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!


Card Created by Linda Fields

It’s always great finding creative, different ways to use your tools. Today’s assignment required me to turn a die into a stencil. I was inspired to create a happy, country charm styled card to ring in the New Year.

AECP Homework – Celebration Stencil Techniques Course

I used the following Altenew crafting products: Edge Wildflower Die, Tiny Bubbles and Beach Stripes Stencils, Crimson, Pink Pearl, Maple Yellow, Forest Glades, and Jet Black Dye Inks, and two Blending Brushes. I also used Ribbon, Simon Says Talk Bubble “HI” Stamp, and Water Droplet embellishments.

I used the Wildflower Edge Die to cut one white cardstock flower set and another set from the grey paper. I used the thicker white as a stencil, blending in vibrant Crimson Petals. I used the Bubbles Stencil to ink happy pink and yellow dots before adding faded stripes in two directions to create a cheery plaid backdrop. It was simple finishing the card by adding the die cut grey flowers offset over the white flowers underneath. I stamped “HI”, tied a pretty bow with the gingham ribbon and added water droplets for that finishing touch. This hug is officially ready for mailing!


Card Created by Linda Fields

Hello and Merry Christmas! Today I was inspired by a very beautiful card I found on Pinterest. I set out to try and recreate the techniques but I ended up making something completely different. Despite trials, errors, and my dog literally eating my homework, I finally finished this slimline card for my All About Layering #4 Course in the Altenew Education Certification Program I am participating in.

AECP Homework – All About Layering #4

This card couldn’t be any easier to make using Nina 120# Classic Crest White Cardstock for the 3.5″x8.5″ card base and 3″x8″ card front. You only need an embossing folder like the Feathered Lillies I used from Altenew, dye ink and ink blender, then whatever embellishments you may or may not want to add. I used Tim Holtz Black Paper Twine and melted silver wax beads to seal in a beautiful “Thank You” sentiment. Finish it with a black frame mat and foam tape for added height.

My goal was to use a mirroring technique I learned in my course. Altenew embossing folders are 6×6 so if you like to use larger sizes or measurements that don’t fit the square then you must get inventive with your paper placement before running it through your machine. Thicker paper gives amazing results photos just can’t show.

Turn your paper 90 degrees to get the mirror effect. You’ll see exciting new shapes emerge in the negative space from this technique. I chose to ink my flowers lightly with a blending sponge and black dye ink after I embossed but you could just as easily create a Letterpress illusion by inking the negative space of your embossing folder first (before you emboss). Experiment! Find that formula you love. Have a blast creating and you’ll always create a WOW piece you’ll love!


Card Created by Linda Fields

This is my latest card, created for the Easy Die Cutting Techniques Course in Altenew’s Education Certification Program. This time I was inspired by the Inlay Die Cutting technique. I love the results so I decided to make LOVE stand out by popping it up and off for dimensional effect.

AECP Homework – Easy Die Cutting Techniques Course

My apologies in advance. Unlike all my other homework blog posts, I did not take the time to photograph my steps as I went, however, the steps to create the inlay effect are not difficult and the results always look amazing.

I created this slimline card using Altenew products: Golden Garden Stamp set, Mega Love Die, Obsidian Pigment Ink, Cloudy Sky Crisp Dye Ink, Firebrick and Moss Alcohol Ink Pens. I love Nina 120# Classic Crest White Cardstock. I don’t get the same, professional, crisp results with the 80#. I encourage you to try both to see which works best for you. I used a black mat to frame it all.

After cutting down my card base to a folded 3.5″x8.5″, I cut my 3″x8″ card front and 3.25″x8.25″ black mat. I created a pretty little flower pattern by repeating the same stamps in different directions. I created leaves using the brush nib, placed on its side and gently pressed to create the leaf shape. I added some flower details using a Micron pen. I used the die to cut “Love” from the front and extras from scrap paper. Glue them all together to create a thick piece. I inked the letters so it wouldn’t blend in with the background. I brought all the pieces together using double stick tape, adding the word last, set within the cut opening. I think I could have made the card even better if I had used black behind the word and foam tape for even more lift to exaggerate the dimensional effect but I still love how it came out and I encourage you to try this inlay technique for magical results you’ll love!


Card Created by Linda Fields

This is my latest card, created For The Guys course in Altenew’s Education Certification Program, inspired by my husband’s love for coffee and its soothing ability to make his day a little nicer… no matter what happens.

AECP Homework – For the Guys Course

You can make this card with just a few Altenew materials: Coffee With a Splash Stamp Set, Jet Black Ink Spray, Jet Black Crisp Dye Ink, Obsidian Stamping Ink Pad, Silver Lake Crisp Dye Ink, and the Beach Towel Stripes Stencil. I used Nina’s Classic Crest 120# white paper and grey paper, clear embossing powder, purple tape, double stick foam tape, and regular tape.

This note card base measures 4.25″ x 5.5″ with a quarter inch smaller cut card front and coordinating grey mat. I inked the white cardstock edges with jet black, used obsidian to stamp the sentiment and coffee stamp. Clear embossing powder over any color ink is a wonderful way to get beautiful embossing effects with just one powder. I highly recommend this be your first powder before any others. I splattered jet black spray after I stenciled fading grey stripes for the backdrop. I brought it all together using tape and propped up the card front using foam.

Making cards for guys might seem like a daunting task but nothing could be farther from the truth. Choose one or two bold or earthy colors, use a graphic, clean and simple look, with a funny or thought provoking sentiment – your card will be loved. And don’t be afraid to get creative! See the coffee beans in the photographs? They not only spiced up my pictures but their oils scented the paper making this the last, perfect step to stir up my sweet creation. What will whip up for your special guy?


Card Created by Linda Fields

I made this card for the Let It Shine course in Altenew’s Education Certification Program. Inspired by the Wintery cold, my goal was to capture the warm spirit of the season with snow and ice.

AECP Homework – Let It Shine Course

Only a few materials were needed to make this card: Altenew’s Silver Embossing Powder, Warmest Wishes Die (not pictured), and Small Moments Stamp set. I also used Nina Classic Crest 120# white paper, white foam sheet (not pictured), WOW Powdered Snow Embossing Glitter, VersaMark Sticky Ink and pearl embellishments.

I didn’t take pictures while making this card because I was in the craft zone but I can tell you the simple steps: 1) I made a glittery card front propped up on foam to create dimensional interest. 2) I used VersaMark for all the shine done – from WOW Glitter Embossing Powder to create the sparkling texture to Altenew’s Silver Embossing Powder for edges, snowflake and sentiment. 3) I used double sided tape to bring pieces together and added pearl embellishments with clear glue last. This is an easy, quick project I encourage you to try – especially with your family and kids.

Have a very Merry Christmas!