Just Signed Up For The 30 Days Project!


Get ready for some more origami, folks! Just signed up again for the 30 Days Project. This round of the project lasts the entirety of June, and if you haven’t read up on it I really do encourage you to check it out. It’s a 30 day promise to create one thing per day, with no real guidelines on what kind of thing you have to create. It happens twice(ish) a year, and last time around was so much fun. Last November was my first time participating, and if you were reading the blog then you probably noticed me posting a photo of a piece of origami every day of the challenge. A friend of mine created a video every day of the challenge (craziness), and some of the other participants drew, painted, wrote poems, told stories, and more. The 30 Days Project website suggests that participants can:

-Complete thirty software tutorials.
-Record thirty cover songs.
-Photograph subjects that have always intimidated you.
-Write thirty poems from a new point of view.
-Paint thirty versions of the same object.
-Write thirty short stories.
-Sculpt thirty maquettes.
-Copy thirty pen drawings from the Masters.
-Animate thirty walk-cycles.
-Make thirty how-to DIY projects from the internet.
-Develop abandoned ideas from old sketchbooks.
-Anything you like, as long as you post finished work every day.

If you’re getting involved, please let me know! I’ll do my best to visit every day and check out your work, and even though I’m being incredibly dorky right now, it really is a ton of fun 🙂

Thirty Days of Origami – Day #12 (Origami Candy Dish)


I’ll make this short, since it’s after midnight and way past time for me to go to bed. Today I tried to make a stupid origami rabbit, only to screw up the same easy reverse fold on multiple attempts. Finally, in a fit of pique, I gave up and looked up another diagram. So glad I did, because this cute little candy dish was easy and definitely something I can see myself folding again for a friend. I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be getting origami presents this Yule time. Here’s the candy dish diagram if you’d like to try it yourself.

Thirty Days of Origami – Day #11 (Origami Tricorne)


Apparently this is called ‘tricorne’ after the hat of the same name – though the end result has little in common with the hat. Instead, it’s a 12-sided shape that is very easy to fold and fairly irritating to put together. Once it goes together, though, there’s the magic. This project marks the first time that I just got bored, didn’t have to do any origami, and did some anyway, just because. Since I finished it after midnight, I’m going to count it as my Day #11, but I might still do some more folding in the morning.

I’m getting really into this little hobby of mine. It’s so neat to be able to take two flimsy pieces of paper and turn them into a solid form that has depth and volume. It definitely makes me want to stretch limits and try for ever-harder shapes. Today I found a diagram for a dragon with outstretched wings. I don’t think I’m up to the challenge just yet, but I’m keeping the diagram on hand nonetheless.

If you’re interested in folding your own tricorne, be forewarned that the very last part – fitting all the pieces together – is a real bitch. Click here for instructions, and at the end where it says that you might have to move paper out of your way, I found that it was easier to start crunching some of the hidden bits of paper with my finger, then pushing on the ends to slide the modules together more and more. The shape gets squished a little, but that’s easily remedied.


Thirty Days of Origami – Day #9 (Origami Cat)

Cat butt!

Oooooh, I’m so happy with today’s project I could just coo and twitter and crow with pride until I annoy the shit out of everyone around me…and I think I will. Excuse me for a moment while I push my coworkers to the edge with my self-congratulatory behavior.

OK, I’m back! Isn’t she just the cutest little first attempt at an origami neko you’ve ever seen? If you’ve fallen in love and are desperate to make your own little paper kitty, here’s a great video that shows you how to do it, step by step.

Today’s first lesson was to never give up. I got one of the cat’s ears immediately, then took another 10 minutes to figure out how to replicate the folds on the other side to make the ear bend the right way. It was a moment (or several moments) of extreme frustration, and I felt like giving up, but I really wanted an origami kitty so bad that I just took some deep breaths and went back to trying. True to form, once I got the ear, the rest of the cat was pretty easy, except for pushing up the curves between the front and back legs on the sides. That didn’t work too well, but I think it might just be the kind of paper I’m using, as well.

Speaking of paper, that’s the other lesson I learned today – the paper I’m using is just fine, but having some solid colors and sturdier textures would probably be a good move to make if I’m going to keep making origami. It’s funny – it’s only been 9 days of the Thirty Days Project, but I’m really loving making a little paper sculpture every day. I might just keep going and make it a daily habit. I’m already trying to figure out what neat little trinkets I could be making for my friends for the holidays.

Thirty Days of Origami – Day #8 (Origami Canoe, or “Put A Bird In It”)

Sorry for the late upload, but I was a little preoccupied yesterday, what with it being my birthday and all. I had intended to create a masterpiece of kittenish origami goodness, but instead ended up being crunched for time. So instead of an origami cat, I give you a pretty lame origami canoe (it would have looked a lot better in a double-sided solid color paper instead of the patterned paper I used). It’s kind of neat in person, but is a very awkward piece to photograph – hence the chicken. Maybe Portlandia was right – just put a bird on it!

Casting My Vote & Thirty Days of Origami – Day #6 (Origami Docking Box)

Having finally received my new book Joyful Origami Boxes yesterday, I brought it along with me this morning to the voting station. I figured it would be good to have just in case I had to wait in long for a long time and felt like doing a spot of origami. As it turned out, since I went out to vote at the ungodly hour of 6:45am, the lines were very short – just four people ahead of me for my ward.

I’ll admit it, this was my first time ever going to vote. I just haven’t believed in any of my choices for government leaders up until now. I came of voting age when the younger Bush was in office, and even before that held a mental notion that politicians in general were out to get as much as they could out of the system before retiring, an opinion which has held true on every occasion in local politics during my 13 years in Louisiana. When we finally could be rid of Bush and Obama ran the first time, I didn’t see hope as much as smooth-talking. I greatly disliked McCain (and obviously hated his lunatic running mate Sarah Palin) but saw no clarity in either campaign, so it just didn’t seem logical to waste my time when neither person was the right pick.

Now it’s four years later, and I have a much clearer concept of what kind of leadership it takes to run our country. I happily cast my vote for Obama. My first vote ever, and I know it went to the right place. The rest of the votes on the ballot today were nowhere near as clear, and as I read through the names and amendments, and thought back to associated news stories, press snippets, and cocktail conversations, I was just as sick as always to have to pick one liar and cheat over another. I dunno, guess you can’t win them all.

Anyway, without turning this into anything too far from lighthearted, I’ll continue with my origami tale. After voting (which took all of 15 minutes!) I decided to go get a nice cup of tea (Irish Breakfast…mmm) and half a bagel at Mojo, a nearby coffee shop. It was still early enough to grab a table, so I sat down and enjoyed my tea while trying to make some things from my new book. The first project, a plate surrounded by heart shapes, was a complete bust because I couldn’t understand the illustration of one step, so I’ll go online tonight to see if I can find another diagram or video. Instead, frustrated, I ended up going back and starting from the very beginning of the book with a docking box made by folding two pieces of paper and then interlocking the pieces. It’s simple, fun to fold, and also very sturdy. My folds were a little off, so the inside bottom of the box is buckling a little bit, but I know how to fix that next time. Here’s a video of the exact box pattern that I followed if you’re interested in making your own.

Overall I’m very pleased with today’s project, and also happy that I did it at the coffee shop. It’s been an interesting morning, considering that I’m writing this at 8:15am, almost an hour before my normal wake up call! It was nice to be a morning person for once (though don’t expect repeats).

Thirty Days of Origami – Day #5 (Origami Blossoms)

I’m honestly a little ashamed of today’s entry into the Thirty Days Project. These origami blossoms were easy to make, taking about five minutes in all, but they’re also pretty boring. I started off trying to make a crane early this morning, since I’d read that they’re very simple (more of a kid’s project). After 45 minutes and two failed attempts, I gave up. I was already at work, wasting time, so I hurried to do more productive things, only going back to my origami attempts about an hour ago. Since I’ve got a long evening of writing ahead, and a pretty big project on my hands at work, I thought it would be best to just go simple. The one good thing about these little flowers is that I had a few sheets of paper left over from failed attempts at my vase yesterday, so I just ignored the existing creases and used those pieces of paper to make the blossoms.

I’ll try harder tomorrow, promise.

Thirty Days of Origami – Day #4 (Origami Vase)

Today’s project was fun and pretty simple, despite having to cobble together instructions to get a more concise idea of just what I was supposed to do. For this easy vase, I first found FishGoth’s page and very detailed drawings here. Then I realized that that diagram actually started out from a place where you’d already folded a number of times, but I didn’t know what those folds should be, so I found more instructions here. From there my vase turned into the second set of instructions instead of FishGoth’s version, so I think I’ll try recreating his style of vase tomorrow.

It turns out that today’s vase starts with the same folds that yesterday’s water bomb started with. Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure it out on my own, so I went back to yesterday’s instructions and started refolding a water bomb base. After that, it was pretty easy. It looks a little weird in the photo, but it actually came out pretty nicely – it’s just hard to get an iPhone photo that shows the volume of the piece.

My insight today was that I most enjoy making things that have a purpose. I think yesterday’s project ticked me off a bit because, well, I couldn’t get it to expand when everyone on earth apparently thinks it’s the easiest thing ever, but also because what am I going to do with a little paper water balloon? Today’s project marks the third container that I’ve made, and with all three I’ve been pretty psyched to be making something useful – even when they turn out just a little odd.

Thirty Days of Origami – Day #3 (Origami Water Bomb)

I’m so over origami today, so this is going to be a quick entry. Today’s installation for the Thirty Days Project was an origami water bomb (also known as a water balloon). They’re pretty easy to fold, and the trick is that you’re supposed to be able to fold them, then blow one quick breath into the paper form to expand it like a balloon. How fun, right?

Except that if you’re me, you can’t get the damn thing inflated and end up almost destroying it trying to huff and puff your way to a finished origami project. I figured it out in the end, but overall I’m not that pleased with today’s creation. If this looks like something you’d be interested in folding, you can find photo instructions here and a very helpful video here.


Thirty Days of Origami – Day #2 (Origami Owl)

Hmmm. This one wasn’t hard, exactly – just confusing. That’s probably because I started out reading the instructions here, then supplemented in difficult parts with a video on making an origami owl. Both sources were great, but overall the video was a little more helpful for a newbie like me, and had I continued watching until the end, the ears wouldn’t be almost non-existent.

Overall, it turned out fine – I mean really, you guys see an owl, right? However, I feel like it’s important to note that I did something wrong in the beginning and didn’t have creases on the inside when I went to fold the wings out, so they’re a little weird looking. Also, I was supposed to cut slits for the ears, then fold them up, but I didn’t understand the diagram and did it wrong. That’s OK, though, because in the end this exercise taught me to watch/read all of the instructions first, then move ahead confidently.

Also, I learned that there IS a use for an origami triangle box (completed a few days before the 30 Days Project began) – hot tub for an origami owl!