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Ice Cream Bread February 4, 2011

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables.
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Ice Cream Bread

Mmmm, this sounds good – and easy! Just melted ice cream and self-rising flour mixed and baked for 30 minutes (they used mini loaf pans though – I wonder what the time would be for a full size loaf). And I love recipes that let you experiment. Maybe a cherry cheesecake one?

BTW, if you can’t find self-rising bread (or prefer a whole wheat variety like I do) here’s a recipe for it on AllRecipes.com

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Christmas List – Bumble Bots (WIP) December 11, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables.
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Okay, first I need to make a correction. I’ve been calling them Bumble Bots, but apparently they’re Rolly Bots (a little robot inside a ball that makes the ball randomly roll around the floor).

I have three really fun nephews, all under the age of three, and all very precocious and curious. Their favorite things to play with are buttons, especially if the button results in something like lights or noise. They are also 100% boys and love cars and balls (and the eldest is showing an affinity for guns too, despite my preferences). So, I think they will love the rolly bots I blogged about earlier. (Okay, so the rolly bots don’t have buttons and lights and noise, but I’m planning on adding a switch and I still think they’ll love them.)

So, again I need to make some choices. The one in the video in my earlier post uses a scrub brush, a vibrating motor from a massager, and two AAA batteries to roll around an extra large tennis ball. I don’t have most of those supplies, but the bristle bot (the little robot that goes inside the ball) that I DO have the supplies for another bristle bot which isn’t going to be big enough for any tennis ball, and I’m not sure what kind of ball it WOULD work in.

So, buy the supplies for the big one, or try to find a ball for the small one? I do have a bunch of balls so I might be able to find one that works. i.e. I think I’ll try option #2 first.

One last note, I’m thinking I’ll want to add a switch, but of course, I don’t know how I’m going to attach it so it’s accessible (so the boys don’t take the ball apart in the process) without being in the way of it rolling. I guess I’ll figure that out when I get to it.

Christmas List – Stair Lights (WIP – Work In Progress) December 10, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables, My Original Ideas.
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First a little background story: Our house has a set of curved stairs. Since the house was built in the 70’s when there weren’t many laws about curved stairs, the end of the steps on the inside of the curve came to a sharp point. There was no place to securely put your foot on that end. There was also a super short step at the bottom (only 3″ tall) which was constantly tripping us, plus the house has few good window so it’s constantly dark.

15 years after we moved in, my Mom broke her leg on those stairs and my awesome grandpa (the best contractor in the Boise area in his time) came down and rebuilt them. They are still curved, but now they have a proper platform on both ends and the super short step is gone.

One problem persists though – the house is still dark. Even after we removed the dark blue carpet and installed a beautiful cream, it’s still dark. One of the tricks of DIYing Christmas is to listen to what people complain about, and those dark stairs are what I heard. Now, how to fix it?

I found some great Instructables on how to make stair lights (including one with an IR detector, which would be nice but there isn’t any good place to put it), but I have a simpler idea – battery-operated LED tea lights. They already have the bulb and the battery case in one unit, and they’re fairly cheap (I can get them for about 50 cents at my local dollar store). Plue, if a battery dies it’s only one light that goes out instead of all of them. I could also make reflector covers out of aluminum cans to direct the light down onto the step. There’s a nice wide overhang on each step to cover them too.

Now the question is how to attach them to the step – especially so they can be easily removed to replace the battery. I wonder if the hardware store has some really small L brackets I could glue on the sides and then screw into the stair riser? I’ll have to think about that one.

Custom Solutions Saving Money – I Love DIY December 10, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables.
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Yesterday I was having a nice chat with an on-campus client/friend when she mentioned that she has been looking for someone to make custom chocolates that look like her logo for her side business. Sadly, the chocolate businesses she talked to told her she needed to pay $400 just to make the mold!

DIY TO THE RESCUE!!!!!

The solution was simple – Instructables! Her Dad and brother do woodworking, so they could make a wood model of her logo, and then she can make a candy mold from that.

In case you’re interested in saving (or making) $400, here are a couple Instructables that ought to help:

Lego-Shaped Gummy Candy
Han Solo in Carbonite Chocolate Bar

Bubble Wrap To-Do List December 9, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables.
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I just found this Instructable and HAD to share it. It’s a bubble wrap to-do list!

Bubble Wrap To-Do List

A friend of mine has a theory that a man is incapable of passing by a sheet of bubble wrap without popping at least one, so this little list uses that to your advantage. When they get something on the list done, they get to pop the bubble wrap. (Don’t worry guys, the pull is just as strong for women too.)

Now the question is how to make it visibly obvious which jobs are done and which aren’t.

Robot Fun for a Curious Nephew ;D July 29, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables, Recycling.
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My nephew is a curious little bug. He will put his little mitts on anything and everything (and subsequently take it apart when he can – we think he’ll grow up to be an engineer). Of course, with such a curious fellow it’s hard to keep him distracted. I’m sure he would go absolutely nuts for a robot (he looooooves electronic gadgets), but he’s a little too young for just any robot. Luckily I found a fun one for him (that he won’t be able to take apart very easily):

The Rolly Bot:

Of course, I’ll have to glue up the seam, and a switch would be nice, but all in all this will loads of fun and really easy to make!

This reminds me of when my cousins came to visit before moving to Japan (their Dad was in the Air Force). We had a little rolling ball with a fake little animal (I think it was a ferret or something like that). It was the ball that was actually moving, but it looked like a little animal playing with a ball. Our youngest cousin loved it, and it helped her make it through their very long plane flight. I could do that kind of thing with this project too. 🙂

One more note before I sign off. This project uses what is called a Bristle Bot (a little robot that uses a bristle head as sort-of legs), but since I don’t want to spend the money for an extra big tennis ball I found a tutorial for something smaller (and that I have the parts for already). Or how about this other one which is even smaller? In fact, I’m sure my nephew would love the bristle bot by itself (then again, he might be able to take it apart).

Oh yeah, this ought to be loads of fun. Maybe I’ll make it tonight (and report back what my nephew thinks of it – when I see him next).

A Different Kind of Fairy Wings July 26, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables, Weekend Project(s).
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I’m sure you’ve seen them, like everywhere – the fairy wings made of nylon mesh and wire:

Click image for a tutorial

They’re cute I grant you, but come on, EVERYONE has them (okay, just the fairies). It’s time for something different.

I give you (okay, Fruppi on Instructables gives you), Crocheted Fairy Wings!

Don’t these look great? They’re so unique and different, and in some ways, they look more “natural” like a nature fairy might wear. And the best part? I can make them my size for a great price. (Do you know how much costume places charge for adult wings?! And they’re so HUGE!)

Fave Instructables of the Week July 9, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Cooking, Favorite Instructables, Weekend Project(s).
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I’m Back!!!!! (At least for now)

It’s been a while since there were any Instructables that I just HAD to share, but this week is full of good stuff. So, without further ado, let’s get down to business:

Power Laces
The geeky, Instructables way to tie your shoes – with a motor! It includes pressure sensors so it doesn’t tighten them too much, plus extra buttons in case you want your shoes a little tighter or looser today. It’s also an interested fashion statement and conversation starter.

Rice Krispie Watermelon
Kind of a small watermelon, but then again, you don’t want too much rice krispie treat. Wait, what am I saying? Go ahead and make this super fun giant rice krispie treat that looks like a watermelon into a full watermelon size! (Or bigger ;)) Do me one favor though – make it a yellow watermelon (they do exist) just for me (remember: I’m allergic to red food coloring). 😉

Bicycle Sidecar
Aw, the good ol’ classic sidecar. Sadly you don’t see many of those around these days. I must admit, they’re not very comfy, but if you adapt this Instructable it can be very comfy! (Hmmm, imagine one with a built in TV for your passenger.) Of course, this one’s for a bicycle instead of a motorcycle, but hey, I think it would be great fun to make a bicycle that looks like a motorcycle. 🙂

Touchless Lamp
Okay, the title of this one just doesn’t describe it enough. Basically, it’s a lamp where you don’t even have to touch it to turn it on or off (great for those who are health-conscious, or just like cool accessories)! It’s an awesome looking lamp too. Very sleek and modern. The picture above is the lamp (on the lamp) plus some other etch art pieces. I think the ensemble is fantastic!

USB Bike Generator
“Hey honey-bunch, you’re looking a little wider around the middle. Oh, and the cell phones need charged.” Well, it’s your lucky day – take of both in one activity with the USB Bike Generator! As you peddle away the pounds it can charge up to two USB devices! Never run out of battery on your iPod while in that 100 mile race again! Now to find a USB powered TV so I can run the TV off the exercycle. 🙂

Croquette
Mmm, these look sooooo good! Apparently it’s some sort of fried snack made with mashed potatoes and some other good stuff. I think they’d make a great to-go breakfast.

Favorite Instructables of the Week January 21, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Cooking, Favorite Instructables.
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Solar Powered Walkway Tiles

Solar Powered Walkway Tiles
Wow! There are so many great Instructables on how to make your house super awesome! My family has been wanting to add stepping stones in our lawn for eons now (and the word eons isn’t too far from the truth). These solar powered ones would be perfect! (The question is if the yard gets enough solar. Hmmm.)

Homemade Cough Drops

Make Your Own Cough Drops!
Sweet! With my allergy to red food coloring, I can’t eat some of the cough drops in the store. In fact, just the other week I was looking at some supplement drops, but the only one with more than just C had red food coloring in it. Now I can make my own! I just love DIY.

Copyright and Copyleft Gloves

Copyright and Copyleft Gloves
Hehe. I just thought this joke was funny. I probably won’t be making these though. However, it’s also a tutorial on how to make your own custom patch. I desperately need this kind of thing on my new laptop case. It’s a gorgeous, professional case,… except for the flaming skull on the back. Certainly don’t want a potential employer to see that.

Favorite Instructables of the Week January 14, 2010

Posted by Sindy in Favorite Instructables, Weekend Project(s).
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Whoaweeze! Last week was slim pickings, but this week is a gailstorm of awesome Instructables! We have everything from a homemade projector to a squirrel next camera and even a 100ft glow stick! This has been one of the best weeks for Instructables ever!

Multimedia LED Projector

Multimedia LED Projector
Wow! Of all the projector Instructables I’ve seen (including one where they just used an iPod and they simply enlarged and projected the picture – certainly not home-theatre quality), this one is the most professional. I’ve been wanting a projector for a long time now, and maybe this Instructable will do the job. Now the question is where to get some of these parts.

Harry Potter Spell Book

Harry Potter Spell Book
First of all, a disclaimer: I am NOT a Harry Potter fan! I just think some of these projects are really cool. I mean, come on, what fantasy loving creature such as myself wouldn’t like a lovely old spell book? Except, I personally would print and bind my own book (here’s a great Instructable for book binding) instead of using a great old book. Besides, I certainly don’t want to pick up a great book of spells and find out it’s only an old psychology textbook.

Squirrel Nest Camera

Squirrel Nest Camera
This would be awesome for a classroom! In fact, it would be great for all kinds of groups of kids: cub scouts, neighbors, nieces and nephews (hehe, that would be one way to become the favorite aunt ;)), grandkids, etc. It’s great for adults too. So Cute! >.< You can watch other animals too.

Water Bottle Kayak

Water Bottle Kayak
Hey, there’s already a floating island made of junk. Why not just grab a paddle and go to town? In case you can’t see the picture very well, they gathered up a bunch of empty plastic bottles into a clear garbage bag, tied some branches to it and to some empty jugs and voila – the cheapest kayak ever. Fun idea, but I’d make it look a little better. At least enough so no one tries to throw it away. 😉

Upcycled Sweater Boots

Upcycled Sweater Boots
These are really pretty (loving the embroidery embellishment on them), and they ought to be comfy too, but I certainly wouldn’t wear them outside the house (they’d be stained so fast it would make your head spin). This would be a great project for an old pair of shoes (or slippers) that are peeling themselves off their soles.

Passport

What to Do If Your Passport is Stolen
In case you did not know, Instructables isn’t just for building and craft projects. I’m printing this one up and putting it right next to my saving-for-my-dream-vacation jar. This author also made an Instructable on how to get a passport in the first place, another great printout to include with my jar.

Light Up Costume

Light Up Costume
Again with the EL Wire. This time they made a cool robot looking costume. I wonder what kind of looks I’d get if I walked down the street in this. 😉

A 100ft Glow Stick
Okay, this would be awesome in some giant glow-in-the-dark party. You could have one of these, some LED throwies, LED floaties, LED freezes (in the cooler), EL Wire costumes, LED jewelry, glow-in-the-dark hair gel (yes, there’s an Instructable for that too), and anything else anyone can come up with. That would be awesome fun!

Stroke Sensor

Stroke Sensor
Another incredible sensor. These guys are so inventive. Just last year I would have never thought that a normal dooby like myself could buy, much less make, my own sensor like this. This has so many useful applications: toys (can tell if the child is petting the toy vs. crushing it – great for a toy teaching a child how to be kind to animals), wind sensors (automatically close the window if the wind is blowing too strong), and even security (put this on your purse and you might be able to catch even those brush-by thieves).