400 x 400 pixels
Here is the finished little “What’s in your mailbox?” animated GIF someone requested for a mail art group. It’s cute and it was fun to make. Too bad the GIF format pixelates color gradients. The animation looks better in the program because the glowing light and clouds are smooth. I have no idea why there is not an animated JPG format; only a programmer could explain why.
I put a lot of time into the second round of this little seven second animation. I forgot to save the original Photoshop file where I matched and laid out the layers of the rough pencil sketches. I just did a screen capture of the GIF I put online, dropped each screen capture as a layer for the new Photoshop file and up-sampled the roughs to 144 dpi.
I was going batty from slamming layers in Photoshop all day. Sal, my Hockey Blogger Boyfriend, insisted I find the Beavis and Butthead “Animation Sucks” episode, which further proves that Mike Judge is both brilliant and hilarious in describing reality. Animation is pretty exhausting. It helps to try and not do it all at once. You really need to take breaks when working on an animation project. It also helps to remind yourself that the professional grade work is done by huge teams of people using better software and hardware!
Small 250 x 250 pixels
I made an owl pattern you can use for free! Please no sales or commercial use involving this pattern. I am retaining copyright on this pattern; you may use it for personal enjoyment, gifts and swaps / trades. The weather in Chiberia still has us snowed in. I was pretty bored from being indoors and created this pattern for a small stuffed toy, hanging ornament or you could even use this pattern for a paper collage.
I recommend felt for a sewn pattern; t-shirt scraps will work well also. Embroidery floss and some hand embroidering is a nice way to embellish this pattern. Buttons make nice eyes. Using felt or any stiff fabric for the feet will make the stuffed toy version stand upright.
I find it helpful to print the pattern on thick paper like cardstock, cut out the pattern and trace it on the reverse of the fabrics being used to sew the owl. You can enlarge the pattern digitally or on a photocopier. The pattern here is made to be 4 inches tall. Right click and open the image in a new tab if you are having trouble getting the full sized pattern image to download.
This is a basic eight page zine that is made from one sheet of paper. Print the template below for a practice copy. The orientation of the page numbers shows which way is up for each page. Accordion fold the zine to get your eight pages. Right click and open in a new tab in your browser if you are having trouble downloading the full size image. This is sized to 8.5″ x 11″ paper.
Here is a quarter fold zine pattern for 8 pages from one page. The differences are: you need to cut across the whole center dashed line, you need something to bind the pages together (like a needle and heavy thread or staples), and you need to print two-sided on one piece of paper. I marked how to flip the paper around in your printer or copier if the system you use is not automatic. I like using 110# cardstock paper for this pattern so inks do not bleed through the pages. Open and download this PDF for the pattern. I placed the .jpg versions below.
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My friends and I got out of the city for the day last Sunday and frolicked around the Bristol Renaissance Faire. We are all such wonderful djörks, we were wearing costumes and being quite silly. We were fortunate enough to have Hamlet, Prince of Denmark join us for the day. I brought along my crappy pocket camera but actually got some nice shots through the day. I only did minor amounts of cropping and colour correction on these shots. You cannot use these images for any commercial reason but may enjoy them personally, pass them along to friends, performers of the fair and other awesome, nerdy djörks. Enjoy!
The Green Fairy
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is visiting Chicago! You will be able to follow Hamlet through the city at @cheeruphamlet on Twitter, this Sunday, 5/26/2013. If you do not have a Twitter account, you can still follow along @cheeruphamlet online see more on Pinterest here.
Photographer Göran Strand used 2464 raw images taken with his all-sky camera to create this gorgeous time-lapse video. The swirling crystal ball images show the view from Östersund, Sweden, when a when a Coronal Mass Ejection hit Earth’s magnetic field.
Sunspot AR1692 produced a M1-class solar flare and on March 17th, the resulting CME hit our magnetic field, creating this marvelous light show. Strand captured the aurora between 19:20 and 23:35 UT so that he could share the view with the rest of us. [source]
I try to warn people over and over again about viewer fatigue. I tell as many people as I can “don’t try to see it all in one visit.” Also, these marble benches at the Art Institute kind of hurt to sit on. Anyone that can fall asleep on one is totally wiped out. Sadly, I was too late to help this girl.
I have been into drawing a lot lately and decided to use fountain pens for the first time in a long time. I pulled out two old Sheaffer plastic cheap fountain pens. They are fun but have disappeared from office supply stores, so I bought a nice hefty cigar shape fountain pen from Amazon. It seems that there are a slew of fountain pens available in Hong Kong and one can be purchased, shipping included, for $5 and up. They usually come with a refillable ink cartridge inside but no ink. I recommend buying a pen other shoppers have rated well.
Waterproof inks are not recommended; they can clog the pen too easily. I am enjoying using a bottle of Windsor Newton sepia calligraphy ink. The pen did not work right away; I needed to hold the nib under a faucet of running water and then let it dry out and it was fine. It had dust or something from the factory, maybe a little corn starch so the manufacturer can tell if it was used should anyone return the merchandise.
Part of the enjoyment of returning to fountain pen drawing is how portable a fountain pen is. You can get a range of line widths more like a dip pen but it is a lot easier to carry around. This has been fun for making artist trading cards. I can just put a pen and pencil with some ATC blanks in my purse or bag and carry them around with me. If I want to add depth, I ink wash in the background later at home.
I was in need of 5″ x 7″ envelopes to mail photographs with and found a free template online that fits well on the page of large wall calenders. There is not a whole lot you can do with an out of date calendar and I wanted to share the art on this calendar by David Andre with other people. A blank label gives me a place to write the address for the sender and I use smaller labels for my return address. I wish I had thought of this idea sooner, as most people have already discarded their 2012 calendars. I have two others I will be able to recycle into colorful envelopes. I get a large envelope and lazy mail art in one item! I also make sure to let the recipients know whose art is on the calendar. See more work by David Andre at his website here. I have put up two designs for strong envelopes below. I use clear packing tape to secure the edges and folds.
I have been really tired of being indoors, so I decided to be indoors somewhere else! Someone I came across was cheated out of receiving a hand-drawn postcard for a mail art swap. I went out for a sandwich and tried to think of something to draw and settled for what was in front of me. People were coming and going rapidly, so I had to do the best I could with the drawing above. I went with mechanical pens and waterproof ink since this postcard has to survive being mailed.
The best work for me is when I’m using pencils to sketch and preferably someone that does not wriggle around or move a lot. I started art stalking in 1994 and have done it sporadically ever since. You need to order food or at least a drink, settle in behind your order, hug a quiet corner or seat by a wall and try not to look at your target too directly or too often. It used to be that I had to hope for someone reading or maybe writing, but with everyone dragging around a laptop, there are more opportunities to find stationary humans. I learned that people messing with smartphones are no help though, they squirm way too much. You can get a fleeting sketch at best.