Sunday, December 18, 2011

This time of the year

I know for a lot of people this is a really hard time of the year. One the sun is not out as often but two it is a season that revolves around family. Family is not always a Disney depiction of what it is supposed to be. It can be a very lonely time. 
I just want you who is reading this and feeling these things to know it will get better. You are not alone. You are in a world with a billions of people and so many of them are going through the same thing. 
You can find that happy place again. If you really want it. It wont arrive in a present under your tree with shiny wrapping paper but if you want it and are bold enough to whisper it sending it out into the universe amongst the starts it will come. Another person can’t give it to you but they can nurture it like a tiny seed. You must plant the seed fist through. Seek happiness. Fill your life with sun, rain and and love. You are the Gardener. You choose the environment this tiny seed of happiness will grown in. Give yourself good food, go outside into the light, learn to see your own beauty. Be sure to surround your self with people who will not squash your tender stem but give you support and shelter. Learn to forgive but cut out toxic elements in your life. 
Whenever you feel like it is all too much just think of that tree that started out as a fragile sapling on top of a windy cold mountain. Life can find its way in any environment. We are rugged and strong. We can grow in the harshest conditions. Keep fighting, expect nothing but what you can provide for yourself and seek what will help you thrive. 
I have been all the way to the bottom and survived. You can too. I know this and expect nothing less. Have a wonderful holiday; every one will get better with time. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cut Paper Luminary Tutorial

For this project you will need a surface to cut on. I use a self healing mat. They come in all different sizes. I have two shown here. One is 24" X 36" and the other is 11" X 17". You will also need a sketchbook, templates for making nice curves and circles, double sided tape, a ruler, stencil cutting X-Acto Knife, regular X-Acto Knife, mechanical or regular pencil, pencil sharpener,  8 1/4" X 5 12" card stock and vellum. 

Here is a close up of the knives. I prefer the small stencil knife because it makes nice curves but the blade does sometimes get wobbly and needs to be tinkered with. These knives are sharp so be very careful!

Draw your little design that you want to make on your luminary. This can be done for a wall hanging too. 

Use the sketch book paper to do your draft of the design. This will ensure you are not making mistakes on expensive materials.  To help you think in terms of light shining through shade in the parts that are going to be cut out. You want all of the paper to be attached in one unified piece. You don't want any paper islands in your sketch. 

Use a ruler to help you make your folds on the card stock. I make a small tab at the base about 3/16 of an inch. This will be used to close the luminary when you are done.

Once you have the tab fold it in half below the tab. You want every side to be the same size accept the side that will have the tab on it. 

After folding it in halves fold it into quarters. 

This tab will attach to the opposite side making a seamless luminary. 

Draw your design onto the inside second one in opposite the tab. 

Start cutting the card stock with your X-Acto knife. My hand looks funny here because I was taking a photo with the other. lol

You want to apply double sided tape to one section at a time while focussing on lots of tape on the folds. Apply the tape, line the vellum up as shown below, smooth, fold and move on to taping the next section.  

Again use a ruler to help you make the folds. It makes the straight and crisp. 

The key is to do one section at a time or you will get lumps in the vellum. 

When finished add your tape to the tab you left behind before and secure it to the opposite side of the luminary. 
I use flameless tea light batteries in my luminaries. You can buy this one at . It is ok to use my luminary tutorial for home projects. It is not ok to use my designs to sell. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lotus Flower

I hand cut this out of silhouette paper. It is about 15" X 15" and a completely original design. 

If you notice there are fire birds flanking the sides of the petals.

There are jasmine like flowers, Irises, milkweed like seed pods and vines. 

The center is based of a image of a actual lotus seed pod.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My kitten is obsessed with this lamp. He likes to perch like this and warm his belly. lol