Old Book Illustrations, New Ideas

Old Book Illustration Blog

The images at Old Book Illustrations Scrapbook Blog are a treat to explore. Poring over this collection of vintage illustrations (mostly wood engravings/woodcuts, etchings or metal engravings) taken from books published between the 1700s through the early 1900s, is an exciting endeavor. One of my favorite pastimes is grabbing an illustration, dropping it into an image-editing program and overlaying colors.

Forget Adobe CS2, Get GIMP Instead

When I awoke yesterday morning there was a rumor bouncing around the internet that Adobe was giving away Creative Suite 2. Well, according to Adrian Kingsley-Hughes from Forbes, all that speculation was unfounded. I hope there aren’t a lot of people upset about this turn of events. If folks are heartbroken, they shouldn’t be. Although Adobe makes killer graphics software, there’s a great alternative to Adobe’s product that works on all computer platforms.

GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software.

 

GIMP (the GNU Image Manipulation Program) does amazing work. This versatile application is powerful, has a consistently helpful community of users, and is FREE. In fact, GIMP has been free from the beginning. Rather than moping about Adobe CS2. Download and install GIMP and get started making and editing graphics with the satisfaction of knowing you can do it without spending a cent.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Miyazaki

Hayao Miyazaki

Today, Hayao Miyazaki, director, animator extraordinaire, and beloved guardian of imagination, celebrates 72 years of making the world a happier place. His works and the colorful characters that populate them are absolutely endearing. Watching a Miyazaki movie is like being allowed to step outside of (if only briefly) the chaotic reality where we usually reside. Our respite takes us to an alternate universe where beauty reigns supreme. During our visit in Miyazaki’s constructed world, we generally meet a strong female protagonist and explore themes such as the wonder of flight, the importance of nature, and the transition from childhood to maturity, and the power of kindness.

Miyazaki’s stunning works of cinematic art include:

Happy Birthday, Mr. Miyazaki!

Note: The image used in this post was a derivative of the original photograph composed by Natasha Baucas on July 28, 2009 at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Picozu: Flashy Without Flash

I just started tinkering with Picozu. It’s a drawing and photo retouching application that’s built on Javascript, HTML 5 and CSS3. Since Picozu doesn’t run on any Flash or ActionScript, I’m predicting that mobile phone developers will enjoy playing around with it. As for me, I want to see how well it works on a Google Chromebook and an iPad as well as an old laptop where I’ve installed Wubi.

Up until now, I’ve been steering my students to Aviary and its rich assortment of tools. I am eager to see what they make of Picozu. I’m always on the lookout for tools and resources that don’t lock my learners into one way of doing things. Today’s students shouldn’t be dependent on vendor-specific plugins (like Flash) or tied to a particular machine.

Picozu

Know When To Hold ‘Em, Know When To Fold ‘Em

Over at Wheatpond, the ever engaging Eric Meltzer shares a spiffy bit of knowledge and skill: the Miura-ori, a captivating method for folding up a sheet of paper. What’s so ginchy about that? Once properly folded, the paper can be opened or closed fluidly, in one smooth mesmerizing motion.

Judge for yourself. You can see the action (pardon the pun) unfold in hosoken2100‘s YouTube video  below.

Related Resources:

So Many eBooks, So Little Time!

Wandering around Project Gutenberg when everyone else is asleep is like having an entire library to explore. It’s a guilty pleasure I abandon myself to without the least bit of remorse. The last time I was nosing around, I found Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas (published in 1909) by the noted British historian H. A. Guerber. The book contains stirring accounts of the intrigues among the Norse gods, denizens of a universe they were doomed to destroy in a tragic last battle. Along with stories, readers will delight in fascinating images like the one below: a wondrous depiction of a giant with a flaming sword by John Charles Dollman, an English painter and illustrator.

The Giant with the Flaming Sword by J. C. Dollman

Related Resources:

Fontastic Time Killer: Logoswipe

Thanks to a post from nedwin over at Hacker News, I could spend have spent hours playing with Logoswipe. I read the tagline: “You don’t need a logo, you need a type face,” and I was hooked.

logoswipe

If you really a few hours to while away, try this: make a logoswipe and look at the resulting URL, something like http://logoswipe.com/logo/1702. Change the number at the end. Type a lower number–for example, in this case  something like 1602–in its place and you’ll see logos that others have made. Fonterrific!