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!

Computer Signature


Another Sympathy Card with a More Masculine Design

I’ve made more sympathy cards in the last few weeks than I’ve ever made in my life.  Here is a card that, at least in my eyes, has a more masculine feel.

My Empty Nest Creations Heartfelt Sympathy CardI came across the Northwoods Rubber Stamp Solid Fern wood stamp when I was cleaning out some of my craft things the other day.  I have never used this stamp (it’s probably been in my stash for at least 5 years or so).  I decided to give it a try.

Rather than try to mask this image, I simply stamped it several times with different green Distress Oxide inks–Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Evergreen Bough.  The one thing about Distress Oxides, and Distress Inks for that matter, is that they take a bit of time to dry.  I know because I’ve ruined a good many cards with ink smearing.

While the fern images were drying, I focused on the card’s sentiment.  I didn’t want to use a black ink for the sentiment because I wanted the card to have a softer look.  I did something that I’ve never done before.  I stamped the sentiment from Reverse Confetti’s Lots to Say stamp set with Distress Oxide ink.  It actually worked beautifully.  I used my Tim Holtz Stamp Platform just to make sure that I would get good coverage.  It turns out that it didn’t even need a second stamping.

All that was left was to mat the card front.  I used Bazzill Tahitian Princess Swiss Dot card stock (I’m not sure that they even make this any more).

I think I need to make some happier cards next time 🙂

Computer Signature

Unfortunately, There Seems to be a Rush on Sympathy Cards

For some reason, I’ve had several friends ask me for sympathy cards recently.  They are the hardest cards for me to make.  A lot depends on who’s receiving it, who passed away and the card giver’s relationship to them.  I don’t want to make a floral card if the recipient is male.  I also don’t want to make an overly personal card if the recipient is more of an acquaintance to the card giver.  As most things, I know I’m totally overthinking it, but it still matters to me.

With that said, I was able to create a few different cards for them to see.  Here is one from the group…

My Empty Nest Creations Ink Blended Silver Embossed Sympathy Card

Unfortunately, my photo doesn’t do this card justice.  The silver embossing is very shiny (not dark like the bottom portion looks in the picture 😦

I started by creating a circle mask and ink blended with Broken China, Peacock Feathers and Wilted Violet Distress Oxides.  Because patience is NOT one of my virtues, I used my heat tool to speed up the drying process.  After dusting with my powder tool, I stamped the floral image from Unity Stamp Company’s Steps of Courage stamp set at the bottom edge using Versamark ink.  I heat embossed it with Zing’s Metallic Silver Embossing Powder.  The sentiment is from Hero Arts Everyday Sayings stamp set and is embossed with the same embossing powder.  The card front is matted with a blue/green card stock to match the ink blending.

Thanks for stopping by!

Computer Signature


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!

Computer Signature



Using Older Supplies for My Latest Freshly Made Sketches Entry

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything here.  My creativity has taken a little bit of a back seat while we got our daughter back to college this fall.  To give me some inspiration, I went to one of my favorite card sketch sites—Freshly Made Sketches.

Here is the latest sketch…

FMS Final 304-001

and here is my take…

Simon Says Stamp Funky Snowflake card by My Empty Nest Creations

I started with a 4″ x 5.25″ piece of white card stock.  I masked off the top and bottom portions so that I could use some ink blending in the center.  I used a light layer of tumbled glass Distress Ink and then used a more heavy hand with blueprint sketch.  To give that area a little more character, I used an old toothbrush and splattered some watered down white paint.  It still needed a little bit more, so I splattered some water, too.  I just love how easily distress inks blend with water.

Next, using the Simon Says Stamp Funky Snowflake, I die cut it out of my ink blended panel.  I knew that I was going to use the inlay technique, so I made sure to keep the center piece.  I die cut the snowflake again, but out of fun foam this time.  This was going to be the base for my die cut.  I still needed a top layer, so I die cut it a third time out of shiny gold paper.  Unfortunately, you can’t really see it shimmer in the photo 😦   After gluing them all together, I placed the dimensional snowflake in the die cut space on the panel, and glued it in place along with the blue center piece.  The panel was then adhered to a top folding 4.25″x5.5″ card.

All that remained was the sentiment and some blue and gold sequins.  The sentiment is from an older Hero Arts stamp set called Holiday Sayings.  It was stamped with blueprint sketch distress ink a few times using the Misti stamping tool.

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies Used:

  • Simon Says Stamp Funky Snowflake die
  • Tumbled Glass and Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink
  • Hero Arts Holiday Sayings stamp set
  • Sequins

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…


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 🙂


  •   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

Reverse Confetti’s Bear Hugs Stamp Set

I just recently purchased this set with the matching dies during the recent Reverse Confetti sale, and I’m so glad that I did.  Koalas have always been one of my favorite animals ever since my husband and I held one during our honeymoon in Australia.  They are just so adorable!

My Empty Nest Creations Card using Reverse Confetti's Bear Hugs Stamp Set

I started by painting some rainbow stripes on watercolor paper using my Gansai Tambi watercolors.  While that was drying, I stamped those adorable koalas onto Bristol paper using my Versamark black ink pad.  I heat embossed those images with clear embossing powder.  (I love the way that gives me boundaries for my coloring.)  Using my Zig Clean Brush markers and a waterbrush, I watercolored the bear images and cut them out with the matching dies.

I used my My Favorite Things Blueprints 13 large pennant die to cut the watercolor piece.  For a little bit of dimension, I adhered the bear with the flower with fun foam and glued the other bear die cut with liquid glue.

For the background, I clear embossed a piece of Bristol paper with the Hero Arts Designer Woodgrain wood stamp and ink blended over it with Weathered Wood Distress Ink.  I don’t think that I’ve ever used that color before.  I love the blue/gray color!  I balanced it out with a strip of black striped paper (I used my MFT striped background stamp and black heat embossed a large piece of paper to use for a bunch of cards.)

The sentiment is from the Avery Elle Simply Said: You stamp set and is white heat embossed on a stripe of black card stock.  I added a few black Nuvo drops to finish it off.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂