Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mario is Timeless

The problem with making cards is that regardless of when I make them, I can only post them on my blog after I have given them away or else, my intended recipients might stumble across my posting and the surprise would be ruined.

This one was made way back in January on a card-making date with one of my crafting friends. One of my young cousins just turned sixteen this month. SIXTEEN! It boggles the mind. I was stumped at first with what to put on his card. I thought about the popular moustache theme which has been cropping up on a lot of projects online lately but I must admit, I was not all that into the idea. I knew he liked video games but it had been so long since I had seriously played that I was not sure what was popular nowadays.

That is why I decided to fall back on the classics. Mario is timeless and a child at any age knows what a super mushroom is and does. (And if he/she does not then there is something clearly lacking in his/her education.)

Originally, I was going to write 'Grow up!' on the front.

I thought about stamping the words on the inside but handwriting it made it more personal. 

Note: I have no idea why each picture has gotten successively darker and I don't know how to fix it. The pictures were not that dark prior to uploading.

Dimensions: 19 x 14 cm
Materials: White cardstock, red cardstock, beige cardstock, black cardstock, printer paper
Tools: Scissors, utility knife, gluestick, Sharpies, thin point black marker, stamps
Time to Make: 2-3 hours [Clearly, I will never make a living out of making cards because I work too slowly! : ) ]

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Of Cousins and Crafting

Yesterday was Good Friday and so the family gathered together for dinner like we usually do for most long weekends. My cousins and I were happily raiding my aunt’s craft supplies and were all fired up to make kusudama flowers (because we figured that we actually stood a chance of finishing this craft in an evening) but to our dismay, we discovered that there wasn’t any glue. We were undaunted in our resolve to make paper crafts so we settled on doing origami.

Sadly, my efforts turned out terrible (I attempted a Kawasaki rose and a Lotus flower. Both ended up ripping) and are not worth posting. My cousins, however, came away with far more successful creations. I tried to get them to say something about their work and this was all I got:

"I like it! I would make a bouquet..." (Note: She didn't sound very convincing.)
"It all started with the box...I didn't understand was very hard to make. After I got help from my cousin, then I started to get it."
"After I finished the box, I made a button hole flower like my other cousin did."
 Clearly, I need to work on my interviewing skills - these were very reluctantly made statements.

The mini-grand piano at my aunt's house served as a refreshingly different background for my photos. I am starting to get a little tired of my desk being the setting of my photos. I am going to have to get more creative.

Speaking of crafts and cousins, I am reminded of the half-finished, enormous 3D origami chicken that is languishing in my basement. It looks more like a strange yellow bowl at the moment but I think we need to gather the troops in the future and finish that chicken off. Coming…well, I want to say ‘soon’ but it would probably be safer to say ‘eventually’… J

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Teeny Tiny Turtle Take Two

I had a hard time deciding, but I have settled on this being his best side. 
This is the second-in-command of my turtle army with which I have been planning to take over the world ;). (Amassing this army is a little slow going these days.) I like the colour of his shell better than his brother’s but I must admit, I do not find his face as cute. Side by side though, the two are thumb-sized figures of adorable sparkly-ness!

Turtle Butt :P

Somehow, he just looks more menacing than his brother. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Airforce R

Ready for take off, Commander!
The R is for Recycled. I was helping my brother clean out his mess of a room and ended up unearthening stacks of slightly crumpled memo paper. I was not sure what to do with them at first (I prefer using stickies for my memos or writing them in my agenda) but their square shape made me think of origami. I stuffed a few in my pocket and spent a car ride folding a dozen or so paper cranes.

This is my preferred style of paper crane. It even flaps!

A more formal, dignified style. I find it a little stiff though.

My work place was doing a “Week of Warmth” where they were encouraging us to leave little uplifting notes for our co-workers on a bulletin board. I just tacked one of these beside everyone’s name. I hope they enjoyed them. J

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Origami Puffy Hearts

In February, I was hunting around for some Valentine-related crafts. I have out grown the age of giving cards to all my classmates (which are now my co-workers), and I was not throwing a party so my choice of crafts outside of those categories was limited. I had seen these cute puffy hearts being sold on Etsy before and so I finally decided to look up how to make them.

They are very easy – I would say, even easier to make than origami stars. However, their disadvantage is that they require scissors to give them their final shape. Origami stars still take the prize for being my preferred go-to craft for when I am watching a movie or sitting during long car rides.

However, if you want to make puffy hearts too, here is how to do it:

I started off with a strip of regular printer paper measuring 2 x 10 cm.

Fold up one corner to the edge of the paper to create a triangle on one end of the strip.

Fold the triangle over along the strip. Keep your folds crisp and tight.

Fold that paper triangle down towards the edge.

Continue folding the paper triangle along the strip until you reach the end.

If you keep the paper tight as it is folded around this paper triangle then the final step will be easier. 

Continue folding.

Stop when you have about 1.5 cm of the paper strip left. 

If you have been folding the strip as it is oriented in the picture, then take the top right hand corner of the free hanging strip and fold it down.

Tuck the end of the strip into the paper triangle.

A completely folded triangle with the end tucked in looks like this.
Round off the two corners along the longest edge of the triangle with a pair of scissors. 

Apply pressure to the centre of the long edge of the triangle and voila! It will puff into a heart. It may take a few tries to get a heart to puffy up properly but don't give up!

And that is my very basic, first tutorial on anything. Because the hearts have holes where the corners are cut off, it would be very easy to string them into a garland and hang them. 

Happy folding!