Knotted Versals Birthday Card


I’ve noticed that a lot more people read my card-making posts than ones on more obscure topics like the stationery items historically used by Canadian fur traders so here’s another one.

My inspiration for this card was the Learn to Letter session at the April 2018 Edmonton Calligraphic Society meeting ( This month’s style was Knotted Versals. Versals are the decorated letters found in illuminated manuscripts, often at the beginning of a verse (hence the name) or paragraph. While the Celts weren’t the only ones to use knotted designs in their manuscripts (most famously the Book of Kells),  knotted versals are often associated with them. I used the alphabet provided by Pauline Baynes at the meeting as my guide for the outline of the letters.

20180414_155757That was as far as I got at the meeting but later on at home I used watercolour paints with a very fine paint brush to colour them in. I think markers or pencil crayons would have been easier, especially where the lines are quite close together.  


Once the letters were painted, I mounted on coloured paper and attached to folded cardstock to make the card. So here’s to a very happy birthday for Alison!



Birthday Card

Today is the birthday of a very special person. So special that they get a hand-crafted birthday card to celebrate the occasion.

I got the idea for this card from a picture I saw in a Michael’s flyer. I believe it was for a rubber stamp set but I thought my drawing skills were up to tackling a jar and a bunch of flowers so I grabbed a scrap of watercolour paper and did just that. After colouring it in with watercolours and outlining with a black pen I cut them out.


Next I made a tiny tag and added some text with rub-on transfer letters before tying it to the jar.

20180219_122228 20180219_124221

To assemble, I took a piece of cardstock, folded it in half, and glued on some decorative paper. I used embossed vellum from an old wedding invitation in my scrap folder to make the doily. I didn’t like the visible line of glue along the edge so I covered it up with washi tape.

Finally I glued on the jar and attached the flowers with some foam dimensionals from an old Stampin’ Up kit. Voila, a simple bouquet for a special somebody.


Birthday Cards

this year

It was recently my birthday and, following with tradition, I received a few birthday cards. Two of them were handmade and all of them were from women which confirmed a Carlton Cards statistic that claimed that 70 percent of all card purchases are made by women. I tried to find out when the custom of giving birthday cards began but all I could find was the history of greeting cards in general. Even the Hallmark Cards site only made special note of Christmas, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day when discussing the history of their company. Maybe because birthday card purchases happen all year round, card companies take that market for granted even though it is estimated to be 60 percent of all greeting card sales.

I couldn’t even find out when celebrating birthdays began but I, for one, am glad we take a moment to give thanks for another successful trip around the sun. I have a sentimental streak so have kept a stash of old birthday cards. The ones from my parents mean the most to me now. 


I also get a real kick out of seeing how graphic design has changed over the years.

contemp1 9years

While designs change, the personalities of the givers stay the same. The same friend who gave me the kittens card when I was nine, sent me a text birthday greeting with a photo of her cat this year. 


I love penguins so have received a lot of penguin cards over the years. I mustn’t be the only one who loves penguins as Hallmark even had a “Penguins” line for awhile. 

Penguins Penguins reverse

So here’s to birthdays and to those who keep the birthday card tradition alive!