Sunday, March 30, 2008

Coming soon: Mother's Day Pop-Up Cards

Coming soon: Mother's Day Pop-Up Cards
Originally uploaded by desireux

I'm very excited to reveal my new designs for Mother's Day. Can anyone guess what the theme would be? (Hint: What's my latest obsession?)

On April 1st, do visit to see them :)

Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gladiolus sprouts

Gladiolus sprouts

Here are my sprouting Gladiolus plants which I was so excited about. It's amazing how fast they grow. There are five sprouts now, I planted 8. Today my lab mate gave me an old indoor plant book which she got at the library. I think people are surprised at my sudden fascination with plants, but I really think they make the lab more cheerful and definitely more spring-y.

Here's my collection of potted plants in lab. Aren't they pretty?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Days

Make me smile
Originally uploaded by desireux

This weekend I bought two more plants to put in lab. A pot of blooming daffodils and a pot of lilies. The lilies were still buds, but that night one bud started to bloom.

Today I brought both plants into lab and I was so surprised to see my gladiolus (mentioned here) starting to sprout! I was so excited and smiling to myself. Luckily there was no one there *blush* :P

I'll bring my camera to lab tomorrow to take photos of the sprouts.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My budding Epiphyllum

My budding Epiphyllum
Originally uploaded by desireux

Here's my Epiphyllum with its baby leaves which I blogged about here.

It's spring break but I won't be going anywhere far this year. Instead I'll be in lab writing my proposal for my qualifying exams, trying to get it done by Tuesday. It's great to be able to spend the next week writing/reading peacefully and not rushing around campus.

I'll also be working on my Mother's Day collection of pop-up cards which I will unveil in April. I might show a sneak preview before then ;)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Originally uploaded by desireux

I am thankful for friends to laugh with.
I am thankful for lab mates who are a joy to work with.
I am thankful for the wonderful students I teach.
I am thankful for the very interesting class I'm taking.
I am thankful for the afternoon of warmth where I could go out in my cardigan and eat ice cream.
I am thankful for having to write my proposal and realizing the importance of reading past literature.
I am thankful for being able to create my pop-up cards.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spring forward

Originally uploaded by desireux

It's that time of the year when we lose an hour :(
Because of daylight saving time, it's now 4.38 am and I'm still awake.

Anyway, in anticipation of spring, I bought 2 pretty pots from the dollar store today. And some bulbs: 3 multi-colored tulips which are suppose to bloom in mid spring and 6 red gladiolus. Yay! I can't wait to get to lab on Monday and plant them and diligently water them.

For those of you who know me, you might be thinking.. hmmm.. Tracy.. plants??? Well, even I surprised myself at how excited I got when buying my new (to be) plants.

It all started when a lab mate gave me a little pot of African Violets. The majority of my colleagues in lab are plant lovers. Most have potted plants growing very well and even flowering, so it was very cool to have my own little plant to care for. Then, a few months ago, was the blooming of another lab mate's special Epiphyllum (photo shows it about to bloom) which I blogged about here. Anyway, she gave me a baby Epiphyllum plant and so one weekend I went to Meijer and bought two new pots to transplant my ever growing African Violet and the new Epiphyllum. And that's when I started going all plant lady like.

Wow, a whole entry on plants :P Well, there'll be more to come (and photos too!) since the Epiphyllum is growing new baby leaves because it's spring and it's really pretty.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Isn't it about time?

Originally uploaded by desireux

We had hail / icy snow on Tuesday. I fell down twice walking to lab, wasn't even wearing my high heeled boots. Anyway, was feeling rather tired of the cold, wet weather.

Yesterday was ok, I could even wear a skirt/leggings :) Today was even nicer, sunny.. around -2 C during the day.

Then I reached home. Watched the Apprentice. Listened to weather updates: Another winter storm is approaching. Come on. Isn't it about time for some warmth??

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Story of "Ready, Aim ..."

So here's the update on the Rubber Band challenge for InnovationWeek.

Here's the video and the story of the tournament.

First of all, I'm so happy. Ready, Aim ... received two extremely great prizes from the Illinois InnovationWeek.

The first is breakfast with Henry Petroski, a civil engineering professor, University of Illinois alumni and prolific author. He will be on campus for a Design Matters series lecture on March 11. Here are some of his books if you are interested. I plan to read The Toothpick: Technology and Culture before meeting him.

The second is a day at Ideo, an innovation and design firm. We'll be going to the one in Chicago. I'm really excited about this visit.

Now that it's over and prizes have been awarded, I can reveal what we did and the idea behind the project, as well as the value created.

Here's our project description:

Don't you wish your best guy friend had better aim in the toilet?

Well, we thought so too. And we thought people could do better with some target practice. So we got students from our university to play a game.

In "Ready, Aim ..." the students got to practice their aim with a rubber band– not a trivial task bitter winter cold of Urbana-Champaign! Not only did we give students a chance to have some fun, but we also managed to casually approach the "toilet" issue.

We cemented the concept by handing out tags that they could hang around their toilets. One guy, however, thought it was cool enough to hang in his car!

As for the value created, we were aiming for social value by using the rubber band as a vehicle to approach a sensitive topic, which will lead to cleaner toilets for everyone.

For other entries from all over the world, visit Stanford's eweek group on YouTube here.