Creative Universe Summer Series

Today was the first day of our Saturday morning series. Christine did Triangles with Art Play (a class designed for pre-school) from 9:00am to 10:00, and then I came in to do M. C. Escher, patterns and tesselations.

We re-named Mad Science to Creative Universe since we look at the universality of Art to help us understand a variety of things. This time the theme for the series is Pattern, and in the fall we plan on doing Animals.

Anyway, today we did some sketches on paper with letters to talk about how things are reflected (like a mirror), rotated (or turned around), or translated (moved down a line) to create patterns. Then I explained how we could use what we talked about to create a pattern on graph paper. After it was clear everyone understood the general idea, we moved on to cutting out stamps from Scrap Box rubber pads.


We took our stamps and made patterns with them by translation, and rotation. To do reflection you need to cut a separate stamp that faces the opposite way. A p will rotate to become a d, but no matter how you turn it, it doesn’t become a b or a q which would be the reflection.

After some focused stamping and repeating, I opened it up and had them do some really fast stamping with geometric right before clean-up. One student took her line and rotated the stamp while applying pressure, creating a pattern of scumbled monotypes that look like LP records. Scumbling is dragging paint across a surface, usually with a large palette knife or ruler, and a monotype is a kind of print made from a block that is re-inked in an irregular way.

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Handmade Crocheted Scrap Basket

Today I finished a small video and craft project illustrating how to make a colorful basket out of salvaged cloth strips using RipStop Nylon from The Scrap Box, so I just did a small schematic-style sketch of the finished product so I could post my how-to video today:

051:365 A Tisket a Basket

Here’s written instructions:

You will need:

A BIG Crochet Hook
And lots of scraps of fabric. Seen here: recycled Ripstop Nylon from The Scrapbox (scrapbox.org)

1) Tie the strips together with square knots, use a butterfly to wrap the strips and keep them neat. Because this particular version uses ripstop, which is extremely slippery and likely to come untied if you trim the ends, you will either try to tuck in the ends of knots connecting the strips as you go, or do them all at the end. They will create a soft fluff inside that cradles the candy or the egg you put into the basket. With non-slippery materials, you can cut the ends shorter or tuck them into the crochet work as you would with yarn.

2) Start crocheting: Cross the end of the strip over itself, reach through and pull the loop into a chain stitch

3) Use the crochet hook to create a chain of three loops

4) Join the ends of your chain

5) Then crochet into BOTH holes created by the chain-stitch loops the “wrong” side is out because it looks more like basket weave.

6) Once you have 9 stitches for the diameter of your spiral-circle, do a row of double crochet to expand the dish.

7) After the double-crochet row, do a row of single-crochet into EACH loop of the double crochet stitches.

8) Then single crochet into each loop until it gets to be the size you want. Since the irregular size of the yarn makes the gauge hard to determine, it could be anywhere from 6-12 rows before the basket is the right size. Keep checking.

9) When the basket is the size you want, switch crochet directions to put the chain part of the single crochet stitches on the outside. This will create a decorative border.

10) After the border-row is finished, make a chain of about 18 stitches and attach to the opposite side of the basket with two single-crochet stitches.

11) Single crochet back across so that the handle has a more solid shape.

12) Tie off decoratively. With ripstop, it’s slippery, so just make a pretty bow or other knot. With other fabrics, tuck in ends as you would with yarn.

Voila! It’s a basket

And Below, please check out the embedded video!

How to Make a Colorful Basket from Scrap Fabric from allida lily on Vimeo.

025:365 Ways of Being

Ways of Being 025:365

Even though I haven’t finished my first rag rug, I’m planning another. The first one I intend to keep, but the next one I plan on selling.

This drawing represents the idea, using similar colors, that I want to try, using the texture of the threads (rags) to create a forms. This yellow and the pink are the most similar colors I have in oil-pastel, but I’m thinking colors that are even closer. Maybe two or three reds, or just white, cream, and off-white sheets.

Incidentally as the drawing progressed, I liked the way the lines created arrows, directing the view left, right, up and down. These in turn made me think about the icky snowy day today and how many near-misses I saw as people drove in their usual overly assertive ways. I’m pretty good in the snow, now that I remember what I’m doing, and people would zoom around me only to careen and fish-tail ahead of me.

There are so many different ways of living and moving through the world. We leave an impression on the world as we go through it, much like the fibers in the rag-rug or the tracks of cars through the snow.

The slippery bits aren’t the lanes, where people have gone before, creating an easier path. The parts that slide beneath the wheels are the places between the tire treads, where slush builds up between the lines, damp and icy, but impossible to avoid when changing lanes or turning.

We tend to ignore things that are not explicit, the things in our lives that are between the lines, but really, those places we seldom tread, where nobody goes, are the most complex to navigate.

024:365 Rag Knots

Rag Knots (photo)

024:365 Rag Knots

Today a flattened sketch of the forms made by crocheting the rag-strips for my rug.

Drawing the way the interlocked strips form separate shapes makes me think of Indra’s Net: that though we are all one long chain of being, we appear on the surface to be separate entities with separate strivings, dreams, and hopes.

It helps me see that though sometimes I feel powerless, sometimes it is just that I can’t see my connection to the fabric of the world. This is something that I often forget, that I am interdependent with the world, as Thich Nhat Hanh puts it.

In other news:
Busy day for me, running around getting more sheets for this and maybe another project, helping a friend hunt shelves, and finding myself a rocking chair:

Newest addition to my studio

Neverending Dress

This dress can be wrapped a multitude of ways.

[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157627594140123"]

As you can see, this adds to my latest obsession with dresses and skirts that wrap.  This one is so versatile that it can be worn any way you can come up with.  The photos above, watched in slide show, show the way to wrap it one of many ways.

Available in some prints, navy, grey, or lime green at the moment.