GirlHacker's Random Log

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Archive for the ‘craft’ Category

Music Stands Evolve


I mentioned electronic music stand systems a few years ago. Now with the advent of the iPad and similar devices, specialized hardware is less likely to be the common solution for viewing sheet music. The current “state of the art” for gadget friendly musicians are iPads on regular stands, jury-rigged stands/clips, or a specially designed stand like the Peak iPad stand which even rotates 360 degrees. For musicians who have no time to swipe a page turn, there’s the AirTurn which can be set up with a foot pedal. An organists who’s also a computer guy has his hooked up to a bite switch for completely hand and foot-free operation.

Posted in craft

IKEA Photo Sharing


IKEA has jumped on the online community bandwagon with the launch of Share Space. Customers can upload their room photos and tag their IKEA items. It’s not quite IKEA Hackers but it gets the company connected to how their products are being used. There’s also a blog (how modern!). Our IKEA photos would be boring: bookcase, bookcase, bookcase, bookcase, another bookcase, let’s call this one shelves instead. Oh and a Poang chair.

Posted in craft

The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor


Christie’s has signed on to auction the late Elizabeth Taylor’s significant collection of jewelry, fashion, art and other memorabilia. It’s expected that most of the proceeds will benefit her AIDs foundation. To build anticipation for this large event, Christie’s is putting the collection on a worldwide tour with stops in Moscow, London, L.A., Dubai, Geneva, Paris, and Hong Kong before coming to rest in New York for a multi-day auction in December 2011. Her jewelry will be sold over two days, then her fashion and accessories. Her art and memorabilia is split between the final sale day in New York and a February sale in London of her Impressionist and Modern art. When the catalogue is published we’ll see whether her diamond tiara, Krupp Diamond (33.19 carats), Peregrina pearl (50 carat), and Taylor-Burton diamond (69.42 carats) will be on the block.

Posted in craft

The Type Truck


Kyle Durrie combined her love of printing and road trips into a cross-country journey in a Chevy step van outfitted as a letterpress print shop. She’s been on the road since June visiting printers, craft fairs, museums, and other places where a letterpress lesson and a hand-printed poster or two are welcome. She’s got all the requisite modern accompaniments for tracking her old-fashioned occupation trip (Twitter, Flickr, Facebook) and you can ask to host a visit if it fits into the schedule. (thanks for the pointer, Finn!)

Written by ltao

August 9th, 2011 at 1:03 am

Posted in craft

Beef Jerky Dress


Is it possible to preserve a dress made out of 35 pounds of meat? Yes it is. When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decided to display Lady Gaga’s flank steak dress from the MTV Video Music Awards they contacted Burbank taxidermist Sergio Vigilato. He cleaned the dress, which had been kept frozen after the award show, and cured it, glued it to a mannequin to keep the shape, then dyed it to resemble its original color. The beef had come from Palermo Deli in Granada Hills, priced at $3.99 a pound. Vigilato’s preservation bill came to $6,000, including the meat shoes tied with butcher twine.

Written by ltao

July 17th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Posted in craft



The picturesque scenery surrounding the Tour de France must help promote countryside tourism. The riders cycle past castles and quaint towns. What I love most are the old windmills. These elegant workhorses of the grain farms are each unique. Looking through the extremely comprehensive lists of windmills in Wikipedia, you realize that although Holland is the country most associated with windmills, they were an important fixture in most European countries. Even if you exclude the modern windpumps and turbines, the different rotation devices, sails, machinery, and construction materials make for a wide variety of windmill designs.

Written by ltao

July 14th, 2011 at 12:49 am

Posted in craft,sports

Ocean Trash Turned Art


Angela Haseltine Pozzi gathers the cast off trash of humans that washes up on the beach and turns it into sculptures of marine life. It’s a beautiful, sad commentary on the state of our marine ecosystem. Currently on display at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California are a coral reef made out of Styrofoam, a jellyfish made out of bags and plastic bottle tops, and a seal and sea turtle constructed of plastic bottles and other stuff we throw away.  Pozzi says some of the trash traveled across the ocean, including hundreds of water bottles from the Beijing Olympics.

Written by ltao

June 27th, 2011 at 1:01 am

Posted in animals,craft

When Journalists Get Married


Megan Poinski and Tim Fields met in 2003 at their newspaper jobs and became a “powerhouse investigative reporting duo.” Naturally when their thoughts turned to planning a wedding together, the theme was newspapers. Two young cousins dressed as paperboys passed out the programs. Guest place cards were press passes.  The table centerpieces were typewriters decorated with flowers and holding the table numbers. The favors were notebooks and pens. No word on whether they wrote their own vows.

Written by ltao

June 15th, 2011 at 12:44 am

Posted in craft

War Horse Puppetry


The Tony Awards on Sunday were the first time I saw the remarkably lifelike puppet from the play War Horse. Created by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa, the life-sized horse takes 3 puppeteers to operate and adds to the depth and emotion of the staged performance. Also, Neil Patrick Harris got to make a grand entrance riding in on the horse as part of his Tony hosting duties (yes it can be ridden!). The two men behind Handspring Puppets spoke at TED about the design and craftsmanship of bringing the horse to life. The horse entrance is at 9 minutes in if you don’t have time for the “making-of” part. Below is the puppet frolicking in a real horse environment: Sandown Race Course in the UK.

Written by ltao

June 14th, 2011 at 12:13 am

Posted in animals,craft,culture

Cerium Oxide Polish


Glass artists who polish their works to a high shine with cerium oxide are getting hit with a hugh price increase from a shortage of the rare-earth element. China has reduced exports of cerium oxide and prices at one supplier have gone from $10 per pound eight months ago to $66 today. A mine in California that closed in 2002 after it couldn’t survive against the cheap pricing from China has now reopened to help with supply.  There are alternative techniques and materials for polishing, but cerium oxide is the fastest. From the environmental perspective, perhaps China does have some good interests behind the shortage as they say the reduction came from tighter controls on the damage caused by mass-extracting rare earths.

Written by ltao

June 13th, 2011 at 1:29 am

Posted in craft,manufacturing