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Celebrating the New Year with a Wearable Tradition

Karin Jacobson New Year

Happy new year! I hope everyone’s winter holidays were warm, bright, and relaxing. Every year around this time, I like to send out a New Year card to friends, colleagues, and clients. It’s a tradition I’ve established that helps me reconnect and send out my best wishes for the year to come. The card I design and send always includes some type of token, usually a coin-shaped charm.  

This year I chose the origami crane as the theme for both the card and for the charm. Why the crane? In part, because I’ve been so inspired by origami in my jewelry design over the past couple of years, and the crane is probably the most recognizable of origami folded patterns. It also helps that this iconic bird figure makes a terrific graphic!

Karin Jacobson Jewelry Design Origami Crane New Year Charm
Karin Jacobson Jewelry Design Origami Crane New Year Charm Envelope
 I went simple and graphic this year - just an origami crane on blue.  The charm is made of etched stainless steel - it's the first year trying this new technique and I am so pleased with the result! 

But the crane was also on my mind because it’s become a symbol of peace. Japanese tradition states that if a person folds 1,000 origami cranes, their wish will come true. But I believe that the crane’s strong connection with hope, healing, and peace came from the famous story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who developed leukemia from exposure to radiation after the bombing at Hiroshima. She is said to have committed to folding 1,000 cranes hoping that her wish to live would come true, but that she died having made only 644. Now a statue of her holding a folded crane stands as a memorial in Hiroshima Peace Park, and people lay wreaths of paper cranes over the statue.

So sending out this year’s crane-themed card is my way of wishing you all a happy, hopeful, and peaceful 2019. And whether you string the charm onto a chain or charm bracelet, keep it in your pocket, or just leave it attached to the card, I hope it reminds you of my best wishes for your next year!

Didn’t get a card from me this year? That means you might not be on my mailing list! But if you’d like to receive one, I’d be happy to send it. Just email me your street address and I’ll pop a crane card in the mail as soon as I can. (This is the one and only thing I send out by actual paper mail, so I promise you won’t be inundated with junk mail! And if you don’t want to be added to my email list, you can let me know when you reach out.)

Happy 2019!



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  • Mikayo Yamamoto on

    Hi Kar! Just letting you know that Sadako exceeded her goal of folding the cranes – the only 644 number is not accurate. Check the wiki entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadako_Sasaki
    Love the design! Megumi was doing a 1000 crane project – sending them out to anyone in the name of peace, so it reminds me of her too. Love you so much. m


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