For those that celebrate, Happy Easter! Now that I live across the country from my family and friends, the holidays have gotten a little lonely for me. Phone conversations just cannot replace dying eggs with my younger sister, playing hide and seek around the backyard, and getting together with my extended family to eat good food and sweets! This year, J. and I are going to go get ourselves a ham and make some devilled eggs to “celebrate” in between the reading that I need to do for my meeting tomorrow. It is not nearly as festive, but it is just going to have to do.
When I was a little girl, my mom always looked at the holidays as a time to create. I cannot even count the amount of craft kits she used to bring home for us to make gifts for friends or decorations for the house. Origami decorations are one of my personal favorites and so I folded a few of these bunnies from the water-bomb base to decorate the apartment. The little guy in the photo is about to attack his Easter egg M&M in my front yard. I made a couple to hide near J.’s desk for when he comes home from work as a little surprise!
They are *very* easy to make and here is an online video that outlines the process. This one is a great project to do with the kids to keep them busy if you are anything like my mother!
Origami TinyTulip by Mαzen from Yemen
Sometimes the best things come in the smallest packages.
Well, everyone… If you have been to our shop recently, you might notice two little dolls who are quite out of the ordinary! Based on some of your feedback, I decided to start adding additional hair colors to our origami dolls. Right now there is only Blonde (Marielle) and Redhead (Sherona), but this will also include our first Brunette as soon as the brown crepe paper gets here… They are both in the hinasama style with chiyogami kimonos. I sat down and thought long and hard about who my buyers were and why they would be interested in our dolls in the first place.
If purchasing for a project, why not have a doll that looks like you? I do not think I will ever have the time to offer personally customizable dolls for everyone, but I want to offer enough of a variety that people do not feel limited by the doll’s appearance. I have no doubt that our traditional black-haired models will continue to dominate both my production and my sales, but options never hurt anyone!
I am currently on the market for different color cardboards for different skin tones. I am really picky about what paper I use and I have yet to find something thick enough and pretty enough to get the job done. I am also playing with wire to try my hand and making little glasses for dolls to wear. Eventually, I want to be able to make a “Christina” doll that looks like me!
If you are interested in buying, you can purchase the dolls on Etsy or on Zibbet.
Watching the world through my window…
I was checking out one of my favorite blogs for Origami-themed coolness (Peacefully Folding), and I came across this post featuring Ole Fredrik Ekern‘s origami font called Gami. As someone who loves origami and is also a graphic design enthusiast on the side, I couldn’t help the fact that I was in love. Ekern’s website shows the paper designs prior to the black fontface and I just think it was ingenious! Unfortunately, It does not appear to have a useable version for people like me. So I did a little snooping around the internet for free origami fonts. There aren’t too many available, but I did come across these gems in my search. I think they would look great in a variety of projects! The OrigamiBats in particular would probably complement web banners and what not quite well. Happy font-ing! I hope you find them useful.
Origram by Nunodias
Origami Font by Formfound.com
Origami Font by Flop Design
OrigamiBats by Lauren Ashpole
I have been meaning to offer this tutorial for *quite* some time now (since September of ’09! Eep!) and I have finally gotten around to making the images into a tutorial. These stars are awesome. They are the perfect size for any kind of ornament, they make excellent over-sized brooches for your purse, and a great addition to any bulletin board. I make mine from 2″ square paper. These ones in the image are made from scrapbooking paper. I like scrapbooking paper because it is thicker than traditional origami paper and yet the pieces still fit together nicely. However, I have made these stars from chiyogami, foil, construction paper, tissue paper, and even chewing gum wrappers. The pieces require a minimal amount of folding so you can be pretty versatile with your material. Read below for instructions!
Here is another photo of my new bookmarks that I finally listed! (Sora, Tamiko, Yuuna)! I was so pleased how they came out that I took a trip to Michaels a few days ago and picked up more cardstock and ribbon to make more! The stack I bought was “Far East” inspired, and although I hate how Asian countries are often lumped into one amorphous entity when these kinds of products are sold, the paper was textured and quite pretty so I could not resist. I guess this is one area where my ideological leanings show, but it bothers me when all Asian countries are treated as the “same” when there are a lot of signicant differences between them.
Anyhow, most of the paper is inspired by Chinese designs so I have decided to take the sheets that are more China-specific and create bookmarks with origami floral arrangements. For those papers that are more abstract and ambiguous, I want to use them for the Japanese Shiori Ningyo (Bookmark dolls). I think I can offer three bookmarks together as sets for $11.00 a piece and still make out okay on costs and time. When I get some of the new designs finished, I will post some photos!
Well… I posted that first batch of six dolls and I am incredibly pleased to say that five of them have already found happy homes! This is the largest measure of success I have had on Etsy by far! So with that, I decided to create more dolls in more colors and styles… and now I present you with the little army who lives in a plastic box on my coffee table.
I went from having dolls in kimono and dolls with kimono and haori jackets to including smaller ones in a style called “hinasama” and then bookmark style “shiori ningyo.” Since I had so much success with the first kit I tried, I bought a different kit to learn how to make the bookmarks that you can purchase here: Amazon. The instructions are in English and Japanese for those who cannot read Japanese, and it comes with all the supplies you will need to make four bookmarks. You can see two of the ones I made from the kit in the image above, and I have been applying the diagram to all sorts of paper to make bookmarks in vibrant colors and styles! The good thing about this is that you can be creative with your background, or add die cuts and all sorts of scrapbooking embellishments to personalize your bookmark.
I have been having a blast folding these between teaching, grading, and researching! It is such a therapeutic and relaxing process and each one has his or her own little personality. I’ve even taken to naming each one… Such a geek!
So I am finally adding another product to the shop: paper dolls. Although they definitely involve folding, I guess you wouldn’t consider them “true” origami since they do require a fair bit of glue and a tiny bit of cutting. Nevertheless, they look cute! I saw them being sold in the origami section of the grocery store near me, and on my latest trip to Michaels, I came across a kit from the company Aitoh. Needless to say, I picked up the kit and was on my way to making flat, cute, chiyogami people.
The kit (which you can buy on Amazon), shows you how to make eight dolls in three different styles and comes with all of the necessary goodies to get started. I was surprised that the paper was such good quality! So now that I have “mastered” the technique, I can apply it to some of the paper I have laying all around my apartment. The diagram is pretty simple and I am confident that I can modify it into some different poses as well.
I like the dolls for several reasons. They make an awesome addition to any Japan-themed scrap-booking project, great package and card embellishments, and (for my purposes) fun fridge magnets. I am in my kitchen more than anywhere so I figured it would be a good place to display them… I’ll be adding them to my shop as well, but I encourage you to check out the kit if you are interested in making your own.
You can purchase the boy pictured here (Midori) or a girl in a pink kimono (Mariko).
EDIT: Midori is now being featured on TryHandmade!
Ah my lovely blog, it has been a while! I am back in California (a bittersweet return to say the least), and already back to the daily grind that is teaching and researching. So I took a hard look at my blog, and I made a decision: since my origami is the focus of all my posts here, why not make my work just as visible? The previous layout could only handle small thumbnails. So, in that spirit, I have remodeled the blog to reflect these new principles. Clean. Smooth. Photography. I have already got the Twitter and Etsy feed back up, and I will slowly add more supplementary content as time allows. But cheers to revamping and recycling!
A while ago I kept talking about how I was re-purposing some comic books for my pendants and above photo is one example. This particular pendant is recycled from a GameStop promotional comic book for the MMORPG video game Aeon. Working with comics is rewarding. I see the cool patterns and designs on each piece of paper, but the folded units always surprise me. My favorite unit has to be the one with the protagonist’s mouth (so threatening!) Although this particular pendant is not for sale yet, I will try to have it up in the near future.
This isn’t the first time I have toyed with video game material though! Does anybody recall this pendant? I folded this from an ad for the game Star Ocean I found in the magazine Game Informer. They products are always so cool and they have such a variety of colors! More to come soon. I am making the conscious effort to most more frequently!