May 30, 2013


It's been a busy week workwise. Shouldn't really complain as it means money, but it would be nice to get out of the house once in a while, especially in summer. So, as I got the last urgent project finished yesterday, I decided to go cycling this morning. And I'm still in schedule despite taking that time off.

I guess you could call me nuts, because my idea of relaxing is getting up at 4 AM and heading out to a bog at 5 AM, but that's just how it is. The weather was just perfect: sunny and already +21°C at 5 AM.

The white things you can see in that photo are these:

I don't know what plant that is, but they were all over the place in the open area, but not in the places where there were more trees. Another plant there was plenty of was Labrador Tea (Rhododendron tomentosum).

There was also a lot of spider webs – in plants on the ground, in trees, between trees. I felt bad about the spiders who had made their webs so that I had no choice but to break them, if I wanted to go forward. In a forest, you can always go around, but on a bog, walking a narrow plank path, there are no alternate routes, if you want to keep your shoes dry.

I found all sorts of other little creatures along the way. I can't identify butterflies in the caterpillar stage, so I have no idea what this is, but it looked cool anyway. I'm sure a bird will think twice before trying to swallow this one.

And of course there were slugs. You can find them almost anywhere.

Coming back from the bird tower, I went to the bird watching platform near the start of the route. I guess I was a bit too noisy, because I managed to scare away a crane, which was fairly close. As I didn't want to leave just yet, I sat some time at the platform listening to birds. That's when this came and sat on my knee:

I assume it's a bee, but it seemed too small to me, just under 2 cm long. Somehow I thought they'd be bigger. I guess I've seen too many movies where killer bees attack. I've posted a query in a discussion forum where I've got identification help before, so hopefully I'll find out the exact species.

May 29, 2013

Custom dolls and miniature projects

I have now gone through both of these sets and the custom dolls can be found in the "Custom dolls" section at my web site, and the miniature projects are (or will be) mainly in my Crafts blog.

May 28, 2013

New web page

Today I went through the miniature project set and transferred several photos to my web sites.

There's a new "Behind the scenes" page on the Doll Photo Stories site, containing photos of making sets used in making photo stories. The page with dollhouses in various scales also has several new photos.

May 27, 2013

Doll shoe photos

The doll shoe photos are now in the Fashion Doll Shoes blog along with the more detailed info. If you're interested in just looking at photos, my web site has a gallery page, which has thumbnail pictures you can click to view larger pictures.

May 26, 2013

Mad Hatter stories moved

It took some work, but I managed to transfer "Mad Hatter's House" and "Mad Hatter 2: Family Matters" to my web site. The part of the transfer that takes most work is naming the files. They need to be renamed to have the same name, but consecutive numbering, so I can take a page template and just find-replace the filenames. Copying the texts from an RTF file (I have those for all my stories) is fairly monotonous, and then you just check on the finished pages that everything is where it should be. I also managed to find a few typos, which are now fixed.

It's hard to believe how long it is since I created these stories. The uploads were from autumn 2006. I really should have done some "spring cleaning" a long time ago.

I also fixed the set cover photos for the stories that will remain. The photos were all screwed up after the layout change, which shows the photo one way in Organize and another in the actual set layout. Also managed to change the cover photo, although the cover photo functionality seems to be seriously lacking. I just picked one of the photos it agreed to display in the selection list.

May 25, 2013

Cycling this morning

All this photo archiving is taking time, but it has also made me more alert than in ages. I've been sort of flegmatic for most of this spring. This morning I got up at 5 and as the sun was shining, I headed out cycling.

This is the building in the block right next to ours. I hadn't been this way in a few days, so this tree in full bloom was a surprise.

I went north, by Vaasantie, as I wanted to ride the 3 km straight stretch across the boggy area. I took my PS Vita with me, because I wanted to add some more bookmarks. The first one was where I turned away from Vaasantie. That's where I got this WTF moment. I guess you could name this picture "GPS isn't infallible." The circle with arrowhead inside is what I got when I tapped the current location mark (the circle in the lower left corner). The red arrow shows where I actually was. I rebooted Vita and the GPS got back into its senses and showed the correct location.

I really like this function, and it isn't too expensive to use either as the 3G connection it requires costs €0.99 per day and max. €14.99 per month. I usually have the mobile network disabled in the settings, because I use my Wi-Fi at home, and only enable the 3G when I need the GPS or want to access the web when outdoors.

Along the straight road, there were a lot of young trees cut on both sides.

I also came across a pheasant, who wasn't happy to see me. Fortunately, I saw him first, so I got my camcorder out and shot a little clip. It turned out OK, considering that I didn't see the display properly. I saw enough to get the tilt right and then I just looked along the top of the camcorder and kept it pointed to the general direction of the bird.

Approximately half way through the straight stretch, there's a perfect spot for a "pit stop." There are danger signs in those power line pylons, but I don't let it bother me. As long as I'm not climbing them or get here during a thunder storm, there's no danger. The reason why this place is perfect is that you can get entirely out of the road, which has remarkably narrow shoulder as you can see in the video.

Another project moved

The Cupboard House project is now here: The web page format is actually better for this one as I could group photos together.

May 24, 2013

I'm sure there are easier ways

I guess I'm doing things the hard way, but I want to do some "quality control" as I transfer my photos to new locations, so I go through them one by one. Also, I suppose it means I'm an old fossil, but I actually maintain my web site by editing HTML code in Notepad++. There's just something satisfying about code that doesn't contain anything extra, just what is needed to show what needs to be shown.

Page templates and the find-replace function make web page creation a bit easier. For example, I have templates for the kind of pages the Birchfield photos are on (containing small photos that link to larger ones). I just need to number the photos certain way when I save them and then use find-replace to fix the text part of the file names in the code.

One thing I found today that helps a bit is Bulkr. The free version lets you pick some of the first sets in your Flickr account and download the photos in small, medium or large size. I noticed that the small size is just right for the link thumbnails. And if you want a set that isn't among the ones that can be selected, just go to Organize in Flickr and move the set to the beginning of your sets and it becomes available.

I actually started looking for a downloader as the Flickr download function seemed to stop working, although I used it yesterday without any problems. Finally it turned out that it was moved. You need to click the icon with two arrows in the lower right corner of the black photo background and you get to the familiar "All sizes" page.

Update: It's actually the three dots that give you the option to view all sizes. The arrows show the photo in a lightbox. Funny, yesterday (Friday) they took me straight to "View all sizes."

More archiving

Another project that got moved is the Birchfield House.

Dollhouse projects

I moved some projects from Flickr to my web site. The custom Catwalk Kitties are now there along with photos of the construction of some dollhouses. The two main projects are the Radio House (which became bar Bastet in the Kitty and Riddick story) and Fantasy Villa (in which another story takes place).

Radio House

Fantasy Villa

May 23, 2013

Stop motion animation

The stop motion animations are now in YouTube. It's not perfect, there are ads everywhere, and they keep changing things all the time, but I don't care as it's just a storage from where I can embed the videos to places I want. So, it doesn't matter how invisible they make me in their service in favor of "sexier" content.

Severing ties

Yesterday's goal was to remove links between my blogs and Flickr. That included some downloading and uploading, but actually, it's easier to download photos in the right size from Flickr than start looking for and then resizing the originals.

Blogs are done now and next I need to do the same with my web site as there are some photos there that are hosted in Flickr. The blogs also got a small "facelift" this morning as I removed extra clutter from their layouts.

Yesterday, I found out how easy it is to download all your blog photos, if you're using Blogger:
  1. Go to Google Takeout
  2. Select your service. For Blogger photos, it's Picasa Web Albums.
  3. Configure the download, that is, select whether you want to download everything or just one album (one blog's photos).
  4. Select "Create Archive." 
You can either wait until the creation of the zip file is ready or select the option to receive an email once it can be downloaded. The zip archive will contain your photos in folders with each blog's photos in their own folder.

May 22, 2013

Comic strips

It is actually fun to go through some of the old photos. There's so much stuff that you just forget what's there. Like these comic strips I made some years ago.

New start

It's a new start for a blog once deleted. As I have started my move away from Flickr, I need a place to upload all the miscellaneous daily/weekly stuff that doesn't belong to my web sites and is not about doll shoes or crafts.

I will also be posting updates on what I've been doing on my other sites, so this is the one place to get updates on all of my activities. In case, you know, somebody actually cares.

As I'm deleting stuff from Flickr, you'll also see here some of the photos that don't belong anywhere else. I'm not sure how much of the old stuff I will be uploading, probably mostly dolly stuff as the journal entry type uploads are kind of obsolete (for anybody else, I'm of course saving them for myself).