With Valentines Day fast approaching, I’ve just finished off my IOU coupons for the occasion! Whilst it’s lovely to be treated to a delicious breakfast in bed or a romantic meal, it’s also wonderful to have something tangible to open and remember it with – which is where these vouchers come in! They were inspired by 1940s vintage ration cards, after I spent an evening with my grandmother, looking through her old photographs and keepsakes from her childhood in WWII. There’s something wonderfully charming about vintage styles, which I’ve tried to capture when I was working on these, whilst also entitling the bearer, be they your beloved, friends or family, to a wonderful treat!
They have an aged card appearance, and a space for the giver to write their loved ones name and their own signature, and also circle an expiration date in the grid. I’ve made these two coupons at 10.5 cm x 7 cm, because wanted them to be small enough to slip into Valentines Card, as a beautiful token of their gift to come.
I started with a Breakfast in Bed coupon and a Romantic Dinner, but plan to have many more IOU vouchers soon, after seeing how well these go down in my etsy shop. Anyone have any ideas of lovely IOUs they would like to see –or receive?
I’ve been playing around with papercuts a lot these days. This latest one reminds me of Victorian children’s stories and the power of the imagination. It features a beautiful illustration of a young girl on a swing, which is pulled forwards from the children’s story text in the background, creating a 3D effect as if she is swinging out of the book. Since she swings from the tops of the ropes, the piece is quite delicate, but the glass in the frame protects her from harm.
The cut itself is a continuous line, nowhere near as complicated as the paper cuts I was making last week, but the 3D aspect adds extra depth and the design means I’m able to make a few to sell in my etsy shop, without the price raising because of the time it takes to make. The paper cut is made from aged off-white card which reveals natural brown card underneath, and framed in a charmingly distressed shadow box frame, which creates a lovely old style which features in some of my other paper cuts. The Colours of Love papercut below is larger and uses the same colour scheme, and has recycled paint charts showing through the cut card. Both of these are now for sale in my etsy shop.
I just stumbled across this beautiful video of a new born deer on a beach, and was in awe of the breathtaking camera skills and the delicate creature.
A few months ago I spent time drawing several designs for paper cuts (here, here and here), which never ended up being cut because of my lack of craft knife skills when it came to the details I wanted. But it’s a new year, and with that, comes new challenges, and new ways to overcome problems. So since I was having trouble with the details being so small, I figured, why not try cutting a larger version, so that the small details would also be bigger and easier to cut?
I took the design I posted a while back, based on the memories of travelling as a child, and started work on a larger version. It’s becoming so cold here that my fingertips felt frozen whilst I was trying to cut the paper! Although it’s not finished yet, I am very pleased with the results so far!
I’ve also got a few framed simpler papercuts availble in my etsy shop:
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’ve been working on these delightful papercut crafts. I spent a lot of time working out how to age the pine frame to create an effective rustic charm. It involved hammering dents and chips into the wood, and then using a diluted wood stain to wash over the wood using an old cloth. Although its a time consuming process, I decided to do several shadow box frames at once – some smaller 5 x 5 inch frames I hope to fill and put in my etsy shop soon – and found it takes less time to do a batch than each individually!
The paper cut is made from natural brown card which reveals recycled paint charts underneath, showing a selection of charming earthy tones. Romantic-themed colour names are written underneath each heart in typewriter style lettering, and the title on the top reads ‘Colours of Love’. Since this is for sale in my etsy shop, I decided that I would make a version with the US spelling (‘Colors of Love’) and ask people to leave a note specifying which spelling they would prefer! I am so in love with this little framed paper cut I found it difficult to list it on etsy; it’s so sweet that I wanted to keep it for myself! So I had to promise myself that I would make a bigger version for my studio wall soon!
Also, I recently set up a facebook page and twitter account for my etsy shop, and welcome followers and ‘like’ers! My New Years Resolution was to keep all these social networking outlets up-to-date, and its going fantastically so far, especially since I worked out how to link the accounts together!
A few weeks ago I blogged about and uploaded my Typewriter totes on etsy. When I pressed two different coloured versions of the illustrations onto bags I was interested to see which would be more popular, and whether having different coloured versions was worth the extra time spent taking photos and listing online. As it happens, the two designs are roughly equal in their sales and favourites so far, although the orange version has been slightly more successful than the blue.
I think that having several colours available allows people who like the design to find something in your shop that compliments their colour tastes and usual colour scheme. Since I transfer all the designs onto my tote bags in my studio, rather than sending my designs to be printed wholesale by someone else, it makes it relatively easy to make the same design in different colours, and I can make more of one colour variation easily if it proves to be more popular than the rest!
Following this, when I was drawing my Make Tea Not War design last week, indulging in several wonderful cups of delicious tea for inspiration, I decided to make use two different colours for the totes again. I chose a charming turquoise-y blue and a beautiful shade of slightly burnt red which is very in trend this season. I am very pleased with results, and can’t decide which of the two I prefer! Any thoughts?
Oh, and don’t forget to take a peek at my new facebook page for my etsy shop!
The other day I took an impromptu trip to London, after a wonderful friend offered me a spare ticket to see The Wizard of Oz with her at the London Palladium. London Palladium, of course, is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve entered in quite some time, and I managed to take a few snaps of the architecture before the show started, but won’t share them here because they’re so blurry! Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production was amazing, with an incredible set design and watching it from the middle of the row made it all the better. Although, I can’t help thinking I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t been ogling at the rather well trained dog and mentally squealing with delight every time Toto came on stage!
Whilst spending the rest of the day in London, I became aware of quintessential icons in the city, and a British national symbol, and how in trend they’re becoming with the upcoming London 2012 Olympics. Amongst these, I mainly became fascinated by the double-decker buses; the sheer number of them, and how they became so associated with London.
On the train journey home I ended up doodling a quick design of buses, which was finished off and coloured when I got home that night. The next day I tried pressing it onto fabric, which resulted in the colourful bag below, which is now for sale in my etsy shop.
Also, I’ve finally made a facebook page for my etsy shop, Mystic Moose!
This is a doodle of the wonderful table we bought for the Heat Press last week. The press, whilst magnificently useful, is unfortunately rather heavy and has forced several lovely tables into a bow-legged stoop. We found this beauty right at the back of a second hand furniture sale, with the top unattached and in need of some tender affection. But it was old, and sturdy, make of some solid dark wood – I am unsure of which since my wood-telling skills are not at their best. I saw its potential immediately, and the perfect height to lever the Heat Press handle, (previously I had been growing concerned about injuries caused by pushing the heavy handle up and down when it was too high for me!) and had the added benefit of drawer storage, perfect for transfers and set squares. Normally I am not fond of desks with built in drawers, as I tend to fidget in rotating desk chairs and end up feeling trapped by the lack of leg space, but since I would never sit down at this desk, only stand and press bags, it was perfect! After a lick of blue paint, the studio was looking rather beautiful for the coming spring.