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In which I play with my balls - Tactical Ninja

Jul. 2nd, 2012

08:59 am - In which I play with my balls

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Some of you might remember how earlier this year I spent an excessive amount of time painting my balls green. I finished that just in time for .. something, can't remember what, and by that time I was so over the balls that I just put them away and forgot about them. But they are actually part of a larger project that also involves grist, and the other day he nudged me and mentioned that he's ready to move to Stage 2.

"Oh crap, I had better finish Stage 1 then, hadn't I?" says Tats.


You see, in our downstairs entrance hall, we have a 10 foot stud. It's a dark wee hallway and up in the ceiling space is kind of bland and, well, dark. But it has scope for some kind of hanging thing. And I happened to have 17 large polystyrene balls and a multitude of smaller ones, which would lend themselves reasonably well to looking vaguely like planets when hanging from a high ceiling. So I painted a bunch of them in varying shades of green (Dr Wheel, who actually has taste, suggested we stay in one colour group) and hung them from the ceiling thus:



If it turns out after Stage 2 that it needs something else, I'll add some of the smaller ones, but I'm a minimalist and I'll stop when it's enough rather than cramming in as much as I can just to fill the space.

So what is Stage 2?

Well, my brother likes fiddling with robotics and his latest gadgety goodness is arduino experiments. I like LEDs and have a hallway that needs extra lighting. So he's setting up a series of colour-changing LEDs of sufficient brightness to light the hallway, which will be suspended in translucent globes of similar size to the balls, in a random but sequenced pattern. As you walk through the hallway, a sensor will pick up your movement and light the lamps as you pass through. Or you can just turn them on and they'll hang there, changing colours. He's ready for a field trial of the first one, but for that he needs the translucent globe, which it's my job to make. So yesterday, I started that.

I discovered on the internet that you can make these using tissue paper and wallpaper glue. However, I figured that PVA (white wood glue) might be a bit more robust, so I'm trying that. You do it by using a toy ball, papier-mache-ing the paper on, then deflating the ball and taking it out through the hole you leave, which will be the hole the workings of the light goes into.



I quickly discovered that I won't be able to do it all in one go because the tissue paper tears when it's wet, which makes the ball fairly hard to handle. I suspect it'll need several layers, and I'll have to be quite careful. If all else fails on this one, I'll go back to the recommended method and use wallpaper glue. But hopefully this will work. Here's where it's at right now.



Tonight I'll glue the flappy bits down and add another layer. Hopefully by Friday it'll be layered enough and then I'll leave it in a sunny spot over the weekend (on which Dr Wheel and I will be away at the beach OMG THE BEACH A HOLIDAY YAY!), and deflate the ball on Tuesday when we get back.


Yes, I am rediscovering the joy of peeling PVA off my fingers, that we all enjoyed so much at primary school..

Meanwhile, it turns out that because one of my 300 papers was Research Methods which I can put towards any Humanities major, I can potentially put that towards a major in both SPOL and CRIM, which according to my student services coordinator person, means that I just have to hold my nose and do CRIM Theory next trimester and I could complete with my double major after all. At which point I will go "Yay!" And I'm told that the results for our final test in Drug Policy are available, but I have to hike up to the Uni to get them. So I'm off to do that now.

[edit] It would appear I'll get an A for this course too. One to go - can I ace my entire degree? That would be cool.

Comments:

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From:kehleyr
Date:July 1st, 2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
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I do like your balls :-)!
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From:tatjna
Date:July 1st, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
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My balls are big and shiny! ;-)
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From:kehleyr
Date:July 1st, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
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And very very green :-)
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From:adam_0oo
Date:July 1st, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Those are pretty sweet balls.
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From:guaparella
Date:July 1st, 2012 09:55 pm (UTC)
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Those are beautiful balls! green is my very favorite color and the shades you chose are very pretty.

It seems like balloons would be easier to deflate than hard balls somehow, but maybe not as roundy. I am not crafty at all, so I will just stand over here and admire your handiwork.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 1st, 2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm told balloons are not global (?) enough. I think someone should get onto making perfectly spherical ones!

(also, i'm the queen of acid green)
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From:mundens
Date:July 2nd, 2012 12:46 am (UTC)
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I am reminded, by your claim to being the queen of acid green, of the Acid Queen character from The Who's "Tommy."

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From:downwardlashes
Date:July 2nd, 2012 03:00 am (UTC)
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What about the balloons with a loop attached that kids bounce against their hands, you know those? Those are big and round.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2012 03:02 am (UTC)
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Do you know what they're called? I have some vague idea what you mean but I haven't seen any here, and I'd need to google them to see if they're available.
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From:downwardlashes
Date:July 2nd, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
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I asked Plato and he said, "Punching bag balloon?" and that sounded about right. Here's some on amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dtoys-and-games&field-keywords=punch+balloon
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
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Oh, those would be perfect! *goes to see if they are available here*
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From:downwardlashes
Date:July 2nd, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
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We usually find them at the dollar store with all the cheap kids' toys. I hope you can find some!
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From:ms_hecubus
Date:July 2nd, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
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I was thinking you needed some lighting there.

If the translucent balls don't work out I think it might look cool to drill holes and install the LEDs right into the ceiling. Kind of like stars twinkling against the dark sky.
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2012 01:47 am (UTC)
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That would look very cool - cool enough so I reckon we should do that somewhere in the house..
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From:bekitty
Date:July 2nd, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
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Or else you could get a net of fairy lights. I know they exist, but I'm not sure they're available in NZ as yet.
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From:meathiel
Date:July 2nd, 2012 07:08 am (UTC)
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Oh ... a girl with balls! ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:July 2nd, 2012 07:10 am (UTC)
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Many, many balls!
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From:runeshower
Date:July 2nd, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
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Nice balls.
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From:thatgirljj
Date:October 21st, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
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Gorgeous balls girl.
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