As we countdown the days until the BlogPaws confurr-ence, I am prepping Mom as she’ll be representing me and my blog at that May event. One of the projects I had outlined for her to do was to make a flat pet, or “flattie” I call it, of me. This is so that I can go to the event without actually having to travel, ’cause I don’t do long car rides or planes! I’ll be able to walk the red carpet, network, and say my “Mew Mew” greetings to fellow bloggers, brands, social media personalities, and pet enthusiasts, while remaining in the comfort of my own home. “Flattie V” will be my eyes and ears of the confurr-ence, and yes, well, Mom will be too.
Mom selected a photograph of me and resized and scaled it on the “computer.” When she came home from the print shop, she rolled out the first poster and then its copy on the table. I walked over and inspected. Hmm… I proceeded to walk right on top of one of the sheets, demonstrating my disapproval. I lifted a paw and pointed at the flat Valentine. I looked my human right in the eyes, “Mom, that is way too big! I’m not a Maine Coon kitty.” And it’s not that I don’t like Main Coon kitties, ’cause I have them as furr-iends and they are wonderful. But I am only a little guy – 13 cans of moist kitty food tall when sitting! I don’t want Mom to misrepresent me or my brand at BlogPaws. We kitties are purr-fictionists; we have high expectations. I told her to resize the image and try again! I sent her back to the print shop the next day! “And Mom, this time I instruct you to bring home a glossy print, so it shows my shiny coat off correctly!” We kitties just have to be on top of our humans all the time, or they will do a slack job of things. “I love you Mom!” I silent mewed to her as she walked out the door with her head down…
Mom returned home later that afternoon carrying a new poster print. She unrolled it at the table. I walked over and inspected it. I pondered… “Well, it is much better. But I can’t say that it is purr-fect, though, Mom,” I stared up at her. “What to you mean?!” she looked at me in disbelief. I pawed at the head of the flat Valentine. She insisted that she measured correctly. I wondered… Did she really? Mom showed the poster to Dad when he came home from work that evening. “Do you think the head is still too big?” she asked him, hoping he’d side with her. I heard him say something about “perspective” and how I was sitting at the time the photograph was taken – my head a bit more forward than the rest of my body. “You also took the picture with a wide angled lense.” Whatever that means. But that explains it. Way to go Mom. “I just took it with my smartphone,” she replied back.” “And that has a wide angled lense,” Dad informed her. She looked back at me and shrugged, “Oh.” Well, let me just say that Mom isn’t the sharpest tack, so I decided to let her off the hook this time. I let her continue with the creation of my Flattie V.
VALENTINE’S & MOM’S TIPS FOR CRAFTING A FLAT PET
- Take a full body photograph of your pet (set camera to highest pixels setting; have pet look directly into camera).
- Download image to computer.
- Measure actual pet & write those measurements down (overall height & width).
- Scale & resize image to match your pet’s actual measurements (make sure to “constrain proportions”).
- Name & save image to at least 600 dpi resolution (any less & the image will be fuzzy when it’s made into an oversized print).
- Order print for correct size paper at print shop (Mom went to Office Depot; she chose “poster” size & 24 lb. glossy paper; if paper is too thin it will bubble when spray mounted).
- Check for color & size of finished printed product.
- Take a piece of 1/8″ foam care board (Mom purchased it at Office Depot; also available at art & crafts stores; thicker foam core will be more difficult to make small cuts), measure & cut down to general overall size of printed product.
- Spray adhesive on one side of foam core (keep foam core flat so no spray gets on the backside; spray in well ventilated area). Let set 1 minute or time suggested on spray can.
- Mount print to board (use towel to smooth over a few times).
- Use straight edge & blade to trim down background & to shape, following overall outline of your pet’s image (make sure blade is very sharp at all times when making cuts or edges of the foam core will tear).
- Paint a dowel (suspend it at one end by string fastened to a fixed object to make it easier to paint; Mom applied acrylic craft paint using a craft brush). Let dry completely. Apply a second coat. Let dry completely. Apply a clear top coat (this will keep the paint color from rubbing off; Mom used Artists’ varnish gloss polyurethane).
- Flip flattie over face down. Measure & mark a center point in pencil between the width & height. Draw a vertical line from the center mark down to the bottom edge of the foam core.
- Place tacky craft glue on the penciled line & then place a part of the dowel length along that glue line. Let dry completely before handling.
I am going to have a one-on-one meeting with Flattie V later this week to give him assignments that I expect him to carry out at the BlogPaws conference. I know he won’t disappoint. Now, he won’t be as good as the real thing – me – but he’s the next best thing to me.
My project was inspired by BlogPaws and is a variation of flat pets created by other crafters. For more flat pet examples refer to: “How to Make a Flat Pet”, “DIY Flat Pet” and “Make a Flat Pet in 5 Minutes.”
Are you all ready for the BlogPaws Conference 2017? Have you constructed a flat pet of your furry furr-iend or will your pet be at the event with you? Even if you don’t plan on attending, you can still make a flat pet that can be a stand-in for your little companion wherever you go (ball games, concerts, restaurants, shopping, travels, etc.) and when he or she cannot be with you. Where flattie goes is just limited to your imagination! Thanks for reading! I would love for you to comment. If you like this post, please also see “BlogPaws Finalist: Noir Kitty Mews Gives Thanks & Kisses.” Mew Mew!