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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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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The Joy of Finding an Old Stamp Set

I have been collecting stamp sets for quite a while now, so there are always older sets that just get lost in the back of a pile.  Since I have a limited budget to spend on the latest and greatest stamping/diecutting supplies, I have to rediscover stamp sets that I’ve had in my stash for a few years and never used.

The Hello Mason Jar set from Stampendous is one such set.  It has a beautiful array of flowers and a wonderful mason jar.  There are a few sentiments that are small and perfect to fit in a small space on any busy card.

My Empty Nest Creations using Stampendous Hello Mason Jar set and Zig markersFor this card, I just used the flower grouping that I colored with Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and a waterbrush.  I die cut it with the matching die.  All that was left was to figure out the right background.

I seem to be obsessed with ink blended backgrounds lately.  I think it’s because they are so easy to make, and you end up with the perfect custom background for your card.  I blended Salty Ocean and Peeled Paint Distress Oxides for this background.  Once that was done, I thought that the card still needed a little something else to help frame the flower image.  Again I reached for something that I rarely use, my Spellbinders diamond dies, to create the frame.  After popping the floral image up with foam tape, I die cut happy birthday from purple card stock using the Simon Says Stamp Happy Birthday Script die.

Thanks for visiting!

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A Simple Cut Edge Card Front

I think I’m kind of obsessed with the popular emboss resist technique partnered with Distress Oxide inks.  With that said, I figured I needed to come up with something just a little different from my normal card fronts.

My Empty Nest Creations Rainbow Emboss Resist Technique using Distress OxidesI started with one of my favorite large stamps—Simon Says Stamp’s Emma Background.  I white heat embossed it onto the front side of an A2 top folding card base, and ink blended it with Candied Apple, Spiced Marmalade and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides.  They just blend so smoothly and don’t leave any kind of harsh lines or marks.  They are definitely easier to blend than the traditional Distress Inks.  To emphasize the beautiful stamp image, I lightly wiped away any ink that was sitting on top of the embossing.

To change things up a bit, I decided to fussy cut around the bottom portion of the embossed image and stamp my greeting from Altenew’s Adore You stamp set below my cut edge.  All that was left was to add a few matching sequins.

Thanks for visiting 🙂

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Making Multiple Cards from One Stamped Image

I’ve kind of been on a little creative slump lately.  I always love making cards during the winter holidays, but that excitement always seems to leave around December 26th.  Even Valentine’s Day doesn’t get my creative mojo fired up.  That said, I just love it when I can get multiple cards using just one stamped image.  Two for the price of one…who doesn’t love that!

I have a few of Simon Says Stamp beautiful background cling stamps that I always seem to go to.  They are great for any kind of card.  Stamps are expensive, so I love it when I can buy one that is so incredibly versatile.

For my latest cards, I used Simon Says Stamp’s Emma Background.  I white heat embossed it on Bristol paper, and ink blended over it using Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry Distress Oxides (I just love how the oxides blend so effortlessly).  I die cut a heart out of the center of the image.

For my first card, I placed the background minus the heart onto my card base and lightly traced the heart outline.  This helped me stamp my greeting in the right spot.  Using one of my new fav stamp sets, Pretty Pink Posh Everyday Greetings, I stamped my greeting within the lightly traced heart space.  After erasing the heart outline, I adhered my stamped background onto my card base with dimensional tape.  The final touch was adding a few small pink hearts to finish it off.

For the second card, I embossed a piece of white card stock using the Doodle Hearts  embossing folder from The Paper Studio.  I then die cut that piece using a Gina Marie Designs double stitched rectangle die.  Using Altenew’s Halftone Happy die, I cut the beautiful script Happy out of silver metallic card stock.  To finish the sentiment, I die cut a banner out of white card stock and stamped “anniversary” from Altenew’s Halftone Happy stamp set.  I matted the white background piece with the same silver metallic card stock.  All that was left was to simply glue it all together.  Once again, the final touch was adding a few tiny pink hearts.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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Using Older Supplies for My Latest Freshly Made Sketches Entry

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything here.  My creativity has taken a little bit of a back seat while we got our daughter back to college this fall.  To give me some inspiration, I went to one of my favorite card sketch sites—Freshly Made Sketches.

Here is the latest sketch…

FMS Final 304-001

and here is my take…

Simon Says Stamp Funky Snowflake card by My Empty Nest Creations

I started with a 4″ x 5.25″ piece of white card stock.  I masked off the top and bottom portions so that I could use some ink blending in the center.  I used a light layer of tumbled glass Distress Ink and then used a more heavy hand with blueprint sketch.  To give that area a little more character, I used an old toothbrush and splattered some watered down white paint.  It still needed a little bit more, so I splattered some water, too.  I just love how easily distress inks blend with water.

Next, using the Simon Says Stamp Funky Snowflake, I die cut it out of my ink blended panel.  I knew that I was going to use the inlay technique, so I made sure to keep the center piece.  I die cut the snowflake again, but out of fun foam this time.  This was going to be the base for my die cut.  I still needed a top layer, so I die cut it a third time out of shiny gold paper.  Unfortunately, you can’t really see it shimmer in the photo 😦   After gluing them all together, I placed the dimensional snowflake in the die cut space on the panel, and glued it in place along with the blue center piece.  The panel was then adhered to a top folding 4.25″x5.5″ card.

All that remained was the sentiment and some blue and gold sequins.  The sentiment is from an older Hero Arts stamp set called Holiday Sayings.  It was stamped with blueprint sketch distress ink a few times using the Misti stamping tool.

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies Used:

  • Simon Says Stamp Funky Snowflake die
  • Tumbled Glass and Blueprint Sketch Distress Ink
  • Hero Arts Holiday Sayings stamp set
  • Sequins

Simon Says Stamp Star Flower Stamp

My Mother’s Day Gift

This year my children gave me a Simon Says Stamp gift card for Mother’s Day.  I have to admit, I was like a kid in a candy store.  My Simon Says Stamp wishlist is incredibly long (I’m talking hundreds of dollars long), so I it didn’t take me very long to blow through that gift card 🙂  The Star Flower stamp was my first choice.  I have wanted this stamp since they introduced it months ago.

My Empty Nest Creations using Simon Says Stamp Star Flower stamp

The design is so intricate that I knew that the rest of my card design had to be very simple.  I decided to gold heat emboss it onto watercolor paper.  Using my MISTI tool made it easy to get multiple stamps onto the rough paper.  Rather than use traditional gold embossing powder, I came across a jar of Zing Brown Sugar powder that I’ve had forever.  While it looks like gold, it actually seems just a little less brilliant.  I LOVE IT and will definitely be using it a lot more.My Empty Nest Creations

Using my waterbrush, I painted small areas of the flower image with Distress Inks (fossilized amber, crushed olive, blueprint sketch, wilted violet, abandoned coral and tumbled glass).  To enhance the card, I added a small strip of metallic gold card stock along the left edge.  I struggled whether or not to add some sequins or Nuvo drops, but decided that I wanted the flower image to be the star (pun intended).

I hope you like it.  I’ve added this set of note cards to my Etsy shop.