Altenew: Seasonal Scene Building

A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle – Thomas Jefferson

Merry and Bright

Mixing it up from Altenew’s Seasonal Scene Building class lessons that focused on the Spring and Summer seasons,  I created a Christmas Holiday scene. Regardless of the season on display, masking is the unseen hero of any multi image scene creation.  If you’re not familiar with masking a quick summary is that you stamp the images that are in the foreground first, create a mask to cover those images and then stamp subsequent images for the appropriate layer, again masking those added images as needed to create a layered result.  Stamp – mask – repeat to complete the final design. The layers are revealed as the masks are removed to expose the final scene.

Some cardmakers are able to work out the layers and design process all in one step. I, however, find it easier to do a rough stamp out of the design overlapping stamps as needed and sometimes using an ink color that aligns with final color to help assess the color balance. Below is my preliminary design – it’s not pretty but it is functional.

With this map I could ‘see’ that my first stamps would be the large poinsettia on the left and the pine cone on the right. Once these elements were stamped and masked the greenery was added. I also made sure that the pine needles were placed so no masking was needed, only the poinsettia leaves need masking for the final candle image. Here’s the final scene prior to coloring as well as the final card. Click on the images below to get the best view of the details.

The final image was colored in using Copics and because of the candle image in the scene I set out to create a glow on the poinsettia and pine cone. The poinsettia glow comes from two color-ways for the leaves: one more red and the other more orangeish-red. The pine cone glow comes from washing the shades of browns with a warm yellow. I created shadows around the main images as if light was coming from behind to add additional depth.  A soft candle glow was added to the backgroun using ink blending gradually fading into a light blue background.

After embossing a sentiment, the final touches for this card were added: gold sequins, Antique Gold Stickles for Poinsettia centers and a red mat to frame the scene. The matted image was popped up with fun foam and then added to a gold metallic card base to tie together all the gold, glowing elements.

Stamps: Altenew: Candlelight, Poinsettia & Pine, Happy Holidays (sentiment)
Paper: Neenah Crest Solar White 80lb; Holtz Kraft Metallic Gold; Inkadinkado Stamping Mask Paper
Ink: Altenew: Candle: Morning Frost, Evening Gray; Flame: Warm Sunshine, Sunkissed, Firebrick; Pine needles: Evergreen; Candle base: Sandy Dunes, Rocky Shores, Mocha; Background Buttercream, Warm Sunshine, Iceberg; Gina K Amalgam: Jet Black;Tsukineko: Versafine: Onyx Black
Copics: Leaves: G82, G85, G46; Berries: R27, YR06; Table: E40, E42; Pine cone: E13, E15, E25, E27, then ‘washed’ with Y18; Poinsettia: redish: R27, R29, B34; Poinsettia: orangeish: RV34, R14, R17;Center: FYR1, Y18; Background: B0000
Accessories: Misti; Picket Fence Studios: Life Changing Brushes; Clear Wink of Stella; Gold Gel Pen; Gold sequins; Stickles: Antique Gold; Clear Embossing powder; White Fun Foam
Class Techniques: Masking to create  scenes with depth;Pre-plan layout to understand top to bottom layer orientation
AECP Class: Level 1: Seasonal Scene Building


  1. Erum Tasneem

    Oh my word! That is a STUNNER! What a beautiful scene Deb! This makes my heart happy.
    Thanks so much for entering your beautiful work in the AECP assignment Gallery. I love your write-up and descriptions! Please keep up with your excellent work!

    • Deb Hurtig

      Thank you! A bit of work in this ?

  2. Virginia L.

    WOW! I adore everything about your scene card! You must have the best inky fingers as the images are so crisp and BEAUTIFUL!! The depth and light/contrast are absolutely spot on! This is what makes your cards a stand-out because your skills are truly showing through in this! BRAVO! Thanks so much for entering your beautiful work in Altenew AECP assignment Gallery. Beautiful colors and design. Well done!

    • Deb Hurtig

      This one is likely a one-off and for a special someone! Lots of time masking then coloring! ? Thank you!


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