Friday, 30 August 2013

Introducing Lamp Bible Pictures

Are you looking for PowerPoints for teaching the Bible to children?

I have a new site called...

You can click on the logo above to go there.

My aim with these PowerPoints is that they should be:
  • Clear and simple.
  • Easy to use.
  • Biblically accurate.
  • Historically accurate.

There are only a few PowerPoints available as yet. However, there are many more coming shortly...

If you join the mailing list ( you will receive an email whenever a new story is available. You will have the opportunity to download a free upgrade whenever I do a new improved version of a story you have already bought.

Presentations have between 5 and 10 pictures each. They cost £5 or £6 (approx $7.75 or $9.30), depending on size.

Any text used on the slides is editable, so they can be used in any translation or language.

Thanks to the people on the Grid graphic design forum for advice on the logo.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Inside a computer keyboard

This is what you will see if you happen to spill Irn Bru (or another drink) on your keyboard, and you have to take it apart to dry it out.

No technical skill or fancy tools needed, just care, a screwdriver and a paper towel. 
  1. Unscrew all screws and lift off back plate.
  2. Lift off the acetate with the lines on it.
  3. Lift off little rubber cup things (shown in tub). They are what make the keys bounce up again when you press them.
  4. Dry any dampness on back of keyboard.
  5. Dry acetate. It's three layers - dry between them if necessary.
  6. Put little rubber cups back in all the circles (cup side up).
  7. Place acetate back where it was - line up screw holes.
  8. Place on back plate and screw.
  9. Make a mental note not to put open Irn Bru bottles down beside your keyboard.
  10. Continue with the work you actually intended doing today.

hand37y h8int

d3on't sp8ill 8i5rn b5ru on 7you5r compute5r ke7yboa5rd3...

Friday, 23 August 2013

How to commission an illustrator

A very useful wee booklet aimed at self-publishers.
(Click on picture)

My only issue with it is that it doesn't make enough of the fact that freelancers have overheads. It talks about 'how much do you think they should earn', but of course what we earn is only a proportion of our fee (just as any company has expenses other than wages).


“Design looks easier than it is, and it’s more important than it looks.”
— John McWade, Before & After

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The epitome of randomness

An imperial stormtrooper in a kilt.
Saw this in Central Station.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Avoid distraction on the internet!

I have just found this add-on for Firefox called Leechblock.

It allows you to block certain websites on your browser. I have added a number to it already - sites which are addictive and a complete waste of time. I have tried just using willpower before, but...

What you can do:
  • Block certain sites all the time.
  • Block sites only at certain times (e.g. when you're supposed to be working).
  • Allow yourself a limited daily dose (e.g 10 mins only).
  • Set a temporary block if you want (e.g. not allowed in for 4 hours.)
  • Set a password (though some reviews say it's easy to get around, so not ideal for strict parental control) but you don't need to, and can just use it as a tool for self-discipline.
  • Sort your sites into different groups with different rules.
  • Block all internet access except x. This could be useful when the only reason I need to connect to the internet is to listen to the radio or podcasts.
Wht it doesn't do: block all access to the internet except that which is genuinely work-related. I suppose mind-reading hasn't come that far yet.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Time flies

To a 10 year old today, the 90s are as ancient as the 60s were to me.

(early 90s and late 60s, but still...)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Historical treasures

It's ages since I posted. In my defence, I was on holiday for two weeks.

Here's a somewhat lengthy quote from Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome (1889).

Why, all our art treasures of to-day are only the dug-up commonplaces of three or four hundred years ago.  I wonder if there is real intrinsic beauty in the old soup-plates, beer-mugs, and candle-snuffers that we prize so now, or if it is only the halo of age glowing around them that gives them their charms in our eyes.  The “old blue” that we hang about our walls as ornaments were the common every-day household utensils of a few centuries ago; and the pink shepherds and the yellow shepherdesses that we hand round now for all our friends to gush over, and pretend they understand, were the unvalued mantel-ornaments that the mother of the eighteenth century would have given the baby to suck when he cried.

Will it be the same in the future?  Will the prized treasures of to-day always be the cheap trifles of the day before?  Will rows of our willow-pattern dinner-plates be ranged above the chimneypieces of the great in the years 2000 and odd?  Will the white cups with the gold rim and the beautiful gold flower inside (species unknown), that our Sarah Janes now break in sheer light-heartedness of spirit, be carefully mended, and stood upon a bracket, and dusted only by the lady of the house?

That china dog that ornaments the bedroom of my furnished lodgings.  It is a white dog.  Its eyes blue.  Its nose is a delicate red, with spots.  Its head is painfully erect, its expression is amiability carried to verge of imbecility.  I do not admire it myself.  Considered as a work of art, I may say it irritates me.  Thoughtless friends jeer at it, and even my landlady herself has no admiration for it, and excuses its presence by the circumstance that her aunt gave it to her.

But in 200 years’ time it is more than probable that that dog will be dug up from somewhere or other, minus its legs, and with its tail broken, and will be sold for old china, and put in a glass cabinet.  And people will pass it round, and admire it.  They will be struck by the wonderful depth of the colour on the nose, and speculate as to how beautiful the bit of the tail that is lost no doubt was.

We, in this age, do not see the beauty of that dog.  We are too familiar with it.  It is like the sunset and the stars: we are not awed by their loveliness because they are common to our eyes.  So it is with that china dog.  In 2288 people will gush over it.  The making of such dogs will have become a lost art.  Our descendants will wonder how we did it, and say how clever we were.  We shall be referred to lovingly as “those grand old artists that flourished in the nineteenth century, and produced those china dogs.”

The “sampler” that the eldest daughter did at school will be spoken of as “tapestry of the Victorian era,” and be almost priceless.  The blue-and-white mugs of the present-day roadside inn will be hunted up, all cracked and chipped, and sold for their weight in gold, and rich people will use them for claret cups; and travellers from Japan will buy up all the “Presents from Ramsgate,” and “Souvenirs of Margate,” that may have escaped destruction, and take them back to Jedo as ancient English curios.