Golden Stars for a New Year

I made some golden stars for our New Year's Eve dinner table, and I made them from a scrap of very shiny, golden gift wrap that I had left. Thin, pliable gift wrap is just perfect for such zig zag folded stars, and if you follow my tutorial, I promise you, you can make a glamorous looking centerpiece like this (I made six large stars) in an hour or so. 

With these golden stars I wish you a truly happy new year, and thank you so much for visiting my blog. May peace and health be with you, may your boat sail on not too rocky seas.

And may stars twinkle for you and the ones you love!
Let's make it a fantastic 2017. 


THAT window - because it's a tradition!

So, there it is, same as every year - and always something new.
I love it! Such a great tradition. Read more here!


A Christmas card: Snowflakes in New York

Dear readers! I wish you some happy holidays, however you celebrate them and whereever you celebrate them - here it will be done by winding very much down after some busy weeks, no months, for my little family, where work has taken most of our energy. Also some of the energy I usually put into my Christmas DIY postings, I'm afraid - but I hope you have enjoyed the couple I did manage - I have already gotten some very sweet feedback, and that really makes me glad! 

Here is a Christmas card, of sorts. This little story has been on my mind, since I saw a mention somewhere, many many months ago, but it was a winter story - so I forgot about it. And randomly got reminded again via Instagram, the other day! So here goes... 

Everybody knows the iconic Flatiron Building in New York - but you probably have to be around it, at street level, so to speak, to know about the activities in the small glass pavillion (the so-called 'prow') at the bottom. For some time, a local gallery - the Cheryl McGinnis Gallery, has curated art shows in this small glassed-in space. Always colorful, poetic, spectacular and eye catching stuff, it seems. I discovered this via This is Colossal, a rather cool visual arts blog. 

In February 2016, a young New York paper artist, Chelsea Hrynick Browne, made the most fantastic installation of literally thousands of small kirigami papercut snowflakes, suspended on lengths of nylon string - to make the space look like a rainbow colored blizzard was happening. 

Here it is, in an actual blizzard - photographed by Michele Palazzo (more photo credits at the end).

I do have a soft spot for anyone who gets so obsessive with their scissors, as you may know. Check some of my other posts tagged paper artist!

I also love snowflakes in windows (discover some of my earlier mentions here!)

Chelsea Hrynick Browne is interested in mathematics, patterns and repetitions - and I can't imagine how long it takes her to complete a task like this. All the snowflakes you see, are double layered (apparently laminated in some kind of thin, shimmery film), and very detailed. They are all cut by hand, by her.

Here she is, at work, hanging the installation - and a couple of images from her Instagram shows some more detail of how her square motifs typically look.  

Photos: Street evening photos from: untappedcities.com.
Portrait and details from Chelsea Hrynick Brown's Instagram
Detail of flake hanging in window from: fibonaccisusan.com

Just for fun, I'll wrap up this post with a nice old photo: the Flatiron Building with it's distinctive prow, just seen at street level, at the 'point' af the building - looking probably much as it does today. 


Two in One origami Stars

I made you another little Christmas project. This year the paper DIY projects won't be as many as the other years (I'm busy with work deadlines etc.) - but I think that these clever origami stars are more than festive, and hope you will bear over with me!

I tried making these stars for the first time, not so long ago, and just liked how they have an outside and an inside - and decided to play around with that a bit. So I made these special papers, where the pattern is divided on the diagonal (see photo further below), so you can make two very different stars, from the same design. 

It is all explained in the tutorial I made - you can get that right here.

The stars you see here are made from the papers I made, and in some of them I have just mixed the different designs up. You do your own versions - download the papers right here! 

The patterns look like this, and you will probably get the idea of how they work as insides / outsides, when looking at the pictures!

Hope you like them, and have some fun with them.


Jens Risom 1916 - 2016

I just learned that the distinguished Danish furniture designer, Jens Risom, died peacefully in his Connecticut home, aged a 100 years. 

He was truly one of the giants, and instead of a long text by me, go study the wikipedia article here.

To honor his memory, I will post some images from a stunning article Dwell made in 2012, about his modest Rhode Island summer house.

This house is really a gem - and it is something else as well: it is so incredibly Danish. Let's bear in mind that Jens Risom lived in the United States almost all his life, and is - by the way - much more acclaimed and well known in the USA. But this house shows just how deeply rooted he was in Danish design tradition and the whole Scandinavian mindset.

The house was built in 1967 from cheap prefab modules he found in a mail order catalogue, and was so ingeniously and beautifully carried out, that LIFE magazine dedicated a whole photo article to this crazy cheap house, built by the rich and famous furniture architect.

I will let the images speak.
(credits and a few more links at the end) 

All images are from Dwell, except the last one, which is by Tony Loung.

Dwell also did a little film (just five minutes) there, it is directed by Gary Nadeau, and it's just great!
Check it out, here on Vimeo - and imagine how lovely those summers on Block Island must have been. And listen to Jens Risom (aged 97 when they made the film) and his thoughtful words about design and about how to plan a perfect, little no-nonsense house.

Just for fun, I'll add this photo I found, from that LIFE article, back from when the house was new!


Sharp Looking Snowflakes

Here is my second paper project for this Christmas season.

These crisp and sharp looking snowflakes are very 3D and almost architectural - and, as usual, far simpler to make than they look. They are made from six slitted and folded strips of heavy paper or card stock - I had to experiment a bit before they became okay, meaning sturdy and stiff enough to stay in shape.

I made a couple of attempts in regular printing paper, and they got all saggy and floppy. You'll need 200 or 220 gram card stock, the kind you can use in the printer (= hobbykarton). You also need to use a knife and a cutting mat - but that's as complicated as it gets. The rest is super simple. See instructions further down...

I love the intricate three dimensionality of these - and all they really are, are some folded strips of paper and a bit of glue! They look great in a window, where they can twirl around a bit.

Please make sure to print these on heavy paper or card stock, and follow my advice about scoring or tracing the dotted lines in the design, something I often explain and mark out on my templates.

The idea of tracing the folding lines is simple: make a slight dent in the paper, and it will fold easily, in sharp lines and precisely. And taking a minute to trace or score these lines, will really help you in the folding.

Do like this:

Cut out your six strips very precisely, cut the slits as marked, and score / trace the dotted lines a bit - use the tip of a needle or (careful not to cut) use your knife. 

Start working the slits upwards and downwards like shown - a bit like a pop-up-card.

 The six strips should eventually look like this......

As you can see, the snowflake is beginning to happen... 

Glue the bits together, two and two, let them dry for a second, and then finish up, by assembling the three units. 

Punch a hole and hang your festive flake!


Color Explosion (Marrakech part one)

I had a lovely trip to Marrakech last week.

I'm back in business, but with a nasty cold, and a lot of deadlines. While I pull myself together and try to get better, I dream of this crazy, colorful labyrinth of a city. I close my eyes and smell the thé á la menthe, the gasoline fumes, the heavy perfumes and the incense. And I think of the orange blossom crème brûlée, the yummy breakfast pancakes and the tajine de poulet aux figues.

Marrakech is sensory overload in so many ways - most of them nice!
Here is a handful of snapshots (yes, too many. I know. I found it very hard to select a small batch, and hope they might inspire you). 

I'll be back later in the week with a nice Christmas project, so see you then.