My Little BEE Turns One!

How time flies!! I can’t believe it’s a year already since Zoe was born – a year of giggles and cries, loads of diapers and stepping on toys!

They say a baby’s first birthday is more for the parents rather than the child  – a milestone reached. Phew! With this year’s infamous coronavirus, the only course was to have a small celebration at home and invite family virtually. I started planning this about two months before her birthday just so that I would have enough time to get the theme sorted out, get the supplies and make the decor which I wanted to be almost all DIY. Oh! To add to this excitement, I also planned to bake a cake myself for her birthday.

My sister came up with the “bumblebee” theme idea and I thought it was fantastic – so I grabbed this idea and ran with it. I wanted to have everything color coordinated in yellow and black and since there would not be any guests coming over to the house, it was easier to plan for just a nice photo shoot with a cheerful bumblebee background and an online ‘meeting’ with our extended family. I looked through a couple of ideas online and saw there were heaps to choose from – I went with a photo gallery showcasing Zoe’s pics from newborn until a year old decorated with tissue paper flowers, simple crafty flowers and the milestone poster in the end.

The Bee Themed Backdrop

Queen Bee’s Cake:

For the cake, I decided to go with a cheesecake instead of a traditional flavored one. The recipe I followed was from my tried and tested Annabel Karmel’s Lemon Cheesecake. Believe me, you can’t go wrong with her recipes, she uses everyday ingredients with fantastic results, which means a happy baby.

I decided to make a cake topper myself for this cheesecake and chose a pom pom cake topper design from One Fab Day. I mixed the colors around a bit to match my bumblebee theme and I was quite pleased with the result. To make the pom poms, I followed a nice tutorial which you can see below. The digit ‘1’ that you see in the image has been made out of card stock paper and painted. I removed the cake topper before any eating began. You can make your own cake banner topper by following the steps outlined in my DIY cake topper post.

The Photo Gallery:

Putting the photo gallery was a bit trickier as compared to the cake topper. The reason being I had chosen a mix of ideas for this background. The first item was a bee themed photo gallery and this is an idea I got from Pinterest, which happened to be from Etsy. I chose to make these on my own, however, feeling a tad bit adventurous in the crafting area. I used card stock paper to cut out the hexagon and the little bees. To make the hexagon, I followed Sara Adams’ helpful tutorial on it. I created a template using cardboard and then simply cut out 12 hexagons for the gallery. I then followed a similar template based process for the little bees, but in this case, the bee was a free hand drawing. I bought tiny pegs from Michael’s to hold these photo memories.

Bumblebee themed photo pegs (Work In Progress)

How to make these pretty hexagons:

You will need:
Scissors
Ruler / Measuring tape
Pen / Pencil
Yellow Paint color
Sharpie or black paint
Paint brush
  1. Take a piece of thick paper which can be folded. Use the tutorial (above) to make a hexagon.
  2. Next, take 2 sheets of card stock paper. Using the template you made in step 1, trace 12 hexagons on these sheets.
  3. Cut out each hexagon and paint each yellow. Keep these aside. Note that I painted just one side of the hexagon.
  4. Draw a honeybee outline on another sheet of card stock paper. Cut this out as a template.
  5. Using the honeybee template made in step 4, trace 12 honeybees (or 11 if you want to reuse the template on the photo gallery). Cut these out.
  6. Paint each of the honeybees yellow and leave to dry.
  7. Once dried, with a sharp pencil, trace out the bee stripes on each of the honeybees you’ve painted. Color or paint these stripes black. Keep aside.
  8. Take the hexagons and draw the digits from 0 to 11 on them. Color these digits black.
  9. Using glue, stick the honeybee on the right side of the hexagon and a peg on the rear side of the hexagon. Leave to dry.
  10. Repeat step 9 for the rest of the hexagons you’ve made.

Funny Face flowers & bumblebees:

The next item on my bee themed background were the funny face flowers. The idea behind these funny faces was to really depict the faces my little kid makes. I drew a free hand 5 petal flower on packaging paper, cut these out and then painted them a nice orangey-yellow. For the funny face centers, i drew these on card stock paper, painted them emoji yellow and drew the faces on them. I made a couple of bumblebees too to add to the top of this display. These are from regular card stock paper and painted yellow and black.

Tissue pom pom number:

I was toying with the idea of having a huge balloon ‘1’ or a DIY thing. I settled with a DIY number ‘1’ since I thought, “Why not? I am hand making pretty much the rest of it”. I have a lot of tissue paper (the gift wrapping variety) at home due to my origami hobby so this idea was very easy to source the materials for. I found this idea and DIY instructions on The Craft Patch Blog. You can read more about this craft of mine here.

Zoe’s Buddies – Fifi and Zozorex – join in the fun!

 

Charlotte’s Star (Design by Ancella Simoes)

Charlotte’s Star (Design by Ancella Simoes)

The first time I had come up with the folding sequence for this dodecagram, a couple of months ago, I had used regular 3 inch post it notes to fold it. However, when I submitted the diagrams for publishing, there were assembly problems with the basic model. I suspect it had to do with the glue backed post it notes I used which inadvertently held the model together. So, I tweaked the assembly sequence a bit to incorporate a little fold and the effect was a similar nice star like design but this time, with a circular center. I was quite pleased with the outcome and thankful that I didn’t have to change the entire folding sequence.

This is a 12 pointed star or a dodecagram, using 12 separate units to form. I used duo patterned paper for this design, instead of the usual post it notes, and the color change really pops with this model. 12 square sheets of paper are needed and the paper you use can be almost any kind of paper and preferably duo colored, to make use of the color change in this design. One idea is to use pretty patterned wrapping paper if you do not find patterned duo colored origami paper near you. Since the folds are simple and not layered, it will still fold well.

The paper I have used to fold this model is from a Japanese Washi Paper pack, which has floral patterned square sheets measuring 4 inches in size. I named this design “Charlotte’s Star” as I am currently living in Charlotte, North Carolina and wanted to remember my time spent here.

Charlotte’s Star Variation

I have been talking to Jane Marin from OrigamiUSA to publish the diagrams for this model and we have been going back and forth on the assembly part of this star. The assembly of my original design wasn’t quite sturdy and did make for very delicate handling. I know a little glue would solve the problem but I do prefer to not make use of glue in my designs.

I tweaked the folding sequence for the unit to incorporate a tighter hold to interlock the units. The ends of the units themselves are interlaced to form a secondary design on the star. This version does hold better than my original and I have used 4″ square sheet of duo colored paper to fold the units.

Charlotte’s Star Variation

 

Origami Lollipop 3.0 (Design by Tony Wang)

Origami Lollipop (Design by Tony Wang)

I came across this pretty design on Instagram, following Ryan Charpentier‘s nicely done fold of it and could not help but put this on my folding to-do list. I was amazed that the lollipop, bow and the lollipop stick are all folded from a single sheet of paper! I purchased the diagrams from SAOrigami and promptly received it. I could not wait to fold it!

The folding sequence is a clever one, pretty straight-forward and one can see the lollipop taking shape almost immediately. There is minimal shaping required for this design and the design takes advantage of color change throughout, mimicking the swirly design of real lollipops. In origami, sinks are one of the folds which always get me nervous as I am never neat with them, no matter how precise I try to be with the pre-creasing. In this diagram, Tony Wang has 2 closed sinks in a series, the first one being simple enough (where I can’t goof up) and the other requiring me to have the dexterity of a cat. I managed to get this one completed without tearing the paper or crumpling it into a ball. I’m happy!

For the paper, I did not have a large enough size of Kami with me (the creator suggested a size of at least 30 cm). So, i decided to give this a try with something different. I folded this using double tissue paper which I prepared using MC. I went with a bright blue and pink for the lollipop instead of a bright color and white combination. The size of the paper I used was larger than the suggested size – it’s a square sheet of 20 inches. The finished model is around 9 inches in length.

The diagram is available for sale on SAOrigami as well as OrigamiUSA’s The Source.

Arabian Dhow (Design by Ancella Simoes)

Arabian Dhow (Designed by Ancella Simoes)

This is a design I came up with in February 2020. The inspiration behind this model is the traditional ‘dhow’ which one sees regularly plying the creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and other gulf countries. These small boats usually have 1 or 2 sails and look lovely sailing over the creek by the setting sun. Having grown up in Dubai, these boats always make me nostalgic of my earliest years. Dhows usually have lateen rigging and were historically used for trade purposes – ferrying fruits, vegetables, heavy equipment and other items between gulf countries, Pakistan, India and East Africa. The dhow was known for two distinct features i.e. it’s lateen sail (triangular sail) and stitched construction in olden times. The sails powered it to its destination and this vessel was a major transportation for a thriving trade during those times. Today, tourists enjoy boat rides along the creek in this vessel. They are also used to ferry people across short distances.

My design showcases the lateen sails with two masts and I have shaped these sails a bit. It is folded from a single sheet of paper preferably duo colored, and one can use any type of paper to fold this model. A square sheet, the size of which is at least 6 inches, will work and this will result in the finished model measuring approx 5 inches in length. I have used triple tissue paper to fold this model, prepared by sticking 3 sheets of tissue paper together using MC. This was a little experiment for me since I needed duo colored paper for my fold and I had paper remaining from my previous folding project. However, this model does not require thin paper to fold – almost any kind of paper will suffice. I started folding this model with regular post it notes to get the form and shape and then moved on from there to test out how it will look with tissue paper.

Diagrams for this model are published in the British Origami Magazine #321. You can see a review for this edition here.

Violin (Design by Gen Hagiwara)

Violin (Design by Gen Hagiwara)

This design is a good example of the box pleating technique and is a fantastic model to fold, resulting in a stunning outcome. A complex design which requires glue to hold the neck in place, I found this one enjoyable to fold. There is a violin bow designed by Paulius Mielinis which complements this Violin. However, I am not aware if the diagrams or crease pattern have been published for it.

The most amazing part of this model is the attention to detail. It has everything from the scroll, peg box and pegs to the f-holes on the body of the instrument. I am amazed with the level of thought which has been put into designing this model by Gen Hagiwara – it is truly mind blowing. While a major portion of the folding sequence, in the beginning, is the pre-creasing to fold the basic Violin shape, the folding sequence quickly transitions to shaping the model to make it aesthetically realistic. The part which requires a lot of patience and dexterity is the neck of the violin, which includes the peg box and pegs. This portion took the longest time for me to fold. To make the scroll at the end of the neck, I used a bit of water to wet and then roll in. I have clicked a few pictures from different angles hoping to capture the complexity and beauty of this design.

Violin’s Peg box Details

The diagrams to this design can be found in Origami Tanteidan Magazine #143 (which you can back order from Japan Origami Academic Society at the time of writing this post) and you can also check out JM Origami tutorial for this. I used double tissue paper to fold this Violin – a single sheet each of brown and black tissue paper stuck together using MC. I then cut the prepared paper to the 1:4 ratio which is needed to start folding. To shape the violin, I used clips to hold the curves and folds in place and kept it overnight to set. The paper I used was Darice 100-Piece Premium Quality Tissue Gift Wrapping Paper and I used Lineco Methyl Cellulose Adhesive to prepare the double tissue paper.

Violin’s Side View