Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Today was such a lovely day outside my wife and I had to get out of the house and go do something.  But what?  Today was the Cherri blossom festival in Washington D.C. and there wasn’t a chance I was going anywhere near that place.  I’m not a huge fan of big crowds.. So we began to think about other places that would be fun to visit.  We settled on Annapolis Maryland because neither of us had ever been to the state capital before.  So we packed our bags and my Nikon D5100 and a few lenses and we were out the door!

Here is a picture of my amazingly gorgeous wife and our daughter Zelda. _DSC0095

I told my two ladies  to sit on the steps of an empty shop while I broke out the cam.  I love how this picture came out because my subjects are very sharp (Malia and Zelda) Malia just looks beautiful here with her color coordinated self.  Zelda is stuffing her face as normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took many pictures but I wanted to highlight a few of them here.  _DSC0061This first picture I took in the heart of the city.  It has a very colonial style to the city.  So I tried to tell the story of where we were at by getting down low and shooting the picture at an upward angle.  This helps me see things from my daughters perspective as well as get one of the state buildings in the background.

Zelda, my daughter, is triumphantly holding a peddle that had fallen from the tree in this shot.  This was a very good composure I believe.  I’m sure I could have done something to make it better, but when working with a 1 year old kid… its hard to keep them still

 

 

 

 

 

_DSC0102I love this next picture because it came out so well.  We were walking down this street and I noticed this would be a great shot.  I was around 2pm to the light was still very harsh.  As with my other pictures I tried to find some shade to shoot in.  We crossed the street and I opened up my aperture very wide to blur the background and bring focus two my wife and daughter.  It took us a few shots but we got a great shot here of Zelda laughing.  You also get a sense of motion with the people behind her and her hair blowing in the wind

 

_DSC0112Finally at the end of that hill we came across an AMAZING Irish violin player, playing some classic Celtic style tunes on his instrument.  I broke out my camera and capture this sad picture.

I love this picture because it tells a story.  A story of how “connected” and how “disconnected” our world is now.  Here we have this amazing man of culture and talent, playing wonderful music… all while being ignored by just about every person who passes him on the street.

Story telling in photography can be tricky.  There was another man taking pictures of him as well, but he was at a different angle focusing solely on the subject.  By getting behind the musician we are able to see the world through his eyes.  What might he be thinking?  Will today be his last day to play?  Will he decide his talent is a waste?  Will he push on to provide the world with such wonderful music?  Time will tell.

IMG_1075Want to start Perler Beading as a hobby?  You’ve found it all right here!  I will walk you through all the supplies you will need – resources – etc for you to get started creating whatever you dream up!

If you’re new to 139hobbies.com welcome!  If you’re new to the site check out the side bar with a list of all the current hobbies I am involved in that I have written articles for.

Perler Beading – Who Does It?
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I’m thrilled your interested in perler beading!  People who perler bead come from all different walks of life.  Maybe your a “gamer” who saw some cool 8-bit art work made out of Perler Beads.  Maybe you’re a kid who has a friend that made a unicorn and you want to make one too.  Maybe you’re a mother who is trying to occupy her children some something other than turning on the TV.  Maybe you’re elderly who just wants to find something creative to do with your time.  If any of these people describes you Perler Beading would be great!

I’m a husband in my late 20’s with a young daughter and I love this hobby!  I was drawn to it because I could recreate 8-bit video game artwork of Mario and Sonic.  Check out my other pages to see some of my other perler beading art work.  So if a grown man enjoys this stuff – I’m confident anyone else will!

Is this an Expensive Hobby?
Not at all!  In fact if you would like to just give it a try before committing a lot of money to it.  You can just go to your local Walmart, Target, Micheal’s, or Joe Ann’s Fabric and pick up the “Perler Tray Of Beads” for around $10.00 That comes with 4000 color coded beads of 16 colors and an idea book as well.  That’s what I did.  I just wanted to make one thing then I ended up buying another pack… and another… Pretty soon I realized that the things I wanted to make required a larger range of color.  That’s when I committed $70 to about 40,000 beads numbering roughly 38 different shades… But that was a few months ago and I still haven’t run out of any color.

The reason I wanted to go ahead and get as many shades as I could was so that I could create more dynamic art.  The more color range you have the better you can give the illusion of shading and a 3D effect.  That’s what I decided would be good for ME. You may only want a few extra shades.  So Lets Walk Through What you’ll need.

Basic Supplies
Here are the absolute basic supplies you’ll need to get started.

  • I would recommend getting “Perler Tray Of Beads” for around $10.00 That comes with 4000 color coded beads of 16 colors and an idea book as well.
  • You will want to buy at least one square peg board (They sell them in a lot of different shapes but try to find the square ones because those are the only ones you will later be able to connect to other square board to create a larger canvas to work with.)
  • Wax Paper – this usually comes with either the large bead kit or the peg boards.
  • An Iron – The iron is how you “fuse” the beads together.
  • A Perler Graber – I don’t actually know the real name – but it is a green little tool for about 3 bucks that helps you pinch up the beads out of or onto the board when your fingers might not be able to reach it.  VERY useful for when a bead lands onto the wrong spot.

That’s it!  Once you have these supplies you’re ready to go!

IMG_1098Organization is Key! 
When you are dealing with such tiny beads it is important to be organized.  If you get the starter set it is easy enough to keep them all in their little spots.  Resist the urge you or little ones may have to dump them all out into a single bucket for whatever reason pops into your mind.  When I got the extra 38 shades of color (1000 bead packs each for about 1.99 or 1.69 per pack.)  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to use them straight from their bags.  So I went to find some containers.  I went to walmart first thinking I would find something cheap there.  I paid 20 bucks for a decent sized plastic box with different draws and had something like 25 spaces to put beads in.  Then I went to Micheal’s and hit the jackpot!  Micheal’s has these bead boxes with 17 compartments but only $2.00 each!  So I bought 8 boxes of them and now all but one of them are filled with beads.

How to “Fuse” your beads together
This can take some practice – as well as some trial and error.  These beads are plastic and are respond quickly when heat is directly applied to them.  This is where the wax paper comes in.  Here are the basic steps.

  1. IMG_0753Plug in your iron and let it heat up for 2 minutes.  Set it to medium heat.  If it is too low the beads won’t melt and fuse.  If it is too high you risk burning the paper.  Medium is perfect for almost all irons.
  2. Set your finished bead pictures (still on the peg board you crafted it on) on a hard flat surface.
  3. Put the wax paper over the beads
  4. Set the iron on top of the paper and slowly slide the paper in both a clock wise and counter clock wise motion – this will help the small amount of plastic fuse together more easily.
  5. Do this for about 30 seconds without removing the heat.
  6. Take off the iron and very carefully pull off the wax paper from one end to see if the beads have fused together.  If you lift the paper off but see a bead or two that has not stuck to the picture – reapply hear in that area or the whole picture for another 15 – 20 seconds.
  7. Once it is one piece – CAREFULLY take the beaded picture off the peg board and turn it over onto a hard surface and repeat the process.  If you don’t fuse both sides it will break very easily.

The first time will be a little nerve wrecking – so i suggest you do something small that didn’t take long to get the hang of it.

IMG_0715It is possible to fuse the picture so much that no holes are present leaving a smooth surface.  This is a great for coasters like I have posted here.  This process takes a little longer – but not much.  Heat time will vary but for me it took between 60 – 120 seconds to get a completely flat surface.  I also was applying a little more pressure as I tried to smooth it out and get all the little holes to go away

A word of warning – if you are trying to achive a surface with no holes a few things to remember

  1. IMG_1103Don’t press too hard.  The harder you press the more likely you will actually melt the beads shorter – which will cause the pegs they are resting on to stick up and poke holes in your picture – because the plastic is melting down due to the presure.  This creates holes which you will be un able to fix.  Take your time.
  2. Don’t move the wax paper if you don’t have to.  If you keep lifting it up – each time you take up the wax paper it may leave indents in your melting plastic.
  3. Don’t do too large of an image.  I created an epic nintendo sign which took something like 2,500 beads and 2 days to finish.  I wanted to get a perfectly smooth image but because I had to melt it a section at a time the picture got very warped.  Pegs started popping through – and now the biggest creation I have made sits in my closet… ashamed… lol.

I’ve included the Nintendo sign I made here showing what I mean.

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Getting/Stealing some great ideas!

Don’t try to come out of the gates creating stuff on your own.  Find something someone else has already done online and follow their picture peg for peg.  This will help train your eye for how to do this particular kind of art work.  If you try to do something yourself – you may get frustrated very quickly.  Everything I have created so far is pretty much peg for peg off of someone else’s picture I’ve found online.  It is still immensely satisfying because I created it with my own hands.

If your kids are the main ones using this – try to give them direction – if they are really small just tell them to make different shapes.  If they are a little older tell them to make SIMPLE objects like a tree – a spoon – a bat – or something along those lines.  If you tell them to make a person (or they try to) without having something to follow they will likely be disappointment with what they created and determine this is too hard.  It’s not too hard – people just have to adjust to the medium of the art work, that’s all.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this “Getting Started” Article on perler beading.  Please lead a comment or follow me on facebook and I will be sure to reply with any questions.

To see my other creations please check out the link on the left side column titled “#25 Perler Beading”

IMG_0007While sitting at a beach hotel in Peru I noticed what a nice photographic shot lay before me.  Bunching all the food and coffee together – and sprinkling a little brown sugar on the table for some more texture, I was pretty please with how this shot turned out.  Everything you need for a balanced breakfast… sort of… lol.

Little can you tell but if I were to raise my camera up and take another picture you would see the Pacific Ocean about 30 yards away.  Love the hobby of photography!

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IMG_0767Hobby: Perler Beading.  Leon from the Resident Evil Games.

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IMG_0775Love my perler beading hobby!  Great little thing to do to pass the time.

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IMG_0067When you see this image, what comes to mind?  Not too long ago I was in Pacasmayo Peru in South America to help an orphanage & Church down there.  I love when I visit other Countries because to me EVERYTHING is art.  Every street, every building, every person, every ally is art.  Take this scene for example.  Many people will see very different things in this picture.

  • Some might just see a wall.
  • Some might only notice the graffiti.
  • Some might see the remains of posters – or the current one that is up.
  • Some might feel sorry for anyone who lives here.
  • Some might think this place is nothing but a dead end.

But did you notice the fresh bricks ready to be laid in the bottom right of the photo?  You see, even when it seems like there is no hope for a grungy and poor situation, renewal is just around the corner.  This was Hobby #32 “Travel”

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IMG_0790Its amazing how 6 colors of perler beads can give an image such a 3D look.  This is Hobby #25 “Perler Beading”.  Took about 15 minutes to create and iron.  Now it is proudly hanging on my wall.  Whoohoo!

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DSC_0137During one of my many treks through the United States’ Nations Capital (Washington D.C.) there are a ton of photographic opportunities.  I try to pick just one subject to photograph each time I’m in the city.  This helps me to get the best shot.  I’m not good enough to compose a great images in a matter of minutes like the professional photographers out there.  It helps me to get at least one shot I’m very pleased with.  It’s a little past 6am EST the morning of this shot.  The sun is directly behind the Washington Monument.

Washington Monument Trivia!
You might have noticed in this picture that it appears the bottom of the monument is a different color.  You’re eyes are correct!  They started building the monument to George Washington back in 1848 – 1854.  But construction was put on hold due to politics, funding, and many other things.  It was finally finished between 1878 – 1884.  Due to this decades long gap – they ended up having to slice marble from a different location in Maryland which is why to this day we have a two toned monument.

Also the monument is 555 ft tall… wow.

Also no other buildings in Washington D.C. are allowed to be taller than the Monument or the Capital Building.  Which is why to this day these structures are still very prominent in the skyline, even-though we have the construction abilities to build significantly taller things than this now.

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So I’m sitting here watching the superbowl.  I get up to make some cheese dip and all of a sudden I’m not hearing anything… I look at the screen and most of the stadium is dark… No speakers… no lights… Wow…. All I can do is laugh.

Growing up, I’ll admit it, our family (as a kid) had the power cut out on us when we couldn’t afford to pay… But… Common.  The power company didn’t have to cut the power DURING the Superbowl?!  Common NFL… All the mad money you’re making during this Super Bowl and yall couldn’t pay the power company?  Hey, NFL, just give me a call and I’ll let you know about how to use “BillPay”  hahah Oh well… Let endless amounts of mocking the NFL begin!

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IMG_0052A small park used at an Orphanage by dozen’s of children in Peru (South America).  I took this shot as they left the playground, heading to lunch.  It’s amazing what things like this can do for the spirits of a child in their situation.

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