Monday, April 12, 2010

Meet the Artist: Ume Origami

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you a new blog feature and this month's giveaway!  This is the first edition of the new Meet the Artist series here at Serendipity Handmade.

I'd like to introduce you to the work of the immensely talented Christina, of Ume Origami! She and I met on My Craft Corner, where I immediately became a fan of her wonderful creations.  I interviewed Christina, and here's what she had to say about herself and her beautiful art:

Describe yourself in a haiku.

Folding, relaxing

With a few simple creases

Creativity flows

How long have you been folding origami? How did you learn?

I have been folding random things since I was in the second grade.  We started learning how to fold in conjunction with a class project on the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  Once I knew how to make a crane, I went gung-ho and folded hundreds to hang around the school on the anniversary of the atomic bombing.  Another childhood favorite of mine was making origami “fortune tellers” to determine who was going to “date” who -- I was quite the match-maker! 

When I was in college, I joined the “Origami Club” and starting folding more complicated designs and diagramming my own crease patterns.  Recently, I have been trying to stick to easier folding projects because I think origami is a beautiful and fun craft, and I want to be able to include others in the process.  I was an East Asian Studies major once upon a time and now I teach Asian Art History so I have become more interested in the history and development of paper folding.

What other crafts do you enjoy?

I am willing to try almost anything, but my favorite crafts other than origami are amigurumi (a Japanese form of crocheting to make cute little stuffed animals) and jewelry-making.  As a graduate student, money does not come easily so making my own accessories has been one way to update my wardrobe.  And I love all sorts of papercrafts, of course!  If you know any way to use up paper scraps, please let me know... My pile is ever-growing and I do not have the heart to throw them away!

How long has Ume Origami been open?  What made you decide to open an online shop?

I opened Ume Origami on September 3, 2009.  It is a relatively new venture for me and this is the first time I have ever tried to sell my work online.  I was part of a wonderful program in Japan the preceding summer called Hiroshima and Peace where I did coursework on the atomic bombings.  I met a lot of wonderful people through the program and I had the great opportunity to be in the city for the anniversary of the bombing.  Seeing all of the paper cranes around the Memorial Park was truly a sight to behold and I decided to start folding cranes in my spare time to eventually send to Hiroshima on the next anniversary.

When some friends were visiting, I tossed around the idea of opening my own origami shop online.  Everyone was very supportive, and a few weeks later I bit the bullet and registered for an Etsy account.  Thus Ume Origami was born!  I chose the name Ume for my work for sentimental reasons.  Ume means plum blossom in Japanese.  When I was living in Japan in 2005-06, my friend and I used to travel around and take beautiful floral photographs from various parts of Japan.  My favorite flower was the plum blossom and so I chose to go with Ume (pronounced oo-meh) as my online tag.  My shop features origami jewelry, and lots of items related to my new favorite thing: chiyogami paper dolls.

Where can we find you online?

The fastest way to find me is through my blog which is my “main hub” so to speak:  From there, you can find my Etsy shop ( and my work on Zibbet (  If you Twitter, you can find me at umeorigami ( and I also have a FaceBook page (  I am always looking forward to making new friends though social networking so be sure to say "hi" and tell me how you found me!
* * *
Christina has very generously offered the beautiful origami art work pictured in this post as a gift to one Serendipity Handmade reader:

Please thank her by visiting her Etsy or Zibbet shop and leaving a comment here about your favorite item -- and you'll enter the contest at the same time! One comment per person, please.  This giveaway ends on April 30th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. The winner will be drawn by random number at and the winner will be announced on May 1st!  Be sure to leave your email address, website link, or profile link as part of your comment so I can easily contact you. UPDATE:  This giveaway is open worldwide.  International entries welcome!

I hope that you enjoyed this first edition of the Meet the Artist series! Madison Avenue Monday will return next week. Best of luck to you all in the giveaway!


  1. I really enjoyed reading about Christina. I've visited her shops and love the Tomodachi magnetic dolls bookmarks. So pretty! Please enter me for the giveaway. You can reach me at

    Sending smiles, Emma x

  2. What beautiful work! I love the Marika doll in her Etsy shop. Loved reading her interview!

  3. i love the "Japanese Origami Paper Doll - Mariko"

    and i think she makes realy cool stuff! i like!

  4. Christina is amazing! I just recently purchased one of her Japanese Origami Paper Doll Keiko! :) Other then Keiko, my fave items are her tiny Japanese Paper Doll Magnetic bookmarks! Love them!

  5. I've been following her for several months! LOVE her work and her spiritual connection to what she shows!

  6. Great interview! Beautiful work by Christina!

    My favourite item from Christina's etsy shop is:

    Japanese Origami Paper Doll - Marielle

    Thank you! :)

  7. Lovely interview and cute things. I'm going to look at her Etsy shop.

  8. What a wonderful feature! Christina was one of the first friendly folks I met through My Craft Corner!!! I have always been fascinated with origami, and Christina does such fine work!!! I truly love her her little Chiyogami and Paper dolls. :) Bravo!!! Theresa

  9. Wow, nice giveaway! I love
    Enter me please ^^

    Ana Belén R.M

  10. Oh, everything she makes is just amazing! My favorite is the Magnetic bookmarks Japanese paper doll Nakamura- it would be so sweet to tuck them inside a book as a special gift.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

    nupur.kittur AT gmail DOT com

  11. Enter me please! i LOVE


  12. So cute! I think I like Bookmark with origami doll Etsuko best, beautiful. Thanks!


  13. These are so cute! My favorite is the Japanese Origami Paper Doll Ai
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

  14. I totally love this new site! Thanks for suggesting it! I have added it to my favorite sellers on Etsy! I love Japanese origami paper doll Marielle the best!

  15. I love the magnet bookmarks (dolls) and Marielle is my favorite doll. So sweet!

    Thanks for the giveaway and good luck to everyone!

    Email in profile:

  16. I love the "decadence" earrings; they are gorgeous! I've done some basic origami, but I never thought something like this was possible!

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  17. Paper Doll Eriko... OH so lovely. Such talent!

    anna.b.hale @

  18. I like Nakamura!


  19. I love Japanese origami paper doll Mariko! Mariko is a name that I adore!


  20. My favorite is Japanese origami paper doll Masami ( :

    A_C_E_ at hotmail dot com

  21. I love Origami pendant cherry blossom picnic!
    cal_rubies at yahoo dot es

  22. Hii! ENTER ME pls~~
    I love most of her works~~
    so creative, cute, pretty, and neat!!^^

    my favorite would be the Japanese origami paper doll Mariko (
    love the colors & the dolls^^

    Fingers crossed.
    <3 Risya
    My Email: Risya271(at)yahoo(dot)com

  23. love the Bookmark with origami doll Etsuko
    thank you for the chance to win!
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

  24. My favorite is this bookmark:

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

  25. I love the Origami pendant-Orange Crush.

    The Happy Wife/Danielle
    ldsmom2201 at yahoo dot com

  26. Wow! I love her shop, it is so cute! My favorite is definitely the paper doll Tsubame. (:

    Thanks! (:

    Joanna O | annaojordonez at gmail dot com

  27. Christina - - I love the Origami Pendant Star Ocean from the etsy shop! When I was a child I was just enthralled with origami (it wasn't as prevalent en masse then) and searched out every book in the library about it and made a paper zoo for my little brothers, who loved it!

  28. I like the Magnetic washi bookmarks Lost in the Garden. So great!

  29. What beautiful pieces! Thanks for hosting this giveaway. I really like the dolls, especially Ai.

  30. Bookmark with origami doll Etsuko (

    Bookmark with origami paper doll shiori ningyo Yuuna

    Bookmark with Origami Paper Doll - Kokoro

  31. I like the "Japanese origami paper doll Tsubame"


  32. I love the magnetic bookmarks! I always like origami paper people, but I never have anything to do with them, once I have them. This would be a great way to keep them in view!


  33. Christina's work is beautiful--I especially like the star ocean pendant.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  34. The japanese origami paper dolls... They are adorable!

  35. Hi there,

    I love all the magnetic bookmarks -- so cute and perfect for marking a page. :)

    Thanks for the chance to win something so adorable!

    Greetings from Munich,

  36. mi piace questo lo trovo adorabile
    saluti dall'italia

  37. I love the Magnetic washi bookmarks Lost in the Garden. Thank you.

  38. My favorite piece is the paper doll Eriko. Thank you.

  39. i really like the Bookmark with origami doll Etsuko. my sister would love any item in that shop!

  40. The dolls remind me of my classroom of faces, each unique and equally magical!

    Also the Bookmark with Brown Origami Puppy and Tulip caught my eye, since I've adopted a browm pup and he is is the talent and gifted spirit of the origami artist Christina!

  41. Eriko reminds me of the wonderful work I saw in Japan - a wnderful reminder! Thank you!

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. I love Bookmark with Origami Paper Doll - Dillon -its so cute and so elegant!!!

  44. Beautiful work, I love the dolls

  45. Your art masterpieces capture the beauty and spirit of Asia! Thanks for sharing your artistry with all of us wannabes!

    loreleame on ETSY


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