Elephants

It’s been a week since my bazaar stint at Estancia Mall in Capitol Commons —  my second time to join the Maker’s Market — and I’m still over the moon. It was a successful one! I can’t wait for the next one in September. (More on my bazaar experience in my next post)

One of the people who paid my booth a visit was an old friend. She was my first ever best friend; we’ve known each other since grade school. I’m going to spare myself the task of revealing my age by not going into more details (*cough*specific year*cough*). Let’s just say it was in the 90’s. Yeah.. We’ve been friends thaaaat long, and so, it was really a lovely surprise for me to see her there. 

She commissioned me to make her elephant papercuts: a bookmark and a framed papercut. I’m posting just the framed papercut as I haven’t gotten a good photo of the bookmark yet. Anyway, here it is: 

 

  
I love how it turned out. I used stone paper for this piece as the lines are very fine which made the papercut delicate, then framed the final piece in double glass. Total time to make this: about 1.5 hours, including the sketching bit.

Fun fact on elephants: Did you know that when elephants meet up with family or friends, they entwine their trunks? That’s elephant-style hugging right there!

I’m ending this post with a song which played while I was just about to finish my elephant papercut. Spotify is magic.

In the Sun

February! Whew, the first month of 2015 flew by so fast, I haven’t had time to write a proper entry for my blog. Well, to be honest, I did not really do a lot of crafting last month. I wanted to give myself time to recuperate from the busy months of November and December. Now, don’t you rejoice yet, coz I’m back! With my unwitty remarks and geeky crafting moments. 😝

I had some free afternoon one Saturday last month. The weather was cool and the sun cast the perfect lighting, so I went to the beach and surfed. Not. I’m way cooler than that so I brought out my crafting tools in the garden. 😊

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Of course, I had to be surrounded by my pets! I thought they can learn a trick or two in cutting paper.

Now, the project. I wanted something new for my office desk so I made a quote about, er, vacations. I know, I know. Vacation already?! Haha! But I thought this would keep me motivated (sane?) during moments of stress and save my hair from being pulled out a lot.

I first wrote the text in freehand calligraphy on tracing paper. Then, I traced the wrong side of the image on to white paper to create a mirror image. And then, I cut them with my trusty craft knife.

This came out:

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Charlie was the perfect border: 😜

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This is now on display at my workstation:

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What do you think of the quote? Agree?

Watch this video while you think about it. Cheers! 😉

“As we fell into the light, Our worlds collide”

My, how ancient was the last time I posted here? The past months had been crazy busy with work (and a bit of travel) on the side that I hadn’t used my trusty craft knife for weeks. This week is a different story, though, as I had to finish 3 commissions which were all needed urgently… but that would be for a different post.

So I was browsing through my phone’s photos and I saw this papercut which I made more than a month ago. I like the design (credits to Tina Tarnoff) because it silently tells the start of a love story, with cupid aiming his arrow at the couple.

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This was to be given as a wedding anniversary present so I incorporated the name of the couple to customize it.

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You must wonder where and how I got the title for this post. It’s a song which I like very much (just the intro itself is a beauty) by the band The Mostar Diving Club. Listen to the song here:

I Won’t Give Up

Whenever I am commissioned for a project to be given as a gift, my clients always inform me who the recipient is. While this information is something that they voluntarily give, I find it helpful in coming up with the details concerning the design and overall look of the project. For instance, if the recipient is a teenage girl who is very feminine, floral designs and pink frames are a safe choice; while if it is for a guy, the color scheme would normally consist of earth and neutral tones, and geometric lines for the design.

For this project, I was contacted through e-mail.  I can’t explain it, but I get really kilig whenever someone I don’t personally know contacts me for a commission. Must be the amateur crafter in me. Haha. Anyway, as I was saying, my client for this project requested a few lines from a song by Jason Mraz and a sketch of his (Mraz’s) face in one of his albums to be included in the papercut.

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I was more than willing to accept the project not only because I am a Mraz fan myself (and I love this song to bits and pieces), but also because I was told the papercut will be given as an anniversary gift to her husband. To be asked to make a personalized gift for a special someone — my favorite. I feel like Cupid, only with a crafting knife and pencil in hand, instead of bows and hearts. =) Oh, and fully clothed of course! Haha!

So… Here is the project:

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When my client first told me that the project is a song by Jason Mraz, I just knew the project must be all-white. I don’t really know why this immediately came to mind, I just thought this would give the desired effect I want on the project. Plus, it’s for a male recipient — I didn’t want too many colors. Looking at how it turned out, my instinct couldn’t have been more spot on 😉

Here’s the video, for those of you who might not be familiar with the song. I was lucky enough to watch Mraz perform this song in his concert in Manila last year. Such a talented artist, this man.

 

Christmas and Me are Through

Before the festivities are over and gifts are unwrapped, allow me to greet you a Merry Christmas!!!! I do hope you are where you want to be right now, that is, with your family and loved ones.

Now, back to business 🙂 This is a project I’ve been meaning to share in my blog but couldn’t because my client requested not to have this posted before Christmas (the papercut will be given as a gift to her friend). And since I couldn’t wait a day after Christmas to post this, here it is:

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“The greatest gift is a portion of thyself.”

Here’s a much clearer photo (but with a cream background which I replaced later on):

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I don’t know if it can be seen through the photo, but if you look closely, I’ve framed it in a way that the papercut is embossed over the background. Here’s how I did it:
(Top) Glass – Papercut – Acetate – Mounting material – Background.

If you have your own frame-maker (which I don’t), it doesn’t have to be this complicated. You can just have him customize a frame and mount it for you. I substituted acetate for glass as I needed a thin material that the frame could hold. I couldn’t find a thick enough double-sided tape at home so I folded strips of black paper instead as my mounting material. Besides, the dark paper helped in concealing the mount since the papercut is also black. For the background, I used a semi-hologram board paper in lilac with astral print. It just so happened that I have this paper lying around in my room and thought it was perfect in creating that “holding hands in the twilight” feel to the artwork. 🙂

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You might wonder why the title of this blog entry is so far off from the papercut. Well, it is. It’s just my way of getting all emo in bidding goodbye to the Christmas season. 😛 And it’s also the title of a song I like which I first heard on Chuck. The song doesn’t have an official video so the one below shows clips from the TV series instead (which I certainly do not mind). Hope you’ll like it as much as I do.

Merry Christmas once again, craft geeks! 🙂

Tips and Tricks in Papercutting

I know I’ve only been cutting for a good five months, but in that length of time, I’ve had my share of discoveries and mistakes in papercutting. And while I am still continuously making these (discoveries and mistakes alike), I just thought I could share them with my followers who might be interested in the hobby as well. Here are my ten tips and tricks that will be handy when you get into papercutting:

1. Buy your frame beforehand.

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This first tip might seem odd to some, but this is what I’ve learned in my few months of papercutting. When I first got into the hobby, I was too excited to make papercuts that I made a lot of them in all shapes and odd sizes. By the time I realized I wanted to frame some of my best works, I had a difficult time looking for the perfect frame to fit them in. So yes. If you can, and if you can already picture your finished product, buy the frame first. Frame shops are very limited in Manila. And if you want to have a customized frame, it can really be expensive.

2. Make standard-sized papercuts.

If you would still prefer to choose a frame after making your project, make sure that the length and width of your project are the standards. By “standards”, I mean 8×10, 8.5×11, 8.5×13, 5×7, 6×8, and 4×6 dimensions (all in inches). These are the usual frame sizes that you can find in the mall or a bookstore. Others carry 9×12 and A4 sizes, but these are hard to find. And even if you find frames in an unusual size, chances are the color or design may not go well with your papercut.

3. Dont forget to leave an allowance for borders.

I hate to break this to you but while a 6×8″ frame may fit all of your 6×8″ papercut, not every detail will be seen, specifically the sides. Remember that some frames have wide borders which may cover the outer parts of your project, so take note of this before cutting. 

4. Change blades as often as needed.
Dull blades are the worst. They ruin the paper and make your project untidy. So when you feel like your blade is no longer cutting deeply into the paper, it’s time to change. I normally use a minimum of 2 blades per project, depending on the intricacy of the design. So buy spare blades. Lots of them. I hate it when I’d have to put off a project just because l ran out of blades. Trust me, you’d hate it too.

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5. Cut diagonally.

Avoid pointing your craft knife vertically. There may be designs which are so intricate that you’d point your knife in a close-to-90-degree angle to make sure you cut right through small holes or lines. Don’t. This is the usual culprit for breaking the tip of your blade. When this happens, your blade is just as good as breaking the entire thing altogether.

6. Take a break.

Whenever I’m making a project, I make sure that I take a break from time to time — usually after an hour of cutting. Check your e-mail, drink a cup of coffee, open your facebook, whatever floats your boat. This will give your fingers a chance to rest for a bit and will prevent you from getting backaches after a project.

7. Cut to the music!

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I can’t remember a time not ever listening to music while doing a project. Music – apart from coffee- is my fuel; it just keeps me going. Papercutting goes hand in hand with sound tripping (at least for me) so always be ready with your favorite playlist.

8. Sometimes, a “so-what” attitude helps.

You will, from time-to-time, commit mistakes. You’d accidentally cut a part you shouldn’t, realize you’ve misspelled a word after finishing an entire project, etc. When you do, try to repair the damage if you can. If not, so what? You’re only human. Mistakes, you gotta make them.

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Notice how there’s a space between “always” and “be” at the last line. That’s because I mistakenly put “the” in between, so that it would’ve looked like “will always the be the same”. I just removed the extra “the” to remedy the error. Fortunately, the space is in the middle of the phrase so it kinda looks intentional.

9. Never, ever, pull a loose papercut.

You’ve finished cutting a project and found a part you haven’t cut completely. Whatever you do, do NOT pull! It’s tempting, yes, but doing so might tear the surrounding paper. Stop being lazy and grab your cutting knife so can cut through the loose part completely.

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10. Take your time.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when doing a project. Instead, take your time and focus on the end product you want in mind. A project doesn’t have to be done in one sitting. Sometimes it can take days, weeks or months to finish a papercut. Remember, papercutting is a hobby. Hobbies are there to be enjoyed. So just relax and enjoy what you’re doing 🙂

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I could think of more than 10 tips, actually, but these should do for now. I hope you find these 10 tips helpful in your next project.