A Physicist and Artist try to make it in Silicon Valley

A Physicist and Artist try to make it in Silicon Valley
In which a couple tries to thrive creatively and intellectually on and offline

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book of the Week and Sketchbook Friday...err Wednesday

Since we are going to be busy this weekend I'm combining sketchbook friday and the book of the week into one post...and it's on a Wednesday, so...yeah.

Anyway, my final Halloween edition book of the week is Extreme Halloween by Tom Nardone. This is the Extreme Pumpkins guy, and he has some pretty fun and creative ideas for costumes, lawns, and decorations. I like it because it's not filled with cutesy crafts.

This week's sketchbook image is a creepy one (I hope sufficiently creepy for Halloween). Just a couple sketches I did two years ago brainstorming for a painting that never materialized.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fox Mask #2 is Complete!

I finished my husband's fox mask on Sunday! I used the same technique and materials that I went over in last week's post. Here are some pictures.

Yesterday I made the tail for my costume as well.

Unfortunately, After a couple of failed attempts at making fox legs spats, I've decided to forgo the project. I don't have a sewing machine, and without it they won't get done in time. Ah well, should still be some pretty good costumes! I can't wait to see our friends in Madison while wearing these costumes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Entry for the NASA and Etsy Space Craft Contest

I finished my entry for the NASA and Etsy Space Craft Contest today! Since I was a child, I have always had a love of astronomy and space exploration. I had all of Isaac Asimov's books on the subject, and I had those glow in the dark stars in my room, but I based them off of real constellations (okay, so I was a major nerd).

It is called "We will reach out to the Stars", and it is an original acrylic painting on a 20in x 24in canvas. This painting was inspired by the beauty of our universe and the importance of exploration. I titled it after a Stephen Hawking quote; "I don't think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space. There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet. But I'm an optimist. We will reach out to the stars."

I found out from some research that nebulae are the birth place of stars, so I took the idea one step further and represented the stars as eggs on canvas.

When you find a nest of eggs, without further observation you would have no idea what they may become. When we look up at the stars, each speck of light represents a whole area of our universe that without further observation or exploration would be unknown to us. Human beings are meant to be explorers, and that is why I think the Space Program is so important.

I really hope that I can at least make the first cut in this contest. If I do, I will need help making it to the final round, because the 2nd round is voted on by Etsy users! So on November 12th, if I post that I've made it to the 2nd round, please vote for my piece!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #26

Sorry that this is the only post this week-I have had the flu. Next week I will make sure that there is one more Halloween book of the week and will post the second fox mask, along with a how-to on making fox leg spats. Hopefully will also post my entry for this contest, a painting that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks.

Anyways....Sketchbook Friday!

This week's sketchbook Friday is a particularly ridiculous sketch from college. A friend of mine gave me this fantastic brush pen, and this is one of the first sketches I did with it.

Of course, two weeks later I lost it. I almost cried. It was a gorgeous pen.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #25

This week's sketchbook Friday is a sketch I did for this project, a bride skeleton for my sister's Dia de los Muertos themed wedding last year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Book of the week #22: Halloween Edition

This week's Halloween book is The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

It's a great book for parents to read to their kids around this time of year. I remember loving this book when I was a child.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A fox mask made from recycled materials

I love to make masks for Halloween costumes. This year my husband and I are going as Mr and Mrs Fox from The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Yesterday I made my mask using recycled materials and shag fur fabric. Here's how I did it.

-1 milk jug
-1 orange juice jug
-1 egg carton
-1 cereal box
-1 roll duct tape
-scrap fabric
-1 recycled translucent white curtain
-hot glue
-shag fur

First, I made sketches:

Using some scrap fabric, I created a band to build the mask off of. I marked the area where it would rest on my forehead with a marker.

Sewing the bottom of the milk jug to the band, I created a kind of half-helmet. Then I added the ears, made from milk jug plastic and cardboard.

From this base I just continued to build the inner structure. I wear glasses, so I had to make sure that there would be enough space for me to wear them in the mask. The egg carton cups were especially helpful for building up areas. This was done using hot glue and a lot of duct tape. I drew irises on the white curtain fabric, and sewed them into the eye holes.

I added batting to the entire area with hot glue.

The shag fur was a real pain. It shed whenever I cut it, and my glue gun got covered. I burned my fingers up big time. For the next mask, I'm definitely going to wear gloves. I created a flap in back that covers the area where the mask is tied, and then used hairspray to calm the fuzzy fake fur and hold it in place.

Tah dah!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #25

This week's Sketchbook Friday is a quick pencil sketch I made freshman year of college.

I think it was supposed to be a self-portrait, because I had a haircut like that, but I honestly can't remember.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In which my cat discovers my costume materials and proceeds to act like a fool

My husband and I are going back to Madison for Halloween this year, and we are super excited.

I love making masks and this year we are going as Mr and Mrs Fox from The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I will probably update on them throughout the month as they come together.

I got my fur samples in the mail yesterday and was deciding which to order when our younger cat found one of the scraps and proceeded to go nuts, resulting in the following:

Enjoy the ridiculousness.

Book of the Week #21: Halloween Edition

I love Halloween, so this month I will be choosing books that are creepy, crafty, etc.

This week's book is World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks.

With the past couple years being focused on vampire novels, it is good to see an excellent zombie novel out there. Entertaining, original, and fun, this book is a quick read and will get you in the mood for the holiday.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #24

This week's sketchbook Friday is a sketch I did for a terrifically unsuccessful painting in my freshman year of college.
The sketch turned out okay though.