When I was little I was self conscious of my oversized thumbs. I used to hide them underneath my other fingers. My dad, who is Scottish, used to say "Rannie, your thumbs are special and they are why you love to draw"... and so, years later when I began painting miniature illustrations and turning them into greeting cards, I gave them the name Thumb & Thistle. I've made over eighty designs over the years. Here they are, in no particular order, with the story behind each one.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015


I painted this squirrel design originally as a Valentine's card, but of course, love is year round, and this little squirrel has decided that love is always worth saving...he is unsure where to hide his heart, and he's not quite ready to give it away. I actually lost the first draft of this design when I left it in a photocopy machine and it was gone when I went to retrieve it...ironic! When I re-drew it, it worked better in a square or circular shape, rather than my usual rectangle. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012


This is another design from my tapestry series, all of which are set against wallpaper-like backgrounds. I suppose they are my own simple extraction of the William Morris style. You can find me on most Saturdays through to October this year at the Gabriola Farmer's Market, which is the only place in the world you can find my cards.

(Of course you can always email me through this blog if you see something you like.)

A young lady from Victoria bought this card from me today. I enjoy seeing what people are drawn to...she liked the colours, and it made her smile. The apricot reminds me of the juicy side of life, and it symbolizes both love and the essence of beautiful women.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


If you are Scottish, a thistle will do. Of course I wanted my collection to include a "signature" card, and this is it. This plump and tufty tartan thistle I conjured up is woven into a tapestry of violet, green and blue, upon a natural ivory background. Little flecks in the grain signify the recycled paper. For those who have an attachment to the national flower of Scotland, this image is a friendly "Och Aye" and is reason enough to enjoy it. It also serves as a get well card, as the thistle represents fortitude and defense, as well as a cure for tae much ale. 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

NAMASTE ~ Peace, Serenity, Balance

I paint the original designs for all my cards in exactly the size you see...they are miniature illustrations. This card, Namaste, is painted on lightly tea-soaked drawing paper. I spotted an Indian tapestry design in an old World of Interiors Magazine and was inspired to create an image of two birds in symmetry. This is a motif I return to often, as you will see.