Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New work is up on the Flickr page!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hue: Aubergine

Silk Necklace by Sleeks, Jar of Love watercolor by GollyBard, Stoneware mug by vesselsandwares, Organic cotton camera bag by infusion.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hue: Lemongrass

Fingerless gloves by Beautifulbridget, Bouquet by AngelloftCreations, Lemongrass Poppyseed Soap by Dancingmooney, Felted nesting bowls by VisioniAlterate.

Friday, April 9, 2010

More Origami

Thankfully, spring break has afforded me more time to explore origami (and blog!)

Kusudama flowers and variations glued to floral wire.

Inverted flower kusudama, from the tutorial on Kalami.

Curly Kusudama, made from the tutorial on British Origami Society.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Been hard at work painting my kitchen! It used to be a very urgent hue of highlighter yellow, but now it's a much more relaxing "Calm Air" from Home Depot. Soon to come: brushed nickel hardware.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Latest Paper Crafts

I've been exploring some modular origami techniques the last few days, and here are some of the results.The first two are variations on the Kusudama flower in the previous post, and the last is a Sonobe ball, made with 30 pieces of paper that I had painted earlier with watercolor.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Some Fun Craft Tutorials

This list is by no means comprehensive, but I have tried most of these and enjoyed them very much! I may keep adding to this so we can have a database of tried and true crafts! We'll see . . .

Lucky Ladybird's Plastic Bag Coil Basket This is best suited to the ambitious since it takes time and tenacity to hold down the coils as you bind them. Maybe if you aren't feeling so bold, you could use the same technique to make coasters. I just like the idea of using plastic bags for something since they aren't biodegradable. This was my first stab at basketry, and I found it fun. If you know how to knit or crochet, Ladybird has a tutorial on making yarn out of plastic bags, as well as some other fun projects.

Creative Jewish Mom's Polyhedrons- Those who know me see them displayed hanging from the ceiling in my classroom! They are very addictive! Also time consuming, but again, what a nifty result! If you make a small one, card stock works well and makes a fine ornament. Don't use wrapping paper, it ripples and slides off of cardboard because of its waxiness. Glitter glue finishes these off nicely, if you like a bit a sparkle. While we're at it, CJM has TONS of other fun crafts on her site. I am hoping to try the fused plastic bag coasters and the felt roses sometime soon, too.

Fluffyland's Starburst Wrapper Bracelet- I remember making these as a kid, and the bonus is you get to eat candy in order to make this! Other wrappers are suitable, too, but Starburst is a colorful and easy to acquire. Not too hard compared to the others I've included.

Folding Trees' Kusudama Flower/Ball- I am currently adoring these and making a funky flower arrangement of my own. The Kusudama ball is very impressive, but it takes 60 pieces of paper and a lot of time to make. It's surprisingly heavy, too. Not a confusing craft, but you must be dedicated to finish one! I have one seriously helpful hint for those that attempt this one: Use hairpins to pinch the petals and flowers together while the glue is setting. This will save you a lot of waiting! There are other great paper craft tutorials on this site. If you want something cute and easy, try their paper star instead.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Markers 101

I use a variety of markers in my classroom and at home, so here are some of my favorites:

1. Sharpie- One of the few companies I have total, unapologetic brand loyalty to. They come in many colors and three different sizes (Chisel, Fine, Extra Fine.) Use them to write on almost anything- metal, fabric, glass, plastic, you name it. I have used them for a 4th grade embossing project on foil and they look amazing on it- they are translucent so the shine is maintained when you draw on the aluminum. My favorite is the silver Sharpie which is opaque like a paint marker; it stands out beautifully on dark colored paper, and can add a futuristic look.
I used one to write my parents' house number on the mailbox, and it's still clear after two years. Dries quick as lighting, slightly stinky. There's also a Sharpie pen now, which has no smell and won't bleed through thinner paper the way the markers do.

2. Zig Posterman- A nice chisel tip paint marker with steady flow and opaque colors. They are great for my visual aids and can write on almost any surface. They do take a little while to dry, like paint, and must be shaken thoroughly before use.

3. Zig Calligraphy- The very best calligraphy marker I've found, and I have tried several. Permanent ink that dries quickly with beautiful color and high saturation. Perfectly steady as you write- no part of the tip lifts or leaves a ragged edge. I memorized a calligraphy alphabet called Uncial and use it often with these pens for Christmas cards, certificates, and fancy name tags.

4. Sakura Pigma Micron Pens- Amazing permanent ink felt tip pens that come in a detailed variety of widths. These are acid-free inks suitable for archival projects like scrapbooking. A colleague of mine who is a comic artist can't live without these! Great for anime fans, too. No smell, dries quickly.

5. Staedler Triplus Color Pens- These are felt tip pens and markers that are super comfy to hold- the barrel is triangular and very easy to grip. Nice color selection, won't bleed through paper readily.

6. Paper Mate Felt Tip Flare Pens- Nice all around felt tip, won't bleed through paper like Sharpies. I used them to take snazzy looking notes and doodle in the margins in college.

7. Prismacolor markers- I saved the best for last, but BOY, are these grown-up markers a splurge. They're a dream to work with, huge color availability and bold, intense saturation. They layer and blend on the page almost like paint, and are dual tipped. Breathtakingly expensive, but the pros love them because they rock! Nothing like kids' Crayolas. Prismacolor also makes excellent paint markers and colored pencils that blend beautifully and won't snap as you draw with them. Another brand loyalty company, folks.