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...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring 2012 Maeflydesign

I love cloudscapes even more than landscapes.
I made a collection of jewelry for Spring this year. My color inspiration was deep greys, soft whites, bright gold and silver. The stones in these pieces are gorgeous. This is a link to my inspiration board. Tell me what you think!

Friday, April 6, 2012

I Love: Windosill IPad App

I downloaded this beautiful game for my boys yesterday and all three of us worked on it for hours. It's creative, a joy to look at, and tricky for a brain of any age.
(That's right -- the boys were better at figuring it out than me.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ombre Spring

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Took my husband to see these folks last night at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland.  I can't stop thinking about how great they were. Unbelievable energy, talent, charm, and music swept me away.
Do yourselves a favor and get tickets for this tour!
Also, is it too late for me to become a beautiful, natural guitar virtuoso who grew up in Mexico City?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making Art with Kids

I've been spending a lot of time volunteering at my kids' school. We make special art projects with each class. These are ceramic bells made by kindergartners. Aren't they beautiful? 
Never underestimate the abilities of kids to make wonderful things with their hands. 

My Favorite Necklace

I made one of these for myself and I've worn it every day this winter. I decided to share the love and made them available in the shop. Treat yourself (or someone else you love) to some magic and click here!

Monday, March 5, 2012

"The Kandinsky Effect" Or: How my son, Sean, makes drawings

I love the way Kandinsky approaches painting.
My son, Sean, also "sees" rhythm when he draws. 
(He is also an excellent dancer.)

 "Improvisation 31 (Sea Battle)"

 "Painting on Light Ground"


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Smokey quartz and the green-gold of pyrite--soft, luxurious color coming this spring to maeflydesign.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Carey Agates, Smokey Quartz, Pyrite and Gold

Working on new pieces for Spring

The coolest person I ever met.

When I was in 5th grade, we travelled to Norway to trace my father's roots and I encountered the coolest person I'd ever met. I remember her bright yellow mini skirt, clean white shirt, great haircut, and tanned skin. We had the last name of "R√łkke" in common, but not much else. Her name was Gro: she was a natural beauty, she was kind to a starry eyed 10-year old, and she was wearing a beaded necklace she had made herself. As a parting gift, she gave me a box full of multicolored seed beads, which I have to this day. It was the start of my love affair with beads.

Still saving these for something?!

Thanks Gro! (I’m still aspiring to your level of cool…)

Graphics Necklaces in the shop soon!

Walnut Shelves Part II

Shelf. Installed. In love.

Friday, January 27, 2012

As seen in Portland...

Tiny trees etched onto paint on a telephone pole. 
Do you see them?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Answer to #6, and #24 on the Survey:

Custom made 8' long, 3" thick, cantilevered, walnut shelves for our bedroom. A work in progress by my talented husband.

(Also a late birthday present which I have not stopped whining about since August.)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Good Place to Start.

Every year, my husband and I fill out an "End of Year" survey. It's the perfect combination of goals for the new year and remembrance of the year past. After we're done, we read them to each other, which is the best part. We are always surprised at some of the other's answers.

I've reproduced the survey here. You can copy and paste it and fill it out for yourself or for sharing with a loved one.

Part of my answer for #2: Start a blog for maeflydesign.

End of Year Survey

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

2. Did you keep your new year’s goals, and what are your goals for this year?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What places did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

9. What was your biggest failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?

12. Where did most of your money go?

13. What did you get really excited about?

14. What event will always remind you of 2011?

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder?
– thinner or fatter?
– richer or poorer?

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

18. How did you spend your free time?

19. What was your favorite TV program?

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

22. What was your favorite meal of the year?

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

26. What kept you sane?

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.