Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chiyogami: Japanese Paper and a New Year's Resolution

Well, as for most people, it is the time of year I like to reflect. 2008 was a good year for me...a new profession, new job, new city, new experiences...overall I'd give it a B+ (but then I'm a teacher...I couldn't give it an "A" unless it was REALLY I won the lottery or something). As I look forward to 2009, I see another good year coming. I have thought long and hard about my resolutions this year. Initially I planned on pulling the "I'm not doing resolutions this year" cop-out, however I have thought of some aspects of myself that I could improve...Ergo, I give you my resolutions 2009:

1) Lose 10 pounds (ha! carried over from LAST year!)
2) Work out 5 days per week (I joined The Yorkville Club for incentive.
3) Read at LEAST two books a month (see later in this post for my inspiration to keep this one)
4) Post to my blog more regularly
5) Finish one scrapbook page per month...and make sure my life is interesting enough to warrant a scrapbook page a month...I'm covered until March as of now)

There they are...On to more interesting things!

Chiyogami! What is it? Allow me to give you a brief history:

It is Japanese in origin, dating back to the late 18th century. It is a technique that involves wood-block printing patterns on paper in gorgeous colours...the pattern repeats, resulting in paper that is very similar to a piece of patterned fabric. Chiyogami gained popularity as an inexpensive alternative to washi paper, spreading from Kyoto to Edo (Tokyo today), and Osaka. It is used today for a variety of crafts, including decoupage, origami, and scrapbooking. It is available in most specialty paper and scrapbooking stores online and around Toronto. My favourite source for chiyogami is The Paper Source...and my other favourite source is my mom...who picked me up some while on layover in Japan.

Here are some of my favourites:

...and the larger pieces:

I have become quite fond of making these little bookmarks, as I HATE to fold my page over when I am reading...but I can never find pretty enough bookmarks to keep my interest.

I found this idea on one of my fave blogs, How About Orange? , and you can find the Better Than Others tutorial (an amazing site for origami projects) here .

I am also thinking about making little coasters with some of the papers I have with those little photo coasters you can buy at Kitchen Stuff Plus..and framing some. But I think that can all wait...until next year!


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