Merry Christmas + Happy New Year

Dearest readers, thank you for following this year's very low budget Christmas festivities on this blog. I do hope that some of the old posts we revisited were new to you, or just forgotten by you, and that some of it was useful.

All that remains is to simply wish you some happy holidays, whether they are about Christmas or something else - and may you have some well deserved rest, peace and quiet with someone that are dear to you.

Alt er love 

PS: I found this wonderful and wild Christmas tree on Pinterest - the photo is by Ellie Chavez.


Flaky Friday

We are not having a white Christmas here, that's for sure (and it is very rare), but this is a way of compensating: complicated looking (but easy to make) end three dimensional paper snowflakes. These are rather large decorations, and they look especially nice in a window, I think - plus they are the kind of pretty things you may want to leave there, even after Christmas. 

They are printed on heavy paper or card stock, and the trick is all about cutting slits and folding the pieces correctly, and these cool paper sculptures are quite simple to make. 

So give them a try - or check out some of the other posts I have done on snowflakes, that are a bit of a thing for me, I guess...


Flat Fun Friday

As you know, I'm very fond of making Fröbel Stars, so much in fact, that I dedicated a lot of hours, trying to describe and demonstrate as many variants as I know, in this post, an absolute go-to spot for Fröbel enthusiasts. 

Because I like making them, I buy lots of those ready made strips, that are so abundantly available in the Christmas season here in Denmark. They come in so many pretty patterns and colors, and I have amassed quite a boxful. 

So, I like to play around with them, and come up with alternative ways of using them. These Flat Weave Stars I originally made in 2013. Back then I made special color/pattern strips for them (you can still download and use those, of course). 

The ones in these photos, I made last night, from some of the different Fröbel strips I had. Because a Fröbel star needs four strips, you eften end up with 'leftovers' in certain designs, and these are just made from a mix of whatever was there.

For each of these you'll need eight half length strips

The tutorial explains the very simple principle, and the easiest way to make them (the folded strips laid out flat on the table and then woven, hence the name). I made them with 2 x 4 strips, but you could make them larger, smaller, or not even square - experiment, and have a happy Advent 3rd!

Update - I made this last one, seen below, and I thought it might be nice to add that image as well.

As you can see, this was made with 2 x 6 strips, and you could make them very large, as long as the number is even, and the strips have a little extra length for maneuvering. They're quite fun to make!


It's Concertina Friday!

Today's blog throwback is all about concertina folding, as I like to call it. Something I like to do, even though it can be a bit fiddly to turn into a flat, round ornament - but with a bit of patience and practise it is super easy. It's perfect for gorgeous flowers and stars, I think, and it doesn't involve a lot of thinking or complicated folding sequences - all you have to do is make a whole lot of really, really sharp and even folds. 

The Solino Stars (top) and the Dip Dye Flowers (middle) are both from 2013. They both include a perfectly finished design to download, which you only have to print, cut and fold. Both blog posts have a few bits of practical advice on the how-to.

The Gold Stars (bottom) post from 2016 is a kind of tutorial in itself, explaining the easiest way to make something like this - tried and perfected by me, and it involves making a little tool for super quick and accurate folding. These gold ones are made from thin, glossy gift wrap, which I find particularly suited for this kind of folding.

Have a lovely weekend, everybody!


Have a Heart on Advent 1st

Let's kick December off (well, almost) with one of the very first designs I made for this blog: The Countdown Heart from 2011, from the original Advent Calendar format, where I posted a new heart every single day in December (all of them woven hearts, as these are a traditional and very old Danish Christmas decoration). I was on maternity leave and had more time for blogging back then!
You can read a bit about weaving hearts here. I also made a simple one page tutorial.

But I wanted to post an origami heart as well, and I found that these (seen on the dark background in the photos), originally made for Valentine's in 2017, are great for Christmas as well. They can be used as gift tags, mini Christmas cards or made into a really cool garland (see photo - they have a natural slit on one side, that you use for the ribbon) - and if you punch a hole for a bit of string, you could decorate your tree with them. 

They are super easy to make, and a fun origami design - note: made not from a square paper, but from a rectangular one. Which is why I did a whole series of measured papers, ready to cut and fold, in a lot of funky red / pink / coral patterns. 

This is what the Countdown Heart looks like (below), before you weave it - and if you have never woven a Christmas heart before, now would be the perfect time to start!



Multi Color Friday

Back in 2014, I made this very large and colorful paper bauble for the blog.

It's a very simple design, a sphere made from twenty circular paper units, each of these folded into a triangular shape (and as usual, to make it as easy as possible, I even made the folding lines for you). 

A really fun and intriguing construction, and one that could easily be made in any kind of slightly sturdy paper, that might take your fancy - but I liked the idea of a patchwork multi-pattern bauble. Now, to un-celebrate the ghastly Black Friday, lets give it a rerun this year!

Here is a link back to the original post from December 2014, with a series of step-by-step images, explaining how to make it (all you need is scissors and glue), and of course, the link to the original design PDF. 

Throwback Christmas project # 1: The Big Patchwork Bauble


Christmas! Not quite as usual, but don't you worry.

My dearest readers and visitors here on heartheartseason - it's been one of those years, where everything has been under investigative consideration...

What could be different? Where am I going? Should I make a big job/career change? Or some other changes? Big things, small things.

The blog has been among these - as you who are familiar with it knows, it's not my day job or anything even close to that.

I do my paper projects at random times, they pop out of nowhere and sometimes they take physical shape immediately, other times they get sort of filed, to be worked on later. I never know when the urge comes over me - and to plan for a Christmas season with a handful of cool projects, is actually a huge job. It's meant to look easy and whimsical, but of course hours of design work, planning and photography - and then uploading and writing - comes before every paper DIY post! This year it just hasn't been possible.

I love doing them, however. I really do! But I have thought about moving the visual part and the community part of this blog over to Instagram (where you can visit my personal feed, and where I love to post about memorable and nice things in my everyday life) - and then simply keeping a kind of library and storage space for the actual DIY-files on some other online platform.

I just don't know? This blog has around five to ten thousand visits per month these days, something I am very honored and proud of, and I can see from statistics that people visit my DIY posts a lot. That makes me SO happy! Would you follow this blog on Instagram? Would the content work there?
Comments are most welcome!

But anyhow, what's that image above got to do with any of that?

Well, a lot of this year has been focused on looking for work, within my professional life: as a graphic designer and overall marketing person. I have been moderately successful and have made a couple of really nice projects, and have even been studying a bit. But a new job is yet to be found. 

In the meantime I have taken a temporary but very full time job in a big local book shop, as a holiday season extra pair of hands. I'm starting tomorrow and I think it's gonna be FUN. It's something completely different, and I need that so much.

And Christmas on the blog?

I promise you this.... Every Friday from late November, I will do an inspirational greatest hits recap of some of the older projects - some of them you will have totally forgotten, or maybe never seen before. I will try to theme them a bit, and hope you will enjoy them. Till then!


Sophie Smallhorn

Earlier this summer, when I took one of my rare strolls down our inner city walking street Strøget, a shop window really made me stop. Now, it was in a shop I usually check out, but this was different!

It turned out to be this really cool creative collaboration between British artist and visual concept maker, Sophie Smallhorn, and the Swedish fashion brand COS

In flagship COS stores in Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Seoul, London and Los Angeles, Sophie Smallhorn made site specific window displays with these stacked, geometric color forms - basically taking up a lot of window space and thus upstaging the clothes completely, but with such wow effect, that it had the exact opposite effect.

If you know a bit about COS's particular kind of colorful minimalism, the windows worked like an abstract depiction of the brand DNA. So brilliant and so beautiful.

Above, the shops in Copenhagen, Seoul, London and Honkong (couldn't find the L.A. one).

These displays are based on a series of small and quite delicate wall hung acrylic and aluminium sculptures - a theme she has worked on for a number of years - only in an enlarged version.

Her graphic and sleek style just makes me jump with joy, see much more of her work here, and she proves to me yet again, that playfulness and orderliness are not necessarily adversaries!

Here are a couple of examples of her 'Components' sculptures:

And here's a nice little story to end this post with....

I snapped a picture of the Danish window and posted it on Instagram. I saw a suggested hashtag in the window (check it out: #cosxsophiesmallhorn), and used it, to properly credit this fine work.

I actually didn't notice, or only vaguely so, anyway, that I entered a competition - and only found out, when COS contacted me, and told me I had won two Sophie Smallhorn prints!

Yayeee!! I am picking them up next week, and they look like this. Lucky me, don't you think?
Maybe I should start buying lottery tickets?


Blog is back in business again, and it's M-Day!

Oh, Madonna. Lady Madonna. Happy birthday! Sixty today, and still able to cause a stir, make some serious noise and fill the dancefloor. Unapologetic, controversial and fearlessly fashionable, from the day she was born I imagine, and such an inspiration for my generation. 

From the moment I first laid eyes on her, sometime around Like a Virgin (an album I purchased immediately on it's DK release in 1884), I was smitten. And I still am.

The photo above, is taken by Richard Corman in 1983, just six weeks before her first album was released, and her almost immediate stardom was a fact. And no wonder, huh? It just shows.
Read about his work with a 24 year old, yet quite unknown Madonna, right here.

Here are a couple more of his great, great shots!

I loved that early phase of ruthless accessorizing, and her first, bouncy Jellybean ('Holiday' is, and will always be, one of my favourite Madonna tunes) and Nile Rogers produced hits. 

But she has remained a personal star and inspiration, because no matter what crazy, surprising turns her musical and personal style have taken, she has practically always felt just right and like exactly the thing you needed! How does she do it? And I say practically, because some of her work has been more marginal - but that has never been a problem for an artist who has the guts to experiment and develop. 

But there is consistency, oh yes! Because of course that gypsy/punk princess of the Richard Corman photos could be a film noir fetish godess. Or a geisha. Or a cowgirl.

The circa 1990 Blonde Ambition phase, the razor sharp looking Gaultier / Dolce & Gabbana clad superstar, was another highlight for me. If you haven't seen In Bed with Madonna, you should!

Vogue will make me dance anytime, anywhere (and I will still try to do voguey arm gestures, and be crappy at it), and the video is breathtakingly cool. I literally get goosebumps, every time I hear that opening chord. Just did, again. 

I could go on. But I won't.
Listen to your own Madonna Playlist today, celebrate a feisty woman who continues to grow and go new places, and is wonderfully age defying, when it comes to dress, style and propriety. 

I will end with a couple of some of my later favourite looks - connecting to my favourite Madonna title track: Ray of Light and my perhaps favourite-as-a-whole album: Music. Meet the healthy yogi with a suntan (!) from 1998 (photo by Mario Testino), and the folksy rhinestone cowgirl from 2000 (photo by Jean Baptiste Mondino)....

Ray of Light - a song that caused one of my worst running accidents, because I just can't keep my energy under control when I listen to that track. I simply flew along to it on an icy park road, onto which I fell, as long as I was - with smashed eyewear and much facial bloodiness as a result.

"Quicker than a ray of light I'm flying..." - and on my face and ass I landed.

From the brilliant Music: Listen to: Don't Tell Me or Amazing


Spring explosion and April recap

Exactly a month ago, we had the last snowfall this spring (I very much assume) after a very, very cold and snowy March. And then everything just exploded! We have had a historically summery April, and have had lots of fun, and been very busy.

But wow, is everything splendid, right now....

These first two images are exactly one month apart: the first snowdrops from our garden - and a glorious cherry tree I passed somewhere, yesterday.

The month went by in such a rush, starting with Easter, of course. 

We did a lot of those things we always enjoy: had several days off, went to lunch-parties and sent out a lot of Easter Fools Letters, or Riddle Letters, and even got a few. The fabulous green egg-shaped vintage vase below, was a prize for a such a letter, given to me, by my dear midcentury-modern aficionado friend. Lucky me!

We even went to Berlin for a couple of very eventful days!

We went to Berlin for two very specific reasons (if you ask me): First we did a little run in the sun (it was seriously hot) - and to celebrate that, we had my very special favorite Shiso Burger with fresh, minty apple-lemonade and lots of fries.

In Berlin it felt like actual summer, and had only done so for a few days when we arrived. But the evenings were already warm, and everywhere people were out and about....

Later on we celebrated the race just a little bit more at the cosy Mikkeller Bar in Torstrasse.  

And I have to show you the view from the hotel roof terrace (and sorry for that extremely poor cropping of the TV tower)!

The legs are feeling rested now, and we spend most of our time trying to get our garden + small summer residence in some kind of working order. On a personal, professional level, I am very busy looking for new jobs and projects at the moment, and blogging is going into summer slow mode. 

My son gets in the last word (as usual) in this what-ever-became-of-the-last-many-weeks post. He is presently very interested in mixing sticky and oddly non-related substances together, in order to make play slime - which is the thing, right now. At least hereabouts....

Good thing they can do it outside, now. It does get kind of messy, I can tell you.


Pleated Easter Eggs

Pleating is not origami, but another great way to manipulate paper into strong three dimensional objects, and this year's Easter DIY project, is fun to try, if you have never tried pleating before. 

There is only one horizontal pleating line in this design - and I have made it super easy for you, because all the necessary lines are clearly marked on the design.

I made six different designs for these easter egg like little lanterns, and I have made some variations to them, by pleating along different lines, and turning them some of them - so some are egg like, others more hot air balloon like, if you see what I mean. 

I also made you a little tutorial, with some photos showing the process and a few bits of advice. Pleating is hard to explain, it has to be tried and experienced - and then it becomes easy!

I went a bit color crazy - I long for spring and warmth and sun - and these are a bit more circus and carnival than traditional Easter decorations, but perhaps you feel the same?

Have a colorful Easter, and happy folding and pleating!


Palm frond weaving - an Easter tradition

This morning we woke up to another snowy day in Copenhagen! Easter starts this Sunday, and we are all more or less desperate for some real spring. So let's enjoy ourselves a moment with a lovely Easter tradition from some of the sunnier places in the world (such places where palm trees grow).

Making beautiful woven ornaments from palm fronds or leaves, is an Easter tradition for Palm Sunday (the day commemorating the triumphant return of Jesus into Bethlehem, where all his followers would wave palm leaves and greet him as a king). 

I have been curious about this tradition for a long time, having seen it on Pinterest and other places where folk art, DIY or crafts are shared - lovely and intricately woven crosses, flowers, crowns or animals - many Christian symbols, of course, but also poles or flower like pieces, like the palaspas above, from the Philippines, where the tradition is very strong. The palaspas are carried in great Easter processions, and sometimes also adorned with straw flowers.

There seem to be almost no limit to the many pattern variations and techniques - and the tradition exists in most of Latin America, in many catholic churches in USA and is also widespread in Italy.

In Florida and other places in the Southern USA, I have seen street vendors making quite non-religious sun hats, roses, grasshoppers and other pretty little things, so of course the material and the techniques are used for all kinds of things.

I find all these simple and so beautiful weavings very inspiring, and would love to try and have a go at it, if I can find some strong enough grass like plant in Denmark, that would do. LOTS of tutorial videos on YouTube, just search for 'easter', 'palm weaving', 'palaspas' and you'll find them. 

And to my joy, I discovered that it is also big in Ethiopia, a country that holds a special place in my heart (our son was born there), where the orthodox Christian community has a big Easter feast called Hosanna, where they give each other home made palm leaf rings - called Hosanna-rings! Aren't they great? The technique used here, reminds me of these paper necklaces.

Image credits, from top:

Palm Sunday in Mexico, Pinterest
Philippine 'palaspas' by Elmer Nocheseda
Domingo de Ramos palaspas from the Philippines, by Mike Alda
More Philippines: flower palaspas, and procession outside church, both Pinterest
Details both by unknown protographers, but the wreath is by Cecilia Woodrome
Hosanna rings and Ethiopian Hosanna procession, also found on Pinterest