Friday, April 20, 2012

Come Join Me!

Oh, Yoo-hoo!  Where are you?

This past Leap Day, I moved my blog over to Perfect Papercuts http://perfectpapercuts.blogspot.com/

Today is the perfect day for you to make the leap!  Hop on over and check out my new blog.  While you're there, feel free to comment or ask questions.  You can also sign up to follow my blog so you will be alerted of each new post.

You can also follow me on my Perfect Papercuts facebook page and on Pinterest under Perfect Papercuttings.

See you soon! :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Moving Day~

Hey, hey!  It's moving day!

In my effort to reach more readers and interests, I am moving the contents of this blog to my new blog located at http://perfectpapercuts.blogspot.com/


My new business name concisely describes my art efforts and allows one to easily find my blog, facebook page, upcoming etsy shop and much more.  


So, head on over and check out the new modern look.  While you are there, please subscribe to the news feed.  You'll not want to miss when a new papercut or news event is posted.

See you there!

Monday, February 20, 2012

GTO~


What is it about old cars that seems to captivate ones attention?  Could it be the nostalgia of simpler times gone by?  Could it be the classic lines or the 'attitude' these cars seems to emanate?  I'm not certain what it is about old cars that speaks to me, but when they are near I am in awe.

Every year our downtown hosts a River Rod Run, and our little town becomes heavily populated with Classics from all over the country.  There are hot rods worth thousands, hot rods that are still a work in progress, and hot rods that make one wonder how it ever made it to the event.  But one thing is for sure, there is no doubt what event is taking place.  The weekend kicks off with an open car show in the park by the river allowing the owners to show off their prized possession while photographers busy themselves under the mid-day sun.  The weekend closes with an hour long, well-attended parade thru the streets of downtown.  The engines roar, shake, rattle, and purr while bystanders applaud and cameras flash.  It is a great time for bringing parts of our community together. 

Perhaps someday hubby and I will have time to restore a hot rod of our very own.  It never hurts to dream.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spunky's Eyes~

Meet Spunky.  Spunky lives in the Keystone State, and from what I gather he is a good little fella.  He provides much entertainment for his wonderful, loving humans.  I haven't had the pleasure of meeting this dear, little dog in person, but I just couldn't resist the eyes when I saw his photo posted on Facebook.  With permission, I got busy and did my best at creating a paper likeness.  So, how did I do?  Doesn't he look like a sweet little dog?   

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year! Happy Birthday!




'Tis the beginning of a new year and what better way to symbolize the new year than with butterflies. 

I always thought it would be neat to be born on the first day of the year, but that wasn't the case.  However, I do know of one person whose birthday falls on New Years Day and THAT person is in for a surprise...this set of butterflies!

They are already in the mail!

Happy Birthday!  You are loved!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Glorious Garland~


Garland, garland!  We have had the same garland for our tree far too long! 

This year we decided to decorate for Christmas using paper.  When we brought our tree home my mind was busy thinking of all the inventive ways we could decorate it...paper bulbs, paper snowflakes, paper wreaths, paper everything...but what about paper garland?  

I immediately began thinking of making paper chains.  It would be fun to get the boys involved in gluing all the strips of paper end to end.  But it just seemed so ordinary...so expected.

What would happen if we made the links flat like discs and somehow connected them side by side.  We busied ourselves and had one glorious mess of circles.  They were EVERYWHERE!!  Yes, many of them were sacrificed for the make believe snowstorm created by 'Thing 1' and 'Thing 2', and although I wouldn't really categorize that as a Winter Wonderland, it certainly helped provide some entertainment to a monotonous task.

And that is how our paper garland came to be.  It is made of hundreds of paper circles all connected together...873 of them to be exact!  Then again, who's counting? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Western Boot with Spur~


I created this piece for a new series in the works, and just finished it this past week.  It is hand cut from a single sheet of black paper.  The papercut measures 16"x 18".

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Decorating for Christmas using PAPER~

What better way to decorate for Christmas on a budget than with PAPER! 

With our boys still being little, and already having had a fair amount of snow outside, I decided we would do a Winter Wonderland theme.  I had visions of an elaborate snow village complete with lights in each window and lit lampposts.  However, after having a nightmare about it that night, I decided a simpler version that was kid-friendly and interactive would be just fine.  There will be time for detail as they grow, but for now, simplicity matters. 


I was surprised with their level of seriousness in building our little village and their willingness to help has been, at times, a bit daunting.  I just love the enthusiasm they exude with each new building.  Their excitement and sweet chatter just adds so much joy to the project making it easier to practice patience along our little Christmas journey of decorating.

At this point, our village spans five wonderful feet of pure imagination with eight buildings and eighteen trees complete.  The boys have been busy pretending they are living in the village and running in and out of doors, climbing the trees, and shouting from the windows.  We still need to add some mountains, clouds, snow, and a snowman, but for now they are pleased as punch.

Uh oh!  I had better scoot.  It looks like someone is cutting some 'snow' this very minute!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sandy Cove, Maryland~


Although I have yet to be to the northeast coast, I just couldn't resist cutting this dock when a friend posted her photo.  With permission, I busied myself in sketching and cutting.  It seemed to consume my 'free time' (read: nap time for the little guys), and within a couple of days it was finished.  Working with the reflection on the dock so it appeared believable was exasperating at times, but then that is also one of the elements that fuels my artistic drive.  I just love the nitty-gritty details...the more, the merrier!  I had finished the cutting in record time and was prepared to post it for sale when...my dear hubby caught a glimpse of it.  Gasp!

This piece of fine art has stopped in its tracks!  My hubby is my number one fan and he is just awe struck with this particular piece.  I framed it beautifully and hung it above his bed stand.  I'm thinking he will continue to be my number one fan!  Don't you? 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daisies~


I love daisies for their simplicity.  They are such cheerful flowers.  I cut this piece based on a snapshot of some daisies that once added a spot of loveliness in my garden.    

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Withered Weather~

How could this happen?  I am SO guilty!  I am a very structured person, but I had just allowed my self-control to go berserk as my imagination thundered beyond control leaving me caught in a full-blown brain storm!  It seemed all so justified as my mind raced through the endless possibilities.  I could just hear my daddy-o's advice to 'think outside the box'.  And THAT was the clincher!  After all, I WAS 'thinking outside the box'.

I had purchased some shrink film from the local craft shop all in the name of summertime fun for my boys.  I had plans to help them outline their chubby, little hands and draw squiggly smileys in the middle. Then we would cut them out, shrink them in the oven, and attach them to their jacket pulls.  That was the 'simple' brainstorm I had when looking at the product on the shelf.

However...

...on our way home, this brainstorm completely derailed as others quickly ensued.  What would happen if I 'paper' cut a design on the film and then shrunk it in the oven?  This sounded delightfully tempting...so, I decided to give it a try and in doing so found myself completely guilty of hijacking an item that was purchased with my boys in mind.  

And as you can see, my self-control was still running rampant at this point.  This is a photo of the trial piece all cut and ready for the oven.  It is 6 1/4". 


And this is the finished snowflake shrunk down to 2 1/2".

At this point, I think this piece qualifies as withered weather! 


Definately fun and interesting!

Guilty? yes. 

Sorry?  Let's just say the brain storms have not subsided.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Java Time~


Little can compare to a great cup of coffee! 

This 8"x20" cutting is destined for an Ohio home where it will hang above Deb's doorway in her coffee-themed kitchen.  She will be greeted after each long, stressful workday with a special cup of java.  So, grab a cup, pull up a chair!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Now I Lay Me...

During one of my reminiscing moments lately, I came across a photo of one of my boys sleeping soundly.  I can remember sitting in the chair beside both their beds and indulging myself in them as they slept: soaking up their sounds, breathing in their wonderful soft smell, and adoring everything about them.  They are just the yummiest! 

Time has past and they are now preschoolers.  They are not as quiet as they used to be and are completely full of life.  They are still the yummiest and I continue to sneak into their rooms to watch them as they peacefully sleep, to drink in their wonderful little-boy smell and to listen to their tiny murmurs as they sleep.  Motherhood is the best!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Make a Joyful Noise~

Music touches each of us in different ways.  This cutting was inspired as I perused through my late father's high school portfolio of choir music.  Dad just loved music and he enjoyed singing!  I can remember him being a member of a men's barber-shop style quartet.  He was thrilled to be a part of that group and they sounded so good in acapella.  His foot would rapidly tap to the beat, and most times he would sing simply to make a joyful noise.  Speaking of making a joyful noise, I remember him finding the polka radio station on Sunday mornings and playing it loudly while gyrating around the kitchen simply to irritate my mother.  Even with her best 'disgust' face on, one knew she was still enjoying antics.  Music and memories...gotta love it!  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Butterfly Notecard~

I don't do good at being bored.  It's just not my style, and I find it severely self-insulting.

Recently, I underwent emergency open appendectomy which came immediately on the heels of a broken nose, a severe case of food poisoning, and our daughters wedding!  When the doctor advised me to 'take it easy' for the next couple of weeks, I heard...'cut more paper'.

So, when I was unable to locate a note card to pen a thank you to a dear friend, I decided to make my own.  About an hour and a couple cups of tea later...here it is!

Perhaps I should cut a series of them. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Easter~

As a child, I envisioned living in a grand Victorian house with manicured lawns bordered in beautiful flower gardens.  I also envisioned ornamental chickens and roosters wandering at their leisure on the grounds (don't tell my hubby!).  Needless to say, life turned a corner long ago and even though I am not living in the Victorian of my childhood dreams, I am living a dream that causes me to constantly count my blessings.  I may not have Easter lilies in my garden, or ornamental chickens wandering my property, but my life is full and oh! so happy!  To me home is the wonderful experience I get to enjoy in loving those whom are dearest to me no matter where I live. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome Spring~


According to the calendar, Spring has arrived.  However, here in the Northern Rockies winter-like weather is keeping any spring fever at bay.  Recently, we've completed month 5 of snow cover here on the valley floor, and our area was termed as the "snowiest place on earth".  Late May usually brings sunny days, blooming tulips, and possibly some brave butterflies, but it never hurts to dream about them now.  It is normal for us to experience straggler snowstorms thru early June keeping us wondering if summer will ever arrive, and when it does...we'll be soaking up some sun!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Micro Christmas Tree~

This is a trial piece with my new microtip scissors. I picked up a slip of dark blue paper aiming to maximize the piece I cut from it. I didn't have anything in mind- I just cut and let it take shape.  This is what became of it.  It measures 3/4" x 1".  A tad bit challenging to hold and cut simultaneously.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My Secret Garden~


Once upon a time, I had a secret garden.  It was going to be my garden of a lifetime.  With great care, I tilled the earth, planted as planned, and watered without reservation.  Each week, I would weed with caution so as not to disturb any new growth that could not be seen.  I waited patiently and watched, but nothing ever grew.  I questioned what could be wrong.  Had I chosen the wrong place for a garden?  Flowers usually grow without being coaxed.  Why was it then that my garden was without flowers?  I held steadfast knowing that one day something would become of my garden, and it would be glorious.  I persisted with great expectation, season after season, certain that my patience would be rewarded.  Late one spring with the harsh sun bearing down on the parched ground, my hope began to dwindle.  I allowed the grasses to creep in and hoped no one would notice my ever shrinking plot.  I began giving my garden tools away.  After all, what was the sense of having them if they were not being used.  Slowly, ever so slowly, my dream of having a beautiful garden faded.  By the end of the season not the slightest hint of a garden remained.  I had resolved it within myself that I was not meant to be a gardener.

Years later, when I least expected it, it happened.  The spring rains came and my little garden began to sprout!  I felt so unworthy!  How was this possible after years of neglect?  By now, my gardening knowledge was lacking, and I didn't have the proper tools to be a good gardener.  But, none of that seemed to matter once I saw the sunny faces of my beautiful little flowers blooming in MY garden.  I was ecstatic!  I really was going to be a gardener after all!  

And so it was...and is my secret little garden.  I enjoy every minute I get to tend to my beautiful flowers.  There is something about them that feeds my soul in a way that nothing else can.  Perhaps it is their purity or simplicity.  I like to think it is their ability to smile no matter the weather.  Come rain or shine...they are mine.  I am so blessed.  I have learned that sometimes it is necessary to keep your garden tucked away in your heart.  Hope blooms!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Key~


Intending to do a papercutting commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I poured over hundreds of famous and infamous quotes that came from such an important icon in our American history.  I was adamant that it not be commonplace.  I wanted to interrupt the viewer, draw attention to this pivotal point in history, and promote its application in everyday living.  I found a portion of a quote that struck me and I busied myself, sketching it with ease.  As I cut, I couldn't help but wondered what other important events happened on this date in history.  What was it that folks talked about and celebrated prior to the infamous speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr?  

My interest was immediately drawn to one of our founding fathers~ Benjamin Franklin.  His live changed all of our lives in many profound ways, including his writings as Silence Dogood, his Philadelphia days, the Pennsylvania Gazette, Poor Richard's Almanac, fire prevention, and electricity.  His political views and beliefs are evident in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.  He lived a full life, and died at the age of 84 in 1790.  It is reported that 20,000 people attended his funeral.  He was known as the "harmonious human multitude".  What a legacy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Valentine Lovebirds~

It's crazy how time flies when you're not paying attention.  Hubby and I are celebrating twenty years of happiness together, and we are still crazy in love...still LOVEBIRDS!  xoxo

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tea Time~

There's nothing quite like a good cup of tea, especially when shared with those near and dear to your heart.

When I was younger, I reveled in sipping tea while perusing my victorian magazines, and imagined that one day I would have a little tea cupboard complete with dainty cups, tea pots, water pitchers, sugar bowls, creamers and assorted spoons.

And what would tea be without some fresh flowers?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kayli's Silver Skates~

Kayli is a wonderful little girl with such a sweet disposition.  She is in the center.  You can see her little button nose and rounded cheeks.  What a cutie!  She was learning to skate at the local ice rink when her Daddy caught this moment on camera.  The photo reminded me of a Norman Rockwell moment and I felt compelled and inspired.  Permission was granted, and now the cutting graces their walls.  Have fun skating, Kayli!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hanukkah~

Each year, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 1st.  The word Hanukkah is a Hebrew word defined as dedication or consecration.

In the days of King of Syria Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the first Temple of Jerusalem was desecrated by his army.  The celebration marking the re-dedication of the second Temple of Jerusalem is known as Hanukkah.  It also commemorates the "miracle of the container of oil".  According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.

This papercutting is for a Jewish friend of my Catholic friend! 

Happy Hanukkah!  May your coming year be filled with beauty and peace.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Goats Are Great!~


Back in the day, when my daddy was just casting glances and winking at my mom, he had an older car for transportation to and from school.  He couldn't help but notice not many of the school girls looked his way as he passed by in his plain car.  Occasionally, he'd drive it to the next town to visit with his sweetie, my mom.  They would hold hands while sitting close in the front seat as they drove to the local car-hop to share a root beer float and other menu items.

Before long, daddy got a new car, and it was no ordinary car...it was a muscle car!  A 1966 GTO!  His ego was as big as the engine sounded!  He declined many pleas from the school girls for a ride in his car claiming that if his plain car was not good enough for them, then they also did not deserve to ride in his hot rod.  I'm sure he 'got their goat'!  However, as you can imagine, he honored every request by his sweetie to go for a drive...sitting close...holding hands...dreaming and planning a beautiful future together...and they did live happily ever after~

This 1970 GTO was a pleasure to cut for a friend of mine as a surprise Christmas gift for her hubby.  They have been married since shortly after high school, and after all these years, they are still completely in love!  Perhaps they will take the 'great goat' for a drive soon...sitting close...holding hands...dreaming and planning for the years to come...all the while living happily into the ever after~

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monarch, Swallowtail, Larvae~


I am fascinated with monarch butterflies.  I can remember my sister and I giggling as we chased them through the fields as they darted this way and that.  What a thrill it was to watch them fly high above all that enslaved them in their previous life cycle.

Through the years I have learned more and more about these tiny little wonders, and am still captivated with their beauty.  For a very long time, I believed that they only had two life stages, the cocoon and the butterfly stages, but recently found out that they actually go through four stages in their life cycle.  First, they start out as an egg after which they hatch into a larvae.  The larvaes sole source of nourishment is the milkweed plant.  Without it they cannot survive.  Then they wrap up into a cocoon beginning the final stage known as metamorphosis where they are transformed into a beautiful butterfly.

Once a monarch butterfly is an adult (after the metamorphosis into a full grown butterfly) it can eat the nectar from any flower, not just the milkweed plant.  Adult butterflies are poisonous, and although they won't harm humans, the chemicals built up from eating the milkweed plant when they were in the larvae stage gives them a poisonous defense against frogs, birds, mice and lizards.

It is true that the male and female butterflies are both brilliant in color.  Male monarchs are distinguished from the females in that they have a black spot on each of the hind wings over a vein, a characteristic the female monarch butterfly does not share.

A final interesting fact is that monarch butterflies go through four generations each year.  The first three generations hatch from their cocoon state (also known as the pupa or chrysalis state) and live for up to six weeks, but the fourth generation continues to live on for up to six or eight months.  It is only the fourth generation of monarchs that migrate each year, and they are the only insect to migrate up to 2,500 miles to escape cold weather, hibernate, and then start a new first generation in the spring time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Perseverance~

My brother has always been interested in horses.  From a young age, he started a collection of horse figurines and had a designated shelf in the family room where he displayed them with great pride.  On his wedding day, his beautiful bride rode in on horseback.  As a married couple, they enjoy the collection as part of their country home decor.

In 2005, when he was undergoing his medical trials and tests, I gifted him with this cutting as a symbol of calmness, relaxation, and gentleness after we were made aware that he would be enduring long, rigorous, and exhausting days ahead. 

Because of his faith and perseverance, he, his happy wifey, and bubbly kiddos are enjoying each day as it is given, rejoicing in a lifetime of happiness together.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Headed Home~


In this country/colonial cross-stitch style sampler, the dog seems confident being in lead, the chicken appears to be experiencing some anxiety being away from his roost, and the pig...did the pig really cry 'wee-wee-wee' all the way home?  If that were the case, don't you think the farmer would have the horse on a dead run? 

No matter how far you wander, no matter where you go...there's no place quite like home.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Leaves and Pumpkins~


Once again, fall has arrived here in the Rockies!  It is difficult to pinpoint what heralded it's arrival: the morning chill, the glint of frost at daybreak, or the sound of migrating geese.  Maybe it's the splendor of the gold and emerald forests coupled with the aroma of pine and cedar; or perhaps it is in the change of produce, memories of fresh maple syrup, the taste of carmel apples, or the house adorned with pumpkins.

Each season is what you make it to be.  Our arms are wide open.  How about yours?


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Passages in Time~


This cutting is a companion piece to Stages of Life.  I cut it specifically with my yummy, little boys in mind trusing they find fulfillment in life no matter the path they choose.  May they experience remarkable moments, true happiness, and warm memories.

Mommy loves you! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Storm at Sea~

I love handmade quilts!  To me they provide warmth for my toes, laughter to my conversation, and pride in my lineage.  They emanate inner indulgences: artwork, healing, solace, quietude.

While cutting, thought was provoked to the many symbolism's that 'Storm at Sea' provided.  Each of us has our own 'Storm at Sea', and our outcome depends on our approach, our attitude, and our willingness to help and be helped.

However, the symbolism that provoked most thought was in how we take pieces from everyone we encounter, and those pieces, regardless of race, religion, or creed, comprise the fabric of our lives.  It is in how we assemble those pieces that provides the quality to our finished product.  No matter our personal journeys, we are intricately interwoven with those around us making us, in essence, one fabric.  The fabric of our Maker's hand.  

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Welcome Autumn~

In times past, autumn marked the arrival of 'hunting and gathering'.  Men would outfit themselves for the hunt and venture out to provide meats and pelts for the coming harsh winter days.  Women would harvest the gardens, gather fruits from the orchards and kindling from the forests.  Quilts were stitched with a sense of urgency while maples were tapped for their golden goodness.  Oh, the hustle and bustle of fall before the calm, quiet dormancy of winter!

Here in the Rockies, the leaves are beginning to don their finer colors punctuating the forest with golden spikes.  Pumpkin patches are nearly ready for harvest, and a sense of autumn is in the air.  Cool, crisp mornings lend to a whisper of Jack Frost.  Although I anticipate and enjoy each season, it seems the coming of autumn spurs the need to 'cozy up'.  I experimented with 'cozying up' this morning over a steaming cup of coffee by cutting a 'welcome autumn' piece while watching the first sunrise of autumn melt away the frost.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Stages of Life~

I loved my childhood!  It was fun and happy.  I felt secure in knowing that my mommy and daddy were in love!

Last year, I was thanking my mother for such a wonderful childhood that harbored imagination.  I was telling her that the earliest moment I can recall from my childhood would be of me standing in the front seat of our car.  I was wearing a pretty jacket with little lambs printed all over it, and three pink buttons down the front.  There was a matching bonnet with satin ribbons that tied under my chin.  I could tell by her silence that my recollection had caught her off guard.  She quietly conveyed that it just isn't possible that I could remember that.  She told me I would have been dressed for Easter Sunday church and about nine months old.  Amazing!

With the recent birth of my little boys, life turned yet another corner.  Not only am I thankful for the stages of life I've already lived, but I am ever vigilant in becoming the best mommy I can be for those little rascals.  They, also, are experiencing their own passages of time, and it just might be that this is the passage that becomes their earliest recollection of childhood.  I want it to be a happy memory.  

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lest We Forget~

I cut this around the 4th of July this year.

I waited until today to post this cutting as a tribute to all the children who grieve the loss of a parent either from the September 11th disaster or the war on terror.

May they experience peace at some point in their fragile lives.

One nation under God~

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cyrel and Kayla~

Cyrel and Kayla, my oldest brothers older children, dearly loved their beautiful airedale, Allie. She was a gentle dog with great disposition.

I surprised their parents with this papercutting for Christmas 2003, and, as I recall, their eyes were a bit misty.