Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Compulsive Folder

I am sometimes alarmed by the amount of paper I fold without even realizing it. Sometimes when I am sitting at work completely stressed out about a deadline or something of the sort, I look down at the desk in front of me and find it strewn with little tiny cranes.

They said it would rain today so I put on my rain jacket in the morning. Later, as I was leaving work, it felt a bit nippy outside, so I slipped my hands into my pockets to warm them.
In my left pocket, I felt two little paper cranes. I don't remember the last time I wore that jacket.

That was a new low.

And the box keeps getting fuller...

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Independence Day Lebanon 2012

Happy Independence Day, you little mess of a country. We should remember today that our little dot on the map does not get the love it deserves. Despite all that goes on every day to disrupt its peace, it remains standing, though on shaky ground.

Although many people are unfortunately not in the mood to celebrate this year, in honor of the 69th anniversary of Lebanon's Independence and of our beloved national emblem, the Lebanese cedar (cedrus libani, or the Cedar of God in the Bible), I made this little origami.

The cedar is based on Jo Nakashima's Christmas Tree variation. The red box and lid stand for the two red stripes on our flag, and the white background stands for the white stripe in the middle. Instructions for making the box can be found here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mutant Cranes

Everyone needs a coffee break at work from time to time to relieve some of the stress of deadlines, little daily frustrations of the workplace and people wanting things from you in general.
My supervisor and I have recently taken to folding origami during our coffee breaks. I am infinitely lucky that my hobby-verging-on-obsession is tolerated where I work. My supervisor is wonderful, and always wants to learn new models with me. She also recently started her own blog called Fold and Learn where she sometimes uses origami with her students to teach them writing.

While she was practicing her cranes, she accidentally came up with a few...variations. There were clearly flaws in her technique, and she probably missed/added a few steps. But these little guys came out so cute! I took it upon myself to study these mutant cranes and try to figure out how she got such strange results. My aim was to be able to reproduce these little oddities exactly, without unfolding or damaging them.

To quote the creator of these blundering birds, "sometimes an accident can create something new and interesting."

Introducing the Mutant Cranes!

From left to right: Proud Crane (her favorite), Hunchback Crane and Box Crane

Here are my reproductions of these amazing cranes.

Box Crane

Hunchback Crane

This was pretty easy to figure out.

Proud Crane

This was the closest I could get it to looking like the original.
Mine is not so proud. I guess accidents only happen once.

Check out a cool post on Fold and Learn: Mistakes: A Recipe for Creativity.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mechanical Chameleon

A big big thank you to the wonderful people over at MechanoChameleon for the new Paper Moon banner!

To show my appreciation for their continuous help and support, -- and because someone over there is celebrating a birthday today! -- a modest offering. Introducing Paper Moon's very own version of the MechanoChameleon.


This little guy is the first thing I make that is not entirely paper. I felt like I was cheating somehow, but it was a lot of fun regardless. I got to experiment with a lot of different materials and styles.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Origami Wildlife

Animals are the most fun to make, especially when you can actually get an elephant to look like an elephant. There is something quite magical and almost sacrilegious about holding a little creature in your hands and thinking, Wow, I made that! 
These are all pretty basic, except for the lion by Robert Lang, which was a bit of a pain in the fanny. You can never give me a break, can you, Mr. Lang?

I stayed late in the office to finish up some...ahem, work.

My twin fogs made from one sheet of paper.

Robert Lang's lion.
Background courtesy of my grandmother's old tapestry.

Extinct wildlife is cool too.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things That Fly

Things that fly are very beautiful and graceful. We look at them soaring through the air and wonder at the awe-inspiring power of nature and creation... until they stings us, land in our food, or drop something smelly on our heads.
These flying things don't do any of that. They don't really fly either...

Traditional Butterfly

Butterfly Instructions

White Swan and Black Swan instructions here

Piece Dove
Check our Tadashi Mori's version

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dragon Hoard

I think dragons are awesome. So I made paper dragons.

Some of these models are easy and some are nigh impossible to get just right. But all of them are great fun to make.

This is an exceedingly easy model that takes
literally a minute to make. Instructions 

This is one of the most amusing to make. Instructions here.

Here are Jo Nakashima's instructions for Gilad Aharoni's Dragao de Origami.

Simple dragon. Instuctions

This neat little dragon was designed by Jeremy Shafer. A word to the wise: use as thin a sheet of paper as you can get your hands on. Mine was so thick I had to skip a couple of steps. I was too lazy and disheartened to try again with thinner paper. Maybe for Dragon Hoard Part II.


This is by far the coolest one. But, nothing is for free; it is also the trickiest. Here is my messy version of Tadashi Mori's version of Marc Vigo's Snake Dragon
The extra creases and tattered edges on mine are all intentional... 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Paper Flowers

I don't like flowers. They smell funny and they are too pink. I think the worst gift you can give someone is a dead thing wrapped in pretty ribbons that will later be displayed at the center of a table in an expensive piece of ceramic or crystal with water in it to create the illusion of suspending its miserable life for a couple of days longer. Seriously, what ironic sentiment is that meant to express?
If you want to make that special someone sad and depressed, give them flowers.

A good alternative (if you can't find a potted flower, or if you know that they will never water it and that it will die anyway) is paper.

Carambola Flower Instructions.
You should still be able to follow the instructions
even if you don't speak German.

I made this pretty ornament as a gift by gluing six Carambola flowers together. They loved it.

I cannot for the life of me find the instructions I used to make this flower. Maybe I'll make my own and post them here sometime soon.

EDIT: Here is my tutorial for making this lovely model.

 To make flower stems, just roll up a green sheet of paper into a really tight tube.

A bunch of lovely Irises and Lilies

Instructions for making Irises and Lilies differ only in one step. Here are Tadashi Mori's Instructions for making them.

A bouquet can make a nice gift with a personal touch.

This was made with two large Lilies one inside the other and two smaller lilies on the side.

A special girl deserves something extra special.
She will love it (and secretly think you are insane.)

And, of course, the traditional Lotus Flower, ladies and gentlemen.

Lotus Flower Instructions by Tadashi Mori

And they can be just a random gift for a friend or office mate.

EDIT: Some people were asking for instructions on how to do the carambola flower. I thought I would post links while I was at it. Sorry this is so late.

Carambola Flower



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Down the Rabbit Hole

Origami really teaches you concentration, patience and controlling the urge to tear the paper to shreds. Over time, it has really become a way for me to channel stress and frustration into something productive. But this was not always the case. There was a time when it was me and the paper locked in a desperate battle and neither of us would come out entirely unscathed.

I once tried my hand at a Robert Lang model. Big mistake.
This bunny may look cute, but it was a nightmare to make. Too many tiny details and annoying folds. In the end, I think I failed quite miserably.

I had to fold a bunch of these simpler rabbit models to make me feel better about myself. One day, Robert Lang, one day...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fan Origami

I made these guys pretty early on for practice. I'm particularly proud of the fact that Yoda actually kinda looks like Yoda.

Here is a wolf I was practicing on that ended up as Amaterasu from Okami for a very special customer.

I thought a little tribute to my heroes at Studio Ghibli would be nice. Don't know where I went wrong with the first one. I should have probably been focusing more on the folding and less on my snack (seen in the background).

A crappy Totoro, and a slight less crappy Totoro.

This was a bold attempt for a beginner, but I managed to get him looking alright.

Yoda by Fumiaki Kawahata

A draft version