Thursday, August 28, 2014

On the golden section, or when artists get nerdy.

actual Golden Section
Did you know you can get all sorts of nerdy about art?  I mean using ugh, math and all.  I had a class in college that introduced me to the mathematically ideal ratio or the Golden section.  The Fibonacci sequence.  Apparently you can find it in music too, but that is not my forte, so I don't know the first thing about how that works.  I do know you can find it in art.  Leonardo Da Vinci was a big proponent, as was Albrecht Duhrer and you can find it in classical architecture too.  (like the pantheon and stuff..)  And I know there are more, but I'm too lazy to google it right now.

I had an art professor that was pretty enamored of it too, and thus introduced yours truly to the enigma of the golden section.  It was pretty hard to implement though when the only way I had of knowing the ratio was to draw out a fairly complicated geometric drawing.  (I am not describing it here, mostly because I don't know if I remember how to draw it.  It involved a ruler, a compass and a T square.)  A while ago (it was actually waaaaay too long ago to be blogging about it now, don't worry about it!)  I randomly found an obscure site that sold Fibonacci gages that would hold the ratio as you moved it, taking all of the hard work away.  And I had to have one.  I first bought a far too expensive and unexpectedly flimsy one.  After much disappointment I returned it and upon further research I stumbled across an etsy shop that also sold fibonacci gages.  They were smaller, but the owner very sweetly agreed to custom make me a larger one.  Not only did I have a vastly superior and sturdy tool, but it is gorgeous too!

even though its gorgeousness is masked by a grainy picture in poor light..
This is the origin of the 'rule of thirds'.  The rule of thirds is just easier to estimate and describe and thus encoporate.  But really it is just a dummed down version of the Golden Ratio.  Now I just need to incorporate it into my art more.  On purpose instead of accidentally. 

this is an accident.  a happy one of course.

Tutorial: cute, functional and temporary hem for growing kids.

This post was written at least a year ago... but I figured I should post it anyway.  It still applies.  This was inspired by "growth strips" sewn into petticoats and dresses in from what I am guessing to be around the late 1800's to early 1900's.  (I guess, but I did not look it up, feel free to correct me if you'd like).  Think Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie or discontinued Victorian era Samantha (American Girl) doll's petticoats, just merged with modern jeans.

School will be starting again soon, and thus the mad rush to clothe your children for the school year.  I sort of hate shopping, so I want to get it all over with as much as possible.  Which means buying jeans that are too long for my children.  I've resorted in the past to simply rolling the hems up (since I knew they'd grow into it halfway through the year, if the knees held out until then).  But I thought of this and had to try it out instead.  It is actually deceptively simple.

Put co-ordinating thread in your machine and a heavy duty needle.  Measure from the bottom about 2" and fold (and pin).  Sew 1/2" away from the fold.  Repeat for as many tucks as you need.  Each tuck shortens the jeans by 1 inch.  Super simple!  Then when it needs to be let down, you just unpick them starting from the top.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Book Review: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner

It is about time for another book review.  And what better time then when I'm avoiding finishing my book!?

Can I just say that I love the humor in David Wiesner's pictures in general, but especially in this book.  He does absolutely gorgeous illustrations, but they also happen to have a fantastic sense of humor.  (Found also his book: Art and Max, which is also phenomenal)  He stretches the ideas of what can be portrayed on a printed page, and finds humor in the two-dimensional vs. three dimensional elements on a page.  This is no standard retelling of a classic story.  Stories can ONLY improve when you add a dragon (filched from his own story of course).  Liam absolutely loves it, and we're definitely going to have to purchase him his own copy when the library won't let us renew this anymore.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book as both a great read aloud to the kids book, as well as one that even little kids are going to want to peruse on their own for the beautiful storytelling found in the pictures alone.  It is also big kid accessible as the bigger kids enjoy the silliness of the animals jumping out of their pages.   Page layouts have wonderful variation that isn't afraid to vary greatly in both minimizing and maximizing negative space.  If you haven't read it (or aren't familiar with any of David Wiesner's books) you truly need to do yourself and your children a favor and go buy it. 

See, this is how much he loves this book!

*(none of this is solicited or paid or asked for reviews, it is taken on solely by me, and I get nothing whatsoever for my review except the warm fuzzies of knowing I'm passing on great children's literature to others)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

#365 Drawings: Squirrel 19/365

So.. here is the little bird replacement...

I am trying to whip my dummy book into presentable shape for the writing/illustrating conference I'm going to next month...  I'll share some of them here.  Probably.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My origami display solution

I have loved folding origami ever since my second grade teacher Mrs. Maetani at Waterford School (Provo, back when it existed) taught my class how.  And then my big sister went on a mission there and brought me back a huge oragami book in Japanese (which didn't matter, because it is based on pictures anyway).  I was an origami fool as a kid.  Bored at church; origami, bored in school; origami, bored ANYWHERE; origami.  I still love to do it.  My perfectionist tendencies get a huge kick with all the crisp exact folding...  The only problem I ever had with folding origami is that I never had a very good place to put it/store it/display it.  And therefore was reluctant to do it as much as I might have otherwise.  I didn't want them to go to waste (especially if it was with real origami paper, which I rarely had).  Because I'm crazy like that too.  But having recently succumbed to the temptation to buy a fat stack of darling little origami papers and so I now have loads AND THEN I saw these tiny clothespins and voila!  A brilliant solution was procured.  I don't know if others have done this before me and I have just been clueless.  It is certainly simple enough I wouldn't be surprised.  But either way, I figured I'd share it with you.

None of my doorways are safe now.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

#365 drawings: 18/365 little bird

I guess I am sort of still doing this... It just started being too stressful instead of fun, and I had to back off.  I really do need to draw just for fun more though.  This bird I actually did a while ago for my Perfect Pet book, and I just cut it out... (to be replaced by as un-yet drawn squirrel or chipmunk)  But I like him (simplistic as he is) so I thought I'd put him up here as a farewell gesture.

...and you know, to also indicate I am not dead.  Despite my recent hiatus from blogging.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

#365 Drawings: just a bit of silliness 17/365

I mostly just dislike Politics
Please don't take this offensively.  I am just being silly and making fun of how BOTH sides are being silly, and aren't even arguing about the same things.  It is also EXAGGERATED for humor.  That is called hyperbole people.  It is meant to be funny.  Not offensive.  :)  I almost didn't post it because of the high political tension.. but I think I am hilarious, and haven't posted a drawing (even though this is VERY rough and unpolished) for a long time, so you lucked out.