The legend of the Origami Crane

OrigamiCrane-CelebrationOfLife-SusanCharlotteGraphicsThe gift of a beautiful pair of origami crane earrings stirred an interest in the art of paper folding. Tiny red cranes are suspended from this delicate jewellery made by Karla Stevenson of Raglan, New Zealand.

Animals, birds especially, are used in many cultures to convey symbolic meaning. The large winged crane, an ancient bird, thought to have a life span of 1,000 years, embodies the spirit of longevity, good fortune, prosperity, peace, happiness, and eternal youth. Essentially, a celebration of life.

Respect for this mighty bird encompasses both admiration and fear. In Japan, having the Tsuru (crane) hanging within the home is considered to encourage good luck and joy. In Egyptian symbolism, the crane, due to its annual return every Spring, is thought to represent regeneration.

Within one culture the symbolic meaning can be divided. Generally portrayed as a symbol of love and joy by the Greeks and Romans, the crane also appears as an omen in some ancient Greek fables.

The tradition of the origami crane as a symbol of health, happiness, and peace was strengthened by the tale of Sadako Sasaki and the 1000 cranes. Sadako’s memorable story is of perseverance and hope in her fight to recover from leukemia caused by exposure to radiation after the bombing of Hiroshima. Take the following link, to the legend of Sudako, and how the folded origami crane has come to represent healing and hope during challenging times:

The Last Anzac (Biscuit)

You have to be fast. Kate’s popular Anzac biscuits disappear quickly. The sweet, crunchy rolled oat Anzac, is an iconic biscuit in New Zealand and Australia.

To view the popular Anzac biscuits disappearing, double click on the smaller image below (an animated .GIF file)TheLastAnzac-Animation-SusanCharlotteGraphics.

According to folklore, these well-keeping biscuits were baked by the womenfolk at home, and sent to soldiers in the NZ and Australian Army Corps, known as “ANZACS”, serving overseas in World War One.


These biscuits have a strong historical military connection. Follow this link to a “Today in New Zealand History” recording from 1950, to hear about the spirit of ANZAC:

You can find a version of the traditional Anzac recipe on the NZ Woman’s Weekly website:

Strummin’ Pumpkin

The image is an animated .GIF file. If Pumpkin, the 3 legged cat isn’t playing the ukulele, give the image a double click.Strummin Pumpkin-SusanCharlotteGraphics
Ukulele cat
In a party hat
Strummin’ the strings
Doin’ his thing

Enjoy The Day With Max









The image is an animated .GIF file. If Max the dog isn’t playing, give the image a double click. The animation may play slowly until fully loaded.

Playing With The Colour Wheel

Illustration Friday topic: Wheel

The image is an animated GIF file. If the colour wheels aren’t spinning for you already, give the image a double click. The wheels may spin slowly until fully loaded.

Many subjects came to mind when I saw Illustration Friday’s topic “Wheel”, suggested by Susan Sorrell Hill. A bit of colour is always good. So, I’ve set the colour wheel spinning.


Sketchbooks, the retro creative database



There’s a charm to roughly composed beginnings. A fundamental appeal to raw expression. The sketches in an artist’s diary record creative evolution. Finished designs may be more refined but they are not necessarily better.

The sketchbook is where artists do a lot of their thinking. The appeal of a brand new empty journal is the contemplative space. Blank pages ready to free-associate, sort and store ideas and connect with the pure pleasure of drawing.

As an artist’s tool, these unfiltered roughs serve a variety of purposes. Essentially they are an inner conversation. The space is used to capture and jot down visual thinking, to loosely experiment with random thoughts, develop creative ideas, store clippings, reflect, make mistakes, daydream and hone technique. Initial drawings are often scanned, becoming a basis for a much larger project.

Comments from the visual journal site of artist Danny Gregory let us know that such works inspire others to connect with their own creativity, to notice and document the world around them in their own imaginative style.

Graphic designer, illustrator, and book artist, Roz, has a life-long practice of journal keeping. It is her goal that more and more people keep visual journals….to get more people observing and sketching their lives…. Take a look around her postings at Another interesting journal blog is the work of 28 artists and journalists at:

The visual diary of an artist is an object of art on a human scale.

Red Sandals


Sketching again: My new red eccos. Stepping softly. Travelling far.