Sunday, October 1, 2017

Grandma's Cardinal

My grandmother loved flowers and birds, and she cultivated relationships with both. Her green thumb was the stuff of legend, and she used flowers and bird feeders to attract birds to her large dining room window, where she would sit, binoculars in hand and a bird guide nearby for those rare times she saw something she couldn't immediately identify.

Her favorite bird by far was the state bird of North Carolina, the cardinal. When I started stamping, it was perfectly natural for me to make a cardinal card every Christmas just for Grandma. After she died, I still made cardinal cards but sent them to my aunt or mom. They love them.

The cardinal stamp in Hero Arts' Vintage Christmas Postage set is simply delightful, and now that I have the die set, it's opening up LOTS of ideas for cardinal-themed Christmas this one.

The branch was stamped on the card base, but the cardinal was stamped and colored on a scrap, die cut, and mounted on the branch. To mount it, I put dimensionals on the top and glue on its feet, thinking that would add dimension yet ground the bird on the branch.

It wasn't my intention to use a banner on the card, but when I stuck the bird down, its little feet were NOT on the branch but floating in space. Glue is forgiving in placement, but dimensionals are not. The poor placement bothered me so much, I had to cover the feet up. Hence, the banner, which provides a handy ground for the bird.

There are no mistakes. Only opportunities for embellishment!

The card makes me miss Grandma and smile at the same time.

Do you ever use particular themes on Christmas cards for particular people? Please share in the comments!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Vintage Christmas Post, StampinUp sentiment
ink: Memento black, Hero Arts green fields and red royal
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: dies (Hero Arts and StampinUp), dimensionals


  1. LOVE this! The mascot for my kiddo's high school is the cardinal so I'm always drawn to images of them!

  2. Love it! (And you stamped the envelope!) We have a cardinal bird here in Mauritius (Red Fody, Red Cardinal Fody or Common Fody) which is only red in summer and goes back to brown in winter. That works well for us in the Southern Hemisphere, as Christmas is in summer.
    Yes, I do make cards with specific images for the special people in my life.

  3. Lovely idea and good reason to keep those narrow strips of paper.

  4. I usually mass produce holiday cards. So glad you have stepped into die cutting. It opened new dimensions for me. Vintage Christmas is a lovely set. How is Cooper?

  5. Love the cardinal card. It's our state bird here in Virginia as well. I'm also delighted that you are enjoying die cutting. I make one Santa and one snow person Christmas card for two friends who respectively collect those images in figurines, dish towels, ornaments, etc. Such fun trying to surprise them. Ingrid

  6. That Cardinal die cut is gorgeous. I like your design.

  7. The cardinal is our own Ohio bird, too! I make bear cards for my brother. My MIL is an amazing quilter and my sister loves to sew, so I always make a sewing themed cards for them. I try to match cards to personalities!

  8. Your Grandma is smiling wherever she is! Love your design - it's stunning!

  9. Our oldest daughter receives snowmen and youngest daughter's is either football or wine related. Son's in law get nature based cards. Love your cardinal card!
    Lu C

  10. Susan, when I started scraping, I would get all upset when I made a "mistake" and start all over again. It took me a long time to learn, as my friend told me, there are no mistakes in scraping. Just the option to embellish, as you said.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!