Portland, Maine: Maps, Folding and Eating Lobster

The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education in Portland, Maine, has one of the largest collections of maps in the United States.  That’s what drew me to the city with the Boston Map Society.

We had a terrific visit to the Map Library where we admired the exhibits and treasures from the collection.

Afterwards, we headed to the King’s Pub for delicious beer and food.  A harbor cruise then a trolley ride to Portland Head Light House topped off the day.

Portland Head Lighthouse 5.23.2017

Portland Head Lighthouse 5.23.2017


I stayed overnight in a bed & breakfast inn not far from the Portland Museum of Art.  It was an ideal location.

The following day, I visited the museum and went on a special tour of Winslow Homer’s restored art studio and home on Prouts Neck in Scarborough, Maine.

Winslow Homer's Studio and Home, Maine 5.24.2017

Winslow Homer’s Studio and Home, Maine 5.24.2017

Rocky Coast in front of Homer's Studio, 5.24.2017

Rocky Coast in front of Homer’s Studio, Maine, 5.24.2017

I took the Amtrak train from Boston’s North Station to Portland.  A local bus from the Portland station took me to the downtown area.

Maine is a great place eat lobsters…especially if the lobster has been caught that day!

Origami Lobster 10.1.2017

Origami Lobster 10.1.2017

I was thinking about my weekend trip to Portland when I did this fold.

Can you believe it took me longer to fold this Origami Lobster than it did to shell then eat it?

How ambitious I was to think that I could fold this challenging design!


More or Less a Giraffe

This was a challenging Origami Giraffe design for many reasons.

Origami Giraffe 7.9.2017

Origami Giraffe 7.9.2017

The YouTube instruction video was not clear on how to fold the animal’s neck and ears.

And, there were many folds to shape these areas.

Thus, I decided to improvise and just turned the paper inward to form  the giraffe’s body.

I also felt rushed with folding this evening and lacked concentration.

The paper pattern with large brown splotches was not quite right for a giraffe but it was all I had.

Maybe I’ll try this design again when I have more time.

Sugar Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Happy Canada Day – Maple Leaf

Yesterday was Canada Day.   A shout-out to my Canadian cousins!

Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Since a Maple leaf appears on the Canadian flag, I decided to fold an Origami Maple Leaf.

But, the Origami model in the tutorial did not look like the eleven-pointed leaf on the Canadian flag.

The more I studied the Origami design, the more I wondered:

“Is this just a very, very stylized version of the Maple leaf?”

I asked Dr. Google and what I found out was surprising.

Turns out that most of the Maples are specific to Asia!

Sugar Maple Leaf and Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

Sugar Maple Leaf and Origami Maple Leaf 7.2.2017

The leaf I picked up from the tree near my house is from a Sugar Maple.

These trees can be found in Eastern North America and Canada.  Delicious maple syrup comes from the Sugar Maple tree.

Its leaves turn magnificent colors of red, burnt orange, and yellow during the Fall season.

The Origami model I folded resembles a leaf from a Japanese Maple with five points.

There are many varieties of Japanese Maples – some with red leaves.

This Origami model seems to resemble the Coral Bark Japanese Maple.



Goat and Milk 6.17.2017

A Goat Story

An email arrived yesterday describing a new Origami Goat YouTube tutorial.  The lovely design, by Peterpaul Forcher, captured my interest immediately.

Goat 6.17.2017

Goat 6.17.2017

The goat made me think of dear Uncle Rudy who passed a few years ago.

When Uncle Rudy was a youngster, growing up in Trinidad & Tobago, he had an incredible business idea.

He saved money from odd jobs until he could buy a goat.  Then, he sold the goat’s milk which was far more nutritious than cow’s milk and highly desired.

Every morning before school, he would milk the goat and sell it in the village.   Soon he had enough money to buy multiple goats and expand his business thereby helping to provide for his family.

Goat and Milk 6.17.2017

Goat and Milk 6.17.2017

Uncle Rudy finished high school and won a scholarship to study Pharmacy in Canada.  He saved just enough funds to pay for passage on a freighter and with one small suitcase set out for the interior of Canada.

Catching rides overland, Uncle Rudy made his way to the university.  He worked at night to support himself, and studied during the day – often falling asleep in class due to exhaustion.  His fellow students pitched in to provide him with Winter clothing.

Eventually, Uncle Rudy earned his pharmaceutical degree.  He would go on to become a doctor and then a much beloved orthopedic surgeon in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Origami Goat took me over an hour to fold.  While the instruction video is excellent, be forewarned;  the folding is quite extensive.

Seashells 6.14.2017

Summer Visitor

Annoying noise on the table.  Abbreviated gyrations.  Receipt of a text message.

Pleasantries from New York City followed by a request and an invitation.

Seahorse 6.4.2017

Seahorse 6.4.2017

A friend needs a place to stay overnight.

She will miss the last ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.  Plans to open her island house for the summer.  Why don’t I join her for the weekend?   Is it June already?

I love the Vineyard and the sea.  But, I’m exhausted from work and the last weekend activities.

Affirmative response to the request and negative one for the invitation.

That night, my dreams are filled with the sound of waves, silvery fish, seahorses, the warmth of the sun, a beach and seashells.

It’s late when she arrives on Friday evening.  Gift of lovely white roses.

White Roses 6.4.2017

White Roses 6.4.2017

We chat: her son’s graduation, relationship with her husband and his Indian family, the Martha’s Vineyard house, her new job.  I complain about the usual.

We’re up early the next morning, she to catch the ferry at Woods Hole, me for my weekly swim at the Y.

I navigate as she hastily drives through Harvard Square then on to Central Square.

“How pretty Cambridge is,” she remarks.

She drops me off at the YMCA and I watch the back of her car disappear down Massachusetts Avenue.

Graduation Day – whoo!

My niece graduated from college this weekend!

This is an exciting time for all these young people as they make their way in the world.

Money Mortarboard 5.30.2017

Money Mortarboard 5.30.2017

Thank goodness she has a job waiting for her on the West Coast.

I found this Money Mortarboard Origami design and thought it most appropriate for the occasion.

It was cool and somewhat overcast when I left for Providence on the Amtrak train.

After a lovely ride, I arrived at my destination.

The train station is quite close to the college so I only had to walk across the canal bridge and up some very steep hills.

Canal, Providence, Rhode Island 5.28.2017

Canal, Providence, Rhode Island 5.28.2017

Huffing and puffing, I climbed to the College Green.

I surveyed the empty seats waiting for the graduation crowds and selected some for the rest of my family.

We were coming from mainly the North East, the exception being my dear Aunt who traveled from Barbados for this happy event.


Dahlia 5.27.2017

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

Hurrah, summer is around the corner and flowers are blooming everywhere in Cambridge and Boston!  Spring was so brief…a few sunny days and lots of rain.

Dahlia 5.27.2017

Dahlia 5.27.2017

This Origami Dahlia required a lot of squash folds and even cutting of the paper to round out the design at the beginning.

Origami serves as a mood elevator, just like music.  But, I have neglected it for the past couple of weeks.

Every time I fold, I have better concentration, become more focused and aware.  Shapes and colors pop out all around me.   It is truly amazing.

Here are some lovely flowers seen on my way to work.  I promise myself to return to folding on a more regular basis.