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!

Computer Signature

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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!

Computer Signature

 

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!

Non-Traditional Christmas Colors for the Latest Freshly Made Sketches Challenge

It’s been quite a while since I joined in on a card challenge.  I’ve been busy making my Christmas cards for this year.  Since they are almost finished, I thought I’d create a card for one of my favorite card challenge sites, Freshly Made Sketches.

Here is the latest sketch…

FMS Final 313-001

and here is my entry.

My Empty Nest Creations card using Ellen Hutson Mondo Poinsettia stamp set

Any holiday card that I’ve made usually has red and green on it, so I decided to leave my Christmas comfort zone and do something a little less traditional.  How about light blue and light green?  I really like that color combo, so I went for it.

I started with Ellen Hutson’s Mondo Poinsettia stamp set.  I gold heat embossed the images onto Bristol paper, and water colored them with Peeled Paint and Broken China Distress Oxides.  I really love the Distress Oxides.  They stamp beautifully, and they are wonderful as watercolors.  After the leaves and flowers had dried, I cut them out with the matching dies and put them aside.

My Merry Christmas sentiment is from WPlus9 Hand Lettered Holiday stamp set.  I just love the pairing of the script and capital letters.  I cut Merry out of some silver metallic card stock and heat embossed Christmas with silver embossing powder onto a velum strip.  Once that was done, I needed to do a little something with my card base.  Plain white just wasn’t going to be right.  I decided to do a little light stenciling using the Broken China ink and a Gina Marie Designs stencil.  All that was left was to put the card together.  I adhered the velum strip just between the two flower groupings and popped up the flowers with some foam tape.  The final touch was to add a few sequins and some Nuvo gold drops on the flower centers.

I hope you like it.  Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Holidays!

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.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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!

 

Reverse Confetti’s Bear Hugs Stamp Set

I just recently purchased this set with the matching dies during the recent Reverse Confetti sale, and I’m so glad that I did.  Koalas have always been one of my favorite animals ever since my husband and I held one during our honeymoon in Australia.  They are just so adorable!

My Empty Nest Creations Card using Reverse Confetti's Bear Hugs Stamp Set

I started by painting some rainbow stripes on watercolor paper using my Gansai Tambi watercolors.  While that was drying, I stamped those adorable koalas onto Bristol paper using my Versamark black ink pad.  I heat embossed those images with clear embossing powder.  (I love the way that gives me boundaries for my coloring.)  Using my Zig Clean Brush markers and a waterbrush, I watercolored the bear images and cut them out with the matching dies.

I used my My Favorite Things Blueprints 13 large pennant die to cut the watercolor piece.  For a little bit of dimension, I adhered the bear with the flower with fun foam and glued the other bear die cut with liquid glue.

For the background, I clear embossed a piece of Bristol paper with the Hero Arts Designer Woodgrain wood stamp and ink blended over it with Weathered Wood Distress Ink.  I don’t think that I’ve ever used that color before.  I love the blue/gray color!  I balanced it out with a strip of black striped paper (I used my MFT striped background stamp and black heat embossed a large piece of paper to use for a bunch of cards.)

The sentiment is from the Avery Elle Simply Said: You stamp set and is white heat embossed on a stripe of black card stock.  I added a few black Nuvo drops to finish it off.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂