Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Information on my creations

For availability and pricing info, please contact me via email:  Sometimes a card may not be in inventory but I can make it, so please be a bit patient in that case.  If you order several cards I do recommend the small USPS flat rate boxes since they are sturdy and protect the contents.  I am not a commercial enterprise, I merely create these cards because I love creating beautiful things and in order to help offset my outrageous wildlife rehabilitation expenses.  Stores require a fairly hefty percentage which destroys my already ridiculously meager profit margin.

You can fairly safely assume that I have at most maybe five of a design, usually less, but I can always make more.  The stained glass technique takes about 3 days since I have to stamp and then hand paint the images which is very time consuming in that the ink needs to dry in between colors.  Then the final image has to dry at least overnight before I can start assembling the card.

Check back often as I add new designs all the time once I've come up with something new and made it and love it.  I don't upload or sell anything unless it's up to my standards.  I hail from Germany and that means it's either good or you won't see it.  My name goes on it and that means something.

Have fun browsing and feel free to ask questions.  I will try and check my email daily, but if I get bombed with wildlife babies that may be impossible, so please understand.  I will respond as soon as possible.

Spring cards with handmade flowers

 A gorgeous card, so far the only one I've made.  The flowers are assembled from several pieces, and the leaves also need shaping before they can be used.  Making forsythia branches is very time consuming but the effect is stunning.
A fresh and delicate any occasion card.
Again, I want to emphasize that all cards have a white insert stapled in with a non-mushy sentiment either stamped or glued centered on the right side, and all cards come complete with a handmade envelope.
 Lilac blossoms.  A very dimensional card, the blossoms have different hues just like their real counterparts do.  The only thing missing is the scent, and while I could scent the card I won't do that since someone might be allergic.
 Very delicate and fresh and light spring card, the yellow is a bit muted but still bright and sunny.  How gorgeous is this card?
 Another any occasion, year round card.  The red center is again a multi layered flower, the sentiment is gold embossed.
 This is NOT my original design, but I loved it so much that I had to adapt it with slight alterations.  This is a gorgeous butterfly double layered to emphasize the delicate details of the wings, and underneath the butterfly the background is in gold.
 Same butterfly card, different color theme.  Who would not love to receive such an elegant card?
 Cherry blossoms and butterfly, a happy card.
Two cards depicting different flowers and backgrounds.  The baskets are hand woven from paper strips, the flowers are three dimensional and completely hand made.
 Irises using the stained glass technique.  Much more beautiful in person than on this picture.  The colors are on the inside of the card so nothing will come off.  Completely hand painted, a very striking card.

Gorgeous, hand painted pansies using the stained glass technique.  Painted on the inside so nothing will  rub off.  A striking card that needed nothing else except the matting to make the image pop.
I loved using the stained glass technique although it can be quite tricky to do and takes forever to dry.  The image of this yellow flower head pops, the card is gorgeous.
This large tri-fold card went to a special friend as a gift.  The dogwood flowers consist of 15 pieces per flower, to give you an idea how involved making flowers can be.  I can make special order cards with certain animals as long as I have cared for them or have good pictures of them, and the greeting on the sign can also be customized.  This is a beautiful, highly dimensional card that gets a "Wow!" every time someone sees it.

Spring 2012 Wildlife rehabilitation-themed handmade cards

This is Lucky, last year's first raccoon.  She had been washed down a storm drain after heavy thunderstorms and kind people fished her out of the water before she drowned.   She was quite vocal and hungry but adapted well and grew into a large, very playful animal who loved to drop onto my back from 8 feet above.
The card's backgound is hand embossed and hand colored, the layer underneath is border punched to add interest, and the dandelions are completely hand made.
All my cards have a white insert stapled in with a non-mushy sentiment either stamped or glued centered on the right side.  All my cards also come with a handmade envelope.
 Red squirrel baby orphan eagerly drinking formula.  At this age squirrels also consume solid foods and fresh produce, but formula is still the main staple of their diet.

I chose dandelions as one of the spring blossoms because, while they are hated in overly groomed urban lawns, they are absolutely gorgeous to look at when they set an entire meadow ablaze with gold.  They are also an important food source for a variety of wildlife.
 This gray squirrel baby survived a horrible fall from the eves of a three story high building head first onto a paved parking area.  He had suffered a concussion and was bleeding heavily from nose and mouth.  Immediate intervention not only saved his life, but he recovered fully and was eventually successfully released.  This picture depicts a milestone in his recovery in that he was able to chew on a branch for the first time without any pain.
The same little gray squirrel boy with a different design:  these are weeping cherry blossoms.
 Raccoon younster with apple blossom branch.  Just as apples have different flavors, so do apple blossoms have different hues.  
 Another raccoon baby with apple blossom branch, this time mostly white blossoms with pinkish centers.
Dandelion card with raccoon baby.  Please note that I can always make a card with a different animal as long as I've rehabilitated one and have decent pictures of the animal to use.

3-14-2012 The start of something new... - about my logo picture and me

Hello!  My name is Sigi and I rehabilitate wildlife, mainly small mammals.  My "logo" picture is Tubby, a squirrel youngster who came to me in 2004 as a small baby orphan, the first of the season, and because he ate so well and did nothing but sleep in between, for a while he was this somewhat chubby baby--until he got company and moved around more.  That's when he lost all that baby fat.  But his name "Tubby" stuck.  Tubby was released when he was about 15 weeks old and went about his business like all wild squirrels do.  But a few weeks later he dragged himself back to the release cage and climbed inside through the still open release door.  I found him with his hind leg dangling.  He didn't fight me catching him, and I brought him to Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton, MA, for X-rays and treatment.  The bone had fractured into several pieces which luckily hadn't shifted, so the vet put on this colorful cast and told me to keep Tubby confined for the next four weeks.  I expected a very unhappy and tough to deal with squirrel, but Tubby adjusted easily and seemed quite content with his situation.  After four weeks the cast was changed since the break hadn't completely healed just yet, but Tubby started chewing on it so eventually I removed it and hoped for the best. Two weeks later I transferred him back into the outdoor release cage so he could strengthen the muscles  and learn to jump and use the leg again.  Then I reluctantly released him again, and once again Tubby went about his squirrel business like everybody else.
Then one afternoon, as I was taking a short break between feeding wildlife babies and sat on the bench by our small pond, Tubby suddenly showed up and jumped into my lap.  He'd never done this and I was initially hesitant but then started to gently stroke his back and head as he cuddled in.  We quietly sat for about 10 minutes when suddenly I received his message loud and clear:  Tubby was saying Farewell.  Male squirrels migrate out to prevent inbreeding, and Tubby was no exception.  My heart started aching at the thought that I would never see him again, and a part of me wanted to hold on to him and not let go.  But I had to let go, and so I just continued to pet him until he finally climbed off my lap and slowly wandered off.  That was the last time I ever saw him.  I hope he survived and was able to sire the next generation, for this was a very intelligent and brave little guy who had overcome quite a few hurdles in his young life already.

In the coming days you will see pictures of handmade cards that I create pretty much from scratch.  Many have pictures of wildlife that have been in my care over the years, and I've chosen pictures of those animals whose stories were a standout from the many others that have passed through my home.  Don't get me wrong:  each animal that arrives is special in its own way and gets treated as such and receives the utmost care, but there are some that stand out and have stories that are worth telling.  I've written up a short synopsis of those stories and pasted them on the inside cover of each card.  The cards have inserts stapled in with non-mushy sentiments.

How did these cards come about?

It all started with a Cricut which my husband gave me for Christmas two years ago.  I had no idea what this machine was or what it could do or if I'd be the least interested in any of that, so it sat in the box for a few weeks until I could no longer put off checking it out.  Initially I made all the mistakes a newbie does:  make everything with the Cricut and create this colorful, crowded, somewhat primitive looking ugly something that I wasn't sure what it was supposed to be.  But then I had this sudden idea that maybe I could use dog breeds as a center picture, so I scoured eBay for rubber stamps I could use for that purpose.  Golly are there a lot to choose from!  eBay became an obsession for a while and hubby wasn't happy, but I started to make cards.  The Cricut sat on the sidelines during that initial craze.  -  Come to find out that cats might be a better choice than dogs, so back to eBay and look for cat rubber stamps.  Got a selection of those and made more cards, and by now I needed some way of displaying the cards.  A friend agreed to try and help me sell them in order to raise some funds so I would be able to offset the staggeringly high cost of wildlife rehabilitation.  I decided on a green three ring binder and mulled over the front cover which needed to be flashy enough to draw attention.  -  And that's how my logo came about, because what better picture was there than Tubby in his cast?
A customer saw Tubby's picture and wondered if I could maybe make a get-well card with that image.  Why didn't I think of that?  So I started to work on backgrounds and figured out a design for such cards.  The cards were gone in no time, I was elated and scoured the craft store for more supplies on sale, and by now I might break even in 5 years or so if I can keep up coming up with new designs and make them and continue to sell my cards.  Proceeds go to support my wildlife rehabilitation expenses which exceeded $3,000 out of pocket last year alone.
I will never have large quantities of the cards I create simply because it takes so long to make just one card.  This past winter I worked daily on creating flowers from scratch as embellishments for the cards.  I know that I can go to the craft store and buy ready made flowers, but I don't like their looks, nor do they fit in with my overall designs.  I like clean lines, I enjoy being out in nature, and I want that to reflect in my creations.  Of course not all cards I create are wildlife rehabilitation themed, I make a variety of different cards.

As my spring 2012 wildlife rehabilitation season gets under way, I will have a lot less time, if any, to make new cards.  Last year I took in 89 animals, and who knows how many will arrive this year.  I work alone, without volunteers, and often 24 hours are not enough time for all the work that I need to get done.  This is not paid work, the states view rehabilitators as specially trained volunteers which they govern but don't pay for our services.  Rehabilitators tend to have full hearts and empty wallets, that's just the way it is.  We do this work because we truly love wildlife, and our goal is always to successfully release a healthy animal back into the wild.  It can be heartbreaking work, but there is no better feeling than seeing an animal go without looking back.  It means we've done our job right.

I hope you'll check back frequently, and I hope you realize that what you will see here is unique and special and makes for wonderful gifts.  I've gotten nothing but positive feedback on my creations.