16 March 2007

13 March 2007

Diva Does Red Nose Day (Elsewhere Stuff...)

[Edit - The deadline for this closed yesterday (Tuesday 13th) at 6pm BUT everyone, whether a blighty blogger or not, can still participate by buying the book. Keep checking Troubled Diva for details. And apologies for cottoning on to this so late...]

Sadly I can't participate in this because I'm never funny without pictures, not in fewer than 1500 words anyway, but you can. What am I on about? Well, Mike is inviting all blighty bloggers to participate in Red Nose Day. It's all explained there but boils down to an anthology of funny blog writing published using lulu.com to raise money for charidy. Get over there and sign up if there's a funny bone in your body (or a humorous moment in your archives at least).

4 March 2007

Ice-Hockey Teeth (another Finglish birthday card...)

Sometimes thinking up one of these cards is really easy. The idea is just there in my head and I simply have to squish it out and splat it onto the scanner. Other times I think about stuff they like, stuff they do, what they are, and the idea assembles itself from bits n bobs of those thinks. Then I squish it out and splat it onto the scanner.

When it came to making this card for Aurora (Aukku for short), there was nothing in my head to squish out. Her name was a bit like half of the northern lights and I knew she was very independent, makes her own pack lunches but I couldn't assemble anything from those thinks. My scanner's belly rumbled for the want of something to splat.

Then I went to Finland and played ice-hockey with Aurora. Believe it or not, ice-hockey is more popular in Finland than either football or cricket and Finnish toddlers and little girls are easily capable of brutalising the average englishman into humiliating defeat. I'm just getting into ice-hockey and so I don't know much about it yet but I know a few facts. For instance, Sweden will always beat Finland in a final, even if the Finns are miles better. You can be as violent as you want to somebody as long as it's near the wall. In NHL (the American flavour), you must combine a game of ice-hockey with a boxing match, brawl or mini-riot for it to count. And most importantly of all, if you play ice-hockey and you've got any teeth left in the front of your face, you're just not trying hard enough!

Anyway, while we were playing ice-hockey for the second time, one of Aurora's teeth fell out. Not in a brutal, stick or elbow in the mush kind of way, just in that sweet little girl losing one of her milk teeth kind of way. And there was the idea for the card you see below. Upon my return I squished it out and it arrives in your browser freshly splatted this morning.

ice hockey tough


This is the front of the card. It roughly translates 'Aukku knows that ice-hockey is a tough sport that demands sacrifices...'

ice hockey teeth


This is the punchline, such as it is, from inside the card. It (very loosely) translates '...like teeth'.

This is the photograph I used as reference. It was squished with drip-pen, then designers' watercolour gouache with a little bit of watercolour pencil for the face.

ice hockey teeth

(Not Quite) Top of the World...

This time last week I was in Finland. Mainly the same places I visited back in November except I didn't see Helsinki at all this time. As I type this I'm uploading a stack of digital photographs to flickr but there's loads of them and it's taking an age. The digital camera was borrowed and I have no real clue about digital photography generally or the borrowed camera specifically. Otherwise I would have done away with the date stamp.

self-made stick-buns..?

This is my favourite of the ones I've uploaded so far. I don't know the correct spellings because there are no Finns around to ask just now but we're preparing food at the lavu, an outdoor eating and cooking area. [edit - I've just been advised that it's laavu and it was originally an outdoor sleeping area]. The temperature is about -20 degrees celsius but we don't really mind because we're properly dressed and we're sitting around an open cooking fire making (for want of the Finnish word or a proper translation) self-made stick-buns, sweet dough wrapped around a piece of wood and cooked over the fire. The best salmon I ever tasted was cooked over that fire.

If you want to see all of the photographs uploaded so far (there are some old fashioned shiny analogue snaps to follow), I've added them to the Finland set on flickr (if somebody buys me a flickr pro account I can make another set for them...).