Archive for March, 2008

Zoo sketches

March 28, 2008

My husband and I went to the zoo with our sketchbooks.  Here’s the stuff he drew that he liked the best…

Here is my (much lazier) version of the elephant:

Here is his rendition of the lion and the turtle:

And more lions and turtles with a crocodile in the middle:

I drew a crocodile too…

I also drew some rhinos…

My husband also drew some rhinos, but they kept moving, so he got frustrated and didn’t allow any of those sketches to be posted.  Likewise, I also drew the lions and turtles, but didn’t like my sketches of them so I didn’t post those either.  That was really fun!  I kept having the urge to draw the people at the zoo instead of the animals, but restrained myself because I can basically draw people anywhere. 


Beary pink

March 28, 2008

After making the inside of Kelli’s card (in the previous post), I was so bothered that I couldn’t put the bear on dimensionals (because it was on the inside of the card), that I made another card specifically so I could put him on dimensionals!  And this time he got the front and center space instead of just the runner-up space of the inside.  *grin*  I got this bear in a grab bag from Angi B & Company, who will unfortunately be going out of business soon. 

All the polka dots are inspired by Markie’s Mom’s cards.

Here is the inside of the card:

All of these images are also from Angi B & Company.  I stamped them all onto scraps of both Canson’s 120 lb watercolour paper or Strathmore’s 140 lb watercolour paper.  I hate wasting watercolour paper because it is so darned expensive!  The little flowers helped me to use up some extra small scraps.  It was time consuming to cut them all out, but very satisfying as well.  For images that small, I usually put double-sided tape on the back of them before I trim them.  That way, I cut both the tape and the paper at the same time. 

I also really like loading the insides of my cards with images.  That way, I don’t have to write as much.  I love making cards;  I really dislike actually writing a message in one. 

To see the complete list of stuff I used to make this card, you can look underneath this card’s SCS gallery post.

Edited to add:  I found, which carries some of the Angi B stamps!!

Kelli’s card 2008

March 28, 2008

Well!  I must admit that I don’t actually know Kelli, but I do know her mother!  Her mom is my co-worker.  Last year she forgot Kelli’s birthday *shudder* so I made this card for her to give to her daughter.  This year she remembered in time *grin* and asked me to make another card for her.  So I went to my favourite inspiration site, Splitcoast Stampers Gallery, and found Markie’s Mom’s Delightfully Amazing card. Markie’s Mom (aka Faith Hofrichter) blogs about her card here and says it took her less than 30 minutes to make it!!  Well, I took about eight hours spread out over an entire weekend to case her card! 

I made my card bigger because my co-worker requested that it be a big card.  I didn’t have any hardware, so I cut a rectangle and drew the handles in… yeah, that’s why they’re crooked.  Next time I will use a circle guide to help me draw the handles.  Anyway, to make them look like metal, I swiped the sides on Stampin’ Up!’s Whisper White ink pad and wiped away the wet white ink, leaving a greyish cast over the dark brown paper. 
I used an oval guide to help me cut out the oval shapes for the name.  The letters of “Kelli” came from the Stampendous Storybook Alphabet clear stamp set.

 Then I used the bird from Flourishes LLC’s Open To Love set, only I added a birthday hat and some scribbles.  The scribbles were to make it match Angi B and Company’s tulips, which also have scribbles on them. 

I stamped the bird on Canson’s 120 lb watercolour paper and then watercoloured him with Winsor & Newton watercolours.  When I taped him onto the card, I put a tiny bit of a dimensional behind the hat area, where there aren’t as many layers of paper.  Here is a close-up of the faux metal hardware with the bird perched on top:

Here is the inside of the card:

And here is a close-up of the bear and the circles. I used a circle guide to help me draw and cut out the circles (I really could’ve used some circle and oval punches or die-cuts for this card!!)…

The bear and the tulips came from Angi B & Co. who are going out of business. I was lucky and got these adorable images in a grab bag!  I only found out about this company and I wish I had known about them sooner because I would’ve been an avid customer! 

 For all the other stuff I used to make this card, you can see the list underneath this SCS gallery post.

Edited to add:  I found, which carries some of the Angi B stamps!!


March 19, 2008

For her birthday celebration, Jan Marie of Flourishes LLC gave away presents!  And I got a gift package from her!  I was absolutely floored by her generosity, so I made her a thank-you card of COURSE… here it is. 


I used that little cage/lamp shape and the heart flowers from their very own Open to Love set, and the sentiment “Thank you” from their Flourished Words stamp set.  I drew a lamppost to hang the lamp from, and watercoloured it with Winsor & Newton watercolours on Strathmore’s 140 lb cold-pressed watercolour paper.  I finally learned how to lay down a background with watercolour (use a large brush and paint quickly, before the water dries!), but obviously I still need to learn how to blend two colours together!  I just didn’t know how to make it seem like the lamp light was glowing into the night.  Grrr. 

The whole time I was painting and re-painting the black and yellow parts, I was singing “Lili Marlène” because of the lyrics “…Devant la caserne quand le jour s’enfuit/ La vieille lanterne soudain s’allume et luit” which means “In front of the barracks, when the daylight flees/  The old lantern suddenly turns on and shines”.  This beloved war song was originally written in  German, but it is the French version that I know (and was singing). 

Inside the card I wrote “thank you for brightening my day”… but now that I think about it, I should’ve written “thank you for brightening my month” or something, ’cause it’s been much more than a day, and I am still grinning about it. 


March 19, 2008


Yet another ATC for the French-theme swap.  This one took me a LONG time and I’ll likely not be making another one like it soon!  Thank goodness for this little girl image from Stampin’ Up!’s Everyday Celebrations.  My husband detests this image (and anything I put her on) for some reason so that means I don’t have to make a duplicate for him *sneaky grin*.  I first found out that he didn’t like her ’cause I was going to put her on his Amour book.   He saw her there on one of the pages and pleaded for me to take her off.  *laugh*  Ever since then I’ve been using her a LOT.  Alas, this won’t work for long because I’ve put her on so many things that he’s starting to think she’s okay.   

I drew the little butterfly at the top to match her.  Those are stamped commas on the butterfly’s wings, from one of Stampendous’ clear stamp alphabet sets. 

The word “amitié” means “friendship” and is from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of A Light Heart.  The oval frame is from The Angel Company’s Hip Hardware set.  The rest of the words mean “a friend is someone who says pretty things behind your back” and are from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of That’s Nice.  The underlying paisleys are from Technique Tuesday’s Masterpieces of Paisley.  The intricate swirls on the bottom layer is a crown stamp (stamped four times) by Fontwerks.  The stitches at the edges of the top panel are from Technique Tuesday’s Frayed Ends.

Mon cœur à Paris

March 17, 2008


This is another ATC (artist trading card) for the French-themed swap. 

The girl is from Stampin’ Up!’s Everyday Celebrations, and the background shapes are from Stampin’ Up!’s Sweet Shapes.  The French words mean “my heart in Paris” and are by Alluring Impressions.  The Eiffel Tower is by Stamp of Excellence. 

I switched to this girl image ’cause my husband doesn’t like it.  This way, I knew he wouldn’t want to keep it, so I could actually use it for the swap.  *grin*  I stamped her on watercolour paper, coloured her with Winsor & Newton watercolours, cut her out, and taped/glued her to the ATC. 

She does convey very well how I feel about Paris.  I love Paris!

Sous la mer

March 14, 2008


This is for the same swap as “Plaisir”.  I cut out the words from the same book (Climats by André Maurois).  The French words mean “she dreams sometimes that she walks under the sea”.  Hence the fish *grin*.   I tried to make this ATC less detailed, else my husband would have wanted to keep it too.  This is on Neenah’s Classic Linen Paper (baronial ivory), so I only sponged the colour on instead of watercolouring the girl. 

Both stamps on the front are by Beeswax Rubber Stamps.  On the back I used the French version of Stampin’ Up!’s Open for Trade, and the same little fish from Beeswax.  Also on the bottom of the back, the word “Rêve” means “dream” and is by Alluring Impressions


March 12, 2008

I made this ATC (artist trading card) for a French-themed swap at

This is the  front and back of it. 

I read the book Climats by André Maurois, and disliked it immensely, not because the writing was bad, but because it was a very unhappy story.  So.  I am slowly using up the pages as Decorative Paper, because I am too cheap to actually buy decorative paper.  I bought this book for $2 at the local used bookstore. 

Front:  The central image is by Hampton Art Stamps.  The word “plaisir” means “pleasure” and is from the French version of Stampin’ Up!’s Everyday Flexible Phrases.  The definition-of-amour stamp is by Magenta. 

Back:  The information table is from the French version of Stampin’ Up!’s Open for Trade.  This is stamped on top of the same Hampton Art Stamps image.  Only, on this image, I rubbed out the English words (on the actual stamp before stamping) and replaced them with French ones from Stampin’ Up!’s French version of Everyday Flexible Phrases. 

Dad’s stamp

March 10, 2008

Today I received a custom stamp in the mail from Imagine Stamps.  I was so excited!  My dad had given me an envelope with this on it: 
He asked if I could make a rubber stamp of that image (he’s got penpals in China).  Only, he wanted the inverted image (so he would be stamping the words, not everything surrounding the word outlines).  And then he asked if I could make a box around the words, that was smaller than the original box.  I said of course I could do that!  After all, I am the family stamper!  I was very excited about my first real Photoshop project, tiny as it was.  *grin*  After all, I had sacrificed many, many stamp purchases just to be able to purchase this software!  So I scanned it in at 300 dpi, put the image in grayscale, inverted it, lightened the exposure to get rid of the remaining stuff surrounding the words, and “drew” a box around it, using the pencil (or pen?  I forgot) tool. 

Then I emailed several companies (one rubber and two photopolymer ones), and Rebecca Phelps of Imagine Stamps was the first one to respond, so I emailed her the image, which she quickly transformed into this photopolymer stamp!
How cool is that??  I quickly made a box to house this lovely little stamp (lovely ’cause I helped to make it!  *huge grin*) and the red Marvy inkpad.  (He had requested red ink to use with his stamp).  I made a box ’cause otherwise I fear all they would be eventually separated (um, not that my dad is not very organized or anything…). 

So here is the box with everything in it:

And here is the box lid…
I stamped the lid with my dad’s stamp and with the bird stamp from Flourishes LLC’s Open to Love set.  The mental image of this bird flying across the ocean with a letter (airmail!) was really comical to me. 

This lid took me three tries to get right!  I had made the box first, and then the lid.  Well, the first two lids were TOO BIG.  Argh.  Anyway, the third time it came out all right. 

This is the box with the lid on it and everything inside, ready for me to present to my dad!
I hope he likes it!

Masculine birthday card

March 9, 2008

Well, my husband’s sister asked me for some masculine birthday cards.  Ah…my favourite kind of card to make – NOT!  I have such a hard time making cards for guys!!!  No pinks, purples, pastels, no flowers, hearts, etc. etc.!  Okay, so in my limited imagination, that leaves… uh, blue and green.  I also have no images suitable for a guy’s birthday card – mainly because I don’t like images geared towards guys!  Well, in desperation I turned to my sketchbook, and found a drawing I did of a friendly acquaintance:
I had drawn this in ballpoint pen several years before, from a group photograph I think.  Anyway, so I scanned it in at 600 dpi, and placed it into Adobe Illustrator and resized it.  I got the Times New Yorker font from, and made the sentiment with it.  Then I printed it out on Neenah’s Classic Linen Solar White cardstock, and lightly watercoloured his skin.  Whoops.  I watercoloured too much – the paint got on his teeth.  Ew… skin-coloured teeth looks nasty.  White gel pen to the rescue! 

 Then, because I am totally un-inspired while making guy cards, I stamped a bunch of circles in blue and green.  I stamp circles when I can’t think of anything else to stamp.  The big circle is from Stampin’ Up! Sweet Shapes, and the small circle is from Stampin’ Up!’s Riveting.  I sponged his shirt blue to match the blue circles.  I also added some clock numbers from Stampin’ Up!’s  It’s About Time set to make it look better (well, I think it looks better).

Then I stamped the hat from Purple Onion Design’s Brocante Set on watercolour paper, watercoloured it, cut it out and stuck it on his head.


 I made a copy of this for myself to keep.  Only on the inside of mine, in the same Times New Yorker font, I have “…to an old fart!”