Birthday Card Using My Favorite Things Beautiful Bloom Stamp & Die

I’ve had this stamp & die set for quite a while, but had never used it before. You know how stamps can get to the bottom of a pile and are “still new to you” months after they were released. That’s what happened to this beauty! I needed a quick and easy birthday card for a friend, so I thought that this large flower would be perfect.

I started by stamping the image using Gina K’s Amalgam black ink (Copic friendly) and chose a pink combination of Copics for the coloring (RV02, RV04 and RV17). My coloring skills here were very, very simple. After coloring, I die cut the image out and put it aside.

I knew that I wanted to “pop” the flower up, so using the die and another piece of white card stock (4″x5 1/4″), I cut out another flower. Rather than glue that to the colored flower, I just put it aside and placed thin foam squares (these are new to me, but I LOVE THEM!) on the colored flower.

Before assembling the card, I stamped the outside greeting from Reverse Confetti’s Lots to Say stamp set onto the card front piece. Final assembly involved finding a matching piece of pink scrap card stock for my card front mat. After that was adhered to my white card base, I glued my white card front to the card. All that was left was adhering the colored flower in the open die cut space. (side note: that was probably the most difficult thing about the card…finding the right way to attach the flower).

I love how the pink mat peeks through underneath the flower.

I’m hoping this made sense, but if not, please leave me a comment with any questions. Thanks for visiting 🙂

Birthday Card Using Custom Stencils

I’m absolutely loving the recent trend of using stencils to create interesting backgrounds on hand made cards. I have had my Silhouette Cameo for probably 8 years, but I haven’t pulled it out recently to make anything. After seeing stencils used by so many popular paper crafters, I decided to try to make my own using my Cameo. At first, I used transparent page dividers from a dollar store. They were okay, but I found a great stencil product on Amazon that had a bit more weight to it, so now I’m using those.

It was really fun coming up with some designs. I’ve been sticking to more simple (less intricate) designs for now.

Here is a card I made using a pair of hexagon stencils…

I started with my larger hexagon stencil and ink blended Festive Berries, Wild Honey, Twisted Citron and Mermaid Lagoon Distress Oxide Inks. Once dry, I went back over using my smaller hexagon stencil with the same Distress Ink colors. It definitely is a bit more noticeable on the actual card than it is in this photo.

For the sentiment, I used My Favorite Things Birthday Wishes die. Using spray adhesive, I attached it onto a large strip of vellum. To balance the black greeting, I matted the background piece with black card stock. I used foam tape to mount it onto a Neenah Solar White 110# card base.

The card still needed a bit of embellishment, so I added some Nuvo Drops in Ebony, Caribbean Ocean and Ripened Pumpkin. After watching one of Cathy Zielske’s 10 minute design videos, I chose to place the drops in a triangular shape to tie it all together.

Thanks for stopping by!

A Celebrate or Birthday Card Using a DIY Stencil

It’s really funny how most everything old becomes new again.  Card making is no different.  Stencils are back, although for some, they really never left.  I love stencils because they are a relatively cheap way to add to your craft stash, and there are so many ways that they can be used.  Even better, you can actually make your own for almost nothing if you have a cutting machine.

(Side note…to make my own stencils, I use dollar store plastic notebook dividers and my Silhouette Cameo machine.  You can find so many basic shapes in the design store, or even make your own.  This plastic material cuts beautifully using the stencil material cut settings already set in your machine.)

I had already made a few stencils several weeks ago, so I decided to give one of them a try…a balloon stencil.

Here’s what I came up with…

My Empty Nest Creations DIY Stencil Celebrate Card

This one was really simple to make, but I just love the bright colors with the black & white sentiment.

Using my home made balloon stencil, I ink blended 5 balloons using Worn Lipstick, Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade and Wilted Violet Distress Oxides.  I love the fact that no masking is needed.  It’s perfectly okay, in fact it’s more realistic, to have the balloons peeking through.  Once the balloons were dry, I drew the strings with a Micron marker and a ruler.

All that was left was die cutting my Celebrate sentiment using Neat & Tangled’s Celebrate die with black and white scrap card stock and stamping the smaller sentiment using Winnie & Walter’s Sentimental: Gift stamp set.  The final step was to pop the Celebrate die cut with some dimensional tape.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Cute Birthday Card Using Both Digital and Stamped Images

I have collected so many digital images that I just never seem to think about once I store them away in the appropriate folder on my computer.  After seeing a recent Instagram post from Kathy Racoosin (@kathyrac) where she colored a gorgeous digital image, I was inspired to go through my stash to find something that I could use on the birthday card that I was making.  As you’ll see, I decided to start pretty small, but I’m hoping that it will inspire me to use more digital images in the future.

My Empty Nest Creations Birthday Card using Bugaboo Digital RPHello image

I started by ink blending my background (4×5 1/4″) using Distress Oxides Broken China, Blueprint Sketch, Faded Jeans and Black Soot.  As you can see, I had a slight mishap on the lower part, but I kept going because I figured that I could “hide” it a bit with my dog image.  (For some reason, the mishap isn’t so obvious on the real card.  Lighting and camera seem to highlight it.)  I finished the background adding some water spritzes and some white heat embossed stars using Simon Says Stamp Birthday Celebrations stamp set.  The final touch for the background was a few clouds cut from vellum using Ellen Hutson Silver Linings die set.  In order to hide the spray adhesive on the clouds, I simply added some white gel pen lines.

On to the stamping and coloring…Using Spectrum Noir paper, I stamped the heart balloon from Concord & 9ths Monster Love stamp set using Gina K Amalgam ink, and I printed the cute dog from Bugaboo Digital Stamps (RPHello).  After some very basic coloring, I fussy cut both images and put them aside to dry a bit.

Putting everything together was easy.  Using foam squares for some dimension, I adhered the dog and balloon in places that would leave room for the birthday banner.  Before adding the banner, I tied and glued the string around the balloon end.  While I let that dry, I stamped the greeting using Hero Arts Stamp & Cut Ribbon Messages stamps, but I knew that I wanted to have a portion of the banner to wrap around the balloon string.  To do this, I used the partial die cutting technique that Jennifer McGuire has shown many times on her blog.  I let the die cut most of the image, but left the left side of the die off the cutting pad.  Using my scissors, I added a bit to wrap around the string.

Once the glue was dry on the balloon string, I attached the banner and glued the string to the dog’s paw, and called it done!

Thanks for visiting 🙂

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p.s.  If you’re not following Kathy on Instagram, you really should.  She is so incredibly talented and a genuinely nice person.  Also, be sure to check out Bugaboo Digital Stamps to see some adorable images.

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!

IMG_1749

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…

FMS298

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!