7 December 2010

Double helix and flower arranging.

This is the thing that's got me hooked on paper cutting.

About 6 years ago I started photographing and drawing trees and leaves. I had loads of ideas about where it was going, mostly around making jewellery. I did what I often do, took the idea, ran with it until it was too horribly huge and daunting to even start, with massive set up costs and no time - I'd just had baby no.2 in 3 years. Another folder in the "projects" folder.

Then it turned into an idea for a cot mobile. Something based on a spiral that would be interesting, viewed from underneath. Once again I did nothing with it. But then, I did have 2 babies to look after at the time!


Another couple of years on I got around to cutting it out. Hugely satisfying, but it took ages and a few scalpel blades. I am hooked on paper cutting and there will be more of this to come. I'm hopefully going to get an electronic dye cutting machine in the new year - its like a plotter but with a blade. 

I still want to do some hand cut pieces of framed artwork. Hand cut stuff has a life to it that you don't get with a machine and you never follow the file exactly and you can make it up as you go along, but a machine would be great for testing stuff and I also want to do some stuff that I can make and sell aside from that. 

Below is the illustrator file. It was printed it out with a stroked outline on one sheet and cut from 2 sheets of paper at once (red and yellow). Before I started cutting I stuck the 2 sheets together along the spiral spine. It's been hung up for a while now so it's sagged a bit. I'm going to try cutting it out of some stiffer nicer card, with a digital dye cutter.

I still have those jewellery plans and tons of others but baby no. 3 is 15 months so it may all take a bit more time...

6 December 2010

Christmas Past

Like I said, I always try to do some sort of Christmas card. Before I had children, it would be some Photoshop extravaganza and I'd spend hours on it. Its loads faster to just set up something, take a picture and then just do a bit of a tweak in Photoshop....

This one was just after Daughter No 1 was born - the pregnancy was still fresh in my mind.

This is the year after. A bit more muck about.

2008. I am particularly proud of the bags. I found a commercial design template for full size ones and did them in Photoshop, with logos. Very fiddly to stick together!

Last year, I did a few different things including these angels with various heads. Sorry about the bad photography!

 I have no idea what said card may look like this year. The baubley thing was fun to do but looks a bit like wrapping paper.  I am up to my eyeballs in stuff so I may just send some from the supermarket.

2 December 2010

About Me (in progress)

"We live small lives on the periphery; we are marginalized and there's a great deal in which we choose not to participate. We wanted silence and we have that silence now. We arrived here speckled in sores and zits, our colons so tied in knots that we never thought we'd have a bowel movement again. Our systems had stopped working, jammed with the odor of copy machines, Wite-Out, the smell of bond paper, and the endless stress of pointless jobs done grudgingly to little applause. We had compulsions that made us confuse shopping with creativity, to take downers and assume that merely renting a video on a Saturday night was enough. But now that we live here in the desert, things are much, much better."
                                                                                                            Douglas Coupland, Generation X (1991)

In 1991 I was 18. I went to Art School, tuned in and dropped out - well not out of college but we  tried to tune out the corporate background noise and make some things with some meaning. I did well and left with a good degree. After studying digital imaging, film making and animation, I went off to London to seek my fortune and chain myself to a Mac.

For 10 years I worked freelance in the film and video industry. I've learned the language associated with being a designer and talking to corporate people. I met some great people and made some work that I'm proud of, but its not what I ever set out to do.

In the last 4 years I have had 3 children. My life is very different - dealing with the needs of a family and trying to remain a creative person. Its a challenge. I have more ideas and less time than ever, but time limit can be a good thing. When I get down to it, I faff less.

Most of what I've been doing is unfinished. I'm pottering but with a direction. It makes no sense to anyone but I can see some common threads running through it all - sometimes. Maybe this blog will put it in a context where I can see things a bit better.

26 November 2010

1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 31........

31? Yep 31. Bizarre....

Bear with me here, its complicated but it is interesting.

That's what you get if you start with a circle and draw 1 single dot on the circumference. One area in the circle. If you then draw another dot and join them, you get 2 areas in the circle. Carry on drawing another dot and join each dot to all the others on the circumference. Count the separate areas each time. What comes next? I couldn't be bothered drawing it out beyond 6 points, but the answer is 57.

This is what you get if you put a artist/graphic designer who's into geometry, together with a scientist and give them alcohol on a school night. Bill did try and explain the series but its a bit beyond me. Interesting though.

25 November 2010

Baubley Christmas

Every Christmas I get busy starting various Christmassy stuff. It  hardly ever amounts to much - a card maybe if anyone's lucky. This year's been a bit "baubley".

The fiddly bit is based on a window in Notre Dame. I did it a while ago, when I started getting a bit obsessed with paper cutting and the potential of electronic dye cutting machines.... More of that to come.

 I like patterns and geometry - a fairly long standing thing. It might have started when my mum used to buy my sister and I these Altair Design Colouring Books.

22 November 2010


I have thought about doing a blog for a couple of years but haven't found the time or commitment. This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas, have a rant or just post something I have found of interest.

I feel quite sure what I don't want it to turn into.

I'm not sure exactly what it will become...