Have a sparkly July!

~ Toy Mashup. Copyright © 2015 Ruth Green Concepts, Inc. All rights reserved
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The Theory of Legos

Some material reposted from:  www.bitrebels.com

If you’re a fan of physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking – and if you like LEGO – you are going to love this! Several years ago, a LEGO version of Stephen Hawking was spotted online. It was a fantastic build that looked incredibly lifelike.stephen-hawking-lego-kit

The original creator of this build from back in 2007  is The Living Brick, but the pictures below came from Travelin’ Librarian‘s flicker photostream. Stephen Hawking, who is now 73, has inspired an entire generation of geeks, and it seems many people want to recreate him in LEGO bricks.

The Stephen Hawking LEGO kit came with instructions (see the picture below) so you would know how to put all those tiny pieces together. It sold for $40. It is now unavailable – only 100 were produced, but you can always try to make this on your own if you’ve got the bricks. The step-by-step directions (to make Stephen Hawking and his wheelchair) are illustrated in a beautiful graphic here Eurobricks.

We often feature huge LEGO kits and builds with thousands of pieces, but it’s small yet instantly recognizable builds like this that are the most inspiring ones to me. It would be so much fun to build Stephen Hawking and then let him sit on my desk. It would be a constant reminder that the universe may not always be what it seems, and anything is truly possible in this complex world we live in. I still can’t get over how much this looks just like him, or at least like our perception of him.

Build it with instructions here on Eurobricks















And from www.frabz.com


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Fun Cubed

The ‘Rubik’s Cube’ is most popular toy of all time and a staple to the popular culture of the 1980s. It was invented by and named after Ernő Rubik, a young Hungarian professor. erno-rubik-1He taught architecture at the time and had always been amazed by the complexities of structure and math. In an attempt to challenge his students, Rubik engineered a solid cube that could be twisted many different ways and not fall apart. As a handmade item, this was a difficult enough feat – but the real trick was the puzzle included in the toy. Each side was painted a solid color; twisting the cube randomly would rearrange the pieces, and the near impossible objective would be to work out how to put this cube back correctly again. It took Rubik himself over a month to figure out the solution to the problem he created. He had difficulty getting this toy patented and sold, however, facing many rejections from toy companies. However, once the toy took off and was able to get outside of communist Hungary, it defined a generation. It is estimated that one in seven people in the world have touched a Rubik’s Cube. Rubik continues to work as an educationist and is a board member of the Rubik’s company.


Awards and Achievements

Beginning in 1980 and continuing for three consecutive years, he took home the prize of ‘Toy of the Year’ from many countries, including Finland, Sweden, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

                                                                                                                                                     First prototype made in 1975.


There are exactly 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 ways for a Rubik’s Cube to be arranged. Only one of these is the correct solution to the puzzle invented by this famous personality.

Reposted from –  http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/erno-rubik-5615.php#kllUDm6Hgzu8IvtP.99

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Sweet Pix

Skittles Portrait-httpwww.artofapex.com201207and-winner-of-prang-giveaway.html

Expressive Skittle Portraits: Free Lesson Plan Download

Level: High School Art Education Lesson Plan

Art Elements: Shape, Color

Art Skills: Photo Manipulation, Color Theory, Mosaics

Art History: Mosaics


Click to Download Free Lesson Plan

Like we talked about yesterday, I would never do this project again. However, if you are crazy enough to try it, here are a few helpful hints.

1. Gluing down the Skittles is a time consuming process. This project took way longer than I thought it would. However, we made rather large portraits. If I were to do this over again, I would certainly reduce the amount of squares when applying the mosaic filter. Maybe keep it down to 40 x 46.

2. Skittles are not cheap. I Spent over $100 buying Skittles and I bought them in bulk bags at Target, and once Target sold out, at Walmart.  The students also brought in bags. However, if I were to do this project again, limiting the amount of squares when applying the mosaic filter would also reduce the amount of Skittles required.

3. Skittles attract unwanted visitors. It was amazing how many students from other classes stopped by  just to see how things were going during this project. They didn’t show that type of curiosity when we were working on value scales. We also had ants. If you leave one Skittle on the floor, an ant will find it. That ant will then call all his ant friends because ants apparently like to share.

Here are a few more fun photos of the process!

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Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 9.25.57 AM


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LEGO Sculptures in Full Bloom – Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks

Morton Arboretum features Lego sculptures

These are no ordinary garden sculptures.

Constructed from thousands of tiny plastic bricks — 464,770 to be exact — Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks is a unique perspective on some plants and creatures.

“There’s all kinds of beautiful things inspired by nature,” said Mary Samerdyke, manager of interpretation at the Morton Arboretum. “We’re really looking forward to having it here.”

The outdoor exhibit featuring 13 unique displays opens July 17 at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle and runs through Nov. 1. Most recently on display at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky, the exhibit’s stop in Lisle marks its first Chicago-area appearance.

“We are thrilled to death to have it at the arboretum,” Samerdyke said. Artist Sean Kenney created the 13 displays, composed of 27 different sculptures. Named the world’s first “Lego Certified Professional” in 2005, the New York-based artist is the only one in the world to create steel reinforced, fully glued, outdoor grade Lego installations.

“They really are works of art and works of engineering,” Samerdyke said. “They are designed to last, to hold up to the wind and rain.”

Kenney will be at the Arboretum for the exhibit’s opening week, Samerdyke said. He will be participating in various events, including book signings. Several special events and programs are scheduled at the Arboretum throughout the duration of the exhibit. Children and adults will get a chance to make their own Lego creations at some of the events, and a self-guided scavenger hunt will also be available.

For the last several years, the Arboretum has been hosting special outdoor art exhibits, which in the past have included giant bug sculptures.

“Typically we do an annual summer sculpture show or exhibit of some sort,” Samerdyke said. “This year we opted for Nature Connects.”

It took a number of years to get the exhibit at the Arboretum, she said, and has involved a lot of planning. That includes figuring out where on the Arboretum’s east side each of the sculptures would best fit, she said.

“Especially when you see the scale of so many pieces,” she said. “Everything needs to be bigger than life. They really are quite large.”

Among the pieces are a nearly life-size family of deer, an 8-foot long dragonfly with an 8-foot wingspan and an almost 7-foot wide peacock showing off its brightly colored plumage. The peacock sculpture required the most bricks, 68,827 of them, and took the most time for Kenney and his team to build: 625 hours.

The tallest sculpture is a 6-and-a-half-foot tall Monarch butterfly. The smallest is a bonsai tree measuring just less than 2 feet.

The exhibit is included with Arboretum admission. Samerdyke said both young and old will enjoy seeing the Lego sculptures.

“I think it’s something everybody can identify with,” she said. “They had such great experiences with them growing up, or have kids who enjoy them or grandkids who enjoy them.”

Kathy Cichon is a freelance reporter.

Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks
When: July 17-Nov. 1
Where: Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, Illinois.
Tickets: $14 adult 18-64; $12 seniors 65+; $9 youth 2-17
Information: 630-968-0074 or mortonarb.org

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Puzzlin’ Portrait

Check out this amazing mosaic portrait made entirely with Rubik’s Cubes. Can you guess how many Rubik’s Cubes were used to make this?

Reposted from: http://www.artofapex.com/2010/12/top-10-christmas-presents-every-art-1.html


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Exploding Toys

Toys as Art: Alan Sailer’s Explosive Art

Reposted from: Global Toy News http://www.globaltoynews.com/2012/12/toys-as-art-alan-sailers-explosive-art.html
Alan Sailer is an artist who likes to blow up toys (food, candy, ornaments, fruit and more) and photograph them at the moment of detonation.  He uses a firecracker that he fires off with an electric starter timed to a camera.  The results are oddly beautiful and disturbing.

Here are some images I found in the Telegraph article, “The War on Christmas, Alan Sailer’s high speed photos of exploding toys.”

Don’t try this at home, kiddies!

– See more at: http://www.globaltoynews.com/2012/12/toys-as-art-alan-sailers-explosive-art.html#sthash.lsAxRP3V.dpuf

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If a tree falls in the forest,…does anyone hear it?

Chances are, you won’t lose the forest from the trees with these characters. Read about these intree-guing sculptures, straight from The Bangor Daily News.

Belfast artist unlocks the personality of trees

These faces carved in wood stand sentinel by sculptor Ron Cowan's outdoor studio space in Belfast.
Abigail Curtis | BDN
These faces carved in wood stand sentinel by sculptor Ron Cowan’s outdoor studio space in Belfast.
Posted July 05, 2015, at 6:12 a.m.
Reposted from: https://bangordailynews.com/2015/07/05/news/midcoast/belfast-artist-unlocks-the-personality-of-trees/?ref=storyPrevNextLinks

BELFAST, Maine — Tap, tap, tap.

In the shade of a spreading maple tree and under the lazily waving branches of a weeping willow, Belfast sculptor Ron Cowan used a chisel Thursday morning to carve a personality into his newest face.

As the artist worked in his sun-dappled outdoor studio, many of his other creations are placed nearby in various stages of weathering. The faces carved into old barn beams, stumps and logs seem to gaze upon him benevolently as he employed chainsaw and chisel to discover more of their brethren.

“Wood is alive — it’s like us, cells and earth,” Cowan said as he gestured around the faces that surrounded him. “Any day I get the inspiration and my chain saw has gas, I work on them.”

The 72-year-old artist was getting his faces ready for the 20th annual Arts in the Park show in Belfast, which has named him the 2015 artist of the year. He said that he has participated in the show every summer since it began, and loves the scene at the waterfront park.

“It’s such a great atmosphere,” Cowan said. “I always get really positive feedback. I gather all my people and meet all the live humans … it’s just a nice kind of family, and a carefree weekend.”

The sculptor said that he arrived at his avocation via a winding path that included a stint serving in Germany in the U.S. Army in the early 1960s, a few years working as a restaurateur in Florida and an attempt — ultimately unsuccessful — to be a New York City high-roller.

“I really wanted to be a rich businessman. I was keyed towards making a million dollars,” he said, smiling at the memory. “But I went really bust in Manhattan in the late 1970s.”

He and his wife, Cherie, ended up “limping back” to an old farmhouse in Vermont, and that was where he learned that he was a sculptor. Someone gave him a bag of clay, and he went to work on it.

“A face came right up and was looking at me,” Cowan said. “That was the one that led to all the rest.”

The Cowans came to Belfast in 1988, and for a time Ron Cowan rented a studio on the waterfront. One day he was gazing out at the harbor and decided that the scenery needed something special.

“What a wonderful place to put people in the harbor and watch the tide come and go,” he said.

So Cowan put seven faces, adorned with seaweed hair, into the harbor. That was in 2000, and while he’s had to replace and refresh some of the works, he still gets a kick out of watching tourists and other visitors notice them.

“It’s really enjoyable,” he said.

The city of Belfast now owns the work, which he called “Long Breath.”

Cowan uses lots of different types of wood for his art, including cherry, black locust, white birch, spruce and oak that had been used for harbor piers at the Belfast waterfront. He bought a stash of 37 of the 37-foot-long piers when the city replaced them several years ago, and is still “fishing in that pile.”

He estimates that he completes about 20 faces every year. He does some commissions and also works from his imagination. He also gazes at the faces he sees in humans around him to see if they could get translated to wood.

“Nobody else really does this,” he said. “I get a lot of requests [to carve] animals, but I like faces, because therein rests the soul. That tiny little hole in the center of your eye — there it is.”

Cowan and the other 80 or so Arts in the Park artists will show their works from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12, at Heritage Park on the Belfast Waterfront. There also will be lots of live music, strawberry shortcake and other food options. For more information, check out artsintheparkbelfast.org.

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Coaster To Coaster

Make these cool Scrabble tile coasters for your next party or get-together. Theme them with party-specific words, or use them for everyday. Everyone’s a winner with these coasters!

Reposted from –  http://www.recyclart.org/2012/02/scrabble-tile-coasters/

Scrabble coasters

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Pop Art Toys

WAIT! Don’t toss that can! 

After holiday parties are over and guests have gone home…try some of these unique and eco-responsible ways to use your tossed soda cans.

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans

Reposted from: http://www.redesignrevolution.com/upcycle-this-soda-cans/

We are back with our second installment of Upcycle This! Following the theme of Eco Monday for environmental awareness, our weekly feature is meant to focus on the growing trend of attempting to scale back our waste production by reusing – or upcycling – materials we already consume. In this installment of inspiring things upcycled from everyday objects, we decided to focus on great crafty projects created from discarded soda cans.

Upcycled-Soda-Can-PikachuSoda cans are everywhere in modern day society – half of Americans drink soda everyday – and what’s worse, we’re drinking an average of 2.6 glasses of soda per day. Not only is this obscene level of soda consumption bad for our health, but it’s hard on our environment as well!

Hopefully, you’re already diligent about properly recycling the soda cans you are drinking. But why not do something a little crafty with the material? We found 21 awesome projects, from sculptures to candles, that use parts of a soda can.

Check out the recycled soda can toy concepts, below!

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans
 16. Soda Can Airplane (source: TwiceBakedArts)

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans





17. Handmade Toy Cars (source: max_thinks_sees)


Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans

Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans



Upcycle This! 21 Things Made from Soda Cans
18-21 Batman, Pikachu, WALL-E and Yoshi Sculpture by Makaon.
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Bricks That Touch The Sky

11-Story LEGO Tower Is Officially the World’s Tallest

Painstakingly constructed from over 500,000 bricks, the 113-ft. tall tower weighs more than a ton


Delaware Online

As the Beatles said, you’ll get by with a little help from your friends — or, you know, build the world’s tallest LEGO tower with a little help from an entire school district.

Brick by tiny plastic brick, the students of Red Clay School District toiled for months to assemble sections of a tower comprising over half a million LEGOs. After several days of what Delaware Online describes as “painstaking engineering,” the LEGO brick tower was complete, an improbable “toy” edifice soaring over John Dickinson High School near Wilmington, Delaware flaunting colorful layers of pumpkin orange, electric green and light royal blue.

“Wow. Just — wow,” said Ralph Storner, one of the students who helped build the tower (via Delaware Online). “You know when you’re talking about a world record it’s going to be big. But seeing it now, it’s really cool.”

All told, the tower weighs nearly a ton and stands nearly 113 feet tall, making it the tallest structure composed of toy bricks ever assembled, according to the Guinness Book of World Records (the prior record-holder was a 106-foot tower built in Prague in 2012). The bricks were pieced together in sections by students over the past several months, then those sections were stacked by contractors who’d volunteered to help out, constructing the tower around a metal cylinder and using tension cables to keep it from tipping over.

While the number of feet in a story varies, it’s generally around 10 (think room height plus space for floor and ceiling), allowing the school district to reasonably claim the tower is around 11 stories tall.

Why — aside from fleeting Guinness record notoriety — enlist a bunch of students to build an 11-story-tall LEGO tower at all?

“We want kids to get a message out of this,” said district superintendent Mervin Daugherty. “One kid could never put this together. But when we all work together, when we’re all a team, we can do something that people probably thought would be impossible.”

lego.h1Photo reposted from:   http://www.gearfuse.com/worlds-tallest-lego-tower-has-been-built/


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Lego My Egg-ohh!

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try this sunny side up Lego egg and see if you agree. OR, try the waffle.

Just don’t break a tooth!

egg lego_httpwww.runningwithollie.com201304the-secret-to-quick-and-easy-eggs.html#.VYyp2Ebigb4 00-lego-eggo-waffle-709906

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The Eyes Have It

The first meeting of the Cycloptic Support Group will now come to order.

Reposted from: http://underscoopfire.com/underscoopfirephotocontest-winner/



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