Wednesday, December 30, 2009

robot bunny castle cake

As of yesterday, my little sister Melody is seven years old.

(click through to see the full-sized version)

I made her a cake. Last year it was a princess castle cake, and this year she wanted pretty much the same thing.

Maybe I had too much tea or something, 'cause i decided it needed antennae. And a face.

I call it the Robot Bunny Castle Cake.
It's in bold because it is that awesome.
No, I do not decorate cakes much at all, my cakes are lucky to even get frosting sometimes.
And to prove that not only can I not decorate cakes properly, but I can't even build them right, this Robot Bunny Castle Cake thought it'd be really awesome to FALL OVER.
It had the decency to do it after we had eaten a third of it already, so I can forgive it. No photos of the crash, unfortunately.

Anyway, Melody was thrilled with the Robot Bunny Castle Cake, and that's all that matters, so it's all good!
Happy Birthday, Melody!

doodley doodle doo

Remember that unfinished painting featured on Saturday's collage?
This is what I did with it:


I was given tracing paper for Hanukkah, and since I've never used tracing paper as a drawing medium before, I was somewhat reluctant to try it. (I almost gave it to my little sister.)
Thankfully, I decided to give it a whirl, or a scribble, and I might be drawing on tracing paper from now on. The texture is amazing.


I've not even delved into the different realms and options I could go with this - think of the possibilities: overlays, multi-faceted, hands-on artwork. Mix and match drawings!
I so love interactive art, and getting the pad of tracing paper made me question why I've never tried to do any myself.

That reminds me of something I saw on HOW Magazine (I was given a free copy once, those things are expensive. Such lovely magazines though) a while ago, a poster that requires you to get ink on your hands. That's the kind of stuff I like, novel and smart and interactive.
Hm. New Year's Resolution, maybe?

Monday, December 28, 2009

this post is free, or your money back, guaranteed.

I've finished my essay for today, and that can only mean one thing now:
Time to read more stories for class!! Yes!

I'm actually behind on one story, but I'm not too worried about it.
I must say that I'm glad that all the holiday rush is over with. The malls are still semi-full, but I can now drive from Point A to Point B without having to move parked vehicles from the street because there is no more parking in the lot.
Not that I had to do that before, mind you, but still.

Today happened to be a gorgeous Monday, complete with 55 F weather and clear blue skies, with just a touch of wind. Sorta like this:

The main difference there is that I was nowhere near a cemetery, nor a mountain range. But hey, technicalities.

This week I plan to make gingerbread houses, but that could change at any time, so no guarantees.

Things Tiph Does Not Guarantee:
gingerbread houses
clean rooms
6-8 glasses of water a day
rain
your hair


Things Tiph Does Guarantee:
reading
craft-filled rooms
6-8 candies a day
weather
my hair



(photo, Cemetery in Terlingua, courtesy of Sam the Texan)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

gadgets with relationships


Not too many photos from this week, and I can't remember why not. Either I did absolutely nothing, or nothing of interest, or I just haven't remembered to take photos. Probably a mixture of the last two. After the past couple of frenziedly exciting weeks, I have to catch up on my boring, routine stuffs. Like grading papers.

Not shown in the collage is today's outing: ice skating! Last year, my friends and I went to one in the mall, and I fell three times, once bloodying my knees badly.
This year, guess how many times I fell?
Zero.
That is none. My legs are a teensy bit sore, though, but that just means I need to start working out on a (more) regular basis again.

Shown in the collage: my new laptop Charlie. He and Jem get along very nicely, and I think even Hawthorne approves.

All in all, this week - at least the pieces I can remember - has been pretty nice.

Friday, December 25, 2009

one plus one equals eleven

Woo, it's Friday, which means it's time for some serious linkage!

Oh, and Merry Christmas to all you who celebrate Christmas. =)

(Yes, I am a lolcat addict.)

I was going to try for the whole winter theme thing, but yeah, that didn't work. But speaking of wintery, some cutesy mittens for two people. Say it with me: Awwww.

While I wouldn't consider myself an environmental activist or anything, I see no reason why we shouldn't be good stewards of our earth. That said, I love it when I see artists re-use and re-purpose materials for their creations. Yuken Teruya has some really neat projects using things like pizza boxes and toilet paper rolls. My favorite? Corner Forest.

Speaking of creating - A Little Stranger has a Christmas stocking tutorial for those little Bobble dragons. It's a little late for Christmas crafts now (and it's sort of irrelevant for me anyway), but dood, those Bobble thingies are so cute, I'm willing to stick them anywhere. And I'm betting they'll end up on one of my shirts sometime soon.

Lastly, two silly images about fanboys (or fangirls?) and operating systems, and a real life "Russel the 'UP' Kid."

Want to know what else is exciting? I have a new laptop.
Wait wait, hold on - let me rephrase that.

KNOW WHAT'S EXCITING?!?!
I HAVE A NEW LAPTOP!!!!11!111!one111!!!11eleven!!

Yeah, I know, right?
Photos tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

short break...

Things have been pretty hectic lately; I'm finding myself worn thin both physically and emotionally. Sorry about the missing Crafty Collage, I haven't rounded up all the different presents yet.

Back to our regularly scheduled blogging later this week.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

candles are hot, actually

I'm thinking I like the portrait orientation better than this landscape one, but I'm not going to remake it. As usual, click the collage for the full-sized photo album.

Hanukkah ended last night! After eight days of the Festival of Lights, full of feasts and gifting and children burning themselves (mildly) on the candles and generally being pyromaniacs, I'm breathing a sigh of relief that it's over. And now the family is back to its regularly scheduled programming, and I need to get the kids back on track with their Pre-Algebra. Oh, and write a new lesson plan for government.

In addition to that, I've started a British Literature class online - a three-week minimester. Last winter, I took American History 2 during the minimester, but it was an actual class that I attended from 8am to 12pm every single day for two and a half weeks. While it probably won't be as fun as the four-hour class (I will admit to reading two of the Hitchhiker's series during lectures...), I'm expecting it to be relatively easy, though intense. I can write literature essays with my eyes closed and both hands tied behind my back. And a voice-to-text translator.

Friday, December 18, 2009

neo-pipe cleaners

And now it's time for, linky link links!

For me, the crafting-gifting stage is complete (Hanukkah ended tonight), but that will not stop me from adding more things to my to-make list. From design blog Lushlee, a Happy Avocado. So cute. Also, polka-dot fabric rocks.

This link is actually a video.
A poem by Taylor Mali, to be specific, put into a typographical visual by Ronnie Bruce. Maybe because I'm a very visual person, I loved how this was put together: I liked seeing the words and seeing how the artist thought they went together. The poem itself is an awesome commentary on our generation's lack of opinions and convictions in everyday speech. An almost-three-minute video definitely worth your time.

A recipe for chocolate truffles hopped into my inbox yesterday morning inside the Instructable weekly newsletter (they totally rock [Instructables, I mean, though the truffles rock too]). They call themselves "Easy Truffles," and they totally are. I made a double batch earlier today - soooo yummy.

As a fan (and promoter) of steampunk, I've been asked to define or describe several times over the years. So has Fantasy Magazine.
When I think of steampunk, I think of an alternate version of the present and/or future that might have been, if technology went the way of the steam engines and wheels and cogs and such. Sleek robots? Microchips? Nope. Victorian-esque airships and communication devices that need oiling. Not efficient, but beautiful in a reminiscent, fantastical way.

(Steampunk wedding cake topper via io9)

Steampunk (also known as Neo-Victorian) is gaining popularity through the web, and people do all sorts of awesome stuff with it like make wedding cakes, design their homes around it, and make interesting, weird, and just plain useless gadgets with it.

And lastly, just for fun, do the pipe cleaner dance.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

complementary sisters

When my 12 year-old sister Beth and I went to Hobby Lobby for our gift materials last week, I gravitated toward the fabric (and later to the paintbrushes and canvases), while she went to the corner of the store devoted to the needle crafts - tons of yarn and all sorts of stuff.
Occasionally, one of us will tell the other, "Oh, this project is so easy you should try it," to which the response is invariably "I don't like sewing/crochet."


(Beth crocheting across the table from my cape-making)

Beth crochets. I sew/embroider.
It's not that we've failed to branch out necessarily, we've both tried other things. I hate crocheting, because I don't like precision of it, having to count stitches and follow patterns and keep my tension exactly right. But for Beth, she doesn't have to count stitches or follow patterns, she just does things and they come out right.
Opposite goes for her and sewing. I sit and sew whatever, for her it's a bigger ordeal.

Between the two of us, though, I think we have most crafting spheres covered, and apparently my non-stop DIYing has put her in the mood for creating her own things. Basically, we rock together.


Also, this morning I checked on my hermit crab and lizards and found the lizards huddled together.

They usually share a shell at night to keep warm, but generally they keep their heads facing inwards. Aww, cuddly lizards.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

how tiph makes a cape (or, how to make an easy project really hard)

So, I decided it would be cool to make my youngest sister Melody a cape for Hanukkah. I figured - Hey, they're just big chunks of fabric sewn together, not too hard, right?

Right!
Making a cape is actually pretty simple. I bought a pattern, so basically all I had to do was cut out four pieces of fabric and sew on the dotted lines. Should've taken four hours, max.

Notice the word "should've." Because, I didn't do that. Nope. I cut out the fabric, and then decided that my cape needed
  • double lining
  • batting
  • quilted batting
  • pockets
  • a hood
I put quilted batting in bold because it's the most time-consuming part of this entire process. To make matters worse, I thought swirlies would be cute quilted on the lining. Very cute - but very hard to do with a sewing machine.

(me, quilting in the near-dark at 1 am)
All that complaining done - I can now say that I'm very proud of it so far. I think the extra time is proving to be well worth it, and as of yet I have not had to undo/redo any of my work. And I'm getting sewing callouses on my fingertips from my hand-sewing projects, too. :D

I'll be putting up our handmade gifts (that I and my sister Beth made) sometime later this week, in collage form (consider it the extra holiday issue). Til then, a purpley-sunset-out-of-focus-but-still-awesome photo.


Monday, December 14, 2009

cool as a cupcake

What's cooler than cool?

I will tell you what is cooler than cool.


What's cool is making a batch of cupcakes and frosting to go with it, having leftover frosting and refrigerating it for future use, making another batch of cupcakes two days later, and having exactly enough frosting left over for the second batch.
That is what is cool.

I'm continuing to sew things, wrapping up several projects before it's too late (my mom never knows which 'project' I'm talking about; she says I have too many going on at once).

Two things I'm considering spending money on for the new year:

A new laptop. Because the one I have is from 2005 and, while it serves its purpose (sometimes), can no longer hold any sort of charge. Also, the speakers have been out for the past year and a half. I've eying a lovely 14" HP, dual processor and everything. So if anyone wants to give me a few bucks, I'll take it. :P

Also, a wireless internet card. I'd like to have reliable internet, and the one at my house is neither dependable or improving. Sixty dollars a month is a hefty sum, though.

Not related to spending money, but still a "want," I'll be trying to get art on the blog regularly. If I start consistently putting out artwork (digital and otherwise), then I might get a separate art blog. I've been encouraged by a couple people to make a profit off my so-called talent, so we'll see how that works. If I can make $60 a month through the art stuff, that'll pay for my internet!

So yeah, tons of stuff to think about this week, and Hanukkah's til Saturday too! My brain might asplode. And I hear a thunderstorm coming in; I think this Monday might end complete.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Week in Photos

Not shown: cupcakes with *buttercream* frosting. Bestest, ever.
I'm sorta a go-with-the-flow person. I'm not big on planning, I don't like schedules, and I basically do things when they occur to me to do them.
That said, Saturdays have now been scheduled as Week-In-Photos-Here-Look-At-A-Collage-Day.

So yeah, there's your collage - click the photo for the album of individual photos ('cause some of those are really small).

Mi madre's birthday was actually last Saturday, but I made the cake on Tuesday. Maybe it was Wednesday...? After her birthday, anyway. So there's her carrot cake and her birthday banner (which is still up, because it's totally the coolest thing ever).

First day (which could also be termed Firsday) of Hanukkah was last night (at sundown - 5:25 pm in case anyone was wondering), and we started it off with a feast of fried candied apples, latkes (with apples and sweet potatoes mixed in), homemade spiced applesauce, fried turkey breast (with more apples), and our best china. I showed the kids how to make paper chains and suggested they make blue-and-white ones to string around the house, and I don't think they've stopped since. Oh yeah, they did when I made cupcakes. But that was after they brought the chain through the kitchen and around the hallway and across the gallery, etc. Hey, at least they're occupied!

In other news, I'm really tired. Quite a bit more crafting to do in the next couple of days - hooray for Hanukkah being eight days long.

Friday, December 11, 2009

friday is the new black

I hereby announce Fridays to be Link Fridays on this blog until I a) forget, or b) get bored with it.

While catching up on my design-inspiration blogs, I saw a post from How About Orange about an awesome desktop wallpaper site.

And a much larger version of that picture is now plastered across my laptop screen.

This time of year, ThinkGeek always emails me to tell me of all the awesome things they have that I should buy. Last year, I succumbed. This year - another test of wills between the geek within me and the me that's checking her bank account.
Look. A Lolcat book.
Do I want this shirt? Don't listen to the shirt - I actually do. And speaking of shirts, the ultimate in chic geekess is also a shirt. Though, can someone please tell me why the women's small is more expensive than the extra-extra-large? IT'S A CONSPIRACY.

And because retro gamer ice cubes are always a good idea, Ice Invaders.

How to make a Linux baby: Just put this shirt on Baby and add water! Watch it grow!

Which reminds me, XKCD has something to say about parenting, also. That made me lol.


This, my friends, is a pencil crossbow, and this tutorial will tell you how to make it.
And this website will answer your question as to what happens if you get stabbed by a flying pencil-arrow.

Don'tcha just love the internet?

prove it.

I'm currently unable to retrieve my photos from my camera.
For whatever reason, it'll act like the photos are about to transfer, but then it stops and the computer can't contact the camera anymore. And the memory card I have is not compatible with my laptop.

What does this mean for you?!
That I still don't have any photos to upload - even though I took some really awesome ones today. And you can't see them.

Of course, I could be lying, because, as I previously mentioned, you can't see them and I can't prove it. But, really, some pretty awesome ones. Like carrot cake, and a sunset reflection on a puddle outside. My sister pointed it out to me - it is purely coincidence that I have a reflection photo right after I posted one by someone else. Seriously!

So anyway, I have no photos, but I did doodle a bit on Hawthorne tonight:


I couldn't be bothered to draw her arms, so she's shy for this portrait.

Things I do not like about winter #1:
Cold hands.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

you are upside-down

To-do list:
  • grade the kids' school work
  • piece together the outer cape, cut out the inner lining
  • finish my tree painting
  • frost the carrot cake I made today
  • find a new place for my ever-growing pile of fabric scraps
  • make a gift list
  • make a to-make list
  • make a shake
  • bake a cake
  • oh wait, I already baked a cake
  • cake a flake?
  • I give up.
In other news, this photo also makes me want to give up:


Quick, everyone stare confusedly at the photo without noticing that I haven't uploaded a real one of my own in a few days!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

this is a title

It's the final stretch - my last technical writing paper is due tomorrow morning (so, technically speaking, it's due tonight). I finished the first one last night, and I just completed the remaining three quizzes for the semester.

Oh yeah, problem:
Internet is down again at home. I love how it picks the most convenient times to do so.
So I'm at a local coffee shop, drinking my own tea that I brought from my own house, in my own cup that I brought. I did buy a cake thingy, so I'm not totally cheap.

People keep walking out of the Chinese restaurant next to me with yummy take-out.... gimme fooooood. I should ask if I can share a meal with the next person who walks out.
On second thought, I need to get this paper done without getting arrested. Maybe next time.

So anyway.

It's totally break time, and I brought Hawthorne with me. I'm all happy and excited 'cause I get to draw, and then... and then...
*sniff*
I forgot my pen at home.
And now? Now I have no Hawthorne. He is forced to lay in solitude and loneliness! Without a soul to keep him company, without a single pen stroke to make him reach great heights of joy!!

[/melodrama]

So here, here's a drawing I did with my mousepad. This is why I have a graphics tablet.


A chick outside the window. Her hair actually did look that bad.

i don't believe in -isms.


This is the sky, the day before The Great Snow.
You can't tell me that's not gorgeous.

So anyway.

In my quest to make awesome art, I've been stalking following and perusing different design, art, and craft blogs. One of the most amazing things I've learned? I don't have to make up my own, brand-new idea to make something cool.

See, I had this aversion to copying any part of anything, for any purpose, ever. Call me Queen Anti-Plagiarism. But as I started looking at more and more posts, I found "this was inspired by," or "I got this idea from," way more often than I thought! Anyway, when it comes to sewing and that sort of stuff, I'm really lame and notawesome, so I blatantly steal most ideas, if not the patterns as well.

AND THERE IS SO MUCH COOL STUFF.

Back when I didn't have internet for two weeks, I wasn't able to check my Google Reader the entire time. The day finally came - internet *angel choir* - and I think I went into a gorgeous-stuff-to-make coma for about two hours. I didn't bookmark everything (though I should have), but my Projects folder? So. Full.

In addition to that, I'm going to be making a cape for my sister. I bought the fabric today (after wandering around the fabric aisles trying to figure out whether calico will work for a cape or not [it will] for a good half hour or so), and I'm pretty stoked about starting the process. 'Cept the cutting part terrifies me. What if I cut it incorrectly. The world will end, I'm pretty sure.

Also, another thing. This child?

He thinks he's all that. Josiah now thinks that he's oh-so-cool, way too cool, as a matter of fact, to smile for cameras. He'll be all happybouncyyay! until I pull out my camera/phone, and then he'll sorta throw his shoulders back and assume this super smug, I-am-so-awesome-I-don't-even-need-to-smile look. A two-year old with that attitude? I can't wait til he's in his teens.

Both photos today courtesy of my cell phone and its lovely "2 MEGS PIXEL" (so it says on the phone) camera.

Friday, December 4, 2009

things i like about winter, #3


I hereby amend my statement.



Dog thinks he's too good for snow.


And that's that.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

i break glass

Look at this!! Baby light bulb jars!! I just wanna squeeze 'em!
Or smash them on the ground, but that's an entirely different story altogether. Ahem.
Anyway, I bought those, and a few other assorted jars for presents later this month. Woo!


My sister and I, while we were out running errands, saw a hawk swoop down in front of my truck and pounce on something, presumably a mouse or some other small creature. My camera was in my sister's seat, but she couldn't turn-it-on/un-lens-cap-it/click-the-button fast enough. I pulled forward to a parking space and climbed up the hill it had hopped over with its prey, but Mr. Hawk had already left. :(
But that's okay, I saw a pond!


It took me several reconnects-to-teh-interwebz to get this post posted. O wireless network, wherefore art thou exceedingly fickle?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

click the button!!

Introducing:

THE REACTION BUTTONS.
Ta-daaaa!
I hereby demand that everyone click a button, since it takes all of .097 seconds, and you don't even have to make up your own words for it. But! If you guys can think of different reaction tags you want to see on the blog, that's what the comment box is for.

Now go forth and CLICK.

things i like about winter #2


Warm fuzzy socks.
The weather person says we might be getting snow after all.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

little green visitors


I'm back in teacher mode again. Organising, sorting, planning - and of course, tea.

We had a couple of visitors earlier today:


Two lizards found their way into the hermit crab cage (with a bit of help from the kids), and basked in the warmth of the lamp while they could. It's been pretty chilly around, so Leonidas and the lizards appreciated the heat. The littlest lizard, to the right, decided to stay around and is currently asleep in the shell he's hiding behind in the photo.

I have two canvases with only the backgrounds done, and practically no idea as to what to put on them.
Oh wait, never mind, I thought of something. Well, for one, at least.

who i am!

Tiph used to be this weird hippie chick who sewed things and drank tea and rode bikes and wrote silly things. Then, college came along, and now she's this weird hippie chick with math in her brain and notebooks full of indefinite integrals. And hardly any time to write. This is her space. Thankfully, space is a vacuum and any complaints you may have cannot be heard.

Flickr

Woo! You reached the End of the Page! You rock. Bored yet? If not, click the handy-dandy next button up there (it's there, right?), but otherwise, visit my Flickr page or my Etsy shop. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the blog before you go!

About a third of the credit for this template goes to Ourblogtemplates.com. The rest of that fraction goes to Tiph's incessant tinkering and exploding the CSS 'til it worked.

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