Drawings · Geometric Drawings · Uncategorized

Coloring Books and me

Scaling Shapes, Visons of the Universe by Alex Bellos & Edmund Harriss
Scaling Shapes, designed by Professor Chaim Goodman- Strauss, Visions of the Universe by Alex Bellos & Edmund Harriss

I’ve always loved coloring books. Is this true for every kid? I really don’t know. Are coloring books for kids even around much anymore?

When the coloring books for adults became all the rage a few years ago, it made perfect sense to me, although most of the titles on the market didn’t interest me much. I like sense an underlying  rigorous structure, but one that is not simply symmetrical. Naturally, then, I fell in love with the books by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harris.

Patterns of the Universe and Visions of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Patterns of the Universe and Visions of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss, published by The Experiment

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not been asked to write this post by anyone connected to these books. In fact, the reason I am writing this now is because I am working on something else that won’t be ready to write about for awhile, so I thought that, with the holiday season upon us, the colorfulness of writing about these books seems timely.

Cascading Waves, Read the Sines, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Cascading Waves, Read the Sines, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

I love these books for all the same reasons that I’ve always loved coloring books. They let me mess around with color without having to think too much about form. Just experimenting with color combinations without thinking about much else is a great thing for me to do when I’m wanting to make something but not feeling particularly ambitious. I think this cascading waves is my favorite of all the pages. If the authors happen to be reading this, please make more versions of this one for me, please.

Polyhedra, Cascading Waves, Read the Sines, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Polyhedra, Cascading Waves, Read the Sines, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

I do not recommend using crayons in these books. The image above in started as crayon only, but it didn’t have a look that I liked until I added those crackly lines made with markers. Crayons are amazing when used on paper that is a bit rough, just like the newsprint paper in traditional coloring books, but seems to me that they aren’t well suited for the smooth papers of adult coloring books.

Modular Forms, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss
Modular Forms, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss

Colored pencils work well on these pages, but be advised that not all colored pencils are created equal. The best value for colored pencils are the Crayola brand, but Prismacolor Colored Pencils are just about the only upgrade that makes sense. If I’m using colored pencils on these pages, it’s Prismacolor that I’m using. However, If I am making drawings of my own, using my own designs, I generally use my absolute favorite colored pencils, made by Caran D’Ache.

Petit Fourier 1, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Petit Fourier 1, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

Sometimes mixing up the Prismacolors with markers works out best. This page above, which references color bands used by Georgia O’Keefe in one of her paintings, was done with both Prismacolors and brush markers (an expensive Japanese brand, SAI).

Read the Sines, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Read the Sines, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

I love the way Sharpies look on these pages. Yes, they bleed through like crazy, so I always put a protective piece under the page that I am working on. Otherwise, I don’t care that they bleed through the page. The publishers of these books were kind enough to keep the verso side of the spread mostly blank, so I don’t lose anything that I’m not willing to lose in the interest of using exactly the materials that I want to use.

The Collatz Conjecture, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss
The Collatz Conjecture, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss

My favorite pages, so far, are one that are not full of tiny, tiny details, like the one above, These tiny details require more attention than is comfortable for me.

The Kolakoski Sequence, The Collatz Conjecture, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss
The Kolakoski Sequence, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss

This Kolakoski Sequence has just about the right balance for me of detail and broad areas of color. I’m generally more interested in the description of the form after I’ve colored it, but in this case it was already obscured by the bleed through from the previous image. Oh, well, I still have the internet.

Mechanical Curves, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Mechanical Curves, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

Here’s another one done with both markers and pencils. I didn’t find this uncolored page very compelling, so I challenged myself to use color to make it more interesting to me.

detail Mechanical Curves, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
detail Mechanical Curves, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

I was pretty happy wit the way this one turned out.

Dodecapliex, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Dodecaplex, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

The thing I like the most about these books is that I can pick them up and put them down with impunity. I don’t have to remember what I was thinking about or where to start. During the years of raising children and never having any extended amounts of time to work on anything, it still makes me feel happy to have something to do that doesn’t suffer from interruptions.

Spiral Tile,Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Spiral Tile,Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

This spiral is the first one I did in these books. Took quite a few sitting before I considered to be finished, but that’s fine.

Co-Prime Numbers, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Co-Prime Numbers, Patterns of the Universe by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss

Here I got to play with trying to create a illusion that these circles were not in a precisely straight line. Sadly, in this photo that illusion seems to be mostly lost, but on the page they do look wiggly.

Graph Theory, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss
Graph Theory, Visions of the Universe by Alexs Bellos & Edmund Harriss

Not all drawings that I do come out great. Some come out well but don’t photograph well, like this one, which I love, but doesn’t seem to like the camera much. Sharpies love the camera.

Those funny shapes to the right of the page are called Sphericons. They are peculiar, funny, and I will making some to give away and some to hang on our tree. They are pesky to try to make out of paper, hence it will be many more days before they get a post of their own. But am happy to have finally made a post about my favorite coloring books.

OH, and if the editors or authors are taking requests, how about a coloring book along the same themes as these, made for kids and printed like old-fashioned coloring books, on newsprint, so that crayons would be the preferred medium? A mathy coloring book for kids, with large, not-particularly detailed patterns sounds like a great idea to me.

 

 

 

geometry and paper · holiday project · Ornament · Paper Ornament · Uncategorized

Round-up of Holiday Season Projects

A Bevy of Paper globes
A Bevy of Paper globes Directions at https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/spiraling-paper-ornament/

Making things out of paper seems to be something we do during the holiday season.

Here’s some projects that I’ve written about with links to the full posts that explain them, that seem appropriate for the season.

This first one, the Spiraling Ornaments was surprisingly well-liked. All year, when I visited different places, I’d see ones that people I know had made.

Video tutorial (not mine) for Kaleidocycle https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=tdv1GwY025M

 

 

Here’s a template for a kaleidocycle. Not particularly holiday-ish, but fun and colorful, folds into something like the image below. More about this at https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/kaleidocycles-and-tetrahedrons/

Kaleidocycle/tetrahedrons
Kaleidocycle/tetrahedrons

 

Next, directions for a six-sided snowflake. My big tip is to use paper napkins, as they already are the right shape: no extra prep needed! Also, paper napkins cut quite easily. They are perfect for snowflakes.

how to make a paper snowflake
https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/tis-the-season-to-make-paper-snowflakes/

 

If you want to understand how the cuts of your snowflakes affect the final design, see below:

 

https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/paper-snowflake-cutting-tips/

 

 

Festive Jumping Jacks are quite fun. I’ve made these with kids just a few times, as all the knot tying makes this an intense project for anything more than a small group, but so worth the effort!

Jumping Jumping Jack

To work out how to make these you might have to look at a few posts, which are all listed at https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/wat-meer-trekpoppen-more-jumping-jacks/

The stars below are tricky to make, until you get the hang of them. I still have the ones I made on display from last year.

https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/pentagons-paper-folding-stars-origami/

The original post contains a good bit of discussion about the geometry embedded in these shapes.

Finally, making little books with stories or messages is always worth doing.

Origami books made from a multiple folded papers, to create a Star Book and a Cascading Book, aka Origami Caterpillar Book
Origami books made from a multiple folded papers, to create a Star Book and a Cascading Book, aka Origami Caterpillar Book

Here’s a post that can get you started on some simple books to make with kids https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2017/10/10/four-books-students-can-figure-out-how-to-make-on-their-own/

For more an overwhelming amount of other book ideas, check out what I’ve tagged as making books with children

There you have it. Enough to do to keep you out of trouble at least until January.

November 20 · pop-up · Uncategorized

Happy Blog Birthday #9

Cut Paper Doodles
Cut Paper Doodles

For it’s birthday, I’ve made this nine-year old blog  a  pop-up card, inspired by Arno Célérier, whose work I saw on David A. Carter’s facebook page. I generally don’t spend much time making pop-ups, but I do like cutting paper. Sometimes, while sitting having morning coffee with my husband, I cut silly little shapes from any paper that near me, just because I like the activity of cutting. Then I throw the shapes away. 

Seeing Arno Célérier’s work has made me think about assembling these little paper doodles into pop-up cards.

 

 

Paper Doodle Pop-up Card

The  assemblages above is to celebrate nine years of blogging.

On this same date, in 2014, four years ago, I started engaging on twitter, so it’s a four-year old birthday for @paulakrieg. Here’s my birthday card to my twitter handle.

Doodling in Dimensions
Doodling in Dimensions

A sweet little close up detail:

detail of paper play
Detail

I’m liking having been inspired to play in this way.

Happy Birthday to all!

Uncategorized

Card-Carrying Blizzard Book, any size you like

Art of the Fold by Hedi Kyle It's so wonderful to have this book in the world.
Art of the Fold by Hedi Kyle
It’s so wonderful to have this book in the world.

Generalization has a bad rap. We’ve all been admonished with the phrase “don’t generalize.” But sometime generalization is a worthy pursuit. Sometimes when you can come up a way to understand something in a general way, it opens up possibilities.

 

Hedi Kyle’s card-carrying Blizzard Book is an elegant, well-loved folding structure. I wrote a post about this structure about 7 years ago: this post of mine has attracted viewers every single day (nearly 20,000 views so far). What I want to do here, in this post, is to generalize the paper proportions so we can make a card-carrier blizzard book that can hold any size cards, not just business cards.

Determining the size of your paper can be done in one of two ways: 1)referencing the cards themselves or 2)measuring the cards then doing some calculations with numbers. I do it both ways, starting with no measuring tools except for the cards that will be going into the book’s pockets, then I do the math to check and refine.

There’s a video link at the end of this post, demonstrating how to discover the perfect size paper for your cards of choice, but here’s photos and a description, too, because a snap shot may be all you need to see what’ going on.

two widths, one length
two widths, one length, to find the measurement of the short edge of the paper you will need

First, or course you have to know the size of the cards that you want to put into the pockets. These cards will have a length(bottom) and a width (side).

To find the short side of the paper you will be needing, stack two short edges of your cards plus one long edge of your card, then add just a bit more. In the example above my cards are 3.5″ x 5.5″ so I added 3.5 + 3.5 + 5.5 + .5 = 13 inches. This is the short edge of the paper I will need to cut.

Keep in mind that the paper you will be needing will be a long narrow rectangle.

four short edges to determine 1/2 of the paper I will be cutting
doubling the length of the four short edges gives you the length of the paper you will need

To determine the long edge of the paper you will need, measure one short edge of the card for every pocket that you want to have in your book. I usually make books with eight pockets, so I measure four short sides then double this length, and finally add another 1/8″ per pocket. In the example above, the short sides of my cards are 3.5″ so four of these are 14 inches, doubling this makes 28 inches, then I add one more inch and get 29″.

My eight-pocketed book will, therefore, by 13″ x 29″. If I want 16 pockets, like what Hedi shows in her book, I double ONLY the length of the paper. In my example my paper would then need to be 13″ by 58″.

Here’s the video of me telling you all of the above.

 

Addendum: Here’s a video on how to make the blizzard book. The paper I use in this video is 13″ x 29″.