The Joy of Finding an Old Stamp Set

I have been collecting stamp sets for quite a while now, so there are always older sets that just get lost in the back of a pile.  Since I have a limited budget to spend on the latest and greatest stamping/diecutting supplies, I have to rediscover stamp sets that I’ve had in my stash for a few years and never used.

The Hello Mason Jar set from Stampendous is one such set.  It has a beautiful array of flowers and a wonderful mason jar.  There are a few sentiments that are small and perfect to fit in a small space on any busy card.

My Empty Nest Creations using Stampendous Hello Mason Jar set and Zig markersFor this card, I just used the flower grouping that I colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a waterbrush.  I die cut it with the matching die.  All that was left was to figure out the right background.

I seem to be obsessed with ink blended backgrounds lately.  I think it’s because they are so easy to make, and you end up with the perfect custom background for your card.  I blended Salty Ocean and Peeled Paint Distress Oxides for this background.  Once that was done, I thought that the card still needed a little something else to help frame the flower image.  Again I reached for something that I rarely use, my Spellbinders diamond dies, to create the frame.  After popping the floral image up with foam tape, I die cut happy birthday from purple card stock using the Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday Script die.

Thanks for visiting!

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Inspired by Stamping’s Summer Bouquet

I’ve had this stamp set for quite a while now, and I thought that it was time to actually use it.  It has such a lovely cluster of magnolia blossoms and some wonderful sentiments, too!

My Empty Nest Creations Magnolia Blossoms Hugs Card

I started by gold heat embossing the flower image onto a 4×5.25″ piece of Distress Watercolor Card Stock (using my Tim Holtz Stamp Positioner made it very easy to get a good impression).  Using Distress Oxides and a waterbrush, I painted the flowers and buds (Fossilized Amber, Frayed Burlap), leaves (Iced Spruce, Peeled Paint) and the background (Broken China).  As you can see, all of the coloring is very, very soft.  I really wanted the outlined images to be the highlight.

The greeting, from the same stamp set, was gold heat embossed on velum and folded under the watercolor piece so I could attach it.  I chose a pearlized, textured green cardstock (I think it’s from Die Cuts With a View) as the card mat because I wanted the light blue watercolored background to stand out a bit.  My last step is usually to add a few little sequins or Nuvo drops, but I really wanted the card to have a very, very soft, pastel feel, so I chose not to add anything else.  All that was left was to adhere it to a Bazzill Alpaca top folding card base.

Thanks for visiting!

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A Card for a Friend

Unity Stamp Company is one of my favorite cling stamp companies.  Their stamp images range from adorable to incredibly elegant and everything in between.  I’m convinced that anyone would find something that they liked in their stamp inventory.  Best of all, their stamp quality is hard to beat.  The images stamp beautifully and clean up is a breeze.

My Empty Nest Creations Unity Stamp Lil Bloomin Owl over Watercolor BackgroundI had a leftover piece from some watercolor playing, so I decided to use it for the base of my latest card.  I diecut it using Avery Elle’s Wonky Stitches die to give it that cute loose stitching along the edges.  Unity’s Lil’ Bloomin Owl has been sitting on my desk waiting to make an appearance, so I thought he’d be the perfect star for my card.  I stamped him with Memento ink onto Copic Blend It Paper, and colored him with Copic markers.  As you can see, I need a lot of practice using my Copics, but I think he turned out okay.  After fussy cutting him out, I used foam tape to pop him up.  My greeting is from another Unity stamp set, Lil Bunny Peeps.  I white heat embossed it onto black card stock and adhered it with my tape runner.

To mat my card front, I chose a color that I definitely don’t use very often, green, but I think it coordinated perfectly with the watercolor background.  I chose a kraft colored cardbase rather than a white one because my watercolor paper isn’t truly white.

I hope you like it!

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A Simple Cut Edge Card Front

I think I’m kind of obsessed with the popular emboss resist technique partnered with Distress Oxide inks.  With that said, I figured I needed to come up with something just a little different from my normal card fronts.

My Empty Nest Creations Rainbow Emboss Resist Technique using Distress OxidesI started with one of my favorite large stamps—Simon Says Stamp’s Emma Background.  I white heat embossed it onto the front side of an A2 top folding card base, and ink blended it with Candied Apple, Spiced Marmalade and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides.  They just blend so smoothly and don’t leave any kind of harsh lines or marks.  They are definitely easier to blend than the traditional Distress Inks.  To emphasize the beautiful stamp image, I lightly wiped away any ink that was sitting on top of the embossing.

To change things up a bit, I decided to fussy cut around the bottom portion of the embossed image and stamp my greeting from Altenew’s Adore You stamp set below my cut edge.  All that was left was to add a few matching sequins.

Thanks for visiting 🙂

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Do You Struggle Making Sympathy Cards?

I don’t know about you, but I always hesitate just a bit when someone asks me to make a sympathy card for them.  It’s really pretty difficult finding a design that will work for everyone…male, female, family member, friend or simply an acquaintance.  If you google for ideas, you’re not going to find that many to spark your creativity.  It just isn’t a very popular card to make and post on social media.

I think I’ve come up with a design that just might work for any recipient.  I think it’s also a design that could work for almost any greeting, too.

My Empty Nest Creations Sympathy Cards using Poppystamps Die and Distress Oxides

Using a Neenah Solar White 110# top folding card base, I masked off a rectangle that would fit within the die cut window piece.   (Note that my die cut window piece is not quite center cut from the 4×5.25″ piece of white card stock.  I left a slightly larger bottom on my frame for visual interest.)  For the colored backgrounds, I used Distress Oxides Seedless Preserves (purple) and Salty Ocean with some Faded Jeans (blue) around the edges.  To add a little extra something, I spritzed some water and removed the droplets with a paper towel.  I die cut several pieces using the Hampstead Stem die from Poppystamps and glued them in place on the color backgrounds.  Using a sentiment from Bo Bunny Sentiments stamp set, I black heat embossed it onto a strip of velum.  Initially, I was going to use a white heat embossed greeting, but I really love how the black just pops off the background.  All that was left was adhering the white frame with foam tape.

I could see this card design with many different color combinations, die cuts and greetings.  I’m excited to see what other cards I can come up with using this versatile card design.  I hope you give it a try.  I’d love to see what you come up with 🙂

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Making Multiple Cards from One Stamped Image

I’ve kind of been on a little creative slump lately.  I always love making cards during the winter holidays, but that excitement always seems to leave around December 26th.  Even Valentine’s Day doesn’t get my creative mojo fired up.  That said, I just love it when I can get multiple cards using just one stamped image.  Two for the price of one…who doesn’t love that!

I have a few of Simon Says Stamp beautiful background cling stamps that I always seem to go to.  They are great for any kind of card.  Stamps are expensive, so I love it when I can buy one that is so incredibly versatile.

For my latest cards, I used Simon Says Stamp’s Emma Background.  I white heat embossed it on Bristol paper, and ink blended over it using Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry Distress Oxides (I just love how the oxides blend so effortlessly).  I die cut a heart out of the center of the image.

For my first card, I placed the background minus the heart onto my card base and lightly traced the heart outline.  This helped me stamp my greeting in the right spot.  Using one of my new fav stamp sets, Pretty Pink Posh Everyday Greetings, I stamped my greeting within the lightly traced heart space.  After erasing the heart outline, I adhered my stamped background onto my card base with dimensional tape.  The final touch was adding a few small pink hearts to finish it off.

For the second card, I embossed a piece of white card stock using the Doodle Hearts  embossing folder from The Paper Studio.  I then die cut that piece using a Gina Marie Designs double stitched rectangle die.  Using Altenew’s Halftone Happy die, I cut the beautiful script Happy out of silver metallic card stock.  To finish the sentiment, I die cut a banner out of white card stock and stamped “anniversary” from Altenew’s Halftone Happy stamp set.  I matted the white background piece with the same silver metallic card stock.  All that was left was to simply glue it all together.  Once again, the final touch was adding a few tiny pink hearts.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Loving the “Loose” Watercolor Look

I see so many beautiful watercolor cards on Instagram, and I’m in awe of these card makers’ talents.  I’m just not one of those free flowing card makers.  I tend to stay within my comfort box.  I love the look, but I struggle to achieve it.  Kristina Werner’s blog post today gave me some inspiration—watercolor smooshing.  I can handle that.  All you do is put some color (I used Distress Inks) on a piece of acetate, wet it and flip it over onto a piece of watercolor paper and smoosh it around.  It leaves you with a very free flowing colored background.

Here’s my finished card using Mermaid Lagoon and Tumbled Glass Distress Inks on a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor paper.  I white heat embossed some snowflakes from My Empty Nest Creations Hampton Art & Avery Elle Watercolor CardHampton Arts Snowflakes stamp set, and using Avery Elle’s Peace, Love & Joy die set, I cut the words out of Colorbok’s white glitter paper (I love it when I can use something that’s been in my stash for many, many years 🙂  I decided on only using peace & joyMy Empty Nest Creations Hampton Art & Avery Elle Watercolor Card from my die cuts.  After gluing them onto my watercolor base, I knew that I needed to balance the glitter out a bit, so I backed my base with a piece of the white glitter paper (unfortunately, the photos don’t really show it well).  All that was left was to attached it to a Neenah Solar White 110# A2 card base…easy, peasy.

I really loved trying this “new to me” technique.  Maybe this is just what I needed to get me to move out of my comfort box and give some other techniques a try, too. I’m off to check out Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube to get some more inspiration.  Thanks for stopping by!