Those Birds

Birds are interesting creatures – live ones and — I found out only recently — on paper too! You’d notice that in some of my works, there is a papercut of a bird or two included somewhere.

These are just two of them. I made them a few months back when i first started papercutting.

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Since we’re on the topic of birds, did you know that all of the swans in England are the property of the queen? Disturbing or bothering them is considered a serious offense. Cool stuff, huh? You can find more trivia on birds at Cockatiel Cottage. Here are some of them:

• With few exceptions, birds do not sing when they are on the ground. They only sing when standing on objects off of the ground or while flying.

• Penguins can swim but they cannot fly.

• A kiwi bird has nostrils at the end of its beak.

• A flamingo must turn its head upside down to eat.

• A hummingbird’s egg is the smallest of all bird eggs and is the size of a pea.

• An ostrich egg is the largest of all bird eggs and is the size of a medium cantaloupe.

• Frigate birds can fly at a speed of 260 miles per hour.

• The American crow is found in every USA state except Hawaii.

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The How’s of Papercutting

It was only in July this year when I learned how to papercut through a workshop held by Hey Kessy. Mansy, the girl behind Hey Kessy, was actually the one who suggested that I start a blog of my works. And that’s when Papel de Pinay came to be.

Although I am only an amateur on this newfound hobby, I thought it might be helpful to share the very basics of papercutting on this blog, particularly to those who may also find interest on this hobby.

Papercutting consists of three parts: 1) Conceptualizing; 2) drawing; and 3) cutting.

Conceptualize

This part is the one I enjoy the most as I have tons of ideas to do for my projects. However, if you’re only starting out and is still a bit unsure of what to do, why not think of an interesting quote or a line from your favorite song? From there, you can draw a lot of inspirations. If you’re the forgetful type like me, it’s good to keep a notebook where you can sketch your ideas and plan for your next projects. You never know when you’ll get all Dory all of a sudden.

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Draw

Then comes the part I dread the most — drawing. Why, you ask? Because I seriously suck at drawing. I do. For one project, I even had to google a few cliparts just because I couldn’t draw a freaking owl. Really. The good thing about papercutting though, is that your drawings need not be perfect. So if you’re lame at sketching, don’t lose hope. Just don’t leave out the details as these are what make papercuts intricate and appealing.

Remember also that you will be drawing on the opposite side of the page (this is to keep the paper free from pencil traces), so make sure that your sketch is a mirror image of your project. Otherwise, if your project involves some text, one would need to master the art of reading in reverse to appreciate your work.

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Cut

Last but not the least — the most important of all, actually — is the cutting part. Your craft knife is your magic wand. If your craft knife is dull, your cuts will not be clean and steady. You wouldn’t want to end up crumpling your work in frustration after spending a considerable amount of time conceptualizing and drawing, would you? That said, I really suggest investing on a good quality craft knife. Craft knives usually come with blades which can be bought in bookstores, specialty shops, and even hardware stores. I haven’t tried other brands aside from Maped, so I can’t recommend a specific brand besides what I’m using now. I have, however, heard good reviews on X-Acto so I might try that out next time.

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For the finished product of this papercut, click here.

One more thing: when making your project, never, as in NEVER, cut without a cutting mat or board — unless, of course you’d want to engrave your project permanently on your tabletop and find your mom making a close-to-perfect impression of The Conjuring.

There you go. Just some of the basic things I wanted to share with you on my very limited knowledge on the art of papercutting. Try it out sometime. Who knows, maybe it might pique your interest like it did mine. 🙂

Play and Pause

One of my favorite subjects for my papercutting projects is lyrics from my fave songs. They’re the easiest to make but are the most meaningful when finished.

Not a lot of people know it, but music has been a big part of my life ever since I was little. When I was younger, I would keep a notebook filled with handwritten lyrics of all my favorite songs. We had no internet back then (I can’t believe I’m that old >_<) and I had to pause and play my recordings from the radio just to listen to the lyrics and write them down. Whew! What a difference a couple of decades makes, huh? Thank goodness for Google now!

Here are some of the "song projects" I've done. Can you guess which songs they're from? Tell me which one's your favorite too 🙂

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Three Words to Live By

Here you go. My first project while on vacay. I had to think twice about using colored paper for this project, but after seeing how it turned out, I couldn’t be happier.

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It’s a bit weird, though, because while I’m oozing with crafting ideas, I’m having the hardest time writing about my works while I’m away. So please forgive my extra lazy and incoherent sentences. Guess you could say my brain cells are on break as well? 😛

P.S. Credits to my mom’s well-maintained garden for providing the background for this post’s project 🙂

Locked Away in a Box

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As I have mentioned in my facebook page, I am spending some time off in my father’s hometown in Napti, Aklan for a few days. My mom and I were just blessed to have this trip pushed through, in the midst of the monsoon rains. I do wish the rains have stopped by now and that all of you back home are safe.

Anyhow, now that I am miles away from the city life, I made sure to store all things work-related in a box. At the back of my mind. Locked with chains and barrel bolts. At least for now.

I really believe we all need some time away from the real world once in a while. I am a strong advocate of this, especially to my friends who keep telling me they are getting burned out from work. Sometimes we just need to take a breather from it all and clear our minds. Trust me, it’ll keep you sane.

And don’t ever say that you don’t have the luxury to take a break. After all, they say the best time for a vacation is when you say you don’t have the time for one. 🙂

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Make Me Emo

It’s the rainy season yet again and while it’s not my favorite season (then again, we only have 2 seasons so I can also say it’s my next favorite season, but i digress…), I can’t say I don’t enjoy the cool weather it brings. Bring out a cup of hot cocoa, some emo music, and a little bit of inspiration, and you’ve got this:

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This latest song by Paramore has been on loop in my ipod (and in my head) for a while. I just love the lyrics, hence, the inclusion in my artwork. Take a listen, maybe you’ll like it too 🙂

Still Into You – Paramore