Sunday, September 30, 2007

In preparation

Many uses of Miller lite
Originally uploaded by desireux.

My exams are finally over (for the time being) so I used the weekend to shop around for supplies, get up to date on figures, make more cards, and prepare packaging materials. I'm now using empty cereal & beer :P cardboard boxes (which have never been in direct contact with food, of course) to protect my handmade cards. It's a good way to recycling, they look nice and colorful, and best of all are not too heavy, which brings down the shipping cost. The cardboard, pop-up card, name card and a little note of thanks all go inside a ziplock bag for further protection against the elements; and of they go to their new home.

Tomorrow is October and only 30 more days to Halloween! I want to dress up as a decapitated ghost like this very cool Marie Antionette I saw on Gizmodo last year. If I'm serious about doing it, I better start soon as it looks rather complicated.

Also, I'm very happy that more people are showing interest in my Bats In The Dark and Cats In The Dark pop-ups. Do have a peek at them ... and they'll all be looking back at you :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bountiful Harvest? at Pontious Farm

Bountiful Harvest
Originally uploaded by desireux.

Last weekend, I went to Pontious Farm, hoping to pick some blackberries. After looking high and low, that was all we brought back :) Even getting those few berries was a challenge. The blackberry bush is covered with thorns. The thorns are on the leaves and branches and just sticking my hand in there was rather painful.

The funny (and unfortunate) thing is we brought the precious few berries back but forgot to eat them. By the time we realized it, they were growing mouldy in the plastic bag :(

Anyway, if you are in Champaign-Urbana, and feel like picking berries, go to Pontious Farm. Here's their website. It's near the end of the berry season so I'm not sure what's left but they probably still have blackberries. Go early though or you'll end up with just a handful like me.

Ps: They have a llama too!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Message in the bottle (cap) & wierd rules.

Originally uploaded by desireux.

"A person is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."
-- John Barrymore

We got a bottle of Lambrusco Reunite (nice, fruity wine btw) at Mejier. I wasn't paying for it, just standing beside the counter and was also asked for my ID. I was shocked and asked why. The cashier said "oh, sometimes people buy alcohol for other people". As far as I recall, only the person buying had to produce the ID. The more I thought about it, the more ridiculous this 'rule' seems. What happens if a mother is doing her grocery shopping with her two little kids and wants to buy a bottle of wine? She can't? That is just ridiculous. What about a situation where a 34-year old mom goes shopping with her 17 year old son and wants to buy beer? Not allowed? So is this a real law or was it some Meijer clerk who was very mis-informed? Let me know if you've experienced this before.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Amazing set of Waterdrops on Flickr

Chrysanthemum dewdrop refraction #2
Originally uploaded by Lord V.

I stumbled upon this beautiful set of waterdrops by Lord V on flickr.
Do check it out.

I had no idea there was a special technique to take photos of these waterdrops with flower refections. I've seen others do it and would always think how lucky they are that a bright, gorgeous daisy just happened to be reflected in the waterdrop. Now I know that there's a careful set-up there :)

Anyway, here's the tutorial, also written by Lord V if you are interested.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Eid ul-Fitr Pop-Up Card
Originally uploaded by desireux.

To all my Muslim readers, may you have a blessed Ramadan.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Message in the bottle (cap)

Originally uploaded by desireux.

From the bottle caps of Honest Tea (pretty nice tea btw):

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
-- Confucius

Last year, Honest Tea sold 7,998,654 bottles of tea. This is the same amount of Coke sold in 9 minutes.

Love those quotes and little bits of info.

Reminder for Prison Break fans ~
Season 3 starts tomorrow!! 8/7 central on FOX.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Making a little difference

Originally uploaded by desireux.

I do my weekly grocery shopping at Meijer. One thing that has always made me a little unhappy was their 'generosity' at using plastic bags. It was not uncommon to have 10 plastic bags for a batch of grocerys. And in each bag, sometimes there would only be 2 items. So, I got a huge reusable tote bag to carry the groceries. Initially, I was afraid the checkers would not be too happy to have to do something different. Some do seem abit, just dumping the items outside and then I would have to either ask them if they could please put it inside the bag. But most are okay, putting them nicely into the bag. One young man was particularly nice, going as far as to arrange the bottles and boxes so they were standing upright in the bag. Last week, I had a rather pleasant surprise. Meijer has implemented a 0.05 cent deduction for shoppers with their own bags. It's a small amount and I'm not sure of the effect on other shoppers but it makes me happy to know that they are encouraging people to use less plastic bags. So if you head out to Meijer, do a little bit for the environment and bring your own bag.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Case of the Missing Grapes

Tammy Turtle
Originally uploaded by desireux.

We bought a new box of grapes last weekend at Meijer. Huge juicy black grapes. On Tuesday, I was informed that the grapes were missing. How wierd. I looked in the fridge and true enough, the box of grapes was no where to be found. Today, I opened the container cabinet and saw the the grapes!! Apparently someone (not me.. ehem..) put it in there after taking out a container to bring some grapes to work. My my....

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Making it on Explore

Originally uploaded by desireux.

I have always thought that it was the coolest thing to appear on Flickr's Explore. A few days ago, I was in a discussion with another Etsy/Flickr member, FortCloudy and she mentioned a website that let's you check if any of your photos have ever made Explore. Turns out that three of mine actually were, but have since been dropped. Pretty cool!

Anyway, here's the link if you didn't know about it. It let's you create nice posters of your Explore photos too. Mine didn't look too good with only 3 :P Also, if it shows none, you might want to click "recently dropped" to try. Just means that your photo is no longer in the list but was there.

Flickr Scout by BigHugeLabs

Enjoy, you might get a pleasant surprise like I did!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Food Network

Originally uploaded by desireux.

I'm watching Paula's Party on Food Network now and Paula Deen's son was on her show making a dessert. He was telling how he met his wife on his first date and knew at that moment that he was going to marry her. So after dinner he slipped her fork and napkin into his jacket. True enough they got married, and while cutting the cake, he whipped out the fork and napkin; and told the story to the guests. Definitely an "aww" moment.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A whole lot of corn

Originally uploaded by desireux.

Finally finished a special order for my pop-up mini's. I have a soft spot for these mini's because not only are they cute, but I can think of so many uses for them. From business cards, to invitations, little note cards to place-cards and stocking stuffers. These here are for putting into goody bags for a programming language conference.

Speaking of corn, I've been using my mom's way of cooking it in the microwave and it's the best way! Just rinse your ear of corn, and then wrap it in a paper towel. Sprinke some water onto the paper towel and put the whole thing in the microwave for 2 minutes on Hi. That's all there is to it. No more bringing out the big pot, boiling the water, boiling the corn. Best of all, you get the sweetest corn which is not the least bit soggy! And in 2 minutes. What could be better?

So I just had a nice big corn for lunch. Rubbed it with butter, sprinkled it with salt.. yums!