Thursday, December 25, 2008

Quotes that Don't Apply to Me and a Papercrafting Book Review

My boss is fond of quoting his daughter at times when things aren't going right: "Sucks to be you." (he's actually not as awful as that quote makes him sound (and, in fact, he is likely to be reading this RIGHT NOW. Hi, Dave!))

Another quote, this time by the great band, Everything but the Girl: "Every day's like Christmas day without you; it's cold and there's nothing to do."

Okay, neither of those quotes apply to me right now because currently, on this beautiful, white Christmas day, it doesn't suck to be me. 

Let me explain (and I hope that I don't sound too terribly obnoxiously self-satisfied. I assure you, I'm not like this all the time).

Despite losing a houseful of guests, our extended family, who were due to come in and help us celebrate the holiday, sharing the 18lb. turkey that had been lying in wait in our fridge for today, things came out okay. And, as we told the boys, one nice thing was that we now get TWO Christmases, as we will celebrate again after the snow that has had us housebound for many a day finally thaws out.

I got some lovely gifts, one of which I need to share on this blog: 3D Pop Up Greeting Cards

This book is by Keiko Nakazawa and it is wonderful. She does some very intricate and beautiful things with pop-ups.

One of the reasons why I was walking around with a very contented feeling was because the book, combined with some toys that I already have, make me feel amazingly powerful.

I feel like I'm on top of the (paper-crafting) world.

I have a Craft Robo, a digital cutting device. I have Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, fantastic programs with which I can manipulate illustrations to design cards (or anything!) and which interfaces with my Craft Robo.

With books like Keiko's, I have a ton of wonderful inspiration to springboard my imaginations.

The book includes color photos of her pop-up cards as well as instructions and templates.

I can scan the templates, clean up the image in Photoshop, bring the file into Illustrator which has a nifty autotrace feature (which allows me to create vector lines that the Craft Robo can understand so that I can tell it what to cut for me), further refine the image and then send it to be cut by the Craft Robo.

It can take a little bit of fiddling to get a scanned image completely tidy, but once I have a working file, I can then cut it many, many times.

So, while it took perhaps 30 minutes to get Keiko's charming dog pop-up card set up correctly, now that it's done, I can cut one out in minutes any time I want:

There are dozens of other really lovely creations in this book, which I recommend to anyone wanting to understand pop-ups more thoroughly. Her ideas are quite clever and you can learn a lot by careful examination of her techniques.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Whew! I'm glad I'm not "as awful" as that sounds. I'm relieved that maybe I'm only part of the way there!

Nice work on the continuing Etsy-focused content on the site. I especially like the Etsy Showcase on the right nav bar.

Keep focusing on the creative card work. I really enjoy your creative discoveries!