Monthly Archives: August 2017

Gothic Architecture

Embroidery is an exquisite art form that reflects tradition of versatile ethnic groups. The handicrafts containing elaborate designs are still considered to be masterpieces and this skill is indeed God-gifted. Although handmade embroidery works are still valued utmost, use of machines to craft the designs have made the work much easier. A regular sewing machine can also be used for etching those beautiful designs on fabrics if you do not have an embroidery sewing machine at home. Here, we shall confine ourselves only to embroidering letters with a regular sewing machine.

Embroidering letters, quotes and scripts is comparatively tough due to their shapes and sizes. You can sew in the name or the initial of the person in one corner of the handkerchief for the purpose of gifting. The same idea can be used for creating a monogram on your favorite T-shirt or imprinting your name on your Christmas socks. These are some of the trendy ways to uplift your fashion by blending tradition with contemporary. A woolen scarf, jacket or a pullover can also be customized this way. Embroidery works with letters are also found in stationery goods, like bookmarks, zipper bags, pouches, etc. So these were some common materials where even a simple embroidery can accentuate the overall appeal.
Trace the Letters
Use a pencil or a marker pen to trace the letters on the piece of fabric. You can browse different types of fonts over the Internet and select a font that would make it look prominent. Try with block or big letters first and then move on to complex fonts, once you get a grip on the sewing machine. Sketch the letters first on tracing paper if you are incorporating multiple designs and complex sentences and then transfer the design on the fabric.
Thread the Needle
A regular sewing machine is always equipped with a needle and you need to pass the thread through its eye. The choice of thread depends on the background of the embroidery design. Make sure that the thread you are using for practice is strong, or else it will tend to break in between. The instructions for using the sewing machine will be provided in the manual and you must read it before handling the machine.
Adjust the Needle
For the first time, you might find the arrangement of the needle with other equipment a little tricky. Adjustment of the feed dog is important as it helps in advancing the cloth on application of pressure. Electronic sewing machines are much more convenient than the traditional machines. Now lower the needle so that it comes in contact with the cloth.

Photography Los Angeles

With the exotic locales, panoramic views, and urban culture, photographers are definitely spoiled for choice, when it comes to photo shoot locations in Los Angeles. This write-up enlists a few places that are perfect for this purpose.

Photo shoots are organized for varied purposes, ranging from urban landscape photography, fashion photography that showcases clothing, accessories, etc., to advertising numerous commercial products. Today, technology has advanced to such an extent that aviation, marine, and aerial photography can be carried out with much expertise and precision. The exotic locales and urban environment of Los Angeles make it a perfect place for photo opportunities. A number of photographers are on a constant lookout to schedule a photo shoot in LA. This place never disappoints professional as well as amateur photographers, who are looking for exquisite locations. Needless to say, LA is undoubtedly a unique place for varied forms of photography.

Famous Photo Shoot Locations in LA

This classic venue is located in Chinatown. It’s a popular location for filming. A number of feature films and sitcoms have been shot here. It is renowned for its remarkable history and monuments. The town has been divided into two parts: the Old Chinatown and the New Chinatown. Some parts of the movies such as ‘Chinatown’, starring Jack Nicholson, and ‘Rush Hour’, starring Jackie Chan were shot here. Popular sitcoms like Baywatch and Hunter were also shot here.

Olvera Street
Olvera Street is a part of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument. It’s the oldest part of Downtown in Los Angeles. This street has an environment that appears historical and colonized, and is perfect for photography. It’s also known as the replica of a romantic vision of Mexico. Photographers are mainly attracted to the historical elements of Mexico found in this Street.

Barnsdall Art Park
Barnsdall Art Park attracts photographers due to its diverse culture. The Barnsdall Gallery Theater produces cultural events (music, drama, films, theater, photography, etc.) such as ‘Music Summer Camps’ and ‘Independent Shakespeare Company’ or ‘ISC’. It is located at 4800 Hollywood Boulevard, atop Olive Hill in Hollywood in the Barnsdall Art Park complex. The community also promotes photography sessions in this location.

Facing the beautiful beaches, the city of Malibu also attracts many photographers. One can take superb shots at the Zuma beach, Dan Blocker beach, Topanga state beach, Malibu lagoon state beach, and Point Dume state beach. The natural beauty of Santa Monica mountains, Catalina Island, and Topanga Canyon is enchanting. These sites are the main attraction for photography.

Mexican Art and Craft Ideas for Children

Introducing children to the Mexican craft activities early, is a perfect way to acquaint them with the culture. These activities are rich in the culture of Mexico. They are traditional, and have been in use for long. Here are a few examples of this art form.

Fiesta Flags

Fiesta flags are used on many occasions for decoration in Mexico. The occasion may be a birthday or a wedding. Here is how to make fiesta flags to decorate your school or home.

Things Required
Tissue papers of multiple colors
String or yarn
Take the tissue paper, and cut it into 12 x 12 inch squares.
Fold each squared tissue paper in half (twice), so that you are again left with a smaller square.
Make or cut small designs along the folds.
Cut a piece of string of yarn (it should be quite long).
Unfold the tissue paper, and line them along the string.
Tape the top of each flag, hang it, and enjoy.

Press F5 to restart the slideshow.

papel picado flags
Papel Picado Flags

Clay Pottery

One of the oldest traditions in Mexico, pottery, is still practiced in most parts of the country. Here’s the procedure of pottery that can be easily followed at home.

Things Required
4 cups salt
Approximately 1¾ cups water
Paints and brush
Optional food coloring
Mix flour and salt.
While mixing, keep adding a little amount of water.
If you wish, add food coloring.
Morph clay into the shape of a ball, and thrust down for the bottom of the pot. Sculpt sides by pushing the clay up, making the clay thinner.
Make a flat circle with the clay. Make long coils of clay, and curl them up on top of one another, around the edge of the flat circle piece.
At 200ºF, bake pinch pot for about 10 to 15 minutes, and coil pot for 20 minutes.
Let them cool, and paint after cooling.
If any clay is left over, freeze it in a plastic wrap.

One of the most popular art activity of Mexico is pinata, a paper container, hung from a tree branch, that is used to store candy or toys to celebrate birthdays. Children are blindfolded and given a stick to try to break it open, and amass the treasure inside!

Things Required
Tin can
Tissue paper
Things required for decoration such as glitter, sequins, paint, etc.
Inflate the balloon, and tape it to the tin can, to keep it upright.
Make strips of approximately 1 x 4 inches by cutting newspapers.
Form a paste by mixing flour and water.
Stick the newspaper strips, covering the balloon in several layers.
Let the paper mache dry, separate the balloon from the tin can, and turn over to coat rest of the balloon.
Let it dry completely.
Decorate and paint using anything you like, anyway you want.
Cut a small flap on the side, fill in the toys and candies.
Tape it shut.
Make two small holes, and string it. The Mexican Pinata is ready.
The above mentioned Mexican art and craft activities are the ones that children enjoy the most, especially the pinata. You can easily make them at home instead of buying from the market.

The Intriguing History of Zoetropes

Imagine living in an age where the only way to watch moving pictures was through simple and handmade animation toys. The zoetrope is one such vintage toy, that made it possible for multiple viewers to see pictures come to life.

Did You Know?
The oldest known prototype of a zoetrope is believed to have been made in China by the inventor Ting Huan, way back in 180 AD!
Thus, the zoetrope does not have one particular maker, since its prototypes have been around for centuries. The zoetrope or the wheel of life is a type of circular handmade animation toy, that, when turned, produces moving pictures.

This device was believed to function on the principal of ‘persistence of vision’ – a physiological phenomenon of the eye, which makes a moving image leave an afterimage on the retina for a few seconds. This ‘seemed persistence’ of an image helped the viewer see a series of related images in a continuous motion.

The iconic, stringed ‘bird in a cage’ thaumatrope and the hand-held phenakistoscope were the two major animation toys that were invented before the zoetrope appeared. This Buzzle article reveals more about the history of zoetropes.
Invention of The Daedalus or Victorian Zoetrope
It took none other than a mathematician to make the modern zoetrope. In 1834, William George Horner made the zoetrope in England, and called it the ‘Daedalum’, which he named after ‘Daedalus’, a great craftsman from Greek mythology. It was the American developer William F. Lincoln who named his daedalum prototype the ‘zoetrope’ in 1867.
The word ‘zoetrope’ is derived from the Greek word zoe, which means ‘life’, and tropos, meaning ‘to turn’. It was also called the ‘wheel of life’, because this cylindrical toy made static images appear to move.
The design of William George Horner’s daedalus was inspired by the Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau’s phenakistoscope, which was introduced to the public in 1832. The phenakistoscope worked on the principle of persistence of motion in order to create an illusion of motion. This mechanical disc was placed in front of the viewer’s face, and required to be seen in front of a mirror, so that the images drawn on the surface of the disc facing the mirror could be visible. The phenakistoscope also had vertical slits so that the viewer could see the images moving, while peering through the slits from behind the circular disc. This device was supported by a stick, and had a pin that acted as the central axis for the disc to turn on.

Functioning of the Zoetrope

Vintage Zoetrope
The Victorian zoetrope (daedalus) consisted of a cylindrical drum without a lid. It also had vertical slits made on its sides for people to peer through. The drum was made to rest on a centered axis, upon which the drum could turn easily.