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The Wonderful World of Origami

Occasionally I decide to be creative in another way. One of these ways is origami, the very ancient Japanease art of paper folding.

As a kid I did a lot of the animal folding, from the very traditional crane to the flapping bird pictured to the left. For a while that was a lot of fun, and then I tried to challenge myself a bit more, making them as small as I could. The bird to the left is only about 2-3cm large and was made with the sweet wrapper from an after-eight.

More recently I’ve been making the more decorative and often more challenging origami, although I also learnt how to make stars in the last few months. There will be plenty of those in my house this Christmas, that’s for sure.

My most favourite recent discovery was Kusudama. Most Kusudama are balls of flowerlike origami pieces that are glued together or sewn together and they date back a long way in the Japanease culture as well. To the right are a couple of examples of these. I’ve not tried the top one, although it looked pretty darn cool and I really might have to, but I made a flower of the bottom type, glueing 5 petals together to make a flower.

With this one I actually think the flowers look better by themselves so I didn’t continue making them, but continued my quest for pretty looking Kusudama.

My next discovery was probably my favourite so far. It turns out that there is also a section of origami called modular origami. The rules of modular origami are simple. No glue, no sewing and all the modules have to be the same basic piece. Now that was an origami challenge I was interested in.

I found the Versailles Kusudama on this site, and I knew I just had to try and make it. There’s a wonderful video tutorial over there with the original designer credited and all that proper sort of stuff that should come with all great artistry. My first attempt is on the right.

This required 60 sheets of paper, all square. The ones I used were 9cm but I’m going to amke it again with much smaller pieces, probably in the 5cm region and also probably thinner as I had a lot of trouble inserting the last flower along the way due to the thickness of the design. Of course if the paper is too thin it won’t hold itself together as well, but I guess that’s part of the fun of testing.

Along the way to making the above I took a photo of the model in its various stages. With the bottom left being each modular shape after folding, then bottom right after curling and finally 5 of those make the flower on the top right of the photo. 12 of those flowers then made the final model above. The curls are what hold this model together so the paper needs to hold the folds well.

I think that’s enough photos for one day, and different models. Next on my mission is making the modular kusudama smaller and working out what other awesome Christmas decorations I can make.

My 400th Blog Post

I just happened to take a glance at my blog post counter a couple of weeks ago and noticed that I was very close to a multiple of a hundred and found I couldn’t just ignore such a figure once I reached it. I have somehow managed to keep blogging and hit the 400 point!

Last night I asked my husband, Phil, how I should celebrate this. He said I needed pandas so that’s that criteria sorted. Panda babies for you to go awwww over.

Personally I don’t think it’s a celebration without cake, but I’ve not got time to bake today (mostly because I spent a few too many hours looking up origami kusudama) so here’s a picture of some origami I made instead. It’s not a full kusudama yet, but with another 11 of these all put together it would be.

The other thing that celebrations usually have is some kind of free awesome and since Sherdan’s Country is almost finished in second draft and will be on its way to my editor very shortly, I’m giving away an advanced ebook copy of it! Whoever comments on the blog will get their name stuck in a hat and in a week I’ll announce a winner. Standard t’s and c’s will apply, with the exception of the prize delivery time. The advanced copy isn’t technically ready yet but the reader will get a copy of the ebook at least a week before the official launch in late Autumn.

So thank you everyone who’s been reading my writing blogs, reviews, random thoughts, creative experiments and all the other sorts of things I’ve decided were a good idea to blog about in the past and here’s to hundreds more.