Archive for December, 2011

The anatomy of a Christmas card

Monday, December 19th, 2011

As an attempt to start up some new family traditions we decided to create a gingerbread house for Christmas. That project eventually merged into this year’s Christmas card project.

This is the kind of project that has the potential to go totally banana out-of-bounds. It almost did and we’re getting to that soon. For now, let’s see how it all started out on the good side.

Filling the window frames with melted sugar got us some nice tinted window panes.

Also did a Christmas tree and later some chairs (not in this picture).

I decorated the walls before gluing the whole thing together (with burnt sugar). In case you wonder about the weird placement of the window on the gable – it’s half a stair above the ground floor to let light into one of the two staircases. :)

At this moment I started spraying frosting onto the roof. Big mistake – big mistake! The eggwhite I used to glue the decorations with softened the roof and it caved in (no picture on that – too frustrated to bring out the camera).

So, I had to bake a new roof, this time decorating it before glueing it to the house. The icicles are added after the roof’s put into place though. To add finish, we added a marzipan snow man, frosting chimney smoke and some LED lights inside the house.

This is the picture used as a base for the card. From here, all we needed was the residents – and a nice environement. As you see, Henry was at his best photo-shoot mood.

The hat Lotta was putting on snowman’s head unfortunately held up its shape badly, but you can’t have everything.

I tried hard not to look like a total idiot. Don’t know how well I fared.

For some reason I didn’t wear shoes on my picture and I had already started working on it so I didn’t want to reshoot. I added the shoes separately.

Okay, time to bring all of this into Pixelmator. I googled up a stock snowy landscape image, gauss-blurred it and dropped it in. I think it does a pretty decent job putting us all in a nice winter wonderland.

Mission accomplished!


What a creative mind can do with Tipp-Ex

Friday, December 9th, 2011

One day I found a copy of the old classic game “Guild of Thieves” on sale on Amazon through one of their merchants. The game was described as complete and the price was reasonable so I bought it.

The game arrived a week later and when I opened the box, it was in good condition and everything was there – except one item. A special dice, one with one side blank.

I obviously wanted the complete original package (as advertised) so I sent an email to the seller:

Hi, I ordered a copy of “Guild of Thieves” for the Amiga. The description said it was “used, very good” which it is. However, the game should have included a small dice which was not present and I believe the description did not mention any missing items. If you could refund me some amount for this inconvenience I’d be happy.

I got an answer the following day:

Sorry we didn’t know this came with a dice. We will send you a dice out immediately. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I felt I had to clarify a bit. The game is a collector’s item and to be complete all original items had to be there, any old dice wouldn’t do. I typed up an answered:

Oh, if you have that dice it’s fantastic. It’s supposed to be a special dice where the face with three dots is blank (see pic below).

I didn’t receive any answer but a week later a small envelope arrived.

In the envelope was a small zip-lock plastic bag…

… and in the plastic bag – was this: