Sunday, February 27, 2011

Origami Dress-Up Paper Dolls Review

It has been a few weeks since I picked up Origami Dress-Up Paper Dolls book.  I've already made a few dolls for myself and also helped some of my students make theirs with this book.  Since the book was imported from Japan, I paid a little more than how much I would've paid if I waited to buy it in Japan, but for me money was worth spent.  This book turned out to be just as good as the Amazon Japan review, or even better!  I love origami and I love fashion, so this is right up my alley.

First of all, the designs of the dolls are absolutely adorable.  Here is a doll that I made using a left over paper from Origami Mushrooms for the dress.  I think she turned out pretty cool!

I find that some origami instruction books are hard to follow, but not this one.  The book is very well written.  The level of difficulty is about semi-beginner to intermediate.  The girls at my school who made these dolls have done origami with me in the past, and they are between 2nd and 5th graders.  With my help, it took each of them about two hours to finish making a doll with a whole outfit.  Each doll is made out of 10 or more pieces of paper, with all the body parts, clothing and shoes combined.  They loved it and stayed focused on the project for the whole two hours.

A large variety of clothing, accessories, and hairstyles are introduced in the book.  Even though some pieces of clothing or body parts require different sizes of paper, he explains exactly how to cut a regular size origami paper into each required size so there is no need to purchase different sizes of paper.  He also encourages you to use wrapping paper and such, and explains how to cut one into a perfect square that you need (which is by using the cardboard that comes with an origami package, FYI).

Here is a "Mini-Me" I made.  Black hair, a print skirt, and boots... That's totally me.  I had so much fun choosing paper for this outfit that made me realize this book might even help me stop my obsession for buying clothes!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Origami

I just went to teach a class at an assisted living facility for seniors.  I've enjoyed the privilege of doing this almost every month for the last two years.  It's a very rewarding and invigorating job for me especially since I believe in life-long learning.

I also believe that seniors can benefit so much from folding paper.  Many seniors suffer from arthritis so folding paper is a good rehabilitation for their hands.  It helps them to stay sharp as well, because origami is an excise that stimulates both right and left sides of the brains.  One of the residents who always come to my class is Japanese, and I suppose that doing origami helps her feel rooted to her heritage so that is another benefit for someone like her.

I love celebrating seasons and holidays, so this time I taught it in the theme of Valentine's Day.  There are so many different origami hearts, like you can see.  All of these models are from Origami Club.

But there wasn't enough time to make them all, so I showed them just two things: the heart with wings, and the heart charm.

I always try to select models that the residents can give out as gifts or use in their rooms as decorations.

Here is my dog wearing the heart as a dog tag.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Origami Mushrooms

Here is a photo of an artwork that I recently created with the children for the school auction.

Each of these mushrooms is made out of a special origami paper that is polka dots on one side and complementary solid color on the other.  I applied the style of Andy Warhol portrait artwork where identical images are repeated in different colors, but handmade in origami.  Aren't they cute?  I hope it will sell!