I’ve been seeing really fun geek-themed terrariums on Pinterest lately, but not a lot of detailed how-to’s. Though it’s pretty easy to make a terrarium, it turns out you don’t just want to throw some sand and rocks in a jar and decorate with air plants, moss, and a few minis. That is, if you want your plants to actually thrive any way. So I tracked down a few generic terrarium making tutorials, including the great image above from the blog Something Turquoise. Another blog, Food 52, has great step-by-step instructions on making a terrarium as well. Once you’ve got those basics down, you can decorate your terrarium with any fandom you like. And there are tons of ideas out there. Here are a FEW of my personal favorites!
The official starwars.com has got this awesome Degobah Terrarium, with instructions.
This terrarium is for sale on Moss Love.
This one features one of my favorite superheroes! And there are even instructions on the blog Sweet Happy Life if you’re interested in making your own.
This Zombie Terrarium is also for sale on Moss Love. I ADORE this idea.
What fandom themed terrarium would you create?
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Yes, that image above is PAPER. Artist Rogan Brown specializes in paper sculptures that explore (in his words) “patterns and motifs in the natural world.” And you must check out his portfolio, because the pieces are incredibly intricate, detailed, and breathtakingly beautiful. You can see up-close, detailed photos of the above piece on Makezine.com (where I found the image above), but definitely check out his portfolio to get a sense of the breadth of this artist’s work too. I can hardly believe it’s paper. What do you think about the unusual medium and subject matter? Let us know in the comments!
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I am a biologist by background, and a nurse by trade. I love studying the human body and learning how it works. It is a wonderful and amazing thing, and what better way to celebrate this than with a lung on a necklace or a brain on your tie? I think these anatomical crafts are very cute (and maybe a little bit creepy?), and they are all lovely ways of celebrating human anatomy.
In celebration of my sister having her first baby, I have collected some of my favourite geek crafts for babies.
There are some amazing baby crafts available on Etsy. Some of these are super cute! There are hundreds of things there that I love, but these are just a few of my favourites.
How about some Harry Potter inspired keys flying around the ceiling, you just have to catch the right one!!
And what do you think of this onesie I made for my new baby niece? I can’t wait to educate her in geekery as she grows up!
Have you been to a Maker Faire? A celebration of things people make themselves, Maker Faires are organized by MAKE Magazine, and started in San Mateo, California in 2006. Now these events take place across the country. My hometown, Kansas City, happens to be one of the “featured” Faires, where more than 200 makers participate. I have shared Faires in the past, in 2011 and 2012, so I figured it was time for an update.
Above is a montage of photos I took – here are the highlights, starting in the upper left corner, and working around clockwise:
- 3D printers were big again, as they have been at each Faire I’ve attended. These were some 3D-printed TARDISes and Star Trek Lego figures.
- Some more examples of 3D printed items – these were very ornate vases by Sage Kaneko.
- A chainmail demonstration by Michael of Amanda Lynn Chainmaille Creations.
- The Artifex 2 desktop 3D printer – it printed in the usual hard plastic filament, but also wood and a flexible “NinjaFlex” thermoplastic elastomer.
- Eco Elvis performed – he was all shook up about the effects of acid rain.
- The Flipbookits were a cool find in the Maker Store – it’s a DIY kit to make your own motorized flipbook, designed by kinetic artists.
- Artists from Dare to Dabble were on hand to help attendees create gelli prints with acrylic paints, brayers, stamps and stencils.
- I made my own glycerin soap with Feto Soap! It smells like cinnamon and I chose a cute little gnome as the “prize” in the center.
- There were speakers scheduled throughout the day, discussing all sorts of interesting make-y type topics. The one I heard was about the use of hydraulics in Hollywood.
- Many booths encouraged attendees, particularly kids, to try their hand at a variety of tasks. This booth by Leela Village School for Purposeful Play offered a DIY playground with robots made from found materials. (P.S. Did you know “Leela” means “divine play” in Sanskrit?)
- A steampunk dirigible
- There was a table for Raspberry Pi Geek magazine – we got my husband one of these little credit card-sized computers for his birthday this year, so I was sure to pick up one of their sample magazines.
There was so much to see, and scrolling through the Instagram feed for #MakerFaireKC, I can see I missed quite a bit! Be sure to allow a few hours at least if a Maker Faire hits your area, if not a whole day!
What have been your favorite things to see at a Maker Faire? Share with us in the comments below!
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My grade school days are so far behind me, I remember very little about any sort of science experiments. I vaguely recall something about adding food coloring to water to turn white carnations different colors. BOR-ING. If I had Andrew Gatt for a teacher, I think I would have some pretty epic science memories.
As the lower school science specialist as a school in Raleigh, North Carolina, Andrew started building paper roller coasters in the late 90s as an activity in his 5th grade classroom. He continued refining his designs over the years, and started making presentations of his designs at teacher conventions and eventually started selling the templates and directions. These days, he teaches science to 7th and 8th graders and uses the templates with his 7th graders each fall. The templates are available on his website.
Homeschoolers and science aficionados rejoice! Andrew offers three lesson plans to use with the paper roller coasters, which are available for free download on his website, PaperRollerCoasters.com. “The lesson plans show how paper roller coasters can be used to teach about speed, acceleration, potential energy, and kinetic energy,” says Andrew. “It’s also a great structural engineering lesson in which students have to build a sturdy structure that will hold up the tracks.”
See videos of paper roller coasters in action on Andrew’s YouTube channel!
Up to the challenge of building your own coaster? We’d love to hear about your efforts and results – feel free to share a link to your creation in the comments below! Go forth now and SCIENCE!
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