You should definitely heart someone

Tomorrow it's Valentine's Day, and I think we should absolutely spread some love around.
The world needs it.

Last year I showed you how to make Japanese folding letters for Valentine, menko and tato, and made you a hidden heart origami letter. and this year I thought these might be fun....

They take five minutes to fold, and are made from a regular A4 sheet, so you don't even need to worry about square origami paper! I made you a PDF with a lot of red/pink patterns, and scaled the A4 dimensions a bit, to work around those unprinted edges all printed sheets must have. Just grab your scissors and cut away that edge.

Write a nice message to someone you think needs a bit of love, and fold it like this. Or use them for parties, wedding invitations or Christmas ornaments. I made a whole bundle, as you can see, and they ended up as a garland. They are actually very well suited for garlands, the construction has a natural  slit to pull the string through, you'll see for yourself when you try.

Wanna see my garland? 


Inspiration: giant mobiles by Xavier Veilhan

Xavier Veilhan is a French sculptor / installation artist, who does these massive mobiles - among many other things. The mobiles are the part of his work I really like, they are fantastic. He doesn't stray much from his style: they are always done with very simple elements: spheres, sticks and sometimes round discs.

Sometimes they hang from a contraption, that becomes part of the work (the one above is particularly great, I think), and at other times they hang from the ceiling. What makes them intricate and really impressive, is the sheer scale of them, they are huge! Wow.

All images here are from his own very informative website - which you can check out here.
This year he will be representing France at the Venice Biennale.

And now: the mobiles! Or a small handful of them, anyway.


Inspiration: paper and acrylic artwork by Klaus Staudt

It's great when you just stumble upon something at just the exact right moment, so that it sets off a whole stream of ideas, that lead to other ideas, that lead to other ideas...! You know what I mean.

Yesterday I was browsing around on Pinterest, when I came across an image of this minimalist, simple white-on-white relief, apparently cut in some kind of paper. It was so elegant and sharp and precise, and I clicked through to the source and found out that it was made by a rather famous German artist, Klaus Staudt. I had never heart about him, but I googled and clicked around, and found one amazing image after the other. 

I find them very beautiful and inspiring - both as patterns, as paper art, and in how they use shadow almost as a physical material.

Super condensed bio on Klaus Staudt: born in 1932. One of the leading figures in constructivist or concrete art. Famous for his geometrically intricate paper and acrylic reliefs and sculptures and represented in many museums and collections around the world. 

Here is his website (in german) - check out it's super minimal style - and here is an interview from 2015, where the camera does some wonderful close up exploration of his work, while he talks.

His art is the quiet, subdued and obsessive kind, that perhaps does not catch your eye at first glance in some flashy collection of contemporary art, but grows on you when you start to really see it.


La Maison de la Photographie in Marrakech

I was in Marrakech in November, and will probably get back to that visit in a few blog posts, since it's a spectacularly interesting and visually overwhelming city. I only had my old iPhone with me to take pictures this time, but had a wonderful trip and fell as much in love with the pink labyrinth-like inner city, as I did on my first visit, some years ago. 

This time, my two friends and I, made sure to visit La Maison de la Photographie, a small photo museum I will most warmly recommend. It's hidden away in a narrow medina alley, in a very pretty old house, that houses a large collection of old photographs of everyday life in Morocco, from the late 1800s up to around 1960, roughly. They only have parts of the huge collection on display, but change the exhibition regularly.

Marrakech is a place where the past seem very present, and this wonderful little, tranquil house full of fantastic photographs, makes you realize how much - and how little - the place and the people have changed.

Here are a few impressions.....
(all old black/white images below are courtesy of maison de la Photographie)

The house is, as I mentioned, very pretty, and when you reach the roof, you will find a small café and a gorgeous view! They also have a shop that sell high quality prints, if you fall in love with a special image. Most of them are available as prints.

Link to the Maison de la Photographie website, with all the practical info

There is one image you see again and again, in reference to this museum - and one you will remember, because this is a most remarkable face. It is a portrait of a young man, a slave called Hamidou, taken in 1885, and his sad eyes, and strong, beautiful face are impossible to forget.

When we visited, on a rainy quiet day, there was a gnawa street musician sitting outside the open door, and his singing and the sound of his sintir - a kind of slappy guitar bass - was following me all the time, while I was studying all these pictures. It was quite magical, like a perfect soundtrack.

He was really great, and I stepped outside and made a little film - you can see it here (very un-edited), and get an idea of how beautifully the old images and the old music just blended together.....

See (but mainly listen to) my little gnawa video on flickr


Hi, January!

It's always a bit uphill with January. For me, anyway.

But days are getting longer and - as always - I start to feel a bit more energetic and optimistic, after December, which always drains me completely (this blog actually started as a kind of getting-through-December-therapy, or at least as an exercise in doing the things I like doing in December...).
But enough about that. So, onwards and Hey there, 2017.

This is an Instagram post that just really made me smile yesterday, which is why I will let it not illustrate my point in any particular way..... (?) But it does have two of my bigger idols in it, at once (sort of) and it makes me want to go out and see things, in stead of moping about in here, endlessly sorting our sock drawers.

It's Nick Cave, of course, at Mona museum in Tasmania, in the Yayoi Kusama 'Dots Obsession' installation. From @nickcaveofficial


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.