Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo Box

You know how I'm always apologizing about how my camera takes crappy pictures? Well, a few weeks ago, I saw a post in my RSS reader about making a photo light box that I thought might be useful in photographing some of my crafts and is collapsible so I can put it away easily. Anyway, here's the link to the original and here's what I did.


- Some foam posterboard (4 pieces total for top, back, left and right) - how big would depend on how big you want the box.
- a thin posterboard for the backdrop
- light... the light I had was insufficient. Once I find some that are sufficient and cheap, I'll update this post. ( I just realized that I didn't photograph the lamp I used. oops. -- it's a small 7w ikea lamp)

Here's how I put it together:

- I cut notches out of the foam posterboards in such a way that it would connect together. What the person in the link does is a great idea. He lined up both posterboards (whereever they meet) and drew the notches that way, where he shaded opposite sides for what needed to be cut off. I always mess up on the cutting so I thought I'd mention to be absolutely sure before cutting... sorta like the whole "measure twice, cut once" saying. Also, an exacto knife or utility blade does the best cutting job here. Scissors seem to smush the foam when cutting.

- Cut the regular posterboard to the box's inside width, and create the same notches as the backside onto the regular posterboard. You'll also want the posterboard to be longer than the height so that it drapes downwards towards you.

- Put the box together. Here are a few views of it all together.

All Together


- Shine the light in. I shone the light towards the left wall and let it bounce inside the box to shine indirectly to the object. I apologize for not having a picture for this. I can't believe I forgot. grrr! I'll update soon.

- Put object in the box. Use a different back drop if you don't want all white.

-Take pictures. Here's a comparison of the light box and without.

This one is with the light box. Note that the image has dimension. But it also took in the color of the light, so the light isn't very good. The jacks are supposed to be silver.

This is without the light box and with my flash turned on. I was really close, so the flash was able to actually hit the object, and the flash was the correct color to give the true color for the objects, but the flash didn't go very far -- the background is pretty dark. Also note that the objects look a bit one dimensional with this picture.

When all is said and done, taking pictures still requires some talent, of which I seriously lack. It's cool tho, as long as I get my point across. This box will hopefully bridge that gap a bit.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crocheted Bubble Baby Blanket

Last weekend was my cousin's baby shower. She's due in Feb and will be having a boy. As a baby shower gift, I decided to surprise her with a hand crocheted baby blanket for the newcomer. I found this pattern from a slew of patterns on a website aptly named crochet patterns central. Tons and tons of crochet patterns there. You should definitely check it out if you like to crochet. Due to a copyright issue, I can't republish the pattern here so you'll just have to click on the link to get to it (don't worry, it's free).

What I like about this pattern is the simplicity, the quickness, and the beautiful design at the end of it all. Below's a picture of the one I crocheted for my cousin. It didn't take me 3 hours like the pattern said... probably double that time, but I'm a slow crocheter. In the one for my cousin, I followed the pattern almost to the tee, with the same type of yarn, the same size hook, and holding two yarns at the same time. It did save me a lot of time doing it this way because each row was almost an inch in height, it seemed. I have also done a few others in the past holding only one yarn and using thinner baby yarn. The outcome came out nice in both ways, but the single thinner yarn took much much longer to make (one of these are pictured on the very top of this post).

The overall size for this one was about 27" by 30". :-) The proud parents-to-be seem to like it. If you have the time to do it, I think it's a really nice gift to give for a baby shower.

Update: 1/21/09 - My cousin had her baby last night. She and the baby is doing great. :-)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kusudama Flower

The kusudama flower is a modular origami flower made of several pieces of the same design. You may also see a kusudama ball that consists of several of the kusudama flowers to form a ball. Wikipedia describes the whole thing much better than I do. So, I'll leave it to them. Below is a visual of the steps to take to fold each segment, followed by the finale of putting together one flower.

Supporting Links:

How To:


To join them together, I used tape in the picture (folded so it's all sticky outside), double sticky tape would have been better but I didn't have any. I have also tried using glue but I found it difficult to hold together long enough for the glue to do it's trick. However, I found a work around to that. I use bobby pins to hold the papers together long enough for the glue to dry. This results in a sturdier hold and cleaner display, with the tape method, you can sometimes see tape peaking out.

Try making several of these and putting it together as a kusudama ball. I'd love to hear the outcomes. :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fleece Rope Dog Toys #2

I was walking thru PetSmart a couple of months ago and passed by their dog toys section. I saw these fleece rope dog toys, similar to the braided ones that I posted a while back, but with a loop on one end. Anyway, two things popped into my head when I saw this; 1) “That's kinda pricey” and 2) “I can make this.” :-) And then a post was born. Luckily, I also had some fleece fabric left over from when I made some of the other Fleece Rope Dog Toys, so I gave them a try. Here's my attempt:


- Fleece strips – I used 3 - 4” strips from selvage to selvage – I like to use different colors for each strip.

- A clip of some sort to hold the fleece strips in place while braiding – I used an Ikea chip clip.

How To:

1. Stack all three fleece strips together, and use the clip to clip it about a third of the way down.

2. Begin braiding the longer part (the two-thirds length side) until the unbraided length matches the length of the clipped third portion. (Note: I use thirds, but you can change this up a bit.)

3. Unclip the clipped portion and group together the like-fabrics. (assuming you used different designs/colors).

4. Braid the 3 groups of fleece together til about 6 inches from the bottom.

5. Make a knot and cut the ends so they're even.

That's it. I made several of these in less than an hour and gave them as christmas gifts to all my friend's doggies.

See Also:
- Fleece Rope Dog Toy #1

Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter TV Schedule 2009

As I was looking for when some of my shows will start up again, I found this good website for the schedule for TV premieres coming up in the next few months.

I thought I'd share it with you all, along with a few that I'm most interested in (in no specific order)...

24 (Fox on Jan 11 @8p)
Nip/Tuck (FX on Jan 6 @ 10p)
Lost (ABC on Jan 20 @ 9p )
Fringe (Fox on Jan 19th @9p)
Bones (Fox on Jan 29 @8p)
Heroes (NBC on Feb 2 @ 9p)
Dollhouse (Fox on Feb 13 @ 9p) ** For the Joss Whedon fans... can't wait!
Reaper (CW on March 17 @ 9p)
Castle (ABC on March 9 @ 10p) ** For the Nathon Fillion fans
Chuck (NBC on Feb 2 @ 8p)
Psych (USA on Jan 9 @ ?)
Monk (USA on Jan 9 @ ?)

[updated list 1.7.09]
It looks like it's going to be a busy season. :-) Awesome!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Card Designs 2008

Okay, so Christmas is over. So you might ask, why in the world am I putting out a Christmas post. I'd like to say that I love this season so much I'm trying to prolong it as much as possible. I do love this season but the truth is, I've been holding on to this post so it would be a surprise to the people I give the cards to. Since I've given the majority of the cards, it's about time to share my other designs. Besides, it's never too early to start planning for the next Christmas season, right? :-) Anyway, hope you guys like them.