Monday, February 13, 2012

VALENTINE ROSES

Tomato and cherry tomato roses, strawberry roses, cucumber leaves and a carrot garnish, topped over a salad of cherry tomatoes, strawberries and clementine supremes. For this year's Valentines Day, I created this meant-to-be-desert dish after being inspired by some online food art. I call it, "Bouquet" - Happy Valentines Day!

Above: Bouquet! Freshly delivered to you!

The salad underneath was just a mix of strawberries cut to be heart shaped, mixed with cherry tomatoes and clementines cut supreme-style. A little bit of mashed up strawberry and squeezed clementine juice was added, and then topped with the fruit roses and vegetable leaves. All in all, this took longer than I thought - this was my first time making fruit roses! Here are some preparation pics:

Above: In the process of cutting some fruit roses!
(Notice the tomato carnage behind?)

Above: My super messy desk space used for making the 'Bouquet'.

And lastly, another shot of the 'Bouquet' - Enjoy!

Above: Happy Valentines Day!

After it was all done and made, I removed the roses and ate about half the salad - not bad for an improv dish. I'll be saving the other half for the actual Valentines Day tomorrow. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

BRIGHT LIGHTS

(Side note: I was actually planning to update yesterday, but the original RGBeta demo video was somehow corrupted and wouldn't upload past 50%. So here's the post today!)

Halfway through soldering on the LED strip wires, I realized that I could have made the job simpler for myself if I had created just 4 rails (common anode, red, green blue) for each LED strip to attach to, instead of making separate individual connectors for each LED strip that would attach to the actual electronics board. Plus, it would have also been a much cleaner and simpler design! On the upside, the lights all worked, and now each strip could be controlled!

(Running off default Arduino PWM frequency - might change later)
video
Above: RGBeta lights demo!
Oh, MITERS people - listen to how awesome and random they are.

Above: TANGLE OF WIRES, OMG. ><

Plan: I'm going to hot glue all the solder joints, tape the connection wires together so they're not in that sprawling mess like in the photo above, and construct the box! Unfortunately, I have no access to a laser printer anytime soon, so there's 2 options: (1) cut and shape a box by hand from scrap wood (I'll have to make a new CAD drawing for this), or (2) use an old scanner as a base. When I had finished the soldering and was contemplating how to make the box, Steve from MITERS offered up an old scanner that was lying around. Though it's a bit too large to fit inside my backpack, the depth of the scanner looked perfect for the distance between the LEDs and the diffuser - I'll keep it as a Plan B at least!

Also, since this was the most soldering I've done in one sitting yet, I learned to use a new trick! I bundled up each colored wire together and soldered the ends all in one round - I should have thought of this earlier, haha. In fact, the veteran solder-ers all replied they knew of this trick already! I guess that's what experience is all about...

Above: Group soldering in process.

On another note, the school semester started this week! I have some things I want to build and do during this time, so hopefully my time won't be completely eaten by my schedule!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

MAGICAL GIRLS

I was commissioned last semester to design a pair of magical girls - among the requirements, one had to have lots of frills and bows, and the other lots of elegance. And just recently, I met with my commissioner to give her the final products. I hope I did them justice! I present Eugene and Clotho, magical girls whose character and design belong wholly and solely to my commissioner. PLEASE DO NOT USE WITHOUT PERMISSION! :)

Above: Magical girl Eugene! Frills and bows galore!

Above: Magical girl Clotho! Elegance with a bit of toga-flair!

I've also added them to my DAportfolio, so if you have a chance and are curious, check out my 'my daportfolio' link to the side!

ON A SIDE NOTE - CLASSES BEGIN TOMORROW! I'm not sure whether to feel excited or sad or worried, seeing as how this is my senior year.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

SOLIDWORKS + RGBETA

Quick update! Ever since I downloaded Solidworks yesterday, I've discovered that Solidworks is so much fuuun!  I turned my messy layer sketch of RGBeta's shell...

Above: Messy thought doodles!

...into something that looks much neater and makes more sense!

Above: It looks like a box! xD

Above: A semi-transparent view of RGBeta's box - the completely transparent view was
much too messy for me to get a good angle on.

It measures 13x12 in, scaled to fit in my backpack, opens up in both portrait and landscape mode, has a hidden paper storage section, and has a small pencil case to the bottom right! (Box is suited for right handers!) The upper right corner stores all the electrical components that drives the LED strips that will be located in the top box. The 3 open grooves up top are meant to hold the sliding potentiometers that control the RGB values of the LEDs. Now the only things that are missing from this model of the frame are the hinges and tiny locks (that keep everything from falling apart)! But fortunately, there's only a small amount of adjustment that will need to happen to this Solidworks model when I secure the ones I want, and the hinges won't affect the overall structure or size much. Now, how to find access to a laser printer..............

In the meantime, I'll be playing around with splines, haha.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

BELATED BDAY + SWEETS

Last Sunday, I turned one year older!

The Saturday before my actual birth date, Vivian ([VENERABILITY]), Jocelyn and some other friends took me out to Karaoke and then presented me with this sumptuous looking cookie cake at midnight:

Above: Karaoke cookie birthday cake!

I sang a few songs with them and then retreated back to MITERS with Charles ([etotheipiplusone]) where I got in some flying practice with Tinycopter, Charles' little quadrotor (Me flying [YT LINK]: Him and Shane flying [BLOG LINK]). Then, on the day of, Julia, Chris and Emily (still name-throwing!) surprised me with another cake at MITERS. And yes, Charles had to blowtorch the candles...

video
Above: Charles blowtorching my birthday candles.

Above: Before and after shots of the MITERS cake! It survived somehow.

Above: What I did with the ribbon around the bday cake -
Drive a screw and attach a nut at the junction point and create an impromptu ribbon!
ALSO, BRANDI GOT ME THAT CUTE FEDORA! :D

Above: Bday present from Jocelyn! I can draw on my mug now?! :D

All in all, my friends definitely made my birthday into something special. Thank you all! <3

Just an update on RGBeta, my adapter arrived last week! Though, I accidentally hooked up the 12V adapter to the 5V rail and killed my first Arduino. :( BUT! On the upside, I installed SOLIDWORKS today, so I'm planning on updating again pretty soon with the CAD designs!

ALSO! I never realized CANDY LEGO's existed?! Charles got me some candies, and I was super amused with the candy Lego's inside! I had so much fun with them, I ended up not wanting to eat them, haha. Maybe I should actually buy a real set again - building with Lego's brings back lots of memories. :)

Above: Random candy LEGO structure!

Above: Candy Lego heart! There weren't enough pieces to make
a fully red heart, sadly.

On a side note, the Musical Theater Guild's original MIT production, "Hack, Punt, Tool" that I was a part of this January period started its showings yesterday! So exciting - if you're in the area and have a chance, come and see!