Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer Enrichment Program at UNCO - Greeley

Dream it... Build it...! At SEP 2015, you will find models of dream houses. From colorful house including its landscaping design, bubble under water house, hexagon house, to a two story dream house... yes...we have the models. 

These models are created by students grades 5-10 as part of Summer Enrichment Program that runs annually by University of Northern Colorado. Conny Karman, from IDEA It Lab, had the opportunity to share her talent in architectural design.

The program runs July 5-18, 2015. In addition to students from all over the state including Illinois, Wyoming, Texas, Nebraska, Arizona, we have students comes from all over the world including China, Taiwan and France.

Students learned how to draw front, side, top view. They put their new skills to practice to draw the room they are in. Then, students explore the basic architecture skills including exploring geometric shape in architecture and learning to use bubble diagram to organize their design.

Then using all their new skills to work, they design and make their dream house models.

At the end of the program, students share their models to their parents and friends... The best part is, they got to bring their models home...  It's a great place to spend your Summer... Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Religious mommy name necklace

I recently received an order from a mom of 2 sons in Maine. It is inspired by my personalized gift necklace. Instead of a pearl, she would like to have cross on it.

The name of her son is handstamped on the bottom and brushed finish. Since it's only have 7 characters, it is stamped facing outward. All is made of sterling silver. It is great gift for anyone special. Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Confirmation gift

New from Bigib, a confirmation necklace. It is made of sterling silver, hand stamped with confirmandi saint's name. Final product may be different than pictured. This personalized piece is a slightly oval, free form charm with some  coining details to create "old piece" character. Great gift for your special ones.
Please allow 7-10 working days for custom orders. To learn more, please visit

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.
 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:

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.