Concord & 9th’s Hello Lovely…again!

I just love this stamp set, and I seem to use it on every other card that I make.  It is just that beautiful.  I paired this stamp with some pretty bright Zig Clean Color markers.  I usually am drawn to more pastel or muted colors, but I wanted to venture a little beyond my normal comfort zone.

My Empty Nest Creations Concord & 9th's Hello Lovely Just For You card

I started by white heat embossing the floral image onto Bristol paper.  I especially like doing this because it makes using a water brush much easier.  I used several Zig Clean Color markers to paint the flowers and leaves.  To highlight the floral image, I lightly water colored a gray background using marker 091.

Using Waffle Flower’s Lacy Layers, I die cut the floral piece (what an adorable scalloped edge 🙂 and attached it to a piece of yellow card stock that matched the yellow flowers perfectly.  To give the card a little dimension, I used foam tape to adhere it to the purple polka dot card base.  This card base comes from a Pebbles Cardmaking pad that is loaded with adorable bright colored card bases.  All that was left, was the sentiment.  I white heat embossed a sentiment from Altenew’s Penned Rose stamp set onto a scrap piece of black card stock.

I hope you like it!

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Watercoloring with Distress Oxides AGAIN!

Let me start by saying that I’m not the best at watercoloring anything, but I just love using Distress Oxides and heat embossing to create some “easy to color” images.  Anyone can color within the lines, right?

Here is my latest card…

My Empty Nest Creations Distress Oxide Watercolor Floral Birthday Card

I started by gold heat embossing and masking many times the rose from Altenew’s Penned Rose stamp set on a piece of Bristol paper.  For the watercolors, I used Peacock Feathers and Fossilized Amber Distress Oxides and a waterbrush.  Once that was dry, I cut it on a diagonal to fit a top folding horizontal A2 card base.  Before adhering it, I covered the whole card base with yellow paper that matched the yellow portions of my watercolor piece.  I attached my diagonal watercolor portion, and added a happy birthday die cut using Lawn Fawn’s Happy Birthday Line Border die and the scrap from my watercolor piece.  Because that scrap wasn’t long enough to cover the whole diagonal line, I simply cut the tail end after “birthday” off.

That’s all there was to it…a pretty simple and colorful birthday card.

Thanks for taking a look!

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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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Inspired by Stamping’s Summer Bouquet

I’ve had this stamp set for quite a while now, and I thought that it was time to actually use it.  It has such a lovely cluster of magnolia blossoms and some wonderful sentiments, too!

My Empty Nest Creations Magnolia Blossoms Hugs Card

I started by gold heat embossing the flower image onto a 4×5.25″ piece of Distress Watercolor Card Stock (using my Tim Holtz Stamp Positioner made it very easy to get a good impression).  Using Distress Oxides and a waterbrush, I painted the flowers and buds (Fossilized Amber, Frayed Burlap), leaves (Iced Spruce, Peeled Paint) and the background (Broken China).  As you can see, all of the coloring is very, very soft.  I really wanted the outlined images to be the highlight.

The greeting, from the same stamp set, was gold heat embossed on velum and folded under the watercolor piece so I could attach it.  I chose a pearlized, textured green cardstock (I think it’s from Die Cuts With a View) as the card mat because I wanted the light blue watercolored background to stand out a bit.  My last step is usually to add a few little sequins or Nuvo drops, but I really wanted the card to have a very, very soft, pastel feel, so I chose not to add anything else.  All that was left was to adhere it to a Bazzill Alpaca top folding card base.

Thanks for visiting!

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A Card for a Friend

Unity Stamp Company is one of my favorite cling stamp companies.  Their stamp images range from adorable to incredibly elegant and everything in between.  I’m convinced that anyone would find something that they liked in their stamp inventory.  Best of all, their stamp quality is hard to beat.  The images stamp beautifully and clean up is a breeze.

My Empty Nest Creations Unity Stamp Lil Bloomin Owl over Watercolor BackgroundI had a leftover piece from some watercolor playing, so I decided to use it for the base of my latest card.  I diecut it using Avery Elle’s Wonky Stitches die to give it that cute loose stitching along the edges.  Unity’s Lil’ Bloomin Owl has been sitting on my desk waiting to make an appearance, so I thought he’d be the perfect star for my card.  I stamped him with Memento ink onto Copic Blend It Paper, and colored him with Copic markers.  As you can see, I need a lot of practice using my Copics, but I think he turned out okay.  After fussy cutting him out, I used foam tape to pop him up.  My greeting is from another Unity stamp set, Lil Bunny Peeps.  I white heat embossed it onto black card stock and adhered it with my tape runner.

To mat my card front, I chose a color that I definitely don’t use very often, green, but I think it coordinated perfectly with the watercolor background.  I chose a kraft colored cardbase rather than a white one because my watercolor paper isn’t truly white.

I hope you like it!

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