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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Know When to Fold 'Em


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.

-Kacey
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31 comments:

Sheryl said...

Isn't the cardboard hard to bend where you want it to bend? Just another way to go green. :)

Kathy B! said...

I love origami. Mine always looks hacked, but I think it's gorgeous with all of it's angles. You've got some fabulous links in this post!! Thanks for taking the time to do all the linky work. It's fun to explore :)

Rita/Fighting Off Frumpy said...

I looooved that book - I think I read it about twenty times during my childhood!

I could never master the art of origami, though. I'm lucky to fold clothes properly, let alone paper. :)

Lolli said...

Cardboard origami? Now THAT"s something! I loved origami as a kid. My best friend was from Hong Kong, and she had some really cool instruction books. We would sit in her bed room and make birds and boxes all the time. :)

Lisa Anne said...

I love people finding new ways to go green and use different items and see what they can make them become. Score!

Jillene said...

My husband has been known to do oragami. I find little shirts, cranes and other things in his shirt and pants pockets--more likely I find them in the washer or dryer.

Great idea on the furniture--I will have to show the hubby--I'm sure he will get right on it!!

tiburon said...

I helped fold 1000 cranes when I was in elementary school

Can't remember how to do it now.

Not sure I want to !

mommaof4wife2r said...

all i can say is wow! there is no way i would have that kind of patience...ever!

Joanna Jenkins said...

I was never able to master origami, unless I started with a 3 foot square of paper :-( But I have lovely pieces from my nieces and nephews!

Thanks for the post! xo

Randi Troxell said...

i've always thought origami looked way cool.. but never had the patience to figure it out! but this new thing foldschool... looks kinda cool!

Kristen said...

that is pretty cool!!

Unknown Mami said...

What a great idea! Somehow I have a feeling if i tried, it would come out looking like a pile of jacked up cardboard.

Helene said...

That is SO cool! It seems complicated to me...but very cool!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Wow. That is some amazing stuff. I'd likely get papercuts trying the first fold.

article marketing said...

It is creationary.

Hillbilly Duhn said...

When I was a kid, my dad taught me to make a box, and a frog. I can't remember how to make the frog, well, the box either for that matter, but I can make a mean paper airplane!! :)

Alicia W. said...

Ain't no damn way I could make a piece of paper to come out looking like a shape of anything.. More like a turd. :) Awesome talent though.. I'm totally jealous. :)

Nadine said...

What a beautiful story and tradition. I never heard about it before. Thanks for sharing!

iamwoman said...

I love this! I have never been able to do any myself--but I had a photography client with a very cute story when they did it in 2006. It is probably one my most favite maternity photos ever: http://carriestroudphotography.blogspot.com/2009/03/1000-cranes.html

Mama Kat said...

Hi! I'm a long time lurker and I just had to come out on comment on this one.

I love the art work they made with the paper cranes. I can't believe your mom would throw away five minutes of your life like that. If I were you I'd sneak mine back into the made pile.

I'll definitely be stopping by again soon!

Love your blog.

And of course Thuy.

Mama Kat said...

Hi! I'm a long time lurker and I just had to come out on comment on this one.

I love the art work they made with the paper cranes. I can't believe your mom would throw away five minutes of your life like that. If I were you I'd sneak mine back into the made pile.

I'll definitely be stopping by again soon!

Love your blog.

And of course Thuy.

Nana said...

Origami? That's how I fold Papa's undershirts.

Kristin said...

You should check out Down and Out Chic's blog. Her man candy made her a bouquet of origami flowers.

TrueLoveIsaMama said...

Very funny! Also, I bought that book you wrote about, what to read when, since I am never sure what books would be best at what times, and it is awesome, I bought some of the books for their age, and they are way more into the story! Thanks for the recommendation!

KC Mom said...

What a great post! Those cardboard furniture pieces must be scored so they can bend easy. Thick cardboard is pretty hard stuff.
It would be fun to paint your furniture whatever color you wanted!

♥georgie♥ said...

what an awesome post! now if i just knew how to do origami1

Miranda said...

That is an awesome idea, thanks for the info!!

Deb said...

We had to do Sadako for my Children's Lit class in college. I cried. Then I cried even more when the teacher (also an Origami Nazi) made us demonstrate that we could fold 10 perfect cranes.

I am definitely trying the folding furniture.

Yaya said...

We read that book too and our class made 1000 cranes! I wanna remember how I made them, they are so cool.

Sarah said...

Does that furniture actually hold people/kids? Or would it collapse as soon as my two year old decided to stand in the seat?

And...only 5 minutes to fold a paper crane? Wow. I've looked at instructions before, got one or two folds done and deemed myself a failure at origami. lol.

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