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Finding Your Muse

Updated: Nov 10, 2018

One of the lessons I chose for my AECP Level 3 is "Muse", conducted by the talented Carissa Wiley. This course taught me to find inspiration from fashion, photos, and all things that surround me. I made a card inspired by the colors of the beaded tassels in the T'boli headdress of a Filipina, as pictured above. I borrowed the splash of neutral colors with a dash of red to create a halftone striped background. The various tint of antique gold and oxidized silver of the brass charms were reflected in the 3-d die cut flowers and leaves. Below is an instructional guide how I made this ethnic-modern card.



- Bevania Splendorgel white, 300 gsm, A2 size card base

- Strathmore Bristol smooth paper for the die cut flowers and leaves


- Altenew Halftone Squares

- Altenew Build-a-flower Rose


- Altenew Fantasy Floral

- Altenew Build-a-flower Rose


- Altenew Build-a-Flower Rose

Ink Pads:

- Distress Oxide stamp pad - Black Soot and Fired Brick

- Altenew Crisp Dye Ink pad - Sand Dunes, Rocky Shores, Mocha, Evening Gray, and Moon Rock

- Versamark watermark stamp pad


- Kuretake Gansai Tambi Pearl Colors - White Gold


- Double sided adhesive tape

- Foam tape

- Glue stick

Embossing Powder:

- Hero Arts, Clear


- Gemini die cutting machine

- MISTI stamp positioner

- Kuretake Emboss Heat Gun

- Scissors

Preparing the Background

I used the longest strip in the Halftone Squares stamp set, and Distress Oxides for inking. To give the background an ethnic look, I inked the stamp with Distress Oxide ink pad "black soot" and "fired brick "alternately. If you have MISTI , this is a helpful tool to make stamping uniform shapes more efficient. I inked the stamp with "black soot "first and stamped it uniformly by moving up the card base about a half inch on the MISTI board after stamping each strip, leaving white spaces in between. After thoroughly cleaning the stamp, I inked it with "fired brick" and stamped it on the white spaces in between each black strip using the same stamping technique.

Coloring the cardstock for the flowers and leaves

I did not use colored cardstock for this project. Instead, I colored pre-cut Strathmore Bristol paper by swiping Altenew Crisp Dye Ink cubes on the surface to achieve a colored cardstock effect with the exact colors and shades I needed. These are Sand Dunes, Rocky Shores, and Mocha for the flowers; Morning Frost and Evening Gray for the leaves. Bristol paper gives a smooth finish when using this technique.

Diecutting the flowers and leaves

The 3-D flowers and leaves were made from the Floral Fantasy Die set. I produced three sets each of the flowers, large leaves and smaller leaves using a Gemini die cutting machine.

Stamping the Floral Fillers

The tiny flowers in the Build-a-Flower Rose stamp set reminds me of Stephanotis, otherwise known as "Sampaguita" in the Philippines. This is my country's national flower. I repeatedly stamped it on a Bristol paper colored with Altenew's Sand Dunes ink pad. I colored the flowers with Gansai Tambi White Gold watercolor to give the tiny flowers some glow and highlight. I used the coordinating die to cut it out.

Assembling the Card

I tried various orientation to lay out the flowers on the background. I decided to place the flowers on the top of the card and make it cascade downward following the vertical halftone stripes. I used an adhesive stick to adhere the leaves and filler flowers. Foam adhesive strips were used to assemble the three die cut flowers. The sentiment is from the Build-a-Flower Rose stamp set. I inked the stamp with 'black soot" and embossed it with clear embossing powder to make the sentiment pop out from the card. It echoes the gorgeous smile of the Filipina model in my inspiration.

The finished card

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