I Just Had to Copy This Design…

I am a bit obsessed with Instagram.  There, I said it.  It is the best and quickest way to get inspired by so many incredible card makers out there.  Today, I came across Trina from Phamtastic Design.  If you aren’t following her blog and her Instagram account, you are truly missing out.  She is so incredibly talented.  The reason I am so drawn to her style is it’s not overly complicated.  She makes awesome cards that bright and colorful, but are easy to translate to your own style.

On her blog and Instagram account, she has a stacked penguin card with this incredible rainbow background.  Here’s the link to her blog post.  I just had to use it to make a card today.

MyEmptyNestCreations Rainbow Background Card Using Gerda Steiner Designs Howl Are You? stamp set

I started by stamping this adorable howling dog from Gerda Steiner Designs Howl Are You? stamp set.  After a bit of masking, I colored the dogs with my Copic Markers (I need to do a lot more practicing with my Copic coloring 🙂  To get the sentiment the way I wanted, I had to do something that I’ve avoided doing with any of my stamps—I cut the stamp apart to get the greeting all on one line.  I’m still a bit uncomfortable with it, but if it’s okay with the Jennifer McGuire, it’s got to be okay with me.

Once the dogs were all colored, I pulled out my masks again (I had 3 dog masks) and strategically masked the dogs and the circular ground while I ink blended the background with Twisted Citron, Salty Ocean, Seedless Preserves and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides.  The perfect finishing touch was adding all of those white snow dots using a white gel pen.

I mounted it onto a top folding A2 Neenah Desert Storm card base and called it done!

I hope you like it (and don’t forget to check out Trina’s blog and Instagram Account)!

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My First Floral Scene Card

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to create those adorable scene cards that are so popular these days.  Obviously, I don’t have all of the stamps/dies that card makers use to create these complex scenes, but I certainly have enough to work with to make a simple scene.  I decided to give it another try.

My Empty Nest Creations Simple Floral Scene Card

I started by making a very simple ink blended background using Broken China, Twisted Citron and Peeled Paint Distress Oxides.  For the clouds and sun, I pulled out my never used Gina Marie Designs nature set.  I didn’t want the clouds to disappear in the sky, so I inked the edges with the Broken China Distress Oxide ink pad.  To give the clouds a bit of dimension, I adhered one of the small clouds with foam tape.

My Favorite Things Doodle Blossoms stamp/die set has been on my wishlist for a very long time.  I finally bought them and knew that they’d be perfect for this card.  I stamped the flowers and one set of stem/leaves and colored them with Copic markers.  To give the flowers a bit more detail, I used a white gel pen.  For the other two stems/leaves, I used Paper Smooches Best Buds and Simon Says Stamp Best Mom Ever stamp sets.  I attached the flower blossoms with foam tape to give the scene more dimension.

All that was left was the sentiment.  Inspired by Stamping’s Magnolias stamp set had the perfect greeting.  I heat embossed “Live Life in Full Bloom” with black embossing powder and called it done.

I hope you like it!

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A Quick & Easy Card for a Friend

I needed a card for a friend, and I needed it pretty quickly.  I hadn’t made a card in quite a while (home improvements are top of my list lately).  I decided to use one of my “go-to” card designs.

My Empty Nest Creations Technique Tuesday Wild Clover Card

I started by masking off a rectangle on the right side of a 4 x 5 1/4″ piece of Bristol paper.  Ink blending  was definitely in order, so I pulled out some of my favorite Distress Oxide inks.  They just blend so beautifully.  I used Fossilized Amber, Twisted Citron and Broken China.  I let that dry for a few minutes before I stamped Technique Tuesday’s Wild Clover on top in Versafine Onyx Black ink.  The sentiment is from the same stamp set.

Because of the right-sidedness (is that even a word) of this piece, I knew that I also wanted to adhere it to the right side of a vertical, top folding A2 card base.  To balance the black stamped images, I matted the stamped piece with black card stock and then attached it to the right side of my card base.

That’s all there is.  I told you it was a quick and easy card.

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Distress Oxide Water Painting (copy from Jennifer McGuire)

Ever since I saw Jennifer McGuire video on this technique, I’ve wanted to give it a try.  Pretty Pink Posh’s Cherry Blossoms stamp set was the perfect set to use.

My Empty Nest Creations Water Painting with Distress Oxides and Pretty Pink Posh's Cherry Blossoms stamp set.Abandoned Coral is one of my favorite Distress Oxide colors.  Using my ink blending tool and a 4″ x 5 1/4″ piece of Bristol paper, I blended the ink darker on top fading to a lighter layer (kind of ombre-looking) at the bottom edge.  Once that piece was dry (remember, Distress Oxide ink stays wet a bit longer than traditional inks), I white heat embossed the cherry blossoms.  I used my waterbrush to paint the petals with water which removed a bit of the ink from those areas.  I repeated this two or three more times just to get enough of a contrast to make it more noticeable.

Once that was dry, I trimmed the bottom edge with My Favorite Things Pinking Edge die.  For the sentiment, I white heat embossed a greeting from Pretty Pink Posh’s Thoughtful Greetings stamp set onto a strip of velum.  Attaching velum is always tricky.  I’ve been using spray adhesive and really like how it’s been working.

All that was left was to attach this piece to the card base with foam tape.  I placed a few pearls on the card front and called it done.

Thanks for stopping by!

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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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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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