Friday, December 24, 2010

Fun On Friday #96: Advent Craft 4

As a boy, I remember trying to make my own snow globe. I had a nice wee jam jar and some waterproof cement type adhesive that looked a bit like snow when it dried. I stuck a Christmas decoration onto the lid with the cement and created a little Christmas scene. Then, I filled the jar with water, added some glitter, screwed on the lid, turned it upside down... and the glitter plummeted to the bottom! No gently falling snow, just, "Wham!", all at the bottom.

I was a bit miffed and decided they must use special floating glitter in snow globes.

If only the Internet had been invented when I were a lad. If it had been, I might have discovered the How to Make a Christmas Snow Globe Craft instructions which tells me a secret about how to make the glitter float.

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Couple Of Festive Things

I mentioned in a comment on Fun On Friday #92: Advent Calendar that someone had posted a comment which was then deleted (not by me) that linked to Festive 24 Things. The link was deleted but I've continued to watch the site with interest. There's loads of great "things" there. Here are a couple of my favourites...

First a great video of a Flashmob in action:

And a great idea for a Christmas quiz. Here are the lyrics from one of my favoute Christmas songs as interpreted by Tagxedo:

And here's my favourite Christmas carol:

There are special Christmas no-prizes for the first people to name those tunes!

Thank you Festive 24 Things for a great set of links and ideas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas is a time for giving...

As I mentioned in the previous post, I suspect that some of you will be getting portable digital video players for Christmas - perhaps an iPod Touch, an iPad or an Android tablet of some sort. If so, come Christmas Day, you might find yourself scrabbling about trying to find some video to transfer to your new toy.

Some DVDs now come with a ready ripped version of the film that can be copied straight to your portable device (or computer) without any messing about. The first time I was aware of this was with the Wolverine DVD but I hope this is a feature that grows to be come standard. It seems to me this is a very sensible way to combat piracy - make it as easy as possible to obtain legal, reasonably priced, copies of material in a format of the users choice. Certainly, it is much a better idea than suing teenagers or adding copy protection that seriously annoys legitimate purchasers while only inconveniences pirates. And don't get me started on that stupid "You wouldn't steal a car..." sequence that I am forced to watch whenever I play one of my legally purchased DVDs!

What if you do not have any DVDs with ready ripped material? Well those nice people at Digiarty Software have come to your rescue this Christmas. They are making a copy of MacX iPod DVD Ripper available free to facebook users. Will I say that again? A free copy MacX iPod DVD Ripper. Excellent! (And note, despite the "Mac" in the name, there are versions for both Macintosh and Windows).

Just go to the Special Offer section on their facebook page, scroll down a bit (if necessary) and there they are; two download buttons for MacX iPod DVD Ripper.

Not sure how it works with the Windows version, but with the Mac download, you get an installer and a text file with a licence code. In next to no time you are up and running... and ripping. The offer is available until 10 January 2011.

And there is more. It seems there is an opportunity to get a free copy of MacX DVD Ripper Pro too. I haven't tried it yet but I'll let you know how I get on when I do.

So thank you everyone at Digiarty Software and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fun On Friday #95: Advent Craft 3

I'm guessing many people will be getting an eReader device of some sort for Christmas (for example a Kindle or an iPad). As, such, you will probably wonder what on earth you are going to do with all the paperbacks that you currently have lying around once they have been replaced with the new technology.

Why not clear some space before Christmas by turning some old paperbacks into Christmas decorations? (My wife the English teacher wouldn't approve of this... so maybe you could do it with charity shop books of dubious quality. That way you are donating to charity and removing duff books from circulation at the same time. A win-win?)

The All Free Crafts site has instructions on how to turn an old paperback into a 3D Christmas tree. It looks relatively simple to do and, from the photos at least, it looks surprisingly effective. (Disclaimer: I've not tried to make one myself yet... I just like the look of it.)

The site also shows you how to make a Snowman and a Santa Claus using a similar technique but they both involve sticking on a lot more non-paperback parts. I like the simplicity of the tree version.

So what do you think? Appalling abuse of literature or something useful to do with a Jeffery Archer novel?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fun On Friday #94: Advent Craft 2

Last year I linked to Elf Yourself and the year before to Critter Carols. This year I thought I'd go for a DIY approach.

First, choose a photograph. I chose this one of my dog in the snow.

Next, go to Picnik and use it to edit your picture. (You can upload the picture from your hard disk or edit it directly from one of a number of online photo sites including Flickr and facebook.) Use the Create tab and the Holiday Fun tools to add Christmas stuff to your photo. Here is my Picniked picture of Blue: Red Nosed Reindog.

Finally, go to Blabberize and add a message to create your own animated Christmas greeting.

Not as slick and polished as Elf Yourself of Critter Carols but all your own work!

Have fun! And please share anything you create by leaving a comment on this post.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Fun On Friday #93: Advent Craft 1

I'm hoping to find four Christmas themed Fun On Friday's on the run up to Christmas. Here's the first one which I found thanks to a re-tweet from the Marvellous Mr Barrett (see @tombarrett for all sorts of interesting stuff).

Originally uploaded by Theresa Thompson
Do you want to know how to make a Rudolph out of the inside of a kitchen roll? Then look no further than How to make a paper roll Rudolph reindeer from the Guardian's site.

Easy to make and fun to do. What more can you ask for from a Christmas craft?

The article links to the Red Ted Art Blog where it looks like there are tons more simple but effective ideas.

Do you have any other Christmas crafts recommend?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Advent Calendars: Take 2

What online Advent calendars are you following? I picked three for my last Fun On Friday (see Fun On Friday #92: Advent Calendar) but chose them without having a chance to preview because it was still November.

I was initially disappointed with two of my three choices but today, it looks like they are going to be OK after all. Since I had been scunnered though, I went looking for alternatives and found two excellent examples on the BBC's website:
  1. The Doctor Who Adventure Calendar. (See what they did there?) A non-traditional format for this one; instead of opening doors, every day there is a new link added. For example, Day One was instructions on how to play a game and Day Two has wallpaper to download.
  2. Radio Four's Today Show Calendar. This is a more traditional layout. Behind every door is a sound clip from the programme. For example, Day One is Evan Davis cracking up over the MP Duck House story.
There must be other good online advent calendars out there though. What are you using?

Ah well... I probably better go. You know me. Stuff to do.