My journey through the Altenew Educator Certification Program has fed my passion for card making, exposed me to an enriching & welcoming community of artists, and solidified my belief, that this, is what I am meant to do!
The final challenge for the program was to develop a lesson plan, teach a card class to 4-10 students, & blog about it. I was anxiously awaiting this day for what seemed like an eternity, but in reality, it was just weeks from the time I scheduled the class date with Virginia Lu & Nicole Picadura.
Choosing the Stamp Set
Four out of the five students, had never stamped before, so it was important for me to choose supplies & develop card designs with that in mind. I would be introducing students to Altenew, stamping, card making, & supplies for the first time.
In my mind, floral layering stamps, are the hallmark of Altenew, so choosing a floral layering stamp was a must. While my friends are crafty, they don’t own any card making supplies. I decided not to charge for the class, only the stamp and ink sets, because this would be the first card class I’ve ever taught.
I wanted to inspire a passion for stamping and be sure that students would take their new supplies home & continue stamping. So, I needed a layering stamp set that included sentiments, could be used year round, & whose layers would be forgiving for a new stamper.
I perused all my Altenew stamp sets, and decided on the Painted Rose Stamp & Ink Bundle, as it met all my requirements. The only tricky part was that each stamp layer is quite solid; and solid stamps can present unpredictable results. My students would not have a stamp positioner, so I needed to ensure they achieved quality stamping with a brand new stamp set, on the first pass, for them to feel successful.
The Lesson Plan
I needed to personally supply all of the stamping supplies for my students, given they’d never stamped before. Now, while I wish I had 5 MISTI’s in my stash, sadly I do not. So, first up on the lesson plan, was determining how to produce consistent good coverage stamping with a stamp block & the unconditioned stamp set they would receive.
I started at the beginning. They wouldn’t have a craft matt, so I retired mine for the testing phase and replaced it with an economical 12×18 piece of black fun foam. I covered this with a paper grid in order to align the stamp block for layering.
Next, I tried conditioning with VersaMark, rubbing with my fingers & palm, inking and stamping off, etc. I discovered I had the most consistent results by rubbing the stamp with a white eraser (I’d seen multiple crafters do this on youtube), and dusting it off with my palm or wiping it with my stamp shammy and drying with my palm.
Once I had the conditioning down, I moved on to card design.
The cards above, are some of the samples I created while developing the lesson plan. As is common in training situations, it was necessary to adjust the lesson plan to the speed of the students. More on this below.
Card 1 is a Clean & Simple one layer card with 3 sequins & simple masking. I designed Card 2 as a two layer card with a hand-drawn border. The panel is fussy cut along with the flowers and border and popped up on fun foam.
I also created a Variation on Card 2 (seen above) where 1 flower was die cut and the sentiment panel was dry embossed with an embossing folder after stamping. I anticipated we’d get through 2 full cards & I’d be able to discuss or demo the Card 2 Variation.
Nicole, Virginia, & I were scheduled to do a technology test 30 minutes prior to the class so it was necessary to have all the supplies organized and available to arrange on the table quickly.
Meeting Virginia & Nicole via Google Hangout was AMAZING! I had received such great feedback from them throughout the process, so to be able to see & speak to them was priceless!! They’re both so personable, genuine, and passionate about stamping & spreading the love of stamping.
I organized each student’s supplies in individual file folders. Extra supplies were set to the side.
12×18 fun foam “craft matt”, 1 sheet 11×17 grid paper, lesson plan, Painted Rose Stamp & Ink Bundle, layering guide (printed & cut to fit in stamp package), Pigma Micron 01 Pen, scissors, 6″ ruler, wet adhesive, flat clear sequins, washi tape, eraser, 2 card bases, 4 A2 card panels, 2 kraft envelopes, and 2 pieces of 4×6 sticky back white fun foam.
All the students came ready to learn and get down to card making! Jenn, Leanne, Kristyn, and Nicole were all new to stamping, and Linda Foley, was a seasoned stamper. Linda manages our local stamp shop, Stamp Fever, in Orange, CA. Linda was gracious enough to help me arrange our classroom location. Thank you Linda!
After introductions, we got right into exploring the supplies, conditioning the stamps, and stamping. I was truly impressed with the quality of these ladies’ stamping!! Gorgeous, clean, & clear results!
By the time we completed the first card, we were 1 hour into the 2 hour class. At this point I knew I needed to adjust the lesson plan. We paired down the stamping & eliminated the die cutting for Card 2. Students were able to finish 2 complete cards, however the 2nd card felt rushed. More on this below.
Take a look at these amazing cards! I’m so proud of these lovely ladies! You’ll see that some decided to use colored ink for the sentiments, there are even some sentiments with an ombre effect.
A few of these gals have already said they’re ready to buy more supplies to continue making cards! Success! Altenew has asked me to teach a Christmas Workshop so that will be a perfect opportunity to continue the craft!
What I Learned
Teaching this class reminded me how much I love to share knowledge and what a joy it is when I’m passionate about the subject.
I was well prepared and well thought out with concepts, design, & supplies. Though, I had timed myself making the cards prior to the class, I did not anticipate it taking students more than twice as long to create the 1st card. So, that’s an area I can improve for sure!
I was so into teaching, that I didn’t take photos during the class, despite Virginia suggesting it at the beginning of class. I took them after the class was complete and I didn’t take a group photo. Argh! I will not make the same mistake again! Next time, I’ll be sure to take in process photos!
All things considered, this class was a success and I believe we’ve added 4 new stampers to our tribe. Thanks to Leanne, Nicole, Jenn, Kristyn, & Linda for getting crafty with me. And huge thanks to Altenew, especially Virginia & Nicole, for such an incredible program!!
I am thrilled to share that I am officially a Certified Altenew Educator!