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!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools'!

Happy April 1st everyone!

In France, when someone plays a prank on you, they triumphantly declare "poisson d'avril!", which means "April Fish". I am sure there is a reason for this, but as a kid, we always just went with it. If you grew up a Frenchie, you'll remember spending the whole day cutting out little paper fish to stick on your friends' backs when they weren't looking. Once again, I never questioned these traditions as a child. Just enjoy this meta-fish and don't judge.

For all of you non-Frenchies, here are some other things.

So I don't have students to torment this year (how I miss those days). I thought I'd regale all of you with some paper tricks instead. These neat little models are not what they appear. I have made GIFs to prove it.

 Here's an old favorite: the amazing modular transforming ninja star. If you would like to make this model, check out my tutorial.

And what's this? A box? Nop.

Check out Jo Nakashima's tutorial for Valerie Vann's Magic Rose Cube.

Are you amazed yet?

How about thise? Here's a cool folding exercise: the Magical Transforming Octahedron by Jeremy Shafer.

Ok, so I ain't fooling you. You're too smart. But the mechanics behind these models are very interesting, and not because I'm writing this at 5am.

Fine, I'm sorry. You wanted neat pranks to play on your friends, didn't you? And I blew it. Truth is, paper is meant to make people happy. Unless you don't know how to hold it and get paper cuts. I guess this whole post was some kind of bad April Fools' joke. But before you go, take a look at this neat trick inspired by origami (this one's legit).

Leave me a comment if you can figure out how he does it. And good luck finding ways to make other people miserable!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Feast of Saint Valentine

Once there was a guy called Saint Valentine who died. The end. Cool story, huh?

What's that? "Not really," you say? Then why do people, over sixteen centuries later, feel obliged to spend obscene amounts of money every year on February 14th to prove that they love someone?

Who's the culprit, you ask? As usual, we have Chaucer to blame. Or the guy who misinterpreted him. The author of The Canterbury Tales was the first to associate the Feast of Saint Valentine with love and romantic activity. Critics believe that the Feast of Saint Valentine that Chaucer was referring to actually falls on May 3rd. 

You heard me. You can read about it in this article by Meg Sullivan.

Nevertheless, since February 14th has come to be celebrated as the Day of Love in some countries, and since I have avoided making a Valentine's Day post in the past, it might be time for Paper Moon to show some love. 

(Note: You will not see any hearts on this blog. Except this one. It was Halloween, and the thing was cute.)


SO, what are you going to give your sweetheart tomorrow?

Apparently, nothing says I love you like a nice single red rose. Here is a pretty paper alternative to the kind that dies. This model was designed by Jo Nakashima. If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know I have voiced some strong opinions about the giving of flowers as gifts. Don't get me wrong, I think flowers are great. When they're outside. With their roots still attached. So for alternative options, please check the previous post.

How about a pretty card made by you? Find out how to make this elegant origami card here.

And did you get her a gift? Do you want to make him think you're super creative? Why not put your trinkets in a nice little origami box? I have dug around and found some nice, non-gushy options for the less "romantic" among us. You're welcome.

How about this cute candy-shaped box? It is best for holding candy and/or chocolate. 

There is also the Love Swan Box by Tadashi Mori. I am quite partial to this one. 

And even though I am clearly not into all the sickly, sugary cr... criminal injustice that is pink hearts and creepy red plush dolls we must endure year after year, here is a beautiful and elaborate model, also by Tadashi Mori. The Versailles Box is made up of three sections. Find out how to make the flower part here, and the leaf part here.

These models can be given to anyone you love on this, the Day of Love. If you're not romantically involved, it doesn't mean there's no one out there who loves you. I mean, there has to be someone, right? Just spend tomorrow with someone you love if you can. Do it for all of us who are missing our loved ones but can't be with them.

I will end this tribute to poor Saint Valentine, the martyr, who I am sure died very painfully at the hands of the Romans, with these parting words of wisdom:

Remember, chocolate is always the best gift.

<3 from Paper Moon

Monday, February 3, 2014

Happy Groundhog Day!

I had never understood what a cool little holiday Groundhog Day was before I came to the US. In honor of the colorful folklore behind it, I made this little guy. The resources I found were not very useful, so I decided to make my own tutorial. It's a quick and easy model, and I haven't made a video in a while. Enjoy!


All photos were taken on location (in the yard).

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Chinese Zodiac: An Origami Story

Now that we've celebrate, rested, and adjusted our brains to the new year (well, sort of. I just dated a check "January 2013"), it's time to get back to work. I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, because if you were going to do it, it would not require all the theatrics and fanfare, would it? But I have concocted some new origami projects for 2014. To kick it off, I have summoned forth the twelve animals of the zodiac in a glorious procession to tell us the story of the Chinese Zodiac.

Origami Buddha in zen meditation
by Claudio Maranta

One day, God, Buddha, or the Wizard, whichever you prefer, invited the animals to a banquet. During the feast, they would decide which twelve animals would become the signs of the zodiac.

Origami Cat Tutorial

The Rat and the Cat were very excited. They decided they would go early to secure their places. The Cat made the Rat promise to wake him in time for the banquet. (If you are not bothered by the fact that the animals can talk but find it odd that the rat is bigger than the cat, then...too bad.)

Cat Nap by Philip Shulz
But the next day, in a fit of squeaky excitement, the Rat forgot his promise and rushed off to the banquet, leaving the Cat asleep. By the time he woke up, it was already too late, for twelve animals had arrived before him, and the Cat was excluded from the zodiac.

So there were the twelve animals for the twelve zodiac signs, and the lineup was complete. Buddha announced to the animals that there would be a race across the river to determine the order of the twelve signs. 

When the signal was given, the animals all rushed to the river. Each wanted to be the first to make it across, probably not realizing that after a few millenia it really wouldn't matter whose year came first in the cycle. 

Right before they set out, the Rat jumped up onto the back of the Cow (or Ox if you prefer) unnoticed by anyone. That's right, I said unnoticed.

They all ran and jumped into the river and swam as fast as they could. As the race was nearing its end, the Cow was ahead of all of them and was almost at the finish. Even though there was like, a flying dragon in the race. But whatever. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Paper Moon Is Back!

After a very long leave of absence, I am happy to bring back Paper Moon! This time from the deep south of the US of A, in Athens, GA. It's been a very busy few months, getting acquainted with the town and my new university.

Georgia is very big on American football, something I still don't quite have a handle on. I am not a big sports person, as readers of this blog may already know. I'd much rather stay home and play with paper. Still, being here has certainly been inspiring. We here at Georgia wear our colors proudly, but instead of painting my face red and black (our colors) and standing under the hot southern sun for four hours, sweating and waiting for someone to kick the illusive oblong ball, this is my tribute to my new alma mater.

Here's one for our team, the Georgia Bulldogs. This little fella was designed by Jack Chan.

I love how the seasons change here. I don't believe I've had a real autumn before. Trees in Lebanon usually keep their leaves most of the year, so seeing the streets lined with yellow and orange and red was quite delightful. Here are a couple of design ideas for your leafy needs.

Begonia Leaf by Peter Engel (tutorial by Sara Adams)
and an autumn leaf (the tutorial is in Dutch).

And now, 'tis finally the season. I thought what better time to come back than Christmastime? (I don't really know why this seemed appropriate, but I've got a case of the holiday spirit again.) I didn't go all out like last year, but I did make some nice origami ornaments. If you're not into trees, just make them and hang them somewhere anyway. Here are some favorites for this year.

Star ornament by Ekaterina Lukasheva and a simple ornament by Gay Merrill Gross

The other ornament seen in this picture is a traditional model.
Here is a useful tutorial by happypuppytruffles. No post is complete without her.

It's almost Christmas! It's going to be over way too soon. I miss the extra week of merry-making and good cheer we get in Lebanon for Orthodox Christmas, but I hope you have a great one wherever you are, and whether you celebrate it twice or not at all. And here's to good New Year hopefully full of paper folding! There's so much paper out there, and I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Much love from Paper Moon 
at our new offices in Georgia, USA.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy Easter/ Revenge of the Fifth!

The good thing about Lebanon, as I always say, is its diversity. We have so many sects and confessions that sometimes it's hard to keep track, but whenever one of them celebrates a holy day or has some kind of commemoration, everyone gets a holiday. If you miss Western Easter like I did this year, then you can still have your chocolate eggs on Eastern Easter. So Happy Easter to whoever celebrated today!

Here are some fun models you can try with your kids.

A little candy basket.

Bunny Basket

And here are some slightly more complex ones. 

A rabbit by Jun Maekawa. I thought the face
looked more like a fox's. I guess I did
something wrong...

A hatching chick by Peter Engel. If you look closely,
you can see a little beak popping out.

This last one may look simple, but you'll be surprised to know that it was the most complex model in this whole post.

On another note, it also happens to be May 5th, so if you missed May the Fourth (as I did), then there is always the Revenge of the Fifth! What does Star Wars Day have to do with Easter? Nothing. But that's what happens when I get behind on current events.

I made this little guy last year.

Fumiaki Kawahata's Yoda

I like doing "Fan Origami" so much, or as I will henceforth call it, Fanigami (because it's late and I've been listening to an audio book of the Iliad all day), that I couldn't let Star Wars Day pass by without posting a few clumsy models that have been on my list for a while. Here are some of the space crafts from the beloved saga, now in kami paper!

A simple X-wing

A clumsy Naboo Starfighter

TIE Fighter by Jeremy Shafer

Simple TIE Fighter

And finally, I am embarrassed to even post these, but they go well with the collection. Note: this is not what they're supposed to look like.

Shu Sugamata's Millennium Falcon

I also made a lightsaber, but I can't possibly post it as it turned out thoroughly inappropriate.