The story of the girl with the yellow hair

So my sister is coming into town today and in her honor, I thought I would post a story about our childhood that recently resurfaced…

A long time ago when we were kids, we had this amazing bathtub toy (the Floating Marina by Fisher-Price) that included a few people, the floating marina, a water plane, and a boat. We loved this toy. It pretty much hung out with us every bathtime for more fun in and around the marina. We especially liked the girl with the yellow hair. We liked her so much, we gave her a special name: “The girl with the yellow hair” (creative, I know…). Anyway, our family used to go stay in a cabin in Yosemite National Park for a week or so every summer and of course, the floating marina had to accompany us on our vacation. So there we were in the bathtub in Yosemite playing with the marina and its accompanying friends. I put the girl with the yellow hair under a bowl (maybe she was in a submarine?) and moved it along the bottom of the bathtub until… oops… she fell down the drain!

Looking back and thinking about the size of the girl with the yellow hair, I am confused about how she even fit down the drain because she is a pretty large toy. Anyway, tragedy struck and my poor parents had two crying children to deal with. They frantically attempted to retrieve her for us, even calling a plumber the next day to see if she was stuck in the pipe… but alas, the girl with the yellow hair was with us no more.

Now you are probably confused because I’ve posted this lovely picture of the girl with the yellow hair in her plane on the top of today’s post. To get to that part of the story we have to fast forward about ….. 20 years from the original incident to a few weeks ago. I was talking to Cobalt because I was upset about a mistake I had made and for some reason, the girl with the yellow hair story resurfaced. As soon as the conversation was over, Cobalt ran upstairs to search for the girl with the yellow hair on ebay and he found her (thank you Cobalt)! I called my sister, who was visiting my parents at the time, and she managed to dig up the sea plane from the marina set within all of our old bathtub stuff (surprised that we still had it actually…). So now the girl and the plane are finally reunited (and my sister and I will also be reunited)!! Happy days. We already decided we’re taking the girl with the yellow hair out to brunch to apologize for throwing her down the bathtub drain all those years ago.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have a “scarring” childhood story about losing one of your favorite toys? Or a story about you and your siblings? Let’s hear it! :D

So much green!

Yesterday my blog friend Jenn posted pictures of her garden and asked about ours. So I decided to make today’s post about our garden!

I am pretty proud right now. This is the biggest little garden we’ve ever had! The plants have come a long way from starting out in their mini greenhouse back in March. Now they’re all big and flowering. I went out to photograph them and I got totally obsessed with the cantaloupes. They totally took off this week. Tons of leaves and flowers and these crazy tendrils! I didn’t even know if cantaloupes would even like the crazy Colorado weather we have but apparently they’re happy. Little guys!!!

Some more cantaloupe pictures…
I love how fuzzy they are…
The basil wanted its picture taken too…

One thing I am super jealous about is all my friends who own houses now! I can’t wait until we have our own house and I can have a real garden instead of little pots everywhere. I am sure my plants will like it too because I won’t be constantly moving them from pot to pot as they grow. At least we have this mini backyard here for our little plantys to enjoy…

In other news, I have a crazy weekend ahead. First I going white water rafting with the SMART students tomorrow. It’s going to be epic. I have to get up really early (~5 am or so) so I can go pick up one of the university vehicles we’ve rented to drive the students out to the rafting company! Once we get out there, we spend a good part of the day on the river. They even prepare us a delicious lunch in the middle! Then on Sunday, Cobalt and I are headed to Denver for a baseball game (Rockies vs. Giants!) with my lab. Exciting! You know what else is exciting? Next week, we are going to visit my family! I am really excited because I haven’t been to California since Christmas! Yayyyyyy… Okay so this wasn’t the most exciting post but here are some questions for you anyway –
1) tell me about your gardens. Do your cucumbers get powdery mildew like ours often do? Hopefully not this year… we’ve been looking into solutions for this problem!
2) What are you doing this weekend?
3) Any plans for the 4th of July? I’m soooooo excited to be home for the 4th of July. I think it’s been almost 10 years since the last time I was home for it. :D

Night time with dementors

One of my favorite pictures that I took of “Larmes d’Albâtre”

I was going through all my Paris pictures this weekend and I was getting jealous of myself! They reminded me about how much fun I had and about how many pictures and adventures I have to share with you! Today’s post comes from the fact that I really liked how this picture turned out (you’re getting the version that has been played with on Photoshop but the orignal is cool too). :)

So the European Night of Museums happened the first Saturday I was in Paris. Basically that meant that a lot of Parisian museums were free after hours! Cobalt and I had a huge list of museums that we wanted to go to using our Paris Museum Pass the next weekend so I picked a museum that wasn’t on our list – The Museum of Middle Ages or Musée de Cluny. My new friend C and I had spent the day on a walking tour (involving getting lost multiple times – more about that later) of Paris and then we headed to the museum. We got there about 15 minutes before it reopened and there was already a line snaking around the museum! Luckily it moved pretty fast and we were soon inside.

The museum was really cool – such neat old art in such an impressive building. The architecture was awesome! C and I had fun trying to read the descriptions of the art since they were mostly in French and I had fun trying to photograph cool works of art without using my flash. Anyway, I learned that every museum in Paris has some sort of traveling exhibition on display in addition to their normal set of art. In general, I found that I liked the exhibitions more than the rest of the art… :-/ The exhibition on display that night was “Larmes d’Albâtre” or “Alabaster tears.” I really liked it. First of all because I liked the statues (and how they were displayed) and second of all because I thought the hooded ones looked like dementors. :D C liked that too. Anyway, things got even better as we got further into the museum because they had people dressed up as the statues and other people sketching them! How cool!

Anyway, that’s all for today. Sorry this post was kind of short. There’s so much to say that I decided to break it all up into short posts again. Any France requests from you guys? More museums? Paris landmarks? Paris streets/graffiti? Adventures with new friends? Adventures with Cobalt? Food? Anything else? Also tell me about your weekends! Cobalt and I had a nice relaxing weekend and we got a lot of things on our to do list checked off (plants taken care of, house cleaned, lease resigned, etc).

I swear not all of them looked like dementors… I just loved how creepy and haunting the whole exhibit was…

We’re back!!!!

Potassium and Cobalt visiting the palace of Versailles! (Travelers note: we went on a Wednesday and it was not crowded at all but I’ve heard the weekends are horrible…)

We are back from our trip to Paris! Yay regular posts again! But wow… where do I even begin? The trip was amazing and life changing! I met a bunch of wonderful scientists during the work part of my trip. We drank a lot of espresso together; explored Paris together; and talked about life, America vs. other countries, food, science, data analysis, etc. Being able to meet so many scientists from all of the world was definitely a great experience for me and my career and it gave me even more possible options for what to do with this PhD of mine whenever I finish. Also, the class I took about a new data analysis program seems promising too. I sat down with one of the developers after the class and we went through various examples of all the data I have to analyze and worked out some plans of attack. That was a really incredible experience for me because I have never had that opportunity before. Usually it’s just me staring at my computer getting frustrated because I don’t know how to make it do what I want it to do. I am actually excited to analyze some of my data now, which is a very rare feeling for me.

A week into my stay in Paris, Cobalt arrived and we frolicked all over the place. Our feet hurt so badly at the end of every day because of how much walking and exploring we did. Sometimes we loved Paris (it’s a very neat city bustling with life. We loved the random musicians who would jump onto the metro at some random stop, play music a for a few stops, and then get off. Can you imagine playing a song flawlessly while you’re being jostled around a moving subway car that is starting, stopping, turning, etc?) and sometimes we hated Paris (it rained… a lot. Also, The Louvre… don’t go… unless you go at some weird time when no one else is there). However, by the end of the trip, Cobalt and I were feeling very sad that it was over because there’s so much we didn’t get to see/do. I think we’re going to be figuring out how to get back to Paris (and probably more of France/Europe) soon!

So my question for you guys (and this is important because it kind of determines the fate of my blog for the next few weeks so please answer!) is what do you want to hear about? I can post about travel advice (where we stayed, how we paid for stuff, what we did about our cell phones, what we saw, dealing with jetlag, eating at restaurants and speaking French, etc) or I can just do general posts about every day/experiences. Let me know if there’s something specific you want to hear about too!

Dallas Day 4 – Street photography, Robots, and more!

Hello and welcome to my last post about our Dallas trip. I’m warning you, this is going to be a long post (and very pic heavy) but hang in there! I think it’s a pretty awesome story! :)

All right so where to start. On Tuesday we left off at the aquarium. From there, we headed to this amazing deli called eatZi’s for lunch. It was amazing! It is like a bakery, deli, and wine market all in one place. It was pretty much the place to go for lunch – they had prewrapped foods like sushi, sandwiches, and salads; they had a sandwich and salad counter where you could request the ingredients and they’d make it in front of you; they had a bread counter and a deli counter; and on and on and on… I was so happy in there. I think I would probably go there every week if I lived in Dallas. We each got epic sandwiches (mmm prosciutto…) and other things to share before heading to Klyde Warren Park, which is a park over a freeway, to eat our lunch. It was a fantastic day outside and everyone was out enjoying the sun. After lunch, Jem and I took our cameras for a walk through the park to work on some street photography. Here’s a pic of us in action…

After Kylde Warren Park, Jem and I wandered around the nearby neighborhood and I decided to play with my zoom lens a little. That’s where that crazy picture of Cobalt comes from. How this works – I set the shutter speed to pretty slow (tenths of a second instead of hundredths of a second) and then as I was taking the picture, I would zoom the zoom lens out or back in, creating this awesome blur effect. I think it looked particularly cool with people and cars so that’s what I’m showing you today…

My first attempt at playing with the zoom lens:

Jem taking a picture of me.

I like this picture a lot.

They turned out pretty cool, don’t you think? I think my favorite is the one of Cobalt up there. He decided that it will be the album art for any music he ever puts out… Wahahaha…

After street photography, Jem and I dropped our cameras off at her house and then Cobalt, A, Jem, and I headed out of Dallas to see the town that Cobalt grew up in (before his family moved to New Mexico)! It was so cool seeing Cobalt’s old house in his old neighborhood. We also got to drive past his old elementary school and church. It was neat. After taking Cobalt down memory lane, we stopped at Krispy Kreme donuts before heading back to Dallas.

Jem, A, and Potassium being odd

Back in Dallas, Jem took us to see her work. It was exciting. I met Jem because we used to work in the same lab together back when she was a graduate student. But now she’s all fancy with her PhD and works in a new lab in Dallas. I always like seeing other people’s labs just because it’s so interesting to me how the same basic procedures get done in different labs (sometimes they are surprisingly different…).

We continued our tour of Dallas by heading to Deep Ellum to see The Traveling Man, a series of three robot sculptures that pop up kind of out of nowhere by this train track. They are super neat so here come a bunch of pictures… Ready?!

Each robot sculpture is surrounded by these little adorable bird sculptures…

Of course Cobalt wanted a picture of him riding one.

This one, called Waiting on a Train, was my favorite.

Jem and I were both sad that we’d left our big cameras at her house and had to resort to our iPhones for pictures. I immediately downloaded a fisheye app for mine because I thought the robots would look neat with a fisheye lens (don’t happen to own that for the DSLR anyway…).

Cobalt and I got photobombed by this Waiting on a Train guy… It was awkward… :-/

This is the second sculpture, called Walking Tall (We kind of saw these out of order, I think Walking Tall is technically the last sculpture in the series) through the fisheye iPhone lens… I love how it turned out. Also, notice that in addition to the bird sculpture the robot is holding, there’s a real bird perched on his shoulder…

Here’s me and the Walking Tall robot as viewed on this bird’s head. I tried to make it look like he was holding my hand. Weren’t the clouds amazing that afternoon?

Another angle of the Walking Tall robot… I like this pic a lot too.

Finally, the last sculpture (but I think technically the first sculpture) is called Awakening. Also, notice that cool art on the wall behind the robot.

The Traveling Man is a really cool and inspiring series of sculptures. They are really close to each other too so I highly recommend that you check them out if you live in the area or ever choose to visit. Next time we visit Jem, I am definitely going to go back to visit my robot friends.

At this point, everyone was getting a little grumpy because the donut high was wearing off and we all realized how hungry we were. So we headed to The Alligator Cafe for some cajun/creole food. Holy crap, this food was amazing. Everything that we got we loved. I had been craving fried catfish the whole time we were there so I got the Catfish Ponchartrain which was seriously soooo good that I am drooling right now just thinking about it. Yum. Highly recommend this place too!

AFTER DINNER (I know what you’re thinking… there’s more?! Seriously, I told you Day 4 was a long day… remember that on top of all this stuff we went to the aquarium too… don’t worry… we’re almost done.), we met up with some of Jem’s friends at a bar called The Ginger Man. It was nice to meet Jem’s friends and see a little bit of Dallas at night. Hurrah. Also, A and I decided to play around with the fisheye app on my phone and we got this gem of her…

In the morning we got up early and A, Cobalt, and I loaded up the car before driving allllllll the way back to CO. It was kind of a sad drive because we all really enjoyed our trip to Dallas and then we had to go home! Things got epically boring in Kansas and we brought out the license plate game to keep entertained. Turns out that a lot of people from all over the country drive through Kansas!

Okay folks, it’s time to end this epic post about our epic trip to Dallas. I hope you all enjoyed reading it. And now it’s your turn… What was your favorite part of our trip? Is there anything you wished you could have heard more about? What are you doing this weekend? Something fun I hope? Tell me! Jem is actually coming to Boulder this weekend to visit (yay!!!) and Cobalt, A, our friends J, K, another A, and I are all running in a 5K called the Rave Run. I am normally super grumpy about running (I just hate hearing my inability to breathe while running so I only like it when it is connected to soccer or some other sport…) but the Rave Run seems right up my alley. It’s at night so there are going to be flashing lights and colors and music and glowy things… I will probably just dance the whole way through… :)

Dallas Day 4 – Sharks need food too!

Helllloooooo and welcome to today’s post on the last day of our trip in Dallas. We’re going to wrap up this series this week I think because there is a lot of exciting stuff going on right now that I want to talk about! So today will be about the Dallas aquarium and then later this week (Thursday or Friday) we’ll wrap up Day 4. Be warned, the entries this week will be picture heavy…

So let’s start at the top of Day 4. Cobalt, Jem, A, and I got up early because there was so much stuff that we wanted to get done! To start the day off, we headed to the Dallas World Aquarium because they feed the sharks at 11:30 am! Jem and I brought our cameras along and we had fun photographing all the aquatic animals!

So let’s take a look, shall we?

We got to the aquarium right after it opened so we got to witness the sloth being brought out to its tree. It immediately started climbing to its favorite spot which made for a pretty cool picture… :) PS – When you see a sloth do you think about Kristen Bell freaking out or is that just something I do?

I don’t think we had any pictures of monkeys from the zoo so let’s remedy that right now! Aquarium monkeys!

I like this one – the manatee swimming out of the shadows and crazy catfish hovering.

My MIL loves frogs so I always try to get a picture when I see one…

or two… I think this one is my favorite.

My sis in law loves penguins so I tried to get a pic for her. :) This one looks like he just got done with a swim!

These guys were fun to photograph. I was playing with manual focus on my camera and I love how this guy is just popping out of the side of the picture.

This picture is just beautiful. I love this guy.

These fish were creepy. Their angry eye-like spots were all you could see… I liked them because they look mad and grumpy creatures make me happy. I am not sure why. I just know that the rule is: if it’s fat, furry, grumpy, has sharp teeth, or wings (or any combination of those things), I will generally like it.

I think we’re at the shark part of the post. The sharks were swimming in this big tank with a glass tunnel underneath. You could stand in the tunnel and look up at the sharks or walk to the end of the aquarium and look down into the open shark tank. I had a lot of fun standing in the tunnel trying to capture the sharks through the glass…

One of my favorite things about taking pictures in the tunnel was that I could capture sharks and passerbys so that it looked like there wasn’t glass between them. In this picture, I especially like that the shark looks annoyed at that guy. He’s like WHO SAID YOU COULD TALK IN MY TUNNEL?!

The rays were also in the shark tank and they looked really cool too. I like this picture because I like the kid watching the ray. I wish I had made the depth of field better so that the ray was more in focus… oh well.

We did get to see the sharks get fed! The tunnel was packed with people but I managed to snap a few photos of this sawfish eating a squid. This little kid was pointing at the chomping the whole time so his hand is in all of my pictures… Oh well… at least you know what to look at!

The Dallas World Aquarium was really fun! They did a really good job making unique habitats for all the animals. It was like being whisked away into an exciting and magical world of all sorts of animals. Usually, I feel like it’s obvious that I am at an aquarium but for some reason this aquarium seemed more magical and exciting… I wished it could have been a bit bigger though… Though considering all the craziness planned in the rest of our day maybe it’s a good thing it wasn’t. Stay tuned!

In other news… wtf Boston?! I was horrified to hear the news yesterday (seriously… I was like a broken toy repeating “SO SCARY!” over and over again, ask my lab mates…). Plus I had friends running in the marathon. They’re okay but my heart goes out to everyone who was there/was affected by this tragedy. :(

Your turn – Do you have a favorite picture? Which pictures did you like better: zoo or aquarium? What is the best aquarium you have been to? I really like the Monterey Bay Aquarium but I have heard that the Shedd Aquarium is quite amazing. I am so excited to go one day. Also, what is the weather like there? I am so ready for spring. It has been snowing nonstop here. They even closed campus early yesterday (not like it matters for us grad students who practically live in the lab anyway though)!

Dallas Day 3 – Fort Worth and what followed

Hurrah! The rest of the zoo pictures are finally here! I hope you all enjoyed the rest of your week! I definitely did, though mine was crazy busy as usual… Probably my favorite part of this week was on Wednesday night a few people in my lab and I had a cookie party. Basically, every Thursday at 3, all the labs on our floor of our building have cookie hour. Each week, a different lab (or a professor) volunteers to bring cookies for everyone else. This week it was our turn so we ordered a few pizzas, opened a few bottles of wine, and set to work. We made: snickerdoodles, Mexican hot chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and these crazy brownie bites that I basically designed on the fly with chocolate chip cookies on the bottom, a Reeses peanut butter cup in the middle, and delicious brownie mix on top/to hold it all together. Everything turned out delicious and our cookie hour was definitely a success yesterday! Yay lab bonding!

Moving on… Back to Fort Worth for the conclusion of the zoo. I have some non bird animal pictures today (including that adorable elephant at the top) and then I’ll conclude with the rest of Day 3. Let’s go!

Animals at the Fort Worth Zoo

First another pic of that cute elephant up there. Dust bath continued…

Zebras! And a bird…

A giraffe happily sitting in the sun. I learned the other day that apparently the nerve that connects the giraffe’s voice box to its brain goes allllll the way down its neck, wraps around its heart, and then alllll the way back up its neck to its voice box. Craziness… what an odd creature!

So this was so cool… When we got to the lion’s cage, he started roaring! I’ve never seen a lion roar in real life before. It was kind of awesome… but also scary.

Another lion…

A shark at the zoo?! No way! Must be photographed…

I like this picture! I was taking pictures of this guy and then he started to turn and swim away from me so I got a picture of his snout under the water in focus and his head out of the water slightly out of focus. It makes for a bit of a creepy pic I think.

So this snake marks the point in the reptile/amphibian house where we got turned around because they were closing the zoo! Booo… but at least this picture turned out pretty neat!

That’s all folks. For more animals, you’ll just have to go visit the Fort Worth Zoo yourself! I highly recommend it if you’re going to be in the area.

So after the zoo closed on us, we made a trek to get some delicious Texan BBQ. C1 and C took A, Jem, Cobalt, and me to this smokehouse called The Woodshed Smokehouse. It was amazing. We got some delish Texan beer, wild boar sausages, and artichoke chips for starters. Then I got some goat tacos with some amazing tomatillo sauce and Mexican corn (yummmmmmm) and everyone else got such delicacies as ribs and wild game tamales. Mmmmm…. It was so happy. Plus the restaurant is right on the Trinity River so we sat outside on the patio and watched the river slowly go on by. Highly recommend this place if you like meat. After we finished our amazing dinner, we headed to this bar C1 and C had heard about and hung out there having desserts and (root) beer floats and chatting. It was a great end to a great day. Then we all had to say goodbye and Jem drove us back to Dallas… Once back at her place, we stayed up late planning our last epic day in Dallas. Watch out… it’s intense. We even got up early so that we could do even more stuff! I am not really sure how to break up this last day into blog posts so you’re going to have to wait until next week. One thing is for certain though – aquarium pictures. Tell me if you have a favorite fish!

Any fun plans for this weekend? I think I am going to get to go horseback riding on Sat and then I am going to a girls’ craft night on Sat night. Yay! I am super excited. Tell me what you are up to. How’s the weather there for you guys? Is it spring there yet? Boulder can’t decide… It snowed ALL day on Tuesday (like it was snowing when I went to sleep on Monday night and still snowing when I got up on Wednesday morning) and it was so ridiculously cold on Wednesday that my car windshield cracked :( but it’s supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend and then back to snowing next week… :-/

Okay, this post has gotten long. Bottom lines: tell me what fish (if any) you are excited about seeing next week, tell me what your plans are this weekend, tell me what the weather is like for you guys, AND a new question: tell me about the best restaurant you have ever been to while on vacation. What made it amazing? The food? the experience? the company? I want to know! :D

Dallas Day 3 – Fort Worth Zoo Birds

Hello and welcome to the first part of Dallas Day 3 – the day that was spent mostly in Fort Worth. I went through my zoo pictures and decided that there are a ridiculous amount of bird pictures so they get their own post…. Thursday (or Friday… life soooo busy…) will have the remainder of the animals/the rest of the Ft. Worth story. Yay!

First I want to draw your attention to that magnificent toucan on the top of my blog. I fell in love with him and we had a little photoshoot with him modeling and me clicking away. Seriously, Jem can probably tell you, I was saying “Yeah… yeah… now tilt your head a little to the left… aw yeah… perfect… work it!” :-/ Anyway, hurrah birds. I apologize in advance if you’re scared of birds but I hope that all the fun colors and poses of these birds will warm your heart anyway.

Let’s start at the top. We slept in again. Then A, Cobalt, Jem, and I all piled into Jem’s car to go to breakfast at this place called the Kozy Kitchen. For some reason, I can never remember the name – just that its name starts with a K…. Moving on. This restaurant had a lot of gluten free and organic organic options… but it also had a lot of tasty meat options as well. I got this epic omelet complete with venison sausage inside and Cobalt got buffalo tacos! Yum…

Once we enjoyed our amazing brunch, we headed to Fort Worth to go to the zoo with one of my best friends from high school C1 and her boyfriend C. C1 and I played trombone in band together throughout high school and she, the T (my maid of honor), and I were fairly inseparable during high school/band trips/etc. Much hilarity ensued…

Here’s C1 feeding a bird at the Forth Worth Zoo:

Anyway, so we went to the zoo! It was amazing! Definitely one of the best zoos I’ve been to in a long time. The animals had really neat habitats and the whole place was huge. We were there for three hours and we still didn’t get to see everything before the zoo closed (we got kicked out of the reptile house because they were trying to close it and we just wanted to see the lizards)! Epicness. It was also a perfectly warm day and we Coloradans were basking in our sandals and short sleeved shirts. Ahhhhhh…. so this is what spring feels like (for the record, we are supposed to get 6-10 inches of snow and “blizzard-like” conditions here today…). Anyway, enough babbling! Let’s see some birds!

The birds of the Forth Worth Zoo
We’ll start in the part where they let you go hang out with these little birds. We bought sticks with birdseed on them so we could feed the birds (like C1 is doing up there) but they seemed full – possibly because small children had been feeding them allllllll day… :-/ I was so excited about being so close to them that my birdseed stick went mostly uneaten as I ran around with my camera…

I like this guy because he’s looking at the camera… He looks a little wary of me. Not sure why seeing as I had a stick covered in birdseed in my hand…

This bird kept closing his eyes when I was trying to get his picture. :-/

I wish I had gotten these guys’ tails in the picture but I like that they are looking at the camera too.

After all the cute little birdseed stick fed birds, we moved on to the birds of prey which were scary/magnificent. Especially because many of them were being fed when we were there. :-/ This guy was kind enough to pose for a picture. I love how pointy his beak and claws are. Yikes!

Another picture of the toucan, just in case you didn’t believe that he is real (he looks fairly plastic in the first picture, I’ll give you that…). It was grooming time after he posed for that first picture.

This bird looked so shy with its beak hidden in its wing…

Yay penguins! These little guys looked so silly with their little ear tufts. I like them.

I love this picture because the tufty penguin looks like it is freaking out and the other two penguins are like “… awkward! We don’t know that guy…” Cracks me up! Look forward to more penguins next week from the Dallas World Aquarium!

Flamingos! These flamingos were not very pink but they did appear very fuzzy. I especially like the one scritching its back – its neck is so fluff…

This concludes your tour of the birds in the Fort Worth Zoo. There were of course many more so really you should just go visit and see them for yourself! Later this week – more animals and the rest of our day in Forth Worth. You still have time to tell me your favorite zoo animal and I’ll see if I have a good picture of it for you! :) In other news, tell me what you think about these birds? Any favorites? Anyone want to write some captions for the birds?

Sharks gnawin’ on my ears…

So the other day, I was wearing my awesome octopus earrings to lab and my friend wondered why I didn’t have any shark earrings, specifically shark earrings that looked like they were eating my ears. I thought that that was a good question and began a google search for shark earrings in general. As it happened, I happened to find a google images search image of clay shark earrings much like the ones I had dreamed about. I drooled over them for about half a minute until I realized that that girl had posted a tutorial on how to make them! Hurrah! Craft time!

So I headed to the store, picked out the required colors of Sculpey III clay and earring posts/backs and set to work. It was hard work. I ended up making two sets of earrings because I would practice on the first two sharks and then try again for the second two sharks. Also, I was at a loss for how long to bake my shark earrings seeing as the directions on the Sculpey III package said to bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes per 1/4 inch. Ummmm… how long for shark earrings? I ended up calling Cobalt to come downstairs and check out my earrings a billion times winging it – about 25 minutes – and then letting them cool overnight. Here’s an Instagram of the shark earrings fresh out of the oven…

Anyway, I LOVE them. I wore them to school yesterday and got so many compliments. Plus it just feels so me to have sharks eating my ears. I can’t wait to get more time to make more (such a perfectionist…). Also I have already decided that I want to try to make miniature alligator earrings too. Yay!

Your turn: what do you think of the shark earrings? Would you buy some if I sold them in an Etsy shop? Tell me about your latest craft project. How was it inspired? Did you just dive right into something completely new or was it something that you worked really hard on for a while to accomplish? If you don’t like crafts, tell me about a hobby of yours! :)

In other news, my friend/labmate K passed his oral exam yesterday – if you’re not in grad school, let me explain – think of a test that you study for for months and then three professors try to figure out what you don’t know and then ask you questions about that for 1.5 hours. Are you shivering? Yeah… it sucks. But passing it means you are an official PhD candidate (read: you now have a masters degree and can continue on the path towards getting your PhD). So yay K! So proud of you! :)