Thursday, August 15, 2013

chihuly garden and glass

Our family recently took a trip to Alaska to visit our relatives. On the way there, we had a one day layover in Seattle, which might possibly be my favorite place in the world now that I have had a chance to look around and see all the art! The definite highlight was the chihuly glass museum, which features outrageous glass sculptures, chandeliers, and decorations of all colors, indoors and outdoors. Here are some pictures of the incredible works of art.
 This was one of my favorites^
It is like shiny blue seaweed with yellowish fish and other sea creatures mixed in!
 Another one of my favorites^
I love all the vibrant colors. I am all about shades that pop!
 Again, the colors in this display^ really stand out.
I think another thing to notice is how the simple lines, patterns, and dots can look so wild in so many colors and sizes.
 This is a picture I took^
Notice the black shapes spilling out from underneath the log.
 We took a long time trying to figure out what they were. I settled on some type of animal, like a penguin or dolphin. What do you think they are?
This is^ possibly one of the coolest sculptures in the museum. It fills up the entire top half of a room (a glass one, I might add), and people can walk underneath and take pictures.
 And here is an excellent example of public art in Seattle.

I wish I knew how to make art like this!

petit fours

As an extra credit thing for my country report, I decided to make petit fours. These are fancy french desserts that are pretty much just tiny, almost bite-sized cakes covered in glaze or frosting. (yum) Here is what you need:

        Two cakes (I made two simple vanilla and chocolate cakes, 9 by 9 in. squares)
                       strawberry/blueberry/whatever you like jam                       frosting or glaze
                       bread knife                                                                           butter knife

First things first: wash your hands. Outrageously important. Once you have done that, cut the tops, bottoms, and edges off the cakes, then cut each cake into equally sized squares with a bread knife. Take one square of each flavor (you should have two) and cut them each in half the long way, so you have the top and bottom half of each square. Then, once you have decided which flavor you want on top, use the butter knife to spread a layer of jam onto your bottom flavor, then place the top flavor on top of the jam. Do that with the rest of the squares.

 Now would be a good time to heat up your frosting/glaze to soften it. Put your layered square things on wire cooling racks on top of wax paper and ladle or spoon the frosting/glaze over them, allowing it to drip down the sides.
glazed petit fours
Wait for it to dry, then serve!

Other Ideas
You can use frosting for the middle layer instead of jam, if you like. Also, you can decorate the tops with icing or something similar. I made a simple swirly design with store-bought edible flavorless black sparkly decorating gel that is easy to use and comes in lots of different colors at target. Sounds too good to be true, right? Anyway, I highly recommend using this product. It's your choice, though!

trifold boards

A while ago, I had two school assignments that included decorating trifold boards. The art in a school project is always the most fun for me (see my earlier John Muir four quadrant diorama!) so I went all out with the decorating on these two projects. One of them is my country report (France! Ah, lovely France. Did you know that the Louvre art museum is home to the Mona Lisa?) and the other is my scientific method project. And I found out that a copper penny is just as hard a a zinc penny. Anyway, both trifolds were painted, the France one with the colors of the French flag, and the science one with icy blue. Then, I glued information mounted on black paper onto the boards, along with colored drawings for the French one and a shiny silver "railroad track" with coins "taped" onto it for the science one. Yes, I was squashing coins on a railroad track to test their hardness. Outrageous, right?

me taping coins onto track^
Anyway, both boards totally popped at open house and science night! Also, my France presentation included a special type of dessert called a petit four, which you can check out above this post. Anyway, for those of you that have kids going back to school soon, remind them to be extra creative with their art assignments this year!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

history notes

 Today, I finished my history notes. That would not be remarkable if you didn't see the picture above! That page actually contains real information about ancient Greeks. My teacher allows students one piece of lined paper for the history tests, and this time, I had to take notes on five lessons in my history book, plus a fake newspaper! The reason I took so many is because the questions on the test are reeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllly specific, and you have to know the details. Mom says I might be going a little overboard, though. ;)  Anyway, all my friends are amazed at my outrageously small writing, and I think that when this test is over, I am going to frame this sheet and hang it on the wall!

Keep checking the blog for craft ideas when you are bored, and feel free to comment any time you like!

soda can art

This is a design that I came up with^

I learned this one from a youtuber titled MsChar33. Thank you, MsChar!

A while ago, I learned how to make candle holders made out of soda cans. These make excellent gifts, and I highly recommend experimenting with your own soda cans and coming up with a unique design. However, here are some ideas to get you started. You will need...

For the pinwheel candle holder(pretty easy):                         For the bow candle holder(little harder):
soda can (note: some cans are made with thicker                             2 soda cans
     aluminum, making them harder to work with.                             scissors
     coke, pepsi, and root beer are all fine.)                                        hot glue gun
hammer or similar object (don't worry, there is nothing
     dangerous about this.)

The pinwheel and bow designs both start the same way. For the bow, though, you will do the same exact thing to both cans. First, make sure that your can(s) is/are clean. A sticky can is no fun to work with. Also, your can should be dry. Store them upside down on top of paper towels until the insides are dry, or else you will make an outrageous mess. Next, take the soda tab off. If you have a container that you can hold them in, you might consider collecting them because I am trying to come up with a craft that will require several soda tabs. Now grab your scissors and cut through that extra thick circle of metal around the top of the can.


(That was actually the hardest part.) From there, you can easily cut the very top off of the can and recycle it.

Now make 16 vertical cuts through the round part of the can, stopping at the bottom. The easiest way to make sure your cuts are evenly spaced is to make two cuts directly across from each other, so that the round part of the can is in two parts. Then cut each of those halves in half, so that you have four cuts altogether. Cut all of your strips in half two more times, so that you have 16. Fold all of your strips down, counting them as you go. Now your can should look like a cartoonish sun. Now is the time to cut the tips off the strips, so that you have no super sharp (ouch) edges.

That was just the prep. This is where you start creating art, and it is also where the procedures for the two types of candle holders start to differ.

Take one of the strips and fold it over some of the other strips, as shown in the picture.

Do the same thing over and over, keeping your folds equally long. Once you get to the point where your folded over strips start to overlap your previous folds, just tuck the ends of the strips under those folds. Now, take your hammer and repeatedly tap the base of the can until the bottom is flat enough to hold a small candle without it tipping over.

I used a railroad spike^ instead of a hammer. Whatever works! : )

Take one of the strips and fold over the very end.Now curl the strip around itself and hook the fold that you made earlier onto the edge of the strip, as shown in the picture.

Do this with the rest of the strips, bending your curls outward. Then do the exact same thing with the other can, this time bending your curls inward.

Use a hot glue gun to stick the second can inside of the first can to make sure it stays.

Now put candles in your soda can candle holders and light with a match. Ta-da!

Other Ideas
I have not tried this yet, but you can experiment with decorating cans with things like glitter and paint, to make them truly your own. There are also other ways to make soda can art, and I encourage you to think up your own unique design. There are so many options for you to choose from!

chalk it up

A while ago, I designed this piece of art for a school activity, chalk it up. Each class gets a box (or two or three) to fill with chalk, so this year my class decided to elect two designs made by the students in the class. My design was chosen (yay!) and I became the proud leader of one of our chalk designs. Here is what you need:

                    paper                                                     pencil
                    lots and lots of chalk                            clean sidewalk or asphalt
                    spray bottle                                           hands (lots of these)
                    your own creativity

The first thing to do before any drawing project is sketch out whatever you want to draw. (See my sketch at the bottom of the blog.) Inspiration can be found pretty much wherever you look. The classes at my school were told to do a garden/flower themed design because of the garden tour, a fundraiser in which people pay to tour decorated gardens near the school. However, if your job is to create a technology themed masterpiece, look around. Maybe your boring white computer mouse would look good as an outrageous rainbow creation. Anyway, once you have perfected your design, use chalk to outline your flower or computer mouse or whatever, then start filling it in with color. To avoid having your colors looking rough and, well, chalky, rub them in with your fingers and spray it with water from the spray bottle. This makes it last longer and look vibrant and beautiful. When you are done, don't forget to sign it!

Other Ideas
It is a good idea to experiment with different materials in this project. I suggest investing in good, vibrant chalk. Yes, yes, it is more expensive, but you will be much happier with your finished creation if you buy it. Also, there are special types of paint that can be used to create art that is just like chalk, except it lasts way longer. My class used blue paint one year for chalk it up, and there was a large blue rectangle on the blacktop for about a year! But use whatever works best for you, because you are the artist!

P.S. I always love hearing (reading, actually) your feedback, so leave a comment if you liked this post!
This is the other sixth grade class's design, by Ahmed Zaman.

Here is my first sketch. Chalk is so much brighter than colored pencil!