Watercoloring with Distress Oxides

Have I told you before how much I love Distress Oxides?  They are so incredibly versatile and the colors are just fantastic!  They are so easy to watercolor with that I find that I’m rarely using my traditional watercolors.

My Empty Nest Creations Watercolored Flowers with Distress OxidesThis card uses two watercoloring techniques.  The background was made using, as Kristina Werner says, ink smooshing.  I added Worn Lipstick, Fossilized Amber and Abandoned Coral on a piece of acrylic and spritzed it with water.  I grabbed a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor paper and placed it upside down on top of the inks and smooshed it around—Voila…an ink smooshed background!

After letting that dry, I stamped (and masked) several flowers from Simon Says Stamp’s Watercolor Friendly Flowers using Versafine Onyx Black Ink.  Using a waterbrush and some more Distress Oxides (Worn Lipstick, Broken China, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves), I painted the flowers with a few layers of ink.  I added some Black Soot Distress Ink to the flower centers.

I stamped the sentiment from Hero Arts Made With Love stamp set with Versafine Onyx Black ink.  I knew that I wanted to use one of my new favorite papers from My Favorite Things Black & White Stripe 6×6 paper pad on the left side of my card, but I thought I needed a little more black accent to balance it out.  I found a small stamp set by Simons Says Stamp called Merry Trees that had 3 small filled in circles.  They were perfect.  I placed various black dots around the flowers to complete the card.

I hope you like it!

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Neat & Tangled’s Oak Leaf Stamp Set

I have loved this set since it first came out.  When I first looked at it, I only saw it as a seasonal set…you know, colored with oranges, golds and reds, but now, I see how versatile it is.  Now that spring is quickly approaching (some places faster than others) I decided to use yellows and greens for my color scheme.

My Empty Nest Creations Neat & Tangle's Oak Leaf stamp watercolored with Distress Oxides

I started by white heat embossing the leaf image onto a piece of 4″x5 1/4″ Bristol paper.  Since I’m still very much a beginner with watercolors, I decided to use my Distress Oxides with water.  I used Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Evergreen Bough and loosely painted on the color, not worrying about staying in any lines.  Once that was dry, I stamped the sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink using my Misti.

All that was left was to mount it to my card base.  I knew that I wanted to pull the green out of the leaf, so I found a piece of matching green card stock in my scrap stash (I just love it when I can use up some of my scraps!).  I also knew that I needed to balance out the black from the greeting, so I pulled out one of my new favs—My Favorite Things Black & White Strip 6×6 Paper Pad.  I cut a piece just large enough to mat my card front, but small enough to let the green card base show.

Thanks for visiting!

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CAS(E) This Sketch #262

I haven’t participated in a card challenge for a very long time, so I thought I would give the latest CAS(E) This Sketch sketch a try.


Here’s what I came up with…

My Empty Nest Creations Bright Floral Card using W Plus 9 Happy Wishes stamp setI have been dying to use some of the heat resistant acetate sheets that I just purchased.  I wanted to heat emboss my image and back it with an ink blended background, so I pulled out my W Plus 9 Happy Wishes stamp set and got to work.

First, I stamped the flower images and a set of leaves all over a piece of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch Bristol paper using my favorite Distress Oxides, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers and Twisted Citron.  The flower centers were stamped with Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade.  After the inks were dry, I cut my Bristol piece apart leaving a gap of about 1 1/2 inches to make space for my embossed acetate piece.

Using a piece of scrap white card stock, I ink blended from left to right using Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet.  While letting that ink dry, I heat embossed the same flower/leaves images onto the acetate.  To adhere the acetate to the ink blended piece, I put liquid glue behind the embossed flowers and leaves so that the glue wouldn’t show through.

Once that was all completely dry, it was time to put the card together.  I adhered the inked flower panels with foam tape for some dimension.  After fiddling with the layout a bit, I realized that the window part of the card needed a little bit of balance.  I simply glued some very thin strips of black card stock on the edges.  I white heat embossed one of the sentiments from Avery Elle’s Simply Said: You stamp set on a piece of black card stock and cut the left edge at an angle to give it a little bit of interest.  Because of the addition of the black pieces, I felt that the card front needed a little more black, so I added the black flower centers all around the colorful flowers.  That seemed to balance everything out.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Another Sympathy Card with a More Masculine Design

I’ve made more sympathy cards in the last few weeks than I’ve ever made in my life.  Here is a card that, at least in my eyes, has a more masculine feel.

My Empty Nest Creations Heartfelt Sympathy CardI came across the Northwoods Rubber Stamp Solid Fern wood stamp when I was cleaning out some of my craft things the other day.  I have never used this stamp (it’s probably been in my stash for at least 5 years or so).  I decided to give it a try.

Rather than try to mask this image, I simply stamped it several times with different green Distress Oxide inks–Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Evergreen Bough.  The one thing about Distress Oxides, and Distress Inks for that matter, is that they take a bit of time to dry.  I know because I’ve ruined a good many cards with ink smearing.

While the fern images were drying, I focused on the card’s sentiment.  I didn’t want to use a black ink for the sentiment because I wanted the card to have a softer look.  I did something that I’ve never done before.  I stamped the sentiment from Reverse Confetti’s Lots to Say stamp set with Distress Oxide ink.  It actually worked beautifully.  I used my Tim Holtz Stamp Platform just to make sure that I would get good coverage.  It turns out that it didn’t even need a second stamping.

All that was left was to mat the card front.  I used Bazzill Tahitian Princess Swiss Dot card stock (I’m not sure that they even make this any more).

I think I need to make some happier cards next time 🙂

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Unfortunately, There Seems to be a Rush on Sympathy Cards

For some reason, I’ve had several friends ask me for sympathy cards recently.  They are the hardest cards for me to make.  A lot depends on who’s receiving it, who passed away and the card giver’s relationship to them.  I don’t want to make a floral card if the recipient is male.  I also don’t want to make an overly personal card if the recipient is more of an acquaintance to the card giver.  As most things, I know I’m totally overthinking it, but it still matters to me.

With that said, I was able to create a few different cards for them to see.  Here is one from the group…

My Empty Nest Creations Ink Blended Silver Embossed Sympathy Card

Unfortunately, my photo doesn’t do this card justice.  The silver embossing is very shiny (not dark like the bottom portion looks in the picture 😦

I started by creating a circle mask and ink blended with Broken China, Peacock Feathers and Wilted Violet Distress Oxides.  Because patience is NOT one of my virtues, I used my heat tool to speed up the drying process.  After dusting with my powder tool, I stamped the floral image from Unity Stamp Company’s Steps of Courage stamp set at the bottom edge using Versamark ink.  I heat embossed it with Zing’s Metallic Silver Embossing Powder.  The sentiment is from Hero Arts Everyday Sayings stamp set and is embossed with the same embossing powder.  The card front is matted with a blue/green card stock to match the ink blending.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Another Way to Use Papercrafting Dies

I have a limited collection of dies, so I’m always looking for new ways to use them.  Since it’s feeling like spring here in North Carolina, I decided to use one of my most favorite die sets–Waffle Flower’s Pretty Butterflies.  This is the card I made…

My Empty Nest Creations Multi Color Ink Blended Butterflies card

I started off by cutting the large butterfly twice out of some card stock scraps.  I made two stencils because I knew that I was going to ink blend, and I didn’t want any ink transferring when I changed colors.  To give the border a little character, I used Avery Elle’s Wonky Stitches dies.  I was able to fit 3 butterflies onto my 4×5.25 piece of Bristol paper with very limited masking.  For my ink blended butterflies, I used Distress Oxides in Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber, Salty Ocean, Seedless Preserves and Spiced Marmalade.  The butterflies looked a little too muted for what I had in mind, so I pulled out my Zig Embossing Marker and outlined the butterflies.  I stamped the sentiment from Hero Art’s Stamp & Cut Yes set, and black heat embossed everything.

I’m going to be honest here…I wasn’t very careful when I heat embossed.  Black flecks were small but noticeable, so I had to somehow camouflage them.  I just splattered some watered down black paint and now they look intentional 🙂

To finish it off, I matted the card front with black card stock and adhered it to a top folding card base using foam tape.

Thanks for visiting!

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Concord & 9th’s Love Always

I just love the cascading hearts border stamp in this set, and I’ve been wanting to use it for a long time.  Today is the day!  My original plan was to have the hearts cascading  from the center out of an A2 size card front.  Just as I was about to implement my plan, I realized that it would mean that the top portion of my card would have upside down hearts 😦  So, I had to come up with something else.

My Empty Nest Creations Cascading Hearts Love Card

I decided to stick with original plan and have the center of my card be “heartless”, but to avoid having upside down hearts, I just stamped the border stamp in the same direction–once on the top and once just below center.  Next came my favorite ink blending.  I used Candied Apple, Picked Raspberry and Worn Lipstick Tim Holtz Distress Oxides.  My Favorite Things Love die is one of my favorites.  I die cut that out of the center, and attached my pink card front onto an A2 top folding card using foam tape.  I just love the recessed look of the letters (unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show that very well.)  The sentiment is from Simon Says Stamp Handwritten Borders stamp set.  The stamp actually has the word love at the beginning.  I just wiped the Versamark ink off of the word love, so that I could have just “everything about you”.  The greeting is white heat embossed onto black card stock.  After trimming out the black piece, I thought that it seemed too wide and covered too much of the love die cut area.  To get around that, I just fussy cut around it–perfect!!!

Thanks for visiting!

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