Friday, 29 January 2016

Zeta Maths

I've been having fun :-)

They are little characters for a kids' maths book.

"The characters have two main purposes, firstly to bring a bit of interest to some otherwise pretty boring books and secondly [...] a good educational opportunity to teach at least some of the Greek alphabet, which they will use later, at an early age."

All the personalities are based on some of the maths or science uses of the letters.

Alpha and Beta are twins. They like reading mystery stories, and writing secret codes to each other.

Gamma loves comics and old sci-fi movies. She got a science set for her birthday, and wants to invent a real ray gun.

Delta likes practicing conjuring tricks.  His favourite films are Shrek and Harry Potter.

Zeta’s favourite subject is maths. He likes watching videos about strange weather, especially tornadoes. And he loves sleeping. Zzzzzzz

Theta likes watching snooker with his grandad. His favourite foods are Doritos and cheese triangles.

Lambda loves swimming and surfing. Summer is her favourite time of year. Wherever she goes, she’s always listening to music.

Pi likes pies. And pizza. And cakes... When he’s not eating, he’ll usually be playing football.

Mrs Sigma is the school secretary. She adds up the number of children at school every day, and checks that the right amount of dinner money has been collected. She likes doing Sodoku.

Phi is always very elegant. She likes flowers and shells. She wants to be an artist when she grows up.

Mr Omega is the children’s teacher. He seems strict, but is nice when you get to know him. In his spare time, he likes making electronic gadgets.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Not procrastinating

"I am not procrastinating
I am simply wisely waiting
In case some magic pixies come
and do it in the night."

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Memory verse display

The first verse I taught the children this session was, "Your word is truth John 17 v 17", as that is the reason for everything we do in Sunday School.

As an easy, fun activity to start the new session, we made big letters to go on the wall. I cut them out of grey card*, and then the children decorated them with coloured chalk. I sprayed them with hairspay to fix them.

The washing line was an afterthought, but I really like it. Each time we learn a new verse, we add it to the line.

*The font is Andika New Basic, with a thick outline added to make it chunky. This is my current favourite Sunday School font - clear and legible, with bold and italic.

Memory verse game

Print out the verse on two (or more) different colours of paper. Pictures are optional - I used babies* because the story was about hiding baby Moses.

Distribute them round the room. We used blu-tack and attached them to the walls, windows, light fittings, bookcase etc... Others were placed on chairs, under the table etc. Some can be obvious, but make some a bit tricky to find.

Divide the children into teams. The teams have to find all the words in their colour, and get them in the right order.

Boy (when his team was last collecting the words): It's not a race.
Same boy (when his team sorted them into order first): We won!

*Template from Remember Remember from the Good Book Company.

Easy Joseph's cup craft

Another Sunday School craft - this one from last term.
Very very easy.

You will need:
  • 'Silver' goblets (I got them in Home Bargains)
  • Christian stickers (I used Baker Ross's foam stickers which are great - except you have to remove all the little bits from the holes or they're illegible)

What to do:
  • Stick the stickers on the glasses! 

Some children were restrained, some tried to cover every available centimetre.

You can also talk about the words while sticking, e.g.  "What does 'Faith' mean?" We did also have some strange conversations as we looked for the stickers we needed: 'Do you have Faith?', 'I need Jesus' :-)

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Before Google

Before Google, if you wanted to draw a snooker cue you would either have to:
  • Draw it from memory and get it wrong.
  • Find a real snooker cue (where?).
  • Go to the library and hope they had a book about snooker (kids' sections were often the best - lots of pictures).
Which is all very well, but for a minor part of an illustration, would the second two really have been worth it?

The good thing about having another job

I wouldn't like to do the kind of illustration where they say, 'We need it for this afternoon." Sure, I could do something.

But it's much better to work on something off and on. Your brain can be thinking even when you're doing other things. Like walking along the road (hope I didn't startle the girl behind me too much when I suddenly waved my bag in the air and exclaimed, "Ray guns!") Or dusting, or mopping a floor. These things don't take up all your brain, and you can get a lot of useful work done then, instead of staring blankly at a computer screen.

Mid-mopping break to get my thoughts on paper.
Really like the sketch, unfortunately doesn't work so well when I do the actual illustration :-(

Monday, 18 January 2016

Fascinating fact of the day

Did you know that the word 'angle' comes from the same root as the word 'ankle'?
Well, now you do!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


The object of a written licence is to define the usage right which the client has bought, and to give the client any protection it needs in respect of other uses of the illustration.
Association of Illustrators.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 
There are a number of things that I want to achieve this year. But I feel this is actually the main thing I need to work on.
And if I get that one right, everything else will fall into its proper place.