First Advent Sunday - so let's do some more origami!

These are my new favorites to make, just my kind of origami: they are easy, they don't require a lot of thinking - and after a while the hands just seem to make them, while the mind wanders. Nice. I also like that they have that locking element; you make them from three sheets that you fold in the most basic way, but intermingled they just form a perfectly strong box like shape. 

Go try for yourself. I made you a wordless tutorial here, because this is reeeeally simple. Only be aware that the last element of the three is fiddly to get in place, but that's just the fun of it. Wiggle, wiggle. You'll get it with a bit of practise. Use really thin paper, and not too coarse. It needs to be a bit smooth, the paper for this design. I made these pagoda like hanging ornaments, but they also look fine just one by one, as in the last image. Use any paper you like, but if you like my designs, I've made two PDFs with them:

Three sizes origami squares / pop patterns
Three sizes origami squares / japanese patterns


Ruth Asawa

Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) is one of those artists I had never heard of, until I randomly stumbled upon an image somewhere - only to discover that she is a very important American artist, who had an amazing life, made some stunning art and was a tireless activist for education, especially children's arts education. She left quite a legacy in her native California, and in several other places. Perhaps some of my readers have missed out on her, like myself, so here she is - surrounded by some of her signature metal wire sculpture.

She was born in California by Japanese immigrant parents, and was interned during the US/Japanese conflict in World War II, and was subject to much sad racism in her own country - for instance she had to leave teacher college without an actual degree, because no one would hire her for the needed internship. Later she went to art school, and studied under the Bauhaus legend Josef Albers, who inspired her to experiment with commonplace materials. And her one of favorite materials ended up being wire.

I've read somewhere, that her crocheted/woven three dimensional metal sculptures comes from childhood memories of studying insect's wings - and from a later meeting with some basket weavers on a vacation in Mexico, who taught her the particular technique. 

Just see how beautiful they are..... Like pods, fruits, clouds - primitive, in some way. And yet so sophisticated and cool, so very mid century modern. And they look so light! But imagine what they must weigh - and imagine the work involved in making them, and the sheer physical strength she must have had! 

A few more photos of her wire work: a portrait of her from 1952 by Imogen Cunningham and underneath that, her studio with masses of suspended sculptures - and last an installation of hanging pieces, very well lit, so the shadows become an integral part of the work.

Almost as famous as for her artistic work, she was for her many projects with children. 
A most amazing collaboration with children, is the work she did on the San Fransisco Fountain, a massive bronze thing, depicting the history of San Fransisco in bas-relief - mostly based on children's work in play dough, done by kids in her school groups, among those, her own six children. 

There are so many great stories about her, too many for a little blog post like this - but if you feel curious, study a bit more, for instance here, on the official Ruth Asawa website

Last pics: Ruth Asawa working, surrounded by her kids - and the last one is from 1975, from one of her many sculpture workshops with children.


A cosy origami project for a dark afternoon

I find origami a little bit addictive. I can forget about it for months and then I sort of fall off the wagon again. And then I sometimes can't stop. It's not that I ever do very complicated origami, I dont have patience for that. I usually like to do one type at a time, and then I just can't seem to stop....! As you know, I like making my own paper designs. Not that I don't love traditional origami paper, but sometimes the colors overwhelm me. So I make sheets of more tone-in-tone patterns, many of which you can see here (with links!).

Here is a little thing I made, which I decided I liked best in my own black/white graphic patterns.

The cheap LED string lights you can buy everywhere this time of year are great for paper projects, because the bulbs don't get hot. So I dressed up this one, in one of my favorite little origami-designs: small perfect square cubes, or as they are sometimes called; origami balloons. 

They are so well suited for the purpose, because they have a natural opening, that the little LED bulb easily slides into. A super smart thing is to wrap a small rubber band around the bulb before inserting it, this will keep the paper cube quite firmly in place. I used some of those mini rubber bands kids make bracelets from: loom bands. They worked perfectly.

I like my version in the black/white patterns. And I also made them from smaller squares than the most common size origami paper, because I wanted the cubes quite small. And If you want to give it a go, I made these squares into a PDF. Just print a bundle, cut them and get going. Use thin, cheap paper (80 gr. is nice for origami) and a ruler and a sharp knife when you make your paper squares. 

They are lovely to make, almost meditative. It took me about two hours to make the fifty ones I used for this string of cosy November lights.

A sort of relaxed prequel to actual Christmas decorations, I think!

Download the 12 x 12 cm. black/white origami squares right here.


Are you making an Advent Calendar?

Because if you are, you might want to get one of my lovely 24 days Advent calendar gift wrap paper kits - available for 17 Euro plus a bit of shipping in the heart heart shop, and still in time to ship internationally to most places before December 1st!
Go have yourself a colorful December...


More calendar fun

Being in the Advent Calendar Business, I felt I had to do a little instagram tour of what other calendar crazed people are up to - and I found a couple of fun ones! 

This first one, the charm bracelet (I suppose you get a new charm every day?), is just brilliant - and very doable as a kind of DIY project, as it seems to be sold out from the shop? Anyway, it's too cute, and maybe they get fresh supplies, who knows. It's from here: Meri Meri.

Then I found two versions of boxes, which is a nice thing in itself. Hard to fit everything into a box, though, but maybe you give itty bitty calendar gifts? Then they are great.

The first ones are from German Snug Studio, I like the way you can make interesting patterns with them. Very tasteful.

Also into boxes, but these are graphic and black/white is Katrina Bohan. She has a whole Pinterest board of her free printables, many Christmassy things among them.

Last, but not least, because these made me smile, are the clothespin wreaths for candies. They were concieved by the etsy shop 'Colourful Gifts'

And check out the great looking styling of twentyfour boring, brown paper bags by Barcelona instagrammer Imma Salmeron. So festive! Feliz Navidad to that one, I say. It doesn't have to be complicated.


24 Days Advent calendar gift wrap / shop update

After some very busy weeks, I finally landed in November pre-Christmas mode, got my 24 Days Advent gift wrap and Tictail shop ready, and are now open for business!

Check out the whole concept here in the heartheart shop - a few teasers are seen above!

Big PS: In true Christmas spirit I knocked a few euros off the original price, since I realized I had miscalculated my packaging and shipping costs a bit, so go get them!


24 Days Advent calendar gift wrap now available in the shop!

Wow - The shop is now open, and you can buy my new and improved 24 Days Advent calendar gift wrap and have it delivered at your doorstep!

No more mucking about with the inkjet printer (and emptying a full set of ink cartridges), and these babies are laser printed and therefore the colors really pop and look great. The color palette is more or less the same as last time (this is not random - this red / grey / electric blue / pink combo is very dear to me, and says festive and Christmas and happy. And that kind of thing.) - but most of the patterns are new, and the sheets are A3. 

Please go to the shop and order now - in time to get the calendar done by December first! I very gladly ship Worldwide, but of course, if you live in Brazil or Australia, the shipping takes some time.
I will process all orders promptly, from day to day, if at all possible.


Busy and not at all scary Halloween yesterday...

These very Yayoi Kusama inspired pumpkins, colored by my son, ended up being the most interesting Halloween project made by anyone around here - and they are rather gorgeous, I think!

We did no dressing up or decorating the house this year, but we were actually visited by an unprecedented amount of trick-or-treaters, because that has become quite the thing here in Denmark, and we ended up having not a scrap of candy left!

I have been very busy setting up my small shop and getting ready to sell my freshly printed and beautifully wrapped 24 days Advent Calendar Paper - and the webshop will open sometime late tonight, and I will be keeping you posted about that, obviously!