Working with Paper

Accordions in the Air?

Linked French Fold Accordions, with spirits

Looks like my new favorite thing is 4 pm on Saturdays.

It feels like such a relief to be doing these open, half hour folding sessions which I wrote about doing a few weeks ago.

I had decided not to teach this fall because I thought I needed a break from teaching. What I now realize is what I needed a break from was the work around the teaching: writing up descriptions, figuring out supply lists, taking photos, working on promotion, and being accountable for providing good content. Okay, I’m still going to be doing all that again, but I sure did need a break from it. What I didn’t need a break from is just getting together and folding with a friendly group.

Deep Accordion Spine with added pages

I can’t help but suspect that the dozens of people who are showing up for these sessions also welcome break from having to stop and consider, then make commitment, register, and allot a significant portion of the time each time they want to make something with a group. Okay, people will still do all those things, but I imagine it feels good to folks, for a change, to just show up, or not, for a little casual folding.

French Folded Accordion made by Sharon Fiffer during the 10 minute works session

People are sending me photos of their work. It’s so inspiring to see all the different directions people are going in, starting with the same structure.

Here’s a link to what Gerry McGaunn posted on Instagram

Accordion by Ruth Nuesch

Last week, along with going over the details of making an origami pocket and a French fold accordion, I also provided everyone a link to Cathryn Miller’s blog. Coincidently, Cathryn is also showing one type of accordion after another this month. This is not the first time that Cathryn and I have been on the same track as each other. Sometimes I feel like we’re reading each other’s minds, sharing the same muse. It’s kind of a thrill to see this happening between us over and over again over the years. I encourage everyone to go see what she is up to.

Accordion by Sarah Barton

This link will take you to what Cathryn posted yesterday, day nine of her accordion tutorials.

Then, if you want to and can, come to the fourth my 12 sessions of 30 minutes of folding, and as I talk about the small details of folding. As usual this Saturday, 4pm EST on zoom. See the bottom of my announcement post for the zoom link.

8 1/2" x 11" Book Making · Accordion Books · How-to

What we did last Saturday

Last Saturday a nice crowd joined me for a short accordion workshop, the first of what I hope will be a few months of these free, mini workshops to give us all some more practice with accordion folds.

The time was so short and it went so fast that it almost seemed like it didn’t happen at all. But I know it happened, mostly because I received some sweet notes, and even some photos afterwards.

Next session will be building upon this past one, so if you plan to come, and you missed out, take a look at the handout above.

This Saturday will be the same time -4 pm EST-, same zoom link as last week. I will show up about 10 minutes early if anyone want to chat, then by 2 minutes after the hour, demonstration starts, then zoom kicks us out at 30 minutes after the hour.

Paula Krieg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 732 8168 5909
Passcode: XBFUX2

Art and Math · Art with Math Supplies · geometry and paper

A Spiraling Book


Spiral Book
Spiral Book

I put these photos, and a video, together for a math teacher friend, Lana, a couple of years ago, and thought I had made a post about it. Lana reported back that she had made it will kids, and that they had enjoyed it.

I’ve been posting projects, weekdays, on twitter, from my blog. Wanted to feature this one today, but turns out I never did write a post. Made a video, took some photos, but never wrote about it here.


It’s a fun structure, not too hard to make. I’m thinking of it now as a fun things to make and send in the mail.

Spiraling pages made from copy paper, an old calendar, outdated map, and a pretty orange scrap
Spiraling pages made from copy paper, an old calendar, outdated map, and a pretty orange scrap

Something about how it is cyclical feels appropriate for for the times right now. Can be made from lots of different kinds of papers. Old pages from calendars, maps, and grocery grocery bag, or just regular copy paper can all be used.

The Folds before the Spiraling
The Folds before the Spiraling

Folding pattern shown above. Video tutorial below.

A sturdy paper can be set up to make this funny little shape below.

Side view of a Spiral Book
Side view of a Spiral Book

Try it out. See where it takes you.

Spiraling Snake or Snaking Spiral?
Spiraling Snake or Snaking Spiral?

Accordion Books · Books Made from one sheet of folded paper · How-to · Making Books with children · Making books with elementary students

Four Page Accordion and SMART Boards

Make an accordion and a French Fold Accordion By Paula Beardell Krieg

Last Wednesday, and each Wednesday during this month of March, I will be working on a project with third graders. This is an ambitious project that links the student’s research about various countries with lots of bookmaking. We first make a large folder with pockets, which we refer to as a suitcase, then students make small handmade books in these pockets. These small books will be filled with writing and pictures relevant to the country that each student is studying.

There are SMART Boards in each of these classrooms. This means that when I draw out the instructions for making the books the teachers can click on a “Save” button and save what I have drawn. I often try to erase the drawings before the save because I start off drawing big and end up squeezing in the last steps, which makes for a silly looking set of instructions. But erasing the steps before the students can complete them is silly too.

This past week a light went on in my head: if I draw out what I want the students to know and save it on-line then I can link the SMART Board to my image….not only that, but I can email the links of the appropriate images to teachers before I meet with them. This can facilitate easy retrieval of my tutorial pages, and it can also be stored as a reference, thereby empowering the teachers to re enforce the bookmaking techniques after my residency is over.

Oh, last week we made a simple accordion, like in the drawings above.  I then taught a couple of pop-ups to put in the valley folds. That will be what the next handout will be about.

snow in our backyard

In the meantime, the snow is showing some signs of melting here. Notice that the hand pump is emerging from the snow. We can see our picnic table now. But last week after a thaw, followed by rain, then freezing rain, I had to call and postpone working at a school because my car tires were completely frozen into a 6 inch puddle of ice.