In the cottage where Mr. Cobs and I used to live we had a HUGEmongous back garden. A tiny postage stamp sized front garden, but the back garden was fabulous.
We lived in that cottage for around 30 years, and I always said that I’d never leave it. However, what’s that saying about the best laid ‘schemes of mice and men’ often going awry? My plan for never leaving the cottage totally changed when our youngest daughter got married and moved to the end of the planet. (Well no, not quite, it was only to the end of the country – but it felt like another planet altogether). She missed us, and the dogs, and the cats …. and … oh, everything! This missing us was making her dreadfully miserable, even though we travelled to see her and she to see us. Eventually we made the big decision that we’d sell up and move to live near her and our new son-in-law.
We’d said many, many years ago (when we were young and full of pie in the sky ideas) that maybe, possibly, perhaps, one day we might like to live by the sea, but we’d long forgotten that, and besides which, we’d grown older and less inclined to ‘up-sticks’. But anyway, … our cottage was sold, and we bought a new place near our daughter and son-in-law and moved lock, stock and … all our animals.
The long distance move was quite an ‘experience’ – but I’ll save that amusing, hair-raising tale for another day.
We’ve made friends with our new neighbours – all of them are just the most lovely folks, and we’re really settling in here in our new home and it’s feeling more like ‘us’.
I happened to admire some bluebells in one of my neighbours gardens, telling her how I missed the bluebells in my old garden. So she did no more than … gave me some of hers! I was beside myself with thanks to her. Mr. Cobs planted them in the rear garden and … the dog thought they were a new place to pee and killed the darn things.
My neighbour gave us some more some weeks ago. This time we planted bundles of them in the garden to the front of our new cottage, and just a few in the rear garden (and are keeping a close eye on the dog!).
The bluebells looked a little limp and very sad. All the leaves were just lying around on the ground like wilted things and I honestly thought we were going to lose them all. But suddenly … a spike appeared. Then another. And another and …. they looked like they were going to flower! AND … joy of joys … … THEY DID! They all began to flower.
I decided that I’d make a ‘Thank You’ card for my neighbour, and would take some photographs of the little bluebells for her, to include in the card.
So this, dear reader, is the story of how this card came to be, and how I went about making it.
Hand painted by Cobs.
I wanted the card to be very personal. Something where the ‘elements’ were a little more personal so that my neighbour would see that this really was a thank you from my heart. I began by painting a little bundle of bluebells – in a very light-hearted, kind of country style / folksy art way. (Country / folk art style painting is so much more friendly and less ‘formal’, don’t you think?).
Then I tried something I’ve never done before …. making felt flowers.
I made some bluebells from felt, wire and florist tape, then set this on one side for later.
I’d chosen to make a 6″x6″ white card as a base, and mat and layer onto the front of the card with something fresh and pretty as a background.
I stitched around the card I’d chosen for matting and layering on the card stock, in zig zag stitching.
Fashionistas always say you shouldn’t mix spots and stripes. I say … ‘do whatever feels good’. So I matched spotty card with gingham! (see above photo – the gingham is down in the left corner).
I stitched around the watercolour card in straight stitch, on the sewing machine.
I cut a slightly larger than the card size piece of green Organza ….
Green Organza, into which I hand sewed a running stitch and then pulled on the ends of he thread to gather the Organza up a little to make it look a bit scrunched and folded, behind the card.
Showing you the white base card, with the gingham mounted on top.
Before I layered the spotty card onto the gingham, I distressed the edges and then using a duster brush, to give the card a more vintage feel, using some warm brown ink from a StazOn ink pad.
See the ‘gathered’/folded organza?
I added a rough cut piece of muslin behind the painted bluebells, and added some deep blue paper ribbon, which I wrapped around the watercolour card twice and added the bow.
I then added some cotton lace to the bottom of the card.
Then it was time for me to build the idea I’d had when I first thought of making this very special thank you card.
I knew I wanted it to have a vintage feel, to almost feel like it came from the 40’s or 50’s. I chose all my flowers, and knew that I had some wooden plant markers in my craft room somewhere … finding them was going to be the tricky part. Would you believe it! I found them in the very first place I looked! (That NEVER happens normally!)
My very most favourite part of card making … adding the ‘decorations’.
I added the little nest with the three bird eggs, by using my hot glue gun. It’s a very light weight decoration, so doesn’t make the card heavy. The flowers are all from my stash and bought from various places.
The little dragonfly is a metal, Tibetan Silver embellishment. The white fuzzy ‘flowers’ you see are a type of Gypsophila, which I’ve only recently discvered and absolutely love them. They make things so pretty, and give so much more depth to a floral ‘arrangement’ on a card.
The wooden plant sticks are blank – but you can change that really simply by either writing on them yourself (if you have a steady hand) or … choose a font on your computer, print the word(s) out that you wish to have on your plant stick and simply glue the word onto it!
Close up of the tiny boots.
The two Wellington boots are metal, Tibetan Silver, and actually do stand up all by themselves! I hung them on some silver chain – leftover from my days of jewellery making, and added the Rayon Seam Binding bow, in a deep blue colour.
I’d made the card so that it was a pocket card (with an easel stand to the back so that it stood up all by itself), and made two tags for inside the pocket. One was to be a bookmark, and the other was for photographs and the dedication (the ‘to’, ‘from’ etc).
Showing one side of the Tags
You can click on any/all of these photographs and they’ll open up to a much bigger photo which you can see a little more easily if you wish.
One side of the bookmark
The bookmark is double-sided. On this side (shown above) I’ve used two stamps from the ‘Floral Sentiments’ Vintage Collection which I stamped in black, and also another stamp called ‘Parchment Script’ made by Image Tree, which I embossed using Gold embossing powder. I also stamped two tiny butterflies from a collection by Cavallini, which I embossed using Copper Kettle embossing powder.
The other side of the tags
On the reverse side of the larger tag I stamp some card with a Postcard stamp (by Urban), which is where I wrote the ‘to ….. from ….’ – and on the reverse side of the bookmark; I computer made the little picture of the bunch of bluebells teamed with part of a poem written by Anne Bronte′.
If you click on this photograph it will open up into a much bigger view, and you’ll be able to read the poem.
Click on the photo ↑ to make it bigger – but don’t forget to click ‘back’ to come back again!
The photographs mounted onto the larger tag
I took a handful of photographs of the bluebells blooming in my garden, chose the best three, then resized them on my computer to make them smaller, and kind of cuter, and added them to the one side of the larger tag. Oh … I forgot to say . . . I stamped that word ‘Photographs’ – using a Tim Holtz stamp.
Close up of the photographs.
click on the photo to make it bigger – but remember to click ‘back’ to continue reading
Obviously, a card with a bird’s nest on the front isn’t going to fit into an envelope! I had to make a deep box …..
I didn’t want to make the box in the same colours, but I did want the box and card to ‘speak’ to each other and have things in common . . . so I used dotty card – only this time in deep purple, and stamped all around the outside of the box with bird themed stamps. Bird Nests. Bird Houses, Dove Cotes. Birds on nests in branches …. etc. And just for a bit of fun, I added the little resin birds nest to the lid of the box. I added the little topper of a Garden Shed and made the bunting from scraps of different colours of dotty card, hand stamped with the letters from the alphabet to spell out ‘THANK YOU’.
Do you remember those felt bluebells I made, right at the start? Well … there they are. On that box lid.
A close up of the felt bluebells.
The colours of the bluebells aren’t actually quite as shocking as in the photographs of them. The flash obviously surprised them and make them a little more flamboyant than they really are. lol.
When I took the card over to my neighbour, she was absolutely thrilled with it, but as surprised as surprised could be that I’d made the card myself. She exclaimed …. “You made this??” … then a few moments later … “And you actually made this??” …. then …. “I can’t believe you made this. It’s wonderful!” … … which I didn’t take offence at, I just giggled my head off. (Although I do wonder what I look like I make in my craft room People probably think I make a mess more than I make anything else! LOL … Hmm, actually, looking at my craft room – they’d be right! eek!)
Well that’s it. That’s the story of this card, and how it came to be. OH! I nearly forgot to tell you … my neighbour said: “You couldn’t have brought this on a better day… it’s my Birthday tomorrow!”. Awww, I was filled with fun bubbles when she said this. She would have an extra card on the shelf!
Thank you SO much for coming to visit. I love seeing and chatting with you all via comments. It makes blog land such a wonderful place to be in. I’ve made some really fabulous friends and blogging buddies, and I never guessed that I would when I first began this blog, just over a year ago. So thank you for making this dotty old card makers days even more brilliant!
Sending love, and wishing you all …. a truly blessed rest of your day!