Tag Archives: Crafts

Paint by Number – The Original DIY Project

Do-it-Yourself (DIY) projects are all the rage. With craft shops and hardware stores popping up on every corner, any idea seems within reach. More and more people are jumping on the DIY bandwagon, expressing their enthusiasm for projects like homemade crafts and home remodeling. This is evident on television and social media networks, where creative décor and practical construction are encouraging the inventive spirit. Nowadays, there is less desire to hire contractors or buy assembled decorations; instead, many people opt to do these things themselves.

With this new surge of independence, we easily forget that DIY projects have been around for ages. In fact, before industrialization, it could be said that life was completely “Do-it-Yourself.” However, even in the 20th century, when manufactured products became readily available, people still chose to do some things themselves. Now, in the 21st century, the DIY craze is sweeping the United States and much of the world.

The Original DIY Project

http://mocoloco.com/art/archives/020982.phpWhen exactly did DIY (as we know it today) begin appealing to the general public? “DIY Painting,” a new WordPress blog, reminds us of the history of DIY by pointing to paint by number.

Paint by number first appeared in 1950 and boasted the tagline, “Every man a Rembrandt.” In fact, the greatest benefit of paint by number—in addition to its stress relieving nature and low cost—is that anyone can produce amazing artwork. In this regard, it was the original do-it-yourself home decorating option, as well as gift and craft project.

The Evolution of Paint by Number

Today, paint by number is still around but its appearance is different. Computer technology makes virtual paint by number sets available on personal computers and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. With Segmation, it is possible to become an artist in minutes by downloading virtual paint by number software and patterns.

Nevertheless, the heart of paint by number is the same. As the DIY Painting blog accurately points out, “Everyone can participate, using the usual leisure time, painting a beautiful picture [with] paint by number kits.” Paint by number is an enjoyable activity that makes any person an artist within minutes. In this sense, paint by number is still the epitome of do-it-yourself projects. The only difference between paint by number and other DIY projects is guaranteed success.

Segmation – Paint by Number for the Digital Age

SegPlayPC 1.8 screenshotSegmation makes it easy to create artistic masterpieces. Each month they release paint by number patterns that allow you to paint like the greats, including Leonardo da Vinci, Henri Rousseau, and Vincent van Gogh. They also produce fun patterns for holidays and special celebrations (see Halloween Spirit and Amigos). By releasing new paint by number pattern sets regularly, Segmation satisfies that itch many people have to take on DIY projects.

DIY is not new but the technology encouraging and spearheading today’s projects is novel. If you crave a project that allows you to express your creativity and produce successful art, explore the original DIY. Explore Segmation paint by number software and patterns.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Professionals Integrate Paint by Number Into Their Careers

“Paint by Number” Kits Create Thousands of Artists

Museum Curator Elevates Prestige of Paint by Number Art

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Colors Solve the “Monster Mash” Mystery

Segmation 5The “Monster Mash” caught on in a flash, but is it really a Halloween hit? Nowhere in the song does it mention Halloween buzzwords like “Trick or Treat,” “Ghosts and Goblins,” or “A witch and her broomstick.” All we know about the song is that it was a graveyard smash.

This month, Segmation is on a mission to find out if “Monster Mash” was a Halloween hit or a Frankenstein inspired tune. Was the song released in August 1962 so it could reach the top of the Billboard charts by Halloween, or was it just a coincidence?

A reason why Bobby Pickett’s song, “Monster Mash” provokes this question is because the lyrics do not mention anything about Halloween. More so, traditional Halloween colors aren’t apparent in the single’s album cover.

To explore this mystery, Segmation is using colors to solve the case.

Halloween Colors

What colors come to mind when thinking of Halloween? Orange and black, of course.

It is believed that these colors have been put in place because of what they represent. Orange is the color for autumn – leaves turn orange and seem to cast this shade throughout neighborhoods and countryside. This is most prevalent when the sun shines. If the sun is not out then skies are overcast. With summer over, dark days are approaching. Halloween black is used to represent this reality.

The History of Halloween Colors

Two historical sources also confirm that orange and black are Halloween colors.

Celtics and the Druids ­used to conduct after life ceremonies by burning orange, beeswax candles and using black cloths to cover caskets.

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that, when applied to a living environment, brings peace and solace. According to Feng Shui, orange and black exist at opposite ends of the energy spectrum. Orange is warm and full. Black, on the other hand, is mysterious and empty.

According to tradition and history, the colors represented on the “Monster Mash” album cover do not promote Halloween at all. There are some additional colors to explore before confirming this graveyard smash was just another Billboard 100 hit.

The Other Colors of Halloween

If orange and black were the only colors of Halloween, the holiday season would seem dull. This is the day of the dead, after all. Colors that symbolize death include: red for blood, green as the eerie color of decay, purples to signify mysticism and supernatural happenings, and white to reflect life after death in ghost and mummies, as well as the full moon.

Taking the other colors of Halloween into account, it seems completely appropriate to consider “Monster Mash” a Halloween song. While not using the obvious colors of Halloween, the album cover proves that this is, in fact, a holiday tune.

Snap your fingers, get in costume, and listen to the graveyard smash. Common’ everybody – do the Monster Mash.

Happy Halloween, from Segmation.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Halloween Art:

Ideas for Creating Halloween Spirit

Ideas for Creating Halloween Art

Halloween Scenes

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Back to School Art Projects

Back to School Art ProjectsSummer holiday is over. September is the month when children return to school. Young students in their elementary years may experience mixed emotions about early mornings and homework. Starting up such a routine is less than thrilling but back to school art projects can make returning to the classroom exciting.

Listed below are art projects that are creative, fun, and great conversations starters. Since getting back to school is all about starting fresh and making new friends, these functional art pieces are sure to kick off the school year on the right foot.

Pencil Toppers

Make plain, old yellow pencils fun. A number of household items can be used to top a pencil. (Walnuts are an example listed here: http://www.redtedart.com/2012/08/13/back-to-school-crafts-ideas/.) This is a great back to school art project for young kids. And, it makes a student’s school supplies one-of-a-kind.

Notebook Designs

Many schools require students cover their books. Change it up this year by covering a textbook with something extraordinary – like denim. Also, make ordinary notebooks more exciting with stickers and original designs.

Backpacks

Adding patches and pins to a backpack can give it a new look. For young students, a themed backpack may boost confidence and increase excitement about going back to school.

Organizing the Homework Area

Schoolwork starts in the classroom and continues at home. Setting up a creative homework area is a fun and beneficial activity. These resources have a few fun ways for kids to set up their own homework stations: http://spoonful.com/back-to-school/back-to-school-crafts. Maintaining this space within a home can be a great way to stay organized and make schoolwork enjoyable.

Back to school is anything but boring. Make sure kids get excited — and stay excited — by adding creative activities. These back to school art projects may begin at home but they are taken into the classroom. A student can show off his or her creative talents and stand out this year.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art Projects:

Candy Art: We Don’t all Have to be Artists to Create Art!

The Meaning of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Art

Ideas for Creating Halloween Art

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Make Labor Day Special, Celebrate with Art

The United States was a nation built from the ground up. It began taking shape in the latter half of the 18th century. This is when people started pursuing missions that would create a great society. As a result, 12 hour work days became the backbone of American spirit.

This dedication and determination gained recognition in the late 19th century. Citizens of the United States started celebrating Labor Day in 1882. The idea was adopted from Canada. The North American neighbor began celebrating Labour Day a decade prior.

Until present day, the United States has been consistent in honoring social and economic achievements on the first Monday in September. Most businesses are closed on this day and hardworking American citizens are offered a long weekend. During this time, barbecues and festive parties are the norm. In fact, the United States celebrates Labor Day with the same spirit that fills Fourth of July.

This blog offers five artistic tips that celebrate the “155 million men and women who are in the U.S. workforce.”

TIP 1- Recycle Old Crafts

Celebrate hard work with fun décor. Labor Day is the perfect opportunity to use red, white, and blue decorations. Dig up the patriotic crafts created for the Fourth of July.

TIP 2- Festive Party Invitations

For those planning Labor Day parties, invite family and friends with unique invitation designs. This is a great resource for anyone wanting inspiration for festive ideas: http://www.examiner.com/article/celebrating-labor-day-with-martha-stewart

TIP 3- Fun for the Kids

Teach children why the nation celebrates Labor Day. This can be done with a fun craft. One suggestion is to use old magazines and have kids cut out pictures of people working. Make a collage of the images. Click on this link for more artistic and educational craft ideas: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/holidays/p/LaborDay.htm

TIP 4- Printable Projects

Teachers and parents who want to convey the important of Labor Day can explore creative ideas here: http://homeschooling.about.com/od/holidays/ss/labordayprint_8.htm. There are many crafts and games that can be downloaded and printed out. This webpage has everything from themed puzzles to festive knickknacks (door hangings and bookmarks too!). In addition, there are quizzes for older kids and adults.

TIP 5- The Perfect Centerpiece

When thinking about this year’s Labor Day party, think about a theme that can celebrate the holiday and excite those who plan to attend. Is it possible to have a party focus on a family member’s career achievements? Find ideas that can mix up traditional themes: http://labor-day-weekend.com/parties/centerpieces.htm

Enjoy celebrating the nation’s achievements and hard work by keeping art at the heart of this holiday. There are plenty of DIY crafts that can make Labor Day special. Be sure to relax and spend time doing something fun.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Celebrating Holidays with Art:

Green Represents Saint Patrick’s Day

Hanukkah, Christmas, Happy New Year’s – Season’s Greetings as Beautiful Art Paintings

The Meaning of Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving Art

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Plexiglass + Light = Awe Inspiring Art

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Think back to when you were a child, easily fascinated by the tiniest things. Maybe you remember the excitement of finding a rainbow on the wall and the joy of discovering the crystal figurine that seemed to magically create this kaleidoscope of color. Perhaps you even spent the afternoon moving that figurine around the house waiting to see where the rainbow would appear next.

Do you remember the first time you saw a rainbow through the hazy drizzle after a storm? Your first sunset on a beach? Can you recall that first stained glass window that caught your eye and captured your attention?

More importantly, can you call back that simple childlike joy; the pure awe of bearing witness to something so fantastical? It’s hard to do as adults when we are able to wrap our minds around the scientific reasons behind rainbows and light.

Currently on display at the De Pury Gallery in London is a unique style of artwork which calls to the surface that simple, childlike wonder. The image above is part of the “Fly to Baku” Contemporary Art Exhibition.

The effect is achieved by shining light through Plexiglass airplanes. The arrangement of these airplanes creates the image on the wall. If the mobile of hanging airplanes doesn’t stop you in your tracks, then the picture it creates is sure to amaze.

Light has an important relationship with color and with art. Painters go to great lengths to achieve a specific light or a hint of a shadow in their paintings. Those who make stained glass pieces consider how the glass will react to light shining behind it. Sculptures can’t escape light either and seem to constantly change as light rotates around them. Even interior decorators factor in the way light filters through a space when they choose colors and designs.

In the case of “Fly to Baku,” light harnessed in little Plexiglass airplanes is actually creating pieces of art. Take a moment to really look at the image above. You may just find yourself entranced by childlike awe.

Image courtesy of http://www.imgur.com/gallery/86upn

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Mosaics: Creating Art with Technique

Mosaics are images or patterns created by way of placing small stones, pieces of glass, or other small materials together to form a piece of decorative art.

The earliest known mosaics were found in a temple in Mesopotamia, dating all the way back to the second half of the third millennium BC. Their significance in religion, story telling, and decoration are evident in nearly every culture and corner of the world.

How to Lay Mosaics

There are over a dozen techniques for laying mosaics, but the three most common are the direct method, the indirect method, and the double indirect method.

The Direct Method

In the direct form, images and designs are constructed by directly gluing each piece to the supporting structure. This method works very well for shaped surfaces such as vases or pottery. One of its disadvantages is in work on larger scale pieces. It is less practical for an artist or assembler to remain on site working for hours in this way, especially if the pattern is to cover entire walls, ceilings, or other large surface areas. For jobs like this, the indirect method is often employed.

The Indirect Method

The indirect method is when an artist is using a backing paper or mesh to adhere the stones or materials to, and then adhering the finished parts of a piece on site.

The Double Indirect Method

Some of the most famous mosaic works belong to cathedrals, temples, castles and museums across the world.

The Irano-Roman floor mosaic in the palace of Shapur in Bishapur is famous for its intricacy, while pieces like “A Deer Hunt” found in Greece at Pella are significant culturally for their portrayal of man and gods.The double indirect method is similar in that it involves using a separate medium to place your materials on, but requires that you don’t adhere them right away.

This way, for more complex images, the artist can see his work as a whole, instead of just as its being developed.  From there the operator must place another piece of paper on top of the finished work so it can be transferred to its final surface. This process can damage your work and requires much practice before it can be executed properly.

Mosaics offer a fun and creative way to represent events, ideas, and people. What will you make?

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Art Therapy Treats more than the Heart

Sergio Calatroni Art Room in Milan have customized a wheelchair for Italian art director Fabrizio Sclavi.

Therapies that use art have been popular for many years. One notable practice is color therapy. Colors have a strong influence on the human mind and encourages action in addition to guiding reaction, speech, and even attributes to higher-than-normal test scores.

But did you know that art therapy treats more than just the heart? It can help the body too. There are a number of creative activities, crafts, and art projects that stimulate the human body and result in a better functioning person.

People with disabilities know this is true. While having a disability can be challenging, its intensity is drastically lessened when people change certain behaviors that replace negative circumstances with positive action.

Having a bright outlook and light heart can take a disabled person to a new level of personal success. These qualities are available to anyone with or without a disability through the wonderful world of arts and crafts. This is because it keeps the mind engaged and encourages creativity, confidence, and basic motor skills.

Here are some arts and craft ideas for people with disabilities:

Painting

Painting is one of the best craft ideas for anyone with a disability. Because there are a variety of painting techniques available, one is destined to find a form that fits their capacity. Included in this group are, but not limited to:

  • oil painting
  • faux painting
  • canvas painting
  • acrylic painting
  • watercolor paintings
  • fabric painting

Painting can offer relief from the mental and physical pressures of having a disability. In the subjective nature of art, every piece created is beautiful, especially the pieces done with full concentration and dedication. A beautiful work of art also makes a great gift.

Make Greeting Cards

Creating greeting or thank you card is a craft that serves multiple purposes. This is a way to stretch artistic abilities and show caregivers and family members appreciation.

Cards can be made by using these materials:

  • colored paper
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • sketch pens

The efforts of creating a beautiful card is beneficial to the artist and he or she who receives it. In addition, it gives purpose to doing the craft project, which encourages the individual to see it through to completion.

Writing 
People with disabilities often have vibrant minds. Writing fiction short stories, full length novels, and even articles about living with a disability is a fantastic form of expressive art. It does not require any physical stress to the body and engages an individual in a long term, focused endeavor.

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Paint by numbers has always been a therapeutic activity. It engages the mind and body to work in harmony and guides the creation of an artistic masterpiece. They are not difficult to complete and as an individual nears the finality of the picture, an edifying masterpiece begins to emerge.

Seg Tech is a virtual paint by numbers program. This means that a disabled person is able to create masterpieces without having the physical capabilities of a non-disabled person. All they need is an adaptive mouse (if necessary).

Virtual paint by numbers merges the properties of number and color recognition in a way that stimulates the mind, while encouraging the individuals to commit themselves to completing a work of art. This offers people with disabilities 3 constructive qualities: Challenge, purpose, and a therapeutic outlet. It emphasizes the artist in each individual and encourages a sense of wellness only art therapy can provide.

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