Friday, October 26, 2012

Not a sixty degrees angle

The previous kind of salmiak wasn't, and this one isn't - maybe it just shouldn't be, a sixty degrees angle on the salmiak rhombus. Too bad! But at least it leaves a nice star-shaped space where the corners don't fill up in the above pattern.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mixed Beads

Experimenting with colors while using up some old leftover Fimo polymer clay. I formed three piles of finely chopped clay, then mixed some of each color into the others. With some of the purple and blue, I re-chopped and mixed the finished chunks.

The pink turned a bit dull in the oven (thats a risk with leftovers) but the others turned out fine. The purple-blue re-chppped ones are probably the best of them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WiFi screen

We live on the edge of wireless reception. Even with an external antenna in the window, the signal was not quite strong enough and the connection was frequently dropped. Our friend Halza had the idea to use a strainer as a reflector. This trick works great for us too, and improves the reception considerably.
The WLAN antenna inside the strainer is one of these.

The WLAN signals are in the 2.4 GHz band, which means that one wave length is 12.5 cm. Already a reflecting plane, placed 1/4 wavelength (3.1 cm) behind the antenna should provide constructive interference and some signal gain. A parabolic reflector with the antenna in the focal point provides more. The strainer not exactly a parabola, but has the right general looks.

Lots of variants on this idea are available.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another batch of soap

We made another batch of transparent glycerin soap, using the same recipe as the last time. These above are the results.

We were so confident this time that we left the pot in the oven unguarded, and it boiled over! Or exploded, or something. Fluffy dry soap-clouds everywhere. At this point I was sure the batch was ruined! But we just scooped it all back in the pot, added some alcohol and melted it again, and everything turned out fine.

We used small soaps and scraps from the previous batch for decoration in the new ones - we arranged the old soaps in the forms, and poured new melted soap over. The aluminum foil is for keeping the round forms straight in the freezer, until the soap solidifies.

The soaps made in largish square forms I cut into three parts (for symmetry) to create reasonably size hand soaps.

Some of the finished soaps wrapped in strips of paper, as a gift wrap.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Yesterday, I finished working on an idea for I had for learning to use Blender, an open-source program for making three-dimensional models. The result is called Botany, it's also on my art page.

Basically, I wanted to make something that utilizes and shows off the flat surfaces used in 3D modelling. Usually, one tries to hide away the sharp edges and use tons of triangles and effects to make it look organic. The other main idea was to make an image that's supposed to be two-dimensional, and not a snapshot of a 3D scene (which it is, too, nevertheless).

The idea came from designing boxes for the platform game. The thought is to draw simple sectors on a square, and shade them in a way that's compatible with a three-dimensional interpretation.
I thought up as many of these sectored squares as I could, and constructed and arranged them in Blender. The main part of the work was placing the nodes and connecting the right ones, to form the geometry I wanted.

As a bonus, I took some landscape snapshots as well. I used Blender's depth-of-field feature, which I probably don't know enough about, but as you can see, the result isn't that great on edges with a high contrast.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thread Collection

My collection of sewing thread, small but pretty, deserves a post here as well. They're all Coats - some polyester Coats Duet, some Coats Cotton, and some are an ancient and discontinued polyester-cotton blend. I don't actually like sewing, but that doesn't keep me from wanting all the colors (pdf). Maybe if I could get into paper embroidery, to turn needlework into a form of paper craft...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Jelly beans for fall

Colorful jelly beans.

I was thinking these might make an appropriate seasonal color scheme for the summer to early fall transition. The Jelly Belly flavors can be found here.
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