Monday, October 31, 2011

Printable Wall Calendar for 2012

2011 is almost over, and since it's so hard to find a simple and non-hideous wall calendar that one can write on, I made my own. The basic layout is "inspired" by the Bold & Noble calendars.

My calendar is a pdf, two pages, meant for printing on two A4s and sticking together as shown on the right. Download your own and print it on a regular printer. It should work also in gray scale.

The calendar is made in Inkscape, my favorite free vector graphics editor. The correct date/weekday arrangement for 2012 comes from Inkscape's Extensions -> Render -> Calendar function.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Marker Spectrum

My collection of Copic markers. They are alcoholic pigment ink double-ended felt-tip pens, which come in a lot of colors. I have some of the original square ones, and some Sketch (oval). The plastic boxes are from Muji.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Crystal foot

Got a large green glass "crystal" as a birthday present. Very pretty, but impossible to put on display... so I made a stand for it, from translucent polymer clay. Shown in the middle, the last shape-checking before it went into the oven. Above right: all done.

The crystal in its proper orientation. Showing nice green phenomena in the sunlight.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Circles and Python

Project Euler is a collection of computer programming problems. I have solved some of them in python, in order to learn the language. For one of the problems, I wanted to see what my program was doing, so I made it draw this picture:

The problem concerns circle packing: three circles are placed so that they all touch each other. Now place a fourth circle in the gap, touching the other three. Now there are three smaller gaps. Continue filling the gaps with circles.

I drew the circles with the matplotlib plotting library. Matplotlib is rapidly becoming my favorite plotting tool, replacing gnuplot.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sand machines

Took a walk in the Lahn valley. It's a huge sandy riverbank, where it seems to be profitable to dig for sand.

My first panorama, i.e. a picture that's stitched together from several photos on the computer. Click for larger version.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Another Hama bead project! I was attempting something larger than one peg board, 2 by 2 square boards. Since I own only one of these boards, I had to iron the beads of one square when they filled the board, and then iron the four of them together afterwards. I drew the motive first as vector graphics, and then pixellated it to match one bead - one pixel. The letter is a Garamond lower case 'r', which I cut in the middle to make it shorter. Colors 04 Orange, 60 Teddybear brown (more like yellow), 27 Beige, 21 Light brown, 17 Grey, and 31 Turquoise.

Ironing them together was not as easy as I thought, so for larger projects, maybe I should just get some more peg boards... Color & shapes in hindsight: more orange, less beige, more structure, less random curves.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

White and yellow flower beads

I made some yellow flower beads from Fimo polymer clay. First, I created a flower cane in the Millefiori technique. These are some of the basic steps: on the left, I assembled the petals and the white spacing slabs around the center. The petals are made of a stripy mixture of yellows and bronze. Some bead slices made from just the center cane are visible in the background in the two uppermost pictures. I then filled out the remaining outer space with the same white clay, to create a round white clay cylinder with the flower inside.

The flower pattern is then made smaller by rolling out the cylinder. On the upper right, I'm rolling out the cane with the tools I had available at the time - a plastic protractor and a flat-bottomed glass oven dish. Rolling the cylinder created a sort of interesting pentagonal shape at the ends, shown in the center photo. Lower right: when it was small enough, I cut the some thick slices from the cane.

Here are those slices, made into beads. First baked in the oven, then sanded and polished. That striped pattern didn't really survive the shrinking process, and the outer layer of white could have been more opaque or just thicker (the petals show through the sides). Also show are some irregularities due to clumsy cutting and primitive tools - there are special super-thin polymer clay knives which are much more suitable.

Then a necklace from the five finished beads. Using two sizes of white wooden bead and thick fabric-coated rubber cord. Left: planning a 42 cm necklace, which fits snugly but not tightly around the neck.
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