Tuesday, January 6, 2015

10 Strategies to help boost your creativity

Top 10 strategies to help boost your creativity.

10. Work in a peaceful, relaxing  place.
  9. Drinking your favorites drink helps. Margarita makes me dizzy. I'd go with a cup of tea...
  8. Observe... sometimes nature helps with your creativity ( including cloud gazing )
  7. Write down 100 ideas... usually after number 75, your have one of the most greatest ideas.
  6. Visit a museum, gallery, art shows. Do not copy the idea. You are looking for an inspiration...
  5. When you are stuck, do your chores, including laundry or clean up the kitchen.
  4. Talk to other friends.
  3. Doodles... on the napkin, on a piece of toilet paper. Sometimes right after shower would be the
      best time to get creative.
  2. Watch movies.
  1. Experiment with color, texture, shapes.
And don't forget to share some other ideas that works.

PS: I see a flying elephant in the cloud... What do you see?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Winter break activity: Build a geodesic dome from plastic straws

  • Straws ( got mine at a grocery store)
  • Mini brads
  • Paper punch (about 1/16" diameter)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

  • How to calculate a triangle if you know the angle and one of the length? If your students are high school, you can use trigonometry. 
  • Triangle is the strongest and more economical shape. Talk about angles in a triangle
  • Constraints. My straw length is about 7". The longest straw should be no longer than the material.

If you have a middle schooler, you can relate this with trigonometry. For this activity, I have a "cheat sheet" from youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1ZLoQc0ay0
 If the outside of pentagon = N, the R for the pentagon is Nx0.8696 or Nx1.0224 for hexagon.

If the longest straw is 5.5" = N, the r for pentagon is a 5.5"x0.8686 = 4.78"

Cut straws to 2 sizes:
Green: 5.5" ( about 35 pieces)
Blue: 4.75" ( about 30 pieces )
Hole punch both ends and connects it with brads.

Starts by making a big circle using 10 green straws

Connect them with blue straws. Add vertical blue straws on the middle of the blue pentagon. Connect the top of the blue straws with green straws to make this shape

 Then connect horizontal lines using green straws. Then add the vertical blue straws as pictured.

Connect the last brad.
You made a model from straw. Want to be more creative? Instead of straw, try using rolled newspaper... See how big it can get. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

IDEA It Lab: Hands-on activities for little engineers - Fibonacci numbers

Topic: Applying math - Fibonacci numbers can be found in daily life.
Architects use Fibonacci numbers and Golden Ratio as tools to measure beauty. When they design a building, they would consider the proportion and measurements according to Golden Ratio, 1.618
It is amazing to find this ratio in nature.

Video to view: Nature By Numbers
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkGeOWYOFoA

Activities: Observe the world around you. See if there is any proportion or shape even color that caught your eyes. See if you can find a certain ratio on the object you are observing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Object from my childhood that interested and influenced me

I remember my dad gave me wooden blocks toys. It's somewhat similar to the picture attached where I can build and make something. I think I can still "feel" the shape and the texture in my hand. I enjoy the process of building something. It's probably not always come up as I was planning but it's still interesting.
Today, I got my bachelor degree in architectural engineering but never really practice it. As a mom, I enjoy going to art fairs, museums and travel to new places. Sometimes, I have a burst of ideas ( need to write it down quickly). I enjoy putting together creative programs and I still play with wooden blocks I bought for my daughter. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hand made Holiday decor

Yes you can be creative and make your own Holiday decor. How?

Find a piece of metal sheet, add some creativity and " Voila...."

I love going to hard ware store where I could find a piece of copper sheet and some tools. 

I have a Christmas tree stencil at home that I slightly modify. I added a rectangle on the bottom that would work as the base.
 Using carbon paper, I copy it to the metal piece and cut the outline and leaving the bottom part un cut. I use engraving tool to scar the bottom part of the three where I plan to do a  90 degree fold
 After filing and decorating the item with letter stamping, the item is ready to fold
As for the green patina, I add soak the piece for 30 in a solution of  3 tbs vinegar and 3 tsp salt. Then, I take it out and let it air dry. I add some salt to make the process faster. It takes couple hours to develop the green patina. You can use this to decorate your dining table for your Holiday dinner, or you can put it in your mantle or any place that needs decorating. A simple but impressive project. Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wire and beads, yes middle school (you) can make an interesting jewelry for $10 or less.

You only have wire and some of your favorite beads. Can you make a jewelry with it? If you ask me, the blog writer, the answer is YES. It is nice to have store bought toggle or lobster clasp. But if you are on a budget to make a gift for your loved ones, you are in luck because if you take one of IDEA It Lab jewelry program, they will teach you how

Here's how.
1. Buy some quality beads from local bead store like Ju Ju Beads for $6.
2. Black copper wire a spool for $2.
3. Borrow chain nose, flat nose, round nose and cutting pliers from your dad, uncle or anyone you know for free.
4. Your time to read make it.

If you don't know how to do a simple wire loop, you can check out this video. In this bracelet, I added something unique which is squiggly wire. Last but not least is to make a closure. The basic idea is to make an "S" shape or "skinny number 8" where both wire loop connects. You can slightly modify to make an interesting shape. One end needs to have a gap enough for the wire to slip. If you need a step by step instructions, please leave a comment on this blog.

Total cost for this bracelet, $10. The personal value of making it yourself, priceless.