Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Altenew Educator Certification Program - The Final Challenge...

Hi! I am beyond thrilled to bring this post to you today. This is the final step towards completing the Altenew Educator Certification Program. I applied for the program in December 2017 with very little expectation of being selected. Imagine my surprise when I received the acceptance letter!

I took little over a year to complete all my classes. This program lets you do things at your own pace, which is great. The whole experience was amazing! I learnt new techniques, revisited some old ones and have grown tremendously as a crafter during this period. A special thanks to Virginia Lu, Nicole Picadura and Erum Tasneem for their constant encouragement and help.

The final challenge, after completing Level 3, was to hold a workshop for minimum 4-10 students. I have had a lot of experience teaching children, though I haven't done much for the past 6 years. It was fun getting back to planning a workshop. My dear friend, Bhawana, very kindly offered the use of her office space for the workshop.

I planned two card designs, covering a range of techniques. Here are the sample cards.

The idea was to get my students to create a large stamped panel and then cut it to make a card. I made four versions to give an idea of different design possibilities.

I used the Daisy mini stamp and Mini Blossoms stamp set. The following techniques were covered in this card:
  • Faux Watercolor Stamping
  • Layered Stamping
  • Heat Embossing
The second card was a little more advanced.

I used the Perennial Beauty and Peony Bouquet stamp sets. The following techniques were covered:

  • Stamping
  • Layered Stamping
  • Masking
  • Die-cutting
I chose the stamp sets that are comparatively easy to layer and have a more artsy look. As all my students were completely new to card making, I wanted them to get a feel of different tools like the Big Shot, the heat embossing stuff etc. We used acrylic blocks for the first card and a stamp positioner for the second.

The workshop was fixed for Sunday morning at 10 am as Virginia, Erum and Nicole were going to observe it through Facebook Live. I contacted a few of my close friends and 6 of them confirmed. In my experience, there are always a few last minute cancellations. So I was really thrilled when I had two extra students walking in the last minute. Though this did throw me off a bit, I had carried extra stuff and was able to complete the workshop.

My students came from different backgrounds and skill levels. All of them were new to stamping and card making. Keeping this in mind, I started with a brief introduction to stamping and the various tools used for card making. I also spoke about Altenew as a brand and their great contributions to this industry.

Here are some pics from the workshop.

The welcome banner.

Helping students use various crafting tools.

The cutter was a big hit!

A beautiful mess!

Assembling a card.

Learning to use the stamp positioner.

We had a lot of fun as everyone interacted and appreciated each other's work.

Setting up the die cutting and heat embossing table.

Choosing the perfect sentiment.

Thrilled to complete the cards. Their smiles make me so happy!

The entire class with their cards. 

Everyone had a great time, playing around with the supplies. All of them completed two cards. Most had the recipients for the cards already in their minds. It was fun choosing the perfect sentiments for the cards. We ended the session with some hot chai and apple muffins baked by my daughter Saee. 

A special thanks to Virginia Lu, AECP Coordinator who was observing the workshop. She kept sending encouraging messages that really buoyed me up. My husband was a huge help in setting up the camera and handled the technical side of things perfectly, leaving me to concentrate on the teaching. My daughter Saee helped out during the workshop and provided the apple muffins as snacks. And my little son Neel, who amused himself for the entire two hours and then helped with the cleanup. I feel really blessed to have such a supportive family!

I also want to thank all my friends who attended the workshop. Their enthusiasm and interest really made this workshop a success. The biggest surprise was my kids' art teacher who attended the workshop along with another art teacher colleague. Both of them really enjoyed the experience and are keen on introducing some of the things they learnt in their schools.

I am now awaiting the assessment from the Altenew team. I am excited as something that I started as a hobby has taken me down unexpected paths. I hope I will continue on this journey and keep growing and becoming a better version of me.



  1. It was a wonderful workshop! I had fun and I bet everyone else did too! You are a superb teacher!

  2. What a GLORIOUS post, Nandini! Your journey and post brought a tear to my eyes! I am so thrilled that you persevered and got to do the final challenge of AECP. Your family are AMAZING! Big thanks to your husband, daughter Saee and little guy Neel! I love your attentive teaching and the way that you make the participants feel so welcome. I could tell that they were all so focused and attentive. It was my absolute pleasure to be part of your workshop. I am glad that my many comments throughout the workshop really kept you going. The adjustment of camera angle was challenging at first. Thankfully, your hubby was able to make it just right for us to view. Please convey our thanks to your family and your participants. You have certainly demonstrated the teaching in basic stamping. We definitely would love you to help spread the love of Altenew and stamping in India. Congratulations on this huge achievement! Bravo!

    1. Thanks Virginia! I am absolutely thrilled!

  3. I came here to let you a comment for the gorgeous DT card you've made for the ATSM #332 but I didn't find it. But what a lovely surprise to read this post, so Congratulations, Nandini ! What a fantastic news, I'm so happy for you !

  4. Congratulations Nandini! What a wonderful post! It was so nice to see all the pics and your process too. I just finished level two and I want to finish level three before summer so your post was very encouraging. Congrats again! Hugs, Gwendolyn