Monday, 10 June 2013

A Mane Event

When one of Simon's friends invites him to a birthday party I do try to go all out.  His friends are so good to him - particularly his classmates.  There's always someone to help him with his coat or his lunchbox or pencil case - even though his hemiplegia doesn't necessarily prevent him doing these things for himself.  Of course being a typical boy, he revels in the attention he gets - particularly from the girls.  The boys too are very good to him - they practically fight over whose side he's on when they play football and it's not because he's a good player (quite the contrary I'm afraid).
Simon is a rare and wonderful child - he seems to spread happiness and good cheer around him.  He rarely gets frustrated or annoyed when he can't do something other children take for granted - he just moves on to something he can do and usually with a smile and a laugh.  Everyone around him seems to adore him as much as I do.  One teacher told me his class was so lucky to have him - I thought I had misunderstood her or she had made a mistake because she was not a native English speaker.  When I responded with "yes his class mates are so good to him, he is indeed lucky to have them" she replied with "no, no, I mean his class is so lucky to have him - he brings so much joy to the class".  I was speechless (a rare thing).  I don't think I have ever heard a more touching compliment said about any child, let alone one of mine.
Anyway enough about my wee laddie, I made this card for one his classmates who turned 8 last week.  Raphael had his party at the zoo, so an animal themed card seemed like an obvious choice.  I applied some some light brown Adirondack alcohol inks to a sheet of A5 glossy cardstock (caramel, latte and sandal) and some gold mixative, and cut out the lion with an old Sizzix Originals die.  I then masked off his face and body and went over the mane with some darker browns (rust and terracotta).  The gold underneath still came through and the result was this copper colour.  I also went around the joints and the edges with darker brown (using a cotton stick) in an effort to create some depth.  A couple of beady eyes and my lion was ready to pounce.
I made a sheet of fake wood with my friend Lena some months before using gesso and crackle glaze on kraft paper.  It had been sitting in my scraps box waiting for such an opportunity as this, so I used it to cut out the body of the wooden sign.  I attached it to a broken paddle pop stick using some off white brads.
The card was a just a 5x7" cream base.  And I added a little Broken China distress ink to give the impression of sky.  While going through my scraps box, I found a piece of alcohol inked glossy cardstock left from a previous project that was just big enough to cut 2 pieces of grass to help ground my lion.
Don't be deceived by his apparently sweet and welcoming demeanour, here's the inside

That's supposed to be the view from the inside of his mouth.  I used the same die to cut these "teeth" as I did to cut the grass on the front image.
Those who understood English had a little chuckle  - Simon certainly liked it.
We had a great day at the zoo - mainly because the weather was good.  We had Simon's birthday there last year and weren't as lucky with the weather - in fact it bucketed down.  But we had so much fun there on Saturday, I am tempted to reconsider it for his birthday party this year - after all I could make birthday invitations in a similar manner.  I'm thinking a crocodile would be good - his teeth are even sharper !!!


  1. Cute card, love the teeth! Looking forward to seeing the croc :)

  2. Lovely card, dear Kath! The wood sign turned out very well and so did the colours of the lion. And yes, I do believe that Simon spreads joy around him - happiness and smiles all over!

  3. I love your card, the texture on the lion is just fantastic. Your son sounds like a very special boy. Hope he had fun at the party x


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