Marimo

23 04 2013

Marimo! Marimo! They’re so cute and fun to say! I just recently learned about marimo moss balls. The story is that they’re these algae globs that form into spheres when pushed by the currents in their natural habitats, lakes. In Japan, they’re considered national treasures. Well, I guess certain ones are, yet somehow you can buy them all over the place in America. People call them “pets.” They must grow them in labs….

Anyway, my friend’s birthday just passed, and I had no idea what to get her. She had been on a cat-for-a-pet stint for a few months but ended up not being able to have one since her boyfriend’s allergic. So I thought “I know a pet that would totally work!”

Marimo! So cute. :)

Marimo! So cute. 🙂


Okay, maybe that doesn’t compare to a cat, but still.
Pebbles I bought for its habitat.

Pebbles I bought for its habitat.


So I bought the marimo and a tiny apothecary jar for it to live in with pebbles to sit on. They’re easy to care for; you just change out the water (use bottled or tap that’s sat for a while to air out the chemicals) every week or so.
Getting ready to wash the marimo and change its water. I heard it can get dirty when you squeeze them (do that underneath water, by the way), so I wore gloves.

Getting ready to wash the marimo and change its water. I heard it can get dirty when you squeeze them (do that underneath water, by the way), so I wore gloves.


Squeeze under water, gently.

Squeeze under water, gently.


the marimo in its final habitat...it was a lot bigger than I planned on! Should have gotten a bigger jar.

the marimo in its final habitat…it was a lot bigger than I planned on! Should have gotten a bigger jar.





100

20 04 2013

My 100th post! I started this whole thing to give me motivation to do something artistic regularly, which I struggled with because of all my other commitments (day job, social life, family). I’m really glad I did it, but at the same time, there are weeks I really have to push to do the “one post a week,” sometimes against other art commitments. Things like Etsy, paintings people want, personal projects. In other words, I am doing art regularly. Mission accomplished. I still want to continue this blog, but I might not do *every* week. There are bigger and better things going on (like One Spark, see below.)

But in celebration of 100 posts, I did a mini painting this morning:

Black swan art card

Black swan art card


"ACEO" sized art card - illustration board... look how tiny!

“ACEO” sized art card – illustration board… look how tiny!


Coming down from my swan obsession…next I’m doing a mini peacock painting.
Anyway, One Spark is in Jax this week. Went after work to check it out last night. So fun! Everybody local should come out. There’re food trucks, music, art…tons of projects, and you can vote for any of them that you like. It’s crowdfunding, so you can donate $ to the projects you like or, just be voting, those projects have a chance of winning $.
One Spark! Part of Doug Eng's project (#36). Giant vinyl photographs to spruce up our urban areas - Jacksonville has a lot of abandoned buildings these would look great on.

One Spark! Part of Doug Eng’s project (#36). Giant vinyl photographs to spruce up our urban areas – Jacksonville has a lot of abandoned buildings these would look great on.


More of Doug's pictures. How awesome are these? It took 2 weeks to print out all the giant photos.

More of Doug’s pictures. How awesome are these? It took 2 weeks to print out all the giant photos.


I love me some giant animals. This giant floating "rubber duck" is exactly what Hemming Plaza needs.

I love me some giant animals. This giant floating “rubber duck” is exactly what Hemming Plaza needs.


More giant animals! This is the "Rat Queen." The idea is to do a sculpture of each of the Chinese zodiac signs and use them in parades, events, etc.

More giant animals! This is the “Rat Queen.” The idea is to do a sculpture of each of the Chinese zodiac signs and use them in parades, events, etc.


I don't think this is part of One Spark...?..but I'd never noticed this painting above Chamblin's Book Mine before.

I don’t think this is part of One Spark…?..but I’d never noticed this painting above Chamblin’s Book Mine before.


Inside MOCA

Inside MOCA


House made out of shirts!

House made out of shirts!


Anyway, there are TONS of projects. Check it out. It’s going on rain or shine…





Rewind…and repaint?

13 04 2013

Trying to organize my room this morning and found some old paintings I didn’t even remember. Here’s an old work-in-progress from college that I have no intention of finishing. I need to re-gesso it and paint something new…

This one only made it to a first level underpainting, meaning some shape needs to be added to the edges, darkening layers in the face (which would also add more shape and thinning to the face).

This one only made it to a first level underpainting, meaning some shape needs to be added to the edges, darkening layers in the face (which would also add more shape and thinning to the face).


Same thing on this side - needs more layers in the face. Oh, and an eye and eyebrow would be nice.

Same thing on this side – needs more layers in the face. Oh, and an eye and eyebrow would be nice.


Then I have some completed paintings that I nevertheless don’t really want around. This one is so dark, maybe I would just do a black paint cast instead of white gesso and make another dark-toned painting:
It never occurred to me until now that the pool table set up might be weird. But then, this scene was never set up to be a painting.

It never occurred to me until now that the pool table set up might be weird. But then, this scene was never set up to be a painting.


Some marks on this from paint getting stuck to a canvas on top of it - there's a white bit above the light. My storage techniques need work.

Some marks on this from paint getting stuck to a canvas on top of it – there’s a white bit above the light. My storage techniques need work.


So much to do today! Time to go running. 🙂





DIY: Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

5 04 2013

The post popular (and easiest) art project we do with the Humanities in Medicine volunteering program is making tissue paper flowers. This is a great project; it’s low-cost, fast, easy, and anyone can learn to do it. I’ve taught this one to several kids and older patients at the hospital, and most people need some solid instruction for their first go. After that, it’s super simple.

Since I’m always benefiting from other peoples’ online tutorials, I thought I’d make one here with lots of photos since I finally have the time (nothing like taking the day off work to get sun only to have it rainy and cloudy).

Tissue Paper Flowers

Supplies: a pair of scissors, 1 pipe cleaner, and assorted tissue paper (kleenex also works)

Supplies: a pair of scissors, 1 pipe cleaner, and assorted tissue paper (kleenex also works)


First, cut the pipe cleaner in half (unless you want a really long stem, or to wrap the stem around something).

First, cut the pipe cleaner in half (unless you want a really long stem, or to wrap the stem around something).


Now cut the paper. This pack of tissue paper unfolds into rough rectangles that are the right shape, so I just cut on those. You want it to be rectangular. Cut 4 - 5 sheets, approx. the same size. It's okay if some are shorter/wider than the others.

Now cut the paper. This pack of tissue paper unfolds into rough rectangles that are the right shape, so I just cut on those. You want it to be rectangular. Cut 4 – 5 sheets, approx. the same size. It’s okay if some are shorter/wider than the others.


Here are my 5 sheets. (Normally I do 4, but I cut the light pink not realizing it was so close to the white.)

Here are my 5 sheets. (Normally I do 4, but I cut the light pink not realizing it was so close to the white.)


Stack all the pieces together. If they differ in size, try to center them as best as possible. Then, starting at one of the short sides, grasp all the papers in the stack and give a small fold upwards.

Stack all the pieces together. If they differ in size, try to center them as best as possible. Then, starting at one of the short sides, grasp all the papers in the stack and give a small fold upwards.


Flip the stack over. (Now my fold is at the top because of how I flipped it.) Make a fold on that side, the reverse of the first side you folded. The fold should be the same size. Basically, we're going to accordion fold the whole thing.

Flip the stack over. (Now my fold is at the top because of how I flipped it.) Make a fold on that side, the reverse of the first side you folded. The fold should be the same size. Basically, we’re going to accordion fold the whole thing.


You can see the accordion fold here. We're part way through. Do this to the whole thing.

You can see the accordion fold here. We’re part way through. Do this to the whole thing.


Completed accordion fold. Then squish it flat.

Completed accordion fold. Then squish it flat.


Squishing it flat makes a rectangle shape like the one here. Take your 1/2 pipe cleaner and wrap a small part of it around the middle of the rectangle. Twist the end around so that the point of the pipe cleaner doesn't stick out.

Squishing it flat makes a rectangle shape like the one here. Take your 1/2 pipe cleaner and wrap a small part of it around the middle of the rectangle. Twist the end around so that the point of the pipe cleaner doesn’t stick out.


Now the pipe cleaner is wrapped, firmly but with the rectangle still flat. Now we have to fan out the 2 sides of the rectangle. Note: if you want to jazz up the petals, you can shape the ends of the rectangle by cutting with scissors before you fan it out.

Now the pipe cleaner is wrapped, firmly but with the rectangle still flat. Now we have to fan out the 2 sides of the rectangle. Note: if you want to jazz up the petals, you can shape the ends of the rectangle by cutting with scissors before you fan it out.


I've "fanned out" 1/2 of the rectangle. Next I'll do this to the other side. The sides will not meet; that is normal.

I’ve “fanned out” 1/2 of the rectangle. Next I’ll do this to the other side. The sides will not meet; that is normal.


With my "fan out" complete, I now take the top-facing layer of tissue paper (the blue) and, starting with 1 side, gently pull it up away from the others.

With my “fan out” complete, I now take the top-facing layer of tissue paper (the blue) and, starting with 1 side, gently pull it up away from the others.


You can see better from this angle how to pull up the paper. If it tears a little, that's okay.

You can see better from this angle how to pull up the paper. If it tears a little, that’s okay.


Now one side of the blue is completely pulled up. It's time to do the same thing with the blue on the other side.

Now one side of the blue is completely pulled up. It’s time to do the same thing with the blue on the other side.


Ta da! One layer is done. Now do the same with the layer below, etc. until all layers are pulled up.

Ta da! One layer is done. Now do the same with the layer below, etc. until all layers are pulled up.


2 of the layers are pulled up.

2 of the layers are pulled up.


Your flower is complete!

Your flower is complete!


You can make alterations if you like. Sometimes if you pull up the top layer or two now, pushing the others flat a bit, you can trim those shorter. It can make a daffodil effect. You can't see it well here; I'd recommend different colors.

You can make alterations if you like. Sometimes if you pull up the top layer or two now, pushing the others flat a bit, you can trim those shorter. It can make a daffodil effect. You can’t see it well here; I’d recommend different colors.


Here I trimmed the blue shorter and pulled it away from the center, gluing a button to the center.

Here I trimmed the blue shorter and pulled it away from the center, gluing a button to the center.


Easy peasy! You can also make a tissue paper butterfly to sit on the flower but that one’ll have to come later. 🙂








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