Thursday, December 24, 2009

Variation on V'Ann Cornelius' Origami Picture Frame

Merry Christmas!

Diagrams of the 4 piece model appeared in OUSA's The Paper. A few years back, WCOG members were folding it, and Jim Cowling doodled with folding it from one piece of paper.

Recently, I revisited the model and refined it down to the proportioning shown in the video.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

When Origami is Just Plane Fun!

I get a lot of ooh's and aah's when I launch my paper glider. But it's nothing new or unique. Just check out Sonny Ang's demonstration of his zoomerang:

Tutorial here, and fine-tuning tips.

Then be amazed at Paper Airplane Guy, John Collins:

Tutorial for a boomerang plane, here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Joe's Twist Box Toy

The first time I saw this was about a year ago. Joe Hamamoto said he got the basket-weaving slinky part from his granddaughter. I don't know if anyone in particular designed it. It's too simple, that I doubt it can be traced to any one person. However, it was Joe's idea to do this out of giftwrapping paper and glue the ends to the insides of a masu box. This is the results.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

POP Beta testing twist box die

I learned this collapsible model (designed by Akiko Yamanashi) from Boaz Shuval at WCOG in February of '05. I thought I"d invest $300 in an experiment, and have a die made of the crease pattern in the hopes that non-folders will be able to do this model. Even though they don't have to worry about putting in the crease lines, it's probably still a bit of challenge to put together and collapse for young kids.

I had a thousand sheets of cardstock scored with the crease pattern in time for the Aquarium of the Pacific's Autmn Festival. Joe, Yami, and I will be making our 5th year return (although I think I missed the last 2 years, personally), snubbing PCOC in San Francisco, same weekend (major OUSA Convention, like the one in NYC).

We just can't be everywhere, all at once.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I just figured out that YouTube has disabled my primary account, "due to terms of violation" regarding copyright infringement. A couple of days ago I got two back to back notices regarding my video uploads of Chainey on Mr. Rogers:

Dear Member:

This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by Family Communications, Inc. claiming that this material is infringing:

Chainey Returns to Mr Rogers Neighborhood Pt I MOV04802:

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to prevent this from happening, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube's copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If you elect to send us a counter notice, please go to our Help Center to access the instructions.

Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability.

YouTube, Inc.

Given that there were 3 videos (with Chainey's second appearance in 2 parts), I didn't even think to head 'em off at the pass and disable the third video. I uploaded it so long ago, my mind wasn't thinking of preemption. So it seems 3 strikes and I'm out. Seems grossly unfair to have my account deleted in this manner. If I had subsequently uploaded more copyright infringing videos after their notice, then I'd say that qualifies as "repeat violation".

Ah well.....some 200 videos (origami, gymnastics, and others) that I have to consider whether or not it's worth the time to upload....

One blessing is that I don't have to receive all those comments blasting me for the WCOG video showing Phu Tran teaching it to members, but not being an instructional video of his rose. My God, if you people only knew what a headache that's been....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Japanese Gardens, Van Nuys

Yami, Joe, and I were invited once again to the Van Nuys Japanese Gardens for another Origami Festival; this time arranged by Sylvia Wong (Michael Fritzen, our old contact, has since departed).

Here are a couple of video clips of Yami and Joe in action toward the end of the festival:

Photos here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Birthday Message

Fun model taught to me by a Japanese lady at the 2005 OUSA Convention; I believe it's a Kunihiko Kasahara variation, found in Origami Omnibus.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WCOG Meeting July 11, 2009

Origami pins donated by Mark Kennedy to Yami for distribution to the teachers at last Sunday's Origami Festival at CSULB

While the Cahuenga Branch Library undergoes renovations for the months of July and August, the folding must go on! So the WCOG came together at the Pico Union Branch Library last weekend.

WCOG 2009 photos here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival from 2006

Found these clips in a folder and decided to put them to some use. Not much of a video, as with my old camera, I could only take about 10 second clips, bad resolution, and just didn't do much filming that particular year for the yearly festival.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Won Dollar Folding- That's What I Want!

Photo by Mike Jittlov

Won made it to two different origami meetings out here, during his trip to Los Angeles in February. This video is from the POP meeting, in Roxbury Park.

Pacific Ocean Paperfolders (POP) holds its monthly meeting around the 4th Sunday of the month, from 1-4 PM at the Roxbury Park Recreation Center in Beverly Hills. The address is 471 S. Roxbury Drive, between Pico and Olympic.

Joel Stern took over the leadership reigns after Dorothy Engelman passed away.

Photos here.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Cherry Blossom Festival Music Video 2009

There used to be a musician named Ken who would street perform on weekends in Little Tokyo. Whenever he saw me, he'd play for me one of my favorite tunes: Hana, an Okinawan song. A few years ago, he moved to Phoenix (incidentally, I saw him there at the Matsuri Festival the first year I was invited).

I used it on a previous Monterey Park video, from 4 years ago. I decided to use it again, this time with a Hawaiian version.

Pictures here.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The magic of Robert Neale's dollar butterfly

My material is still slowly evolving and getting refined; I know exactly what I need to do to make the presentation better. I just haven't taken the time to do my homework and rehearse the material (I haven't done this model since the last festival).

I think what I need to do is research some material from the field of physics and aerodynamics to give some bs rhetoric about Newton's First and Third Law, wind current and wing lift, upwash and downwash, angle of attack, know: Get them thinking there's a rational, scientific explanation (other than the simple, obvious one- I'm squeezing a lever).

Also, when someone does question whether or not I am pinching, I should hand it to them while secretly undoing the petal-fold, so he can try it himself. Sometimes, even handing the model to a person untampered has the person failing to make the wings flap.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In Memory of Vernon Isaac, May 25, 1948 - April 10, 2009

From L to R: Michael Sanders, Won Park, Vernon Isaac
Photo by Susan Dugan, OUSA 2002

Wendy Zeichner writes to the OUSA mailing list:
It is with great sadness that I announce that Vernon Isaac (our own
Metrocard modular man) passed away last week (from lung cancer) in
South Carolina with his family by his side.

The family is having a Memorial Service in New York on May 16, 2009 at 5pm.
It will be held at:
Garden of Prayer Cathedral Church
1874 Washington Avenue (off Tremont Avenue)
Bronx, NY 10457

I did not know Vernon well; but I knew him as soon as he entered a room, at my first OUSA Convention. He has the kind of presence and personality that floods a room..

For the benefit of those who did not have the good fortune to meet Vernon, and for the sake of those of us who fondly do remember him and who will miss his physical presence at OUSA in June, I pieced together some videoclips I took primarily from OUSA 2005. I'm sorry it's choppy, but in 2005, the digital camera I was using could only take 10 second clips:

As brief as it is, I hope it gives the viewer a good sense of Vernon's personality. Vernon is the kind of person one does not soon forget. He has this innate charm and ability to make instant friends. Following are email comments from the OUSA Members List (to be updated):

I met Vernon for the first time in New York 2002. He was very friendly and kind. We will all miss him very much.

Won Park

Vernon was a very origami active person. I met him several times in all the New York Conventions I have been attendded, also in the last Charlotte Festival in 2002 and the last time at the LIFE Festival in Long Island in 2007.

His death was a very big lost to the origami world, because sometimes you remember more a person for his origami charisma than for the other things he did. He likes to be with the people teaching his modular models.

Jose Tomas Buitrago

Wow. I'm so sorry to hear this. I had no idea that Vernon was ill.
This is very sad news.

Vernon was a strong presence at every New York origami convention.
I know of many first-time convention-goers who were befriended by Vernon
and delighted by his enthusiasm and talents at teaching.

I, for one, continue to use a teaching tip that I learned from him:
Whenever I teach a model and we complete a step that has to be done
on the other side of the paper or on the other half of the paper (like
a cupboard fold), then Vernon would say, "And you know that last move we
did? We liked it so much, that we'll do it again!" I love that line,
and I think
of Vernon whenever I use it.

--- Tom Hull

I am heartbroken. I was one of those first-timers at the convention and at
NYC Folding Sundays that Vernon befriended. His pure joy in both origami
and life was always infectious. I could never talk to Vernon without ending
up with a grin on my face. Is there a way that we could establish an annual
convention award (no prize, just the recognition and appreciation) for
someone who personally contributes the most to nurturing the origami
community by taking others under his or her wings?

I would be happy to help make this happen as my own way to remember this
wonderful man.

Naomi Rodolitz

Seeing Vernon was one of those little things at
convention that I always looked forward to. He was always there with a
smile and a big bear hug, welcoming, funny and generous. I'll miss him
a great deal.

Anne LaVin

I didn't know Vernon very well. I don't know many of the folks I see
at convention very well (and my inability to attend regularly doesn't

The tapestry of the convention is woven from many threads; Vernon was
flamboyant presence and his thread will be missed for many reasons. I
too did not know he was ill, and I am very sad that I missed the
convention last year and another chance to see him.


Douglas Philips

I am deeply saddened to read that Vernon is no longer with us. I have met
him at many OUSA conventions. He was a master of Metro card modulars and
always so generous with his time and a supply of metro cards. My prayers are
with the family.

Ravi Apte

What was the name of the really long metro card creature he made? Was
it Jake the Snake?

He will be greatly missed. He was such a kind and generous man to us
out of town folks.

Lori Gregory

I think the award should be a Metro Card Jake the Snake, about six
feet long, as close to Vernon's height as possible. The recipient
shall wear the award as a boa during the ceremony and for the
remainder of the evening.

This represents not only Vernon's interest in modulars, but also his
presence, which, like a giant snake, was impossible to ignore.

Plus, it's pretty darned funny, and I guarantee he would appreciate it.

I volunteer to help fold and assemble the units. I think we could make
at least two to three years worth of awards during this year's
convention, particularly if we start early.

Rob Hudson, who misses Vernon's bawdiness terribly

One of my favorite convention memories is teaching Vernon Isaac how to
fold the modular Jitterbug, a model that was wildly popular a few
conventions ago. I was explaining that you had to "fold this edge to
the imaginary line between these points," and he looked at me with a
straight face and said, "but I don't HAVE an imaginary line there."
He was a genuinely funny man - how sad to hear that he's gone.

Scott Cramer

Photo by Michael Sanders, OUSA Convention 2007

Hi all,
Thanks so much for sharing your memories of Vernon (I laughed and
cried.) I plan to pull together everyone's remarks to send to
Vernon's family. I especially enjoyed the stories about Jake the
and I will see if we can arrange to have Jake make one more
Convention appearance.
/Wendy Zeichner

I will never forget, my first class at my first Origami convention
ever (in New York) and the teacher was Vernon.
Oddly, I am teaching an origami class today and was picking out models
to show the class and what comes out of the box, the same model, I
folded in that class.

Vernon will surely be missed. His personality and lively spirit will
be most missed at Origami Heaven festival, which he has religiously
attended and entertained several
attendees. I have uploaded some of his pictures (which captures so
beautifully who he truly was).

Please check his photos
(you dont need facebook account).

Shrikant Iyer

I met Vernon twice and liked him very much. He was very enthousiastic and was able to let everybody fold with the metro cards. He was a fun man. I am sorry he passed away, but I feel lucky to have met him.

I am happy to see all the reactions on this list and the initiative to create an award.

Best regards to his family and friends,

Paula Versnick from Holland.

I too knew him and liked him and looked
forward to seeing him at conventions and will miss him now that he's
gone. He was a remarkable (and remarkably outgoing) person, and he made
conventions more fun for a lot of people.

Michael Naughton

It was with deep shock and surprise to learn of Vernon's Death. We had no idea that he was sick.
Vernon had visited our house a few months back to attend a monthly origami meeting. He brought us a section of Jake the Snake made out of Japanese metro-cards. I had picked up some cards while in Japan. More were given to me by visitors and guests - what better place for them to live than with Vernon. Vernon said that he had decided to give up Jake. The last I remember was that Jake was over 53 feet.
We will bring the section to Origami Sunday tomorrow.
We had passed along the announcement to members of my local group, Vernon will be remembered fondly and missed by them as well. He showed up infrequently and larger than life; loud and boisterous and full of jokes.
Mark Kennedy - Arlene Gorchov

I too was very fond of Vernon. I guess I was sort of unaware
of what his presence contributed to the convention since I saw him at other
times in NY and he was always upbeat, fun to be with and greeted me with
open arms - literally - he was a great hugger. I can see as a first timer or
someone who only saw him once a year how his impact would be greater.

Jean Baden-Gillette

HI All
Vernon will always be a great person to know and will be missed.
I know I already miss him.
He touched a lot of people's minds and hearts.

Michael Verry

In 2001, my first convention, I met Vernon on the elevator between
classes. He was asking people about exchanging the state quarters
with the D mark on them for P marked quarters that he had. I was
interested in collecting these quarters so we introduced ourselves to
each other and from that point on at each convention we exchanged
quarters. Vernon was always the first person I would look for at the
convention because his smile and bear hugs were so welcoming. He
taught me one of his metrocard modulars. Being my first time to
create a modular, locking it together was a difficult task. He gently
took my hands and placed all the pieces in them and helped me lock the
last piece in.

This was the kind of person he was, kind and sincere to the last
"detail." I will miss him greatly.

Jennifer Gerring
Houston, TX

(Susumu Nakajima on the left, teaching the mouse cap)
Photo by Michael Sanders, OUSA Convention 2005

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sometimes, size does matter... origami. Yami teaches a simple banger to a small audience at the Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival, April 19, 2009; a couple of older ladies are having trouble; but changing the size of the paper to something large is not only much easier to have pop open, but also produces a much larger >snap<

A Plane Day at the Monterey Park, Cherry Blossom Festival

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Paper-f(l)ight at the O.K. Cherry Blossom Festival

Tail-end of our demo has the audience members participate in a folding contest, after learning a simple banger....

Sircey is one of my gymnastics students. Cathleen, one of my adult gymnastics clients, also sits in the audience. I'm expecting a few more familiar faces, tomorrow.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Won Park Dollar Koi Tutorial

Part I: Introduction and diagram corrections

Part II: Folding the scales

Part III: Folding the head and fins

Part IV: Continuing with the fins and crimping the head

Part V: Folding side crimps on the head

Part VI: Folding the lips and whiskers

Part VII: Rounding the body, shaping the lips and whiskers

Pt. VIII: Shaping the illusion of dorsal fin, shaping tail and finalizing body

Photo compliments of Yukie
From left to right: Michael (he doesn't drink), Won (drinks), Yukie (probably)

*UPDATE* March 25, 2012 15:41

Don't know why I didn't do this sooner, but I'm adding in the link to the step photos I took during the time when Won first taught it to me at OUSA (2007? 2006?). A bit dated on the cross-pleating technique that Won uses, but it still works.

Monday, March 16, 2009

WCOG Meeting, March 14, 2009

Besides bringing Thea, a couple of other gymnast-friends of mine also came to the library this month with their families. Ani and Paul brought Alejandra; Hanna brought Miriam and her brother Ethan.

Yukie now folds the best dollar koi, second only to Won. Actually, I'd challenge anyone to tell the difference between one folded by her and one folded by Won.

Fred had a few Won Park two-piece dollar dragons that he's been folding. He figured out much of it on his own.

Photos here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Matsuri 2009

While Won Park was here in Southern California entertaining us, Yami was in Phoenix Arizona as a guest artist for the Matsuri Festival. He and Phyllis Snyder, who also attended, did get to see Won on Friday, before heading out there last weekend.

Patty Grodner made a music video to showcase some of what went on at the Festival and origami workshop:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A "Won"-derful Weekend of Paperfolding Magic

Won Park holds up his "Won" dollar bill crease patterns.

Won arrived from Hawaii Thursday night. I picked him up from LAX and took him to Yukie's house, in South Pasadena. He and Yukie stayed up until 4am, working on the dollar koi. From my Convention experiences, I knew this kind of late-night folding would happen.

Toilet CP for those of you who keep begging for toilet diagrams in order to flush your money down the drain.

Friday, after treating Yukie and myself to a shot of wheatgrass- a daily ritual for Won-, we hosted a small origami gathering at Yukie's house. Beverly Baudino, Yami, and Phyllis Snyder made it; John Andrisan did not.

Won folds a napkin rose and gives it to Phyllis.

Won taught us his dollar camera and a dollar ring I hadn't seen before.

Saturday, he was at the Peninsula Paperfolders meeting at the Malaga Cove Library. There, he taught his dolphin.

Andrew, a very talented WCOG folder

Sunday, I brought one of my gymnasts to the Pacific Ocean Paperfolders meeting at the Roxbury Park Community Center in Beverly Hills. There, Won taught a dollar bill jumping frog design and his double crane.

My friend Erin was looking through Won's model, picks one out and said, "Cool...Yoda". I turned the model over, right-side up so she could see that it was a toilet, not a Yoda.

Fred, one of the WCOG members, was shown the base of Won's two-piece dragon and was able to do much of it on his own, just from looking at photos. Won was greatly impressed. Won was also impressed with the skill level of a number of the children in Joel Stern's group.

Sunday evening we wrapped up filming for an instructional koi video (it will take me a bit of time to edit). Basically we stayed up all night, with just enough time for us to fold a toilet and Herman Lau flower-in-a-pot before taking him to the airport.

Won wants to help his moneyfolders group get through the koi, and get through it as accurately as possible. There are a lot of details that are just hard to get across in diagrams. I learned a lot from having Won here for the weekend, and even though my kois have been decent enough prior to this visit, my understanding is 99% closer to being more "accurate" now. Already, the couple I've folded since this weekend are looking much more "Won-like".
Yukie also got a heavy-dose of koi immersion training. I think she deserves a diploma from the Won Park School of Hard-Core Orikane, saying she is a certified phase IV black belt instructor in teaching the $koi. Her family was very gracious in "surrendering" their home to us for 3 days of imposing ourselves in paperfolding and raiding the kitchen refrigerator.

Won was absolutely generous with his time, patience, and willingness to share his knowledge with others. He is extremely gifted and talented in other fields; not just in origami. Thank you, Won!

"Kanpai!"Won's secret elixer for how he comes up with such amazing folds; it's "won" AM in the morning, and he's just getting started.

Stay-tuned for a couple of videos coming out, plus a new, if imperfect (you might here a toilet flush in the background and the pitter-patter of Skunky) koi tutorial.

More photos posted to my shutterfly account:

Won Park visits.

Peninsula Paperfolders

Pacific Ocean Paperfolders

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

A gymnast I teach made me the following card:

I handed out David Petty beating hearts to my Thursday class; I gave one to Thea's brother, Isaac, who couldn't stop laughing and playing with the origami model:

And Thea makes her....I dunno, she's made it to so many meetings of late, I'm losing count:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

WCOG January Meeting

Yami introduced a new die he made for a container designed by Clemente Giusto of Italy. Giusto's starbox has long been a staple of folding by Yami and Joe (just check the archives for festival videos).

In an email response to Yami by Tricia Tait:
The star (twist) box you are referring to is by Clemente Giusto of Italy. Sara Giarusso, from the Italian origami society, saw his little box in a pizza shop. She asked the owner about it and he hooked her up with Clemente. He was a "closet" folder and didn't know others in Italy did origami, as well. She invited him to his first convention (and my first Italian one) about 8 years ago. I remember that he had many creations that he was sharing with the other folders. He was teaching way past 4am when I finally went to sleep!

Through some correspondence with Tricia, Yami acquired knowledge of another design by Clemente Giusto: Scatola Rettangolare Chiusa. You can see it in last month's WCOG video; and in this month's, Yami introduces a new die he had made that scores the paper with a crease pattern for the Scatola Rettangolare. Yami's done this before for his Doodle-Bug, having index-sized cardstock scored by a die (actually, the cards are perforated off from an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper).

Why bother? Because Yami enjoys sharing the joys of paperfolding with the world. Even though folders are "cheated" out of the challenge of starting at scratch, and folding all the creases themselves, it allows beginners (Yami often has children in mind) to experience the magic of being able to complete what is otherwise a fairly complex (to non-folders) model, with a feeling of accomplishment that they did the work themselves. My friend Thea, who is 11, has some folding experience- but not extensive. Within a few minutes, Yami had successfully taught her how to collapse the model along its crease pattern, and follow the proper fold sequence to the model's completion.

Yami, Joe, and I often work with teaching and entertaining non-folders who come by our tables at festivals; so this is a great addition to our repertoire of origami.

Also uploaded to YouTube (Blip TV is higher resolution).

I also finally gave Thea her Christmas present. A Montroll Horse and a Kasahara cube that opens up with a Christmas scene inside (I've made a giant one before with miniatures nesting inside, each opening into various scenes and landscapes, similar to the one advertised in the inside cover to Origami Omnibus):