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!!!

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Computer Signature

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Loving the “Loose” Watercolor Look

I see so many beautiful watercolor cards on Instagram, and I’m in awe of these card makers’ talents.  I’m just not one of those free flowing card makers.  I tend to stay within my comfort box.  I love the look, but I struggle to achieve it.  Kristina Werner’s blog post today gave me some inspiration—watercolor smooshing.  I can handle that.  All you do is put some color (I used Distress Inks) on a piece of acetate, wet it and flip it over onto a piece of watercolor paper and smoosh it around.  It leaves you with a very free flowing colored background.

Here’s my finished card using Mermaid Lagoon and Tumbled Glass Distress Inks on a piece of Tim Holtz watercolor paper.  I white heat embossed some snowflakes from My Empty Nest Creations Hampton Art & Avery Elle Watercolor CardHampton Arts Snowflakes stamp set, and using Avery Elle’s Peace, Love & Joy die set, I cut the words out of Colorbok’s white glitter paper (I love it when I can use something that’s been in my stash for many, many years 🙂  I decided on only using peace & joyMy Empty Nest Creations Hampton Art & Avery Elle Watercolor Card from my die cuts.  After gluing them onto my watercolor base, I knew that I needed to balance the glitter out a bit, so I backed my base with a piece of the white glitter paper (unfortunately, the photos don’t really show it well).  All that was left was to attached it to a Neenah Solar White 110# A2 card base…easy, peasy.

I really loved trying this “new to me” technique.  Maybe this is just what I needed to get me to move out of my comfort box and give some other techniques a try, too. I’m off to check out Instagram, Pinterest and You Tube to get some more inspiration.  Thanks for stopping by!

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).

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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

Concord & 9th’s Hello Lovely is Truly Lovely

I have been ogling over this stamp set since it was released (which was quite a while ago).  For whatever reason, it usually takes me a couple of months after a stamp release to order/receive it.  This one will always be one of my favorites.  I love the floral arrangement, but I also really like the greetings.

My Empty Nest Creations Card using Concord & 9th's Hello Lovely Stamp Set

I started off by gold heat embossing the floral stamp onto watercolor paper.  (Because of the texture of the paper, I had to stamp a couple of times with Versamark ink in order to get good coverage.  The MISTI makes this process so incredibly easy!)  Next, I chose a couple of Zig Clean Color Markers for my coloring.  I really like the watercolor look, so I just added ink directly to the paper and used my waterbrush to spread the ink.  To highlight the floral image a bit, I used a light blue Zig marker and my waterbrush to softly outline the image.  I gold heat embossed the HELLO greeting from the same stamp set.  I knew that I needed to add something to the top to balance the card a bit.  To go with the soft watercolor feel, I just added a few stripes of color using my Zigs and waterbrush.  A few Nuvo drops in gold, pink and purple (I know you can’t really see the colors in the photo) gave me the finishing touch.

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Coloring with Distress Oxides

I just got my first batch of Distress Oxides in the mail, and I’ve been dying to give them a try.  So many crafters have been raving about them for so long.  I had to see what all the fuss was about.  I’ve been using the Distress Inks for watercoloring for a while, and I wanted to see how the oxides differed from the inks.

The biggest difference is readily apparent when you first smoosh the pad onto an acrylic block.  The pads are much “juicier” than the regular Distress Ink pads, and the colors seem thicker and more opaque.  The color lasts a whole lot longer on my waterbrush, too.  A little definitely goes a long way with these oxides.  As far as coverage, I didn’t really notice a huge difference between the oxides and the regular inks.

Here’s a simple card that I made using the Paper Smooches Best Buds and Altenew Birthday Wishes stamp sets and Distress Oxides (and a couple of Distress Inks, too).  Whenever I’m going to watercolor a stamped image, I like to heat emboss first.  It gives me nice, safe margins to paint.  (I haven’t tried the no-line watercoloring technique yet, but it’s definitely on my list.)

My Empty Nest Creations Paper Smooches Best Buds Birthday Card

I finished the card using a few strips of card stock to balance the left side.  I added a few black paint splatters, too.  There’s just something about bright colors coordinated with black and white stripes that gets me every time…love that combo!

After trying Distress Oxides for the first time, I’m definitely going to add the rest of the collection onto my wish list.  If you haven’t given them a try, you definitely should.  They are fantastic!

 

Just Loving the Stampendous Fronds Stamp Set

My Empty Nest Creations Stampendous Fronds Wreath Card

I have had this set for quite a while now, and I just love how versatile it is.  For this card, I used several of the stamps to create a wreath.  First, I lightly drew a circle using one of my circle dies as a template above center on an A2 size piece of white card stock.  I chose a few of the stamps in the set giving the wreath a little more unique look and stamped in various shades of Distress Ink (Fossilized Amber, Abandoned Coral, Pine Needles, Forest Moss and Crushed Olive).  The berries stamped in Abandoned Coral looked a little washed out, so I took a black fine tip Sharpie and outlined those.

For the circle die cut, I decided on using Crushed Olive and the watercolor “smooshing” technique.  I pressed the ink pad on my mat and sprayed it with water.  I “smooshed” the circle die cut around until I got the coverage that I wanted.  After it was dry, I sprayed a little more water on it to give it a more distressed look.  To define the circle, I used my ink blending tool and blended some Vintage Photo lightly around the edges.

I popped the circle die cut up with some fun foam, and used the My Favorite Things Many Thanks die to cut out my greeting.  I twice gold heat embossed the die cuts to get complete coverage, and glued them to the circle die.  The card front need a little more balance, so I trimmed a little off of the top and bottom of the wreath card front.  I gold heat embossed the top and bottom edges of a new A2 sized card front and glued the wreath card front on top.  I think that last step just finished it off nicely.

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