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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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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Letting Go of My Fear of White Space

I have learned and been inspired by so many card makers out there in blog land.  I came across a card challenge blog that got me thinking.  I really need to work on my use (or lack of use) of white space in my card making.  It’s so difficult for me to leave a large blank space on any card that I make.  I’m not exactly sure why that is, so I decided to give it a try on my latest card.

My Empty Nest Creations W Plus 9 Doodle Buds and white spaceI started by masking of a line a little more than a third from the bottom edge of a piece of 4 1/4″x5 1/2″ Bristol paper.   W Plus 9 Doodle Buds is one of my favorite whimsical flower stamp sets, so I stamped a few of the flowers along with the stems on this bottom portion.  Me being just a bit lazy, I decided not to bother masking the flowers and stems.  Using a small sponge dauber, I ink blended the background using Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Broken China Distress Oxides.

For the flowers, I used my trusty waterbrush and more Distress Oxides–Squeezed Lemonade, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves and Abandoned Coral.  Once the watercoloring was dry, I went over the stamped images with a black marker to help them stand out a bit more.

To give the masked edge a better look, I cut a very small strip of paper from My Favorite Things Black & White Stripe paper pad.  Here’s where I struggled with my fear of white space…where was I going to put the sentiment?  My initial thought was above the black & white strip, but that is exactly what I would always do, so I decided to cut it out of white card stock and place it very near the bottom of the card.  I just love how Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday Script die cut fits perfectly and shows up nicely over the colored portion.  To complete the card, I glued this card front to a A2 top folding card base.

Thanks for visiting!

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The Ton’s Dearest Peony and Freshly Made Sketches #298

It’s been a while since I’ve entered a card sketch challenge.  Freshly Made Sketches is one of my favorite sketch challenge sites, and here’s the latest sketch…

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And here is my entry…

My Empty Nest Creations The Ton Dearest Peony CardFor the background, I used the Hero Arts Houndstooth stamp inked with Hero Arts Soft Granite Shadow Ink.  I had to stamp it a few times to get good covered (thank goodness for the MISTI tool).  Because of the design of the card that I had in my mind, I had to alter the sketch a bit.  I knew that I wanted to cut out the diagonal from the background, but I also wanted to stamp my sentiment within that cut out…so, I reversed the diagonal from the sketch and cut the opposite corner diagonal from my background.  Using light pencil markings, I determined the perfect positioning of my greeting and stamped that in Versafine Onyx Black ink (my favorite black ink for fine details) onto my card base.  To finish off the background, I used foam tape to adhere the two houndstooth pieces.  I just love how the sentiment is recessed.

Now, on to the pretty part.  I stamped The Ton’s Dearest Peony floral image onto white card stock with Versamark ink and heat embossed it with black embossing powder.  To color, I simply applied Picked Raspberry and Shabby Shutters Distress Inks with a waterbrush.  Once it was dry, I fussy cut it and glued it to the two houndstooth triangular pieces.  I added a few Nuvo drops to finish it off.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂


Supplies:

  •   Stamps:  Hero Arts Houndstooth background, The Ton’s Dearest Peony
  •   Ink:  Hero Arts Soft Granite Shadow Ink, Versafine Onyx Black, Versamark,      Distress Inks
  •   Card stock:  Neenah Solar White 80# and 110#
  •   Other:  Nuvo Drops, black embossing powder

Unity Stamp Co. Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes

I love clear stamps for a multitude of reasons, but I will never give up on my cling stamps.  Their clean, crisp stamp images are fantastic!  Some of the best cling stamps come from Unity Stamp Co.  They have several sets with an adorable owl that I just can’t resist.  The Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes is a large set that includes many different birthday sentiments along with this adorable owl surrounded by a large bouquet of balloons.

My Empty Nest Creations Unity Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes Stamp Set

I stamped him on Bristol paper using Memento Tuxedo Black ink (Copic friendly), and colored the image with various Copic markers.  When cutting it out, I didn’t worry about the balloon strings because I knew that I could just draw them on the card at the end.

I just received the My Favorite Things cloud stencil, so I used it to create a soft cloud/sky background with my ink blending tool and Distress Ink. I used fun foam to adhere the owl image and added a very thin pink strip of card stock to each side.  For a little bit of color balance, I glued a bright blue piece of card stock to my card base.

I chose one of the many wonderful birthday greetings from the stamp set and added that to the top.  To finish it off, I used my clear Wink of Stella marker on the balloons (unfortunately, you can’t see that in the photo).

Thanks for stopping by!


Supplies Used:

  • Stamps:  Unity Stamp Co. Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes
  • Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
  • Markers: Copic Sketch Markers, Clear Wink of Stella
  • Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#
  • Other: My Favorite Things cloud stencil

Coloring with Distress Oxides

I just got my first batch of Distress Oxides in the mail, and I’ve been dying to give them a try.  So many crafters have been raving about them for so long.  I had to see what all the fuss was about.  I’ve been using the Distress Inks for watercoloring for a while, and I wanted to see how the oxides differed from the inks.

The biggest difference is readily apparent when you first smoosh the pad onto an acrylic block.  The pads are much “juicier” than the regular Distress Ink pads, and the colors seem thicker and more opaque.  The color lasts a whole lot longer on my waterbrush, too.  A little definitely goes a long way with these oxides.  As far as coverage, I didn’t really notice a huge difference between the oxides and the regular inks.

Here’s a simple card that I made using the Paper Smooches Best Buds and Altenew Birthday Wishes stamp sets and Distress Oxides (and a couple of Distress Inks, too).  Whenever I’m going to watercolor a stamped image, I like to heat emboss first.  It gives me nice, safe margins to paint.  (I haven’t tried the no-line watercoloring technique yet, but it’s definitely on my list.)

My Empty Nest Creations Paper Smooches Best Buds Birthday Card

I finished the card using a few strips of card stock to balance the left side.  I added a few black paint splatters, too.  There’s just something about bright colors coordinated with black and white stripes that gets me every time…love that combo!

After trying Distress Oxides for the first time, I’m definitely going to add the rest of the collection onto my wish list.  If you haven’t given them a try, you definitely should.  They are fantastic!

 

My First Cutsie Critters Card

For the past few years, I’ve seen these incredibly adorable “critter” cards all over the internet.  I have admired/loved them, but never had any darling animal stamps of my own.  Thanks to Butterflyreflectionsink and her tremendous sale, I was able to purchase some sets (and the matching dies) from W Plus 9 that I’ve had my eye on.  They are the Friends for all Seasons sets, and they are just the cutest.

My Empty Nest Creations card using W Plus 9 Friends for All Seasons stamps

I started with a 4.25″ x 5.5″ piece of Bristol paper.  Using Hero Arts Soft Sky shadow ink, I stamped several of the animals in all directions on the paper.  I stamped them again slightly offset with Memento Tuxedo Black thinking that I was going to use Copic markers.  Once I saw just how cute the stamping was with the black and white, I decided to leave them as is and just do a light blue watercolor wash using Tumbled Glass Distress Ink and my waterbrush.

I stamped a couple of the animals on Bristol paper and colored them with my Copic markers, and cut them out with the matching dies.  My original thought was to just pop up the cut images with foam tape and place it on the black/white/light blue background.  It was just too busy.  The colored images didn’t really stand out, so I decided to cut a piece of velum using the Avery Elle Wonky Stitches die to place on top of the black/white/light blue piece.  (Before I cut it out, I ran it through my laser printer with a cute “from all of us” greeting.)  It softened the background just enough to let the colored images shine.  Because velum is such a tricky paper to adhere, I just placed some liquid glue behind where the colored die cuts were on the back side of the velum.  To finish, I white heat embossed the “Happy Birthday” greeting from My Favorite Things Birthday Bears stamp set onto black card stock.  As usual, I thought the card needed just a little bit more, so I added some Nuvo drops in a few matching colors.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂