Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Time Again!

Christmas is one of Paper Moon's favorite times of the year!

I can only speak for myself when I say you don't have to be Christian to enjoy this fun little Christmas tree by Jo Nakashima with lucky star ornaments and an Omega Star tree top by Phil Shen.

Whatever holiday you are celebrating this season, may it be peaceful and joyful and full of good cheer! 

Happy Holidays from Paper Moon!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Happy Little Dragon

I have not posted in a really long time, so I thought I'd make this short entry. I recently got a request from a friend for a little dragon family. I love getting requests since it gives me an excuse to fold things while I should be doing other things.

I enjoyed this idea so much that the Happy Little Dragon is slowly developing into a character with a back story in my head. We'll see where that goes, but for now, as requested, here is the Happy Little Dragon with his two moms!

The two adult dragons are designed by Edwin Corrie. There is no tutorial for this particular dragon that I could find, but here is a tutorial for another dragon by the same designer. The only difference between the two is the head. If you need help making the head, you can refer to this.

As for the little star in the middle, he was based on a design by Gilad Aharoni.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Pride Month

Paper Moon never misses an opportunity to celebrate! Happy Pride Month to the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies! Most countries still have a long way to go, some longer than other, but great things are happening more and more often and quickly. Y'all rock!

Here is a little paper tribute.


The little box people are based on Jo Nakashima's Origami Groom, Little Girl, and Little Boy. The "gender" symbols are my own design. Hopefully I'll get around to making a tutorial on how to make letters, numbers and symbols using a very simple technique.

Crane Mandala

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Song of Ice and Fire

I've recently finished reading the first installment in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and since then I have been trying to avoid spoilers like the plague, what with the show now in its fourth season and all. I have not had the time to get into a good fantasy series in a long time, so I thought I'd do a House Sigil series as I get into the second book, A Clash of Kings.

I start with House Stark because they are the coolest/least dysfunctional, and House Targaryen because dragons.

The Great Houses of Westeros

House Stark
Winter Is Coming.
Origami Wolf

House Targaryen
Fire and Blood.
Three-Headed Dragon by John Montroll (five-part tutorial)

House Lannister
Hear Me Roar.
Origami Lion by Robert Lang

House Baratheon
Ours Is the Fury.
Based on this origami reindeer

House Tyrell
Growing Strong.
Evi Rose by Evi Binzinger

House Greyjoy
We Do Not Sow.
Origami Squid

House Martell
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.
Origami Sun by Jo Nakashima

House Tully
Family, Duty, Honour.
Origami Fish by Davor Vinko

House Arryn
As High As Honour.
Origami Moon designed by Fernando Gilgado and Origami Eagle

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Trip to the Land of Trees

I recently had a translation assignment for class, and I chose to translate a beautiful little children's book called Voyage au pays des arbres by Nobel laureate Jean-Marie G. Le Clézio. I was surprised to see that the only translation of the book I could find was a Spanish one. This lovely gem should one day be brought to English-speaking children, not just because of the wonderful story, but also because of the gorgeous illustrations by Henri Galeron.

The book is about a little boy who dreams of travelling. He discovers that he doesn't need to go too far to have adventures because adventure was right in his backyard. He decides to go to the land of trees. All he has to do is tame the trees and learn their language. This gorgeous edition inspired me to do my own series of "illustrations" for my English version. Here is a little forest-themed series of origami I used to illuminate my translation of the book. All credit goes to the designers of the models.

A mini forest of Fir Trees designed by Francesco Guarnieri

After this project, I desperately need to restock my green origami paper supply.

Butterflies designed by Jeremy Shafer (top) and Michael G. LaFrosse (bottom)

Begonia Leaf by Peter Engel

And possibly brown and tan paper too...

Traditional Maple Leaf

Winter Tree by Tim Rickman
I recommend using paper that's the same color on both sides for the winter tree.

 And no forest is complete without some wildlife...

Eagle by Pascal Khadem

...and some magic.
This one's got to be my favorite. Look how poised she is, and how well she fits into her surroundings.

Fairy by Yoshihisa Kimura

Here's a fun one to do with younger kids. It's quick and easy, only a couple of steps for each part of the tree, and you can end up with a whole forest.

Easy origami trees

 And of course, half the fun of an origami project is going outside and taking pictures of it. Enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Just a quick note to say Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful mothers I know. Mother's Day is celebrated on March 21st in Lebanon, the first day of spring, so it was a bit weird for me this morning seeing all the Mother's Day posts online. But Happy Mother's Day to you wherever you live!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You!

I am in the middle of writing final papers, but Paper Moon has never let an occasion to fold origami pass by, especially not an essential holiday like May the Fourth! I thought it was high time I brought back Fumiaki Kawahata's Yoda!

I still use Jo Nakashima's excellent tutorial as my reference.

Yoda front and back. I just love his little hood.

And here are Light Yoda and Dark Yoda watching over my shoulder as I work and giving me conflicting advice.

Dark Yoda has a point. There's so much origami to fold, and so little time without wasting it working.

While avoiding my real-life projects (kids, don't take my example), I discovered Jeremy Shafer's awesome X-Wing Fighter.

Ok, I had better get back to some real work now. May the Fourth Be With You!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mixed Signals

People have different ways of self-expression. Some people express themselves through poetry, dance, music, theater. I have, strangely enough, found a great outlet in folding paper.

This semester, I am taking a course in comparative literature titled "Literature of the Self". We were recently given an assignment to produce an autobiographical work. I wanted to express a particular sentiment, and I thought, What better way to put my thoughts to paper (I couldn't help myself) than by making a few expressive paper sculptures. I am not a poet or a dancer, but my medium can be just as effective in conveying some messages.

This blog is by no means turning into an artsy experimental statement. I do not want to scare my readers away with this pedantic blurb (I'm just trying to survive grad school), but I thought I can probably be forgiven one idiosyncratic post.

I have been thinking for a while now of how many mixed signals we receive in our day-to-day existence. People around us who are not forthcoming and honest, always trying to be politically correct and polite when they actually just want to shout at you, people who can't make up their minds about what they want. I don't know about you, but sometimes it makes me sick. Sometimes you can't even tell if a smile is just a smile, or an attempt to hide some ill-feeling. There's nothing worse than hypocrisy, and I have been told that I do not pick up on the mixed signals people sometimes send off. I am apparently very bad at decoding friendliness and understanding what people are really feeling when they are trying very hard to hide it. Silly me. Why can't people just say what they mean? I could probably do very well living in a cave somewhere away from people. But there wouldn't be any paper, and I would soon get bored.

My frustration with these things found an outlet in a particular form of origami. Kusudama is an ancient practice, the history of which I will let you read about on your own. It is a modular form, each model requiring several pieces, or modules, that fit together in perfect geometrical harmony to create a whole. The juxtaposition of the various pieces here illustrates perfectly whatever I was blabbing about earlier. People can be layered, just like the models I am about to show you; they can be multifaceted, and show different faces at different times. They are sometimes beautiful and soft, and sometimes very ugly and sharp. And if my little experiment here has failed in all other regards, the hours of work that went into the making these models will have at least served as a distraction from my troubles and woes.

Without further ado, and to end this endless somber blurb (which you can just forget about in a minute), I will leave you to enjoy these beautiful models to which I do not do justice.

Kusudama by Nina Ostrun
6 modules

Origami Cuboctahedron from Herman van Goubergen's Curler Units
12 modules

Kusudama Star Holes by Francesco Mancini
30 modules

 Kusudama UVWXYZ by Francesco Mancini
30 modules

Revealed Flower by Valentina Gonchar
90 modules


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Use Less Paper This Earth Day

The amount of brochures and flyers I have received since coming to this country hurts my heart. It seems to me that we can do without all of the paper we waste every day. It pains me to throw a portion of it away, because let's face it, I'd drown in it if I didn't. And recycling is not always available.

Or is it? It is in the very spirit of origami to reuse paper when you are done with it. In ancient Japan, paper was not as cheap as it is today, so people made pretty things out of used paper so as not to waste it. 

So this Earth Day, try to use less paper, and instead of your expensive patterned origami paper, why not try reusing some old flyers you have lying around? All those extra sheets and leaflets you've accumulated would be perfect for making a kusudama or other modular origami that requires several pieces of paper. Check out my Earth Day kusudama from last year.

You can also use it to make your 1000 paper cranes. Honestly, who has the money to buy special paper for a project like that? Or simply try these nice Earth Day-appropriate models!


Origami jumping frog by Toshikazu Kawasaki

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter

I realize this is very late in the day, so I will keep it short and sweet. Enjoy with me these little easter-inspired models!

This basket is not strictly origami as it involves some *cough*cutting*cough*, but it is a lot of fun to construct. Here is a tutorial on how to make it. For the handle, I twisted some thin strips of paper then braided them together instead of the simple handle shown in the video.

What I learned from this project: I do not like licorice-flavored jelly beans.

And for the wonderful egg masterpieces you will have by the end of the day, here is a nice flower stand you can display them on. FabergĂ©'s got nothin' on you. Learn how to make the egg cup designed by Kunihiko Kasahara here.

As for your Easter Bunny needs, I've got you covered. Check out these previous posts here, here, and here.

I am not Christian myself, and I don't care what religion you are. We've all painted eggs and stuffed ourselves with chocolate on this day as children. So Happy Easter to you!