Tangle & Zentangle Art


Art and meditation can take on many forms and Zentangle patterns combine both of these awesome things in a creative way. 

If this idea has piqued your interest, there are a few rules you’ll need to know before you begin drawing with dots, lines, curves, S-curves, and orbs, and the sites offered below will help you gain an understanding of how to use them to create Zentangle art. 


You’ll find some videos at the bottom of this post that offer instructions on how to make these designs as well.


Note: Please feel free to play with the concept of only using dots, lines, curves, S-curves and orbs to make art as well. Consider it a challenge to only use those things in a drawing!

To start creating, you will need: Paper, a pencil, a fine-tipped pen, and an ultra fine-tipped pen

You will also need: A ruler and scissors to cut paper into 3.5″ squares or tiles.

Sites to learn from…


Zentangle – Learn how to get started with this meditative art from the people who designed it.


IAMBORED: 30+ Easy Zentangle Patterns to Give You Great Ideas For Your Own Zentangle Art – Answers the question: What is Zentangle? and offers some interesting pattern ideas.


Craft Whack: Inspired by Zentangle Patterns and Starter Pages – Offers printable patterns and ideas for making the designs created a little more interesting.


wikiHow to Make a ZentangleExplains what a Zentangle is and the difference between a Zentangle and a doodle.


Renee Tougas: A Beginners Guide To Beginning Zentangle  – The author of this site shares her experience with Zentangle, as a beginner.


TanglePatterns: From the site: An index and graphic guide to the best Zentangle® patterns on the web and how to draw them. Also, What is a Zentangle? and why a pattern is not always a tangle.

Art For Kids & Robots: Totally Easy Zentangle – This site offers a couple of kid-friendly Zentangle activities.

Tim’s Printables: Circle Templates, Pentagon Template 3″, Triangle Template 3″, Kite Template 3″, Square Template 3″ Use the templates to design creative drawings within or on the outside of the template.

YouTube: Tangle & Zentangle Art Playlist – Includes videos for beginners and advanced designers and pattern ideas.

Here’s one of the videos in the list…


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Dale Chihuly Resource Page

Children’s Museum: Fireworks Of Glass – A Free 87 page PDF about Chihuly’s artwork. This publication has lessons and activity ideas.

Chihuly Garden & Glass – Dale Chihuly’s store site. Offers information about the artist, his artwork, and events. 

Chihuly – Chihuly’s artwork site. View the gallery and videos of his artwork.

Art Prize: Inspired by Chihuly – Information and pictures of a piece of artwork done by 400 students based on a piece created by Chilhuly.

YouTube: Dale Chilhuly Playlist – Videos about the artist, the science behind glass blowing, and ways to make Chilhuly inspired art. Here’s one of the great videos you can find in the playlist.




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Spray Art

Here’s a fun and messy project that’s best done outdoors.

You will need: Water guns or a few small inexpensive spray bottles, *food dye or diluted tempera paint, vinegar, water, cardstock paper or a shirt, clips, strong string, and a sunny day

What to do: Run a string between two trees or objects, clip paper or a shirt to the line, fill bottles or guns with paint or dye and a tablespoon or two of vinegar, and spray the paper or shirts any way you like. Dry them in the sun to allow the color to set.

Cardstock paper can be made into a puzzle, frame or be used to make Eric Carle inspired art.

The shirt can be worn as soon as it dries. The vinegar and sun will help set the colors. Hand wash in salty water and a little detergent.

*Colored drink mixes can be used as well.


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Geometric Designs

Cleave Books – A PDF file with geometric designs made from simple shapes.

Dearing Draws – Site offers tutorials, videos, and free downloads of geometric patterns.

Creative Bloq23 Glorious Geometric Patterns in Design – See what happens when shapes take center stage.

Design School: 50 Stunningly Beautiful Geometric Patterns In Graphic Design – Geometric patterns that have been used in designs.

Andy Sowards: 60+ Beautiful Examples of Geometric Designs – This site showcases 60 impressive geometry artworks and geometric designs.




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If you find a broken link, please let me know by leaving a comment! If you have a site to share, please leave me a comment with the URL. Thank you!

Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Fractals

By JeffyP

MIQEL: Naturally Occurring Fractals – Includes plants, rivers, galaxies, clouds, weather, population patterns, stocks, video feedback, crystal growth, etc..


WIRED: Earth’s Most Stunning Natural Fractal Patterns – Scroll through a gallery of fractals.

Mother Nature Network: 14 Amazing Fractals Found in Nature – Site offers a gallery with a brief description for each one.

Fractal Foundation: Inspiring Interest in Science, Math, & Art – Site offers fractal shows, pictures, videos, a section to explore fractals, and a blog with more information.

Wikipedia: Fractal – Explains what fractals are. Pictures available.

Kids Discover: Family Nature Walk – Patterns in Nature – Fractal Activities.

Creative Star Learning: Outdoor Maths: Fractals in Nature – Explains what fractals are and offers some outdoor activities.

Fractal Music – The research project offers an introduction to fractal music.

Solomons Music: The Fractal Nature of Music – Fractal-like structures that exist in music.

Plus Maths.org: Fractal Music – Listen to Dmitry Kormann’s fractal compositions.


Videos


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If you find a broken link, please let me know by leaving a comment! If you have a site to share, please leave me a comment with the URL. Thank you!

Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Calligraphy Resources

Calligraphy Tools By Fran W.

Information About Calligraphy

History, Cultural, Types


Calligraphy: Manuscript: History of Calligraphy – Site offers historical information and writing samples.

Art of Calligraphy: PDF article about the history of calligraphy.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: Chinese Calligraphy – History of Chinese calligraphy.

Wikipedia: Calligraphy – Information about the tools used, traditions, modern calligraphy and photos.

Printable Practice Papers & DYI Pen & Ink


Printable Paper: Download printable practice pages. Variety of pages offered.


eHow: Homemade India Ink & Make Calligraphy Ink From Acrylic Paint

Embelish: How To Make Your Own Colorful Calligraphy Ink

Instructables has two tutorials for making your own writing instrument.
DIY Calligraphy Pens & Make a calligraphy pen out of a bulrush (cattail) reed

Council of ElrondCalligraphy: Make Your Own Ink & Quill Pen

Regia Anglorum: Quills – This site offers a few authentic ways to make quills and ink in addition to some historical information.

Videos

Click on arrow next to ‘Playlist’ to see the title names.



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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Create A Comic

“Famous Funnies 1933” by “Famous Funnies”
– Carnival of Comics

A really creative and fun way to play with language is to use pictures to communicate an opinion, thought or story. Comics can be used to do this, and the great thing about them is that they can be as short as one box, fill a strip of boxes, or an entire book!


What would you like to say using pictures and maybe some words? There’s no end to how creative you can be while making one of your own comics!

To make your own comic you will need…

A ruler, plain paper, a sharpened pencil or fine tipped pen/marker

Optional items: Colored pencils, colored makers

What to do…

Use a ruler to make a box or a series of boxes on plain paper. Then draw your comic with a sharpened pencil, a fine tipped pen or marker, and color in your picture with colored pencils or markers if you want to.

You can also use Make Beliefs Comixto create a comic of your own online.

If you need some inspiration, look for comics in the newspapers, or comic books and graphic novels in book stores or the library. 
Tim Hunkinused comics to show how to do a variety of science experiments. 

There are all kinds of comic book heroes that may inspire you into making your own as well. Read some comics through before you begin your own if you need to.

Comic Book + has a large collection of Golden and Silver Age comics that are legal and FREE to read online, although registration is required to download them. They also have comic strips, pulp fiction, pamphlets and other publications.


Famous Funnies – American’s first comic. Preview old copies online or download digital copies.

There have been many famous comics over the years! 
Here are some popular ones…


Marvel Comics offers visitors the chance to design a comic strip or book right on their site, and provides heroes and villains to place in the comic. Registration is required if you want to use the save option.

Comic history


Websites can change at any time! Child supervision is suggested when viewing the sites provided.

Printable Templates

Printable Pages: Comic Templates

Select a language, then make a comic using the items available.
Click on the printer located at the top right-hand corner of the page for a variety of printable pages.


Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery…

Building Writing Skills – Activities that build writing skills, naturally. 

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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Holiday and Winter Origami

Holiday Origami by Fran W

We started having fun folding paper when my oldest child was about 6 years old and we’ve been finding ways to incorporate it into our lives ever since. One year we added origami presents and cranes to a Christmas tree, another we offered a bunch of holiday related folding projects for a craft program to those who wanted something different to do.  

Here are some of the other ways we have used the paper folding projects…

  • In a diorama.
  • To make a holiday scene.
  • Hang them on the tree.
  • Decorate a present.
  • Decorate the house.
Tip: Any sized paper can be used to make the projects, but make sure the paper you use is even on all sides, crooked paper will not give good results.

Note: Copy paper can be decorated with markers, stamps and crayons, wrapping paper can be used, as can pages from magazines and newspapers. Origami paper can be found in craft and retail stores and on line in a variety of designs and sizes. Origami Way offers a printable origami paper that can be *downloaded from the site. 
*Please use caution when downloading off the Internet.

I hope you find the following paper folding projects as enjoyable as we do. Unless otherwise noted, all the projects below offer illustrated instructions. Videos are also offered below.

Tree Forest by Fran W


Origami for Winter





Origami for Christmas



Site offer a variety of wreaths and garlands all with illustrated instructions.


Presents
Turn a origami balloon into a present by stamping or coloring the paper before folding, and adding a ribbon around it after it has been blown up.

Santa


Santa Hat

Santa in his Sleigh

Video instructions offered.



Christmas Tree – Variety
There are a variety of Christmas trees available to choose from.


Illustrated instruction for a dove made from a 8″ round doillie.

Angel


Origami for Hanukkah



Origami for Kwanzaa

Sweet Corn

Choose to view instructions as a diagram or as an animation.

Weaved Place Mat

Not origami, but it is a paper craft.

Drinking Cup


Flag
Use crayons or markers to color flag as desired.


Origami for All Holidays







Holiday Origami Videos


Video Name/Time

1. Santa Claus 8:20
2. Braided Star (Maria Sinayskaya) 10:59

3. How to Make a Paper Star 3:57
 4. Origami Christmas Lights 17:14
5. Origami Christmas Santa Boot Videos 3:53 
 6. Wreath and Candy Cane 9:26

7. Advent Wreath with Candle
8. Christmas Candle Stick 6:13

9. How to Make a Paper Crane 8:47
10.How To Make A Paper Santa Hat 4:23
11. How To Make a Paper Christmas Tree 3:04
12. How to fold Santa in his Sleigh 4:45
13. How to make an Origami Reindeer 7:14
14. How to Make an Easy Origami Star Box 4:30
15. Origami Box 7:21

16. Origami Chalice/Goblet/Cup HD (Intermediate Tutorial)
17. Origami Dreidel 9:29

18. How to make an Origami Star of David 15:46

19. Corn Origami 1:58

20. Origami Winter Tree Tutorial (Tim Rickman) 10:01

21. How To Make An Origami Snowman 5:21
22. How to make an Origami Snowflake 9:38
23. How to Make a Paper Balloon (Water Bomb) 8:00 
Can be used to make a present.
24. How to Make a Paper Popper! (Easy) 9:22 
Great for New Years Eve!
25. How To – Make A Paper Banger 3:22
Great for New Years Eve!

Holiday Curriculum Connection

Origami has a lot of natural benefits and fits nicely into any holiday curriculum. Origami can be recorded under math and offers people of any age an opportunity to learn how geometric shapes and angles work, while it helps to build self confidence, spacial awareness and hand-eye coordination skills. Origami requires patience and helps the learner to focus while they are creating their pieces. Plus it’s a great way to relax once you get the hang of how to make each project.
Other benefits: Following instructions, creativity, cultural awareness, is therapeutic, decreases anxiety levels, is really fun to do and many more positive things.


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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way, or have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!



Observing Strawberries

Strawberries by Fran W.

Use your senses to observe a strawberry!


You will need:

Washed strawberries with their leafy tops (hulls), a paper plate, knife, magnifying glass, paper and pencil, and colored pencils

Optional: A pocket or regular microscope

Use your sense of…


Site

Put your strawberry on a paper plate and look at it.
Without touching it, describe what you see. (Colors, texture, etc.)
How does it look?
What do you think it feels like?
What do you think the leaves feel like?

Draw what you see…

When a scientific illustrator draws a picture, they use as much detail as possible, try to do the same with a pencil and paper. Lightly color your illustration with colored pencils when you’re finished, if you want to.

Take a deeper look…

Use a magnifying glass to take a closer look at the strawberry – remember to examine it without picking it up.
A pocket microscope can also be used.

Touch

Use your sense of touch to feel the strawberry.
Pick it up, feel the weight of it, run your fingers over it, feel the leaves, run the strawberry against your lips.
What textures do you feel?
How does the leaf compare to the red flesh of the strawberry?
Pick it up and examine it with the magnifying glass and/or microscope.
Remove the leafy top, called the hull, and examine it with a magnifying glass and/or pocket microscope.

Smell

What does the strawberry smell like? Do you like it? 
Take 2-3 of deep inhales of the strawberry, as you do, pay attention to the inside of your mouth.
What happens in your mouth when you smell it? (Your mouth may begin to water in preparation of eating the berry.)
Pick up the hull and smell it, what does it smell like? You may need to crush a little of it between your fingers to release the smell.

Observe the inside…

Cut your strawberry in half from the top to the bottom and observe the inside of it.
What does it look like inside? Feel like? Smell like? 
Describe what you observe. 
Draw what you see.
Is the inside the same as the outside? If so, how? If not, compare them.

Taste

Take a bite out of your strawberry. What does it taste like? Chew it slowly and pay att
ention to where you taste it on your tongue. (Front, back, sides)
As you slowly chew, pay attention to what’s going on in your mouth. 
How do the seeds (achenes) feel on your tongue and on your teeth?
Taste a piece of the hull of the strawberry and describe what you experience.

Try this…

Take a new strawberry and remove the seeds by cutting them off with a knife or scrape them off with your teeth, leave as much of the strawberry in tact as possible and taste it. How do the seeds taste and how does it taste without the seeds?

Tip: Save some of the seeds and see if you can grow a strawberry plant with them.

Strawberry Anatomy

Learn what all the parts of a strawberry are called here.

This activity is part the Strawberry Craze series.

Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery:

A yummy and fun way to start the day or enjoy as an anytime treat.

Learn how to start your own strawberry plant from seeds and some of the interesting ways people grow them.

Find out how strawberries have been used over the centuries and make strawberry hull tea.

Find out how to extract DNA from a strawberry using simple household items.

More strawberry related activities can be found in my ebook Strawberry Craze. This 91 page ebook is filled with 30 strawberry-related activities and 15 yummy kid-friendly recipes.

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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way, or have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!


Spark of the Day: Symbols of Fall: Twist Balloons

Twist balloon pumpkin by Fran W.

We enjoy decorating our home for the fall holidays each year and this year we decided to incorporate twist balloons into our holiday because they can be turned into so many creative things!

We are planning to make…

Pumpkins, ghosts, spiders, cats, turkeys, a cornucopia, and anything else we can think of at the time and want to try.

We want to make sure everyone can participate in decorating the house, so we made a very simple pumpkin with the balloons. 


If you would like to make a simple twist balloon pumpkin, you will need…


A package of twist balloons and a hand held balloon pump


Optional: A small balloon to place inside the pumpkin, and a scissor


Tip: Twist balloons can be purchased in a party store.


What to do…

If you need some basic twisting lessons, you can view the following 1:36 minute video, ‘Kids Learn Balloon Twist’.

Set up…

– Stretch 2 twist balloons. Fill the balloon you plan to use for the body full of air (I used orange), leaving some room at the tip, and then tie the end off. The second balloon, acting as the stem (I used green), 
only needs a small amount of air. 
Optional: A small regular balloon can be filled and set side. 

Pumpkin body:


– Using the orange balloon, fold it in half 
evenly, find the center, and twist the middle a few times to keep it in place. You will have two sides.

– Fold the two sides evenly in half again, find the center, and twist them together a few times to keep the fold in place. You should have 4 equal lengths of balloon.


– To form the body, bring all the sides together so that they form an oval, tie the loose ends to one another and tuck them into the folds to hide them. The tied end will act as the top of the pumpkin.


Pumpkin stem:


The stem can be attached one of two ways:


1. Twist the non-inflated part of the green balloon, closest to the filled side, around and through the top of the pumpkin body until tight, and tie it off.


2. Alternately, the long non-inflated part of the balloon can be twisted around and through the top a couple of times, brought down through the middle of the body, wrapped around the bottom of the pumpkin, and the extra length hidden in the folds, or tied off.


A small balloon can be place in the center of the pumpkin body if the middle is left open.


Tip: If the non-inflated part of the balloon stem is too long, tie it off and snip off the excess with a scissor.


Getting inspired…


When we need a little inspiration, a quick search on YouTube usually produces what we need. 

To make the following twist balloon Halloween decorations, you will need:


Twist and regular balloons, pump (optional but very helpful!), permanent marker, yarn or string for hanging, and scissors


Pumpkin


This 4:15 minute video will show you how to make a pumpkin that is fuller than the one suggested above.


 


Ghost Bracelet


The video will show you how to make a cute ghost bracelet. You will need a water balloon for the head of this ghost and twist balloons for the body and connecting bracelet.



If you would like to see some of the other Halloween twist balloon videos that we found, please click here to access the YouTube playlist I made.
       
Thanksgiving Turkey

You will need twist balloons to make the turkey featured in the following YouTube videos:

Part 1: Turkey 9:56


Part 2: Turkey 7:46
I hope you enjoy twisting balloons into fall holiday shapes!