Tag Archives: Origami

Book Review: Origami Animals – Fun for Kids and Adults

Origami Animals

By Dover Publications

Origami Animals features twenty designs, eight of which are easy to make. If you are an expert or new to Origami you will enjoy this book. From kittens to caterpillars the step-by-step instructions will help you fold the included origami paper into over a hundred animals.

After you get comfortable with the folds and following the directions, there are more complex animals to create. Turtles, owls and even a crab will delight your children after following a few simple steps.

The book also included 200 sheets of origami paper, cut to the exact size needed. Rich solid colors as well as beautiful floral and geometric designs are included. One of my favorites is a butterfly/floral pattern that would be lovely made into a butterfly.

I recommend this book for novice folders. Children could easily learn to create the easier animals, perhaps with a little guidance from an adult until they get comfortable making the folds.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Easy Aircraft Origami

Easy Aircraft Origami

By Jayson Merrill

Jayson Merrill is back with his fifth origami book, Easy Aircraft. This origami master’s latest book contains 14 awesome projects. Each one will soar into the sky, taking flight after creation.

Step-by-step, clear and concise instructions are included for each of the aircrafts. Symbols and signs such as the different kinds of lines and arrows used in the instructions as well as the procedures for proper folds are clearly taught. Using detailed drawings to demonstrate each fold, you will be completing your aircraft with confidence and ease.

From the Hawker (16 steps) to the Mourningstar (39 steps) and the 12 aircraft between them, you will enjoy creating and flying each of them. It is a great way to engage your child. Taking them to a park or the backyard, you will have countless hours of fun together.

I recommend this book for adults or teens. As previously stated, your youngsters will enjoy the finished aircraft, but the precision needed for success is better left to adults.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Origami Fold-By-Fold

Origami Fold-by-Fold

John Montroll

Novice and seasoned origamists will enjoy learning and practicing the ancient art of Origami with this easy to learn instruction book by John Montroll. He introduces the reader to the craft with designs that range from simple to very complex. The brief history of paper folding provided by Montroll is interesting and teaches us that origami has roots in China, Japan and Germany.

You must begin your journey to becoming proficient by learning the symbols (lines and arrows) and basic folds. The author has written clear instructions that includes step-by-step color illustrations of each fold. He then begins with a simple fish. My favorite easy creation is the scallop. You could use it to make adorable place cards for a summer get-together.

As you go further into the book, the difficulty level increases. There are elephants and other zoo animals, sharks and even a sunken dodecahedron. First of all, I didn’t even know what that was (it is one of several stellated icosahedrons of 60 equilateral triangles). I had to look up stellated icosahedrons – it is a geometric shape. The sunken dodecahedron is as difficult to make (57 steps) as it is to say, but I seriously want to make one now that I know all about them.

Just when I thought I’d seen every kind of origami creation, Montroll taught me I have much more to learn. Both novices and experts will enjoy creating paper art with Origami Fold-by-Fold. If you make a stellated icosahedron, please send me a picture. I’d love to see it.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Origami Boxes – Fun and Useful

Origami Boxes

Dover Publications

Origami is cute, fun and offers beautiful things to create from paper. The patterns in Origami Boxes are simple, easy to construct and useful. I don’t know about you, but I like to put gifts in boxes and wrap them instead of using bags with tissue paper. I know it is faster and easier to use bags, but unwrapping a gift in a box is so much more fun for the gift and giver.

You can create the small boxes you need by using the step-by-step easy instructions included in this book. There are several different types of boxes, such as a flat box, a box with a hinged lid and a fortune purse. It is fun to give a small treasure in a hand made box of your own creation.

There are general instructions for novice and seasoned origami masters, as well as specific instructions for each of the eight boxes created by experts. As a bonus, there are 200 sheets of origami paper in various colors and patterns. You will soon have an array of beautiful boxes for small gifts in magnificent florals, soothing solids and eye-catching geometric designs.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Stealth Aircraft Origami – Create Paper Airplanes Like Never Before

Stealth Aircraft Origami

By: Jayson Merrill

Quick! Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear origami. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking of cute little animals out of flowery paper. Jayson Merrill, author of Stealth Aircraft Origami is about to change everyone’s thoughts on the ancient craft of origami.

Paper airplanes have always been fun to create, and Merrill takes them to a whole new level. One of the aircraft featured is the Black Knight. In the introduction, he tells us how he created this plane without tape and it flew 237 feet! He states this book is not for beginners.  Only experienced origami experts should attempt to make the SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk and the rest of the super cool fighter jets found within the pages.

There are detailed instructions and pictures outlining the procedures to create these super cool planes, as well as a fascinating paragraph about each one. Each type of fold is shown for every step. The Black Knight has 37 different steps. If that isn’t enough of a challenge, the B-2 Spirit (stealth bomber) uses 56 steps to create this amazing plane that was first developed in 1979. This bomber is still in use today. One of the other aircrafts, the SR 71 Blackbird was developed in the 1960s and could fly at speeds over Mach 3 Today visitors can see one close up at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.

I recommend this book to anyone that wants a real challenge. I am only a beginner when it comes to origami, but the challenge of creating a paper airplane that could fly over 200 feet is calling to me. How about you?

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Meditative Origami – Finding Mindfulness Through Coloring & Origami

Meditative Origami

Finding Mindfulness Through Coloring & Origami

By: John Montroll

Montroll brings a new twist to origami by combining adult coloring with origami. Both of these art forms are mindful and meditative. The ancient craft origami is used to help concentration as well as enhance mindfulness. Coupled with coloring, which is known for stress relief. Honestly, everyone needs to take a break from electronics for a while each day and take a breath. Meditative Origami will help you do just that.

The only instructions you need to know before getting out your colored pencils, markers or crayons is to note the shaded areas so you know which side of the paper will be folded.

There are detailed instructions included to create animals, birds and other simple origami structures. Be sure to check out page 7 as all of the basic folds are explained. Each has step-by-step written instructions along with illustrations. I like the arrows showing which way to properly fold each of them.

Meditative Origami is a great way to unplug and relax. So many of us don’t feel as though we have the time to do so, but it is really important to take care of yourself. Grab the kid’s crayons after they go to bed and just take a bit of time for yourself. There is something soothing about connecting with an ancient craft after a crazy electronic day – give it a try, you just might like it.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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Book Review: Butterflies in Origami – Simple Beauty Made from Paper

Butterflies in Origami

By: Nick Robinson

The beauty of butterflies is indisputable. Robinson brings them into your homes with the ancient art of origami. He gives us detailed, illustrated instructions to create 20 projects, each one more delightful than the next.

Step-by-step he walks you through folding each butterfly. With written instruction as well as diagrams with arrows showing you how to fold each piece, your butterflies will come alive.

The paper is not included in this book, but there are clear instructions for choosing the proper paper to ensure success. Origami paper is inexpensive and easily purchased at craft stores or on the internet. The most import thing is that it has to be perfectly square. You can use other types of paper if you choose, as long as it is “crisp” and will be able to “remember” a crease.

If you are into butterflies, this is the origami book for you. Perhaps you have a young child that would love having them hanging from their bedroom ceiling, floating with the breeze. It is an inexpensively beautiful way to brighten up a room.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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Book Review: Dogs in Origami – 20 New Designs

Dogs in Origami

By: Nick Robinson

As I review Robinson’s Dogs in Origami, my beloved mixed breed sits by my side. I am sure many of you have or have had a dog that has touched your heart and possibly taken over your home with tennis balls, squeakless toys and unmatched faithfulness and love. This new book of origami is for you.

There are 20 projects complete with instructions and diagrams to assist novice and seasoned origami folders. As in Robinson’s previous books, the first few pages gives the reader tips and instruction on folding, choosing the correct paper and various techniques that are used in the book.

The projects are cute, but most of them do not especially say “dog” when I look at the pictures. Some of them could be any four legged creature – I felt the busy patterns on the origami paper detracted from the finished product. A couple of them are super “doggish”. My favorites are Woof! Woof! Puppy, Bodo’s Dog and Nodding Dog. The funniest one, and by far my favorite is Perro Liberando. This cute little pup is in action, doing what dogs frequently do – pooping. Yup, poop is funny in any medium, origami is no exception.

This is not a book for younger children due to the detail of these designs. They may be difficult for a younger child, especially one that has never done origami before. That being said, adults and teens should have no trouble following the explicit directions given by Mr. Robinson as well as the other contributors to Dogs in Origami. The Biography section at the end of the book highlights each designer that contributed to the book, so be sure to see which of the contributors is your favorite.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Cats in Origami – Cute and Clever

Cats in Origami

By: Nick Robinson

In the intro to Cats in Origami, the author explains that he chose cats for this book because he wanted to capture that fluid motion of these beautiful creatures. He states that in the origami world, “…cats are rather rare and were usually flat, quite lifeless designs.” His designs are full of life and motion, bringing the featured felines to life.

With full color pictures as well as the obligatory pages if instructions, you will be able to create 20 amazing projects. If you are a novice, I suggest you grab some practice paper after reading the type of paper you need to be successful and then turn to the pages detailing folds and techniques. There are only four pages of these and just like any other new craft or art, it is probably best to practice to ensure success.

All of the designs are cute and much to my delight some of them can be very useful. For example, the Cat Envelope design paired with the Cat Card will be perfect for your cat loving friend’s birthday card. There are two different cat boxes, Cat in a Box and Cat Box. I can picture both of them done with holiday paper holding a tiny treasure for someone special.

My favorite design is the Neko Bookmark. In Japanese, “Neko” means cat. These adorable bookmarks will help you save the place while reading and can easily be slipped in a cookbook or diary to hold your place. If you are giving a book as a gift, make it more personal by creating a Neko Bookmark to accompany it.

While many origami books are for all ages, the detail of most of these designs may be difficult for a younger child. That being said, adults and teens should have no trouble following the explicit directions given by Mr. Robinson as well as the other contributors to Cats in Origami. Be sure to check out the Credits and Biographies sections to see which designer created your favorite cats as well as their history in origami.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Reviews: Two New Craft Books to Entertain and Delight

Origami of the Sea

By: Dover Publications

Beginners and those who already love the art of Japanese paper folding will enjoy this book of sea creatures. It begins with the basics. While there are 200 sheets of beautifully colored sheets of origami paper included, there are also guidelines to purchase additional sheets at your local stores. The proper way to fold the paper is also outlined in clear, easy to understand instructions. There are additional pages of techniques that have diagrams to ensure your success no matter what your previous origami experiences have been. There are also video links at the top of each page of instruction to assist you if needed.

Soon you and/or your children will have a sea of creatures created from nothing more than paper and a few folds. My personal favorites are the simple fish. Make a school of them to hang from your child’s ceiling. The boat is simple and colorful and the shark would be fun to play with while imagining undersea adventures.

The only drawback is the pages are loosely bound so that the Origami paper can be easily removed without tearing. That also makes the instructions easily removed. I would suggest either popping the instructions into a Ziploc bag or use a hole punch and yarn to keep them together and prevent them from being misplaced.

Thanks to the following for their contribution to Origami of the Sea. Vanda Battaglia, Pasquale D’Aurai, Francesco Decio, Marc Kirschenbaum and Nick Robinson created the diagrams, videos and text. The beautiful photographs are courtesy of Dario Canova and Nick Robinson.

The Royal Stickers

By: Eileen Rudisill Miller

Children love Princes and Princesses. Disney has assured a steady stream of fairytales that are beloved by all. But real life Princes and Princess are even more fascinating because they are actually real people.

Ms. Miller has created a cute little book of stickers that feature William and Kate and Harry and Meghan. Beautiful wedding gowns and dashing military uniforms as well as tiaras, rings and bouquets.

The Royal Stickers will make a great addition to your children’s Easter Basket. I usually have small books like this tucked away for my grandchildren. It is fun to surprise them with small treasures like this book.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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