New items in my shop, as I am still crippled

You would think that a bruised littlefinger is not going to stop you going on with your adult, independent life, right? Well, you are wrong. I was wrong.

It is strange, because it’s only a pinkie, such a small, apparently insignificant bodypart. But I had to realise, that since I cannot move it because of the bruises and because I lost most of the skin on it and it is aching and because of the big bandage that by the way also paralyzes my ring finger, I simply cannot hold anything in my right hand. Ok, probably I can hold stuff, but I cannot sew, I cannot crochet, I cannot hold a pair of scissors. I cannot produce anything, and I never thought I was so addicted to these activities…

Ok, lets forget all the luxury of spending my spare time productively and in a creative way: I am struggling in my everyday little things.I cannot perform single tasks such as cutting vegetables, my husband is slicing everything these days, so I can make some dinner. ย I find it hard to brush my hair, to brush my teeth with my left hand, to go to the bathroom, to put on my socks, and I had to ask my husband, to wash my hair, because my finger cannot get in touch with water… such a romantic, bonding experience ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, enough of me complaining. Luckily I can still type and take pictures, so today I decided to spend my time by putting up some craft supplies for sale in my Etsy shop. Do you like wrapping paper? I know you do, so go and check them out ๐Ÿ™‚

 

etsy collage

 

 

New Year, New Plans, and the secret of the Origami Cranes

Life is back to normal. We returned to Denmark, holidays are over, kids are in care again, husband left to Copenhagen for 3 days, snow is falling.

I realised that I haven’t even said hello to 2013 in a proper way, so here it is: Well, hello 2013! I have a lot of plans for this year. I don’t call them resolutions, because they don’t really call for any radical changes to my current lifestyle, but plans, because they need to be done.

First of all, I would like to apply for Danish citizenship, and I plan to get it as well ๐Ÿ™‚ That means an exam, how exciting!

Second of all, This year, and hopefully soon, I will open my own Etsy shop! Yay, hope you guys are excited about it too ๐Ÿ™‚

There are some DIY projects I would like to accomplish this year, like finishing Cherry’s retro circle blanket (almost done, by the way!), and make another blanket for Paddington, plus a huge, XXL size crocheted blanket for our big bed too. Lot of crocheting for this year ๐Ÿ™‚

Furthermore, I am certain that I am going to keep up a (relatively) healthy lifestyle, with good food, a lot of motion, gonna keep a better order at home, and train the dog, you know, the usual stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Now, I also realised that I haven’t posted anything creative lately, well it is not easy while being on a visit and limited computer time, so to fill this gap, I am going to share with you the secret of the origami cranes,ย whetherย you’re interested or not ๐Ÿ™‚

 

the origami crane

 

  • Start with a square sheet of paper

 

steps 1 and 2

 

  • Step 1: Fold it diagonally with the blank side out, bring a corner to its opposite corner. Open up. Repeat it in the other direction. Open up again. Turn it.
  • Step 2: Fold your paper in half, this time the coloured side out, open up and repeat to the other direction. Open up. Now you have a sheet of paper with 4 folding lines in it.

step 3

 

  • Step 3: Using the creases you made, pick up the sheet by holding it by its middle, and bring the two and two of its corners to meet each other. Flatten in out.

step 4 and 5

 

  • Step 4: With the open side pointing downwards, take one of the side corners, and fold the upper triangular flap into the center and unfold. Now do the same to the other side.
  • Step 5: Turn it around, and repeat Step 4 to this side too.

step 6 and 7

 

  • Step 6: Now take the uppermost corner, and fold down a little triangle to one side to create a crease, unfold it, turn it around and repeat to the other side as well.
  • Step 7: Unfold the flaps you created in steps 4 and 5. Lift the upper flap and carefully open your model up while pressing the sides inwards at the same time. Flat it out along the creases.

step 8

 

  • Step 8: Turn it around and repeat step 7 to the other side.

step 9 and 10

  • Step 9: Fold top flats into the center, both left and right side.
  • Step 10: Turn it around and repeat step 9.

step 11 and 12

 

  • Step 11: Take of leg of the model, open its upper flap up, then reverse fold the leg upwards.ย 
  • Step 12: Repeat step 11 to the other leg.

step 13 and 14

 

  • Step 13: Take the wings, and fold them downwards, making a crease.
  • Step 14: It is time to decide, which “leg” is going to be the crane’s head, and which one is going to be its tail. Hold the top of the head, and invert fold a part of it downwards. Now gently pull the crane sidewards by holding its wings, to flatten its back a little bit. And ta-daaam, we’re done ๐Ÿ™‚

 

And another garland…

After I was done with the little heart garland, I still felt, that our living room was too simple and white and empty, even for a Scandinavian living room ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, obviously, after a good play from the kids’ side, the living room is far from empty and white and boring, being covered with different toys, buckets, children books, remote controls, pieces of papers, pillows, blankets, sticks that the dog dragged in from the garden, crumbles and orange peels… But that’s just not the style I had in mind.

Anyway, I decided to make another garland, this time a huuuuuge one, to kind of create a frame for the wall behind the couch. So I took some paper scraps I always have, and started to cut out circles of them, while watching TV in the evening.

And I was cutting, and cutting, and cutting and cutting and cutting…

 

Until I ended up with a sore right hand, and a tray full of colourful circles.

Then (the day after) I began to sew them together with simple stitches, short distances in between them. And I was just sewing and sewing and sewing and sewing… and the pile of circles around my sewing machine just kept growing and growing and growing and growing…

Until I ended up with this:

If I measured it correctly (I used my arm length to do so), the result was about 10 meters of circles, impressive ๐Ÿ™‚ Never knew I had so much scraps lying around…

Now all I had to do was to grab a hammer and put a few nails in the wall above the couch. After that I hung up the garland, just to realise that it became a tiny little too long ๐Ÿ™‚ I decided to cut it into two, a bigger and a smaller part, and the shorter garland I hung up above the glass door leading to the sunroom. So actually I ended up with two garlands, yay ๐Ÿ™‚

I heart the heart garland

Since we only moved in to our house, well, let’s see… 4 month ago, there are still many things that are under progress. I am not talking about my family’s ability of making a terrible, stinky mess all over the place in less than four seconds, that part is totally working… Right now I mean that the whole concept of decorating is still evolving, mainly in my head ๐Ÿ™‚ But slowly-slowly, the small ideas are taking physical shape.

Like this easy little heart garland I wanted to make for so long for a door, that is standing in between our living room and the dining room. Watch out, a new tutorial-like post is coming up ๐Ÿ™‚

 

This afternoon I got a very long break from being a Mum, Paddington decided to sleep for almost 4 hours (whooa!), and Cherry was having a little rest, sitting with her Dad in the living room, watching (surprise) My Little Ponies. So after finishing some chores, and before starting to prepare dinner, I decided to make the heart garland at last.

I took out some origami paper, and ended up with ย 7 pieces of 7 different colours. I mainly went with the blueish-greenish colours, but for a pop I decided to include one piece of dark red paper, as a statement ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I folded very simple hearts of them, here is how I did:

(I would like to apologise for the poor quality of the photos – I guess you all know, that good photos require a lot of natural lights, but unfortunately we have just entered this few months of the year, when natural light is going to be a very rare guest in the Scandinavian countries)

The Origami Hearts:

Step 1: Fold your paper of choice in half twice, to make creases along the diagonals, then fold back

 

Step 2: First fold the upper corner to meet the center. Then fold the bottom corner to meet the top.

 

Step 3: Fold both sides into the middle, to meet the center line (Hey, it almost looks like a heart already ๐Ÿ™‚ )

 

Step 4: Turn your heart around, then fold in the little corners on the sides and on the top.

Step 5: Turn back around and you will find love ๐Ÿ™‚ See? I told you it was going to be easy ๐Ÿ™‚

Now I had a bunch of pretty paper hearts in front of me, it was time to make a garland out of them

The Garland:

I placed the hearts next to my sewing machine (well,you don’t really need a sewing machine, you can sew them together with hand) in the order I wanted them to hang, from top to bottom. You might have realised, that this kind of heart is tricky, because it opens up easily in the middle. So instead of just sewing them with simple stitches, I decided to zigzag them along the openings, to make them a little bit more, well, stable. As you can see, the little hearts turned out to be a little bit Frankensteinish this way ๐Ÿ™‚ Or, as if they had been broken, then mended, bless them ๐Ÿ™‚

So starting with the uppermost heart, I zigzagged along it, then pulled the thread still connected to its bottom for about 10 cms before I started to sew on the next heart. I tried to keep an approximately even distance in between the hearts.

Voila, about 15 minutes after I started to fold the first heart, I had a garland in my hands ๐Ÿ™‚ I just needed to hang it on the door, and secure it with some tape.

Cherry said: “Look, mummy! Ohhh, how pretty…” ๐Ÿ™‚ She is my best critic ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

The Paper Crane Mobiles

I have an addiction. I fold origami cranes…

 

Actually, now, that I am a mother of two, being responsible for a whole household (can you imagine?), not having much time to just sit around, doing nothing, this addiction has faded a little. But years ago, especially when I studied at different business schools, it was at its peak.

Generally I am not very good at origami. I can fold the simple things, boats, hearts, birds etc easily, but don’t expect me to present you with the paper edition of Neuschwanstein Castle, for instance. It will never happen.

However, I learned how to fold the cranes at 6th grade, from one of my dearest teachers (who happened to be a very good friend of my Mum -who, by the way was, and still is, also a teacher at the very same school). I was fascinated by the fact, that I created something nice with my own hands, and this fascination hasn’t disappeared during the years, I still get genuinely shocked and amazed if I make something that looks good.

Years has passed, and the origami cranes kind of became my “trade mark”. I folded them when I got bored and could get a hold on a piece of paper, I gave them as presents to my friends, left them behind at random places, hoping to bring a little happiness to those, who stumble upon them. I will never forget the 4 years of my bachelor, when sitting atย painful, never-ending, boring exciting seminars and lectures, folding cranes to make time go by a little faster, and then giving them to my best friend, who was drawing hedgehogs, snails and sheep in my notebook at the same time as an exchange ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah, those were the times… (she now works at a ministry, I really hope she is not drawing hedgehogs, snails and sheep publicly anymore…)

So when the time came to make a mobile for my kids, the choice of origami cranes was almost obvious. I didn’t really have a plan for the mobiles, to begin with. I just collected a lot of sheets of papers in my liking, made birds out of them, and let the whole thing evolve by itself. I choose pink-green-yellow dominated papers for my daughter, and blue-red-brown-grey for my son. Folding all these birds took some time, I was mainly working in the evenings, once the children were sleeping, and we were watching movies with my husband.

All these years of folding paper birds, this was the first time that I happened to work with real origami paper. You see, I was a little bitย skeptical, I mean paper is just paper, and even though they look nice, why does origami paper cost so much more than any other paper? Well I realised it very soon: origami paper is just fantastic, it almost folds automatically, all the edges just fall into their places without effort, it is amazing!

Anyway, a few months, two times 45 pieces of origami cranes, about 180 pieces of pearls and pom-poms and a few meters of thread later, I came up with these:

For Cherry’s room:

 

For Paddington’s room:

After I was done with these two, my life (and mainly my evenings) suddenly seemed shallow and empty, so I quickly put together anotherย very small crane bunting as well, just to hang it upย randomlyย in the playing/reading corner.

 

Now, I shared my greatest weakness with you. What is yours?ย 

The printer drawers

For this post I have to get back to last December.

This is when I decided that I was going to attempt to make two of those beautiful, colourful printer drawers for the shared baby room, that are so popular in Denmark, and very expensive. I gathered my inspiration and paper supplies mainly from Papir og Tapet, a little webshop, started by a Danish mother. After that I went to a hobby shop, and bought two of the biggest printer drawers I could find ๐Ÿ™‚ And I was ready to start my very first DIY project, hurray ๐Ÿ™‚

I started by painting the drawers. And again, and again ๐Ÿ™‚ Each of them got 3 layers of plain hobby paint. Since I wanted to make all the decorations for my daughter pink and green, and for my son blue and red, I chose a neon pink colour for hers, and a simple blue for his. I became a little exhausted by all this painting (I was mainly painting during the night, in the kids sleeping time), I took some break from the actual physical work, and turned to planning. I carefully measured the boxes in the drawers. and picked two times 46 custom cut pieces of paperย scraps. That was by far my favourite part, I love picking nice papers ๐Ÿ™‚ For my daughter the dominant colour of the scraps became green, and for my son, red. I also paid attention to details, and tried to collect patterns and motives that are somewhat connected to my kids, like squirrels and birds and Mickey Mouse for her (we used to call her Squirrel when she was a baby, and obviously at that point she was fond of birds and Mickey Mouse Club House), and cars, trains, stars, vikings, soldiers and hamsters for the baby boy (yes, we used to call him Hamster ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

All I had to do now, was to glue those scraps in their destined places, and I was ready, and happy, and very proud of myself, after all, these to babies were my very first ones ๐Ÿ™‚

First they were put up in their temporary places in the apartment we used to rent at that point, each of them above a crib/ baby bed. But now they are hanging happily in their final spots, in our new house ๐Ÿ™‚ I will come with more pictures of them, when I write about the baby rooms, I promise ๐Ÿ™‚