A new customer asked me to make a Customised Papercut Picture for her sister's 40th birthday. Her blond-haired sister is Mum to a 15 year old boy and 2 year old twin girls. She loves The Beatles and the radio programme The Archers. She teaches Jewish Studies and likes to leyn (the ritual chanting of readings from the Hebrew Bible in synagogue services) for people who don't know how to. She also knits and makes beaded jewelry.
My customer was careful to give me thorough details of the hair and eye colour of everyone in the family! The birthday girl's husband and son have darker hair, but the girls are all blond and blue-eyed. She wanted the boys in the family to be wearing kippot (skullcaps) and specified that the young man should wear a red one, in favour of Liverpool FC, and that Dad's should be blue for Tottenham Hotspur.
I incorporated all of Rina's hobbies into the picture. There are some pastel coloured balls of wool and a beaded necklace on the right of the picture, whilst a torah scroll and silver yad (a Jewish ritual pointer) represent the Jewish Studies and Bible reading. The Beatles and The Archers logos were each just a few centimetres wide and, yes, I cut each tiny letter by hand! Dedicated or slightly mad? I'm not sure...
Fortunately my eye-straining handiwork was totally worth it because my customer wrote to tell me that her sister loved the picture!