Sunday, 17 August 2014

Dear spammers

  • I do not want Ray Ban sunglasses.
  • I am not looking for a girlfriend (and I am not a man).
  • I am not extremely overweight.
  • I do not want a carpet with my logo - I work from home.
  • I do not want to gamble at Ruby Palace casino, no matter how many fictitious friends ask me to.
Thank you.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Jairus's daughter's outfit

I recently published a PowerPoint presentation about Jairus's daughter.

It was a wee bit tricky designing her outfit. You want the colours and design of the scene to in some way reflect the mood of the illustration, or, at least, not clash wildly with it. This will, of course, include the clothes worn by the characters

Fine - except if the same outfit has to be used in two consecutive pictures, one showing her dead (which would be best complemented with dull-ish colours, and a cool palette) and one showing her alive (as vibrant as possible)!

Here was my solution:

The purple top works fine with the sad picture. However,  when you combine it with the orange skirt, it's certainly bright - not to say garish! (But I think a 12-year-old can get away with it.)

I also gave her straightish hair because it could either lie limply or swirl about a bit.

I got her outfit from the wall-paintings in the synagogue at Duro Europos in Syria. (They're a slightly later period, but some clothes are certainly the same as 1st century, and it's better than nothing.)

Saturday, 2 August 2014

An advantage of a 'post-christian' society

From an SU leaflet about holiday clubs:
Clearly there’s less knowledge, because fewer children are in Sunday school. So they start a bit further back – you can’t assume as much. But there’s no less curiosity – and if anything I think there’s more thoughtfulness in their response. They are more honest about what they do and don’t believe.

Steve Hutchinson

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Goliath (life size!)

Last week my church did a Holiday Club about the life of David, and they wanted a life-size Goliath for the children to see - and get their pictures taken with.

Here's how we did it (sorry the pictures are a bit pale):

Plan First I drew Goliath on A4 paper and added a grid of squares on the computer - each square to be 6 inches when scaled up. I also added some faint lines half-way across the squares to help when copying.

(You can get the template free if you buy the David & Goliath PowerPoint from Lamp Bible Pictures -

Grid I drew a grid of 6-inch squares on the wall in pink chalk. 

I needed a tall step-ladder and even then I was worried I'd not be able to reach - 10 1/2 foot (top of spear) is higher than you think! And I'm not tall. But I managed to reach - just.

We situated him at the bottom of the stairs as it's the only suitable place with a high enough ceiling.

Pencil I copied each square from the paper to the wall. This picture was as high as I could reach without the ladder.

The pencils finished. It was hard to get the lines smooth when drawing this big.

Inking I used black acrylic paint and a flat brush about 8mm wide. I think I used another pointy brush for the finer lines (details on armour etc). Interestingly, it was easier to get smooth lines with the paint than the pencil - for which I was glad. 

And then I had to wash the chalk off the wall - I used a furry dusting thing with a long handle I found in the cleaning cupboard.

From chalk lines to this point took 2 hours, and my work was done.

Colour Finally, the talented Jenny Hamill did the colours (acrylic also) - and here's the finished result.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Language quote

"Languages animate objects by giving them names, making them noticeable when we might not otherwise be aware of them. Tuvan has a word iy (pronounced like the letter e), which indicates the short side of a hill.

I had never noticed that hills had a short side. But once I learned the word, I began to study the contours of hills, trying to identify the iy. It turns out that hills are asymmetrical, never perfectly conical, and indeed one of their sides tends to be steeper and shorter than the others.

If you are riding a horse, carrying firewood, or herding goats on foot, this is a highly salient concept. You never want to mount a hill from the iy side, as it takes more energy to ascend, and an iy descent is more treacherous as well. Once you know about the iy, you see it in every hill and identify it automatically, directing your horse, sheep, or footsteps accordingly.

This is a perfect example of how language adapts to local environment, by packaging knowledge into ecologically relevant bits. Once you know that there is an iy, you don’t really have to be told to notice it or avoid it. You just do. The language has taught you useful information in a covert fashion, without explicit instruction."
- K. David Harrison, The Last Speakers

Guddle, guddle

Toil and trouble.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Free Audiobooks

This site gives you two free audiobooks a week over the summer!

This Week’s Audiobooks:
Available to download free June 12 – June 18


By Elizabeth Wein

Read by Morven Christie & Lucy Gaskell
Published by Bolinda Audio
Two young women from totally different backgrounds are thrown together during World War II: one a working-class girl from Manchester, the other a Scottish aristocrat, one a pilot, the other a wireless operator. Yet whenever their paths cross, they complement each other perfectly and before long become devoted friends. But then a vital mission goes wrong….


By Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, & Elizabeth Sherrill
Read by Bernadette Dunne
Published by christianaudio
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the 20h century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps.

Thank you to Bolinda Audio and christianaudio for generously providing this week’s titles.

Available for a Limited Time: 
Remember — grab these titles before they are gone! Once you have downloaded the MP3 files, they are yours to keep.