Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Display Sighting

Last Tuesday, I came across this window display at a store on 1st Street in Little Tokyo:

Also saw these containers being sold in Bunkado:

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Return of the Stormtrooper

Storm trooper
Created by Ashimura Shunichi
Folded by Michael Sanders
6" x 6" square of tissue foil
I saw Rogue One Thursday evening at 11pm.  

So I'm in a bit of a mood for Star Wars models.  I decided to revisit Ashimura Shunichi's Stormtrooper model; and this time, I looked at an image of an actual Stormtrooper helmet to help me with how I decided to shape this model.  I'm more satisfied with this effort than with my previous one.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Return to the Aquarium of the Pacific Autumn Festival


I've missed this Festival in recent times (due to conflicts with gymnastics compulsory season schedule).  I will be there this Sunday, though.

Also attending:  Marti Reis (Saturday), Joy Nishijima, Hisako Tanji, Pam Miike (Sunday).

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Van Nuys Japanese Gardens OriDay

My conversation of the week while folding some origami for a child last Sunday:

Me: "How old are you?"
Her: "Four."
Me: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Her: "Five."
Been doing the Japanese Gardens in Van Nuys origami event for about a decade, now.

One of my display tables:

Pam, Hisako, and Georgette teaching indoors

Always nice to get visits to my events by my gymnasts:

A few more photos here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Magic Crane Review

A while back I had discovered a fun little gimmicky magic act:  The magic crane.  Over a year ago, I filmed a magician who incorporated it into his stage act.

I couldn't find the one I had ordered from Seo Magic for this past weekend.  Paying another $26 dollars seemed a bit harsh on my wallet, so I thought I'd check into any alternatives.  (The jumbo version is $45).

I ended up finding ones on eBay for about $6, cheapest.  Fortunately, the photos were accurate and not misleading.  I knew exactly what I'd end up getting:  Crappy folded cranes:

I don't know who they got to fold these, but you'd think they'd actually find someone who can fold at least a bit more neatly than this.  How hard can that be?

The ones ordered from Seo Magic are higher quality, as far as folding neatness goes.  And pricing and affordability is all relative and dependent upon how you measure and value the payback dividends.

I'm not disappointed in the ones I got off eBay, considering the price differential; and they still accomplish the trick they're meant to do.

The people at Seo Magic USA seem nice (located up in Torrance) and I may order from them again.  The contact there offered to coordinate and meet with me to drop an order off instead of shipping (and last time when they shipped, it arrived pretty much next day).

Here's an alternate presentation of the magic crane:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Topological Paper Puzzle

Oh, and for the other puzzle in my earlier post, this was a draft post originally started on 9/2/2013 which I never published, that shows the video in which I got the puzzle.

This one is pretty easy.  But still, if you need the solution:

Paperfolding Puzzle

Last Sunday was the annual Oriday Festival at the Van Nuys Japanese Gardens.  As usual, I was tasked not to teach (my friends Hisako Tanji, Joy Nishijima, and Georgia Jenkins were indoors to teach) but to entertain.

I brought along a couple of paper puzzles to keep folks entertained:

The following entry was a post originally started on 9/03/2013:

I believe this comes, via Martin Gardner's Mathematical Games columns:


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Citrouille (Pumpkin)

Citrouille Pumpkin
Designed by Nicolas Terry 
Folded by Michael Sanders 

10" x 10" square of Japanese foil sandwiched with mulberry paper

Diagrams:  Here.

Folded Two Scary and Happy Pumpkin Boxes

I folded the following for display at next Sunday's Van Nuys Japanese Gardens Origami Festival:

Directions can be found in an earlier post.

Scary Pumpkin Box
Designed by Stephane Gigandet
Folded by Michael Sanders 

LFT: 2-piece 19.5" x 19.5" squares of Canson Mi-Tientes cadmium yellow paper, eyes and mouth backed with yellow lokta paper

RT: 2-piece 19.5" x 19.5" squares of Fabriano Tiziano 160 g/m2

These were folded by me today for displays at next weekend's Origami festival at the Van Nuys Japanese Gardens.

I suppose I should fold some origami candy to put inside? Or an origami candle?


Stephane made a talking version:

Sunday Funnies


Friday, October 14, 2016

Polygons crowdfunding

Polygons takes cues from the folding magic of origami, and comes in two sizes; one measures out ¼, ½, ¾, and 1 teaspoon and the other measures out ½, 1, 1½, and 2 tablespoons. In addition to saving space in a drawer (every bit helps in tiny kitchens), the flat design makes it easier to clean and transfer sticky ingredients from the spoon into a mixing bowl. 
"When creating Polygons, we decided to engineer the spoon with a flat design because it mimics the human hand," says Rahul Agarwal, designer and CEO of Polygons. "When your hand is not in use, it lays flat. But when you want to hold a heap of sand, or some water, you cup your hand to create some volume, depending on how much you want to hold—that is exactly how Polygons works." 
Buy the Polygons measuring spoon set for $10 here.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Harry Potter Origami World of Wensdy Whitehead

Wensdy Whitehead is a folder who many of you, outside of convention-goers, have probably never heard about.  She's a rather prolific creator.

Although I'm not an HP fan, some of my favorite models of hers is back when she was trending HP models for a couple of years.

I put together a video of OUSA 2005 with some of these:


It's difficult to even find photos of her models, as she does not have a website or album like Flickr.  So in order to find photos of her stuff, you have to search for conventions she's attended where others have taken photos of her exhibit models.

I'd love it if the Powers That Be who hold the merchandising rights to HP would recognize that there is probably a market for HP origami.  It happened with Chris Alexander (after 12 years).

I have a few winged keys, golden snitches, and a 3-piece sorting hat that I have a mind to reverse engineer, as I can't remember how to fold them.

One model I hadn't had an opportunity to fold is her pegasus.  It looks good; and if you shape the wings just right, spins when you drop it.  Quite clever.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pacific Palisades Origami Club

Travis Taft has been leading an origami club at the Palisades Library.  They meet this Saturday at 1pm for anyone in the area that is interested:
Learn origami from master folder Travis Taft, who's been folding origami patterns most of his life. Travis will teach some simple models to beginners and support more advanced folders. The club meets monthly and it's the perfect venue to learn as well as swap tips. Just bring your curiositywe will have all the supplies that you need.

Monday, September 12, 2016

OFF at Marti's- Never Forget!

 OFF (Origami for Fun) happened on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

I taught Heinz Strobl's Surprise/Flipp Flopp out of leftover strips from cutting 8 1/2 x 11" into squares.

It was a decent turnout, although a number of parties were absent from attendance.

4th East Bay Origami Convention

Wesley Guo of Cal Origami at UC Berkeley advertised their annual convention to the O-List, scheduled for November 13th:

This will be the first year since 2013 that the club is hosting theconvention. For that reason, we chose Rebirth and Renewal to be the themeof the event.
For more details about convention, including registration and how to submitdiagrams for our convention book, please visit our website at

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Kubo movie review

I arranged for a team-bonding day with some of my gymnasts, for the movie Kubo and the Two Strings.

If you must blink, do it now!  (Or hit the replay button and re-read the post....)

Decent turnout (from the pool of gymnasts I have; turnout for the movie from the general populace apparently isn't as good as it deserves).  We killed some time with some origami and am thankful no security came over to scold us for throwing this over the balcony.

The movie has a decent story and message; but is probably too intense, serious, and heavy of a storyline for young kids to follow; and not get scared.   The parents seemed to all enjoy it.

I grew up liking traditional Japanese ghost stories; and this movie evoked a certain sense of that.

I do feel that this movie is a good promotional for generating interest in origami (even though much of it has to do with magic than strict paperfolding).

After the scene with the birds, I now kind of want to fold Jared Needle's bird, whereas I didn't have a great deal of interest before.

Focus Features Los Angeles Premiere of LAIKA "Kubo and The Two Strings"

Art Parkinson seen at Focus Features Los Angeles Premiere of LAIKA "Kubo and The Two Strings" on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, in Universal City, Calif. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Focus Features/AP Images)

 I wonder if any artists out there have the inclination to fold some of the characters from the movie, after seeing it?

The movie was made in stop-motion.  Not CGI.  This movie deserves respect.

POP Play

Today I taught Heinz Strobel's Surprise/Flipp Flopp model:

I brought with me a stack of leftover strips from cutting 8 1/2 x 8 1/2" squares out of astrobright letter-size paper.  I've been folding Strobel's model from 1 x 4 paper; but with the strips, I essentially did the 1 x 3 unit method (tucking away the excess paper).

IMO, this model is very accessible to beginners.

Bradley gave a rundown of Paul Jackson's workshop last weekend at the Japanese-American National Museum.

I had to leave early to catch the movie "Kubo" with my gymnasts.  We had postponed seeing it from last weekend.

Sunday Funnies


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Collapsible Cubes

I first learned a Kasahara version of this model (I believe it's in Origami Omnibus) from a Japanese lady at OUSA back in 2001 or 2002.  That version required glue.  This one doesn't:

Doris Asano described it to me.  Not sure I did it it "correctly", in that I think Doris said the pieces are in 3rds and you use 4 pieces for the walls (I used 2 1 x 4 unites).

I'll have to ask around for the author of this version.

This is more the Kasahara version, here:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Paul Jackson to Give Origami Workshop in Little Tokyo

Paul Jackson will be visiting from Israel this weekend, at the Japanese-American National Museum:

Above the Fold artistPaul Jackson will lead a hands-on workshop that gives participants a taste of the unique folding and cutting technique he used to create the works seen in the exhibition. Jackson will explain how the technique evolved, how he uses it, and some the many variations that are possible. Time will be allowed for personal discovery.
No origami experience is necessary. $20 members; $25 non-members. Museum admission included. Limited to 25 participants.

In conjunction with  Above the Fold: New Expressions in Origami, exhibit.

Hat tip:  Joel Stern

While you are down there, you can check out 500 of Jared Needle's 1100 birds he (with help from friends) folded for promotion of the movie, Kubo and the Two Strings (which I've arranged to see with a bunch of my gymnasts that same Sunday afternoon):

More here.

Monday, August 15, 2016

That is one serious paper cut...

Paul Hanson has a new book out that features an origami sai from the movie, "Red 2":

I spent a lot of hours during the 90s training under Mark Mikita, Dan Inosanto, and many others.  At the time, my whole life seemed to revolve around martial arts.

The interviewer's question asking about "the origami thing", "Can that actually work?", reminds me of improvising a rolled up newspaper as a weapon (after all, what is paper, really, but wood, in a sense?).  Fast forward to 22:01