Origami Bookmarks

 

©2014 Beret Olsen
Taking a bite of Stephen King’s awesome book:  On Writing.                 ©2014 Beret Olsen

posted by Beret

Ages:  Any

Post-its! Sharpies! Tape! Paper clips! I love them all. It is hard for me to talk about office supplies without exclamation points.

But above all, I love paper.

Not the kind that piles up all over my desk, mind you. Nice paper. Paper without issues and overdue notices and undone “to do” lists on it.

I also love to fold things neatly. I am weird like that. Not surprisingly, then, I find origami to be extremely satisfying. The trouble is, once you fold a lovely flat piece of paper it becomes three dimensional. And then it is taking up a lot more space–often just sitting there saying, “Look at me, I am a crane.” So, when my daughter showed me how to make a bookmark with a few quick folds, I was quite pleased. This project doesn’t collect dust and clutter the mantel; this little item holds my place in my book. Or…I suppose I could slide it jauntily over the corner of my ebook, for extra beauty.   Continue reading “Origami Bookmarks”

Smart Phone Macro Lens

posted by Gina

Who knew there were so many ways to hack your smartphone? If you missed Beret’s Smartphone Projector, you’ll want to go straight to that post and catch up.

Are you back? Great. So, you know what’s neat? Super close up stuff. Like this photo of a coffee bean:

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Continue reading “Smart Phone Macro Lens”

Daruma Dolls

posted by Gina

You know what’s fun? Goal setting. No, really – bear with me for a second. You know how you get all excited in January to do your resolution? You know those fun little color coded spreadsheets you make for yourself, with benchmarks and rewards and motivational quotes? Well, some of us do that. But I’m betting you can join me in relating to just about now, when we’ve pretty much abandoned our resolutions by the wayside.

Seeing a goal through is a rewarding experience, and – frankly – we could all use a little motivation and encouragement. And a nifty gimmick with interesting historical roots.

So let me introduce you to the Daruma Doll.

Continue reading “Daruma Dolls”

A Blast from the Past

Gina and Beret are mostly off-duty this week, but we thought we’d remind you of a few past projects to tide you over during what remains of the holidays. Here are projects that are easy, fun, and use common household materials. String of lights? Check. Alka-Seltzer? Check. Put those holiday items to a new use. Continue reading “A Blast from the Past”

Book-Cycling Part Two: Book Wreath

posted by Gina

Before we begin, I’d just like to take this moment to give myself a round of applause for getting this post up on time. It’s finals time round these parts, and I’ve got a good hundred pages of brilliance to turn in.

Thank you. Thank you all.

And now I present – The Book Lover’s Holiday Wreath!

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Continue reading “Book-Cycling Part Two: Book Wreath”

Book-Cycling Part One: Card Carrier

I’ve been a little obsessed with Book Art recently. I have three books on pop-up crafting.  I have a huge file of google images. I pled with the director of my PhD program to help me find a way to fit “Printmaking: the Book as Art” into my requirements. (No go. “I can stretch a lot, but I can’t stretch Studio Art into Research Methodology,” he said.)

Both this site and this site (they have naughty titles, but completely innocent AND AMAZING content) have become the source of far too much daily gazing. I mean, look at this!

from fubiz.net

Continue reading “Book-Cycling Part One: Card Carrier”

I dropped the ball, but I still brought you flaming pumpkins

©2011 Beret Olsen
©2011 Beret Olsen

My intent was to write a spectacularly awesome post about something Halloween-y.

Here’s what happened instead:  the spouse disappeared into a black hole at work, the kids had a school holiday, and I interviewed and accidentally got an extra job.

I did come across a few nifty ideas, though. Below are links for all kinds of activities involving pumpkins–for everyone from the four-and-under crew up to adults. If you need to take a sneak peek at flaming pumpkins–which I totally understand–scroll down to the photo of a pumpkin in a body bag.   Continue reading “I dropped the ball, but I still brought you flaming pumpkins”

Cereal Box Night-lights

posted by Gina

Is it true, you ask?  Is it really true that with just a cereal box, a pushpin, and a string of lights I can make something incredibly, incredibly nifty?  Is it true that this nifty thing can serve as a homemade gift, a fender-offer of monsters below the bed, and a task that will keep my child occupied for a fairly long time?  All these things, my friend, are true.

I saw this crafty idea somewhere, and it’s been lurking about in my head as one of those “there’s no way this can possibly look that good” ideas.  But behold:

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IT’S ALL TRUE

I mean, that’s pretty impressive.  And not at all difficult to achieve.  Continue reading “Cereal Box Night-lights”

Chromatography for Beginners

chromatography results
Chromatography results                                                                                  ©2013 Beret Olsen

posted by Beret

Ages: almost any

The word chromatography comes from Greek roots:

chroma = color

graphia = writing

Literally, writing with color. In scientific practice, chromatography is a set of processes by which a mixture is separated into its component parts, generally by moving it through paper or gelatin. This can involve some very sophisticated equipment and compounds.

Or not.   Continue reading “Chromatography for Beginners”

Make Your Own Play-Doh

posted by Gina

Who doesn’t love Play-Doh?

There’s something for all ages – from the mucking-about-with-it Pre-K-style to the sculpt-yourself-some-impressive-creations (I’m looking at you, Josie) up-through-6th-Grade-or-so style.

But it dries out.  The colors get muddled.  And you find yourself not wanting to shell out for yet another set of little yellow tubs.

Fear not, my friends – because it is insanely easy to make Play-Doh at home.  Continue reading “Make Your Own Play-Doh”