i just have a lot of sharpie feelings


I Made a Bison*-with-Headphones Out of Paper

I made some other Sherlock-y type paper projects, too:

A friend in case I need someone to talk to,

a replica of the black origami lotus from TBB in case I need to let someone know they are marked for assassination,

an origami deer-stalker cap (shown here lined with tin-foil and modeled by Archimedes), 

and a “Persian slipper” (khussa) color, cut, and paste project (I keep nicotine lozenges in mine.)

I’m told there will be an arts-and-crafts room @221bcon this year, and I plan to bring supplies and materials for the origami lotus, tin-foil lined deer-stalker, and Persian slipper to share**.

The bison* skull is my original work and I reconfigured the human skull so I can print, score, and cut the pieces for both with a scrapbooking machine***. If anyone is interested in attempting to assemble their own human or bison* skull, I would love nothing more than to give that brave person or persons**** the instructions and printed, scored, and cut cardstock to make a skull. 

Unfortunately, I am emotionally fragile and terrified of preparing supplies for twenty or so skulls that no one wants. So, I am posting this in an attempt to gauge interest. If you are going to 221bcon and you want to attempt one of the skulls, reply to this post to let me know. (If you are not going to 221bcon and you are really interested in making the bison* skull, let me know anyway and I can email you the pdf or possibly snail mail you the printed, scored, and cut pages.)

Finally, if you read this far and you are not embarrassed on my behalf I would appreciate any signal boost you are willing to give by reblogging this post. Thank you.

   * I spent a lot of time looking at bovine skulls and I’m fairly certain it’s actually a yak skull, not a bison.
  ** I figured these are relatively easy projects suitable for all ages. I intend to find some safety scissors and washable markers instead of only bringing the pointy scissors and sharpies I have lying around.
 *** I don’t want to say the brand name. There’s nothing wrong with scrapbooking, but I just never saw myself as the kind of person who buys a cr!cut. I did, though. I bought one for the sole purpose of cutting out peppakura/papercraft patterns. I’d feel bad, but it’s too awesome.
**** Up to 12 people who are interested in the bison skull and 20 people who are interested in the human skull. 

anonymous asked:

I don't know if you'll have an answer, but I thought I'd ask: I'm currently planning on binding my own book to remake my Book of Shadows, and I was wondering if you had advice on papers to use. I want it to have lots of pages, but printer paper just doesn't feel right - I want something of a heavier weight and a little coarser. Do you have any suggestions? (I love your blog, btw!!)

Ah, you must have seen that I do bookbinding, because you’ve come to the right place, my friend!

Printer paper is fine for most simple journals - it takes pencil writing well, and ink (read: dip pen ink, ballpoint ink) doesn’t usually bleed through it.

(Sharpie will bleed through it. Sharpie will bleed through anything, it feels like.)

But it’s usually very thin paper - 20-22lb is average, and it’s not very opaque. You can easily see through it to the page underneath, and it’s flimsy.

I like card stock - it fits well in your printer if you need it to, it’s thick and opaque and archival quality, and that makes me happy.

I’d go for 60lb thickness at least for bookbinding, but that’s at absolute minimum - personally, I’d go even thicker, in the 80lb-100lb+ range.

One thing about all of that though, is that it’s usually a very smooth texture, like most printer-suitable papers, so that the ink can print evenly. For a rough texture, you can look for handmade papers, artists’ papers, or even some scrapbooking papers that have a more natural texture. You could even learn to make paper yourself, which is very fun, but also time consuming.

Unfortunately, artists’ papers and the like can be…expensive. Really expensive. Like, $3> a sheet expensive, which in a 250+ page book, is not something I can personally afford to work with, so I’ll probably stick to card stock, haha.

Now, fun facts about paper grain:

When paper is made, the machinery makes the individual grains of the paper all align in a certain way. And because of this, it’s always best to fold paper parallel with the grain. That way, when the paper expands or contracts (based on the humidity, moisture, temperature, etc), it’ll do so in a way that won’t hurt your binding. This goes for simple booklets and stuff too.

Most papers should tell you which way the grain is aligned, but I’ve found out that unfortunately, most don’t seem to. Especially if they’re just plain copy or printer paper. In general, if a paper says it’s “short grain,” that means that the grain runs parallel with the shortest edge of the paper. Opposite if it’s “long grain.” And sometimes it’s indicated by an underlined number - “8.5 x 11″ with the 11 underlined means long-grain, “11 x 17″ with the 11 underlined would mean short grain. Make sense so far?

(Edit: tumblr removed my underlines somehow, so I changed my phrasing)

So if I were making a fairly large book out of 11″ x 17″ paper, and wanted to make signatures by folding those pieces in half, I’d want it to be short grain paper, so that my folds would be parallel with the grain.

If your paper doesn’t specify the grain, you can test to see which direction the grains run - most of the time with copy paper, it’s unfortunately long grain. But take a piece of it, and tear it in one direction, and then in the other. Whichever way tore smoother, is the way the grain runs.

However, I will be real here - paper that runs in the right grain direction for bookbinding is very hard to find, and it can also be expensive. You may be able to find larger paper than you need, and cut it down, but…really? If you don’t own a professional paper cutter, that’s a ton of work.

So, I’m going to say this, and it’s going to upset a lot of bookbinders, but in my personal opinion, it’s okay to use paper with grain going the wrong way.

Let me be clear; paper with the grain lined up properly is always going to be better. It’s always going to look and feel better when it’s bound, and it’s going to be more durable. Even the pages are going to turn more smoothly.

But there’s no shame in using copy paper and other typical long-grain paper, if you have to or want to. I’ve made plenty of journals and notebooks with paper grain going the wrong way, and if you’re careful to not use too much glue, and press the books tightly, you’ll probably be fine. There might be some buckling down the line, or a bit of curling, but sometimes that’s worth not spending hundreds of dollars on specialty paper, because the paper industry is weird.

Anyway, I hope some of that ^ ends up helping you with your project! I can get kinda passionate and rant-y about bookbinding, haha.


I know for a lot of people RTX is coming up and its a new and super exciting event for them!

So- here is my top TEN protips from an experienced con-goer and attendee-turned-volunteer!

1. WATER. WATER. WATER. Never forget to keep drinking water. Wear a camelback if you like. Esp. If its in a warm place at a warm time like RTX is, you’ll really regret it if you make yourself sick from lack of hydration!

2. Keep a friend or two that you can shared tabs with! Tell these friends where you’ll be approximately and when approximately! No need for exacts but if you are in a new city or place, its a lot safer to keep friends updated!

3. TALK TO NEW PEOPLE!! RTX is a magical place. You’ll find everyone there is a friend waiting to be made. I certainly did. It’s a lot harder to find someone you dont have anything to talk about with at RTX than to find someone you have a lot to talk about with!

4. Remeber that panels arent time for a personal audience with cast/crew! Please don’t ask for hugs/handshakes/jobs/portfolio reviews/spit samples etc. Panels are also not a good time to just talk about how much you love what they do! RTX is super unique however in that their meet and greets/autographs are of no extra charge to atendees! I have never been to a convention that does it this way and don’t think I ever will. This is an awesome time to tell your favorite creators how you feel! I sure used it when I met Barb and Miles last year! In addition, if you catch them in the halls and they have time to stop, (ALWAYS LISTEN TO GAURDIANS IF THEY HAVE NO TIME) tell them then! I was super grateful to catch the kind and unbearably handsome Zach Anner in the halls last year and had a hot second to tell him how much I enjoyed his book!

5. Realize you won’t see everything. You just won’t. Also realize: you won’t mind so much. Sure you might not see everything you wanted from the schdule. But you won’t even notice what you missed when you sre having such a fun time! There were totally things I didnt get to see as an attendee but I dont have any regrets about that magical time.

6. Austin has the best food. Explore. Try it out. Don’t just eat in the convention center. You’ll regret it. There arent a lot of options and what there are options for arent that good. Within walking distance of the convention center are enough food places to stuff breakfast lunch and dinner for weeks much less a weekend. So don’t forget to enjoy the food Austin has to offer!

7. Attend after hours things! Sidequest is only one of the many events happening after the expo floor closes! FIRST night, the K1 Charity Event, parties and get togethers are abundant during RTX! Please explore these! Be safe, drink responsibly, but explire these! You’ll meet new friends and for events like K1 and sidequest- its all for charity!! The convention itself also has several happy hour panels etc!

8. Go to the RT Store. Just do it. It’s like a magical playground. You might spend to much but theres no thrill quite like seeing ALL THAT SWEET SWEET MERCH in person.

9. Follow the typical con rules. At least 1 shower a day, lots of deodorant, lots of hand sanitizer, a first aid kit, sharpies, WATER, SNACKS, phone, extra charger, the list goes on and on. You can find lots of in depth lists online and lots on the RT website!

10. HAVE FUN. For you first time RTX-ers. I know how it feels. It feels like dreams are coming true. It feels like validation cus-god- its real! It’s all real. It felt that way so vividly for me and it’s memories I love and keep so dear to my heart. I remeber hugging my best friend- now roommate for the first time in a parking garage near the ACC. I remeber the first time I saw cast and had to pinch myself to make sure it wasnt all a dream. I remember all tbe friends I made, all the fun I had and all the dreams that came true. I hope RTX is just as magical for you. I hope its safe, and exciting and a life changing thing for you too. And god I hope you have fun. You hear it a lot and for good reason, RTX is the best. It’s like nothing else.

2.8.15 // 7:31 PM

casually rewriting notes in the lib, I’m surprisingly a lot less stressed than I thought I would be for this busy busy week. tomorrow I have a genetics exam, Tuesday I have a presentation and paper due (both of which are barely started…), and an exam on Thursday (that I’ve yet to even take notes on!!). I think I’ll be okay though; I just feel so great right now, honestly. I am so relaxed and can’t wait to get up and work out tomorrow! definitely an arm day 👍

Keeping the Romance Alive: LDR Style!

I get a lot of questions from people asking how to keep the romance alive in a long distance relationship. I can totally see how people say the romance stops because LDRs get into a routine really easily, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! But when things get so routine and monotonous that you find yourself feeling bored with your SO, it might be time to shake things up a bit. So here’s just a short list of things you can do in a LDR to change things up a bit:

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