Archive for the ‘Fun with Lab Supplies’ Category

* herb garden markers

Posted on April 30th, 2010 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies, Home and Garden.

For the new herb garden, a set of markers.  They’re wooden tongue depressors from lab, stamped with a pigment ink (all ingredients I already had on hand, I’m happy to say).  A test stick immersed in water didn’t run, so I’m crossing my fingers they’ll hold up to the elements.  Plan B is outdoor Mod Podge, but a test with that did make the ink run.  It’s possible I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry, though.



* petri dish cookies

Posted on December 12th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies.

As soon as I saw the awesome science cookies Not So Humble Pie has been making, I knew I had to try one.  Luckily, my postdoc invited me over for a party tonight, and, even better, he’s married to a worm geneticist.  So I made the streaked microbiology culture plates ala Not So Humble Pie and came up with my own worm plate variant. The yeast colonies and worms are “pearls” and “slippers” from a Princess mix sprinkles pack.  C. elegans isn’t really quite that big, but whatever, use your imagination.  I did try to capture the look of seeded plates (they eat bacteria, which is what the big yellow pool is supposed to be).


They are not exactly the prettiest cookies in the world, but they crack me up.  The icing is just powdered sugar and water and food coloring (the recipe also wanted meringue powder, but I didn’t have any).  I bought the cookies because the party is tonight and I wasn’t sure if they would cool in time to decorate.



* lab logo

Posted on August 24th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies, Wants.

My lab web site needed some sprucing up earlier this summer, so I brought in a professional.  seventyandsunny makes really great custom headers, which I’d been admiring on her blog for a while before hiring her.  It just so happened that she’d recently redesigned her personal blog with a specimen theme, so she was already thinking of sciencey graphics.  She was particularly thoughtful in helping me come up with design ideas, and then gave me two mocked-up options:



(These are shrunk slightly to fit my WordPress template; they’re a little sharper at full size.)

I went with the second one.  I like how it’s cute, but not overly cutesy.  Another nice thing was that she was willing to edit the mock-up for the final design.  I didn’t end up taking advantage of that because it came out great the first time. :)

Now to update craftlog’s look one of these days….


* new resin molds

Posted on February 20th, 2009 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies, Resin.

Testing out some new molds.

Candy molds take 2, including the owl and buttons from my previous post and some vintage ones my sister got me for Xmas.  The vintage ones and the hard candy button one were the clear winners, since both popped right out without destroying the mold.  This one has a lace cutout in it.  It’ll be a necklace, I think.

The owl and little buttons had to be torn out of their molds, but at least they worked.  I’m going to try some sort of mold release next time to see if I can avoid destroying the mold.

I don’t like the sickly green color, though. :/

The orange turned out better.

Pill box.  It’s one of those circular ones with a segment for each day of the week.  Piece of origami paper embedded.  This one might be my favorite since it’s the most wearable.  This mold worked great; I didn’t even have to put it in the freezer.

Weird ice cube tray I found at a thrift store.  Actually, I just used the caps; the tray itself was these long tubes.  I have a couple more funny thrifted ice cube trays that I’m saving for later.  These ones are embedded buttons with thumbtacks to match my new corkboard.  I also did a few colored disks to mess with for rings or something. Not happy with the mold; they’re still all sticky for some reason, and there’s a leftover residue.  I also broke one manhandling it out of the mold.

Little plastic case from a free sample from Origins.  I’ve also seen them at the Container Store for travel.  Embed is a big white button.  I’m planning a set of different white embeds in this size to use as knobs for my dresser.  This one also worked really well, which I was expecting since I have another one in a different size that worked before (apparently I never posted a picture, though).

Other molds that worked, but were too plain to bother taking a picture of: cubes from a freezer box and triangle from a multichannel pipet basin, both free samples from lab.  I have another style of pipet basin too, with sharper corners, that I might try out next time.  Not sure what to do with the results, though.

Things that didn’t work: little plastic domes from a seed germination kit.  I had to tear it off, and the resin reacted with the plastic to make a weird frosted effect.  Double fail: the embed I tried was a piece of thicker, shiny paper.  It didn’t saturate uniformly and looks pretty bad.


* more resin

Posted on April 11th, 2008 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies, Jewelry, Resin.

I’m moving to Seattle in a month, so one of the many things on the todo list is to use up all my unshippable resin. What a good idea for a craft night. :) Besides these ones, we also embedded buttons and coins, and I played around with layering colors with only slightly better results than last time. I’m mainly having trouble getting a flat first layer. Anyway, these are my favorites from the night:

My friend Matt embedded some bits from a circuit board. I like the LEDs best.


Another great model railroad figure one made by my friend Dannie. I love the composition.


Creepy little Mizna Wada girls from some stationery.


I really like these, colored with pastels and molded with a 96-well plate (finally found one flexible enough!) I have plans for necklaces and rings with these, if I can ever find any ring blanks I like.


These are some silver findings from a bead store. They have little holes on each side, which are too small for the resin to leak from; I didn’t think to put a headpin through the hole until I’d already poured in the resin. :P



* fabric cabinet

Posted on June 4th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies.

Someone at lab was giving away these 2 sets of cubbies, usually used for class handouts and homework. They immediately screamed “fabric storage” to me. We picked up the screw-on legs at Home Depot. I eventually will stain them, but I was too impatient to get all my fabric out of the shoe-organizer and into the new cabinet. The shoe-organizer is now my yarn stash (previous yarn storage was a cardboard box that the cat liked to sleep in).



* Box Purse

Posted on September 19th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies, Projects with Instructions.

I made this purse out of a disk-storage box. Since I never use disks anymore, it seemed like the most useful life for it. It’s just the right size for my wallet and some other little things. All you do is find a piece of string/cord/ribbon long enough for a strap and decide where it should attach to the box. Use a big needle to poke a hole in each side of the box. Thread the strap through and tie big knots so it holds. This particular box came with the elastic strap to fasten the flap, but you could certainly add that (or a piece of velcro or something) if you need to. I always get comments when I use it.



* I hate Cy5 Silkscreen T-shirt

Posted on August 20th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies, Gocco/L Letterpress.

Cy5 is this fluorescent dye I use in lab. It’s really finicky, thus my line of I hate Cy5 apparel. I used my trusty Gocco and fabric ink to screen a set of shirts for my Cy5-hating friends. I’m very impressed with the Gocco fabric ink. I’ve washed it a few times with no ill effects. It’s gotten such a great response from people that I made a CafePress store to sell t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, etc. (At cost, I should say. I won’t benefit from the misery Cy5 causes.)



* Sharpie Shoes

Posted on March 17th, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies.

Mark got a pair of sneakers, but he didn’t like the color. He colored them in with a black sharpie, and, amazingly, they look pretty good. After wearing them a few times, they’ve faded a bit, so he might go back and do another coat.



* label maker

Posted on February 3rd, 2004 by maitreya. Filed under Fun with Lab Supplies.

Score at lab today. In one of our many boxes of junk, I found an old school Dymo label maker. You know, the kind with the wheel of letters and the punch tape. Since we just recently bought a fancy little digital one, I went ahead and took it. I had one of these when I was a kid, and I’ve been looking at them at the store lately (there’s a pretty cheap one for kids that I saw at CVS tonight). I even found 2 whole boxes full of black and blue refill tape. I think the first order of business is to label the drawers in my craft room.



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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!