bean-by-number: venetian mask

February 25, 2011 § 4 Comments

Lent and Mardi Gras are right around the corner, always preceded by The Carnival of Venice beginning this weekend.  Although I’m nowhere near that side of the world nor am I going to a masquerade, I just had to fulfill the urge to craft a Venetian mask.

Back in November, I mentioned my big aspiration to design a series of bean-by-number crafts, and started with the bean-by-number Turkish tiles.  Well, it’s been long overdue, but I finally have a second to add to the series.  This Venetian mask is embellished with black-eyed peas and black turtle beans.

You can download the bean-by-number: venetian mask template here. I designed the template with the intention of using a third bean, but I decided to stick with only two types in the process.  Of course, you can use whichever beans and as many varieties as you’d like.

On a related note, I often burst out in song, the likelihood of which is Broadway.  It’s in fact not a rare occasion that I’m repeatedly singing the most catchy line from Phantom of the Opera: “Masqueraaaaade, paper faces on parade.  Masquerade.  Hide your face so the world will never find you… ”  🙂

bean-by-number: turkish tiles

November 5, 2010 § 12 Comments

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of Istanbul’s İznik tiles in the previous post and can make sense of how my crazed bean art adventure last night resulted in the following design.Iznik tile-inspired bean art

As I mentioned in the previous post, I would like to create, over time, an assortment of crafts based on childhood art techniques.  What I didn’t mention is that, for a fraction of that assortment, I would like to design various bean-by-number crafts.  It’s exactly like paint-by-number, but with beans!   So, owing it to inspiring Istanbul, here is my first design of bean-by-number.  Go wild!bean-by-number turkish tile

Here is where you can download the bean-by-number sheet I’ve designed for you.  Listed is the sequence of beans I used, but it’s just a suggestion:

1. Red beans

2. Black turtle beans

3. Mung beans

4. Black-eyed peas

5. White navy beans

I reversed the red beans and mung beans for the second round as an alternate color scheme.iznik tile-inspired bean art

art of autumn grains

November 4, 2010 § 4 Comments

I teach several after-school and lunch-time programs throughout the week and have the good fortune of being in the company of young children on a daily basis, even just for an hour or two.  One of the many things I love about teaching is the free access pass to a labyrinth of art-clad school halls.  There’s nothing as refreshing to the eyes as beholding children’s work.

I realize, despite all of the technology and gadgets and gaming and software at a child’s fingertips, when it comes to kids, art doesn’t change.  In fact, it isn’t at all different from the art I used to make years back (okay, more like two to three decades back).  Kids are still making art from beans and pasta, as we did when we were kids, and as our kids’ kids will be doing.

I thought it would be fun to make bean art with a theme for fall —  appropriately, the harvest.  Now when it comes down to children’s art techniques, the subject is often forced to be as irrelevant as possible to the medium.  I remember when I was six years old, my bean art was of a galloping horse, its mane spiraling with mung beans.

For this craft, I felt it apropos to abandon our childhood paradigm of obliging imagination and, instead, make things out of what they really are.  Corn art out of corn.  And wheat art out of wheat (well, more technically speaking: pasta.  Semolina is really just a fancy name for wheat flour!).

I really had fun with this one!  It took me back decades.

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