Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Idle Moments, Tangerine Stars

Here is a case where the maker persona just keeps going and going and going...

After eating a small tangerine (maybe a satsuma), I started idly cutting the skin up with an X-Acto knife into little stars. Then I shoved them aside and left them on my work table. I am now finding it almost impossible to eat a tangerine without cutting the skin up into little stars.

Tangerine stars. Note the nice patina on my work table.

The stars dry out in a day or so and begin to look like a cross between stars and dried fall leaves. They still smell lovely when you hold them up to your nose.

Lots of stars
Long ago I realized the art principle that multiples are almost always better, and that is true of tangerine stars. You simply cannot have too many.

More and more stars
I started gluing stars to holiday gift wrapping.

Stars as adornment

The gift smells faintly like an orange

I like the way they look when strewn on my work table along with bits of fallen nature I've found on recent walks. I don't think a centerpiece has to be in the center, or for a special occasion. A little visual delight is all I ask.

I tried stringing some together on a piece of gilded thread.

The best idea so far: tucked into a handmade envelope and mailed off to a two-year-old who just happens to love "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." The perfect greeting card for someone who cannot read. I included parental instructions on the envelope stating that at least one round of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" must be sung before the envelope is opened.

Greeting card for a two-year-old.

I mailed off freshly cut out stars so that they would still be supple and not brittle when going through the mail. What happens to them at the other end, once the wonder is over, is the two-year-old's problem.

For more entertaining things to do with tangerine (and orange and lemon) peels, see Orange, Lemon and Lime Boxes.


  1. love this! tangerine stars. it's just good to say, too.

  2. How do you peel the tangerine so that there's enough of the peel left large to make these?

  3. Gee, I've never had any problem in terms of peel size. These are small - about the size of your fingernail. I just start the peel going, and try to rip it as I go so that I've got larger pieces of intact skin. I get a lot of stars per tangerine - about seven or eight at least.

  4. Just did it again, paying attention to the process. Break the skin, and then work your finger(s) between the skin and the fruit. Separate the two, working your way around the tangerine. The skin will start to tear - just guide the tears so that you're left with large patches of flesh. I just got 13 stars from a very tiny tangerine.

  5. This is so charming .... I LOVE the envelope filled with stars .... whimsical .... must think of a two-year-old I can do this for!

    Thanks for keeping such a great blog going. I enjoy it immensely.



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