Easy Butterfly Origami

My new book, Easy Butterfly Origami features 30 bold full-color patterns designed to accurately portray the dorsal and ventral sides of some of the most beautiful butterflies from around the world!

Origami Folding Tips

Origami, from the Japanese ori (to fold) and kami (paper), began in the 6th century when Buddhist monks introduced paper to Japan. The print-and-fold crafts and easy diagrams are designed to help children with fine motor skills, directions and hand eye coordination. Some basic origami folding tips:
  • Print and cut out patterns carefully.
  • Fold with clean, dry hands.
  • Follow the instructions. Study the diagrams and be patient.
  • Be precise: fold each crease well, flattening the creases by running your fingertip over the fold.
  • Folding the paper away from you is easier than folding towards you.
  • Be creative...use your origami on greeting cards, holiday decorations, table place cards and bookmarks.

Coloring: Hawaiian Honeycreeper ('I'iwi)

What's that squeaky song? Peering through tree ferns, you spy a red bird high in the rainforest canopy. It hops from branch to branch, dipping its long curved beak into the flowers for a sip of nectar. After it has visited every lehua blossom, it flies off in search of more nectar.

The scarlet 'i'iwi (ee-EE-vee) is one of the most beautiful birds in Hawai'i. It uses its long, sickle-shaped beak to probe for nectar in native lobeliad flowers and 'ohi'a blossoms. It also feeds on insects and larvae.

'I'iwi usually breed from February to September. Clutches of one to three whitish eggs with dark brown markings are laid in cup-shaped nests. The eggs hatch after 14 days. The newly hatched chicks have bright orange skin, with patches of soft down on their head and wings. After three weeks, the fledglings grow speckled yellow-green feathers and can fly with ease! The red adult plummage will gradually appear first on the breast, then head.

The 'i'iwi was valued by Hawaiians for its orange-red feathers, which were used to make feather capes, helmets and other symbols of Hawaiian royalty. Bird catchers would venture into the forest, looking for trees with blossoms to attract hungry 'i'iwi. Sticky sap was smeared on the branches of select trees. Sometimes the bird catcher would imitate a bird's song, or recite a special chant to lure more birds. An 'i'iwi that landed on the sap would be held fast in the sticky trap!

Although 'i'iwi are still fairly common on most of the islands, it is rare on O'ahu and Moloka'i and no longer found on Lana'i. Most of the decline is blamed on loss of habitat, as native forests are cleared for farming, grazing, and development. Another threat has been the spread of avian malaria.

The Ugly 'Elepaio
Written and Illustrated by Tammy Yee
Island Heritage, 1998
ISBN: 0-89610-002-2
The Ugly 'Elepaio
In the misty rain forests that skirt Kilauea Volcano lives an unsightly chick named Liko. With his orange skin and sparse feathers, Liko is taunted by the other forest birds. This adaptation of the classic Ugly Duckling tale follows Liko as he blossoms into a scarlet i'iwi, a beautiful honeycreeper. Also included is a glossary that teaches children about the birds of the Hawaiian rain forest.

©2011 Tammy Yee

Copyright ©2009 Tammy Yee
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