Monday, October 12, 2015

Green Colorized Mold SEM Image

Click HERE to vote for my design! (username = StargazunDesigns, picture is the one below, right)

I've been eyeing for a while now waiting to figure out what I want to create for my first fabric.  A couple of days ago I noticed that the weekly contest for this week was Microorganisms.  My husband just started his own SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) rental business so I figured this was a sign to get myself in gear and try to lay out my first fabric.  After going through a number of my husbands pictures I decided on trying to use this image he took with his new microscope as my inspiration.  We've gotten images of a number of different types of mold but I thought this one was particularly interesting (and I also think the spores look like little coffee beans).  The images are all taken in greyscale and I added in additional color with Photoshop.  To make this image into a step an repeat I cut out individual spores in Photoshop, created vector images out of each in Illustrator and kept adding and arranging them until I had a pattern.  I found that I felt like my Illustrator images were coming out as desired but when I uploaded the files to Spoonflower I had trouble getting the colors/design to look the same.  In my first attempt, the "mold beans" somehow became neon green when uploaded to Spoonflower. I also felt like a lot of the detail in the original image was lost too. I created a TIF as my first file format so the conversion from a vector image should have already happened before it was uploaded. (Left = TIF, Right = After Upload)

I had tried a number of different exports (formats and settings) and eventually found that the least amount of change happened when I darkened the image a bit (which I think is really what helped it) and exported as a jpg file. Its still not as good as my original but much better.  (Left = JPG, Right = After Upload)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crochet Cherry Motif From Mollie Makes Issue 43

I was looking for an easy project to work on last night so I went through my assortment of Mollie Makes free projects.   Issue 43 included this project from Next To Nicx which fit the bill.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Handmade Aqua Nightstands

This weekend marks the 7th anniversary of the day we bought our house!  We looked for a long long time trying to find nightstands that we liked that matched our bedroom furniture, and eventually my husband decided he would make his own.  Between working full time, doing housework and starting his own business it took him about a year to make them, but it was worth the wait! 

We found the direction on Ana White's blog and found hardware to match the furniture we already had.  As you can see in the first picture, our dressers are an off-white color (almost a light yellow) that are a very hard shade to match so we decided to go with a coordinating color.  The color's a bit off in both of the pictures- theyre actually a light aqua color.

Crayon Heart Valentines Tutorial

My sister, who teaches first grade, came over last week to have me help her make Valentines for her students. She had picked up some small Valentines Day themed pads of paper and she wanted to make multi colored crayons to go with them. I happened (because I'm a crafty hoarder lol) to have a silicon heart chocolate mold sitting around the she used to make her crayons. They're easy to make and they are the perfect way to reincarnate old broken crayons into something awesome!

Crayon Valentines Hearts

Supplies Needed:
* Old Crayons
* Silicon Heart Mold
* Cookie Tray (for stability when taking mold in/out of the oven)
* Oven

1. Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees.
2. Cut up old crayon into small bits.  If you are making these with kids, they can break them into small pieces with their hands. 

3. Put an assortment of colors into each heart mold. 

4. Place the silicon mold onto a cookie tray for stability putting the mold in and taking it out of the oven. Put the mold into the oven for 15 mins.
5. Take the mold out of the oven and let the mold sit for 10 mins. 
6.  Stick the mold into the fridge for a couple of minutes and the crayons will pop right out!
7. Enjoy!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) Photoshop Colorized Mold Images

My husband just launched his own Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) rental business a couple of months ago. He works at his full time job with SEMs and so I've been exposed to some of the images before but anything he took was technically owned by his company. 

His new microscope takes black and white images up to 45,000 times zoomed in by shooting electrons at the sample.  It also can tell you what elements the sample is made of by collecting X-rays.

To tell the truth the whole process baffles me but what I do know is that the pictures are absolutely fascinating blank canvases.  I took some of the more interesting ones and learned how to artificially color them in Photoshop. Here are some of the pictures of typical food mold that I've colored.