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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Work Never Stops

Happy Labor Day everyone!

I hope everyone had a good well-deserved day off. For workaholics like me, work is what you like to do to "relax", even at home. There is nothing like feeling productive after a quiet day at home with nothing but you, your books, and your laptop.

Home is my office, and the office is my home.

 I have done everything short of sleeping in that place. But I have the feeling that a day will come when I have to take a nap right there in my chair. I leave all of my stuff at the office: my Tupperware, my blanket when it's cold, and my books, which litter the desk.

However, my work station at home is no less busy or chaotic. Work just seems to follow me wherever I go.

On the whole, work is fun and never fails to be interesting, and the office has been a second home to me for nearly five years now. My obsessive folding is not only tolerated there; it is encouraged. For instance, we sometimes use origami demonstrations in our English classes to teach students process analysis. And origami often provides a nice touch to our projects.

I made this (temporary) logo for one of our Civic Engagement projects called LingoTech.

I'm one of those freaks who are terrified of surprise days off and holidays for fear of not getting everything done. I do not bemoan the end of the weekend, but rather start planning the week to come. I might be exaggerating a little. Of course, it can get very tiring sometimes, and the prospect of sleeping in on days off is always welcome, but I know people who absolutely hate their jobs. So at the end of the day, I suppose I should count myself blessed.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013

We are nearing the end of April, and it's still cold and rainy here in Lebanon. Some people in Canada are still  snowed in, and winter just does not seem to want to leave. It makes me think, today especially, how bad we must have been to our Earth to make it so confused. 

It is no tragedy when thousands of people die in an earthquake, hurricane or flood; it's just nature fighting back. The real tragedy is how we turn a deaf ear to her desperate cries for help. Winter in the middle of spring, and summers which stretch out well into autumn should be a sign that something is terribly wrong. Or is it just me?

To put my conscience at ease, I decided to make today's origami out of reused paper.

This frog looks nothing like the original design.

There is always used paper lying around, so why not make something out of it? That is after all the idea behind origami, and this blog for that matter.

I made my very first kusudama following this tutorial. Kusudama often require a lot of paper. This model for instance uses 30 units (no wonder I'd never had the courage to make one before), so try putting all that paper you were going to toss out to good use and make something decorative and neat (those of you who have read this blog before know that when I say neat, I mean "cool", "cute", "interesting", not the other thing, which my models very seldom are.)


And if you don't have anyone to impress, or if you've already snazzed-up your living quarters enough (seriously, are your parents/roommates starting to complain?) you can make something useful out of scraps of paper.

We use these little boxes around the office sometimes. Pages from magazines and flyers printed on glossy paper work best and are often colorful. For instructions on how to make this origami box, visit this older blog post.

As a child, I wanted to be an environmentalist/conservationist/zoologist. I later realized that it was a lost cause, and that Mother Nature was beyond help. Maybe if I had gone through with my dream, the Earth would have been saved by now. The thought will forever haunt me!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Half a Mile...and Counting!

I have recently counted 500 cranes! To mark the completion of the first half of my journey to folding 1000 paper cranes, I thought another crane post was in order.

Over time, I have folded some very strange cranes. I folded them out of everything and anything I could get my hands on, even chocolate wrappers. There have been some strange mutations indeed on Paper Moon in the past. Let us revisit some favorite crane posts: "Mutant Cranes" and "Cranes Again".

I made them in just about every size that would fit in the box under my bed.

Cranes have been my favorite things to fold since I started doing origami, and I've tried my hand at some variations before (see "Box O' Cranes").

In honor of the occasion, I made a few (many -- I actually spent way too much time on this) neat crane variations.

Let us start with some traditional variations.

Wavy-Winged Crane

Congratulations Crane

Crane Box

And then some not-so-traditional ones...

Imoseyama, or as I like to call them, Siamese Cranes.
I wonder if they count as one crane or two... 

The freaky Four-Legged Crane.
I don't know why anyone would do this, but oh well.

The Standing Crane

And the dreaded Three-Headed Crane

I am obsessed with bookmarks and have been making my own since I was very young. I recently discovered Tadashi Mori's lovely origami crane bookmarks. Here are his tsuru bookmarker tutorials for the square-based one and the triangle-based one.

Tadashi Mori's tsuru bookmark in my
Collector's Edition of the Dragon Age 2 Official Guide

This beautiful crane variation by Eric Joisel has to be one of my favorites. Watch the master himself at work in this video. Mine certainly doesn't do it justice.

These last two are very different and in no way resemble a traditional crane. They will probably not be included in my crane count. I did not even make clean versions of them, just kept the rough kraft paper drafts. I thought they were interesting models though, despite how messy they look.

Flying crane

Crane in Flight

For some great resources and diagrams, visit the Origami Resource Center.

Onward to the 1000!