Papercutting might well be my new favourite thing.
I swapped my calligraphy pen for a craft knife to try the new Embellish subscription box.
Embellish was established in 2013 by designer and illustrator Amy Purdie.
She made her first paper cut as a wedding gift for a family member and soon became hooked.
I can see how after giving it a try for myself!
When she offered to send me a box, I couldn’t wait for it to arrive.
I love receiving post anyway and the beautifully packaged box and its contents didn’t disappoint.
A lot of care and attention has gone into the creation of the themed boxes.
Amy’s aim is to make each month’s box unique, with special gifts to complement the set of templates and backing papers.
She said: “if you love papercutting, then an Embellish box is perfect for you.
“Each box follows a theme, giving you at least three printed templates to cut yourself, a self-assembly house to collect and gifts related to the theme.
“It’s a collection of beautiful things and the only way to be the first to have the new month’s templates. There will never be a repeat box.”
The theme of the first box is hygge, a Danish word (pronounced hue-gah) and way of life.
Amy explains: “It means cosiness, comfort, creating that warm and content feeling you get when you come in from a windy walk and sit wrapped in a blanket drinking hot chocolate in front of a log burning stove.
“It’s about woolly jumpers and candles, reading and relaxing, mulled wine and good company, Danish pastries and home-cooked casseroles, blankets and sheepskin, box sets viewed from the comfort of your sofa, slow music, simplicity, being in the moment and spending time with the people you care about.
“Hygge is supposedly the reason that Denmark is the happiest country in the world.”
These images are reflected in Amy’s gorgeous templates and the contents of the box, which included hot chocolate, a candle, fingerless gloves and a candy cane.
Amy also very kindly sent me a craft knife and scalpel – a proper surgical one, which was fitting as surgical precision is needed with papercutting!
I chose the most hygge of the templates to try first.
I intended to sit for half an hour or so and make a start, but ended up spending the whole evening cutting around string lights, mugs and lamps.
Like calligraphy, I found papercutting quite relaxing and I soon found my groove.
I’m not sure if there’s a best way to approach it, but there was a lot of turning and flipping of paper and I found it best to do similar strokes at the same time.
So, I would focus on an area and do the vertical cuts, then twist the paper to do the horizontal ones, moving top to bottom rather than left to right.
The more rounded cuts I’m still trying to master!
Fortunately, Amy has set up a Facebook group, The Papercutting Room, where you can share your papercuts and share tips and advice.
The best bits of advice I got from Amy was do the fiddly bits first – and a have a hot drink to hand!
To find out more about the Embellish box, visit the website here.
If you want to give it a go yourself, take advantage of a 15% discount on a box using the code CALLIGRAPHY15. The code is valid until December 20, 2016.