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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Stop breaking pressed powder pills in travel pill cases

If you're like me, you take meds and forget to constantly. Travel pill cases are a godsend, so when I get to school and realize I haven't take my anxiety meds I can whip out my pill case and not have a panic attack during a lecture. However, both my anxiety meds and my thyroid medication are pressed powder, and so living in my purse for more than a week turns them to dust.
Here lies the powdered remains of my thyroid meds and a very very very expensive anxiety med. RIP meds and my wallet. 

I don't want to throw out the dust remains of a fairly expensive pill every week, so I thought- there has got to be a better solution. Spoiler alert- it's easy and cheap.

I had a hunk of camera bag foam, the kind you cut to fit around your camera perfectly so it can fit in a hard case and not be damaged.
The fluff is felting wool, I use this kind of foam for needle felting. 
 I cut it into a square about the depth and width of my pill case, you don't need to be exact.
Expert cutting skills- but it really doesn't matter. only the top has to be smooth, and that's primarily for aesthetics. 
I smushed it inside my pill case, and voila. 

See? The edges don't matter. Don't stress about cutting foam, it already sucks. 
The great thing about foam is that you can shove even massive vitamins and horse pills in there, it will just flatten to make more room. Plus, it still won't damage them because the main damage comes from the pills rattling around and the foam holds them in place. 

Bonus- it helps you see your pills really fast, so you can immediately tell if you forgot to add one- especially if like me, your dosage can vary month to month. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Flowering Tea

My mother grew up in what I consider the heartland of tea. It isn't England who, while they may consume the most quantity of teas, is not who I think of for anything really high end or especially refined. It isn't a more remote place like Myanmar or Nepal, who may have some vast or ancient tea fields.

My mother grew up in Japan.

The tea i'm talking about is not actually even from Japan, it is in fact Chinese. But, I was introduced to it in a little tea ceremony my mom put together one time when I was small and asked her about living in Japan. She put on a Yukata, and we sat on pillows on the floor and she brought this out. I have had a hard time finding it until recently, and decided to spread the beauty and joy that amazed me as a kid.

Flowering tea is tea leaves and flowers that have been hand sewn together, folded and dried so that when placed in hot water, as the leaves absorb water and naturally expand, they produce a blooming flower effect that also steeps the tea. The effect is AMAZING!

I found this kit at world market for $20, and a refill set for 5 (because why not), and immediately had to have it!

It came with 5 tea buds, which can each be used to steep a pot of tea several times! (The box says 5-15, I have no idea which number is closer. Tea is fickle, it depends)

 You can't really see where it's been sewn, but you can definitely tell it has been sewn.  I went with Dragon Lily, a white tea with an orange lily center.
 The glass pot is small, about two small cups of tea, but perfect for flower tea. Flowering tea is not the kind you make in bulk and mix in cream and sugar with. This is the kind of tea that you enjoy for it's own sake. I didn't have a banana for scale, but here is my tiny hand.
Below is a time-lapse of the tea blooming. You can see me settling it with my chopsticks at one point, as they tend to float a bit. 

 And here is the finished tea! The cup was not included but I happened to have the perfect one laying around.
Let steep and enjoy, and as always,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Expanded Kara Kesh Post

This will be brief and picture heavy, since the work tends to speak for itself. I made the curved pieces out of Worbla and brass, brass for the less complex shapes and to hold it onto my wrist, and the Worbla for the intricate shapes that brass couldn't easily conform to.

For those unfamiliar with Worbla, it is a kind of plastic with a very low melting point that becomes malleable at a temperature you can still sculpt it with your hands. Good to know.

This is the underside. The piece around my wrist is a brass bracelet to hold it on, and the center piece is a garden hose cap, some resin, and inside is an LED hookup. 

Here is a close up of the crystal. Goa'ulds tend to power their technology off of crystals, so for this I wanted such an important piece to be just right. I mixed borax in hot water, molded Worbla to a piece that can slide into the curved Worbla holders and grew crystals on that. This means the crystal is interchangeable, fits in easily, and can be held in by the Worbla arms. Worbla, while not strong enough to hold the entire Kara Kesh onto my arm, can hold a crystal very securely. 

Here is the secret side view. This shows how it all goes together, including the joint on my wrist that allowed me to raise my wrist to "suck people's brains out" as I believe Colonel O'Neil called it. 

Don't go enslaving any other races, and as always,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Goa'uld cosplay, and why making Kara Kesh is hard

This year for San Diego Comic Con 2015, my boyfriend assembled himself an SG1 uniform thanks to some patches he got from his brother. I was feeling particularly exhausted this con, and so I decided to focus on one cosplay that complimented his.

I didn't have access to enough moss to be a Nox, and wasn't short enough to be an Asgard, so I went with the ultimate villain species- the Goa'uld. I patterned my dress style off of one worn by Daniels wife, and the coloring and cut off of the always impeccable Hathor, and the result was splendidly flapper-esque.

But, a Goa'uld is not a Goa'uld without a properly cool weapon. I couldn't afford a Zat or a ship, so I set my sights on making a ribbon device. You know, those things they kill people with Darth Vader style. 

Known as "ribbon device", "Kara Kesh", and "Hand Device", they come in all sorts of styles and builds and colors. Due to my difficulty with the finger tips I went for an older style one, like Hathor was uncovered in or Baal tended to chuck around. 

I molded it around a brass bracelet with Worbla, and then finished it off with some spray paint, resin, and a brass hose cap. My dad repurposed some LED boards he used to make jewelry (and I used to light up my prom dress last month) and the middle animated rather nicely. 

What i've learned:

-Fingers are hard to mold
-Molds are hard to make
- Paper mache does not look like metal no matter how much you spray paint it

and my last lesson is from Adam Savage himself, on his reddit AMA

And so i'm off to learn to weld! As always,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

How to make boba

So, what the hell is boba? We should probably know this before we start making it.
Ever had tapioca pudding? Those little balls of gooey chewiness are made from the root of the tapioca plant, the bizarre ugly kid with braces  of nature. 
It's ok, tapioca tree, I wore braces for 7 years. I feel you. This gelatinous concoction is then made into tapioca pudding balls, or tapioca pearls- or, boba. Which literally translates to large breasts. Yum? And those bubbly boobs in your drink are why it's called bubble tea.

Except! It's all a lie. Boba is not actually why it's called bubble tea- that answer is much too obvious clearly. The reason is actually that the tea is traditionally shaken before being poured, forming bubbles.
I know- what the hell, Japan? 

Now let's move on to what's important.
How to make these delicious LYING bastards. 
This is my boba jar. You want your boba to be made of ONLY tapioca starch. No "starch" no "potato starch" no mixes, just tapioca starch. The boba will have other ingredients, but it's starch should only be of the tapioca kind. 

Measure out how much you want. I usually go with a few cups so I can save it but when you refrigerate boba the insides do break down in the cold and can go crunchy, so try to only make as many as you can have that day. 

Pour your pearls into boiling water. Much like pasta, you want a lot of water. You don't have to worry about having too much like with rice- in fact the more water the better. 

Boil and boil. You want the pearls to look black and gooey, and when you take a sample it should taste right. Over cook here. Unlike pasta and rice, boba don't really get soggy unless you boil them endlessly for days- which I did, it's gross. If you want to have a lot on demand, you can put the finished pearls in a slow cooker. This is how many boba shops keep their boba soft all day. This does not work past 12 hours at which point you have jellos weird cousin that no one talks about. 
Strain the pearls.
Place in a simple sugar syrup. I use equal parts sugar, water, and honey for mine, and then boil the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. 
Put the boba in the mixture.
And that's it! Mine is in the fridge here because I actually like mine crunchy, but again you could use immediately, you could put it in a slow cooker. When you pour it into a drink, pour it after the tea has been shaken, and include some syrup for sweetening. You want a layer of warm syrup around the boba until you drink it, preserving the soft texture. 

More details on the tea aspect later,
As always

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Is your grocery store also out of gingerbread houses? Don't fear!

Even if you suck at baking, this is hard to mess up. And even if you do no one eats the cookie part of gingerbread houses anymore...
1)Take a tube of premade gingerbread cookie mix
2) Add a cup of flour in your mixer and mix thoroughly 
3) Cut out shapes that add up to whatever you want your house to look like
For mine I did it old school with four rectangles for walks and two roof peices, with heights of the walls and of the roof being the same, as well as the length, and then 2 front and back peices which are squares with hats. 
See my finished peices below.

4) Bake. Over bake rather than under, burnt is better than crumbling. Again, who eats the house part anyway? We all just steal candy off over time until its stale.
I'll post my decorated house later in an edit, but I wanted this to get out there for people who wanted to do this Christmas Day or last minute tonight for kids to decorate tomorrow. 

Edit: still haven't decorated it- I ate all the candy and we have to go get more :/ but here it is mostly assembled! 

We may have had a cave in...

As always,