In progress: starfish mirror

This is the starfish mirror frame that I’ve been working on for about six months now. That’s both because it’s pretty large (2.5 ft x 2.5 ft) and because I could only find a couple of hours a week to spend on it, when the kids were in bed and the chores were done and I still had some energy left. I’m really excited to have it completed over the next couple of weeks now that an office job no longer takes up eight hours of my day. This thing is going to be tremendous.

Large square mirror frame with a mosaic of starfishes in red and purple

The starfish mirror frame in progress

The main idea behind this design is that of contrasting the organic starfish shapes with the geometrically regular rippling waves of the background. I wanted each starfish shape to be unique and as realistic-looking as possible. The shapes were all drawn from photos, and it took a few tries to figure out a tiling pattern that would accurately represent the pentaradial surface patterns of starfish while requiring minimal tile cutting – i.e. one that would be based on whole or half-tiles only and not, for example, on triangles or very narrow wedges.

I also enjoy exploring the interplay of varying tile textures and the different effects they have on the overall appearance of the mosaic as the viewing angle or the light changes Рhence the alternating iridescent and plain white curves of the background. Mmmmm Рcurves. I love tiling curves. Expressing  a smooth sinuous shape with small square straight-edged tiles is kind of like integration, and a brush with infinity.

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How to set up a website, with thanks to the geeks who make it so easy

As a technophile who’s never had to put together a website before, when I set out to make this one in a week, I had a vague idea about some of the concepts involved and a strong sense of it being Not That Hard.

In such a situation, it helps to have an expert source to go to for advice and recommendation, so as to avoid a lot of research and second-guessing. My top trusted source for matters technical, creative and especially techno-creative is Boing Boing – a legendary site edited by makers, geeks, internet privacy activists, and all-around knowledgeable people.

The first step was to register a domain. I remembered that BB had some suggestions for domain registrars in a recent article, so I looked that up and went with Hover.

Having registered fragmentalist.com and feeling pretty pleased with myself for getting this far, it took me another day to wonder about the server on which the content of my website was going to live. Next step was to find hosting.

Looking around Hover’s site to confirm that they don’t provide hosting as well (some domain registrars do), I also completely missed their suggested hosts page. ¬†Good thing that I did, because the host I ended up going with – found again through Boing Boing – was not on that list, and is one I’m now totally in love with.

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