Friday, April 26, 2013

Origami T-Rex anyone?

  So I received a request from someone on Etsy for a Origami T-Rex.  This is very exciting!   I had not yet folded any of the dinosaur models out of cardstock.   I have several designs of Origami T-Rexes in my library, but I settled on the Jun Maekawa design found in genuine Origami. 

  I added a few teeth and sculpted it a little more so it would stand on its own.  I have also been working on the Origami Butterflies from the Lafosse books.   I have to get some different paper to truly show off the special colors.

And lastly,  I purchased the Origami swan design from Hoang Tien Quyet, a Vietnamese origami artist who is also on Etsy!   This design captured me the moment I saw it on Bing!   And now…I have the design!   YEAH!   My first attempt turned out pretty well.  I will have to fold it about 10 more times until it is officially ‘In My Brain”   And then  I will then be able to leave the hard copy and fold it at will.

thCAI6L3KKHope everyone has a great weekend.   As for us,  we will be watching Another .  An anime that has a spooky horror setting.   I was rather bored through the first episode, but now we are hooked!   It came highly recommended, and I would recommend it as well.   But be prepared for all that “creepy horror stuff”  that kids like to talk about around the campfire.  I actually like the mystery aspect of it….and the mood coloring and music.   The Art and Animation is top notch as well.   Find it on Crunchyroll!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

From Flood to Snow! What Gives?

So it is official.   The Iowa weather can’t make up it’s mind what it wants to be.   Much like myself, is a manner of speaking.  Lacking any direction, it is not sure if it is spring or still winter. 

  The case in point,   it snowed today!   I know they were predicting it,  but it was 70 degrees yesterday!  Granted, the snow did not accumulate. but the fact that there even was snow, and that it is now quite cold,  is baffling.   At least our apartment is now dry…at least to the touch.   I’m not sure about the smallest darkest corners of our closets,  Or the damp mildew smell that will come if we let the fans slow down.  The landlords are digging a retaining wall so that the water will not build up pressure and come seeping in.  I’m not sure how it will go, but with a little luck,  we won’t have to find out next year!   I’ll keep that statement vague for the time being.  In the mean time.   Enjoy the pics!   In the event it seems unbelievable.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ah Iowa! Where Flooding Is Just part of the Landscape.

pb-110614-iowa-flooding-jm-01_photoblog900If you have been paying attention to the news lately,   there is flooding in Iowa…again!   Perhaps not as bad as the Cedar Rapids event in 2008, but still bad.  Since we have moved here, flooding seems to be an every other year occurrence.  And the BEST part about it is…our apartment here in sleepy Wellman has flooded AGAIN!

Now this might seem like par for the coarse, but we live on a HILL!   The English river is about 30 feet below us!   And NO it did not flood that high.   The reason is that this apartment was build back in 1950 when they, apparently, just threw Flooding-jpgthings up with out any building codes or foresight.  I’m sure they must have thought that if you build on a hill, there is no need to worry about the drainage of the rainwater….since you are on a hill!   And water runs DOWN hills…so no need for worry, Right? 

So here is the problem:   The water runs down the hill…and into our apartment.   It is not a problem as long as the land is able to absorb the water.  However,  when the ground becomes saturated,  the water invites itself into our living room,  soaking our carpeting and basically ruining our week!. thCA193ZLP 

As you might glean from this post,   I’m a little frazzled about our current living arrangement.   We flood in wet years, we flood in DRY years ( the sewage backup from last thanksgiving)  and now the flooding has come again!   Well,  after a 24 hours, it has subsided for the moment…but we are still fighting the dampness, and it is snowing outside as we speak.   In addition,  the road to town is underwater and closed,  causing us to have to take a long detour around the area.   YEAH!   Hopefully the weather will be GOOD this summer to make up for the last several “CRAPPY” years of weather.  Not too hot,  dry, wet, or windy!  We shall see.

DSC_5962In the mean time,   Moose at the Caribou coffee!   I thought that the origami caribou needed a friend.   I’m not sure what happened,DSC_5973 but the little caribou is gone.   Perhaps someone finally took him home.  The larger one remains and I guess the employees have been collecting the other models I have been leaving.   We shall see if the moose finds himself up on the front counter any time soon.   Hope everyone else is having a better week. DSC_5967  Judging from the tour of the area.  Some folks are totally underwater.   I bet they are wishing they had not jumped at that riverside property now!  Not that misery loves company.  I actually would not wish flooding on DSC_6003ANYONE!   I guess Iowa is the the very least, free from hurricanes, forest fires, volcano eruptions, shark attacks, Or any other natural disaster…other than floods.  Iowa….loves floods….and corn.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Finished PDF! Hope this works!

DSC_5932After driving myself crazy trying to write up a diagram for the Origami Caribou, I have finally finished it and listed it on Etsy.  I’m not sure if it is any good, or if it will be clear enough for everyone to understand it,  But I had to draw the line somewhere!   It was one of those projects that could take you years to complete getting every little detail perfect…and in the end…IT IS JUST A DIAGRAM!   Well,  I did add pictures to clarify things, and a few notes here and there for several trouble spots.  Mostly I had to get a feel for the technology.   One Note and Adobe Acrobat are challenging for the novice like me.  I still can figure out how to take a snap shot….Or rather…I CAN take a snap shot, but I can’t figure out where the damn thing goes!   “You saves a snap shot….but we are not going to tell you where it went or where to find it!  NAAAA!”    Ok, I know computers do not have a malevolent mindset, but sometimes they seem to revel in showing you how stupid you are for not figuring something so simple out…


Alright,  Enough ranting!  I posted the PDF on Etsy now so it is all good.   Now it is just a matter of figuring out how to get it to download onto someone else's computer…..and seeing how it all works out. 

In the mean time, I folded anther Origami moose.  I gave this one lighter antlers, but that coffee filter paper was not the best chose.  Still, I think it turned out ok.   I seem to be getting pretty good at it, and the moose might just be my next PDF project.   We shall see!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.

RedCrownedKinglet2What an awesome little bird!   We saw this the other day and it took a while trying to find the name of it online.   The small red tuff on his head was quite striking.   He must be moving on up north because I guess he is not found here in Iowa.  Yet, there he was!   Cheryl was a witness!   Ruby-crowned_KingletAnyway, we are on the migratory path, so it is possible   It is something magical when you see a bird or anything that you have never seen before.   Like nature throws you a curveball.  Anyway, that same day we saw the golden crowned Kinglet as well.   Similar, but yellow  instead of red.cg_goldencrownedkinglet   That red what Awesome to behold.  Anyway, it is late, and the cat is messing with my typing.   So  I’ll  end this post here.  Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Writing a PDF for an Origami Design is HARD!

Or time consuming at the very least.  First,  who would have ever thought that I was ever going to want to write down one of my designs.  I’m not a designer!   I break rules, use the wrong paper, cut, glue, heat gun…anything that works to make the design look good.   I’m usually a follower of other peoples’ designs. But lately I have been wrestling with the idea and actual process of putting my designs into a pdf file and possibly in my store.  
6I first started out trying to use a paint program, with very little results.   I could not get the squares to look square or the lines to be dotted where they needed to be.  I’m sure someone with more experience could have done a better job in a shorter amount of time ( isn’t that the truth for everything?!?!) but for a novice like me…both in design AND in program use, it took 4 hours to get JUNK!   that I eventually deleted. 
I tried several other programs with the same results.  I finally decided to just draw out my designs with my sloppy handwriting to see if I could at least finish a design.  The results….moderate.   Yes, they are sloppy, but I could follow them and Cheryl thought they were amazing!  ( She is so sweet!)  They, at the very least, provided me with a building block to start  from.8 
I then decided to use Microsoft OneNote as my program.  Several reasons for this:   I tried to use it to draw the diagrams directly, but it has its limitations.  However, in the process, I got to know the program a little.  I watched a few hour long videos of people using OneNote and decided it had promise!   And, I already had the program on my computer, along with many others that are either redundant, or unused.   I decided to give it a whirl and see if I could learn the program.  ( just like this Windows Live Writer Program I now use for my blog) And best of all:  It saved in a PDF format!
DSC_5813After 4 hours and only one page of the diagram, there were many other kinks to work out.  However I have been getting better and faster with each page.  I still have not been able to figure out how to draw with the darn thing, but perhaps there is another program out there that would work better.  DSC_5241
I'm still in the process of creating my file, but it is getting easier.  I may post more results as I continue.  It is one of the main reasons I have not posted much this month.  Or folded any new designs.   Which reminds me….I sold a TREE!  My first origami sale on Etsy!  YEAH!   I was a little nervous at first, but Cheryl helped me out with the printing of shipping labels and rounding up  the required packaging.  (She is so sweet!)   Ok,  This post is getting long, and I still have to work on the PDF…so hope everyone is having a great weekend so far.   Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day two….at the Caribou.

Out of the blue, Cheryl decided to take a break from writing her book and wanted to head out for coffee.DSC_5851  DSC_5854No small feat mind you, because the caribou is in Corralville and about 25 miles away!   But, I have been known to travel to the ends of the earth ( or Iowa…which is technically the end of the earth!)  for coffee…so I relented.  Besides I was interested in seeing how my caribou origami faired over the last 24 hour period. 

Well,  Shocker!   They were still there!  So I concluded that no one noticed them on the fireplace.  Or they thought that they were actually part of the store d├ęcor.  Either way,  they remain and we enjoyed another cup of coffee.  I thought that I would post better pictures of the caribou that I took here at home.  So here they are!   Hope everyone is having a great week so far. 

There is a flood warning here in Iowa around the rivers and streams.  I guess it is suppose to rain over the next several days,  bringing cooler weather and possibly snow.   YEAH!   I was not a fan of jumping from 30 degree to 75 degree weather yesterday, but now it is going to jump back down… Hooray Iowa!   Whatever the wind blows at you,  that’s what you get.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Caribou at the Caribou…Coffee and Origami

DSC_5855Perhaps because I have been folding various deer, or could it be because we discovered Caribou Coffee?  Whatever the reason, I somehow got it I my brain to fold up and give away a caribou at our local coffee house.  We used to be Panera regulars, however, this small coffee house is much more quiet than Panera.  Probably because of the lack of “stroller friendly”  space, DSC_5850Or the lack of Organic Mac and Cheese that keeps the people with irritable children away.  Last time I checked, there were no signs that said “NO PETS OR CHILDREN ALLOWED!”   There are many people there with a “college vibe” to them.   You know: laptop, flip flops, back packs.  Whatever the crowd, it seems like a nice place to enjoy a coffee in peace and quiet. DSC_5852 

And so we found a place to put the caribou.  Well I actually folded up a couple.   One was larger and similar to a prototype I folded a few weeks ago.  This one turned out a little better with hooves and a beard.  I also put wires in the legs to help with stability.  In the end, I thought it turned out pretty good, and looked pretty cool on the fireplace. 

The smaller one I put next to our table.  It was wet folded out of cardstock paper.  DSC_5856 So there was no need to strengthen the legs.  I really like this design lately and have been working on a small booklet to map out the folding process.  It is still a ways awayDSC_5861 from being up and running, but I scanned the last of the drawings in my computer today and will see if I can get Microsoft Notebook to work for me.  hopefully I will not spend all my time learning the program and will instead be able to put the project together….we shall see!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Farewell to Claymore?

Claymore-Manga-SeriesI know it has to be close, but claymore the manga seems to be wrapping up, and I have heard through the grapevine that it could be as early as June 2013.  I’ll miss it!  It is one of the few manga’s I’m addicted to.  However, I don’t want it to be one of those never ending stories.  Clare and Pricilla are geared up and ready for their final dance of, so the ending should be in sight.  Anyway,  We shall make this posting a brief one as the cat is on my lap whenever I write my blog just before I go to sleep.   would post a link to one of the final chapters, but manga reader no longer carries Claymore and I have been doing Bing searches to keep updated on my latest chapters.  Hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!   Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Evening in St Louis…

DSC_5640DSC_5643DSC_5637Cheryl has been wanting to do this for some time.   Ever since she read an article in one of her magazines.   That is:  Head to St Louis and dine at the restaurant at the top of one of the Hilton Towers.  We wanted a view of the Arch, but got the stadium /city view instead.  

It was fun!   Although it is always tough to totally relax when you are slightly out of your comfort zone.  But you will never grow if you do not attempt new things not and then.  Right?

I did not get very good pictures of the cool room we stayed in,  or the other parts of the restaurant and hotel.  They are rather boring in retrospect, but they were stunning to experience in real life.   As most things are in life, Pictures do not do them the service that actually experiencing them does. 
I did manage to get a pretty good pic of the arch this morning as we ate breakfast.  It was cooler in the evening wit the sun reflecting off of the finish.DSC_5674  DSC_5658
After we checked out,  We decided to head to the local butterfly garden.  It has been a while since we enjoyed a butterfly garden, such as the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI.  So this was going to be a treat.  Mostly we were looking for the Malachite butterfly.  And we found one,  although he did not want to take flight or open up.DSC_5769 NMS_5680
I didn’t even this, but apparently, I’m a donor to the place!  With my name on a brick and everything! 
This place was a 100% butterfly designated greenhouse.   Unlike Fredrick Meijer,  whose butterflies are seasonal,   there are butterflies flying here all the time.  Even so, they just finished March  Morpho Madness, leaving 2000 extra Blue Morpho butterflies totally stealing the stage! 

If a picture is worth 1000 words,  a video should be worth 1000 pictures, right?  Well I edited this one down from the 10 minutes total of video I shot.   Hopefully you will not find it too boring and grainy .   I just wanted to capture the mood of the place with all those Blue Morphos flying around.  Enjoy!    


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