Saturday, September 18, 2010

Paper Cuts

We're meant to be scurrying around the house getting ready for a party today but instead I've still got a nasty head cold and Justin doesn't know what he did to his back.  We cancelled postponed the party until further notice.  Poo.

Let's find that silver lining shall we?  Well, there's the fact that my congested head is giving me the simulated feel of some illegal street drug.  I'm floating about three inches out of my body I think and the music on my ipod is sounding far away and dreamy.  Not a bad feeling really.  Oh dear, that didn't sound very good.

Moving on, there is also the fruit of three or so days spent on the couch.  All who know me know that I can't just sit and stew in my own juices.  I can't even just watch a movie.  I have to be doing something.  This has lead to my addiction with sunflower seeds and reading.  It keeps my hands and mouth busy.  I have also gained a good deal of weight on this pastime.

To avoid an all out gorge fest I brought out my paper cutting supplies and made this project that's been in my head since Anthropologie came out with their December catalog last year which featured one of my favorite pastimes.  I wish I'd kept that catalog it was pure delight to look through!

The shadow boxes were hideous dark 70's Mediterranean affairs with brassy gold accents.  But I saw the potential in them.  I used my favorite Basic Grey Periphery paper that I haven't been able to bring myself to use for scrapbooking too.  Now it's out where I can see it everyday and swoon over it's beauty.

By yesterday evening I was surrounded by the confetti of several pieces of bristol paper and an old book (don't worry, I read the book first, it wasn't very good.  I bought it because I liked the title and front cover).

I folded a strip of my favorite paper to look like a curtain.

The row of houses is cut out of the dust cover of that old book. It had a big rip in it and was bound for the trash!

I paste the book paper together with bristol paper and glue tooth picks to the back of my trees to help them stand up.

I had so much fun with these shadow boxes that I'm itching to do more.  I have three more scalloped ones from a yard sale eons ago.  I painted them and fitted them with paper backdrops and away I'll go!

I also found the time inspiring for beginning my annual parade of paper "putz" houses.  These little cottages haven't been painted or glittered yet and are still awaiting their berry topped trees.  I design them based on vintage putz houses from the 30's but make sure that each one I craft is unique unto itself.  I don't use templates or pre-cut anything.  I draft out each one on bristol paper.

I started crafting putz houses in 2001 long before Martha Stewart introduced them to the world and sent the ebay auction prices of the vintage ones shooting through the roof!  That same year I began selling my reproduction houses on ebay and did a good little business but found them too time consuming to do all year round.  I haven't sold any in a few years, just made them as gifts and added to my own feather tree display.

For more on vintage putz houses go here.

This year I'm going to put some up in my etsy shop and see how they do.

Well, I'm seriously floating now with Coldplay on in the, perhaps I ought to go make myself a cup of tea and come back down to earth...

Ta!  Oh and check out Life Made Lovely Monday at blessed little nest!


  1. betsi!!!!!! those shadow boxes are so beautiful!! you're so talented to be able to do all of that free hand. i just love that!! i think you need to add some of those beauties to your etsy shop. pretty please :)

  2. I am DYING!!!! Those shadow boxes are utterly amazing. I can't (I can, but It can't, you know what I mean?) believe that you made them. They are too great for words. Really. Very. Very Great.
    Am I gushing too much?
    And then the houses.
    Are you trying to do me in right now?
    I LOVE, ADORE, SWOON over those houses.
    And you make them.
    Beautiful ones.
    I am trying very hard not to be jealous of your awesome creative abilites right now.
    Love from,

  3. I LOVE these! I have a project I need help with...I need some fabulous ideas for a doorframe I want to hang on the wall. It has four sections with glass, the frame is a rusty orange color. I want to put something in each frame. Any ideas?

  4. I love these too. I especially love the ballerinas. They are beautiful!

  5. Oh, my. Lovely, and more lovely...and even as you were getting over a cold!

  6. Oh my goodness-those are amazing! My parents had some of those houses on the Christmas tree and I've always loved them, but those shadow boxes-well done for being stuck with a head cold!

  7. Those are amazing!! You are a genius to repurpose those old dark, heavy looking things into this beautiful art!

  8. Popping over from Life Made Lovely Link Up...umm, wow! You are crazy talented!