Archive for the ‘paper’ Category

Cutting Silhouettes

October 20, 2012

I haven’t cut silhouettes in some time but I spent some time looking on eBay at silhouettes, thinking I want to hang some on my stairway wall with other black and white stuff.  I want vintage but true-cut silhouettes of individuals, not the fake 18th century ones mass produced.  I really know nothing of them, but I figured if they come in pairs of male and female with big powdered wigs, they probably aren’t done by a silhouette artist sitting on the street or at a department store cutting profiles for Mother’s Day gifts.  (My own love of silhouettes began when I happened to be in the children’s department of Rich’s when my kids were little and there was a woman cutting silhouettes.  I had her cut ones of  my kids and they are one of my favorite possessions.)

I pulled out black and white paper (you cut looking at the white paper, it is really hard to see what you are doing on the black paper).  Just using the scissors (no drawing allowed!), cut the profile of the person you are looking at.  Even though I long ago lost my silhouette scissors, I was pleased to see that I am not so out of practice considering how long it has been since I have done this and I had to use a crafting pair of scissors.

One of these is Ken, can you tell which?


For fun, I cut a bride and groom silhouettes of my lovely young friends, Joseph and Adrianne who recently got married.  These don’t really do them justice, but I thought they were so fun.


Here is a bird I did a while back.  I put it on an old photograph mount, wish I had more of those.

And here is a vintage silhouette I paid a dollar or so for.  It is so small and very finely cut.



origami butterflies

October 2, 2012

This weekend, a few wonderful friends sat and listened to me.  And one took action.  For this, I am very grateful.  This is going in her thank you!  (Maybe one very similar, anyway!!!  There must be a secret to getting perfectly curved wire.)

The origami butterflies were done following a you-tube video by Michael LaFosse.

I did the mobile below a year or two ago.  I thought I was so clever to use jewelry making supplies (i.e. beading wire, crimp beads, etc.) to refine it a bit (vs. tying knots).   Using the twig was a little easier than the wire and this butterfly was a simpler origami pattern, but I loved the way it turned out, also.

If you know the secret to the flawless bending of wire, please let me in on it!  I could also use a lesson in taking pictures of mobiles!

paper snow

December 3, 2011

I had  a lot of fun yesterday creating paper snowflakes with 6 of my most creative friends!  Wouldn’t these look fabulous dangling from fresh greenery?  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

If you want to make snowflakes, google paper snowflakes and search images.  There are several bloggers out there who have instructions.  If you can’t find one, let me know.  I’ll show you how!

Evolution of a Bird (paper sculpture)

July 21, 2011

Inspired by watching David Attenborough’s “The Life of Birds”,  motivated by the desire to work three dimensionally, and restricted by supplies on hand and the ability of my hands, I set out to create a paper bird.  I was really inspired by some beautiful birds in paper, cloth, felt and maybe even feathers I have seen recently online but David and his birds made great accompaniment as I worked.

This albino crow was done by creating a simple wire armature, tearing paper and tying it to the armature or other bits of paper.  I used a waxed heavy thread bought for bookbinding but I think it is a little too heavy looking.  I switched to cotton quilting thread and started a wren.  Both are torn from inexpensive watercolor paper but I painted the paper I used on the wren.  I probably could have spent more time on depth of color, etc.,  but remember I wanted to work in 3D so I hurriedly covered the paper in watercolor already on my palette.

I have discovered  my fingers lack the dexterity to tie knots anymore.  (Where did it go?  Is it a sure sign of aging?!!!!)  So I gave up on the thread and knot tying and returned to the much easier task of applying glue with a paintbrush.  I can still hold a paintbrush.  Heaven help me if I ever lose that!

The crow is 5″ tall and 11″ long.  The wren is 6.5″ to tip of its tail and 6.5″ tall.

paper blooms

June 20, 2011

Paper flowers.  What’s not to love?  Seems they are very popular when you look at crafty and pretty things blogs.  I am amazed by some of the creations paper artists are making.  Here are my flowers.

Roses made from coffee filters, painted with watercolor found on Martha Stewart here.  I dipped the two in front in wax, the ones in the back were not.  They are all starting to show their age, I did these 2 or 3 years ago.  They are the most time consuming of these flowers but have the most realistic look.  I need to make more.

These rolled paper roses are on several websites,  go here for one site.  I made these last night.  Told my husband they were for Father’s day and it gave me an excuse to leave the kitchen.  These are made from cardstock (it was handy), but I have done a few since then that are in very thin paper and they look more realistic.  I think these look very cartoonish, a style I happen to love.

More of the same, these are from  scrap-booking paper.  It was one sided paper, I think two sided paper looks better.

The flowers at the top I did a couple of years ago.  I love pulling them out during the summer, they seems so airy.  I found the  instructions at CraftStylish.

the girls of agnes scott

October 21, 2010

A few years back in an antique store in Tennessee, I bought 1923 yearbook from Atlanta’s Agnes Scott College.  I bought its companion, a 1923 yearbook from Staunton Military Academy.  I surmise the original owners of these yearbooks married and  their unsentimental offspring got rid of them while cleaning out the attic.  Rid of the yearbook, that is, not the owners.

Today I had a day just to do what I wanted and I have always loved blind contour drawings so I used the girls of Agnes Scott as resource material to do a series of faces.  I truly did start out with a blind contour but I admit, after I got the basis of the face I went in and “developed” and then colored the pictures.

What amazes me the most is how all these girls are so fashionable for the roaring twenties and today.  Their hair cuts and clothes would be quite stylish on the streets today.

And speaking of old photos….

I have just always pictured the period of time prior to say, 1950 as black and white.  So seldom do you see a picture in color prior to that, that it makes the pictures here even more remarkable.   Well worth your time to take a look.  It’s like going to Oz.

not much going on with my muse

February 3, 2010

I sorted paper yesterday.  Took me a long time and I didn’t throw away nearly as much as I should have.  I must  have a stack of paper 4 feet tall and I have no idea on how to keep it neat.

I did find some paper I had marbleized some time back.  I still don’t know the master’s trick but these were the best results I have ever gotten.  I doubt the master uses the methods I have tried (i.e. shaving cream);  it would be fun to take a class in this to see how it is really done.   These were done with laying very fluid acrylic paint (meant for airbrushing) on liquid starch.   I cut hearts from 2 different sheets with a  punch.  I love the little patterns in these hearts.

Hope to be painting again and weaving again very soon.  I have been busy with other stuff and being pulled away from art  is detrimental to my muse.  I think this is why you should create every day.

Did you know that not one of the 9 Greek muses is for the visual arts?  And  with all that beautiful art dedicated to them, it is rather curious…

Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday.  It’s just too bad you have to spend all day in the kitchen. 

If you have a chance, maybe you can sweet talk someone into cooking and spend  time with the kids in your family making turkeys.  These are from Plum Pudding here  (which I saw on The Crafty Crow, a great site for children’s crafts) and I think they are just as cute as can be.  We made them in Children’s Church Sunday and talked about what we can be thankful for and to Whom we give thanks.  Not sure 3,4 and 5 year olds totally grasp the concept but they liked the turkeys!

I am truly thankful for children.  God knew what He was doing.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Gotta go preheat the oven, may not be back for a few days…

Bits and Pieces

November 16, 2009

I collect paper.  One glance around my studio and you would agree.  I like doing things with paper, especially cutting it.  After the paper has morphed into whatever… I have no idea what to do with it, so I end up with a large collection of paper. 

I’ve been going thru stuff and have culled out some bits and pieces.  Thought I would share them with you.

Paper snowflakes hand cut from 4″squares of paper, misted with red paint.  The natural one and the really dark red one have been coated in beeswax.  Makes them translucent, less fragile and they smell nice.  I cut several of these last year and wired them onto my Christmas tree.  Lights reflecting off the wax is very pretty.

Artist Trading Cards which I have never traded.  Some kind soul once felt sorry for me and gave me one of hers but these (the only ones I have ever created) didn’t exist at the time.  That one plus these means I have 6 ATC’s.  My favorite part of these (which doesn’t show very well in the photo) is that I punched tiny holes in them and then used embroidery floss and simple stitches to border and accent.  The faces are printed copies of my watercolour faces. 

Fern silhouettes and a little sitting girl cut from computer collaged paper and waxed with beeswax.

 Silhouettes in black.

  A linocut print and watercolor of the same face. 

A hand cut paper doily.  Sometimes I have too much time on my hands.

 A paper doll made into a card.

Another card with a cut silhouette.   I guess I can do something with those pieces.  Sometimes.

Simple Pleasures

July 16, 2009

Have you ever thought about what brings you pure pleasure? 

I get pleasure from the simplest stuff.  Paper, scissors and an exacto knife.  Who needs rocks!  One can model, fold and cut a piece of paper and create such works of art.  These “ones” are especially able to do that.  Take a look at their sites.


Me, I can model, fold and cut and it is just pure pleasure and wholesome entertainment.

Lately, I have been practicing cutting silhouettes so that I can begin my happy golden years sitting on the sidewalk at Disney World.  The traditional way to cut a silhouette is to take a piece of paper in one hand and scissors in the other and look at the the subject while cutting.  No lamps or shadows are involved.  I have cheated though and taken pictures of profiles to use for cutting.  Digital cameras are wonderful for this.  Delete the picture quickly after cutting and no one will know you have cheated.

Here are a few of mine.  They range from 2 1/2″ to 4″ high.


Only 2,000 or so more to go before I qualify to apply at Disney World.

Oh, and did you recognize Madame X in these?