To the world I am merely a thumbtack
On a journey following a green map


Origami frog sitting on a red thumbtack (or, in British English, a drawing pin – can also be called a ‘push pin’) like a toadstool. I stuck the thumb tack (only by a little) into my green cutting mat looking like a map of the world, or green grass.

A very simple idea, though how I came to post this today is actually somewhat a long story…


Those who follow me on my facebook fan page may remember that a few days ago, I said I may work on a new concept incorporating the origami lily. In the end I figured now wasn’t the right time for that. It has been a busy past couple of days, hence why I had been falling behind on the comments. But aside from that I was struggling often when I was working on the new concept (which doesn’t only involve folding a single model – long story). I began to realize maybe the reason I was struggling was because of this. (Read the full story here ).

So I gave up on the lily, but still felt like posting something today. so looking up my ever growing list of new concepts that I want to work on, I figured ‘Toadstool’ would be easy. The idea I had with the lily was one that would have required me to do much more work, but this only took a few minutes to set up :)

The frog was folded from a 15×15mm piece of paper. The squares on the cutting mat are 1/4" each, though for a better idea of scale…

Note that the frog in the scale reference photo is not the same as the one I used for this ‘Toad Stool’. This frog was my model in Money Pond who sadly died among others in an accident.

It is actually funny that I thought of doing the frog after giving up the lily; I really wasn’t thinking about this when I decided to post this piece today, but the instructions for folding a lily and folding a frog are similar! See for yourself here. Also it is raining today; perfect weather for a frog!

Taken yesterday (September 7, 2012) with a Casio CASIO EX-FE100 on ‘flower’ mode (macro) – I no longer have the Canon – lets just say I had to sell it (although that was also point and shoot anyways)… Although the Casio does give me a slightly higher resolution than my old compact Olympus cameras… This is my first time taking a macro with the Casio camera and it will take a bit of time to get used to. I held a piece of paper in front of my window in order to make the foreground darker than the background, and to make the sunlight less intense – the frog and the pin would have been over exposed without doing so.

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Mui-Ling Teh – Art and Words from the Heart

© Copyright Mui-Ling Teh. All rights reserved. My art and writing do not belong to the public domain. Materials may not be reproduced, uploaded, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, copied, edited or published in any form or by any means without my written permission.

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  • solarbear
    solarbearover 2 years ago

    Gosh this just blows my mind.. what perspective :) How do you do it?

  • Thank you Jim. I used tweezers to help me with the folding. You may notice that in the origami frog, the hind legs, where it joins to the body, is higher than that of the front legs – meaning that at this size, due to ratio between its size and the paper thickness, the hind legs had the tendency to be in the air. In order to make it look like it was sitting properly, I had to pinch this guy’s bum :P

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehover 2 years ago

    To the world I am merely a thumbtack
    On a journey following a green map

    September 8, 2012. © Copyright Mui-Ling Teh. All rights reserved.

  • mmargot
    mmargotover 2 years ago

    Oh, my! Mui-Ling, what a concept! You have made tradition, “pop,” math, and concept blend in a most amazing way!

  • Why thank you mmargot! Your quite a mixer of style and media yourself!

    – Mui-Ling Teh

    JUSTARTover 2 years ago

    great work

  • Isabela M. Lamuño
    Isabela M. Lamuñoover 2 years ago

    Incredible, marvelous work ML. I am deeply in love with the words:
    “To the world I am merely a thumbtack
    On a journey following a green map”

    So touching.Wow!

  • Thank you so much Isabella! The image, I had the idea for a long time, and the words I just came up with yesterday and revised today. Also just yesterday I thought about using the cutting mat as the base- and hence only then thought about the base as a map. Very glad you like this :)

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • © Janis Zroback
    © Janis Zrobackover 2 years ago

    I have a slew of those mats in every size so I can appreciate the dimensions of this minute frog…brilliant work MuiLing….

  • These things are great to have… even for purposes other than cutting on :P – Thank you Janis.

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • Vesna *
    Vesna *over 2 years ago

    abslutely fantastic Mui-Ling, your craft is so beautiful and elegant and perfectly executed
    I love your imagination

  • Glad you like it Vesna; thank you – green as an avocado lol (I was reminded of your poem today as I visited solarbear’s portfolio and read his poem today).

    – Mui-Ling Teh

  • BGSPhoto
    BGSPhotoover 2 years ago

    Mui-Ling, Very creative. I wish I had your imagination.

  • Roger Sampson
    Roger Sampsonover 2 years ago

    Truly I am amazed with your talents… photography, your incredible origami, and your written words. I do believe though that it is your patience that impresses me the most. To do what you do is such a timely process, most would not attempt to achieve the level of your art because of the time factor and the many efforts it takes for one work of art to be created with such a high standard. You are gifted Mui-Ling Teh… thank you for using this gift, as it is a blessing for us all.


  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...over 2 years ago

    amazing talent………………….

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