I had a conversation with her once about a number of symbols that were important to her. I started with the symbol she had for herself, and arranged the others to radiate outward.
This was a fun challenge! A lot of image research/tracing, a lot of meticulous design, and some arguing with the Cricut about how much detail it would allow me to have in my cut paper shapes.
I started with the flowers and hummingbirds, doing research and image tracing as I added each layer. Lots and lots of tweaking, tracing new images and trying them out, changing the number, rotation, and configuration, layer by layer.
Shout out to this tutorial for applying layer effects to automatically generate radial symmetry.
And adding in the more geometric elements.
Then, when I got to the outside edges, I had to decide what the overall shape would be.
And could I somehow fit in a sailboat? You bet I can!
|This one! This one feels right.|
Now for color.
|This could have worked, too, and I debated between this and the next for a while.|
|There were some small changes between here and the final, but it's close.|
Now for assembly!
I started with a kind of overall cookie-cutter shape, and laid the lace cutout on top of it.
Then I started placing the colored card stock pieces like a puzzle. I should have cut out more than I needed to start with in case I messed one up, but some lessons come with experience.
|Card stock: multipack|
I needed to make some decisions along the way, like which pen makes the best paws? I used the cutting machine to score the paw prints and then traced those shapes.
|I couldn't get the level of detail or symmetry I wanted with these shapes, |
so I ended up coloring the background black and having the machine cut the symbol out. Success!
Front layer: not-quite-complete lace pattern
The lace-with-cutouts went on first, lined up with the complete version underneath.
|All those little notches are the exact shape and placement for the animal cutouts. |
No guesswork or eyeballing. Yay computer-assisted design!
An example of hand-drawn details (traced over score marks for consistency)
From here, I drew and painted a bazillion zen circles and picked the one I liked the most. I really thought I was going to have a black center, but every possible circle on a black background just looked...off. Too much black in the center of the design. When I tried a red background, it visually felt a lot better.
Glue everything together, get a frame, bubble wrap the crap out of it, and in the mail it went!
|Pre-frame photo here, I couldn't get a decent shot without a ton of glare. |
(Website added in photoshop for internet sharing, it's not on the real piece.)