24 Feb 2013

Too busy to type?

I've been a bit quiet on the old blogging front this week. Not that anyone will have noticed, I am sure. I have actually been doing some 'work'! I'll keep it brief and just put up a couple of photos as it's getting late.....



Both cards are in my Folksy shop if you happen to know any expectant mothers of twins with a thing for cats :-)

19 Feb 2013

I must try not to copy......

I am very much self taught when it comes to all things 'arty and crafty' bar the odd evening workshop here and there. So, I really am in awe of anybody with artistic training or who has made it 'big' in their artistic field. I went on the paper cutting workshop a couple of years ago out of pure curiosity and had no real idea of what it was about, the history or that it is an art form on its own. 

At the moment, I think I am still trying to define my own style, so I am casting my net wide and looking to others for inspiration, while trying not to copy them at the same time. I say copy, but that implies that I am actually of a standard where somebody might mistake my work for somebody else's. I should be so lucky. Or talented. Anyway, this may be shooting myself in the foot, as you will be able to see what a real paper cutter is capable of, but here is a selection of people who have made it big in paper cutting circles. 

I think pretty much everybody has heard of Rob Ryan these days (the image above is from his Etsy shop. I can't afford to buy it, but I love the sentiment). I don't mean that in a derogatory way, there is nothing wrong with being popular. I would LOVE to have my work in gift shops up and down the land. I was given a lovely book that he illustrated, called The Gift, really intricate, thoughful and sentimental work. 

However, I think my favourite paper cut artist is a lady called Nikki McClure I'm not sure if I am allowed to post images of her work on here as there's a big disclaimer on her homepage saying please don't use the images, but click on the link and have a look. Amazing stuff. I don't think I could reproduce anything like this even if I wanted to. It looks like it could have been drawn, rather than cut out. 

The prize for the most inventive use for a toilet roll goes to Yuken Teruya. If I can ever get to our empty toilet roll tubes before somebody has used it as a telescope or a didgeridoo, maybe I'll give something similar a go!

(You may also be able to tell, that as well as being a novice paper cutter, I am a novice art critic. I don't think the culture section of the Times is going to be beating a path to my door anytime soon.......)

17 Feb 2013

Keeping it in the Family

As I mentioned in my last post, I was at the Harpenden House Hotel for the wedding fair. Hello to anybody that I spoke to at the fair today, and welcome to my blog!

I was there with Heritage Classic Cars (20% off my invitations for anyone books one of their cars. Just thought I'd throw that in there.....) and my Dad, sister, brother-in-law and Mum. I should mention that Heritage Classic Cars is run by my Dad, and it's not that I just need a lot of hand holding. Here are a couple of photos from the day.

I had never been to a wedding fair until my Dad started his wedding car business, as my own wedding was rather small (and perfectly formed!) and I didn't feel the need. However I think I would have ended up with a mammoth affair had I gone to any. There were so many pretty sparkly things - shiny dresses, beautiful cakes, cosmetics galore - that it must be very tempting to order something from every stall.

I think my husband is very glad that I didn't discover them until after we got married.......

15 Feb 2013

Attention Brides-to-be!

In the Hertfordshire area, I should probably add......

Just a quick post to say that there is a wedding fair at the Harpenden House Hotel this Sunday;


I will be there with Heritage Classic Cars who did a fantastic job of ferrying me to my wedding in 2009. If you look closely enough at the website, there's a picture of me hidden away somewhere....

I have just added my wedding invitations to my Folksy shop and I just wish I had taken up papercutting before I got married as the invitations I made for my own wedding were pretty rubbish to be frank. The amount of time and money I took trying to come up with something half decent would have been better spent getting somebody else to make them. Lots of sticking bits of paper and ribbon onto card and getting in a big old sticky mess. I avoid ribbon and frills and glue at all costs now. Not my forte......

This is what I would have sent out had I been making my own today;

Anyway, if you are in the area, come along! 

12 Feb 2013

Getting into the swing of things....

I've only been half heartedly working on the old paper cutting for the last few days and have sort of lost my train of thought. I only really work in the evenings and naptimes (the little ones', not mine. Sleep doesn't seem to like me very much at the moment.....) so it's quite hard to get a good rhythm going and actually finish things off.

There seem to be quite a few new bundles of joy springing up lately, most recently, my friend Nic, who had a little girl on Friday. Saturday seemed a good time to make a new baby card.
My brain wasn't quite engaged and I forgot to flip my drawing when I printed it onto the coloured paper AGAIN, so everything was back to front, including the text. D'oh. Every time.....

As I got into the swing of it, things improved.

I kept getting a 3 year old visitor coming in to "check that mummy was getting on o.k". I asked her at various stages what she thought the picture was. It took a couple of visits for her to say 'a lady with a baby on a chair'. Exactly right. If she can tell what it is, then I think most people can. Job done.
I am sure that Nic has better things to do at the moment than read what I've been up to. Which is good seeing as I haven't posted the card yet. Oops.
I'll be adding it to my shop when I replace the batteries in my camera and take some half decent photos......


7 Feb 2013

Love, Love me do

Well I know that Valentine's Day is not everybody's favourite time of year, and that many couples don't acknowledge the occasion. We don't really. Even though we did get engaged on Valentine's Day (It wasn't on purpose. Unbeknownst to me, I was meant to be proposed to in Marrakech the week before, but we got snowed in at Luton airport.......). Despite this, I think our most memorable Valentine's Day was when I was wined and dined in the best Russian restaurant Acton Town had to offer. I seem to recall the set menu consisted of a selection of cold fish with a side of caviar to start, warm fish with caviar for mains and ice cream (probably with caviar) for dessert. We both hate caviar but because we were the only people there and the owner was so proud of her caviar feast, we had to hide the uneaten evidence in our napkins.
I digress.
Whether you like February 14th or not, it does bring out the creative side in people, so I have chosen a few of my favourite Valentine's based gifts.
Lino printing is currently one of the things I want to try next. I guess because it is so similar to paper cutting. This lovely blue heart is by Emma Higgins from Billet Doux. The design is beautifully simple and makes a nice change from the traditional red.  Billet Doux on Folksy 
Now I could never be accused of being green-fingered, but I do love flowers. This pretty necklace by Nicky Kennish from Spiral Fountain Jewellery to me seems to offer far more value for money than a real life bunch of roses. Spiral Fountain Jewellery  
Nothing to do with Valentine's Day. I just love it. Honeybelle Jewellery by Sophie Honeybelle

You'll almost wearing your heart on your sleeve with this gorgeous chunky crochet cowl. Just the thing for a cold February. Made by Loula at Loulalalou

And in case you've not yet bought your loved one a card.....

6 Feb 2013

Pom Pom-tastic

Thanks to a nasty bout of croup involving a few nights of no sleep, my first trip in an ambulance, an afternoon in Watford General and a very grumpy and poorly baby, I have done precisely nothing paper related this week! I am quite frankly, too tired to be worried by this.

In fact, it is probably quite a good thing.

I have been thinking that I needed to focus on building up my 'stock' and had spent a few evenings furiously sketching out what are actually rather average ideas, in a bit of a pile it high, flog it cheap style. Sitting in the hospital waiting room yesterday (once we'd been told everything was fine, and were waiting to be sent home of course, I am not that focussed on my new venture!) I began to mull over a few ideas. I am quite excited about getting some of these down on paper. Once the croup passes.......

In the meantime, this is all my brain has been able to cope with;

Pom poms. Pure mindless distraction for the hands when the brain can't cope with thinking. I made a horrible scarf for my daughter (she seems to like it though) and I promised I'd make some pom poms to put on it. They couldn't make it look any less awful, so I've gone through my wool mountain and picked out some suitably lurid colours I will never use again. Try it, it's fun!

2 Feb 2013

(Anti?) Social Networking

O.k, so I haven't been at this selling stuff lark for very long at all. If I am honest, I was just going to stick my stuff on Folksy/Etsy and see how it went. I have actually had more sales than I thought I would (I was expecting zero, so anything is a bonus) so I am glad that I have started the ball rolling.

But oh my goodness me, I had no idea how time consuming and addictive this whole self-promotion thing would be......The extent of my online presence has until now been limited at most, liking other people's silly photos, and posting up a few of my own on Facebook. I did do a bit of reading up and knew that it was a good idea to get yourself out there. NOWHERE did it say that my children would have to change their own nappies, cook their own tea and take themselves off to bed because Mummy had her head in the laptop 12 hours a day. Well not quite that bad, but you get the idea. Luckily for them, I've only been at it a couple of weeks, and it's only been over the last couple of days that I have had the feeling that I am slightly losing the plot. Checking my phone at 5am to see if I've had anymore Facebook likes, long after the child who has woken me has gone back to sleep. Feel free to click here and give me a like. See I can't help myself! 

Will it all be worth it? Who knows! I am trying to use my time online more efficiently as my time is limited and it's no good having an online shop with nothing to sell. My husband has quite appreciated it though, as he gets to watch whatever (rubbish) he wants on the TV without me interfering by trying to have a real life, non virtual conversation.

One thing I have realised is that everyone I have 'met' online on the various forums have been really supportive and encouraging. It may take some time to really get things going, but at least I am being spurred on to at least believe I can build up a little empire of my own.