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Cakes of Myth and Legend

My mom is planning my wedding. There are still some important elements missing in this equation. Namely, I don’t have a current boyfriend, there is no money that would go into any wedding planning even if I were to start a whirlwind romance with some strange upstart, and her wedding ideas are, well, unconventional. She’s in a steampunk phase.

I decided to do some research to see what may be in store for me. She probably already has some ideas for the dress code. I hope I have some say in the wedding dress itself. Formal steampunk dresses tend to be mostly corset and petticoat. I’ll expect that, but the bottom half I get to design as I’m not terribly fond of bulk. Or skirts. (Why do I even need to wear a skirt? Can I wear pants?) Anyway, here were some designs I liked: Here’s a lovely photolog of someone’s wedding, including a dress that would probably fit and look good on me. A deviant artist drew a couple of ideas and this was my favorite. And a woman put her whole gallery of professional pics on site so you can get an idea of the dress.

What I found, though, while doing a Google search under the terms for “steampunk wedding” was that it didn’t seem to be about the outfits or the rings, but it was about the cakes. As someone who has stumbled upon several different cake shows, I know that people like to shock and awe their guests with the centerpiece of the reception. I’ve even been to a wedding where the cake was a beautiful thing (from the Black Fox’s wedding). However, the insanity and extravagance of steampunk cakes blows my mind. It’s as though the entire time spent planning the wedding and put into budget was for the cake alone. “We can’t get a real dirigible, so let’s mold some bread and icing into one.” If I were a guest at one of those weddings, I would feel baaad for sinking my teeth into just one bite. If you can’t imagine what I am talking about, here is what this post is referring to:


And so on. There are more. Many more. They are too intimidating and wondrous to eat. To Mom: if you really are planning, this is what you have to start working on first, apparently. I have a nasty feeling, though, that you are suddenly going to say, “you’re the creative one! You start designing.” If it were up to me, I’d go with this:

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Don’t Eat the Bittering Agent

For anyone who has recently bought a “Dust Remover” a.k.a. “the compressed air cans that you spray at dust scattering it to the four corners of your room and most likely into your face”, you may have recently seen the bittering agent warning. A bittering agent is a recent additive to discourage users from inhaling or “huffing” the air. The website for 3M gives more information. It also gives a piece of information that makes sense and doesn’t at the same time: a question in their faq is posed about getting rid of the bittering agent taste in your mouth. The answer? Chocolate or other dairy products. So you mean if I huff and then down some chocolate, I’m okay? Uh…

As a note: I’m not encouraging this whatsoever and I’m hoping a little bit of milk won’t negate this attempt to prevent addiction. Seriously, don’t huff:

The reason I bring up the subject is my father & I were in a Target and I was just buying ONE CAN. The check out clerk (who suspiciously looked like a younger version of an ex) had to get my ID. I have an out-of-state license still, which the register refused to take. We held up the line while he called his supervisor to let me check out. During this moment my father was totally confused and I explained using the above Allison/Intervention example. I was then treated to a car ride home on why televised therapy shows are ruining our country. Then when I got home I noticed the damn can didn’t have a straw. I tried using it without one, but without a focus it’s not as effective. My options were to go back and buy another one or steal a straw and have someone else end up with the same problem.

I decided on neither. As a fan of MacGyver, I figured I could whip up a cheaper, easier (well, maybe not easier) way to get this working. In my pre-coffee stupor this morning I looked around my room and noticed my BIC pencils are about the same width of the opening – the straw usually has a little hole to fit in, but the pencils have a wide mouth that would wrap around the nozzle completely. You turned on yet?

I grabbed an ugly, orange, sparkly pencil and tried pulling the pencil apart because I only needed the inner mechanism. Not having the strength, I found a set of wire cutters (yes, I have wire cutters in my room) and pulled the front off. I saved the eraser and lead for other pencils. I then had to cut off the end that protrudes – that part that gives you lead-filled wonder. I stuck the shaft of the inner mechanism – now completely hollow – over the nozzle. It was a perfect fit. The problem is occasionally it gets pushed off. I fixed this by adding a binder clip, which actually helps a bit with the compression (in my opinion).

There you have it. Once again I prove I’m awesome, albeit this might be boring to some people. So here’s a sexy picture of the man who made this all possible:

Source: T.V. Squad.For additional source materials check What Would MacGyver Do?

Domo Arigato

Time for super awesome robot time (and other electronic adventures). This post is an inspiration from a previous one & The Black Fox. {She wanted a cool nickname and with her love of foxes that’s the best I can come up with. It’s a reference to one of my favorite movies.}

I had mentioned I’m collecting old, unused, and in somewhat working condition (arguably) electronics. When I asked what I should do with them, she was the only to reply and said I should attempt battle robots. I have absolutely no engineering or programming experience. Plus, I’m away from any buddies who may have those talents. I looked up what it may take to do that and there are several sites with instructions:
I found a specific thread in RoboCommunity that has many replies & links offering suggestions and help. I have also now learned that there is such a thing as a Robot Community.
There are several in fact. I found another beginners’ thread about motherboards at Society of Robots. (I would recommend just going to the main site – I’ve been finding these sites through the threads via Google.)

All I have is a soldering iron, several old crappy pieces of equipment, and a dream. Or I could go another route. By Googling “awesome uses for old electronics” I found a number of hits pertaining to robotics, practical uses, art projects, or (if it’s for old computers) just figuring out basics of programming.

On Hack N Mod there was an article about more artistic uses. It included “retro robots” which don’t look particularly active:

Make Use Of has more environmentally conscience options, including recycle/reuse/donate, but also mentions some interesting ideas like keeping that old laptop around and transforming it into a digital photo frame.

If those products are dead, dying, or out-of-date, try This Blue Marble‘s thread on transforming them into pretty awesome practical objects. I think my favorite was the “8-bit Belt Buckle”:

(Original article is from PC World by Anne B. McDonald, in case you miss that.)

So that’s all I’ve found. There are probably hundreds of things to do out there. I’ve seen plenty in my years of Interneting and have forgotten those ideas and links. If I’m really lazy I could probably just rip out the boards and glue them to stuff. I also bought wire and some random bits for Steampunk jewelry lately, so maybe it’ll just get added to that project. Well, it would be Cyber-Punk instead. I could do both. I’m crazy like that.

This is all JUNK!

New hobby: collecting used/defunct electronics. Items obtained so far: Zip drive, Sony Walkman, Calculator circa 70’s, and this:


(Via this site I did not buy it from as I found it for $4 at a second hand store.)

I just need to find film for this awesome piece of awesomeness. Now, I know what you’re saying, “But Beth, we thought there was medication for people with this kind of disorder.” That may be true, however, I am determined to see this through to the end, especially since I have a bit of a photography fetish hobby.

It costs $80-$120 at retail value for one 10-shot ye olde set. Suck! On e-bay, though, I may be able to get a classic film piece for $15-$30. Still a bit pricey, especially for something not guaranteed to work. I *did* find a website called The Impossible Project that has newly created film for these old cameras (for anyone who is in need). My main problem is that they haven’t created any colored film for my 600 yet, it’s just the PX Silver available, which means it will only come out B/W or Sepia. Which isn’t terrible, but it means everything will come out looking like my mom’s Christmas photos. I’ll be expecting the spectre of my grandpa smoking a cigar to waft through.

And no, I don’t know what I’ll be doing with the rest of the collection. I might take the zip drive apart since it doesn’t appear to be worth anything. The Walkman has crap on the back, but if batteries are put in it may still be in working condition. People want some retro crap? Or post/send links with craft ideas. I am super bored.

My Goth Is Showing

 

At some point I tried to bring some semblance of order to this blog. There was a pattern and shape that I was trying to get comfortable with, but Discordia is this blog’s muse. I’m trying to keep Wednesday Bling going until I no longer have links to the ring posts. I want to *eat* this ring:

 

Midnight Garden Victorian Black Rose Ring in by robinhoodcouture – Stylehive.

On Hoth, I Bet This is What Vader Would Look Like

I follow the Wheaton (@wilw) on Twitter. He mentioned a link about Star Wars paper snowflakes. Since I haven’t made snowflakes since I was 13 years old, I took a pass. Today I realized I am unemployed and with all this time I have I could really use a boost.

To follow along, here are the instructions for making either a Boba Fett or Vader. I would like to thank the creator, but as I tried my hand at it, I would like to let her know it is a very difficult process. I had to use a box cutter and it took me about 20 minutes

Here is my finished product:

Upon showing this to my dear old Dad, he squinted and asked if it was a kitty. I even had John Williams’ Imperial March playing in the background! He saw it before I did my touch-up, so I could see the feline resemblance. And thanks to his remark, I’m now reminded of this:

(via Hello Kitty Hell, which also supplied various other H.K./Darth Vader mixes.)

I don’t think I’ll try the Boba Fett, but now I am prepped to try my hand at some other designs! Maybe they’ll have a Jack Skellington or some sort of Muppet series snowflake pattern. Enjoy if you try it!

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