Dividing Your Paper in Equal Parts

This is something my father taught me in Grade 5 and it's such a very useful tip since then!

Sometimes, there are sizes of paper or canvas that we want to divide in equal parts but have difficulty doing so because the measurements of the paper are not divisible by the number of parts we want to get. Example, we want to divide a 4" x 4" paper into 3 parts, but 4" is not divisible by 3. Or 6" into 5 equal parts. Normally we would reach for our calculator and end up with an infinite X.33333333333 as the answer. But there is no .333333333 visible on our rulers. So, I present to you a very simple technique which, I think, is loosely based on the Complementary Angle Theorem in Geometry... but whatever. You are most welcome to correct me if I'm wrong about that. :)

Here we have a 5" x 5" cardstock that I'd like to divide into 3 equal parts. The problem is, 5 isn't divisible by 3.

The nearest number to 5 that is divisible by 3 is 6 and so, I twist my metal ruler so that the 0" mark is on the left edge, and the 6" mark is on the right edge like so:

6" divided by 3 parts is equal to 2" and so I mark my first part at 2" with my trusty No. 2 Mongol pencil

... and the second mark at 4"

Well, assuming your paper is a true square, meaning, the corners are 90 degrees to each other, you may easily use your T-square and draw your first line based on the mark you made. If not a true square, your lines will be askew. Here I'm using a tiny T-square I bought from NBS. It's only Php28.

And draw your second line based on your second mark...

And voila! You have a 5" paper divided into 3 equal parts without your calculator.

If for example you have a 6" paper that you'd like to divide into 5 parts, just twist your ruler and find the number that's divisible by 5. In the inches part of your ruler the nearest would be 10" but if you look at the centimeters part, the nearest to 6" would be 20 cm. By all means, go ahead and use that. It's ok.

So, I hope that helps!

"Oh, The Dread That's My Handwriting!"

It is a common affliction: the dread over one's handwriting on a scrapbook page. Many believe their handwriting are just atrocious, that they don't deserve to be recorded for posterity. I'll tell you what: the less you use it, the more uncomfortable you'd be with it in the long run. So, practice is the only answer.

One of the things I love about old documents are the handwriting of the officials who prepared them. The seeming uniformity of the angle by which the letters lean to; the size and shape of each character; the clever use of either a fountain pen or a ballpoint pen; and of course, I love, love the fluorishes for the capital letters and the final letters of a line or sentence. They are simply beautiful! But you know, if you look at them very closely, they are far from perfect. And that fact makes them one. Granted, they had no choice because there's no computer back then and, therefore, they had more practice with it.

This tip is for those who want to improve their handwriting and have that personal touch on their journals or scrapbooks. This is not really for those who want to be a professional calligrapher, because honestly, I don't know how to teach it.

First tip is to work on the slant of your letters. No matter how weird you think your letters look, if you have a seemingly uniform angle for your words, sentences or paragraphs, they'd look smashingly awesome! A cheat suggestion: instead of just lined paper you use as guidelines at the back of your writing surface, try adding diagonal lines (about 45 degrees) that run from end to end. Or lines perpendicular to your guidelines, however you'd like it to be. Follow that angle when you write and when you get the hang of it, try to write faster. The slower you write, the wobblier your lines are. The faster your strokes are, the better they look.

This won't happen overnight, I'm telling you now. So, if you really want it, try to be patient. Part that makes a beautiful handwriting is the confidence by which you do it and that only comes with constant practice. Like all skills, it requires practice, practice, practice. Remember also, that it is HANDwriting. It doesn't have to be 'perfect' like our computer fonts.

Your handwriting is part of the story you're telling in your journal or scrapbook. I certainly believe that it is a story on its own.

Till next time!

There Was A Time...

... when we called it 'letter transfer' or 'transfer tones' in college. We used them for labels and titles and rendering in mixed media. When I got into papercrafting full time and was exposed to scrapbooking and cardmaking products, I learned that they call it rub-ons and they have lots of designs too! And transfer tones now refer to transferring ring tones from computer or mobile to another mobile phone! How things change. :)

I bet, those letter transfers at National Bookstore and SM Stationery are sorely neglected because I can see them stacked and rubber banded and shoved up the corner shelves. I hope some of you notice them when you go visit.

Martial Law... Again?

I know I said that this blog is all about papercrafting but I thought this is too important an information not to be disseminated: Ex-envoy to US confirms military rule plan.

We cannot go there. We should not allow ourselves to go there again.

Christmas Craft Party

It's the middle of the year and it's time to prepare papercrafts for my Christmas Craft Party. Last year had been successful and this year, I'm ticking off boxes of products to be made available to sell. I'm not even half-way through but I'm trying to experiment about some projects.

There is no specific date yet but it will be sometime in November 2009. It will be fun! :)

Thank You, President Cory

President Corazon C. Aquino
(25 January 1933 - 1 August 2009)


Seems like not long ago when I met her.

(The video is a Studio23 tribute)

We offer customized handmade papercraft products such as greeting cards, scrapbook albums, mini-albums, blank journals, calligraphy work, boxes, scrapbooking services and other papercrafts.

Ms. Ilyn is a licensed architect who decided that teaching arts and crafts, or making them, is way more fulfilling than dealing with contract documents, estimates and technical specifications. She taught Architectural Drafting and Painting to High School Students for five years, and Arts for Pre-K to Grade 3 Pupils for three years.

Please email us at: info.paperbasket@gmail.com