Friday, 28 October 2016

Michael LaFosse's Origami Airplanes. Review.

Easy-to-fold paper airplanes from America’s top Origami Designer!
By Michael G. LaFosse & Richard L. Alexander
Tuttle Publishing 2016
Paperback + DVD £9.99  $ 14.95 US
ISBN 978-4-8053-1360-2

Star rating: ****

This book soars! This is a fabulous collection of 28 paper airplane designs that are aerodynamically efficient and aesthetically pleasing – so you can fold, then fly in style. Designer Michael LaFosse has been honing his  papery aviation-design skills since childhood – and it shows. This book is a labour of love – and a distillation of years of paper-plane folding experience. There’s lots of variety in the plane designs and they all look great.

This book comes up with the goods whatever your origami folding preference – you can follow the excellent step-by-step line illustrations or use the pause-and-play DVD (video tut for each plane design). Plenty of tips ensure a successful outcome. 

Each paper plane has a fun intro that puts you in the picture about its design origins and advises about its flying style (glider or mover) – with tips for successful flight. Whether you fancy the elegant Art Deco Wing or the no-frills Stacked Over Logan (it is guaranteed that if you toss a bunch into the air, “they never collide” – cool), there’s a paper plane to intrique and entertain you.

A very useful feature is the icon at the beginning of each design that shows the required paper shape (and provides preferred dimensions).

LaFosse and Alexander are all-round, renowned origami gurus (their business is the Origamido Studio) – but their first love is paper airplanes – and it shows in this delightful title. Chapters include Selecting and Preparing your Paper, Masterful Folding Techniques, How to Design Exceptional Paper Airplanes, The Planes, and Hosting a Paper Airplane Competition. There’s even an endearingly geeky Glossary of Paper Airplane terms and Jargon back-of-book. 

This is not a book to be put away – it is ideal for Christmas or birthday gifting. Your go-to guide for paper plane-making.
 Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this title.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Harlequin Pleated Ornaments

Pleated paper ornaments... the more, the merrier. Today I have pleated globes decorated with a harlequin pattern (it echoes the diamond folds). 

Here are your freebie print-and-cut papercrafts:

The Harlequin globes are colour-coordinated with my previous pleated globes - so you can make a pretty mixed display. Check out my
previous posts to get up to speed on making pleated paper ornaments.

Making up tips:
* Remember to pre-crease all the folds.
* Crease only the outer diamond of the harlequin motif. 
* You must join two strips to attain the required length - then join into a loop.

Happy pleating!


Friday, 21 October 2016

Pleated Paper Globes... Plus!

Pleats are neat - they are still trending and here to stay. So - today I have an update to my Pleated Paper Globes.
I've ramped things up a little for this year's models - little tweaks that are fun updates and are fun to make, too. There's the threaded version (on the left) and the Pleat-within-pleat version (on the right).

Here are your free ornament designs:

I'm not giving detailed step-by-steps for the new designs here - you'll figure things out if you follow last year's tut! Just make sure you take care scoring and creasing the folds.

I have threaded a strip of paper through the paper globe - but a narrow ribbon would work a treat, too - and then you can tie a bow.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Math + Art = Bridges

The Bridges Conference took place in Finland this year. It is an annual event, with international participants, that celebrates the delightfully geeky interface between mathematics and art... think M C Escher and geodesic domes. Click on the link to watch a fun YouTube video about a travelling exhibition featuring highlights of the Bridges '16 creative makes.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Map Wrap - from Paperchase!

Look what I found:  Map wrap from Paperchase. 
Yay! The 3m giftwrap roll sells for £3.50. The design is made from strips of antique maps. There's Map tissue paper
, too - 3 sheets for£2. Also - a selection of readymade cardboard boxes covered in the map design.

My papercrafty enthusiasm ties in with my recent review of Making Art from Maps, by Jill K. Berry. My Paperchase find is ideal for making many of the map-themed designs in the book - and no maps harmed in the crafting! 

If you are interested in maps and mapmaking, I can recommend the very entertaining popular history book On the Map, by Simon Garfield.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

String Craft, by Lucy Hopping. Review.

String Craft

Create 35 fantastic projects by winding, looping and stitching with string

By Lucy Hopping

Cico Books 2016

Paperback, £12.99

ISBN 978-1-782-49-361-7

Star rating: *****

Wow! I just received a fab review copy – and I am fast-tracking my blogpost so I can share it with you. Author Lucy Hopping (she designs for the craft industry) has successfully updated string craft in a fun and inventive manner. (Think retro “cosmic” peg board creations of the 70s in shades of brown -  not.) String craft is an umbrella craft that encompasses intricate spirella designs, paper embroidery, wrapped and wound items, among other techniques. The author designs macramé  and crochet projects, so string is definitely her thing. Here, in the book, are 35 string things to make – many involving paper as templates or base layers. The revival of string art “ties in” with the mandala trend – so good timing for this title.

The book is divided into three sections, Display and Decorate, Accessories and Jewelry, and Artful Gifts. The string Dreamcatcher features a very clever use of negative space. The Air Plant Terrariums are ingenious pegboard displays. The Neon Necklace features glue-stiffened spirella shapes that would work equally well for a mobile or as individual tree ornaments. 

Projects involving paper include the circles Necklace (wrapped notched discs of cardstock), the lovely stitched Notebook (cover pic) – updated sewing card concept; Yarn-covered Letters (yarn-wrapped version of the ginormous typography trend), Embroidered Vintage PostCards (surreal string art embroidery superimposed), and the wrapped glitter Garland (wrapped and layered flower-like card shapes). There are also print-and-stitch greetings cards and stitched gift boxes, and some simple but effective gift tags with trendy facetted jewel motifs.

There are illustrated step-by-steps throughout. Templates are provided back-of-book – many do require enlargement.

So, congrats to author Lucy Hopping for her fresh take on a retro craft - string theory!

Note:  I was supplied with a review copy of this book. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Making Art from Maps, by Jill K Berry. Review.

Making Art from Maps

Inspiration, Techniques, and an International Gallery of Artists

Jill K Berry

Rockport 2016

Softcover £16-99 UK/$24-99 US/ $ 32-99 CAN

ISBN 978 1 631 59 1020

Star rating: ****

In the age of Google Maps and GPS, maps of the paper-y kind have super nostalgia value. Maps have always been evocative – conjuring up thoughts of exploration and adventure in distant lands, or fond memories of holidays past. Plus, maps are colourful things of beauty and precision. Author, papercrafter, and cartophile Jill K Berry has produced a delightful book which is both an appreciation of maps and a craft project book.

Same as with book art, some may cringe at the thought of altering maps. As the author points out – maps can be scanned in, or worn maps repurposed. OK then.

This book is a portmanteau title – creative contributions from craft artists around the globe (appropriately) – projects to craft, or to admire in the themed Gallery pages. 

Front of book, there’s a splendidly illustrated intro by the author, followed by a nifty section on Foundational Basics – cool papercraft techniques – rolling paper cones, plus various paper flower-making techniques (Twirled Roses, Kusudame Flower, Spiral Buds, Stacked Petals).

The book is then divided into the following sections: Decor; Books, Journals, and Boxes; Fashion, Collage and Illustration, Interiors and Lighting. The strongest section is the Books, Journals, and Boxes section –  I particularly like origami-style Pyramid Box, and the Book in a Box. The Fashion section is, as you would expect, playful. It is big on paper beads. Fun and fanciful hats, functional fans. In the Decor section, the Globe Swag Lamp, made from half of a cardboard globe is a winner. All of the crafts are do-able, even by papercraft newbies.

The back-of-book section has its rewards. The author asked the contributors to explain their love of maps – capsule appreciations from each. Nice touch. Also - a spread on Map Resources, including sources of digital maps and a reading list.

So – a celebration of maps and making, suitable for gifting. 

Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this title.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Pillow Box Basket

Here's a puffy pillow basket that plumps up when you need it and folds flat when you don't - handy! Plus - you get storage in the individual pillow pockets as well as the central basket opening.

Here are your free design files:

 Pillow Box Basket

1 Print out the pattern template four times onto A4 160gsm photocopier card.

2 Score the fold lines. Take extra care on the curved pocket top. Use a fine-point embossing tool or a spent fine-point pen.

3 Cut the pieces out. If cutting out by hand, be sure to snip the pink line at box base.

4 Crease all the fold lines.

5 Pierce or punch a hole on each pocket front and the curved pocket back marquise. You can glue reinforcements behind the holes.

6 Glue the brad mats back to back. Attach a brad mat onto each pocket front and each pocket back marquise. Tie a piece of craft thread onto the marquise brad. 

7 Pierce or punch a hole in each pocket front top corner. Thread a piece of craft thread through the hole, knotting it behind. 

8 Assemble four individual pockets. The base of the box remains free on each piece. The flap at the base of the front is glued onto the pocket back. The flap at the side of the front is glued onto the pocket side.   

8 Glue the square bases one by one, so there are pockets at 12-, 3-, 6-, and 9- o'clock. 

9 Glue the square base onto the outside basket base.

10 To assemble basket, puff up each side, close the top flap. Tie adjacent sides together in a bow.

This basket makes a fun sewing accessory. It's a pretty way to gift buttons, beads, and reels of sewing cotton.