Friday, August 31, 2012

My Sweet New Ride

School started on Monday. And on Monday I also got a sweet new ride. No more little Chevy Cavalier for me.
Yes, I now ride the bus. Luckily I don't drive the bus or there would be a few cars mowed down. Why do I ride the bus? The biggest reason is I don't want to end up in this crazy parking lot. The roads leading to campus look similar to all the parked cars; completely congested and not moving.
Another reason I ride the bus is because public transportation is better for the environment. I'd be one person in a car making pollution. Instead I'm one person on a bus with twenty other people making our carbon footprint go down. I'd ride my bike but there is way too big of a hill to go up for my cute little pink cruiser with no gears.

How do you get where you're going?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Contributed to Science!

At the end of June I blogged about having "Adventures on the Mountain" and mentioned the endangered Boreal Toad. The pictures that I took are now in the Monty L. Bean science museum collection!
The yellow card goes in a filing cabinet as a physical record of the specimen. There is also a computer program with all the information available to anyone with internet access. It hasn't been updated since my specimen was entered but should be sooner than later. I'll post a link when it's available.
Normally when specimens are collected they get preserved in ethanol and placed in the jars. You can see some of them in the background of the picture. It's really gory to see all those dead reptile and amphibian bodies. Our photos were safely wrapped in paper towels and stored in the same kind of jar. In a hundred years when some herpetologist studies bufo boreas he or she will know that on June 27, 2012 there were some on Manning Meadow. Yay! I helped science!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coffee Filter Lamp

This unfortunately was not an original idea. But I really liked it when I saw it a few places so I decided to make it. I don't remember where I first saw this project, it was over two years ago. Just know that many other people have made it.

I started out with only four items. Coffee filters, hot glue sticks, a hot glue gun, and a paper lantern.
Coffee Filters
Hot glue sticks
Paper Lantern
Hot glue gun
I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I just shoved my finger in the middle of each filter to make a point, put a dab of glue on it, and let it cool. Then I did it over and over and over again.
Making a point in the middle with my index finger
After one session of gluing I only was a fourth finished. I knew this was going to take a long time, but I really had no idea.
Finally, after a few more evenings of gluing, I was finished! I had a beautiful big fluffy snowball of coffee filters to light the corner of my bedroom.
I bought a light kit at Ikea for $5 and hung it based on the instructions. Then I was good to go; Flipped the switch and "let there be light". Woohoo!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Projects

A few weeks ago Doug and I stumbled upon an estate sale. It had been pretty picked over by the time we got there but I found a few treasures. These were just 25 cents each. And they're beautiful. I bought 4 of them but was so excited for my first project that I didn't take a picture of the first book while it was intact.
Vintage Readers Digest Books
For my first project I cut off the front and back cover of my favorite patterned book. Then I found a few fun pictures from inside and cut notebook paper to make an assignment journal so I don't fall behind in my schoolwork. I tried binding it with chain but it broke. Then I tried metal brads and that didn't work either. I ended up using elastic. It's not pretty but it works really well.
Isn't it fun?
My second project involved cutting a shadow box in the cover and pages and adding some genuine beach shells collected in Mexico. Eventually this project is supposed to end up in my mom's downstairs bathroom which has a beachy shell theme.
I have two more books which means two more projects. Any suggestions? I'm thinking of making the navy and yellow one into another notebook since it's so cute.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Church History Museum with Grandma and Grandpa

When my grandparents come to Utah, they stay in a condo in downtown Salt Lake. When we visit them, we often end up at the LDS Church History Museum. Friday, August 10th was no exception. I have been there so many times that I didn't take a lot of pictures, but here are a few.
My handsome grandpa and author J. Carlyle Parker
Probably couldn't have crossed the plains in 4 inch wedges
Next time a customer wants a "vintage" wedding dress, I'm pulling this one out
"The Mormon Creed Is To Mind Your Own Business" I didn't make this up.
Abraham before almost sacrificing his son Isaac
A volunteer at the museum told my grandparents that they looked like this couple
The Museum was holding its annual international art competition. The last two photos were submissions. Abraham was my brother's favorite. I highly recommend looking at all of the submissions here. Not all of them are religious and they are all beautiful.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Zoo

Yesterday Doug and I went to Utah's Hogle Zoo with his family and my brother Jess. We started with the colobus monkeys. I love their long white tails.
Colobus Monkey
Colobus monkeys
Next we stopped by the elephants and rhinoceros. I like the picture of looking under the belly of one rhino to see the other one eating.
white rhino
The zoo has a new exhibit area called Rocky Shores which has bald eagles, river otters, harbor seals, sea lions, a polar bear, and grizzly bears. Jess and I took turns in the eagles nest.
Rocky Shores
Rocky Shores
Rocky Shores
The polar bear really liked to swim in her pool and stroll around her enclosure. She dove for some fish that the keeper tossed in. It was really fun to watch her swim. The viewing area is great because you can see underwater, on the land area, and in her den.
Rocky Shores
Rocky Shores
Rocky Shores
Rocky Shores
The grizzly bears had a special ice treat in their enclosure. We make these for our puppy Penny sometimes with chicken broth and hot dog chunks.
Rocky Shores
Near the end of our visit the zoo keepers worked with the seals and blind sea lion. They teach the animals behaviors to help with veterinary work and to keep them safe. They can retrieve items that fall into the water and take them to their keepers for a fish reward. They also hold out their claws to be clipped and open their mouths to have their teeth brushed.
Rocky Shores
The blind sea lion has a stick with a ball on the end that makes noise so he can follow it. He did pretty well swimming around and didn't run into things. He stays mostly in one corner of the pool but he seems happy.
Rocky Shores
Rocky Shores
After Rocky Shores we saw the tigers, giraffes, and some marsh birds including a swan.
We saw a lot more animals but my camera battery kept dying so I had to be selective with my photography subjects. I'm glad I got to see so many beautiful and diverse creatures. It was a wonderful day near the end of summer.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Challenge

My first random acts of craftiness challenge is here. It arrived yesterday via Erin's blog. I have to use game pieces. Well, there are a million games, and probably billions of pieces. After thinking all day I was stumped. I should have known better than to try and think during the day, especially a day while I was at work. When I woke up in the middle of the night to take sweet Penny my puppy out to the bathroom, I had lots of time to think while I was falling back to sleep.

In that hazy back to sleep fog, I had a vision. It may include jacks, fishing line, and a hanger but you'll just have to wait until September 24th to see what I create. Be excited, and maybe afraid, but mostly excited.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Om"brella "Hand"le

When Doug and I went to the Natural History Museum of Utah a few weeks ago I also made it a point to stop by the campus surplus store. When I lived in the dorms at the U, I found the most amazing store you could ever imagine. It sells whatever is left over on campus that people don't want anymore. They have tons of computer stuff, furniture, and even stuff from the hospital. It's the thrift store of the U. And it's amazing. I could have spent hours looking at stuff. Unfortunately our parking meter was only free for 20 minutes. But during those 20 minutes I found the coolest umbrella I've ever seen. Feast your eyes on this.
om umbrella
om umbrella
om umbrella
Yes that is a hand as the "hand"le. My family thought it was creepy. I can't find anything else like it anywhere online. I would love to know who made it and its story. As fa as I can tell it's either the "om" hand position or the "okay" sign used in diving.

What do you think? Any ideas on how to figure out where it came from?