God Save The King!
And his kingdom!
~ * ~ GSTK Cards ~ * ~
I've added anchors to each post so that you can share specific cards you like. Click on the " ~ link to this post ~ " links then 'share' from there. The address in your browser will have a # with a number on the end, which will take you directly to the specific card rather than the top of this page.
~ * ~ Pop-up cards ~ * ~
I use mostly very simple pop-up designs, so that visitors of any age can do them. There got to be so many that I have moved them to their own page. ^_^ Check the Easter and other sections for pop-ups, too, as I sometimes do holiday-themed ones. The heart ones here can also be used for Valentines. ^_~ You can write or draw any occasion in the blank area on the fronts of the cards, and I have done a few with different ready-made versions.
Lion-hug pop-up cards! ^_^ Want to give someone a hug without touching them? You could use these.
Okay, I think I've worked this out so that even if your printer doesn't print it in the position I drew it your folds should still line up the right way. If a bit sticks out when you put it together, you can just trim it. ^_~ Again, they're more sturdy on cardstock or heavy paper, but regular printer paper works fine, too. If there are any major problems, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to mail them and don't have card envelopes this size, you can make your own envelopes from a 12"x12" piece of paper. I have worked out smaller versions below that you'll be able to make envelopes for from a piece of printer paper (with squares 8.5"x8.5"). You can also make a really simple pop-up mouth and draw your own lion or animal around it, in any size you need. Instead of a straight line, cut a jagged line for a toothy maw. ^_^
yeah, he was originally egg-shaped. ;p view larger photo
When you close the card, top of lion should tuck itself in.
Good nutrition is vital even in the best of times. Malnutrition can severely impede your ability to fight off infections and diseases, so eating a nutritious balanced diet is more important now than ever. Support your local food banks and pantries so others can eat healthily, too; and, if you can, support those in Africa where widespread hunger and starvation was a problem even before all this happened. Conflicts, plagues of locusts and droughts, and now a pandemic, have made it impossible for many there to get any food at all. Many communities don't even have running water, a vital need in the fight against diseases.
Many schools local to here, in the US, have converted their programs to still get meals to the students by having curbside pick up; and some eatery owners have also provided free or very cheap meals for their local youth. (Awesome people! ^_^) Children in Africa aren't that lucky, and they may not be able to do it safely. Children are our future, so, during these extra trying times, not only has the Kevin Richardson Foundation joined with Southern Lodestar Foundation to send meals to local communities, they're funding pay for game reserve staff who still work to keep wildlife, and people, safe without income from tourists to cover the costs. #dowhatyoucan
I finally worked out a smaller pop-up-hug card and felt it was an appropriate page to put with this post. ^_^ This one is sized so that you can make your own envelope for it from a regular size sheet of paper. I even made a card base with different fronts to cover a few common occasions you might send someone some love or a hug for - and upcoming Mother's Day, the second sunday of every May. ^_^ Even a blank one for you to put your own occasion, or note, at the top. If you like, you can add more decorations on the outside and inside to dress it up with your own style.
August 10 is World Lion Day
To celebrate and help spread awareness, here's another card to pass on some lion love to others - or just enjoy for yourself. ^_^
This card will fit into a regular envelope, but you could assemble the heart right on the lion half of the page for a miniposter. (That's what the rectangle outline is for, if desired. Otherwise, cut around the lion and hearts to separate them.)
Printing the actual card part on cardstock would be great, but I don't recommend it for the inner parts, as it may make the card so thick in the middle that it would require extra postage.
With the card base the same color as the page the lion is on, you don't need to worry about cutting precisely around the tail. If the paws don't line up for you, just glue some on top of those spots (which is how the original design was done anyway ^_~). The main thing is to just make sure the creases and folds line up in the center of the card so that it opens and closes well.
It's a different kind of pop-up inspired by this site (which has a video of her doing one, if that might help you out). Really cute, but I noticed that sometimes the leading heart section doesn't come up for them all to be nicely spaced when the card is opened. I just added a little strip of paper to help it pull open better. Just fold a little strip, maybe about 3/4" long, into an M shape and glue the ends inside the tops of the hearts on that end. You could do more than one section, or all the way across, if you like, and either the same color as the hearts, or purposely in different colors (rainbow would fit, as there's six spaces). Whatever suits your theme.
The information on the card's page was just for you, but then I thought it might be nice to be able to cut it out, fold it, and include it in the card. I also made different versions of the card cover, including a blank one, so you can easily use it for whatever occasion you like. Have fun! ^_^
Okay, I think I got the folds and directions worked out. ^_^ Here's a hyena pop-up card that is sized to fit into regular letter envelopes. It was kind of hard to draw a hyena in this postion. I hope you can tell what it is. ^,^
The photo below illustrates the direction the folds should be. If it helps you line the diagonal folds up, you can fold them back first then fold them forward. All folds should meet at the center of the bottom edge.
A lot of people don't realize that cubs offered for petting or photos don't live very long lives. People either simply don't think about it, or they may assume the cubs are well cared for until they die naturally of age. Follow the links below to learn what really happens to them. A little thought can go a long way toward change. ^_^
World Lion Day is August 10.
My mom was a Leo. ^_^ She taught me to always keep my priorities straight, but never forget how to have fun. My characters here represent that. They advocate something serious, but embody the good-natured fun we'd have with her. She would have loved these simple crafts like these pop-up cards - probably would have helped me come up with all kinds of crafts for this site! ^_^
World Lion Day is August 10.
World Elephant Day was August 12. I often think about elephants and lament the loss of tusks among them. Just saving elephants isn't enough: They haven't really been saved, if they all become tuskless. I see articles and such about the loss of "big tuskers" and even that, because they're taken out of the gene pool, now many elephants are even born without tusks. Yet, it's rare to hear anything about what that means for the environment - or humans.
African elephants use their tusks in numerous ways that other wildlife depend on as well. Remember the salt caves? They use their tusks to dig into cave walls (or the ground) for salt, an essential nutrient, and other animals benefit as they're unable to do it for themselves. Elephants dig into large baobab trees with their tusks for water and fiber. Other wildlife benefit from the access to essential moisture and exposed food sources - even holes for homes. Elephants also use their tusks to dig for water, creating new waterholes that help other wildlife survive the dry seasons. Elephants aren't the only animal that depend on elephant tusks.
If African elephants become tuskless, other wildlife is going to suffer, too. Yet, what humans really need to consider is: Humans causing elephants to become tuskless is going to create more human-wildlife conflict. When elephants can no longer create their own access to necessary water and minerals in the wild, they, and the wildlife dependent on them, are going to seek it elsewhere. And that 'elsewhere' is human crops and water sources.
Science ABC has some ads but great, easily digestible info about the role of elephants in ecosystems.
~*~ In 2021 March, African elephants were officially recognized as two genetically separate species: Forest Elephants (critically endangered) and Savanna Elephants (endangered).
When gluing on the trunk piece, line it up below the trunk on the elephant's head - the trunk's crease will match the card's crease, while the head's crease is the opposite so that it pops up. Only glue down the tab-size left part of the trunk, with the crease lined up with the card's. Then, to glue the tab that sticks out from the heart end of the trunk, hold the folded tab flat to the trunk, put a little glue on the end part and lay trunk down, pressing the tab area to affix it to the card underneath the trunk. The fold of the tab, and the trunk, should remain loose, so that the trunk pops up a little when the card is open. ~ You could also just cut that tab off and glue the trunk flat, if you like. Actually, you could use many of the pop-ups flat, if you like. ^_~
^_^ I think this elephant card came out really cute! ^_^ I just hope I got the directions worded well enough to make sense. ^.^ Here are a couple of photos to help out.
I'm doing different animals for these pop-up cards so that there's fun options and to spread a bit of awareness about other animals that share habitat with lions. Saving habitat for lions will save it for them, too. ^_^ This card is a cheetah. I hope you can tell. ^.^
Unless you're new, you will have heard that the Sanctuary is working to raise and rewild 5 cheetah cubs that were orphaned by poachers. Now, 3 more orphaned cheetah cubs have been added to the group. If you'd like to donate to help out with this project, or to help rangers protect their habitat, go to the Foundation's support page.
[See coloring page 28 for more about cats that roar or purr.]
Their legs are so long, I had to erase the whole giraffes multiple times to try to get them to fit! ^.^ - and they still don't... ^,^; The rest of their legs are just hidden in the grass. ;p Maybe I should have made them dwarf ones... ~ link to this post ~
Glad I waited til I could check the urls still worked - I found out the white mother giraffe and calf I'd heard about have since been killed by poachers. ;_; They were leucistic, like the white lions, and not albino. She'd had a male calf before, and he's now collared to help protect him.
Here are some other interesting bits about giraffe I came across before:
One doesn't think of giraffe making vocalizations, but giraffe hum to each other at night. The World According to Sound has a great audio file of it with their info. It's not really a hum, but that's the closest anyone could come to in labeling it. It sounds like creaking doors and would probably be pretty creepy to hear at night! Well, maybe for cultures that have haunted houses... Maybe I should have saved this for Halloween... ^_~
There are two known dwarf giraffe - You can really see how they're stocky adults with short legs, rather than juvenile-short.
and that giraffe spots act like air conditioning - I wonder if strongly dappled lions stay cooler...
Pangolins are covered in scales and curl up into balls when threatened. They can't be pried open, and their scales keep teeth at bay. In the wild, this protects them really well, even against large predators like lions. Yet, this great defense makes it easy for humans to just pick them up and take them - mainly for those scales to be ground up and sold as "medicine".
The Asian pangolins have been decimated, and now African pangolin are being used to replace them in the market. The scales are simply keratin like hair and nails and don't contain anything special. They certainly don't contain anything worth killing for, nor for driving species to extinction for.
Kevin made a great video about pangolins. You can also learn more at Fact Animal. The Fish & Wildlife Service has info on the Countries that met to discuss pangolin threats and how to protect them, and Mongabay has an article about pangolins being reintroduced in a region they'd been eliminated from.
Pangolin are considered the most trafficked animal in the world.
They have absolutely no defense against humans.
...except other humans. ^_~
Leopards are another big cat that share habitat with lions. Leopards as a whole are listed as vulnerable, but many of the subspecies are endangered or critically endangered. The biggest threat to them (have you noticed the pattern?) is humans. Loss of habitat is at the top of the list, but leopard are also killed for ego-boosts, trophies, their spotted fur and because farmers feel threatened simply by their presence - none of which are very good reasons.
Leopards, like lions and other predators, can peacefully coexist with humans with a little tolerance and understanding and steps to protect domestic livestock - like penning domestic animals in at night, or using specially trained guard dogs, and not pressuring predators into going after livestock for food by chasing off their natural prey. Protecting natural habitat helps the humans as well as the animals.
You can learn more about the different species of leopards at the World Wildlife Day website.
African painted dogs go by many names, the most accurate translation being painted wolf. However, they're a species of their own - with less than 7,000 left in the wild. They are uniquely multi-colored, many with streaks and patches of white (like calico cats ^_^), which is why they're called "painted". Like spotted hyenas, they have a matriarch in charge, but, unlike hyenas, painted dogs have large litters of offspring. Yet, despite being the most efficient hunters and having large litters, their numbers are in such decline.
Kevin supports Painted Dog Conservation and often speaks at their fundraisers in Australia.
People who think my favorite color is purple, don't really know me. How well do you really know hippos? Hippos have fish clean their teeth, graze on dry land and can't swim even though they're related to whales and porpoises.
Hippopotamus mouths are pretty strange, and they can open so wide that even I could stand up in one. ^,^ I wouldn't try it, but it gives you an idea - and maybe will educate you to think twice about getting out of a vehicle at a park. For some reason, tourists seem to respect lions while giving no thought to walking up to hippos. Hippos may be known as the "river horse" and eat grass, but they are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa! They are very aggressive and kill humans more than any predator does.
Yet, they have their precious sides, too. Their boundaries just need respected and any approach done with care and safety above photo-ops. PBS Nature has a bunch of clips and information about hippos, as well as a nice fact sheet that also touches on how they're killed for their tusks, which has put their numbers in decline. African Wildlife Federation has more detail about that market. Hippo ivory is cheaper and easier to smuggle than elephant ivory.
^,^ A little extra fun for this one. October birthdays are the best, and International Snow Leopard Day is coming up, so he just couldn't be left out. ^_~
I didn't intend to, just drew something fun, but with the two male lions together it's a good time to talk about male lion coalitions. Young male lions get ousted from their birth prides when they reach sexual maturity. This prevents inbreeding and spreads genes around. Brothers and cousins often stick together as they go off to make their way in the world, forming a "coalition". Though, male lions that have never met before may also come together into a coalition. Seems like the usual number together is two to four, but it varies. Sticking together gives them a better chance of taking over and protecting their own pride. ...like from non-native species smart alecks... ^,^
This week is an almost psychedelic zebra theme. ^_^ There are three main species, with two already endangered and numbers significantly declining in the other one.
There's a lot of urban myths about bats, but in reality they're our biggest source of insect control and one of the most beneficial animals to humans. I remember reading somewhere that around 200 species of them around the world are threatened. There are really big species in Africa, but most bats are like the herons: They look bigger when their wings are extended, but actually have small bodies. The brown bats around here look big when flying around your ceiling, but are cute and tiny when perched.
I don't have links for endangered African bats, but I do have some I got before about PA bats. You can encourage them to roost on your property - or give them an alternative to roosting in your attic, by building them a bat box. PennState has great info on local bats, including when bats are inside your house and on building houses for them. PA Game Commission has plans for a small bat house with 80 bats capacity - and a large one page 1 , page 2, with 250 bats capacity. You can use multiple bat boxes near each other.
When I was making the small pop-up cards, a Christmas one came out, too. It was hard to wait to post it. ^_^
Check out other Christmas cards and Christmas-themed pages linked through that section.
I was working on this Valentine's Day version of the small pop-up series I was doing, and was inspired with a bonus version that uses a heart-shaped card base. ^_^ You can use the heart on the print-out, or use the printed one as a pattern to cut a heart card base from colored paper. So, I also made a sheet of just the picture inserts that you can use if making multiple cards with colored paper bases.
With the printed one, you can color the heart card or leave it white. I left mine white and added different colored heart stickers inside. ~ Also, you have a little leeway in how high you place the picture inside: The white card example shows how the top middle of the picture can be a little above the card's top middle, as long as it all tucks in when the card is closed. On the red card example, I placed the picture as far down as you can without sticking out. Each gives just a little bit different look.
Check out GSTK Cards for other Valentines. There are also lots of heart pop-up cards that you can use for Valentine's Day.
And remember that WCTL has a Healing Hearts project every year that you can contribute homemade Valentines to, and those don't need envelopes. ^_^
Here is an Easter version for the small pop-up card series.
Also check out other Easter cards and follow links there to find Easter coloring pages that were posted in other years. Posted with this card was also a Lion Easter Egg craft. The egg pictures for it can also be used separately as decorations or even used to make cards. ^_^
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Be a steward of the Earth.
[I'm not a professional and have limited resources/access.I make the printable images to be around 8x11 inches to fill a sheet of regular letter-size paper when printed. Coloring pages may be printed from here and made copies of for non-profit, free-of-charge use only. Plant seeds! ^_^]