|Sheets of Japanese Paper in Shop|
I started out just buying the small packages of remnants and making paper mosaics on dollar store boxes for fun. Then I got more ambitious and wanted to take a class. Yes, Au papier japonais has a series of workshops to give you an idea of all the beautiful things you can do with Japanese paper. As a Christmas present this year, my husband paid for the Traditional Japanese Cardmaking Class for me, and it couldn't have come at a better time, as January is high season for winter funk.
|Three Traditional Cards|
Making Japanese cards required more skill than I had anticipated. I needed to learn several things, such as using an Xacto knife so that I didn't rip the paper (pssst it's all in how you hold the knife), cutting in a straight line (it looks so much easier than it is), finding centre points to make folds, piercing the paper with an awl and using an absolute minimum of glue. There is actually a method for using a glue stick so that it lasts longer than a few days.
Our instructor, Heather Midori, is an artist who uses washi as her preferred medium. She showed tremendous patience and repeatedly reminded us that we were all learning new skills. The first card was the most difficult because we had to apply all the skills we had just been shown. The second and third cards were much easier and allowed us to use more creativity. I immediately wanted to go home and use these skills again, so I wouldn't forget.
|Valentine's from Maps, Japanese Paper, Cards and Ads|
On the last day, when I heard someone say, "Oh, I'm just not that creative," I immediately thought of Lynda Barry's talk about creativity in January. Echoing Lynda I said, "That's just your inner critic talking to you. If you can't turn her off, you ought to at least turn her down." Everyone laughed, as our inner critics were all sitting at the table with us. Once you realize that creativity is just trying new things and new combinations to see the result, a lot of the stress disappears and the fun starts. This was an enjoyable activity and a great way to relieve winter funk.
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