Thursday, June 27, 2019

Celebrating 30 Cats in 30 Years + GIVEAWAY

Hi, Friends......

WARNING: Very long photo-heavy post!!! But worth it, I hope...

I am here with a very special project I made for my son's 30th birthday last month. I wanted to make something extra-cool for this milestone and got to thinking....what about a mini-album with a photo or stamped representation of all his cats over his lifetime: Thirty Cats in Thirty Years.  I didn't know if he had personally had 30 or not, but I figured it would be close. 

(Now...make no mistake, our *family* has likely had over triple that number of cats in 30 years....but of the ones that James claimed, I didn't know if there would be 30!!)

I started by listing all his cats the best I could remember and finding photos to print for as many as I had. Then I got out my Graphic 45 "Raining Cats and Dogs" collection and decided on the colors to use. I ended up using the entire palette: rust, teal, cream, black, and tan. 

Then I got out my stamps and figured out which images went well with the vintage G45 elements I was using. I went for mostly realistic images instead of cartoony ones. Stamping and coloring those cats took quite a bit of time!! I found a few stickers in my stash that looked remarkably similar to some of his cats and used them, too.

Then I got to work constructing my mini-album. I used my computer to make and print out the title and the nameplates of the cats throughout.

Here's a top front shot tied with some fabulous cat ribbon that Liz Cavill sent me last year (THANKS, Liz!!). I have it strategically tied in such a way that only "Celebrating 30 Years" shows and doesn't give away the contents. :)

Here's an angled shot so you can see the thickness of it.

Here is the front with the tie undone showing the embellishments and fussy cut elements from the G45 collection. Every edge in the entire mini-album except for the ivory base was inked!! 


I used a double-sided accordion fold design that I contrived using some dimensions from a totally gorgeous Graphic 45 Double Fold Card design. You can see that particular YouTube tutorial HERE and find the link info to print out your own instructions.

I cut each page panel to measure 3" x 4". Then I took 2 standard 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of vanilla cardstock and scored at 3-1/8", 6-1/4", and 9-3/8". That left one panel not quite 2 inches wide, which I would use as a tab for gluing over the first flap of the neighboring panel to make this long accordion shape. 

I cut each scored sheet roughly in half width-wise and trimmed so I had two scored panels 4-1/8" tall and scored and folded accordion-style from each piece of cardstock....4 long narrow scored pieces in all.

I glued the short tabs over the next page to make this long folded base.  The seams would be covered with the page panels and would barely show.  You can see them slightly along the top edges in the above photos.  Then I started adding the page panels I had made.  Trying to keep all the cats in chronological order the best I could remember!!! 

I will take you through each panel of pages all spread out, but I wanted to show you that you can hold this in your hand and turn the pages like a book as you leaf through it, also. You don't have to have it spread out long!

Supplies used throughout my mini:
A wide variety of ancient thrift store stamps
Dollar store stickers
Occasionally a stamp that is still current, which I will detail in the notes.
Versafine ink in Smokey Gray or Vintage Sepia
Clear embossing powder

Coloring done mostly with a combo of Prismacolor colored pencils and Distress Ink markers and Spectrum Noir markers.
Papers are mostly scraps from Graphic 45, but there are some DCWV snippets used, too.
Various embossing folders detailed in the notes.

Dies: My Favorite Things Die-namics - Stitched Square STAX die set, My Favorite Things Die-namics - Stitched Oval STAX die set, M&C Boutique - Large Circle Frame die set.

Panel 1: Starts with Henry, James' first cat that he got when he turned 3 years old.

A few notes and acknowledgements:
Henry - Dollar Store sticker.
- image is from the Jessicalynn Originals - Cats & Kitten Purr-n-Fur Fuzzy Buddies stamp set that Michele Henderson sent me. (THANKS, Michele!!)
Junior - he was tail-less so I trimmed off the tail of the same image I used for Felix.
Penguin - retired image from Hampton Art made for Graphic 45 "Raining Cats and Dogs" collection.
Diamond - digital image kindly provided by Ike's Art for one of my Cat Lovers Hops, from her Fleaz Navidad collection. (THANKS, Ike!!) This is the "I LUV my Teddy" image...with the Teddy trimmed off. lol...

Panel 2:

A few notes and acknowledgements:
Xena - Dollar Store sticker
Skedaddle - Digital image kindly provided by Mynn at MHK Designs from her "A Girl and Her Cat" set. (THANKS, Mynn!!)

Panel 3:

A few notes and acknowledgements:
Nigelle - Hero Arts - Fluffy Kitty (B937) stamp
Tiger Lily - Embossed background Sizzix - TH Texture Fades - Collage folder

Panel 4:

A few notes and acknowledgements:
Dusty - same image that I used for Blotchers above....they are from different litters but had the same wild barn did Marshmallow. They all looked alike!
Ophelia - Background is dry embossed with Sizzix - TH Texture Fades - Courtyard embossing folder.

Panel 5:

A few notes and acknowledgements:
Blackie - Same image I used for Blotchers and Dusty.
Rabbit - Digital image "Hello There" kindly provided by Ike's Art for one of my Cat Lovers Hops from the Ike's Art - I LUV CATS digital set. (THANKS, Ike!)  Background is dry embossed with Darice - Paw Print embossing folder that D.Ann Comer sent me.  (THANKS, D.Ann!!!)

Panel 6:

A few notes and acknowledgements:
Huckle - Long-retired All Night Media stamp. I couldn't get a photo of this part-time tom who has taken up residence, so a stamp would have to do.
The Title Page is the "last" page on the back because the way the album folds makes it the "first" page. LOL...sounds like cat logic to me!!!  Ha.

All spread out long....:

And the other side of it all spread out long:

Soooooooo................Did you count the cats???? 

Did I manage to find 30 cats for his 30 years?

I haven't had a GIVEAWAY for a long time, so why don't we do one today?????
Please tell me in the comments:
(1) How many cats you count that belonged to James
(2) Which cat you think is the most beautiful and/or which cat page you like the best.

Eligible commenting closes at 11:59 pm Pacific on Saturday, July 6, 2019. To continue celebrating my son's 30th birthday, I will draw a random winner to win a $30 USD credit to the online store of your choice among those comments answering both questions. Open worldwide!! Yay!! (Currency exchange rates will vary for my international readers!)
Thank you so much for stopping by and seeing my project.  This is the first time I have attempted something like this!!!  I had a great time making it. My son says it was his favorite of all the birthday gifts he received.
(Awwww......he sure does know how to make his crafty mom glow with pride!)


Thank you for the honor of entering this mini-album in the following challenges:
1. Graphic 45 - June Selfie Challenge #G45Selfie
2. Pixie's Snippets Playground Challenge #355 - Use Snippets
3. The House that Stamps Built Anything Goes Challenge #J2619
4. Crafty Calendar June Challenge - Masculine
5. Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - June
6. DL.Art June linky
7. Word Art Wednesday Weeks #392-393 - AG
8. Let's Create June Challenge - AG w/ opt. Masculine
9. Ike's World Challenge #121 - F is for Fold (more than one fold)
10. Die-Cut Divas June Challenge - Birthdays
11. Show Us Your Pussies Challenge #43 - Furrything Goes
12. Power Poppy Creative Confetti Challenge - For a Man
13. Addicted to Stamps Challenge #175 - For a Boy/Man
14. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
15. Stamplorations June Challenge - Stamps & Birthdays

16. Mini Album Makers June Challenge - Any Handmade Book Goes


  1. Wow, I love this! Wonderful project, love all those cats. Well done!
    Happy Birthday to your son.
    I think, there is 32 cats that belonged to James.
    Most beautiful cat to me is Mistopheles.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  2. Your cat album is such a wonderful gift for your son! Thanks for joining us at Die Cut Divas!

  3. Wow Janis - this is amazing! A work of art more than a card - and so many gorgeous cats too. And, how weird is this for great minds thinking alike - I have on my desk, from our Liz a while ago, some similar ribbon with dogs on to remind me to use it ASAP! She's so kind isn't she.

    No wonder your son was delighted - what a cracking make - well done!

    And I did giggle at your cartoon - Dudley was a bit sick this morning in my craft room and (thankfully) began to heave whilst he was on the clear plastic mat which protects the carpet from the wheel of my office chair. Luckily I managed to gently keep him in place so it was easy to clean up - poor little sausage. Mind you - he WILL nibble at grass when he's outside if we don't watch him like a hawk. So it's probably self-inflicted.


    Di xx

  4. What a fun way to celebrate! I bet your son loved this, Jo x

  5. I counted 32! What a special gift you created for James' birthday! My favorite is Perdita! I have been partial to Siamese cats all my life, starting out with my beloved Cosan when I was about 5. Now I have Coco, another Sealpoint Siamese. In between, I have loved Kikko, Kimmy, and Yoda, all Siamese cats, plus one DSH who won my heart, Spooky!

  6. Very cool mini album Janis. I see 32 cats. I have a weakness for black cats and I think the panels you made with them and very striking. I especially like the Othello panel. Love that text paper you used. Also have fallen big time for Mistopheles, cos he is just so fat and sassy. He looks like a snuggle puss. Was he??? A really fun project. Hugz

    1. More like a slobber puss!! Mistopheles loves to be petted and loves to "help" me in the garden. I have my garden mostly in tires. As I move throughout my garden, he jumps from tire to tire, rubbing and jamming on the tomato cages while he makes great big huge happy feet and slobbers the whole time!!! Ugh. Such a sweetheart, though. lol...


  7. An amazing project Janis! I count 32 cats, hard to pick a favourite, but Jetta is very appealing, very similar to our late 'Blackie'

  8. I counted 32 cats. Wondering what is the most you have had at one time? Marshmallow is gorgeous.

    1. The most we have had at one time is a difficult question to answer. Living in a rural area with lots of room for cats to roam and to multiply means that we often had ferals that hung around that weren't really ours. Some of the very wild ones we did not have names for, but many of them we did name. Although they weren't really our pets, they ate on our back porch and were sort of ours in that way.

      So to answer your question:
      The most we were ever feeding at one time (ferals and our pets) was somewhere around 50.
      The most we ever had named at one time (pets plus our favorite ferals) was prob around 35.
      The most that were our actual pets at one time was prob around 25.
      We are down to 15 currently....which is a much more manageable number. :)


    2. Upon further reflection that number for actual pets has to be higher than 25 because one year we had a big combined litter of 21 from several different mommies...and that was just the spring litter!! There were more that came that autumn from the feral mommies that we couldn't catch to spay. At that time, I know we would have had at least 11 other cats (prob more). So that number should be more like..... Ugh...I don't want to think about it!! Sure was a lot of fun, though. <3 <3 <3

  9. Awwwww..... Such fabulous idea and amazing cats!! :D Your album is delicious and LOVE the G45 papers!!
    I can count 32 cats, and it's a shame that you haven't a photo for everyone!!
    I love especially black cats, so it's difficult choose only one, but my choice fall on Othello, his eyes speak! :D
    I have six cats, plus four stray on the street that I feed daily. Now the stray are only four, but years ago they was seventeen... You know this fact very well: you begin feeding one cat and then he says to the others that there is a very good restaurant... LOL :D

  10. OMGoodness... this is just PAW-some ! What a fantastic creation to celebrate his 30th with 30 gorgeous kitties. I hope he really loved this wonderful piece. :-) Thank you for using some of my images in there Janis xxxx
    Thank you too for purring along to play at SUYP Cats Challenges.
    IKE =^..^=

    My Challenge Blog
    My Shop
    My Blog
    FB Fan Page
    Cat Lovers Challenge Blog

  11. Hello again - it's me with my other hat on now ....... Thank you also for coming to play along with us at IKEsWORLD Challenges - More than 1 Fold xxxxx

  12. And me yet again LoL This is my personal comment for the Giveaway. I love this little booklet so much but I think " PERDITA " is my favourite cat and page. I found 32 named kitties. =^..^=
    Thank you for a chance to win xxxxx

  13. Wow! What an amazing project! I love cats! I think this is the sweetest gift and I am so glad your son appreciated it too! I counted 32 cats. I couldn't possibly choose a favorite page because they are all fabulous. Henry reminds me of the first cat we rescued for my kids. Othello makes me think of our Storm who we adore but is a Perfect Storm in our home. I guess if I was forced to choose a favorite kitty, it would be Othello. :) TFS this super fun post!

  14. Wow!! What a creation! It must have taken forever, but I'm sure it will be a most treasured gift!! And that is a lot of cats! : ) Thanks for playing with The House That Stamps Built.

  15. What a wonderful gift Janice! My husband and I have had almost 30 cats/dogs together in our 30+ years together and I have been thinking of doing something like this. It must have taken a long time to find all those images!

  16. How exciting to see the album/card after having heard all about it Janis. This is even more impressive than I imagined, and all of your work shines through. No wonder it was James' favorite gift! It was thoughtful, fun, and completely personalized. As for my favorite of the 32 cats...that would have to be Blotcher. Just the name alone made me laugh..and I love that you used a stamp to represent him. The expression on his face is kind of befuddled, like he's not quite sure why he's here. It was especially fun to see all the cats because of hearing stories about Othello, SkippyJon, Perdita, Andromeda, and Little White Kitten over the past couple of years.

  17. Fabulous project for your son, Janis and lovely to see how you've used the ribbon. I counted 32 cats and my favourite is Ophelia. She reminds me of my daughter's rescue cat, Pudding, who sadly passed away last year. We often used to 'cat sit' when my daughter was on holiday. xx

  18. I absolutely LOVE this project. I may have to try something similar. Being the crazy cat lady in our neighborhood, it definitely appealed to me. I counted 32 kitties in your album and it's really hard to pick a favorite. Generally, I prefer either tuxedo cats or all black ones, so I gravitated towards those. But I think I would have to pick Mistopheles as my favorite since I had a beautiful tuxedo tom that I lost a couple of years ago named Mistoffellees (same name, spelled different). Was yours named after "Magical Mister Mistopheles" from "Cats"? Ours was. Love all of your babies.

    1. Yes!! James did name Mistopheles after the "Cats" character. :) When our Mistopheles was still just a part-time tom hanging out here, he was such a naughty troublemaker....fighting and scrapping and causing no end of havoc. Once we were able to catch and neuter him, he mellowed into such a sweet, sweet kitty. Every once in awhile, I can still see vestiges of his former ruffian self when he advances on one of the other cats. But mostly that gets defused right away and they walk away from each other. Cats!!

      Lezli, I don't know if you are familiar with our Cat Lovers Hop that I hostess each October right here. Sure would love to have you and all other cat lovers join us. This will be our Hop #5....lots of fun and tons of prizes!! This year's hop will be October 21-26, 2019.


    2. Janis, thanks for the info on the Cat Lovers Hop. I have just started getting back into creative mode, so perhaps I will be ready to do just that this year. Thanks!


  19. Lovely project - too many great pages to choose

  20. Janis, I don't know how many cats there are (too busy looking at the beautiful cats) but I certainly enjoyed looking through your album for James, he certainly loves cats! Your little album is beautiful, I love the cover and the cat ribbon closure is such a lovely touch! A very thoughtful gift for your son. Thanks so much for joining in with us at Mini Album Makers. Anne x

  21. Wow, Wow, Wow! Hello, Janis! This is the most amazing birthday card I've ever seen! I absolutely love this idea and I can just imagine how happy James must have been when he opened it and walked down "Memory Lane of Kitties"! I love every adorable page!

    Thank you for your generous giveaway! Here are my answers: (1) I looked at each and every precious kitty, and I counted 32; and (2) My favourite kitty is Spunky Jr., but I also fell in love with Little White Kitty, Skippyjon, and Tiger Lily. My favourite page is Andale - I like the design elements used and how the colours coordinated with the sweet kitty.

    Belated Happy 30th Birthday greetings to James!

  22. I forgot to answer the questions! I count 30 cats with names but 32 actual pictures. My favorite is Little White Cat. It reminds me of our Sammy Doodle who we loved so much and recently lost to illness. Thank you Janice!

  23. WOW! What a super fun cat book you've created! Thanks for linking up to Repeat Impression's Anything Goes Challenge this week!

  24. Wow--what a fabulous idea. Glad your son appreciated this. I counted 32 cats and Spunky Jr is beautiful--reminds me of one of our cats.

  25. What a fabulous idea for a 30th Birthday wishing your Son all the best. A very personal and creative idea, what a great gift this will make. I'm sure your Son will have adored it.
    Thank you for sharing over at Mini Album Makers. Tracey (DT)

  26. Woah that really is a lot of folds. Thank you for taking the time to join in with our challenge and sharing your creativity with us, I love to see your talent, creativity and imagination at work. I hope to see more of your creativity in the near future. Love 'n' hugs Sall IkesWorld Challenges DT

  27. 30 cats !
    thats so much cat love!
    you made so gorgeous mini abum!
    love it! love all these pages!
    I see 32 cats and my favorite is Perdita!

  28. What a fabulous design - so much work and it looks amazing.

    Thanks for joining us at Craftyhazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge.

    Helen x

  29. Love Blotchers! I also love that cat ribbon!
    I think there might be 32 cats...
    In any case what a fabulous make - my daughter said why is your mouth open?!
    Thank you for sharing with IKE'S WORLD Challenges!
    DT for IKE'S WORLD Challenges!
    Calling All Crafters! – My personal Blog!

  30. Wow! What an amazing will be cherished forever! Thanks so much for joining us at The House That Stamps Built!

  31. What an amazing creation. 30!
    Thanks so much for joining in with our June birthday challenge over at STAMPlorations x

  32. Lovely accordian album. Thanks for joining Lets craft and create. Tammy DT

  33. Wonderful mini album Janis! That is such a lovely idea to represent 30 cats!
    Thanks for joining us at Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge
    Mandy xx

  34. What a fabulous creation Janis! Thank you for sharing with us over here at the Crafty Calendar Challenge and best of luck with your entry. Love to see you join in each month. Thank you.
    Gale DT for

  35. This is amazing Janis! I'll bet it's even more beautiful when it's all spread out. I counted 32 cats that were owned by James, but Blair says there are also three Graphic 45 cats on the cover, lol. My favorite cat is Ophelia, and Remi votes for Xena, while Blair votes for Skippyjon.

  36. Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing with us at Let’s Craft and Create Challenge, hope to see you again :)

  37. I counted 32 cats also (plus two graphics that are unnamed). I like Marshmallow the most because he looks the most like my cat! I have a book similar to this with our 10 cats in 50 years!
    digicats {at} sbcglobal {dot} net

  38. What a great idea! I think I counted 32 cats for James, including the cover cats. I think the most beautiful cat is Othello, since I am partial to black kitties! I love how this turned out!
    Take care!
    Michele H.

  39. I just saw this post from the Butterfly challenge (taking the link to a giveaway, of course! lol) and I know I'm late. That's okay. I just HAD to comment that my very first cat as a child was also named Henry and he could've been a twin to James' Henry! lol Anyway, I am so very impressed with this awesome book of cats … and how you could possibly remember them all! lol Hope you are doing well, my friend. hugs!!

  40. This is a wonderful card for your son Janis and a real labour of love and no wonder your son said it was his favourite card. What an array of beautiful cats, 32 I think, and my favourite is Spunky Jr followed by Henry and then Othello. We had a couple of cats when I was growing up but as a family have not had any cats or dogs because Hubby suffers with asthma and the hair and fur is a big trigger for it. I am not a regular visitor so please do not include me in your draw, but seeing this wonderful album I just had to visit. x

  41. I counted 32 (plus the two of the front... which I'm not sure are cute images... or represent cats. Since they have no names next to them... I am thinking just cute stickers?)
    As for my favorite page? I chose Perdita... followed closely by Othello.


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