Posts tagged ‘paper’

June 3, 2013

Kyoko Okubo: Narrative Paper Sculptures

 

Take a look at the charming work of Kyoko Okubo‘s Paper Sculptures… these little beauties are immaculately constructed from washi tape, and feature self portraits and reflective imagery. I found a fascinating artical here for those who would like to find out a little more!

December 4, 2012

Alice Palace Illustration

The last few weeks has brought with it a few birthdays for some lovely Sagittarian friends. Even though we may not live nearby any more, having moved to various parts of the country to pursue our dreams, we try to send tokens and cards through the post at regular intervals, and birthdays are one occasion which can’t be missed! I am a firm believer in card-giving, especially when it means you can support smaller companies and independent artists. One of my favourite illustrators in recent months is the independent greeting card company called Alice Palace.

I recommend taking a good look through their website to peruse the selection of quirky colourful designs.

November 27, 2012

Sally Swannell Advent Calenders

With December approaching fast, I feel the need to share these wonderful advent calendars by Sally Swannel. These flat-pack wonders are assembled to create a free-standing three-dimensional house, complete with chimney and dorm windows, with 24 numbered advent windows on all sides. They are relatively easy to assemble too; we did add a tiny bit of double sided tape on a few of the tabs to make it more secure, but it was more for peace-of-mind than any physical need for it as the slot and tab design holds the house together very well!

I also adore the miniature advent cards, which come with an envelope, perfect for giving and receiving. I enjoy these traditional picture advents like these so much more than chocolate ones!

August 18, 2012

Craft Fairs

This past week has flown by in a flurry of new products and exciting orders, so that my update on my first craft stall seems to have taken a back seat. As I blogged last week about the preparations for my stall at the Made Market on Saturday, I have had many messages asking me how it went and asking for photographs of my stall. I have already posted a few on the Mystic Moose facebook page, but I felt a blog post was needed as well!

All the planning and foraging for display parts paid off, and I was delighted with the way the stall looked. By painting some of the wooden display boxes, which were all different kinds of wood, it gave a more cohesive look and made the products the focal point. Using upturned wine crates added height and depth to the display, and the mixture of large and smaller items drew customers in for a closer look. My one improvement for next time will be the find a better way of hanging the tote bags – I used hooks attached to the edge of the table, which worked really well, but because there were so many designs I felt it looked a little messy!

 I arrived with much more stock than I needed, and two boxes of totes sat under the stall waiting to replenish displays. Even through one never get used, I felt reassured by its presence, and would definitely bring more than needed again. As long as it can fit under the table, the worse that can happen is you turn up looking like you’re moving in!

 

I used the stall as an opportunity to launch a few new product lines; lavender bags, shrink plastic badges and new padded make-up bags. All three were very well received and have been launched in my etsy shop this week!

Selling fabric and paper crafts, and having an outdoor stall means the slightest breeze can cause chaos, which is where gaffa tape comes in. Honestly, my stall was held together with gaffa tape. I picked a spot that was relatively sheltered, but to be on the safe side I used it to tape tablecloths down, the hooks to the side of the stall, bags to their stands, price signs in their places, and to tape string around display boxes to keep cards from fluttering away. I used nearly a whole role, and gave some to my neighbouring crafters. I would recommend taking an emergency role of gaffa tape to anyone doing a stall.

Some things to bring next time:

More change – especially £5 notes!

Table clamps to save some of the gaffa tape.

A calculator – I had one perching on top of my bag before I left, but it must have fallen out!

Another calculator – in case the one you planned to bring goes missing.

A bottle of water, or a flask to tea.

Paper bags for customer’s purchases.

A card machine.

 

The wonderful thing about craft fairs is getting to meet your customers face-to-face. Selling predominantly online means you have some lovely email exchanges, but you never get the casual light heartedness of a conversation. You also have the opportunity to mingle with crafty peers, and meet some truly talented folk!

February 8, 2012

Valentine Heart and Fairytale Papercuts

It’s been such a wonderfully busy week in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, but I’ve finally found time to finish off some papercuts and upload them to this blog and to my etsy shop. The first follows along the Valentines theme, with a decorated heart and the delicately cut words ‘You Make My Heart Sing’. I am very fond of the two little birds in this, and the ornate decoration took such a long time to perfect! When designing papercuts, it’s really important to make sure the lines are all connected so that it doesn’t ‘fall apart’ once you begin cutting. I quickly found a good way to work this out is to draw the image in pencil, then go over it in pen, checking all the joins. It sometimes takes a little while for your eyes to adjust to which bit is being cut out, so I usually scribble a pencil shading on the cut out bits if I keep getting confused! The image is then scanned into my computer and printed out on thin printer paper, and attached to a piece of card so that printer paper acts as a guideline for where to cut the card. It’s really useful to masking tape it to a self healing cutting mat to stop them sliding around as you cut!

The second is inspired by all the fairytales I’ve been reading lately, and features a fairytale scene with an elegantly written ‘Believe’ across the page. I spent such a long time picking out coloured card for backing, and eventually decided on a lovely light blue shade which always reminds me of the painted illustrations in old fairy story books.

I really love the imperfections that come from hand cutting paper, but I wanted to be able to sell multiples of these at a reasonable price in my etsy shop. I decided to compromise, by hand cutting both of the designs and cutting electronically cut duplicates for my shop. I am hoping to have many more papercuts availible soon, as I enjoy the process of designing and making them so much!

January 26, 2012

Valentines Day IOU Coupons

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?

January 25, 2012

Girl on a Swing Papercut

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.

January 22, 2012

Paper Cut Escapades

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:

January 19, 2012

Colours of Love Paper Cut

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!

January 15, 2012

New Desk

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.

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