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.

First Valentine Card Using Poppystamps Inlay Heart Die

I’ve been away from card making for quite a long time.  Life became much more important to my husband and me.  We became grandparents for the first time about a month ago (6 weeks early) to twins—a boy and a girl.  We are beyond blessed!  Life certainly is good.

After being away for so long, I kind of lost my creative mojo.  My husband has been trying to get me into my craft room just to make something because he knows how much I do truly enjoy it.  So…here’s my first stab at a valentine card for 2019.

My Empty Nest Creations Valentine using Poppystamps Inlay Heart Die

I just bought this beautiful Inlay Heart die from Poppystamps, and the Messages for Every Day stamp set from Simon Says Stamp.  Poppystamps dies always cut perfectly, and the sentiments on this SSS stamp set are awesome!

I cut the die on a piece of pink Bazzill card stock (sorry, I don’t know the color name), and then cut it again using a piece of patterned paper from the 6×6 Front Porch paper pad from Pebbles, Inc.  I added a strip of the same patterned paper to the bottom of the pink piece and adhered it to an A2 white card base made from Neenah Solar White #110 card stock.  I placed the single patterned paper heart into the space on the inlayed heart and glued it down.

All that was left was to pick the right sentiment.  As I said before, this stamp set has an incredible selection of greetings.  There were 3 or 4 that would have worked, but I settled on the “I love you so much!” and white heat embossed it onto a piece of dark brown scrap paper that matched the striped paper I used for the heart.  I attached the sentiment strip using foam tape to give it some dimension.

I hope you like it!  Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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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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Using the Soft Bokeh Look on a Background

My Empty Nest Creations Ink Blended Heart Bokeh Butterfly CardI’ve seen so many famous card makers do this beautifully on their cards, so I thought that I’d give it a try.  This card background is a piece of Bristol paper that is ink blended using Distress Oxides Twisted Citron, Peeled Paint, Broken China, Salty Ocean and Wilted Violet.  To get the bokeh effect, I stamped a heart stamp from Simon Says Stamp’s Tons of Hearts stamp set with Hero Arts Unicorn pigment ink.  Before stamping on the paper, I stamped it first on a piece of scrap paper (I believe that this is called second generation stamping.) because I wanted the bokeh hearts to be very soft.  Because they were stamped with pigment ink, I set it aside to dry for a bit before putting the card together.

The butterfly was die cut using Poppy Stamps Ornamental Butterflies dies and colored with an orange Copic marker (no color blending here).  The black details were added with a fine tip black Sharpie marker.  The sentiment, from an older Teresa Collins Now & Then stamp set, was white heat embossed onto a strip of black card stock.  To give it a bit of character, I fishtailed the ends using a small square punch.

I used foam tape to adhere the butterfly and sentiment banner to the bokeh background and then used the same foam tape to attach it to my card base.8

Happy Spring everyone!

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My Entry for Freshly Made Sketches #330

I love the latest sketch on the Freshly Made Sketches site.  It gives just enough structure, but allows for a lot of creativity.

FMS Final 330-001

Here’s my take on this sketch…

My Empty Nest Creations FMS #330 using Simon Says Stamp What's Brewing stamp set

To create the background, I taped off a section of the card base and blended Wilted Violet Distress Oxide ink over the Tim Holtz Dot Fade Layering Stencil.  This is the first time that I’ve used this stencil.  I can see it’s going to be a new favorite!

Using Simon Says Stamp’s What’s Brewing stamp set, the coffee cup was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored with Faber Castell Aquarelle watercolor pencils.  The heart accent was stamped with Wilted Violet Distress Oxide ink to coordinate with the stenciled background, and the sentiment was white heat embossed on black card stock.  After fussy cutting the coffee mug and using a circle punch to cut out the heart accent, I was ready to put my card together.

To finish, I glued the sentiment strip onto the stenciled area and adhered the coffee mug with foam tape to give it a little dimension.

Thanks for visiting!

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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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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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