The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mr Cardmaker is Pretty Squirrelly.....

Well, I have to apologize for being MIA for a while.  That mojo-free moment sort of blossomed, and I had to hibernate for a week or so.  I am BACK, though, so let's see what I have been up to.

I had an email from a former hair client about a week ago, asking if I could make him a card for his girlfriend for Valentine's Day.  I thought, oh sure, how easy.  Lovely hearts and a doily, and some lovely sentiment.  Easy, right?

Well, after I agreed to the project, he wrote back to give me his specifications for what he was hoping for.  The message went like this--

Ok, the basic pieces are related to the woman I am currently dating. My nickname for her is "chipmunk," and she works in a biology lab and loves glass beakers. Seriously, she is going to school to learn how to make glassware by hand. So something around a scientist chipmunk who loves beakers. She calls me "ogre" (there is cardmaker confidentiality, right?) so I was thinking something with a chipmunk in a labcoat working with beakers on the front and then inside getting squeezed by an ogre. 

(So, ok, apparently there is NOT cardmaker confidentiality.  So, sue me.  Who, of the people he knows, is going to read this, anyway? )

Uh, like, WHA'? I don't have STAMPS for that!!!   Who makes scientist chipmunk stamps, anyway?
Well, after my initial panic, I remembered that a couple of years ago I made a Frankenstein card by hand cutting and layering shapes.  I decided that I could adjust that design, and come up with the ogre part.  I did a mock-up and sent it to my friend/client.  I told him that I was a bit uncomfortable making a chipmunk, which I hadn't ever attempted, because I worried about it not being cute, and I didn't want to offend this young lady. 

He replied--

That looks amazing!!! I would only ask you give the chipmunk a try, my girlfriend is far from vain and she is going to just love this - she is a pinterest DIY junkie. It's your call but this is really great!

Ok, so HOW could I not give him a chipmunk?  Well, I put on the old (very old) thinking cap, and this is what I came up with. 

I made this--

So , Ms. Chipmunk started with a circle of brown card stock, with two more smaller circles for her cheeks.  The rest just sort of fell into place, especially when I borrowed an idea for the lab coat from Betsy Veldman.
See the "beaker" thing she is holding?  I had an idea to use a little glass vial that perfume samples come in, but the labels they paint on those things does NOT come off.  My answer?  That's a little piece of a glue stick! 

So, I know you're wondering what happened to the ogre, right?

Well, you have to open the card to see him---

So,  As you can see he's a lovesick ogre.  Jed (my client) has really blue eyes and very dark hair, so I HAD to do the same for this guy.   Jed is much more handsome, however!  I really had so much fun creating this guy.  His head, with his jaw and lips etc, is from a Spellbinders die that I cut pieces out of, and the hair and eyebrows are from the leftover side form an A*Muse Studio grass die.  I folded paper to make the ears (around some nasty ear hairs, mind you), and I used punches to make the rest of the shapes.  I do love the nose, I have to say.  The whole thing really came alive when I inked all my papers' edges; the eyelids are my FAVE !

I went so big on this guy, I had to put the space to write a message on the upper flap of the card!   I think there is some BIG impact in store!

Well, I have to say, this one took me more time to do than anything I've done previously.  When you have a client that you're working for, you really try to make everything as perfect as possible, and that definitely means a few more steps to make sure that glue doesn't leak, there's no fingerprints, etc... None of the regular stuff you manage around when you are doing for yourself.

This card is THICK, too.  I HAD to pop up that nose on the ogre, (how could you NOT?) and the ears had some depth to them too, so since all that had already happened, I decided to just go for it, and deal with the envelope later.  The chipmunks background pieces are popped up on foam tape in areas, and the hearts around her are, too.

Here's a look of her and the envelope I made--

I managed to get away with no bling and no ribbon, which is unusual for what I would normally do for a Valentine, but there is SO MUCH stuff already, I don't think it will be missed. 

Well, panting and sweating, I crossed the finishline on this project, and got it into the mail.  As long as the airports open in Boston before the 13th, I think we're in good shape!
I hope they both like this card.  I am pretty happy with it, I must say. 

You know, this may get me to do some more 3D type cards, especially now that I can handle making envelopes!  Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-


  1. AWESOME!Super card,Very pretty Ilove it,I know she will love it too,Have a good one...

  2. O....M....G!!!! are seriously a wonder!!! That has to be the best custom valentine card EVER!!!! Seriously...I just gawked forever at all the details!!! And I promise to never break the cardmaker confidentiality! LOL I hope you also have a fabulous Valentine's Day!! You deserve it!! <3

  3. Richard, I don't think you could have nailed this request any more than you did. My creative mind shut off after "chipmunks and beakers". Way to go! It's sure to be a hit!

  4. OH MY LORD...BEST, BEST, BEST EVER card!!!! From front to inside to envelope..flippin' A++++++

  5. OHmyGOSHthisISsoSTINKIN'cute! You have outdone even yourself on this one, Mr. Cardmaker! I am so impressed - can't stop scrolling back up to look! Jed is going to be so stoked when he gets this, and his little 'chipmunk' is going to think he is so special for being so thoughtful! You rock, my friend, in measures of OODLES! Thanks for sharing your masterpiece - love it!

  6. WOW! This is so stinking adorable and dead on for this cute couple! TOTALLY FUN! Love how you met that challenge!!!!

  7. Holy Moly, that is amazing!
    Great job!
    It's sooooo perfect according to the never to be mentioned (confidentiality clause) instructions!!!

  8. That is awesome!! Thank you for sharing!! And thank you for the box of goodies - did you see what I posted about it on my blog?? The inspiration from you just never stops!!

  9. Absolutely delightful! One of my favorite challenges is when a friend, or a friend's friend, asks for a special card and I ask for color and a few favorite things. They are such fun to make. And did you know that SU paper you used exactly matches a stamp/die set that PTI put out???

  10. This is some fine and creative work my friend. I marveled at your ingenuity. I laughed at how funny the situation was too. Your writing skills are as wonderful as your techniques! I do hope you will update us on what he thought of the finished project! Best, Curt

  11. This is simply amazing, Richard! I love the details of the lab coat and the matching envelope, too! I'm sure they'll both love it--it's a one of a kind masterpiece!

  12. WOW, that was a lot of work. Great job on pulling it all together. Impressive.

  13. That is the funniest post!!! Great job considering the specifications.

  14. That chipmunk is so damn cute! I can't get over it! Holy buckets, this is one special valentine!!

  15. This is fabulous. I love that you formed your characters from paper punches and die cuts. (I often have the most fun with the left-over parts of die cuts.) And really, how could you not think an envelope was easy-peasy after constructing your card.

    Your blog is so much fun because you are as creative with your word-craft as you are with your cards. Thanks for sharing. You will be making a steady stream of on-demand cards that that we all know you can rise to a difficult challenge.

  16. hahaha :-) this is just brilliant ! :-) I am sure she LOVED this :-)

    Lols x x x


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