Fun, Free, and made of paper!

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Free Papercraft Watermelon by Mr. Printables

I discovered Mr. Printables when I was collecting ideas for my Paper Fun Pinterest board. There is a TON of content on the site. They have everything from calendars in the shape of a weird accordion rabbit thing to 3-dimensional paper alphabets to decorations for every conceivable holiday.

I’ve tried a few of the free paper craft projects as part of my #100daysofpaperfun project this year. I found the quality of the templates to be a little hit or miss, but you can’t beat the price! The illustration/surface design is lovely and fun, and some of the ideas are really creative. My frustrations were more with ease of assembly. Sometimes the flaps are pretty small, and it’s always tricky to get the last flap adhered when you’re working with closed shapes like the fruit.

My favorite so far has been the paper fruit. I’ve assembled the paper watermelon and a paper lemon. There are a few more paper craft fruits printed and waiting to go. I think the kiwi is next!

Papercraft lemon and watermelon

I also experimented with the 3D alphabet a little. Ultimately, I decided that while it’s a great resource, if I want to make 3D paper letters, I’ll be happier making my own!

Papercraft alphabet - the letter 'y'

100 Days: Weeks 3 & 4

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Week 3+4 of #100DaysofHouseandHome

I’ve moved 10 times in my life, but since my parents still live in the house I was born in, that counting starts when I left home 13 years ago. I generally refer to “home” as the place I’m currently living. And I’ve been in the Boston area for long enough now (8 years??!) that it feels more like home than Illinois does, but I still occasionally refer to my parents’ house, or the midwest in general, as “home,” since I did spend some important time there…but honestly, maybe also just because “my parents’ house” is a lot more syllables than “home”!

It’s a strange feeling, though, to know a place intimately, then leave it for a while, and then come back – some things are the same they’ve always been, and some things are totally different. It’s almost like time travel.

We spent some time traveling to and through the midwest last week, to visit the in-laws and roadtrip from Illinois to Oklahoma to see more family. When we go back to visit I’m always surprised at how much sky you can see from the side of the highway driving through rural Illinois. We have clouds here in Boston, but they’re harder to see without craning your neck.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been working on! We were (obviously) far away from my studio, so these things are mostly cobbled together from the few supplies I brought with me, crafted on grandma’s kitchen table, and photographed in …exciting… lighting conditions.

(These are just my favorites, since it seemed like overkill to embed all 14 images here. You can also see all of the current #100daysofHouseandHome images here.)







Week 2: 100 Days of House and Home

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Week 2: 100 Days of House and Home

This has been a really interesting challenge so far, just over two weeks in. The theme of “home” keeps coming up in all sorts of places! Some friends and I have been talking about neighboring, and how being a good neighbor can make a huge difference in daily life and in the life of a city. I worked on some house illustrations for that project right around the time the 100 Day Project was starting, and that helped kick off my theme.

I went to a talk last week at the Boston chapter of Creative Mornings. The speaker, Shawn Hesse, compared fictional zombie apocalypse stories to real disasters that have happened around the world that are connected to climate change. His main point was that in the case of a zombie apocalypse, science people have actually calculated that given a hypothetical “zombie virus”, it would only take 3 days for the virus to spread to the entire world, and civilization would fall incredibly quickly, with everyone fighting for food and resources, bands of survivors eventually finding each other to be greater threats than the zombies themselves, etc. He talked about the different hurricanes, droughts, and other climate events that have caused similar crises, and similar desperation, though on a localized scale.

The parallels are remarkable, and sort of terrifying. The thing that struck me, though, is the work people are doing in resiliency, to try to plan and prepare for disaster. He mentioned specifically the Rockefeller Institute in New York City, working to build resiliency in communities by focusing primarily on building community and connecting neighbors, along with work to build resilient infrastructure. Their theory is that infrastructure doesn’t matter if people can’t work together to take advantage of it.

I’ve been thinking about that talk all week. Then, on Tuesday we woke up at 4:30am to catch an early flight to Chicago and sneak some friend time in before our week of family time. We had the chance to visit the Art Institute of Chicago briefly with a friend who has a membership, he said we had to check out the Van Gogh exhibit, since it was closing soon.

We walked into the exhibit and the intro blurb reveals that the entire exhibit is a reflection on the artist’s experience of home. Van Gogh moved 37 times in his short 37 years, and spent a lot of time and words writing about home and belonging in letters to his brother. One of his most famous paintings is an image of his empty bedroom in the house he felt was the only place that was really his home. He was so moved by this image that he actually painted it three separate times.

Here’s what I made in week two:



What does home mean to you?

100 Days of House & Home: Week 1

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I’m just over a week into the project! Woohoo! It has been harder to get back into the rhythm of this than I expected. Partly because my life is generally more full of things, partly because my eye for photography is better and I’ve been trying to finish my project for the day before the sun goes down, and partly because (at least so far) I’ve been trying a little harder and spending more time on each day.

I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done so far, though!

(Note! I’m posting these on my personal Instagram account, @yeiouamp, because, well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. You can see more paper things more consistently at @yeioupaperobjects)

I also worked toward my goal of doing some more 2D work, and experimented with painting some of the stained glass in our house in watercolors. It’s not an amazing painting, but I’m pretty proud of it as the first representational painting I’ve done in over 5 years.

And I am apparently working on designing a quilt based around this idea of house and home, as well. I started by thinking about the floorplan of our current space and what that would be like in fabric form, and I’ve started pondering what would happen if I made a whole quilt of floorplans of places I’ve lived. Still not sure what or how this will evolve, but I’m excited about it.

So, this feels like a pretty strong start! I imagine I’ll skew more toward painting/drawing as the challenge progresses, since I may run out of paper houses to make. I also have to figure out what I’ll do during two separate weeks of travel coming up next month. I suppose I’ll explore some ideas around temporary/transient homes!

The 100 Day Project: 2016

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the number one is cut out of paper

Last year I completed my 100 Days Project, “100 Days of Paper Folding” by reconnecting with my childhood experience of origami, and also exploring new forms and possibilities using the same tools and methods I use for all of my yeiou paper objects products. I’ve been feeling pulled toward experimenting more with mark-making and 2D mediums this year, though, so I’ve decided to organize this year’s 100 Days Project around a theme, rather than a medium or material.

I’ve been making and selling a small paper house gift box for the last year and a half or so, and have found that it is the box people are most likely to pick up and ooooh and ahhhh over at craft shows. It also consistently sells pretty well, which is awesome! I’d already been starting to explore with taking that basic form/concept and making variations of it – I make a paper barn gift box (which actually made its debut as part of the 100 Days project last year), and I’ve started to offer slightly different house designs in my Paper Village set. Then I had a conversation with my sister, who is currently a college freshman, and lives on campus at her school. I was talking about her taking something back with her from our house to her dorm room and said something like “you can take that home with you” which prompted a conversation about where “home” really is, and how split she feels between the “home” she grew up in, our “home” where she currently lives, and her dorm room, which is actually her current “home.” I’ve also been walking around our neighborhood more often lately, since it’s actually warm outside, and I’ve been noticing all of the homes for sale, which makes me think about all of the people who are moving in and out of new homes. I also love to look at houses and see the similarities and differences – one of my favorite things is to spot a row of houses that you can tell looked identical when they were built, but have now diverged wildly in color, shape, and size. I love to daydream about all the different families making different decisions about their homes.

So I’ve been thinking about houses, and I’ve been thinking about homes. How different they all are, both in structure and floorplan, and also in the intangibles…our memories of our spaces, the feelings of different places over time, all of the history the walls around us have seen.

And this all led me to pursue an exploration of 100 Days of House and Home as my project this year. I will be making tiny paper houses, yes, but I’m also going to explore 2D representation of my own home and places I’m connected to, both interiors and exteriors, just to shake it up.