How to make a “Disarm the Bomb” Pinata

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Vulcan priestess cosplay


Fun fact about me: Of all the species in Star Trek, I’ve always identified most with the Vulcans. There was definitely a period of time in my teens and young adulthood when I considered myself Vulcan-kin (Vulkin? Anyway I didn’t have a word for it at the time, being an 80’s and 90’s kid). And even though I don’t describe it that way now, I still feel some sort of deep kinship with them.

My fascination with Vulcans led to my fascination with finding ways to make the human ears appear pointed, and eventually to my fascination with making “elf earrings” that bend the ear tips into points when worn.

But the reason they’re elf earrings, and not Vulcan earrings, is because they wouldn’t work for cosplaying most Vulcans from canon. I certainly can’t imagine Spock wearing them, or any Starfleet Vulcan, for that matter. They just don’t fit with the general air of calm professionalism.

And yet there is an area of Vulcan life where such illogical adornments don’t seem totally out of place. I refer, of course, to ceremonial garb, worn by priestesses and other participants in archaic Vulcan rituals.

We don’t know exactly WHY these logical people have so many ceremonies shrouded in antiquity, let alone why they attend them dressed up in extravagant gold and gemstones. But they certainly do. Though Vulcan priestesses haven’t been shown actually wearing ear jewelry of this sort, it fits surprisingly well with the style of what they do wear.

So here’s my own take on the Vulcan ceremonial outfit. The robe, sleeves and headdress are a thrift store gown, window curtain and shawl. The inscription, taken from canon Vulcan clothing, is made of brass wire and sewn on.

The crown, inspired by T’Lar in “The Search For Spock,” is made of brass wire, copper wire, garnet and glass beads, and clear quartz points, while the IDIC pendant is brass with a garnet bead. The shoes were already perfect when I found them at the thrift store. The elf earrings (now Vulcan earrings) are brass with garnet and glass beads to match the crown.

And no, I will not take off my glasses for this costume. Visual impairment does seem to be uncommon among Vulcans, but I’m sure it still happens sometimes. And, as a desert species, I think they would find it quite logical to treat it using a method that also provides protection against sand, dry air, and the ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Come to think of it, maybe I should invest in some of those Transitions lenses.














A Fun Project: Do-it-yourself Tiny Books!

If you’re like me, you’d LOVE to have a dollhouse-sized bookshelf full of classic literature that you can only read through a magnifying glass.

I recognize that not everyone is like me. But if you ARE…

Well, now you can!

All you need:

– One of these tiny-font PDFs I made:

Alice in Wonderland

Dorian Gray


The Invisible Man

The Time Machine

Tom Sawyer

-A computer

-A printer that has high enough resolution for the words to be clear. Many home printers work for this. (If you’re unsure, test the printer by making a document with text in font size 2 and printing it, then seeing if you can read it with a magnifying glass.)


-Large (about 2″) binder clips

-Liquid glue (such as Elmer’s glue)

-A jar lid about 2 inches across and more than 1/4 inch deep

1. Print the PDF on the printer.

2. Cut a thin strip off each side of each page, so that the lines separating the pages go to the edge of the sheet.

3. Cut the pages apart on the lines, starting by cutting them into columns vertically, then cutting each column apart horizontally.

4. Make each column into a stack of pages, in order, with the top page of the column on top of the stack. (Don’t leave out the blank page at the beginning!)

5. When all pages are cut and stacked, pile all the pages together in order, into one big stack. Line them up and make sure they are very even. Clip the stack together with a binder clip on the RIGHT side of the pages (opposite from where the book will be bound together).

6. Pour a thin layer of glue into the jar lid. Dip the LEFT edges of the pages into the glue, and let them soak for several seconds. Be sure to soak the edges of all the pages in the stack, but not soak too close to the printed words.

7. Once the binding edge is soaked in glue, remove it from the jar lid and put another binder clip on that side, clenching the sticky page edges together. Let them dry.

Or (and I’ve found this works better) instead of adding a second binder clip, just flip the handles of the first binder clip up, to hold the sticky edges together, and stand the book up on the other end to dry.

8. When dry, remove the binder clips. The left edges of all the pages should be fused together now, forming a book binding.

9. Cut out the cover image on the last page. Wrap it around the book and use glue to adhere it to the front cover, spine and back cover. If it is too large, cut it to size.

10. Let the glue dry and enjoy! If desired, cover the binding with duct tape in whatever color you prefer.

These books make fun gifts, and are nice for dollhouses or other miniature displays.

Currently I have these PDFs available:

Alice in Wonderland

Dorian Gray


The Invisible Man

The Time Machine

Tom Sawyer

I can make others, if they’re available in the public domain in .txt form (Project Gutenberg is a good place to look). Send me your requests! Just make they’re not TOO long (if the text file is more than 500 KB, the book tends to turn out thicker than it is tall, which will look silly).

Sirius the 6-Inch Pianist, Take Two

Sirius the Starling has improved at playing the piano!

And here are some more pictures of Sirius, just because he’s beautiful.

Sirius the Starling: the 6-inch-tall pianist

My first video of Siri playing his piano. His training is going well, but he’s still a little bit shy about it.

I will post more videos as his skill improves.

(Sorry about the watermark; I am using a free version of this video editing program. When I have better videos– after more piano lessons– I’ll either buy the program or use a different camera that doesn’t insist on making 3gp files that can’t be edited in iMovie.)

Doctor Spock

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The Doctor: alien, but spends most of his time with humans

Spock: half alien, half human

The Doctor: has a name that no one knows

Spock: has a family name that is never revealed onscreen

The Doctor: has two hearts

Spock: has his heart in his side instead of his chest

The Doctor: died and regenerated a buncha times

Spock: died and regenerated once

The Doctor: telepathic

Spock: yeah

The Doctor: pacifist

Spock: yeah

The Doctor: totally geeky

Spock: super yeah

The Doctor: object of a million fan crushes

Spock: *fan crush-o-meter explodes*

The Doctor: his home planet was destroyed

Spock: his home planet still exists …you know, we’ve decided he wasn’t enough like the Doctor already

dreams within dreams


The other night, I came up with a theory about the Ben Stiller version of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” in which it turns out that all the “real” adventures he had were just more vivid daydreams, and his ACTUAL life was still totally boring.

My basis for this headcanon was:

1. it would be truer to the original story the movie is based on

2. in real life, the last issue of Life Magazine did not have that photo on the cover

3. in real life, it is impossible to get cell phone service in all the places he did

so, logically, these experiences must not have been real.

Then I woke up, and realized I had thought this all up IN A DREAM.

This is… so meta, I don’t know what to think.


This is my husband John C Ricker.

John is a ginger.

Gingers gain a freckle for every soul they steal.

John is a photographer.

Photographs steal souls.

John almost never photographs humans.

John photographs hundreds of animals and plants.

John has hundreds of freckles.


animals and plants 

have souls.

Sirius the Starling takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

The ice bucket challenge is really working for raising awareness. It may be silly and gimmicky, but it’s getting people to donate.

So Sirius stepped up and tried it.

He’ll take a bath in ANYTHING. Well, almost anything. Maybe he had to wait until the ice melted; so what. He’s adorable.

Geminis don’t believe in astrology

Today, the first of June, is my 33rd birthday.

I’m reaching the end of a long series of significant numbers. 27 was a cube number, three to the power of itself. 28 was a perfect number, the sum of its own factors. 29 was prime, 30 was a nice round multiple of ten, 31 was another prime, and 32 was a power of two (100,000 in binary).

33 is cool because it’s palindromic and all the same digit– but after this, I’ll have to stretch if I want to keep the streak going (like claiming that 34 is awesome because of the internet meme of “Rule 34.”) I think this may be the year to lay my cool-number streak to rest.

I plan to celebrate, as usual, with a small group of friends and loved ones. I’ll bake my own cake, probably with the same strawberry frosting I made up last year (it was a buttercream frosting with actual fresh strawberries blended into it in the food processor, and it was pink and sweet and freakin’ delicious). The candles will be little tea-lights in tiny glass holders. Three on one side of the cake, and three on the other. Yeah, baby, I use base ten for my birthday candles.

So, happy birthday, me.