Of Trains and Bears

Announcer calls the 6:20 am Newburyport on track two.  Eight of us stumble to the train.  Damn, it’s cold and with the rain, raw.  We all don hats, scarfs,  gloves and coats.

Lucky if it crawls to the upper 30s.  Never trust the forecasters.


Half asleep nods at recognition as we claim vinyl seats with dripping umbrellas.

Last call.

Great rumbles, clacks and screeches on the old tracks.

It’s still dark out.

Through dirty windows are leafless trees and telephone pole silhouettes.   Half hour passes to reach Salem, a few exit, two board.

Thin rays of sunshine slice the landscape.  Thirty more minutes.  Break in the light.

We approach Ipswich.  I disembark and watch the train disappear.  It’s  going to be a bear of a morning.



Stress Reliever c 4.21.2017

Origami Stress Reliever – Push, Pop, Push

The Origami Stress Reliever works.  Push – Pop – Push – Repeat.

You can see the “spring” action from the reverse of the model in the images below.

Colorful Action Toy – 3D Hexaflexagon

What a colorful action toy this 3D Hexaflexagon design is!  One definition of a Hexaflexagon is “paper hexagons folded from strips of paper which reveal different faces as they are flexed.”

You need three different colored papers – in this case blue, yellow and green – to see the changing shapes and colors.

As you push the squares inward, the shapes change.  Keep pushing towards the center of the model and the changes continue until you get back to the cube-like form you started with in the beginning.

Watch the YouTube video to get the complete motion effect of the 3D Hexaflexagon and great instructions on how to create this Origami action model.

More action, a Diamond Rose Square Jumper

This Diamond Rose Square Jumper is another Origami action design.   Recently, I’ve developed a fascination with Origami models which move.  The one folded here is rather simple.

We can see from the photo that the image is a square pink rose.  The paper is folded into a square-diamond and then twisted counterclockwise while pushing down on the center.

Diamond Rose Square Jumper 4.19.2017

Diamond Rose Square Jumper 4.19.2017

The action comes from the twisted paper fibers which spring back into their folded shape.

DiamondRoseSquareJumper2 4.19.2017

To see the action, push down on a petal on either side of the rose at the same time.  Then, simultaneously, release your hold.  The rose will jump up.

There are some very complex Origami action designs which require hundreds of steps. You can purchase a number of  books specifically on these types of models.

Why don’t you try your hand with some free online action Origami diagrams?


Spring Forward..Pop-up Rabbit in a Hat

How could you not love this Pop-up Rabbit in a Hat Origami design with a $1 bill?

Look at the swirl of the bill design which forms the Rabbit’s eyes – so clever.  I could not resist folding another dollar bill with this action Origami design.

Pop-Up Rabbit in a Hat1 4.17.2017

Pop-up Rabbit in a Hat #1   4.17.2017

Pop-Up Rabbit in a Hat2 4.17.2017

Pop-up Rabbit in a Hat #2  4.17.2017

Of course, in the YouTube demo, the Rabbit really jumped up when the corners of the hat when pulled while my Rabbit sort of fell a bit short of the snap-to-the-front.

The folding is tricky and far more complex than it appears be.  It took me more than half an hour to complete it.

Purple Dragon – Play the Game

After folding this Purple Dragon, I thought of 10 word associations.


Purple Dragon 4.15.2017

  1. Serpent
  2. Monster
  3. Firebreather
  4. Wizard
  5. Magic
  6. Fantasy
  7. Mythology
  8. Puff
  9. Dungeon
  10. Knight

Play the game with the Word Associations Network.

Search for “dragon” and see how many words retrieved match the words on your list.

This is a great game to play with children.  It helps to have an image to inspire connections between nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Putting Away Dollar Bills

For now, I am putting away dollar bills. No, not saving them, just not using them for Origami.

Here is a “Slinky-like Dachshund”  I saw on Origami Expressions which cited another website, Origamispirit for  video folding instruction.

Dachshund. 4.4.2017

Dachshund. 4.4.2017

The accordion body was challenging to fold with pleats at the top and at the bottom.

Don’t you just love that little nose?

I was pleased when a colleague presented me with a gift of lovely papers from Japan yesterday.

The evening was spent sorting the papers from light to dark.

I’m very eager to start folding the plain and patterned Origami papers again.