Here’s the first demo of a very cool shirt that’s connected to an app on my Android device (source code and plans will be released soon!).
Every year I vacation in Boothbay Harbor, Maine and I like to take advantage of my time off to try out some larger scale arts and crafts projects. This year I wanted to try my hand at painting, but I’m not exactly the best artist in the world, so I came up with a system to let me turn my digital photos into a blueprint for a large painting.
The idea is simple. Just take a digital photograph you like, shrink it down to a small size with a limited palette of colors, and then recreate that small image on a large canvas. I did a test run this past week with a picture I took of a lobster, but there’s no reason why anyone can’t use these methods to create their own personalized painting of their favorite digital picture.
Read on to learn how it was done.
I’ve been busy writing so much tech stuff these days, I haven’t had time to post about some of the other craft projects I’ve been working on in my spare time. I haven’t been ignoring it, I promise!
First, I spent most of my vacation working on a pinwheel blanket made from *all* of my scrap yarn. It’s hideously ugly, but I’ll post more about that later.
But I’ve temporarily put the blanked on hold so I could quickly knit up two scarves as thank you gifts for some dear friends in Maine. A few days ago, I finished the first one, which looks like this:
It’s knitted with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky, and the color is Brick (017). I got the pattern free online from the always wonderful knitty.com. The original pattern was meant to be thinner and more lace-like, but I think it translated pretty well to the thicker yarn. Here’s a closeup:
The second scarf which I’m still whipping through is a simpler, more straightforward one that’s done in a ribbed moss stitch.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned to see pics of the infamous pinwheel scrap blanket.
My brother has always been a great curator of books and films. Occasionally when he’s not distracted by some of his more peculiar hobbies, he finds a real gem of a book. A book that’s beyond brilliant and stays with you. A book that most people haven’t heard of but lights up the smiles and conversations of those who have. A book that my brother loves to share with me only to have me steal it and convince him later that my parents threw it away. Books like Dan Reeder’s The Simple Screamer.
Now The Simple Screamer isn’t a novel, it’s a step-by-step guide showing you how to make your own three foot tall scuplture of a monster. It’s insanely simple, and the brilliant part is that you can’t ever screw it up because it’s a monster so there are no preconceived notions of what it’s supposed to look like. Three arms and one leg? Yep, looks like a monster. Seven limbs and a tongue the size of its body? Monster! One arm really big and coming out of its skull and both legs kind of twisted around because you rushed that step and didn’t let things dry the way you were supposed to? monster monster monster…
I made my first screamer shortly after college, a green pterodactyl-like creature that perched on the top of our hallway bookcase like a gargoyle burnout too lazy to stand guard but menacing enough to scare away our equally lazy cat. Mr. Pterodactyl is no longer with us anymore, and I’ve been itching for a different creative outlet, so two weeks ago I pulled out Mr. Reeder’s book and worked my way through the first few chapters. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
To do this yourself, all you need is a few wire coat hangers, strips of newspaper and a lot of masking tape. You bend the wire coat hangers to the shape of the arms and legs, make a big ball of newspaper for the body, and hold everything together with insane amounts of masking tape. Next just mix flour and water into a paste and cover the sculpture with another layer of newspaper and flour paste. That’s it. In the coming weeks I’ll give it eyes, claws, a tougher exterior shell and a really nice paint job.
If you want to read more specifics for making your own screamer, you can read excerpts from Google Book Search. Or try and get the book from Amazon though it’s out of print and people are currently trying to sell it for $50.
Just don’t ask my brother if you can borrow his copy. I’m telling you, my parents threw it away.