Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Step Eleven: Paper cutting, the final episode (probably!) ;-)

Dearest Sylwi

Oh my goodness, where is the time going?! I posted last week on Tuesday, then on Thursday morning sat down to comment on your beautiful post about your Magician's Head, got side-tracked and didn't comment... and now, all of a sudden, it's Tuesday again and time for a fresh post! Eek! :-/

This week's project has been a huge challenge for me! After your comment on my papercut last week, I realised that I hadn't explored the true wycinaki technique. I had simply used the way it looked as inspiration. When you explained how the paper would traditionally be folded and cut, I suddenly thought that was a much better idea! :-) 

As I was searching for a subject to use as a pattern for my wycinanki, I became very inspired by vintage lace! I found one particular lace placemat that seemed like the perfect template for a gwiazdy (medallion shaped) paper cut. So, I traced it, intending to create a Kurbie style (one colour only) wycinanki.

This is where it all started to go wrong... right at the start! ha ha! 

I began by tracing the pattern onto a template which was an eighth of my intended finished circle. I thought I could fold my paper into eighths, do a quick cut out and be finished. Did I mention I'm an optimist?! :-) 

I did a rough trial run of cutting out the pattern from one sheet of paper and it worked really well! 

Unfortunately, when I folded my paper into eight, it became impossible to fold and even more impossible to cut. So, I went in search of thinner paper. Tissue paper, however, was too thin. I ended up with sugar paper, which was thin enough, but unfortunately waayyyyy to fibrous and the cuts were very unclean and messy. It was too late by then, though. There was no other paper available in the shops and I was running out of time, so I had to continue with what I had! I decided to give up on doing this perfectly and just use it as a trial run and learning experience.

I folded the paper into quarters and struggled to cut through the four layers. I broke several blades and realised that the tiny details that I had drawn (teeny boxes that needed cut out) would be impossible. 

So, I decided to make it a Łowicz style cut, using coloured paper, stuck on in layers, to create the details!

The more involved I got, the more difficult and messy it all became. Along with having completely the wrong materials - the wrong paper, the wrong knife, bad light, etc, I made so many dumb mistakes, I could scarcely believe how stupid I was being! For example, I traced the template onto my folded paper at the wrong corner, so when I unfolded it, it didn't make a circle!! Doh! I had to redo the whole thing! :-)))

Finally, I finished cutting out the circle...

... and then the real fun began. Trying to find some nicely coloured paper. I went to two craft shops here and neither of them had any! They had lots of colours - but nothing clean and bright that would go well with the black background. So, I ended up buying some card in bright colours... which wasn't ideal to work with, but by this time I was desperate! :-) I really liked the colours the card came in and had great fun choosing a colour combination!

I had a hard time choosing, so I narrowed my colour choice down to three different combinations...

... and then chose a completely different combination when I actually began cutting the card out! ha ha! :-)

I began layering the coloured paper onto the black background, ignoring all of the squint edges, misaligned corners, ripped bits and mistakes I'd made! :-) By now, it was all about just getting it finished!

I could have continued adding layers and details for weeks, but stopped myself from making it too complicated. Thank goodness I had to post this today, or I would have continued on with the detail, cutting smaller and smaller pieces till I was positively cross-eyed. ;-)

I learned so much this week and although it was hard work, I'm glad I continued on to the bitter end! :-) If I ever do this sort of project again (that's a big "if"! ha ha!) I shall know exactly how to do it properly and what tools to use, etc. I still think this would be wonderful done in material for cushions or throws... {daydream}!

My friends thought I was mad. When they saw it, they said it was like a giant doily and didn't I know I could just buy them from the shop?! In packs of a hundred! ha ha! :-)))

I truly hope you've had an easier time this week with your project, than I have with mine! Really looking forward to seeing what you come up with this time.

Lots of love


  1. Good Grief! That must have taken you days! Much nicer than a doily though. You should frame it.

  2. Thanks, Grace! It did take a bit longer than expected! ha ha! :-)

  3. Dear Fi,

    I don't know where to start!!! I always repeat that you are "crazy" - but this is what I think, and of course the meaning of the word "crazy" is all positive in my dictionary. So: talent, perseverance, patience, determination, vision, coordination (ha, ha) + optimism are all dancing in the craziness I'm talking about ;)

    I hope it is not the final episode of paper cutting! However, each time you work with paper you do something more challenging and more complicated - so I cannot even imagine what you will do next!!! There is no way I could do a butterfly, on your peacock post I almost died (it was a lot of craziness included there ha, ha) but this one is so impressive!!! and I know exactly what you mean by saying that you could have continued adding layers after layers...

    anyway, all what I wanted to say was this:



  4. ups! forgot to add something


  5. um...wow! you two ladies are blowing me away with your creative genius. i look forward to my visit here each and every week!