My SymiWillFrog-making at Nos 21/08/2007, 02:00

Claudia and I went to Nos Beach; not the greatest beach Symi has, but a very fine one nonetheless, and it's within easy walking distance of the harbour too. Claudia likes to stay in the water for AGES, whereas I prefer to nip in and out of the water, spending lots of lazy time laying around doing not much. Lately, this "not much" has often been making origami creatures. It's a bit dweeby, I know, but it gives me the chance to be creative. My origami creature repertoire consists of several mammals, amphibians, avians and crustaceans, but is still woefully limited. Compared to how it was four months ago, however, it is extensive. Back then, my origami skills were limited to...frogs. Just frogs. I have known how to make frogs out of paper for thirty years and for some reason it seemed enough to just make frogs.

So what is the reason for abandoning thirty years of tradition and undergoing an origami explosion?. It's all down to spending many hours in Symi Bars where large quantities of free paper is to be found. There is a poor-quality, free, monthly rag called the Symi Vomitor that you may have had the misfortune to read when you are on Symi. I don't recommend reading it. I do recommend grabbing copies and using them for making origami creatures. The paper that the Symi Vomitor is printed on has a good weight and a good "memory" for folds, something which rags of much higher quality than the Symi Vomitor (The Sun, National Enquirer, Viz Comic, Soiled Toilet Paper, etc.) are lacking. I make sure I tear up at least one Symi Vomitor each day and you may, when you next visit Symi, see my origami creatures on shelves in bars in the harbour, by the tills of shops, or in the loos of tavernas...the pesky things are everywhere.

As I can think of few things that are more worthwhile (or entertaining) than increasing the World's journalistic karma by ridding it of copies of the Symi Vomitor, I took photos of my frog-making session at Nos so you too can learn how to make your very own paper frog. Now there will be no excuse for you not to tear up copies of the Symi Vomitor rag when you are visiting Symi yourself.

Here is a square of paper that I enjoyed tearing from the front page of the latest copy of the Symi Vomitor (only the front page will do. You can use the rest to line your cat's litter tray or just throw it in the bin.) It shows part of the appalling review of the Symi Festival Premiere. Getting the same non-Greek clapped-out hack who has no idea whatsoever about the music being played to write a review for the Premiere is an annual occurrence for the Vomitor. This year's review hits new highs by not actually mentioning any of the music at all! Quality! On the reverse of the square of paper is part of a photograph parading the faces of refugees, an abuse that the Vomitor just can't seem to resist perpetrating whenever it gets the chance.

You start by creasing the square along both diagonals, and along the centres of each edge. The red lines in the photo illustrate this. Try and make the creases in the correct places. When folding the diagonals, for instance, you should make sure the creases go exactly into the corners. This isn't difficult, unless you're Jord, who found it an impossible task. Josie, however, is a natural!

Fold the paper along one of the diagonals...

...and using the existing creases bring the corner inside...

...and then do the same on the other side. Easy, ain't it!

With the open end of the folded paper towards you, lift one of the four flaps up, and...

...gently squash it down....

...making sure the central creases all line up so that the model remains symmetrical.

Repeat this move on all the other three flaps and you should end up with a model that looks like this!

If you hold the open end towards you, it should look like this.

With the open end towards you again, make firm creases by folding (and then unfolding) each of the lower sides into the middle.

Squeeze the model at the sides to open it up along the creases you folded previously...

and then squash it down...neatly...

...and it should look like this. If you got that right,...

...then repeat it on all the other three flaps, and it ends up looking like this; a diamond with the lower half split into what will become the frog's four limbs.

These limbs are a bit chunky though, so they'll first need to be narrowed.

Open each limb in turn and fold the sides into the middle, and then...

...close the two sides together.

Repeat this on the side opposite...

...and then on the remaining two sides.

The four limbs are now half the width they were before and are ready for moving into position.

Take one of the legs, push it up, and bend it inwards upon itself.

Crease it firmly when it is perpendicular to the rest of the model.

Repeat on the other side, and do two similar folds on each leg to give them their final frog-like appearance.

The arms are shaped in a similar way to the legs, by first reverse-folding them up inside the "body" of the frog...

..and then finishing off by making the same fold again at the elbow. The folding is now done and all that is left is to inflate the frog to make it three dimensional.

If you turn the frog and look up between its legs, you can see it has a...hole. Ahem.

Blow (yes, sorry!) gently up this hole and the body of the frog inflates... so!

If you've managed this far, you should now have a finished frog.

This frog is super-realistic because if you open up its anus and look up its rectum...look who you can see!

Here's to many happy hours frog-making!


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