Making a Zhen Xian Bao/Chinese Thread Book: Part Three

The origami forum with the image of Laurent Sui’s gift for Madame Burgos (see previous post) mentioned a book by Maying Soong, The Art of Chinese Paper Folding. It even provided a link to an on-line copy which I immediately downloaded. If you are interested in the whole book, you can download a copy from my files here. If you are only interested in what Maying Soong calls a ‘flowered candy box’, I have a separate pdf with just those instructions here.

I found Figure 200 B rather confusing but managed to work it out by looking at a photo of a completed box on my computer while I attempted it. As you can see by the image at the beginning of the post, I was (somewhat untidily) successful. If you try this at home and get stuck and then ask for help, I might be persuaded to post a set of photo instructions in the future. Continue reading

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Friday Night Flicks: Where Do Ideas Come From?

When people ask me where I get my ideas (as if there were a corner shop somewhere that had a supply), I am sometimes tempted to respond “How do you not have ideas?” I seem to have retained from childhood that part of the brain that asks “what if?” and “why not?”

Tonight’s short video from Andrew Norton examines where people think their ideas come from.



Perhaps you will have some new and exciting ideas this weekend.

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Making a Zhen Xian Bao/Chinese Thread Book: Part Two

Part of the problem with my internet search for what I was calling a ‘star box’ was finding the most effective search terms. I Googled ‘Zhen Xian Bao’ and ‘Chinese Thread Book’. I did Pinterest searches as well. I tried ‘origami star box’ and found many pretty things but not what I was looking for. I Googled ‘Ruth Smith Chinese Thread Book’ ¬†and found an online abridged copy of an article she had written for British Origami magazine. I got quite excited when I saw this (only a drawing, but exactly what I was looking for):

Continue reading

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Friday Night Flicks: Pursuit

Thunderstorms are relatively common in the warmer months where I live. Sometimes they come with Severe Weather Watches or Warnings and can cause significant damage, but most of the time they are a source of both moisture and entertainment. The trees on my property are small and the land relatively flat so we have an excellent view of the sky.

This picture was taken about two weeks ago.

That particular batch of cloud passed northeast of us. (A different group of clouds rained on us later.)

These photos were taken last Sunday night as the sun was setting, and after a storm had moved past us.

Tonight’s flick provides one of the safest possible ways to enjoy weather watching: through someone else’s camera lens from the comfort of your chair. Mike Olbinski has produced a lovely storm video that reminds the viewer that nature is always beautiful, even when it is destructive.



If you don’t have any interesting weather where you are this weekend, you can always check out more weather videos here.


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Making a Zhen Xian Bao/Chinese Thread Book: Part One

I first heard about the Chinese Thread Book from my sister-in-law in early February, 2013. Apparently textile collectors had known about them for some time before that, but this was probably about the time people in the book arts started to notice them. Her email mentioning them included a link to a textile forum with images like these:

I thought they looked interesting and might have potential as a book structure. I filed the idea away in the rather chaotic storage system that is my memory. The Chinese Thread Book started popping up more frequently on the internet about two years ago, with multiple websites either showing pictures from workshops or posting instructions.

Then, about two weeks ago, I was looking at Pinterest and spotted this:

a Zhen Xian Bao with its top pockets folded quite differently from the twist boxes I had seen previously. Continue reading

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Friday Night Flicks: Arnold, Robert Lang, and Papiroflexia

Tonight’s three short videos are all about manipulating paper. Arnold makes botanically correct flowers in the coffee shop of Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. (This is another good reason to visit Portland.)



Robert Lang is a physicist and master paper folder. This video talks a bit about the relationship between origami and mathematics, and about real world applications of paper folding techniques.



The final video is a short animation about Fred, a paper folder with the ability to change his world.



Perhaps you can manipulate some paper this weekend. There are some excellent origami instruction videos here, including a lovely lotus flower tutorial. My Aunt Anne taught me to fold these from square paper napkins for table decorations.


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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

David and I took a few days off this past week and went North.

I had never been to Lac La Ronge before, so the road beyond Prince Albert was new to me. It doesn’t actually show on this Google map, but Highway #2 continues from Prince Albert to La Ronge.

Continue reading

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Friday Night Flicks: The Present

Based on a comic strip by Fabio Coala, The Present is a graduation short film from students at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. It has been shown at more than 180 film festivals and, not surprisingly, won more than 50 awards.



Perhaps you will find some time to go outside and play this weekend.

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Pieces of Paper

One of the things I did this week was to make a start at turning the Make Your Mark page from my recent exhibition into an artist’s book. The first step was turning this

into this.

Continue reading

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Friday Night Flicks: Address Is Approximate

David and I will be taking a short road trip tomorrow, so this stop motion animation seems appropriate. Directed by Tom Jenkins and made using desk top toys and Google Street View, this is the story of a small mannequin taking a virtual trip to California.



Perhaps you will also get to take a road trip this weekend.

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