Just to squash any of your doubts, no, I wasn't taking a hiatus from this blog over the last month. In fact, I was in the process of creating some pieces to give as Christmas presents (can't post them now for obvious reasons, but will update soon). I also signed up for a holiday ornament swap via the blog Freshly Blended. This was my first ornament swap and I have to say, so far it's pretty cool.
The rules were simple: submit your name, address, and email. A few weeks later you are sent an email with the names and addresses of your fellow swappers who are located all over the country. The deal is to create identical ornaments and send them to the folks on your list. They, in turn, do the same and voila! Nine new Christmas ornaments arrive on your doorstep just in time for the holidays.
When I first signed up for the swap I thought, "In theory, this is doable." Flash forward a week later and my nerves had gotten the best of me. I made the mistake of viewing some Flickr pages of past swappers' ornaments and got totally intimidated. I managed to completely stress myself out over Thanksgiving weekend trying to create the most original ornament. I finally decided I would go back to my roots and create something from origami.
When I say "roots" I by no means mean that I am a master paper folder from Japan. Rather, the roots take me back to 3rd grade when my Uncle Mike came in and showed 33 young students how to fold a paper crane after we read the story, Sadako & the Thousand Paper Cranes. Let me tell you, I was a rock star after that show and tell. For the remainder of my elementary years (that would be grades 4-6), someone would ask me when Uncle Mike was coming back to fold some more animals. My love for origami has stayed true since that day.
I spent a few hours researching the perfect ornament style and finally settled on the 8-pointed star. While searching, I also decided that I would make it out of fabric instead of paper in order to increase its durability. Folding fabric into a permanent shape is no easy task, but with the help of a starch paste called "Stiffy" (a rather unfortunate name if you ask me), you can instantly turn your weak fabric into a much more sturdier material.
Now I just need a Christmas tree (and a Charlie Brown one at that).
*Once all the ornaments come in, I promise to post some pics!