On Saturday it’s my hubby’s birthday. A few months ago, he took up metal detecting, and is having so much fun with it, and making new friends, and sometimes finding some quite interesting things. I thought it would be nice to make him a birthday card this year that reflects this new interest and to celebrate a special joke we share together!
When he first started, every time he came home I used to ask him, “Did you find a Saxon hoard?” After that amazing find of the Staffordshire Hoard in the Midlands in 2009 by a metal detectorist in a farmer’s field, and the two men shared a reward worth a king’s ransom, I’ve been dreaming of retiring in style! My hubby is always up before I am in the mornings, and on his days off, he’s often out metal detecting, and he leaves me a note to say where he is – “Gone to find a Saxon hoard.” He STILL hasn’t found one, much to my extreme disappointment – I hanker after one of those glorious Saxon torcs to grace my now-not-so-swan-like neck… so I thought I’d “find” a Saxon hoard for him.
Here’s the front of the card.
I designed the metal detecting man in Inkscape and cut him with Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine. The svg file is now uploaded to my SkyDrive and is free to download if you want it – it might be a useful addition for a man-type card, especially if you have relatives who share my hubby’s hobby.
I used my new heavy watercolour paper that I bought for mixed media work (I’m making my Fine Art Album pages out of this), but it has unfortunately buckled a bit – it may settle down when it’s completely dry. (In future, I may prime it with Gesso if I’m doing extensive wet acrylic painting on it.) I painted the sky with ultramarine acrylic paint diluted with acrylic polymer and a little water. The grass is sap green acrylic paint. The cross-section of the ground I first painted with burnt umber acrylic paint, and then mixed some more of the same paint with coarse pumice acrylic gel medium and applied it with a palette knife over the painted surface, to give a nice earth-like effect.
When this was dry, I added various bits and pieces for the metal detectorist to detect – some of these really are metal: the chain, spring, washer and tube, but the rest (gear wheels, key etc.) are from my stash of such things that I made last year from friendly plastic pellets. They had been painted with black gesso, and I just rubbed on some Treasure Copper and Treasure Gold (like Rub ’n Buff) to give them a metallic appearance.
I added the text to the image of the scroll, using Serif PagePlus (desk-top publisher) and then printed it, and cut it out. It is stuck onto the card using quite a lot of Pinflair glue to make it nice and dimensional.
Here is the inside of the card.
The left-hand side has the greeting for my hubby. I printed a separate piece of 100 gsm paper and then distressed it with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink. The inside of the card itself, I distressed with Dried Marigold Distress Ink, and then stuck the printed piece down. The whole thing got a bit marked with the paint from the front and the right-hand inside piece, but on balance I don’t mind too much because it adds to the distressed look, and after all, metal detecting isn’t exactly a clean hobby!
On the right is his Saxon Hoard! I printed and cut out the text, and stuck this down with regular matt gel medium. I then painted the whole of the rest of the background with burnt umber acrylic paint as I did on the front of the card, and in the same way, applied a mixture of coarse pumice gel medium and burnt umber acrylic paint, which covered the edges of the printed piece of card.
I printed and cut out a large number of images of Saxon and other items to represent the Saxon hoard.
This involved a huge amount of “fussy cutting” with fine scissors, and I gave myself neck-ache doing it – it took hours! Some of the pieces are very small. I also cut out a large number of images of coins. Each one of these pieces was applied individually using Pinflair glue – some of the larger ones I hand-embossed before sticking them down to give them a bit more dimension. I added some Stickles glitter glue in several colours, just to highlight various points and add a bit of bling to make it look like a real treasure hoard. Once they were dry, I applied a further small quantity of the burnt umber and pumice gel medium mixture to cover up bits and pieces, to make it look as if the hoard had just been unearthed.
You will notice the torc in the bottom left hand corner. Earmarked – for me!!