Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

This, like the link in my Christmas Day post, is the New Year's Eve Google Doodle, followed by the New Year's Day Google Doodle! :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Nene Adams, Author

I feel very privileged to introduce to visitors of this blog, an author of mystery--and one whom I admire a great deal: Nene Adams. Here are some of her wonderful creations.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Speaking of Winter...

There is a "Let it Snow" greeting card design contest at the GCUCommunity Website, and I'd be grateful for any votes I get (hint, hint if you're reading this, click here and scroll down). :) Here's my card (a snow family having an ironic and playful snowball fight - lol), and it's number 10 in the list of entries. Thanks!!! :)

Time to Update My Blog. :)

I saw the first three pictures in this slideshow of the Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting, and I thought I'd share them in case anyone else missed them. Very pretty, and since I'm a greeting card artist, I noticed that some of the photos would make lovely greeting cards. :) Capital Christmas Tree Lighting.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Small Business Saturday!!!

Flower on Brown Shirt shirt
My daughter, Megan, and I have been working hard to get our stores filled with some neat items that we think you'll like. Here are links to our stores so you can browse and hopefully find something that would be perfect for you--or we can design special orders if you contact us at ilovecuttables @ gmail . com

I Love Cuttables at Greeting Card Universe (this was our very first store that got the ball rolling)
Cardtoons at Greeting Card Universe (this one is where Mike and I come up with funny cards)
Megan and Friends at Greeting Card Universe (this one was specifically created with all profits going to Megan's grad school tuition fees - it doesn't have many cards in it yet because Megan has been working on our Zazzle store)

Our I Love Cuttables Zazzle Store (where Megan has been hard at work creating fantastic products)

and Our CafePress Store (where I've added a few items like jewelry, jewelry boxes, mousepads, and laptop skins)

Today is the perfect day to show Megan your support for her becoming a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University by buying a single item (or more, if you’d like) from any one of our online stores. Megan has been working very hard to design items to sell, so today is the day to let her know her efforts are paying off.

Pictured above is a Flower on Brown Shirt by ilovecuttables
See other Flower T-Shirts

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another Item Up for Sale

The iPhone 4 Slider Case I designed on I created this Case today at Cafe Press. :) It would be the perfect Christmas gift for a young lady you know that has an iPhone 4.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Small Business Saturday is November 26th!

Plaid Shoes kedsshoeThe second annual "Small Business Saturday" is coming up on November 26th! It is the day after Black Friday when shoppers are encouraged to support their favorite small businesses with their patronage. I opened my first online greeting card store (ilovecuttables) in April of this year, so this will actually be my first "Small Biz Sat." A couple of weeks ago my brilliant and beautiful daughter, Megan, agreed to become my partner and she is handling all of the Zazzle products ( Over the next few days, she and I will be posting some of our personal favorite items that we have created (we'll post them here and on our blogs); and we hope you will consider making a purchase (or two) from any of our stores on Nov 26th. Also, we would be happy to work directly with you if you would like cards or gifts personalized with artwork specifically created for you (perfect for Christmas gifts!). We'd love to hear from you. :) Thanks! (Pictured above are some adorable plaid shoes Megan designed on Zazzle. Plaid Shoes by ilovecuttables. Build your own shoes)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Amazing Week!

So many fantastic things have been happening to me over the past week, and it's a bit overwhelming (but in a good way - lol).

First, I got a new new small business counselor (Mike) and last Thursday we had our first meeting. We got more done in that one meeting than 3 months of back & forth with my first counselor. Mike thinks I'm definitely on the road to being approved for my request for assistance for my business, but even more importantly, he has given me some excellent ideas on various ways to move forward productively. :)

Then my son came home for a visit on Friday and told me he just got signed up for a glass-blowing class for his next quarter at college! Glass-blowing is something that has always intrigued me and had I not been disabled, I would have loved to learn glass-blowing, myself. So guess who's going to be the one of the main recipients of his classwork? Me. :) I LOVE blown glass art!!

So I was really psyched about that, then Sri Devi, a truly beautiful person in every way, spotlighted me on the Well-Wishers Group Website, and what a wonderful honor it is! I feel a strong spiritual connection to Sri and am very grateful to her for letting me talk about myself, and for shining the light on me. :) Thank you so much, Sri!

Then my daughter told us she got accepted to Carnegie Mellon University (among the top 25 in the nation & dubbed one of the "New Ivies")! How awesome is that, to have a child accepted to such a prestigious university? Quite awesome! And by the way, I home-schooled her for 10 years when she was young, so that makes me feel like I did a pretty good job. :)

And finally, my "Congrats on Donating Your Hair" card received the GCU Design of the Day honor on Sunday (11/6/11)!! Thanks, GCU!

What a whirlwind of wonderfulness!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Knock Knock Knockin' on Heaven's Door


Even though Steve Jobs' death was a huge blow to the world, at least we know from Mona Simpson's beautiful Eulogy to her brother that Steve was insanely impressed with Heaven when the Pearly Gates opened up to him.

I created this illustration as a tribute to him on October 5th when I heard he died...and I think it is fitting to include it here. You just know Steve is up there making Heaven a little more perfect for the rest of us, for when it's our time to join him.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Li'l Buttercup

We got a kitten on Thursday so I have to share pictures of her, because she is the cutest kitten in the whole world. :) My nephew, Brady, came up with the name Buttercup, but I added the Li'l (and we'll actually probably call her Lilly for short). And I especially want to thank my brother, Tim, for helping me find her. :)

The first picture was when we were bringing her home in the box. I couldn't resist taking her picture immediately. The rest are various images of her (mostly sleeping, and sleeping on books seems to be her favorite place). Make sure you read about the last picture at the bottom. :)

The last one is my favorite because she's a funny pun. :) She's napping on a napkin. Get it? She's a napkin-napper (kind of like a kidnapper, except she snatched a napkin). LOL!!!

Late Update: Li'l Buttercup is a boy, so we've renamed him, Louie. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vector Tutorials

Here are two cool vector tutorials by Vector Tuts Plus that I hope to try out in the near future. :)

The first one shows us how to create a stethoscope.

and the second one teaches us how to create a glossy, colorful text effect.

And here is Tech Drive-In's list of some great Inkscape tutorials that I hope to dive into soon. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Free High Quality Vectors!

Yes, you read HIGH QUALITY vectors!  Creative Nerds' list of fifteen of the best sites for finding them.

Cancer Blogging...

I recently participated in a Cancer Blog Event since this is Cancer Awareness month. Here are all the participants with links to their very moving stories.

Pets and Wildlife Cancer
“One area of cancer research we do not often hear about, cancer in pets and wildlife, which is also on the rise…”
Blessing Art Cards, Sharon Fernleaf

Breast Cancer Awareness and Pink Ribbon Cards & Gifts
“Believe in the power of the pink ribbon...”
Creative Paradise, Tanitu

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
“I cannot remember a time when when there wasn’t a dear friend or family member battling cancer...”
Cards from the Heart, Lisa Charlton

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
“My mother had breast cancer as well as lung cancer...”
Eliz Designs, Elizabeth Eells

Ways to be Supportive, Helpful and Encouraging for Cancer Patients
“This post is in honor of our friends, colleagues and family members who are currently battling this dreadful disease…”
Heart to Art, Sri Devi

Breast Cancer Awareness
“There are several things you should look for when doing a self exam…”
Sheryl Kasper Card Store, Sheryl Kasper

Barbara’s Story
“Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Barbara has battled breast cancer since 1997, what better time to tell Barbara's story?”
Rycky Creations, Robin Chaffin

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
“Most advanced breast cancer cases are found in women over age 50...”
Janet Lee Designs, Janet Palaggi

Cancer Bummer
“I was diagnosed with cancer about 12 years ago.”
I Love Cuttables, Cindy Johns

October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month
“Cancer is cruel, cancer makes no exceptions…”
At Sparky’s, Antoinette Van Kleef

Canine & Feline Cancer
“I’ve seen much too much cancer in the lives of my beloved pets over the years…”
Salon of Art, Doreen Erhardt

A Sobering Subject
“I think, today, how cancer has impacted my life...”
Warm Traditions, Candace J. Hardy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Cards Have Gone International!

I made my first international sale today! To a wonderful person from Waipa, New Zealand. :) This is the card they chose.

Thank you for the purchase, customer from New Zealand! :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cancer. Bummer.

I was diagnosed with cancer about 12 years ago. I guess since I'm still here I'm a survivor. Celebrate with me by giving Paper Greeting Cards for Cancer Patients.

I don't really want to write about cancer today, even though it is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But what I will do is give you a link to my story about how the chemo did a real number on my brain and memory. The article is from a special time that I DO remember, and that was when I was asked by Corrie Kuipers to share one of my greeting cards in GCUCommunity's Design Spotlight.

I'm also going to include three poignant XKCD comic strips, because they express what I feel better than I can. These comics really hit home for me; but the last one because it's just so funny...and when you can laugh about cancer, you're going to get through it ok.
* * * * *
* * * * *
Okay, if you've stayed with me this long... I'll share one more thing with you just for shitz and giggles. This is a picture of me when I was bald from the Chemo back in May of 1999. Made me cry a lot back then, but I can finally laugh about it now. :) Besides, I have a head full of gorgeous, natural curly hair now. :)
Update: When I started writing this I forgot what year I was diagnosed (my chemo brain gets me every time). It was 1998 rather than 1999, so it's been about 13 years instead of 12.

Later update: A poignant card that I made to give encouragement to people with cancer was chosen as Greeting Card Universe's Design of the Day for October 3rd, 2011. I am so very honored and humbled. Here it is (and also thank you, XKCD, because I got the idea from one of your comic strips).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Kindle Fire - A Full Color Version!

Kindle Fire, Full Color 7" Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi

Amazon just made the new Kindle Fire available for pre-order. It won't be delivered til Nov. 17th, but when Amazon starts sending them out, they'll be doing it on a first come first serve basis with the pre-orders; and I'm sure Amazon will run out before they fill ALL of the pre-orders because it's going to be in high demand. It rivals the Ipad2 except for three things. First, it connects to the internet by wi-fi rather than 3G; second, it offers only a 7inch display while Ipad's is a 10inch; and last, it doesn't have a camera (but neither does the original Ipad).

The main selling point of this new Kindle Fire, though, is that it compares to the Ipad with most other features--but the cost is only $199 - compared to Ipad's $499! So pre-order it today! You can always delete it from your Amazon cart before the middle of November if you change your mind.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Google Doodle Honoring Jim Hensen


Take a fantastic trip around the world by viewing these images (posted by Ajal Shan on Google+) of some of the most fabulous architectural creations on earth.

(you should be able to see these Google+ photos but if not it might be because you are not signed in to your Google account.)

...not sure why the Aqua Skyscraper in Chicago wasn't included -
and more photos here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Funny Stuff...

I don't usually post GCU's Design of the Day picks here on my personal blog since I have a separate blog for those, but this one had me ROFLMAO and I feel like I have to share it as pervasively as I can. Lol.

GCU's Sept. 22, 2011 Design of the Day is by Ross Peterson and it is hilarious! My hubby and I celebrated our twenty-something anniversary this week and this would have been the ideal card for me to surprise him with. Lol!

Ross has a very colorful and cartoonish style and his humor is to die for. You should pop on over to his store, Cards By Ross, RIGHT NOW and buy some cards from him so that HE doesn't die of starvation. ;P

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Papers, Projects, and Parrots (oh my)

This first link just came to me from Stumble Upon, even though it is kind of old. It's the first time I've seen it and it impressed me (and will hopefully inspire me with some future paper projects of my own - lol). Also, it's been awhile since I've posted anything related to paper-cutting, and I *do* love cuttables, so I think it's time.  ;)

Everything but the Paper Cut: Eye-popping Ways Artists Use Paper

This second link came to me by Mary McQueen, the blog author, through a Greeting Card Association that we both belong to:

Hand and Beak: Free Range Inter-Species Greeting Cards. Mary has two lovebirds, and one of them, Luigi, shreds paper very neatly. Mary then uses Luigi's paper shreds to make beautiful art for greeting cards. This is a must see blog, and especially the video (with subtitles) on the right.

Luigi even inspired me with my 365-Day Challenge (see Day 61).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Halloween Blog Carnival with GCUCommunity

I don’t really remember my own Halloween experiences from when I was growing up, so I’ll just provide a couple of tidbits that I found on Louie Volpe’s "Holidays On The Net" website (I used to work for Louie many years ago before chemo messed up my memory and interfered with my ability to do internet (cgi) programming).

Anyhow, here are the tidbits. :)
Halloween isn’t the pagan holiday that many think it is, although quite a few of the traditions do date back to the Celtics. Wearing animal costumes is something ancient Celts did to mark the end of summer. Trick or treating traditions stem from the Celtic holiday of Samhain—a time to honor those who died in the past year—when the Celts would leave out food for their deceased family members’ spirits to eat before their long journey. Over the centuries, the tradition came to be known as mumming, when revelers would dress up as spirits and perform antics in exchange for food. Fun, right? I can picture it. Lol.

Here are some cards to get you thinking about your own Halloween plans. The spookiness is just around the corner. ;)

Artists are Molly Harrison, Robin's Coloring Book, Corrie Kuipers, and me. :)

Update ... Here are the other entries in this High Spirited Blog Carnival:

Spirit Orbs with Whiskers

“As the days grow shorter and the nights cool…”

Bud & Tony, Betty Matsumoto-Schuch

Halloween Blog Carnival

“Halloween isn’t the pagan holiday that many think it is…”

I Love Cuttables, Cindy Johns

Ghost Time

“To be honest, I’m not into scary experiences…”

Aura2000, Aura 2000

We Only Thought We Wanted a Séance

“When my twin brother and I were younger, we did a lot of crazy things…”

DB Visual Arts, Denise Beverly

Ghosts and Goblins and Witches, Oh My!

“There’s a chilly wind blowing…”

Hand-Me-Downz, Richard Skelley

Haunted House Halloween Party Invitations

“Lost, we creep along a dark road toward a lighted porch…”

It’s a Beautiful World, Catherine Sherman

The Haunting of Parnell House

“I saw a dark red puddle at the foot of the stairs…”

Janet Lee Designs, Janet Palaggi

Monster in My Woods

“We heard the distinctive sound of a woman being mauled…”

Dragonfire Graphics, Betsy Bush

The Proposal

“The place is said to be haunted…”

Reel Cards, Robert Bulanadi

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cards, Cards, Cards! :-)

I would like to invite you to visit a new blog that I created to share Greeting Card Universe's Design of the Day picks. GCU has been making the picks since early May of 2011, and after a wonderful suggestion by Corrie Kuipers over at, I've decided to share these splendid cards every day with the world (or anyone who visits my blog - lol). :)

Here is a link to that very blog, and also here is a link to an archive of the Design of the Day picks prior to yesterday.

On another note about cards, World Card Making Day is coming up on October 1st. :) I think the World Card Making Day website is geared more towards paper-pieced and hand-made cards, but one can still get a lot of good ideas there. ;)

AND...since I did make this post all about cards, I would be remiss if I didn't share a couple with you. These are two very recent cards of mine that were approved by GCU. The first celebrates getting braces on, and the second celebrates getting braces off.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An Inkling, Adding Outlines to Cartoon Pieces, and Turning Photographs into Pencil Sketches

I'm in an online Greeting Card Association group through Yahoo, and another member posted a cool link to a new product soon to be released by Wacom. This Inkling video shows how you can turn your ballpoint sketchpad drawings into digital images like magic using the Wacom Inkling Digital Sketch Pen.

For now, though, I'm still doing my sketches on my PC. I recently found a way to put borders around my cartoon pieces. I watched this video that explains how to create stencils using the 'linked offset' in Inkscape (by Aussie Carolyn) a few days ago, and then I realized that I could use this technique for adding dark outlines to my cartoons, as shown in yesterday's 365-Day Challenge project (day 48, the owl in the tree) and the card that later got approved using the same image (left).

Finally, in the Greeting Card group I mentioned above, that same member also provided us with a link to an online photography magazine called PhotographyBB. Since I'm not much of a photographer, I don't usually spend much time with these kinds of resources, but this one seems very useful for explaining digital illustrating techniques as well. In the Aug. 2011 issue, (beginning on page 44) a technique to turn photographs into pencil sketches with Photoshop is explained. I don't have Photoshop yet, but I do have Gimp, and when I'm more comfortable using it, I will try out this technique for one of my daily challenge projects. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I love making butterflies and including them in my greeting cards. And I'm always looking for new techniques for making my butterflies. I also love using the interpolate feature in Inkscape. Yippee! I scored on both counts! I found three videos explaining how to use the interpolate feature to make rhinestone paths, and the last one shows how to make a butterfly. The videos were created by one of my favorite Inkscape tutorial makers, Aussie Carolyn of CuttingTime. These videos are explaining the interpolate feature to make SVG files for use with cutting machines (such as Silhouette, Cricut or Black Cat cutters), but the method can also work to make vector images for use in non-cut greeting cards as well.

Rhinestone Path Using Interpolate in Inkscape Part 1

Rhinestone Path Using Interpolate in Inkscape Part 2

Rhinestone Path Using Interpolate in Inkscape Part 3 - Making a Butterfly

Here are some butterfly cards that I made (although none of them have incorporated the rhinestone path technique yet):

And here are some beautiful butterfly cards from other GCU artists:

Update . . . I created my own unique butterfly using Carolyn's nifty tutorial. Here it is.

Later update . . . Here are some other wonderful blog postings about butterflies from other Greeting Card Universe artists:

A Bit of Fun with Colorful Butterflies
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve been intrigued with the beauty of butterflies…”
Sunshine’s Creative Explorations, Donna Lorello
The Delicate Life of a Butterfly
“So you have a great love for butterflies?”
Sheryl Kasper Card Store, Sheryl Kasper
Beautiful Butterflies
“I have noticed lots of butterflies lately…”
Dragonfire Graphics, Betsy Bush
To a Butterfly
“I’ve watched you now a full half-hour…”
Photography TK Designs, Tracie
Greeting Card Universe & Butterfly Changes
“I started this blog as a way to promote greeting cards…”
Janet Lee Designs, Janet Palaggi
Papillon: The Butterfly Dog
“The big dog in the small body…”
DogBreedz, Peggy Mundell
Monarch Butterflies
“The beauty and wonder of Monarch butterflies inspired me…”
It’s a Beautiful World, Catherine Sherman
Good Luck
“A most unusual thing happened this week when I was gardening…”
Painted Cottage, Judith Cheng
“Imagine, Dare, Do!”
Naquiaya’s Cards, Naquaiya
Butterfly Animal Medicine Transformation Success Story: Carol Moore
“Animal Medicine is a Native American way of using lessons from the animal kingdom…”
Heart to Art, Sri
I Love Butterflies
“I love making butterflies, and including them in my greeting cards…”
 I Love Cuttables,  Cindy Johns

Friday, August 5, 2011

Two Helpful Webites

The first one helps you do amazing things with your photos ...and I can attest to that!  :-)

The second one helps you do amazing things with your words ...and I can attest to that, too.  :-)

Both are fun and fabulous!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Urban Design Tutorial

In my quest to learn more illustration techniques, I came upon this neat tutorial explaining how to make urban designs. They look interesting to me, so I'm planning to use the tutorial tomorrow to make my own urban design. :-)

Here's the tutorial (by Very Simple Designs)

Update: And here is a card that I made today (August 1st) from what I learned using the tutorial. :-)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Inspired by Tracie

Lately, I am finding inspiration almost everywhere! But this one is a BIG deal. I've been admiring the daily photography challenge taken on by Tracie (of Photography TK Designs). So I wanted to follow in her footsteps and take my own illustration challenge. I'm trying to improve my illustrating techniques and skills, so I'm going to post an illustration a day. :-) If you'd like to follow along with me on this journey, you can... with this link: ilovecuttables daily illustrations. Hopefully, by the end of one year, I'll be showing dramatic improvements in my work. :-D

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Cartooning Inspiration...

John H Johnson (artist extraordinaire). John recently helped me with one of my cards that I submitted to be critiqued at GCUCommunity's Critique Clinic. Here is a before & after look:
I really enjoy browsing through John's store, finding inspiration every time I go there. His style is colorful and his characters are fabulously unique. So I'd like to show my appreciation for his critiques by sharing some of his beautiful cards here: