The Little Prince birth theme – part 1

Daqadoodles140726za205242  Long had I been thinking about the theme for the birth announcement card. I like to design a card with a theme, something that to me, suits the child. For our first child, it was easy, I knew quite fast I wanted a bit of a spring theme, not neccesarily lambs, but sheep. He is Aries, and lambs are born in spring so that was very suitable. The birth announcement board was a felted sheep, so that matched too. For our second child, it took a little longer and I took her name as starting point. Also incorporated was something of her brother and of a parc in the area we used to visit often. The animals on her card were cats, and the birth announcement board was also a cat, (our cat). Now, our third child, I couldn’t think of anything. So I browsed the internet for something that matched his name. I found a card I kind of liked, and started tweaking it a bit (ofcourse I couldn’t just use the card as is, I had to put my “stamp” on it.). This is the original: geboortekaartI wanted less blue, and more summer colours, so i put in a yellow background, darkened the blue to more of a royal blue, then switched the colours around. But I wasn’t convinced by it, it was too.. obvious, in a way. (As the name Lodewijk is mostly associated with the European kings named Lodewijk or Louis, and those are associated often with baroque. http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lodewijk_%28voornaam%29 (site is only in Dutch). I don’t remember wether I started on the birth announcement card before or after June 6th, it seems it was after. As I wasn’t satisfied with this card I started anew to find a theme, another drawing style like the one that Freya’s card was based on. So I tried searching for comic styles (but how do you search for a style if you don’t know names from artists, comics, or styles?). Eventually I found paintings from various artists of The little Prince (Le Petit Prince) and I was immediately in love with it – it had a nice drawing style (not the balloonhead or manga style you see so much today), it had something royal in it, but also thoughtful quotes and a deeper meaning. My neece crossed my mind often while designing the card and re-reading the story. Some of the inspirational images are found here: http://cizgilimasallar.blogspot.nl/search/label/The%20Little%20Prince – this is a list of the posts which have artists work of The Little Prince, click on Read More below each post to see more artwork. One I liked very much is this one:

Kim Minji – http://www.ki204.com

Oh and this one:   I liked the yellow flowers, although there is some melancholy in the images. Ofcourse, that is also throughout the book, and the look of the little prince is a look of wonder. I thought about making the entire card myself, printing it and finishing it with stamps, even colouring those stamps. The prints didn’t look very well, so I eventually had them printed. But I did order handmade stamps, from http://memitherainbow.blogspot.nl/search?q=prince. On the 14th of June the kids and me painted a little. Tobias first painted something on his sheet, and then he started painting a vulcano. Next, he said the vulcano erupted and the entire sheet had to be covered with yellow/orange paint. DSC_1756 I loved it, and when it was drying I thought this was a perfect background for the card! See the vulcano on the bottom right? DSC_1760 Freya’s painting (and the circles from where the lid or the paint jar had fallen or stood). As it is childrens paint, it dried up a little pale, so I edited the photo’s digitally.

– I’ve written the above part a few days ago, but it’s kind of busy, not much time to write so I continue in photo’s now and no text. –

The card was made mostly digitally, then I uploaded it to have it printed by a cardprinting company, and then I added some stamping with (bought) handmade stamps from Memi’s rainbow. (I stamped the little prince and 3 stars on it, the star stamp was inked up once when stamping 3 stars.)

 

A bundle of innocence – Our third child is born!

Well he wasn’t born just now or yesterday, but almost exactly 2 weeks ago. (As I’m typing this, it’s 22:31, and he was born 2 weeks ago on the 3rd of july at 22:47).

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He got a bit of a classic name – Lodewijk. It means: warrior/fighter for loot. The two other names he got mean: strength of a lion and protector of mankind. Lodewijk is the dutch version for Louis, or Aloysius, althouht those two names are/were quite common in (the south) of the Netherlands too, as there is / was lots of French influence here.

We are all doing fine, and enjoying him a lot. He’s very sweet. Then again, babies cry most when they are 6 to 8 weeks old.

Only a short post, was a busy day today! More about the birthannouncement card and how I made it later!

Here is a picture of his very proud brother, holding him for the first time the next morning, Lodewijk is about 12 hrs old here.  (Lodewijk, just as his brother and sister, was born at home) :

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His sister was frowning a bit at him, but she soon decided he was interesting and fun. He too has eyes, and ears, and a nose, and hair:

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And last, an “action” family picture, Lodewijk was about 18 hrs old here:

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Copy Cat

I’m still behind in posting all the cards I made.

In january I had received 2 birthannouncement cards. I wanted to make a congratulations card that looked very similar to their card, as usually an announcement card is picked with care, and with attention to details. I wanted to add a personal touch in the way of showing that I made these cards myself, that I took the time, made the effort to make this card for them, to celebrate this special happening.

Daqadoodles13_01_31_00217 Daqadoodles13_01_30_21543

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The small flowers are a die from Joy!Craft, Big flowers are Marianne Design English Rose, the lace die (blue beneath the tag) is from Memory Box – Floral circle. The washi tape is from Vivi Gade design. And the stamp on the paper, of the bird in the fence? Eeeh….

Thank you google, the stamp: is from Prima Marketing PIXIE GLEN Clear Stamp 2.5 x 3inches (product code 550905)Daqadoodles13_01_31_00228The lower blocked stamp is from Rubber Stampede, nr. 3218F Harlequin.The baby stamp is from Stampinback.nl – sleeping baby. Ribbon and paper were probably not of a special brand.

And now, totally unrelated, a card I made in the beginning of december for my nephew who turned 10:

Daqadoodles12_12_19_20242 Daqadoodles12_12_08_00573

Again the Harlequin stamp. Furthermore a Marianne desgin die (the car), probably Kars city scape, and embossing folder retro circles from sizzix.

Not a regular birth announcement card – Part deux

The inside

In the previous post I explained my design process and choices for the front of the card. Now I turn to the inside and the backside of the card. The fold of the card is at the top. The upper half is just plain light-yellow or cream coloured. The lower half  had to contain the following:

  • A little rhyme
  • Her name(s)
  • Date of birth
  • Her specs: weight, length (sorry, IT joke)
  • Our phone numbers and the request to call before visiting
  • Our adress.

That is quite some tekst, so no room for a big or a lot of images.

I tinkered a bit (actually a lot) on the green edge of the front, and tinkered a lot on an image of Charlie.

The original image of Charlis is a picture of about 2 years ago, when he was lying on his cat-thing in the sun. I have used it in my header now too, as I do really like the image.  Here is the original photo.

Charlie our sunworshipper

Yup I bent his tail to fit better on the card. And I made an end to the tail, sort of. Maybe I shouldn’t have posted this photo, as now you can see that I bent the tail, that it doesn’t look entirely natural. If I hadn’t posted the photo, you might have thought it was a normal pose, a cat who is swinging his tail maybe.

I had actually selected this image also for the front, but had decided not to use it for that as the perspective / horizon was difficult. I then decided to make new photo’s of Charlie, with him on the table so to get a good silhouette. Still, this image had to be used. So it was used, on the inside. I like it a lot, it brings peace and relaxation to the card.

The site where I had my cards printed didn’t have any lettertypes I liked, so I also added the text to the image. Downside is that once you have added the text to the image, you can’t select it as text anymore, it will become pixels – part of the image. So lots of layers, lots of testing. I have downloaded lots of fonts (I like fonts) from various sites where you can download free fonts (don’t have the site names at hand at the moment).

After some testing, I choose the font “DS_Mysticora“. Oh and for the name Freya on the front I have used the font “Beauregard“.

The little rhyme I chose (wasn’t able to come up with a fun short rhyme myself) ofcourse rhymes in Dutch but I can’t translate it with rhyme. But here it is:

Tobias couldn’t handle the mischief alone any more, now he has a sister to help him!

The (or rather, “a'”) Dutch word for mischief is “kattekwaad”. The word is made up out of two words: kat  &  kwaad. Kat means cat, and kwaad means angry, or harm.  The combination means mischief, like little kids do, ringing doorbells and running away, stuff like that. Not that cats ring doorbells, but they do plenty of naughty stuff. I liked to use the word as cats are also in the theme of the card, and it involves Tobias as well. As Tobias is on the front of the card, welcoming his little sister, this just seemed perfect. I am not sure anymore in which order I had chosen the design/rhyme: Did I choose the rhyme because of the picture of Tobias I had for the front, or did I put Tobias on the front because of the rhyme? I think it was the first option, as I remember having felt “finally the card is done” after I had finished the front. I had yet to get started on the inside though. Just to give you an idea of how much time the front had cost (in comparison to the inside and backside).

The backside

On the backside I wanted an explanation of the meaning of the name Freya, as I love the meaning. When looking at baby names, I always look up the meaning of the name, as I do take that into account when choosing a name. I loved the meaning of Freya. Ofcourse, I allready knew it had to do with the scandinavian godess Freya. In the previous post I have linked to the wikipedia site about Freya and the meaning of her name, so I am not going to repeat myself here. The Dutch version is a compilation of information from various sites (also the dutch wikipedia site).

The text is an explanation, a dictionary page-like. Therefore I wanted a font that looked old, ancient, from the time when people still believed in those gods, a font that matches the origin (scandinavian like). The font I chose is “Faith Collapsing“. I love how it is faded in places eventhough people might think the card didn’t print well. It’s like an old piece of text found in a dungeon.

Hmm I realize now that it would have looked better if I had written it in the present tense, now it is in the past tense for the most part. Another thing I thought of later is that the small text on the inside might be a bit on the small side, especially for people whose vision is not as good as it used to be.

All in all I am still very pleased with this card, it has lots of stories around it, lots of meaning although the receivers might not realize that. For me, and hopefully later for Freya, it does. It’s not supergirly uber gender stereotyping pink. I get annoyed by — edit: this rant was not fit for this post, I’ll put it in a new post–

So this was the story of the birthannouncement card for Freya. Fall, Scandinavian, the meaning of her name is incorporated into it, still a baby element in it, personal, made with images from the world around us. What do you think of it? Do you have a card that to you has a story but probably to others it’s just a card?

Next post: how to paint a picture on a polystyrol sheet, Part 1, preparing the image.

From picture

To painting on a transparant medium

Not a standard birthannouncement card – Freya – Part 1

It’s a girl!

First of all, let me start by announcing the birth of my 2nd child, Freya. She was born on a Friday (jay! I hoped she would!), on the 12th of October 2012 (pretty date, huh?). Labour went well, my recovery also. Now we’re trying to get a routine going again, and find a way to handle 2 kids at once.

Tobias, now aged 18+ months (he’s from 8th of April 2011), ofcourse has to get used to the new situation. If that isn’t enough, he’s starting to get into the “terrible two’s” phase. He can’t talk yet (though does say a few words and is practicing), so he expresses his feelings physically. He ofcourse feels frustrated about not being able to express himself clearly, and probably also some anger about the changed situation, he isn’t the only one in the house who gets attention from mom and dad now. So he hits, bites, pinches, scratches us and the new baby. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very sweet boy, loves to help with things, gives kisses to anyone who stays behind when he goes out (like when his dad brings him to the daycare, both me and Freya gets a kiss) or when he goes to bed he gives us all kisses. He does touch Freya, wants to pretend play a bit with her – when he has a spoon he tries to give it to her too – but it soon evolves into hitting or scratching. He does know it’s not allowed, but he can’t place himself into someone elses shoes yet, so he doesn’t understand it hurts. I’ve searched a bit on the internet and it’s a phase kids (can) go through. Let’s hope it doesn’t last too long (hmm, some claim it never stops – hitting/fighting with a younger sibling that is!)

Now back to the birthannouncementcard.

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A card with a story

Besides crafting a lovely sweet daughter in my belly, I’ve made the birthannouncement card.
A few things that I drew inspiration from:

  • The comic “Thorgal” (see also http://www.thorgal.com)
  • Her name
  • The season she would be born in (fall) – No super girly cutesy pink kind of theme

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Thorgal

First, the comic. I have several comics of the serie Thorgal, and I love the drawings and the kind of Scandinavian mythology. I love the website. That is where I got the idea of having these kind of layers: a nature background, then a cutout layer on top of it with shapes of leaves in it (the fall theme), and then a silhouette of something to do with the baby.

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The name Freya

From the wiki page:

In Norse mythology, Freyja (Old Norse the “Lady“) is a goddess associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, owns the boar Hildisvíni, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Along with her brother Freyr (Old Norse the “Lord“), her father Njörðr, and her mother (Njörðr’s sister, unnamed in sources), she is a member of the Vanir. Stemming from Old Norse Freyja, modern forms of the name include Freya, Frejya, Freyia, Frøya, Frøjya, and Freia.

And if you search for images, you find many images of her on her chariot, being pulled by two cats.

So that would be the silhouette: Freya being pulled by two cats. But this is a sweet baby Freya, not a godess going to war or something, so it’s two cats pulling a baby carriage.

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Season

The season is fall. Fall with it’s beautifull shapes, the leaves, with the playfull wind blowing them all around, and with the fresh rain that washes the sweat from the summer away. The leaves were allready incorporated through the Thorgal theme. Fall with it’s beautifull warm colours, the greens, browns, yellow, reds and gold. Only, the first few choices I made as colours made the image quite dark. As it is custom printed, it was not possible to add gold accents to the card. Or maybe it is but then it would cost lots more money I suppose. My other objection to gold colours was that it might look like an announcement of death, isn’t that often with a gold line around the card? So after some searching for colours I finally found some I was quite ok with. Yellow and green.
Coïncidentally, the colours of The Hague are yellow and green as well (though a brighter shade).

Color testing

You can also see some rough sketches of the carriage and the cats, and different backgrounds. More on the cats later.

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Further design and assembly

With these things in mind I set out to make the card. I did use a screenshot of the Thorgal page as template, enlarged it, traced around it, cut away, filled in etc. I searched for a background image. Wouldn’t it be fun if it was made from a real photograph? So I went out an made pictures of trees and parks in the area. I didn’t want them to look like photo’s, I wanted them to look like drawings, in the Thorgal style. So lots of trial and error before I was happy with the result.

Original image on the left, edited image (with an insert of Tobias) on the right.

This is the source of the insert of Tobias. His face isn’t in focus but you don’t notice on the card as it’s quite small there. The legs you see are from my partner, ofcourse I didn’t let Tobias climb up there without someone standing near!

A tiny bit of the wall around the property Huis Ten Bosch of the Dutch Queen is visible in the background.

So that was the background and the colours. On to the carriage and cats!

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Carriage and cats

No interesting story about the carriage, first I hand-drew a carriage and cats, then scanned it and used it for layout purposes (see the colourtesting for my terrible drawings). After that I used the scan as a template to make the drawing better. Oh, and all of this I did in Paint.Net (a free photoshop like editing program). For the cats I searched high and low on teh internetz. It’s hard to find an image of a running cat!

So I finally found images of running cats. I edited them a bit. Decided a silhouette wouldn’t work, neither with the carriage, it would be just a black (or white) blob. So it would be some sort of false silhouettes, with some lines in them to make the carriage and cats clearer. After lots of hard work, I was done. But then I wasn’t. It just didn’t feel right – Tobias on the left, smiling, while the baby carriage is pulled away by cats? No no no, she’s arriving, not leaving! (I didn’t want to tempt fate by adding a golden (mourning) lining or inserting cats that run away with my baby… call me crazy, but hey, she wasn’t born yet, and although I had no reason to worry, babies do die sometimes during labour, and mom’s sometimes too, so I always say: First, the baby and me have to survive labour, and then we’ll see from there.)

So away with running cats. I didn’t want to use internet images as I had gotten them from sites that actually require you to pay for the image. So what now?

Hmm

Well, we have a cat. An old one, he’s Charlie and he’s 23. He has a tumor by the way, he will probably die within a few months. We’ll miss him a lot, but he has had a long and good life. He is not in pain right now, or at least, we don’t think he’s in much pain. Cats are tough animals, it’s hard to tell when they’re in pain. But he still eats well, goes to the litterbox and enjoys the heater and attention from us (not from Tobias) a lot! At night, when Freya is finally sleeping, he comes up (I always say, and here is baby number 3 wanting attention!) and wants me to pet him. He miauws loudly. He has a bad breath. And he likes to meouw right next to my face or turns around to look at something, meanwhile almost putting his behind on my face. As he’s old and his hips are stiff and he can’t maintain himself easily, I am very scared of his behind. On several occasions it wasn’t clean. So there goes my sleepiness. If it isn’t his behind, it’s his tail under my nose. He has very effective ways of me betraying to him that I am not sleeping. (The breath is also a very good one!)

Charlie with his laser eyes

Not entirely in focus, but hey, it’s for a silhouette. And here he finally looked up.

So, Charlie is my model. It does show he’s old, with his fur not being that smooth and the curve in his back being high, but I kind of like that. The old cat brings the young baby. Charlie used to have an older brother, Fred, but he was put to sleep about 4 years ago. He had diabetes and kidney problems, and we found out too late, he was in pain allready. Charlie and his shadow, pulling the carriage. Not pulling, but resting after having pulled the carriage.

That’s the front of the card. It took me lots of hours, trial and error, but I’m pleased with it. Not everyone will like it, and without explanation the card has lots less meaning (like the picture in het Haagse Bos where we regularly walk, Tobias laughing at the new arrival, the fact that the cats aren ot running but resting, the Thorgal theme and lots more that fits with her name). It’s a unique card, and I hope she will like it when she is older.

Next post: the inside of the card and the backside!

Geboortekaartje / Birthannouncement card

GeboortekaartTijdens mijn zwangerschapsverlof werd het toch wel eens tijd om een geboortekaartje uit te zoeken. Aangezien mijn kindje verwacht werd in de lente wilde ik iets met de lente. Schaapjes. Ik heb gezocht op geboortekaarten met schapen maar niks (wat ik leuk vond) gevonden, en als er iets was, waren dat kaartjes die uit het assortiment waren. Tijd om zelf iets te ontwerpen dus. / During my pregnancy leave it became time to search for a birth announcement card. Because I expected my baby to be born in springtime I wanted something that associated with it. Sheep. I searched for cards with sheep or lambs on them but I didn’t find anything (I liked), and if I found something it was out of the collection. Time to design the card myself!

Met behulp van wat bronplaatjes van het internet kon ik beginnen. Ik had ergens een foto van gras gevonden en dat bewerkt in paint.net, een aantal plaatjes van schapen bekeken en 1 als basis genomen en die aan allerlei kanten veranderd, ook de bijtjes hadden als basis een bestaand plaatje. De bijtjes heb ik uiteindelijk opnieuw getekend en gecontrueerd, maar het bestaande plaatje diende als hulpmiddel voor de verhoudingen. Hetzelfde bij de schaapjes. Paint.net is trouwens een gratis foto en afbeeldingsbewerkingsprogramma wat een alternatief is voor photoshop. Je hebt er wel nog wat addons/plugins/extra’s bij nodig wil je het als volledig photoshop vervanger gebruiken denk ik. Ik ben geen expert met beide. Paint.net voldoet voor mij prima, ik ben er blij mee 🙂 / With the help from some sourceimages on the internet I got started. I found a picture of grass and edited it in Paint.net, looked at several (tons) of sheep imates and took one as basis model and changed it. Even the little bees had an existing image as source. I did redraw the bees completely again, the existing image then only served as a means to get good sizes. The same for the sheep. Paint.net is a free photo and image editingssoftware, a good alternative for photoshop. I think you do need some addons/plugins/extras for it if you want to use it as a full replacement. By the way, I’m no expert with any editingsoftware.

De boom is wel een bronplaatje van Postxl.nl, dat is de site waar ik het kaartje heb samengesteld.
Eerst de buitenkant gemaakt:

/ The tree is an image from Postxl.nl, that is the site on which I composed and ordered the card.
First, I made the outside:

Geboortekaart

Daarna de binnenkant. De meeste eerdere ideëen mbt afbeeldingen en kleuren heb ik weggegooid, pas toen ik aan de tekst begon heb ik die ook bewaard.
/Then the inside. Most previous ideas in regards to images and colors I didn’t save, only when I started with the text did I save those drafts.

Hier wat tekst ideeëen: / Some text samples

en nog wat schuiven met de tekst en een andere kleur: / moving the text and changing colors.

Wat schuiven met de tekst / moving the text

Uiteindelijk toch maar wat geschrapt.

/Eventually I did delete some text.

Zijn de schaapjes niet schattig?

Aren’t the sheep adorable?