This week I am into...

Sometimes I do things which are not science or programming. I like to pretend otherwise, but it really happens. These things include:

No-heat headband curls.

Usually curling your hair requires using a hot thing, or putting curlers in when nobody can see you. This headband curls method doesn't fry your hair and looks so cute while it's drying that I use a pretty lace hairband and quite happily wear it into the office - it's very 1920s. You put a headband over your hair, take small sections and wrap them around the band, then let your hair dry and take it off.

My hair after doing headband curls


I bought John a new blender for his birthday last year after his bit the dust after about 20 years of constant use. It came with a smoothie maker, and my freezer had loads of fruit ready to be used! My favourite frozen things so far have been: bananas, grapes, strawberries, melon, and pears (raspberries make things a bit grainy for my liking). I've been using pressed apple juice thus far (pasteurised cartons of which are surprisingly cheap in Tesco) but I think orange might be fun, too.

Little Birds by Ysolda

Little Birds

Ysolda Teague is one of my favourite knitting pattern designers ever. I've always liked this pattern, because a) I quite like birds, and b) this style of cardigan really suits my figure. So I've started knitting it! I have about two inches finished thus far. It's nice and repetitive without being boring. I've never knitted anything this big before, but I'm tentatively hoping to have it finished by the time I finish my PhD.


I know, you guys, I've gone full Pinterest. Seriously, though, kale is yummy, and cheap, and if you get distracted while you're making breakfast and fry it for slightly too long, it goes really crunchy. In the last week I've added it to risotto, egg fried rice, stir fry, and garlic mushrooms, and they were all delicious, and an incredibly pleasing shade of green.

Rubber ducks

Cleaning the bathroom was boring, so I let my rubber ducks have a bubble bath in the sink while I scrubbed the tub.

Rubber ducks having a bubble bath
And finally, some musics


Geeky cross-stitch patterns

I've been having lots of cross-stitching fun lately. I'm a big fan of pixel art and especially that found in SNES games. Super Mario Bros 2 was one of my favourite games as a little girl, because you were allowed to play as Princess Peach (who is objectively the best character because she can FLOAT). I'm in the process of making a pincushion-based cross-stitch homage to her - the pattern is at the bottom of the page.

I also participated in the epic Reddit Secret Santa Gift Exchange this year. My giftee is a young gentleman who works in IT, with a love for Legend of Zelda. I made him a cross-stiched Link yoyo...

...and a friendly little sign for his desk.

I've made some downloadable patterns: Link, Princess Peach, and Go Away Sign.


Bookbinding, woo!

I, like many other people, have a passionate and deeply loving relationship with notebooks. All that notebooks and I ask is that you respect our love for the sacred union it represents. There have been a spate of birthdays amongst my friends recently, so I put together some hand-bound notebooks for them.

This one is bound using coptic stitch in gold thread. The cover is made from a repurposed purple pinstriped suit jacket.
I bought the corner protectors from this eBay shop.
The covers are a couple of centimetres wider and longer than the pages.
The signatures are encased in purple, blue, and grey cover papers.
I used this super happy kawaii wrapping paper (from Primark) to line the insides of the covers.
I made it for my awesome friend Sacha, who is a composer. The pages are a mixture of manuscript paper, squared paper, plain, and coloured paper.
I made a PDF of the manuscript paper in LibreOffice Draw. You can download it from here.
The next three notebooks were for my chums Emma, Benji, and Laura. The red fabric used to be a dress, and the blue was a pillowcase.
Manuscript paper for Laura, because she's a classical guitarist, folk musician and composer.
Lined paper for Emma because she's a writer (PDF).
And storyboards for Benji because he's a filmmaker (PDF).
SUPER COOL COVER PAPERS (also from Primark).
I used a mixture of coptic stitch and french tape binding on these books. I learnt the exposed tape technique from this amazing tutorial.
The covers on these books are the same size as the inner papers. I think I prefer making them this way since it's a more economical use of my A4 pieces of cardboard (cannibalised from notebooks and A4 refill pads).

I really like the look of the exposed tape bindings, but I think I prefer to attach covers using coptic stitch as it's a lot less fiddly.