Inspired by my friends’ tradition of calling each other at exactly 12 midnight on their birthdays, I developed this product out of guilt of missing out on this tiny but precious practice. To make it worse, due to the time difference, I have been calling my friends either too early or too late to wish Happy Birthday. This simple product is a gag gift to give your forgetful friend.
My friends and I have a tradition of calling each other at exactly midnight, so that we are the first ones to wish. But since moving to the States, I have been struggling to keep up with the time difference between India and the US, and keep missing out on my friends’ birthdays.
I want to create a device that I wish my friends could have gifted me before Ieft home.
Meet “Better Not Forget My Birthday!” plush toy. It’s a red velvet cupcake with white choco-chips. It comes in a fun dessert-like packaging and has a funny message on the inside, reminding your forgetful friend about things more important than grad school!
- Your best friend tells you that they are moving to another country
- You’re super happy for them
- They have been running super busy with packing and last minute work
- You haven’t had a chance to meet them at all since you heard the good news
- You wonder if they will forget you once they move abroad
- You walk by a window display and see “gifts for a friend moving away”
- You find “Better not forget my birthday! and think it’s the perfect gift.
- While saying emotional goodbye to your friend at the airport
- You hand them over the beautifully packaged “dessert” box
- The friend opens the box and you both start laughing.
- A few months later, it’s your birthday and the friend, busy working on their laptop, and the red velvet cupcake glows softly at 1.30 PM, not distracting the people working around like.
I got two types of red coloured papers from Blick to experiment with my roses for Frida’s famous headdress. One is a easier to manipulate and create a more realistic looking rose but does not provide enough penetration of light. The other one is made out of a gel sheet and does not fold that easily but might look nicer at night with the LEDs on.
My Halloween Costume is inspired by Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter known for her imaginative self-portraits, unique personal style and floral hair accessories.
For Halloween, I would like to recreate the red-on-red look from one of her iconic images shot at her home, Casa Azul (The Blue House), in Mexico City.
I could not find the whole image of her outfit from this photo shoot, but based on my research (https://in.pinterest.com/charvishrimali/frida-kahlo/), her style mostly consisted of a puffed cotton blouse and flared skirt or a layered dress, and always a shawl.
From my own wardrobe
- A cotton hand-block printed maxi dress from Anokhi
- A maroon embroidered shawl
- Red Petticoat or skirt under the the dress to add volume
- Layered chunky necklaces
- An eyebrow pencil to recreate her signature unibrow look
- Wide headband to form the base of the flowers from Micheals – https://www.amazon.com/Black-Satin-Headband-Motique-Accessories/dp/B00TYNS8DK ( Something like this)
- Pink and Red Paper from Blick Materials for Roses
- 5 Red LEDs
- Make paper roses using this guide – https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Make-Real-Looking-Paper-Roses/
- Set up the circuit on the headband
- Place LEDs inside the paper roses
- Program the lights to fade and glow up slowly
5 Red LEDs, Arduino, Wire, Battery Pack, Resistors, Soldering Iron
I am yet to figure out how to integrate the arduino fading/glowing technique and hide away the battery pack inside the costume.
My plush toy, “How does the Flower Drink Water” is designed for young curious minds who have just started learning about our environment and ecosystem. The placement of lights in this toy highlights the roots and the stem, instead of the flower itself to bring attention to the xylem and flow of water.
When we learn how to draw a flower as kids, we almost always ignore the roots, the main source of nutrition. As a recent plant mom, I learnt after many avoidable plant deaths, the importance of understanding the root system and how it drastically affects the health of the plant.
Materials and Parts used
- Three Chiffon Fabrics
- Inside Fluff
- Thread and Needle
- Battery Pack
- Red and Green LEDs
- Soldering Iron
- Electrical Heating Tubes
- Electrical Tape
For me the project can be divided into two parts, therapeutic sewing and stressful soldering. It was a pretty simple circuit to prepare but I struggled with assembling the LEDs, facing away from each other and placed at the joint of stem and roots. Finally when I had managed to secure the circuit within the plush toy and took it to the photo studio, one of the soldering came off. I successfully reassembled but then something else started malfunctioning. Hence, the final shots do not have the LEDs lit up.
If I had more time, I would have
- Soldered better
- Changed the positioning of the green LED
- Hid the battery pack in the leaf
- Coded the LEDs on the Arduino to light up one after the other, starting from the roots to the bottom of the flower
- How does the flower drink water?
The first idea for my plush night toy gives a simple demonstration of the how the xylem distributes the water and minerals through upward movement in the plant. The aim is to introduce young children to the idea of how nature works, in very small, simple ways.
The circuit would mimic the upward motion of water and finally light up the flower petals.
The veins of the plant and flower petals would be made of a thinner fabric to let more light penetrate through it, while the remaining part would be made of a thick opaque dark green felt fabric.
The button would be placed at the roots and the circuit would have 9 LEDs.
2. Sprinkles Sparkles
The Sprinkle Sparkles is a plush night toy for my cousin who is a baker. it will have 5 colourful LEDs placed around the muffin and stiff fabric with accordion structure placed around as the cupcake wrapper.
3. Post-it Note Plush Toy
This toy cushion is designed for quick power naps in an intensive work environment, like ours. The aim is to have a subtle reminder that to quickly get back to work. The cushion would have a patchwork on top, with a mix of opaque and translucent fabrics and when the lights are turned on, it would look like a post-it wall noticeboard.