Monday, August 18, 2014

The Kirigami Project by Omiyage

If you're on the lookout for a relaxing papercraft to try, you might enjoy a visit to the Omiyage blog where you can catch up with The Kirigami Project. Since the first of the year, Marisa Edghill, co-owner of Omiyage, a supplier of crafty paper goods - origami paper, washi tape, and more - has been sharing a free kirigami pattern each week.


Perhaps you've heard the term kirigami and wondered how it differs from origami... while origami is folding paper, kirigami is folding and cutting. Have you ever made a paper snowflake? Congratulations, you've already entered the fun world of kirigami!


Thin paper is best - origami paper works well, as does tissue paper. Heavy paper leads to bulky folds and layers that shift when you try to cut... whoops, there goes the perfect symmetry. I suggest starting with this Omiyage post, where you can scroll down to see diagrams of 4, 5, and 6-fold processes, and also have a look at this very short video.


Marisa's designs are impressive in that quite a few resemble specific items, not just random, pretty shapes... abstract reasoning is obviously one of her strong suits! She has devised patterns from camellias to campfires and even kissing birds on top of birdhouses, just to name a few.


The more cuts that are made, the lacier the result, but Marissa proves that even very simple designs can be appealing. I'm a fan of these bold, graphic arrows.


I asked Marisa for ideas on what to do with kirigami... aside from enjoying the in-the-moment cutting process, of course. She answered that the shapes can be stacked to use as gift adornments or strung as garlands. You can even frame your favorites.


Here Marisa had the idea to transform a batch of kirigami shapes into colorful envelopes by photocopying them.



Visit the Omiyage blog to try out a new kirigami design each week and then, if you like, share the fruits of your labor with the hashtag #thekirigamiproject via social media.

Everything at Omiyage is 20% off right now with the code SUMMER.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cut Paper Illustrations - Sarah Trumbauer

Another paper cutter, you ask? Indeed, I say! Sarah Trumbauer brings her unique touch to original and highly detailed cut paper designs. Leaves, flowers, art nouveau, children's stories and fairy tales... all are fair game.

There's nothing like a gorgeous close-up to show the intricacy of a paper cutting... Sarah is also an avid photographer.


Each design begins with a drawing that she cuts by hand...


...and when complete, is enhanced with a graduated color backing paper. I was interested to learn she designs and prints the papers in her home studio - the very best way to obtain the desired effect.


Sarah often turns her work into wearable art. These elegant, nature-inspired necklaces feature tiny (just i inch!) hand cut designs that float between two micro-thin layers of glass...


...while miniature versions of cut paper scenes are printed, placed in oval pendants, and fitted with beveled glass.


There isn't anything especially fancy about Sarah's tools... she relies on a Martha Stewart craft knife (watch her cut some impressively tiny stars in this very quick video) and changes the blade after each papercut inchie.


What brought about your interest in this art?

My mom‘s family is Pennsylvania Dutch and she introduced me to scherenschnitte when I was growing up. In college (Sarah is a graduate of Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C.) I focused mainly on drawing and painting, but a few years later I started using it as another tool for my illustrations, and I fell head-over-heels in love. It went from being a hobby to something I've been doing full-time for about 3 years now.  


What do you enjoy most about the cutting process? 

I love that with papercutting, I am creating something beautiful and meaningful using only an x-acto knife and a simple piece of paper. Watching the illustration develop from an intangible idea to a finished papercut, one cut at a time, really captivates me.


I'm already looking forward to Sarah's winter/holiday designs. Recently she shared an ornament sneak-peek on Instagram and in the past has created beautiful cards.


Due to a sudden deluge of orders this past weekend, Sarah regrets she is not able to accept requests for original designs at the moment. They will be offered again in several weeks, but meanwhile see many alternatives in her shop or via Facebook.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Paper Connection International - Specialty Handmade Paper Giveaway

 Congratulations to the winner - Karen!

If you haven't heard of Paper Connection International, you're in for a treat. Since 1995, owner Lauren Pearlman Sugita has been importing handmade fine art and specialty papers from all over the world, notably Japan, India, Nepal, Latin America, China, and Korea, to the PCI studio and warehouse in Providence, Rhode Island.


PCI is known for its staff that offers decades of expertise in the world of paper along with dependable customer service. Technical assistance is provided to manufacturers, retailers, museum curators, bookbinders, conservators, artists, and designers.

Lauren frequently lectures and hosts workshops about the tradition of hand-making high quality paper, helping to ensure that the information is maintained by generations of artists and crafts-people both in the West and East.


In addition to an incredible array of papers, browse PCI online to discover unique stationery, washi postcards, deckle-edge business cards, acid-free blank journals and scrapbooks, coasters, kites, masks, lampshades, party accessories, boxes, gift wrap, acid-free starch glue, marbled papers...

Marbled Paper

... and mizuhiki cord (below) which is made from tightly wound and starched rice paper. Originally it was made to tie up the hair of samurai warriors, but now is shaped into beautiful knots that can be used to decorate cards and gifts.


Paper Connection International has offered to send a selection of nine Japanese paper sheets ($30 value) to one U.S. resident who leaves a comment on this post. The superior papers would be ideal for bookbinding, card making, and box making, just to name a few ideas.  


The shipment of rolled papers will include:
3 sheets of Laurelai Designs designed in-house by Paper Connection International, LLC
1 vintage yuzen paper or chiyogami, a Kimono pattern from Japan
5 vintage Japanese paper from Echizen, Japan; pastel-colored textured washi

Several of the echizens and crepe echizens are not featured in PCI's catalog, so the winner will be receiving something unique from their vintage collection.  

Jeri Kim Lowe, Lauren's assistant, describes the papers: 


From left to right, the lighter colored papers - mint, yellow and lilac - are textured and would be ideal for all sorts of paper craft. They have crevices running through them and a crepe paper-like texture. They are often used for flower making. The three patterned papers - green with pink vine, gray with yellow flowers, and blue bubbles - are PCI Laurelei Designs, silk-screened patterns on acid-free, recycled cotton paper. The yellow echizen is a vintage paper with a pretty sheen that features a small Japanese calligraphy repeated pattern. The pink butterfly paper is a full sheet of vintage Japanese yuzen. Lastly, the peachy-pink echizen  is a bit metallic and has a pearlized sheen - quite nice and elegant! 

Leave a comment as your entry below. One winner with a U.S. mailing address will be selected at random on Monday, August 18 and announced here as soon as she/he has been contacted.

Paper Connection International has a blog and is on Facebook and Twitter

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gift Horse & Co. - Gift Wrap Subscription Box Review

If you get a thrill from seeing a beautifully wrapped present, I think you'll enjoy this introduction to Corinna vanGerwen's gift wrap subscription box service, Gift Horse & Co. Recently I had the pleasure of receiving the inaugural Summer 2014 box and was impressed with its overall quality and attractive contents.


Aside from the convenience of having everything you'll need on hand to wrap at least a half dozen ahhh-worthy presents, you'll have fun choosing from a variety of tags, ribbons, and ornaments to enhance them. This particular box was inspired by art-deco Miami and contains luxurious gold, silver, and pastel silkscreened papers from India, along with a pair of stylish black sheets.

Gift Horse & Co. Gift Wrap Subscription Box Papers - Summer 2014

I love the high quality grosgrain and organza ribbons, black and kraft-color gift tags with gold cording, unique black and gold-threaded baker's twine, golden leaf charms, and beachy shell bars, reminiscent of mother-of-pearl, not to mention the way everything easily coordinates.


Corinna is a gift wrapping expert and this was clearly evident in the way the box arrived neatly and securely packaged. Inside the sturdy, reusable carton, crimped paper strands made it impossible for the contents to become wrinkled or damaged while in transit. Included was a card that describes the items and features gift wrapping tips. You'll also receive Corinna's newsletter with additional ideas via email.


She carefully selects the mix-and-match inclusions that fill the boxes and will be mailing a new one out to subscribers every other month. You are invited to sign up by August 22 to receive the September box. While the service is not inexpensive - $37/box; shipping to Canada $12, to US $18 - so much thought and energy goes into shopping for the perfect gift, how nice it would be to package it in an equally lovely way. And come to think of it, you could even have a box sent to someone as a gift - it's that nice!

Gift Horse & Co. is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Visit Corinna's website and blog, Corinna Wraps.

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