Homemade Light Box – Part I

Oh, Autumn. You big lug. Making it dark when I get up in the morning and making it difficult for me to take good photographs of my food. I’m not sure what I like less about the cooler months, the cold or the dark. Okay, I’m sure it’s the dark. Darkness sucks. I’ve been noticed how around 5:30 the light is beginning to fade already and by the time I’ve finished cooking dinner I can no longer use the natural light from my window to take good photographs. It makes me mad!

Image from LiveScience.com
Image from LiveScience.com

So I’m taking this opportunity to build myself a light box. I already had most of the stuff I needed lying around taking up space, so I found a tutorial and got crackin’! I apologize for the lousy quality of the photos due to it still being DARK at 6:30 in the morning. *pouts* I found this tutorial on Pinterest, and figured I’d give it a shot!


  • Large cardboard box
  • White paper (I got a roll of poster paper)
  • Translucent white paper (I’m using either tracing paper or vellum leftover from my architecture school days)
  • Tape (I used Scotch tape, but masking tape works, too)
  • An x-Acto Knife with a fresh blade
  • A movable light with a white light LED bulb
  • A marking pen (not shown)
  • A ruler

The only thing I had to purchase was the white poster paper and the light bulb, grand total: less than $8. Not bad!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SAFETY DISCLAIMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_20150930_070117610X-Acto blades/knives are DANGEROUS!!1!!!eleventy!!!one!!! Please use them with CAUTION! During my years in architecture school I used one of these things daily and I have had my experience with finding one of these extremely sharp blades in a part of the body where it doesn’t belong, such as embedded deeply in the pad of my big toe or in the fleshy bit of your hand between the thumb and index finger (right about where the point of the blade is in this photo). Trust me, YOU DO NOT WANT THIS EXPERIENCE. It is NOT FUN. So please, please, PLEASE be careful. Thank you. Now, onto the light box!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!END SAFETY DISCLAIMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Step 1 – Cut the flaps off the box. The part of the box that is open right now will be face down on the table or surface, and is now the bottom of the light box.

Step 2 – Draw a 45 degree angle on the back corner of the box and cut it out. At this point you may need to tape down some flaps!

Step 3 – Draw the opening onto the front part of your box (the part where you will be holding your camera, or in my case, my cell phone) and cut it out.

You can see in the final photo that the opening in the front is where you’ll insert the food and the camera, and the opening in the back will be where the light will shine in once it’s covered in the translucent paper.

Stay tuned for the second half of this project!

AML Tries Kinesiology Tape for Extensor Tendonitis

I haven’t updated you on my foot for a while. The good news: no fracture!

tumblr_inline_n6wr5jzuqb1s9nclcThe bad news: extensor tendonitis!

giphyExtensor tendonitis is basically inflammation of the tendons that run along the top of the foot.

Read more about it here: https://26miles2013.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/extensor-tendonitis/
Read more about it here: https://26miles2013.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/extensor-tendonitis/

Rest, better shoes, gap lacing, insoles, icing, iburofen and stretching are considered the basic treatment for the inflammation of the tendons, but I’d been seeing this kinesiology tape stuff in various sporting goods stores and I’d had it recommended to me. So I figured why not?

From the Physio Works website:

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy, elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive. Therapeutic kinesiology tape that can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions.

Kinesiology tape is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows kinesio tape to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of your movement.

Kinesiology tape is an that is used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders. For the first decade after its introduction practitioners in Japan were the main users of the therapeutic kinesiology tape. By 1988 the tape had been adopted by Japanese Olympic and professional athletes before spreading across the world.

You would have noticed that more an more professional athletes use kinesiology taping improve their sporting performance, prevent injury and allow them to return to sport quicker.

Sounds good, right? I purchased Performtex brand, because it was $12.99 a roll at Dick’s Sporting goods while all other brands were $19.99. We’ll see if that makes a difference or not!

IMG_20150907_163504116_HDRI Googled how to apply the tape for extensor tendonitis, and came up with this video:

Hmm, could this actually be EASY?

The application wasn’t as easy as they make it look in the video. Getting the paper off the back was a bit of a pain, as it shredded in some parts, but all in all it wasn’t difficult at all. I’m going to wear it for a few days, and hopefully get a short run in before I come back to report on the results!

PS – September’s Adventure Run is tomorrow, yay!


UPDATE 4/8/2017

I have been informed rather rudely that it was inconsiderate of me to not follow up. I apologize, it was an honest mistake. Yes, the tape helps considerably! It helped me heal up rather quickly and between that and the way I now lace my shoes, I haven’t had a re-occurence of the problem. I also used it later for my shoulder when I was having some issues and it also helped. I haven’t needed it in quite some time! Love this stuff!

The “I Can Make That Cheaper” Running Belt Tutorial!

Remember that FlipBelt I told you about last week? Well I finally got around to making my own! It wasn’t terribly difficult, but there is one little tricky bit that might be a bit complicated for someone to wrap their head around, and it’s not easy to get in photo format, so I’ll try to explain it clearly and provide you with a link to someone who explains it much better!

IMG_20150610_175436628First I gathered my materials. I had purchased a quarter yard of the watermelon colored Lycra and a pack of stretch needles (more on those later). In my sewing drawer I had a green thread that reminded me of watermelon rind, so I grabbed that and I got my cutting mat and ruler thingy. (What are those thingies called anyway? Quilter-ma-bobs? Cutting rectangles? Painful when you drop them on your foot? I vote all of the above.) I also grabbed my circle cutter, but I wound up just using scissors for cutting the fabric and pushing aside the mat, ruler thingy and circle cutter, because I AM LAZY AND IMPATIENT AND HOW HARD COULD IT BE. *pant pant*

So the first thing I did was make sure I switched out my regular needle for the stretch needle. Until I looked up tutorials for this project, I didn’t even know what a stretch needle was, so I Googled it. Turns out, a stretch needle has a rounded tip as opposed to a sharp point, which allows the needle to slide between the woven fibers instead of cutting through them, which prevents fraying! Sounds like it was worth the investment to me. Next I folded the fabric in half and held it around my waist to figure out how long it needed to be. You want to pull the fabric taut, because it’s stretchy, and when you put stuff in the pockets it will sag a little. I then cut the fabric to my waist size. I set my machine to sew a zigzag stitch as wide as I could get it to sew, then I hemmed the two long sides, stitching over the edges. You really need to use the zigzag stitch or the stitches won’t stretch with the fabric.

Next I folded it along that side in half and pinned it, leaving a large gap at the center. I stuck a pin in sideways so I wouldn’t sew through what would become the pocket. I sewed along the pinned edge, making sure to backstitch on either side of the pocket. Next comes the tricky part. You need to take one end of what is now a tube and slip it through the tube, lining it up with the other end of the tube, right side to right side. Confused yet? Me, too. Here’s a link that explains it better. 

Okay, so pin the ends, and sew around the circle, making sure to backstitch. And guess what?! YOU JUST MADE YOURSELF A RUNNING BELT, YOU BADASS! Seriously, once you pull the thing right side out, it’s done. Then you get to try it on along with your various ridiculous outfits, like me!

NOTE: Make sure you hold the fabric very snugly around where you want to wear it, because I found mine to be too loose when I ran with it the first time, and I will be taking it in an inch or two.

The four pack of stretch needles cost me $6, and the fabric? Less than $2. All in all, this project took me less than an hour. I bought it and made it in less time than it could be delivered and for less money than I would have paid.

So what do you think? Will you tackle one of these?

Let me know in the comments!

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