Archive for the Crafts Category

Bruised Finger Tips

Posted in Crafts with tags , , , , , , , on June 2, 2016 by Aaron


For at least 15 years I have been wanting to make a braided rag rug. I never did when I looked into it and found out how much sewing was involved. I am not the biggest fan of sewing.

I’ve avoided sewing so much in my life that I would use safety pins to fix the holes in my clothes and to attach patches to my jackets and bags. Luckily that was stylish for a kid into punk rock.

They taught us how to sew in middle school in home economics class. That was a fun class, we learned about cooking, baking, sewing, washing clothing, etc. I tried washing my clothing at home and shrunk a lot of my clothes. We made stuffed animals and a pillow. We made apple crisp and got to eat it. If I fell in the stream on my walk to school (don’t ask) they would let me dry my clothes in the drier.

In college I took a class called Intro to Design in Fibers. I had no idea what it would be, but it turned out to be weaving and felting. I loved it. The next semester I took Advanced Design in Fibers and I was the only one in the class. This was good because I was able to adjust the schedule and make whatever I wanted. I ended up making two large rugs on a floor loom, one was woven with yarn and had an intricate, flowerish design on the front (but not on the back … tricky). The other was a rag rug. I cut up old clothes that I bought at a goodwill store and used that as the weft (strings [or cloth in this case] that go side to side on the rug. The warp are the vertical strings). You are supposed to sew the ends together so they won’t fall out but I didn’t. I didn’t want to sew and figured that they would stay together from the tension on their own. So far so good. One really cool thing about this rag rug is that it had two simultaneous warps (it is called log cabin style). That is why you see alternating vertical colors in the picture. Looking at the middle section you see blue and yellow. On the other side of the rug it will be yellow and blue, the opposite color from this side. That means I had twice as many strings to set up through the loom. It was worth it though as I think it is a beautiful rug.

Photo on 6-2-16 at 7.16 AM

Now I finally started making a braided rag rug and it takes a long time. Way longer than weaving on a loom. If you don’t sew the ends together with this one it will definitely fall apart. Then you also have to sew the sides together. The bigger it gets, the more I like how it looks though. My finger tips are all bruised up though from pushing the needle through over and over again. I bet a sewing machine would be handy here….

So little have I sewn in my life that for the first time I finished a spindle of thread. You can see my achievement pictured at the top!


Posted in Crafts, Make Your Own:, Movies, Photography with tags , , , , , , , on January 28, 2016 by Aaron

A few years ago, we (myself and a few of the other educators where I work) made a project. We were playing with the idea of projection on a surface and telling a story without words. We created this diorama in a single day.

Here are some behind the scenes production photos!


We built the diorama out of foam core, poster board, paper, tape, model magic (for the snowman), and a pico cricket (like a simple arduino) for the blinking snowman nose. We filmed the different scenes in front of a green screen. Because we filmed them separately from each other, we had to time them out so that we could match them in the edit without too much trouble. When editing, we had to line it up precisely with the windows in the building. Every time we physically moved the installation around, we had to re-edit where the videos were placed on the screen. We created the snow and smoke in Motion, a program that came with the Final Cut Pro 7 suite.

We used:

  • Video Compositing
  • Programming Simple Electronics
  • Digital Particle Generation
  • Arts and Crafts

It was really awesome.


Posted in Crafts with tags , , , on October 9, 2014 by Aaron

Beyond any lessons that can be found in the Wheel of Time, there are plenty of life lessons one can learn from weaving.

  • Patience – Weaving takes a long time. If you try to rush it, you will make mistakes and will mess up the tension, resulting in more mistakes.
  • Design – You better create/pick something that you are going to be happy with as executing that design take a long time. You want your patterns, colors, and textures to work together.
  • Diligence – Again, this takes time. The only way to discover its worth is to work your way through it. Also, I always come up with new ideas for a project when I am in the middle of another. However, you can’t just stop and start a new one until you finish.
  • Precision – When setting up a project on a 4-Harness Loom there are many chances to make a mistake that won’t be notices until it is too late to do much about it. Paying attention so that you do it right is important.
  • Practice – The different stages can be very repetitive. You definitely get better as you go.

They also make great gifts for people.

The Wheel Weaves

Posted in Books, Crafts with tags , , on September 18, 2014 by Aaron

A long time ago I read the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (and finished off by Brian Sanderson). An overarching premise is that everything has happened before and will happen again. Everyone has a destiny and “The Dark One” is trying to destroy the world by destroying the cycle. A common premise. Throughout the books he uses the metaphor of weaving to illustrate destiny. Phrases such as “the wheel weaves as the wheel wills” are common.

A friend started reading the books recently, so when I took my loom out of the garage and started working on a new project with my daughter and I almost immediately started connecting the dots. When you are weaving on a four harness loom, like I am, you have to make a plan before you ever touch a piece of string. Every inch of string has a plan from the moment you start. If you deviate from the plan there could be major implications in the finished product.

Good job Robert Jordan with a very precise metaphor.


Poster Making

Posted in Crafts, Make Your Own: with tags , , , on May 20, 2013 by Aaron

Recently I have started making Posters for the community I live in. I wanted to share them with you!

Potluck PaperPoster 2012smTrash PosterSmall

Beach Set Up Poster 2 Small

2 in a Row

Posted in Crafts with tags , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Aaron

Here is a look at the second rug I finished these past couple weeks. I was busy …

It will also be on the Weaving page. Click on it and check out the fringe. This is my first attempt at that style. After doing it I think next time I will make them a lot closer together to make smaller diamonds.

New Weaving

Posted in Crafts with tags , , on December 29, 2009 by Aaron

I finished a new weaving the other day. There is a picture of it on the bottom of the weaving page along with a bunch of other stuff that I have made.  I think I might keep this one for myself. My plans for the next project is a cammo-like rag rug. We’ll see how that turns out.

Here is another picture of it:

You can click on it if you want…