Category Archives: New Products

History of the Katana

In honor of our new Cardboard Weaponry, let’s take a trip back in time and across the globe to explore the story behind one of our most culturally significant creations: the katana.

Say hello to feudal Japan, circa 1400. The katana first appeared around this time in the Muromachi Period, and acted as the next version of the more basic tachi sword.  The difference between the two began as a pretty nominal one, because some samurai prefered to carry their swords with the sharp edge facing up instead of down. Thanks to these early trendsetters, the nature of Japanese combat took a giant step forward. That simple change, which makes it easier and faster for warriors to pull out their weapons, marked the beginning of the katana’s path through history.

Swordsmiths caught on to the movement and started to design their weapons with the new style in mind. The katana’s most distinguishing characteristics are the way that it is worn (in that efficient edge-up fashion) and the placement of the maker’s signature. Because samurai carried their katanas upside-down in comparison to tachi swords, swordsmiths also switched the placement of their signatures to the opposite side of the blade so that their names would remain visible on the outside of the katana. This is probably the best way to tell what kind of sword you are looking at, since the carry method can be a bit unclear when it’s not strapped onto someone’s back.

Now, time for a real kicker: traditional katanas are not made of cardboard! Shocking, I know. Unlike our version, which is pretty fierce in its own right, true katanas are so strong because they are built from a Japanese super-steel called tamahaganeUnfortunately, Cardboard Safari didn’t quite have the resources to replicate that intense process. But hey, ours is much safer to keep in the house.

Leah Yellowbird’s Detailed Designs

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Meet Leah Yellowbird, American Indian artist.

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And admire her amazing work!

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 You can imagine the awe that swept over us when we received these photos from Leah Yellowbird, our new line of birch plywood products all dressed up in bright beaded suits.

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We were even further blown away to learn that these are not beads at all, but dots of paint applied with a spotter brush.

Leah paints each piece with incredible detail.

Even though some of her work is not visible once the animal is assembled, the animal is reborn with heart and spirit.

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Says Leah,

In my culture we have a “circle of life,” it means to represent all colors of people being together as one. The colors are red, black, yellow, and white. And the tourquise stone is important to us as well. So I did this bear as the circle of life colors . . . He has the strength of all people in the spirit of the bear.

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Leah Yellowbird poured hours into these designs, drawing inspiration from the beading work she did in her youth, applying traditional Indian ways to these North American animal heads, infusing them with profound significance and artistry.

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Says Leah Yellowbird about her work,

I am an American Indian artist trying to understand the world and express myself through learning and practicing the traditional art forms of my Anishinabe people. My preferred medium has been beadwork for many years and I hadn’t painted for about 20 years. I recently decided to try expressing my beading tradition with paint & canvas. I hope that you find my efforts successful.

Each canvas is painted “as if I was beading it” with millions (OK, maybe only hundreds of thousands) of small dots of paint to make the finished piece.

My inspiration is given to me by my ancestors in the way of dreams. “When I wake up from one of these dreams I have seen the completed work and feel compelled to draw and paint the vision as it was given to me”.

My message or point of view is very simple. “Seek harmony.”

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We are so very honored that Leah choose our products as a canvas.

These and other amazing works will be displayed in a show she will have in November,

A Magical Journey with Leah Yellowbird. 

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 Please follow her on Facebook!

Visit her Website.

And if you are anywhere near Duluth, MN, do go and see her show on November 6 at Trepanier Hall at 212 W. 2nd Street.

It is sure to be a magical journey!

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We wish Leah all the luck in the world with her work and look forward to seeing more photos!

To learn more about the Anishinabe people, please check out the following websites!

www.anishinaabemdaa.com

https://intercontinentalcry.org/indigenous-peoples/anishinaabe/

www.ojibwe.org/home/about_anish.html

www.anishinabek.ca

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Thank you Leah Yellowbird for sharing your talent and traditions, and for making this world a more beautiful place!

Wood You Check These Out!

By popular demand we’ve released an exciting new line of wood products.

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You asked and we answered!

The ever iconic Bucky Deer, Fred Moose, and Eyan Elephant are now available in a beautiful Birch Plywood in Medium and Large size options.

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We’ve  also added to our Medium Sized wood line: Billy Bison, Robbie Rhino, Merlin Unicorn, and the US Flag Buck.

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Sturdy and stunning, they are a valuable alternative to our recycled cardboard line and have a beautiful grain and color variance.

Perfect for living room, office, nursery, or dorm, these unique forms will impress your friends!

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It’s not too early to start considering gifts for the holidays.

A gift from Cardboard Safari will bring delight to young and old alike.

Shop Now!

Celebrating the Rainbow Flag!

In celebration of Equality, Love, and Magical Unicorns, we’ve released a couple of Stunning Rainbow Products.

Our Word Craft Rainbow Wall Art says it all:

love_rainbow_001And any Home is a Happy Home when there is a Rainbow Unicorn on the Wall!

unicorn_rainbow_001The Rainbow Love Text can be displayed on Wall, Shelf, or Table. 

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It is Strong and Solid,  just like Love!

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The Rainbow Unicorn is a Friend to Young and Old alike.

His Unconditional Affection will remind Everyone that Love really does Win!

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100% American Made, These Colors Don’t Bleed!

Be Bold and Display them with Pride.

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P.S. We also have a Rainbow Love Set, at 10% off the full price.

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow. . .

. . . there is an awe inspiring crew of characters that would love to hang on your walls! fantasy_pc_04_satu

 Nikita our Cardboard Dragon is a hot new product and will fiercely protect your home, your child’s nursery, your dorm, or your office!

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Choose brown or white in our standard Micro, Junior, and Large sizes. You can also display her with wings, or without. 

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 Why not get a dragon mother and her flameling?

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And don’t forget about our Merlin Unicorns. They come in all sizes, in the standard brown and white, and in some fancy prints as well.

One of my personal favorites is the starburst print, available in purple, blue, and gold.

Truly a Magical Merlin.

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 Not into Unicorns? How about Zombies? Edgar Zombie might give your brain a boost as you assemble this clever cardboard creation.

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 Another great companion is Vince Skull. Micro Vince comes in brown, white, zebra, and black. There is a also a Large Vince, our very Special Edition Vince, and our Vince Wall Skulls. Gather them all around you for some inspiration!

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Invite this cast of characters into your lair!

Or check out our website for more creature creations!

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P.S. If you like buying more for less, check out our very cool Sets!

Find us at Tom Tom Block Party Tonight!

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The Tom Tom Founders Festival is under way in Charlottesville. Events have been unfolding all week from a song writer competition to an innovator award ceremony,  farm to table restaurant week to a variety of local music events,  a founders summit, pop up art exhibits, workshops, poetry readings, and a few block parties. This is just the tip of the iceberg! Do check out the impressive schedule here!

Cardboard Safari is a supporting sponsor and will have a table at the Lee Park Block Party tonight where we will be selling our products, discounted overstock, a great selection of seconds, and our brand new Tom Tom Bison. Stop by our table to meet our cool crew and pick up some awesome, sustainable, locally made, recycled cardboard home decor. You’ll also have a chance to hear a showcase of local bands, drink delicious beer, and choose from a multitude of food vendors. The block party is great fun for the whole family and has become a Charlottesville tradition.

Founded in 2012, Tom Tom is a non profit that holds almost 100 free events in Charlottesville each year. As described on their about page, “The converging disciplines of music, art, design, business, science and technology connect people and new ideas to the future.” The mission of Tom Tom is to “celebrate and empower founders, people who build creative, civic, and entrepreneurial projects.”

Introducing Card Boards!

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This year’s Awesome April Exclusive brings you Card Boards, a wearable type of technology that will feed you inspiration when needed.

Slip these sweet specs on and simply describe what you are seeking. Responsive to voice commands, Card Boards will boost your creativity.

Ask for anything from Pre-Raphaelite Paintings to Pop Art, Nature Essays to Song Lyrics, Famous Photographs to Celebrity Selfies. 

Card Boards will project HD images. The soothing robotic voice will read poetry, sing opera, or step you through DIY projects.

Never again do you have to wallow in writer’s block or stare at a blank canvas.

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Desperate for a beach vacation? Just say the words and Card Boards will visually land you on a Greek Island where you can watch the waves roll to shore, smell the souvlaki, and feel the sun against you skin.

Have you always wanted to bungee jump? Card Boards will simulate the experience.

Card Boards are also predictive. Dial in your weekly horoscope or your quarterly tarot reading. Simply watch your future unfold like a movie on a screen.

Card Boards may be sharp. We recommend wearing a bandaid over the bridge of your nose for protection.

A box of decorative bandaids is included with your purchase. Choose between a pattern of puppies, kitties, or zombies.

Card Boards: For the Visionary Who Needs Some Vision.

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Order Now While Supplies Last!

Slices of Pi

Attention all Lovers of Pi!

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In tribute to Pi Day, coming right up on March 14, we have a brand new kit of colorful cardboard slices for you to assemble into a delicious Pi of your very own.

This vibrant wall hanging is perfect for teachers, students, mathematicians, lovers of Pi, and anyone with a clever sense of style!

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Assemble the Pi into one of two 3D styles ~ open in the back to a white layer, or stacked in a bright solid layer.

All of our products are laser cut and packaged in our small Virginia shop.

Our new Pi wall hanging was designed by Mike Ripple, designer of most of our stunning Print Designs.

Everyone will have an eye on this Pi!

A Fresh Stew for You!

We do take customer suggestions into consideration and a Bear has been a popular request.

Our talented designer Luis Rodrigalvarez has worked up a beautiful beast named Stewart!

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Stewart is currently available in a very limited quantity before the Holidays.

If you are interested in a size Large Bear, act now as there are only 25! First come first serve, one per customer!

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But please don’t fear, there will be more Bears  available in the new year in our usual size and color spectrum.

In the mean time, please enjoy this video welcoming Stewart into the fold!