In an effort to stay creative, meet new people, and continue to use my hands for artsy things I signed up for an Annie Howe Papercut class at Local Color Florist. The class was $65.00 and included all supplies needed and access to Annie for questions later. I wrote her a few times and got a list of supplies. Most important lesson...change your blade often. It was a bit pricey but worth it for all the card stock, cards and actual paper with designs that were included. I went to the MICA store to get all the supplies for after the class.
I've admired Annie for years. Katie, Scott and I all took her Tape-O-Rama class at AVAM years ago where we made hats from clear packing tape. It was ridiculously fun. Annie is a MICA grad and so completely talented. She worked for the Nana Project and her paper cutting adventures blossomed out of that role while she worked with shadow puppets. She was a Fibers major at MICA. Her paper cuts are intoxicating. Everything is cut by hand. Her portfolio was on hand for us to preview before starting class. These mermaids, Narwhals and Triton's are so mystical. She told us that this one was folded in half as a mirror image and then the middle was done later. I love the waves and can hear the Little Mermaid soundtrack, can't you?
This fruit and vegetable paper cut was another folded one. I need to try this. I've always loved making paper dolls as cards. I think I could step up my paper doll making a bit now that I have taken this class. Her paper cuts are used on tee-shirts and I've seen many framed around town. I know Trohv sold them and she did a custom one with our friend's wedding vows. Such a treasure. The paper is acid free and can be found here.
Each person had a station set up with a box with an Exacto knife, cutting board and sample valentines to choose from. We even got a little Mouth Party caramel. I think there were about 14 people in the class in Charles Village.
I got home and set up shop in my office immediately. You can see the very light sketch of the heart I choose for Eric on the paper above. The Be Mine 4 Eva was hilarious. Eric was like, "Who's Eva?" You have to draw the words backwards. I have a great knife from Martha Stewart that I got from Michaels but you can find it here. The extra lip on the end makes it easier to handle with my ancient fingers. It really is good exercise for arthritis.
At the class, we were encouraged to bring drinks. Snacks were available. Annie and I toasted with Champagne and Elderflower liquor that I brought in my pink and green flask. Yep. Oh my heavens this is a delightful drink. It warmed my face and gave me a little courage to dive into this very detailed work. There were so many nice women at my table. I knew one classmate through another friend of a friend. Smalltimore.
The one I did for Eric's fam is my favorite. I actually made a mistake and forgot to connect the words to the middle line, hence the little big heart in the middle of the rows of flags.
I made Mac one that has his phrase and my nickname, "Nerd Biscuit." I am a nerd biscuit...to the core. This one was really fun and I'm glad it was my third attempt because your hands get used to the cutting somehow after practice. Annie suggested we "x" off the places that we had to cut and remember you are cutting "backwards". Mac says that Andrew looks at it every night trying to figure out how I did it. He is quite the artist and I couldn't be happier to have crafternoons with him later in life.
I had a few scraps of the fancy acid free paper left and made Momma a little Lake Michigan of the bluff. This one makes my heart skip a beat with the bench that my brother-in-law John made, the lantern and sailboats. It's the essence of the beach. I just need to keep practicing to make a bigger version.
My littlest god daughter's got cards as well. Stinger sent me a picture of hers and I asked B to send me one too.
They got the same card, another Annie original from the class. How cute are my littlest girlfriends?
I have so many more to make and am so thankful for the gift of paper crafts. Thank you so much Annie!
I've also given up social media for Lent. No FaceBook. No Instagram. No Snapchats. No Twitter. I can't begin to explain how much lighter I feel being disconnected. I needed this break and it truly has been a gift. I've been reading more books and have more time for this type of post. Where did blogging go? I've noticed a lot of my blog buddies are making a comeback as well. It's great to stay connected in this way but I may never go back to the others. This class has been another great way to stay active for my brain and arthritic hands. Wishing you much love during whatever wilderness you find yourself in this Lent. Amen.