Using the Soft Bokeh Look on a Background

My Empty Nest Creations Ink Blended Heart Bokeh Butterfly CardI’ve seen so many famous card makers do this beautifully on their cards, so I thought that I’d give it a try.  This card background is a piece of Bristol paper that is ink blended using Distress Oxides Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint, Broken China, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet.  To get the bokeh effect, I stamped a heart stamp from Simon Says Stamp’s Tons of Hearts stamp set with Hero Arts Unicorn pigment ink.  Before stamping on the paper, I stamped it first on a piece of scrap paper (I believe that this is called second generation stamping.) because I wanted the bokeh hearts to be very soft.  Because they were stamped with pigment ink, I set it aside to dry for a bit before putting the card together.

The butterfly was die cut using Poppy Stamps Ornamental Butterflies dies and colored with an orange Copic marker (no color blending here).  The black details were added with a fine tip black Sharpie marker.  The sentiment, from an older Teresa Collins Now & Then stamp set, was white heat embossed onto a strip of black card stock.  To give it a bit of character, I fishtailed the ends using a small square punch.

I used foam tape to adhere the butterfly and sentiment banner to the bokeh background and then used the same foam tape to attach it to my card base.8

Happy Spring everyone!

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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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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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My Entry for Freshly Made Sketches #330

I love the latest sketch on the Freshly Made Sketches site.  It gives just enough structure, but allows for a lot of creativity.

FMS Final 330-001

Here’s my take on this sketch…

My Empty Nest Creations FMS #330 using Simon Says Stamp What's Brewing stamp set

To create the background, I taped off a section of the card base and blended Wilted Violet Distress Oxide ink over the Tim Holtz Dot Fade Layering Stencil.  This is the first time that I’ve used this stencil.  I can see it’s going to be a new favorite!

Using Simon Says Stamp’s What’s Brewing stamp set, the coffee cup was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored with Faber Castell Aquarelle watercolor pencils.  The heart accent was stamped with Wilted Violet Distress Oxide ink to coordinate with the stenciled background, and the sentiment was white heat embossed on black card stock.  After fussy cutting the coffee mug and using a circle punch to cut out the heart accent, I was ready to put my card together.

To finish, I glued the sentiment strip onto the stenciled area and adhered the coffee mug with foam tape to give it a little dimension.

Thanks for visiting!

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Hoppy Easter

While trying to clean stuff off of my work surface, I came across some darling gold metallic bunny stickers that I got last year from the dollar section at Target.  I thought that they be perfect inside a shaker card.  I’ve only made one shaker card in my life, and it turned out better than I expected, so I thought I’d give it another try.

My Empty Nest Creations Gold Bunny Hoppy Easter Shaker Card

The stamped background was actually a piece that I made a few weeks ago.  I wasn’t really happy with how it turned out for the card I had planned, so I set it aside hoping that it would work for another card.  It’s Distress Oxide ink blending (Broken China and Cracked Pistachio) over white heat embossing using Simon Says Stamp’s Ornate Background stamp.

I cut several frames from white card stock scraps using Waffle Flower’s Lacy Layers die set.  (I just love how many pieces that set gives you.)  I used liquid glue to adhere them together.  With one of my last orders from Neat & Tangled, they included a darling set of sequins that matched perfectly with my card colors.  I stuck two bunny stickers together for each of the bunny poses and added them to the sequins in the shaker area.  Before gluing the top frame, I placed a piece of acetate in between and then glued the last frame on top.

Unfortunately, I don’t own any Easter stamp sets, so I used my computer to print off my card sentiment, and cut it out with W Plus 9 Basic Banners die.

Hoppy Easter!

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Watercoloring with Distress Oxides

Have I told you before how much I love Distress Oxides?  They are so incredibly versatile and the colors are just fantastic!  They are so easy to watercolor with that I find that I’m rarely using my traditional watercolors.

My Empty Nest Creations Watercolored Flowers with Distress OxidesThis card uses two watercoloring techniques.  The background was made using, as Kristina Werner says, ink smooshing.  I added Worn Lipstick, Fossilized Amber and Abandoned Coral on a piece of acrylic and spritzed it with water.  I grabbed a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor paper and placed it upside down on top of the inks and smooshed it around—Voila…an ink smooshed background!

After letting that dry, I stamped (and masked) several flowers from Simon Says Stamp’s Watercolor Friendly Flowers using Versafine Onyx Black Ink.  Using a waterbrush and some more Distress Oxides (Worn Lipstick, Broken China, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves), I painted the flowers with a few layers of ink.  I added some Black Soot Distress Ink to the flower centers.

I stamped the sentiment from Hero Arts Made With Love stamp set with Versafine Onyx Black ink.  I knew that I wanted to use one of my new favorite papers from My Favorite Things Black & White Stripe 6×6 paper pad on the left side of my card, but I thought I needed a little more black accent to balance it out.  I found a small stamp set by Simons Says Stamp called Merry Trees that had 3 small filled in circles.  They were perfect.  I placed various black dots around the flowers to complete the card.

I hope you like it!

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Neat & Tangled’s Oak Leaf Stamp Set

I have loved this set since it first came out.  When I first looked at it, I only saw it as a seasonal set…you know, colored with oranges, golds and reds, but now, I see how versatile it is.  Now that spring is quickly approaching (some places faster than others) I decided to use yellows and greens for my color scheme.

My Empty Nest Creations Neat & Tangle's Oak Leaf stamp watercolored with Distress Oxides

I started by white heat embossing the leaf image onto a piece of 4″x5 1/4″ Bristol paper.  Since I’m still very much a beginner with watercolors, I decided to use my Distress Oxides with water.  I used Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Evergreen Bough and loosely painted on the color, not worrying about staying in any lines.  Once that was dry, I stamped the sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink using my Misti.

All that was left was to mount it to my card base.  I knew that I wanted to pull the green out of the leaf, so I found a piece of matching green card stock in my scrap stash (I just love it when I can use up some of my scraps!).  I also knew that I needed to balance out the black from the greeting, so I pulled out one of my new favs—My Favorite Things Black & White Strip 6×6 Paper Pad.  I cut a piece just large enough to mat my card front, but small enough to let the green card base show.

Thanks for visiting!

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