Another Simple Sympathy Card

Unfortunately, when a friend asks for a card from me, it’s quite often been a sympathy card.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve made more sympathy cards in the last year than I ever have in the last 10.  I’ve said before that sympathy cards have always been hard for me to make.  It’s such a personal and emotional thing, that I feel pressure to make it just perfect.  This one came together fairly easily, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

My Empty Nest Creations Sympathy Card using Concord & 9ths Lily stamp set

I started by stamping the lily from Concord & 9th’s Lily stamp set twice on a piece of purple card stock with Versamark ink, and heat embossing it with Recollections Snow embossing powder.  Using my white Prismacolor colored pencil, I colored in the petals.  The sentiment is from My Favorite Things Brushstroke Expressions stamp set.  I black heat embossed it onto a strip of velum and adhered it onto the purple card front.

To brighten the card a bit, I used a piece of patterned paper from My Favorite Things Black & White paper pad as the backing.  Because I’m kind of hooked on dimension, I used foam tape to attach the purple card front to the card base, and as usual, I added a few black Nuvo drops.

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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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My Entry for Freshly Made Sketches #349

This week’s Freshly Made Sketches sketch is very basic.  I love that it provides a simple jumping off point and leaves you with a chance to interpret it many ways.

FMS Final 349-001

For this card, I decided to pull out some of my older stamps and dies.  Every now and then I like to dig through my supplies and pick a few items out that I haven’t used in a long while.  Quite often, I find myself only focusing on the bright, shiny new stamps and dies that I want to add to my collection and forget about the older ones that are still awesome, too.

My Empty Nest Creations Hero Arts Floating Blossoms Thank You Card

I started by stamping the Hero Arts Floating Blossom background stamp onto a A2 size piece of Bristol card stock using Memento Tuxedo Black ink.  The flowers were colored with Copic markers (very basic…very little color blending or shading).  To make them pop a bit and give a little shadow, I outlined each of the flowers with a few cool gray Copics.  To define the image better, I also outlined each of the flowers/leaves with a fine tip black Sharpie.

The thank you greeting was cut from black card stock using the Die-Versions Thank You Express Edge die.  I thought that the card needed another little bit of contrast, so I cut a strip from my favorite patterned paper, My Favorite Things Black & White Stripe pad, and added it to the bottom.

After adhering the card front to my A2 card, I thought that it needed just a little something more, so I used my Wink of Stella glitter pen to give the flowers some sparkle (unfortunately, this shows in the photo as more of a white mess on some of the flowers…trust me, they are glittery in person 🙂

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Gotta Love Some Whale Humor

Ever since Ellen Hutson came out with their S’Whale stamp set, I knew it was eventually going to be part of my stash.  I just love the sentiments in it, but it was the whales that immediately caught my attention.  Who doesn’t love some adorable whales, right?

My Empty Nest Creations Thanks a Ton Whale Card using Ellen Hutson's S'Whale stampsFor this card, I paired it with the Hero Arts Wave Background stamp.  First, I cut my piece of Bristol paper using the Memory Box Stitched Rectangles Layers die.  I’ve had the My Favorite Things Rectangle Peek a Boo Window die for forever, but I’ve never used it; so I thought I’d give it a try here.  Once that was done, I placed it on my vertical, top folding A2 card base and lightly traced the window.  After taping off the area around the penciled window, I white heat embossed that open space using my Hero Arts Waves Background stamp.  The coloring was very simple.  I used some Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers in various blue shades to create my ocean.

For the whale, I stamped it onto a scrap of Bristol paper using Versafine Onyx Black ink and colored with a few gray and blue Zig marker shades and my waterbrush.  After fussy cutting it out, I started to put my card together.

I adhered the window piece onto my card base with foam tape, and then placed my whale in the window, again using foam tape.  There are so many great sentiments in this stamp set, so I had trouble deciding which one to use.  I never have enough thank you cards, so I settled on “Thanks a ton”.  I white heat embossed it onto a piece of black card stock and placed it just below the window.

Once I had the card put together, I thought that it needed just a little more blue to balance it out a bit.  I simply glued a strip of blue card stock to the bottom.  I love it when I can use my paper scraps to finish a card.

Thanks for stopping by!

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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.

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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.

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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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