Thursday, 31 July 2014

Who Owns The Stag?

Well, there are 142 of you in the running and a name has been chosen very scientifically by an 11 year old randomly pointing at the list of orders. 'The Stag' small original has now been packaged and is leaving Panda Mansion today via Special Delivery to get to the lucky recipient before 1pm tomorrow.
So, I'm not going to tell you who it is until tomorrow! All I'll say is that there's a C in the first part of the postcode (yes, it's in the UK) and a letter R in the first name. If that sounds like it could be you then you better get up in the morning if the postie knocks because you'll have to sign for your original Paper Panda papercut. We'd LOVE to see a photo of you with it.
Thanks so much to everyone who joined in. Let me know if this is something you'd like to take part in regularly, was it fun? If you weren't the winner then I do hope you like your  Stag order - thank you squillions. We think you're great.

P xxx

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

The Stag

Ever wanted to own a Paper Panda original? Now you can!

For the next 24 hours (until 3pm UK time on the 31st July 2014) if you purchase anything from The Stag range of merchandise you may recieve this original piece when you wake up on Friday morning (unless you're outside the UK then I'm afraid it's a bit out of our postal systems remit to be THAT quick hee hee). 
It applies to everyone from Zurich to Zimbabweeeee and there's no extra postage to pay or 'owt. At 3pm tomorrow I'll ask Poppy to choose one of your names to recieve it in with your order. There's no discrimination or minimum order - you could buy a card or a canvas, everyone is in with a chance to win.
This is a small version of The Stag design. It's been hand drawn from scratch using the same theme and basic design but is unique, no others exist like this. It is framed in a handmade beech wood box frame 13x13cm and finished with the engraved Paper Panda tag. It comes gift boxed ready to give to a loved one, to rip open yourself or to chuck on eBay ;)
You'll find our current range in the shop here: The Stag Series
Good luck!
Panda xx

Friday, 25 July 2014

I don't think we're cut out for this!

Today I...
Well today has been tough. Why? Well, yesterday we realised that Poppy's passport didn't have the required 6 months left on it that's needed to go on the cruise we are going on next week. Yes, next week. Dagnammit. It's still in date but I guess if Pops gets thrown in prison for smoking crack again (what is it with 11 year olds nowadays?) then she'd be there locked up without a passport. Or something. That IS a joke btw
So Mr Panda ran around yesterday like a man posessed getting the forms, taking Poppy for photographs in the booth in Tesco in Stow on the Wold (officially the most expensive Tesco in the country - bit of useless info for you there) then he came home, and went out again to buy a BLACK biro (it must be black, if it's not black then everybody dies) and filled in the form to try and get it sent off Special Delivery. But oh no! It needs counter signing by an upstanding pillar of the community! Do we know any? *Frantic scrabbles for upstanding pillar ensues*. All laying down on the grass in the sun. Useless.
Anyway, it didn't happen before the post went so good ol' Mr P has today driven to the passport office in Liverpool. It only took him 5 hours to get there. Bet he wishes he'd fixed the air con now, huh?
I'm left alone. Not technically alone as Kath is here packing parcels, and Sonia our temp-angel (official title) is too...and their children...but my Mr P is gone which means I am *dum dum duuum* fending for myself. With a capital F.
The last time he went away with Poppy I had Monster Munch and soup in a cup for dinner and daren't go outside for my Mr Whippy because I'd never unlocked the front door before. It's not until he leaves me alone that I find out how weirdly dependant I am (and more than a little odd, I know, I know!). It turned out that I did indeed run out for my fix, but had to call Kath back to open the door for me. Rubbish.
But hooray! Pops stayed behind and she showed Kath how to use the coffee machine AND she went to the chippy for lunch so I am, thankfully, still alive and haven't wasted away - although he isn't home yet so there's still time. Pray for me.
Although I am totally crap at life and everything that normal people do every day I CAN cut paper rather well. So I did just that...

"I don't think we're cut out for this!"

Circus Mouse! (Original Post 23rd July 2014)

My view this afternoon. I'm making Circus Mouse. He's going to be on a glittery strawberry and be juggling balls. Cuteness!
I'm drinking tea in my stereotypical country girl Cath Kidston mug, testing out a new coaster (coming soon!) and listening to....nothing.
Why nothing? Especially why nothing when we've just bought one of those new fangled sound stereo things - Sonos - and have speakers in the ceiling? Why am I not listening to the dulcet tones of Sia or slapping my thighs to Adam Ant (had a dream I was dating him last night, great stuff!)?? WHY?
Because I'm rubbish. I can't work the damn thing. I can't work the television either, not that I ever have time to watch it.
I long for the old days when you just popped a tape or CD into a player and...pressed play. Or throw yourself on the couch and push the 'on' button and 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.
Now? Well now it's "no network found" and "we couldn't connect to..." and WTH is a scart cable anyway? Where do I put it? Why is the XBox involved, I don't wanna play games I want to watch Bargain Hunt! I want Tim Wannacot to beam at me and kick his leg in the air and I want it without having to change it to some weird setting after hunting for the remote, finding BBC iPlayer, resetting the internet as it's not working, entering 'B'....'A'...'R'....(half an hour later) oh, no we've seen that one...Tim in Birmingham, that's a good one...oh it's time to go back to work.
Quiet work.
Put some music on? Yes, why not. *Starts again*
"We couldn't load your library"
Oh p*^(~ *ff...!
P xx

C'mon on down to the one and only Mouse Circus where you'll find Mr Jingles/Alf and his magnificent juggling on a strawberry act *applause*
All hand drawn and cut from paper (and the balls are stuck on with spit of course!)

Wobbly Tooth and Alf the Acrobatic Mouse. (Original Post 22 july 2014)

Today I...
Woke up at 5am. You know when something happens and it makes you cross and then you can't sleep again and you keep thinking about it and getting more and more annoyed, tossing and turning, your pillow feels like it's made out of hedgehogs, it's too hot and the person next to you decides to enter a snoring competition that nobody else is a part of (a sure win)...well, that.
So I had an angry pants morning, stomping around like a bear who isn't usually awake until 11am and is suddenly experiencing 'the joys of morning'. WTF? What is joyful about feeling knackered? I don't need to know who my postman is in person. I like my mail to have a fine layer of dust on it by the time I stumble downstairs. I don't NEED to wear pyjamas at the correct time of day. Breakfast tea? No! Why is there a specific type of tea for before midday anyway?
I put clothes on. Yes, real ones for outside and everything. I wore yellow shoes which gave me a jaunty air not befitting of my foul mood. I went...outside.
Now, not a lot makes me go outside. I am happiest with my bum welded to my studio chair with my weapon of choice firmly gripped in my sweaty paw. Outside is for losers. Today though was the last day of little school for my baby girl so I went along to the leavers assembly. None of them look ready for the horrors of high school. Saying that, I went to school up North so I'm hoping that the children in the Cotswolds don't strip you in the playground on your birthday or take away your favourite sweets (Raspberry Ruffles - remember those?). Anyway, they looked small and unprepared. Bless their odd socks. As I mentioned yesterday Poppy recieved 5's for everything, the top marks so she is officially 'a swot' (all down to me, of course it is *cough*). Brilliant. I'm sure she'll do reeeeally well at big school...but she's so small! (Yes, yes, I know she has size 8 feet and is only 2" off my height but to ME she's small!).
Came home, cuddled chair, stroked cat.
Took photographs of new papercuts, drank lots of coffee and hunted for a new dog. I'm not officially allowed to have a new dog and Mr P has been very grumpy about it recently, but today I caught him checking out little scruffy homeless dogs online so I knew I'd won *air punch* so did a bit more Googling. I'd like a dog with a ridiculous underbite. I'd call it Doug. I'll keep you informed.
Lusted over admin Vickys rainbow hair (see below). Faffed about trying not to be grumpy (miserable girls don't get doggies) then gave in and went to sleep for a couple hours.
Then I drew these.

I present 'Wobbly Tooth' and 'Alf the Acrobatic Mouse'....
What did you do?
P xxx

Perfectly Seaworthy...(Original Post 21st July 2014)

Quick pencil sketches of ideas as we bombed down the motorway home from York yesterday. Can you ever tried sketching in the car? It's so hard! Your hand wibbles all over the place, but I got the ideas down so that's what matters so very soon Scruffy Bird will be having tea with Ladybird and Bunny & Bird will be in an umbrella a-la Pooh Bear in the rain.
York? Well, it rained. And it rained. It rained a bit more, but we squished in a visit to THE IMAGINARIUM and stocked up with some more inspirational weird things and cakey soaps from the shop next door.
We stayed in a cottage in the country this time and I managed to get a bit of a rest. No quite so for Poppy and Mr Panda. They have huge moth phobias and somebody had left the loo window open one night...and the light on. Well it was a moth partaaay! All the moths in a 20 mile radius came to get on down in the toilet and scare the pants off my family. Imagine literally about 80 moths of all different sizes in a 4x4ft space fluttering around like in a horror movie. It was hilarious. It was super funny until I found a spider in my bed and then I wasn't laughing any more... 

Today I...
- Got up at 10.30am (early for me)
- Got confused about musical notes (not difficult, I'm easily confused)
- Scanned in my sketches from the car journey ready to cut
- Dropped another sketch behind my desk and called a busy Mr P to retrieve it. Mr P says 'this is the final straw!!' as he moves a 20 tonne desk away from the wall only to find it's actually gone behind the radiator never to be seen again. (Fast forward 100 years to Antiques Roadshow of the future, "I found this sketch behind the radiator as we were replacing it for a super-whizz heat bar...")
- Cut out this papercut *points at photo* and am quite pleased with it actually
- Interviewed a guy called Sam who agreed that I could call him Tim (Tim will agree to anything when confronted with an odd lady waving a scalpel. He's lucky I was dressed actually so I considered it a win).
- Wonder at how I produced such a brainy child as she brought home her SATS results and totally aced them, full marks on everything (poss not such a crap parent after all? Hmm).
- Realised I haven't got any papercuts coming soon in the shop and vow not to take a weekend off work ever again (I do actually have loads but need to photograph them!)
- Virtually shove everyone towards the online shop to buy other stuff instead...go on...go, go......

Monday, 7 July 2014

"Who's that walking over MY bridge?"

This is Trip Trap. It's a papercut design we created at the beginning of last year as part of the fairytale collection. Like it? Well, it's really only here to illustrate part of the reason for this blog post and to include a tenuous link to papercutting.

This here troll is particularly big, fat, mean and ugly as are trolls of the virtual kind that roam the internet. I am currently experiencing trolls of my own, and have been for a large part of this year. You may have noticed a few on my Facebook page and Instagram threads. Yes, there are a few people who have genuine things to say and they do so with honesty and are pretty delicate because ultimately they aren't idiots, but people with a genuine difference of opinion. These people are not who I'm here to talk about.
There are a group of people currently roaming around our wonderful little crafty community who last year sucessfully managed to close a friends Facebook business for a year after trolling her, her business and her disabled children to the point of breakdown. The police were involved. It was nasty. I know because I stood by her throughout - and now they have turned their attention to me.
Have you seen on some of my posts the people who are in uproar? Commenting on how I ought to be ashamed of myself ? Have I committed a crime? Nope, I swear. I cuss and I make little papercuts that are sweary because they're fun and I enjoy making them and people LOVE them. Someone yesterday posted a photo of me holding my new mug (present from my staff, thanks girls!) with a swear word on it. They created the hashtags #dontshophere and #disgusting proudly announcing that they'll "show people what I'm really like".
This person has a fake account. And a broom handle up their arse.
I knooow that these are all things that some people may not like, but the complaints are coming from new accounts just created that day and accounts who only have friends who are also trolling me.
I've been reported to eBay and investigated for shill bidding (found innocent). People are buying my pieces and pulling out of the transactions. They are really going for it, the saddo's.
There's even a page that specifically makes up controversial statuses that are directed at me (I can hear them now, outraged saying "it's got nothing to do with PP, WHO does she think she is?!"). They get a lot of backing from people from the papercutting community and their friends because once one person speaks out that I'm overpriced and uncouth then lots of other people (namely a few other start up papercutters that wouldn't know the tax man and what employing people is like, not to mention a little thing called supply and demand) speak up too and thus a hatred of all things PP begins. It feels good to rip it out of the sucessful ones. I know because I call a fast driving Ferarri driver a knobhead when he overtakes near a bend. He's probably a really nice guy and I wouldn't have said anything if he was driving a Ford Cortina.
I know for a fact that these people (or their friends, may I add for legal reasons) are the same ones who are setting up fake accounts and trolling me. It actually gained their page over 1000 'likes' one weekend for people showing them support because they pretended that I bullied them.
All the attention is waaaay cheaper than advertising.

Report them to Facebook? Well, they have fake accounts so there's no point.
Sue them? Yes, that went reeeally well last time. (Big bad Ltd Company sends nasty bully letter, oooh how very dare they!) Facebook uproar in their favour.
Ignore them? Yes, I do try. It's not great for the creative flow, not to mention the black dog. But they won't win and they certainly won't bring me down. They can muster as much support and hatred for me as they like because I still have over a hundred thousand firm supporters and people that genuinely love what I do and love ME and my crazy little corner of Facebook, warts an' all. I still have a wonderful, supportive and loving family and I still have hundreds of orders per day and I contribute to the economy by employing people who like to spend their wages on buying me mugs with swear words on.
So, this post will cause some controversy I guess. It's here for two reasons. The first is to send out a message to people that things are not always what they seem - and to take what they see online with a huge pinch of salt and choose who they support carefully.
It's also to say a big FUCK YOU to the trolls. You won't win and I feel sorry for you that you feel that you have to do this. Your life must be seriously lacking to carry around so much bitterness and jealously for someone that you don't even know. Put your efforts into helping people and working hard instead and you may even find you like yourself a little more.
Follow me on Instagram 'paperpanda1' to get a wee insight into my life and "what I'm really like" hee hee, or Facebook (age rated 18+) 'Paper Panda', the one with the big fat blue tick for *success* ;)

I'm off to have a lovely day, cheerio!
P xxx