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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A little about me and more

Origami as a hobby:

Origami is my hobby and my love for paper folding started with folding a simple frog for my students for the poem 'The little frog'. I'm a full time language teacher (my other passion) and I work with lovely kids all day. From my daily work, I do not allow my students to fold paper aeroplanes during my lessons. However, they amazed me when no matter how many times I emphasised that paper folding is not allowed during my lessons, they still do it quietly and hoping I don't confiscate their piece of work. From my lovely students, I learnt how paper models intrigues kids and the smiles on the little ones motivated me to learn to fold different kinds of paper models. I started with folding animals (bunny, elephant, dinosaurs, flamingo, kangeroos, humming bird and terriers, etc). Ironically, I've not folded a single crane (some call it a bird, but its actually a crane) at all since I picked up origami, since it is the most common model that most people has came across. One day, I learnt to make little origami booklets (the ones I used with my handmade cards) and kids just love them as much as the adults. To date, I have lost count of how many little origami booklets I've made for my students. Even though my little gifts to the kids are 'just a piece of paper', I think it meant more to them when I spent my most precious time to make something for them. Its the little thought that means so much to them.

About my drawings:

I always love to draw and never been trained in fine arts during my academic years. I bought myself two water colour pencils drawing self taught books, some water colour specific papers and a modest Faber Castell 12 colours water colour pencils during my first long trip to Taiwan in 2006. The stormy weather during my Taiwan trip gave me the opportunity to sit down and read the two lovely self taught drawing books I bought, and I never stopped exploring since.

Why origami cards?

People often ask me, "what am I going to do with this paper model?" The answer is simple. I think if the paper model brings joy to the origami folder and the recipient, the purpose has been met, isn't it? This question also gave me inspiration on what I can do with origami. During this holiday, I decided to combine the art of origami with card making. Although this technique is not new, it is not commonly recognised either. The folding of one piece of paper in halves is in itself the simplest form of origami.
Today, I make at least 5 cards in a single day. It may seem very little for some but to come up with 5 different designs which require the combination of origami and greeting card is not easy for a non-art trained individual. For those cards which I use only water colour pencil drawings, I decided that it has to come with an origami envelope, which will still compliment the main theme of my work :). I believe that these little paper crafts I make will bring as much joy to the sender and recipient of the cards, as much as the making of it.

Reason for handwritten (though my handwriting is just passable and its more labour intensive...well its part of the joy of crafting, same as I insist on fresh tomatoes to stew my 'authentic' Italian pasta sauce.)

There is no price to any piece of handmade art work. However, in order to sustain this expensive hobby, I will continue to sell off my favourite creations even if they are just one time off pieces. I insisted on handwritten fonts and self drawn pictures for my cards, although many suggested that I use a printer to print out the greetings for the cards. You don't need to have the best handwriting in the world, just the passion to jot down the few words you want to communicate on the paper.

I do agree that commerical printed cards are great and convenient, but they are just not the same as sending someone a piece of handmade card, which has that personal touch, from me to you.

Materials I use for my cards are simple and carefully coordinated to bring out the beauty of different paper texture and colours contrast. I use a range of water colour papers, polyester satin ribbons, gift wrapping ribbons, and silver metallic cords to soften the look of the cards. These materials are similar to what the scrap booking hobbyists use. My work is different from scrap booking in the way that I refuse to use commercially available toppers or scrap booking papers for my handmade cards. That also means that I have more room to express my feelings of beauty with more handmade toppers (e.g. origami models) which I made myself. :) I also add little magnets to some of my cards so that you can display the card on fridge doors.

The joy of someone liking your work is priceless and timeless, and that last a long time.

Hope you like my story.

Happy thoughts,


  1. You are making beautyful cards.Its a real fun to look at them. Sorry for gramatical mistakes. Im dutch.
    Thanks so much for buying my cards.

  2. Thank you Grandma :) Those vintage cards are too lovely. I'll treasure them for a long long time

  3. you are getting craftier by the second Chyrl ! So happy to see your talents here.

  4. Hol,

    Saludos desde Peru hermosos tus rtabajos en origami muy desenchufados y muy bien plegados sige asi y difundamos mas este arte en todo el mundo.

    Saludos origamistas y suerte en tus plegados

    Juan Kabaqui
    Lima - Peru

  5. Thanks Juan for visiting my blog and kind comments. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :) ~Chyrl