Summer Thinkering Studio Journal:

Today I will continue working on my new project; making friendship bracelets.
I have finished one of my bracelets, and started another one.
Today I looked for more project ideas.
I looked some more for project ideas, and found a couple that I liked. But I missed most of the class because I was doing a 3/4 presentation for Mrs. Huff. (Me, Emma, and Andrew)
Today we are hoping to finish the pinata, by attatching the head, and then looking for new project ideas.
We finally finished the piñata, but I haven't found an idea for a new project idea yet, so I will continue looking for one tomorrow.
Today we are hoping to attach all of the things, (head, and legs) and finish.
Today we finished putting all of the legs on, and the neck, but we had to rethink our plan for attatching the head.
Today we are going to add the last leg, and maybe start on the neck.
We finished everything we were hoping to.
Today we are going to try to finish the legs of the pinata.
We finished three of the legs today, and are going to work on the last leg, and the neck tomorrow.
Today we are going to finish putting the crepe paper on the box and toilet paper roll.
We did everything that we planned to do. Then, we had some extra time, so we cut more fringed crepe paer strips. Now, we won't have to waste time cutting them tomorrow. :)
Today we are going to paper mache some of the box that I brought.
The recipe for the paper mache did not work at all, so we just used glue. We managed to cover two sides of the box with magazine and glue. We will continue to work on this tomorrow.
Today we are going to decide what we need to bring in tomorrow to begin our pinata project.
Today we found out that we need to bring in a cardboard box and flour for the beginning of the pinata.
Today I researched some stuff about pinatas.
I found out alot about the process of making a pinata.
Today I decided that I am done drawing faces. I looked around for new project ideas.
Today I decided that my new project is going to be making pinatas.
Same thing I did yesterday.
I did alot of work on my face drawing today.
Today I am going to do more work on the face I have been working on drawing.
I did what I planned to do, and drew some more on the face that I was working on.
Today I am going to draw a mouth and maybe some eyes on the face that I am working on right now.
I drew a mouth and strated one of the eyes today, on my face.
Today I am going to begin drawing a full face, but I will probably not finish.
Today I did a very good nose, and drew lines of proportion.
Today I am going to upload my second drawing of a mouth, and try to find a good video for learning to draw a nose.
Today I worked more on drawing noses, but haven't done a very good one yet.
Today I am going to work on drawing a mouth, and realistic face shapes.
I did what I said I would do in my plan.
Today I am going to work on drawing a realistic mouth.
I worked the whole class, but my drawing didn't really match the example, so I will try again tomorrow.
Today I am going to work on drawing realistic eyes.
I did work on drawing realistic eyes and I did pretty good.
Today I will do some reserach about different types of tea and things like that.
Today I did not accomplish my plan becase instead of researching tea, I reserched drawing, and changed my plan completely.
Begin new project of making tea bags, by reseraching tea.
I found out alot about making my own tea bags, and plan on working on them this week!
Research different printing techniques
Did not find many new techniques, but did do more research.
Post pictures and explenation of printing experience so far.
I finished everything I was planning on doing today, and I even had time to research more linoleum techniques.

Monday, May 28th, 2012:
So far I have learned two types of knots for friendship bracelets, and I have made two bracelets. (I only have a picture of one of them though, because I gave one to tucker, and he lost it.) The bracelet pictured below uses a forward knot. The bracelet not pictured used a backwards knot. The video below does a good job of explaining the four most common types of knots used in the braclets...

So far, I have learned...
1. The best tool for keeping the strings organized is a clipboard: This is because it will hold everything in place, and it is portable. Some websites will tell you to tape the end of the bracelet to a table and work from there. This is not a good idea because while you are pulling the knots tight, you will constantly be pulling the strings out from under the tape, and needing to readjust. Also, the bracelets will take usually no less than two or three hours (often much more than that even), and you will probably want to work in more than one place. Using a clipboard lets you not only move from table to table, but you will be able to work just about anywhere. (I made the first bracelet almost entirely in the car.)

2. These bracelets take a lot longer than I thought: When I first began I had no idea how much time making these bracelets actually recquires. I also did not anticpate that I would have to restart a couple times after completely messing up. If I had not been doing this for a school project, I probably would have given up by the third attempt. It's really easy to get frustrated and annoyed making these, so you need a lot of patience, and determination. Many of these bracelet patterns are not just summer camp crafts. They get pretty detailed and intricate. Some patterns use more than 26 strings, and can take days to make.

3. These bracelets would be really good for poor or underprivelaged kids: The string that it takes to make these bracelets is super cheap, and the patterns, while difficult, do not recquire any tools or specific equipment. This means that people all over the world have access to acquring this skill, which means a lot when compared to how many things they aren't able to do, or learn because they lack the neccesary tools.
Summer :)

Friday, May 4th, 2012:
Today I found a new project: making really complicated and cool freindship bracelets like this one...
This project could take a little while, since it might be hard to learn, and then to become good at. I will start by finding some basic patterns and instructions to start, and then hopefully start to make some much more complicated ones.
This is a link to instructions for the bracelet that I am going to try to make to begin:

Thursday, April 19th, 2012:
Here is our finished piñata...

Thursday, March 1st, 2012:
Over the past few weeks, we have finished paper macheing the box, and covered it in crepe paper. After we tried the flour and water mixture again, and got it to work, we continued to use that instead of the glue. The flour and water recipe did not look right when we first put it on the box, but after it dried, it was perfect, and exactly the write thing to use for the pinata.
After completely paper macheing the box-using magazine, unlike the newspaper that the insturctions actually called for....-and letting it dry, we began to start with the crepe paper. (This is the rolls of thin paper, usually used for streamers. It can be found at Party City, or Target.) We used two colors, yellow and pink, and cut the paper into strips. Then, we cut the paper, so that it had fringes, and applied it to the box in striped layers. We finished this today, and it turned out really great.
The next step is to create the legs, neck, and head. Since these parts will not actually hold any candy, they do not need to be paper-mache'd, so all we have to do is attatch the fringed crepe paper. We will be using toilet paper rolls for the legs and neck, but we do not yet know what the head will be made out of.

pinata.jpg pinata_2.jpg

Friday, February 10th, 2012:
Today we did more work paper-macheing the box. We decided to try the flour/ water mixture again, and it worked this time. (You need to use a whisk and mix it alot.) Hopefully next week we will be able to do the fringey paper outside with the crepe paper.

Friday, February 3rd, 2012:
Today I brought in stuff to start paper-macheing the box, but the flour/water mixture that they used in the instructions was super gross. So, instead we just used mod-podge and magazines.


Friday, January 27th, 2012:
Today I found a cool website on how to make pinatas:

Thursday, January 26th, 2012:
Today I decided that I am done drawing faces, because I am bored and frustrated with it. I am trying to decide on a new project idea now. I am considering trying to do special effects/movie makeup because I think that would be fun to try to learn.

Friday, January 13th, 2012:
Today I drew this:


At home, I drew this:


Thursday, January 5th, 2012:
Today I began my drawing of a full face. I finished my first good nose, which I will upload a picture of tomorrow, and I drew lines of proportion so that the face would look realistic, and proportionate.The full drawing of a face will probably take me a couple more class periods.

Friday, December 16th, 2011:
Here is the best drawing of a mouth that I have done so far: (it didn't show up very good in the picture)
Mouth_drawing_#2.png I am trying to find a good tutorial on youtube for drawing noses, but most of them aren't very good, or don't show you very well. As soon as I find a good one, I will use it to draw a nose, and post a picture of it. I also watched two videos by Betty Edwards on realistic drawing. And I find a good video for drawing noses. I will finish my nose drawing next Thursday.

Thursday, December 8th, 2011:
Today I worked on learning how to draw a realistic mouth, here is the link that I used:
This is only my first drawing, and hopefully not the best one that I will ever do, since it doesn't
really match the drawing in the video. Here is what I did today:

Friday, December 2nd, 2011:
Today I used a youtube video to learn how to draw an eye. It took me about 40 minutes. Here is what I did today:

Thrusday, December 1st, 2011:
Today I decided to change my project again, from making home made tea bags, to learning to draw realistic portraits of people. I will use mostly youtube videos, and websites about it, but my dad will probably also be able to help me. I will work on my new project and post pictures of my drawings as soon as I finish one. I will probably sketch in mostly pencil to begin, and possibly also use some watercolor.

Friday, November 18th, 2011:
Today I decided that I want to begin a new project; making homemade tea bags. Then, after I have them, I will make little envelopes or something to put them in, that I can stamp with a small linoleum block that I make. This way, I can tie it into my old project. This would be good because I might be able to give them away for the holidays coming up.

Thursday, November 17th, 2011:
Today I have pictures of another plate and print that I did. I carved it in linoleum, instead of foam this time. Below are pictures:
My carved linoleum plate.
My linoleum plate print.

One more linoleum plate print that I did.

Friday, November 11th, 2011:

A bag that I printed on, with a foam plate, and acrylic paint.
Today I looked up some different ways to make linoleum cutting easier, since I had such a difficult time before. It seems like there really aren't any tricks to make it easier, and it mostly just depends on the linoleum. We got another kind to try, that it more like clay, or rubber eraser, and less like cork. I am trying another print with this plate, and I am hoping it will turn out better thamn my first one did. We might also try a different type of printer's ink, since the oil-based kind that we got, requires a special solvent called "mineral spirits," just to clean it off of the plates. With a water-based ink, we would not need a solvent, and we could clean it with water.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011:
The ink and solvent we are using.
The first transfer we did, onto the linoleum.

The cutter, barron, brayer, and ink we are using.
One print that my dad did, using styrofoam.

Two plates that we made, on styrofoam.
The plate, and final print. (On a linoleum print.)

A plate that my dad did, on foam.
One print that I did, on foam.

A print that my dad did, on foam.
The first print that I did, on foam.

Today I finally posted pictures of our printing experience so far. (Above) It turns out that carving the linoleum is much harder than I thought, and it takes about 2 1/2 hours for one simple picture. So, we have been using stryfoam, which you can draw on with a dull pencil, and it imprints on. This makes it quick, and easy to carve, and the prints still look good. I have been using a lot of that, and even printed on a bag that I had. I had to use acrylic paint on the bag though, instead of regular printers ink because it was oil based and would take about two weeks to set. And even then, I could never wash it.

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011:
I did alot of printing at home with bubble wrap and cloth, expirimenting with different materials, but I havent't actually carved any linoleum yet. I will post pictures of the other types of printing later, definately my first linoleum print as soon as I finish it.
Thanks, Summer

Friday, October 28th, 2011:
Today I looked up other forms of printing. There are alot of different ways people have made prints, without using linoleum or wood blocks. Like a hot glue gun,
(, and bubble wrap,
(, or with feathers, ( I am working on my first tile at home right now, and will post pictures as soon as I finish.

Thursday, October 27th, 2011:
The linoleum printing materials finally arrived yesterday, and I have a few sketches to use for them. I ordered a few different types of linoleum, and inks to try, since I don't really know what are the best kinds. I have also decided to try something called mono-printing, which is technique using printer's ink, and plexi-glass. The only bad thing about mono-printing is that you can only pull one print from it, unlke linoleym block printing which you can pull many prints from.

Friday, October 21st, 2011:
I ordered the materials needed, and am working on a sketch of what my first print will be. I plan to carve the linoleum as soon as the blocks arrive, and print when it is finished. I am excited to try it and see how it turns out! I will probably have my finished print by Wednesday next week, if everything goes according to plan.

Thursday, October 20th, 2011:
Today I looked into printing presses that I could use with the linoleum blocks. But they were actually really expensive, ranging anywhere from $180-almost $4,000. So, since I do not necessarily need a press, I will just use a barren. Which is a tool that looks like a hockey puck with a handle, and is used for transferring the image onto the paper. Or, I could use one of the hand presses, which are less expensive. (about $50.)
I ordered some of the materials that I need, (the carving tools, and the linoleum blocks) from the DickBlick Art website.
(Link to a website about the linoleum cutter blades: )

Friday, October 14th, 2011:
Today I did some more research on linoleum printing. I still have to get a lino cutter, a barren, and a brayer. I also need to find some printers ink to use, since there is a specific kind needed. I will have to buy all of the supplies, because I do not have any of it right now. I am hoping to get my materials this weekend, and then try the actual printing process sometime next week.

Thursday, October 13th, 2011:
Today I changed my mind on my project again, Instead of learning how to make moccasins, I am going to learn how to do linoleum block printing. I will need to get the supplies, and find a good tutorial to learn from. My dad also used to make lino prints, so he might be able to help with some parts of it.

Thursday, October 6th, 2011:
Today, since Chloe and I finished our fortune cookie project, I decided to learn how to make moccasins. I will make them out of suede or leather, and then maybe bead them. I have found a few patterns online, but haven't decided on one to use yet.
I will have to figure out which pattern to use, how to size them, and then how to embroider/ bead them.

Friday, September 30th, 2011:
Criticism/Compliments from people who sampled our fortune cookies:
  • "Needed to be crunchier." (Timmy)
  • "Had a lot of almond extract." (Emma)
  • "Very sweet, and I liked how you dipped it in chocolate. Looked very nice." (Nadia)
  • "Better than the ones you get from the restaurant." (Yasmin)
  • "Yummalicous!" (Andrew Arpasi)
  • "I would like it to be a little less chewy, and more crunchy." (Mr. Brown)
  • "It's very good!" (Mr. Emmi)
  • "Best fortune cookie ever." (Mr. Whitmer)

Thursday, September 29th, 2011:
Yesterday, we finally made the fortune cookies. We brought in 27 of them, some dipped in milk chocolate and some dipped in white chocolate. We also added coconut and sprinkles to them. It took us four and a half hours to make them. It was really hard to fold them fast enough, and even when we did, a lot of them ended up cracking, and we couldn't use them. The batch of batter that we made was supposed to make 40 fortune cookies, but we did not get nearly that many.
To make the fortune cookies, we had to mix the batter/dough, and then put tablespoons of it out onto a cookie sheet. Then, we baked them for about 10 minutes, and pulled them out. Then, they were soft enough to fold into the correct shape. Then, we placed them into muffin tin so that they would hold their shape. After they had cooled and hardened, we dipped them in melted chocolate and then put sprinkles & shredded coconut on them.

Below are links to videos of teacher's reactions to the cookies.


Wednesday, September 28th, 2011:
The recipe that we used made 10 fortune cookies, so we multiplied everything by four to make 40
All of the supplies/ingredients out on the counter

Mixing the dough/batter
Finished product of sprinkled fortune cookies.

Friday, September 23rd , 2011:
Today we decided on four recipes to try:
-"Holiday Fortune Cookies," with hazelnut and cinnamon.
-Traditional Fortune Cookies, possibly dipped in white/milk chocolate with sprinkles, and coconut.
-Hazelnut Fortune Cookies, with chocolate and hazelnuts
-Fruit Flavored Fortune Cookie (Either flavored with lemon, strawberry, raspberry, or apple.)
Like I said before, we are hoping to make them next Wednesday, and bring them in for the class, on thursday.If we have time, we might be able to try more recipes, or experiment with different ways to flavor them, but we are not sure. If the class likes a specific one the best, we might work on modifying it to make it even better, or try to improve the recipes that they did not like as much.
We have found many instructional videos and wiki hows on folding the fortune cookies. And we will need to print out fortunes to put into them, also. -summer

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011:
Today we found some recipes for the cookies. We have found a lot of them, so that we can find the best out of all of them. Some of our recipes included cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, caramel, and apple flavorings. We are planning on making the actual cookies at home, next Wednesday. (September, 28th)
Then, we will bring in some, to give to the class, and find out their favorite. Thanks, -Summer

Friday, September 16th, 2011:
Today we TRIED to make fortune cookies out of paper, because we thought that it would be good practice for the ones we make out of the actual cookie dough. But we had a little trouble because we couldn't find the double-sided tape needed. We attempted to do the same thing, just using tape, but we failed, except for one that looked pretty good.
We are hoping to make the actual cookies next week, hopefully, by Thursday!! :)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011:
Today we focused on fortune cookie sayings. We found some on a web page, and picked our favorite 35. One recipe we found said to have fortunes cut about 3.5 inches by 0.5 inches. We couldn't figure out how to make that work exactly, but we decided that we would just cut them out and fold them small enough to be put inside the cookies. We also are thinking about finding a way to make a bunch of cookies, and pass them out in the lunch line, but we are not sure if this would be possible, as we have not talked to the lunchroom workers yet. Thanks!