Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Day 090 (31.03.10)

Dag Halvfems. Huh, strange, yet another silly Danish number which is half of yet another number that will never exist - 'Halvfems' seems to be half of 'fems', but 'fems' doesn't exist! Silly Danes. First Halvtres, then Halvfjerds, and now Halvfems. They have such dumb numbers.

OK, onto today's big news. It's the end of term! FINALLY! I even tweeted it from my phone, that's how happy I was. I've only tweeted twice from my phone - I would do it more, but I'm awful at texting (stupid little keypad), and I always feel like someone is looking at me when I text on the bus. Then again, I always feel like someone is looking at me while I'm doing anything on the bus. Not that I'm self-centred like that, I'm just very aware. And nervous.


OK, now I seem to have caught the LDraw bug. It is infectious, very infectious. Of course, I'm not using LDraw (specifically BrickSmith for Mac) to make MOCs, rather to render instructions for some JOHN Collection pieces. The idea is to make a faux-Ikea instruction page for some of the more complicated pieces. Above you can see a rendered version of one of my favourites, the Writing Desk from the first JOHN Collection catalogue. I quite like the rendering in LDView, and it's come out really well. Lots of options for lighting, line weight etc. I'll show you some of the finished instructions when they're done...


~John

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Day 089 (30.03.10)

Dag niogfirs. Tuesdays, ah, tuesdays. First an orthodontist's appointment, then parent's evening. Then writing this blog, then hopefully bed. But hey, just think; only one more day of school and it's the Easter holidays. I'm now over that thing that happened on Sunday (check back two posts to find out what), but I think it was clear that I was yesterday as well. Hey, I watched the last episode of the current season of Glee today. A really great ending, and it's finally got Mr. Schuhster's stupid wife out of the way. And Sue too - or at least for now. But unfortunately it's three weeks until Glee starts again.


OK, onto some more modern design (from the Eames chairs of recent posts). Found on Industrial Design Served, this 'Dress Me' chair really is a good concept. The idea is to make a chair that is like a doll: you can 'dress' it in whatever colours you want. There's space for a coloured fabric headrest, and space for a coloured fabric seat. The frame on its own is completely ambiguous, and has no visual identity; it is a great blank canvas to start off with. You can add the same colour headrest as seat, or complimentary colours, or clashing colours, or only a cover on the seat... the possibilites may not be endless, but they sure do go on for a while. And, on top of all this, the chairs are stackable.


To revive an old topic, Karrde pointed out an article from the Independant website to me about Købke's work being shown in the National Gallery in London. It's similar to the one I saw in the G2 magazine, and it calls Købke the 'Danish master of light' - I completely agree. Most of the Frederiksborg castle paintings have a pale, pink-tinted sky that really gives them a calm atmosphere. Especially one of the red-frame gatehouse, where it almost seems that the red of the metal framework is seeping into the sky, creating a pink tinge.

The article says the watchword with Købke's paintings is order. I agree, but in creating such complete order (with perfect verticals and horizontals, and people going about their everyday business in a calm and orderly fashion) Købke creates a sort of dream-like mood to the paintings, which in a way make it seem uneasy. The picture above sees people relaxing in a still snapshot of the gatehouse of Fredriksborg castle. The harsh light and calm sky, combined with the seemingly unmoving people (it is not hard to imagine that in this painting nothing is moving - there is no motion. The people are still, the clouds are still, it is static) create an ethereal tone to the pictures. OooooOOOooOOOOoOOOOooo...


~John

Monday, 29 March 2010

Day 088 (29.03.10)

Dag otteogfirs. I'm pretty sure 88 is something do to with the Devil, or something evil. I'd 'Wikipedia it' but then it makes me feel bad for having to research it. Meh, I'm either right or I'm not. Anyways, onto today. Well, I had my Mock GCSE (I remember mentioning that a few days ago...), and it went alright. So I'm pleased in that respect. I'm also pleased because it's the end of term very VERY soon. I'm also pleased (in a sadistic kind of way) that I've completely got over the troubles of yesterday evening. It wasn't very hard - which bothers me a little - but I'm over it now.


OK, onto more interesting topics. Or at least, I hope they are more interesting. Whilst I've not been able to find a picture of the original Eame Indoor/Outdoor recliner, I have managed to pick out a picture of the latest version of it that is clean and shows the shape well. It may have a sharp angle in the middle, but the Eames recliner (#121) simply says 'stylish.'. Sure, I don't care for the ottoman/table much (too flat for my liking), but the combination of shapes and materials sure does work well in the chair. It's that smooth handle on the back that does it for me.

Now hey, what's this? Some sort of old-fashioned chair? Yeah, it is. Though, as you'd probably guess, I'm not showcasing this chair for its looks. Modern is more my style. Anyways, this is the "No. 14" wooden chair from Michael Thonet. It was the chair that launched chair production into being industrial. The No.14 was perfect for populating churches all over the world, and houses for that matter. Previous ways of bending wood involved using glue, but that melted in hot climates, which wasn't very helpful for a new Church set up by missionaries in Mozambique.

So Thonet created a new way of bending wood, using steam. This meant it wouldn't melt. Another great feature of this chair is the fact that 52 of them can fit in a space of 1 cubic metre (provided they're taken apart, but they are easily assembled with screws). So well done, Michael Thonet. It's no wonder this is the biggest selling chair of all time (>50 million units sold). Oh, and thank you to that book about the Vitra Design archives from my school library. Very interesting stuff.


~John

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Day 087 (28.03.10)

Dag syveogfirs. Yeesh, a good day but an awful evening. It was one of those times when, after trying so hard with them, you log into Facebook and see their status change without your name at the end of it. Yeah, read it a few more times and you'll understand. I'm not writing it out in full, you'll get it in the end. So yah, apart from that, and the lack-of-sleep fallout from my school play, a fairly good day. And I've just found the pictures taken from behind-the-scenes on the play. Some good ones. That's cheered me up.

But hey, time to get 'cheered down' again (yes, for every up there is a down. It seems today I have discovered all the ups and all the downs at the same time). Zack has finished his blog-a-day project. He's done it for 50 days now, and it's been great to have someone else to undertake the project with. of course, it seems that he has a life and I don't, so he had to stop. He assures us (the readers of his blog) that he's going to keep blogging, and I certainly hope he keeps to his word. It's been great while it lasted, Zack.



Now onto something much funnier. Today I discovered this webcomic called 'Toothpaste for Dinner', and it is absolutely hilarious. It's like XKCD, but more sketchy, sometimes not as funny, and without all those IT in-jokes that you only 'get' if you have a degree in IT. So yah, it's hilarious. Sure, a bit strange sometimes, but then again so am I. No, wait, that's not really the best comparison...




~John

ps. The new Blogger in Draft photo uploader is really fucking annoying.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Day 086 (27.03.10)

Dag seksogfirs. So, my school play has finally ended. The fourth performance is over, and that means all there is left to do is clear stuff away. But, for all intents and purposes, the important stuff is over. It's a real shame; I was just getting into it. However, I can now sleep for the whole of tomorrow, if need be. It's been fun while it lasted, this school play lark. Thanks for the experience, guys.


We've ignored the Eames interlude today and we're back to Christen Købke, the unusual Danish artist. Hey, here's some trivia for you: he died at the age of 36. Sad, huh? Well, anyways, the above picture is the one I originally wanted to find. I saw it in the G2 magazine on thursday. It's of the roof of Frederiksborg Castle, in Denmark.

And no, no, I have not cropped this picture. That is exactly how he painted it on the canvas. An oddly large part of the painting is just of the sky. Why? Well, only Købke can tell us for sure, but we can guess. Maybe it's more about what the castle looks out on (hills and sky) than the castle itself. Maybe it's saying that the castle is just a small part of a bigger whole; the world. Maybe it is just another layer in the landscape; rolling hills, sky, castle. Or maybe it's saying something deeper than that. It certainly does have a sense of mystery about it when you start to realise just how much of the painting is sky, and yet the painting is clearly of Fredriksborg castle (this is not a 'Fredriksborg castle and sky' painting, it's one of a set of paintings of the castle Købke did). Perhaps Købke is trying to say something about the identity of the castle in the way it is presented. Is the castle's roof the most recognizable part? Maybe the surrounding countryseide defines the castle more than it does itself?

Hmm. Well, you've got me confuzzled Købke.


~John

Friday, 26 March 2010

Day 085 (26.03.10)

Dag femogfirs. Yes, yes, late again. This time I couldn't write the post before I went to tonight's performance, so I'm stuck here writing it afterwards. Anyways, I'll get it over and done with so I can go to sleep and not wake up for the next two days. Hoorah for the weekend. So thank you to whoever invented the weekend; you did a good job, mate.


After a brief interlude of Danish art yesterday, we're back onto design, and back onto Eames. Remember Charles and Ray Eames, who made the wooden chair in the Golden Ratio? Well, here's another piece of theirs that I like. I saw the original in a book about the Vitra Design Archives, but this is all I can find for now. All I can say is, thank you Vitra. A very useful website, and with link-able pictures as well. Maybe their archive is viewable; I'll have to check later.

Anyways, the above picture shows a recliner and table from a range of leather/aluminium furniture that Eames designed just recently. While this modern version isn't as simple and sleek as the original I saw, and is more padded (which 'softens' the shape - the original was very thin and with hard edges), it still keeps some of the identity that I like it for. Once again, good work, Mr and Mrs Eames.


Yawn, bed now.
~John

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Day 084 (25.03.10)

Dag fireogfirs. Remember I'm still doing performances until Saturday, so I don't have much time for chatting. Anyways, it is Thursday. I'm just looking through my BrickLink order to make sure that all the pieces are there.

I didn't mention yesterday that they put in the WRONG 3L TUBING. I mean, come on! Those were the main reason for the order! That's what started it all off! Jeez! Then I realised that they put in the wrong wheels for another part I ordered. So yeah, I am not a happy John at the moment.


OK, onto some art. The above painting of Fredriksborg Castle, Denmark, was painted by an 18th-century Danish artist called Christian Købke (not sure on the pronunciation as of yet). I saw a very odd painting, similar to this, but I can't find it now. It showed the roof of the Castle, and some hills in the background, but about 80% of the painting was sky. Barely any of the Castle was on the canvas. You may think it strange, and it is, but it puts across a very mysterious atmosphere. I'll try to find it tomorrow, I need to stop now.


~John

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Day 083 (24.03.10)

Dag treogfirs. An early post today, as my school play is starting in two and a half hours and I will be tired out of my mind when I get back home at 10:30. And, unfortunately, this will be the same for the next four days. Yeesh, thank goodness the Easter holidays are just around the corner. I just wish they'd come sooner. That corner is too far away at the moment.


Today's picture of the day comes courtesy of Design Milk. This chest of drawers was designed by some fellow named Jonathan Franc (though for some reason his real name is John Bossone). He's been designing furniture for private uses (ie. as part of a house built for a client) for over 25 years now.

I quite like this piece of his. The way the wooden veneer draws seem to 'float' in the centre of the prism-like acrylic frame gives it a very etherial touch. Good work, Jonathan. Whilst veneer isn't my thing (as I think I mentioned when reviewing the Eames chair a while back), the effect that has been achieved with the combination of the furniture is unique, at least.


Anyways, got to go to the performance now. Wish me luck!

~John

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Day 082 (23.03.10)

Dag toogfirs. Due to the toils of helping with my school play AND having an RE GCSE Mock on monday, this post is late and will most probably be short. But hey, it's better than me rambling on about typography, right? Anyways, my BrickLink order arrived. Well, when I say arrived, I mean it is at the Post Office, awaiting £14 worth of customs charges. And even worse, the BL store I ordered from won't refund me. Something to do with BL policies. Ah dangit.

Yet another day helping out with my school play. That means no lessons, all day! Unfortunately, there aren't any rehearsals tomorrow, but there is a performance in the evening. And then one on thursday evening, then friday evening, AND saturday evening. I am going to be completely out of it by the end of this week, I will be worked to the bone. And that means I'm going to screw up in my RE Mock. Double dangit.



OK, our picture of the day comes courtesy of Imagechan, a image hosting site for all things interwebz, especially screenshots from 4Chan, which is what I like. This is probably the funniest picture I have ever seen on the internet, beating even 'Gashunk!' and 'Pedohorse'. I'm not sure yet whether it stands up to the 'Must've been a strong rope' 4Chan screenshot, but we'll which one stands the test of time. I just can't believe the guy in this thread is SO DUMB. Unfortunately, something tells me he's trolling. But if you ignore that and make yourself believe it, it's a complete LOLfest. More so even than Phong Chang (who once criticized a mech because it was 'too Lego-ish'). So enjoy.


~John

Monday, 22 March 2010

Day 081 (22.03.10)

Dag énogfirs. Eighty-one, peoples. We've passed the 80 mark, and so we continue in our quest to blog every day for a whole year. Or rather, I continue in my quest. Zack says he'll stop with his project soon, so it looks like it'll just be me. OK, onto today. I think I mentioned a few days ago I was helping out with my school play. Well today I was put in charge of 'calling the shots': ie. telling the lighting guys what their cues are for changing light colours, light sizes, etc etc. It's tough work, but it's quite fun telling everyone what to do. And besides, I get to wear a headset and microphone. What could be cooler?

OK, interesting topics, remember. Well, today I bought a book. It's not every day that I buy stuff, and even less often I buy a book. But, after seeing some reviews, I just had to buy Designing Type by Karen Cheng. It looks so useful for designing my own typeface, and that cinema-esque one I started on way back when has been sitting around with not many changes for too long now. So I've bought it, and hopefully it will give me some help with typography. We'll see when it arrives. Unlike my BrickLink order, it will probably take less than a month to arrive.


Today's picture is, yet again, typography-related. Sorry, it's a phase I'm going through. And, the worst thing is, with this new book it doesn't look like that phase is ending any time soon. This typeface is called Gotham, and it's made by Tobias Frere-Jones, one half of Hoeffler & Frere-Jones. Apparently it's a sans-serif with a 'geometric structure' and that was 'masculine, new and fresh'. I think they succeeded, and the miniscules do look nice, but it's not something that really catches my eye. Better luck next time, Tobias.


~John

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Day 080 (21.03.10)

Dag Firs. Luckily, we haven't had the dumb halvtreds/tres thing with our Danish numbering. Eighty is a nice, normal firs. Hopefully we won't see fjerds appearing any time soon, considering halvfjerds is seventy. Ok, enough number rubbish! We're on Day 80! Hoorah, that means another challenge. We'll come to that later.

But first, the day's events. Not much happened. I was up late last night, for no reason that you guys need to know, so I kinda sleepwalked through most of today. However, I was productive - churning out some more chairs and tables for the JOHN Collection III. I think I got quite a good batch today, with one office chair being my favourite. I decided to go back to my origins a little - there's a couple of oldies from the first JOHN Collection, with a new colour scheme and some adaptions. I think it's about time I revisited the old minifig-hand-slope technique that I used in the Writing Desk in the first Collection. But it's not just old techniques; I've been looking at some of the amazing pieces of Lego furniture by Mijasper. Minifig goggles are in, as well as steering wheels.

OK, our challenge. What shall it be? Well, I think I should continue with the picture-per-day thing. So that's half of the challenge. And the other half? To talk for one clear topic per day. That means no boring stuff which doesn't actually mean anything, from now on it'll be more like it has been for the last few days. Of course, the topic won't always be design, or typography, but it will be something interesting. Honest.


Oh, our picture for the day. It's the contents of my 'Lego photo resize' folder. Each of these folders contains a batch of photos, resized for MOCpages and Brickshelf. Spot the lapse of sanity.


~John

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Day 079 (20.03.10)

Dag nioghalvfjerds. Day seventy-nine, and my Bricklink order still hasn't turned up. Anyways, there were more important things that happened today. Such as; I took part in a drama festival. I didn't win, but it was fun to take part nonetheless. And besides, I had a Shakespeare part to learn - it's just not the same as an ordinary script. You lose track of the meaning of the words, and start to see them as more of a collection of words and form rather than a fully understandable sentence. But, luckily, I remembered all my lines. Just not all of my cues - whoops.


Today was another typography day. I started looking at the website of type foundry Hoefler & Frere-Jones, who are the creators of some amazing typefaces. You may know of Didot, and Mac users will recognise Hoefler Text, as it comes with every new Mac. H&FJ also make a truly beautiful slab serif typeface, called Archer (see picture). Archer is not your usual slab serif - it's got a soft, friendly look to it that is a result of elegant squirls (new word) on the terminals (ends of lines in a letterform) and a much more curved shape to most letters (notice the miniscule Z in the picture). This is certainly a far cry from the geometric lines and 90˚ angles of Lubalin Graph. And yet, I'm not sure which one I like better.

Oh, and did I mention Archer has the best Eth (ð) I've ever seen?

OK, onto something totally different. I think I should design a make a table. or maybe a chair. Or maybe both. No, wait, chairs are hard. You have to make sure they can take a whole person's weight. And they're a lot harder to design. So maybe, a table is the way to go. I'm not sure if I'll ever do it, but I can dream at least.


Adios,
~John

Friday, 19 March 2010

Day 078 (19.03.10)

Dag otteoghalvfjerds. Oh, by the way, 'shoehorn' in Danish is skohorn. Just something I learnt today. It's always good to pick up on new vocabulary. Anyways, here I am - sitting on the sofa, watching Sport Relief. It's a nice relaxing way to end the week. I couldn't go to my drama club because I was helping out with my school's play. I helped some guys with the lighting. It's the first time I've done lighting, so I was open and ready to learn. And, though some bits did confuse me, I got to grips with quite a lot. So yah, that's a good enough excuse.


It's hard now because I'm trying to stop blagging on about De Stijl and chair design. We need something different, yes? How about typefaces? Yes, that's something I can blag on about for a few more days. Let's begin with my favourite typeface (at the moment), Rockwell. Above you can see the whole Rockwell alphabet, taken from Wikimedia. I would make my own, but it's late and I've only just decided to talk about Rockwell. Rockwell was the first modern slab-serif typeface, made back in 1934.

I love Rockwell. Sure, I don't like Rockwell Bold, or any of its heavier versions (it was originally meant to be a Western font, and the extra-heavy variations start to look very Wild West), but normal Rockwell is a marvel to behold. A slab serif (serifs are straight and of one width) typeface with a curved, more natural look. Whilst Lubelin, another slab serif font (used for this blog's logo) has angles that line up and lots of perpendicular or parallel sides, Rockwell is more free, and I like that. besides, the miniscule (lowercase) y in Lubelin is quite a failure. In your face, Herb Lubelin. Trust you to design a crappy miniscule y. Pah.


~John

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Day 077 (18.03.10)

Dag syveoghalvfjerds. It seems I've gone so far, and I haven't even hit the big 100 yet. Meh, it's only 23 days to go until I do. Speaking of things coming up in the future, where the hell is my Bricklink order? Apparently it shipped 18 days ago, and it hasn't yet arrived. It's cost me $15 in postage, it had better arrive soon. I won't be ordering again from that BL store, anyway. They said the $15 postage was the cheapest there was, so I'll simply have to find another store closer to home for future orders. Damn postage, I want my 3L tubes! Nao!


Okey dokey, moving swiftly on. You may remember I talked about De Stijl a couple of days ago. Above you can see a building built in the De Stijl style. It was designed by De Stijl forerunner Gerrit Rietveld. That's right, he's the guy made the famous Red/Blue chair:

Om nom nom - De Stijl is so lovely. So yah, Rietveld designed this chair, and the above house, called the Schröder House, in Utrecht, Holland. When do you think it was built? Go on, guess. Look at the stylings, the shapes, the texture... so when was it built? You're probably saying something from the 1980s onwards. As you may have guessed by now, you're wrong. It was built in 1924! Just think how ahead of its time De Stijl was! This house is an amazing piece of early 20th century architecture, and it was the only house to be made in the De Stijl style. Good ol' Rietveld. Even the interior is styled like a Mondrian painting.


Another picture of the Schröder house interior. I love how the Red/Blue chair is just sitting there as if it is a normal piece of furniture. Ha, Rietveld had courage. And style! OK, OK, one last thing - notice the yellow and red stylings on the ceiling. And the different floor colours, too. I could lick that house, every surface of it.

OK, enough De Stijl. I think I've got it out of my system. We'll move on tomorrow.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Day 076 (17.03.10)

Dag seksoghalvfjerds. The insanity continues. That is, the insanity that is the reality that we live in continues to be insane. Seriously: once you look at it from an outside perspective, we're all just milling around on out tiny planet in a seemingly infinite universe. We're so small, yet so caught up in our tiny, meaningless lives that we don't stop to notice this. if we did, there'd be no point in our lives, and we'd just stop and die out. So there's a nice thought for your wednesday evening.


Hey, I seem to be in a design mood recently. So here's some of the work from a company called Noon Studio. They're new, but they create some great stuff. Above you can see the Tripod Side Table, which is made from beech and a ceramic top. It's a cantilevered stand, and it's all flat pack. I really love the design of this - and ceramics are the new big thing, apparently. It's got a sleek shape, and the fact it's flat-pack and cantilevered is a really nice touch.


And this, also by Noon Studio, is the Iceberg Sofa. Once again, Noon shows off straight lines and sleek stylings, but this time with metal and fabric. The design is based off an iceberg, and is meant to be shaped to let the user 'sink in' to the sofa. It certainly does look sink-in-able, but I have doubts about its stability. The legs are a spindly framework, and there's not always a lot of weight on a sofa (the pillows + one person). Push this sofa with a bit too much force and I predict it'll fall over. Ah well. It's a beautiful design nonetheless.


~John

ps. Hmm, another dream about post-apoc last night. I don't usually have dreams, but what dreams I do have seem to be becoming more post-apoc orientated. They're quite good, actually. I should write them down somewhere.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Day 075 (16.03.10)

Dag femoghalvfjerds. Okey dokey, it's tuesday. Kinda like monday, but a day later. Kinda like wednesday, but a day earlier. Not at all like friday. Maybe slightly similar to tuesday, but the similarities are too small to notice without further investigation. But, above all of those, tuesdays and seemingly identical to tuesdays. I think that's the most similar day. Now I feel happy, having worked that out.


Onto our picture of the day, which today comes courtesy of Flickr. This is the first MOC on my MOC list that I completed - not a good start, as you can tell. I originally built it ('it' being an airport baggage tractor, based off several source images I'll have you know) a few weeks ago, but I had to take it apart because of the white van in my Post-Apoc diorama. Luckily, I've managed to salvage this MOC (and sadly dismantle the 5-wide van), and so here are the pictures. Better late than never, as I always say. Wait a moment, I never say that... meh.

I've discovered a style that I absolutely love. Usually, I like a but of this, and bit of that... but I've discovered one I like through and through. Apart from modernism, that is. It's called De Stijl, and it's a Dutch art/design movement of the mid-20th century. No, no, NO, it's not Bauhaus. It's De Stijl. It's full of bright, primary colours and thick black lines. The most famous examples are Piet Mondrian and Gerrit Rietveld. I'll show you some of Rietveld's work tomorrow, he was the only person to build a full house in De Stijl style. It's a marvel of early 20th century architecture.


But, until then, see ya!
~John

Monday, 15 March 2010

Day 074 (15.03.10)

Dag fireoghalvfjerds. Yeesh, mondays. Who knows how many times I've said that before? But, to make up for my repetition to make up for my repetition to make up for my repetition, mondays are tiring. I won't go into details as I'm sure I've explained it before, on one monday in the past.

JOHNSPACE is developing quite a lot at the moment. Yesterday we had the addition of the Crap Filter and the Search Box, and today we have a whole new sub-blog. It's still in its infancy, so criticism and what-not is acceptable. It's simply an experiment at making a no-frills environment for displaying my pictures. Sure, Flickr On Black has its uses, but it's still not completely on black. There's the title of the photo, and who it's by. So I present to you: JOHNSPACE Photos. Displaying my photos (three so far) on a seamless black background. If you can't see the full picture in your browser (cut off top and/or bottom), then fullscreen it or remove some of your buttons in the top bars of your browser. I can see the full picture on Safari. As I said before, all comments are welcome. And BTW, clicking on a picture will bring up a page of info about it. There's also a hidden More link right-aligned below the pictures. CHECK IT OUT PLEASE.


Today's picture comes courtesy of Flickr. It's my latest upload, a piece from my work on the third JOHN Collection that turned out to look... let's just say 'suggestive'. I'm sure it's just my schoolboy mind picking out vague similarities between this bench and a certain outline of a certain body part, but I felt the need to point it out before someone else did (though I could just have said 'inb4 your bench looks like a penis'). I quite like the design of the bench - that is, if you ignore what I just said. Sand red is a wonderful colour; there should be loads more bricks in it.


~John

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Day 073 (14.03.10)

Dag treoghalvfjerds. Ah, sundays. Time to do homework. OK, not so good. But also a time to build - and build I did. I've taken a couple of pictures just now, they'll pop up on Flickr in the next few days no doubt. Of course, some of them are pictures of my first batch of JOHN Collection stuff, preparing for the Spring catalogue (featuring a guest builder - I'm not sure whether we're going to announce who it is yet, I'll have to check with him). I can't wait 'till you see the stuff.


You may notice a new graphic in the JOHNSPACE sidebar. Say hello to the answer to all life's problems - the JOHNSPACE Crap Filter. This ingenious device can filter out all the boring stuff, the 'why is it not snowing' stuff from the start of the year, and all that boring eBay stuff too. Check out the page here, which is divided into several easily defined sections - including maths, philosophy, and design. There's also links to my various rants on ANR and the Danish language. And, if you still want more, there's links to all my shameless self-indulgence and similarly shameless self-deprecation. I'm sure you'll like it.

Also on this blog is a brand spanking (hoorah abuse) new search bar. So, just type in your desired word - let's say Denmark - and all the posts that include the keyword pop up just above the top post on the page. Now, with the search box and Crap Filter, browsing JOHNSPACE should be easier and quicker. And you won't have to see the boring stuff. Hooray.

~John

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Day 072 (13.03.10)

Dag tooghalvfjerds. After a bad week, the weekend is a time to relax. And relax I did. I went to my [drama thingy], came back and built. Built a lot. I was in a furniture mood (good ol' Wallpaper* magazine), so I got some good chairs and tables turned out of the JOHN Collection factory. There was only one that I was very unhappy with: I'll show you that one tomorrow, then you'll see why.

I've finally finished (kinda) my JOHN Collection atmospheric scene, set in the JOHN offices but will also be used as a location for some of the catalogue items. Unfortunately I can only show you so much furniture with the scene - I don't want to spoil the surprises of some of the pieces I've got up my sleeve. Just you wait. Now all the scene needs is time. If I leave it there for a week, I will be looking at it every now and again. If any amendments need to be made, I'll notice over the next week and they'll be made. Oh, and it needs furniture too. Heh heh, I almost forgot about that.


Our picture of the day. Some more design inspired by the latest Wallpaper* magazine. This is the famous chair and ottoman by Ray Eames, sometimes known simply as the Eames Chair. It's an icon of chair design, and I do agree with whoever first said that. Maybe it's a bit too corporate and old-fashioned in its stylings (the wooden veneers aren't that tasteful), but other than that it's a very nice piece of design.

This wooden stool-chair is also some of Eame's work. Now, no complaints about the odd angle of the picture: this is the best angle for this chair, honest. Sure, it's wooden veneer (plywood actually), but it's got such a great, ergonomic ('user-friendly') design. I love the way the back two legs are shorter than the front two, and how it's made of strips of bent plywood which fit together to make a smooth yet purposeful shape. Add into the equation the fact that it's made in the Golden Ratio (width:height is 0.618:1), and you've got yourself a 'perfect' chair (remember, there is no such thing as true perfection). Good job Eames.


~John

Friday, 12 March 2010

Day 071 (12.03.10)

Dag énoghalvfjerds, and we reach the end of a series of 5 very bad days. Oh, ok, 3 very bad days. Monday and tuesday weren't that bad. Wednesday's sad events (I'm still not telling you) meant that the whole of the rest of the week was (and will be) pretty gloomy. But I had a nice evening tonight (the reason for another late friday post), so maybe that bodes well for the weekend. Let's hope so.



Time for our daily picture. Not something of mine, but a photo of a building I thought you guys might like. I read about it in the latest issue of Wallpaper* magazine last night. It's the CCTV (Central China Television) building in Beijing, China. It's an absolutely stupendous building: how does it stay up like that? Who knows!

In a way, it's sad. That's because the building you can see in the background there, the browny one, is actually the headquarters of another Chinese broadcasting corporation. It was halfway through construction when most of the exterior structure was burnt down and ruined, apparently by a fire started by fireworks. So in fact the CCTV building is being constructed in the shadow of its predecessor, which does not have enough funding to be rebuilt (though they are getting around to it slowly). To be honest, I'd prefer the CCTV building to the one in the background (burnt or otherwise) any day.


~John

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Day 070 (11.03.10)

Dag Halvfjerds. For some reason, 70 is 'halvfjerds'. Knowing Danish, 'fjerds' either doesn't exist, or it's 80. Silly Danes. Bloody Swedes, for that matter. But I guess today is a good time to celebrate - 70 days! Wahoo! That's a an important date if ever I saw one. I'm too tired to work out the maths to see what percentage of the year we are at. My head is still full of congruent triangle proof from school.

Speaking of maths, it is a very interesting thing. OK, algebra isn't. But I was discussing axioms today with my maths teacher (no laughing). An axiom is a fixed rule in maths. We base the whole of our knowledge around several simple axioms. Without them, we wouldn't be able to work out any sums. The most basic axiom is 1+1=2. If this was different, then the whole of maths would be different. Let's say that our new base axiom is 1+1=-2. That means two of the same numbers added together make the negative of the number after them. Or, two positive numbers make a negative number. So what would and positive and negative number make? Some sort of ± number?

You see; it changes all the rules of mathematics. And yet how do we know that the axiom 1+1=2 is correct? I could delve into a whole lot of maths to show that it isn't true (ie. 3/3= 0.9999999... , not 1). Thus, the whole fragile structure of mathematics (which to be honest doesn't make any sense with √-1) is based on an assumption. We could be wrong. In which case, we're screwed.


Woah, that girl from Glee can sing. I'm just watching it now, like the 'gleek' that I am. I can't help myself. But jeez, she's got some voice. Anyways, onto today's picture. It's the first draft of my personal logo - I wanted to make some sort of symbol like Simon C. Page's, but I decided to go with something more typographical. It's in the same style and colours as this blog's header (that has now set my personal style). Colour is teal (#006666), font is Lubelin, some thin variant thereof. Any comments or criticism will be appreciated.


~John

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Day 069 (10.03.10)

Dag niogtres. That'll be Day 69. No funny comments, please. OK, let's move on. Today is a sad day. A very sad day. I can't tell you guys what happened because it's private and all, but it's just making me sad, which means this blog post is gonna be quite dull. Hold still and bear with me to the end, which won't be far off.


Okey dokey, let's quickly get onto our picture. One from my old Phone Pics VI, of a bus shelter sign. I quite like the perspective and the unsaturated colours. I had to remove the bus stop's name for privacy reasons - because I don't want you stalking me! So ha, you'll never find me, ye fewls! Virb link is hier.

Next up, topics of extreme philosophical nature. Nah, just kidding, I'll leave that to another day. I'm not in an 'extreme philosophical' mood. I've added another 5 pieces to my JOHN Collection project, which is actually pretty good considering my track record of 0 pieces per schoolnight. It's better than nothing, as the ever-quoted cliché goes. Oh, and I also worked out a technique for part of the scene. That's worth something, at least. Isn't it? You guys are going to love this, I just know it...


Anyway, I'll see you again tomorrow, when hopefully I'm feeling more upbeat.
~John

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Day 068 (09.03.10)

Dag otteogtres. Yeesh, late again today. Damn school. Damn homework. Damn sudden flashes of creativity. I've been sitting here by my desk hurriedly scribbling out frames and ideas and concepts for that short film I started on ages ago. The 11th February, actually.

I felt like I should really get around to thinking about the plot, and I did just that today. Then I rushed home and had to find some way to get my ideas onto paper. I tried a lined paper pad I bought a few weeks ago, but I drew my logo wrong on it - dangit, useless! What about a small A6 pad? No, no, too full of old stuff... How about this A4 ring-bound pad? Certainly not, it's half-full with an unfinished script from years ago. I finally found a bulky A4 hardback pad. I now have 3 messy pages of my ideas. I'm pleased that I got it down before I forgot. If I could pull this film off, oh ho ho, if only...



I'm listening to more Danish music. This time, from Sys Bjerre, so crazy young singer. She did that song yesterday about X Factor and 'funny dicks'. I've now bought one of her songs, 'Lille Pige', from iTunes. The Danes make such upbeat music. Yay. Anyways, the picture. The last laugh of the day goes to Legohaulic for his Element Commune mech. Dangit, look at that awesome dark turquoise. It seems I'll have to invest in more parts for whatever dark turquoise MOC I'll make, be it a spaceship or something else. If there are 1x2 dark turquoise tiles, I need lots of them!


Adios amigos,

~John

Monday, 8 March 2010

Day 067 (08.03.10)

Dag syveogtres. "Nu kommer du og vil; forsøge en gang til; og lover guld og grønne skove..." ha ha, Danish songs are so crazy. I don't really know what that means, but the song's good. Something about X-Factor. Maybe she (the singer) is the winner of the Danish X-Factor. Mebbee. Take this line, for instance: "Så hvis du googler 'funny dick'; kan du se den på Yahoo...". Ha ha ha! I think it actually means "funny dick" as well! And I love that the verb for 'to google' is simply 'googler'. Danes are so funny sometimes. Thank you ANR.

And now Shakira's telling me she's a gypsy. Several times. Hmm, a new song ANR? O rly? It must be old, they never play new songs. Never. Anyways, in other news, I've made more progress in my latest JOHN Collection project. Thassright, I've added four bricks and four tiles! Extensive progress, yes I know. But what I have done is re-write my "MOCs to build" list. I lost it for some reason. Now it's back, and full of new MOC ideas, including a Post-Apoc diorama I somehow dreamt of last night (you know you're crazy when you start dreaming Post-Apoc dreams!).


Here's an old-ish graphic that I never showed to you guys here on JOHNSPACE. It's on Flickr here. It's a mock-up of a pixel font which is in a 3x5 grid (Lego seems to affect everything I do, ha ha). It was supposed to be curved rather than straight, so take that into account when thinking about how I should do it better. The bottom row is £, (, ), Ŋ, Æ (cover the right column and you have A, the left two columns and you get E), Œ (same principle), ß (you have to go with the flow with this one), Þ, ð. So, værsgo. Hope you enjoyed that little graphic.



~John

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Day 066 (07.03.10)

Dag seksogtres. Ah, sundays. The calm after the storm of friday and saturday. A time to relax, do homework (dangit) and build build build. Oh, and also go to a friend's birthday party. Unfortunately I am now twice as tired as I was when I left school on friday afternoon, so it seems the whole purpose of the weekend (other than to provide some time to do what you want) has been completely ignored. Ah well. It can't make much difference to the already-large bags under my eyes.

No picture today: instead I've got two YouTube videos to show you. It may not be a picture, but it's a welcome break in my usual all-text posts.



Now, I've never watched any of the Twilight films, and I hope to never to see them in the future, but this parody by Movieclips.com was too funny to pass up. You don't need to have seen the films; as I haven't. You just need to know there's some Robert Pattinson dude, some gal called Bella, and some werewolf dude called Jacob who spends a lot of the film (or trailers, at least) with his top off. In this parody trailer, hilarity ensues...



This next video is a very sad documentary about a man in America who has the largest record collection in the world. It's put online by short film distributor Future Shorts - they're my first stop for seeing short films from around the world. This documentary is well-edited, well-shot and gets across its message to you in just under 8 minutes. Don't get bored of it; wait until the end. I think everyone should know about this man, and what he has to do with his collection. It's very sad. Sob sob.



~John

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Day 065 (06.03.10)

Dag seksogtres. After the hectic post yesterday, we return to the usual laid-back blogging today. Saturdays a very good days - probably the best day in the week for me. Thus, today was like any other saturday. Then again, it's actually silly to say "my favourite day of the week". You may think all saturdays are good, but maybe you'll get run over next saturday. Then, maybe, saturdays won't be so good. Perhaps in the future, a major world war will break out on a saturday - and everyone will think of you - John, way back in 2010 - as a villain who liked days when major world wars broke out. Yes, silly indeed.

I've been building again, for the first time in a couple of weeks. I have annoyingly lost my big list of MOCs to build, and I had two to tick off as well. Dangit. Anyway, I'll be building from memory now. I've got a big-ish diorama in the works (by 'in the works', I mean that I have a general idea of what it will look like if I decide to splash out on some of the parts I need), but for now I'm building the JOHN Collection. It's a scene I'm doing for a little one-off picture-with-caption thingy, but it's set in the JOHN Collection offices, so it's obviously packed full of JOHN goodness. The furniture in it will probably appear in the JOHN Collection III, whenever that is. So watch this space!


Our picture for the day. It's not very good, to be brutally honest. It's a typographical thinymahoop I made a few months today (Virb's photo uploader is dead so I can't put any more of my photos there, I had to delve into my old graphics to find this). It's supposed to be a Matrix-style thing. Once again, it's a graphic I made by starting with a blank canvas and a blank mind. I type something in, it sparks an idea, and that sparks an image I want to create. Clearly, in this case, that image was not a good one. Ah well, it's better than nothing. And it's practice, at least.


~John

Friday, 5 March 2010

Day 064 (05.03.10)

Dag fireogtres. And, since it's friday night, I'm extremely late and extremely tired again. I seem to be tired a lot lately; it doesn't bode well for another three weeks. But hey, at least I'm getting today's post done. Slowly, and with a definite emphasis on the 'slow' part, but it's getting done. Hey, paragraph 1's over already!

What is there to talk about? Oh, my latest Lego Shop@Home magazine came today. It's a short one, which is a bit annoying. At least it isn't one of their annoying Christmas ones, which are exactly the same as their Winter (or is it Autumn?) catalogues but with a more christmas-y front cover. This new one also announces the arrival of the Grand Emporium! At £130, it's more than costly, and would mean spending all my money left over from Christmas. Hence, it's a no-no, for now at least. I bet those trans-clear headlights will be selling for a fortune on BL.



Okey dokey, moving on - here is our picture of the day. It's nothing special, and it's in fact a re-shopped photo back from Phone Pics II. I don't think I ever showed the original to you, but I wanted to try something in black and white, and so here it is. Enjoy.

Adios amigos,
~John

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Day 063 (04.03.10)

Dag fireogtres. Another good day. This weeks seems to be full of them. Did I mention before that I run a film club at my school? Well, if not, then I'm mentioning it to you now. We mainly make films, but watch some too. I organise for us to do a project each term - this term it's all about cinematography. We're going through the basics: CU, EUC, OTS, POV, etc, as well as covering some more complex techniques like answering shots and the master shot technique.

Since it's near the end of the term, the six groups which make up film club are starting to film their scenes (which they've planned and storyboarded). That means it's film club every day of the week for me! From now until thursday next week there'll be a group filming each lunchtime, and I'll be there to advise them and try to keep out of their shots. It's really fun to see their projects developing, and to see them working from my storyboard template and the filmmaking techniques I've taught them. Makes me feel very proud. A big ego boost, too.



Anyways, let's move onto today's picture. Oh hoorah. It's a crappy tiling graphic! Well, I think I deserve to cut myself some slack as I 'mocked this up' on Fireworks at lunchtime in school today. Though the prospect of a blank Fireworks canvas is quite daunting, it's also fun. Just a quick fiddle around with the Pen tool created a shape which was a right-angled triangle with its shortest edge curved. A bit of messing around, and I produced this. It tiles quite well, though it only tiles horizontally, so it's hard to find a good application for it. But hey, it's some Fireworks practice for me. Virb doesn't seem to be working, so I have no link for you today.


~John

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Day 062 (03.03.10)

Dag toogtres. I'm still confuzzled over the whole halvtreds/tres thing. Silly Danish. Bloody Swedes. Day 62, that would be. My house number. Uh... (shit) ... I mean, 10 more than my house number. Yeah, ha ha, just a typo. Of course it's not my house number. Heh heh, I wouldn't say that online. Hah hah. Hah hah heh eh... uh... let's move on!


The daily picture. Or picture of the day, as you could also call it. Daily picture reminds me of that ghastly Facebook app. Yeesh, I hate that thing. I set it up a few months ago, and it's been nagging at me to 'upload my picture of the day' using its dumb-ass ad-filled UI ever since. I want to turn it off, but I don't really know how. It's probably really easy. I can never fully get to hang with Facebook. Anyway - the picture. It's a swooshy thing. Recently 'shopped. Used to be in a Phone Pics thingy. Number 1, if my memory serves (is that the expression?). It's on Virb here. Voila.

Paragraph three. What's it all about today? I shout start a mini-blog of only the stuff I have in paragraph three. It's a vastly diverse paragraph, ranging from absolute shit (see Day 58), or it could be very interesting (see Day 57). I guess what I've been doing recently is making my business card. It's nothing too serious; just a little card with my email address and website on it. The problem is, I don't know what site to use. I should really make my own site, but I can't decide on a design or an identity. Do I go by my real name? Do I make up a company (eg. "Østegaard Graphics")? Do I go by my pseudonym, John? Should it be a personal site? A portfolio? My Virb site? Should I show this blog on it? My Twitter? Brickspace? It's the best web design work I've done, but I'm not sure about showing it to potential clients, it being Lego and all. Not that I deny my Lego fanhood, I'm just unsure of whether it will scare off P-Cs. Ah well, that's a struggle for another day...



~John

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Day 061 (02.03.10)

Dag énogtres. Yay for that é. Yé! Hah hah. Guess what I'm doing? Photoshopping, of course! Guess what I'm listening to? ANR, of course! And they're still playing the same damn songs. It think it's Allan Reichstein presenting. I could be wrong. It could be that moronic Søren guy. Hey, I've discovered the 1-up from ANR... Danish TV! ANR is part of a network called Nordjyske. Nordjsyke, the broadcasting company of north Jutland (Jylland) have a site called Web-TV where you can watch little news articles about whatever boring shit is happening in north Jutland. There's also a movie programme called Bif & Co. It's pretty funny 'cause you get to see crazy Danish films.

Now, yesterday I was going to write about Cloverfield. Luke (from Brickspace) lent it to me, and I watched it all in one go (never watch a film in two parts if you can help it) last night. Unfortunately I really needed to grab the moment after I'd finished watching it, but then I realised it was a letter-writing and challenge-setting day so that got sidelined. I'm going to watch it again sometime this week (leave some time for it to sink in, then I can look deeper into it when I have thought about it more), then I'll give you guys a proper review. All I can tell you now is that it was breathtaking - maybe not because "it was so good it was breathtaking", but rather "it was so chock-full of non-stop action it was literally breathtaking". Some fantastic cinematography in there, too. "We've got a bite!" screamed some doctor. Then a woman a'sploded. A serious 'OMG! WTF? OMFG!!' moment.


Did I not say I had to show you a picture each day? I did, and here's today's delightful installment. It's a re-'shopped old Phone Pics photo. (you can find it on Virb here). I quite like how it's come out, with a clear contrast between the red of the leaves (fake, ha ha) and the blue of the sky (also fake). 'Shopping it has also made it look sharper, which is always a good thing.

Yesterday Zack gave us on Flickr a sneaky peek at his Blood in the Snow entry. I can't wait to see it; I know it's going to top mine. Ah well, I'm happy with third place (first and second being Zack and someone else who I know will also top me). Stop teasing us, Zack!!



~John

Monday, 1 March 2010

Day 060 (01.03.10)

Dag Tres. That's right, 50 is halv-treds and 60 is tres. They narrowly avoided having 50 as half of 60. Silly Danes. That reminds me, I should have escaped to Denmark today. Had a bit of a mix-up with my fellow escapee. Maybe another time.

Anyway, it's day 60. And it's also the start of the month. That means this day is the overlap of two important events: my 20-day challenge, and my monthly letter to my future self. It's a shame, because I had some good content to talk about today. Ah well, it can wait until tomorrow. Here's my last letter. Now time for the second one...

Dear moi,
Funnily enough, I have kept up with this blog, contrary to what I said a month ago. So hah. Ha ha ha. It's going very well actually. Sure, friday nights are going to be a bit of a problem, but we can overcome it. And I seemed to write a lot last friday, so maybe it's not all bad. Let's hope we can keep this up until month 4. April. Showers and stuff like that. Good luck, mate.
I didn't win those eBay things. Fucking eBay. I'll never forget that idiot who outbid me in the last second. Sure, I won another eBay thing, but I didn't win that one. Oh, and about that JRC entry... uh... heh heh, I think it's got a little complicated. But my rocky slopes are coming in the post, honest! Some guy in America shipped them today! Then I'll do the entry. Even though the contest has ended, I can still build Pirate. And I hereby give myself until the 1st April to finish at least one Pirate dio. And no, you can't say "deadline? Ha, april fool!". This is 'srs buiness', got it?
So what now? We haven't found Bin Laden, our house hasn't burnt down, and I still haven't found our keys. Sorry about that. I never had them in the first place. But have you found them yet? Have you finally found some way to get over that whole Valentine's Day thing? I hope you have. You seem like a braver person than I am, which is kinda strange since we're one and the same.
Once again, pay heed to the warning about you losing limbs. I'm watching where you swing that arm, asshole. I see you.

Until then, adios!
~Me

I think that just about summed it up, as well as confusing you guys a lot. I was speaking to both my future self and my past self simultaneously there, not such a good idea for when I do it again on the 1st April. No doubt I'll make lots of April Fool's jokes.

OK, what's my pact for the next 20 days? Simply this: post a picture with every single post. That's right, a picture (whether mine or something from teh interwebz) along with some text about is EVERY SINGLE DAY. I started doing that a while ago when Zack pointed it out, but now I'm doing it seriously.


Uh, today is exempt from that rule. Heh heh.

~John