I have done origami for many years. I don't know who taught me or when - I suspect my Mum - but my earliest recollection of doing it was when I was in hospital after my road accident as a 7 yr old. I had to go back into hospital when an infection set up in my leg and I distinctly remember teaching other children in the ward how to make flying cranes on that occasion!
In the 70s I took a number of workshops in origami at several folk festivals and have gone through phases of doing it over the years. I came back to it earlier this year and since I last folded as a hobby, origami has moved on in its complexity and possibilities. Modular origami (where a number of folded pieces are linked together) has taken off in a major way and I completely missed the arrival of '3D' or 'block-folding' origami - which started about 10 years ago and is now on the wane....!
At present I am back folding with a passion and having great fun learning all the new techniques and revelling in the new papers that are available on the web. Here below are some of my efforts in origami......
I have also been making greetings cards for a long time. In the 90s I made pop-up cards which you can see in the graphics section of this site. However, the kinds of card making items that are available now make it possible to make absolutely stunning cards to a much more professional standard and I've had great fun making and selling these.
The local dog-grooming parlour that I take my pekingese, Inka, to, has a display of my cards and a portion of the selling price goes to the Birmingham Dog's Home.
I particularly love making old-fashioned cards with loads of beautiful artwork and, for ladies, lace and jewels etc. I'm not a fan of modern artwork (or for that matter, most modern taste in pictures, furnishing, house decoration or anything else!). I like traditional snow pictures at Christmas - with stage coaches and crinoline ladies and Victorian scenes and for Valentines I like hearts and lace and flowers... modern cartoons and simple line drawings turn me off BIG TIME.
However - I make cards to order for anyone, in any style and have had orders for everything from a wedding, to themed cards for a 'Poker Night Birthday Party or an Egyptian Night - to a congratulations card for gaining the OBE! If you ever want a special card making - get in touch with me and I'll be pleased to try and help!
Below are some of my cards. Please note that some are unfinished as I personalised cards to order but like to have a stock ready to do that. Almost all the cards below have been sold (the butterfly pop-up is NOT for sale!) but email me if you see something you like and I will try and help.
Kumihimo braiding is a Japanese art whereby intricately patterned cords are made by interweaving different coloured strands. The braid was used in lacing together the plates of Samurai armour but today is used for all kinds of things - from the more traditional uses of in fastening jackets and kimono sashes to making modern curtain tie-backs, dog collars, spectacle cords or keyring tags!
The braid is traditionally woven on a wooden stand or Marudai but these days foam discs are made with slots that hold the working strands and are much easier for the beginner. The number of different patterns and types of braid you can produce are limited only by imagination (and skill!) as the number of strands used, the order in which they are woven provide endless possibilities. You can read more about this craft on Wikipedia - just put kumihimo into the search there for more details....
I'm still very much a beginner at this but hope to improve in time. In the first picture you can see a looped braid being made - the braid drops down through the hole in the centre of the disc - a little bit like the French Knitting that we used to do as kids! The other pictures show some of my other pieces - friendship bracelets, dog collars, keyring tags etc - also a braided cord I made to put on a jade dragon pendant I made as a present for my best pal, Jeaney.