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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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!


Non-Traditional Christmas Colors for the Latest Freshly Made Sketches Challenge

It’s been quite a while since I joined in on a card challenge.  I’ve been busy making my Christmas cards for this year.  Since they are almost finished, I thought I’d create a card for one of my favorite card challenge sites, Freshly Made Sketches.

Here is the latest sketch…

FMS Final 313-001

and here is my entry.

My Empty Nest Creations card using Ellen Hutson Mondo Poinsettia stamp set

Any holiday card that I’ve made usually has red and green on it, so I decided to leave my Christmas comfort zone and do something a little less traditional.  How about light blue and light green?  I really like that color combo, so I went for it.

I started with Ellen Hutson’s Mondo Poinsettia stamp set.  I gold heat embossed the images onto Bristol paper, and water colored them with Peeled Paint and Broken China Distress Oxides.  I really love the Distress Oxides.  They stamp beautifully, and they are wonderful as watercolors.  After the leaves and flowers had dried, I cut them out with the matching dies and put them aside.

My Merry Christmas sentiment is from WPlus9 Hand Lettered Holiday stamp set.  I just love the pairing of the script and capital letters.  I cut Merry out of some silver metallic card stock and heat embossed Christmas with silver embossing powder onto a velum strip.  Once that was done, I needed to do a little something with my card base.  Plain white just wasn’t going to be right.  I decided to do a little light stenciling using the Broken China ink and a Gina Marie Designs stencil.  All that was left was to put the card together.  I adhered the velum strip just between the two flower groupings and popped up the flowers with some foam tape.  The final touch was to add a few sequins and some Nuvo gold drops on the flower centers.

I hope you like it.  Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Holidays!


Just Loving the Stampendous Fronds Stamp Set

My Empty Nest Creations Stampendous Fronds Wreath Card

I have had this set for quite a while now, and I just love how versatile it is.  For this card, I used several of the stamps to create a wreath.  First, I lightly drew a circle using one of my circle dies as a template above center on an A2 size piece of white card stock.  I chose a few of the stamps in the set giving the wreath a little more unique look and stamped in various shades of Distress Ink (Fossilized Amber, Abandoned Coral, Pine Needles, Forest Moss and Crushed Olive).  The berries stamped in Abandoned Coral looked a little washed out, so I took a black fine tip Sharpie and outlined those.

For the circle die cut, I decided on using Crushed Olive and the watercolor “smooshing” technique.  I pressed the ink pad on my mat and sprayed it with water.  I “smooshed” the circle die cut around until I got the coverage that I wanted.  After it was dry, I sprayed a little more water on it to give it a more distressed look.  To define the circle, I used my ink blending tool and blended some Vintage Photo lightly around the edges.

I popped the circle die cut up with some fun foam, and used the My Favorite Things Many Thanks die to cut out my greeting.  I twice gold heat embossed the die cuts to get complete coverage, and glued them to the circle die.  The card front need a little more balance, so I trimmed a little off of the top and bottom of the wreath card front.  I gold heat embossed the top and bottom edges of a new A2 sized card front and glued the wreath card front on top.  I think that last step just finished it off nicely.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂