Thursday, July 23, 2009
When I was 8, I went through a major origami phase. I folded cranes, boats, balloons, basically anything I could figure out by looking at the pictures, since the instructions were in Japanese. My origami fad stemmed from reading the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes (not to be confused with Sudoku, the numbers game my husband's addicted to). Sadako & the Thousand Paper Cranes is a heartbreaking true story about a girl diagnosed with Leukemia. To pass the time in the hospital she starts folding cranes with the goal to reach 1,000. Sadly, she dies with only 644 folded. Her classmates end up folding the rest and the cranes are eventually buried with her. *Sob* There is a monument in Hiroshima, Japan where students from around the world send 1,000 cranes.
In Japanese American culture, when someone gets married or celebrates an anniversary, friends and family are asked to help fold 1,000 cranes, plus one for extra luck. The cranes are seen as good luck and placed together to create a picture or symbol, which is later hung in the home.
When my younger sister got married last year, she asked us to help her fold cranes. Given my previous obsession with origami I thought my enthusiasm would come flooding back---soooo not the case. Maybe the 80’s burned me out on origami or perhaps it had something to do with my mother who is an origami Nazi. She would look at my crane and then shake her head and place it in what became known as the “throw away pile” or what I referred to as “I just wasted 5 minutes of my life pile.” Long story short, my origami career ended there.
Interestingly enough, origami folding has become popular these days with cardboard. Foldschool has taken folding to an entire new level. This site lets you download free patterns which then allows you to fold cool kids furniture! All you need is that cardboard box your new TV came in.
Granted you have to be pretty savvy, but where else can you get FREE handmade furniture that is hip and modern.