Friday, 25 February 2011

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


We were doing the story of Abraham leaving Ur in Sunday School, and the visual aid had a picture of the Ziggurat of Ur. The children were very interested, and wondered what it was, how big it was etc, and we noted the many steps.

6 year old: If there was a slide down it, that would be good.

Saturday, 12 February 2011


I have finished my scarf, which I have been knitting for just over a year (off & on).
Now we need some snow!

Vicious circle

Sorry :-)

Monday, 7 February 2011

A low-tech art photography studio

Having drawn a blank at finding high quality, low cost scanning for the Pilgrim's Progress illustrations (£40 a picture being a bit much for a low-budget project!), I decided to photograph them instead. Watercolour paper is a pain in the neck to photograph, as a single source of light, such as the sun, will show up all the texture of it. So I adapted an idea I read on the internet:

You will need:
  • One camera (obviously)
  • A tripod (or something to sit it on), and some books/magazines if the legs aren't quite the right length (Broons books are ideal)
  • Two 500W work lights. You will need to take the metal grilles off the front, or you'll get a grid pattern projected on your pictures. 500W lights get very hot. Be careful!
  • Two 500W daylight bulbs for the lights, if possible*. As far as I know you can only get them in Australia. 
  • An old broken clothes airer that was literally on its way to the bin
  • Four clothes pegs
  • A photographer's grey card
Please imagine the camera on top of the tripod - obviously I couldn't take a photo of the camera with the camera.
  • Set the lights up at 45 degrees to the picture, and at the same height as the middle of the picture.
  • Set the camera up in the centre, again at the same height as the picture.
  • Switch the lights on, and set the white balance on the camera.
  • Take the photos. You'll have to zoom in to fill the picture - that is better than getting closer, as there's less distortion. Strangely, I found the 'automatic' setting better than manual. 
Is the quality as good as professional photography or top-quality scanning? No
Is the quality good enough? Yes - if you do some tweaking on the computer afterwards. 

*If you can't get daylight bulbs, you'll have to block out all daylight to the room, and just use the lights, because it is a very different colour of light.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

More tidying

I have found an empty drawer in my room. I don't mean I have emptied it - it was empty (apart from two old advent calendars), and I didn't even realise it, because there were boxes in front of it.

I have now filled the second paper recycling bag to the brim. Mostly old magazines, which I was keeping for the Sunday School kids to cut pictures out of. But you don't really need several boxes of magazines to cut pictures out of once every few years.

And I found a list of New Years' resolutions from, I think, the year I was 7:

Friday, 4 February 2011

The world's smallest stop-motion animation character

Not sure how to make it fit the space, but if you click on the video title it will take you to Youtube

And the making of: