Saturday, January 29, 2011

Origami Kusudama Is Interesting and Fun Craft Project

This is my second origami kusudama.

It is a bit flat on one side, shown in the photo below right. I did not understand how to glue together the five-petalled flowers to form half the globe.

I started paper crafting a few years ago. I focused on modular flowers and stars. I tried to make a kusudama, but it got all sticky.

I did not have proper glue, so I used a collage finishing coat. This is a liquid and less precise than the mini glue gun I used this time.

I also was using proper origami paper, which is thin. So the combination of the liquid and thin paper turned into rather a sticky mess.

For this , I used heavier card stock and a glue gun. The flowers also were larger than those of my first effort.

This kusudama is made of 60 folded units. It is not particularly hard, but it takes some patience. The directions are located at Folding Trees.

I love the tactile feel of paper and the wonderful colors. I am taken aback at the expensive prices for many of the pretty gilded print Japanese origami papers. I will have to find wrapping papers and other substitutes.

I’ve bought my first book about origami folding by one of the best-known artists, Origami Inspirations.

Artists take great care to figure out patterns, often using their knowledge of mathematics. So the folding instructions are copyrighted and not necessarily available free on the internet.

I also bought a day calendar, Easy Origami Fold-a-Day: 2011 Day-to-Day Calendar

So far, the folds are too simple to be interesting. Some of the models require coloring in eyes and noses or wheels and so forth to make the ambiguous folds look like something.

On the other hand the Mukeriji book is beautiful even if all I do is look at the wonderful color photos of her work.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tired of Fending Off Retailers' Requests that I Join Their Charity Efforts

Why is it necessary for every store I visit to solicit my assistance with the retailer's charity endeavors?

Today, I went to three stores, and two wanted to know if I wanted to leave cash behind to donate to the retailer's pet cause.

"My favorite charity is National Public Radio. Would you like to take some money out of the register so that I can send it along to them on behalf of your store?" I asked in exasperation.

Times are hard, but corporate begging only motivates me to avoid local stores. It is especially annoying that Publix supermarkets and Whole Foods markets solicit me every time I am at the cash register. I shop frequently for fresh food, so I can easily be asked to donate two or three times a week.

Now TJ Maxx is asking us to donate to diabetes.

My employers ask me to give annually -- to charities and school foundations.

I do not mind that students try to put their ideals in action with food drives and toy drives and fund-raising for worthy causes. This is what young idealists need to do.

I feel differently about corporate retailers I must visit if I wish to eat. I do not go to the supermarket to give to charity; I go to do my grocery shopping.

I am a grown-up.

I can decide where I want to send my money without being nudged and reminded every time I open my purse.