But wait! I am Jewish! I need to make Hanukkah cards also! Fortunately, there are LOTS of origami Star of David patterns. Unfortunately, most of them are really boring. I realized that in order to make a good card, the origami needs to be flat enough to fit in an envelope, but three-dimensional enough to make it visually interesting. Finally, I found a pattern which I liked. The first star I folded took me 45 minutes! Oh well, it was a labor of love and I knew I would get better at it. And since there is not a large market for Hanukkah cards in Maine, I did not need to have a huge supply. Ironically, I could not use the foil paper for the stars, so I had to invest in new origami paper. Happily, the new paper I bought for stars also worked well for trees. And since I already had the blank cards and envelopes, I was all set.
Having entered the world of card-making, I was primed to make a Valentines Day card. The search for an appropriate origami heart was even more difficult than the search for the star had been. But it was winter and I was recovering from back surgery. Unable to do much else, I sat on the couch surrounded by paper and folded dozens of hearts. The pattern I ultimately chose uses a large rectangle rather than standard square origami paper. OMG, more paper shopping!! I finally found beautiful large double-sided origami paper which is perfect for the heart. Fortunately, this paper also makes good earrings, so the scrap does not go to waste. Then I decided that this card needed to be more of a gift - I added a magnet to the back of the heart so it could be kept as a refrigerator magnet (yup, I had to invest in magnets also...).
After successfully marketing the Valentines cards I thought I was done with new designs. I had a request for an origami birthday card, but could not come up with a folded-paper cake or candle which worked, so I abandoned the search. Then earlier this year, as I was shopping for card-stock to use in the heart cards, I remembered a card which I had purchased years ago. Suddenly, I was determined to learn how to make it. I call it a Forever Card, but you can find instructions on-line if you search for "Never Ending Card." My first few were very rough - I did not have the right type of card stock or glue or paper-cutter. But I mastered the techniques and bought more materials: better glue, tape-runners, several different types of paper-cutters, and TONS of paper. I also purchased some photography (from Maine photographer Nance Trueworthy) to make the cards suitable as souvenirs for our summer tourists. I have made hundreds of cards and still totally enjoy the process. They are challenging and fun to make - the options for design are endless. People often cannot put the cards down once they start playing with them, so the marketing has been easier than I anticipated. And they are fun to teach - I hold classes in my home and my "students" have made fantastic creations.
I love having an excuse to buy more paper - as addictions go it's a pretty harmless one! I would say I am done designing new cards, but I don't like to tempt fate. I never know when or where inspiration will strike. If you are interested in purchasing cards or scheduling a card class (I will teach any of the designs - but the Star of David is really difficult), call or e-mail.
Randi D. Lebar
I closed my orthopaedic surgery practice in 2008 after becoming frustrated with the business of medicine. Over the next three years, I became a craft artist by accident. Or perhaps it was fate.