The Hippopotamus


To say I love hippos would be a bit of an understatement. I LOVE them. They are not just my favorite animal; they actually invoke the same sort of breathless, heart-thumping, adrenaline rush most people get when they meet their favorite rock band, superstar or the President of the United States. For me, it’s hippos. (Artists are often a bit eccentric.)

So, when my sister first told me she was planning a trip to Africa, my very first question was, “to see the hippos?!” because why else would anyone go to Africa?? Naturally she had her own agenda, but she did take a few videos and some pictures of the hippos for me, because that’s what sisters do.

Had this been for my scrapbook, I probably would have printed these in 8x10s, but since this one is for her, I kept them all on one page using the Mosaic Moments system. I used the new letter die from Mosaic Moments, but I used just the inside of the letters to make my title look like it was coming out of the mat.

This one is on Pewter Grid Paper, following page pattern #305. I added a bit of cardstock and some patterned paper from We R Memory Keepers as accents. The explanation of the hippo is from a trading card I have been carrying around for a few decades. It was part of a set on animals my kids had when they were little — sort of like animal baseball cards. I knew it would come in handy eventually and thought it was perfect on this page.

You can see how I did it in this video.


Hippo Shadow Box

I have had this project finished for a while, but my photographer (my wonderful husband) has been sick, so I am just now getting to post this.

As you probably already know, I have an obsession with hippos. Since my husband won’t let me have a pet hippo, I collect figures of them, instead. I have quite a few little ones that get rather lost on a shelf, so I decided to turn one of the Tim Holtz Configurations boxes into a shadow box to hold some of them.

I covered the back and bottom of each box with paper from Tim Holtz, then used Tissue Tape to cover the edges of each box and to hold them all together. Since I wanted the hippos to shine and not the box, I painted the tissue tape with gold Paint Dabber to calm it down a bit. Then I added some ribbons in browns and golds from my stash to the edges.

I added a sticker by Rusty Pickle to the back of one box and a stamped image, colored with Copic Markers, to another. (I found the stamp on a scrapbook retreat. I told my husband it was a portrait of us!) They appear a bit cloudy in this photo … there was just something odd going on with the lighting.

On several of them, I added Grungeboard leaves and flowers from one of the Tim Holtz kits. I colored them with Distress Inks and then used a homemade Perfect Pearls mist to cover the flowers.

For the background and sides of the box, I used Adirondack Color Wash in Sailboat Blue and Denim. The final effect reminds me of water.

I used Removeable Glue Dots to hold the hippos in place and put the box together. Then, I added feet, corners and a label — all Tim Holtz products (all attached with Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear glue). I thought it needed just a little more, so I added a few Prima flowers to the plastic front.

And now it is ready to go on my shelf!

Making Mosaics

Don’t you hate it when life gets in the way of paper crafting?!? That seems to be what has happened to me lately … When I am stressed, I have trouble being creative. Thinking is just too hard and I have many more failures than normal, which causes frustration and more stress and, well, it is sort of a downward spiral. Since paper crafting is both my hobby and therapy, I never want it to become a chore.

So, when things aren’t working like they should, I turn to one of my favorites — Mosaics!

OK. You can stop rolling your eyes at me now … these are much easier than they look — if you have the right tools.

Tami Potter is the queen of mosaics. While I have never actually met her in person, I have “followed” her for years.

She makes the process so easy with a cutting mat, paper and guide with grids. An idea book (one of my favorite scrapbooking books of all time) offers tons of examples, suggestions and tips. Here are her directions, via a video on her blog.

Here are closer looks at my pages …

Click on the images for a closer look …

I added sticker letters from The Paper Loft and cardstock from American Crafts for the title and journaling blocks.

Keep in mind that I did these while chatting with my friends and spent absolutely no time planning what would go where. I just figured out which pictures I wanted to cut and started cutting … With a little planning, you can make absolutely amazing mosaics!

And, since Tami’s method is so simple, it’s pretty hard to mess it up, which makes it perfect for therapeutic scrapping.