Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More Crochet Goodies...

A few more new pieces to gander at:
 
 
A special design request made by a classmate, this amigurumi piece is modeled after the popular minions from "Despicable Me".
 

 
The caterpillar and purple flower headband where both original designs made up to complete a costume for my final in an Interior Architecture class in spring 2014. 

Recent and Past Crochet Projects

It's been awhile since I updated this tab on my blog, but since then I haven't stopped crocheting whenever I have a few extra personal minuets. The following images are of recent projects I've completed and/or made awhile back but just got around to documenting with my camera...

Crocheted Hats:

 
The idea behind these hats were inspired by the "slouchy beanie" trend I often see being worn around college campuses or on youth in the general public. I wanted to keep it "light" in design so it could be worn from spring to fall (and possibly winter depending on your geographic location)-which help make it more universal. 

 
The pattern for this hat, was not one of my own sadly but rather was one I found in an advanced crochet booklet. I was drawn to the intricate design of the band around the base of the hat as well as the beautiful broomstick stitch. This is a hat that constantly receives comments from others when it's being worn or is on display.
 
 
Again, inspired but the "slouchy beanie" trend seen going on within the younger generations I created multiples of the same hat-experimenting with hue choices and band options (the slate option has a mixture of colors in the band-which I feel is a bit more successful than the others because it creates more depth and dimension to the overall appearance of the hat).

 
The design behind these "hats" or ear warmers came into being after a trip to Washington D.C in the cold winter month of December. While walking around the National Mall with my husband I noticed a lot of people, mostly women, wearing this style of knit/crochet hat. They were mostly solid in design (no interweaving), but they allowed the wearer the option of having their hair up-something beanies don't really allow people to do... Taking that inspiration I worked on this intricate design.
 
Scarves:
 
 
These four scarves were inspired by the house scarves worn by the characters in the Harry potter films. There are two variations of the house scarves (I believe one was used in the first two films, then it changed from film three on-this design was modeled on the newer version of the two). I crocheted these using the Tunisian stitch which gave the scarf a very flat yet dimensional texture; this I felt worked well because the scarves in the film were knitted-and the Tunisian stitch is a close relative in appearance to the knit style creating when knitting.

 
Having worked on many "feminine" projects, it was requested by my husband (and a few of his friends) to come up with a more "masculine" scarf design. I experimented with color choices in doing this and also texture weight. The left three scarves, as well as the top right scarf were all done with a 4 ply yarn weight in a Tunisian stich; this created a thin weighted scarf that was easily buildable (by wrapping it around the neck multiple times), which was great for transitioning from fall into the early winter months. The bottom right scarf was done in a heavier weighted yarn and doubled; (taking two yarn strings and crocheting them together creating heavier weighted stitched). The finished product resulted in a heavy weight scarf perfect for very cold winter days/nights.  

 
These scarves were one of the first projects created by myself when I began crocheting on a more regular basis. Because my stitch "vocabulary" was very minimal at the time-I sort of "winged" these, making a unique stitch of my own that crossed between a double and half-double stitch-looking back now I'm not sure if I'd be able to duplicate this stitch because of its oddness.
 
 
These infinity scarves (a scarf without a distinct end) were inspired by the recent trend and demand for them seen in winter accessories. I created again a unique cross pattern stitch that mixed together triple and double crochet stitches. The outcome created a medium weight scarf that was buildable (depending on how many times you wrapped it around) allowing for varying degrees of warmth.
 
Cold Weather Accessories:
 
 
These boot cuffs were inspired by my own personal need for them. When wearing rain boots the top of the boot shaft often cuts into my legs making it a painful experience I can't wait to get off by the end of the day. In making this simple yet effective cuffs I was able to "cushion" the top of the boot shaft, reducing the pain I feel when I'm wearing the boots... They don't look half bad either ;) These were created with simple double crochet stitches with a decorative scallop edging on one side.
 
 
These legwarmers were a "goof" project-meaning I just worked away to see what I could do, and what the outcome might be; and these were produced. I did a basic "wave" design in the pattern to allow for additional "slouchyness" when being worn. The "wave" portion of the legwarmers also help retain heat when being worn because they trap air within them. You could also, in essence make these longer or shorter depending on the wearers preference.
 
 
These socks came into being because of a special request from a family friend. I'd never made socks before, and in beginning of the project I produced a smaller "female" size sock in the blue hue. However, the request came from a man who's shoe size was around (I believe) 13, so after many failed attempts, I finally figured out a pattern that allowed me to make a sock large enough to accommodate his feet comfortably. These socks would typically be worn within the home on a cold night; not necessarily inside shoes due to the extensive thickness of them.

 
Playful pink piggy slippers were made due to the finding of this pattern online. I felt they were a goofy item I's love to try my hand at and thought they turned out pretty well.
 

Another iteration of the piggy slippers, this time done in contrasting tones of violet, pink and white.
 

 
These were another project created "just because". The pattern was an intricate "lacey" design that caught my attention because of their light feminine detail.
 

Amigurumi:
 
 
This amigurumi figure was the first in a series of Doctor Who characters made as a gift to my husband. (An avid fan of the popular BBC show). This amigurumi is a depiction of the "Ood" on the show; a gentle, yet "scary" appearing creature that holds its brain in its own hands.
 

 
This was the second creature made from the Doctor Who series created for my husband. It is a depiction of the modern (post 2007) Dalek on the popular BBC show. This is one of the best pieces I've made to date; it stands at about 13 inches tall and it very intricately created.
  
 
The last creature made into an amigurumi character for my husband was a vintage inspired Dalek (pre 2007). This too is one of my most prized crocheted pieces; it also stands at approx. 13 inches tall.
 
 
A ripe green apple that never spoils.
 

A ripe red apple that never spoils.


 
This was created for my husband as a small gift. It sits about 3 inches high and was created with single crochet stitches worked in the round.
 
 
This creation was a gift to my brother-in-law for a past Christmas. This creature is called "Totoro" from a Disney Hayao Miyazaki film titles "Totoro". Sean, my brother in law is an avid fan of both Miyazaki and Totoro.
 
 
Another festive Christmas gift given to close friends and family one year. Each person was given a 3 inch tall reindeer with their name embroidered on them.
. 
 
Similar to the reindeer ornaments given above, this is a Rudolph version. It two is about 3 inches in height.
 

 
A Santa Claus amigurumi ornament.

Randomness:
 
 
This pencil case was created by special request. It is lined with white muslin fabric, complete with a functioning zipper. It measures approx. 12 inches wide by 6 inches high.

 
This was the first pencil case created for my husband to help store his drawing pencils when not in use. The case is lined with white muslin fabric, with a match lime green zipper on top of the pouch. It measures approx. 12 inches wide by 6 inches high.

 
This was the last special request pencil case made-inspired by the Mario Bros. toadstool. It is also lined with white muslin with a vibrant red zipper on top of the pouch. It too measures approx. 12 inches wide by 6 inches tall.

 
These various hacky sacks were inspired by my brother and his childhood love for them. They were created with single crochet stitches worked in the round and filled with the green pellets seen on the lower left hand side. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In Class Test: Ching Book Exercise 6.15

Recently, the class was given a quick "test" to practice our shadowing. We used the Ching textbook, focusing on exercise 6.15. Below is the test I turned in:

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What I learned in Design Visualization through the year and my Monticello/Fallingwater book process.

Design Visualization Course Completion Thoughts:

With the last class of Design Visualization wrapping up today; I can look back and see how much I've learned since the first class last fall (fall semester 2013). Though I've learned many aspects, principles and rules of drawing and design in both classes, I have to say by far  my favorite study subject was drafting. I really enjoyed working in scale and applying the measurements taken and scaling up/down for various reasons. I'm not sure why I liked this so much; my husband told me at the beginning of the spring term he hated drafting in college so I thought I would as well. My best guess would probably be due to the analytical thinking process I tend to use in my work. Drafting has a very clear set of rules you must follow in order to produce accurate and polished work-and I think that works well for me; (although I'm not saying I can't be abstract when the time is called for).

I do feel I need further work and practice on my rendering skills and plan to give myself "homework" or small rendering projects over the summer to try and build on this skill as I feel it is an important one to have within the career field of design.

Monticello and Fallingwater Book Process:

After my visit to Monticello and Fallingwater two or so weeks ago, I began working on polishing the very rough and incomplete sketches I'd done while there. Those sketches were then turned into a book to be submitted at the end of term illustrating the different views and aspects of both locations I found to be interesting and beautiful. After completing the drawings, renderings, floor plans, sections and elevations of both locations (as well as a small bit of the Unity Temple-which we didn't visit) I worked on the organization of the book; trying to make it flow well and be consistent. Once the physical book was complete, I redid the process for the digital PDF file we needed to make for submission at the end of term.

For examples of the drawings done for the book please visit my previous blog post here. (Click on the word "here").

Monday, April 21, 2014

Re-Facing Project/Body Mask Studio Final

When we began our final project in studio, we were asked to study/research another culture we were unfamiliar with and put together a board and mask that related to their own interests/creation story. I chose to focus on the culture of Hungry.

Below is an example of the board I created for my culture:
 
The images on the board all illustrate important aspects of the Hungarian culture. Beginning with the Black Pottery of the Mohacs. This pottery has been made within the Hungarian culture since it began; however, it has changed somewhat through time. The Hungarians used to believe in a mythological beginning/creation of time (which involved a "world tree") however that belief has since been lost in popularity due the adoption of Catholicism in approx. 978 A.D. The black pottery made by this culture illustrates popular beliefs at the time it was made-making an interesting historical artifact. The pottery also illustrates the cultures love for folk art in the patterns shown on the pots. Embroidery is also a very important aspect of Hungarian culture, and is held with high regard within their communities due to its elaborate intricacy. Lace making is something done by women for family members or close friends going through important life events such as weddings or baptisms. The lace is displayed within the home in special places and is a very sentimental object. Lastly, the costumes/masks shown in the upper right hand side of the board are an illustration of a festival held each year before Ash Wednesday (it lasts a week, ending the day before Ash Wednesday).
 
From there I created a mask embodying the culture of Hungry.
 
 
I chose to make the mask as more of a representation of the culture, rather than a literal translation; pulling from different aspects of what I learned about the culture I came up with this design.
  • The black is a representation of the black pottery of the Mohacs
  • The hand embroidered flower (done by myself) represents the embroidery held in high regard by the Hungarian culture
  • The black lace is a representation of the lace women make for loved ones during special occasions.
  • And lastly the feather represents the "animalistic" costumes worn during the week long festival held annually. 
After completing this study on Hungarian culture I began working on my own creation story. I knew when beginning this project that I wanted to focus on the creation of Butterflies to honor my mother-my own personal creator. With that in mind I wrote my story:
 
Travel back to a time long past and stroll through the land of the rolling fields.  There you will find a lonesome budding flower, in a sea of his brethren, eager to stretch and feel the coming warmth of the new day.  The flower enjoyed spending its days basking in the radiant energy of the sun but what it loved above all else was to dance freely with the wind.  There was something about surrendering itself to the will of the wind that made the flower feel as if it were in harmony with the world.  However, the flower had a secret desire that he dared not share with those around him. The flower wished that one day he might be able to follow the path of the wind and dance with it whenever and wherever the desire struck him, but alas he was stuck.
On one fateful day, as the bright sun inched its way towards the clear sky above, the flower felt a tickle moving its way slowly up his stem.  By the time the sun reached the top of the sky, the flower knew the cause of the itchy sensation as a young caterpillar climbed onto his pedals.  The flower was about to tell the caterpillar to go away and that he wasn’t on the menu, but it was then that a light breeze had rolled in and the caterpillar suddenly did something very odd and unexpected.
Instead of taking a mouthful out of one of the flower’s pedals, the caterpillar raised itself up and stretched its body tall.  The flower could see that the caterpillar was mesmerized and moved by the sight it beheld.  “What is it you see?” asked the flower but the caterpillar didn’t seem to hear.  The flower turned ever so slightly only to catch a glimpse of all of the other flowers in the field dancing with the wind.  “Have you never danced with the wind?” asked the flower, startling the caterpillar back to reality.  “Why no” said the caterpillar, “I could never be that graceful”.   “But surely you can”, replied the flower, “You are free to move about where you will, unlike we who are stuck and cannot move to where the wind goes”.
The caterpillar and the flower became fast friends.  Over the passing days, the flower would teach the caterpillar to dance with the wind while the caterpillar would tell tales of its journeys through the land.  One day while the caterpillar and flower were dancing, a fierce storm had rolled over the field and with it came a harsh and angry wind.  It was a wind the flower had never known before.  The flower wrapped its pedals around the caterpillar in an effort to protect it from the gusts, but it seemed like the storm would never end.
All of a sudden a powerful gust came through, stronger than any other before.  It was so strong that no matter how hard the flower had tried to hold on, he couldn’t keep himself and the caterpillar from being flung straight into the air.  They had no idea what to do let alone how to save themselves from their impending doom.  When things looked their bleakest, the caterpillar grabbed ahold of the flowers pedals and used them to glide their way through the storm.  Just when they thought they were out of danger, BAM! They were struck by a stunning, blinding light and they fell to the ground.
After the storm had passed and when they had come to, they realized that they had become one.  Soon they understood that what they had desired separately had come true.  They now had the ability to not only dance with the wind but also travel alongside it, wherever and whenever they willed.  The duo had decided to give themselves a new name, one that would symbolize the union of freedom and beauty and that name was Butterfly.
From there I began brainstorming ideas on possible costumes I could wear during the final presentation. I knew I wanted to do something that I could transform out of, or into during my presentation; but I had to figure out how to do that in a seamless manner... Below are some sketches done for possible costume ideas...
 



After some thought I began "hitting" on the right note, coming up with a costume design that I felt would work well with the story line and the idea of "transformation" that I felt would add to the presentation. The following sketches were the costume ideas I went through leading me up to the actual design I would use:

 

 
After solidifying the final design I would work with/create for the presentation, I then did some quick sketches for the "props" I'd use/wear in the presentation while acting out the story.

 
 
*On a side note: I also did a quick precedent study on caterpillar's because I knew I wanted a certain one to represent the caterpillar in the story. The caterpillar I was looking for is called the Yellow Bear Caterpillar, which is one I frequently saw as a child in my yard. Again, incorporating my own personal creation into the storyline.
 
 
After figuring out the costume I would like to wear for the presentation, I began working on the physical pieces. I started by working on the "props"/accessories I would wear/use with the costume. I chose to crochet these pieces because it would add a bit of "me" into the project, keeping with the theme of my own creation being integrated into the story. From there I began working on the clothing. I knew I wanted a longer "maxi" length skirt made of a vibrant green shade that would allow me to look like a stem (for the flower). So a trip to the local fabric shop was required. After finding the perfect fabric, I began cutting into it and pinning it together in preparation for sewing. When sewing it together I made sure to allow it to be easily removed (allowing for a dramatic and seamless reveal of the butterfly skirt I would be wearing beneath it during the presentation). I achieved this by using a string closure rather then your traditional zipper/buttons. I then found, by chance and a great deal of luck, the perfect butterfly skirt at a local consignment shop. To add some more flare to it I sewed a few scattered sequins throughout the skirt to add to the dramatics of it during the presentation. With all of that completed, the costume was coming together quite nicely and all I had left to do was record the story and practice my performance.
 
I chose to have the story professionally read because I did not have the proper equipment to do it myself (it sounded very "gargly" and unprofessional when I practiced). However, I ran into a small snag when having the professional record my story... We (the class) were told to keep the video/audio under 3 min in total length, and with my original story I was running to about 3:40 or so. So, some editing needed to happen, which resulted in the following story:
Travel back to a time long past and stroll through the land of rolling fields.  There you’ll find a budding flower, in a sea of his brethren, eager to feel the coming warmth of the new day.  The flower enjoyed spending its days basking in the energy of the sun, but what it loved above all else was to dance freely with the wind.  There was something about surrendering itself to the will of the wind that made him feel as if he were in harmony with the world.  However, the flower had a secret that he dared not share with those around him. The flower wished that one day he might be able to follow the wind and dance with it whenever and wherever he desired, but alas he was stuck.
One day, as the bright sun inched towards the sky above, the flower felt a tickle moving its way slowly up his stem.  By the time the sun reached the top of the sky, the flower knew the cause of the itch as a yellow caterpillar climbed onto his pedals.  Just as the flower was about to tell the caterpillar that he wasn’t on the menu, a breeze had rolled in and the caterpillar did something unexpected…
Instead of biting into the flower’s pedals, the caterpillar raised its body tall.  The flower could see that the caterpillar was mesmerized by something.  “What do you see?” asked the flower but the caterpillar didn’t hear.  The flower turned only to see the other flowers in the field dancing with the wind.  “Have you never danced with the wind?” he asked, startling the caterpillar.  “Why no” said the caterpillar, “I could never be that graceful”.   “But surely you can”, replied the flower, “For you are free to move about where you will, unlike we who are stuck and cannot move to where the wind goes”.
The caterpillar and the flower became fast friends and over the days, the flower would teach him to dance while he would tell the flower tales of his travels. 
One day a fierce storm had rolled over the field and with it came an angry wind.  The flower wrapped its pedals around the caterpillar to protect him, but it seemed like the storm would never end.
Suddenly, a powerful gust came through, stronger than any other before.  It was so strong that no matter how hard the flower had tried to hold on, he couldn’t keep himself and the caterpillar from being flung straight into the air.  They had no idea how to save themselves from their impending doom.  When things looked their bleakest, the caterpillar grabbed ahold of the flowers pedals and used them to glide their way through the storm.  Just when they thought they were safe, BAM! They were struck by a blinding light and they fell to the ground.
After the storm had passed and the two awoke, they noticed that they had become one, realizing that what they had desired separately had come true together.  They now had the ability to dance with the wind and travel alongside it, wherever and whenever.  The duo had decided to give themselves a new name, one that would symbolize the union of freedom and beauty and that name was Butterfly.
With the edits made, the audio/video was the perfect length, and I was now able to practice my acting/dance for the presentation.
 
The video used for the presentation can be seen here.
 
My final costume is shown below:
 
 
I feel the presentation went really well. I was very nervous to begin with, as I've never acted in front of people before so my stomach was doing a few jumps. But after a few seconds, I was in the "swing" of things and found it to be quite fun! I felt that it went really well and would honestly love to do it again!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Trip to Fallingwater and Monticello

Before taking off on a trip to Monticello and Fallingwater, the class was asked to complete some section/floor plan assignments of the Unity Temple as well as both Monticello and Fallingwater via the Ching textbook assignments or handouts given in class. Below are images of the sections/floor plans completed for that work:


Monticello and Fallingwater Floor Plans (Drafts one and two)

Monticello Section Draft 1

Monticello Section Draft 2


This last weekend, the class (and a few upper class IARc students) took a trip to visit Monticello (built between 1768-1808, start to finish) in Charlottesville, VA to learn a bit about the country's third president, Thomas Jefferson, as well as some background information about the interior and architecture of his house. From there we drove up to Mill Run, PA to visit the famous Fallingwater home built by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmann family in 1935.

I really enjoyed visiting both locations while on the trip, but, I'd have to say I enjoyed Monticello a lot more due to the historical background behind the home. I love history, and enjoy being able to physically take part in it; and I felt being there was more "special" because of that than Fallingwater felt. Although, I feel Fallingwater is more beautiful aesthetically (partially due to the nature surrounding the home, not the home itself) I still prefer Monticello due to the historical context behind the home. I also had a bit more fun sketching Monticello than I did with Fallingwater; I'm not exactly sure why that is.

While at both locations I sketched a bit while going through the tour and took plenty of photographs to document my time there (and to also sketch from at a later date, which I'm currently working on). Some photographs and the sketches I did on the trip are shown below:

Brief sketches done while on tour at both Monticello and Fallingwater.
 
 A few photographs taken while at Monticello.
 
A few photographs taken while at Fallingwater.
 
Once we arrive back home I began working on polishing sketches and renderings that were roughly sketched (started) during my trip to Monticello and Fallingwater. Below are examples of the finished sketches and renderings done for both locations:

 
Once completed,  I worked on further sections, floor plans and elevations of Monticello, Fallingwater and the Unity Temple. Below are images of the sections, elevations and floor plans done for this sections of class:
 

 Although two of the three images are repeated here, the Monticello section has been added and is new.
 
 
From here I created a book containing all the physical images shown above to be included in my portfolio at the end of term.
 
Visiting Monticello and Fallingwater was a very fun and unique experience. I'd recommend anyone go if they want to enjoy a bit of history, various pleasant environments and nice architecture/design.