31 Jan 2013

Is it like potato printing?

Thank you if you read my last post and have come back for more! I had a suggestion for a "How To" post from one of my friends, so here it is!

I didn't really think about how people thought the designs are created, but I've been asked if I draw them on the computer, cut them out with scissors, or make a stamp like potato printing. Nope! Just a pencil, bit of paper, a cutting mat and a craft knife.

First of all, before you start cutting is the really hard bit. Coming up with an idea! Honestly, I can spend hours just scribbling, sketching, rubbing out, ripping up bits of paper in frustration when I realise that I don't have the skills to draw the image I can see in my head. You get the picture.

The most difficult 'creation' was the cutting I did as a civil partnership gift to one of my best friends, Emma. Eventually I came up with this;

So, once the idea is down on paper, choose your coloured paper (or just a plain old sheet of white if that's what you fancy) and transfer the image onto the back of it. I use origami paper, mainly because this is what we used at the workshop I went to yonks ago, but also because there are some lovely colours, and it is white on the back so easier to see what you are cutting.

Now, this is the important bit. It has to be a mirror image of what you want the finished article to be, because you cut from the back. When I made this one, I used a very long winded way of doing it, using tracing paper, scribbling on the back, turning it over and re-drawing onto the origami paper. Forget that if you have a scanner/printer! Now, I scan in the sketch, edit it on the computer and flip the image, then print it out onto my coloured paper. Nice and quick.

Once you have done that, you can get cutting!

I use an X-Acto craft knife, but any will do. My sister got me a nice one for Christmas but I threw away the box and now don't know what make it is (can you remember, Kathryn?!).

Start with the little fiddly bits while the paper is still reasonably stable (details on clothing, lettering, and in this case, paw prints) then work up to the bigger cuts (such as the sky, tree trunks etc).

Every so often, turn your paper over and smile while you admire your handiwork.

Eventually you will end up with something like this;

I didn't take a photo of this in its frame, but I have been told that it looks lovely in Emma and Kathy's
hall. If slightly large. Oops.
For my cards, at this stage, I scan them into the computer so that I can print them out onto plain card. I am going to experiment with the type of paper that I use so I that I give the originals as greetings cards. At the moment, the paper is a little too thin and would get really damaged in an envelope. Or maybe I could put some kind of clear layer on top. Hmmm. As you can tell, I am very much still learning about the process myself.....

28 Jan 2013

And so we begin!

Welcome to my first ever post on my first ever blog! I am not entirely sure what I am going to write about that will keep you interested enough to come back and read more, but I will give it a go. Please bear with me.....
I have just set up a shop on Folksy selling my papercut designs. It is a great website, so if you don't fancy anything I have on sale at the moment, then have a browse!
Why papercutting? Well, I really enjoying making things. Any sort of thing really. The only problem is that I am not really very good at many of them. I love the process of deciding what to make, searching for the raw materials, finding out how to make the thing and starting it. Here is just a small selection of my misshapen jumpers, crooked crochet and slapdash sewing;

I also don't have much free time on my hands thanks to my two little children, who aren't yet old enough to realise that it is dangerous to wave a knitting needle around in the other one's face, so things rarely get finished. Such as the babygro I started knitting when I was expecting my son. I knew I wouldn't get it finished in time for his arrival, so started making it in 3-6 month size. It is still unfinished and said son is now 13 months old.
Anyway, at about the same time I started that babygro, I attended a papercutting workshop at The Make Lounge in Islington. After only a couple of hours I had produced something that I could happily put on my daughter's bedroom wall without the slight embarrassed feeling that accompanies most things I make her. I made a few birthday cards for my family, and another picture for my daughter (it was a gruffalo, and although I am rather proud of it, I had to take it down after she got scared of being in the same room as it in the dark...)
Skip forward a year or so and I picked up my craft knife again and made some Christmas cards. I had forgotten how quickly you can produce something really satisfying and got quite hooked again. So I decided that I would try selling my designs. I hope you like them! There isn't a huge amount in my shop at the moment but there are a few other designs up my sleeve that will appear soon.
So, til the next time.....