Origami Kusudama Flower Balls

Origami –  how difficult is it? Fold a piece of paper to form a peak, and you have a mountain fold. Fold it the opposite direction, and you have a valley fold. Make a couple of folds, then open them up a bit and squash them, and you have – tada – a squash fold.

Its just mountains and valleys…. How hard could it be?
– Unknown –

My youngest daughter has been making origami Kusudama flower balls. I asked her to teach me how.

We started with a trip to a Hobby Lobby to buy a package of 12 inch by 12 inch patterned paper, a stick of super sticky glue (double sided clear tape or a glue gun would work too), and some  long paper clips.

I would have bought a paper cutter if I didn’t already have one, because each sheet of 12 inch paper had to be cut into four 6 inch by 6 inch squares. If I had wanted smaller flowers, I could have cut the paper into smaller squares. For the project I had in mind, I needed to make 24 flowers. 5 petals per flower. 120 squares of paper.

black white

There are many websites and YouTube videos that explain how to fold each flower petal, but I’ll fast forward through that rather tedious process so I can display the flowers themselves. The photo above shows some of the petals in various stages of being joined to create a finished flower (which is the one in the centre of the photo.)

black and white

In the photo above, I’m almost finished one half of a Kusudama Ball. Six flowers form half a ball. I used the paper clips to hold the glued sections together until the glue dried.

black white

Once the half ball was finished, I attached it to a thick piece of black cardboard and mounted it in a frame.

I could have joined two half balls and made a full ball to hang from the ceiling.

The boredom of making 120 petals was relieved somewhat by the variety of papers I chose. If they had all been one colour, or solid colours, I might have abandoned the project!

I don’t suppose any of you have some half finished projects that were simply too boring to finish?!

I was going to start an origami business but was afraid it would fold.
– Unknown –

Those pics are paper-view…
– storm avoider –

European Starling – Pencil Sketch of a Bird on a Cactus

So, I’ve stirred things up in my little corner of the world by buying a new laptop computer running on Windows 8. (updated to Windows 10). I’m skimming off a layer of ‘scum’ by choosing NOT to install some programs that were necessary on my old computer.

First on the chopping block is anything put out by Adobe. The Adobe PDF Reader is easily replaced by less bloated, less exploited software. Windows 8.1 has an App called ‘Reader’, which will likely serve my needs.

Adobe Photoshop Elements – that proved tougher to find a replacement for. I would have had to upgrade to the latest version (high resolution display issues), and while the price to do that was not a significant factor, I didn’t want to continue to contribute to their ‘our way or the highway’ attitude.

The most intriguing alternative for photo processing and editing is GIMP. It has all the tools I need (including layers) and lots of features I haven’t got a clue how to use yet (which is where I was at with Photoshop Elements too…)


GIMP is overkill sometimes, which is why I also use a program called FastStone Image Viewer. I like it because it displays my image folders and files exactly as they are on my computer. No importing, no proprietary databases. I use this program to add my Copyright and resize the images before I upload them.

Windows 8.1 has an App called ‘Sketch’ which quickly turns any photo into a sketch. There are over 30 options for the type of sketch you can make. Here are just a few of them:


saguaro cactus bird

Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.
– Edward Abbey –

How have you stirred things up lately? Skimmed off any scum?