“I am NOT a cat!” says Oswald from Dominique Valente’s Willow Moss series

A million years ago back in August 2020, Dominique Valente came on Dark Matter Zine’s podcast (available here and on all good podcasting platforms free !) to talk about her Willow Moss series, representation of disability and Oswald who insists that “I am NOT a cat!” To prove his point, he turns orange and explodes when you call him a cat. He’s a kobold. He doesn’t talk about his cat ancestor. Oswald IS A KOBOLD.

I love Oswald so much he inspired me to make this card. It’s the first of this kind that I made, so it was a learning process.

About the card

It’s interactive so if you pull on the tab the picture changes. It’s not perfect: this was my first attempt at this style of card, I didn’t use the die set (it was too small to fit the cats) and, well, IT’S A JOURNEY. More below the photos.

I am NOT a cat! says Oswald from Dominique Valente’s Willow Moss series: here Oswald is green I am NOT a cat!: Oswald has turned orange and is exploding because he’s angry

I purchased the LawnFawn Magic Picture Changer set. It took a while to arrive because the pandemic is slowing the postal service. And the parcel went for a holiday in Japan on its way to Australia. I kid you not. At least Scrapbook.com mails out orders pretty promptly, unlike som OTHER cardmaking supply companies that take nearly 2 months to put the damn order in the bloody post. (Rant, rant, rant.)

I should note there that I am NOT talking about Lawnfawn: I usually place orders with larger, more generic companies, so I can bundle various brands of products into the one order. A previous Lawnfawn order to get something I couldn’t get elsewhere showed they were prompt. That was pre-pandemic. Remember the good old days? EARLIER THIS YEAR???

ANYWAY. Lawnfawn’s magic picture changer is awesome, with one quick pass through a die cutting machine you get all the bits you need to make a changing picture PLUS a pretty stitched frame. And everything works perfectly, yada yada.

The only problem is, it’s REALLY SMALL. As in, the space that fits their changing picture is WAY SMALL. Bits of Oswald would have been hidden by the frame. So – without doing a practice run to figure it all out – I decided to use the die set as a rough template and “copy” it. Kinda. With shortcuts. That was a learning process!

Work In Progress

Here’s a photo (with some added encouragement while I was struggling) of the work in progress. When you stamp cards you learn pretty quickly that stamps don’t like rough surfaces.

Oswald

First I stamped both images of Oswald, then sketched out where I thought the cut lines should go. Oswald is from Tim Holtz’s original Snarky Cats set, which I love. The set comes with sentiments – that I also love – but I’m too concerned about offending people to use the sentiments. Oh well, I started this journey with the intent of scrapbooking NOT cardmaking, so maybe those sentiments can be used with memories.

Not-happy Oswald is in Distress Oxide Ink: Mowed Lawn and the exploding Oswald is in Carved Pumpkin I think.

Making the picture actually change

My lines as you can see are in parallel with varying angles. The top picture wants straight lines and one more than the picture-to-be-revealed. Here both pics have the same number of lines. As I said, this was a learning process.

Also, the top picture needs a vertical cut connecting all the lines on the left, so all the changing picture bits are only connected on the right. If this doesn’t make sense, watch a Lawn Fawn demo video. There are also lots of other examples from heaps of crafters on YouTube.

After the cuts were cutted (thanks to Hubby because I found I just couldn’t see well enough to do this part), I colored in the images using copic markers.

Unfortunately, some of the steam above exploding Oswald’s head is obscured because the top of that image slides under the top cut.

So a really important point is: YOUR BOTTOM AND TOP CUTS ON YOUR FRONT IMAGE ARE THE BOUNDARIES OF THIS CHANGING PICTURE. I was also surprised by how much of the Exploding Oswald was visible at the bottom.

Another important point: go and watch some videos demonstrating LawnFawn’s magic picture changer. There are tips and tricks like ALWAYS INTERLEAVE YOUR CHANGING BITS BEFORE YOU GLUE ANYTHING, and use foam tape around the edge of the inner bit to make sure there’s enough room to allow your moving picture to slide. Use an anti-static tool or starch – cornflour and baby powder work – on the edges of the foam tape so the sliding image actually slides and doesn’t stick.

And, looking at the original die set and my mishmash, next time I’ll cut the top page double-length so I can fold it over the changing pic because that’s tidier, you don’t need foam tape at the top and you just need a slot to allow the pull tab to poke through. Elegant and less can go wrong. I hope.

Framing

Also, the sides of the image have those diagonal cuts. Unless your frame fits nicely around your picture, you’re going to see those diagonal pieces interleaving. That could be a feature or you could hide it. Next time I’m going to try to hide it because making that work nicely is tricky.

I found a frame die I thought would fit the picture but, in all honesty, a square frame would have worked better. However, I don’t have any suitable die shapes – oops – so I picked a deckled edge rectangular die. Next time if I can’t find anything the right size, I’ll try using a smaller rectangular die and cutting with it twice to make the opening WIDER than the die allows. Either that, or I’ll use my Fiskars paper trimmer to drop in and cut in the interior of the paper. Tricky but do-able, even if I have to “fudge” and tidy up the corners.

I used Antique Linen and Vintage Photo inks, blended, to color the frame and darken the edges a bit.

I am NOT a cat!

Oswald is firm about not being a cat. I am firm in my love for Oswald, a rare thing considering the book is written for primary to middle school children. Also, I love Valente’s representation of disability. She’s short an arm but she’s has plenty of roos in her top paddock and sandwiches in her picnic. If in doubt,  check out that podcast. I’m looking forward to Starfell book 3.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Have a great week and stay safe. And VOTE. Vote if you’re American. Vote if you’re a Canberran like me (early voting is open now). And if you’re a Queenslander, VOTE. It’s compulsory in Australia, aren’t we lucky? I mean that!

Bye for now!