Thursday, December 30, 2010

ABCDEFG... should know how it goes on. (If not, check your ABC-book.)

The December came and went and boy I'm glad it's over. This autumn has been one of the roughest for a long time, I hope I'm able to gather myself up. But I'm optimistic for a change, and kinda proud that I'm still alive and kicking. (I just got a text from my best friend, she just wanted to say I'm important to her. Two of the people she knows has committed suicide in the near past and one is still in hospital after a try.) The toughest part in life is that everyone needs to make their own luck. Even when it seems impossible. :/ I'm just happy that I feel like I've learned something from my personal pain, even when it felt overwhelming.

But anyway. Back to the alphabets. Designwise, the Dec went with the Eisbrecher Christmas calendar. Was fun, but the Jahresabschlusstour came and went and I wasn't there. :( Maybe next year? I did get the urge to finish the font I've been doing, it's based on the logo of... Eisbrecher. (Well, _sorry_, what can I do?! It gives me inspiration. :D)

Eisbrecher font sample

Some time ago, I started to wonder if the band logo is based in any existing font. I couldn't find any, so I decided to give a try to make my own... (I should never get these "ideas", I think I started this one in September!) So, first I cut the original logo into pieces and assembled the letters and numbers out of the pieces as I thought they might be in Illustrator. Then I drew them all over to create unbroken lines and transformed them to SVG files. I downloaded the FontForge programme, set each letter into their boxes (twice, since it's the same, capitals and lowercases) and then came the fun part: I had to separately set every character (and about every corner point) into their grid and look for mistakes - without really knowing if the thing would work outside my own computer. (I had never used FontForge before, I'm pretty sure I did quite a lot of extra work.) In the end I set the distances between the letters. For example T looks rather airy and alone if it's not a bit closer to its neighbours than e.g. M.

But I managed to get the .ttf work in my old Windows, so I guess I'm almost done. :) There are few special characters missing, but I feel that I managed to relay the feeling of Eisbrecher in the font. (I must admit, I first got the idea when I saw their ad video about the gigs in the summer. It used Bank Gothic. :P) Here's another sample:

Eisbrecher font sample

Yay, it looks cool! :D I'm amazed what I end up doing in the name of a hobby... (Then again, I think I'll squeeze a few study credits out of this, since we never really had a practical teaching about fonts at school.)

Edit: Eisbrecher font is now downloadable in my homepage's fanart section.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Eisbrecher Christmas Calendar

Those who know me, also know that I possess somewhat dry sense of humour. I also tend to have completely wacko ideas just by looking around and thinking about all sorts of things that could happen. That often results in quite amusing things (at least I tend to giggle by myself in many situations where other people don't have any idea why I'm doing that). Considering that it's December and I love Christmas calendars, I ended up starting an Eisbrecher version of my own.

Eisbrecher Christmas calendar ad

Here's the picture for today. Since I'm posting them each day straight to one of the threads in the Eisbrecher forums I won't put them here. They can be viewed in their original environment - among the amused (and hopefully not too serious) fans. ;)

Eisbrecher Christmas calendar 2.12.2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Handicraft fair

This weekend is one of the best weekends in the year, because Tampere hosts Finnish Handicraft Fair in Pirkkahalli. I was there last year for the first time and I was washed away by the multitude of handicrafts, creativity and pure fun the place has to offer. Of course there are always plenty of people, but it doesn't bother me at all, since everyone seems to be having great time! I always get loads of ideas and feel a bit envious about the abilities some people have... And I also always end up buying something. This year, my mom joined me and she was quite amazed, too, by the fair. We both agreed that it is the best fair in the country, because it's so diverse - and still everything has to do with handicrafts. E.g. the International Book Fair usually starts to repeat itself when you walk around, that's not the problem with this one.

Anyway, I highly recommend. This year I ended up buying a temple (the thing which keeps the cloth stretched in the loom) and some fabric you can print on. Most of the time I urged my mom to buy stuff, mostly Christmas presents. :) Here are few picks of my favourites:

Latimeria's wrist bands. I'm a really bad person to buy a gift for, since I don't feel like needing anything and I'm really picky about what I buy or use. That's why quite often the gifts I recieve will end up in some corner unused. I'm also extremely picky about the jewellery I use (I hate gold, brushed steel is my favourite), so it's very rare that I ever find anything I fancy. These are really pretty though, but I'm a bit dubious that they would suit me, since they are so broad and my wrist is quite thin. :(

Sammallammas foxes! (Okei, Senni, säästit mielenrauhasi olemalla kotona. :D) They had apparently a new design, too, since it's not in the homepage yet, but they had on sale BLUE FOXES! Cutest things ever! (Well, I guess this doesn't open to everyone, mainly only those who read the book called "Ainakin miljoona sinistä kissaa" when they were kids - and those who adore foxes. Like S.)

Anna Pusu Design's glass droplets. I saw them in the fair last year, too, but I forgot the name and tried to look for them frantically but couldn't find. This year I didn't make the mistake. :) These glass pendants are just awesome, but you really need to see them live, since they only sell them with the pics you can load there in their webpage... But in the fairs they have a huge collection of really cool pics, like Marilyn Monroe, James Bond, Suursyömäri (from Käytöskukka!), Uuno Turhapuro, Kekkonen, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Leia (well, not this year anymore), Donald Duck... Well, basically anything you can imagine. Pretty as hell! ;D

So, all in all very pleasant experience. Now I can go back to feel sick. I (like apparently many other classmates, too) caught a cold from Austria. Makes your head hurt. :(

Friday, November 19, 2010

Jigsaw puzzles!

Ok, I should never go shopping when I feel the spree coming. :P I wanted to buy a couple of the advent calendar Christmas cards and ended up coming home with piles of stuff. Well, what can I do if there are huge piles of jigsaw puzzles in the shop! Especially if one design has some astronomical pics in it... So, those of you astronomically inclined, how many of the objects can you recognise in this pic? And I mean honestly, it's not enough to say "I know that some of the moons of Saturn are Dione and Rhea", you need to really recognise them from the features. And you are not allowed to use books or other aids. (It helps to see the real package, sorry;).

Astronomy jigsaw puzzle by Educa

I think I got as far as 29. Fun, though.

I'm still in search of some of my old jigsaw puzzles, they have disappeared at some stage while I was moving my stuff around when living in NZ. :( They were really dear to me so I'm devastated that I haven't been able to find them... One of them was the old star chart with 2000 pieces, one was a pic of a sunset over the ocean, also 2000 pieces (I was rather proud when I got it done!). The one which I never had time to finish was the 3000 piece one with a pic of some mountain range. And there were a few more, too. I still have some slight hope that they might turn up one day...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Last weekend, our class spend few days in Graz, Austria. This trip was part of our Networked Media Culture course. The reason why we travelled such a distance was that Graz hosted Europrix festival. This festival is an annual event and it is open for the young media talents of Europe. There are several different categories to enter and the competition is hard.

Since we have talked a lot about the festival in one of the other blogs, (my Blogger account starts to be a bit confusing, I wish we wouldn't open another blog for every course...), I won't go too much into detail here. Just to mention that I enjoyed the trip quite a lot! It was nice to get to speak German again (and not to slip talking English), to see the beautiful city in beautiful weather and to relax a bit. I got tons of new ideas and I finally found out what I am actually studying (it's been a bit of a question mark for me until now). :)

I really wish I could do that trip next year, too! Here's a photo taken by one of my classmates, Miska, from an evening event hosted by the local broadcasting company ORF.

IMPs at Europrix

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Picture from

I'm completely hooked on the Flash games by Mateusz Skutnik. I like point-and-click puzzle adventure games much more than anything else (I hardly ever play anything else), and these I consider to be the elite of them all. Especially the Submachine series. The atmosphere in them is enchanting, the music captivating.

I like the way Skutnik is capable of keeping the overall feeling throughout the series, also Daymare Town is a good example. There is a Game Design course going on at school (which I unfortunately had to skip since I just don't have enough time), and they were talking about how what you can do in the game is not as important as what can you feel in it. Spot on. I would love to create something similar one day... Maybe when I would have time to learn Flash better? (Bloody ActionScript 3, I hate coding. :P)

Submachines and other stuff you can play here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Oven mittens

I've been pretty busy with my Tähtipäivät project, writing project plans and stuff for school. (I guess I'll write more about that later here.) So, not much time for anything else, all that jazz has made me tired.

My friends had their birthday yesterday, we went to have fun in some cultural activities (theater, that is). "Hamburger Börs" in Turku city theater was quite a lot of fun. Should be doing more of those... As I've known my friends for such a long time, it feels stupid to buy anything for them as birthday presents. I hate everything that's been given only because it is expected. That's why I try to make as much by myself as possible, or give experiences. This time I crafted two oven mittens for my friends, since I found suitable coloured yarn in my closet. (It's great to make a small inventory there occasionally, I always get ideas.) Turned out quite ok. :)

Rammstein oven mittens

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vacation complete

Last week, we had the autumn leave. Our teacher tutor always tells us that "it's autumn leave only for teachers, for the students it's independent studies". Yes, that _was_ my intention. I had a list of things to do for school during the week, and I failed successfully in implementing them. Actually, that was good thing, since I noticed that I really needed a break. And now the school is getting busier than ever.

But back to the vacation. I managed to travel to Sweden, where I visited some German friends. They were working, but I just followed around, and since their work was mostly waiting for things to happen (in a charming villa for apparently rich people), it wasn't bad at all. :) I enjoy practicing my German, since it tends to vanish from my mind relatively fast if not perpetually active.

After the recreational transportation activities, I headed to our summer house in the Eastern Finland. At this time of the year I always find it the loveliest. The summer is gone, the leaves on the ground and everything seems so dead. But it's beautiful nevertheless. I didn't have time to visit it during the summer, so I was quite happy to go there now. Even if the weather wasn't the best, it was great to sit by the fire and read.

There is an intriguing place nearby of our holiday house: a sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen. He was a self-learned artist who filled his garden with concrete statues and let people wander through them. He died last year, but the place will (hopefully) continue even if changes are inevitable. We often take our guests to see the place, because it's so extra-ordinary. (Some pictures of the park are here. Every time I go there I find some new detail amongst the statues. This time it was in the form of two concrete owls, who looked somewhat familiar... Or what do you think?

Two owls

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Stellar horizons

It's absolutely awesome to be a visual amateur astronomer. I know many people are slightly disappointed when they look through a telescope for the first time, since the objects look so much more modest live than in the space telescope pictures. I've never had that problem. One of the things that have kept me so irrevocably fixed with astronomy is my inbound talent to see and feel the interstellar visions in 3D. Sometimes I feel sad that I don't have the knowledge to change these visions into art for other people to see them, too. (Thank god, we have blogs like Astro Anarchy.)

But I can do something else: I can paint some of the things I love, as I've shown in the previous posts. Today, I finished my latest painting depicting M20 or Trifid Nebula. When I was a kid, one of my biggest sorrows was that you can't see this nebula from Finland (well, you can but it's so close to the horizon that it's not much use). To see it was one of my biggest reasons to go to New Zealand. (Believe it or not!)

I'm happy to notice two things. Firstly, nowadays I like to make bigger paintings. And I'm not pursuing my perfectionism with such an urge anymore. When you look at the picture, it might sound rather weird to you. But I only used three sessions to paint it and I wasn't so detailed as I would have been a couple of years ago. For me to say that is something quite peculiar, but I guess I'm the only one who really understands what I mean...

But yes, the painting came out quite nice. And now I'm feeling high because of the varnish smell in my room. Yay.

M20 painting

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Sometimes I'd love to get back to the age when coding meant something like sending Morse messages through the wires. I've been sitting by Dreamweaver for ages while trying to design and code new website for Turun Ursa, the amateur astronomer association in Turku. Today I finally got the pages online, you can view them here.

When starting a project, I always end up going backwards and starting from some completely random thing that eventually leads to the goal. Coding that site is actually part of my project for school. I need to live through a project that will give me 30 study credits, and I'm involved in creating an event called Tähtipäivät in Turku next spring. That event needs a website, but to get that working, I had to redesign the horrible horrible thing that was claiming to be Turun Ursa's website before. (I'm entitled to crucify it, I coded that...thing as well - before I started studying the field.) So, actually I got through rather easy. Normally I end up doing several other things before I even get to the point. Now I only have to do 740 more hours to fulfil the demand for those study credits. Yay.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Left hand right hand...

I must admit that I'm usually rather observant. I like to see and register things and then wonder why they are as they are. I'm also pretty evenly ambidextrous and that gives me another view to some things. There are millions of details in the world that are carefully thought of, we just don't notice them very often. But that's exactly what makes it curious. This is what I was thinking about today.

Things for right-handed people

All of the things in this pic were made for right-handed people! As left-handed, you can use them with almost perfect ease, but you won't get the full user experience as it was meant by the person who designed them. A pen? Yes, I write with my left hand and I sometimes change the pen to my right hand just to see the text on the side of the pen right side up for once. The scissors are tricky and I'm happy that I'm right-handed in this skill! Left-handed scissors are not always easy to find, because the blades need to be mirrored so that people using their left hand while cutting can actually see what they are cutting. Those scissors look ok to be used for both hands, but that's not the case. The spatula is also for right-handed if you want to use it right side out. Otherwise the edge is pointing away from the pan. Books, magazines, cd and dvd covers... Whoever invented the idea of opening things from right to left might not have thought about it, but he was definitely right-handed. If I browse through magazines I need to start from the back and flip the pages from back to start because I use my left hand for this. And admit it, when you are reading a book, it's easier to turn the pages with your right hand. (This of course raises the question about e.g. Asian way with the books.)

And then comes the idea of clockwise vs. counterclockwise. I would say that for left-handed it's easier to turn things counterclockwise when right-handed people find it more natural in clockwise direction. (This must have to do with how far can you turn your hand in which direction and with what strenght.) That's why e.g. pencil sharpeners work only with clockwise turn as well as pointers in clocks (and pretty much all knobs in the world anyway). Lids and screws are originally designed so that for right-handed people they are easier to close than to open - that's their priority funcion anyway, to keep things tight and from escaping. (And since I tend to use my left hand in this I really find it easier to open things than to close them ranging from certain wine bottles to jam and stuff. But not to screws, screwdriver I use with my right hand!)

All of this I find extremely interesting! And it's everywhere. Today, I noticed a particular oddity in our kitchen. But after a bit of thinking it wasn't that odd anymore, only another proof how well things are designed - for right-handed people.

More things for right-handed people
Why are there two knobs where the numbers are running clockwise and two where they are running counterclockwise?

Great design. First, the stove plate that is used the most is located right and front on the stove top. It's knob is right-hand side in the panel. That stove is always small, mostly for boiling things in water. You need to get it hot fast, so the highest temperature you reach easily by turning the knob once clockwise with your right hand. The same applies to the other small stove plate. The bigger ones are rarely used to boil water. They are more likely for stewing in lower temperatures. So no need for extreme heat but more variety for lower levels. You reach these again easily by turning the knob clockwise with your right hand...

These things are great to spot and lots of fun to think through. I never get bored of thinking how the world works and why things are like they are. Breaking one's own habits is often quite a lot of fun. Yes, I can write with my right hand, too. :)

The Big Picture

When I was around 12, I read pretty much everything about astronomy I could find. Since then, I've been buying books I find interesting, mostly factual books and not that much fiction. (I have the idea that fiction you can borrow from library, but fact books you rarely read straight through, but want to return to them in later date.) Today I suddenly noticed that I haven't read those books for ages, sometimes I even forget they exist in my bookself. That's a pity, since after several moves from one flat to another I've kept only the ones that mean the most to me and the ones I think I want to read in some (near) future.

These books are not supposed to be read from cover to cover, at least I don't do that very often. But I love the feeling of knowledge in them and the idea that I can read only a small bit about some certain thing that interests me today. Every book carries a feeling of some certain part of science or history or both. I love that personal feeling in every book I have.

Some of my astronomy books
A small collection of my books

Here are some of the books I find most intriguing. Maps of Time - an Introduction to Big History is exactly what it states. It charts the history from the Big Bang to the present. While browsing it, I always end up thinking of those billions of years when it didn't seem to happen much in the Universe - but lots of things happened anyway. Star Names - Their Lore and Meaning is kind of a dictionary to all of the star names known. Even if it's rather old (the original text dates from 1899!), I find it fascinating that we still use partly the same names and see the same shapes in the sky as the people from more than 2000 years back in time. There is certain romance involved in that.

Rare Earth is a puzzling read. It's describing what features a habitable planet should accommodate from its position in a galaxy and a stellar system to what kind of elements and compositions it should have. After reading the book one really sees how fragile we are. And after that, The Life and Death of Planet Earth will further point out how small we are in the midst of the great powers of Cosmos. This feeling I love. (As well as reading those Feynmans and seeing how easy it is, after all, to enjoy life in general.)

Looking at my bookshelf, somehow it feels unlikely for me that the e-book will ever replace the old-fashioned user interface. But things might look different in 10 years time.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Paper doll episodes

After finishing the Alexx Wesselsky Paper Doll last May, I didn't think of doing another one right after. Still, Alexx is not the only person in Eisbrecher and you can't really even consider the band without Noel Pix, the mastermind behind the compositions, producing, lead guitar and several other importances. Actually I like his way of not making a show of himself but staying in the background. That's why I thought I should give him the respect he earns - in my own peculiar way.

To design a paper doll is not an easy thing to do. When starting, I have to decide the stance the person is standing in. It has to be natural for the person, so I have to know how they move in the stage and what their characters are like. The stance also depends on what things the doll is suppose to hold in its hands and how thick the clothes will be (i.e. how far the edges reach from the body so that they won't block hands, etc.) I drew the first sketches already during the summer and transferred them to Illustrator for better manipulation.

I drew people from Star Wars in my early teens and already then I realised that copying someone straight from a pic is relatively simple, because the model is 2D. But if you want to draw someone into a pose you don't have direct picture of it becomes more difficult. I had to browse the Net looking for pics that had somewhat similar pose for both paper dolls and then form a 3D image in my head about how do these people actually look like. I had huge difficulties with Noel's face, since there are far less pics of him than of Alexx and he seems to look slightly different in each and every one. His face is also filled with very small lines that create his character - if you leave even one of them out or draw an extra one you miss his persona. I did as well as I could...

After the body was finished it didn't take long to draw the clothes, since they don't need to be so exact by looks. The guitars were a challenge, since I don't know anything about musical instruments or their brands. I couldn't google them so I ended up drawing them straight from the pics. Unfortunately, they were often incomplete, so I had to trace the parts from several different images. But I managed after all and finished this thing, too. :)

Here's a pic of both of the paper dolls on my wall.

Noel Pix and Alexx Wesselsky Paper Dolls

And here's the link to the pdf-file for your own Noel paper doll. (Alexx was already here. Both files are about 3.6MB.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Projects, projects

I seem to be having a bit too many projects going on at the mo. I feel like doing a lot, but never get into it, because I can't decide what to do... I should be doing that Star Party project for next spring, because there is LOADS of things to do, but I always end up doing something else. Mostly related to Eisbrecher. I really don't know why, but that fanart thing has grown on me. It's amusing but slightly frightening to think what do people actually think about me, constantly putting some really wacko ideas into public display.

I started to wonder why do I get so many hits in this blog nowadays until I noticed that someone had found my Eisbrecher Stage and linked it to his blog. Pretty cool, I think it was just a load of fun, but checking some other stuff there makes me think that that guy seems to have some level with quality... So I feel like being flabbergasted and in good company. :)

After some rough battles and unstitching I finally managed to finish the handicraft I've been doing lately. It was actually made from the thread that was leftover when I finished those Rammstein pillows earlier this year. Now I feel really naked not having any handicraft on the way. But the planning takes some time and that's another project I don't fancy doing right now. Well, we'll see when the inspiration hits me again. But I really should get more into that Star Party thing...

Here's the finished handicraft.

Eisbrecher embroidery

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Those minor differences...

The first week of my second year in TAMK Media started last Monday. This first week wasn't terribly overloading, we only had a couple of hours English on Monday, User Experience Design on Tuesday and Project Management on Wednesday. That was is. This first period is working with the same schedule until October, so I need to find some other projects to keep me busy. I have some, surely, so no worries!

We have quite lot of exchange students this year, and I started to wonder about the differences in the school systems around the world. I know something about German schools, since my pen pal is freshly graduated teacher. Finland enjoys a very high status and reputation in having one of the best school systems in the world. At least in our school it's partly because the teachers and students share a very close relationship. I have most of my teachers as my Facebook friends, in the school parties I might join them for a beer, and I've even attended a dinner party once with several international guest teachers from all around Europe. There's nothing wrong with that, even if most students (read: everybody else but me) are not interested.

And we have pretty much free hands to do whatever we want, as long as we understand what's the idea. Last Wed, in Project Management, we talked about what challenges one faces when undergoing a project. We formed groups and made a small presentation about the subject. I, for one, hate typical PowerPoint presentations, because I can never remember what was discussed. According to Presentation Zen there shouldn't be more than 6 words in each slide. (Otherwise it's hard to grasp.) But you can do it otherway, too. Our group ended up taking another approach. And even if the exchange students in our group were a bit dubious at first, it turned out pretty good. Yes, we really gave out this presentation. And apparently it worked, since the teacher quoted our lines later during the lesson. :)

How to Screw up the Project (.pdf)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

International trauma

Some time ago, there was a page in Helsingin Sanomat -newspaper, that cought my eye - and I bet many others, too. There was a full page article about a sauna competition participants (the same competition which sadly claimed a life of the Russian finalist and put the other one in the hospital for quite a while). The article showed several pictures of men posing in their swimming trunks looking rather serious, they were, after all participants in a sauna world championship. It would have been a nice, humorous page, but up in the header was a small Nazi flag pointing to another article later in the newspaper.

Since we tend to look at the pictures first, no matter how big is the text, the first thing most readers (me included) obtained from that page was the Nazi flag (first, since red is the most striking colour and the flag was on the top) and a bunch of half-naked men trying to look cool. I can't believe that layout was intended, so I must think that someone had a pretty huge lapse at work. Or maybe the editor thought that it's long enough from the WWII for anyone to get annoyed. (Unfortunately, I didn't take a pic of that page and when I thought of it the paper was already in the bin outside.)

I find the whole concept still rather interesting. The amount of emotions the Nazi insignia wakes in a common person like myself is astonishing compared to the fact that I was born 35 years after their time. But in the Western culture, we are constantly being brainwashed to connect everything "Nazi" with "ultimate evil". I don't underestimate the unbelievable pain and suffering of those times and don't try to forget. But I do sometimes find it frustrating how the only two ways one can talk about Nationalsocialism is either loath it as overtly devilish or ridicule it to make it look funny and laughable. Any other point of view is considered to be sympathetic.

And still, there are many aspects that are often overlooked. First of all, of course the feelings anything related to Nazis still awakes in people. That's why editors and designers need to be very careful to think what is the message, like in the Helsingin Sanomat page I mentioned. The other thing is that the Nazis were superb designers who really knew how to put up a captivating show. Albert Speer was of course the most notorious designer, but his products are nowadays often considered rather pompous and revolting - again more out of the collective pressure. (I've been to Berlin for half a dozen times. I don't think Speer's architecture, that few that survived, is really terribly different from anything else that time and just before it.) Of course it was a bit over the top, but when you think of some big modern rock bands performing, it's obvious that people love good shows.

Cathedral of Light
Speer's "Cathedral of Light" in one of the Nuremberg Rallies / Pic from Wikipedia

The Nazis didn't really invent much anything new. They were just very good at using already existing things to their advantage. They were using the same cornu copia the designers are using today - the history and symbolism of humankind. I've seen many times different designs that somewhere in the unconscious mind connects with Nazi design. They have to be subtle, of course, but the impact is striking, because we connect so many feelings with them. Just an eagle with spread wings do bear a small connection with the Nazis - intended or not, wanted or not. The eagle is noble and powerful being, and still used as a symbol of the country in Germany.

ESC in Helsinki 2007
Georgia's Eurovision Song Contest entry in Helsinki 2007

Note: I used to be really interested in the morality issues related to Nazi Germany. I had dozens of books about the subject, even if I sold most of them before moving to New Zealand. I still find the questions regarding it worth thinking about and not just go with the flow chanting "Nazis are bad". Luckily, there are lots of people, who also think the same way. History is never worth forgetting, because people hardly change, after all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I finally managed to finish one of the acrylic paintings I've been doing for some time. Well, I haven't actually haven't done it, it's been laying around half-made for ages. But one evening I actually felt like continuing it and painted the rest of the stars in the globular cluster painting on the left in the picture. I thought it wouldn't turn out very well, but it looks ok to me now, after all. Maybe I should start doing these for sale... ;)

I even bought an acrylic finish to coat the paintings. It cleared the colours a bit. Can't wait to do more!

47 Tuc and Helix paintings

I managed to move to another flat. Here I'm even entitled to hit nails to the walls, so the place looks pretty decent already. It's a very pretty house from the early 19hundreds, so the rooms are nice and high and there's even a roof terrace. :) The school will start in the end of this month, so we'll see how the new semester will look like.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Handy crafting

I got a band shirt from one of my friends, but it was men's L size. Even women's XS is sometimes too big for me (it's unbelievably hard to find suitable clothes), so I had to be a bit creative, because I didn't really want to stuck it somewhere in the closet and forget it there, because it's actually quite valuable... And I like the radioactive sign in the sleeve.

So, I took in quite a lot from the sides and made it slimmer also in the back plus added some holes for a ribbon. Cute. :) (I should move during this month and my room looks like a pigsty, so you have to be happy with an empty corner as a background.)

The shirt I trimmed a bit

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More fanart

I start to get pretty fixed on this fanart thingie... The idea behind this particular one came to my mind while at work, and since I didn't have much anything to do, I designed the whole thing there. Yesterday and today I put it all together with the computer. So, now there is a board game about Eisbrecher. :D

Eisbrecher board game

I've been playing it by myself a couple of times and have great fun! Funny that, it actually works pretty well...

As always, the pdf file is for download over here.


I love my mother's loom, but unfortunately I'm not terribly good with it. I would love to learn to use it better, but it takes so much time and effort that I'll probably have it in my agenda for years to come. :P Still, every now and then (not very often) I do something with it. I have a dream one day to start weaving wall rugs, but we'll see when that happens. (The biggest stop with me is that all of the materials are so expensive for the stingy me.)

Anyway, I don't even remember when did I start this table cloth, but I only finished the ends a couple of weeks ago. I love the colours, they make me think of sea in moonlight...

Desk cloth I made with my mom's loom

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer heat

It's been pretty much too hot to do anything coherent lately. I'm not a big fan of high summer, I enjoy August and September much more - not only because the stars come visible again here in Finland at that time. I have lots of ideas at the moment, but no time to pursue them. I wish it'll get better soon.

My cats, Tahvo and Tiltu, prove that there is excess hot air around. They don't have any energy to play...



Thursday, July 8, 2010

Flat out!

I worked pretty flat out during most of the June. Actually, I only now came back home (since my work is in another town). I was a bit worried if my stuff was ok, since I hadn't been home for a month, but everything looks good. I need to find another place to live, though, since the girl I rented this room from comes back to continue her studies. I hope I'll find a suitable place soon, I tend to stress about such things in the run of time.

During the work days, I haven't have time/energy/inspiration to do anything creative. Most of our full-timers were having their holidays at the same time, so e.g. during the midsummer and Medieval Festival I did 9h days many times in a row. No wonder I was pretty dead in the end. I hope it'll be better now, at least the roster looks a bit more humane now. :) But I do miss ideas and creativity. I wish I could have about three weeks off (without worrying about money) and just do what I would like. But then again, I know I would start to expect some big things from myself, so I guess it's better to go on as it is.

Today, I did manage to put together all the pics I've made so far with the Alexx paper doll. The pdf-file is here.


Ich habe schon viele Bilder von diese Alexx (von Eisbrecher) Papier Puppe ich habe vor einige Zeit gemacht. Jetzt habe ich sie alle (die ich bis Heute gemacht habe) ins pdf-File gestellt. Die Deutsche Ausgabe gibt's hier zum Laden.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Now that the school is finished for this semester, there isn't much anything new in the design front. I just go to work and have some occasional trips nationally and abroad (mostly Germany) here and there. There has been quite a lot of adventures and surprising encounters this year, though, but they don't have anything to do with design. :)

Just before the school ended, though, we presented the Flash animations we had made for school. I wasn't originally supposed to do anything, since I had some rough time with my life then, but ended up putting together something after all. Since I didn't plan it, it didn't turn out as good as I would have liked, but I think it's amusing enough to post here. There are couple of bugs, but I consider it to be quite okay work, since I've never used Flash before...

Constellation Survival Kit - the Plough

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Where is the love?

After a short but intensive spell at work I have a weeks break during which I'll travel a bit around Germany. It's been pretty hectic at work, so I haven't had time to create anything, and that's how it'll probably be during the summer, too. :P But it's ok, since it's always so much fun working, because all the small things that happen (and great work mates). There have been few things that have given some food for my thoughts, though.

I can't understand how indifferent people have become. Few days ago, I was working and we had some army service in the church. When the congregation was leaving, I noticed an old lady with two nordic walking poles and button with the visually disabled logo. I went to ask her if she needed help with the stairs. She was surprised and happy and said yes, please. They were treating people with coffee just outside the door, but it was quite cold outside, so I asked if the old lady would like to drink a cuppa before she left and that I could go to get her one. I seated her inside so that she wouldn't freeze in the wind and went to check outside, but the queue was so long that I went back to chat with her a bit. (I guess I should have been doing something more "professional", but I felt bad to think I wouldn't have time for her.) We chatted until the queue came so short that I could sneak and steal a cup of coffee and a doughnut for her. She was really charming old lady, she said she was 94 and still going around in buses and walking as agile as someone 30 years her junior... After she finished her coffee, I helped her down the stairs, across the park and the road to the bus stop. She was really taken about it all and thanked me from her heart. I felt it quite nice, but didn't really feel like earning it all, since what else could I have done? The thing which does trouble me in the whole thing, though, is that even if there were 200 people in the church, army officers and such, I was the only one who stopped to ask if she needed any help...

Yesterday, me and my mom were in a paper shop. They were renovating, so lots of the stuff was in trollies. Just as I was walking past one of those, people in the other pushed it slightly so that some boxes fell right in front of me and spread their insides all over the floor. I didn't really stop to think other than "walking past this mess would be really indifferent and rude". So I started to pick those few things back to the boxes. When the salesperson and the customer other side of the trolly saw what I was doing, they made such a fuss about it that I got really confused. They kept repeating how nice I was and how I totally didn't need to do that and how so kind and nice people still excisted and thank you thank you, I'll take care of it, don't worry but thank you. I tried to flee, but I still had to buy the envelopes, so I had to listen to that gratitude all the way to the cashier... It felt really awkward, since I didn't feel like doing anything special and these people were treating me like I would be the 8th wonder of the world.

So what's the matter with us? Is a small good deed really so extinct that people over react when they see one? Of course it feels good when you see you make someone happy, but I don't expect that much anything in return of those many small favours I do every day - often people don't even notice them (like holding the door open long enough for the next one to pass). It's just a habit of taking other people in consideration. But it does feel sad if we've really grown so unobservative that we don't make the effort. I don't help every old lady across the street, I only do it when the opportunity happens to knock at the right time. I'm no saint, so I would appreciate it if people didn't treat me that way. From my ex-superior I learned that the best way to do many things is to do them so unnoticed as possible. He was absolutely right.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Argh, I seem to have one of those days I can't really concentrate in anything... I drew a bit, but didn't feel like doing more, so I went to play with Flash for a moment. Then I grew bored with it and went drawing something else, until after few minutes I started knitting, since the shirt I started was next to me. I knitted one row until I went to shop in the net and pay some bills... Multitasking anyone?

I wish I had only one idea in my head that I could put all of my efforts in. But usually I have many ideas I pursue at the same time and can't really get anything done in any one. :P And of course the thing which bugs me most is that I'm quite hopeless perfectionist. And pedantic person, too, for that matter. Here is a self portrait I drew yesterday.

Self portrait

There is just one problem. IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I guess you could recognise me in it, especially if you watched me from the mirror like I do, but there's still something wrong in it. I think it's that I drew my left eye a bit too far off from the nose and once again I made my face too short. Also the line in my chin is not quite correct with that smirk. And I have longer hair. Yes, I guess it still looks cool and I'm quite happy I haven't lost my skills with dry pastels, but I can do better. The curse of every perfectionist who ever lived... Maybe I'll quite for today and go to sip some wine and read a book or something. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Small gifts

I don't like buying gifts for people, because I don't like useless shite that is given out only for the sake of some birthday or Christmas. Unfortunately, I often also don't have time to make personal and unique gifts for people and end up running around in shops in the end anyway in pursuit of that "perfect gift" that never really turn up. Actually, I should just start doing this years Christmas presents already...

In the past month or so, I've managed to compile a couple of small presents for a good reason. Here are the pics.

Rammstein truck
This one went to the truck driver we met in Rammstein's concert in Tallinn. We wanted to send him some thanks for his astonishing friendliness he showed us, so I hunted down half Europe in search for a model truck of Daf Fx, covered it with white plastic tape and cut the letters from blue plastic. What did he say? "Looks great, but all our trucks are black." >:D (With a smirk, of course.)

Golf ball warmer
My workmate turned 60 years old, and because he loves playing golf, I crocheted a golf ball warmer for him. I love to give people useless gifts, because in my opinion everyone already has pretty much everything they need. (One year I bought a real moose warning traffic sign to my brother. I think it's probably the best present I've ever given to anyone, because it looks so cool, but you can't really use it in any way.) He loved it and showed it around to everyone who was polite enough to listen. ;D

The summer suddenly came and it's been some lovely warm days here. It has also resulted in some thunderstorms in the neighbourhood, I never grow tired of stalking the lightning from the thunder radar. There has been some spectacular lightning in the map around the Baltic, but I haven't really experienced any yet. Mostly because I've been working in the church and you can't really here the rumble inside... :( Oh well, maybe some day... Today?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I'm very loyal to my habits. In the past few years I've learned to shrug off other people's opinions and just do what I feel like doing. I tend to see funny little things in everything and am amused very easily. I laugh often by myself because of that and don't always explaing what is so funny. Who cares?

So, Tampere Art Factory weekend came and went, before that we had the international week with lots of workshops and stuff. It was quite a lot of fun, even if I did miss some of the stuff because I was so tired. Anyway, weekend was better. I ended up in a pub and dinner with many of our international guests (I still don't really know how that happened, I was the only student there, of course!) and had lovely discussions that varied between cow farming in the Netherlands and old Soviet spying radar in Latvia - sometimes I surprise myself noticing how many things I can actually have a lively discussion about! So, all in all it was very entertaining weekend and I made lots of new contacts.

And in the end I couldn't help myself. The thing that has bugged me from the beginning is the name of the event. TAF doesn't mean Tampere Art Factory for me, but TAF. That's why I just had to buy the T-shirt and add a bit to it...

TAF shirt

ENSB? Yes, I would just LOVE to visit the place...!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Useless shite

Today, I've been feeling really tired. I should have gone to school, since there would be quite many things for the TAF event (no, not METARs this time), but I can't get myself going... Too long story to tell here.

Instead, I've been just sitting at home, doing really nothing. I tried to cheer myself up by playing with the paper doll I made and mentioned in my previous post. God, how much fun you can get from one small thing! ;D

Alexx at Antarctica

Puppet Liberation Front

Vacant? Not for long.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

This is Deutsch

I finally managed to finish the paper doll I've been drawing for the past couple of weeks... Great way to avoid doing school work, that! When I was younger, I always started things but never finished them. I'm rather proud of myself that even if I'm still childish in many ways, at least in that sense I've changed a bit. But I guess one never be persistent and patient enough...

Anyway, after listening through all of the produced music of Eisbrecher (for a few times), laughing my guts out and dreaming of Bezier curves, I finally got this thing into a pdf. I also got it printed and cut, so ready for playing. I posted the thing into the official Eisbrecher forum, I'm quite interested to see what people will say about it! :D

It took me so long since I made so many outfits for the doll. I guess this would be the "official" one:

Alexx as a paper doll

But every time I look at this, I can't help but laugh...

Alexx as a paper doll

The whole thing is downloadable over here.

Friday, April 30, 2010


After a long and dirty winter, I finally managed to wash my car. In Finland, it's amazing how filthy your car can get during the season of wet snow, grinded pebbles and especially the road salt that is been spread to the roads to prevent slippering. I normally wash my car by hand, because it comes so much cheaper, and that's why I've been pushing and pushing the whole thing until the roads are cleaner and it's drier.

Now that I got the thing clean(er), I could finally attach a small decor to it. Now I have a V8, too!!! :D

I have a V8!

The only thing I miss from my car now is this. I've been dreaming of it for some time now, I should just get miself into buyin' the bloody thing...

Saturday, April 24, 2010


For some reason, this week there have been some visits to my blog from American people, who have googled "Can you see Beta Pictoris from Earth?" Just to get the poor buggers right, the short answer is yes. You just need to be in the Southern Hemisphere.

Beta Pictoris is not very bright star, but it's very easy to find, since it's located very close to Canopus - the second brightest star in our skies. When I was guiding the people during the astronomy tours in New Zealand, I often pointed Beta Pictoris out to explain how stellar systems are formed. With Epsilon Eridani, Beta Pictoris is my favourite when it comes to known planetary systems. (Well, Beta Pictoris pretty much only has a disk of dust, so far, but apparently also some exoplanets might have already formed from it.)

Here is Wikipedia's chart link to Pictor.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Propaganda posters

There's something really enchanting in the good old war time propaganda posters. I think it owes to the humorous feeling one gets from them nowadays, while everything in the modern society tries to be so unprovoking. It feels like in the past goodies and baddies were clearly labeled and one could always tell them apart - at least when you happened to be in "the right side".

I sometimes like to browse through propaganda posters at, since they have almost all the posters I've ever heard of (except this one, which is my favourite - I should print that out and put it to my car, actually). Propaganda is really interesting subject in the first place, since it is quite effective. (Yeah, I see many people smirk now, but there is a feeling going down to your spine when you look at some of those old posters. And it's good to remember how it was during the war, that time they had even more impact on people.) There are rules in propaganda, too, and sometimes I'm pretty worried that people don't recognise it when they see it... Another lesson about media reading skills wouldn't be too bad?

I have couple of pics on my room's door. My flatmate's friends have been rather confused about them, asking if I'm some kind of a war freak. :P (Another example of those media reading skills.) The small card upper left is an election add, where there are two lightning bolts hitting a small country house. The lightning says "communism" and "socialism" and then there's a text: "The danger is nigh - the Agrarian League (nowadays the Centre Party) will save you." The bigger poster is from the war time, there it stands: "Also you are spied on. The spy will guide the bombs to your home." That will help you to keep your mouth shut when you leave the house. :)

Door to my room

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Turku Star Party 2011

Now it's official! Astronomical association Turun Ursa will host the annual national amateur astronomy event in 2011. :D Me and my best friend (the redhead member of the almighty twins at Twinnerstakeitall-blog) applied for the whole thing, since we can both use our studies to make the event. Of course we will have lots of help, too, but we are kinda responsible that all goes well... Crossing our fingers! ;)

Seriously, it's going to be lots of hard work but also lots of fun. We have both been starlovers since early childhood and we have tons of ideas how to make the thing fun! I find it sad that many people think astronomy is really scientific and hard to understand. I've never been good at maths and I've still been able to get pretty far with my hobby. So, hopefully we are able to light the sparkle in other people, too.

I'm supposed to take care of the visual side of the event as well as the interactivity (of course). I had drawn some rough sketches about the logo, but then one of my amateur astronomy friends called and asked if I'd have anything for the event this year, since they were going to publish the next year's venue there. So, I had to do something quickly. Here's what came out. :)

Tähtipäivät 2011

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Celestial Spheres

Some time ago, I was shopping some crafting stuff and stumbled into the most beautiful jigsaw puzzle I ever saw. I keep an eye on especially Ravensburger jigsaw puzzles, since they are great quality and often quite clever, but this one had escaped me. I can't help it, I'm a jigsaw puzzle addict. Of BIG puzzles. This one is only 1500 pieces, so medium size for me. I have somewhere two puzzles with 2000 pieces, I've managed to finish them both (the other one, sunset at sea, was quite demanding...;), but my 3000-piece one was only halfway done when I moved to New Zealand. We had an attic clean-up last year and now I can't find any of those puzzles! My heart is broken. :(

Well, at least this one is awesome. It is a starmap of both hemispheres and some extra pics around. I've pretty much finished with the map section and doing the edges now. I must say that knowing your Messier catalogue really helps with this one... As well as knowledge about the Southern Hemisphere stars. :)

Jigsaw puzzle I'm doing

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


(Warning! This entry contains hard cynicism and sarcastic comments. Rated PG.)

It's that time of the year again when the most elitist warehouse in Finland puts up the show to draw in common trash to waste their money in useless shite. Already when I was working in that particular company, I marvelled at people who came, hoarded and went, spending huge amounts of money to things I (or they) never thought they needed. I understand readily that there are things people need and are happy to buy when they are discounted, but I loath the way it is done in that big yellow festival people call "the Crazy Days".

First of all, most people consider Stockmann to be a department store for the better earning population. When you are working there you are constantly remembering how important it is to be polite and helpful. In that store people expect to be served, that's why they are willing to pay higher prices about the things they could buy cheaper from somewhere else (especially in the grocery section). So, when the Crazy Days are on I always get the feeling that the store is lowering itself to the level of the unworthy and they get so crazy for this descending that they run and fight for all the discounts in the shop. Even the advertisement - the yellow ghosts - always seem so cheap and tawdry compared to the historical green escalator logo of the department store.

The worst feeling I still get every time I see people coming from the store after the shopping spree with 10+ yellow bags hanging from their arms. Somewhere deep inside I feel pity and shame for them and the society where we are living. I know it's hard not to use the chance if something is available for free or cheap, but I still try to avoid buying stuff just because of that. I don't need much myself, but I do understand that some others find lots of joy from shopping. I just wish they can find happiness out of it, too, since I've never met anyone who would have claimed that. When I browse through the catalogue I just see a massive collection of spending hystery. I wish I could be happy just by being able to buy all that stuff! Unfortunately, it wouldn't work.

I worked in Stockmann for three Crazy Days -events. Once I witnessed a fight by the spice section, since there was only one jar of some Indian spice left. I saw many Stockmann Blue -ladies (as someone calls the wannabe-rich people who have dyed their hair blue - you actually do see these occasionally in Stockmann) acting like despots while rummaging through the shelves. It was often ugly and very stressful and I always thought was it really worth all that trouble when you got the credit card bill in the end of the month.

As mentioned, I don't mind buying the stuff I need, but all those massaging chairs do feel a bit over the top. I'm afraid people will get more and more distant from the realities of the world when they get the feeling that happiness lives in those yellow bags. That's what the advertisers want them to think anyway. Judging how Stockmann says Crazy Days is their 13 month of the year (i.e. during 8 days (now 10) they sell for as much worth as in one month), they are doing it pretty well. And that is a pity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3D part II

Today we continued our Blender lessons. It's actually quite a lot of fun, reminds me of the geometry lessons we had in the high school... Of course it's also quite demanding, especially for a non-computer nerd like me (I'm just a plain one), especially when the program crashes frequently (the latest version is just an alpha version). But still. I wish I had more persistence to play with it also at home. :)

Here are pics of the bunker I rendered today.

Bunker 1

Bunker 2

Bunker 3

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Lately at school, we have been broadening our skills in 3D. The program we are using is Blender, familiar surely to anyone ever interested in 3D modelling. It's quite a nice program, not only since it's free open source software, but also since after few hours of studying it, its interface actually makes sense. :) Of course it'd take years to learn to use all of its features (and do animations like Big Buck Bunny with it!!!), but it's still fun to play around with.

Last week, we had some basic training with the program, and created a glass cup. (Didn't have time to make the toothbrush, though.) It was challenging, but here's my result...

Glass made with Blender

If that's what one can do during the first lesson, it'd be interesting to see how it would go after a week... ;)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hour on Earth

The Earth Hour is still on for another 10 minutes. You know, the hour when people should turn off their lights and think about saving energy. In a way I find the idea cool, as an amateur astronomer I was against light pollution when I was 12. But I just can't quite get the idea what does it help if the individuals are being pushed doing it, when I look out of the window and see every street light on from here to eternity... (In Helsinki city center, they have a switch with which you could turn off every second street light from down town - I know since late 90s we were campaining for similar hour for astronomy. They just never did or do use it.) If every 10th light would be turned off from public lighting, no one would notice it. It has been tested in some occasions. So, one hour "darkness" doesn't really make a huge impact on me. But I do celebrate it my way, though, but using only one light at home now - and my iMac which is supposed to be really green when it comes to energy waste. :P

It's been a rough week in many ways, even if nothing much has happened. I've been pouring my creative energy into crafts like someone who is bailing out water from sinking boat. I finished another Rammstein pillow and am doing the last one like crazy. On Monday, I need to order some more thread for that again. (It's amazing how hard thread is to find! I'm happy I finally found a shop where I can order it from relatively easy...) Of course I should have been learning some coding during this weekend, but I just haven't had the strenght. I've needed to keep my mind in something simple but creative and not to think too much. I'm still also a bit ill, so I guess I shouldn't bother myself too much, because I have to work during Easter.

I managed to finish the painting I've been doing lately. Acrylics on canvas. This is why I love astronomy. It is so inspirational and breathtakingly beautiful. All hail the Helix Nebula, NGC 7293!

Helix Nebula

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Design to my taste

I'm actually quite an observative person... Today, I went to see my brother. He had a Western Digital My Book external hard drive on his table. I walked past it, took a glance, stopped and said: "Hey, look at these ventilation holes, they look like Morse code or some sort of binary."

He had never noticed it, even if he's got the thing for some time. But the more we looked at the thing, the more it appeared to be exactly that: a Morse code. Of course we had to find out about it. We translated it from Morse, and after some hassling around with it and later some googling we really did find out what it meant...

No, I won't spoil your fun. ;)

I just love it when the designers are thinking the same way as I do!!! :D But why is it always me who notices these kind of things?

Morse code of Western Digital My Book
Pic by Wikipedia

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Among the starfields

Last week, I went to Stockmann to look for something and of course found something else. There were some space toys in the kids section and I just had to buy the small Space Shuttle model for myself! I've always had a weak spot for Space Shuttles, of course. One of my very first memories about astronomy is when space shuttle Challenger exploded in January 1986. I was five years old, but I remember it vaguely. Later I learned by heart the names of those seven astronauts that died in that accident.

When Columbia went in 2003, I was devastated. In my youth, I read a lot about the whole Shuttle fleet. Columbia was my favourite, the old and experienced ship with certain majestic feel to it. Discovery was like a youngster, always ready for adventure. Atlantis more like a big question mark, I never got too close to it, there always seemed to be something hidden in it. And when Endeavour joined the fleet, I felt like a new baby would have been born.

And I am not kidding with this! I drew technical charts of the Shuttles and learned their statistics so that I could quote the size, how much they weighted empty or in full load, how much strength they had while accelerating (and I didn't even understand anything of physics at the time!), even how many TPS tiles they had. (No, I can't do that anymore, thank god!) I guess I was "a bit different" as a kid. :D

Still, the Space Shuttle has a place in my heart, even when the last Shuttle mission is nigh. They taught me to value space technology and human curiosity and persistence. I'm happy I've lived during the time they excisted.

My unnamed Space Shuttle
This unnamed Shuttle flies only in my room with Hubble!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Status: Coding finished.

Tomorrow, we have to present a static website we've coded at school. I been coding my own site for some time now, and I finally managed to get it online to check for the mistakes. Last night, I couldn't sleep very well, since after six hours of coding xhtml and css I just saw tags and asterisks in front of my eyes every time I closed them. :P

But I guess they are now as ready as I can get them in this timeline! Go check yourself at :)

There still a lot work to do with them, but I'm happy with what I have now (considering I started form the scratch). Spock agrees:

Large quantities of win

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pi Day

Just as I was talking about science in my last entry... Today is the international Pi Day, since in America they write this day as 3/14, and of course that reminds people about Pi, which is 3.14159........ Last year I already celebrated the Pi Approximation Day, which is 22/7 (22 divided by 7 is closest date there is to the Pi Approximation).

So, of course I just had to bake a Pi Pie for to occasion! Happy Pi Day, everyone!!!

(For the record: According to tests I'm 74% nerd, 74% geek, but only 30% dork. 1337!!1)

Friday, March 12, 2010


Science. A cornucopia for designer's inspiration. I've been an amateur astronomer since my childhood, but never really understood much Maths. I've always loved to popularise the science, and I find it a strenght in a way that I can't use any mathematical analysis in that work - no one would understand it. When I was working as a stargazing guide in New Zealand, people often complimented me on the clear and understandable way I told them about the universe, stars and cosmos in general and in detail.

I find it sad that many people think that science, especially astronomy in my case, is something incomprehensible and scary to even think of. For me, science is not formulae or hard Maths, but art and way of seeing things! I love to think how rays of sunlight are casted back to the eye from the white snow and which rays am I actually seeing (knowing that the ray is reflected outwards in the same angle as it was casted in). Or just admire the things that are often there but very few people notice them (e.g. just now there is a beautiful Alpenglow in the eastern horizon where the shadow of Earth has been casted by the setting sun!).

Still, I think my longest love affair has been with fractals. I understand very little about those self-feeding patterns and their true meaning (well, maybe a bit more than "very little"), but I love how they look like. They are mystic yet filled with life, they evade the understanding yet fill your mind with a wonder. I've played with programs you can create fractals with, I've done handicrafts and patterns out of them. I just can't get enough of the beauty and order of those favourite childs of the chaos theory.

When we got our assignment last year to design a package for a Nokia phone during the print design course, I got the idea of using fractals as my theme almost instantly. The work from the idea until the end of the course was insanely huge (I constructed the fractal image from about 40 smaller pictures), but I still haven't got bored with my design. It still looks as fascinating, welcoming and mysterious as always before. I don't know about other people, but I would buy such a phone just because of the idea! ;)

Nokia Fractal design

Edit: I just counted that I have 194 files in my computer about this assignment. Dedication, anyone? :D

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Today, I returned back home from a two week holiday. (We had the winter leave, but I took some extra days off, too.) It was a very busy and packed "holiday", so in a way I'm relieved that I can get back to school now to relax a bit. :) The saldo of the past fortnight is pretty impressive: I travelled to Tallinn with my two best friends to attend Rammstein's concert, I went to a spa-type place with my mom for a couple of days, I had my 30th birthday and I went to work, too. Eventful two weeks, all in all.

I noticed that I never posted a pic here about the Rammstein pillows I've made. One of them is visible in one of the older posts, but here's the full monty:

Rammstein pillows

I finally managed to get my hand in the thread I need to do them, so I could finish the lot. (It's insanely hard to find, I don't know why. The cotton ones are everywhere, but they are too slim for these.) I've always loved Rammstein's hard industrial style. Their stage show is also amazing, especially this latest one is designerwise very polished, but compared to e.g. the Sehnsucht era, it is a even a bit too perfect for my taste. Nevertheless, the colours, the surfaces, the pyro effects, the details... all of that with the music and the energy kinda explains why that band has gained so much popularity everywhere. (The best Rammstein gallery is Rammimages, quite worth browsing!)

Here's a pic of me and my friends in the front row. We went to queue five hours before the doors opened and were the first ones there. We had met and chatted with one of the band staff members on the ferry the day before and he really made our day by delivering us some tea when he noticed that we were there! That was the first time there was such a good service in the Rammstein queue... :D

Me and my friends in Rammstein's concert in Tallinn
Photo by Jelena Rudi /