Recent random projects

Yesterday Daniel came home from school and proudly showed me this:

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Such a happy dancing boy! I so love the joy that bursts out of children's art. This was made from a piece of recycled cardboard, around which he wrapped a piece of used, crumpled foil which he had smoothed out. On top he put a piece of substantial plastic wrap (the kind that might be used to wrap flowers or produce), taped all in place, and then made his drawing with permanent marker.  I like the way these layers, and especially the foil, give his piece texture. 

While he was making more of those, I made a few of these:

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These paper stars are so, so easy and addictive. 

I find I'm doing more papercrafts these days because I really crave the meditative zone I fall into. Like origami, these stars satisfy because they are logical and geometrical but charming and beautiful. It also helps that I can complete a batch quickly as opposed to my never-ending, languishing fabric and yarn projects. The boys like to simply make and collect these stars but Mia loves to steal them and feed them to her dollies.

Mia's latest crafting endeavors mostly consist of drawing on random bits of important papers she finds lying around the house, along with the occasional wall or piece of furniture. For her the whole world is a canvas. She's also learned how to use our craft punches, and I keep discovering random piles like this in secret little corners: 


which kind of makes up for the just-as-random but less delightful scribbles on the walls. 

Our great, big, almost-9-year-old Benjamin is serious about his work as an artist, and works slowly and methodically. He's been putting touch-ups on this mountain scene for awhile. 


What I like is how he has pulled many Japanese countryside scenes out of his memory even though we are stuck living in a city. I like to think that maybe our infrequent trips to the Japanese mountains have managed to leave imprints on his heart, and that makes me feel a little bit less sad about our Tokyo urban surroundings.

Speaking of heart, DH and I celebrated our 11th year anniversary recently. The children secretly prepared confetti and showered us with a burst of color. 


Cutting was as much fun as tossing. A sweet end to a sweet day.

4 thoughts on “Recent random projects

  1. Michele

    It’s so sweet that the kids surprised you with confetti. And congratulations!
    I love that the world is Mia’s canvas. I remember reading in the Banksy book how he envisions a world in which art, rather than advertising, is everywhere–on walls, on the side of buildings–and people could draw freely wherever and whatever they fancy. How beautiful to see that free, creative spirit in your children.

  2. Kanako

    I love the dancing boy! Did Daniel draw himself dancing? He looks so happy to be in the sun!
    Benjamin’s drawing is the surprisingly same view I always see from shinkansen when I go back to Niigata. It makes me miss Japan!!

  3. Laura

    Daniel’s picture has so much energy! I just found a nice bookmark Pippa made at school years ago by wrapping tin foil around a piece of cardboard and then coloring on it with marker. It turned out surprisingly pretty – the colors are a bit luminous and the foil gives it texture. Since the children enjoy cutting up paper, you should find them “Zooflakes ABC” by Will Howell! And you must listen to my favorite storyteller, Donald Davis, tell “Aunt Esther Saves a Little Boy’s Life” (about some interesting coloring on walls and furniture incidents…)!

  4. OrigamiMommy

    Thank you all! Kanako, I am longing to see the Japanese countryside too. We’re going to make a few trips in July and August.
    Michele, thanks for the congratulations!
    Laura, that book mark sounds so, so pretty. And I am definitely going to look up those books – your recommendations are always perfect for us.


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