Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Two Farm Dioramas For Thanksgiving

Two Farm Dioramas For Thanksgiving 

Happy Thanksgiving!  As I take time to give thanks for the many blessings in my life, I want you to know that I am grateful for all who come to visit my blog. I hope you enjoy the two farm dioramas that I made and I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Tranquil Farm Diorama

This first diorama is a tranquil scene with deer and Canadian geese swimming in a pond.  The farm is surrounded by a white fence with a barn and windmill.  The main house is seen in the distance on a hill.

Gathering Pumpkins Farm Diorama

This second diorama uses the same two scenes as the first diorama with two geese swimming in a pond and the barn with a windmill. The additional scenes are a boy and girl gathering pumpkins on a bright sunny day.

I  used Neenah brand 65 lb White Gold metallic cardstock from Office Depot. I recommend using a new blade and overcut to cut out this design as the intricate pieces might not cut out correctly.  

Here is the PDF.

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG.

This Diorama is put together with eight tabs.  Each tab is two ply.  They have been glued together to make them sturdy.  These tabs are then slid into the side of each scene. Pretty paper is glued to the first scene.

Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

A Thanksgiving Accordion Turkey Pop-Up Card

A Thanksgiving Accordion Turkey Pop-Up Card

I created this Thanksgiving pop-up card with an accordion mechanism.  The turkey's feathers will fan out to show its beauty when the card is opened.

When folded flat, the card fits in an A4 envelope.

I used gold vellum paper for the turkey. I do not recommend cardstock as the thicker paper will be too bulky when folded. I used gold foil cardstock for the letters and the base of the card.  The colored cardstock background was from the DCWV Wild Field collection.

Here is the PDF. 

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG.

Accordion fold the turkey feathers.

Glue the tabs of both turkey feathers to the base.

Insert the turkey body into the two tabs on either side and glue down the tabs on the underside of the base.

Apply glue to the feather tabs.  Do not glue to the turkey body.

Side view of the turkey.

Apply glue to the base and attach the second scalloped base.

Add the embellishments to the base.

The card can be folded in half.

Front view

Top view

Side view

Sunday, November 7, 2021

An Easy Accordion Leaves and Turkey Banner Decoration for Thanksgiving

Accordion Leaves and Turkey Banner  Decoration for Thanksgiving 

This Thanksgiving decoration is a fun and easy project for children and adults alike. I made these leaves as a craft project in my mother's senior living facility a few years ago and they enjoyed it.  The construction of the leaves is very simple.  The paper is folded like an accordion and then folded in half.  A tab is glued or taped to hold the accordion together.  Embroidery thread is strung through the holes of the leaves and turkey to complete the banner.

I made four different types of leaves.  The green heart shaped leaf is an American basswood leaf.  The red leaf is a maple leaf.  The yellow leaf is a birch tree leaf.  The brown leaf is an oak leaf.

I used very thin scrapbooking paper to make these accordion leaves and turkey.  The thinner the paper, the easier it is to fold the accordions in half.  

Here is the PDF.

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG.

Accordion fold the paper

Fold the accordion in half.

Glue/tape the tab.

Glue the body and face details on the turkey. Cut a string and thread through all of the holes in the leaves and turkey to complete the Thanksgiving banner.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Making Sewing Cards For a Preschool Child Using the Silhouette Software

I have a three year old granddaughter and I want to teach her how to sew. These sewing cards are an excellent way to teach this skill. 

My granddaughter was able to do the above circle and square designs.  The star design required her to stitch over the previous stitches which was too confusing.  I am sure with time, she will be able to manage this task.

I purchased a plastic needle to teach my granddaughter how to make a knot and the art of sewing with the repetitive motion of pulling yarn up through a hole until the yarn is taut and then down into the next hole until the yarn is taut again.  I used 65 lb. metallic foil cardstock for the sewing cards and craft yarn from Michaels.

Here is the PDF.

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG.

It is very easy to make sewing cards with the Silhouette Designer software (not on the basic software).  

Take any image that is about four inches by four inches and do an internal offset of .4 inches. This photo shows the offset window before the .4 inch offset was applied.

Highlight this offset and using the Rhinestone feature, apply the following two settings, rhinestone size 13 and spacing is .625 inches. This creates circles
which are aligned evenly around the image.

I recommend having the child start with the circle design. It has an even number of holes and the knots will remain in the back of the design.  The number of holes on the square is also an even number so it sews nicely.  The star does not have an even number.  I recommend teaching them to continue to sew around the edge another time.  This creates a solid line of yarn and the knot will be on the backside of the star.

I also made a Halloween pumpkin sewing card with a stem and face that are glued on. This design is an advanced design with an odd number of holes.

 My granddaughter liked watching me stitch the pumpkin and she did like gluing on the stem and face.  It's ok for them to tire and for you to complete the design. She enjoyed seeing how it was created.  

An Embroidered Block Quilt Made With TurtleStitch

This embroidered block quilt is a culmination of six months of learning to code in TurtleStitch. 
(Please note, for all of my papercrafting friends, Turtlestitch designs can be exported as a SVG and used in the Silhouette program because embroidery is graphically similar to line drawing.)

In May, I joined an online "Tea and TurtleStitch" workshop with instructors, Cynthia Solomon and Susan Klimczak to learn how to code in TurtleStitch.  It was an amazing six month journey with two fabulous instructors and a wonderful community of fellow teachers.  On this journey, I rediscovered my love of coding. (I haven't coded in over thirty five years.) TurtleStitch is based on Snap!, a block based programming language. Please check out TurtleStitch, to learn to code using this powerful "drag and drop blocks" programming language to make designs for an embroidery machine or an electronic paper cutter like the Silhouette or Cricut machine. 

I loved coding the designs and reimagining them by changing variables, adding different proportions and random numbers. Sometimes, changing one variable, an entirely different design was created. I also enjoyed changing the size and type of stitch being used. This change could emphasize different parts of the design.  I liked imagining what the design would look like with different colors and types of embroidery thread (variegated thread) before embroidering it.  When the design was being embroidered, it was delightful to see its fabrication. It was mesmerizing to see the needle at work, moving around the hoop creating stitches that finally created the coded design.

My Brother PE 800 embroidery machine has embroidered half a million stitches while on my six month TurtleStitch coding journey. Here are my coded designs that I created in TurtleStitch. I am forever grateful to Cynthia and Susan for teaching me TurtleStitch. It was a wonderful experience that I will always treasure.

The embroidered blocks, starting at the top left are:

1). Hommage to Vera Molnar, a pioneering computer artist. This block uses Richard Millwood's code to produce randomized lines which are contained within a square block.  I embroidered the design using variegated thread.

2). A pentagon that is spiraling inward.

3).  Flowers coded with Cynthia Solomon's arcleft, arcright and petal procedures.

4). Falling Blocks, original by Schotter Nee coded by Joachim Wedekind 

5). A square spiral embroidered using variegated thread.

6). A Parabolic Star String Art

7). A quilt block using a combination of Cynthia Solomon's arcleft and arcright procedures and Margaret Low's bow tie procedure.

8). A randomized 5 x 5 decagon pattern in the style of Vera Molnar using variegated thread.

9). Peano - a classic recursive or space filling design (aka as fractals)

10). A flower quilt block using a combination of Cynthia Solomon's arcleft, arcright and petal procedures.

11). Flowers coded with Cynthia Solomon's arcleft, arcright and petal procedures.

12). Randomized 5 x 5 star pattern in the style of Vera Molnar using variegated thread.

13). A Fan Flower - Margaret Low's bow tie procedure reimagined.

14). More spiral blocks in the spirit of Vera Molnar using variegated thread.

15). Icarus coded with tracing paper attached to the stage area.

16). Hexagon Star Spiral 

17). Pacman drawn using Jagda Huegle pixel drawing procedure.

18). Leaf circles with Cynthia Solomon's arcleft and arcright procedures using variegated thread.

19).  An asteroid formed by four parabolas string art.

20). Star Cycloids Using Duopoly2, a recursive procedure coded by Cynthia Solomon using variegated thread.

21). Sierpinski Curve, a recursive procedure coded by Cynthia Solomon

22). A quilt block using a combination of Cynthia Solomon's arcleft and arcright procedures, Margaret Low's bow tie procedure and a Lissajous procedure by Susan Klimczak.

23). An Independence Day tribute in the style of Vera Molnar.

24). A star polygon increasing in size as it spirals outward.

25). A turtle design coded with tracing paper attached to the stage area.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A STEM Project: An Interactive Embroidered/Foil Quilled Dandelion Which Activates LED Lights When A Sound is Heard Using A Hyperduino To Simulate Seed Pods Blowing in the Wind

Video of the Interactive Embroidered/Foil Quilled Dandelion Which Activates LED Lights When A Sound is Heard Using A Hyperduino To Simulate Seed Pods Blowing in the Wind

I was inspired to create this interactive design of a Dandelion with seed pods blowing in the wind, after viewing this dandelion painting by Jie Qi.  I use a Hyperduino, LED lights and a microphone to activate the lights in sequence to simulate the seed pods blowing away from the dandelion. The microphone is activated when a sound is heard. This design is a small basic design that can be expanded upon if you would like to create a larger design similar to Jie Qi's painting.


- Adult supervision is recommended when using the Hyperduino.

- Do not operate unattended.

 I used 65 lb cardstock to make the presentation boxes which houses the Hyperduino with LED lights and a microphone. I used Aleene's tacky glue in a glue bottle and Glue Dots to make the presentation boxes. An adhesive foam sheet is needed to mount the Hyperduino in the presentation box. The dandelion image was created in Turtlestitch and embroidered on a Brother PE 800 embroidery machine. Here is the Turtlestitch code which creates the design. 
A Silhouette version was created by exporting an SVG from the Turtlestitch program and opening it with the Silhouette software.  The image was then Foil Quilled on vellum paper. 

Here is the PDF.

Here is the .Studio file.

Here is the SVG.

Make the Light Box

Align all of the box edge pieces so that they are oriented in the same direction. 
Mountain fold all of the horizontal edges so that the pieces look as above.

Apply glue to the horizontal tab.  This tab is the shorter of the two horizontal edge tabs.

Adhere the glue by pressing down on the paper and exposing the bottom edge.  The piece will become flat.

Once the glue has dried, reorient the edges to make a rectangular box. Repeat the above three instructions for the other three box edge pieces.

The two tabbed sides are different.  On the side with all the edges aligning,  fold the two small tabs inward as shown above.

Apply glue to the two small tabs.

Adhere the one tab on the left side and then apply glue to the top of this tab.

Adhere the other side tab to complete the right side.

On the left side of this piece where the side edges are misaligned,  fold the two small tabs inward and then apply glue to the them.

Fold down the top tab and adhere. 
One side of the light box is completed. Repeat so that all of the sides look as the photo above.

In the photo above, I rotated the piece by 180 degrees from the previous photo. On one side of the first piece, apply glue in the three corner areas as shown above. Each surface will adhere to different parts of the adjoining piece.

Adhere the corner of another side piece to the two glued areas and then fold up the tab to complete the corner.

Repeat for the other three sides.  Apply glue to the top surface of all four sides of the square.

Insert the LED Light pattern and adhere this piece to the glue. 

Apply glue to the inside edge of the four edge tabs.  Fold the tabs down and adhere to the box.

LED light panel completed.

Cut the vellum or embroidery to a 6 x 6 inch size and sandwich two borders on either side of the design with glue.

Make the Hyperduino Presentation Box
Create a three sided box by folding the dotted areas as shown above

Apply glue and adhere the tab as shown above to create a triangular prism.  These triangular prisms create a sturdy support structure for the box.

Apply and adhere the bottom tab. This side will now be at a right angle to the bottom. Repeat this instruction and the one above for the other side of the box.

Side view of three sided box. Set this aside to make the square sides.

Fold the dotted areas and apply glue as shown above.  Notice there is no glue on each side (triangular area) of the tab.  This area needs to be be free of glue as this will be where the sides slide into one another. Adhere to create another triangular prism.

Apply glue to the three outer flat edges and the bottom tab as shown above.

Align the bottom flat edge of the square side to the three sided box and then slide the two side tabs of the three sided box into the square piece. Align the top edge to create a mitered corner. Adhere the bottom tab to create a triangular prism.

Completed side. Repeat for the other square side piece.

Completed presentation box.

Cut four 2 x 2 inch  foam squares. (I mentioned three in the files...I needed another foam square...this depends on the thickness of the foam.)

Glue the foam squares on top of one another.  I used Glue Dots.

Adhere the foam squares in the middle of the presentation box with a Glue Dot.

LED Lights and Microphone

Attach the Microphone as shown above with the black wire going from  the microphone G to ground on the Hyperduino, the white wire is going from the microphone A0 to A0 on the Hyperduino and the red wire is going from + on the microphone to 5V on the Hyperduino.

Place two Glue Dots on the bottom of the Hyperduino and insert the Hyperduino into the box.  Place the Hyperduino on top of the foam stack.

Stretch a Glue Dot and adhere it to the base of each LED light.

Insert the LED lights into the holes in the LED insert.  The placement of the lights will effect the sequence of the lights.  I have coded LED light number 13 to go on first, light number 12 and so on, decreasing to light number 8.

Tape the LED Insert onto the presentation box. The LED light box is ready for the embroidery or the Foil Quilled design to be attached.

The embroidery/Foil Quilled dandelion is attached with a pretty paper cover which is slide over the edge of the LED Light box. Fold the two tabs upward on the pretty paper pieces.

Glue the four corner tabs to create a cover for the box.

Lay the frame over the top of the LED insert. This photo shows the Foil Quilled version of the dandelion.

The microphone is not attached to the presentation box as the microphone needs to be adjusted for sensitivity. The sensitivity threshold is adjusted via a screw on the potentiometer. The sensitivity increases as you turn the screw clockwise and decreases as you turn it counterclockwise. Plug the Hyperduino into your computer and the microphone light should be illuminated. At this point you can adjust the microphone's sensitivity. I had to turn the screw numerous times to get the right adjustment.  I am using 525 as my analog reading for sensitivity.

Here is the code I used in Snap For Arduino with the sensitivity of 525 for the microphone.  You may need to change the value for your microphone.

This photo shows the embroidered version of the dandelion with an LED light illuminated behind the frame.