Saturday, February 21, 2009
It should be clear by my blogger name that I love making paper cranes so it will come as no surprise to you that it is one of my favorite crafts. Not only is it stimulating to your brain to fold origami and create these lovely paper birds, but it's also a meaningful activity.
It is said in Japanese legend that by folding 1000 paper cranes (and hanging them together on a string in what is called a senbazuru) you will be granted one wish. Also, senbazuru can be given to wish someone a speedy recovery when they are ill or to wish good luck to someone that you choose to give the senbazuru to. After the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who folded a thousand paper cranes but died from leukemia following the bombing of Hiroshima, it has also become a symbol for world peace.
So whether you plan to make just a few cranes to pass the time and sharpen your mind or 1000 to ask for a special wish for you or a friend, I think you'll enjoy this simple craft. They also make adorable gift tags on presents, tied to a bottle of wine for a hostess gift, or can be used to decorate your dinning room for a festive Japanese themed party. Even just one paper crane in a color that complements the rest of your decor placed on top of a neatly folded napkin at each place setting will do if you don't want to spend too much time folding.
I did my table, pictured below, in just a few minutes and it was quite fun (plus it helped me pass the time as my husband finished playing a game of football on his Xbox. The boy has to play sometime!).
www.wikihow.com/Fold-a-Paper-Crane, but if you get stuck send me a comment and I'll try to help you out! It may seem like a lot of steps, but it is mostly repetition and is pretty easy. Check out their site for pictures to help you along the way (that makes it easier to follow the steps but it would take too long for me to post all the pictures in this blog).
1) Start with a square sheet of paper. (I used Aitoh origami paper from Michael's craft store that comes in a pack of neon colors in the typical square size, but you can cut your own squares from normal paper bigger or smaller depending on what size crane you want to make.) The front of your paper (the side you want to show in the end) corresponds to the blue side of the paper in the photo. The hidden back of the paper is white in the photo (see the website link above for the photos).
2) Fold the sheet in half, into a rectangle. Be sure to crisply crease your folds.
3) Note that the previous crease is perpendicular to this one.Unfold, and fold in half the other way.
4) Unfold your rectangle. Turn the paper over and fold in half into a triangle. You should see the back of your paper. Unfold and repeat along the other diagonal.
5) Unfold your paper and turn it back over. You should see the diagonal creases create "valleys" and the perpendicular creases create "mountains".
6) Bring the corners together. Allow the valley creases to come together in the middle.
7) You should have a vertical crease running down the middle of your square. Align the square. By flattening two opposite sides, you should find yourself with a square that is open on the bottom. Make sure your square is rotated so that the opening is on the bottom, as shown in the picture.
8) Bring the right corner of the top flap to the middle crease, so that the lower right edge lines up with the crease.
9) Repeat this action on the left, so that the top looks like a kite.
10) It should look like a gem. Fold down the top corner to make the crease lie along the horizontal line created in the previous two steps.
11) Unfold. In doing so, you return to having a square with an opening facing down.
12) Take the bottom corner of the square and start to fold it up along the horizontal crease you made in the previous two steps.
13) As you fold, notice the four diagonal creases on the inside that you made earlier. You will need to reverse the two creases on the upper flap. To reverse a crease, fold it in the opposite direction that it naturally folds.
14) Bring the outer edges to the middle and flatten, so that you have a diamond.
15) Turn your paper over, and repeat the previous five steps.
16) Fold the edges to the middle crease.
17) Repeat on the other side.
18) Fold the right flap over to the left (in the same manner as turning the page of a book). Turn over and repeat on the back.
19) Take the bottom tip of the top flap and fold it up to the top corner. Turn over and repeat on the other side.
20) Fold the right flap over to the left (in the same manner as turning the page of a book). Turn over and repeat on the back. Now the head and tail are nestled in between what will become the wings.
21) Fold the wings down so that they are perpendicular to the body, head and tail.
22) Fold the tip of the head down.
23) Pull the head and tail out so that they line up with the outer edges of the body.
24) Create 3D volume. If you want a three dimensional body, you can grasp the opposite corners on the bottom of the body and gently pull to create the desired volume.
25) Give away, hang, string, or simply enjoy!
Ok, so some of you will probably think I'm crazy but my latest obsession is soap. I'm not talking about the creatively named and yummy smelling Soaptopia bars of soap that we shower with or the fancy European soaps you find in expensive hotels. I am in love with these animal and dog shaped soaps! Take a look at a few I found while shopping at Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.
These will make a perfect wedding shower, housewarming or hostess gift at around $20-$25 each. I always like giving things that I find amusing but maybe wouldn't splurge on for myself because honestly paying over $20 bucks for a soap isn't my idea of being smart with money, but how could I not love receiving one of these adorable Black Labs as a gift for my powder room? Check them out for yourself and just try to stop yourself from smiling when you see how cute they are!
And I had to post these for my friends-Tamara who just got a new Dachshund puppy and Anastasia who has two little toy Chihuahuas. Don't you just want one?!http://www.giannarose.com/ so feel free to browse the site; There are many other adorable animals and objects to choose from like Maltese pups, owls, rabbits, pears, robin's eggs, sea shells and more!
Friday, February 20, 2009
I've been asked by one of my readers to post more photos from our wedding, which I will do soon because I have many beautiful pictures that our wedding photographer, Felix Foto, took. Despite my disappointment in not having a single shot of me in my wedding dress and a few group shots that were missed, he did an amazing job capturing the day and I am so thankful for his pictures, so I definitely want to share those with you too!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Most people know that one of the most important elements to consider for your wedding is picking your photographer. But what I want to make sure you don't forget is to meet with your photographer before the wedding and, in detail, outline who you want photographed, what parts of the ceremony and reception, and in what locations, as well as any special group photos you want to make sure to capture. My photographer was a colleague and I made the mistake of assuming he would know what was important. But when it comes down to it, even the most seasoned wedding photographer can miss a shot that you would love to have if you don't make it clear to them before hand that it's a must have (ex. you and your grandmother or how about just you by yourself in your wedding gown? Believe it or not, my photographer missed taking a single shot of me alone showing my full gown and what a pity to not have that photograph in your album to preserve the memory of your wedding dress forever.) To make matters worse, in our situation, our venue rushed us through the post-wedding photographs, so make sure that you plan out which pictures are going to be taken especially when you have a time constraint.
But if you're swept away with work, guests in town, and other wedding issues and you miss a few important photographs like I did, don't despair. It is an additional cost to fix, but I felt it was important to have more portraits with my husband in our wedding attire at the church and of myself alone in the dress so we simply recreated the event. True, it wasn't the day of the wedding (in fact we hesitated and didn't do it until 6 months later when finally it was clear to me that my wedding album wouldn't feel complete to me with out these pictures) but many brides choose to do the formal photographs before the actual wedding to avoid the rush and stress of doing it all on the wedding day when all your guests are around. So whatever you do, make sure you plan ahead. If you miss a shot, don't worry because the memories you have will last forever and if you can't live with out them, just throw on your dress, get your husband's tux ready and have the pictures taken after the wedding! Happy snapping!
...And of course I got several "glamour shots" with my husband since we didn't get too many beautiful formal photos before due to the rush out of the chapel grounds...
I would post all of our portrait photos because I love them so much, but I won't take up all your bandwidth! Needless to say I highly recommend Judy if you are having a wedding in Southern California or have the budget to fly her out to your location. Thanks again Judy for these wonderful photos!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Italian Tasting: February 23rd at 7 PM
BottleRock: 3847 Main St.Culver City, California 90232