Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Origami Tip….For the Waitress, That Is…

DSC_5276I have been wanting to fold up an origami dollar bill for a while, but have not had the opportunity  to try out some of my new designs.  Or techniques!  For that matter.  So tomorrow we are going out with some fellow unemployed co- workers to see how life after an ACT project progresses.  Or perhaps, it is just a reason to stay social with other people that are on the same wavelength as we view ourselves.   ( Feel free to take that last comment any way you like.  It is open to many interpretations and they are probably all true in one sense or another.)   Anyway…an Origami frog and koi….out of a dollar bill….TA DAAA!
DSC_5273I actually followed a diagram for the koi this time,  making it slightly longer than my first attempts.  However, in the end, I ended up taking a few “liberties” as the scale pleating did not line up as well as expected.   The cool thing is that I used a methylcellulose solution with a  heat gun to keep the scaled from unraveling.  Neato Beato!

DSC_5270Then there is the frog.  Nothing unusual other than he has five toes.  I pleated the edges, then collapsed a square into the frog that I usually fold.  It ended up rater small,  but still looks great and has potential to be better with a little more refining. 
Other than that,  I began working on a larger green dragon today, but only finished about half of the body before “quittin’ time”. So, after the meeting with the fellow dispossessed, I will probably work on finishing up the rest of him.   We shall see.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Dragons, Trees, And Flowers

I have been working on several items to prepare for the grand opening to my origami shop.  I recently took a look at the competition on Etsy to see what is in store for me.  The results are promising.   Some shops actually do fairly well while others simply fail to impress.   I’m not sure where I will fall in that Bell Curve,   But you gotta start somewhere.  ( I know gotta is not a word….I’m using it for dramatic effect….Oh ACT writing scorers that read this blog).

Well then there is the picture taking aspect that I still have to master.  Cheryl says my pictures are fine.  I’m not seeing it that way.   Perhaps it is because I’m my own worst critic. Or… that by striving for perfection, I delay the opening of the shop, and thus prevent my work from ever selling and myself from making the untold millions that I know I deserve.  Therefore,  I will agree to post a product that is less than 100% perfection and, when the shop inevitably fails as a result,  I will be able to point at my hasty rush to market with inferior products!

With all those hang-ups,  I’m impressed that ANYTHING ever gets to market.  I’m surprised that I was a woodcarver of toilet seats and thought that there was nothing unusual about that business plan.  I guess that there is the “Rolling Start” of waging war and starting an Etsy  shop.  Where you go to war with the army you have then make modifications as the war plays out.  Perhaps it is the retired soldier in me that falls back on a Murphy’s Law or War Metaphor, But the best laid plans in war are thrown out the window moments after first contact.  The same could be said about Starting an Origami shop on Etsy.  

Many have tried. Many more have failed.  (Is that even possible?   How much more many are we talking about here?) However there are those who succeed on Etsy, as we have proven before.  Perhaps I will be one of the lucky ones….Or unlucky, depending on how you view success.  Perhaps I will be one of those shops that does not know when to quit.  Or is roped into doing custom orders that are way too much of a hassle to be worth the loose pocket change that is made in return.  I guess the only way to find out is to roll up my sleeves, take a deep breath, and Jump with both feet into the quicksand to see how deep the bog really is.  We shall see. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Cardstock Origami Dragon, This has Potential!

Today was one of those days where you sit back and experiment with ideas and techniques that have to be tested.   The idea!  Wet Folding a Dragon out of cardstock paper.   I have attempted to tackle this idea before, with less than ideal results.  However, in recent weeks I have experimented with some other techniques that showed promise.

 So today,  I folded one up with leftover cardstock.  As far as prototypes go  I think this one has potential.  The pictures do not do it justice ( as with most origami) and I chose the absolute worst part of the day to take the pictures.  I should have had natural sunlight or at the very least better lighting in general.  The results are that the red looks a little orange, and some of the detail is lost in the head and feet.  However,  the alternative was to not take any pictures and have nothing to show for this posting. makes due.

As mentioned before, this is just a prototype.  I want to work with a couple designs and maybe more colors.  It is rather exciting to think about all the possibilities!  

Other than that,  I also experimented folding up a new origami vase out of cardstock.  The previous vases for my flowers always looked a  So I thought about finding a new design and seeing how it would fold up with the thicker paper.   This particular design calls for a few very tricky 'unfolds' in the final stages.

 To complete the design,  I have to carefully unwrap the cardstock that is trapped behind several layers.  It is simple with regular paper, but cardstock is thicker and more stiff, making it a challenge to not rip as you are crushing it out.  However, the results are a stronger vase that has more rigidity.  Cheryl says that it looks better as well.  And it has locking folds that prevent it from unfolding over time.   Normally I would use glue to keep the vase together,  however,  glue  can be messy and takes time to dry.  Not to mention you have to hold it in place with either a clip or your fingers and that could scar the paper in places.....unsightly! 

As for the plants,  I revisited the little bonsai tree I made previously....this time with Orange and yellow leaves.  I still have about a 1000 flower trees I want to fold up...but that may take a little more time.   I can't wait! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Origami Papillion, Rose, And ACT Freedom!

We finished the project at ACT yesterday and now have (perhaps) the next month or two off.  This is very exciting.  Because Cheryl has urged me to build an Origami Shop on Etsy.  I'm uncertain as to what I should offer at the moment,  but it seems that people who do one thing and do a lot of it seem to do the best.  That is:  If they ONLY do boxes, Lotuses, or flowers...they do better than the people who fold cool looking but strange insects.

  I still might offer some animals and insects just for my own fancy.   As of now, I just need to fold some stuff to put in the shop!  I also have to work on my pictures so they look better than what I usually post on this blog.   I have also determined that the Etsy shops that do not do very well, tend to have poor quality pictures.   I know how difficult taking good pictures of origami is,  they are meant to be seen in the 3-D world, not simply the 2-D.  So one of he first hurdles I will be facing is to take quality pictures.
  Then there is the Origami!  I have to fold something that will urge people to buy it.  I know pictures and staging helps a lot, but you still have too have something that looks cool so people will not be disappointed when they receive it.  Hopefully, the time folding for the ACT crowd will have been good practice for me. 
  And finally,  Cheryl has clearly outlined that she will not be helping me in any way.  ( except perhaps in criticism )  So the posting and writing of the descriptions will all be left to me.   YEAH!   I hope my creative writing style will not drive anyone away.  Most likely,  people will not even read it.  Origami is not rally a huge seller online.  We shall see.
  So to prepare for this epic mission,  I folded a Papillion dog and a couple of Robert Lang's roses so I could take their pictures.  I may have to adjust the background a bit to match the table.   Or create a shadow box of some type.  The dog was inspired by the tenants upstairs who have a Papillion/ Pomeranian  mix .   He is cute!  But he is still a puppy and he whines whenever they leave him alone.  Also,  he is way to friendly for Cheryl's taste.   As for me...I LOVE dogs!   With my new found time, I imagine I will be posting a little more often.  Well,  that is the plan anyway. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Presidents Day! With Finished weekend Origami...

I finished only three sculptures this weekend.   That is pathetic given that we had a three day weekend this weekend.  I guess the designs were a little more challenging than normal.  And I did do a few housekeeping chores that needed to be done.  But I really had three whole days where I could let my creative fire loose on the world...and All I have to show are three designs.   BLA!

Well at least they are finished.  I was worried I was not going to complete the ancient dragon in time for work tomorrow.  By the way, ACT had presidents day off!   I have never had presidents day off from work.  Heck,  I usually had to work on most holidays!  It is nice to work for a place that celebrates the obscure holidays that only the US Postal Service even acknowledges! 
I'm not sure why ACT "celebrates" ( or simply 'observes') Presidents day, but my theory is that Iowa School are closed on this day, and ACT, being a part of academia, follows the education crowd and gives their employees a day to recover.  Then again,  According to Larry's Creative zone,  The schools in Des Moines were still open for business today.  Well, what do I know?  I'm just a simple origami Artist.

Speaking of Origami:  The finished bulldog and dragons are here on display.  I had planned to fold up another bulldog design, but time was in short supply.  This one apparently likes shoes...and cats.

As for the dragons,  well the ancient dragon did not turn out as well as the previous one.  However,  he isn't all that bad.  And he is the third one that has been successfully completed!   Not had out of five attempts!  Paper makes a huge difference in the folding process.  I still think that the red wrapping paper is not the best choice, so there is still room to improve. 

Well, I hope everyone had a great Presidents Day.  And if you are starting the work week,  I hope things go swimmingly for you for the remainder.  As for me,  the project at ACT has about three more days of scoring and then I will find myself with a surplus of time to fold and start up that Etsy shop that Cheryl has been bugging me to create.  So Much to little time.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This Week In Origami...

I know I have not posted much during the week, but that does not mean that I have not been busy.   Well,  sort of.... I try to keep the larger projects to the weekends.  But during the week,  if I have any energy after working at ACT,  I try to fold at least a few easy projects to "stay in shape" as they say.  A co-worker gave me some paper made from recycled coffee filters so I had to give it a try.  I folded a few simple cranes in various poses to see how the paper handled wet folding.  I liked it!  But the small sheet size will ultimately limit what I can fold with it.  But for the basic simple designs, it should work well!
Then there was Valentines day!  I folded a few roses for the ladies in our group.   I had a few left over, so Cheryl suggested that I offer the remainders to the men......Er.   That was rather uncomfortable and awkward.  I don't know that it needs to be said,  but apparently,  females do not see the innate problem with men giving other men flowers.  So, for the few female readers that may stumble upon this blog,  I will share the ground rules for acceptable male to male contact.   One:  Shaking hands.  

This is the only form acceptable when greeting a stranger...and you only need to do it once!  After the initial greeting, a wave will be sufficient for the remainder of the engagement.  The only other acceptable male contact I can think of is in the army on the battle field pulling a comrade out of a burning vehicle or into a foxhole during a artillery barrage!  Everything else is, at best, frowned upon.   Men do not hug, braid each others hair, soap each other up in the shower.  So....don't ask us to give flowers to male co-workers and think that is "precious"!

Other than that,  I have been working on a few larger items for the weekend, but none of them are completed as of the writing of this post.   A Bulldog and a simple Dragon are in the works, as well as another ancient dragon. Hopefully I will have them completed by Tuesday and will have better pictures to show off.

  In the mean time,  A couple of things:  One:  a sleeping cat!  And two,  a fork the defies gravity!  It was one of those moments where something unexpected happens and you simple have to take a picture because you don't see something like that everyday.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend! 


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