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What am I working on? Kusudama Boutonnieres

Kusudama flowers are a lot of work. I was downtown a few weeks ago at the Museum of Science and Industry looking at their annual Christmas Around the World exhibit and spotted a number of kusudama balls on the tree representing Japan. Kusudama is the art of paper folding that came from the Edo period of Japan's history (about 1600 B.C.). Typically, it takes the shape of a ball, as in the ones that I saw downtown. While not realistic looking, there's a beautiful playful quality to kusudama flowers.

My kusudama flowers usually take the form of the 5 pointed star petal design as I find it the easiest to interlock with other flowers, and they remind me of Hawaiian plumeria which I've not yet mastered in paper form but love in real life. Unlike true origami, kusudama flower making does involve glue or string to hold the piece together; true origami is done completely without glue or other securing elements.

While I have been working on a kusudama bouquet for a while now for a wedding in February (see my Instagram page for pictures of that beauty!), today I am working on boutonnieres to match. Because of their deep, angular shape, kusudama boutonnieres can be tricky. But I'm enjoying working on these on this snowy, wintry MLK day at home.

Have any of you ever tried origami? It's amazing what you can do! And you don't need any special cutting machines; just a lot of folding. There are tons of tutorials online to learn many different types of flowers. Try it out, and give it to a friend!

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