• Jennifer Leonard

My Final Challenge for the AECP Program!!!!

Welcome to the Altenew Educator Certification Program! This was the subject of an email I received from Erum back on May 18th, 2021. I'll never forget the excitement I felt when this email arrived! I have been a scrapbooker for the last 20 years or so, but a recent card maker since the Pandemic of 2020. I considered myself an OK crafter, and this bit of encouragement meant the world to me!!!!! I was beyond excited to get started with my classes!!! I was such a newbie back then! Oh the patience Erum had with me! So thank you Erum in advance for answering all my silly questions about everything!!


How I choose my class theme

As I mentioned, I was a scrapbooker for the last 20 years. While Altenew is most known for their card making products, I wanted to show how some products can be used to make not only an A2 card, but also slim lines and 12x12 layouts. So my class was called, "Stencils for every card size~ A bouquet of Altenew!" I probably should have named it Stencils for any project! as I included a scrapbook page for my ladies to try!



I began designing my cards while in level 3. I fell in in love with the Meadow Bush Stencil Set and knew that was the product I wanted to feature! I also knew I wanted to teach my guests how to use mixed media.


The following skills were taught during the class...

  • Ink Blending/ How to use blenders

  • Stencil Placement Techniques and how to clean your stencils.

  • Tinting embossing paste, learning the use of a palette knife, and using embossing paste thru a stencil.

  • Ink smooshing for your card background using Altenew's Dye Inks, a spritz of water and a bit of acetate.

  • Card composition.

  • Simple Stamping Techniques.



I designed an A2 Card, a Slim Line Card and a 12x12 Layout. I created a power point for my guests and emailed them the presentation so they had an idea of what was in store that night. I also ordered 3 Stencil Sets so the Ladies didn't have to share just one. Here is the power point presentation that was emailed.







After I received my approval for my class by Virginia, I decided I wanted an in person class and I began calling my local crafty friends. All 3 instantly agreed! One guest asked if she could bring her 16 year old granddaughter. Of Course!! My last guest is a non crafter, but has admired my cards since the beginning and told me right from the start that she was coming! So we had 5 ladies!

Cate Knight, Ingrid Guthrie, Sharon Hanna, Pauline Greer and Autumn (the 16 year old). Sharon and Pauline are Autumn's Grandmothers!! Both of Autumn's grandmothers are crafters and wanted her to share in this experience! See! This is the joy I am talking about! Autumn has a very special memory while making her first cards...oh my heart!


After the initial invite, I sent out 2-3 more reminders to my guests telling them what supplies to bring and asked them to arrive early so we can start on time. I prepped my area the night before and each guest had their own crafty space to work.

Even my cat, Frasier, got into the action of the day! We took over his table, hence the mad face.


My excitement grew throughout the day and I was SO ready to craft! My natural personality is bubbly mixed with a bit of humor, and I was not nervous at all! Virginia connected to my Zoom Call and we began the class. If you look in the background, you will see my computer propped up on a crate so Virginia could watch my class. The fun of an in person class, was that there was much chatter and laugher amongst my guests and I was able to move around the table to spend time with each crafter. The meadow bush stencil set is fairly simple to use but layer 4 can get tricky. This is when I was able to really guide them and give them special attention. The ladies liked how I could help them one on one.




Virginia was so welcoming and offered lovely words during the class.


The only variation I made to the original card #1 was to change the stencil from molded lines to the halftone stencil because I felt the halftone stencil would be easier to use for my beginner card makers PLUS I had 2 halftone stencils to pass around.

These cards are made with Molded Lines Stencil and Tulle Stencil.



During my time as an Altenew Participant, I attended 3 final challenges via Zoom. I joined so I could have an idea of what to expect and each class was very enjoyable as I was able to practice my skill sets. Many of the ladies on these zoom calls were also Altenew Participants so they were able to follow along quite well.


My final class was attended by ladies who never heard of Altenew and 2 ladies never even made a card before! I knew my class had much material to cover and I honestly was not expecting them to finish all 3 projects, my goal was for each of them to make two cards and overall, the gals did great! Two ladies completed all 3 projects!


Cate, the most experienced of the ladies finished all three projects.

Ingrid, has never made a card in her life! Yet, she made beautiful cards! What I loved about her cards is one was made for a friend who just had a double mastectomy and the other for a friend wishing her a Happy Birthday! Her sentiment says "Sparkle on Darling!"
Sharon and Pauline were blown away with Altenew Products! Although they are card makers, they had never seen or made THIS type of card before. It made me so happy to teach them a new skill! Seeing your own card design brought to life by other crafters is awesome!
Lastly, is Autumn, just 16 and learning this wonderful craft! Her Grammy, Sharon, who is sitting next to her above helped Autumn with a few beginner skills and I just loved their dynamic together! And, Autumn finished all three projects! Bravo! Just look at her cute face as she is concentrating on which blender to use!


As a final token of my appreciation to my guests I gave them each one of the cards I made and submitted during my level 2 and/or level 3 classes. It felt great to pay it forward! And who knows? Maybe these ladies will become part of my future crafters and fall in love with Altenew, just like I did!

So what did I learn during the AECP?


  • Keep practicing! The more classes you take, the more workshops you attend, the better you become!

  • Technology! I learned to blog, start a You Tube Channel AND make video content. This was the most challenging part!

  • I learned my crafting style! What I naturally gravitate towards. I think I am a CAS style with a bit of mixed media thrown in from time to time! And I love layers!

  • Expect to spend $$. It is not a requirement, but when you see the many Blog Hops and new releases! It's like Christmas each month!

  • I learned that the AECP is like a big family with much support! I even made friendships while going through the program!

  • I learned how to Zoom with perfection! Which allowed me to craft simultaneously with other around the world! The Best!

So after 13 mos of taking Altenew's Classes, I am proud to submit my final blog for this AMAZING Program! Thank you Virginia and Erum for all of your encouragement and cheers along the way!


Hugs!

Jennifer





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