Fuzzy li’l munchkin

My friend and adorable companion is a furry, fuzzy, adorable, 4 yr old chinchilla. She goes by Chilli and she loves to cuddle during the day and trouble you at night 🙂 (the life of a nocturnal hooligan).

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via Photo Challenge: Friend

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Boho Home Series: Flag Banners (Indoor / Outdoor)

Finally got done with a few more DIY projects. One of the first that I completed, also the easiest, was the flag boho banner.

Give your home or patio a festive, casual look with this super simple, colorful fabric flag banner. All you need are scraps of old fabric and a whole lot of patience.

Materials:

  1. Old colorful fabric squares 
  2. Scissors
  3. Hot glue
  4. Paper & Pencil
  5. Twine

Process:

  1. Choose the fabric pieces you want to use. Try to mix in different colors and patterns together.            IMG_2488
  2. Draw a triangle template on paper and cut it out.
  3. Use the template as a base to cut out triangles from your fabric.                                                 IMG_2490
  4. Arrange the different triangles in the order you like.
  5. Unravel your twine and keep it taut and straight by holding the edges between 2 heavy objects.
  6. Place the twine on top of a fabric triangle, leaving one inch from the edge. Add hot glue to the twine and wrap the edge of the fabric over it.                                                       IMG_2521
  7. Repeat this for all triangles, leaving about 2 cms between each triangle. Let everything dry. Get some pins or tape and find a nice place to hang your banner.          IMG_2522

You can also use tassels, pom-poms or fabric strips as embellishments between each triangle. Make multiple strands of these and join them by collecting and tying the ends together to create a wall display. 

The PhD struggle

Working in academia, I’ve met many PhD students who’ve struggled to obtain their degree. While it is fun and exciting to conduct your own experiments, it can be quite daunting. A lot of candidates quit early enough to pursue other interests, but those that stuck with it have struggles that I wouldn’t want to go through.

  • Desperately waiting every year to see if the grant money gets renewed.
  • Work, work, work on experiments hoping that at least one combination works.
  • You say good bye to 5-7 years of your life, goodbye to friends / family and socializing of any type.
  • Physical and mental issues – Anxiety, depression, poor eating habits are just a few of the problems faced.
  • Having to work on drafting your thesis.
  • Everyone meeting you only asks one thing “When do you finally graduate? You’ve been here forever”.
  • The lab becomes your home.
  • Your ‘actual’ home becomes storage for your belongings.

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via Daily Prompt: Survive

Awesome Blogger Award

awesome-blogger-awardThank you Ramya, from The Logophile’s Corner, for the Awesome Blogger Award nomination 🙂

This award was created by Miss Maggie over at Dreaming of Guatemala. She describes it as “an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

Rules of the Award

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Include the reason behind the award.
  • Include the banner in your post.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions given to you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers and notify them.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

My Nominations

  1. Skindividual
  2. BroodingInTheTepidDusk
  3. LightRedGold
  4. RosiPose
  5. Saoirse

My Questions To You

  1. As a DIY blogger, I should ask this: Would you prefer making gifts for loved ones or buying from the store?
  2. What posts of yours do you consider to be the best and why?
  3. The most memorable feedback you’ve received for a post.
  4. If you had to choose a different, completely new topic to blog about, what would it be?
  5. Your ideal place to retire and why?
  6. How would you define yourself in 3 words?
  7. Favorite part of your daily routine.
  8. Can you survive a week without using any gadgets?
  9. Your favorite comic character / superhero?
  10. Favorite part of blogging.

My Answers

  1. Which fandom do you truly belong to? – Harry Potter for sure.
  2. Who is your biggest inspiration? – My parents
  3. What other hobbies do you/would you like to pursue? – I’ve never been much of an outdoor person so I wish I could take on outdoor activities as my new, to pursue hobby.
  4. Which quote is your favorite? – “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one“.
  5. Which authors are your favorites and why? – I don’t have favorite authors exactly. Mostly it’s favorite books. I usually read any book as long as the synopsis looks good.
  6. If you were given the power to mind read or to be invisible which would you choose?Why? – Ooh that’s a tough choice. I’d probably say invisible right now, coz I’m at work and feeling really sleepy and just want to disappear to take a nap 😛
  7. When was the last adventure you had? What was the adventure? – Sky diving. It was terrifying and awesome at the same time. But I definitely will not be doing it again. Once is more than enough.
  8. Which fictional character do you have a crush on? – Toss up between Thor from Avengers and Sirius Black from Harry Potter.
  9. Which is your favorite dish? Do you like to cook? – My favorite dish is anything containing chocolate. Yes, I do cook although grudgingly coz I hate cooking but it has to be done.
  10. What is your take on life? – There’s always something new in your life, that is not in your control. If you think you’re life is set and perfect the way it is, be prepared. Something is going to come and change it for sure.

Game of Thrones: House sigil fridge magnets

Display the symbol of each house with their motto by making these awesome sigil fridge magnets 🙂FullSizeRender_3

You will need:

  1. 4 wood cutout shapes: 1 circle, 2 rectangles, 1 plaque (Link: Michaels Wood Shapes)
  2. Acrylic Paint: Bright Yellow, Metallic Gold, White, Red
  3. Black and Red Sharpies – Fine and Thick
  4. Elmer’s Glue
  5. Pencil & X-Acto knife
  6. Magnetic strips (Link: Michaels Magnetic Strip)
  7. Printed template of the house sigil (slightly smaller than the wood cutout)

What you do:

  1. FullSizeRenderI decided to make 4 house magnets – Stark (of course), Lannister, Targaryen and Baratheon. Paint the circle and plaque shapes white (for Stark and Targaryen, 1 rectangle red (Lannister) and 1 rectangle yellow (Baratheon) and let dry.
  2. Use the template to draw the different animals on your shapes. If you are not very comfortable drawing, cut out your house templates and stick them on the shapes with glue and dry.
  3. Use the pencil to put in the name of the house and their motto (you can do a google search to find the font used).
    • Stark – ‘Winter is Coming’
    • Targaryen – ‘Fire & Blood’
    • Lannister – ‘Hear me Roar’
    • Baratheon – ‘Ours is the Fury’
  4. Use the red sharpie to pen in the details for House Targaryen and the black sharpie for the remaining houses. Dry for 10 mins.FullSizeRender_1
  5. Cut the magnetic strips to fit and stick them to the back of your shapes.FullSizeRender_2
  6. Stick them at your favorite spot on the fridge 🙂

Liebster Award Nomination

blogI just got nominated for the Liebster Award by Avid Observer. Yay!!! So excited. My first nomination.

Thank you, Avid Observer 🙂. Definitely check the blog out… A very motivational, wellness-oriented blog to make you feel positive.

Rules of the Award:

1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you

3. Display the award.

2. Answer the questions given to you.

3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 11 blogs and contact them.

5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

My 11 nominations

  1. Opinionated Head
  2. Peanut Gallery 24/7
  3. The Page Turns
  4. Hey Hunnyy
  5. Luna
  6. The Pink Ruffles
  7. thoughtsfromtay
  8. Photography Addicted
  9. Chicago Pig
  10. My OBT
  11. Obsessive Compulsive Designer

My 11 questions to them:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What hobbies do you like besides blogging?
  3. Share something silly and different you did growing up, compared to other children.
  4. The one memory that you remember from your childhood.
  5. Favorite place you’ve visited and why?
  6. What is your favorite season and why?
  7. If you received money to start your own business, what type of business would it be and why?
  8. Name one interestingly new / unique food you’ve eaten.
  9. If you had to start your career from scratch, would you choose your current path or something different?
  10. What type of exotic animal would you consider adopting, if you could?
  11. Share 2-3 funny quirks of yours.

11 facts about me:

  1. I love instrumental music over words any day.
  2. No one from my social circle knows I blog.
  3. I usually watch the same 3-4 TV shows over and over until I find something new I like.
  4. I am deathly afraid of roaches – the icky, big ones. I freeze in place and start to get panic attacks 😦
  5. I love chocolate – mostly dark but I can make do with milk. No white. The more chocolate, the better in my opinion.
  6. I love drinking coffee and indian tea (chai) mixed together, the resulting taste is unique and yummy.
  7. I always eat vanilla ice cream with ketchup…yes it’s weird and sounds gross but the combination of sweet and sour is great.
  8. I prefer animals to humans.
  9. Sparrows have accidentally become trapped in my hair because it’s so thick and curly.
  10. I can live in pajamas / leggings my entire life… So comfy.
  11. I love, love, love to read.

My 11 questions:

1. What is your source for inspiration?

My parents.

2. Tell any one of your childhood dream.

I had a recurring dream for a few days over the span of 2 weeks about a monkey who was my friend and we traveled in the car together, ate together, did homework and stuff together. It was weird because each night, I would dream the same dream and build up on it…. Truly weird.

3. A lesson you learned that you can never forget.

When I first started applying for jobs after graduating, I had to carry my resume and go from door to door in different buildings, hoping that someone would want to hire me. I did this for about 8 months sand finally got a response. I’m glad I stuck with it because it paid off at the end. Perseverance is key.

4. Tell some of your hobbies other than blogging.

It was actually a hobby that got me to start blogging… My love for DIYs. I love crafting and doing art work and I thought I should find a way to document my work while sharing it with like minded people. I also love reading and dancing.

5. Which famous personality you would like to meet  from the past?

The entire cast of ‘Mind Your Language‘ – a British show in the 1970s about foreign students learning English. The cast is immensely talented, sadly a lot of them are no longer with us 😦

6. A bad habit that you think is really difficult for you to change.

My craving for sugar. While I don’t eat a whole lot of it, I feel like the little craving I have is also not good.

7. A law that you would like to bring in your country if given a chance.

Can’t really think of anything at the moment. This is one of those questions I have to think a lot on.

8. Did you ever feel like leaving your profession/passion? Why?

I did feel like giving up my job and starting afresh up until 2 years ago because I kept switching jobs within my field looking for that one job that I would love and stick to. Luckily, 2 years ago I found it and I’m very happy doing it right now 🙂

9. If someone made a movie on you which genre you think it will fall into?

This is a very unique question 🙂 I think it would fall into the fantasy / magic / fairytale category.

10. What can make your day?

Spending an entire evening cuddled up with my chinchilla 🙂 She’s so sweet and fluffy.

11. What advice/warning you would like to give to your younger self; if got a chance?

Not to make impulsive, spontaneous decisions based on current moods.

 

 

 

DIY Harry Potter Series – Voldemort and his Horcruxes

Next in the HP series: The Evil, The Awful… “You Know Who”….and his Horcruxes.

To make a Voldemort Ornament:

You will need one ornament, pencil, acrylic paint (dull white, black, grey).

Paint the ornament a dull white color. Add 2 layers and let dry. Use a pencil to add some slit like eyes, two lines for the nose and a downward tilting mouth. Draw a line at the base of the ornament to indicate his cloak (luckily he has no hair so you’ll have no worries painting that).

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Highlight all the line with grey. Use the black paint and the back end of a paint brush to draw eyes. Make 2 small dots in the eyes with the white paint and let dry. Use black to paint the cloak at the bottom. Your evil Voldemort is all ready.   img_2063

Harry Potter:

Harry was an accidental Horcrux created by Voldemort. Follow DIY Link here (Harry Potter DIY) to make.

Nagini:

Perhaps the easiest to make. Just buy a small black rubber snake from any craft store and paint dark gold and brown triangles all along the body. Add a few swipes of white along the body at random points. Place two dark gold dots to the eyes and… Voila. She’s ready.

Slytherin Locket:

You will need a print out of the Slytherin locket (front and back; Link: Slytherin Locket), Antique looking oval locket (available at any craft store), Podgeable Glass Domes (Link: ModPodge Domes), Mod Podge Matte, Scissors and Glue, Green Glitter Glue (optional).

  1. Cut out the front and back of the Slytherin locket and glue them together.
  2. Use an oval glass dome from the podgeable shapes and lay over the cutout. Glue the dome to the cutout using mod podge matte and let dry (hold the dome firmly over the image for a few second till the glue sets).
  3. Place the cutout into your antique locket (trim to fit). Make sure you find a locket slightly bigger than the dome shape… I’m still looking for a decently old looking locket to use. Perhaps a good hunt at an antique store might help 🙂
  4. Your Horcrux is ready. Put your own special blend of magic into it but remember…hide it somewhere safe and make sure R.A.B doesn’t find it.
  5. Optional Step: You can use the green glitter glue to highlight the green gemstones in the letter S of your printout before adding the glass dome.

Tom Riddle’s Diary:

You will need black leather trim (Link: Michael’s Leather Trim), Gold fabric fine tip pen, beige cardstock, Elmer’s glue and scissors.

  1. Prepare the diary’s cover and pages following the “Harry Potter Spell Books and Book Covers” (See link: HP Spell Books)
  2. Dampen your finger in water and gently rub over the pages to make them look worn.
  3. After preparing your diary and letting the glue dry, use the gold pen to fill in details (borders and “tom riddle’s diary”). Let dry for 45 mins.IMG_2117
  4. Use a push pin to make a small hole in the book’s spine and add some wire to hang.

Hufflepuff Cup:

Easiest DIY to make. Get some mini trophies and paint them with some detailing to create the cup. (Full DIY post here: Hufflepuff Cup DIY)

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Ravenclaw Diadem:

This takes a little more time and patience to do. Follow DIY post here: (Ravenclaw Diadem DIY)

Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring:

The Gaunt ring was the first Horcrux to be made by Voldemort. Dumbledore used the Gryffindor sword to destroy it as a Horcrux, although the curse upon it still remained.

You will need moldable air-dry clay (white; see link Joanns Air Dry Clay), Acrylic Paint – Black, Metallic Glorious Gold, Dark Gray, paper & pencil, Elmer’s glue, hot glue, small square of wax paper, X-acto knife

  1. On the paper, draw a rough template of the ring and the stone. You can find scores of images on google. Cut out the outlines. For the stone, I drew four individual triangles and glued them together to form the dome shape.
  2. Take a small section of clay and roll between palms to get a nice, smooth ball. Lay the ball on a flat surface and flatten it out (use a rolling pin pr even a pencil to get an even surface, make sure there is a thickness of at least 0.5 inch to give structure to your shape).
  3. Place your ring template on the mold and cut out it’s shape using the knife (be careful with this step).
  4. Using a toothpick, gently draw the fine details on the ring (this is the template I used; Gaunt Ring Design) and let the clay ring dry overnight.                                                IMG_2426
  5. Mold and flatten another piece of clay (make sure you flatten the clay on wax paper, makes it easier to peel off). Add your stone outline over the clay and gently trace out the design using the smooth end of a pen or nail tool, to form the indent into the clay.
  6. Gently peel off the clay and cut off the excess portions around your square. Let dry overnight.
  7. Paint the ring with the metallic gold and the stone square black and let dry for 30 mins.
  8. Use the dark gray paint to draw 2 thin lines as borders on the stone’s edges. Add the deathly hallows to the center of the stone and let it dry. Here is the template I followed (Stone Design)IMG_2496
  9. Add 2 dots of hot glue to the 2 horn like protrusions on the top of the ring and stick the square on top. Make sure it is attached securely. You can add more hot glue and paint it gold after it dries. 

World’s tiniest maze

Today’s post is a wonderful video I accidentally stumbled across when looking for something else (love how that happens).

Scientists in Norway have created the first microscopic Pac-man maze to study how microorganisms interact with each other and their environment.

via Daily Prompt: Maze

Flower Art

Today’s post reminded me of a picture I took 2 years ago at the entrance of a hospital within a university. This gorgeous work of art was create using only real flowers, dried and coated with a wax seal to preserve them. I cannot even begin to imagine how many flowers were used, but the end result is definitely stunning. Enjoy 🙂

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via Daily Prompt: Pink