Triangle Pyramid Creations

Horn Toad

In one of my earlier posts I showed you how to fold paper pyramids. In that post I showed you some of the creations you could construct by combing the units. This past week I have been trying to create some paper creatures to show my class Some of the possible things you can make with pyramids.

It Takes Some Patience !

One thing I have learned early on is that it takes a lot of patience and time to create a unique form. Since we have several known creations to use as models found in God’s creations we can try to mimic them or try to capture some of the design features while modifying them to fit our purposes and materials. As I strive to create a believable creature I am reminded how far from the real living thing that my model has achieved. God’s creatures are wonderfully made and designed to function. They are alive! Even though my forms are far from His craftsmanship I can appreciate the creativity and pleasure of creating a form. Here is another of my creations:

The Triangle Tarantula

It’s interesting to consider how each creature is created according to a specific symmetry pattern. In each of these models we see bilateral balance. Each time I added a pyramid element to one side of the figure I had to add one to the opposite side to create balance. As I have studied art and science I have encountered symmetry in every creature formed. Each symmetry type has its advantages. Animals with bilateral symmetry prove be the fastest. Consider the horse, falcon, and cheetah. Animals with radial symmetry, however, are slow moving but able to defend themselves from all sides as well as seek their prey in any direction. Consider the starfish, sea anemone, and sea urchin. As you can see, symmetry plays an important role in all design.

Shape Signifies a Creator

Each building block must be designed to go with the others to fulfill its purpose. In this creation all of the building blocks were triangular. Some were three- sided units while others were four-sided. Notice that they are rigid. Now think of your body. It is also created from building blocks. These are cells. Rather than just two types of building blocks, God has used many. We have skin cells, nerve cells, bone cells, muscle, and more. Rather than being rigid forms these are pliable. They can move, bend, and carry out various functions. And..they are living and able to grow and reproduce more when they have out-lived their usefulness.

On Display for All to See

Each time I share a blog post I am reminded that it will be seen by many. Each person reading a post will have individual responses according to their personalities, worldview, and interests. I love sharing the things I am interested in and for which I have a passion. Think now of God’s creation. What do you think He wants to display to us? In the Book of Romans, chapter one, the Apostle Paul made several interesting statements about creation. The very character of God can clearly be seen in what He has created.

Why Not Try to Make Some Creatures of Your Own?

Since I have already shown you how to make the four-sided pyramids in an earlier blog, let me show you how to make a triangular pyramid.

Start With A Sheet of Paper

Fold the right hand side to the left but do not crease it all the way to the top. Just press on the bottom of the paper to create a crimp mark.

Then take the right hand side and bring it in to the crimp mark. You are now going to make another crimp mark a third of the way up the right side.

Now use the bottom crimp mark as a hinge and fold the bottom left hand side up to touch the crimp mark that is about a third of the way up the paper. Set the crease.

Then bring the other side up to the diagonal edge of the first side so the paper has an airplane point at the bottom.

Now to the Cutting

Take a pair of scissors and make a horizontal cut from the top of the fold on the right hand side all the way go the left.

Now open the paper and cut off the side panels and you have an equal-sided triangle.

Helpful Hint: Save the Side Panels to Make Smaller Pyramids

Now to Fold From 2-D to 3-D

Take the triangle and fold the bottom right hand side to the left and crease. Twist the triangle to the right and repeat two more times. Thus will divide the pyramid in half three ways and create a crease mark for a reference for further folding.

Now Let’s Get to the Point

We are going to fold an airplane point on each of the three points of the triangle.

Back to the Top

After folding the point, bring the sharp end back down to the blunt end and set a dark crease. Repeat this on each point. Hint: Don’t forget to fold end to end on the last point even though from the top it looks like it has already been folded. The crease is only on one layer and needs to travel to all levels. Easy way to check it: Look in the center of the large triangle and you should see a small triangle in the creases in the middle of the paper. If one side of the smaller triangle is missing that indicates the point that still needs to be folded back from sharp to blunt end.

This Will Do In a Pinch

Open up your folds and pinch the middle of each of the three sides. It should pop up to look like this:

You Are Now Ready for Glue

To finish the pyramid you need to add glue. Hint: A little glue is better than a lot. Adjust your glue bottle so you can create a glue line about as thick as a pencil lead. A little glue will set almost immediately while more glue takes a lot longer to set as well as it oozes out and damages the appearance of the finished form. Apply a thin line of glue like in the following picture. The only part of the pyramid that touches is the edge.

Place glue between each of the three sides then carefully align the edges and bring them together into the pyramid form. Hold it firmly for about thirty seconds and the glue should be dry.

Finished Form

How to Use the Side Pieces

If you want to create some smaller pyramids you can take the side strips you cut off earlier and fold the point at the bottom to the top of the same side and it forms another pyramid. Just cut off the one side strip that remains. The pictures below show the process:

 

Interlocks Are Great For Legs

If you want to create long slender legs for your creatures you will have to learn to Interlock. If you take one pyramid and put it above another facing the opposite direction the two pyramids will fit together like the cogs on a gear. The gluing is a little more difficult but is done in the sane manner as before, only that you are using the surfaces of two pyramids to come together instead of one. An Interlock looks like this:

Now It’s Your Turn

By using the outer surfaces of each triangle for gluing tabs you can combine the pyramids in many ways to create your creatures. If you look at the two creatures in this post you can probably locate the interlocks and the standard pyramids. Now it’s time for you to try it. I would love to see what you create.

Origami Page Corner Bookmarks: Easy and Fun!

 

Do You Like to Read? 

One of my favorite things to do is to take some time to read a book. I often challenge my students by reminding them that they can learn a lot by reading, and even improve their writing skills by seeing how others communicate. Of course, my favorite Book is the Bible, and I try to spend time in it each day. Funny thing is, though, it is easy to forget where you left off the day before or the next time you pick up the book you are reading.

One solution to this problem is to make a page corner bookmark.

An Easy, Fun, Project!

If you want to get kids interested in reading, this is the project for you. It is easy and can be quickly done. It also allows kids to come up with their own designs after they have done one with your help.

Let’s Make a Frog Bookmark:

Begin with a sheet of green colored copy paper. Fold it in half. Next, fold the open sided corner diagonally over to the opposite edge to create a triangle that when open will form a square. Since the paper is doubled at this point you will get two squares to make two bookmarks if desired.

See Below for Written Instructions:

Tuck and Fold:

 

Next, take one of the squares and return it to the triangle shape. Make sure the point of the triangle is at the bottom and it is the open side. Next, fold the right hand corner to the bottom of the triangle. Do the same with the left side. Now, fold the top layer bottom point of the right side up to the top of the form. Do the same on the left side.

Open and Hide:

Now you will open up the two top layers and fold the bottom point (just the top layer) to the top of the triangle. Next, return the two side wings to cover the flap you just folded. The next part is the hardest. Tuck the little flaps on top up inside the open pocket on the bottom of the triangle. Do this on the left and right and it should look like this:

 

Now for the Fun!

Now that you have formed the frog’s body he needs eyes, a chin, and a tongue. The following pictures show you how to make and assemble the parts to make your frog.

Use the scissors to curl the tongue like you would a ribbon. It adds a little character to your frog’s personality.

Mark Your Spot:

After making your bookmark you can insert the top corner of a page where you are reading to mark your spot. *Some bookmarks mark the bottom right corner. It’s best to add a couple pages into the pocket so it gets a firm grip.

Create Your Own Designs:

After making this bookmark, try developing some of your own. Below are a few I made this last week: Which of the following is your favorite?

*Notice that the fox above and the mouse below are bottom corner markers.

Makes Some for Others:

Now that you know how to make a bookmark, why not make several and give some away?

A neat way to encourage others to read God’s Word, the most important Book that has ever been written, is to give some of these to children and ask them what they have read during the last week. Share with them some of the nuggets of truth you found while reading God’s Word and encourage them to read it too. They might want to start with their favorite Bible story. Show them where it can be found in the Bible and ask them to come back next week and share some of the interesting things they found while reading the Bible.

This makes a fun project for DVBS, Summer Camps, Day Camps, School crafts, something to make and give to people in hospitals and nursing homes. What ways can you think of using them?

Braconid Wasps: Small but Mighty

Look what I found in my garden this morning.

I have noticed recently that a lot of my tomatoes and tomato vines have been disappearing. One of the gardener’s worst enemies, the Tomato Horn Worms, have been taking away a lot of my harvest. These little green “worms”, actually caterpillars of  the Tobacco Horn Worm Moth, are very destructive! Their scientific name, “Manduca quinguemaculata”, actually means “Big Eaters”. And believe me, they live up to their name!  Well…., they have met their match!

David vs. Goliath:

My eyes were quickly attracted to the white color of the insect cocoons protruding from the backs of the caterpillars. These white cocoons are the result in an attack from an unlikely little “garden helper”. The female Braconid Wasp flies in and finds the caterpillar and then sticks her ovipositor, (tubular organ through which a female insect deposits eggs), into the skin of the tomato worm. These tiny pointed structures look like stingers and often do carry chemicals that are harmful to the worms they attack. When the eggs hatch the larvae feed from the inside of the caterpillar until they reach the size needed to form a cocoon. The cocoons are the white structures on the backs of the caterpillars. When the wasps are fully formed they emerge out of the cocoons and start looking for flower nectar.  As I viewed pictures of the wasps I was amazed at how small they were in relation to the caterpillars they parasitize. They are barely half the size of the caterpillar’s eye! This reminds me of the battle between David and Goliath. One of the combatants was much larger than the other in yet the smaller was the victor. In the case of David, it was God’s intervention that led to the victory. Size is not always an advantage in the natural world.

More Than One:

It wasn’t very long after discovering the first parasitized worm that I saw another. The white color of the cocoons allows you to see them quickly. Most of the time it is very difficult to locate the worms eating up your garden. I usually find them by seeing where they have been feeding and then look for their “poop” deposited all around where they have been feeding. I look for them on the stems or under the leaves nearby. They seem to be easiest to locate in the morning or just before the sun sets when they more actively are feeding. Did you know the wasps actually also use the “poop” to locate their prey as well? Rather than looking for the feces they actually have keen smell detectors that can pick out chemicals in the waste of the worms. In fact, their ability to detect chemicals has come to the attention of scientists who have found other ways to use their super powers.

Bombs Away!

The ability to “sniff out” chemicals emitted by their prey by smelling the fumes from the feces of the worms has been used as a way to detect the presence of explosives. After being trained to recognize the chemicals used in bombs the wasps demonstrate different behavior when in the presence of these chemicals allowing those looking for these dangerous objects to locate and dismantle or destroy them before they cause any harm to those who would encounter them otherwise. Isn’t it amazing that such a tiny insect could demonstrate such profound abilities? I think that just goes to show how amazing the insect’s Creator is. Who could design such amazing animals?

Have You Had Your Flu Shot?

Something that I learned in my research of these wasps that was interesting is that they actually use chemical warfare. While inserting their eggs in the host caterpillar they often also inject viruses. These viruses compromise the worm’s immune system. As the viruses develop in the worms they retard the growth and slow the worm down allowing the emerging larvae to have an easier time consuming their host. When we get a flu shot at the doctor’s office we are actually getting weakened forms of viruses in the injection process. Because they are weakened before being placed in the serum, they allow our bodies to recognize the virus.  Our strong immune systems create antibodies to prevent any future attacks by the virus thus helping us avoid the devastating effects of the disease. In the case of the worm, however, the worm gets a strong version of a virus that has complete control in its new environment.

Would You Like to Have These Helpers in Your Garden?:

For those looking to grow vegetables without the need for pesticides, organic gardeners, it is good to know what attracts these wasps to your garden. In some cases you can actually order them on-line. Trichogramma pretiosum is the scientific name of some that are often purchased on-line. A better way to get them in your garden is by attracting them with flowers!

Flower Power:

Since the adult wasps feed on the nectar of flowers, you can add plants to your garden like: carrots, radishes, dill, mustard and turnips. These plants naturally attract the wasps. When the wasps come in for dinner they look around, (actually “smell around”), and detect the presence of the caterpillars on other plants in your garden. They alter their feeding and fly over to parasitize the caterpillars insuring another generation of wasps to do the same job next year.

Thank God for the Small Things:

As I read through the Bible in my daily devotional time I have discovered many places where God shows us how He works using the smallest things and what seems to us as “insignificant” to accomplish major tasks. As I think about these tiny wasps overpowering their huge host, I think of passages like the following:

I Corinthians 1:27

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 

Remember that God can help you face your greatest fears and lead you to victory. He delights in using those who are humble to do His work.

Thank God for His Creation:

As you go through the coming week, think of the tiny, insignificant things around you; things you may not even see but have a profound affect on your life. From the smallest virus to the largest animals, each has a place in the overall design of Creation. Don’t miss the message that God is trying to communicate to you through His Creation, His Word, and His Son, Jesus Christ. Your life can be changed by responding to the message.

Newly Emerged Wasps:

After keeping the caterpillars that had the white cocoons on their backs for a day inside a mason jar, this is what emerged. There were at least 20 tiny wasps flying and crawling around inside the jar. It will be interesting to see how many more emerge. They are so tiny! They are only about as long as the length of a letter typed size twelve on your computer.