Monday, 30 April 2012

Festive Flags and Flowers for Graduation Congratulations

Last week’s ‘bunting’ design turned into a ‘Festive Flags’ Graduation Congratulations card – something a bit different and maybe a bit more celebratory than the usual mortar boards and scrolls!

And I think the effect of the blue background I created for it on the Zazzle site is quite interesting – the blue shows through some of the lighter colours, making them look like very old, well-worn bunting!

I usually paint or make collages on Saturday afternoons, having sketched some ideas in the evenings during the week. But this week, I hadn’t had time to prepare anything as I was so busy getting all my Mother’s Day cards uploaded to the four print-on-demand sites I use, Greeting Card Universe, Zazzle, CardGnome and the Netherlands-based site you may not have come across, SendaSmile.

So, when an urgent customer request came from Greeting Card Universe, very late on Friday evening, just as I was backing up my day’s work before closing down my laptop,  I was able to carry out the customisation the following afternoon, resulting in one very satisfied customer!

This customer has asked me to change the names on my flowery graduation cards in previous years so I wasn’t too surprised that she wanted a different name again this time around.

Unlike the 'bunting' collage, which was made of painted layout paper, this one is made of tissue paper that I have painted with gouache. It’s a lot more fragile and seems to become very easy to fray and tear once it has been painted so care is needed with the cutting. I cut out the petals and leaves with small scissors but the name has to be cut with a very sharp craft knife. So I craftily chose a font that has lots of lumps and bumps at the edges so that any inaccuracies in the cutting aren’t too obvious!

I was surprised to spot two young blackbirds pecking for worms on my lawn this week and it made me realise how little I know about birds and their habits! Things like: where do young birds sleep when they grow too big for their nests? And: how soon after the young ones have flown the nest, will a Mother Blackbird start to build a new one?

So I consulted the expert, Jean Pell (here's her blog and some excellent photos!) and from her replies, I now firmly believe that the first nesting attempt didn’t fail at all and that the young birds I keep surprising in my garden recently are the ones who started their lives in the nest on top of my little greenhouse!

Difficult to see against the gravel path but a lot 'rounder' than the adults

They are quite big now but easily startled when I inadvertently go near a bush where they are hiding. And they keep flying into my windows! It’s happened at least three times this week. They don’t seem to be any the worse for it and maybe it’s because I cleaned the windows so thoroughly recently that they can’t see that they're there? 

A good excuse to do more painting and less window-cleaning!!!!!!

PS CardGnome are beginning an exciting 12-day Mother's Day promotion on Wednesday (May 2nd) with prizes including a grand prize vacation. So keep an eye on the CardGnome facebook page for details and you might be a lucky winner!


jane maday said...

Hi Judy, Thanks for visiting my blog! I am excited to join Etsy and hope that I don't get lost amongst all the other pretty art on there. I am thinking of trying Zazzle one of these days too, but I am not sure how it will affect my licensing program.

Judy Adamson said...

Hi Jane - you have some wonderful, inspiring art on your blog and I thoroughly enjoy visiting!

Good luck with Etsy and if you do decide to join Zazzle, most people find that it takes a while - and a lot of work - to get going. Someone told me that you need at least 1500 items in your 'store' to get regular sales and it certainly seemed like that for me. But hope I haven't put you off!