Category Archives: science

Chemistry Oven Mitts

They’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaack! And only 5 years after I originally hinted they may be available in my Etsy shop 😀

Robot Lab oven Mitts from Crafty Little Secret

Oh my dear friends, I have been gone for so long and I have so much to tell you! But much of it will have to wait because [Spoiler Alert] one of the reasons I’ve been gone so long is that I was busy birthing and raising a child. And boy oh boy, turns out that takes a chunk out of your free time.

I’ve also been busy working on a passion project and I’m just about to burst with excitement because I’m very near official Launch with a capital “L”. So stay tuned for more on that soon!

And, oh yeah. In the past 16 months I’ve also moved. Twice! One of those times was across state lines and the other was into my very own house. [Another Spoiler Alert]  Buying, moving into, and making a home out of a house also takes a big bite out of your free time. Who knew?

Science and Chemistry Oven Mitts by Crafty Little Secret

Babies, new businesses, big moves. It all adds up to me being terribly neglectful to this here poor blog. But I’ve got some fun projects that I managed to work on during all the Busy of the past 2 years that I’m dying to share with you and I’m scheming on a way to make some more time for myself to actually manage that.

So until then, I leave you with this PSA to let you know that you can, finally, have your very own pair of sciency oven mitts. Ta-ta for now, but hopefully not for long!

 

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BioCouture

A friend originally turned me on to Suzanne Lee and her BioCouture a while ago and I was recently reminded of her insanely cool work when I saw her Ted Talk online.

Suzanne is a fashion designer who paired up with a microbiologist to basically grow her own fabric! The fabric has the look and texture of a strange translucent leather and can be molded or cut and sewn into all different patterns.

In a simple fermentation process, similar to that used when making Kombucha, a mixture of yeast and bacteria essentially spin cellulose fibers in a sweet green tea bath. After a little more than a week, a thick mat of cellulose is harvested from the top of the culture. This is the fabric Suzanne uses as the base of her creations.

bio filmShe can create patterns and colors on the clothing using iron oxidation,

iron oxidation

vegetable dyes,

vegetable dyesor indigo dye.

indigoShe can even mold the fabric into whatever shape she wants to either add texture to a piece, or to mold the piece in its entirety.

mold1mold2

One of the major hurdles for BioCouture to overcome is that the fabric produced biodegrades and is not waterproof. Meaning if you got caught in the rain wearing one of these outfits, you’d likely ended walking home in the buff. But using microbes to create fabrics leaves the door open for remarkable innovations as bacteria themselves are master innovators. If an organism could be engineered to create a cellulose mat with all the desired characteristics, growing your own fabric could become a reality!

You can watch Suzanne’s full Ted Talk and learn more about it, below.

Holiday gift ideas for the crafty nerd in your life…

I love trying to make as many gifts as possible for the holidays. It’s easy on the budget and I think people really do appreciate a handmade gift. In my endless search for inspiration I’m always coming across things that I would love to have made for me, but that not many people on my gift list would appreciate.

So. If you’ve got a crafty nerd in your life, here are some handmade ideas that might light up their holidays!

Laura Splan is an artist who “explores perceptions of beauty and horror, comfort and discomfort”. Many of her pieces include representations of parts of the human body, microbes and illness, including these viral doilies that I love – perfect for that special virologist in your life!

Laura Splan

The doilies are pretty intense and are computerized machine embroidered. Maybe you’d like something you could make yourself for your favorite virologist? Try this bacteriophage crochet pattern available on Ravelry for $5!

bacteriophage

Since I’m a virologist myself, you’ll sense a strong microbiology theme to these handmade gift ideas….but it’s the prettiest science, anyway! Just look at these stained glass microbes for proof (available from the trilobiteglassworks etsy shop)!

glass microbe copy

It’s always nice to try to give the gift that keeps on giving, and nothing does that more than microbes! Especially this set of 12 cross-stitched microbes of the month, available in aliciawatkin‘s Etsy shop.

microbe month

This pillow would be perfect to help your favorite molecular biologist to spend this holiday season asleep in their bed while visions of mitochondria dance in their heads.

cell pillow

Better get these gifts while they’re still available though, microbiology and nerd crafting is taking off! Etsy seller CleanerScience seems to be all out of their petri dish soaps!

petri dish soap

Or maybe the lab rat in your life would love this knitted dissection! Amazing!!

mouse dissection

All this gift making can make a nerd hungry! Don’t forget to nourish your cells with these science-themed cookies. I love the electrophoresis squares, find out how to make your own with a great tutorial on Not So Humble Pie (these chocolate atoms are pretty cute too)!! In fact, just go here and check out all her amazing science-themed baked goods! You can get your own Labcutter cookie cutter set over at ThinkGeek.com

cookies

Special thanks to Birdie for helping me compile this list! NERD!!!!