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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

3D Origami Hearts Garland

I made these lovely origami hearts from a video tutorial that doesn't seem to play anymore. I couldn't find any other instructions online for this super great design, so, while I can still remember how to make it, I thought I would put together my very own step-by-step photo tutorial. It's the perfect decor for so many occasions!

Use a square piece of paper, preferably craft paper to give the heart more stability.

Crease it in the middle, without folding it.

Bring both sides to meet the mark made by the previous crease. 

Open it again. You now have three marks: 2 folds and one middle crease.

Bring the sides to meet each opposite line created by the folds. Crease it, don't fold.

When you open it again, if you have 2 well marked folds on each side, and three creased marks in between, then you know you are on the right path.

Fold it closed again. Fold triangles on all 4 corners. 

Then, fold over again, as shown in the picture below.

The next step is the tricky one. We are going to reverse the fold. Open the triangle you made and press it to the inside. Then, use the mark made by the second and small triangle to lock the fold in place. Do the same with the other corner.

For the too of the paper, reverse the fold on the small triangles only.

Next, Fold the origami in half, making the points meet.

This step is a little awkward, but easy. Take each top corner and bring it to meet the point between the bottom tip of the heart and the side, as shown on the picture below.

Next, fold the top corners using the parallel marks as a guide. 

Fold it again.

Reverse the fold and lock it down.

Insert the flaps of one side on the heart into the fold son the other side of the heart.

Press the top of the heart down to finish the heart shape.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kusudama a.k.a. Origami Balloons

I have commented on here before about my somewhat origami-themed wedding, and how we created and handmade a lot of the decoration. Looking back, these are one of my favorite memories from that time, when our family and friends would gather for many evenings of folding papers, sitting together, and talking for hours (and I can't thank them enough for all their love and dedication!). Everything we made looked beautiful, but the biggest hits were these big and colorful origami balloons, which are called Kusudama.

For the party, we hung it from the ceiling using fishing wire. We thought about using ribbons instead, but the transparent wire gave the nice illusion that the balloons were floating in the air. The best thing, though, is that many of my guests asked to keep the balloons after the party, and more than 3 years later I still see it decorating their homes - it makes me so happy! 

We sorted through dozens of designs and online tutorials, and finally settled on two Kusudama styles that were beautiful and intricate, yet easy to fold. It was also important that they scaled well. But honestly, there are so many other fantastic designs, that it came down to just having to make a decision. If you type the word 'kusudama' on YouTube, you will get hundreds of different kinds.

The YouTube video below explains with details how to make the Kusudama Flower. Note that each petal is an origami in itself, and all petals and flowers are joined together with a little bit of glue. It takes 12 full flowers to make the whole Kusudama. For all of our Kusudamas we used regular craft paper.

The following video shows step-by-step how to make the Kusudama Brocade. Each little 'pyramid' is a separate piece, an origami in itself, and they are joined together by inserting flaps into slits - no glue needed. In this design, you can vary the size of the Kusudama either by making bigger or smaller size pieces, or simply by using less pieces. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Folded Passport Case

Traveling is one of my favorite things, and it defines much of my life. My passport, thus, has been an inseparable companion, and now it is dressed-up to fly! For this project, I used a handmade cork stamp (see Bon Vivant Cork Stamps for tutorial) and acrylic paint on a white cotton fabric. Once the paint was completely dry, I stiffened the fabric and left it to dry again. Finally, I folded the fabric using the Fabric Origami Card Holder pattern. The tricky part was to modify the dimensions of the origami pattern to fit the passport. Mine fit nicely with a 21 1/2" X 11 1/2" piece. Also, make sure you stiffen it well to provide it with structure, otherwise add card stock pieces to the inside of the pattern. 

Now go take your personalized passport for an adventure! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cookie Bowls and Ice Cream

I will have Mondays everyday if ends with cookies and ice cream! Even better if I can give this beloved dessert a gourmet look. 

I love perusing in kitchen stores for novelties, and last week at Sur La Table, I saw this cookie bowl pan. My first thought was: cool! My second thought was: I can make this with the muffin pan I already have at home! Because I love seeing all the novelty tools, but I prefer to have just the multi-functional basics. More often than not, there is a way to adapt, be creative with what we already have. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

DYI Surprise Card

I was looking through some old letters yesterday and I happened to find a birthday card that I made for my husband many years ago, when we were still just friends. Alright, he was also already the love of my life, and has been since the day we met, but we weren't so open about it just yet. ; )

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Saint Valentine or Saint Anthony?

Today is "Valentine's" Day in Brazil. Except that it's not related to Saint Valentine, like in most countries, but to Saint Anthony (Santo Antônio), who is considered to be the wedding Saint in that neck of the woods. 

Now, to me the most interesting traditions happen tomorrow, June 13th, which is the actual day of Santo Antônio. Tomorrow, many people in Brazil, religious or not, will take their little statues of the Saint and hang it upside down, or lock it in a dark closet, submerge it under water, or ever steal the baby Jesus from his arms. And Santo Antônio will remain hostage until he finds the kidnapper a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Wicked, I know! And also a little disturbing...but hey, if it helps! LOL.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quilt: Stitching Together a Life for Two

My husband and I had three wedding ceremonies, one in Brazil and two in the United States, two symbolic and one official. The first two were so beautiful that by the time the third one came along, I thought it may not feel as special anymore. But we had Claire, a high school history teacher who had become ordained to perform the wedding of a former student first, and of her niece next. Ours would be her third. Claire listened to our stories, hopes and dreams, sifted through old pictures, and with mastery she created a beautifully unique ceremony. Using 'quilting' as a metaphor for stitching together our new life, she prompted us to do it with care, patience, and originality. This imaginary 'quilt' that we build is one of a kind, tells our story, and will keep us warm and united.