Geometric Drawings · origami · Zhen Xian Bao

Late for Black Friday: A New Kit

Over the summer I made a 3-hidden boxes packet of these folded paper Zhen Xian Bao with an oceany paper for a workshop in NYC. I put up for sale, then sold out of, the packets that I didn’t use.

In the fall I made more papers for another workshop, but used autumn colors with a design that reminded me of falling leaves. Those are all gone.

Now, here we are, barrelling into winter, so I designed papers that remind me of snowflakes. Just put kits up for these on sale at Etsy, at

I must be delusional. It thought that it would take me only a couple of days to put this project together, thinking they’d be ready for Black Friday. I should know better by now. It has never taken me less than three intense days to design a new paper. Why did I think this would be any faster this time? In fact, it took longer. I couldn’t get the colors to work right, and I struggled with lots about the design.

But I stayed with it, and in the end, FINALLY, today, not two days ago, it finished coming together.

There’s so much about these papers with this structure that I love. It’s full of shapes and colors and patterning that work together in unusual and surprising ways. Really had to work at letting the patterning reveal itself while still keeping it within the boundaries of my own vision.

There’s a bit of a story here.

I had been looking through Clarissa Grande’s twitter post, searching for inspiration. It was the second design in this thread, the one in that is green and gold, that caught my eye.


I didn’t realize it at the time, but it is a design I had studied and created quite some time ago while learning from Samira Mian. Samira pointed out that this was one that she had taught as the Chinese Qur’anic Manuscript Arcing Motif.

Now this shows what I like the most about these geometric constructions: the same underlying structure can create such wildly different results. Going more in the direction of Clarissa’s work, I came up with this pattern:

This led me to the final patterns in the top of the post.

What a journey!

I will have these papers in a kit for sale for just a couple of weeks at




One thought on “Late for Black Friday: A New Kit

  1. This is exciting, for many reasons. Thank you for making more kits. I was sad when I realized I was too late to get one of your original leftovers, but now – what wonderful Christmas presents these will make! And I’m happy to discover your blog. A Zhen Xian Bao features in my next mystery. A friend introduced me to them, and your posts help unfold their beauty. Thanks, Paula!

    Liked by 1 person

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