Friday, January 22, 2010

History Animation Curriculum

I have begun to build a website for a social studies student animation. Fourth Grade students at Cureton Elementary will study archeological shards, remnants of a San Jose Chinatown that has been buried under a city bus yard for decades. They will create an animation that explores what they learn. Below is a Google Earth test animation of that illustrations the path from China to San Jose.

The website is here:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Green Valentine

Here is a Valentine centerpiece idea that uses recycled tea bags. A friend gave me a bunch of these tea pouches and I realized that they would make nice hearts for Valentine's Day. I used string covered floral wire for the stem.

The paper tea tags make cute butterflies:

Step 1: fold a tea bag cover in half.

Step 2: trace half a heart onto teabag cover.

Step 3: Cut out folded heart.

Here is one my daughter cut out. If you keep part of the sides and bottom intact, the two sides of the valentine will hold together and need no glue. The floral wire can slip through the sides of the heart and twist around the base of the heart to hold the heart in place.

Above: V
alentine helper
Below: A bit of produce netting and a few floral leaves fill out the arrangement. The stems are taped to the bottom of the vase and a thin layer of rice is on top.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

de Young Museum Workshop

At the final Friday Night event of the King Tut exhibit at the de Young I will teaching a fun Egyptian crown and circlet craft activity. This event is March 26th. Here are a few rough sketches. Here are sketches of a headdress activity. Visitors will color in bold Egyptian inspired motifs that are Xeroxed onto cardstock. They then cut out and assemble an assortment of these and attach them to a headband and embellish with beads, and foils. The graphics will have a bit of a stylized Art Deco flair (I would create the different motifs in Illustrator).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Art with Cardboard

Being a mom and an aritst, I have spent a fair amount of time cutting up cardboard boxes to the specifications of the children around me. I have created many a village, ship, Japanese temple and Medieval castle. I was thrilled to find this site, Cardboardia. It is a fun site to explore and from the map section one can view past Cardbordia events that occured in Russia and Finland ...posted on Flickr.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Zero Waste Pattern Design

In researching a grant I might apply for, I found a few interesting sites that focus on fashion and zero waste pattern drafting. The pattern pieces fit the whole piece of fabric without any waste of material. The resulting images of interlocking pattern pieces are beautiful and it is fascinating to see how they fit perfectly into rectangles of fabric. It is interesting to see these pieces take on three dimensional form as sewn garments. Precarious Design is by a New Zealand artist. The Outsapop blog has a posting on zero waste fashion that is really interesting.

The artist Timo Rissanen, Assistant Professor in Fashion Design and Sustainability at Parsons N.Y., has a useful and inspiring blog. In fact, it was through his blog that I found many of the other resources. Below is a sample of Mr. Rissanen's work.

It is interesting to note that the Japanese kimono is a zero waste garment. A traditional bolt of kimono fabric is a standard width. This width determines the width of the two back panels, the two front panels and width of the kimono sleeves; they are all the same width.

Below: Image of pattern from Precarious Design.

Shoe Designing Fun!

For several months now I have been researching digital textile design tools online and kind of as side research found that Zazzle has a great custom shoe design section. This feature has been around since early 2008 and I was unaware of it. I had a Zazzle account for several years but had not been checking in on the latest features. Tonight I took two of my textile designs and applied them to two different women's shoes: Ked's and Converse. It took just a few hours (I could have done it much quicker but was noodling around with color schemes, stitching, etc.) Growing up in L.A. in the late 70's and early 80's when slip on Vans were very popular, I never imagined I'd be able to design my own slip on canvas shoes. Pretty incredible how technology creates such opportunities.

Zazzle has a fantastic preview section. I got sucked in playing around with the numerous options. Great intuitive interface design at this site. Here is a screen capture below. You can look at your shoe from all angles and even view a pair of shoes of your design.

Above: You can apply your custom textile to the exterior canvas surfaces of of the shoe.
Below: You can view your custom textile design on the flat pattern pieces. You can also download these pattern templates so that you can create seamless designs that wrap from one section of the shoe to another.

The Snap2Objects blog has a great listing on different custom shoe sites.
I have created many sculptural shoes of Asian food wrappers, so it is fun for me to begin to create real shoes that people can wear.

Below are a few examples of my sculptural shoes. These are made of wrappers and wire and so cannot be worn (I've been asked many times and wish I could say "Yes, slip them on!")
Below: Poison Ivy Pump. This piece was exhibited at an Arts and Embassies Exhibit in Brussels last year.

Plantation Tabi sculptural shoes created of Morinaga Candy boxes and my grandfather's photos, seaweed candy wrappers and WWII bombing leaflets.

1942 Shoe
: this piece was in a Fuller Craft Museum exhibit last year.