Japanese dolls and paper flowers

I was admitted to hospital unexpectedly last week with suspected gallstones. The timing was particularly bad because Jack was en route from Australia, so instead of arriving home to a nice dinner he arrived home to a grumpy cat and a note on the coffee table telling him to make his way to North Shore hospital. I was super happy to see him because the only bed they could find for me was in the transplant ward with a trio of demanding old ladies with joint replacements who were not the best company. In fact, I ended up disconnecting my drip many times to assist them in various ways when the overworked nurses failed to materialise when buzzed.

When Jack came to see me during visiting hours on my second day he gave me a copy of one of my favourite books as a child, Miss Happiness & Miss Flower by Rumer Godden (1961) with illustrations by Jean Primrose. I have been looking for a copy of this book for ages, so he couldn't have given me a more perfect present. The book is about a little English girl called Nona whose mother died when she was a baby and who had been raised on her father's tea plantation in Southern India. When she turned eight, Nona was sent to live with relatives in England where she felt scared, lonely and very different from the other kids.
A gift of two antique Japanese dolls named Miss Happiness and Miss Flower from an elderly Aunt ultimately brings happiness, friendship and a sense of purpose and belonging into Nona's life. Through the process of working out how to design a replica Japanese house for the dolls, she forms friendships with her cousins, her school teacher, her classmates and the local bookstore owner, who all help her to build and furnish the house.

Reading the book again with its detailed descriptions of the process of constructing the house, sewing the tiny silk quilts and cushions, painting a miniature paper scroll and making new kimonos for the dolls, I'm certain now where my love of handcrafts came from and I'm so happy to be able to add this precious book to my collection.

Appropriately, the designs for the two paper flowers come from my Yamada Ito Paper Craft book and I used a couple of pieces of fine handmade paper to make them.

To make the camelia cut the spiral and roll from the outer edge. Let it loosen in your hand and gently feed the innermost part of the spiral through the hole and secure it in place with a blob of craft glue. I made a smaller black spiral to go inside it. To make the leaves, cut out a leaf shape, score a wavy line with a knitting needle to make a central vein and carefully bend the card into shape.

 The other invented species of orange flower is made from three variations of the pattern above that were inserted inside each other to make outer and inner petals. 

A stash of paper flowers like these would make beautiful decorations for presents and they would also look pretty perched on top of a birthday cake.


Meliors Simms said…
I also ADORED Miss Happiness and Miss flower when I was little.Thanks for reminding me! Probably set up a couple of generations of future crafters...
sandeep sharma said…
Origami is one of the popular ways to show your folding skills. And for those who love flowers and just hate to see them wilt or you just want to make a....

paper craft

paper flowers

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