Archive for February, 2008

60’s Grooviness

February 28, 2008

My husband’s cousin got invited to a birthday party with a 60’s theme. He asked for my help in making a card for the birthday guy.  Of course, I happily agreed.  Then I realized that I had no images of anything even remotely 60’s related.  In desperation I turned to my handy dandy punches, and they saved the day!  

Since my husband’s cousin was helping the birthday guy decorate for the party, I asked what kind of decorations they had, and he said they were cutting out lots of circles in turquoise, neon green, neon pink, bright yellow, etc.  Hurray!  I actually had all those colours in cardstock!  So, that decided my colour theme. 


There is no stamping on this card;  just punch-outs, and more punch-outs.  I brought out my entire arsenal of circle punches, plus this one weird-shaped Stampin’ Up! punch that looked 60-ish to me (er, no, I didn’t buy that punch;  I got it for free months ago *grin*  And this was the first time I used it!).   The two big central circles, I had to cut out by hand.  None of my punches are that big. 

None of my alphabet sets looked 60-ish to me, so I went into Adobe Illustrator, and with liberal use of the “help” function (and after a few hours of watching instructional videos on a very helpful Adobe website), I managed to create the words “Happy 30th Birthday Michael!” in a circle shape!  I bought Illustrator sometime last year and am still reeling from the price tag.  So…it’s good that it is helping me to make cards.  Only after the entire card was glued and taped together did I think to call my husband’s cousin to ascertain that the birthday dude’s name was actually “Michael” and that it was actually spelled with the usual spelling, and that he was actually turning 30.  Well!  Fortunately for me, everything was correct, so I didn’t have to re-do the card!

And here is the inside…


I hope Michael likes it!

Skinny frog

February 27, 2008


I was rummaging through my husband’s stuff (with his permission), and found this.  I had drawn it as a counterpart to this chubby frog.  My husband had asked me to draw him a fat frog (because he likes frogs).  So I drew him the chubby one, and then he asked for a skinny frog to go with it, so I drew this one.  This was back in January 2007, before I discovered real watercolour paper and better watercolour pigments.  This is mostly painted on just textured paper (not really watercolour paper) and with Crayola watercolours.  That feather on the hat is inspired by James Christensen’s drawings of feathers.  My husband shaded the hat and the belt, and added the words (“Boy, it’s awesome what a diet of low-calorie flies does for you”).  He also added the scribble in the corner which is supposed to be a fly, with the words “low-calorie fly”.  

Red dress

February 26, 2008


I watercoloured most of this.  My husband’s cousin, a PhotoShop whiz, edited it for me!  He used the clone stamp tool to clone the sleeve part over the chest area.  My original watercolour has her topless, because I painted her for my male co-worker, the one who always saves his Michael’s coupons for me. 

I got this from an ad in a magazine.  The girl in the original ad was NOT topless. 

Lecture préférées

February 23, 2008


Well, I made another ATC for the French-theme swap, very similar to the previous one.  For this one, I used watercolour paper so there is no warping like there was in the first one.  Hurray.  The French words here mean “Her favourite readings are fairy tales and poets.”  BUT my husband wanted to keep this one too.  I had to make totally different ATCs  for the swap!

Like in the previous ATC, the stamp credits go to Stampington & Co and Beeswax Rubber Stamps.

Gifts, Hell

February 21, 2008

My sister requested more illustrations for her Bible verse memorization cards (she uses these to help her son memorize Bible verses)…

She wanted a table piled high with free gifts and several people taking them.   She wanted a scruffy teenager, a professional person, and a handicapped person. 

For this one, she requested that a guy be taking out a payment which indicates that he’s going to hell.  She suggested a fire with a gate in front of it.   Well, I liked her idea, and since I’m not a Christian (and so theoretically would be the recipient of one of these), I decided to draw some document that, upon opening, I would at least think was pleasing to the eye. 

Hope she likes these illustrations!

Bibliothèque rose

February 16, 2008


I made this ATC (artist trading card) originally for a French-theme swap, but my husband wanted to keep it.  So he is keeping it.  I used the background stamps to make it look like a page from a book.  These stamps are by Stampington & Co.   The girl and the books are by Beeswax Rubber Stamps.  I cut the French words out of the book Climats by André Maurois.  I didn’t feel bad about cutting up the book’s pages because I detested this story (because it was depressing).  The words mean “she talks to me of the pink library”, so I edged this card with pink ink (Tim Holtz Worn Lipstick).  I will have to make a totally different card for the swap because I’m too lazy to read more to find another appropriate phrase to cut out from this book.  Just as well, because I used Neenah’s Linen paper for this one instead of watercolour paper, so it is a bit warped from the watercolouring.  😦


February 15, 2008


 I got my inspiration for this card from SCS’s  3pageprincesses’ “Sugar Nellie – Birthday”.  I loved her entire card layout, and I love the Sugar Nellie look too.  So I drew one of my friends (“Buttercup” is her nickname) as a Sugar Nellie character (hence the short hair, glasses, and lipstick).  I didn’t have a stamp of a buttercup and wasn’t sure what they looked like anyhow.  So I googled it, and uneasily (’cause I’m still foggy about what they look like) used a flower stamp I had by Magenta, and just cut into the center of each petal tip to make the petals look more like what I think a buttercup petal looks like. 

 Um, of course my husband wanted a card just like this, so I made him this one:

The French means “I embrace you very strongly”.  This time the character is my husband as a Sugar Nellie character, with his glasses and his favourite beanie (but in real life, it is black). 

I didn’t have any special papers, so I did all the papers with a ton of sponging and stamping. 

Materials used:
The bottom layer is SU!’s Canvas inked up with Tim Holtz’ Worn Lipstick and Shabby Shutters (green). 
The next layer is SU!’s French Script in Tim Holtz’s Scattered Straw. 
The polka-dots layer is an Outlines Rubber Stamp inked with SU!’s Whisper White.  I sponged all over this layer with green ink after the white ink was dry. 
The panel under the characters was done with SU!’s Riveting (small circle) and Sweet Shapes (big circle). 
The letters (“Butter Cup” and “Little One”) are by Image Tree. 
The circle under the large brad is from SU’s Gentler Times. 
The little French sentiment is from the French version of SU!’s All Year Cheer. 
The triangle corner was stamped with SU!’s A to Z Accents. 
Everything was edged/sponged with Tim Holtz’s Brushed Corduroy.

 Here are the rough drafts I did of the characters. 

Sorry about the poor quality of this photo.  I didn’t know how to make them any clearer.  They are partially so faint because I drew them in pencil as lightly as I could.  Then I watercoloured them right over the pencil.  The girl with the beret is me (why yes, in real life I am short, and have glasses).  I watercoloured her as well and stuck her on the inside of my husband’s card. 

If anyone wants the real Sugar Nellie stamps (which are a lot cuter than my caricatures), they are available at Funky Kits


February 6, 2008

I visited a new scrapbooking store in my town, and saw a totally cute chipboard book where the pages spelled out “Love”.  I wanted to make my own book, but I wanted mine to say “Amour” (which means “love” in French).  I didn’t have any chipboard, but I had the hard cardboard that is at the bottom of the Strathmore watercolour paper pads that I use.  I cut each one in half lengthwise.  I broke the plastic handle on my scissors doing this, so um, I switched to the craft knife, which I had not used in years, being somewhat leery of the open blade.  Oh well.  I used vellum paper (but would’ve just used plain tracing paper if I’d had any) to make a rough draft of the layout – of where I wanted the letters to be.  Also, all those holes at the spine were already there, because the Strathmore pads I buy are wire-bound.  How convenient for me!   *grin*  So I used the craft knife to cut out the following:


 This cardboard was really thick, so I had to keep going over the cuts with the knife, bending the cuts just a little more each time, until the blade cut all the way through.  Now I’ll cover them with decorative paper.  I normally can’t stand to work with decorative paper because it is so beautiful that I feel like I would be contaminating it.  But I am trying to get over that.  My husband has bought me so much decorative paper, because HE likes it (he likes all kinds of paper – paper from old books, newspaper, etc.).  I figure I might as well use it on a project for him!  When we were in the aforementioned scrapbook store, he was very enthusiastic about all the gorgeous papers there and picked out several sheets and said to me “make me something with these!”  I looked at the prices and gasped “those are 89 cents each!!!”  He just rolled his eyes, took out his wallet and started pulling out one-dollar bills.  *laugh*  I realized how ridiculous I must seem.  *grin*  What was going through my mind was, one 9 x 12 sheet of Strathmore’s 140 lb watercolour paper is 57 cents – already an expensive and luxurious paper in my opinion!  So 89 cents seemed over the top!   *another laugh*  I only bought one sheet of paper that day, but I have two bundles of decorative paper that he’d bought me several years ago.  I brought those out for this project, the Isabella stack by K & Company and DCWV’s Old World Stack.

After the cardboard was cut to size, I covered everything with the papers.

The phrase “Mon Ami” near the “A” is from Stampin’ Up!’s Carte Postale.

This is the back of the “A”, or page 1.  The little guy holding the books is Stanley’s Stack by the Victorian Trading Co.   After I stamped him, I coloured him a bit with a tiny amount of Winsor & Newton watercolours and sponged a shadow at his feet.  The French sentiment underneath him is a stamp by Magenta, and it means “This book belongs to”.  The letters of “Patricio” were stamped with Technique Tuesday’s Main Street Alphabet.   The circular mark at the top is from Stampin’ Up!’s “Authentique” which is the French version of Genuine Articles.  These were all stamped in Tim Holtz’s Vintage Photo distress ink.

The corner stamp is by Stampington & Co.  The word “merveilleux” (barely visible) at the bottom is by Stampin’ Up! and means “marvelous”. 


The words at the bottom on the strip means “my heart is yours”.  They and the dots are from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of So Many Sayings.  The paper on the main panel is from Tim Holtz’s Mother Goose paper.  The sheet music is actually sheet music which I sprayed with walnut ink and then tore up after the ink dried.

I cut out another piece from Tim Holtz’s Mother Goose paper so it would co-ordinate with the previous page. 


I forgot where I got the brads.  Immediately after I bought them, I took them out of their package and threw the box away, forgetting to note who made them.  Sorry.  Anyway, “Bisous pour toi” means “kisses for you” and is by Flourishes LLC.  “Une pensée affectueuse” means “an affectionate thought” and is by Magenta.  “Je t’aime” means “I love you” and is by Penny Black.  The row of hearts is from Stampin’ Up!’s So Many Sayings.  The fleur de lis stamp is by Stamper’s Anonymous. 

The tag is actually a piece of fabric.  It was the tag that came with one of my husband’s shirts…


I just turned it over and stamped on it, and then watercoloured in the roses. 
The roses are by Victorian Greetings, which is the stamp company of the Victorian Trading Co.

Okay, onto the next page:
The beautiful ATC (artist trading card) on the left side was traded to me by SCS’s Pugs99. 

Here’s a close-up of the ATC:  pugs99’s “Ugly, pick a theme”  This ATC was perfect for the on-going theme – it has the Eiffel tower!  And the colours all match, and it has that beautiful vintage look. 

Above and below the ATC are the words “Tu fais mon bonheur” (“you make my happiness”) and “je t’embrasse très fort” (“I embrace you very strongly”), all of which came from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of So Many Sayings.  On the bottom is another phrase which begins “Chaque jour…”.  That one came from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of It’s About Time.  The stamp “Paris” in the middle of the page came from Alluring Impressions.  I wrote the rest of the words (all together it means “I remember Paris with you”) with brown calligraphy ink. 

Okay, here is the page on the back of the “U”:
Well, all of the stamped images here are from Stampin’ Up, except for the fleur-de-lis at the bottom right corner.  That one is from Purple Onion Designs’ Brocante Set.  In the centre panel I wrote the curvy phrase which in English means “Each kiss is a flower, whose root is a heart”.  Well, that sounds awkward in English, but it rhymes nicely in French. 

Last page:
All of these stamps are from Stampin’ Up! (Baroque Motifs, Gentler Times, Riveting) except for the definition of “amour” (Magenta), the key (Stamper’s Anonymous), “De mon cœur…”  and “Janvier” (Alluring Impressions), “2008” (Purple Onion Designs), “Je t’aime” (Flourishes), and the book with glasses (Victorian Greetings).

 And here is the back of the book:
I covered the back with the ultra-expensive (89 cents!) sheet of paper that I had bought at the newest scrapbook store in town. 

The end. 

Sorry for the novel.  It took eons to write this post;  making the book was a whole lot faster!