Thursday, September 23, 2010

Two Cats, a Rabbit, and a Birthday Card

Today I thought I’d introduce you to my three assistants, or as I fondly refer to them, my Pibs (Pains in backside).  They are our four legged babies and all are rescued animals.  We rescued the two cats (Gracie and Bingo) from our local humane society and the pygmy bunny (Coco) from my container plants on our back deck.  It boggles my mind that the bunny could even get up the deck steps let alone had the nerve to chew on my flowers!  All three animals get along well together and are quite entertaining to watch.  They remind me of high school where you have the princess, the class clown, and the wanna be.

This is Gracie

Picture of my cat Gracie sitting on a stool

She plays the princess.  Gracie is 14 lbs of fluffy fur which has saddled her with the nickname Poof.  She spends a lot of time looking through the glass doors and windows at the activity in our yard.  My husband affectionately calls this Poofdom.  Gracie is pretty easy going, yet exudes the air of royalty.  When she wants attention, it’s on her terms and only her terms.  It is when and where she wants it with no questions asked, or there will be hell to pay.  She does not suffer fools gladly and she definitely considers Bingo to be a fool most of the time.  I catch her watching him and by the look on her face you can just tell she is thinking “Come near me fool and I’ll slap you silly”.

This is Bingo

Picture of my cat Bingo acting silly

He is the class clown and prankster, hence, the nickname Badabing.  Bingo is 14 lbs of mischievous energy and is quite the klutz with his gigantic whacker paws (he has an extra toe on each of his front paws so it looks like he has mittens for feet).  Bingo spends a lot of time digging through his toy box and pouncing on anything within reach.  We call him the cow cat because of his black and white coloration.  My husband claims that Bingo sat in a puddle of black paint and then whipped his tail around creating the spots on his fur coat.  Bingo loves to create a situation by picking on Gracie and is very fond of the bunny.

This is Coco

Picture of my bunny sitting on top of a box

He is the wanna be.  He wants to be a cat!  Look at those little ears.  They sure don’t look like rabbit ears, not to mention, we’ve probably confused the living daylights out of him since the majority of his toys are cat toys.  Coco is 1.25 lbs of fearlessness.  He is about the size of 24 ounce jar of pasta sauce and has absolutely no fear.  He is always ready to take on a challenge and will charge after something snorting like a bull.  We found Coco on our deck and when no one claimed him, he became a part of our family.  He is a very curious soul and loves to race around with Bingo.

All three of our babies are quite the characters.  They have the tendency to make me want to do one of two things…laugh so hard it brings tears to my eyes or run to the hills screaming and pulling out my hair as I go.  Thank goodness the laughter generally wins out over the screaming.

Picture of my three pets sitting in a darkened cemetery with halos alternating with devil horns

Now for My Card...

I used my pets as an inspiration and created a simple birthday card for my husband.  Here is the front of the card and coordinating envelope.

Picture of the birthday card and its coordinating envelope

Here is the inside.

Picture of the inside of the birthday card

And here is the back where I place my logo.  Note that the logo coloration matches the overall theme of the card.  I do this for all of my cards.

Picture of back of birthday card showing my logo

This particular birthday card does not have any hand stamping or coloring.  Instead, I used two of my favorite digital programs to build my design. Photoshop Elements was used to generate the various digital elements and Broderbund Printshop to construct the layout.  I then printed it on my printer.

Card Recipe
  •  Final Size: 5.5” x 4.25” 
  • Tools Used: Paper Cutter, Martha Stewart Scoring Board, Computer, Photoshop Elements Software Application, Broderbund Print Shop Software Application, Printer 
  • Materials Used: (1) 11" x 8.5" piece White Cardstock from Wausau, Krylon Matte Sealer

Card Design

Create image for card front using Photoshop Elements. You can find this software application here or the older version 6 like I use here.
  1. I first created the blue aged paper background.
  2. Then I took a picture of each of my pets and isolated each one from their surroundings so that they were on a transparent background.  I used different tools to accomplish this task based upon each individual picture.
  3. To each animal I added a party hat and noisemaker.
  4. I had a picture of a cake and added many candles to it, blurring the base of each candle so that they looked like they were pushed into the cake.
  5. I created a hanging birthday banner using the Cookie Cutter and Text tools from the toolbox menu.
  6. I positioned the partying animals, cake, and banner on the blue aged paper background to create my card image and saved it. 

    Close up picture of the image on the birthday card

    Create front sentiment using Photoshop Elements. 
    1. Created another blue aged background, however, made it smaller to fit my text. 
    2. Added dark blue “CELEBRATE” to the blue aged background with the text tool and saved it.

    Create logo on back of card using Photoshop Elements.  
    1. Opened the line drawing of my logo with all of its layers and colored in the different components. 
    2. For the hand, I used the blue aged paper background created for the animal image on a separate layer and grouped that layer with the hand layer so that the blue background only showed through the hand. 
    3. Saved this image.

    Create card layout and print using Brodenbund Printshop.  I love this software application and use it for oodles of things like cards, postcards, business cards, labels, etc.  You can find this software application here or an older version here.
    1. I customized a template to create two cards from one 11” x 8.5” piece of cardstock and would print the front, inside, and back for each. 
    2. Once the template was set up, I imported the component pieces that I created in Photoshop Elements (front image, front sentiment, and back logo) and positioned them to my liking.
    3.  The last thing I did was create the inside sentiment using Print Shop and printed the cards.  I have my printer interfaced with the program to print both sides of the cardstock with the images in the correct positions.

    Create two cards from the printed cardstock. 
    1. Cut the printed cardstock in half so that I had two pieces 5.5” x 8.5” in size and look identical. 
    2. Score each piece of cardstock in half to form two 5.5” x 4.25” cards. 
    3. Spray all surfaces lightly with sealer to prevent the printer ink from smudging.

    Envelope Recipe 
    • Final Size: 5.75" x 4.5"
    • Tools Used: Paper Cutter, Martha Stewart Scoring Board, EK Success Corner Rounding Punch, Computer, Photoshop Elements
    • Supplies Used: Staples 67 lb White Cover Stock, 1 sheet of typing paper, PVA glue, Krylon Matte Sealer, homemade Envelope Glue

    Envelope Design

    I made my own envelope and envelope glue.
    1. Cut white cover stock to 8.5” x 8.5” square. 
    2. Score for an A2 envelope using Martha Stewart Scoring Board guide for envelopes. 
    3. Round all corners of the square with a corner rounding punch. 
    4. Glue envelope together. 
    5. Print out the front card sentiment on typing paper, cut it out, and glue it to the front lower left corner. 
    6. Spray sentiment lightly with sealer to prevent the printer ink from smudging. 
    7. Apply envelope glue to flap of envelop and allow to dry.

    The card and envelope are now good to go.  My husband got a kick out of both of them.

    Tidbit of wisdom from the Experience: It always takes me longer to create something than I thought it would...oh, and a princess needs love too.

    Thank you for visiting and I hope you come back soon!

    Page Content © 2010 Polished Moxie Concepts and Designs

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