DIY Harry Potter Series – Ravenclaw’s Diadem

The Ravenclaw Diadem (Lost Diadem), is the only known relic belonging to Rowena Ravenclaw. On it is inscribed: Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure. It was stolen by Helena Ravenclaw, Rowena’s daughter who hid it before she was killed. Voldemort later acquired it by murdering an Albanian peasant and made it his fifth Horcrux.

What you need:

  1. Princess Tiara from any craft store (you can also get tiaras from the wedding sections at the craft store but those are more expensive)
  2. Acrylic Paint – Royal Blue, Metallic Silver, Metallic Zinc
  3. Dark Blue and Silver glitter glue
  4. Silver gemstone stickers
  5. String of clear, oval shaped beads (Link; Michaels Clear Beads)
  6. Hot Glue Gun

What you do:

  1. This is the tiara I got from Hobby Lobby in the party section. I could not find one with an oval shape, but oh well. This works just as well.                                                                        ra1
  2. Paint the centre heart with the blue and let dry. Use 2 coats. Paint the other pink circular stones with the silver paint and let dry (also 2 coats).                                                     ra2
  3. Add blue glitter glue to the blue stone. Completely cover it and let it dry for 24 hours.     ra4
  4. Paint the entire tiara with the metallic zinc and let dry (this gives it an old, tarnished look). Cut two of the glass beads, with string, from the rest of the strand and hot glue it to the centre of the tiara (right below the blue gem).                                                                ra5
  5. Use the hot glue to draw a bird shape on the tip of the crown (I connected the 3 prongs of the tiara together with glue to look like a bird’s head with the beak facing the left side). Hot glue the gemstone stickers all over the tiara. Let everything dry for 30 mins.ra8
  6. Use the metallic silver paint to paint over the tiara, leaving a few spots of the darker zinc to make the tiara look old. Let dry and add silver glue over the paint. Let dry for 24 hours.ra9
  7. Use a dark blue or black, fine sharpie marker to write the words “Wit beyond measure is” on the left base of the tiara and “Man’s greatest treasure” on the right base of the tiara. Preferably, use a fine tip marker to create precise lines (I used a thick sharpie and it smudged the letters together instead of leaving it nice and small 😦 ).                                                  IMG_2258
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Passport Colors

Ever wonder why your passport is blue when the person next to you at the airport has a red one?

Passport colors are derived from four primary colors: red, green, blue or black. Within these colors there are different hues and shades used to make the covers. Geography, politics and religion help determine what color your country’s passport will be. Rules dictate how passports must appear, including their size and format, which are issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) but governments around the world can choose the colour and design of their national document.

For example, passports for countries within the European Union (EU) tend to be burgundy, while those from Caricom (Caribbean Community and Common Market) use blue, which could be for geographical or political reasons. 

For others, the chosen passport color may be religiously significant, such as in Muslim countries including Morocco, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where their passports are different shades of green. Some countries choose a certain color to reflect their unique identity, such as Switzerland, whose passport is bright red. Singapore’s has a bright orange/reddish cover.

A standard passport cover includes the name of the issuing country, a national symbol, a description (e.g., passport, diplomatic passport), and a biometric passport symbol. The choice of color, though influenced by culture and history, also comes down to practicality and availability. The card stock used to make the covers is supplied by a third party and only comes in certain color combinations. Countries like to add certain features to the covers to make them unique, like images, or hidden artwork that can be seen under UV light. This also helps in identifying forgeries.

(Information obtained from Wikipedia and Google search articles).

via Daily Prompt: Passport

Common Stain Removal Recipes

Isn’t it irritating how clothes, carpets, walls etc get ruined in so many awful ways by stains? If you stain your carpet you’ll never get your deposit back… Late for an interview and already spilt stuff on your clothes.. Not to mention all the hazardous chemicals in store bought removers. It is a pain to have to find easy, natural clean remedies. Why not make some at home with all natural products so you always have something on hand for that worst case scenario?

Removing stains from cotton: Gently pat the spot with a towel / wash cloth moistened with undiluted white vinegar. Rub the vinegar along the stain for a few mins before placing the item in the wash. For larger and more stubborn stains, soak the garment overnight in a solution of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part cold water before washing.

Hairspray for ink stains on clothes: Place a clean cloth underneath the stain so that it doesn’t seep through other layers and spray the ink with hairspray until saturated. Let it soak for 2 mins and then gently blot the stain with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the stain visibly lightens. Rinse in warm water.

Coconut oil remover: Coconut oil works wonders especially on crusty, rough, colored spots as it absorbs most of the rough patches as well as the color. Mix equal parts coconut oil (slightly warm) + 1-2 spoons baking soda = Leave for 10 min on affected area. This works really well on the following:

  • Getting grease off hands (plain coconut oil is enough for this)
  • Removing a sticky mess from carpet (this takes more time and a lot of patience)
  • Cleaning wood floors 
  • Sticky residue from tape
  • Sticky, colored spots on furniture

Baking soda solution: This is perfect to clean anything stainless steel or metal based like stoves, hot plate coils, oven, even bath tubs and tiles.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons castile soap (any natural based soap just to form suds)
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil (only for fragrance purposes; I prefer lemon)

Mix all ingredients together to form a uniform solution without any lumps. Either use a spray bottle to apply to surface, or use a metal scrubber. Leave on surface for 10 mins and gently scrub. Rinse off with warm water and dry.

Carpet Stains: Take 2-4 teaspoons of undiluted vinegar + 1 liter of water and mix in a spray bottle. Spray on stain + leave for 10 mins. Gently scrub with a metal scrubber + cold water rinse.

Oil stains: Use flour or talcum powder on both sides of the stain and let sit for 1 hour. You can also gently rub the stain with chalk which absorbs the oil. Allow the powder or chalk to soak for an hour or two. Shake off the powder; the stain should be visibly lighter or completely gone. Add some laundry soap and rinse under hot water; repeat as needed.

 

 

Porphyrophobia – Fear of Purple

Porphyrophobia is a fear of the color purple, a subclass of Chromophobia. Like all other phobias, the original cause of Porphyrophobia traces back to a past traumatic event involving the color purple. This fear could also be due to internal predispositions or thoughts.

Porphyrophobics would be easy to avoid seeing purple due to the rarity of the color, so panic would not occur that readily. Sufferers (especially those who had purple poison ivy rash) may associate purple with poison, readily causing toxiphobia. It is quite possible to get treatment for something like this. A qualified therapist could help dig out the root cause for the fear and take steps towards curing that. A lot of times people can bounce back from this fear with help.

Further reading:

  1. Remedies Point – Phobia
  2. Health Guide Info – Phobia

via Daily Prompt: Purple

Ordinary objects : Everyday uses

Your home is full of everyday treasures that can be used in new, innovative ways. Read through to find out different uses for butter, straws, rice and more.

  1. Use ice cubes to remove gum from carpet or clothes. The ice helps freeze and harden the gum and it can be easily scraped off. Leave the cube on the gum for about 10 mins and chip away.
  2. For those who suffer from cold / canker sores, rub an ice cube on the spot the moment it starts to tingle till the cube completely melts. This prevents the sore from breaking out.
  3. Use rice to quickly dry wet phones. If you accidentally drop your phone in the pool or toilet (Eeww), dry the exterior as much as possible and place the opened up phone very carefully in a ziploc bag / clean, dry sock filled with rice for about 24 hrs. This will completely dry out your phone.
  4. If you have sticky hands from playing around with glue or tape, rub butter over your hands and then wash with soap. This helps get the sticky residue off.
  5. Use a straw to remove the stems off strawberries or cherries. Simply stick the straw from the bottom of the fruit through the top. This loosens and pushes the stem away from the fruit.
  6. Walnuts, with their natural waxy coating, are perfect to remove scratches or blemishes from your wood furniture. Gently rub the walnut against the scratch and watch it visibly smoothen out.
  7. Do you spend hours trying to peel off a sticker from a new package or box?  Use a hair dryer to make your life much easier. Just leave the dryer on the sticker for 10-15 mins. The hot air will loosen a price tag or sticker making removal super easy. 
  8. Use the eraser at the end of a pencil as a cuticle polisher. Gently push back the cuticle, following the natural shape of your nail bed with the eraser (doesn’t hurt or sting as much as the cuticle shaper).

via Daily Prompt: Ordinary

DIY Harry Potter Series – Triwizard Golden Egg

This post is an easy DIY to make the golden egg used as a prize in the first task at the Triwizard Tournament.

What you need:

  1. Golden easter egg (available at any craft store; easier to find in the months close to easter)
  2. An old egg carton laying around
  3. Acrylic Paints: Metallic Gold, Dark Espresso for detailing (or dark brown fine tip marker)
  4. Hot Glue
  5. Scissors and Pencil
  6. Thin and Thick brushes

What you do:

  1. I purchased a box of golden eggs from Michaels for a dollar (since it’s pre-easter time, everything is on sale).IMG_2207
  2. Cut one egg cup from the carton; trim it so you have a perfect, circular cup (be careful and do not poke yourselves).
  3. Make 5 slits from the ends to the center of the cup.                                                                           IMG_2201
  4. Fold outward to form a flower like shape and trim the thickness of each petal to form a skinny triangle. Use a pencil to measure the length and thickness so all triangles are uniform.IMG_2210
  5. Paint the entire cut out with metallic gold paint and let dry for 30 mins (if the egg doesn’t match, paint the egg the same gold as the cutout).                                                                                                          IMG_2221
  6. Fold the petals inward. Add hot glue to the center of the cutout and stick it to the top of the egg. Hold firmly for a few seconds till attached.                                                                IMG_2227
  7. Add hot glue to the petals and stick them to the egg. Paint over the visible hot glue with gold paint and let dry for 30 mins.
  8. Search on Google for ‘Harry Potter Golden Egg’ (Link: Golden Egg Details) to find the details to draw on the egg. Use a brown marker or paint to put in the details and let dry.

Tippy Tuesday – Lemon Stain Remover for Clothes

How do you get rid of sweat stains before going to an important interview, or remove makeup spots from clothes without your stain remover handy?

Just make your own at home. Works just as well as store bought removers.

  • Mix equal parts of lemon juice (from fresh lemons preferably) and water.
  • Rub it into the affected area. Leave for 10-15 mins.
  • Gently rinse affected area with warm water.
  • Wash in a regular cycle.

Use baking soda mixed with lemon juice or equal parts vinegar and water to scrub away more stubborn stains.

 

Four leaf clovers

Today being St. Patrick’s Day, I figured we should talk about four leaf clovers, or shamrocks. Today, four leaf clovers are associated with St. Patrick’s but centuries ago, they appeared as symbols of luck or good fortune. The reason four leaf clovers are so rare and popular is because there are no clover plants that naturally produce these clovers. There are about 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every lucky, four leaf clover. The cause of the fourth leaf is purely scientific, likely due to a recessive gene or a mutation still undetected.

The four leaves are said to represent faith, hope, love and luck. Ireland is considered to be home to the most four leaf clovers, hence the term “luck of the Irish”. Five leaf clovers are less common than four leaf clovers and are considered a special prize by four leaf clover collectors. The most leaves ever seen in a clover is 56 in Japan in May of 2009.

via Daily Prompt: Luck

DIY Harry Potter Series – Triwizard Trophy and Hufflepuff Cup

Next in the HP series is Cups / Trophies, specifically the Triwizard Cup and Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup. The Triwizard Cup was made in 1294, the date when the tournament was established. The Hufflepuff Cup was a magical, golden cup with a badger engraved on the side and was the fourth horcrux created by Voldemort.

For the Triwizard Cup:

Materials:

  1. Mini trophies (Link: Michaels Mini Trophies)
  2. Acrylic Paint – Pale Blue, Metallic Zinc
  3. Hot Glue Gun
  4. Pencil

Process:

  1. Paint the body of the trophy with the pale blue and let dry. Use 3 coats.
  2. Paint the handles, the rim, the neck and base with the metallic zinc. Use 3 coats and let dry.
  3. With a pencil, lightly trace out the letters TRI-WIZ-ARD on the body of the trophy (3 letters / section; the WIZ will be to the center of the trophy and the TRI and ARD on the sides. Use a template from google as a reference).
  4. Paint over the letters with the metallic zinc and let dry.
  5. Use the hot glue gun to draw a curve going down the neck to the base of the trophy, indicating a dragon tail. On both handles draw thick lines going down and a huge thick drop on top of the handles for the dragon’s body and face. On either side of the letters WIZ draw thin lines from the bottom of the body till 1/2 inch below the letters. Let dry.
  6. Paint over all the hot glue with the metallic zinc (2 coats) and let dry.

     

    For the Hufflepuff Cup:

    Materials: Same trophy as above, Acrylic Paints – metallic bright brass, metallic glorious gold

Process:

  1. Paint the entire trophy with 1 coat of the gold and let dry.
  2. Use a thin paint brush to draw a shape of a badger with the brass paint and other details from a google image template. Let dry.

 

 

Tuesday Tips: Sauce cubes

Tip of the Day: Use ice cube trays to freeze some of your favorite cooking sauces (pesto, marinara etc) so you don’t have to make a new batch every time you want a quick meal.

  • When you make a batch of your favorite sauce, take an ice cube tray (rinsed and dried) and add a small amount of oil tot he base.
  • Add your sauce into the cubes. Cover with a thin layer of olive oil to prevent drying of the sauce.
  • Leave in the freezer for 3-4 hours until completely frozen.
  • Turn the tray upside down and gently pat down on the table to release the cubes.
  • Place cubes in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. This will remain good for 6-8 months.

Next time you want a quick meal, simply pull out a cube, thaw it in a pan and add to your pasta or rice.