Paper Lunch Bags – Some Quotes and Giant Snowflakes!

Paper Bag Quotations are at the end of this post.

These Giant Paper Bag Snowflakes seem to be very popular with crafters this year. They appealed to me because they are so ‘over the top’ big!

I had all the supplies on hand – brown paper lunch bags (you could use any color of bags); hot glue or white glue; scissors and or X-Acto knife;  cord or ribbon (for hanging).


Each snowflake uses 9 to 10 paper bags (depends on the size of the bag) that are glued and stacked one on top of the other. With the bags still folded,  run a bead of glue along the base of the bag and another bead down the center of the bag. Lay another bag on top of the glued bag,  making sure they line up. Press (with your hands) along the glue lines. Repeat with next bag.
Once a stack is glued together (I made two stacks, cut them, then glued the stacks together), cut shapes with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Do not cut into the glued areas.

Next, carefully unfold the snowflake (see the video at the end of this post  to see how.) Run two beads of glue in the same manner as before to stick the first and last bags together.

Glue a loop of string as shown in the video below. I glued the loop about a third way down one arm of the snowflake so that the snowflake would be  suspended from a thicker section. Hang the snowflake. I used long T-pins for snowflakes that I mounted on the wall.

I hung some of mine in front of windows. I hung other ones on the wall.

Paper Bag Quotations:

I caused my husband’s heart attack. In the middle of lovemaking I took the paper bag off my head. He dropped the Polaroid and keeled over and so did the hooker. It would have taken me half an hour to untie myself and call the paramedics, but fortunately the Great Dane could dial.
– Joan Rivers –

I’d learned some things. I knew you weren’t supposed to hold a good wine at the top – the paper bag falls off.
– Pat Paulsen –

I scoop a clattering cascade of green apple Jelly Bellys into the white paper bag and remember when we were seven. I got stung by a jellyfish. Tim cried because his mother, and mine, wouldn’t let him pee on my leg, which he’d heard was an antidote to the sting.
– Huntley Fitzpatrick –

It was once suggested to me that, as an antidote to crying, I put my head in a paper bag. As it happens, there is a sound physiological reason, something to do with oxygen, for doing exactly that, but the psychological effect alone is incalculable: it is difficult in the extreme to continue fancying oneself Cathy in “Wuthering Heights” with one’s head in a Food Fair bag.
– Joan Didion –

“My God”, I said. “You move so silently. So you have had ninja training.”
“I have two older brothers,” Vince said. “It’s the same thing.”
I held up the white paper bag and bowed. “Master, I bring a gift.”
He looked at the bag curiously. “My Buddha bless you, grasshopper. What is it?”
I tossed him the bag. It hit him in the chest and slid to the floor. “So much for ninja training,” I said.
– Jeff Lindsay –

Pray note that my chest does not appear to be a toast rack in a wet paper bag.
Mort glanced sideways at the top of Ysabell’s dress, which contained enough puppy fat for two litters of Rotweilers, and forbore to comment.
– Terry Pratchett –

Secrets are like honey in a paper bag. Eventually, they leak out.
– Drew Bankston –

The brown paper bag is the only thing civilized man has produced that does not seem out of place in nature.
– Tom Robbins –

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.

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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.

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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 –

Origami – The Math of Fortune Telling

“Pick a colour!”
“Red.”
Schoop, schoop, schoop. (This is the best I can do at describing the sound made when a Paper Fortune Teller is manipulated.)
“Pick a number!”
“Six.”
Schoop, schoop, schoop, schoop, schoop, schoop.
“Pick another Number, and I’ll reveal your fortune!”
“Two.”
The flap with the number two is unfolded and the fortune is read: “You may be small but your ideas will be BIG!”

If I had received this fortune when I was a kid, would I have thought it was hokey? Or would I have thought ‘When I grow up I’m going to share all my BIG thoughts on a blog, which will be read by very few people, but I won’t care because…’  Of course, when I was a kid there was no internet and therefore no blogs, and I certainly didn’t think I was going to remain small, so I would have thought it was a dumb fortune.

But this was the fortune I got when I downloaded, and made a Paper Fortune Teller plan posted by the Children’s Author, Deborah L. Diesen. (She calls it a Cootie-Catcher, but that wasn’t a term used in my day.) Deborah warns that her fortune teller doesn’t really tell fortunes or predict the future, but I beg to differ with her!

When I was a kid, the Paper Fortune Teller would appear on the playground a few times each year (it was banned from the classroom, which was unfortunate.)  Once one person made one, everyone made one, and the craze would last for a week or two, then disappear. At the time, we didn’t know it was a very simple example of Origami and we certainly didn’t think about the geometric shapes we were creating when we folded a flat piece of paper into a three dimensional object.

Paper folding has likely been happening since paper was first invented! However, Origami as a Japanese art form began when paper first arrived in that country in the 6th Century. Paper was quite expensive at that time, so objects made from folded paper were reserved for special occasions. A butterfly, similar perhaps to the one I made, might have adorned the Sake bottles at a formal wedding ceremony.

Origami today is an entirely different duck as a result of the work of a number of  individuals who have described the mathematics of origami, extended the range of what can be folded, and applied origami to real world science situations. One of these ‘Folders’ is Robert Lang. You can see his remarkable Compositions on his website – Robert J. Lang Origami.

Even the simplest Origami is not that easy as you will see when you try to open up the Paper Fortune Teller for the first time. As for the Butterfly I made – well, I won’t give you the link to the instructions because they were abysmal.

Happy Folding! May your mountains and valleys be crisp and precise!

Paper Craft – Where a Newspaper Can Take You

A visitor left a newspaper on my kitchen counter. After I scanned the headlines, I thought I’d like to write a post that tied together: the price of Groceries in my city, Eco-Friendly Cat Litter, Brier Curling Results, the Stock Market Report, the latest on Gadhafi in Libya, and what people are saying in the Letters to the Editor. I couldn’t find a common thread, and didn’t really want to spend much time looking for one.

Yet, I did accomplish what I set out to do, thanks to a website dedicated to green design projects. All I had to do was gather up the appropriate newspaper pages, fold and tie them as directed, and then fan the pages into a Pom Pom shape. In about ten minutes, I had tied all my stories together, though not in the way I had originally intended…

I can’t think of any practical use for this Newspaper Pom Pom in my house, but I have no use for Cat Litter nor Gadhafi either, so I guess this project is a useful social commentary.

I’d never make another one, though, because I really don’t like the feel of newsprint, and I don’t like ink all over my fingers. Which got me thinking about books and ink.

I was at the library the other day with my sister-in-law (The Reader). She absolutely loves books – she likes the feel of the paper, the smell of the ink, and the weight of the book in her hand. Those types of observations would never cross my mind. I don’t think much about how things feel, nor how the smell, for that matter. So while she was happily browsing the books, I was talking to the information man about eBook readers and which books I could download onto my Nook.

If I am not really a tactile centered person, what am I? That question took me to a site about Learning Styles, a place I had no intention of going when I started writing this post. I had not thought about what my learning style was. Yet, there I was in the Visual Learning Section. It described me so thoroughly that it was spooky:
– Good at spelling but forgets names. (This is a big relief…)
– Needs quiet study time. (No TV or radio when I am trying to write!)
– Has to think awhile before understanding. (Explains that blank look I sometimes get.)
– Take notes, make lists. (Is there anything that can’t be put on a list?)
– Likes colors. (Did you guess this by my blog theme?)
– Understands/likes charts. (I like maps too…)

I learned a lot today. I think I’ll go make a list of those things…