Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fly Your Freak Flag Day

May 25th is both Towel Day (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and Geek Pride Day. The Los Angeles City Council declared May 25, 2007 Star Trek Day. It's pretty clear that the day is very special in the hearts of geeks. So fly your "freak flag" and celebrate your favorite icon of geek subculture, whatever it may be.

I declare May 25th to be "Fly Your Freak Flag Day."  So...

  • Wear your favorite Cosplay outfit.
  • Carry your magic wand.
  • Attach a communicator pin to your shirt.
  • Pack your sonic screwdriver in your purse.
  • Bring your Dungeon Master's guide or your graphing calculator manual to work and display it proudly on your desk.
  • Shout "For The Horde!" or "You Shall Not Pass!" randomly and loudly.
  • Establish Reaver drill protocols.
  • Write "Don't Panic" on sticky notes and distribute them everywhere.

It's time to let your inner geek shine!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Summer Tote with Quilted Panels

This summer tote was one of my first forays into paper-piecing.  Trying to figure out how to make the designs for each panel appear as I had intended took a lot more work than I expected.

These four panels sat in my sewing stash for a few years after I made them.  One day, I found a piece of red and white checked fabric in a remnants bin.  It reminded me of a picnic table cloth so I bought it, grabbed these summer panels and turned them into this picnic tote, complete with water bottle side pockets.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Life and a Box of Chocolates

This Mother's Day weekend I thought I would pass on some motherly advice.  When my grandmother was in the hospital, my mother urged me to bring her a box of chocolates.  This seemed a strange request because my grandmother doesn't have much of a sweet tooth.  I learned that Grandma likes to keep the chocolates on hand to offer to doctors, nurses, and other staff who come to her room.  Then she's like their very own grandmother and they go out of their way to check on her, sometimes peeking in even after their shifts have ended.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Roll A D6

This is amazing!

Spicy Mocha Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

These slightly spicy cupcakes were a great Cindo de Mayo dessert.  They have a slight kick thanks to an addition of cinnamon and cayenne pepper.  To create them, I used a boxed chocolate cake mix with a few alterations.  I simply changed and added a few things

I Replaced:
the water called for in the recipe with strong brewed coffee that had been allowed to cool

I Added:
1 teas cinnamon
1/8 teas cayenne pepper
1 teas good vanilla extract

The icing was a ganache frosting made by heating 1/2 cup evaporated milk (until steaming) and pouring  it over 8 oz of chopped semisweet chocolate.  I mixed the chocolate in and whipped it with a mixer.  It was still slightly warm when I frosted the cupcakes and set about 30 minutes after frosting them.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Giant Bulletin Board

I made this enormous 12 square foot bulletin board for my story notes.  I used a piece of hard foam insulation, cut to size as the base of the board.  The insulation is rigid, cheap, and will accommodate all of the poke holes that I put into it fairly well.  It would be possible to cover the board with a sheet of cork but I decided to cover it with a large piece of fabric instead.  The fabric was pulled tight and taped to the back using duct tape.

Then I mounted the board, which is extremely light, with two long screws.  Because it is so light and rigid, two screws is all it took.  I slid pieces of hard plastic straws, cut to the depth of the board into holes that I drilled.  Then I added the screws that fit into the straws and were long enough to go into the wall stud.  The straws and the large washers I used prevent the screw heads from from sinking into the foam.

Notes are hung using straight pins rather than pushpins.  Not only are they easier to use but they create smaller holes, extending the life of my foam base.  Although I am using plain steel pins, color-tipped straight pins can be used (or these heads can be dipped into paint) for those who like to color-code their pins and/or notes.

Because the pins stick out from the surface of the board, I can also use thread or ribbon to connect notes into storylines so I can see the various routes taken by my characters and how they intersect on my story map.

I intend to cover the edges of the board and screw heads with some framing material.  However, a different choice of fabric and the deliberate appearance of screws (maybe shorter "dummy screws that don't go through into the wall scattered around the edges) can give this board an industrial look.