Creating Creatures From Paper

Are you creative? Do you like to see if you can catch the essence of an animal in a piece of art? What medium do you use? Paint, pencil, color crayons, clay, etc.

Paper is my favorite medium to use in art. It is inexpensive and can be manipulated in a variety of ways to create almost any form.

Once you choose your medium you have to come up with a unique way to use it. So where do you start? Solomon once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” It’s ok to take an existing form and work with it in a new way. About 50 years ago my college roommate and I were seeing what we could make using the traditional German Bell fold. Although we manage to combine about 50 of these base units into a large sculpture it was not the most “user- friendly” shape to work with due to its beveled edges. We figured out a way to flatten the surfaces and make it into a pyramid. With these units we were quickly finding many ways to combine them to make Stars, satellites, rockets and more. Through the years I have taught students how to fold the units as well as written a couple of earlier blogs on this site so others could explore the possibilities of making their own art work. (To learn how to fold the square and triangle pyramids read my two earlier blogs in the Origami section.) There is always more to learn! Just this last week I came up with two new ways to interlock the units. Maybe you can come up with an original interlock system using these units.

In the picture above you can see the original German Bell in front of several of the straight sided pyramids in the back.

Creating New From Old:

So.,…What are some new things you can create from the old? I decided to create some animals. Obviously God did a great job when He made the real ones. We can only try to capture the essence of these creatures when we try to make our own versions. When you look at an animal you have to recognize its symmetry. You also look for the features that set this animal apart from others.

Think of the Giraffe:

Think of a Giraffe. What is the most remarkable thing about this animal? That’s right, its neck.

It also has four long slender legs, little horns on its head, ears and a tail. It has skin with strong patterning. Can you see how I tried to capture these characteristics in paper?

Consider Relationships:

You can also add animal relationships to your piece. Think of the Great Horned Owl. What are its major characteristics? What other animal is its most common prey? That’s right, the mouse.

Owls have big eyes and a round face and sharp grasping claws on their two feet. By adding the mouse it adds animation to the project. You can easily imagine the owl pouncing on the mouse after tracking it with its big eyes.

Explore Color and Texture Variations:

Whimsical animals do not have to be exact replicas of the original. You can explore using unusual colors and patterns. In the following creature I thought of the Ostrich and many cartoon birds I have seen through the years. As I created this Big Bird I kept adding elements until I was satisfied with the end result. Did you see what was added to capture a more representational wing? That’s right, the wing feathers. Even before that I had added the tail fan using another of my Origami base units. (It is made from Bird-Beak units, found in another blog post in the Origami section). Part of the design also had to do with balance. I needed more weight on the front of the bird so it would not fall backwards.

Use Your Imagination:

Fictional creatures also stretch the imagination. Think of the dragons you have seen in picture form. In making this Paper Dragon I wanted to create a spiky creatures with sharp teeth. I did not want him to be too scary so I kept him cartoon like in character.

Here are a couple more creatures. Can you guess what they are?

Some are more abstract than others. It is fun to try several ways to create the same creature. If you have looked through the Origami page you have probably seen a couple other Bird models: a Chicken and a Nesting Bird.

Who Is the Most Amazing Creator?

In the Bible we read that “man was created in the image of God.” Even though every person is different we all have several things in common. When God created each creature He added variety to each one. Each of us are a special unique design. There is only one “You”. Design has purpose. Much of what makes us up has been designed for function and balance. Why do we have two ears and two eyes? It allows us to have depth perception in sight and hearing. Our bodies are balanced for movement and we have joints in just the right places to bend in many directions. Much of our design is invisible on the outside. Each organ of your body is made up of a variety of cells which combine to make up the tissues from which the organs are constructed. If one were to look even closer, inside of the cells, he would find even smaller units (the organelles) which allow the living cells to function in specific ways.

What is your purpose? Why did God make you the way your are and give you the special talents you have? As you ponder the idea of design realize the complexity your Creator used to make you. As I try to create interesting art pieces I often think about how awesome an artist God is. We can have a lot of fun trying to capture some of the elements of His wonderful designs in the artwork we make.

Spike Form Construction

Explore the possibilities of using the origami fish base in new ways to create unusual origami sculptures:

I created this ten-pointed star using one of the four-sided double-pointed units.

To create the base form you need to follow the following folding procedure:

On the left side of the picture above you can see the four-sided double-pointed units. It takes four pieces of paper to form each spike, and takes 30 pieces of paper to create the ten-pointed star. Remember that a little glue goes a long way. Don’t use too much or it will take too long for the glue to set.

Here is another building base: the bird beak base.

To make this base you take two of the forms you made in the last project and glue them together into the bird beak shape. You can then combine them in many ways to create interesting spike forms like the one below. I will show it from many angles.

Glue them together to create interesting forms.

Here is another flower sculpture using the same units.

Below are a couple flower designs. You can interchange the bottom pieces to get different color combos.

What Can You Create Using These Forms?

Have you ever noticed that everything around you is made up of structural design units. These go clear down to the atomic level. The atoms combined allow for tremendous variation but sound structural integrity. The atoms then can be used to create compounds and more. Just like it takes thought to create origami construction units it took a Great Creator to design all of creation. If you look at living things you will also see evidence of a common Designer. Even though we see common parts like eyes, ears, legs, etc. we see a lot of variation in the ways these organs are combined. I’m glad that God chose to make many different kinds of animals, trees, fungi, Protists, and bacteria. All of these were created with a Devine purpose. It seems like the closer you look the more marvelous and complex the designs, clearly evidence of an awesome God.

As you explore creating new forms using these bases, take some time to consider God’s amazing design in your own body. He created you with a purpose and He wants you to be a reflection of His marvelous plan for the ages.

Psalm 139:14 and 17

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” …..”How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!”

If you take a few minutes to look up and read the rest of this Psalm of David, you can learn even more about God’s amazing creation of each individual and His bigger purpose for each life.

Show Me What You Can Do:

If you try using these origami building units, send me a picture to show me what you have created. I wonder just how many interesting things can be created by combining these units.

The two pictures above are a complete Wheel of the bird beak units that form a spike star.

By varying the color of the paper pieces you can create some amazing patterns like the following:

You can also create free-form sculpture like the following. I call this one “Fire”.

Below you can see four different star designs I have created using these same base units.

More Ways to Combine Modular Units

Let’s Make a Daisy Wheel and a Star Bracelet:

In previous posts I have shown you how to fold and glue the units to be used to create these new forms. It always amazes me how many ways the units can be combined.

To make these variations you just need to glue them together in new arrangements.

First Things First:

In order to have plenty of units to work with, you should find the colors of paper you want to use and determine the size of the units you will fold. In these projects all the units are the same size. To find the instructions for folding the base units look at my earlier blog entitled : Eco-Balls: Neat away to Recycle Paper which is found in the Origami section under the date of publication: Sept. 18, 2017. You will need 24 units to make the Daisy Wheel and 12 to make the Star Bracelet.

The Daisy Wheel

Above you can see one side of the project. Below I will show you the other side of the same form.

Below you can see the basic units used for this project.

Use 16 of the units to create 8 of the double units pictured on the bottom of the picture above. Keep the rest of the units as singles to add to the perimeter of the wheel you will make first. By gluing the 8 double units together you will have a Wheel.

Though the picture above shows three wheels you only need one.

Next, add the remaining 8 units to the perimeter to finish the form.

Now Let’s Try A More Difficult Form:

The Star Bracelet:

You need 12 units. Choose the colors you want in the finished form. I like to use two different colors to add interest, however, you can have all the same color for a monochromatic look or use more than two colors. It’s your choice.

Glue Together to Form Double Units:

Take your 12 units and make them into 6 double units. This time you will glue them in another way. You will probably find this project more difficult than the previous one. It all has to do with the gluing since it uses fewer units than the Daisy Wheel. Because less surface area is covered in glue you need to hold them together firmly and longer than you did when gluing up the double units.

Notice where the glue needs to be placed on the edges that will make contact with the other units.

Notice that the glue forms a “V” shape in the picture below.

The next few pictures show how the units go together.

Flat Surfaces Outward:

Continue gluing the units together keeping the flat surfaces outward. You should see a Star of David appear in the center of the form if you are combining them properly. It should look like the photo below.

Notice how the outer surface looks compared to the inner star form.

Now You Are A Star:

I hope you are enjoying learning how to make these various projects. If you create some new models on your own, please send me pictures.

Join With Others for New Possibilities:

While gluing these units together I often think of how we join together with others to accomplish different tasks. God has given each of us various gifts that make us different and needed by others in the Body of Christ, the Church. Our differences add contrast and interest just like the colors do in the projects above. It takes a Master artist to combine the pieces to make a whole. God has a place for you to make a difference in the world if you will let Him place you where He wants to. Be willing to combine with others even when they are different. You will be surprised how He can take people of every sort to accomplish His will and benefit all involved.

I Peter 2:4-6

“As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For the scripture says: ” See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

How to Create a Sphere Using Eco-Ball Units

Sphere of Influence:

In earlier posts I have shown you how to fold the Eco-Ball unit. If you haven’t seen this blog post they are in the Origami blogs on this site.

Above you can see the basic unit created from a pinwheel base glued into this 3-D form. We have previously combined the units to make a ball, a wreath/candle holder, babies, an owl and a dog.

In this project we had to fold 28 units and glue them together. Then we put them together by twos to create hemispheres. We took 8 of the hemispheres and combined them to make a wreath.

Next you need to create a cross-like unit using five of the remaining hemisphere units.

In the above photo focus on the cross shaped upper portion. Notice that it fits on top of the circle of the wreath below.

You will have to apply a little pressure when gluing the cross on top of the wreath so the paper makes a tight connection.

Below are some of the previous projects made with this incredible building block.

Transformation Leads to Beauty and Usefulness

As I continue to experiment with this basic unit I often think of how God takes the elements of our lives and combines them in several ways to bring out hidden beauty and usefulness. At times the experiences that make up our lives seem chaotic, but in God’s perspective, He can find ways to accomplish His work in our lives for the better of His Kingdom purposes. The Apostle Paul wrote:

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

This beautiful transformation can only become possible when we submit ourselves to Him. He can then completely transform our lives into things of beauty.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to a God,, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that’s testing you may discern what the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12: 1-2

Modular Origami Constructions

In an earlier post I showed you how to fold and glue a 3-D unit to create a star ornament. Since then I have created many other interesting sculptures using these same units. I thought you might be inspired to create some of your own after seeing some of the possibilities.

It is amazing how many forms you can create from the same units and how you can vary the units for more variations. Check out the following:

Bottom View:

Top View:

Here is another one:

Notice that some sculptures use half units as well as the full ones.

You can also create animals and people.

Terrier

Babies:

Owl:

Below are some of the original forms I created:

As I experiment with creating so many variations of the same basic form I am reminded of the amazing variations possible in the creatures God created in the original creation week. Built into each creature was the DNA that allows for many variations within each kind of animal, plant, fungi, Protist, or Monera species. Though we are limited in how far we can take our creations, just think of how amazing it is that God’s creations are living and continue to function throughout their existence and able to pass on design traits to future generations. The complexity is beyond our ability to fathom.

Why Not Take the Challenge?

Why not try to create some of your own designs using these modules. If you do, send me some pictures so I can appreciate your works of art.

You can find the directions for folding the units in my earlier blog : “Three-D Origami Star Ornament” posted on November 5.

Let’s Make An Origami Lock-Box

Have you ever needed a small gift box? In this project you will learn how to make your own lock-boxes.

This blog was especially created for my Granddaughter who made several of these at one of our family gatherings. It has been awhile since I showed her how to fold and cut them so she asked if I could show it to her again, so here goes. You might remember seeing her in my earlier post where we worked together folding origami cranes for a wedding. We thought you might enjoy this too!

To begin this project you will need a pair of scissors, a pencil or pen, and a sheet of colorful copy paper. ( Note: For a stronger box you can use a sheet of card stock.)

The first step is to start with a square. Next you will fold an X on one side of the paper and a cross on the other. This forms a water balloon base.

Next you will Blintz the paper by folding the four corners to the center.

Then open up the paper and check that it looks like this:

Then take the closest corner of the paper and fold it across to the top horizontal crease.

Repeat this same fold on the other three points. If you have folded correctly, you should find 16 boxes in the crease pattern in the center of the paper.

Now fold each of the four corners inward to the first crease toward the center of the paper.

Now, grab your pencil and put an X on the two triangles in the middle of each side.

Take your scissors and cut out each triangle with an X on it.

Grab your pencil again and mark your paper like this:

Now you will cut on the dark lines to make the tabs that will close up the corners of the final box.

Now fold up the four tabs into a vertical position.

Next let’s make the locking tabs and insertion slits. Mark your paper first so your cuts will be in the correct spots.

Notice that the two left hand points have lines that go halfway back to the middle and that the right hand points have insertion slips. Now cut on these lines.

Now we need to fold in the locks like this:

Check that each of the four square middle tabs are in the up position, then slide one of the locks into the bottom side of the receiving slot.

Now open the flaps to lock it in place.

Slide the square flaps inside as you lift up the two remaining sides and put the lock into the bottom of the receiving slot on the opposite side. Fold out the flaps to lock the box.

Congratulations! You have made your first lock box.

Can You Unlock the Box?

Remember you can unlock the box and carefully open it to insert your gifts or other items.

Other Ways to Use These Boxes:

There are many ways to use and add to these boxes. Here are a few suggestions:

Draw On Your Inner Talents:

You can draw designs or write messages on the outside of the boxes. Another fun way to decorate them is to use colorful hole punches to put dots on the outside.

Butterfly Box

You can add other origami forms to the top as well. Here is a butterfly box:

That Makes Cents!

If you cut a coin slot in the top of the box it makes a cute little bank.

That Smells Good!

If you take a straight pin and punch many holes through the top surface you can make a Pomander. Take some flower petals, (like roses), orange peal and other sweet smelling odor producers inside. The good odors will travel through the holes in top and fill the room with fragrance.

Thinking of Gifts!

As you enjoy your boxes, think of the most favorite gift that you have ever received.

Did it come in a box or was it given to you in another way? Gifts remind us that we are loved and appreciated by others. Gifts bring us joy and connect us more firmly with the gift givers.

The best gift I ever received did not come in a box. It was the gift given by God the Father that made it possible for me to become a child of God.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

When Jesus came to earth and took on human flesh it was God’s plan for Jesus to give his human life as a sacrifice for our sins. He went to the cross and died there for us. But He did not stay dead! He rose again to prove that He had the victory over sin and death and that He had paid the price for us to pay the debt of sin.

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you have never received this gift, it’s offered to all. What an amazing deal! There is no greater gift.

Don’t Worry, Make Flowers!

How to make an origami Tulip.

It’s Time For The Tulips To Bloom:

I bet you, as I, love the Spring Time when all the flowers begin to bloom. One of my favorites is the tulip. I thought you would enjoy learning how to fold some origami Tulips that will last a little longer than the beautiful ones in your garden. You can make a bouquet for your inside table while leaving the real ones on display outside.

By the way; this makes a great Mother’s Day gift.

What You Need:

To make this project you will need a sheet of green copy paper, some colorful paper (either origami or copy paper), some white glue, scissors, a straight pin, and a pencil.

First Things First:

You will have to cut a square from the copy paper unless you are using a square sheet of origami paper.

Fold the square into the traditional water balloon base by folding an X on one side of the paper, turning it over and folding a cross on that side. It should look like this:

Next you will fold up the right side top wing portion like this:

Do the same on the left side but leave a little gap vertically between the two wings. Then turn the paper over and repeat on the backside.

Save Yourself From Frustration!:

This next step was the most frustrating for me when I first tried to fold the model. If you don’t do this correctly the petals will not fold down later.

Take the top right hand side and fold it to the left, then do the same on the backside. It should look like this:

Next, place the model so that the flat point is at the bottom. Fold the right hand top portion diagonally to the left like this:

Next, fold the left side over to the right diagonal edge:

Next, you will insert one wing into the pocket of the other like this:

Repeat on the backside.

Now for the Fun Part:

In order for your flower to bloom you will have to breathe into it a breath of life. (I doubt if your breath will make it alive, but it will make it more life-like.) If you have ever made a traditional origami water balloon it’s the same process. Just be sure not to blow too hard. You just want to inflate the model not blow it apart. You will need to blow into the hole at the bottom of the model like this:

Petal Power:

If you look closely on the outside of the model you should find four petals. These need to be rolled down to make the bud bloom. Carefully pull out the top of a petal and roll it around a pencil like this:

Repeat on all four petals:

Now for the Stem and Leaves:

Take your sheet of green paper and cut off of one side a long skinny rectangle. Cut out a couple leaves as well.

Let’s Make It 3-D:

For the stem portion you will just keep folding the rectangle in half as many times as you can so it will support the weight of the flower head.

The more times you fold the stem in half the stronger it will be. Use a straight pen or the tip of your scissors to lightly scratch a crease in a curved fashion down the middle of each leaf. When you bend the sides of the leaves together the crease will follow your scored line. Just be careful not to scratch too hard or you will tear through the paper. Now let’s curl the leaf tips. Open your scissor blade and use the flat side against the paper. Pull the paper down over the blade like this:

You Are Almost Done :

Now we will glue the leaves to the stem and top the stem with the flower like this:

Helpful Hint: if you put some glue on the top of the stem before putting the flower on, it will hold the flower place once it dries. Otherwise it is just gravity holding it in place.

It Takes More Than One to Fill the Vase:

In order to have a nice bouquet you will need several flowers and a vase. You can use a nice flower vase or make your own with a Mason Jar. Here are a couple pictures of my bouquet:

Notice the difference in the above pictures. The bottom one still has the label showing on the jar. Above that you can see how I covered the bottle with a ring of colored paper to make it more attractive. You might also see some irises mixed in with the Tulips. You can find origami models for several types of flowers on-line or in books you can find at the library. There are also several YouTube videos available.

As You Think About the Flowers, Think About This:

If you were successful in folding your bouquet, you are probably going to be pretty protective of your finished project. Did you know God cares for us in a similar way, only much more.

Are You Worried? Check This Out:

Matthew 6:28-34

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you – you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat? or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Notice that this is a conditional promise of God to His Children. If you are not in His family you can be by acknowledging Jesus Christ as LORD of your life. Believe on Him (His death, burial and resurrection) and you will be saved.

For those of us who know Him, the flowers can be a constant reminder of His care for us.

Origami Covid-19 Model

With all of us practicing “Social-Distancing” and staying in our houses during this epic 2020 pandemic, I thought I would amuse you with a fun project and bring you a word of encouragement.

It is amazing to think that a tiny virus has been able to effect changes throughout the whole world. Though we need to respect the potential dangers of this disease and follow the directions given to us by our government leaders, we do not need to live in fear. God is still in control! One way to face our fears is to visualize our enemy. Let’s make a paper model of the virus.

To make this model I made an Origami Quadra-Sphere. You can find the directions for folding this in my April 4, 2019 post. Once you have constructed a Quadra-sphere you just need to add some spikes.

Easy to Fold:

It is really easy to make the spikes. Just cut some long rectangles and fold them in half lengthwise. It takes quite a few spikes to complete the model, so make a lot! You can add as many as you like but I glued one on each corner of the Quadra-sphere.

If Want More Drama:

To make your model more dramatic use bright colors like red, yellow, and orange.

You can make your model any size, but the smaller you make it the more it resembles the real thing. Just think about how small real viruses are. It takes a powerful electron microscope just to see them!

Once you make your model you can place it on a bright paper base or hang it by a string to make a mobile. Guess what? This model won’t hurt you.

If You Are Fearful, Listen to This:

 

For those of us that have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, our LORD, we can take courage from the promises in Scripture given to by our Savior.

Isaiah 43:1

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.”

 

I John 4:18

“Perfect love casts out fear.”

 

Psalm 18:2

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and deliverer.”

 

Romans 8: 38-39

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither Angels or demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you do not have this peace of mind, you can by asking God to give you eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Let’s Make An Octagonal Box:

The Product of Much Experimentation:

While exploring origami it is fun to create your own original models. These Octagonal boxes are one of my favorite creations. The most difficult part was to figure out how to lock the edges in the final folds.

Here Is How To Do It:

You will need two pieces of paper. If you are using two sided paper, start with the colored side down.

Use the water balloon base. Fold an X on one side of the paper and a cross on the other side.

Pinch in two opposite sides to collapse the paper into the above base. Do this with both sheets of paper.

Take one of the four wings and fold the outside edge to the center vertical crease. Bend this same crease back and forth like a door hinge to prepare the paper for the next move. Pull up this section like a shark fin. Put your finger inside the fin and push down. It should look like the form above on the right side of the picture.

Now you need to fold the outside edges of the tail section so they meet in the middle as shown in the picture above. You can do this on each of the four sections as you fold them or after you have all four formed. It seems to be easier to align the folds when you have the outer wings in place so you can see the horizontal alignment. Crease these folds well so shaping the box later will be easier.

Fold the paper to lock the previous folds. Repeat this on all four wings.

Now your project should look like the one above.

Bend up the bottom point to the center of the top horizontal edge. Again, hinge this fold back and forth several times so it will open correctly in the following folds.

Insert your finger into the top of the fold and push outward on the inside panels to open the box. Be sure to push out where the crease lines are already in place. This part seems strange until you see the box shape pop out.

Now Let’s Lock The Edges :

Lift up one of the folded down points. Fold out the side flaps like door hinges. Be sure to keep the creases on top of each other when you swing the hinged sections into place. To lock this section, fold the point inside at the horizontal crease.

Repeat on all four sides. Check that all of your creases are the original ones you folded in the previous steps.It’s Time To Collapse The Form:

In this next step you will be straightening all the creases to form a symmetrical octagon. Some people use these collapsed forms as containers to store stamps and other flat objects. These are sometimes called origami tattoos.

Observe the process in the above pictures. By pushing in the center of any two opposite sides you will collapse the form. This can be a tricky step since you have to bring in all the sides to the center at the same time. Fold each of the little shark fins to the right so they overlap and the form is flat. Run your fingers over and push down on the outside edges to straighten all the folds. Use your fingernail to indent the outer edges of the octagon all the way around the circle. This will start to create the crimping you will do with the edge of an ink pen.

Reopen The Boxes:

Now that all the creases have been set you can reopen the box by placing your fingers inside and pressing out on each of the V joints. They will still slightly bend in like the pictures above. Use the end of a pen cap to carefully crimp down the bottom outer edges. Be careful not to tear through the paper. Slide the pen cap left and right on each of the 8 sides to create a lip on the bottom to receive the lid. This forms the bottom half of the box.

Forming The Top:

Now let’s crimp the top section. Place the box on its side and use the pen cap to crimp the edges as shown in the pictures above. If done properly your lid will rest on the bottom crimped edge. Adding these crimps gives the fold strength as well as form.

You Can Stack Them Up:

Use Them For A Gift Box Or Storage Container:

Depending on the size of paper you start with you can make boxes of various sizes. Using a standard 8 1/2″ X 11″ piece of paper your box will hold four standard size chocolate truffles. If using the boxes to hold food items, line them with cellophane or tin foil so the oils don’t soak through and ruin your fold. You can use them to wrap up presents, jewelry boxes, and more. You can stack several of decreasing sizes to form a Christmas tree. What other ways can you think of to use them?

Where Did Form And Design Originate?

As I look around me at all of the designs I see in creation I’m reminded that there has to be a Designer of these wonderful forms. Just like I have designed this box, each designed shape has function as well as beauty. If you see similar patterns in many things you can assume there is a common Designer. It’s like being able to tell which cars are Chevys and which are Fords by seeing similarities in each model. We see the same things in God’s creation. Some animals have four legs while others have two. Many animals are bilateral having two eyes and two ears. Having two of each of these gives us depth perception. No matter which creature you observe you will see that each design has function. How each creature functions has a greater purpose in its survival as well as its place in the whole of creation. I hope you, like I, have come to know this Creator. He is the giver and sustainer of life.

Psalm 36: 9 “For You are the one who gives and sustains life.”

Colossians 1:16a “For by Him all things were created…”

Origami Cranes at the Wedding

How To Use 1000 Cranes:

 

In my last blog I showed you the process of folding 1000 origami cranes. I made these for my granddaughter’s wedding in Long Island, New York. I thought it would be fun to show you how we used the cranes in celebrating this occasion.

Once we arrived in Long Island we were taken to the church where the wedding was to take place in a couple days. My youngest granddaughter and I sat down to finish folding down the wings of the last 200 cranes which were to be used at each table setting for the wedding feast.

We had previously sent the cranes to NY with their wings still in the up position so                                                            they could more easily be packaged for the flight to NY.

The Majority of the Cranes in Place:

The day before I arrived most of the cranes had been strung on strings with various numbers of cranes on each. Some were long and some were shorter. Along with the cranes were several Japanese Paper Lanterns hung. The neat thing was, that since they were all white, the colored lighting could change the colors from pink, to blue, and yellow in an alternating fashion. Those who strung the cranes used a little dab of tacky glue to hold the cranes on the string with a little separation. When we came into the sanctuary for the first time the whole floor up front was covered with strings of cranes to be hung in and out of doors.

 

Some of the cranes were taken outside to a large tent and hung over the dance floor and eating area.

The Bride and Groom indoors

 

Father and Bride Dancing Under the Cranes.

 Cranes Are A Symbol Of Good Fortune

And A Long Lasting Relationship.

One of the interesting things about cranes is the way they mate for life. They have been a symbol of faithfulness and good fortune for thousands of years.

The Bride and Groom:

As a Christian I am reminded of the faithfulness of our God to His Bride, the Church.

What a celebration awaits us when He returns to claim His Bride. That will be a celebration like none that has ever come before it. I hope you are rightly related to Him so you can celebrate on that day too.

Read more about it in Ephesians 5:22-33.

 

 

Senbazuru: Have You Ever Folded 1000 Cranes?

Why Would Anyone Want To Do This?

According to the Japanese legend, anyone who folds one thousand cranes is granted one wish. Whether this is true or not is debatable, however, the origami crane has become a symbol of hope to the sick, a symbol of peace, good fortune, and love to those for whom the cranes are folded.

Where Did This All Begin?

According to history, the crane has been a symbol of good fortune for as long as there are records of Japanese culture. The origami crane, however, became famous by a little girl of twelve who was trying to fold 1000 to get her wish. She had leukemia as a result of exposure to radiation from the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II. She was only two when the bomb dropped, but the cancer developed and became lethal when she was twelve. She never finished folding her cranes. She had 644 cranes when she died. Several of her friends completed the rest of the cranes which were buried with her. Today there is a monument with a statue of Sadako Sasaki, this brave little girl, as a reminder of the tragic effects of war on children. The monument is called the Children’s Peace Monument. Around Sadako’s likeness are thousands of cranes. Children from all around the world often fold cranes and send them for display there.

Other Uses for Cranes:

As the cranes became popular they were also used in weddings and other special occasions. The reason I folded them was for my Granddaughter’s wedding this summer.

Consider the Time!:

If you decide to try to fold a thousand cranes, consider the time it will take you to finish the project. It took me fifty three hours to complete the task. That’s quite a commitment of time. Fortunately, I am retired and origami is my hobby. In fact, I’ve always wanted to try it!

Many Ways to Fold Them:

As you can see in the photo above, there are a lot of different folding models of cranes. If you look at those in the box at the top of the page you can see the traditional crane. Some people stack them in this flat position on strings.Others fold out the wings in one of two ways. You can just bend them down or you can pull outward on the wings and flatten the top of the bird. You can see both of these in the picture above. I also included in the group two flying crane models at the bottom of the group. These cranes actually flap their wings when you hold the bottom and pull back on the tail.

How to String Them:

There are also a number of ways to string them. You will need a large needle, some string or fishing line, and maybe some beads. Run the string up through the hole on the bottom of the crane and out the top of the back. You can stack them with, or without beads, however, the beads hold them farther apart. I think this makes them appear more like a real bird. They stand out more when there is space between them and actually look like they are flying when strung this way.

Create A Pattern:

As you can see in the photos, you can create interesting patterns by alternating colors and textures and print patterns. The colored cranes in these pictures were folded from three by three inch squares from origami paper with nature prints. Some strings have beads, others don’t. Consider how many you can place on a string for the space available to hang them. Fishing line works well for supporting the weight and also is invisible so it does not distract from the pattern. If you use colored string, make sure the color goes well with the cranes. Some people hang several strands of cranes in a circle pattern. Others suspend them evenly spaced and use them as a backdrop behind the stage for photo opportunities. Some just place the cranes on table tops in various patterns. Be creative! Make your display unique to your purposes.

You Can Also Use Fewer Cranes!:

If you want to try folding cranes, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the time or patience to fold 1000. Many people use far less than 1000. Some people just buy them already folded….but where’s the fun in that? And believe it or not, they are not cheap! Check it out on line and see what I mean!

Lessons to Learn:

As I folded the cranes I thought of how hard it is to create so many birds of the same pattern. Then I thought of how awesome it is that God created so many different kinds of creatures and things by just speaking them into existence. Wow! I can only make a crude likeness of a creature. He made each creature alive with everything it would need to survive and reproduce itself. Just think of how complicated even the simplest form of life actually is. I am so glad He created all things, including me!

It Shows Love !

As I made cranes because I love my Granddaughter and wanted to wish her well in her wedding, I was reminded that God has demonstrated His love to all of us in His Creation. It is just one of the ways God demonstrates His love to us. Even greater is that He gave His own Son to pay the price for our sins so we could be free from guilt and shame and be united with Him by accepting this free gift, Jesus Christ, as our Savior and LORD.

John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

 

Other Interesting Origami Crane Facts:

A group of 1000 origami cranes is called Senbazuru.

Cranes are often folded and given to those who are ill as a token of good will and hope for recovery.

Origami cranes are often used in religious ceremonies in Japan.

At several monuments for peace around the world cranes are given as a symbol of individual prayers that have been offered for peace. The more cranes, the more prayers.

The Japanese space agency JAXA used the folding of 1000 cranes as one of the test for its potential astronauts.

There is some controversy about the number of cranes Sadako actually folded. Some say she not only finished the cranes but also folded more because she did not get her wish.

Every year on Obon Day, people fold and leave cranes at the Hiroshima Peace Park in honor of the lives lost on that tragic day.

A fictionalized version of Sadako’s life story is a popular book entitled “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”. You can probably find it at the library in the children’s section. The author is Eleanor Coen.

The average amount of time needed to fold 1000 cranes is around 50 hrs. (if you can fold 20 in an hour. ) This does not include packing them or stringing them, which can take much longer.

Note: The size of the paper used can change the amount of tine it takes to fold a crane. I used six inch squares for my thousand white cranes. Using three inch squares is much faster.

Here is number 1000 of the white cranes.

How to Make an Origami Quadra-Sphere

Discovering New Forms:

This past week I have been experimenting with several methods for forming geo-forms from paper. While fooling around with the paper I came up with a new way to make a sphere. Each base unit has four arms for attachment, thus the “Quadra” name.

 

Above is a picture of a space station made with seven spheres and connectors.

 

Above you can see the base spheres used for the project.

 

Let’s Learn How to Fold the Base Units for Constructing a Sphere:

For each sphere you will need at least two sheets of colored copy paper (you could also use white).

Next you will fold the paper top down to the bottom.

Next fold the right side to the left quartering the sheet of paper.

 

Cut off the extra end piece to form rectangles. Then cut in half to

get four squares from each sheet of paper.

 

Now that you have the squares let’s turn them into base units.

Begin by X-ing one side of the paper. Then flip it over and fold a cross in the center of the paper to form the water-balloon base’

 

Lay the fold on its side with the pointed end down. Then fold up the bottom to the middle of the top and crease it well.

Next, open the fold and pinch the four corners so it forms a mini table top.

Then depress the middle while squeezing the sides to sink fold the center.

 

Now you have your base unit., we will make six of these before the gluing part.

Now let’s do the gluing:

Place glue on just the small triangle region of the star points like this.

Then add another unit like the following:

Keep adding units in this same fashion until all the points are covered.

Want to Go to a Grander Scale?

After making several spheres you may want to create a larger sculpture. To do this you will need connector units. These are easy to make by just folding a square of paper into a inverted water balloon base. These slide right into the slots of the ends of the sides of the spheres.

You can vary the sizes of the squares used to make the connectors for different looks.

Add as many spheres as you like to make long chains or larger spherical constructions.

 

You can use a hole punch to create dots to glue on the surface.

You can also use colorful paper with patterned designs.

The next few photos show how you can modify the connectors to create other designs. I inserted regular water balloon bases instead of inverted ones. Then I added additional spikes. Try experimenting with your own original connectors. It’s fun!

Consider the Design.

Whenever I see designs in nature I am reminded that each design needs a designer. I find it hard to believe that this is all by chance. It seems more logical to assume that a powerful, wise, careful, Designer created all things.

We are currently studying the design structure of atoms in my class at school, and have noticed each element follows a certain pattern to form the basic units of the structure of the element. Even though we can’t see these microscopic units we can use models to show how they are constructed using Bohr models and other atomic models. As you construct your own forms remember how complex the designs of our Maker are seen all around us. It takes a lot of wisdom and power to create things from nothing.

The very observable designs in Creation demand a Creator. I hope you know Him as I do. He has plans for your life and future.

Colossians 1: 16-17

“For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through Him and form Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”