Category Archives: Illustration

Card: My Love is a Tree

I know I haven’t posted for a week now. I have reasons. Partially, it was just being busy. I kid you not, every day for the past week I’ve had some non-work (meaning social!) outing, including a painting group I joined.  The other reason is the project I’ve been working on, which is the reason for today’s post.

This is the first time I’ve done a card, and by far the most complicated work I have undertaken. I was never too interested in cards, but the challenge at Cardvaarks was too much to pass up. I’m obsessed with trees. What can I say? What more, I had an idea, and a recipient. It ended up being much much more work than I anticipated, but the result was worth it.

Tonight, I greet my boyfriend as he returns from Thailand. He has been gone for four months, and sometimes we couldn’t talk for weeks. During his stay, he was even hospitalized with Dengue Fever, and I couldn’t be at his side. He is a constant source of encouragement, of comfort, and of delight. He is my best friend. And for four months, he’s been waaaay over there. The Pacific Ocean is much too big. Even though it is an “I miss you” card, and he will receive it upon his return rather than while actually away I think he will understand.  I can’t even express how excited I am to see him tonight. I am counting the hours.

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ATC: Secret Garden

Ugh! My art fought back! Yet another exercise in failure, haha. I am coming to realize that my art (or at least my muse) is most definitely not docile. It fights tooth and nail, and it has some pretty sharp teeth. But in the end, I beat it into submission. Or at least– into some sort of compromise.

When I saw the Secret Garden challenge on the Thank God It’s Friday website, I knew I had to enter. I’d just finished reading the original book by Francis Hodges Burnett for the first time, and it is easily one of my favorites now. Read it, if you never have.  (It can be found online at the Literature Network). It is soooo good. I spent a few days thinking on what I should do (a bunch of greenery seemed too easy, and not very meaningful.) Late last night, as I was drifting to sleep, the idea began to form and solidify. Instead of the flourishing happy garden of the middle and end of the book, I would depict the garden as it was when Mary first found it– wild and full of old, seemingly dead plants, but deep in the rich earth, full of potential and the magic her imagination would bring about.

Tonight, I went back, checked the specifications to be sure there weren’t any size requirements and– egads! it requires stamps! Ironically, this was one of my few artistic ideas that didn’t use stamps. I tried to make them fit, but it was turning out terrible. Most of the original stamping has been washed out, but the blurry colors in the background used to be stamped (and incedentally, used to be other colors, in some cases. That pink there was originally a color called “tea dye.”) I decided to just go ahead with my original plan, justifying it with the fact that the stamps are there, even if almost entirely washed out. However, in the end, I used the word stamp, and two other stamps in the final outcome, so there! It qualifies! I’m not 100% happy with it, but I’m willing to call truce.

Interestingly, the back might possibly look better than the front. Sadly, as bad as this is in person, it scanned 10 times worse, in part because gold thread doesn’t look gold on a scanner.

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“There’s lots o’ dead wood as ought to be cut out,” he said. “An’ there’s a lot o’ old wood, but it made some new last year. This here’s a new bit,” and he touched a shoot which looked brownish green instead of hard, dry gray. Mary touched it herself in an eager, reverent way.

“That one?” she said. “Is that one quite alive quite?”

Dickon curved his wide smiling mouth.

“It’s as wick as you or me,” he said;

—-The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

Read The Secret Garden online.

See my other ATCs.


Moo- Robin King’s Children

The Eggs challenge on Make a Moo or Two made me remember an ATC I wanted to make a year ago for a Grimm’s fairy tale challenge, but didn’t get to do. Thus, I thought I’d try my first Moo. I looked up the dimensions, cut it out, and went “Wow. This is tiny.” I was dubious that I could actually create interesting artwork that tiny. Collage wouldn’t work at this size for the composition I had in mind, so I decided to give my markers another shot. The one on the left fits the Egg challenge, and the one on the right is close to what I wanted to do for the Grimm’s challenge way back. I’m fairly happy. Only one thing. I looked up the story again, and they are actually supposed to be wrens. Oops. This is his cousin, the Robin King, and his children.

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Read the Grimm’s story that inspired these, titled “The Willow-Wren and the Bear.”