Origami Ties for Great Guys

A few reasons why I love my dad:

1. Sometime in my twenties, he decided he didn’t need a special occasion to pick up the phone and call his kids. He calls whenever he feels like it, just to say hello.

2. He’s the kind of grandfather who volunteered to change diapers. Now he gets down on the floor and digs into the LEGO bin alongside his grandkids.

3. Every year, he dresses up as Kate Smith for the Fourth of July parade and sings “God Bless America” in falsetto, very, very badly.

In case these reasons make him seem like he’s not a high-achieving, productive member of society, let me assure you: he’s also that.

So for this Father’s Day, I’m giving him the most original gift . . . a necktie! But this one is made of paper, is 2-inches tall, and is completely impractical. Which makes it more original.

 I learned to fold an origami necktie at the web site, Origami Club, which offers a mad assortment of origami projects with step-by-step animated instructions. The animation doesn’t necessarily illuminate some of those tricky, ever-elusive folds, but it’s cool.

Have you always wanted to fold a spotted toadstool? (Origami Club calls it by its proper name–“fly agaric”–and helpfully points out that it’s a poisonous mushroom. In case you plan to eat your origami? I don’t know.)

I love this Japanese school bag & this polka-dot dress, too.

But back to neckties: I used 2″ origami paper, but you can also use other paper and cut out a 2″ square. Make sure to use paper that is appropriately garish–who wants a tasteful tie for Father’s Day?

The trickiest fold is the tie knot–first, you fold a little triangle up, and then reverse the fold, so that the triangle is now inside the knot. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you try it. Then glue your tie to a blank card (I chose mustard-colored stationery from PaperSource) and press.

If this cute card isn’t enough to please your dad, follow up with a homemade coupon good for 1 hug.

Origami and Quilts for Japan

This is what I’ve been up to this week: folding paper! Specifically, cranes–for a “1,000 crane” fundraiser at my son Zeke’s preschool for those affected by the recent earthquake in Japan.

Maybe you are making origami strawberries (like this one we bought at another Japan fundraiser at Abe’s elementary school)  

or contributing in another way, but if you are a quilter, Gather Here, the fabric store/stitch lounge at 370 Broadway in Cambridge is offering a couple of novel ways to join the effort for Japan:

  • Stock up on your favorite Japanese fabrics (including Kokka, Echino, Kiyohara) and the store will donate 25% of your purchase to Red Cross.
  •  Join Gather Here’s quilter’s bee for Japan, the last meeting of which is this Sunday, April 17, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the shop. (Oh, and if you do read this post by Virginia: I am not the “very nice lady” named Margaret that she mentions. I am definitely another Margaret.)

Virginia also posted about an effort by Quilter’s Newsletter to gather quilts from Amerian quilters for those in need in Japan. If you have a quilt (any size, baby to adult) you’d like to send, the information is here. The deadline is April 30.