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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Phyllodesma Americana

I was sitting in my dorm lounge working on Geology with my friend Catherine, as one often does on a Tuesday afternoon, when we noticed a moth caught between the window and the screen. The window had been closed while the moth had been resting on the screen and was now caught in the sun baking to death. We get a lot of moths getting caught like this, but they had until now been mostly small or disappointedly average moths. I went to open it and let it go when I saw
1) It was gorgeous and looked like a leaf
2) It looked very very dead. 
So I did what any aspiring entomolgist would do- I poked it with my finger and watched in dismay as it thwacked down onto the windowsill. I picked it up by the abdomen, and carried it back to show Catherine and later to pin it. As I pointed to it's marking the antannae suddenly shot up and it began vibrating its wings as though trying to take off. The culprit was an almost fully detacthed hindwing. I have since put Prince Albert in my largest net cage- which I have deemed the Can for it's cylindrical shape- where he will spend the rest of his days as Prince Albert in a Can.
Note the gorgeous reddish brown color and leaf pattern on both forewing and hindwing.

His fluffy and unibrow like antenna remind me of a grumpy Frida Kahlo.

Here you can appreciate his chunky body and fluffy head, as well as the characteristic snout. This snout is a vestigial mouthpart that actually makes adults incapable of eating. :C

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Living in a Dorm

I came to college over-prepared. Like, really over-prepared. My roommate walked in, took one look at my piles of stuff, and just started laughing. It's honestly ridiculous. I brought a printer, a fish tank, a sewing machine, my entire bathroom's contents, three blankets, a tea kettle, a microwave, a fridge, and god knows what else. I'm having trouble fitting it all in our room. This has made me get clever.

First, it turns out command hooks are amazing. The whole "one tug and the tape comes off" thing is complete bullshit, but I don't want them to come off. Besides, using a butter knife and a bottle of goo gone works perfectly fine and won't get me fined. Keep forgetting your room key? Hang it on the door with a command hook. Sweaters don't fit under the bed? Hang them behind the door with command hooks. Whiteboard need mounting on a studded wall? Heavy. Duty. Command. Hooks.

Second, anything hanging works great for bunk beds. Over the door hooks? Under the bed makeup holder hanger. Over door shoe holder? Bunk side shelves. I'm turning my bunk bed into a battle station with hanging organizers. I have a shoe organizer for shoes, a shelf organizer for sweaters, a hook organizer for my makeup organizer, and a box organizer for my tea. I am as organized as a human being can get while still being messy.

So, future college students do not fret about space. If you are clever about it, you shall survive. Easily.
As always,
Belle

Monday, September 21, 2015

College

Recently it was brought to my attention that I am now a college student. I probably should have seen the signs- my campus got bigger, my classmates were different looking, and people starting worrying about SATs much less- but I didn't until earlier today when I attended my first lecture. It was hot and long and we had to turn in a writing prompt response that I did not feel amazing about.



"Do you have any questions?"


I did not, which I wrote, but I felt like I did have questions. Why give us a prompt that could have a yes or no response when we are obligated to write a paragraph? That doesn't make sense, which arguably could have been my question, but I was too hot to be clever when it mattered.



"I don't have any questions. If I do I will certainly ask you about them, but I don't. I think it's a good thing that I don't have any- you seem to know what you're doing teaching wise, and I seem to know what i'm doing listening wise. I hope I leave all my lectures this thoroughly answered, because frankly it's a wonderful feeling, even if I have nothing to write about. "



But despite it being amazingly hot and our lecture halls not having air conditioning, i'm surrounded by trees and forest and feel like this dog.







I hope I never stop prancing in leaves,

as always,

Belle.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Makeup Holder

I recently got into makeup. It was because of a series of things, the biggest of which was the looming move in day to college. It occurred to me, while desperately trying to put on what little makeup I owned (mascara and red lipstick) in time for a formal event, that functioning adults should probably be able to dress up. For women, I realized, makeup was the same thing as pantyhose. It was just what you wore. I didn't like this, I hate social obligations- especially gendered ones- but I also realized that whether or not I liked them, if I went to a job interview with my bare baby face it would come across the same as if I had worn a t shirt. So I begrudgingly got some makeup at CVS.

It felt as if I had cast aside all my feminist beliefs putting on that first coat of foundation. I had never in my life worn foundation, the idea was always gross to me. I was a little kid trying on mom's makeup for the first time. I thought back to all the Sephora gift cards and tubes of lip gloss I had received in middle school, all gifts that seemed like wastes at the time. I thought back to my friends coming to high school looking like clowns because they were so scared to show acne. Was I becoming that? Would makeup become a crutch? My mind was going a mile a minute! Then I looked in the mirror.

I had self confidence issues as a kid. I was stubborn enough to never let it influence me, which I am grateful for, but I always felt like the ugly duckling who turned out to just be an ugly duckling. Looking in that mirror a great lie was revealed to me.

I looked the same as everybody else. 

I wasn't cursed with terrible plainness I was just too stupid to realize all these years how huge an impact makeup made... I wondered what my boyfriend would think when I walked into a room finally looking like a California girl. I also felt grateful I found this so late. I met my boyfriend in t shirts and jeans and not a drop of makeup. I met him before my anxiety was controlled, I met him when I was at my sickest, and you know what? He willingly dated me- and for two years! I knew I would never be afraid to go outside without makeup because I had never worried before.

Now that we've gotten through the touchy feely shit, back to the makeup holder. I recently and rapidly aqcuired quite a bit of makeup (helped by a massive ULTA and E.L.F. sale) and realized it would never do to keep it in a shoe box. I needed something better, and (being myself) I needed to MAKE IT.

This is what I whipped up. It's canvas over stiff interfacing, with elastic holders and matching canvas pockets.

This pocket fits my setting powder. This pocket is big enough to fit the second one i'm getting from E.L.F. next week. 

This is my favorite trick. I sewed a strip of canvas and an elastic band to hold hair ties.

The elastic loop closes the strip off and secures the ties to the strip. I'm pretty proud of that idea...

This shows how the elastic works. It's just attached elastic with straight lines sewn to make slots tight enough to hold things while still letting them fit. This empty space will be used for brushes.

This is my eyeliner section, it will soon be expanded.

This is my lipsticks section, also soon to be expanded.
This is where I will add eye shadow pouches.

Here is the space on top I will be expanding onto.

This is the back of it. This was originally designed to hang on a wall, but since I am going to have a bunk bed I will hang it off the frame using velcro straps and use all this back space!

I will be making a tutorial video about this, it's almost done, but not quite, expect it sometime next week. As always,
Belle

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pizza Croissants

I've long been fond of half assed cooking. If I wrote a cook book it would be called "how to cook like you know what you're doing" but of course that would require even more effort than baking! So I'll stick to these little emergency recipes. Today's came from an intense desire to order pizza overshadowed by a desire to eat even slightly better. We had croissants lying around, although you can always just make a 15 minute premade pillsbury can, and so I thought "why not".

Take a croissant  
Pull it apart and make a hole with your fingers, like a teeny tiny bread bowl.
Add just enough pasta sauce. I used mushroom and garlic jarred sauce, but I'm sure canned or any other (including fresh) sauce would work perfectly fine. I honestly don't see how it COULDNT. 
Fill all remaining space with cheese. I did mozzarella, you could use whatever you wanted. American Kraft slices may not be a favorite but what do I know about what you like? It's cheese. 
Stick it in a pan. 
Broil on low for less than 5 minutes. Broiling works quickly, it's the oven equivalent of holding a torch to the top of your food. You want just enough to heat and melt everything but not burnt.
Like this, I got distracted. Oh well, they aren't too bad and happen to like burnt. Plus I want pizza so badly right now...
As always,
Belle.