I really like this design, and it didn’t seem to take very long to cut. That reminds me – I must start timing how long the cuts actually take, because I really have no idea how long each design takes to cut. I enjoy the process so much and find it so ‘therapeutic’ that sometimes I can be cutting a really big project and it feels like the time is just flying by. And then other times, of course, I could be fighting with a fiddly design, in fading daylight, and using a blunt blade that I can’t be bothered to change – and in those cases the cuts seem to take forever.
I’m also getting better at tidying up the cuts before I take close-up photos of them!
It might not look it, but this was quite a tricky design to cut. The design involved having to leave just tiny links of paper in order to hold the actual physical piece of paper together. So the overall piece got very lacy and delicate towards the end.
I’d cut similar designs to this one earlier on in this project (i.e. even before starting this ‘100 days’ project), but I didn’t really like the results, before. However, now that I’m getting more proficient at cutting by hand (and also at adapting designs so that they can be cut out but still look fairly attractive), the end result is quite close to what I had imagined in the first place:
Plus, it’s another art nouveau-style design, so that quite appeals to me, and it also makes any mistakes less obvious because the curves and swirls in the design make it harder to spot.
I thought this design was going to be a pain in the butt to cut, but it turned out to be quite enjoyable and therapeutic because of the repetition and the challenging aspects to it:
First of all I cut the teeny tiny little dots out. They are approximately 1mm across, so it’s a miracle really that any of them look even vaguely round. Especially since the blade was getting quite blunt by then, so I was having to hack them out of the paper instead of cleanly slice them.
Then I did the sort of stacked-hearts shapes, by cutting the left-hand curves first then rotating the paper so I could move onto the next shape, etc.
And finally I did what should have been the easiest bit, which was the hole in the middle. Which is the bit that turned out looking the most wonky! Never mind – I can always tidy it up later, I suppose:
Weirdly, I think I might be reaching a stage where I’ve come to a bit of a compromise with the perfectionist in me. The image below looks OK to me…
…but then close-up I can see all of the flaws in the cuts (that I couldn’t even see with my magnifying glasses when I was actually working on it!). But the perfectionist in me is now getting a tiny bit less uptight, so although the annoying imperfections do still leap out at me straight away, there is also a little part of me that goes “Hey! Nice leaves at the bottom!”, instead of “Oh no – the entire thing is a total mess.”