All Cakes Are Dog Cakes

Creating custom cards is one my favorite parts of my business.  While the process is a several hour commitment per card, it allows me to explore different techniques and combinations of colors/designs that I may not have tried on my own.  I feel like a kind in a candy store – except my materials are not edible.

My latest custom card adventure was one that tugged at my heartstrings.  My task was to incorporate a family dog into a 60th birthday card.  Seriously the best. Dogs and cake?  Two of my favorite things.  On a personal note I just learned that my birthday present from my boyfriend is going to be a puppy!!!!  (Be prepared for a bounty of puppy pictures).  While I accidentally spoiled the surprise, it didn’t make me any less excited.  With this fresh inspiration I worked on transforming Boomer the Lab into a birthday keepsake.

I received a few photos of Boomer and a note that he was the best dog ever, (aren’t all dogs the best ever?)  I was particularly struck by how doughy and expressive his eyes are; it’s like you can feel him bearing all of his love into your soul with even the quickest of glances.  Boomer also loves people food – especially cake.  I had a vision of a missing cake and a guilty Boomer and went to work.

To get an accurate graphic of Boomer I did a freehand vector sketch.  Because he has so many different shades I chose to focus on a few of the most significant highlights.

While I had a few photos of Boomer I used this as my main inspiration:

Seriously – look at those eyes!

After doing the initial sketch I colored each space so that I would have a better idea of what color paper to cut for each area, resized the image to fit a 5″ x 7″ card, and chose an appropriate font.  To help tell the story of Boomer eating a cake, I added a few features that were otherwise absent from his portrait.  While his nozzle takes up a larger area on his face, I reduced the size to make room for more animated features.


One of the more unique challenges in this card was choosing paper that had a subtle difference in shade.  Like any color, black has varying tones.  For the main body I chose a darker black with a velvet texture and used a smooth black paper with an inky color for the black highlights.  I repeated the gray and black motif with an abstract monotone mat and used red, coral, and turquoise to bring vibrancy back into the card.  In the end, this was the final product:

Boomer vs Birthday Cake

To fill the void until I have my adopted pup snuggled on my lap I might just have to keep making pet cards and live vicariously through photos.  Do you have a dog?  What is the cutest thing that they do?  Actually, maybe don’t share.  I might just melt into a puddle from the cuteness.

For more information on custom cards send me an email at: