Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pet Sympathy Card/Mini Book

     Happy Wednesday Everyone!  Today I'm featuring a pet sympathy card/mini book.
     My brother and sister-in-law recently lost their darling little Miniature Pinscher, Buddy.   He was the cutest, sweetest little fella ever and he is sorely missed by us all.   
             Pure Innocence Puppy Girl  Clearly Sentimental about Pets
     After I heard of Buddy's passing, I happened to be searching the net and came across this cute little stamp set, Puppy Girl, from the Pure Innocence line by My Favorite Things.  I thought it was the perfect image for this card. MFT also has another sentiment set, Clearly Sentimental About Pets, dedicated to our furry friends, so I bought them both and set out to make this special card in memory of little Buddy.
     As you can see from the stamp set above, this little girl did not originally have a pleated skirt, but something just seemed to be missing, so I drew one in with my Letraset markers.  I also colored two others below, each one with a different skirt:
     For the first one, I stamped her and colored her in.  I then stamped the image again on patterned paper, fussy cut her skirt, and glued it over my colored image.  As in the little girl featured on today's card, the second little girl has pleats, too, but her pleats are a bit wider.  You'll see these little girls and their pups featured in future cards--they are not quite finished.  
     As I'm sure you can see, I am by no means a professional--I am just learning to use my Letraset alcohol markers, so please forgive my mistakes.  I have watched lots of online tutorials on how to blend and color with alcohol markers and I am having so much fun!  I always loved to color as a child and I find it very relaxing to color as an adult.  Once I was satisfied with my coloring, I went back in with my fine tip Sharpie markers to further define, add depth, as well as to add fine detail.
     This card has lots of dimensional detail. The lavender Swiss dot background pattern is from The Classics by The Paper Studio.  All additional patterns featured are from K&Company, Abrianna. There are several layers matted and sewn together with my sewing machine.  Each layer picks up another color from the main background pattern.  Once sewn, they are adhered to the card base with my ATG gun.  
     After coloring my little girl, I used the Large Nestabilities Labels Die Set, S4 168, along with my Big Kick, to cut her out.  She is layered over yellow and lavender, set atop white cardstock punched with the Starburst punch set from Martha Stewart and accented with tiny flower brads in each corner.  The entire image is sewn, popped up on foam tape and set aside for later.
     One thing I'd like to mention about coloring stamped images:  In the past I have stamped on regular cardstock with Stazon Ink and have experienced problems with my outlined image bleeding.  After doing a little detective work, I found that other stampers use cardstock made specifically for alcohol markers.  I ordered some of this cardstock and it made all the difference.  However, I apologize--I must have thrown away the packaging and I do not remember the brand or product name...my bad.  :o}  I will find out more information and include it in a future post.
     The center strip is cut from four layers of cardstock and then set atop a punched border by Martha Stewart. After sewing through the layers, I then added the satin, pleated ribbon from Stampin Up.  A thin lavender ribbon is centered over top and adhered from behind.  The finished strip is adhered to the card base with my ATG gun, over which the colored Puppy Girl image is layered and, finally, the bow and silk flower embellishments are placed with glue dots.
     For the inside of the card, I had a certain poem in mind that I hoped might help to set my brother and sister-in-law's minds at ease, as well as let them know they are loved.  The poem is entitled "The Rainbow Bridge" (author unknown) and is inspired by Norse legend.  
     The poem is a bit long and wouldn't fit inside my card, so I decided to split it up into three, 2-paragraph sections and spread it out over three card pages...thus the "mini book".  It was quite simple to add another page inside my card by adhering white copy paper cut to the size of two pages.  I placed the paper over the inside flap of the card and, at the center fold I butt the second page up against the corner and continued adhering the paper across. I then did the same thing on the other side of the page and along the back flap of the card.  Once folded together, it creates the hinge for the middle page.  I'm sorry I didn't take photos of this process.  If you'd like to see my method for this, please let me know and I will do a photo tutorial in a future post.

Here are closeups of each page.  As you can see, the poem is printed on patterned paper using my word processing program, cut to size, and matted and sewn just like the front of the card. 

After sewing the mats, I then adhered them to the card base with my ATG gun.

I've included closeups of each of the pages so you can see the details and, hopefully, read the poem.  It's a pretty little poem that I heard when I first began volunteering for a local dog rescue.  I have always loved it and thought it might be comforting for my brother and his family during this time.
     This is the last page of the card.  I matted the background as I did on all of the other pages, and took cues from the card front for the strip down the middle.
     The sentiment is from Clearly Sentimental About Pets by MFT and is matted and adhered over foam tape.  So sweet...
     I hope you have enjoyed my pet sympathy card/mini book.  If it brings a little peace to my family after losing their beloved little Buddy, it will have all been worthwhile.
     Have a wonderful day and I will see you again soon!



  1. I think this is just beautiful Merilee!! Our dog, also named Buddy is so important to us and this is such a nice gift for someone who's lost their pet. I'm going to take a look at the MFT stamps. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. Thank you, Carolyn! Our little furry families really are just that--family members. I've got my own furry family and I couldn't imagine life without them. I would definitely recommend the MFT stamps--I love them!

  3. OMGoodness Merilee, I had come here to say thank you so much for your amazingly encouraging words. Everything you said struck such a chord with me. I am so touched and honored that you took the time to visit my blog and share some of your story as well. It means the world to me. I have taken your advice to heart and surely appreciate your advice so much. I will be doing another updated post soon. Words right now, can't really even express the gratitude I feel towards you and my other wonderful bloggy friends. Secondly, I just had to comment on your beautiful mini-book. I was SO AMAZED by your coloring skills! I can't believe you would think there are any mistakes, they look so perfect to me! I just wrote a post about coloring and how therapeutic it is, then I came directly here and see that great minds really do think alike, as you have discussed the same topic!!! :) I am so impressed by your shading and coloring! I noticed right away all the details you added to really make those pleats perfect and was so wishing I had that talent and know-how too! My goodness, the legs are done exceptionally well too! I'm just enthralled! I also wanted to say that I have a min-pin named Bella and she is such a joy. Losing a pet is just one of life's hardest things I believe. I've been through a lot in my life, as you know and as we all have, but pet loss is excruciating and this is such a lovely thing you have done to comfort your brother and SIL. I am sure they will be so grateful. The Rainbow Bridge is beautiful, but always makes me cry. You are such a thoughtful person and I am so grateful to know you. Thank you for your comments on my blog and thank you for being such a kind and compassionate person to everyone it seems. Lots of love to you ~ Amy Jo

  4. Thank you so much for the kind words. I truly appreciate it. :o)