Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cheery Lynn Build-a-flower #2 and Embellishments #2

Hi everybody!

I truly apologize for being so late with posting this latest release done for Dutchpapercrafts.  Darlene always surprises us with the publishing of our releases, and this time I got caught with too many other things going on.  My wildlife youngsters HAVE to come first, and taking care of this many (28 right now) is an awful lot of work.  But more of that in my next post!

Darlene had teased me with this Cheery Lynn die set, the Build-a-flower #2 and Embellishments #2 die plates.  These are large plates with lots of individual pedal and leaf shapes to choose from.  The Build-a-flower #2 plate is a solid plate, but the Embellishments #2 can be cut apart, which I did.  Otherwise it would be hard to position smaller pieces of paper under the individual flower shapes.  Just don't lose any of the small pieces once the die is cut apart.  I store mine on a magnetic sheet which is actually a floor duct cover I found at Home Depot.  A LOT cheaper than the craft magnetic sheets, stronger, and the sheets come in packs of three measuring 8 x 15".  I cut each sheet in half and use Scor-tape to adhere the white (non-magnetic) side to a piece of card board measuring 8 1/2 x 11".  Then I stick the dies on the black surface and write the die's name and number with either a white or a gold Sharpie pen.  Then the finished sheet goes into a clear page protector in a ring binder.  This is an effective and very inexpensive way to store your valuable dies! 

But back to the release! 

Darlene started off with the Heart Wall Hanging I had made as a Valentine's greeting for my fellow Dutchpapercrafts DT "sisters".  I bought a wooden heart shaped plaque at Michaels and liberally spread Modge Podge over the front,
then added Martha Stewart glitter.  Oh, and as for cleaning up glitter messes I also found an inexpensive way to do so:  Tacky Cloth, also from Home Depot.  Martha Stewart sells basically the same thing in tiny sizes for a ridiculous price, but you can buy a large baggie full of the stuff for a few dollars or less at Home Depot.  Works GREAT!  None of our pets ran around glittering red this time! 

When the heart had dried I finished the glitter job with a spray sealer so it won't glitter all over the place.  Then I placed my rose center piece and baby's breath from the Embellishments #2 die, added all the hearts with names which I cut out with foam as well to give them dimension in alphabetical order, and lastly I added the flower bouquet on the top and the heart ribbon to hang the plaque. 

I'm not the biggest glitter fan because the stuff usually ends up everywhere in the house, but in this case I had a lot of fun AND got the glitter cleaned up before it had time to grow legs and run and hide everywhere!

Next I got to work with the Build-a-flower #2 die.  Once I started to run the die through with different color card stock and took a closer look at the shapes I realized that I could either make extremely dimensional or extremely flat and probably boring cards with these flowers or build a shadow box instead.  The size of the flowers almost cried out for that treatment, so I went to work.
  I enjoy "building" flowers, but working with the stacking tag the Cheery Lynn pedals come with was both easier and at times more of a hindrance than the usual way I build a flower, which is one pedal at a time.  Glue that sets almost instantly is an absolute must for building flowers, also, the glue must dry clear and be used in minute quantities only.  Aleene's fast grab was NOT right for this job, I needed something even quicker.  The best glue out there for this is Crafter's Pick The Ultimate Super Glue, a white glue that dries clear.  I have no idea why the craft stores in my area do not carry this glue, I have to order mine online.  It's worth it, though, even with shipping, so take my word for it. 

As for the flower shapes and colors, that is totally up to individual preference.  I chose to go with more realistic flowers and colors, but only your imagination limits what you do with this die. 

Darlene mentioned in her video that I will build shadow boxes if you would like to order one, from smaller to larger, and I will hopefully soon find time to upload pictures of the few shadow boxes I have here for sale right now, each a one-of-a-kind box, which I created over the winter. 

Proceeds from my crafts help offset the extremely high cost of wildlife rehabilitation.  Right now, as all my little ones are eating fresh produce in addition to formula, my grocery bill is 80% wildlife.  I go through two apples, one banana, half a bunch of Kale, 25 black grapes, 5 organic carrots, 1 sweet potato, and two ears of fresh corn for my charges per day, and I know that I am forgetting something.  That is in addition to picking gobs of dandelion greens, Plantain greens, fresh clover, and grass.  I go through 20 ounces of formula right now that the squirrels are in the weaning stage, whereas the two wood chucks drink down 55cc each per feeding.  This is special formula for wildlife, and often we have to mix several formulas together to meet a particular animal's needs.  My cost for just formula runs around $500, and that is not counting the feeding tubes, nipples, feeding syringes, Probiotics, amino acids, vitamins, and boosts that are also needed, especially for cottontails.  A feeding tube costs $2 plus shipping and gets chewed up either on the first feeding or, if I am lucky, lasts two days before it gets stiff and becomes unusable.  The average is one tube per day, and that gets expensive.  As for nipples, I've gone through as many as five per day when a squirrel bites through the nipple every time I feed.  The cheap silicone nipples still cost around 50 cents per nipple, so that little stinker alone cost me $2.50 for just nipples per day.  Then I have to buy laboratory quality rodent block for the squirrels and high quality rabbit food, timothy hay, and alfalfa hay, for the cottontails.  The opossum eats dry food plus gets thawed whole mice and whole sardines in addition to the fresh fruit and vegetables each night.  A small bag of whole sardines at Market Basket is $6. 

I hope you enjoyed this latest release.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will try my best to help you out.  I check my emails at least once a day.

Have a great rest of the week, and happy crafting!


  1. How did you get started in wildlife rehab? What type of animals did you start with, are the easiest to take care of? Did you have to go to a training class or get certified by the state dept of natural resources? How long have you been doing this?

    1. I was lucky to get hands-on training by an experienced wildlife rehabilitator who held both state and federal permits and over the years pretty much had everything from fawns to the tiniest hatchlings. I also studied hard since intimate knowledge of the needs, habitat, food and housing requirements, and of course behavior of the animals that can arrive at my door is an absolute requirement. I don't know if there is an "easy" animal to start with, since squirrel babies can develop a formula allergy and come down with runaway diarrhea which is life threatening if not treated immediately. But they have a real drive to live which makes them easier to raise than cottontails, for example.
      You need to pass your particular state's test in order to obtain a license. This is not a paid job, and there are no in-betweens. Animals need care 7 days a week, there are no exceptions. You need to become a member of certain organizations to stay abreast of the constantly changing formulas as food companies quietly alter the ingredients or percentages of them which can raise havoc with wildlife.
      But mostly you need to understand that you are not raising pets but that your job is to raise animals that will successfully live their lives as wild animals upon their release. If they don't look back you did good. This work requires that you always, ALWAYS put the animal's welfare above your own feelings even if it breaks your heart. The laws are simple: if the animal cannot successfully be released it must be humanely euthanized. Following these laws, however, is anything BUT simple. So if you think that you can't follow these laws you should not get into this work. You also need to be able, upon being taught by a pro, to insert a needle under an animal's skin to give it rehydration fluids if necessary. Kmowing how to do this often decides between life and death. And you need to be able to confront sometimes quite horrific wounds and ease the animal's pain without passing out yourself. All this without any pay, mind you! Some people claim that we don't make a difference in the scheme of things. That may be true, but believe me, it has made all the difference in the world for every single animal I have saved.

  2. Oh, and I worked at my mentor's facility for about 5 years and all total have been doing this for about 13 years now. Read the first stories on my blog...

  3. Sigi you are a hero to wildlife! God Bless you for all of your caring and hard work. Your release for Darlene is totally beautiful. Your flowers are art in itself! I can see that lots of love and time went into each project. All so fabulous!
    Hugs, Cathy

  4. Thank you, Cathy-Lynn! That means a lot, and creating beautiful things is my anti-dote to sometimes extreme stress.

  5. Finally, figured out how to go directly to your older posts. Love the story about Tubby. I have given fluids to a couple of our cats when they were sick; that actually went pretty easily. I can't imagine how it would work with a baby bird or other tiny animal.