Friday, March 29, 2013

More origami Goldfish…

Ok, these guys are on the cooler side of color.  Mainly blues and purples.  I like them!  And who is to say that goldfish can’t be other colors?   Anyway, I just wanted to post a short post before I call it a night and fall asleep  The cat seems to like to crawl up on my lap whenever I ‘m about really to post….so I should make this one a brief one.   Hope everyone  has a great Easter this weekend.  We are not going to color eggs this year.  No biggy.  We are trying but failing miserably at some sort of Diet.  Easter Chocolate!  Oh the temptation that I can not resist.DSC_5573DSC_5574  

Anyway, enjoy the pics.   And perhaps I’ll have more to blog about tomorrow.   This is my blog after all and I feel badly when ever I don’t get to post something everyday. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A New Red Dragon? Something is Fishy, here.

Once again I have a cat on my lap preventing me from typing properly,  However, I will soldier on and try to post at least one posting this week. DSC_5605DSC_5607

I guess I will begin with the dragon.    I like this dragon better than the earlier one so I ended up replacing it on my Etsy site.  No one will probably even notice as I’m not getting much traffic anyway.   It’s all good though,  I knew the market for origaim in the beginning anyway.

In addition to the dragon, I have been working on some goldfish in a variety of colors.  I like them!  And the pictures turned out pretty good as well.   I am particularly happy with the illusion I created using scrapbooking paper.  It makes the fish look like they are in the water. 

On a last note:  I finally got a seed to grow in my small nursery in my room.  I jealously ranted on another blog about how I could not get anything to grow in my little “kits” even after following all the instructions.  I mentioned that if I did not have anything pop up this week, I was going to throw them all outside and curse my black thumbs for failing to grow anything.  However, It looks like have three small tomato plants popping up.   Only three…so far… and no catnip yet.  But I do feel encouraged and will not throw them outside just yet.  Wish me luck in the future of growing tomatoes in the front yard.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Simple Origami Frogs

DSC_5542Well,  Nothing new here, I just like to fold them.   I decided to fold a bunch up in different colors to see how they would look together.   Primary and simple colors were the only restriction.  Well,  and that they were cardstock and wet-folded.   Other than that…well what else is there to say?  I just wanted to move that horrible IHOP post down a bit so I am not constantly reminded about Boring Food. 

ope everyone is having a fine weekend!  It’s snowing once again here in Iowa.   When will winter give up and go away?  Perhaps this post will help you think of spring….somehow…I Don’t know…The colors!! I guess. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Unique Experience at the International House Of Pancakes

Or IHOP for short.  I HOPe this little post will enlighten  people who may be considering giving it a try.  And I want to state upfront that this IHOP is the one located in Coralville Iowa.  thCall this a review if you want:  I’m just telling you about the truly unique experience we had there today. 

First,  Years ago,   When Cheryl and I were still dating,  we went to an Ihop in Michigan because I always wanted to try it when I was a kid and we were looking for new places to try out on our dates. I’ll spare you the details and say:  Let’s sum that up and a bad experience.  One that made me take that chain of restaurants off my list for viable places to dine.ihop 

Fast forward to today!   With not one but TWO gift cards for the IHOP in our possession.  We decided we would make our weekly trip to Iowa City different and try out the IHOP with the gift cards.  We have had them since Christmas and have not touched them.  Remembering back to Michigan,  I was not expecting much, but remained hopeful that the experience would be “different” and better this time thCA0PA55Aaround. 

Well,  I was not disappointed in several ways.  First,  the place was clean and the staff was friendly.   They gave us a table immediately and we were able to look over the menus.  It was just after lunch, so the place was not crowded.  The Music was quiet and not harsh on the ears.  So far so good…

Not being too  hungry for a huge meal,  Cheryl and I decided to share an appetizer sampler.  Chicken strips, Onion rings, and Cheese Sticks with three dipping sauces.  Normally, when trying out a new place that brags “family Dinning”  I order the BLT.   You can tell a lot about a restaurant by the BLT!   It’s simple!  Difficult to screw up.  Taste good!  Looks Good!  And best of all,  It’s a familiar gauge to grade the type and style of cooking to be found at that particular restaurant. And EVERYONE has a BLT!  Unless you are an Asian or Mexican restaurant,  there will most likely be a BLT on the Menu. 

However, I had high hopes and thought that, since we did not want a “large” meal, the appetizers would be a second best option.   Everyone does chicken strips and Onion Rings are also hard to mess up. 

Let’s cut to the chase shall we….We got the food and …get this…Because it will set this IHOP…NO!  This ENTIRE RESTAURANT DOWN IN HISTORY!  The food was……(DRUM ROLL!)   BLAND!map_bland   I mean Bland Bland with capital “B’s” .  I have never in my ENTIRE like ( that is saying a lot as I have cooked for over 10 years and eaten at countless restaurants in my 40+ years) ever experienced that level of blandness.  The three sauces were honey mustard,  Ranch and marinara.  Unbranded catsup has more flavor.  I am still scratching my head as to how they achieved that level of red tasteless sauce.  I mean,  How is that HUMANLY possible?   Everyone wants to “spice things up” a bit…..The Honey mustard was similar.  No honey.  No mustard!   catsup2Just yellow sauce that had seriously subdued sweet notes.  Like they watered down the real sauce in a 50 gallon drum.  And then the ranch dressing.  They could have pulled anything off the shelves at HYVEdeliciousE that would have tasted better. 

The Only thing that was “ok” was the onion rings.   The chicken and the cheese sticks were….bland.  No spicy. No stringy gooey.  No Flavor!  As a Cook and former Line cook for a lodge and Perkins restaurant,  I find this level of tastelessness unimaginable….and hence I will ALWAYS remember this moment. Cooks always make things too spicy, salty, sweet, creamy,  …..GOOD!  It is what makes cooks human.   Sometimes we overdo it….sometimes we get it perfect.  But this was like t3ri4plhere was a robot in the kitchen who has no will of their own.

Which brings me to this.  How can you hate a place that is bland.   Devoid of any color, style, or atmosphere.  Not to mention taste.   Cheryl and I might have enjoyed drinking a glass of lukewarm water on the sidewalk better.  As I write this I feel like I’m kicking a puppy.  The food was not BAD!   It was edible.  It was cooked.  It mfln3751lwas SAFE.  And that is probably what I had wrong with it.   SAFE!  SAFE?   Are they being Safe when they make tasteless food.   So no one will ever say it is “bad”?  If that is the case,  I’m surprised anyone ever eats there.  It must be true…someone must!  They are still in business after all.  And perhaps there are other stores that are better in their d├ęcor, music, and  food.  But the one in Coralville, Iowa. Is a Swe-have-no-taste-85592575tone on the beach that stands out for being..”Remarkably Undistinguishable!”   I would almost recommend it so you will have something to measure other stores by.  Coralville Iowa International House Of Pancakes :  The Most Boring Bland food ever!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Origami Stag. With a side of Lobster and Onyx

I’m running out of ideas for titles that don’t repeat themselves.  I mean,  Origami Deer,  Origami lobster……all been done before!  I still have to remind myself what is actually in the post though.   So,  with Cheryl looking up cool and unusual places to eat that remind us of japan,  I thought a title that sounded like dinner would be interesting. DSC_5509DSC_5511DSC_5512DSC_5516

But enough of that!   I finished an Origami Red Deer, Also known as a Stag deer ( stag can also refer to the male gender of the red deer…but now we are getting complicated and off track) I thought I would fold it with black paper because:  One,  Black is cool.  Two, Stylized deer are cool!  Three,  Who wants a “red”  Red Deer?  And Four,  I only had one large sheet of cardstock left…and it was black.

In the end, I think it turned out as elegant as I had wanted.   There were moments of struggle….but what is life without a little struggle?   Boring! I guess.   And I always need something dramatic to blog about.

I also folded up a blue lobster and a couple of Scimitar Horn Onyx.  I focused on the legs of the lobster rather than the antennae.  It’s a little more manageable without them.

Then there are the Onyx.   These guys are quite the challenge to get those horns on there.  I’m sure there are easier ways ( and I hope I will discover them!)  But I wanted to go for a tapered look that still allowed the horns to fit in the designated glue area.  Through trial and error, I ended up putting a strip of the horn over the ear and a little bit down the eye.   I still have to fine tune that one before I’m ready to list it in my shop.  Perhaps I should start writing down the methods I use as those can be almost as challenging as the folding part.   Hope everyone is having a great week so far.  It’s sunny here in Iowa, but cold….which sucks!  I managed to change the oil in the new car before the snow began to fall yesterday.   Just one small step to getting the ret of my universe in order.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Origami Deer of the World? Why the Obsession?

A throw back to the carving days.   I once thought, naively,  that I was going to be a great artist if I could only find that special thing that set me apart.   I have become a little  ( only a little!)  wiser since then and after selling my entire “Deer of the World “ collection for  mere $500 that that idea is just too simple.   And yet…I continue down the same road once again..   Why?   Why do we humans repeat the same mistakes? 

To those who may not know, I was once a carver ( hence the name of the blog) and I once upon a time carved every member of the deer family that have walked on this planet.   Including deer that are now extinct.  My hopes and dreams for a museum to recognize my artistic aspirations ….well…lets just say they never really worked out as I had imagined. 

With that bitter memory still in the forefront of my mind, I have decided to hang up the chisels and carving tools and picked up a piece of paper to repeat the same mistake.  Well…mistake may be a bit harsh.  How about the same road that will most likely lead to a dead end …..again!   Meaning that I have been, unwittingly,  folding the deer of the world….in origami!   Why?  I do not know.   What is this pull that forces me to find antlers so enticing?  Perhaps it is something deeply bound in my psyche of which  even I am not fully aware.  But before I get too long winded off a digression…..I’ll finish my original post idea. 


I folded an origami version of the Irish elk,  the fallow deer, and another, more anatomically correct moose.  I am very happy with the moose, but the Irish Elk and Fallow deer need to be rethought a bit.  The Irish elk was folded with a large piece of thin paper.  Similar to the caribou…but I tried to insert wire into the legs to help it stand.   It DOES!…although I believe the looks suffer for it.   I was rather proud of the antlers though. 

The Moose and fallow deer turned out better folded out off cardstock.  They are able to stand on their own legs and look pretty cool.   The fallow deer’s head is a little ‘off’  but overall the shape is nice, as well as the antlers.  The Moose is a second attempts and worked out much better this time. 

I have no hopes of grandeur with these little guys.   They are just an itch that I must scratch.   And who knows where I could go with this?   I’m still thinking about the possibilities,   but for now,  I’ll just keep folding the guys and perhaps try keeping a few notes. 


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