A Celebrate or Birthday Card Using a DIY Stencil

It’s really funny how most everything old becomes new again.  Card making is no different.  Stencils are back, although for some, they really never left.  I love stencils because they are a relatively cheap way to add to your craft stash, and there are so many ways that they can be used.  Even better, you can actually make your own for almost nothing if you have a cutting machine.

(Side note…to make my own stencils, I use dollar store plastic notebook dividers and my Silhouette Cameo machine.  You can find so many basic shapes in the design store, or even make your own.  This plastic material cuts beautifully using the stencil material cut settings already set in your machine.)

I had already made a few stencils several weeks ago, so I decided to give one of them a try…a balloon stencil.

Here’s what I came up with…

My Empty Nest Creations DIY Stencil Celebrate Card

This one was really simple to make, but I just love the bright colors with the black & white sentiment.

Using my home made balloon stencil, I ink blended 5 balloons using Worn Lipstick, Peacock Feathers, Squeezed Lemonade, Spiced Marmalade and Wilted Violet Distress Oxides.  I love the fact that no masking is needed.  It’s perfectly okay, in fact it’s more realistic, to have the balloons peeking through.  Once the balloons were dry, I drew the strings with a Micron marker and a ruler.

All that was left was die cutting my Celebrate sentiment using Neat & Tangled’s Celebrate die with black and white scrap card stock and stamping the smaller sentiment using Winnie & Walter’s Sentimental: Gift stamp set.  The final step was to pop the Celebrate die cut with some dimensional tape.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Cute Birthday Card Using Both Digital and Stamped Images

I have collected so many digital images that I just never seem to think about once I store them away in the appropriate folder on my computer.  After seeing a recent Instagram post from Kathy Racoosin (@kathyrac) where she colored a gorgeous digital image, I was inspired to go through my stash to find something that I could use on the birthday card that I was making.  As you’ll see, I decided to start pretty small, but I’m hoping that it will inspire me to use more digital images in the future.

My Empty Nest Creations Birthday Card using Bugaboo Digital RPHello image

I started by ink blending my background (4×5 1/4″) using Distress Oxides Broken China, Blueprint Sketch, Faded Jeans and Black Soot.  As you can see, I had a slight mishap on the lower part, but I kept going because I figured that I could “hide” it a bit with my dog image.  (For some reason, the mishap isn’t so obvious on the real card.  Lighting and camera seem to highlight it.)  I finished the background adding some water spritzes and some white heat embossed stars using Simon Says Stamp Birthday Celebrations stamp set.  The final touch for the background was a few clouds cut from vellum using Ellen Hutson Silver Linings die set.  In order to hide the spray adhesive on the clouds, I simply added some white gel pen lines.

On to the stamping and coloring…Using Spectrum Noir paper, I stamped the heart balloon from Concord & 9ths Monster Love stamp set using Gina K Amalgam ink, and I printed the cute dog from Bugaboo Digital Stamps (RPHello).  After some very basic coloring, I fussy cut both images and put them aside to dry a bit.

Putting everything together was easy.  Using foam squares for some dimension, I adhered the dog and balloon in places that would leave room for the birthday banner.  Before adding the banner, I tied and glued the string around the balloon end.  While I let that dry, I stamped the greeting using Hero Arts Stamp & Cut Ribbon Messages stamps, but I knew that I wanted to have a portion of the banner to wrap around the balloon string.  To do this, I used the partial die cutting technique that Jennifer McGuire has shown many times on her blog.  I let the die cut most of the image, but left the left side of the die off the cutting pad.  Using my scissors, I added a bit to wrap around the string.

Once the glue was dry on the balloon string, I attached the banner and glued the string to the dog’s paw, and called it done!

Thanks for visiting 🙂

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p.s.  If you’re not following Kathy on Instagram, you really should.  She is so incredibly talented and a genuinely nice person.  Also, be sure to check out Bugaboo Digital Stamps to see some adorable images.

A Very Simple Valentine Card Using Heart Dies and Ink Blending

Like most card makers, I’m really stuck on rainbow ink blending.  It’s so bright and cheery that I just can’t help it.  This time I used it as a background for my cut out heart card front.

Rainbow Hearts Love You Card using MFT Pierced Heart dies and Distress Oxides

I started by ink blending a piece of 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Bristol paper using Wilted Violet, Mermaid Lagoon, Twisted Citron, Fossilized Amber, Spiced Marmalade and Candied Apple Distress Oxides.  While I let that dry, I cut out hearts using 3 of the heart dies (My Favorite Things Pierced Heart Stax dies) from another piece of Bristol paper the same size as the ink blended piece.  I had to be careful and collect the some of the small paper scraps because I knew that I would probably need some of them to fill in the heart shapes (note the tiny white piece on the top left corner of the card front).

Putting the card together was very easy.  I adhered the die cut heart piece on top of the rainbow piece first.  Once I did that, it was easy to see where I needed to complete any heart shapes.  It turns out that the only white scrap piece I needed was for the purple heart on the top left corner.  The sentiment is from The Ink Blot Shop’s Tiny Bubbles set.  I white heat embossed the bubble and words onto a scrap piece of black card stock and attached it to the card front using a foam square.

At this point, I was finished with my original idea, but I felt it looked a bit blah.  I decided it needed a few black additions, so I outlined each of the hearts with black dashes using a fine tip black marker and added a few black Nuvo dots.  That was exactly what it needed.  To finish the card, I attached it to an A2 top folding card base.

I hope you like it!

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Love These Stamp Images by Stacey Yacula for My Favorite Things

I just had to buy the Warm & Feathered Hugs stamp set and dies from My Favorite Things.  The images are simply adorable.  This set has 3 owls that are dressed for winter, so I thought I’d better make some cards before the winter season is over.

My Empty Nest Creations Card using MFT Warm & Feathered Hugs stamp set

I started by stamping the darling owl images onto Bristol paper using Versafine Onyx Black ink.  My Zig brush markers hadn’t been used in a while, so I pulled those out to color the owls.  After they dried, I die cut the owls using the matching dies.

The background was created by masking off the bottom left corner for my snow hill and ink blending the rest using Broken China, Salty Ocean and Blueprint Sketch Distress Oxides.  Using a black fine tip marker, I drew the hill edge and, once again, pulled out my Zig markers to give the snow a bit of definition with the light blue marker.  I made a slight shadow for the owl/sled using some cool gray Copic markers.  I heat embossed the sentiment from Hero Arts Made with Love stamp set.  Before placing the owl on the card front with foam tape, I added some falling snow using a white gel pen.  I die cut the card front with the Avery Elle Wonky Stitches die and attached it to a Neenah Solar White 110# A2 card base.

Glad you stopped by!

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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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