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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Letting Go of My Fear of White Space

I have learned and been inspired by so many card makers out there in blog land.  I came across a card challenge blog that got me thinking.  I really need to work on my use (or lack of use) of white space in my card making.  It’s so difficult for me to leave a large blank space on any card that I make.  I’m not exactly sure why that is, so I decided to give it a try on my latest card.

My Empty Nest Creations W Plus 9 Doodle Buds and white spaceI started by masking of a line a little more than a third from the bottom edge of a piece of 4 1/4″x5 1/2″ Bristol paper.   W Plus 9 Doodle Buds is one of my favorite whimsical flower stamp sets, so I stamped a few of the flowers along with the stems on this bottom portion.  Me being just a bit lazy, I decided not to bother masking the flowers and stems.  Using a small sponge dauber, I ink blended the background using Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Broken China Distress Oxides.

For the flowers, I used my trusty waterbrush and more Distress Oxides–Squeezed Lemonade, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves and Abandoned Coral.  Once the watercoloring was dry, I went over the stamped images with a black marker to help them stand out a bit more.

To give the masked edge a better look, I cut a very small strip of paper from My Favorite Things Black & White Stripe paper pad.  Here’s where I struggled with my fear of white space…where was I going to put the sentiment?  My initial thought was above the black & white strip, but that is exactly what I would always do, so I decided to cut it out of white card stock and place it very near the bottom of the card.  I just love how Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday Script die cut fits perfectly and shows up nicely over the colored portion.  To complete the card, I glued this card front to a A2 top folding card base.

Thanks for visiting!

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CAS(E) This Sketch #262

I haven’t participated in a card challenge for a very long time, so I thought I would give the latest CAS(E) This Sketch sketch a try.

CTS_262

Here’s what I came up with…

My Empty Nest Creations Bright Floral Card using W Plus 9 Happy Wishes stamp setI have been dying to use some of the heat resistant acetate sheets that I just purchased.  I wanted to heat emboss my image and back it with an ink blended background, so I pulled out my W Plus 9 Happy Wishes stamp set and got to work.

First, I stamped the flower images and a set of leaves all over a piece of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch Bristol paper using my favorite Distress Oxides, Wilted Violet, Salty Ocean, Peacock Feathers and Twisted Citron.  The flower centers were stamped with Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade.  After the inks were dry, I cut my Bristol piece apart leaving a gap of about 1 1/2 inches to make space for my embossed acetate piece.

Using a piece of scrap white card stock, I ink blended from left to right using Peacock Feathers, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet.  While letting that ink dry, I heat embossed the same flower/leaves images onto the acetate.  To adhere the acetate to the ink blended piece, I put liquid glue behind the embossed flowers and leaves so that the glue wouldn’t show through.

Once that was all completely dry, it was time to put the card together.  I adhered the inked flower panels with foam tape for some dimension.  After fiddling with the layout a bit, I realized that the window part of the card needed a little bit of balance.  I simply glued some very thin strips of black card stock on the edges.  I white heat embossed one of the sentiments from Avery Elle’s Simply Said: You stamp set on a piece of black card stock and cut the left edge at an angle to give it a little bit of interest.  Because of the addition of the black pieces, I felt that the card front needed a little more black, so I added the black flower centers all around the colorful flowers.  That seemed to balance everything out.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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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!

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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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