Monday, December 21, 2009

Are You Tired of Neules Yet?

You may be tired of seeing neules, so I decided to post the rest of the neules that I have cut in the past month. This is a scene of Bethlehem. This is the one I used for my trade.

This is one that was fun to design and cut. I used the red paper as background to liven in up when I scanned it. I was tired of the gloomy black.

Here is the last one. I cut this just a few days ago for a gift for a friend. I hope that she likes it. My husband thinks that the sheep look like maggots.

These are a couple of pictures of the neules hanging in my front room. I strung a string from the curtain to the opposite side of the room. Then, I hung the neules from the string. I like the way they look like they are floating. I think I should have hung them just a little bit higher though because my seven year old already manged to take a swing at one and ripped it down. Fortunately, I was able to rehang it without too much damage. She promised not to do that again.

Here they are again at another angle. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Neules

Here are 2 more neules that I have cut in the last couple of weeks. Angels make good holiday decor.

Here are the three wisemen. After trying to figure out how to make a good looking camel, I just left the cantankerous beasts out.

Monday, December 14, 2009


This year I was introduced to neules. Neules are delicately cut paper doilies that are hung in Mallorcan churches around Christmas. (Mallorca is an island off the coast of Spain.) They often depict biblical scenes or geometric designs. I found a few pictures of neules hanging in churches on the Internet, and they look beautiful hanging above the church altars. I was invited to be part of a nuele trade with my ATC group this month and thought it would be a challenge to try cutting one. I, of course, cut more than one because I couldn't decide what to send. So far I have cut five different designs, and I have more in my head that I would like to cut. Unfortunately, I have to fit them in between other Christmas projects that I HAVE to finish before Christmas. I plan to hang them all from a suspended string in my front room soon. This is a picture of the first neule I cut. I have been finding that the borders are the biggest challenge. I'll have more pictures in later posts.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December ATCs: Red is Beautiful

December's ATC theme is "beautiful red". What could be redder than Rudolf's shiny nose? I adapted a woodcut that my grandfather did for his 1932 Christmas cards for this cut. He, however, used blue ink which made the piece feel colder, and the deer wasn't Rudolf. My dad had framed and hung that card for years in our house, and it was always one of my favorites.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are my ATCs for November. I wanted to make something that went along with Thanksgiving.
It was good to do something with this wonderful holiday that is so often overshadowed by Christmas. I hope everyone has a wonderful day full of good food, family and friends!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Want Candy for Lunch

Have you ever had one of your children try to talk you into just letting them eat sweets for lunch? I have. There has been too much candy around my house this week. This paper cut was originally inspired by an ad in an old newspaper. I think it was advertising some kind of kitchen appliance. I started wondering what was really behind the reason that the woman was reclining against the table. I think that she wasn't day dreaming about a new stove but about a day when she could fix a meal without some disgusted protest from some child. I added a border to this one because I love all the decorative borders that newspaper artists threw into the newspaper a hundred years ago for no other reason than to liven it up.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All Ready for a Hoe Down

Here is a quick snip that I did while helping my 7 year-old with her homework yesterday. I guess, neither one of us was ready to get back into school work after the long weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hiking ATCs

This month's ATC theme is "A Hiking We Will Go". As usual, I had to ponder for weeks about what I wanted to do for this trade. I settled on cutting pictures of places that my family and I have gone hiking this summer. We spent a lot of time wandering the state and gazing at sandstone rock.

This first cut is of Goblin Valley State Park. This is my kids favorite place to hike around in. It feels like an alien landscape as you wander around the strangely formed rocks. The middle ground of the picture is a photo of Goblin Valley that I found in the park's brochure, I felt that it helped to give the feeling of the valley.

This second cut is of Hickman's Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park. This was the first year that we have taken the time to hike any of the trails in this national park.

The third cut is of the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. The family hiked to the arch early in the morning in July. It was a relatively easy hike, but we were glad that we didn't try to hike over the slickrock in the heat of the middle of the day. We passed people starting out on the trail on our way back, and we could see them beginning to sweat. It wasn't even 10 o'clock in the morning yet.

Last of all is Angel's Landing in Zion National Park. As a family, we hike the easy trails in Zion, but there is no way that I am taking my young children on the hike up to the top of Angel's Landing. The thought of my kids near those 800 foot or more drops is enough to give me nightmares. Zion is one of our favorite national parks, and we try to get there every year.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hansel and Gretel

Here is this month's fairy tale. I wanted to cut a tale that could be related to Halloween. I always thought that Hansel and Gretel was a little creepy. What could be scarier than a witch that wants to fatten up a child in a cage in order to eat him for dinner? Here Hansel and Gretel are wandering in the dark woods after being left behind by their father and stepmother. I layered three different paper cuts and put tracing paper between each layer to give it a feeling of distance. That way I could make the woods feel more dense and menacing without losing the main figures in the foreground.

Things I Learned from Hansel and Gretel:
  1. Don't ever use bread crumbs to mark a path.
  2. Eating candy off someone's house can lead to bad things.
  3. Don't accept hospitality from hungry witches.
  4. If you are a witch, you should never trust children to tell you the truth.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Border That Toots Its Own Horn

Last month, I found a pair of printing blocks for newspapers with heralds on them at an antique shop. Each was facing a different direction so that they could frame type between them. I brought them home and used them to base this papercut frame on. I haven't decided what should go in the middle, so for right now I am leaving it by itself.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

She Loved the Squirrel; He Loved the Acorns

Here is an idea that popped into my head yesterday and wouldn't leave until I had cut it. I really like it when an idea works out as well on paper as it does in your head. I wish it happened more. Too often that idea remains just in your head because you can't seem to find a way to bring it to life to your satisfaction. The background paper I used is actually a pale green, but the scanner didn't seem to pick up on that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Witch

Here is the witch that I cut for October. I used the same background paper that my daughter used for hers. I'm not sure what is in that pot, but I don't think that I want to try any. The cat looks like it might be interested though. Happy October!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Kids Are at It Again

My youngest daughter wanted to get into making Halloween decorations, too. Here is her witch papercut. She felt that she couldn't just leave it as a silhouette, so she added in details with pencil. I love the way that she solved the ever present question of how to mount a papercut. She loves to use tape.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Name in a Skirt?

Last weekend I was looking through a box of old paper stuff that a friend had bought on Ebay. This advertisement for personalized note cards was in it. I was intrigued by the idea of using a name to form the skirt and decided to make my own version of the youthful maiden as a papercut.

Here is what I came up with. I changed the girl a little in the process in order to make it more friendly to a papercut. The advertisement had a list of over 100 names that you could order, but I had a hard time picturing a name as long as Jacqueline squeezed into that skirt. I didn't even want to try Melissa. So, I decided to use the nickname that I used when I was a little girl. I don't like that name, but it was a lot easier to fit in that skirt. Maybe I'll try squeezing in my real name sometime. I like the way it turned out over all. The elongated letters give it an interesting look.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What My 12 Year Old Is Up To

My son is starting to feel autumn in the air. He loves to have the house decorated for the holidays, and sometimes he thinks that I am too slow to get started with the decorations. He decided to take matters into his own hands and start making decorations for Halloween. This is what he came up with: a ghostly diorama. I think that it is quite clever with its construction. He had no help from me. Isn't paper a lot of fun?!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fall is Coming

Fall is just around the corner. It is my favorite season of the year, and that is not because of Halloween. I love the color and temperate temperatures of Fall.

This is a simple cut of a circle of leaves, but I like that it also looks like a flower. I hope that you enjoy it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September ATCs

Yesterday, I was so excited that I had a free couple of hours to do some papercutting. It has been too long. It was relaxing to hear that knife cut through the black paper. I have been too busy lately with other things.

This month's ATC theme is an open one. I have been on a fairy tale kick lately so I thought it would be fun to tell a fairy tale with my cards. I chose Cinderella just because it seemed the easiest at the time. The first scene is Cinderella receiving the invitation to the ball.

This is Cinderella's fairy godmother transforming a pumpkin into a coach. I thought it was fun that the background paper could be used to enhance the magic.

What is the Cinderella story without a depiction of the ball?

Lastly, the stepsister looks on in disbelief as Cinderella's dainty foot slips into the slipper. These were a lot of fun to do.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maid Maleen

Here it is the last week in August, and I almost forgot to post a fairy tale papercut. This is from the Grimm's tale of Maid Maleen. The princess, Maid Maleen, and her servant were walled up in a tower by themselves for seven years by her father, the king, because she refused to marry the prince the king had chosen for her. Maid Maleen had, of course, fallen in love with another prince. After seven years, the women emerged from their tower only to discover that the kingdom had been laid waste. They then wandered around until they came to another kingdom where they become scullery maids at the castle. Because this is a fairy tale, Maid Maleen found that this castle belongs to the prince that she fell in love with seven years before, and he was about to marry another princess. You can guess how the rest of the story goes. The cut depicts the women as they finally chip their way out of the tower only to discover that everything that they had known was destroyed. I hope they had a lot of good reading material in that tower. How could you not go a little nuts after seven years?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I'm sorry that I haven't posted anything for weeks. I found myself suddenly swamped with trips in these last few weeks before school starts again. I'm just starting to find time to cut again. Until I have some new cuts to show, I thought I would post this cutting of aspen trees that I did last year. The white bark of these trees make them fun to cut.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Buried in the Sand

It has been a couple of months since I have done an ATC. Last month, I was busy helping my husband get our book ready to give to our publisher so I elected to skip that month's trade. This month's theme is "At the Seashore". I decided that I wanted to cut something with a little humor. I hope it makes the other ladies chuckle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I Want to Live in Sherwood Forest

When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Sherwood Forest or in a castle nearby. Robin Hood was one of my heroes. The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn was my all time favorite movie. I could watch it over and over again. I had a record with the soundtrack, and while my friends hung posters of hairy rock stars on their wall, I hung a big black and white poster of Robin Hood. It was cool! Last week, I watched again The Adventures of Robin Hood with my husband, and it inspired me to create this cut of Robin meeting Little John on the log bridge. According to Howard Pyle, Little John was over 7 feet tall. He makes Robin Hood look like a little punk.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Parents at the Park

This cut is based on a photo that I took at Murray City park a couple of weeks ago. It is interesting to think that we all move to the sidelines of the playground eventually. How long has it been since these people were the ones excited to try out the slides and swings? When did the benches have more appeal than the monkey bars? I know it has been awhile for me. Give me a book and a bench anytime.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Western Hoe-Down

This has been my project the last couple of weeks. Wednesday night was the annual Achievement Days daddy-daughter dinner/date at our church. This is for the 8 to 11 year old girls and their dads. It was a western hoe-down theme. I created wanted posters with a silhouette for each of the girls to hang on the wall as decoration. They also made a fun game as the girls tried to guess who was who.
I made 17 of these. I was getting pretty good at cutting that cowboy hat by the end. The girls had fun guessing, and when the night was over, they all had a souvenir to take home with them. It was well worth my time and effort.

Monday, July 6, 2009

No Luck With Men

July's fairy tale is about a girl who didn't have any real luck with the men in her life. I'm talking about the miller's daughter in Rumplestiltskin. First, her father practically sells her off to the first king who rides by with a false promise of magical accomplishments. Then, that said greedy king threatens her nightly to perform an impossible feat or "off with your head" never thinking about the fact that the miller didn't have piles of golden straw at his mill. The little man who magically appears to help her doesn't do it out of the goodness of his heart but is only looking for a way to weasel a child out of her. Sure, the girl does get to keep her head and marry a king, but is she really happy with the arrangement? Notice that she doesn't turn to her husband to help solve the mystery of Rumplstiltskin's name. What is she afraid of? I don't think she trusts any man at this point. I don't know that I would either.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Have a great weekend full of fireworks and parades!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Frog Watches

Here is June's fairytale. The Frog Prince watches as the princess despairs of retrieving her golden ball from the bottomless pool. It looks like a good opportunity for the frog. If I did this one again, I would make the bushes a little less odd in shape.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Purple Grapes

Here is the one paper cut that I have managed to cut in the last two weeks. My husband has been keeping me busy helping with our book project on the first official tourists to Zion National Park. We are almost done, so I hope to get back to cutting soon.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kelton Grave

This is a bigger paper cut that I have been working on the past few weeks. It is 10 x 13 inches. This is a picture of a headstone in a lonely cemetery out in the desert north of the Great Salt Lake. Kelton was once a town along the Union Pacific railroad. It was a thriving little community until the railroad built a new route across the lake and bypassed all the towns along the original route. This eventually killed all those communities. There isn't much left of the towns. Even the foundations are almost gone. The cemetery is still at Kelton, but it is neglected. In twenty or thirty years, it might be gone as well. The wire fence around it is the only thing that keeps the atvs out of it. You can't read anything on the wooden headstones that are left. I tried to capture the feeling of neglect in that dry landscape.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Last Summer's Experiment

Last summer, I saw an artist at the Salt Lake Art Festival use linocut block prints and watercolors to create some beautiful small botanical art. I decided to try a similar thing but with paper cuts. Here are some samples of what I came up with. I first cut the paper cut then I painted the watercolor underneath. The cut is glued just at the top so when it is hanging, the paper is slightly raised above the watercolor. That gives it a three dimensional look. These are some of my husband's favorite cuts.
I hung these two up at an art show over Memorial Day weekend and sold them both. I guess that means that other people like them too. The last two weeks, I have been working on a couple more of cuts like these. I will post them soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Henry Hudson Sails Again

Okay, this is not exactly a paper cut, but I did cut paper to make it. My daughter had to impersonate an explorer in her third grade class last Friday. They had the option of wearing a costume, and that got my creative juices flowing. It is a challenge to think in more three dimensional terms. The hat, beard and collar are all made with paper. I like how they turned out. She ended up being the only student in her class to wear a costume. She was very brave to put it on anyway. She was the best looking Henry Hudson there. It is to bad that the photo ended up so blurry.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother and Daughter

Sometimes it is fun to cut just a plain silhouette. I should have cut this last week and used it for Mother's day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May ATCs

This month's ATC theme is "Asian Things". I thought that bonsai trees would make fun papercuts.

I cut the outline of the trees out of the top black paper, and then placed the color paper behind the open cuts. Being the organic things that they are, I used pictures out of some of my seed and garden catalogues for the color. The bowl on the second tree is a picture of asparagus spears.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Robin

I have seen several papercutters who have done cuts of tree branches, and I have really enjoyed the results. I wanted to try it too. Last January, I saw four robins perched in the trees to the side of my house. They had their feathers puffed up against the cold. I liked the way those red feathers contrasted against the bare branches of the trees. "Ah hah!", I thought. "There is a subject for a future papercut." I took a picture and tucked it away for a future project. Last friday was that day. The cut above was the result.
When I was done, I placed the cut in a frame pressed between to pieces of glass. I really am pleased with how it looks in this kind of framing. It is hard to see it in this picture, but the shadows cast by the cut onto the wall add an extra dimension to the cut and makes it look like there are more tree branches. It is a nice effect.