The Cardboard Collective

My friend LiEr from Ikatbag invited me to participate in an international blog hop this week. I really admire LiEr. She is a kindred cardboard spirit; someone who works physics into cardboard, and always affirms my frustrations about the need for more gender neutral toys. And while sometimes I have hidden and gotten quiet on my blog, LiEr has always been a do-er.

The blog hop is a chain of interview blog posts. The end result is everyone getting to know many, many more creative people as they jump from link to link. I was invited by LiEr/ ikat bag, but after I interview myself at the end of this post, I’ll also invite you to visit a couple of my favorite blogs, if you haven’t already.

The Cardboard Collective

The Interview:

What am I working on right now?

Some clothes boxes for my daughters and also a project for a little publication I’m putting together.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

One notable thing is my environment. Japan is a beautiful place and it’s had a profound influence on me. I grew up on a farm with lots of space and things and materials around. Japan has made me appreciate a more paired down kind of beauty and way of living.

Another, I think, is the way I see cardboard. I think cardboard is kind of like exoskeleton. You can see it looking very tough like the horn of a stag beetle, or very weak and flexible, like a pill bug’s molted skin. I think it’s somewhere on a continuum between leather and wood depending on how you treat it, but it also has it’s own unique properties, like being extremely lightweight, having directional strength and a hollow core. I like the raw edges when you tear it. I like how it looks when it’s slightly crumpled, I love the many many shades of brown.

I’m also attracted to cardboard as a way of subverting consumerism.
To me it’s a symbol of resilience; to take something that others have discarded, and make something beautiful. for free. YEs! I love that.

Why do I create?

When I get lulled into a routine that doesn’t include making, I don’t feel like myself. Making is something that feels to be a part of my DNA. It just makes me happy.

How does my creating process work?

I always carry a sketch book and pencil and draw my ideas there. I also keep a photo file of things I see when I’m walking around Tokyo. Lastly,  I have a “top secret” Pinterest pin board that has replaced the torn page magazine scrap book I used to keep.

For designs I want to build, I usually work up a miniature prototype and then make and remake. Some of the things I have made have been fun projects and we haven’t used them for very long, and a few precious others we still use.

When I started making things out of cardboard, it was really hard to recycle anything that I had made. Now I sing “Let it go” every time recycle day comes around. I have to. There’s always something I need to part with if I want to have enough space for new projects.

The Cardboard Collective

Your Art here.

Lastly I get to introduce you to my absolute favorite blog!


I didn’t invite Sergio to the blog hop because he doesn’t use any text on his site, but if you’ve never seen Kedublock, plEAse check it out. I think it’s genius. The clever use of simple materials and beautiful photography…… the joy of little handmade toys, you’re going to love it.

A few other blogs I really love:

Alabama Chanin Journal

Made by Joel


My husband’s favorite: Old Parked Cars

2 thoughts on “

  1. I really appreciate yr efforts n thank you so much for sharing . I was like looking for sea horse costume for my 4 yr old daughter n that is how I came to yr site. Its really great. There r so many wonderful idea tat u can marvel at.

    Mumbai, India

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