An Elegant Aloha


A jewel-tone, swirling feather creates a striking backdrop for this card, inspired by the AECP course Easy Ink Blending Techniques.

This card’s background features Altenew’s Elegant Swirls Stencil coupled with their Crisp Dye Ink colors Ultraviolet and Tide Blue. The latter color was chosen to highlight the focal feather, while purple was chosen for the motifs surrounding it. Correct application of background blending was achieved by auditioning stencil placement prior to blending. Then, using Altenew’s Crafter’s Essential Stamping Mat as a base and a Craft Ink blending brush, Tide Blue was applied to the card front with a very light hand where the feather would be. The mat held onto the paper so no added accoutrements were needed at this stage. The blended layers were slowly built until a soft gradation was attained, which faded into the purple areas. The same technique was used to blend Ultraviolet onto the card front so that very little blue and purple overlap where the background colors meet.

To ensure the stencil remained firmly attached to the paper, the card front was adhered to the back of the stencil with low-tack painter’s tape; the front of the stencil was secured in the same manner to the stamping mat. The same blending brushes were once again pressed into service to intensify the duo of colors along the stencil’s openings. A darker concentration of blue was used in the tight, circular swirls at the top left and bottom right of the feather. Then, the color gradually lightened in hue farther from those swirls along the median portion of the shaft and extremities of the vanes. For the purple portions, the blending is lightest where it merges with blue and most intense as distance from the blue plume increases. This gradation of both background and foreground creates movement and interest, as well as a third color where the blue and purple stenciled tones meld into one another.

Finishing details for this card include a shimmer vellum-backed sentiment strip and an “Aloha” die-cut sentiment from Altenew’s Totally Tropical stamp and die set. Intense ink blending was used to color the 1.25-inch sentiment strip with inverse coloration to the card front. On the card front, blue was more prevalent on the left and purple on the right. The opposite is true of the sentiment strip. This juxtaposition of color balances the card so that the eye moves along the focal feather and then is drawn to the final portion of blue on the right where the sentiment rests. The colored strip was adhered to a 1.5-inch piece of shimmer vellum and applied to the background.

“Aloha” was die cut three times from heavy cardstock and layered. Nuvo Aqua Shimmer was brushed onto the top layer, and glossy accents was applied and allowed to dry before adhering the sentiment to the card. The shimmer vellum peeking from behind the sentiment strip enhances the glittery aloha greeting. The vellum’s translucency transitions between the background and the colored strip, increasing the focal impact of such a deeply meaningful sentiment.


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