Sunday, November 14, 2010

Feature with Chyrls "The art of Origami" + Giveaway

I first met Chyrls about 2 years ago when I was shopping for a special card and was delighted when I came across her gorgeous shop where I purchased my first origami card and it was just beautiful, we have kept in touch and I am so excited to share her work with you. Chyrls has generously offered 2 prizes to the value of $25. So, one lucky person will be in for a real treat, that I can promise.

Chyrls love for paper folding started with folding a simple frog whilst reciting a poem to her students 'The little frog'. She works passionately as a full time language teacher for children. In her daily work, she does not allow her students to fold paper aeroplanes during lessons, however, they amaze her when no matter how many times she emphasises that paper folding is not allowed, they still do it quietly and hope that she won’t confiscate their piece of work!

From her lovely students, she learnt how paper models intrigue the children and the smiles on the little ones’ faces motivated her to learn how to fold different kinds of paper models. She started with folding animals (bunny, elephant, dinosaurs, flamingo, kangaroos, humming bird and terriers, etc). Ironically, she had never folded a crane (a kind of bird not a lifting device!) at all since she started origami, although it is the most common model that most people attempt and is recognised globally as a peace sign.

She taught herself to make little origami booklets and the children love them just as much as the adults do. Even though her little gifts to her students are 'just a piece of paper', it means more to them when she spends her most precious time to make something for them. It’s the little thought that means so much.

Chyrls and drawings:

She has always loved to draw and was never trained in fine arts during her academic years. She bought two watercolour pencils and self teach drawing books, some watercolour specific paper and Faber Castell 12 watercolour pencils and off she went on her first long trip to Taiwan in 2006.

The stormy weather during her Taiwan trip gave her the opportunity to sit down and read the two drawing books, and since has never stopped exploring art.

Chyrls and origami cards

People often asked her, "What are you going to do with this paper model?" Her answer was simple. She thought that if the paper model brings joy to the origami folder and the recipient, the purpose has been met, right? This question also gave her further inspiration on what she could achieve with origami. During her holiday, she 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.

Chyrls joined Etsy in Dec 2008, and she makes about 5 cards a day. It may not seem many 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 these cards she only uses watercolour pencil drawings, and has decided that it has to come with an origami envelope, which compliments the main theme of her work.

You can’t put a price on a piece of handmade artwork. However, in order to sustain this expensive hobby, she will continue to sell her favourite creations even if they are just one-off pieces. She insists on handwriting the fonts and self-drawing the pictures for her cards. Although many people have suggested that she uses a printer for this part, she prefers to jot down in her own style the few words her customers want to communicate, which a printer could never match.

The materials Chyrls uses for her cards are simple and carefully coordinated to bring out the beauty of different paper texture and colour contrasts. She uses a range of watercolour 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. Her work is different from scrap booking in the way that she refuses to use commercially available toppers or scrap booking papers for her handmade cards. This allows the freedom to express her feelings of beauty with her own handmade toppers; she also adds little magnets to some of her cards so that you can display the card on fridge doors.

The pure joy of someone liking your work lasts a lifetime. For me her passion shines through and onto her finished pieces and that is truly precious.

She also manages to find time for her other hobbies which include, cycling, photography and aquascaping which is the craft of arranging aquatic plants as well as rocks, stones, cavework, or driftwood in an aesthetically pleasing manner within an aquarium—in effect, gardening under water.

Aquascape designs include a number of distinct styles, including the garden-like Dutch style and the Japanese-inspired nature style. Typically, an aquascape houses fish as well as plants, although it is possible to create an aquascape with plants only, or with rockwork or other hardscape and no plants. You can see her artistic flare again!

Thank you so much Chyrls for such a fabulous insight into your work and hobbies and also for such a generous giveaway.

Giveaway 1

Set of 4 bookmarks – Which she will personalise with your name

Giveaway 2

Sample pack of 6 mini cards in a origami box

6 x blossoms Miniature Cards 1.75" x 2" (Approximately 4.5cm x 5.5cm)

Description of box:

1x Cupcake Series Square Origami Box 2.36" x 2.36" x 0.9"(Approximately 6cm x 6cm x 2.3cm deep)

This is one of Chyrls latest creations. She has named it the Cupcakes Series since they look so much like little freshly baked cupcakes decorated with beautiful toppings when she put them all together.

The origami gift box, and matching pearlescent miniature cards with blossoms, which feature the pattern from her Princess Rose series. The box is designed, hand signed and crafted with wonderful detail. It is finished with a beautiful Peach tint organza ribbon and matching organza deep cocoa ribbon. The inside of the box is also sealed to preserve its form and durability.

Simple Rules:

1)Please follow my blog yes you know it makes me smile:)

2)If you tweet about this giveaway, use the hashtag #Chyrls. Post in a separate comment, and get one additional entry each time you do this, up to ONCE a day.

3) Please visit Chyrls shop and pick your favourite and post here only take a minute

4) Follow Chyrls on twitter,  and post in a separate comment below. If you are already following, post in a separate comment as well. One additional entry.

The more times you enter, the better your chances of winning!

This giveaway will begin Noveber 14, 2010 and end at 11:59 pm EST on November 29th 2010. It is open to anyone worldwide to enter so come in and have a go. will pick a winner!

Good luck and thanks for entering
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