Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Peek Into My Kaleidoscope Florals

I REMEMBER the wonder I felt as a child when I first peered into a kaleidoscope and saw magical shapes dance before my eyes by rotating a small device on something that looked like a telescope. The pretty patterns moved in unison and were constantly changing.

The word kaleidoscope came to mind when searching for a letter beginning with “K”. The word also inspired me to create less traditional patterns reminiscent of a kaleidoscope.

I selected triangle portions of the photograph I took of a floral bouquet and digitally duplicated and built on those shapes with a computer arts program. The result is similar to angled mirrors reflecting bits of colored objects.

Scientist David Brewster is said to have invented the kaleidoscope in 1816, naming it after the Greek words kalos for beautiful, eidos for form and scopos for watcher. Watching these beautiful forms is fun but so is making them.

Societies exist for those who are spellbound by the views inside the cylinders. There are complex varieties to simple options where designs can be created instantly HERE.

I think there is much more to how a kaleidoscope works than meets the eye. The patterns not only delight visually but perhaps also give us a peek into the mysterious workings of the universe. Although such details are apt to give anyone "brain freeze", there is discussion in some quantum physics circles that revolve around the kaleidoscope.

We are more familiar with microscopic scientific studies, however, that show particles of matter are composed of repeated and transforming patterns. Patterns can also be seen everywhere in nature with the naked eye. Not surprisingly, we humans seem innately attracted to symmetry.

I think if I were inclined to design extravagant floral wallpaper, the bouquet of flowers I picked as a base for my kaleidoscope patterns might do nicely.

This photo shows how I started the project with four duplicate triangles pieced together. I am as mesmerized now by these effects as when I was a child.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "K" for kaleidoscope. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.


  1. Your flowers are so pretty and love what you have done as a Kaleidoscope view of them. Nice post!

  2. What a great post. Beautiful flowers and perfect for the kaleidoscope view. I was going to do kaleidoscope but I broke mine trying to figure out how to photograph the inside. Carver, ABC Wednesday Team

  3. What an absolutely fabulous post. I have tweeted it. I too as a child was enchanted by kaleidoscopes. I wonder if I have a way of bookmarking the page - maybe I'll start a folder with urls of pages I specially like. I don't have time to explore it all at present but I don't want it to drift away.

  4. I agree. I LOVE kaleidoscopes - still do. I find them mesmerizing. They calm me down and help me find some inner peace. I think I need to get me one right now!

    Great post, have a great week.

  5. Utterly fascinating. I love kaleidoscopes and have always been amazed by their colors and designs.
    You did a terrific job duplicating them. Its more than my non-techie brain can figure out.

  6. what a vision.noisiv a tahw

  7. Aren't you clever!!! I love it.

  8. These are absolutely exquisite! I wish I could do that. Have a wonderful week,

    abcw team

  9. I love your kaleidoscope flowers, they are beautiful and exactly like I remember the kaleidoscope images from childhood. How clever of you, thanks for sharing this.

  10. What a klever post for the letter K. Just gorgeous!

  11. Your blog brought me to my childhood day. I too was fascinated by Kaleidoscopes. Mine was very simple, inside which there were only small pieces of colored papers. But every time a different pattern appeared. It looked like creating a magical world! "Kaleidoscopes" sounds me so nostalgic.
    Great photos and words!

  12. These are so NEAT, Penelope! I love them. I, too, was fascinated by kaleidoscopes as a child. There is something magical and beautiful and complex and simple, all at the same time, in their patterns and movements.

  13. What a splash of colors! Your work is fascinating, penelope. I also liked Kaleidoscope as a child and got more interested in the philosophy contained in it as an adult.. The patterns and colors of the kaleidoscope are never the same again like our lives in a constant state of change. I agree with you about “... give us a peek into the mysterious working of universe.” Looks like a universe changing little by little with each turn.

  14. Very arty! I too an fascinated by kaleidoscopes. Your technique sure does look like the real thing.

  15. Such wonderful shots! I'm still amazed by kaleidoscopes - even today!

  16. What great fun and the result is fantastic. The flowers are absolutely gorgeous have a nice day, although I have no clue what part of the day it is overthere.


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