Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hello from a crafty ex-scientist!

The first post is always hard to write.  It seems so momentous, like it should be some grand introduction to this Huge Adventure Ahead.  But that's too hard, so I spend more time puttering around with the template, because it really is easier to change the link color than write that huge first post about what this blog is all about.

Ok, here we are.  You've figured out from the title that this is about papercrafting.  And that I'm probably some kind of science geek.  So now I can go back to fiddling around with the widgets in the footer, right?  No?  Ok, then, I guess I'll keep going.

If I were writing about myself in the third person like they do on book jackets, I can't claim that I've "always been an artist" or even that I did a lot of crafts growing up.  Sure, I took the required art class in elementary school, and made those plasticky woven keychains at summer camp. 

But mostly, I was a nerd.  I focused on academics.  I did science fair projects and plotted my acceptance into the engineering school of my dreams.  I pretty much accepted that I wasn't an artist, and that I didn't have any creative talent, because I figured a person could only really be good at one thing.  So I got my biology and chemistry degrees, became a software consultant, and eventually got my dream job at a large software company in the Seattle area.Rectangle Czech glass aqua beads

Something was missing, though.   My husband insisted that I needed a hobby other than work (and other than bugging him to go out and do stuff all the time, presumably).   I had no idea what that was supposed to be, other than spending even more time at work.  I got a motorcycle, rode for a couple of years, and sold it.  Nope, that wasn't it.

On a weekend trip to Ashland, OR I happened to wander into a bead shop.  And THAT was the beginning of my crafty life.


  1. Great blog! I want to know what you know aboutl software programs that let create paper-folding instructions and more, to make arbitrarily-complex shapes based on whatever you want. Can I scan a photo of me and make a paper-folded replica of my head?

  2. This looks like it will be fun, and potentially dangerous to my crafting budget. But I could definitely use some pursuits that are a little less involved than making quilts. Even baby quilts take a while! Looking forward to seeing what you do here!

  3. @Richard - wow, maybe I'll add that to the list for a future post. I haven't heard of such programs. That's totally cool. All I've seen online are a HUGE number of origami patterns for all sorts of odd things.

    @Stephanie - if you let yourself buy paper and scrapbooking supplies, it's like a giant black hole for your money. I will never use up all the cool paper that I have. Sigh.

  4. I think Richard is talking about stuff like this papercraft light cycle (click on the template link to see how it looks when you print it out flat): When I was planning Luke's Mario birthday party, I found a blog packed full of similar stuff for everything in the Mario universe. There must be software to produce the templates.

  5. Fascinating! Yeah, I see a ton of those printable things. I just figured it was people who liked to spend time with Adobe Illustrator but there must be a faster way to do it :)

  6. Oooh - would you be able to load pdfs like that into the silhouette? or could you easily extract the outline somehow? I haven' t made any of those yet because the ones I want are too complicated to cut out for something that the kids will smash so fast...

  7. Stephanie - unfortunately you can't load PDFs into the Silhouette. You'd need Illustrator or Inkscape to convert it to a DXF or maybe an SVG file format. I don't know if that's possible or not. If you can convert it to JPG, then Silhouette Studio (their software) can trace it, but you'd probably have to mess with it quite a bit to get it right.

    You should just print out a bunch and have the kids cut and tape them together! That should keep them busy for hours!

  8. Absolutely ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  9. wow! sounds like me! I studied molecular biology b/c it seemed more useful than art. But now after following my husband to seattle, i've decided to give the art things a try and am working on starting an etsy shop.

  10. Awesome! Hooray for science! Let me know if you need any help getting set up. I've been selling on Etsy since 2007.


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