Saturday, September 19, 2015

Brahms' Lullaby Papercut

I made this for a new friend's baby shower. She's a classical cellist and music teacher, having her first baby, so I had the idea to use Brahms' Lullaby and design a papercut around it. I don't think I've ever done anything with this many thin lines. It was a little tricky!

I spent about a day messing around with the design--deciding what I wanted to use and how to fit everything together. This is an early thumbnail sketch (about 2" wide in real life!).  I usually end up doing this sort of thing at my computer desk, so I can look things up easily, but then of course I keep bouncing back and forth between my project and other distractions. That's why it took all day.  (Ah, the internet... such a fabulous help and such a deep sucking pit of hindrance!)

This is nearly how I want it but still pretty loose. I scanned this and put a straighter frame on it in Photoshop, then printed it out again (lowering the opacity to make it light gray) and then went back over everything more more precisely, finalizing things like the spacing of the notes.  Then I printed that backwards (flipped horizontally) and did a graphite transfer to trace it onto white cardstock. 

I started cutting Friday night (after we got back from the fair) and had about three hours to finish it up this morning. I finished ten minutes before the shower started.  Whew! (My fingers are still feeling it!)

I'm going to re-create this one in Illustrator and make a cutting file.  That will be some good Illustrator practice!


Helen in Australia said...

That is a truly beautiful creation: it has a lovely feeling of balance and harmony (the pun snuck in; I let it stay).

Illustrator is one of those programs which I'd love to be able to use more fluently. When I retire (i.e., and have some spare time!), I think I will have to splurge on a proper course, as I just don't have a really good feel for the way IT thinks about doing things, and so I struggle to get it to do the things I want.

Helena said...

I used to use Corel Draw a lot--coming from that, I find Illustrator very non-intuitive. And I use it infrequently enough that every time I come back to it I have to re-figure things out, but hopefully it gets a little easier each time!