cut paper

Cut Paper: You are My Sunshine

I discovered paper cutting about 2 and a half years ago. I gave it a first try almost immediately. And, about 2 and a half years ago I began thinking about doing a cutting featuring the much loved song You Are My Sunshine. I, like many I am sure, grew up with my Mom singing it to me & always felt that in some special way, it was FOR me. So, when I had children of my own, the song quickly became part of my repertoire. When they got a little bit older, it would be the very last song I would sing to them on the car ride to school, triggered by taking the hair-pin turn up the big hill that led there.


I wanted to make the paper cutting for my girls & let it be a reminder for them of that particular memory we'd been creating. So for 2 and a half years I've been sketching and thinking. But every time I made sketches of a winding road & a hill with a school at the top, it just didn't work. So I kept thinking and I periodically would try once again to put something on paper. And every time I walked away from it knowing I didn't have it yet.

Then, about 3 weeks ago, I came across a random illustration with a ladder in it. Suddenly, it all clicked inside my head. I grabbed a scrap piece of paper and quickly sketched out what I knew the paper cutting was supposed to look like. After 2 and a half YEARS of pondering, I finally had it in about 5 seconds! I can't remember where I saw the illustration, nor do I remember anything about it other than the fact that it contained a ladder. I do know that it had nothing to do with my song though and my design & it only have a ladder in common.

I think that the girls will come to appreciate this version a whole lot more than my fairly literal renditions of a car going up a hill. I suppose I really don't care if they remember us singing You Are My Sunshine as we wound our way up that hill, or if they remember our Jeep, or even the school. What I really want them to remember is the way they felt when they heard it. That, after all, is the place my heart goes to when I remember my Mom singing it to me. I hope they know the joy they have brought into my life. That a smile from them brightens my day. That though they nearly knock me over almost every time, I will sorely miss coming home to little my girls running at me & quite literally leaping into my arms for a hug. (I suppose when they do knock me over we'll know that they've gotten too big!) Some days, they practically are up there on that ladder pushing the grey clouds apart that have settled on my heart after a tiring or bad day. And the wonderful thing is, they don't have to do anything to make me feel instantaneously lighter. They bring me joy because they are them. :) That's all. That's enough to bring Sunshine to my day, any day.


Well, that & cute little hedgehogs. Because really, how can hedgehogs not make you smile?

Do you ever create in crazy bursts like this, with the idea suddenly coming to you all at once? Or is it more of a process & slow discovery?

xoxo Lori Danelle

And for those of you who find this sort of stuff interesting, the finished piece is about 30" x 15" and took me a little over 20 hours to cut  :)  }