Thursday, January 28, 2010

Paper Pushers

My parents gave me an Origami Page-A-Day calendar by Margaret Van Sicklen for Christmas - the perfect accessory for a creative mama's desk, but apparently, an even more perfect gift for my crafty three-year-old whose daily attempts to swipe it prompted its removal from the desk to higher (ahem, safer) ground. The swipe attempts turned to daily inquiries as to its whereabouts and if we could get it out.

Today, we did just that. We pulled down the calendar and grabbed a stack of origami books. Audrey had already been introduced to origami through one of her favorite books, Lissy's Friends by Grace Lin, a sweet story about a girl who takes comfort in the origami friends she creates when she has trouble meeting friends at her new school (you can see just the corner of it in the top of the first picture). After what might have been our six hundredth reading of Lissy's Friends, along with reading a couple other origami-inspired picture books we found at the library, we pulled out our bone folder and got down to some serious creasing.

With the exception of a few origami facts thrown into the mix, each day of the Origami One-A-Day calendar features instructions to make a paper animal or object. The calendar is made of beautifully printed origami paper. The instructions appear on the front of each calendar entry while the backs are nice patterned prints. Essentially, you use the backside of yesterday's discarded paper to make today's object or animal. Not ones to burden ourselves with dates, we skipped straight to the handy index to pick our projects. First, I chose the Kimono Heart. It looked simple and sweet (notice the green in the photo above creates a heart shape with pieces that cross each other like the sides of a kimono, hence the name).

Masters of the Kimono Heart, and Audrey sold on this new art form (especially her new found power tool, I mean, bone folder), we decided to try our luck at another. I asked if Audrey wanted to make an animal like Lissy (all of Lissy's origami friends being animals). I had in mind a crane or a dove, thinking that these might be simpler since they seem to be the equivalent of an origami cliche. So, it should come to no surprise that Audrey answered without hesitation (and in no uncertain terms), "Yes. An elephant."

For my part, I was able to morph the "Oh my," forming in the back of my throat to "Let me see what I can find," before it hit open air. Luckily, the index had four elephants to choose from, and the cute little guy you see above was the second one we found. We made this one out of excess card stock. He looks a little like a dog with an accordion snout. Hmm...there's a breed you don't see everyday.

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