A Chronicle of Things I Love and Things I Make

Things I Love and Things I Make

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Afterimages with the Boys!

I didn't think I would ever write this, but I was inspired by Beyonce. Not that I have anything against her -- she seems like a nice girl, and she's amazing to watch. It's just that we don't have much in common. At all.
But then, this image made the rounds on Facebook, with instructions to stare at it and look at a blank white space to see what happens. Now, I happen to be an expert on afterimages, because I did a report on them in Mr. Poetzle's 7th grade biology class. So, I showed it to my boys. They were fascinated, but it was hard to explain how it works to 6-year olds, so I came up with a cool science experiment to help them understand. 

Here is the Wikipedia definition of an "Afterimage":

"An afterimage in general is an optical illusion that refers to an image continuing to appear after exposure to the original image has ceased. Prolonged viewing of the colored patch induces an afterimage of the complementary color (for example, yellow color induces a bluish afterimage). 

Blah, blah, blah. I'm sure I said it much better in 7th grade, but that document is lost to the ages. Depending on the age and attention span of the child, you can make this a project about human biology -- rods and cones, etc -- or about the color wheel, primary and secondary colors, or just a fun game. This is what I did with my boys...

First, I made a cool template. It's a PDF, available for you to download, compliments of moi, right here.
I cut the pages in half -- one shape per page and one blank space next to it -- to minimize distractions on the paper.
The boys colored in the shapes with different colors.

They stared at the center dot for 20 seconds.  Tell them not to let their eyes wander. Focus only on the dot, even when things start to get blurry. It's okay to blink.
(Eventually, one boy went to 10 seconds, and the other required 30.)
Next, they concentrated their gaze on the blank space.  It takes a little practice to relax your eye muscles enough to allow the image to develop, but they both got it pretty quickly and the payoff is worth the effort.
Voila! Afterimage! 

It works best if you really saturate the shape with pure color. Put some muscle into it!
When we were through, my Color Theory Kid made this self portrait. The afterimage is  true to his own coloring.
 (What a kid.)
Challenge your child to figure out which colors will create an afterimage of the shape in it's traditional color. i.e. What color do you make the heart to create a red/pink afterimage? How do you make the lightning yellow?

Good luck! Let me know how it works out for you!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lemon Quartz Necklace Giveaway

The lovely Shannon is hosting a giveaway this week of my Lemon Quartz Necklace. Visit her blog Shannon Hearts for lots of easy ways to enter!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

maeflydesign Giveaway!

Kim Davis at oh sweet joy! is featuring maeflydesign today with a giveaway of this Pisces necklace:

There is also a discount code, good for the life of the contest. She makes it super easy to enter many times! 
(Also, she is cute as a bug.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quick Art Lesson for Kids

This video is so well done and both my boys wanted to watch it over and over. 

Talking points:
We talked about which paintings were self-portraits and how different they were from eachother. 
We talked about how artists' moods and age change the way they draw themselves.
We talked about how different the styles were, but all equally interesting and important.

Video credit: Philip Scott Johnson (eggman913 on youtube)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Same taste since 7th grade...

This is the first necklace I ever bought myself. 

It was the late 70's, 7th Grade, Spencers Gift Shop in the mall.(Anyone remember the stacked, plastic rainbow bangles? I had those, too.)

This is the most recent necklace I bought myself.
Courtesy of Stone & Honey.

I bought it because:
1. I love it and have coveted it for ages.
2. It works well with maeflydesign jewelry.
3. I've had the same taste (and "hairdo") since 7th grade.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Rainy Day in Kenton

Last weekend I spent a soaking wet morning with die hard Portland street fair fans. Hundreds of fine folks strolled Denver Avenue for the 3rd annual Kenton Street Fair. This is no ordinary fair, mind you. Hay bales line the street for the cart races. There are pony rides, and a small marching band makes the rounds every half hour or so. Along with 90 other vendors, inculding Prunella Soap (my favorite small indulgence), Little Canoe and House of Moss, I managed to have a pretty good day despite the dismal weather!

Also: say something nice about my new sign. I got blisters cutting out all those letters...