Unconventional Leisure in Japan

japanJapan is known for its tranquil way about life, and I love this country for it. Living here, I learned to contemplate and notice little things around me, as well as to enjoy not only the result of your efforts, but the process, too. I mean, just imagine doing origami without this patience. I would give it up long before it could become my hobby!

However, Japan is way more ambiguous than this, and the general placidity of the Japanese people’s lifestyle doesn’t prevent me from discovering this wonderful place from a whole new point of view. Since I’m fond of motorcycling, I couldn’t miss the chance to take a ATV trip in the mountains. It was an unexpected, but overwhelming experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who feels like putting a new face on Japan.

What to Begin with

First and foremost, choose the route that seems the most attractive to you. For example, I decided on riding in the mountains, but you can also choose a route that includes some towns or villages.
Second of all, get some practice driving an ATV. Don’t think that it is that easy. Nevertheless, it is easier to manage than a usual motorcycle, because going on four wheels is way steadier than doing the same thing on two wheels.
You will most probably face a route that will require persistence and strength, with you going along hidden paths in the green woods and mountains of this beautiful country. Yet, don’t let this complication scare you away — it is definitely worth it.

Equip Your Vehicle

Unconventional Leisure in JapanIt would be a shame to ruin your trip with a banal breakdown. If you rent an ATV, make sure it functions properly. If you get into it, you may buy your own vehicle and customize it in accordance to your personal preferences. For example, you can choose tires that you feel the most confident driving with. Another thing that rarely comes to mind, but still remains crucial, is providing proper lights. Even if you are a rookie, there are sources like Light Bar Land with useful reviews of LED lights for any purpose. They offer great tips on how to choose the best lights for your ATV. If you follow them like I did, you will never get caught flatfooted by dusk or fog during your trip.

Pack Everything You Need

Just like a usual hike, an ATV ride requires thoughtful packing.

  • Take a lot of clean water, and don’t forget about food. Personally I eat twice as much as usual when I spend active time outdoors, and I believe I’m not the only one.
  • Pay attention to your first aid kit, and take all the medicines and items you might require for such a trip.
  • A change of clothes would be ideal too. You never know what weather you will have, especially if your trip is long.

With everything you need at hand, you are bound to enjoy this extraordinary experience and gain unforgettable memories in the Land of the Rising Sun.

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The Role Of Anime In Japanese Culture

The Role Of Anime In Japanese CultureAnime is a term that is used to refer to Japanese animation in the graphics industry and has slowly gained popularity around the globe as more and more people become engrossed with these types of productions. It should be noted that in Japan, anime actually stands for all types of animations being considered to be a shortened version of the word.

However, in other parts of the world, the definition can vary from Japanese productions or can be used to refer projects that have been designed to follow a similar style that is associated with most anime productions including a range of color, character design and the stories structure.

There are a number of characteristics that one can turn to for easier identification of an anime production such as the manner in which the characters are depicted (usually with large eyes and colorful frames), the fantasy based storylines and the overall presentation of the general production.

It is interesting to note that in a period of time where the reading culture is slowly losing popularity amongst the youth and the public in general, most anime are usually presented in their original form with the addition of subtitles being the only changes made to the production. This means that most people have to read what is being said in order to determine what is going on and thus it can be said that anime is one of the few modern avenues trying to revive the reading culture within society.

This can also be seen in another avenue related to anime referred to as Manga which simply put is the text version of anime productions presented in the form of comics. One is able to sit down with a good food smoker like those at http://smokeyhousebbq.com/ in their house after preparing a delicious lunch and while away the afternoon following these productions. It is actually preferred for the anime to have subtitles instead of having the whole series translated as the latter is thought to lessen the originality of the whole production.

Anime has played a huge role in Japanese culture as it has introduced the said culture to the world in a means that has made it easy to understand and accept, especially by the youthful generation. There are a lot of values that are reflected in many of these productions that are related to the Japanese culture and those who follow anime may have absorbed this information without even knowing that such absorption was taking place. When people are enjoying an anime marathon in the middle of an afternoon with a nice BBQ smoker in the backyard, they are exposed to certain values that are held in high regard within the Japanese culture.

The only difference perhaps can be found in the fact that most people would relate these values with the anime stories and leave at that without further reflection on where these ideas originally came from. Characteristics such as bravery, honor and justice are some that are held in high esteem within the Japanese culture and play a major role in most anime productions.

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Little About Japanese Culture

Little About Japanese CultureIf you’re traveling to Japan for a business trip it is important that you understand business etiquette in that country. When you greet businesspersons in the office you’ll need to bow slowly with your hands at the sides as a sign of respect. As for giving and receiving business cards in Japan, you’ll need to give a neat looking business card and when someone hands you his business card, you need to thank him and bow. You should also take the card with both hands and hold it from the top. If you enter someone’s office or home in Japan you need to remove your shoes as this is tradition in the country.

Other Interesting Aspects of Japanese Culture

Surprisingly there is a low crime rate in Japan and this is the case even as it is illegal to own a gun in the nation. While it is true that businesspersons in Japan are hardworking and very dedicated to their jobs and businesses, some Japanese businessmen are known to enjoy occasional drinking binges as a way to relax and get stress relief. It is also not uncommon to see many businesspersons in Japan take naps on the job. Suicides are still at an all time high in Japan and this is due to pressure to do well in most aspects of life and to uphold family honor.

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Tips on How To Be Productive

Tips on How To Be ProductiveAre you tired of not being able to get enough work done in one day? Do you wish that you could manage your time wisely so that you could be less stressed? Well it’s possible if you follow these suggestions for becoming more productive.

Stop Wasting Time on Online Activities And Other Things

This keeps many people from completing their work in a timely manner and it distracts you. Start your morning by setting a timer to ten to fifteen minutes and you can use this time to check your e-mails and look at other important websites that pertain to your work. Put your phone on vibrate or cut it off so that you will not be tempted to answer the phone while you work. Have some snacks on hand in the desk so you won’t have to walk to the vending machine and waste more time.

Start With Your Biggest Projects First

If you wait until the latter half of the day to complete your biggest and most difficult projects, you will burn out and get frustrated. It’s better to start the day with your most difficult and biggest project because you give yourself more time to do it. By the time the afternoon arrives, you are able to work on your smaller and easier projects before the work day ends.

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Intro To Origami

Japan and its’ culture have always been of interest to me and when I took up origami as a money making hobby, it helped me relieve stress and the productivity for me has been great regarding origami. So in this article I want to discuss an overview of origami for those who have never heard of it before.

Origami means “folding paper” in Japanese and it dates back to the 17th century. The main goal of creating origami is to transform flat sheets of paper into beautiful sculptures. Authentic origami doesn’t involve cutting or the use of glue and this is one of the reasons why origami is a time consuming yet rewarding art form. Children and even some adults can benefit from origami in a variety of ways. They learn the importance of paying attention to details in order to complete a task and they learn to work with others as a team. Doing origami helps you develop stronger mathematical skills and it’s an opportunity to learn about Japanese culture.

Making Origami Roses

Start by taking a square sheet of origami paper and then sketch out four triangles on the origami paper. Once you do this you would fold all four of the areas where you created the triangles. You would then repeat this step and make a new square. You would then turn this square over so that you can create more triangles. Once these steps are complete you’ll have the most beautiful origami rose.

Basic Origami for Beginners

If this is your first time doing origami, you can get started by creating a hat design. Fold a rectangular sheet of paper in half and then you would fold it in half once more. Fold the corners on the inside to create a triangle, and after this you fold the bottom sections of the paper in an upwards manner. Another idea is to make a boat and to do this you would fold your paper in the same way you would for the origami hat, then you’ll combine the corners together. The bottom corner would be turned in an upwards way and after this step you’ll create a triangle and then open it. Finally, you would put corners in a square and you have the hat.

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Making of Origami Flowers

Making of Origami FlowersHaving a green thumb is a god given gift that is not bestowed upon people that liberally. I’m fortunate to have been gifted with it, as I love gardening and cannot pass a day without spending some time in my garden. The blooming flowers that greet you when you enter my garden will attest to my passion for the flowers.

Having spent a major part of my time with the plants and flowers I’ve become quite addicted to healthy lifestyle and have extended my expertise to growing fruits and vegetables at home with the use of these LED lamps. I’m all for a green lifestyle, so be absolutely sure to follow the link to check out particular CLW 880W LED grow light review.

Given my craze for beautiful and bright colored flowers, no wonder I was drawn to origami flowers. The art is so creative and simple at the same time that I decided to write about how to create origami flowers. Here is a simple guide on making an origami lily.

Origami lily is a very popular and traditional forms created in origami. Lily flower has for long represented purity and innocence, especially the white one. There are different colored lilies which include yellow, purple, red, pink and many more. Though the folds are simple for a beginner they may look slightly complex.

  • For the origami paper you can use fabric textured type, if you want to gift the flower or also the origami paper that has raised patterns with gold dots sprinkled all over.
  • Take a six inch piece origami paper. Fold it to form a water balloon bottom.
  • Take a corner from the four corners in the base and do a squash fold.
  • Now repeat this in all other corners to get a kite shape.
  • Fold the kite’s lower edges to the center and then unfold it. Do the same with the top corner.
  • Place finger at the lower part of the kite and do a petal fold by folding the point upwards.
  • The petal fold should be folded for three more times to get a tiny kite shape
  • Fold a point downwards and repeat it three more times to get a diamond form.
  • Fold the upper corners of diamond to the center and repeat it thrice.
  • Turn the paper upside down and fold out the petals of the flower.
  • For a curling effect, in your left hand hold the base of the petal, and run a pen and your right thumb along the petal’s length. Repeating this move multiple times will cause the petal to curl.

The flower is ready. You can also use these flowers as part of decorations in any celebrations like Valentine’s Day, birthday parties, weddings etc. The flowers can be glued together to make a colorful and exciting bouquet. The intricate and beautiful flowers serve as an appealing ornamental decoration that adds beauty to any event you organize. And best of all they are far more affordable than real flowers, which can be quite expensive.

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My Favorite Origami Christmas Ideas

My Favorite Origami Christmas IdeasAt Christmas time we normally only think of paper as something we use to wrap up our presents, but paper can do so much more than cover gifts–it can be a gift!

Although the exact origin of origami is debatable, we have come to associate it with Japan where it was first explicitly mentioned in 1680. The word origami itself comes from the Japanese words ori, meaning “folding” and kami, meaning “paper”.

Today, origami is still a popular leisure activity in Japan, and throughout the world. With origami, you can create amazing, intricate sculptures that you would never believe were made from just folding pieces of paper. People even make replicas of entire cities out of paper. The good news is you don’t have to be an expert–or an architect–to participate in this creative hobby. In fact, a lot of Christmas origami projects are simple enough for kids, or total beginners, and make for incredible gifts and holiday decorations.

If you are stuck for Christmas gift ideas, want inexpensive decorations, or just want to add a special, personal touch to your holiday gifts, creating these Christmas themed paper crafts will make for a very happy holiday!

Tools for Making Origami

First, make sure you’re equipped to make some beautiful paper crafts. Your local craft store will sell specialty origami paper in various sizes, but it’s not necessary. Using plain white printer paper can be even more fun as it gives you the opportunity to personalize the design of your craft. Be sure to have some markers, stickers, or paints on hand to make your paper sculptures look exactly how you want them to. You can also try making these origami crafts out of holiday wrapping paper for an added festive touch!

Christmas Ideas

Gather around the fire, make some hot cocoa, put on your favorite Christmas song, and get ready to spend some quality time with your family and friends making these festive gifts and decorations out of paper.

Christmas Tree

What is Christmas without a Christmas tree? Fir trees and other plants that stay green all year are some of the oldest symbols of winter celebrations. There are so many easy ways to make origami Christmas trees to decorate your home for the holidays. For the easiest model all you will need is one piece of square green paper!


Stars have always been a luminous symbol of Christmas. Using long, thin strips of paper, about one foot long, and half an inch wide, you can create an array of beautiful origami stars to decorate your gifts and cards, or attach to the top of your origami Christmas tree. These look especially pretty when made from the pages of old books, or from sheet music. Search online for sheet music to Christmas carols, print them out, and cut them into half inch strips. You can carefully tape the strips together until they are one foot long.


Origami wreaths are intricate and beautiful. They are made from slotting several different pieces of origami into one connected circle. They are the perfect family craft for the holidays. To make a wreath that is about 6 inches, you will need eight 4” x 4” pieces of paper. Have each family member make a few personalized pieces before folding, and slot them together to form a lovely decoration that’s reflective of your unique family.


Origami ornaments are a great, personal touch to add to your Christmas tree, or to give to friends. You can really get creative with these, adding your own pictures, stickers, glitter, or written holiday wishes to the paper before folding it. You can even customize the ribbon you use to hang it on your tree.


Ho, Ho, Ho! Make Jolly Old Saint Nick himself out of paper! Using one piece of origami paper that is white on one side, and red on the other, you’ll be able to create a sweet little origami Santa Claus. Using smaller pieces of green and white paper in the same pattern will make origami sculptures that look just like Santa’s elves.


Help Santa’s sleigh fly with some adorable paper reindeer. These pieces are a little more intricate than some of the other Christmas origami ideas on this list, but once you have the hang of it you’ll be able to make all 9 of Santa’s reindeer for an impressive Christmas display. Don’t forget a red nose for Rudolph! Craft stores sell tiny pompoms that would be perfect.


These plants have been symbols of Christmas since the 19th century, when Joel Roberts Poinsett brought them to America from Mexico. Because of a Christmas story surrounding the plant, they are nicknamed Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night. The poinsettia is now used as a symbol of the star of Bethlehem. Make gorgeous poinsettia arrangements out of thick, deep red paper.


These birds are often used at Christmastime as a symbol of peace. Traditionally doves are represented in art as being all white. A simple white piece of printer paper is perfect for making Christmas doves. You can also try making a Christmas dove out of a paper doily to give the finished product intricate lace designs on its wings and tail.


Forget boring white envelopes! Send your Christmas cards in gorgeous, handmade envelopes that stand out from the crowd. Everyone will appreciate the extra effort you went through to make sure every piece of your holiday greeting was handmade and personalized just for them. It’s sure to put you on Santa’s Nice list!

Star Box

Origami star boxes are perfect for storing small, lightweight gifts. Of course, they are so beautiful once finished they could be the gift! All you’ll need is a piece of 8.5” x 11” paper. As with most of the ideas on this list, the origami star box is easily customizable for the family member or friend you want to give it to.

When it comes to holiday paper crafts, the possibilities really are endless! Have fun and get creative this holiday season with these impressive Christmas paper crafts, perfect for any gift or decoration.

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Japanese Cultural Fighting Styles

Japanese-Cultural-Fighting-StylesRegardless of where you are in the world, it seems every civilization has developed its own fighting styles. These modes of combat are as identifiable with a specific culture as specialty food dishes, or decorative items. The Irish have their boxing, Africans have wrestling focusing on throws, American natives fight with the hatchet and club and the Japanese have a number of different fighting styles to their name. It’s interesting to read about the different ways people have used violence to solve their problems in the past, even if I’m not much a fan of violence.

Koryu translates roughly to “traditional school” or “old school”. Koryu is actually a single term encompassing a number of different martial arts, all of which were intended for use during war. This is different from other Japanese martial arts and fighting styles, such as Sumo, which were intended for entertainment rather than causing harm or killing another person. Some of the toughest Koryu schools are still training men and women to be soldiers, even without a conflict or war with which to test the skills developed by the martial art. These arts make wide use of grappling dummies to prevent injury.

I did mention Sumo above as well, and there are few fighting styles more strictly Japanese than Sumo. Even the earliest written recordings from Japan, dated around 700 AD, describe Sumo wrestling and make mention of the sport being practiced centuries in the past, which would put the first Sumo match sometime around the end of BC. This began as a source of entertainment for the current Emperor of the country, but Sumo grew into a popular public sport that people of all classes and walks of life could enjoy. It is a major sport in Japan and aspects of Sumo training are used in modern military training too.

I would be failing myself if I didn’t mention how important swordsmanship is to the Japanese. There are numerous sword styles for fighting with blades as well, but rather than focus on each individual style, I want to talk about fighting with a sword in general. Kenjutsu has come to mean different things to different people, but it literally means the art (or science) of the sword, and is a name with wide implications. Every sword art is Kenjutsu, by definition. Combat with swords is not strictly a Japanese thing, but the katana, the soul of the sword and the sword saint all are. It’s very interesting stuff.

This is also just the beginning. Like I said, I didn’t cover any specific sword fighting styles, and I’ve barely covered unarmed martial arts as well. There are many other fighting styles which belong to Japan, as well as a literal world of styles belonging to all the other countries on the planet. Some styles have even been lost to time as countries rise, fall then rise again, under a different name or rule. If combat is something which interests you, you might want to read up about Koryu or Kenjutsu, which will invariably lead to you other armed martial arts styles to read about as well.

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Teaching Tips in Origami

origami-315728_960_720With the holidays nearing, the rush to get gifts is more than ever before now. Cyber Monday and Black Friday notwithstanding you can still see people in a frenzy to buy gifts for their near and dear ones in the local stores and malls.

Not surprisingly I ‘ve had plenty of requests from students, friends and family to make Origami figures as gift items. As a gift, Origami patterns do look unique, and are sure to be adored by everyone. It is the creation part that many do not find easy. Even among my origami students, some grasp the folding patterns easily, while some take a longer time.

These tips are for encouraging all origami students to become skilled at the art. The tips are actually a collage of ideas from experienced origami teachers, so those who are beginning to learn the art can enjoy it more.

The objective of teaching origami is to ensure a student can create a model with enjoyment and be satisfied with the end result.  When you are happy with what you have achieved from learning the art, you can know that you have learnt it well and truly.

The first thing to do is, listen well to what is taught in the class. Try understanding the instructions as clearly as you can. I learnt the basic folding techniques very fast because I had a good teacher. Even today, I have my first origami figure, which is not as perfect as what I do now but is reasonably good. I have made a special slot in my living room wall with my top quality, reciprocating saw for placing it, so it is prominently showcased.

Origami vocabulary should be learnt in the beginning and used in connection with the making of the shapes. Learning what a term means when you first hear it will help in easier understanding of the complex shapes later one.  It is also best to include shapes in the descriptive terms like kite, roof top, triangles etc.

While starting out don’t go for the complex models. Instead, learn the simple and basic models first.

Practice is necessary to become adept at Origami. You should identify the folds or moves that you find difficult and practice at them until you perfect them.

Since you are using paper, you need to be careful while making the folds as a wrong one can leave behind a mark that can confuse you at the later stages. One of my students has an origami display case which he made all by himself using the saw he purchased at Jason Saw Reviews, which he says is a very handy tool to have for all kinds of DIY work you do at home.

Whenever you are in doubt about the way your model is progressing, you should find out the fault and try to correct it. It takes me about thrice the time to teach the folds, as it takes for folding it.  If you are still unsure about the folds do it in steps.

I use a large paper for teaching, as it will help even those in the back to see clearly the folds and moves to be made. But at the same time I ensure that it is not too big to manipulate.  And diagrams always help to get a clear picture of the folds and how the model will look finally.

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Keeping a Healthy Home

Keeping a Healthy HomeToo often, it seems that we worry more about the health of the people living in a home rather than the health of the home itself. This just makes sense if you think about it – it’s not as if your house can cry out when it doesn’t feel like it’s getting the care it needs, after all. However, keeping a healthy home should be about as important as making sure the people living in said home are happy and healthy. I’ll explain why this is important shortly, but to really understand that, first I need to go over what exactly makes a home “healthy”.

Now I’m not carpenter or electrician, so other people reading this may disagree with some of the things I say. That’s fine, really. In my opinion, there are a handful of things which can qualify a home as healthy. First, is the plumbing in good order? Leaky faucets and sinks are bad enough, but they’re also just the leaks you can see. Leaking pipes inside your walls could lead to hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars in rotting and structural damage. To put it shortly, healthy homes have working pipes. The same thing goes for electrical work like wiring and outlets. Fires caused by bad wiring aren’t as rare as you might think.

The problem is, it’s hard to tell if your wiring needs work from just a look, unless you’ve got the years of experience a qualified electrician has. Leaking pipes are pretty easy, even if they happen to buried in a stairway or wall or something – it’s not difficult to follow wet spots, moisture and water damage with just your eyes. If it’s bad enough you might be able to smell the rot with your nose too, so yeah, the plumbing is much easier to inspect. What can you do about this though?

Well, if you know your home already has sound wiring, the best thing you can do to keep it that way is to not go mucking around inside the walls if you can help it. If it’s at all possible, use wireless versions of devices rather than wired ones where you would need to run new lines through your walls. This is true even if we’re just talking about something small, like a wireless doorbell. You can discover more here about such devices, though it shouldn’t take any reading to understand why using one would be better for your home than installing a wired variety.

Besides keeping your hands out of places they probably shouldn’t be in the first place, there are a few other things you can do to maintain or even improve the health of your home. Regular inspections of your kitchen, bathroom, basement and any other rooms that feature running water is a good start. Be on the lookout for mold or other telltale signs of water damage. It’s also a good idea to go around your home annually and pump any cracks or crevices you find with caulk. Pests like mice and bugs can’t invade your home if you don’t give them a place to enter in the first place.

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Amazing Facts About Drifting

car-967011_960_720While this car-related sport is quite popular in the U.S. now, not many know that this unbelievable technique of curve handling actually originates from Japan. In the 1970’s, during the All Japan Touring Car Championship, a young former motorcycle driver Kunimitsu Takahashi decided to improve his lap times by going over the grip limit of his tires.

Although his unmatched technique did not allow him to become a champion at that particular competition, he dramatically improved his results and impressed the crowd by hitting the corners apex at high speeds while still keeping his Nissan Skyline KPGC10 controllable.

The spectacle of the burning tires made the young driver a beloved racer of the spectators as well as drew the attention of other sportsmen to this novice technique. That was how the ‘drifting era’ had started. Here are some interesting facts about drifting you might be surprised to know.


Many tend to believe you need a lot of horsepower to be able to drift. This is not true. Although you’ll definitely need at least 100 HP to drift, beginners are always advised to start with less power. In fact, drifting in a lower powered car requires less drifting techniques which beginners usually lack. Moreover, a lot depends on the engine and suspension adjustments. Preparing a car for drifting is a whole process requiring a lot of expertise in mechanics as well as some advanced car equipment improving the operational efficiency of your car, like those you can find at OBD2SCANNERLAB.

RWD, FWD or 4WD?

Although RWD cars are most commonly seen in drifting competitions, FWDs and 4WDs can be quite good as well especially when it comes to racing through mountain roads where they have an advantage in fast cornering. The techniques and the setups for each type of drive differ a lot as well as the horsepower and the torque numbers. Many experts are still arguing about which of the types is the best, while most spectators simply enjoy sports vehicles sliding sideways through tough corners at crazy speeds.


Did you know that many beginners prefer practicing… in the rain? It may make little sense at first, however, when they’re wet your tires require less speed to lose grip due to the tiny layer of water on the asphalt. Additionally, this type of training is also preferred for financial reasons as practicing in the rain reduces your tire wear as well as decreases the fuel consumption due to less input of throttle.

Learning to drift can be quite adventurous. You need to be a patient and dedicated driver to master these unbelievable car control skills. This sport requires a great deal of responsibility as well. Don’t try any of your tricks in a populated area or places like a supermarket parking lot. Watch out for curbs and bumps so as not to mess up your suspension or ruin your rims. In any case, be ready to spend a small fortune on your repair bills and additional car adjustments.

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How to make Star Box in Origami

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjviEp1UQZwWhile many of the origami designs are mostly of decorative purpose, there are a few, which can be useful too. The star box origami design for instance is an attractive looking design and useful too. I have made several such designs and they are favorite gift items that I love to hand out. While you do get store bought boxes, the origami star box is just right for holding lightweight items such as coins, jewelry, paper clips and other little objects. Although the design may look intricate and complex at the outset, it is actually easy to do it.  And it can be done quickly too. Here are the steps to follow.

Begin with an origami square paper. If not, you can easily make a square from the regular paper size of 8.5×11. Fold the paper in half with the top and corner bottom meeting together. Next, fold the right corner to the left corner.

Lift the first layer, so the right corner can be squash folded to the bottom paper corner. Now, you need to turn over the paper.

Left side flap should be taken up vertically and squashed just as the other side. Now rotate the paper so it is upside down.

Fold left flap over on to right side flap and fold both flaps inside at the level of the crease.

Now fold flap to left and another fresh flap leftwards. The two flaps should be folded at the central crease.

Just as you do star box in origami paper, it can be done in fabric too. You need to have good steam irons such as the ones at http://ironexpertlabs.com/ to make the folds properly. The design and pattern are otherwise the same. The fabric star box takes very little time, but you get spectacular results.

The left and right flap should be folded to give the flaps on both sides an even fold.  Now the bottom should be folded at corners to form a triangle. Now unfold the flaps and fold top triangle downwards. The left side flap should go over the right flap to make the triangle fold. The other triangles should be done in the same way.

When the folds are done, open figure from top and make the sides straight by straightening them out. The bottom must be flat. Your origami star box is ready for use.

For the fabric version, you should first practice the box pattern in paper several times, so you master the way to fold properly. Once you know how to go about folding you can start on the fabric. I use Rowenta Steam Iron to get perfect folds. One thing to remember in fabric is you have to avoid using too small sizes of fabric, as it would be difficult to do the folds. With a 9-inch square fabric, you will get a base of 4 inch, which is a good size to go with. For fabric star box, you need bonding fabric and if needed a spray starch and glue gun.

Here’s a very useful video too:

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The Tool for Sculpting Paper

The Tool for Sculpting PaperI don’t really like to brag about my origami, but it’s something I have a lot of experience with. Working with paper as often as I do, I’ve found a few tricks that seem to make things go easier for me. Besides folding paper like this, I also enjoy cutting it into shapes and creating unique designs that way as well. This paper sculpting is really very similar to origami, except that you need the right tool for cutting, chopping and working the paper. Before the big reveal here, take a moment to think about what tool that might be.

If some sort of electric saw came to mind, then you’re on the right track. The perfect tool for sculpting paper would need to be some sort of saw, able to cut through the material seamlessly and allow a great deal of control to guarantee sharp, precise cuts every time. Actually, what I had in mind was something more along the lines of an oscillating tool. Those are essentially small electric saws though, so it’s not far off at all. That roundabout movement in the blade part is what does the actual cutting on an oscillating tool, so it can take some getting used to the first time you try one.

First, to acquaint you with the tool I’m talking about, have a look at Oscillating Tool Depot. That’s a website where you can see dozens of examples of the device I’m talking about, and I’m willing to bet those accurate visual aides are going to represent it a bit better than my own description could. After you get a look at them, I’m sure you’ll see why these specific tools are so useful for sculpting. In my case I use them with paper, but they’re pretty good for cutting just about anything because they allow the user to approach a task from many different angles.

The Tool for Sculpting PaperMany of these oscillating tools also come with smaller head attachments, so the user can do finer work. So let me ask you – what more could you want from a paper cutting tool than something which is small, portable, easy to handle, highly versatile, and cheap on top of everything else? Well, that’s what I asked myself before buying one, and I think you can figure out how the answer went. It might not be the top model available, but then I’m not just relying on tools to get the job done.

With so much experience folding paper with my fingers, I have a kind of advantage when it comes to cutting the stuff. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from having a portable oscillating tool in your own set of tools. With different attachments you could cut through thick wood and even some types of metal, which makes these tools excellent for construction and carpentry. With such a wide range of uses, I’m sure you can come up with a scenario or two where you might find something like this useful.

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Using Music to Increase Your Productivity

While music is the perfect way to relax and relieve stress, it can also be a good means of eliminating physical and emotional clutter to improve your productivity during your working day. There are many factors influencing your ability to focus on your daily routines and music can definitely play an important role here.

Here’s what you can try to become more efficient during your working day.

Listen to Your Favorites

It has been proved that the music can change our mood and help to get rid of bad thoughts. That’s why whenever you feel stressed with your work, try to spare a few moments to listen to your favorite tunes which can arouse positive feelings and make you more relaxed. Don’t think you are wasting your precious time when you do this. Listening to music may be quite inspiring and inspiration is exactly what you need for better productivity.

Play Yourself

You don’t have to be an avid player to practice music yourself. If you have any musical instrument handy, use it to distract your attention from your working routines and give your brain a little time to focus on something less stressful for a while. I for one have recently bought a nice electric violin just to try something different as a relaxation activity. Although I am an absolute newbie in playing this instrument, the feeling of doing something new and unusual always inspires me and brings some new ideas.

Involve Your Children

Many people who work at home say they cannot concentrate while their kids are running around creating a tough atmosphere for mental activities. In this case, music can be a way out. Try to involve your kids in playing musical instruments. This will provide a less fussy environment for you and may help you to discover some new talents in your children. If you don’t know how to choose a musical instrument for your kid, check VIOLINIO to get an idea of how to do it.

Choose the Right Tunes

Although the tastes of people differ a lot, it has been scientifically proved that listening to uplifting background music while working may result in a positive mood, influencing your productivity.  With compelling sounds, you tend to have a better focus on your tasks as well as manage your working time in a more efficient manner. In other words, if you listen to something you really enjoy and find soothing, you perform better at your work. However, if the beat and the rhythm you hear are the ones you dislike, the effect may be quite the opposite causing psychological distress.

It may seem strange, but the latest scientific discoveries also show that the best music to improve your productivity is actually music you are ambivalent about. These can be the sounds of nature or instrumental pieces without lyrics. The rhythm and the tempo play an important role as well and may improve your working process to a great extent.

Listening to music affects your workflow on many levels influencing your behavior, attitude, inspiration, and productivity.

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