Monday, December 29, 2008


     Today just feels like a good day for a picture of a seagull. You never know where you are going to see one.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shadow Puppets

For Christmas this year I have made my niece Mallory a puppet theatre to go along with the sock puppets that I made her last year. I made the theatre in a way that she could also use it for shadow puppets. Mallory doesn't have any shadow puppets as far as I know , so of course, I had to make some. Here are some puppets for the story of the Three Little Pigs. I also made the pigs' houses. My three kids did a test run of the theatre and the puppets last night. They laughed and giggled as they performed their own versions of the story. I will take that as a high recommendation for this as a gift.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Big Christmas Papercut

     I made this as a table centerpiece out of poster board. It is just over 1 foot high and 1 1/2 feet wide. I added flaps on the back so that it is self standing. I wanted to show Joseph helping to hold the Christ child. I think  too many nativities show Joseph as being an aloof observer of this miracle. How could he have not been profoundly moved?

Monday, December 8, 2008


I made two different groups of ATCs this month. The first was a series of paper ornaments. The above is a picture of one of them. I was thinking of those wonderful glass ornaments that they made 50 or 60 years ago that were round but indented on one side. I have always liked those ornaments. The inside color was made by melting crayon shavings between two pieces of waxed paper. This gives it the look of stained glass.
The other ATCs took me a little longer to make. We had to make Christmas books with papercuts. I decided to use the first verse of the carol Good King Wenceslas. The book needed more than just the cut to make it work, so I added watercolor to it. The following are all the pages in the book.

I liked the way it turned out, but I think I could spend some time on my handwriting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Look What Came in the Mail Yesterday!

   Yesterday, I received a big package in the mail containing 24 of these catalogues. The Zion Canyon Field Institute decided to use my papercut from the Zion centennial art show on the cover of next year's catalogue of classes. I feel so honored especially since it is Zion's 100th birthday next year. I personally think they look pretty good, but I'm prejudice.  It is so cool that my papercut will be out there for so many people to see all year long. I couldn't ask for more than that. Whoopee!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some Sundays Are Like That

     Today was one of those days where it is hard to stay awake. It comes from staying up late the last two nights. If I hadn't been kept busy at church today, this would have been what I would have been doing. So I guess I should be grateful that I had to do Sharing Time in Primary today. I can't snooze while I'm on my feet and have twelve 9 to 11 year olds staring at me. Some days it is only by staying on the move that I keep awake. How do guys sleep slumped in a chair like that? I have seen them do it before.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Is Coming!

    This is what I have been busy doing the last week. I have been placed in charge of table decorations for our Relief Society's Enrichment night the first week in December. I wanted to do some papercuts, but they need to be three-dimensional in order to be used for center pieces. These are what I came up with. Fortunately, our Relief Society isn't real big so I only have to cut seven or  so. I have decided if I will have anything else with them or not. Is the nativity enough? I'm still working on that. I wanted to get these done early so that I could have time to work on all the other Christmas projects I have been putting on my list to complete before December 25th. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

King Thrushbeard

  Here is another cutting based on a fairy tale. King Thrushbeard was one of my favorite stories when I was a kid. It is a "taming of the shrew" type story where the arrogant beautiful princess is given a lesson in kindness and humility. Here the princess is mocking the beak-like beard of the visiting king that has come to court her.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Another Tree

     I just knew that everyone wanted to see another great tree from Bryce Canyon. This great snag was in the fork of two trails along the canyon rim.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Interesting Tree

     A couple of weeks ago, my family took a mini vacation to Bryce Canyon National Park. The hoodoos down there are fascinating, and I would recommend seeing it to everyone once in their lives. I was also drawn to the unique sight of the twisty craggy trees that grow around the eroding sandstone pillars. I took a lot of pictures of trees while we were there. I thought it would be fun to translate those shapes into papercuts. So, here is my first attempt. This tree was growing in the middle of the trail. Was it one tree with four trunks or four trees wrapping around each other? It was hard to tell.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloween!

    I am trying to get into the spirit of Halloween this week. I was thinking, "What is a witch's life like when she is not zooming around on full moon nights on her broomstick?" This is what I came up with. The domestic witch uses her broom for more practical purposes. My son liked this one because he could spend time trying to find different things in it. My oldest daughter was just concerned that poor old lady had no where to sleep.  The witch's face was inspired by the trees in the field behind my house. One morning I looked out my window, and there created by branches and leaves was the craggy face of an old woman with a kerchief on her head. I knew I had to use that in a papercut.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


   One of my earliest exposure to ancient Greek literature was Homer's epic poem, "The Iliad". I loved it. I loosely based this papercut on a bust of Homer.  He looks like a cranky old man.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cats Have It Good

     Do you ever wish your life was as good and simple as a pampered cat?

Monday, October 13, 2008

October's ATCs

    This month's theme was "harvest".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Eulogy For Madison

    My niece Madison Rae Fletcher died last week of an sudden  illness. She was only six years old. She was a very loving and friendly girl so full of life. She loved to give everyone hugs. Madison was a true friend to my daughter Eliza. She will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Amy Loader's Dance

    This papercut I have been working on for months as sketches. Finally, this weekend I "girded up my loins" and cut it. It is the biggest cut that I have done so far (10 in. x 13 in.). Perhaps that was one of the reasons that I felt intimidated by it. It took me longer to cut than most of my others also.
     Last spring I borrowed a book about the ill-fated Willie and Martin handcart companies who were caught in a series of snow storms on the plains in Wyoming while on their way to  Salt Lake City in 1857. Through a bunch of mishaps, miscommunications and misplaced zeal, the companies started out across Nebraska and Wyoming too late in the year and promised extra supplies and help did not appear. As a result, the pioneers were almost out of food when the early snow hit. Many people died from exposure before they could be rescued and brought to Salt Lake. I was interested in reading it, well, because I like to read disaster stories, and between my husband I, we have 3 ancestors and their families who were in the Martin handcart company. One of my favorite stories about the handcart companies is about Amy Loader, who was an older woman traveling with her family including several married daughters. Her health was not good when they had started the trip, but she had already outlived her husband when the snow hit. After a cold night, she had a hard time getting her grown daughters up to continue on. She finally said, "Come girls, this will not do. I believe I will have to dance to you and try to make you feel better." So she got to her feet and danced, twirled and sang until her daughters were laughing and forgetting about their frozen toes. Amy then slipped and fell. Her daughters then immediately got up to see if she was alright. Amy then confessed that she had fallen on purposed because she knew that would get her daughters up. She had been afraid that they would give up. Amy Loader kept her family going through their trials. I loved that story. It was hard not to smile at this matron's antics and courage. Amy Loader was not one of our ancestors, but I felt that she was a good example of the type of people these handcart pioneers were. I wanted to honor them and their spirit with a papercut.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Princess and the Pea

   Silhouttes  and fairy tales have gone together in my head since my days in Primary. Sometimes before Primary started on Tuesday afternoons (Yes, I know that dates me.), the leaders would show short movies in the church's breezeway to keep all the kids occupied. One of those that I remember best was a  version of Sleeping Beauty by Lotte Reiniger. The movie was animated all in silhouette. I thought it was the coolest thing. As I have started papercutting, I have naturally been drawn to doing some designs based on some of my favorite fairy tales. Here the queen is showing the tired  unsuspecting princess her very tall bed. I have done a few other fairy tale cuts which I may at sometime post.

Friday, September 26, 2008


       This is a papercut of Blackrock on the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake several miles west of Saltair. John and I several times this summer dragged our children out into the great outdoors to run around while we sketched. The first time it was out in the middle of sagebrush. The kids didn't like that too much. Betsy spent most of the time hiding in the car. She didn't like the bugs, and she was afraid of snakes. They liked going to Blackrock, however. Here was a great big rock just begging to have someone climb it. So, while John and I sketched, the kids clambered their way to the top.
     Blackrock  was once the sight of a popular beach along the lake shore. On top of the rock, you can still see part of the posts that held a big sign that said "Blackrock" on it. Being there now it is hard to imagine anyone wanting to swim in the water  around Blackrock. The lake stinks and is covered with a layer of brine flies along the shoreline. Yes, the dark brown in the picture below is not dirt, but thousands upon thousands of flies packed tightly together. Yuck!
  Blackrock was not as easy to sketch as I thought it would be. It looked so much less complicated from the freeway.  Going from real life to a papercut was harder than I thought it would be also. I found that I had to separate the real thing and the papercut with several different sketches. This is not my actual sketch but a sketch of my sketch as I tried to simplify the shadows and highlights of the rock in order to translate it into a papercut. 
    I really enjoyed the sketching that we did this summer. Hopefully, there will be more of that in the future. My goal is to become a plein air artist who uses papercuts as a medium. Is that even possible?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On The Wharf

 This cut is based on an old snapshot. I love old snapshots and the view of the past that they offer. What are all those kids looking at?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Santaquin Canyon

    My family went camping last month up Santaquin canyon with my parents last month. It is a pretty little canyon. While there I did a quick sketch of the canyon wall opposite of where we were camping. I loved how the pine trees stood on top of the cliffs like the hair on someone's head.  I based this papercut on that sketch.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September's ATC

     I belong to a group that trades ATCs (artist trading cards) every month. This month's theme was lighthouses. Since I live in a sagebrush covered desert far from the ocean and we have no need for lighthouses, my experience with them has been extremely limited. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen one in person. Then I remembered that one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world was a lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt. I liked ancient history, so there you go! Everyone will be getting a papercut of a really old lighthouse.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Father and Daughter

     I just finished this cut. It is of my husband and our daughter, Eliza, hiking in Zion. Three years ago I did a papercut of the two of them in Arches National Park. I thought that it would be nice to do an update of the two of them together.
     I am sure that John was glad that he didn't have to carry her on his shoulders this time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nell Creer

    This is a picture of Nell Creer sitting on a cliff above the valley floor of Zion canyon in southern Utah. In 1920, 5 coeds from the University of Utah took a trip to Zion National Park. They were the first official tourists to the park after it became a national park in November  1919. The 5 girls along with a dancer from Los Angeles, a chaperone and several press photographers explored  the canyon for a week before the official opening of the gate on May 15, 1920. The photographers had them doing all kinds of stunts for the pictures which were published in newspapers all over the world. Looking at the photos, you can tell that they were having the time of their lives.
     I created this papercut based on the photo of Nell above. It wasn't real easy to figure out how to do the shadows since I did it all freehand. I have entered it into the fine art competition at the State Fair. It will be interesting to see  how it does. I have no big expectations. It just was  a fun challenge to do. My husband and have been somewhat obsessed with this story the past month.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More Pictures from my Zion Trip

The picture above is of the antique shop in Scipio.  We love to stop here whenever we are around. The owners are very nice.
This is the second papercut that I have ever sold. I patterned it after an old snapshot of two girls in a park. I loved that they were both holding their toys over their shoulders.
This is  me in front of the St. George Art Museum just before we went in to see the show. If you are in St. George before the end of January, you should stop by and be edified by the art. You'll be glad that you did.
It is hard to see it, but my name is on this sign in the art museum. It was a thrill to see my name on it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trip to Zion

My husband and I left early Friday morning. Our goal was the opening reception of the "A Century of Sanctuary: The Art of Zion National Park" down at the St. George Art Museum where I had a papercut on display. This was my first juried art show, and there was no way that I was going to miss it. We left early so that we could easily meander and stop along the way before the opening started. That's the way we like to travel.
     The first place we stopped was the antique shop in Scipio. John has a hard time passing up antique shops, and he wanted to drop off some of his M0tortales books off. John told the owner that we were traveling through to St. George for the art show, and the owner curious about what papercuts are, asked to see one. I had happened to throw my binder of papercuts in the car before we left home, so I was able to show some to the owner and his wife. They were impressed and asked if they could buy one. You bet! This is the second time I have sold any.
   After that, we slowly made our way down south, stopping in Cedar City and Zion National Park. Look out for the gas pumps in Cedar City. We had problems with them twice on our trip.
    We finally made it to the St. George Art Museum shortly after the reception started. I was excited to be the one wear the name tag with "artist" on it this time instead of my husband. The museum was beautiful and complemented the wonderful art work along the walls. I finally found mine. I still don't know how I made it into this show filled with paintings done by professional artists. I think I might have been the only amateur there. I sure felt out classed. I enjoyed looking at the modern and historical art there. I wish that my grandfather, 
Calvin Fletcher, had been represented with the historical paintings. That would have added an extra nice touch in my mind. About half way through the reception came the speeches and presentation of the awards. The mayor of St. George and the Deputy Director of the National Park Service gave some of the speeches. The presentation went on for almost an hour. My legs got tired because we had to stand through the whole thing. I didn't win an award or purchase prize, but I got my name up on the wall. The whole thing was a new experience for me.
   We went back to Zion the next day. 


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here are some pictures

This is the paper cut that I won my first ribbon at the county fair with. I designed it from an old snapshot  that I had bought at an antique show.


This is the first papercut that I have ever sold. It is an illustration 
of Lucy seeing the lamp post for the first time in the book, "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C. S. Lewis.  I really liked this one, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to sell it. I had put a  price on it that I thought it wouldn't sell for. I guess someone liked it more  than I thought they would.

  This the papercut that I sent to the Zion art show. The show is called "A Century of Sanctuary - The Art of Zion National Park". It will also include historical paintings of the park done over the last 100 years or so. It will include paintings by Thomas Moran and Maynard Dixon. It opens to the public on Monday August 25, 2008. My papercut is titled, "A Restful Interlude".


    Welcome everyone! The purpose of this blog is to document my adventures in the fabulous art of papercutting. Papercutting has been practiced in many parts of the world for thousands of years, but I am not here going to give a history. I doubt that I could do it justice. If you wish to know more, google the website of the Guild of American Papercutters. ( I would link that for you, but I haven't figured that out yet. Sorry.)  
   My adventure started about nine years ago, when I picked up a book on papercutting at our local library. I was intrigued by the strong lines and shapes created thru this medium. I have always been fascinated by things made from paper so this  looked like fun to try. The first papercuts I did were illustrations that I copied from children's books I found around the house. I cut them from construction paper and taped them to  the walls of the nursery that I was about to use for my first daughter. I made about 10 of them. It created a fun look to the room. The only problem I had with them was that the color faded quickly, and they had to be pulled down. (See photo above.)
    I didn't a whole lot a papercuts in the years following as the kids kept me too busy, but every once in a while I would sit down and cut a small picture here and there that I could use in a scrapbook or journal. It wasn't until last year that I was able to really delve into the art. Over the last couple of years I hadn't been to impressed by the quality of art work at our county fair, so I thought that maybe I could enter some artwork and manage  to get a ribbon. I have never gotten a ribbon for my art before, and I thought that here was my chance. I looked around my old snapshots and found one that I thought would make a good papercut, and then I took it to the fair. Not only did I get a ribbon, but it was a " best in class" ribbon. That might sound like bragging, but really I had very little competition in the mixed media class. I was excited though, and it motivated me to do more. 
   In January, I did several things to move me into a more active pursuit. First, I joined the Guild of American Papercutters in order to keep inspired to try more cuttings. Second, I let my husband talk me into entering a juried art show in St. George, Utah. The show would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Zion National Park. Again, I went to my snapshots. This time I used 2 shots that I had taken at Zion the last fall. I did not expect to get into the show, but I thought I would try anyway. Imagine my surprise, when about three weeks later, I received a letter from the St. George Art Museum saying that my cut was one of 68 paintings out of some 500 entries that was accepted into the show. I was in shock! I really hadn't thought that it was good enough. I was an amateur  competing against a bunch of professional oil and watercolor artists. I went out and got it professionally framed right away. I felt like I went one step further in May when I sold my first papercut to someone besides my mom
     Tomorrow my and husband and I are traveling down to St. George to go to the artists' opening reception tomorrow  night. I am so excited. This will be a new experience for me. I am at a place where I never thought I would be, but I find that I like it. The art show will be at the St. George Art  Museum until the end of January, and then  it will travel around the country into 2010.
      I am still trying to figure out how to do things on my blog, so I am sorry that I don't have more pictures. Once I have it figured it out, I will include some pictures of the papercuts that I have done. Thanks for reading.