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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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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