Who Doesn’t Love an Adorable Koala?

I have had Neat & Tangled’s Koalifications stamp and die set for just a little while, and I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to use it.  This koala is just precious.  I knew that I wanted to make him the highlight of my next card.

My Empty Nest Creations Rainbow Background Neat & Tangled Koalifications Card

After stamping and cutting him out with the matching die, I colored him with Copic markers.  I’m really just a beginner at using Copics, so this coloring was very simple—RV02 for the slightly rosy cheeks and C0, C1, C3 and C5 for the rest of him.  (I always like to either restamp the image or use a black fine tip marker to go over the outlines after coloring.)  I used one of the sentiments from the same stamp set that fits perfectly on the banner.

Next…making the perfect background for this little guy.  Like many card makers, I just can’t resist bright rainbow colors.  I taped off the stripe areas with 1/2″ micropore tape, and then I ink blended the stripes with Distress Oxides (Wilted Violet, Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron and Salty Ocean).  I adhered the cutie-patootie koala to the background with foam tape.  The card needed just a bit more punch, so I cut some small hearts using the heart die from the same die set.  To get the hearts to match the colors of the stripes, I simply blended some of the colors onto some white card stock scraps.  Voila…perfect color match to the stripes.

I hope this little guy makes you smile just a bit!

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A Very Simply Cut Out Card

I’ve wanted to try this cut out technique for a while.  I’m pretty sure it was Jennifer McGuire that inspired this card.

My Empty Nest Creations Cut Out window card using Paper Smooches Best Buds stamps and dies

I started with a vertical top folding A2 card base.  I die cut the flower/mason jar image from Paper Smooches Best Buds dies.  Using the cut out as a template, I fit the matching stamp in the cut out space and stamped it through the window using Memento Tuxedo Black ink (love my Tim Holtz Stamp Platform).  I colored the image using Copic markers with very simple blending.  To give the flowers a little more detail, I pulled out my white gel pen and Micron black marker.  The sentiment is from Altenew’s Penned Rose stamp set.

This was such a simple card, but I really loved how it turned out.  I hope you like it, too.

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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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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!