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

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

Finding your Fortune in Cookies

As far back as the 19th century, traditional cookies very similar to today’s fortune cookie have existed, most notably in Japan; called O-mikuji (random fortunes written on strips of paper at Buddhist temples. These are usually received by making a small offering of money and randomly choosing from a box, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good. Up until World War II, fortune cookies were known as fortune tea cakes.

Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco is reported to have been the first place in the USA to have served the modern version of the cookie at the tea garden in the 1890s or early 1900s. Fortune cookies moved from being by Japanese-Americans to Chinese-Americans sometime around World War II. These were all made by hand until the early 20th century, when the first fortune cookie machine was invented by Shuck Yee from California, called Fortune III.

Fortunes can be anything from quotes to life advice. Some fortunes are left blank, requiring you to pen your own to gift to friends and family. But how does the fortune get into the cookie? Once the cookie batter is made, poured and baked, vacuum is used (built into fortune cookie machines) to suck fortunes into place, metal fingers fold the fortune in half to trap the fortune inside, bend the cookie into shape, and cool and package the final cookie.

via Daily Prompt: Fortune

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.

 

 

Strange Medieval Elixirs

We take medicines for granted nowadays… Tylenol for fever… Advil for pain relief… Aspirin for headache and inflammation. We have so many different kinds of pills for the same problem. But what did people do before all these came to exist? They had some strange, natural potions they would make to treat a variety of ailments.

To treat a cough

‘The juice of horehound to be mixed with diapenidion and eaten’

Horehound [a herb and member of the mint family] is good for treating coughs, and diapenidion is a confection made of barley water, sugar and egg whites, like cotton candy strings.

For the stomach

‘Take cumin and anise, equal amounts, and lay it in white wine to steep, and cover it over with wine and let it stand still for three days and nights. Allow it to dry with fire in an earthen pot and make a powder. Mix it in food or drink and consume’.

Both cumin and anise are considered carminatives (relieve flatulence) so these would have helped with stomach bloating problems. Fennel could also have been used as an alternative.

For migraines

‘Take half a dish of barley, one handful each of betony and vervain; boiled together and wrapped in a cloth and lay them to the sick head’.

Betony ( a herb) was used in different amounts to cure internal as well as external ailments.

To treat burns

‘Take a live snail and rub it’s slime against the burn and it will heal’.

Recent research has shown that snail slime contains antioxidants, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral properties, as well as collagen and elastin, vital for skin repair.

A few cures for other ailments such as gout or throat infections involved using the guts of cats and internal organs of birds. These were boiled with other herbs and dried and made into a powder to treat the resulting ailment. The poor animals were killed unnecessarily and the patients were definitely not cured. In fact they became worse with possible eventual death. However, a lot of the treatments involved natural herbs and plants that are used even today in some cultures to treat common ailments successfully. 

via Daily Prompt: Elixir

Tip Tuesday – Clothespins for Ear Phones

Say goodbye to tangled, messed up earphones.

Glue 2 clothespins together (use hot glue), one end opposite to the other. Clip the end of the headphone on one end and wrap the earphones around the middle (between the clips on either end). Clip the earbuds on the other end.

Easy way to avoid tangles, plus does not take up too much space in your purse.

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

Simple, Everyday Hacks to make your life a whole lot easier

How do we manage our lives dealing with time-consuming tasks like cleaning hair brushes, or untangling earphones to listen to your favorite music, or eating a whole bunch of fruit really fast before they spoil? There are wonderful ways to fix these painful tasks while still being able to enjoy your day!

Kitchen Care:

  1. Use some cling wrap / foil to cover the stems of bananas to prevent them from ripening quickly.
  2. Extend the life of strawberries by washing them in a solution of vinegar water (1 cup vinegar: 3 cups water). This kills the bacteria that causes them to mold faster (make sure you dry the fruits thoroughly before storing).
  3. A small jar of coffee beans does a great job as an air freshener if you’re out. Also, coffee grounds help get rid of nasty smells from your fridge / freezer.

Personal Care:

  1. Dab a thin layer of Elmer Glue around your nail beds (outline the edges of the cuticle) and add your favorite polish to your nails. The nail polish will not stain your skin. Peel the glue off after by gently loosening it with the end of a makeup brush or sponge. (Put your nail polish in the fridge for 10-15 mins. The application is a lot smoother and uniform).
  2. Place a dryer sheet over your hair brush before combing to get rid of static (be gentle when combing especially for curly hair).cover-a-hairbrush-with-a-dryer-sheet-and-brush-your-hair
  3. Roll your clothes instead folding them when traveling (this gives you less wrinkles). Unroll the clothes and roll them other way to even them out. (Add a dryer sheet or two in there to get rid of musty smells).
  4. Use vaseline on a Q-tip to remove scuff marks and dark spots from your leather / suede / patent shoes.
  5. String your long necklaces or bracelets through straws to keep them from tangling. Use this method to keep your earphones from tangling. Place them through the straw (use a straw with a wider opening) and say goodbye to tangles.

 

Home Care:

  1. Use toilet paper rolls to organize cables neatly. FullSizeRender
  2. Use a paper clip to mark the end of a tape roll.
  3. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the inner side of your toilet roll, before attaching to the holder, to make your bathroom smell great.
  4. Place a plastic shower cap with a little vinegar over your shower head for 20 mins to get it clean (lightly wipe with a warm wet cloth).
  5. Wrap tape twice around your hand and use to remove dust and particles on your furniture.

 

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