set, Alcohol Ink Pens, Black Dye Ink, and Fine Black Embossing Powder.

I created this 3.5 x 8.5 slimline shaker card starting with the stamped Dotted Blossoms background and colored all the pretty flowers and branches using Altenew’s Alcohol Ink pens. I decorated the card with pearls, used diamond cut sequins, and black embossed the sentiment “Sending All My Love” on the parchment paper.


Handmade Card by Linda Fields

This was an absolute first for me, making a shaker card, and I must say, it was so much fun to do! A pretty yellow butterfly finds it way through a bed of pink roses to send prayers to that someone special.

I used the following Tim Holtz products to create the backdrop: Distress Oxide Inks in Kitsch Flamingo and Peeled Paint with the Rose Bud Stencil. I highly recommend using a small blender brush for the best results.

I cut the pattern down to 3″x8″ and ran it through my Spellbinder Platinum machine using my Honey Bee Swirling Leaves Piercing Plate. If you look close you’ll see the leafy hole pattern it put into the stenciled card front.

I used Altenew’s Silver Lake Crisp Dye Ink around the edges of the card front and matching envelope. I used Altenew’s Dream Big set to stamp and die cut the pretty butterfly. I used Jet Black and Lemon Yellow ink for his wings. I stamped and clear embossed “Sending Prayers” from Altenew’s Dotted Blooms Stamp set. I used parchment paper to create the sentiment band. I used acetate cut a piece 1/2 inch larger than my card front. You’ll need a good bone folder to emboss the lines for all four sides and then fold three of the edges over and securely tape them behind the backdrop. I poured clear sequins from Nuvo into the plastic pouch then sealed the last edge.

After mounting the shaker to a grey mat, I used foam tape to attach everything to a slimline card base made from Nina 120# Classic White cardstock. The envelope was made using Nina’s 80# paper. I repeated the stenciling on the paper, adding the butterfly last, before cutting the paper to create the final 4×9 slimline envelope. Making shaker cards is fun and opens the door for infinite creative possibilities!