How Toerigami Began

0004ee5537dd873942c7893f970381d9It all began with a scene in the movie 500 Days of Summer in which Tom goes to Summer’s apartment. She has these branches with origami cranes hanging from them. I thought it was cool. I had never seen anything like that and could not get the image from my head. I thought it would be neat to make an origami tree, but there were several problems with that idea.

1. I did not know how to do origami. Folding a piece of paper in half was enough of a challenge.
2. I have never been a crafty person, although my sister rivals Martha Stewart. Oh, I would buy craft supplies with the best of intentions, but what I made looked worse than a preschool art project.
3. Finally, I have cerebral palsy and cannot use my hands well. I type with my toes and need assistance with eating, dressing, and most other daily routines. So, the odds of my making origami cranes to hang from branches seemed as likely as Tiger Woods’ monogamy.

Still, I wanted an origami tree. We had a visiting scholar at work from Japan that did origami, but Yoshi had moved on with no plans to visit again. He was the only origamist I knew. My sister said she would try to make birds someday, but she has no time, especially to indulge my every whim.

I knew I had to find a way to get a tree full of paper birds on my own. Then I thought, I have enough control over my toes to type, maybe I could fold paper with them too. I Googled “origami bird” and found diagrams that made my head spin. Next, I searched YouTube and watched several video tutorials, which looked even scarier. Riiiight, I thought, I can whip up a crane in no time!

I have never been one to give up when I want to do something. So, I decided to see if Wal-Mart carried origami paper. They don’t, and we didn’t have time to run to the hobby store the day I was needing it.

I had some square card stock in my scrapbooking materials (remnants of another attempt to be creative) I sat down with a sheet of card stock at my feet and a YouTube tutorial queued up on my laptop. The crane tutorial looked way too complicated for a first-timer, but I found a butterfly model that looked less intimidating, well, a little less, but not much.

I watched the tutorial all the way through first. Then I watched each step, paused, folded, and compared what I had to the screen. Surprisingly, my first butterfly looked very similar to that in the tutorial. I made a few more butterflies.

The next day I attempted the crane. Although the first was a bit rough, I practiced until I made some that looked decent. I eventfully folded enough birds to fill a wire tree. I did it!

I have been folding birds and trying new models ever since.
So, now I want to share my hobby/obsession, “Toerigami,” with you!

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