Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Coursera -- Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society

I had planned to do the Stanford Compilers course via Coursera, but when I went to sign up I found this one:

How could I resist? I'm going to do the compilers one in my own time. Some day. Honest.

I'm very excited by the emergence of free online educational material. I really hope that it will help my kids have a better attitude to learning than I did. I'm looking forward to the point where they're ready for the Khan Academy.

For my course project I've decided to design a plush Appa, which is something I've been meaning to do for a long time. I want to create something pretty flat, so it will have lumps representing horns, rather than sticky-out horns. Here's the sketch I did for one of the first week's assignments:

We also had to do a "prototype". I'm *absolutely terrible* at prototyping the things I make, so I did not want to do this. I had also almost run out of extra time (the deadline had been extended. Thank you technical issues!), so I threw this together:

I'll try to keep you posted as Appa emerges from my brain, hopefully in a more orderly fashion than my usual work :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

More egg box fun

There's something irresistible about those eyes. This morning I spotted the nose in the locking mechanism. It didn't take long then to find a mouth.

I quite like that she ended up with a number on her cheekbone.

I think I'll have to paint this one, but if I get the paints out now, the kids will want to paint too, which I'm not sure I have the energy for.

Edited to add: I couldn't resist in the end. I set the kids to painting the remaining bits of the egg box, and got to work with my lovely slightly-rusty brown acrylic (bought for the Angry Birds project).

I used a wash to highlight the numbers, but it was a little too thick, so I ended up wiping a lot of it off. I have some pretty good ideas for the rest of the robot. The question is, what will I do with it when it's finished?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bags update

Once I'd done a trick-or-treat bag for E, it was inevitable that I'd do some for K and P. I'm delighted with how the leaves on the carrot bag turned out. K saw a photo of hers and said "Why doesn't it have any leaves?", so now it has leaves. :)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Et voila: Angry birds

I'm very happy with how this worked out. E was too. He said "you must have bought some of that, or did you really make it?". You don't get much higher praise from a modern six-year-old. 

And some progress shots:

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Carrot bag

I decided that the bunny costume is a bit underdeveloped. It occurred to me that a trick-or-treat* bag would help, and then of course it had to be a carrot. It's not quite finished, it needs a carrot-leaf draw string.

* K prefers "tricker treat"

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Quick hit: kids goggles

I was about to throw out this egg box

 when I realised it would make great goggles. Possibly steampunky. I thought they looked like C-3PO's eyes until I looked up pictures. Is there some other robot I'm thinking of?

Anyway, a couple of snips later ...

I would have painted them, but once I tried them on the kids it wasn't worth trying to get them back.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The mask

I am *very* proud of this.

I'll have to see it on E to figure out attachments and fit and so on.

E.T.A: I nearly forgot the eyebrows!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Not-very-secret project update

No prizes for guessing what this is going to be. The papier mache was lots of fun to work with, and I'm very happy with the result. I can't stop fiddling with it though, so it's a good thing I need to leave the house. I can't wait to paint it!
I do have some photos of the main costume, but I'm waiting to reveal all when it's finished. Would you prefer progress shots?

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

éin feargach

(The title is supposed to be "Angry birds" in Irish -- let me know if I messed it up :) )

I was going to keep my latest project secret till it's finished, but I got too excited about this to keep is under my hat. My brother asked me to do an angry birds costume for his son for Halloween. I decided that if I had time once the costume itself was finished, I'd make a trick-or-treat bag to go with it.

Well, my enthusiasm got the better of me, and here's the bag. (I haven't even really properly started on the costume itself. I promise I'll get it done Brian!)

I'm trying to get better at taking progress shots. I'm still not quite at the step-by-step tutorial level of photo-taking, but I'm getting there.