(im)possible art & font: m.c. escher

I’ve always been a fan of M.C. Escher’s work. He has produced some of the most creative artworks that make you really look at them, consider them, and admire them. His optical illusions are fascinating and his prints are very clever.

He is quoted in saying:

“I don’t grow up. In me is the small child of my early days.”

This quote resonates with me because I feel a similar way. Playfulness and creativity are two things that I pride myself on and hope to continue to use these qualities in my life and work. Escher is not the first person who I admire who has mentioned being a kid at heart. I think it’s important to maintain a level of childlike behavior and playfulness in many aspects of your life, even when you are “grown up”.

I came across this awesome font that was created with the inspiration from the Penrose triangle:

The Penrose triangle is an impossible form that was showcased in many M.C. Escher works. The font is called Frusto and was designed by Martzi Hegedus. I think it’s spectacular and so smart.

Check out this cool font and his other design work. Continue to pursue the impossible and never stop playing!

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Punny Pillow: Hangry

I was so excited about this craft project I made for my sister’s birthday present. I got the idea from a Pinterest pin to stencil on a pillow and found a PERFECT example to give to my sister. I think this is great craft that is so easy to customize and personalize. Pillows are functional and look good. It’s a pretty unique gift that isn’t expensive to make.

finished hangry pillow

Here’s what I used:
18″x18″ pillow form (from Hobby Lobby)
Canvas fabric
Stencils (from Michaels)
Fabric Markers (from Hobby Lobby)

The first thing I did was to sew the pillowcase from canvas fabric. I had to go over to my grandma’s house to have her help me do this! I don’t have my own sewing machine and I am a very novice sewer but with hopes to practice and do more sewing projects. So don’t make fun of me for needing help making a square case. Anyways, we cut it to be a 1/4″ larger than the pillow form on all sides, but I think you don’t even need that much leeway. The pillow will look more “stuffed” the tighter to the form you make the case.

Next step was the stencil the words onto the pillowcase. First I stenciled everything on with pencil (even though it doesn’t erase on the fabric I used, although pencil would probably erase on other fabrics). My stencils ended up being larger than my example, so after a few words on the pillowcase I sort of made extra work for myself by stenciling onto strips of paper first and then arranging those slips on the pillowcase to the right spots and then I finished stenciling in pencil onto the pillowcase.

stenciling with pencil onto pillowcase

After I had everything stenciled in pencil on the pillowcase, I went in with my fabric marker. I bought two different sized tips, one thin and one thick. I used the thin one with the stencil to get the outline of each letter and used the thick one to fill in this outline. This whole stenciling process actually took a while (couple hours). Being left handed, I worked from right to left and top to bottom to eliminate as many chances of smudging as I could. My markers said they would dry completely dry after 24 hours.

stenciling with fabric markers

completed words with fabric marker

So I waited 24 hours after I completely finished all of the letters with the markers. Then I used a warm iron to set the ink (using some old t-shirts or towels to buffer the iron from the pillowcase). After that, I stuffed the pillow form into the opening we left in the bottom seam of the pillowcase and slip stitched it up. Tada! A completed, comfortable, and personalized pillow!

pillow form inserted into pillow case

step by step

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For Kids: Pottermore

I grew up reading and watching the Harry Potter series. In 4th grade, our librarian started reading the first book to my class. I loved it and have been an avid reader and fan of all things Harry ever since. So that being said, I’m a little disappointed that Harry Potter has been deemed a “children’s” book and that something so awesome and creative is not really suitable for someone in their 20s now (even though people my age were the first to start reading the books). How are we supposed to stop enjoying something that is pretty heavy for kids, in my opinion (you know, after the first 3 or 4 books it gets pretty dark) and that has encapsulated us into this incredible story that is very hard to escape from once you’ve started.

After the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out on Blu-ray (and my Blu-ray player for some reason won’t play the special features disc so I was very upset when I discovered this mishap! Thank goodness for youtube), I was sad because I felt like all my life there was always something to anticipate, the new book, another movie, but even splitting 7 books into 8 movies (yay!) had to end and it was sort of like, now what? So when the mention of J.K. Rowling’s new website Pottermore came out, I was excited. The description seemed like it would be an extension of the books. I waited patiently for the beta testing to be over and finally discovered last week that I could sign up and start exploring all that was offered!

Pottermore screen shot

I was/am disappointed. If I were a 12 year old girl, I would be in heaven. This site is not meant for people older than those early teen years. The premise of the site is that you visit each chapter from all 7 of the books. It gives you a brief overview of the story and provides really cool artwork related to each chapter. There are things you can click which either open up an article to read (more like what I was expecting), collect in your trunk, or just do something “magical”. So you travel along with Harry’s story, but when he gets his letter to go to Hogwarts, you get one too. And when it’s time to go shopping, you get to explore Diagon Alley with your first-year supply list just like Harry’s (except you don’t have the option of buying a snowy owl like Hedwig).

Diagon Alley screen shot

You get to have a wand chosen from Ollivanders, start collecting Chocolate Frog cards once you learn about them on the Hogwarts Express, and get sorted into one of the 4 Houses by completing a personality test (I am a proud Ravenclaw now). The potions are not very exciting to create (you have to wait a ridiculously long time), neither are the spells/duels (just typing the letters as prompted). The idea is to do these tasks to gain House points and collect potion ingredients, books and other objects (the clicking to collect) to use or to give away to your online friends. It’s an online game and it’s probably really fun for kids, but I went through the entire first book (then it stops you because we don’t have access to future books yet) waiting for some content that was more of what I was expecting to be unlocked and it never materialized. The message boards at the end of each chapter are just a bunch of kids requesting friend adds and such.

So if you are like me, 20-something and like Harry Potter, I would say you can skip this site. I’m not trying to dismiss it at all: the artwork is really awesome and there is some cool content and insights to read, I’m just saying that it is definitely aimed at a younger audience.
Maybe I should just give up and accept the fact that Harry Potter is a children’s story and I may be growing a little too old for it… No, that is so sad. I think I will always love the books and movies (tons of adults older than me enjoy them anyway!!). I’ll just stick to those to relive the magic and let the children use this website to let the magic live on.

I was lucky to take a vacation to Orlando, Florida over spring break and visited Universal Islands of Adventure park which contains The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or Harry Potter World, as I like to call it). I’ll devote a post to that in the near future! I promise it’ll be much more uplifting 🙂

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awesome animation: how to train your dragon

I recently watched the delightful animated film How To Train Your Dragon. I have always been a fan of computer animated movies and this one met and exceeded my expectations. It’s been out for a few years but I hadn’t seen it until I borrowed the Blu-ray disc a few nights ago. The picture was awesome, partially due to the Blu-ray and to the great TV screen. But these technological features just enhanced what was already an incredible graphic performance. The lighting, textures, special effects, etc were all stellar. The story was really well done as well. I wasn’t sure what it was really about when I starting watching and was impressed by how caught up in the story I became. The characters really engaged the audience and were likeable, believable, and entertaining.

One of my career goals that I’ve always had in the back of my mind has been to work on a computer animated movie, just like this one. I found a great website that features many short interviews with different people who worked on creating this movie. This is their Production Blog. I really enjoy drawing characters but I would love to learn about animation. All of these jobs sounds interesting to me! I would want to do them all!

character sketch

hiccup rendered

Dreamworks came out with a straight to DVD sequel, which I’m sure will be good and I’ll have to get the Blu-ray to watch! I wish I hadn’t waited so long to see this movie. I enjoy these computer animated films so much, so I will be more diligent to get to the theater to see the new releases, including Brave coming out this summer.

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