Sunday, May 30, 2010

And Yet MORE Origami!

Folded more with the 'map' paper, it really does lend itself very nicely to just about anything--bunnies, bellflowers, a shell and tuberoses... 

 And spirals!

Also did some fun stuff with my new glow-in-the-dark-paper in pink and green, a spiral...and, naturally, Little Green Men!

And finally a new fold, a scallop shell. Simple fold that comes out nice, I added a tiny pearl inside....

I know, I know--scallops don't MAKE pearls, but I thought it was cute. So I took artistic license!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Anyone Have A Spare Right Knee?

...because I'd LOVE to have one that isn't a painful mass of uselessness. Having to walk with a cane SUCKS, and damn it, I've got things to do. It flared up bad like this last summer, that time it lasted a solid month before going back to it's normal pain level just as suddenly as it had started with the mega-pain thing.

This time it's been at it since the beginning of May. I know it's got somthing to do with the inside tendons, and that it feels like some kind of cyst or something has formed. It's screwing up my sleep pattern as well.

Stupid knees. Stupid, badly designed knees. Stupid pain.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Latest Weird Nesting Site...

Yesterday I pruned back a bunch of rose bushes, leaving the cuttings out overnight for the tortoise and the chickens to forage in.

This morning...

Bear decided to lay an egg in there, you can just see her little face peeking out. Now--I cannot THINK of a more uncomfortable nest than a pile of pure rose branches, with all those thorns! I SWEAR they have nest boxes, lovely proper wooden ones with loads of fresh straw.

Nope. Nothing will do but this nasty pile of thorny branches. Even Phoenix the rooster was looking at her like she was nuts.


Baby Mantids!

Two of our egg cases have started hatching, yay!

In the back yard...

And in the front!

You can see the egg case in the middle right...

I got these off ebay, six total from the eastern US. They are supposed to be BIG mantids, so far I'd agree, these babys are huge. Two of them were boxing each other last night, thankfully they haven't started to eat each other yet. One egg case in the front yard and one in the back each hatched, the other four nothing yet--but I'm optimistic they'll produce. I was pruning the white rose bush when I noticed the babies, so all pruning work is suspended for now.

Praying Mantises...mantids? What the Hell IS the plural, anyway...? Whatever, they rock, and BABY mantids doubly so. They are like my personal little assassin ninja squad, being sent out into the garden to do my bidding. Bad bugs, look out!

Fly, my pretties! FLY!

Monday, May 17, 2010

More Origami Folding...

Since I've been sitting a lot recently trying to rest & heal the flare-up in my right knee, I've tried to keep at least somewhat busy doing some origami. The pain is pretty heavy-duty and cuts right through the painkillers, which can only do so much. So I've kept to the simpler folds.

First, some butterflies!

These were quite simple and are actually made from two sheets of paper, then joined with a dot of glue.

Next, some Bellflowers, using a diagram that came with the packet of origami paper---I added the stamens and freehanded a little simple leaf. These are quite striking when folded with multicolor paper:

I've also come up with my very own design, my very first; yay! So here are some Little Green Men:

They could, admittedly, use some finesse. But these little alien guys fold with (not shown here) or without fangs, and are quick, fun and kid-friendly. I used the first part of the classic crane diagram, then diverged a bit from there. I think it uses maybe 10 folds, max--I haven't diagramed it though. Am I mistaken in thinking there is a program that will do that...?

Purists beware: there is ONE scissor cut. But I'm sure with more fussing about I could eliminate it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

An Experiment

I got one of those upside-down tomato planters last year, so I finally hung it up over the weekend, along with another I picked up for strawberries.

The tomato planter has two varieties in it, 'Early Girl' and 'Better Boy', one of each. The strawberry has 15 plants, about half a 'Seascape' and the rest 'Chandler'. It'll be interesting to see if they work. They went on the front porch rather than the back yard, because I didn't want to create a veritible chicken pinata with the things. If there is food, chickens WILL find a way to get to it.

Also, recently I was at my daughter's elementary school and discovered the school piano, which is one of the most no-nonsense, battle-scarred things I've seen in a LONG time.
Damned thing's built like a truck. Big chunks of the finish have literally been peeled away, and yellow duct tape applied. I think the padlock over the keyboard is my favorite part!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two Kusudamas

Here are the two that were in progress the other day, finished. I still have to add some cord to hang them with:

Both use the same number of units and the same two folds, plus a common connecting unit. But with the two folds, one is inverted and one is not. This made for two quite different end products!

Neither is as nice as I'd like them to be, but are acceptable as first attempts. They went together easily enough but are hollow so are a bit flimsy--the one with the map pages I made before is rdiculously strong, like iron...and heavy! I need to work on making my folds crisper and on making the units fit together tighter.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Armed with fresh origami paper and a brand spankin' new book, I'm tackling my latest fascination: kusudamas. Kusudamas are modular origami paper balls, usually made in floral or geometric units and made in multiples of 3, 6, 12, 24, 30, etc. They can get quite complicated and look freakin' amazing, usually much more impressive than they actually *are* because they don't LOOK modular. Some of the kusudama diagrams are a tad difficult to decipher, but that's part of the fun--if it was easy it wouldn't be a challenge!

I've got two different kusudamas in the works right now, one a basic floral made from map paper I recycled from a 1966 world atlas (from the thrift store, previous owner wrote in it, tore pages and it was going bad, so I didn't feel bad about cutting it up)--here it is under construction:

And another in pink/blue/peach origami papers using three different folds:

My next one will be much more daunting, it's a pattern called 'Arabesque' and each modular unit takes 43 folding steps, THEN you have to put them together, another 23 steps. We'll see how much I ruin it--gonna for sure practice with plain paper before committing to the fancy, more expensive stuff!