Chat, Graphics, Papercuts

Time in a bottle – papercut


Well, Wednesday already. Time chugs by. What’s that saying? Ah Yes, Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. Lol.

I finished this papercutting last night and it references the song of the same name by Jim Croce. You can hear it on You Tube: If I could save time in a bottle

See my Etsy shop  PaperCrinkles if you would like to buy the file.

Here it is almost weeded but still with little bits to spear or snick with the point of my scalpel.

The smallest cuts are those in the wing of this bird. I may revisit and increase the size a bit.

And the confetti debris … No outfit complete without cat hair. No papercutting complete without confetti EVERYWHERE. I try to catch as much as I can with a large piece of paper at the side of the cutting mat but there are always little bits scattered here and there. I have my vac ( a Miele…  I hope the boycott police aren’t spying on me (see the news re. Eurozone/Greece bailout/etc). It’s the best vac for pet hair I’ve ever had). No matter how well I vac you will  find teeny tiny letters and lacy little cuts in all sorts of places around my home. On the stairs, bathroom floor, under furniture. Bet I’ve got a full set of characters for War and Peace in my bellybutton as I type.

It needs mountboard and a frame  but a quick local lookabout round the shops came up empty. Think I’ll have to go to Dublin to look around the charity shops and/or stop off at Ikea on the way home and see what they have.

I’m keeping this one but am thinking of creating a jpg / pdf format of the design and selling it on Etsy. I can always customise the banner or find a way of incorporating some personal details into the design… the banner is the perfect place for a name, date or location (first kiss?, date of wedding, proposal, where the question got popped…)   it would be such a boost of confidence if somebody liked it enough to buy it.

Anyway, have a listen to the track. It’s beautiful.

Now I’m off to return a tin of Fast Tac spray glue that I bought yesterday, sprayed today and came found that it spat silly string instead of a fine mist. 14.99. Too dear to put up with that sort of outrageous glue rudeness.

Also going to get a replacement for a tin of 3M that I paid €28.90 for. Yes. A tin of frigging glue. This glue erupted like Vesuvius and blobbed out like, well, blobby stuff. I bought it maybe a month ago but hadn’t used it until the weekend. Tried cleaning the nozzle but it just kept erupting and yukking down the tin.

I’m beginning to think they don’t sell a lot of glue and this stuff sits on the shelves (high up well out of reach) for ever!

I didn’t keep the receipt but it does have the shop sticker with the price stuck on the tin. When I bought the silly string I asked if I could exchange the other without the receipt – she said YES, whoo-hoo! So money back on the 14.99 and ex for the tin of 3M and I should be happy. In the meantime, I found a tin of Ghiani and used that. No bothers.

Finally, a ‘cutting’ from a paper a week or so ago (I read the BBC news and follow links to stories wherever:

Poor little flea! Anyway, poor little me until I get my glue money sorted out! Byeee.

Chat, Graphics

Just Be

Just Be

This design is destined to be another foray into the art of Scherenschnitte, or Paper Cutting. I call it ‘Just Be’ because I realised that I enjoy the weediness in my garden. A weed is just an unwanted flower and there is nothing in my garden that is unwanted so those weeds that I cultivate in the cracks in the entry, the clover and ribwort plantain, etc, do not have to be justified as ‘flowers’. They can just be.

Similarly, we need to all cut ourselves some slack and allow ourselves to just be, so it is apt in that respect. We don’t need to strive to achieve some ‘ideal’ (unattainable) pinnacle of beauty. Be healthy. Be happy and love yourself exactly as you are.

Child of the Universe

Soap Box Moment

There was a clip from yet another Reality Show where someone stated that they ‘don’t like unattractive’ people. All I can say is, they must have hidden shallows. Beauty comes from within. From having a spirit that shines. That emanates from Love. I’m human. I fail. I fall short but I try every single day.

Walk with Dreamers

Harbouring poisonous thoughts of jealousy, resentment and hatred have their analogue manifestation in your body. You cannot flood yourself with poison and expect your enemy to drown in it. No, you do! And it will make you physically suffer. So, I bless the day and all within it and by doing so, I bless myself in the process. There, soap box moment over!

Design Technique

Getting back to the design… I  create it in Illustrator so that various elements can be scaled, moved, flipped, etc, until I’m happy with it. I keep the individual elements in a special file because I am trying to be disciplined and organised. Just call me Mrs O.

The Pathfinder function welds the elements together to check if all the pieces cut as expected or have some ‘holes’ that need connecting. The rest of the effects in the picture are for aesthetic benefit only and serve no other function. (These words are chosen very specifically and are a private joke between me and Himself!).

For this image, I took the graphic into Photoshop to apply a gold foil overlay just to gussy it up. I’m writing the method for how to do that and will post it today, probably. I have time on my hands – am having a bed delivered  so it’s a waiting-in sort of day. And, surprise, surprise, it’s also raining so no massive incentive especially as I don’t have the energy for jumping into puddles today.

Still to come – a rocking good way to fall in love

Sometime over the weekend I will post pics of my latest find – a lovely solid rocking chair. Love at first sight from a local charity shop. It was/is in great condition but had a dark varnish and needed a bit of a spruce up. It got washed down with sugar soap, given a light sanding then undercoated.

It will take the weekend and possibly a few evenings to get the top coat(s) on – lots of slats and surfaces that need the chair upended, flipped over onto one side, then the other… You know how these things are.

It also inspired me to make the flounciest, most frou-frou ruffled cushion I’ve ever stitched. It’s like a big bouffant bon-bon. Just colour my heart happy it makes me dance it’s so pretty (IMHO, obviously!).

When the chair is ready I’ll post pics of the chair and the cushion. I’m so excited. I LOVE the chair and can’t wait to show you the final make over!

Chat, Graphics

Clock face makeover

Just showing my latest project; a clock face makeover. I’ve seen ‘similar’ things on Etsy – lots of graphic elements joined together as a clock face but the prices were fairly expensive. Remember the MIL from Goodness Gracious Me and her catchphrase:  ‘I can make it at home for nothing’ ? That’s me.

Knowing Illustrator (and Inkscape and probably lots of other vector drawing packages) can easily weld things together it was obvious that all it would take would be time and patience to create an intricate and beautiful design. If you know these packages you can see at a glance that the ‘complexity’ of the design is made up of lots and lots of simpler vector elements arranged, modded and welded with the Pathfinder tool to create one solid image.

I’d already created lots of individual designs and had them saved and was able to pick out pieces to make up the design. Had to edit nodes and tweak most of the pieces so that they would overlap and weld but that’s not difficult. Just  time consuming and laborious. Still, if you have a free afternoon and fancy something to get absorbed into, I would recommend a project like this.

Will need a second pair of hands to help guide and align, etc, and strips of thin masking tape to hold it together till it’s safely transferred, but if I get it right on the clock face, will make an interesting and unusual clock. I may yet go back and swap the number 6 mushroom with the number 9 bird as the shape of the bird’s breast would work better with the curve of the six. That would enable me to lift up the number 9 so that it would sit properly at 90° to the 12 and horizontally opposite the 3.  Though a minor detail in the overall design but I think I might as well just do it.

This design will be cut from vehicle-quality decal vinyl to cover a clock face that has seen better days. I could use it as a stencil to spray paint the design but that would involve a lot more work and this isn’t an easy design to weed and transfer as it is.

Fingers crossed that it goes well. Will hopefully show the end result by the weekend. Luckily, vinyl isn’t too expensive…..

Graphics, Illustrator Tutorials, Tutorials

Colour my world happy

Hello Happy Peeples!

Have had a busy weekend and am starting to think ‘garden’ again. Bought a big dark grey/black planter and a tin of cream Rustoleum…. made a stencil on the Pro… you can guess where this is going! Am just waiting for the paint to dry to peel off the stencil (just sticky vinyl) and the surrounding masking tape. IF it has turned out ok I will take a pic and show you. If it looks awful and has bled under the stencil I won’t! But I will turn the pot around (it’s square) and try again on a different side…

In the meantime, have been playing in Illustrator. The letterform above has been filled and stroked and coloured in to create a carnival effect and it’s very easy to do.


1. Type a letter in the font of your choice

2. Using the Selection Tool, select it and then go to Type>Create Outlines

3. With it still selected, go to Object>Ungroup and repeat this action until the Ungroup option is greyed out, ie, all the grouped elements are free.

4. Then simply select individual elements and fill with colours and gradients to your heart’s content.

5.  In the above case, the H, the outer stroke is one continous line with two ‘inner islands’ contained within. I selected and cut these three elements, created a new layer and pasted them (using CTRL F to paste in the exact position they were cut from).  I then grouped the two inner bits.

Finally, I selected all three and used the Pathfinder>Subtract action to cut the inner bits from the outer shape. It looks exactly the same but created one continous shape that could then be filled with a pattern, solid colour, gradient etc.

I also selected the outline and went to Object>Path>Offset Path and entered -1 as the value to offset by. This gave me a second ‘outline’ just inside the outer to which I applied a different colour and stroke weight to. I repeated this again and gave it a third inner ‘outline’ and gave it a dotty stroke.

That’s all there is to it. Easy and quick, though it’s up to you how many colour variations and tiny bits there are to colour in but you can always speed things up by selecting bits (several bits if you hold down the Shift key while selecting)  and then using the Colour Dropper tool to pick the fill and stroke colours from bits you’ve already done and apply them to your selected elements.

Hope you give it a try and enjoy.


Digi stuff, Graphics

Today is….

Or maybe I could just say ‘Love finds a way’.

Today, from the bottom of my heart I hope those of you with heavy loads, struggling with life’s burdens and wondering if you have the strength to carry them any further, believe they, too, will pass. Hand your troubles over to the Infinite Spirit and keep love in your heart. Love will set you free.

Namaste x x x


PS: Another lovely graphic from the fabulous Craftsmanspace website. Again, I took it into Photoshop and applied colour, etc, the selected elements.

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