Using the Soft Bokeh Look on a Background

My Empty Nest Creations Ink Blended Heart Bokeh Butterfly CardI’ve seen so many famous card makers do this beautifully on their cards, so I thought that I’d give it a try.  This card background is a piece of Bristol paper that is ink blended using Distress Oxides Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint, Broken China, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet.  To get the bokeh effect, I stamped a heart stamp from Simon Says Stamp’s Tons of Hearts stamp set with Hero Arts Unicorn pigment ink.  Before stamping on the paper, I stamped it first on a piece of scrap paper (I believe that this is called second generation stamping.) because I wanted the bokeh hearts to be very soft.  Because they were stamped with pigment ink, I set it aside to dry for a bit before putting the card together.

The butterfly was die cut using Poppy Stamps Ornamental Butterflies dies and colored with an orange Copic marker (no color blending here).  The black details were added with a fine tip black Sharpie marker.  The sentiment, from an older Teresa Collins Now & Then stamp set, was white heat embossed onto a strip of black card stock.  To give it a bit of character, I fishtailed the ends using a small square punch.

I used foam tape to adhere the butterfly and sentiment banner to the bokeh background and then used the same foam tape to attach it to my card base.8

Happy Spring everyone!

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Altenew’s Happy Bloom Birthday Card

I’m not sure how new this stamp set is, but it is certainly new to me.  I just love the floral arrangement and the banner that’s perfect for the sentiment.

My Empty Nest Creations Birthday Card using Altenew's Happy Bloom setI’m not the best Copic colorer (I definitely need to watch more videos and practice a lot!).  I just used two or three color blending for each flower and leaf, and put a few gray shadows on the banner.  For a little interest, I used my white gel pen to give a few of the flowers a bit more detail.  Some black sequins finished it up.  I struggled with what color to mat the flower image and decided on purple to bring out the largest flower.  The sentiment is from the same Altenew Happy Bloom stamp set.  After all of that, I felt the flowers looked a little flat so I pulled out my Wink of Stella pen and sparkled them up!

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Happy spring everyone!

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Who Doesn’t Love an Adorable Koala?

I have had Neat & Tangled’s Koalifications stamp and die set for just a little while, and I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to use it.  This koala is just precious.  I knew that I wanted to make him the highlight of my next card.

My Empty Nest Creations Rainbow Background Neat & Tangled Koalifications Card

After stamping and cutting him out with the matching die, I colored him with Copic markers.  I’m really just a beginner at using Copics, so this coloring was very simple—RV02 for the slightly rosy cheeks and C0, C1, C3 and C5 for the rest of him.  (I always like to either restamp the image or use a black fine tip marker to go over the outlines after coloring.)  I used one of the sentiments from the same stamp set that fits perfectly on the banner.

Next…making the perfect background for this little guy.  Like many card makers, I just can’t resist bright rainbow colors.  I taped off the stripe areas with 1/2″ micropore tape, and then I ink blended the stripes with Distress Oxides (Wilted Violet, Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron and Salty Ocean).  I adhered the cutie-patootie koala to the background with foam tape.  The card needed just a bit more punch, so I cut some small hearts using the heart die from the same die set.  To get the hearts to match the colors of the stripes, I simply blended some of the colors onto some white card stock scraps.  Voila…perfect color match to the stripes.

I hope this little guy makes you smile just a bit!

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Concord & 9th’s Hello Lovely…again!

I just love this stamp set, and I seem to use it on every other card that I make.  It is just that beautiful.  I paired this stamp with some pretty bright Zig Clean Color markers.  I usually am drawn to more pastel or muted colors, but I wanted to venture a little beyond my normal comfort zone.

My Empty Nest Creations Concord & 9th's Hello Lovely Just For You card

I started by white heat embossing the floral image onto Bristol paper.  I especially like doing this because it makes using a water brush much easier.  I used several Zig Clean Color markers to paint the flowers and leaves.  To highlight the floral image, I lightly water colored a gray background using marker 091.

Using Waffle Flower’s Lacy Layers, I die cut the floral piece (what an adorable scalloped edge 🙂 and attached it to a piece of yellow card stock that matched the yellow flowers perfectly.  To give the card a little dimension, I used foam tape to adhere it to the purple polka dot card base.  This card base comes from a Pebbles Cardmaking pad that is loaded with adorable bright colored card bases.  All that was left, was the sentiment.  I white heat embossed a sentiment from Altenew’s Penned Rose stamp set onto a scrap piece of black card stock.

I hope you like it!

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A Very Simply Cut Out Card

I’ve wanted to try this cut out technique for a while.  I’m pretty sure it was Jennifer McGuire that inspired this card.

My Empty Nest Creations Cut Out window card using Paper Smooches Best Buds stamps and dies

I started with a vertical top folding A2 card base.  I die cut the flower/mason jar image from Paper Smooches Best Buds dies.  Using the cut out as a template, I fit the matching stamp in the cut out space and stamped it through the window using Memento Tuxedo Black ink (love my Tim Holtz Stamp Platform).  I colored the image using Copic markers with very simple blending.  To give the flowers a little more detail, I pulled out my white gel pen and Micron black marker.  The sentiment is from Altenew’s Penned Rose stamp set.

This was such a simple card, but I really loved how it turned out.  I hope you like it, too.

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Diagonal Floral Peeking Card

I am a huge fan of Ardyth’s blog Maskerade, and this card is a copy of one of her latest cards.  Be sure to check out her card here.

My Empty Nest Creations Diagonal Floral So Very Blessed Card

I started by masking off the diagonal portion using painter’s tape.  Using Honey Bee Stamp’s Zen Floral stamp set, I stamped several images with Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  I didn’t bother masking any of this stamping because I was able to use many of the small stamps to fill in any spaces.  I colored some of the flowers with Copic markers (just one color with no blending).  My sentiment is from an older Technique Tuesday set called So Blessed.  After that was stamped, I felt that the floral area would stand out a bit better if I just drew a thin black border on the edges.  I felt that just adding those small lines made such a difference.

thanks for visiting!

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Watercoloring with Distress Oxides AGAIN!

Let me start by saying that I’m not the best at watercoloring anything, but I just love using Distress Oxides and heat embossing to create some “easy to color” images.  Anyone can color within the lines, right?

Here is my latest card…

My Empty Nest Creations Distress Oxide Watercolor Floral Birthday Card

I started by gold heat embossing and masking many times the rose from Altenew’s Penned Rose stamp set on a piece of Bristol paper.  For the watercolors, I used Peacock Feathers and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides and a waterbrush.  Once that was dry, I cut it on a diagonal to fit a top folding horizontal A2 card base.  Before adhering it, I covered the whole card base with yellow paper that matched the yellow portions of my watercolor piece.  I attached my diagonal watercolor portion, and added a happy birthday die cut using Lawn Fawn’s Happy Birthday Line Border die and the scrap from my watercolor piece.  Because that scrap wasn’t long enough to cover the whole diagonal line, I simply cut the tail end after “birthday” off.

That’s all there was to it…a pretty simple and colorful birthday card.

Thanks for taking a look!

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