Friday, November 6, 2015

Upcycled Paper Doiley Flowers

White, mint green and blue paper doiley flowers. These I made for 'Manila Art Market', an art fair event/scene that was created for a local TV hit series, On The Wings of Love. The scene was aired last November 3, 2015. One of these blue paper doiley flowers was even held by Clark (portrayed by James Reid) during the art scene. *swoon x 1000!* :)

Hello friends!

It's been a while and I'd like to make it up to you by sharing something pretty and cheery.

As evident in my posts, I'm a huge fan of paper. I use it in almost all of the arts & crafts that I do. It's so simple, unassuming and easy to use as an art medium.

Aside from paper cutting, I also love doing paper mache and paper flowers. And my latest obsession is paper flower making. There are a lot of tutorials on the web as to how to make paper flowers so you are free to choose whatever you fancy.

I styled a baptismal party last August, and one of the props I used for styling are paper doileys. I dyed it in 3 graduating shades and used it as a photo wall backdrop. I've consumed about 500-600 pcs for the said event. As a person who care for the environment, I always aim to reuse my props again and again (as is or altered a bit). And I wanted to start with the dyed doileys since I find it very pretty. I thought of turning it into paper flowers since it is rounded in shape, it's easy to make flower petals from it. I also like that it has cutout patterns, as it will surely add texture and character to the final piece.

Below are a few of my works. Enjoy! :)

'Til next time!

- Leeanne ;)

White and mint green upcycled paper doiley flowers.
How the cut pieces look before assembling and gluing.


Blue (my favorite color!) paper doiley flowers.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Handmade Wire Clips/Bookmarks


Hello friends!

Today I like to share with you another favorite arts & crafts medium of mine. I was introduced to this medium when I attended a fashion accessories/beading workshop two years ago.

I am talking about aluminum wire used in jewelry making (and in other art forms).

I didn't like it at first because I find it hard to use/manipulate/shape, especially the thick ones, so it wasn't my favorite material to use in my jewelry creations.

And then a few months before Christmas of last year (2014), as I was sorting/cleaning my big craft materials box, I saw a left over roll of wire idly sitting in it and I was suddenly inspired to do something beautiful and useful out of it.

As I have decided to live creatively each day of my life, I have this thing of wanting to make art functional.

I like a quote by Moshe Mikanovsky that says, 'You see, art always has a purpose, whether it is functional or emotional, it is there to do something. Find what it is that your art does, and you will find your niche.'

He is very much correct. Every art has a function, whether it be emotional or physical, and I like to create art that caters to both, however simple it may be. I believe that every art gives a great impact to an appreciative
user/wearer/consumer.

So, I decided to form nature-inspired shapes and messages or affirmative words out of it and thought of using it as bookmarks since I love to read. This idea may not be new, as wire bookmarks are already available in the market, but there is something fulfilling in making the things that you need and it's a bonus when others appreciate it too.

Airplane & camera wire clips/bookmarks.
*the book used in this photo is entitled: 'Simple, Conquering the Crisis of Complexity' by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn
Coffee & cupcake clips/bookmarks
*the book used in this photo is entitled: 'Simple, Conquering the Crisis if Complexity' by Alan Siegel & Irene Etzkorn

I posted my early works in social media and it was well received. I still have a lot so I decided to make some more as Christmas gifts to my highschool friends. We had an early Christmas party and when I gave them their wire bookmarks, they started placing orders to be given as gifts to their friends as well! :) And then more (custom) orders came in. 

This year, I decided to make new designs and these are the ones shown in this post.

Guitar, coffee & cupcake wire clips

Coffee clips

I came to love using/manipulating aluminum wires because I realized its versatility and that yes, it can be easy to use, just pick a thickness or wire gauge that you are comfortable using. I use wire gauge #18 for my bookmarks/clips.

So there, get creative and make your own designs!

Leeanne :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Keep on Making

Recycled white paper doiley flowers (photo 1, styled a bit messy but still pretty)


Hello friends!

Today I like to share with you how my love of making (arts & crafts) is continually making me the kind person I wanted to become. Every art I make mirrors who I am. It had been a quiet, supportive and comforting witness to my thoughts and emotions.

I may have said it many times that crafting/making is what makes me feel alive. It is my way of showing my authentic self. Every little thing I make reflects who I am and what I feel. It has in it my hopes, aspirations, joy, love & compassion. And it is my sincere hope that my art communicate these messages effectively to every person it reaches.

I make art daily or as much as I can. I just keep on making art. I make art when I'm happy or even when I feel hurt. I make art when I'm certain or when I'm looking for clarity. It helps me process thoughts more clearly. I make art when I'm grateful as well as when I'm clueless and humbly praying for extra grace to handle things I think I can't do on my own.

Making has become a spiritual act for me. It helps me to genuinely connect with my own self, with the people around me and especially, it helps me connect with God.

Making art is my home. I continue to make no matter what.

Recycled paper doiley flowers (photo 2).



Using this gift consistently and whole-heartedly made me become a better person. The kind that I like. Calm, grounded, open, more loving, understanding, resilient and persistent.

I hope that you are also consistently making. Making music, making novels, making whatever it is that makes your heart and soul light up.




Leeanne :)


Sunday, August 2, 2015

Upcycled Adornments

Hello friends!

Today I'd like to share something different from what I normally do.

This, I can identify as my secondary passion (as mentioned in my previous posts, a few years back I realized that paper cutting is my first love!).

The craft I'm talking about is jewelry making. I took a short break from doing this passion and made time to discover and do other crafts I think I like (and discovered my love for paper cutting :)). And only recently, I had an opportunity again to practice this craft. I guess jewelry designing/making will always be a part of my craftsy life.

Two nights ago,  as I was cleaning my big 'craft materials box', I saw a boho-themed Y necklace w/c was given to me by my aunt. And as one of my favorite things to do, I disassembled the whole piece and started making new and 'improved' design studies out of the dismantled components. As I was working in the wee hours of the night, I realized I still love making jewelry. I still love mixing and matching different metal components, semi-precious stones, cords, chains, etc. to create a wearable piece of art.

So, here are the outputs: 4 hippie bracelets from one old and slightly outdated necklace with foliage handmade papercuts for it's background. ;) *fresh water pearl + blue agate beads were added to breathe new life to the old components*



And this one here is my favorite among the four upcycled bracelets I made. It is simple and elegant, I'd wear this as a day and night jewelry. How about you? :)


Talk to you again soon.

-Leeanne :)



#jewelry #handmade #handmadejewelry #fashionjewelry #papercuts #handmadepapercuts #boho #adornments #boholove #papercutsPh #handmadePh #reuse #recycle #upcycle

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

50th Wedding Anniversary Papercut

Obet & Tita Gualberto



         
Question, how will you feel when you were asked to create something special as a 50th golden wedding anniversary to 2 special persons in your life?

I was honored, flattered and my gratitude is sky high when my uncle commissioned me to do this for my granduncle & grandaunt as a gift on their golden wedding anniversary. Fifty (50) years of marriage, WOW! I am simply out of words.

I am always beyond happy to do my craft and it always give me joy when people see it as something really special and worthy as a gift to people they love. As I had been very vocal about, my goal with my craft is to serve people by giving joy and inspiration. I feel that that's the very reason God gave me this talent, this gift. :)

For this project, I searched for their (very old) wedding album and used it as reference for the kind of wedding attire and hairstyles they wore on their wedding day, 50 years ago.

Size of the cut paper is 8.5" x 11" and I used a 90gsm white acid free paper for preservation purposes. Non acid free paper tends to get yellow and brittle overtime. I don't want that to happen to my artworks.
An art piece that was done with great love deserves the use of appropriate kind of paper (or art materials) for generations to appreciate. I then glued some parts of it onto a blue-colored paper for it's background as requested by my uncle (client).

The papercut features their wedding date, name of the church where they got married, a sweet note that's essential in their wonderful married life and the houses they built for their lovely family.

Here are more photos of the papercut. Enjoy! :)

Close up of their wedding attire.

Their wedding date: June 12, 1965 (Philippine Independence Day)            


Pinamalayan Orr. Mindoro Catholic Church is the church where they got married.

'To Love And To Cherish' 


Their rest house in Antipolo City.

Their house in Bacood, Sta. Mesa Manila (I love that it has so many windows).

-Leeanne :-)




Monday, June 1, 2015

C-O-N-N-E-C-T Genuinely

Connect the Dots handmade papercut for Day 55/100
#The100DayProject

Hello friends! :)

     Its been a few weeks since my last post and today I'd like to make up for it and share something special. I'll share how the discovery of my passion, my art & my love lead me to be more open and willing to connect genuinely to people.

     And I think I would be able to explain it best by sharing my THEN & NOW moments. So here it goes:

THEN

     Shy, quiet, awkward, snob & introvert are 5 words you may use to describe me. It takes a ton of effort for me to say hello and smile to somebody. I don't connect with people easily/naturally. I'm so lazy to bond and socialize. I think that's my natural state and that I'll be like that forever.

     In parties, you'll find me quietly sitting in a corner, alone or with somebody that I know, awkwardly smiling to people, observing the place, the venue decorations & feel of the party and then deciding immediately that I should go home. I may also be (tightly) holding a drink like holding on for dear life.

     A few questions running in my head every time I'm in a social event are: 'Why am I here?',  'Am I gonna smile and make beso?', 'Should I talk to this person? Do I need him in my life?', 'What am I gonna say?', 'Why is my hair going in every direction it pleases and my hangnails showing in a funny way? WHY?', 'What am I gonna do?', 'What am I gonna do with my life?' Okay, the last question is a bit exaggerated. Seriously, because I'm this complicated and busy thinking about these things bugging in my head, I often fail to be in the moment and rob myself (and other people) of supposedly great opportunities to bond, socialize and connect with great people.

     I don't know why I had been like this for so long. And then I thought it could be because of my insecurities or low self-esteem. Or maybe I'm afraid to share myself to others because I don't know who I was, I don't have a sense of self and I don't know what I can offer or contribute that's worthy of other's time and attention. I know this is harsh, and sadly, this was how I'd been for so long.

     I have a few close friends whom I share my thoughts and some interests with, but sometimes, even with them I felt that I lack something essential in order for me to  r e a l l y  connect.  On a lighter note, there were times that I tried to be a little chatty, but it always resulted to a sore throat the day after. Apparently, my throat is even more introvert than I am.


NOW

    ...And then enlightenment came and I discovered what I'm good at and what I can share and contribute to bring joy and inspiration to people - my passion for all things crafty, especially with paper crafts and specifically with paper cutting. Hallelujah! My gratitude is sky high! :)

     I'm still shy, quiet and remain an introvert but I can now socialize and bond with people in my own silent, less complicated and less awkward way. I think I can never stop being awkward, I guess its my silent signature.

     I mean it when I say hello and when I smile, it reaches my eyes and it definitely came from my heart.

     I'm still not that chatty, but I'm more open to meet people and I'm interested to know and listen to their stories.

     I'm willing to share/contribute what I know & what I can to people who wants/needs it.

     During parties or any social event, my hair still go in every direction it pleases and my hangnails are still showing in a funny way but I don't care that much anymore. It adds character and imperfections are beautiful.

     Lastly, I'm able to connect genuinely because I am happy, or at least I choose to be. :)

Day 53/100 for #The100DayProject
'The heart is happiest when it beats for others.



- Leeanne :)














Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Foliage Love

A lady with maxi foliage skirt and foliage hair accessory.
Papercut for Day 31/100
of #100DaysOfHandmadepapercutsOrPapercutpatternsByLee for #The100DayProject

Hello friends!

Today I wanna share with you my fascination with foliage and why I always incorporate it in my paper cutting craft.

Let's also include my other favorite elements which are flowers, loops and anything organic-looking.

These elements are ever-present in my papercuts. It's like my silent signature. I don't know, it's like a natural thing that I do. And I feel like my artwork isn't complete without it. 

I hadn't really thought about it until it was brought up by a friend who told me that I already 'established' a brand or a certain look for my art. And it is some sort of 'Romantic-looking' (as she put it). And all I said was, 'wow, really? I like it'. And I do. I always wanted to be surrounded with flowers, vines and lush greens. And I wanted that to be the same with my art. It could be because I grew up in Antipolo, a city located in the province of Rizal. A place with lots of greenery and my work station is fronting a small farm full of old and big trees. A limitless source of inspiration! And we always hear the sound of birds chirping in the morning as well as crickets chirping at night. :) My surroundings play a big role in my art and I love it. 

And I don't just like the idea of it but the act of doing it. It's so easy and natural for me to add loopy and foliage elements in my art. I enjoy sketching and cutting it because it allows me to do a bit of 'playing' in my composition. There are no restrictions unlike doing typography where it has to achieve a certain look (a letter A has to look like a letter A). I can go wherever direction I please and I can play with scale and whatever organic shape I want. It's just so easy and so forgiving in case I made a boo boo. I'm the only one aware of it. Nobody sees my sketches at the back of the cut-paper and so nobody knows whether I made a mistake or not.  ;-)

Here are some of my papercuts with my favorite nature-inspired elements. 


Ginkgo Leaves

OM symbol
Papercut for Day 26/100 of #100DaysOfHandmadepapercutsOrPapercutpatternsByLee for #The100DayProject

'Oh Deer!'
Papercut for Day 30/100 of #100DaysOfHandmadepapercutsOrPapercutpatternsByLee for #The100DayProject

The concept/composition for this last piece (Oh Deer!) wasn't intentional at first. I was just sketching and cutting random foliage because I don't know what to make for Day 30/100 of my 100-Day creative project and since foliage is my default subject, I made 6 pcs of it. As I was arranging it for photograph, my vision shifted. Instead of just making it look like a plain foliage, I thought of arranging it like a deer's antlers(!). Yey! Why not? So I added a deer head and here it is.

I was very happy with the result and I plan to do more of like this (make random and individual foliage and arrange/make it into something grand, at least to me :)) for the remaining days of the creative challenge. 

-Leeanne :)






Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mental Perks I Get from the Act of Paper Cutting

'Clarity'
Handmade papercut for Day 24 of #100DaysOfHandmadePapercutsOrPapercutpatternsByLee for #The100DayProject


Hello friends!

Is there something that you physically do which allows you to think clearly or process your thoughts calmly that results to clarity? 

To some people, clarity may be achieved simply by doing a single task - focusing directly on the problem and thinking it through by themselves. 

My process is a little different.
Weirdly different, you may say.
And I just discovered it while I'm in the process of doing papercuts for my 23rd Day of #100DaysOfHandmadePapercutsOrPapercutPatternsByLee for the #The100DayProject (https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days), a 100 Day creative challenge I participated in last April 6, 2015.

The morning of April 28, 2015, before I show up on my cutting mat to make art, I'm feeling a little burdened by some concerns relating to an important decision I have to make about 'work'.

To skip my daily practice of paper cutting is definitely not an option. Just because I'm feeling down does not necessarily mean that I need some time off of my passion. Simply because that's what I do. It's already a part of my system that I feel a day is incomplete w/o doing something that relates to paper cutting.

Also I've observed in my practice that  it actually restores me. It helps me feel better when I'm down. There was one incident when I felt sad and I grabbed my cutting materials and told myself that I'm gonna do papercuts until I feel better. And I did! Cutting and slicing through paper for my art gradually eased whatever gloomy feeling I was encountering that timeI finished a beautiful piece and felt better at the same time. Art therapy works! :)

And so this morning, as I mentioned,  I showed up and made time to do and develop my craft despite the worries bugging in my head. I expected only two good things to come out of this 'bravery' of showing-up-even-when-it's-hard, #1 is that I hope to feel better, and #2 is to produce at least a decent-looking papercut.

As expected, I've accomplished numbers 1 & 2. I felt better after my practice and the papercut I produced passed my own high standard as decent-looking.

Plus, I got a bonus(!).

Third (3rd) perk I got is CLARITY.

Clarity on things that stole my joy the morning prior to my daily practice.

I was surprised, thankful and awed. I didn't expect that the act of doing my passion will allow me to process thoughts clearly in my head. Taking action on things I love to do causes my mind to relax, allowing it to function properly and do it's job well. I find it amazing how my body multitask in relation to acting on my passion. As my hands are busy and happily cutting and slicing through paper, my mind is calmly processing thoughts in my head. 

Whenever I'm paper cutting, I usually listen to valuable and informative podcasts like seanwes' (http://seanwes.com/podcast/) to provide myself with some mental or brain work to do. Doing some physical activity like paper cutting always asks for some mental work to do concurrently. I always like it this way, sort of like a combo. So in  this process, I normally absorb the values I get from the podcasts I listen to. Take the lessons or tips I believe I can use in the future. Never did I thought that my relaxed brain, caused by my manual work of paper cutting, can also do problem solving for other things I think about at that same time, which I think is really awesome! 

It's been only over three weeks since I participated in #The100DayProject and I can say that I'm more than happy and thankful of my discoveries and experiences beyond the physical development of my craft. I'm also growing, developing, and advancing mentally and emotionally as a person and as an artist. For sure this will affect the development of my paper cutting craft in direct proportion.

I now feel more encouraged to carry on with this creative and self-discovering (or life-changing) journey.


-Leeanne




Saturday, April 18, 2015

Love Notes To Self

'You Matter'
Handmade papercut (on a different background color) for Day 12 

A simple reminder that uplifts with great impact.

Hello friends! :)

As mentioned in my previous post, I joined in Elle Luna & The Great Discontent's #The100DayProject https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days. The way I understand it, it's a 100 day challenge of making and sharing your own unique craft. It is not only restricted to art, it can be anything you are good at - cooking, poetry, dancing, etc. It is a creative challenge wherein daily commitment and dedication to utilize and develop your own unique gift/craft/voice is essentially needed. 

It appealed to me so much since I know in my heart that I finally discovered my passion and I'm enthusiastic about developing it by acting on it as much as I can. I'm curious about what this challenge will make of me as a dedicated papercut artist. :) What's even more interesting about this challenge is that it's like a community of creative and passionate people who support and encourage each other to keep doing what they do best.
I believe that this is gold in achieving progress and success. 

3 days ago, on my '10th day of making', I  suddenly realized the theme I am demonstrating in my artworks for this creative challenge. All messages that I made into handmade papercuts or papercut patterns are the messages I am telling or reminding my own self from time to time when I needed a little push.

Today is Day 13 and most of my works communicate positive messages or affirmations that serve as inspiration for others and more for myself, to be honest. I believe that we all need to see positive words to have positive thoughts and a positive life eventually.

It's like our reality aligning with our positive mindset.

And so I thought, I'll continue doing that and make it my official theme for #The100DayProject.
I call it 'Love Notes to Self' :)

'You Matter' papercut (the primary image for this blog entry), my artwork for Day 11 (as a papercut pattern) and Day 12 (as an actual handmade papercut)  is the perfect starter for this realization a.k.a  my 'Aha(!) moment' in this project. 

Here are some of the artworks I posted for the challenge:

'Namaste (I bow to you)'
Handmade papercut for Day 8
A reminder to take care of my body and spirit by practicing yoga. :)
'Show Up'
Papercut artwork for Day 9

(On a different background color compared to the one I posted on my Instagram account)
A reminder to consistently show up even (or especially) when it's hard.

'Let's Do This!' 
Papercut artwork for Day 10
A reminder that I'm not alone in this journey. That many creatives around the world are making time to do what they love to do and not giving up on their passion.


As of this writing, I've listed 45 more positive messages to turn into intricately beautiful papercuts in the coming days and I still need to add more to complete it.  I'm confident that I can with the help and support of my 'creative tribe' wherever they are in this world. :)


















Sunday, April 5, 2015

#100DaysOfMakingPapercutsOrPapercutPatterns

Day 1 of My #100DaysOfMakingPapercutsOrPapercutPatterns


Hello friends! :)

Today I'm sharing with you my first papercut artwork for Elle Luna & The Great Discontent's #100DayProject  https://thegreatdiscontent.com/100days  (click the link to know more about it, especially if you want to participate, which I encourage you to do. :))

I commit myself to make 100 papercuts or papercut patterns for this creative challenge and my own unique hashtag is #100DaysOfMakingPapercutsOrPapercutPatterns :) I wanted to start with something that has the word 'create' because that's what I do. That's what I love to do and that's what fires me up. 

I am excited and scared about this journey. What will this bring? Will I be able to participate until the end? Will I make it to the 100th day? Where will I get the inspiration and drive to commit to this every single day? To name a few scary questions and uncertainties in my mind, BUT, one thing I'm certain of is that I want to take on this challenge. I wanna do this! This is a bit the same to my life goal which is to create something beautiful and of great value everyday (and to inspire people through it). The special thing about this project is that there is a public accountability. I don't even know if I can do this without an accountability, unless I'm super duper disciplined, which I aim to be. Each of us announced our commitment and participation in this project and I believe that this move will play a big role in helping us make it until the end. Not to say that the 100th day is the most important day of all in this journey, I believe that every struggle, process and development within the 100 days are gold as well. I hope there will be lots of encouragement and inspiration among all of us who joined and I'm excited about the things I will learn, discover and produce for this '100 Days of Making' challenge. 




This is a photo I posted on my Instagram account when I announced my participation in this challenge. 


And this picture shows #TheGreatDiscontent 's comment on my post! I was so thankful and flattered for their encouragement! :) 


Let's do this!!! :)




Friday, March 27, 2015

Wedding-themed Papercuts


A wedding proposal papercut.
 My 8th wedding papercut.

Hello friends!

Today I'd like to talk about my most in-demand papercuts a.k.a. my wedding-themed papercuts.
'Wedding papercut' is basically a personalized papercut design that is composed of an illustration of the lovely couple, usually in their wedding attire, their names, details of the wedding, like date and venue plus a sweet note or the couple's wedding tagline (ex. 'to have & to hold', 'happily ever after'). 

The papercuts that I do are mostly typographic - usually name papercuts,  affirmations and famous quotes that I strongly resonate with, but really, the most requested are the wedding-themed ones. The first ever papercut I gifted to a relative is actually a wedding papercut! As of this writing, I've already made 10 wedding-themed papercuts.

A wedding proposal papercut (unframed version of the photo above).
 My 8th wedding papercut.


I'm happy when people show love and appreciation to their loved ones by giving valuable presents. I love it that most people now are giving importance on gift-giving. I noticed that many people these days are more inclined to gifting personalized, well-thought-out and handmade presents, especially as a wedding gift. I think these 3 key factors in gift giving in general, are important. I believe that in order for a gift to be really special, it must be given an extra thought. It must be tailored to the recipient. And it has to have warmth, which is best provided by handmade creations.

The impact is greater because there is meaning.

People love things with meanings.

People appreciate things that are meaningful to them. 

People love things that give joy to their heart and spirit.

The intangible value that papercuts or, in this case, wedding papercuts give to the newly-wedded couple is priceless.

'Sigfred & Yami'
My 5th wedding papercut.

A Save the Date papercut I made for my cousin who got married this March 2015. This is my 7th wedding papercut.

'Jason & Myra'
My 9th wedding papercut.

It captures a very special and memorable moment in their life and it will serve as a reminder of their joyful union. And everyday, when they look at it, it will serve as a precious memento that will make their love and bond stronger. 


Leeanne ;-)





Friday, March 20, 2015

31 Things I've Learned From 2014 (the year I gave importance on self love and pursued my passion at the same time)

My handmade papercut birthday cake for my 31st. :)

I'm turning 31 on Monday, 23rd of March (yay!). 
I'd like to share with you 31 things I've learned from 2014, a.k.a. the year I gave importance on self love and at the same time, pursued my passion.

*This entry is greatly inspired by Sean McCabe's (one of my idols in design, business and life in general) '26 Things I've Learned' (http://seanwes.com/2014/26-things-ive-learned/) blog post in seanwes blog, in a sense that it inspired me to take note and be grateful of the lessons we learned as we go through our own life experiences and use it to make ourselves better. This also inspired me to enumerate my own, based on my journey on self love and pursuing my passion.

Okay, here goes:

1. Feel alive (again) by restoring your spirituality. There was a time in my life that I felt so lost and empty, even though I've accomplished a lot and seemed successful externally.  It is only when I prayed to God again very often and allowed Him to carry and surprise me again that I found peace, restoration and a sense of purpose. 

2. Have perfect trust on Him. It's hard sometimes, but aim not to loosen your grip. Believe in His promise that you'll receive abundance when you use your gifts to serve others.

3. Giving is the simplest way to feel abundance in your life. 

4. Be humble and willing to receive. Learn how to accept blessings from others. We all need a little help, sometimes. 

5. Being grateful equates to being happy. Open your eyes and heart to see how blessed you are. Be appreciative.

6. Being happy starts in your own heart. Don't look for it somewhere else.

7. In decision making, listen to your own intuition/gut feel. It often knows the answer.

8. Treat your body with love and respect. Feed it well, give it the right amount of rest it deserves and do mindful exercises like yoga. It is our major instrument in doing what we are born to do. It is the temple of our soul.

9. Discover your passion. I strongly believe that this is a MUST in life. Discovering your passion is like step 1 in accomplishing your life's purpose, as it is the key to the many opportunities for yourself and for others, through you.

10. Once you've discovered your passion, pursue it. Just do it. Make time for it and make it flourish.

11. Never give up on your passion. Be assured that you are being guided by a divine source to continue doing what you love and producing great work of value. 

12. Sometimes, the way to figure out what you want or what you want to become is to eliminate what you don't want in your life. In those times that I felt so lost, I honestly don't know what I want and I felt so frustrated because people say that you need to know what you want in order to claim it and be happy. Then it struck me, that I'm only certain of the things that I don't want so I started eliminating it one by one, and little by little, I felt lighter, relieved and  alive again. 

13. Be good and patient with yourself. Allow yourself to commit mistakes. It's okay to fail, but make sure to fail forward. It's all part of the process and progress.

14. Be present in every situation you're in. Be open. Don't go through life acting like a zombie. Be engaged and live fully.

15. Be authentic - in your thoughts, words and actions. You are your most beautiful when you are honoring your true self. Embrace your own crazy.

16. Define your own success. Really define it and commit to make it happen.

17. Your WHYs and WHY NOTs are important. 

18. Be an eternal student. Be humble and enthusiastic to learn something new at every opportunity. Don't be stagnant.

19. If you want to consistently improve on anything, READ. Process new thoughts in your mind and put it into PRACTICE. Practice as much as you can, and enjoy the process.

20. Hangout with people who inspires you to be better. Have mentors. 

21. Be intentional in everything that you do. Don't do things without thought. Every action is better when you put your heart and soul in it.

22. It pays to be persistent and consistent.

23. Be calm. Most (if not all) great inventions, compositions, creations, etc., are products of a focused and worry free mind. I've observed this to be very true in my own practice. I realized that I produce great work when I'm relaxed.

24. Improve your financial wisdom. Learn how to make money work for you and not the other way around.

25. Don't be wasteful. Take only what you need. Understand the value of every little thing. 

26. Be kind to animals. They make the world a lot happier. :)

27. Make a plan and plan to make. 

28. Loosen up a bit and have fun. Don't be too serious.

29. Smile the smile that reaches your eyes. Do this often. It's the simplest way to lighten things up. 

30. Believe that you are valuable and that the world needs you. God loves you so much.

31. Love yourself. Love others. Love to live. Live to love.


- Leeanne ;-)















Friday, March 13, 2015

How I Started Serving Others with My Gifts

Serve others to find joy. ;-)

Hello friends! Today, I'd like to share with you how I started serving others with my gifts (not to mention finding joy  every single time I do it). :-)

As mentioned in my previous post, in my early years of paper cutting (doing it as a hobby), I only make papercuts for myself. Mainly because I find delight in doing it and partly because I'm not sure if other people would like it and see or appreciate it the way that I do.

In 2011, I made my first wedding-themed papercut and gave it to my aunt as a wedding present. It was a couple kissing under a church bell. She and her husband liked it so much. As of this writing, I had made 10 wedding papercuts (7 of them are client work) and I'll be making my 11th wedding papercut (commission piece) this month.

It was only in late 2013 that I decided to monetize my papercut crafts. It was when I was convinced by my good friend and business mentor, Jen Ombania of ListLab (http://www.thelistlab.net). She is also my co-founder at http://www.craftlabshop.com/ .

CraftLab shop cover photo in Facebook
We bumped into each other at a Christmas Bazaar where I participated to sell my handmade fashion accessories. She mentioned that she, and another crafty friend are putting up an online craft store and invited me to join in to showcase my handmade fashion accessories. When we were brainstorming on what other products we could sell in the shop, I mentioned that I also make handmade papercuts. I'm not sure if she knows what papercuts are so I showed it to her and I remember her saying something like; "Why are you not selling these?" and "These are totally sellable!". So I agreed and made a few pieces and launched it (Craftlab Shop) in Mother's day of 2014 . It was well received - we got a lot of page views, page likes, inquiries and compliments, but I didn't get a sell until August 2014, when I joined in Art's Night Outa one night arts and crafts fair at The Collective, Malugay Makati. It was my first participation in an arts and crafts fair as a papercut artist (yey!). I sold a few framed papercuts and again, I got lots of inquiries and compliments. 

It is an amazing feeling when people find a connection with the creative work that I do. I'm happy when somebody resonates with the message I convey in my artworks. And that translates my purpose in doing what I do - to give people joy, inspiration and value that they deserve.

Art's Night Out poster
My participation in Art's Night Out made me realize that in order for people to appreciate my craft better, they must see it physically. To experience it's charm, one has to view it up close. It has to be personally introduced to it's audience. Behind the scenes stories must be told . The craft of paper cutting is not as popular as hand-lettering and calligraphy in the Philippines these days. I think participating in arts and crafts fair and exhibits are the best opportunities to make people aware of this interesting craft.

Fortunately, in Art's Night Out, my papercut craft and I were spotted by the Agsalud sisters of Type Kita Academy (https://www.facebook.com/typekitaexhibit) and I was invited to participate in the 2nd Type Kita Exhibit that was held last October 2014 at 10A Alabama Arts and Crafts (https://www.facebook.com/10aAlabama) in Quezon City, Philippines. There I met a community of happy and awesome creatives who are living their passions. Seeing their works + the joy, passion and fulfillment in their eyes, I was more inspired to share my gifts and create more papercuts, an encouragement to continue doing what I do! I felt like I found my tribe :).  However, there were only 2 more papercut artists in the said event. Very few, compared to hand-letterers and calligraphers who participated.

The 2nd Type Kita Exhibit poster.
There I am, last row, 2nd column. :)

'C' One of papercuts I sold (in the 2nd Type Kita exhibit) to Camy and Patrick Cabral.
'I do what I love. I love what I do.' Also one of the papercuts I sold in the 2nd Type Kita exhibit.
As of this writing, I have made a total of  61 papercuts  and provided (intangible) value to the people who requested for it (as well as to those who've seen it) And I will create more, because I love utilizing my gifts well, in order to serve others. I want to continue to bring joy to many people through my papercut artworks. 

I hope you too, are finding joy in providing value to people with the work that you love to do. 


- Leeanne ;-)







Saturday, March 7, 2015

My (favorite) Paper Cutting Tools


One of the many things I like about paper cutting  is that you don't need too many tools or materials to start this craft. Basically, you'll only need 3 things: a pattern to cut, a craft knife with sharp blade(s) #11 and a cutting mat. I'll explain each, in depth below.


1. Pattern to cut.
'Abundance' Hand-lettered on tracing paper.
- Hand-sketched or digitized / your own design or a free printable pattern.
- Preferably drawn/printed on acid free paper for preservation purposes. Non acid free paper gets brittle and yellow over time, and you wouldn't want that to happen to your precious papercut eventually. You'll always want to preserve the beauty of an art piece you had exerted so much effort on to produce, and this you could do by using the right kind of paper. I normally use a 90 gsm acid free paper for my projects which I get from Crown Supply Corporation (http://www.crownsupplymanila.com/). The thickness is just right for cutting.


Tips:

I normally draw and cut from the back side of the paper to keep the front side clean. The pattern to be cut must be a mirror view of the design. I usually draw the initial sketch on a tracing paper using a pencil (especially if it is typographic in nature), and once I'm happy with the sketch, I transfer the design to acid free paper. To do this, place the tracing paper (sketch is facing downward, touching the acid free paper) on top of the acid free paper and trace or rub the design using a pencil.


Pattern on tracing paper was transfered to acid free paper.










Acid free paper with a mirror view of the pattern to be cut.


2. Craft knife + blade #11 + spare blades (use X-ACTO brand, it is the best! ;-) )
X-ACTO knife + X-ACTO blades #11

You can get this from National Bookstores nationwide if you are from the Philippines or from your local craft stores if you live abroad. Craft knife usually comes with spare blades (1-2 pcs.), but I suggest that you still buy extra blades. (X-ACTO brand has this and usually comes in sets of 5). Always, always use sharp blades in paper cutting (and take extra care!) to prevent boo boos. If the blade is not sharp enough, you'll have to exert extra effort in cutting accurately. Smooth cutting is an indicator of a sharp blade, which is appropriate for this craft.


This photo shows a blade with broken tip. If this happens, change the blade into a new one as the broken blade won't be as sharp.

3. Cutting mat

- Use a cutting mat to protect your working table.
- It comes in different sizes but it is always best to use big ones. 
- It is also available in National Bookstores nationwide if you are from the Philippines or from your local craft stores if you live abroad. 

Tips:

General rule is, your cutting mat must be bigger than the pattern you are cutting for ease of use. In the process of paper cutting, you'll often rotate the paper with pattern in order to get a right angle for you to cut certain parts of the design effectively and easily. Also, you would want to covermuch of your work table to protect it from cuts.

An option (my favorite!) is to get a cutting mat that is the same size as the pattern you are cutting (ex. get an A4 size cutting mat to use for an A4 pattern), and secure the edges of the paper to the cutting mat with tape to keep it in place so that whenever you need to rotate it to get a good angle for easy cutting, the paper and cutting mat will rotate as one, protecting your working table from blade cuts/scratches. Smart huh? ;-)

That's it! Few and simple tools that can create amazing works of art.

Happy cutting! :)