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.

Thanks for stopping by!

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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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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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Neat & Tangled’s Oak Leaf Stamp Set

I have loved this set since it first came out.  When I first looked at it, I only saw it as a seasonal set…you know, colored with oranges, golds and reds, but now, I see how versatile it is.  Now that spring is quickly approaching (some places faster than others) I decided to use yellows and greens for my color scheme.

My Empty Nest Creations Neat & Tangle's Oak Leaf stamp watercolored with Distress Oxides

I started by white heat embossing the leaf image onto a piece of 4″x5 1/4″ Bristol paper.  Since I’m still very much a beginner with watercolors, I decided to use my Distress Oxides with water.  I used Squeezed Lemonade, Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint and Evergreen Bough and loosely painted on the color, not worrying about staying in any lines.  Once that was dry, I stamped the sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink using my Misti.

All that was left was to mount it to my card base.  I knew that I wanted to pull the green out of the leaf, so I found a piece of matching green card stock in my scrap stash (I just love it when I can use up some of my scraps!).  I also knew that I needed to balance out the black from the greeting, so I pulled out one of my new favs—My Favorite Things Black & White Strip 6×6 Paper Pad.  I cut a piece just large enough to mat my card front, but small enough to let the green card base show.

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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Unity Stamp Co. Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes

I love clear stamps for a multitude of reasons, but I will never give up on my cling stamps.  Their clean, crisp stamp images are fantastic!  Some of the best cling stamps come from Unity Stamp Co.  They have several sets with an adorable owl that I just can’t resist.  The Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes is a large set that includes many different birthday sentiments along with this adorable owl surrounded by a large bouquet of balloons.

My Empty Nest Creations Unity Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes Stamp Set

I stamped him on Bristol paper using Memento Tuxedo Black ink (Copic friendly), and colored the image with various Copic markers.  When cutting it out, I didn’t worry about the balloon strings because I knew that I could just draw them on the card at the end.

I just received the My Favorite Things cloud stencil, so I used it to create a soft cloud/sky background with my ink blending tool and Distress Ink. I used fun foam to adhere the owl image and added a very thin pink strip of card stock to each side.  For a little bit of color balance, I glued a bright blue piece of card stock to my card base.

I chose one of the many wonderful birthday greetings from the stamp set and added that to the top.  To finish it off, I used my clear Wink of Stella marker on the balloons (unfortunately, you can’t see that in the photo).

Thanks for stopping by!


Supplies Used:

  • Stamps:  Unity Stamp Co. Hugs, Kisses & Birthday Wishes
  • Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
  • Markers: Copic Sketch Markers, Clear Wink of Stella
  • Paper: Neenah Solar White 110#
  • Other: My Favorite Things cloud stencil