Archive for September, 2009

Origami Earrings - Decadence

Very excited to report that even though my week has been full of bumps, I did finally finish a few earrings I have been working on for a while. I made five pairs using an inverted mette modular unit and I think they look great! I am a sucker for big, colorful earrings and these are a great model. They are extremely lightweight as well and despite their size, I can barely feel them on my ears! I tried a few different papers–origami, chiyogami, upcycled book pages–and I am really pleased with how each came out!  Each pair takes a whopping 20 pieces of paper.

Origami Earrings - Cherry Blossom Dreamer

I’m going to make some smaller models in the future (these are around 2″, but I think 1.5″ might be better for some people) and see how it turns out. I have some on the drying rack as we speak! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to hit the craft store this weekend and pick up some wiring. This week is going to be busy… I start teaching AND it is my birthday! Hopefully I will stop back in later in the week.


Fourteen Pointed Star

So colorful and fun!  I submitted a tutorial over at for this fourteen-pointed star in hopes of not only some more blog exposure, but also the chance at a $20 visa gift card!  It is a really easy model and one I’ve been folding since I was a kid.  If I remember correctly, I think I learned this one at girl scout camp… (talk about a blast from the past!)

I wonder why my camera fails miserably at taking photos of red paper.  The model actually has a burgundy section and a fire-engine red section but the saturation makes them look the same.  Ugh.

I know complicated models have such an ethereal beauty, but you can still have fun with relatively simple models as well… don’t count them out!  This one is awesome for Christmas ornaments actually!  I am tempted to fold a bunch in gold and silver for my own prospective tree this year since I found a trove of foiled paper on clearance at Michaels on my last trip.  J still doesn’t know if he can get off from work for us to go back to Pennsylvania, so for now I am just anticipating a family-less holiday season.  Hopefully things work out for the best though and I can go home without a hitch.  I really miss my family.

Tutorial: Lucky Star

The tutorial is still here!  But it has been moved for bandwidth reasons.  Please CLICK HERE for the Lucky Star Tutorial!  Thanks — Ume Origami

Origami Pendants

Ahoy!  I come bringing gifts!  (Not really… just a new blog layout…)  The columns of the previous one were not big enough to really post my work so I thought this might be a better solution.  I am still lukewarm towards it though… comments?  complaints?  I finally did get those pendants done so I thought I should show up and pimp my work!

Origami Pendant - Book Worm

This happy pendant was upcycled from an old dictionary bound for the trashcan.  It can’t hurt to be a little greener!  The pendants are modular and are made out of 18 pieces of paper each.  They aren’t hard to make, just time consuming. If you want to try yourself, please head over to Paper Unlimited where the whole thing has been diagrammed beautifully!  The original model was by Mette Pederson.  Mine are done out of 2″ paper, so the end result is a ring with a diameter of about 2 1/2″.

Origami Pendant - Cherry Blossom Picnic 2

After experimenting with wire for a billion hours, I finally figured out a nice method to string beads through the center to give the pendant a little extra oomph!  Once that was learned, off to the bead store I went in search of the perfect center beads.  I picked up a few of these awesome flat ones specifically for these pendants (although their price-tag made me cringe!), and some colored jade drum beads.  So far, the results have been stunning!  Although, to be honest, these pendants look good with or without the beads.  I made 10 pendants in all, 2 I am keeping for my own wear and the other 8 were listed today over at Etsy!  I am excited… My little shop is slowly coming together!

Wish Upon a Star: Fun w/ Lucky Stars!

You’re not a paper star by *Alephunky on deviantART

I was browsing deviantART looking for some inspiration when I came across the cutest photograph using lucky stars.  So creative and cute!  I’m always amazed what people can do with origami beyond the the actual act of folding.  These photographs definitely made me smile today.  I hope they bring a smile to your face as well!

.:Scary Lucky Stars:. by *niekje-chan on deviantART

Been working diligently on some paper ring pendants.  So far they look creative, funky, and fun!  Hopefully I can get some photos up soon to show my progress.

Etsy Shop Officially Open!

Well guys…  My shop is officially running.  I think I’ve read enough tutorials on the best way to do this and tonight I bit the bullet and listed some of my items!  Any feedback you might have would be awesome.  I only listed four items, but there will be many more to come.  Now that the items are up, it is time to think about how to get my name out there… So here are the babies up now!

Origami Crane Earrings – Muted Pink Passion

These babies are pretty awesome – the pink is really muted and the gold shows really well. The actual paper had these feather-like patterns filled with red and burgundy hearts. I’m glad that the final product really showcases all of the colors.

Origami Hummingbird Earrings – Blue in the Rose Garden

The hummingbird is one of my favorite models. It puts a very interesting spin on the bird base! This one in particular came out really well, and it looks even better after the resin coating. The bird is actually an orange-y red with blue patterns.

Origami Crane Earrings – Sea foam and Sunshine

This is my favorite of all the ones I listed. Most chiyogami paper has gold patterning and as a person who usually sticks with silver jewelry, finding paper like this is a rare treat. The varnish turned the wings somewhat translucent so the crane itself it very beautiful. I used rose quartz beads to embellish the earrings as well.

Origami Angelfish Earrings – Hiding in Coral

Lastly are my angelfish! I was worried after the resin since it looked like some of the resin bled into the paper and I thought I had ruined the fish. However once everything dried, it actually created a pretty effect and I quite like them the way they are. The fish are a red/orange with gold, cream and blue patterns. I used a pretty drum bead that fades from red to gold (a recent purchase from a local bead shop!)

Anyways… enjoy! I know I certainly enjoyed making them. 🙂 Hopefully later this week I can get some of my pendants up.

I don’t know who names some of these modular origami, but I was lucky I could spell “icosidodecahedron.”  I was playing with some old scrap paper this weekend and I thought making an ornament-sized ball would be cool to get a head-start on Christmas.  I forget where I came across the model originally but I do know that it is a David Mitchell creation.

From Ume Blog

The pieces are easy and it is created by making “rings” of 3-stars and 5-stars until the model comes together.  In all it takes 30 pieces of paper!
If you want to give the model a try, I worked off of two videos (this one) and (this one).  I did mess up on the first one I tried (I accidentally gave one star 6 points which upset the balance of the model, but it still looks pretty anyway), but I had the method down when I attempted my second.

I wonder if I can try to make a model small enough to make earrings… But that would be 60 pieces of paper and probably 10 hours of my time.  Part of me is up for the challenge while the other half cringes at the thought.  For now, my citrus creation will hang off my lamp and cheer up my desk!

Polyurethane vs Resin on Origami

Well I have been experimenting with different kinds of resin/coating to see what would best protect my little cranes for the earrings and, by george I think she’s got it!

From Ume Blog

I tried with several layers of polyurethane and although the cranes kept their paper quality, they were still liable to be bent and deformed if someone wasn’t careful. Then I tried with straight resin and I loved the texture, but the resin warped some of the paper (especially traditional chiyogami paper). So the solution? 1 good coat of polyurethane followed by 1 coat of resin.

From Ume Blog

The resin coating didn’t penetrate the polyurethane, and the colors look very vibrant under the strong gloss of the resin. And the best part? The cranes have become somewhat like plastic. They can be bent a little, but will not break from brittleness… Great for earrings or any other project! Time permitting, I want to turn a few of these into earrings and get them up in the shop by the end of the week.

New Beginning!

This is only a temporary layout until I get the time to create my own!  I am so excited to get this thing started.  I registered my etsy shop, registered this blog, and I am on my way to setting up a small independent business to sell my origami creations.  There is still a lot of things that I need to figure out (shipping, paypal, shipping boxes, packaging), but I have a product that I know is good.  In fact, just sitting here in Panera, I got a compliment on my origami hummingbird earrings.

So here is my grand master plan…  (or the beginnings of one!)  I spent time in Hiroshima for a 2 week program related to the atomic bombings and the message of peace.  As a graduate student, I think the experience was life-changing in many ways.  My work has always been abstract, and while I know what I do is important to my field, I have a strong desire to do something concrete.  So part of this project is to create work to gain a little bit of money to offset the costs of living and education.  The other part is making a product with a message, with funds I can donate to an organization that is accomplishing something I feel is important.  Here is the business plan…

I want to make origami earrings and accessories since it is something I have loved since I was a little girl.  The story of Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes has a lot of significance to Hiroshima and has transformed into a symbol of peace.  I remember reading the book as a child in elementary school, but being in Hiroshima, the message contained special significance.  The earrings of various animals and plants will go towards my expenses (books, supplies, etc), but of the origami crane earrings I make, I want to donate half of the funds to an organization called Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace.  The non-profit organization is a collective of hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) who tell their first-hand experience in English.  I had the priviledge of listening to 6 different hibakusha tell their stories and as people age, I feel the message they bring is invaluable to people of my generation who have not experienced war first-hand.  So… In my own way, I want to contribute my creativity to the cause.  If I can make back the cost of the crane earrings, then I feel this is a productive way to help those who lent me their time and energy.  It is a story that people NEED to understand and come to terms with around the world.

So that is my plan.  Make a small bit of money to continue the hobby I love, have funds to donate to a cause, and maybe make a little on the side to pay for my books!

3..2..1… Let’s begin!