Monday, January 28, 2013

An Origami Pond Scene...With Goldfish!

So I folded up the remaining goldfish and added the lotuses,   I like all but the largest one, which just seemed fussy to mess with.  the little guys took on a nice lively appearance,

but the larger cardstock was just a challenge and refused to bend to my will.  Ah well,  Fold and learn.  As for tonight,  I have been working on an Origami Tiger.  

I found a cool video and have been inspired to try to replicate the tiger in it, however, I have not found that particular pattern for a tiger yet,

 so I have been wrestling with a John Montroll version and seeing if I can make it look similar.  I have been eager to fold some of Montroll's patterns ever since Cheryl gave me his latest book for Christmas.  We shall see what the end results are like, but so far,  they look promising! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Origami Saturday, So much to fold, so Little Time

So I spent most of the day folding.  I'm beginning to wonder if I do anything else in my spare time.   I guess it is better than 8 hours like I used to.  Anyway,  I worked on preparing some paper on Friday, and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out...( so far...) I folded a lobster and an elephant 

. The lobster is rather cool, since it is quite large, but the elephant I still need to perfect. It's not like I have not done it before, but I always get hung up on the final shaping and am never satisfied wit the final result. I guess I could keep messing with it, but eventfully you just have to call it good and move on.

  I want to fold a couple of more thing for some goldfish I folded earlier in the week. They seem to need some lotus flowers to go with them. Perhaps I'll add a couple more fish as well. We shall see.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Learning Japanese....More Adventures with Ethan And Cheryl!

So. Out of the blue, we decided to learn Japanese.  Perhaps it is the manga, or all that Anime Perhaps it is the origami fetish, or the Hello Kitty and other Kawai things that Cheryl collects.   But for some reason, we thought to ourselves, " why don't we learn the Language?"  It just seemed like the next logical step.  Well,  After Cheryl emptied the bank account buying all these books that are " proven effective ways to learn Japanese"  the only thing we learned was that Cheryl likes to buy a lot of books on, and the Japanese idea of "simple"  is slightly higher than the American Ideal.  Either that, or Cheryl and I are really  mentally handicapped!
  Now, to be fair,  My idea of simple is where I put on the headphones, click play and fall asleep.  Then, after I wake up, I can order Sushi at Yakitari Grill and the chef will be some impressed, he will come out and begin swapping stories with us about his childhood! Basically,  It has to be easy, painless, and subconscious!  Oh!  Did I mention EASY?

  And so...Hello Crunchy Roll!   Crunchy roll is great because it is Anime that is just Subbed and you can hear the words as they are spoken.   Also:  Hello YouTube!   There are some really great Podcast on YouTube that help out with the simple uses and Phrases.  And so far,   Cheryl and I are actually able to carry a short conversation in Japanese and understand each other.  Cheryl wants to also learn how to read it, but that is a little more ambitious than I want to be,  But you never know what I will pick up when I am not paying attention!  Hopefully, we will be able to speak it some what well enough to get by in Japan when we visit someday.  We shall see.  OH!  Here is the first video!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 21, 2013

An Origami Horse I Can Be Proud Of

Every now and then, I surprise even myself on how wonderful a design turns out.  As with the Rhino, This Horse exceeded my expectations.  Now I know it is not perfect,  and it is a design tat I ave played around with for years.   However,  There were several things that I think really worked for this piece that I have failed to get to work before.   Namely, the hooves, mane, and head. 

The ears have always been fairly easy to work out, but they often were wither too large, ( i.e. donkey!) Or too thin to look much like a horse.  Sometimes I just buried them as they were too much of a hassle to make work.  However,  this time  I was able to unfold them slightly giving them a curved, broad shape.   Very horse-like in their look. 

The next was the hooves.  What can I say?  they finally turned out the way I thought they should.  Perhaps it was the paper strength, or the size of the sculpture, but I was able to work my finger in to form  them to the perfect shape.  It's true,  there are no " pure folds" here.   It's wet folded so I allow myself a little artistic leeway.  After all,  I'm the one shaping the paper! 

Last was the head.  I rarely ever make two horses the same, even though I follow the same folding sequence.   call me odd, but I just find it difficult to fold two designs exactly identical.  Even the simple origami Crane I have to add pleats, widen the tail, or lengthen the beak...whatever I feel like at the moment.   So I folded this head with several pleats around the top while pulling out the bottom of the chin.   The left over paper was used for a mane!  The eyes  and nose look pretty good, considering that pervious attempts often look more like crumpled paper and less like what I intended.  

So, After gushing about this one model,  I think that it is important to mention the paper.   I used 36" craft paper that I glued together with diluted tacky glue.  I rotated the two pieces so that the paper fibers would be running perpendicular to each other ( something I should NOT repeat!   The fibers shrank and contracted forming bubbles and wrinkles in the paper!)  I then coated both sides with methylcellulose and pressed it down with several heavy books to flatten it.  In the end, the paper was thicker and stronger than the normal single width craft paper I have been using.  I was able to rewet and dry it several times to keep the shapes intact with minimal "help" from glue.  It still requires assistance to help it stand, but I "could stand" if I did not mind the legs flaring out. 

Other than that, I folded a couple other turtles yesterday.  Another snapper with a different shell pattern and a sea turtle.  I actually like the one I did on Saturday slightly better.  But the wet folded cardstock still looks promising.  Hope everyone had a great weekend!  MLK day was fun for us as we traveled to Des Moines to check out the shops.   We did not stay long but at least got a feel for a real city that is unfamiliar to us.  Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wet Folding Cardstock Origami Turtle.

So we picked up a few sheets of large cardstock paper on Friday and I folded up another turtle.  Not the Robert Lang design,  Rather the Lafosse design that I have posted before.  

All in all I think it turned out well,  even though the outer shell began to tear as I was putting in the pinch folds.   I blame myself rather than the paper,   I know the cardstock gets fragile when it is wet folded,  But rather than wet it a little,   fold, then dry.  I decided to wet the whole shell and fold it as one.   Big mistake!   The small tears are not readily noticeable,  but they are there and that ticks me off!  Ah well,  live, fold and learn...right? 

The beauty of wet folding is that when the paper is wet, you can make an impression that you normally can't do wit regular paper.  ( ok, perhaps foil back) I don't do it often, but now and then I can press in an eye rather tan a complicated pleat fold that is pushed out.  I like those, but they rarely are as symmetrical as I would like them to be.  

Other than that,  I finished up a samurai headed beetle that I started last weekend.  It has it's own set of flaws,  but I really only folded it to kill time while I waited for my methylcellulose to set up. 

I was half tempted to throw it away.  The paper was a mess and the folding was not as clean as I would have liked.  However, I do think I salvaged it enough to look at least a little like a flying beetle. 

 So there it is.  We have Monday off due to MLK day. Hurray!  Cheryl wants to take a short trim in the new car because we finally can!  The old car was a little bit of a risk.  Not to mention that the new car is fun to drive, gets better gas mileage, and looks sooo much better.   Did I mention that it was fun to drive?  Oh!  And it has power steering!  Cheryl is thinking Des Moines because we have lived in Iowa for two years now and still have not been there.  Plus,   Any more time in Iowa City will drive us crazy!  ( Wellman Too! )  Seeking out another part of Iowa that may be different from our known back yard seems like a little more adventurous and fun than our normal routine.  We Shall see.  Hope Everyone is having a great weekend so far....And if you can, Enjoy MLK day!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

More Frogs for ACT....Origami Frogs that is!

What is there to say other than the week is almost over and I'm so exhausted after work that I don't have much energy to fold....However, 

I did manage to scrape up a little CHI to fold up a couplff of frogs.   Nothing really special,  I've blogged about thee frogs before.  But I'm getting a little restless to fold stuff again, and I fought through the tired to make them. 

Anyway, I have been folding them at work with tea paper and I've gor quite the collection now.  These guys are wet folded with cardstock, so they are a little  larger than the small 3" ones at work.   Hopefully someone will like them and give them a good home.  I can't wait until Friday!   We have a three day weekend this weekend!   YEAH!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Totally Awesome Westminster Chorus

What is there to say?   You must listen to them to truly understand.   I'm a fan of barbershop/male chorus music BTW. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Origami Big ( Dark) Brown Bat. And Subaru Club of Iowa City

Real Big Brown Bat
Another "real" Bat picture
Ah My love affair with bats stems back to my college days, when I found one on the administration building steps and decided to adopt it for a month during the last few days of winter. He was cute!  And easy enough to care for since I fed him the wax worms we had left over from ice fishing in Minnesota.  But after he scared the Hell out of several football players on my roommates "movie night", the RA  for our floor asked me to get rid of him.  ( sigh! Was I the only one who has a soft spot for all God's Creatures?)  I released him into the wild, but by that time, it was warm enough for him to survive outside.
Simple happy good luck bat
The Origami Version
  If you follow this blog,  you probably remember me making bat houses and discussing at length about them flying around in Michigan.   There  are bats  here as well, but the lack of trees sometimes makes them a little more distant.  Anyway,  A fellow Scorer at ACT asked me if I would fold him one.  I have been wanting to fold the LaFosse big brown bat for some time,  but the paper always managed to get in the way.  However,  with my new found wet folding and paper making techniques, I decided to give it another go, and if I failed this time, I would fold the happy simple bat.
   Well,  every now and then, I impress myself on how well things come together.  This is by far, one of my best pieces, and totally my best bat!   I credit the paper most of all,   It took several attepts to get it right, and although I wanted brown colored tissue ( the paper I used was black,  the brown did not work out.) I still think it looks pretty good as a darker version of the brown bat. 
  The wet folding and drying really helped keep those pinch folds sharp and stable.  I was also able to keep the body nice and round with the constant rewetting and sculpting as it dried.  the texture of the paper is another thing that works well on this design.   I have had trouble getting the tissue paper to be completely smooth.  There are always wrinkles  in the paper as it dries.   But bats have that leathery skin that looks just like the paper. 
  All in all,  I'm very happy with this one.  It did not take me 12 hours,  but most of the day.   ( if you don't count the paper making as part of the folding process.) I hope it exceeds expectations.

Oh!  Before I forget!   A Subaru update!   We have been spotted by the local Subaru club in Iowa City!
 I requested more information,  but it's cool that the car was noticed.  The club members seem to drive those sporty WRX's,  but there are other Subies on the list as well.  We shall see if they answer my Email. 


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