May You Live In Interesting Times

Today marks the start of the Chinese New Year — the Year of the Rabbit, to be precise. I’ve given up on drawing animals, so you won’t see any cute — or not-so-cute — bunnies I’ve made, and be thankful for that. What you will see is one of the special creative projects my husband and I have done.

I’ve always been interested in origami, but I’ve never been very good at it. We won’t even discuss the cranes I once tried to fold, although I will make brief mention here of the origami boxes I made at one art club meeting last year.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

The little boxes were fun to make. Mine weren’t perfect, but that’s beside the point. And I took that same attitude, shared it with my husband, and together we came up with a lovely way to celebrate Chinese New Year.

I read about the tradition of giving lucky red envelopes to family members to bring prosperity for the coming year. Why not try making our own envelopes? I was eager to try. I found a video tutorial, made one practice envelope and then gave the project a “go ahead”. I knew we could do it.

For starters, here is the video we watched:

Easy Origami Envelope Tutorial

Since the first step involves squaring the sheet of paper… and since I’m not good with scissors… well, I have a lovely paper cutter in the studio. I grabbed that, grabbed our red construction paper, and it only took me three tries to figure out how to turn my 9 x 12 sheet into 9 x 9 squares!

Step by step, my husband and I followed along with an “assembly line” method. Toward the end we had to replay the video a few times to see the exact folds to make, and over and over I reminded my husband (and myself) that our envelopes didn’t have to be perfect. They were being made with love and that was all that mattered.

When completed, each envelope held a string a 3 Chinese coins and a fortune from a fortune cookie. We handed out the first one yesterday and will making the rounds to visit our children and their families today.

All the while we were working on these, I was thinking of that awesome Chinese blessing:


It’s a blessing, yet maybe a curse at times. Either way, I think it’s very true that we do live in interesting times. The world is definitely seeing “interesting times”, and throughout the coming year, I’m planning to make my studio time interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding.

So, here are the pictures of our red envelope project — in no particular order.

Here’s grandpa patiently making the first folds.

When finished we had a nice stack of red envelopes! Hurray for a successful project. They might not be perfect but they are definitely red envelopes.



These are the “lucky coins” we placed inside each envelope.

We also added a fortune from a cookie:

And here’s another photo from the project:



And another “up close” look:



And a few more:

To end, I’ll share this last picture — taken after the project was complete. If we’re friends on Facebook, you’re already aware that our “Buddy Boy” spent four days and nights in the animal hospital. We picked him up on Saturday morning, and I was so happy to have him home! He quickly set about checking out our project, and I’d like to think that he approves.

So, now, as the Year of the Rabbit officially begins, I will wish each and every one of you the best. May you, indeed, always live in interesting times.











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