I can’t believe its May already – almost halfway through the year. This month my eldest turns 16 and does his GCSEs, we open our Swedish house for the summer (hurrah! see more on our house blog here ) and I’m busy busy at work and in the garden, getting things potted up and hardened off and hopefully harvesting cut flowers too.
May is my favourite month – the month when everything green and growing is at its brightest and freshest. My garden starts to peak in May and June and every day brings fresh surprises. New buds open and earth that was just bare a few weeks ago is suddenly packed with seedlings jostling for position. I’ve been busy keeping things ticking over but the weird weather we’ve had has put me out with May flowers arriving in April and some things that should be flowering in June not even out of their pots yet. In a few weeks I should be getting enough flowers to cut and sell but that didn’t look very likely yesterday. 4 degrees here and I got my winter coat back out to walk the dog!
I’ve also been back in the studio, this week finishing off box dioramas. I first got the idea for these last year but they’re quite fiddly and I’m great at delaying tactics so its taken me a while to get them off the ground. Made from paper and cardboard they’re basically a 3d papercut in a box rather than a frame and because they’re quite small they use up a lot of my paper scraps. I’m pretty happy with the results so far, hopefully they’ll go on the etsy shop in a few days when all six are finished – badger, harvest mouse, fox, hares, magpies and owl. They have a small hook at the back of the box so that you can hang them like a picture or just stand them up, in case you were wondering what to do with them!
May is also the month for wedding commissions. Personalised papercuts are one of my favourite things to do and if you’re reading this and would like one then you need to be quick as by June my order book will be full, hint hint..
I’ve also been busy with another venture – Star Thistle & Briar. One thing I’ve discovered is when you turn something you once did just for pleasure into a business you miss making things just for fun. Its really easy to get stale and uninspired. I don’t get to papercut for pleasure much these days so instead I spend some of my freetime crocheting, painting, gardening and making silver clay jewellery.
Metal clay is an amazing material, basically a soft clay made of fine powdered metal particles that you can shape as you want and then fire into a piece of solid pure silver, copper or gold. Its eco-friendly as the silver comes from old circuit boards and mobile phones, which is a re-purposing that appeals to me. Its also a good way of using up the jars of sea glass and sea pottery I’ve accumulated over the years (see my previous post Affordable Art versus Death Cleaning for why that matters)!
I love playing with it and some of my papercut ideas inspire my silver makes. Till now most of them have been for myself or friends but I’ve decided to set up a Folksy shop where I can sell any extra items. Star Thistle & Briar is my shop. Later this year I’m hoping to run a silver clay workshop where anyone interested in having a go can learn the basics like I did. There’ll be others too including papercutting. More details on that soon but in the meantime if you’re interested in them you can contact me via this site, my Facebook page, Instagram or by email email@example.com