Friday, 20 February 2009

Shake it like a Poladroid picture

I have become obsessed. Yet again.

This time it is with my new camera. I recently bought a new digital camera after a whole lot of trauma due to credit cards and billing/shipping addresses not matching. One of the many hazards of being a Brit abroad. Anyway, I eventually bought it in an actual shop (*gasp*) this past weekend and have been snapping away left, right, and centre. This, however, is not the obsession.

I recently upgraded to being a Pro on Flickr (sadly this doesn't actually provide you with a great improvement on your photographic skills, just more storage space). On idly flicking around I found Poladroid. It's free software that you use to create Polaroid-like images. It's great, you drag your image onto the icon of the camera, it spits out a photo, then you can shake the picture using your mouse and it slowly develops. Whether or not shaking the image actually succeeds in speeding up development time is unknown, but 1) it's fun, 2) you can sing 'Hey-Ya' loudly whilst doing it and, more importantly, 3) it really annoys Liam!

"Shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it shake it..."

You can can take samples of the image at any point during the developing, and even add scratches/fingerprints to give aging effects. Anyway, here are my three favourites so far. I've cropped them but you get the idea...

Icy Window:

The rainy view out of our front window:

A random crow:

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Happy Birthday Charles #2


Here is the finished item. Hope it tastes ok - there was an issue with the baking powder...

Happy Birthday Charles

Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. I was rather surprised to hear last night that Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were exactly the same age. In my mind Lincoln was very much of an older period in history than Darwin, but it seems it's not true at all, just a construct of my own mind. Liam decided last night that this was because Darwin is seen as the beginning of a modern age so I was simply associating him with being 'younger', whilst Lincoln is all big hats and civil war. I wonder why his birthday isn't being made a deal of?

In the spirit of evolution, this is me as an australopithecene. You can devolve yourself on this Open University web site, which is quite fun, except that it was male only and I ended up with a large beard in most of the iterations. Hey ho! No change there then...

That aside, in celebration, Liam and I decided to do some baking. We used Delia's recipe for all-in-one-sponge cake and got busy with the icing. It took two goes at making the icing as we were relying on internet recipes. The first batch was a disturbing lumpy mess that kept separating. The second was more successful and we managed to use a ziploc bag as a pipe. It's quite fun, if a bit messy when the bag explodes at the top and you get icing all over your nice lambswool cardigan.

So here are some photos (apologies for the quality - they're from a phone):

This is our amazing giant 60s cooker. I love it!

The outline in baking parchment:

After the icing sugar has been sifted over the outline, and the piping begins!

More piping:

Liam attacks the edge:

You'll have to wait for the final photo as Liam is withholding it from me, for reasons unknown.

More soon!