This card was an adventure in itself. It is for Andrew's Uncle Jerry who I greedily claim as my uncle as well because he's a real sweetie!! Jerry is a lot like my dad in the way that he's always smiling, and always fixing things!! Today is Jerry's actual birthday, so right there you know that I was stressed a bit starting this project. I am behind on my schedule and mentally beating myself up. Why, oh why can't I make birthday cards ahead of time?
The good news is that all of the tags went out in the mail today. I had Tommy do the Quality Control check on every single tag this morning and he did catch a few things. I glued a couple of weak spots, glittered a missed bow and printed the back of a tag. How on Earth did that get missed??
Back to the saga. I wrote Jerry an email this morning to say "Happy Birthday" so that he would still receive my greetings, and to let him know that a card is coming. In my email I said something about a bear hug. I thought maybe I could do something with that in my card, so I looked through my stamps and ended up with Wild Thing C1284 (retired). I really like the bear, but getting it to hug was going to take some work. I decided to start with the front of the card and let the inside "simmer on the back burner." I don't recommend designing cards this way. This is just usually the way it happens for me.
I was toying with something like "which of these animals would you want to hug you?" when I set up this:
Tom was on the other side of the table and said, "Lions and Tigers and Bears, so the inside is going to say - Oh My!?" I was stunned. It really was a lion, tiger and bear. Huh.
At that point I only had the placement of the animals and their framing. Next, I distressed all of the paper and it changed everything. Suddenly it looked as though the animals had been nibbling and scratching at the paper and it took on a more organic feel. The negative spaces looked really dead in comparison. Burlap!!
I am really pretty allergic to burlap. Not like I am to cats, but I probably shouldn't be working with the stuff, but art is a cruel master. I'm just kidding. Even though I knew that I would probably have an asthma attack, it needed burlap, so I just didn't have a choice. (I did use my Advair a couple of hours early, and I kept my inhaler on stand-by!!)
After the burlap, the upper and lower right-hand corners still looked too empty. Tommy vehemently opposed the buttons (which I still contend would have looked good), so I came up with these paws made out of the Durables Round Studs, which are little studs on foam stickers.
Tom stamped the paw prints on the inside of the card, and more on the back.
This was a little technique that I accidentally invented!! I was testing ink colors for Leonidas (I mentally name all of my little animal friends.) I first tried Bamboo because that is the color that is used to distress the paper in the Elementals packet. Bamboo was much too light to hold it's own against all that was going on in the card, even at that point, so I tried Cocoa. This was just a test, so I stamped the Cocoa image over the Bamboo and it POPPED!! I was off just a tiny bit and a 3-D effect happened, as in the photo above.
When I tried to do the same with Bamboo and Chocolate for the bear Gom (pronounced gome, but you have to say it fast - Korean for bear, but it also has the connotation of slow and kinda dumb) the effect worked, but not as well, maybe the lion's mane was the key. Lastly, the tiger, Slugger. He is printed in Brown Bag and Bamboo. I tried this so many times that I made myself sick. Seriously. I was dizzy and sort of motion sick (This happens to me a lot!!). I would either stamp the images too perfectly one on top of the other, or too far apart so that there was a horrible interference that made the cat look extremely nervous!! Tommy ended up printing the one that we used.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, UNCLE JERRY!! We hope that you had a wonderful celebration with your family, and we wish that we could have been there too!!!
Love you!! Andy, Karen, Lisa, Will and Tom