Sunday, 31 January 2010

Saturday January 30th and Sunday January 31st - the diving duck

This is the first time that the weekend project has merited the use of an entire weekend to get it right. Very fiddly business.
The diagrams are covered with wavy arrows everywhere and references to the inside reverse fold. Problem, the instructions for the inside reverse fold are folded into another origami creation. not sure which one. This is one of the days when using the paper from the day before hasn't really proven useful. Instead, i had to dig into the depths of my memories to try and remember what the inside reverse fold looked like. I finally worked it out and once i had done that, all i had to do was that crazy fold i learnt yesterday.
my diving duck's tail doesn't look like the tail in the picture, but i thought it was close enough. and my duck's head does dive so at least thats somthing. although i do think that if i tried to put it in water it would sink.And this is what you get when you push the head down:Yeah i know, it doesn't really look like its diving. what can i say. im really not very good at this origami stuff......

Friday, 29 January 2010

Friday, January 29th - a terrifying practice session

Today's task was entitled "Practice for tomorrow's diving duck". and yes. I do need to practice. Basically, I have to practice doing two folds one after the other over and over again to create a crazy crease thing. And it's not easy. My paper kept on going funny and the second time i did it, it turned out worse than the first time.
I think ill have to leave the practice till tomorrow when ill have no alcohol in my system. Luckily, tomorrows project is actually a weekend project so i have plenty of time to get this right. And i will not let origami overcome me.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Thursday, January 28th - the traditional swan

The traditional swan was surprisingly easy. No surprise cryptic instructions, no crazy over the top folding. Easy.
Now granted my swan looks like a skeleton swan and his beak is far too long, but i can see the swan there.
What i don't understand is how the swan is traditional. What makes a swan traditional? Now since the swan is the royal bird thing, maybe a traditional swan has a particularly royal look to it. Mine, with its particularly long beak, doesn't look very royal. I think a royal swan would have a wider back.
I think what they mean by traditional is that there's another swan coming this year. A swan that defies tradition... How? i guess we'll find out at some point.
PS I suddenly realised that my creations are no longer red. They are pink. How long has this been going on?, i asked myself. I went back and looked. I have been using pink paper since tuesday... Can't believe i didn't even notice.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wednesday, January 27th - the kite base

You really don't need a picture today. Its totally not impressive.
The kite base is another base on which to build complicated origami creations. Just as its name implies, the base looks like a kite. It involves folding in half, unfolding, then bringing two of the corners and sides into the middle to make the kite.
Apart from the fact that I appear to be completely incapable of folding anything in half today (it took me four goes), it was a nice and simple task.
Tomorrow, I am making a swan.....

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tuesday January 26th - the cool paper trick

Boy have I been the arts and crafts girl tonight. Not only did i complete my cats and kittens puzzle, but I also dutifully did my origami task which involved the dangerous implement that is known as scissors.
So i was watching the second ever episode of friends tonight and its the one where ross and monica's parents come over and target monica about everything. at one point, they mention that staying at home doing puzzles is good for those single independent women who aren't likely to find a man..... Are puzzles really so bad?
Anyway, origami. The cool paper trick involved lots of folding and one simple cut. Now me and sharp objects really dont go well. Im currently nursing quite a deep cut I got on sunday night when I was using a razor blade to make 80 little foil cups i needed for work the next day.
But i did manage to use the scissors without hurting myself any more.
The point of this exercise was to create the word cool but folding lots and cutting once. It almost worked. I had two bits that I wasnt sure where they went (they ended up being part of the L) and one square that just seemed to be leftover. Im not sure i was supposed to have leftovers.....
But then I once did a puzzle where I had one piece spare, randomly.
How much of a loser am i?
I am also currently listening to the Hannah Montana movie soundtrack.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Monday, January 25th - the four step sled

The origami calendar has picked up on the fact that it is currently winter. So they've gone for a winter theme with a sled, which can be made in four steps. Lies. Its actually 10 steps.
So their first alleged step is to valley fold the sides as indicated. Now it wants me to valley fold both sides, so two folds. two steps.
Next it wants me to valley fold the two shorter sides. Two sides again. Another 2 steps.
The "third" step is to mountain fold and squash all four corners. four corners. four steps. However, if you do chose to be picky and count mountain folding and squashing as two separate steps thats eight steps... About this step. The diagram is absolutely rubbish and the instructions are pants too. I had to look at the next picture to work out what I was supposed to do.
The final step is to valley fold both sides to create blades. Again, two sides is two steps. On top of the that the instructions were again really unclear. I just folded it randomly till i got something that looked like the picture.
So instead of four steps, we have 10 steps or 14 steps for the super picky.
So here it is: the four/ten/fourteen step sled:

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Friday 22nd January, Saturday 23rd January and Sunday 24th January

So again, I am grouping the weekend task(s) into one. Friday's task was to make a hummingbird. Seemed quite complicated (lots of folding) but wasn't actually that bad.
Except for the bit i didn't understand. I decided not to bother trying to understand but just to fold and see what happened. The technique actually worked and hey presto! a hummingbird.
The weekend task was a silly one. Make a hummingbird, stick it to a stick and put it in a potplant as a potplant decoration. The first reason this is silly is because im far too bad at this to make a hummingbird decent enough to put in a pot plant. the second reason this is silly is because i don't own pot plants. pot plants tend to die the minute i get anywhere near them. or they get taken outside and left there to die in the cold (totally not my fault that time).
So that project got completely ignored.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

I'm a retard

When i published the picture, I suddenly realised something wasn't quite right. So i went back and looked again. I hadn't done the last fold.....
Now he looks relatively happy......

Thursday, January 21st - the snappy puppet

Oh origami is way too much effort.
The snappy puppet seemed ok to start with. Just a bit of folding. But then the instructions got really cryptic and I didn't understand them anymore. I think i did it right in the end but i don't think ill ever know for sure. Once i finished folding, the instructions told me to use post it notes as eyes. I had to cut up a post it note. I dont like cutting, especially not in circles. So once again, today my eyes are wonky. And the mouth is too big.
My snappy puppet has a shocked expression. The snappy puppet in the instructions looks happy.
I wish my snappy puppet looked happy.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Tuesday, January 19th and Wednesday, January 20th - the finger puppets

Having been at work for a total of 12 hours yesterday, I grouped the two origamis for today and yesterday together. Appropriately, they were both finger puppets.The cat finger puppet yesterday and the puppy finger puppet today.
I'm not sure I like finger puppets. Finger puppets require drawing the faces. I don't draw.
For one I can never be bothered to find the proper tools so I just found a pen and drew without thinking.
I can't draw. In both cases the eyes are wonky.
I would also like to point out the delightful paper the puppy finger puppet is folded with. They really should have provided appropriate paper.
Im bored of red. I think the next colour is pink though, which is worse.
Appalling post I know. Finishing work at 11 yesterday hasnt really made me the most literary person ever.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Monday, January 18th - The helmet base

Ahhh, mondays. For the moment my origami calendar has reserved mondays for learning to fold a new base ready for the harder challenges awaiting me in the week.
Today, the helmet base. Though, again, i am baffled by the name. It doesn't look a thing like a helmet. Not even a medieval helmet. If anyone sees a helmet in the picture please please do tell (although i don't think i actually have more than one reader). I'm completely baffled. Even when i cross my eyes a little I can't see the helmet.
I might look again tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow it will look like a helmet.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Friday 15th January, Saturday 16th January and Sunday 17th January

I am grouping these three days together for two reasons. The first is that the origami for these days is related. On friday the origami consisted of mastering two new folds, which were then used for the weekend project. The second reason I am grouping these days together is that I wasn't near my computer over the weekend and can't be bothered to pretend that I was. Im a busy girl.
So friday, I learnt the inside reverse fold and the outside reverse fold. Now i would just like to point out that the inside reverse fold is a lot like the instruction to squash down a corner, only slightly more elaborate, so I had no problem doing that. The outside reverse fold was a little more elusive. It involves folding in half, creasing, then unfolding and creasing backwards whilst refolding. Confused? So was I. But by some fluke I managed it and worked out the movement I needed to complete the fold. The question is whether ill remember how to do it in a few months when this fold comes up again.
So onto the weekend. The penguin boat ride. And compared to the penguin I did a few days ago, this penguin did not deceive. It looks a little like a penguin. and it's riding in a boat! all with one magical square of paper and three steps! That's two folds, one inside reverse fold and one outside reverse fold! I can tell you I was impressed. I intend to learn how to do this one off by heart because I think this one will be an excellent party trick.
Yes I'll admit it, I'm feeling like a little bit of a loser tonight.
But then I am the author of a blog dedicated to origami........

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Thursday, January 14th - the peppy envelope

When you type into google "define peppy", you discover that peppy means bouncing. There are no other definitions, although there is a reference from wikipedia to the star fox team, but I don't think that's related to our envelope.
The peppy envelope is pointless. Ok so origami in itself is pointless but when you're folding something that in the normal origamiless world is actually useful for something, making it completely useless doesn't score highly in my book.
Here's why its useless. To make a peppy envelope, you need a perfectly square sheet of paper. Who has that lying around? On top of that I found it incredible hard to close the envelope (but that might just be me and my retarded folding).
Now for the obvious bit. How is the envelope peppy? It doesn't bounce. I dropped it on the floor to check. It's not particularly pretty. Its just an envelope. And a useless one at that.
I think I may have been more satisfied if the makers of the calendar had just called it an envelope, instead of adding the adjective peppy.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Wednesday, January 13th - the bench

Today was the first day I was really impressed by my origami. Not my skill in itself, but how one second it looked like nothing and the next it really did look like a bench.
The bench involves folding in half. The folding in half again. Then folding in half again. And folding. and folding. and folding. and folding. and then folding over the corners. and then folding one more time and pulling up the inside and hey presto! a bench!!!
I was excited, i tell you that.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Tuesday, January 12th - the canoe

I feel i should explain. The reason I got given this origami calendar is because before this year, I could only fold one thing: a paper boat.
So i had a little giggle to myself when I saw that today I would be making the poor man's boat - a canoe. No offence meant to the canoeist. Boats are bigger. And they have sails.
The boat would have been easy if I knew what a gusset was. Ever the avid googler, I went to find out. The first definition I found was a piece of chain mail covering a place uncovered by armor plate. That can't be right.
Then I looked a little further down. A gusset is also a triangular insert. I assumed then that gussets wre the triangle bits i had folded. and yes, when I folded the sleeve back in, over the gussets, I got a canoe. And now I know a new word.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Monday, January 11th - the cupboard base

In some ways, today I am glad that my origami calendar decided to treat me like an idiot because I've had a long day and I didn't really want to battle with paper tonight.
Today i was required to fold three times. Once I folded the paper in half. Then I unfolded it and folded both sides to the half way mark, creating a cupboard lookalike kind of thing. Easy.I added a completelu unnecessary picture to prove how easy it was. Im assuming this won't last long.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Saturday, January 9th and Sunday, January 10th

Ah the weekend. When my origami calendar becomes lame. Last week I complained that they only provided one activity for the whole weekend. This week they provided nothing.
Instead, they provided handy origami folding tips. Now these tips were not provided 10 days ago, when I was starting out and needed the tips. I have spent ten days struggling by myself and now already know everything they provide in the tips.
For example the first tip is to fold my models on a clean flat surface. well duh. If you havent worked out that your origami is better when you use a table/book/the floor than when you use your housemates head as support, then maybe you should quit now.
Or "always follow the instructions carefully". Yeah, theyre telling me this now. I was wondering why my origami was coming out funny.
All the tips provided are blatantly obvious after a week or trial and toil.
The last tip is probably the best. Don't get frustrated. As you can probably tell by this entry, I've failed on this one today. But its actually the calendar's fault. The calendar shouldnt wait a week before giving me tips I don't need anymore. The calendar should also give me something exciting to do on weekends.
Stupid calendar.
No photo today. :-(

Friday, 8 January 2010

Friday, January 8th - the penguin

I love penguins. That is something that has to be made clear from the start. I love penguins so much that for the past 5 christmasses (at least), I have a largely penguin themed set of gifts. I own two copies of march of the penguins (it came out in french before it came out in english), happy feet on dvd and the wii game, and I almost cried when watching Life because they filmed a leopard seal killing a penguin.
So I was excited about today's venture: the penguin. I must remember never to get my hopes up about origami again. Its a piece of paper folded into a triangle. When I did first go, i desperately hoped that I had done something wrong because it looked so bloody rubbish. That's not a penguin at all! Granted I think the fact that the paper was pink didnt help.
By the way about the fact that all my origami has been pink so far, let me explain. The origami calendar has a colour for every month. January is pink. The way the calendar works is that you use yesterdays sheet as your folding paper. meaning that until february 2nd, my origami will be pink.....
Anyway, maybe i expect too much from origami, but I do expect my penguins to be good, not this. I am not impressed.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Thursday, January 7th - the parakeet

How is this a parakeet?????????

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Wednesday, January 6th - the raincoat

Today's origami was by far the hardest so far. it didn't look it at first glance. But then I realised why it looked easy. By this point it is assumed that I do not need step by step explanations to go with the pictures. I should be able to understand the diagrams.
I did not. Two diagrams (out of five) were completely beyond me. the first took me a full fifteen minutes of staring and referring to the helpful cards before i finally understood that all I had to do was fold it over.
The second diagram i think was evil and mean and should be burned. It asks me to squash the top corners down, indicated by fat arrows. Now ive seen these arrows before, when I made the dove, and i did no squashing, which makes me think that either the term squashing is incorrect or I did something wrong with the dove (the latter is probably the most likely).
So i tried to squash the top corners dowm. Probelm: there are two sets of top corners. It took me 10 minutes to realise i was trying to squash down the wrong corners. It took me another 10 minutes to discover that squashing really isnt the best descriptive term and another 10 minutes of frantic folding and unfolding before I got something that looked remotely like a raincoat.
I did not like today's project.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tuesday, January 5th - the snow day

Today, I had my first ever snow day. Not having been born in a temperate climate, I missed out on childhood snow days and never thought I would be lucky enough to get told not to bother coming in because of the snow. That didnt happen today.
Today I borrowed my housemates wellies (size 8, my feet are size 4), put some thick socks on and trudged through the snow to work. I was about halfway through doing all the things that needed to be done today when someone came and told me Id have to pack up and go home. So I put my housemates wellies on and trudged back home to do my origami.
Today's origami, the dove, not only required folding, but also using scissors to cut out the tail. Im not very good with scissors, my mother could never show off how artistic i was, because I wasnt.
To be fair it wasn't too difficult, I just wish I felt like I knew what I was doing when I was doing it, instead of going blindly and hoping it comes out looking like the picture. Oh well, i guess practice makes perfect right?

Monday, 4 January 2010

Monday, January 4th - the sled

Appropriately, today's origami work of art was: the sled. I say appropriately because all the pavements outside are covered with a sheet of ice and the only safe way of getting anywhere would be with a sled. which I now have. Although it is made out of paper so I'm not sure it will work.
Anyway, now that I have mastered the valley fold this one was quite easy since it was almost entirely composed of valley folds. I did find it quite difficult to fold the corners diagonally down to the centre point. apparently ive never been very good at finding the centre of things.
It turns out that finding the centre of the sled was the crucial bit as I had to create flaps that once I had finished folding I would pull up and, hey presto, there was my sled. the first time I pulled the flaps up my sled fell apart. Turns out I hadn't found the centre.
When I had finally completed my sled I looked at it and I don't really think its a sled. Ive never seen a sled shaped like that anyway. You get to decide.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Day 2 (and 3, incidently)

So the first thing I need to point out is that the box lies. It is not 365 days of origami. On weekends, they provide an activity which is meant to span two days instead of one.
Back to the story. I embarked on the second day of my journey: the dog's head. I was going in with a mild handicap. Having only just got home from Christmas break, the house was very cold and the heating hadnt had much of a chance to make a dent in the freezing ice box that is my house (on top of which it was snowing outside). My hands were therefore very cold and possibly a little numb. now in normal circumstances I am not the most dextrous person in the world so if we add cold into the mix things can't go well.
The dog's head is suprisingly simple (it only took me two goes instead of three). The most difficult bit was working out which way round I was supposed to hold things (I think the instructions get less detailed as the days go on and you (supposedly) get more comfortable with origami).
It was only once my dog's head was completed that I discovered that I had accidently also done tomorrow's origami. I feel a little cheated.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Day 1

The instructions provided are very clear and simple to follow. That doesn't mean I didn't spend a substantial amount of time trying to work out what a valley fold was (turns out a valley fold is when you fold it to look like a V, pretty straight forward).

Today's origami creation was a nightingale (i don't even know what a nightingale looks like in real life so I was already at a disadvantage there).
  • Stage one (fold the paper in half) was pretty easy.
  • The next stage seemed just as easy (folding the front flap back upwards). However, it is this stage that I got wrong twice and caused me to have to undo the whole thing and start again. You see, the instructions forget to tell you that you have to fold the flap back up at a very certain position, otherwise you end up with either a triangle at the end, or a very very odd looking nightingale.
  • The next stage involved my first encounter with a valley fold (see above). then I came across what is known as a mountain fold. Once again, I was baffled. A careful reread of the helpful key provided with the origami calendar informed me that a mountain fold makes a mountain. essentially its an upside down valley fold. once this fold was completed I had my nightingale.

Really? As already mentioned my first attempt gave me a lovely triangle. I undid the whole thing and started again. During my second attempt I was a little over enthusiastic with my second fold and ended up with a very chubby nightingale. By the third attempt I finally had it sussed. I dont think it looks like a nightingale at all.


Welcome to 365 days of origami!
One of my Christmas presents this year was an origami calendar, providing me with the opportunity to produce a different paper extravanganza every day. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with the natural aptitude needed in arts and crafts.

This blog will follow my progress in the world of origami, for better or for worse....