Little Paper Sheep

I hope your week is going well and is feeling springlike and full of new energies. ūüôā

Nothing too big to report on my end this day, except that I had a hankering to make some little paper sheep Рa combo of watercolour paper and Black Magic india ink (I love that stuff). Since teensy sheep call for teensy scissors,  I was aided by a quite portable pair of Swiss Army scissors. The little ones that, very much like these sheep, you can put in your pocket.

I’m not yet sure what to do with these sheep or where they’ll find their home; for the time being, I’m letting them explore their new environment on their quite wonky paper feet.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

paper sheeppaper sheep 2paper sheep 3

Rest in Peace

When I cut this piece last winter, I was thinking¬†of the way the forest might bury its animals–in¬†some dark crevice at the foot of a damp, autumn-tinted tree, the leaves, grass and fallen wood gathering slow¬†nests around squirrels and¬†sparrows, their lids softly shutting.


Paper P

Some time ago, I made this paper P gift card for two dear friends who were welcoming their new daughter, Peregrine, to the world (congratulations, Arthur and Isabelle!). At that time, I had just discovered the joy of mixing paper-cutting with another longstanding love: typography.

I love a good font. I also love the way paper-cut letters seem to go back and forth between 2-D flatness and their slight 3-dimensions, casting a good shadow.

Paper p 1

Paper p 2

Paper heart

One of the great things about living in Hyde Park is having easy access to a beautiful lakefront in summer.

Early dusk is my favorite time of day to go running there.  Plodding slowly along the gravel side-trail, I watch the rippling, glassy water and my heart hovers over Lake Michigan like a pulsing paper-cut cloud.
paper heart

When Goodbye is Thank You

Goodbye is often another way of saying “Thank You.”

I finished my year of anthropological fieldwork in Switzerland 2 weeks ago.¬† The weeks leading up to my departure on November 14th were a flurry of farewells and goodbyes, often in the form of cakes, pies, and last suppers.¬† In some cases, I was counting down the minutes as I ran to the homes of friends just to see them one last time and, more importantly, thank them for opening their houses and hearts to a meek anthropologist.¬† I’m learning that farewell-time is one in which an often latent world of social ties suddenly comes out of the woodwork, like a sudden sprouting—all of the not-always-evident relationships and even the loosely held links (in addition to the long-standing friendships) suddenly revive and become visible again.

The farewell compels this flowering; it’s a reminder of temporariness, and is a period of recognition and acknowledgment.¬† I left my field wishing I could carry all of the lovely people and their sweetness back home with me, but I overlooked that “home” had now stretched its boundaries.¬† It only took a year (!), and I can only hope and resolve that the things I learned and gleaned will somehow carry over and translate into a new life.

In spite of the goodbye flurry–or because of it–I was able to get some drawing in (less blogging).¬† Here are 3 of the handmade thank yous I made for friends and family.¬† The time spent drawing into the wee hours of the morning helped me to make the imminent goodbyes more than just an ache in the chest.

Scherenschnitte heart

Heart in paper. A first stab (or snip) at Scherenschnitte, the intricate Swiss 
art of paper-cutting (with which I fell deeply in love).  
More on this in a later post.

Merci papillon

Merci, watercolour butterfly.  

Bolbol - Soraya
I'm finally learning to love technical pens.
This is a card in Farsi with a bolbol (nightingale).  
Kheili mamnoon: Thank you very much.