Chairs, Puppies, and Ornaments

The end of 2015 was busy, as usual. Perhaps most notably, I successfully defended my PhD dissertation! I hope that means I will have more time for artwork in 2016 :) As a celebratory gift, my mother made this extraordinary quilt for me. Thanks Mom!!!!!


Mariner’s Compass, made by Ruth McCormick (

I did manage to sneak in a few Christmas paper cuts. The first piece is in the style of Alison Shriver, who makes some lovely silhouette cuts of antique furniture. Although the recipient of this piece has a few of Alison’s cuts, she idly mentioned that she would love a comb-back windsor to complement her collection. Say no more!


Comb-back windsor paper silhouette

I also made some simple silhouettes of Pip and Tali (remember these cuts?). The hard part was getting the dogs to sit still long enough to get a satisfying picture in profile. That led to this glorious reject:


Thanks Pip.

These profile silhouettes are custom made for some circular frames–I’ll be sure to post a picture once they are complete.



This year, my family also decided to start up a hand-made ornament exchange. I decided to attempt quilling, which turned out reasonably well thanks to a nice tutorial by Ann Martin of All Things Paper. If you’re interested in some legitimate quilling, do check out her blog. Next time I’ll be sure to buy an actual quilling tool, which for some reason is not carried in local craft stores. I ended up using a pen ink refill, which got the job done, but for some reason I suspect an actual tool would be much less frustrating… Pro tip: don’t use cardstock if you want a satisfying circle that holds its shape :P


First attempt at quilling…

Happy new year!


About Gail McCormick

Science writer at Penn State University; papercrafter, ecologist, theatre-lover.
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4 Responses to Chairs, Puppies, and Ornaments

  1. Big HUGE congrats on the degree! WOWWEEEEE!!!

  2. Ann says:

    Your ornaments look way better than reasonably well, Gail! Thanks so much for linking to my blog and I’m delighted you gave quilling a try. I always tell people they don’t need special supplies and you are living proof. :) Congratulations on your dissertation and lovely paper cuttings too!

    • Thanks Ann! Using cardstock meant that I didn’t quite get the round quilled look–I had to pinch a lot more than just the end to make it work! Although I’m fairly pleased with how they turned out, I may nonetheless choose to invest in some real tools for the next project! :)

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