Thursday, September 22, 2011

paper cranes

I've always admired those folded paper cranes but never had the patience for origami. I get to about step 5 and by then my paper has so damn many folds in it that I can't tell what the hell I'm supposed to do next, so I wad it up and try again. By the third one, I'm done. Got better things to do with my time, thank you very much whoever thought up this maddening pastime.

But my friend Julie has a string of 100 of these, made for her by a friend when she was ill. I keep seeing it in pictures that I took of her house while I was visiting last January. I'd really like to make one of those, I thought.

One crane, I mean - not one string of 100 cranes. I'm not that nuts.

Then the other day in the mail, I get an envelope addressed to me in my own writing. Huh? When I opened it, there was a paper crane, quickly made from an old square of notebook paper. His edges weren't real crisp and he listed to one side, but he was very cool, mostly because of those things, and that renewed my desire to make a paper crane myself.

So I googled 'origami crane,' printed out the first set of instructions I came to and sat down on the couch with a package of wrapping paper in various quilt patterns. Back when I bought it, I could hardly stand to wrap packages in it cause I didn't want to use it up (I'm so over that now), and here I was about to probably wad several sheets of it into trash can filler while trying to make a crane.

However, things went swimmingly well and I had a crane in under 5 minutes. Yay! Then I made another just in case the first one was a fluke, and it came out fine. Tonite when I came home from work, I was paging thru a magazine and a couple pages caught my eye, so I whacked out 6 inch squares and made two more cranes from memory. I now have a flock seige of cranes on my kitchen counter. I may get to a hundred yet. (the 5th one was bright yellow, don't know why I didn't take its picture except in the line-up photo)

The background in the individual shots is two painted canvasses I did a few weeks ago. I plan to collage on them eventually, but was hot to make layers one day and they were the result. Beth in my mail art group does great collages on canvas backgrounds and seeing her work gave me the itch to try it. I'm pleased with them, so thanks, Beth! The smaller one had a print of a red coffee mug on it and was in the Michaels closeout bin for quarter. I just painted over it.

this is the one that came in the mail... rustic and charming
The envelope that came in the mail was one I'd sent off to a woman who had a note on her blog. Something like 'send me a SASE and I'll send you some cool stuff from my studio. no telling what it might be and it may take a while.'

Well, that sounded like fun and I'd only be out $0.44 if I never got anything back. It took a few months, so it was a fun surprise to open the envelope and find the little crane, a glassine envelope with 22 old foreign postage stamps in it, and a little print of a kid flying a kite. Just random stuff that totally made me smile. I explained it to my husband and he just shook his head in wonder at the (odd) things I find to do.

I just love the internets!


  1. You;ve got more patience then me L - it was enough just folding your Little Book (LOL). How cool was the randomness of your "surprise" gift - just wonderful. J (or the other Julie you know)

  2. Beautiful paper cranes. Once my students made a thousand after reading Sadako and the thousand paper cranes. We sent them to her memorial in Japan. If I had to make one now, well... And your gift. I think it would be fun to put out a gift like that, what a good idea. Since I love mail so much it wuld be a great adventure. I'll have to think on it..Nice things do happen in this world. bb