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Cat Themed Note Cards

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I needed a quick gift to give a fellow cat lover and there was no time to order jewelry supplies & design something in such a short period of time. One thing I had immediate access to, was cat rubber stamps. So I made a set of note cards.

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These cards feature stamps from My Favorite Things & Hero Arts sets. They are colored with a water brush & distress inks – mostly the new Oxide inks which I love! They color much differently than the original distress inks – which looks like watercolor paint. The oxide is more vibrant – cartoonish I guess – which I love.

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For this next group of cat themed note cards I used a combination of distress inks and copic markers. I wanted a really simple note card but found the end result rather plain. So I added some Nuvo Crystal Jewel Drops and I loved the dimension they added. I adore the jewel drops the most as they have a nice translucency. The final card in this series (above) was to resemble a cat the recipient owns, but it was hard to get his unique black and white coloring.

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The next two cards were achieved by masking the stamped area in order to sponge on a background with Distress Oxide ink. I stamped the cats on first and colored them. Then I cut out the stamped image from a piece of full stick post-it notes. After covering the cats with the post-it note cut out (above), I applied the oxide ink with my Ranger ink blending tool, then spritzed & dripped water onto the ink. Here are the results:
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White embossing powder sets the sentiment on black paper die cut with a scalloped edge. Sequins made the best finishing touch.

Finally, as a thank you card for the recipient I made this card:

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I love the cat peeking out the window and the curtains, what I don’t love is that I made it in a rush since the other cards took most of my time and all I see is the things I could do better. But, it was cute nonetheless, and practice makes perfect.

I’m thinking of offering some inexpensive cards sets on my website since I love the majority of how these ones turned out. If it comes to fruition, I’ll include a link here when they are available to purchase. Either way, I hope this post inspires your paper crafting or card making.

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New Designs for May – Memorial Pet Jewelry

In memory of Hemingway gone too son at 10.5 months
In memory of Hemingway gone too son at 10.5 months

It’s been too painful until now but I finally designed a Memorial piece for our dear Hemingway cat who passed away suddenly from feline g.i. eosinophilic sclerosing fibroplasia back in February. I’m finally at a place where I want honor him and move forward, although not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and remember how he feels. I know it’s “just a cat” to so many people – but to me, he was so much more. We will have more cats join our family in the future but he will never be forgotten.

I tried several options before realizing that the simplest design is the best. I tried adding in a birthstone, & pearls, different chain – but just the sterling silver angel cat charm and a small 10.5mm charm that I engraved with his initial spoke to me the most.

I think that is one thing people don’t grasp when it comes to creating jewelry. Even though I am not manufacturing components, it takes time to come up with the right combination. I know it looks simple: but it took much careful consideration and trial and error to get the ideas from my head to paper and eventually to the final product. I have mad respect for jewelers who design every component from start to finish! I don’t have that kind of attention span – so I am happy to source out the right supplies (this takes time too!) to come up with the final product that is satisfying to me.

Dog Angel memorial pet jewelry choose a sterling silver necklace or clasp
Dog Angel Pet memorial jewelry choose a sterling silver necklace or clasp

Since I was making a Cat Angel Necklace I decided to expand on the memorial pet jewelry and make a dog version as well. I hope to have more options in the future as I find the perfect sterling silver charms. The dog angel charms read ” good boy” and price out cheaper than the cat angel charms, I assume due to the size and amount of sterling used. I also had the idea to offer the piece as a necklace or clip on charm set. These 13mm sterling silver lobster clasps are a large size making them appropriate to clip to a purse, bag, keychain, zipper pull or an existing bracelet. I like how this clip on option turned out so much, I will probably offer this option with some of my other personalized necklaces.

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Loss…Grief…Love

I haven’t been in the best of places lately.

Last week, we lost one of our fur babies: suddenly & unexpectedly.

I am wracked with grief. He was only 11 months old. Cause is still unknown.

I can’t even post a picture of him because it hurts too much. Even worse I can’t get the look on his face while he was dying off my mind. Anyone who knows me well, knows my cats are like an extension of my personality. I feel like I failed him – I missed something – I didn’t do enough…

On top of it all I am beating myself up because it is “just a cat”. There is far worse loss I could experience, berating myself to get over it only makes it worse. I am an emotionally fragile person. I am not ashamed to admit that. I live large, I love hard.

I am jumpy. A loud noise, a kid’s cough, a sudden or unexpected movement…I am on edge just waiting for something bad to happen. To top it off one of my senior cats has been in poor health and I sense we will not have him much longer. So I’m on edge about that too.

If I analyze this I think the whole experience takes me back to my mother’s sudden and unexpected death 8.5 years ago. I am reliving some of that grief…and shock…and fear of loss…

Today is the first day I felt like doing….anything. That is, besides my mom duties, that I have been auto-piloting through. I wish I had my children’s acceptance, resilience. They were sad but soon got over it. Today I held on to the small urge to create, and made some new stitch markers inspired by the snow storm we just had. I hate being in the studio because out of all of my cats that was his territory. As I worked away he was always sitting on my desk, on the couch or on my drum carder. There is such an emptiness now that he is gone.

I’m now so very far behind on everything and not even sure where to start. My Etsy shop is back up – I feel ready to make orders again.

Despite how I feel, I was able to create some cards for my girls for Valentine’s day. I also helped my girls finish their cards.

Valentine Shaker Cards for my girls "Love You More"
Valentine Shaker Cards for my girls “Love You More” decorated with distress ink and my new fave product, Nuvo drops

Last month my girls did some watercoloring that I then cut into hearts for their Valentines. We even finished them with a shimmer spray for that extra something something…

watercoloring by my girls - a simple and affordable craft - $3 watercolor pallette on clearance from Staples and 40% off watercolor paper from Michaels
watercoloring by my girls – a simple and affordable craft – $3 watercolor pallette on clearance from Staples and 40% off watercolor paper from Michaels – one of their fave art projects to do
Valentines my girls created for their grandmother
Valentines my girls created for their grandmother

For the above cards, we adhered their watercolor hearts to embossed and distress inked card stock. I asked the girls what sentiment they wanted on the front, printed it on the laser printer and then gold foiled them via a laminator. As a finishing touch the girls added sequins and confetti to their taste.

I also made this little card for my father-in-law. I like to make miniature cards. Something about packing a lot of punch in a small space...
I also made this little watercolor card for my father-in-law. I like to make miniature cards. Something about packing a lot of punch in a small space…

I don’t feel up to explaining in detail the techniques in these cards – if you’d like to know more send me a message, or comment below. I love paper crafting. Glad to be able to share this craft with my girls…

Have you liked my Facebook page? I decided to stop paying to boost my posts there. It’s becoming costly esp. with the difference in the Canadian and US dollar. So if you have liked my page, be sure to like a few of the posts to ensure I show up in your newsfeed.

Anyway, I am pushing myself to be more present today. It is night now, which is by far the worst. I lay in bed and dwell on things. Hoping for some sleep tonight. There has been very little, this past week…

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ETA Mar 2: we heard from the vet today re: necropsy. He had feline g.i. eosinophilic sclerosing fibroplasia – if you google this, you will find very little info as it is both rare and a newer disease, even vet researchers are unsure of the cause. There was nothing anyone could have done. Today, I feel like I can be at peace, and remember him fondly.

My boy. RIP I will miss you <3
My boy. RIP I will miss you <3
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The Jewelry Thief…

I happen to live with 4 jewelry “thieves”. One comes in the form of a pint-sized little girl with chubby little fingers; the other are the 4-legged furry variety. I don’t get what the temptation is for babies & cats to touch exactly what it is you are working on at the moment. It doesn’t matter what I give them as a distraction; as soon as the jewelry gets laid out for that perfect shot, a cat lays across it, bats it across the floor, walks into the shot or my 16-month old picks it up just as I am pushing down on the shutter. It is so nice to have so many admirers of my work under one roof. 😉

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Mind you…sometimes cute little feet in the photo works!

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