How to draw Islamic geometric patterns

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Over at the Root Simple website, Mr. Homegrown wrote about the fun he's been having learning how to draw Islamic geometric patterns from this book by Eric Broug.

It’s a book of step by step drawing instructions. All you need is a ruler, compass, pencil and pen. While the geometry behind theses patterns is enormously sophisticated, actually drawing out the shapes is surprisingly easy and relaxing. It’s also a fun and painless lesson in geometry, especially for those of us not inclined towards math..

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Street Craft: Yarnbombing, Guerilla Gardening, Light Tagging, Lace Graffiti and More

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Beyond graffiti. The artists featured in Street Craft apply non-paint to the urban landscape. Instead of spray cans they use yarn, cloth, plastic, plants, and sculpture. This “street crafting” is full of surprises in ways that are original and brilliant, witty and profound. The craftsmanship is excellent. The concepts can be subversive, or uplifting. Think of it as public art without permission. The book is a glorious catalog of some of the best pieces which have appeared on streets of the world. No matter what you create, they’ll be some great ideas here.art Read the rest

World's coolest walking cane

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The Minnesotastan says: "One of my prized possessions is a walking stick that was hand-carved for me by an elderly man in Kentucky when I used to live and work there. The one above was carved by a craftsman in Oregon from a single stick of wood. Here is his video documenting the process."

Mike Stinnet made this copperhead walking cane. He has an Etsy store with other wondrous carvings and paintings. Read the rest

Lovely profile of James Merry, Björk's maskmaker

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Björk has become known for rocking some stunning embroidered masks. Hint published a nice overview of her longtime collaboration with maskmaker James Merry. Read the rest

WATCH: turn smartphones into 3D hologram projectors

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Mrwhosetheboss made a down-and-dirty holographic projector for a smartphone using a plastic jewel case and special video files. Try it yourself! Read the rest

Homemade bumper harness saves blind dog from bumping into everything

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“Our dog Buddy has become blind because of cataracts. My fiancé has made him this bumper harness so that he can confidently walk around the house without hurting himself!” Read the rest

Glow-in-the-dark patterns burned into electrocuted wood

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Imgur user PapJ06 created these interesting Lichtenberg figures by electrocuting wood blocks with a modified microwave transformer, then applying glowing powder and resin. Read the rest

Watch: 40 watt “LASER SHOTGUN!!!!!”

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The all-caps and the exclamation points are mandatory. Read the rest

Gorgeous video of artisans crafting ceramics in Icheon

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Mr.Romance's lovely video of master artisans creating ceramics is a super-chill look at the beautiful techniques being practiced in the South Korean city of Icheon. Read the rest

"When arts die, they turn into hobbies."

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Author Michael Lind weighs in with this thought-provoking essay about what happens when an art form shrinks to a niche market. Using literature and architecture as examples, he organizes major and minor arts horizontally, based on audience size: Read the rest

MAKE: dollar-store ninja Xmas tree ornaments

Here's a great tutorial for using ribbon, baubles, and googly eyes to honor the Christmas Spirit intrinsic in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with your festive Krampusbush. Read the rest

Star Wars Tree Sweater

This is how they yarn-bomb in Iowa City. (via Ellen Kushner) Read the rest

WATCH: Japanese doll maker at work

Many thanks to Andreas for sharing this lovely video of a doll maker in Japan. Read the rest

Accidentally on Purpose – The beauty of jazz-like improvisational quilting

There are a handful of other books about African-American quilts, particularly quilts from Gee’s Bend; each have beautiful quilts to show, but this obscure exhibition catalogue remains my favorite. Whereas other books tend to position the quilts in the context of modern art and abstract painting, scholar and collector Eli Leon focuses on the connection with West and Central African textile traditions.

Leon’s thesis is that African-American quiltmakers, much like jazz musicians, were drawing on the aesthetic traditions of Africa when they began to make quilts to keep their families warm. “[Afro-traditional quiltmakers] favor ‘flexible patterning,’ in which the design is conceived as an invitation to variation; rather than repeat, the pattern may materialize in a sequence of visual elaborations.”

This contrasts sharply with the standard American quilt-making tradition and its attention to precise measurement and exact pattern repetition. Instead, afro-traditional quilters “maintain a generous attitude towards the accidental.”

What makes the essays so great is that Leon is a passionate observer of process, using diagrams to describe variations on a single block pattern and exploring at length the design choices used in specific quilts.

With the help of extensive interviews with African-American quilt makers, Leon creates a language to describe these design techniques. Subtitles like “accumulative creation,” “bimodality,” and “integration of accidentals” hint at what this book has to offer to designers and improvisers of all stripes.

Also worth checking out is Talking Quilts, a series of conversations between Eli Leon and quilter Sherri Lynn Wood about his collection. Read the rest

Whiskey production is not keeping up with whiskey demand

Whiskey is a "slow food". Whiskey consumption is a fast trend. And, herein, lies a problem. (I will fight all y'all for the last bottle of Buffalo Trace.) Read the rest

New book on HOWTO to make cute crochet people (including famous ones)

Boing Boing reader Allison Hoffman, whose crocheted Breaking Bad dolls I blogged about previously, tells us:

Thanks to your positive review and others like it, I was able to write a book and its release is set for October 1st! Its a how-to book on creating custom dolls to look like famous or not-so-famous people.

It looks great. Amazon Link: "AmiguruME: Make Cute Crochet People"

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UglyCon at GR2 in LA this weekend: a gathering of Uglydoll fans

I had the great pleasure of visiting with Giant Robot's Eric Nakamura and collaborators last night at the GR2 space on Sawtelle in Los Angeles.

Way into the wee hours of the night, they were gathering one-of-a-kind Uglydoll art for the fourth annual Uglycon, which starts June 15 and continues through June 26. The show includes Uglydolls created by fans, and fellow artists.

Photo: Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing pal Tim Shey and I walked around the space and watched a mural and an exhibit take shape. Above, a time-lapse video of the mural creation shot by Eric Nakamura.

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