Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Between The Folds

When I was a kid, I spent a large part of every Sunday fashioning origami frogs/cranes/Mt. Fujis out of church programs - much to the chagrin of my parents. ("No, Mom, I don't want to stand up and sing "Holy, holy, holy." I'm very busy fashioning increasingly tiny cranes! Augh!")

I don't attend church these days, but it's all I can do not to start folding cranes in the middle of staff meetings ("No, Department Manager, I don't want to stand up and talk about standardized testing. I'm very busy fashioning increasingly awesome tiny frogs! Augh!")

Let's rest our eyes on some particularly awesome folded paper, shall we?

When I was teaching in Taiwan, a group of junior high girls
gave me a jar of these tiny, folded stars as a going-away present.
I was super touched and had absolutely no idea what to do with them.

Paper rabbits are less likely to reproduce rampantly and
eat up all of your petunias.

Wouldn't these make for lovely centerpieces? And
what a cool use for old books?

Foxy? Yes.



Isn't this lovely? I'd love to do this in my office.
(I mean hang lots of cranes from the ceiling. Not stare at the
wall. But that's cool, too, I guess)

Were you into origami as a kid?

26 comments

  1. I started origami at 14 and is still doing it, 20 years later. I find it very relaxing. It was amplified when I lived in Japan.

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  2. I used to fold cranes to calm in school

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  3. I had paper cranes hanging like that in my apartment doorways when I lived in Japan! These days I just have a big bundle hanging from a corner of my half-Japanese son's bedroom.

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  4. I moved to Korea 6 months ago, and when I first got here and had no money and it was too cold to do much outside, I spent a lot of time making a bunch of origami flowers to hang in my apartment!

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30541561&id=148800002

    the first one was out of magazines i cut out, but i've since done a huge one from newspaper, and a tiny one from origami paper! SO FUN.

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  6. I've never done it but I love looking at it.

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  7. I really love the unicorn, the folded mane is amazing!
    Origami is definitely something I'd like to learn more!

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  8. @Kelsey - that flower ball is so cool!

    When I was a kid, I was waaaay into origami and could make all sorts of creatures. And a jewelry box! Man, that was the best. These days, I stick to cranes. I could make them in my sleep.

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  9. Loving the unicorn and the bunnies....sadly, I never had the patience it takes to do origami....:(

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  10. LOVE the stars!! Wasn't there a book called A Thousand Paper Cranes or something like that? The last picture reminds me of that...

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  11. In elementary school I learned to make a box, ball, bird... oops crane.. i think i've forgotten how..now... love that unicorn!.

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  12. I was obsessed with oragami as a kid as well. I wish I could still do it. I could make a pretty cool boat back in the day.

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  13. I still do it sometimes- making mad skills origami ducks! I can make one in 30 seconds. How do I know? I timed it.

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  14. I love those stars---my students used to make them for me, too :) In a similar vein (well, kind of) I thought these uses for old books (which are made of paper! Similar!) were awesome: http://thehiddenlist.com/2010/07/novel-ideas/

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  15. I send 1000 cranes each year to co-memorate the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atom bombs. It started with a girl that got leukemiae and before dying she tried to fold 1000 cranes in order to get well again. The laying down of cranes at her monument is an annual tradition.
    (sadako and the thousand paper cranes)

    I do rokoan origami the most, it is the art of folding several cranes out of the same paper. A good beginners book for adults is Mari Ono, Simple Art of Japanese Papercrafts

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  16. The stars are called wishing stars, they are folded while making a wish for the recipient !

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  17. I'm not a big origami-er (-ist?) myself, but I know at least two others:

    - A colleague in my grad department would make the most detailed little animals I've ever seen, and then tuck them away in the corners of the department lounge. So I'd sit down at one of the computers, and see a little dragon staring at me from on top of the monitor, or pull a book off the shelves and come face-to-face with a paper kitten. It was good distraction from his dissertation proposal, apparently, and a perpetual shower of lovely surprises for the rest of us!

    - A good friend of mine used to fold cranes in high school, to get rid of nervous energy, I guess. Now, he's what one might call "detail-oriented," so when he told me that he made them as small as he could, I believed him. But what I wasn't prepared for was the day he handed me a teeny, perfectly-formed crane... about the size of my thumbnail.

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  18. I really think I lack the fine motor skills for oragami! I still think it's beautiful, however. I had a friend in middle school who also made paper cranes in church! He grew up to be an amazing sculptor and carpenter, so I think there is something to that skill :)

    Those book-page flowers are amazing, I would love to make some for party favors or something :)

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  19. Oh my, I can barely fold a piece of paper in half properly...yet alone anything as wonderful as all this. The creative talents of others never cease to amaze me. Lovely post!
    XO Piper

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  20. Eternal Voyager - that's so sweet! I had no idea. I was just devotedly hoping that they hadn't spend class time folding those stars for me ;)

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  21. The wishing stars are VERY simple to make. They are traditionally folded for the new year celebrations in china and Japan. You take a strip of paper, make a careful "knot" and them you continue to "wrap" the paper around. Very easy.
    As several has suggested, I began folding to get rid of energy. Now I fold them whenever, while travelling, in front of the tv. I once had a job where I had time to fold too. There's an origami artist that folds absolutely gorgeous and to perfect scale of insects. Can't remember his name just now.

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  22. I hated church, I would do anything not to pay attention. My favorite thing to fold? A camera. I'd draw crude portraits of my siblings, fold it up and stick it in. The camera had a claw-action that popped open when you "clicked" it and the picture would pop out.
    Badass, correct?

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  23. I loved origami (and still do) but could never get the hang of it. I remember being so happy after making my first paper crane when I was 6 or 7.

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  24. Great post! There's a guy who works at the same volunteer job as me and always leaves little origami animals at the desk once he's done. It cheers me up so much to find them when I go in for my next shift. I must remember to get him to teach me!

    I also make those paper stars and know what you mean, so cute but so actually pointless. Still, I keep making them!

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  25. Oh my goodness, I was OBSESSED with paper cranes when I was a teenager! Of course, I had absolutely no skill at building any whatsoever, but luckily our high school was very multicultural and we had a plethora of Japanese students who loved nothing more than to sit around making the most amazing paper cranes. Thanks for allowing me to reminisce!

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  26. Oh my goodness, YES. I fold origami out of leftover coughdrop wrappers. It's really kind of ridiculous.

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