Not Very Egg Shaped Eggs

My son and I sent out an almost obscene amount of 'gækkebreve' or Easter fools letters - read more here - and the result is not yet quite certain, but we have to be prepared. We may have to cough up with a lot of Easter eggs this year. I like the pretty store bought hollow paper eggs a lot, but they cost almost more than the candy you fill them with, so I came up with these little boxes instead.

They are quickly made, and can contain a pretty generous handful of candies. I have made the print with four pretty spring like patterns, and instead of printing them on white, I played around with different colors I found in the drawer. I printed the boxes on the kind of cheap card stock you can buy everywhere, and that works well in most printers (= hobbykarton, thin cardboard / carton / cardstock: about 200 g).


Palm Sunday and start of daylight saving time

It's Palm Sunday today, and Easter begins. We have a big Easter lunch party today, and we have a ten day holiday before us - not that we will be going away to any exotic locations, we will slave away in our garden, spring clean a bit indoors and air out everything.

The best thing today: Daylight saving time starts, yaay! And most Danes wake up, trying to remember the clever little rule about the garden furniture (it's hard to translate, but it is this little memorizing trick: when spring comes, you move the garden furniture 'forwards', from the garden shed. Just like the clock - see? And in Autumn you move the furniture back. I find it totally smart, before I learned that little trick my mind was always at a loss).

I love palms. I have have yet to visit Los Angeles, but to me, these palm lined boulevards are so iconic. I have seen palms here and there, and the way they silhouette against the sky is so beautiful, and plays so well with all kinds of architecture. The wonderful sensation of picking up fresh coconuts from the sidewalk (as we did in Miami) and fallen leaves as big as yourself. It is just magic, to this Scandinavian, anyway!

Here are some black and white versions (to illustrate the my point about the silhouettes better) of palms in Marrakech (top), Addis Abeba (middle) and Miami. Addis Abeba is actually much more about eucalyptus trees, but the street we stayed in, had these lush gardens behind all kinds of ramshackle fences, and the graceful palms sort of hovered over all the dense greenery. In Marrakech, as in Miami, palms are just everywhere, and the great thing is when you see the whole, slender trunk. In the image beneath taken in front of the Koutoubia Mosque, they are painted white at the base, so pretty.

Everytime I see this book from Taschen (Taschen always make me wish I had endless book shelves, funds and hours of leisure), I think about getting it. It's a bit pricey, and having an extremely nerdy book of botanical illustrations of palms is not my highest priority, but I will probably end up giving in to it, some day.

The last image is my son running towards a pink sunset on what almost looks like a beach in paradise. It was actually in Key Largo, and not paradise at all, but when you faced the ocean and the little palm grove, it was glorious. 

Here's to longer, sunnier days!


Cheerful little birds

Easter is near, so of course I have a little bit of paper fun for you, to celebrate spring or... just because I can?

Last year we made origami bunnies (we even inflated them) and this year I have made you some happy little birdies, perhaps for the Easter table or perhaps to put in a 'gækkebrev', an Easter Fool's Letter - I wrote about those as well, last year.

I had some fun making these sheets that come alive, tweet tweet, when you fold them - these birds start out looking, for instance, like this.....

They are super easy to make, and I have made you  a tutorial as well. I scaled some of them 80% when I printed them, to make them in two sizes. You might try that as well? Or even smaller!


Giant paper flowers by Tiffanie Turner

I often check out the blog This Is Colossal, where you are pretty much guaranteed at least one blog post (you tend to click about in interesting old posts and loose all track of time) about something that makes you drop your jaw in wonder or go "Oh, this is the loveliest thing I ever saw!" In that last category I think I will put this lady, a San Fransisco based artist, architect and crafty paper magician: Tiffanie Turner. She makes painstakingly precise and real looking but oversized flowers in crêpe paper. It takes her from 30 to 80 hours to complete a single flower, and they are around three feet or one meter in diameter!

She says: "My work in paper stems from my background as an architect, particularly my interest in how things are made and the use of repetitive elements, along with my lifelong obsession with flowers and botanical drawings. The exploration of scale plays heavily into everything I do, and the organized chaos and rhythms in nature make the heads of flowers an excellent case study for me".

I love that there are people out there, doing something like this.

Here is her blog, and here is her website Papel SF.

And I just discovered, on her website, that she makes workshops as well! So if you are anywhere near San Fransisco, you may want to go on an Easter Egg Piñata Workshop on March 21st!
Read about it here....

And her easter eggs are just beautiful, of course!


The Isamu Nogushi Museum in New York

The other day I picked this print up at the frame shop, and I immediately had to dive into my (yet not quite sorted) folder of images from our US-trip last year. See, I bought the print (brilliant red ink on almost transparent washi paper) in a very special place....

On a sunny day in June, I left my family to their own devices, and hopped on the subway to go visit a place in my own slow company: The Isamu Nogushi Museum in Long Island City - just a few stops from bustling Manhattan, but an oasis of quiet and beauty. The Japanese-American artist Isamu Nogushi designed the place himself, and it is created as a place where he would sum up his life's work in a small, intimate exhibition building and sculpture garden. There is so much to say about both Nogushi himself, and the exquisite museum space he created - I will lead those curious for more on to these sources:

It landed on my top ten list (I think, actually!) of breathtakingly beautiful architecture, I have had the good fortune to see, here or there. Seen as a whole, because you could not remove one sculpture or pine tree from the garden, or anything. It is perfect. Everything in balance, and warm, welcoming, sensual and approachable in every detail. Just wow.

On the last image you see his characteristic initials, on a stone fountain in the garden. 

The practicalities: Take the yellow N/W subway line and get off at the Broadway stop. It's a nice half hour walk from there, and you may want to check out the Socrates Sculpture Park, or other interesting things in this rather cozy and very down to earth neighborhood.

The museum has a café (and a really nice shop selling - among other things - the lovely Akari lamps) - BUT if you are hungry, I have one really hot tip for you. I had lunch in this diner on my way to the museum, and it was just the best eggplant parmigiana sandwich with an ice cold Coke on the side, I have ever had!

The Bel Aire Diner is on the corner of Broadway and 21st Street. Much recommended!


Leah Jackson - another new Instagram find

Spring feels possible and though days are a bit gloomy around here, I insist on looking at the world through my rainbow colored glasses. Color to me is like vitamins - I mean that very literally - and that's that. I get my daily fix here and there, as I mentioned the other day.

Here is another new Instagram treasure of mine: Australian ceramicist Leah Jackson. She is into that whole Memphis style speckle / dot / confetti patterning I love so much, and which makes such a big comeback these days.

Her website is here - and here at Mr Kitly, you can buy her pretty handmade ceramics.

She does it her way, and it is impossible not to get a bit spring crazy about it all. It is like candy, Easter eggs and the first flowers of the season. Enjoy!