For my Altenew Educator Certification Program Level 1 Final Challenge, I was to create FOUR different masculine cards.  This is totally outside my comfort zone as I usually do colorful, floral or whimsical cards.  The challenge to create a Birthday card, an Encouragement card, an Anniversary card, and a Thinking of You card using the techniques I have learned in my classes took a lot of thought and experimenting.  I hope you enjoy these cards I have created.

Birthday Card – For this card I used the class elements of (For the Guys) Pop Art using the primary colors and stamp set, and (Clean and Simple Boutique Cards) adding foil accents.

I picked out the brightest red, yellow and blue inks from my collection (Altenew Heartbeat, Maple Yellow and Starlight).  The stamp set I used was the Altenew Halftone Circle Stamp set.  I picked out some sizes that would fit nicely on my card and stamped them in the red, yellow and blue.  I cut the circles out using my Hero Arts Infinity Circles – with so many circle dies to choose from , I knew I could find the right sizes. To match the letter colors exactly to my circles, I used the inks to rub the color onto cardstock.

I used the Altenew Fine Alphabet Die Set to cut out Happy Birthday.  To add a background I cut strips of ted, yellow and blue foil cardstock in various widths and adhered them to the card base.  I then placed my die cut circles and used a ruler to line up my letters.

I love the bright colors on this card, and will stamp someone’s name on the yellow circle when I know who I am sending it to!


Encouragement cards – I made two of these cards, and will be sending them to my young teen grandsons.  For these cards I used the class elements of (For the Guys) artistic technique with the background galaxy,  (Stencil Techniques) with metallic paste and the Altenew Warp Speed stencil, and (Let It Shine) with metallic embossing powders and accents.

To begin, I choose the ink colors I would be using – Warm Sunshine, Crimson, Ocean Waves, Desert Night and Midnight Violet; along with the Jet Black, freshly re-inked. I started with the yellow and red, pressing down with my blender and doing some minor blending.  Then I added the blues with the same technique.  I did some blending with the dark violet.   Then I applied the jet black with my blender, working in from the outside and lightly blending over some of the colorful areas.

Using some Ken Oliver acrylic white paint, I splatted some ‘stars’ in my galaxy.  (tip – wear an apron. My jeans now have some stars on them too).   I blended some more black ink over the stars to tone down the brightness, and also applied some metallic white shimmer watercolor with splatters.

My next step was taping the Altenew Warp Speed stencil over the dark sheets and applying some of the new DecoFoil metallix gels.  I used Pure Gold, Aged Copper, and Glazed Pewter; spreading with the new Deco Foil stencil pal.

After the gel dried, I matched up my favorites with a metallic mat, added a die cut circle and embossed sentiments from the Altenew Sohcahtoa stamp set.  I added some sequins to hide a few of my mis-splatter, but I think they look a little like planets in my galaxy.


Anniversary – For this card I used the class elements of (For the Guys) Geometric design with the Sohcahtoa triangles,  and (Let it Shine) adding shine with metallic embossing powders and heart sequins.

I stamped the sentiment from Altenew Painted Inspiration on a silver cardstock piece in versamark and embossed it in a detail gold.

I used the medium blank triangle from Altenew Sohcahtoa and stamped it around the sentiment, then embossed with a bright black embossing powder called Midnight Madness.  Then I stamped the triangle again, creating a link in the triangles and embossed in a glittery gold called Egyptian Gold.  After adhering to a gold foil background and a matching card base, small gold hearts from my stash were glued in the common spaces of the triangles and around the sentiment.  Most of these Judikins embossing powders are no longer for sale, but there are great substitutes – check WOW!

On the inside, I have printed a panel with “Happy Anniversary Darling!”


Thinking of You – For this card I used the class elements of (Easy Ink Blending) Faux water coloring and (Seasonal Scene Building) Background Building.

This card was inspired by a video I watched showing how to do waves with watercolor.  Although mine was not nearly as good as the video results, I did have fun with it.  I taped an oversize piece of Canson XL watercolor paper to my work area with painters tape.  Using a large flat brush, I applied a water wash to the paper and blended in Sea Glass ink over the entire panel.  I then streaked a mix of Ocean Waves and Tide Blue across the bottom of the panel making waves.  Sometimes I wasn’t too happy with them, so I used my large brush to smooth and tone them down by brushing more  water across.

After my background dried, I used the Altenew Be a Lighthouse stamp set to stamp the lighthouse scene and birds.   I used the Sea Glass with the cloud stamp.   The water coloring of the lighthouse was done using Sand Dunes and Warm Sunshine for the light streaks.  The lighthouse island ground was colored with Mocha, Espresso and Evergreen.  I did feel the water needed a bit more texture, so I stamped the wave stamp from Be a Lighthouse in Ocean Waves.

I mounted the panel on a black mat and then on a matching blue cardstock.  The drops are Nuvo Jewel Drops Grey Mist, and the yellow glow has been touched with a Nuvo Shimmer brush.  The sentiment is from Altenew’s Wispy Begonia set, stamped in black and clear embossed.  (there would be a little boat, but it has drifted away on my desktop)


Whew — that really was quite a bit of work for this challenge.  I hope you have enjoyed these cards and my instructions.

See you soon — Mary Kay

Affiliate Links may be used at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.


  1. You have proved to all that you CAN create awesome masculine cards! Each one of them is so well thought-out and designed! Love your colorful take on the birthday card! The stenciled background is superb in the 2nd card! GREAT effort with the anniversary card! The embossed triangles are nicely done. The last one is my favorite of all! I am so glad that you enter your beautiful work in Altenew AECP assignment Gallery. Awesome details and design! Super work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For someone who is not comfortable with masculine cards. you sure did an amazing job! I love all the cards you made. Love the bright colours of the first with gold accent. Your anniversary and engagement cards rock! Those are my favourite. Also really like your last card.
    Thanks so much for entering your beautiful work in the AECP assignment Gallery. I love your write-up and descriptions! Please keep up with your excellent work!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s