Posted in The Good Life on Sunday, 4th February 2018 at 6:30PM
250g Yellow Split lentils (rinsed)
250g Pearl Barley (rinsed)
250ml Rose Wine
4 carrots sliced
6 sticks of celery sliced
1 Sweet Potato in small chunks
1 Courgette sliced
250g frozen peas
1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 sachet Bouquet Garni
Fresh Thyme and Oregano
Pepper to taste
We had a friend over for lunch today and seeing as the sun was shining, decided to cook outside in the Dutch Oven. Our stews are pretty hit or miss but in my humble opinion this one was particularly good and worth writing down for future reference. It had just the right mix of textures from the Pearl Barley and Lentils with a bit of sweetness from the wine.
There isn't much instruction needed - just put it all in the pot, mix it up and stick it on the fire for about an hour. We baked potatoes around the outside of the pot whilst it was cooking and served it with homemade bread.
Posted in Art on Tuesday, 29th November 2016 at 4:58PM
Last week saw my app, Sun to Moon Sleep Clock, updated with a new and slightly unusual feature - a hologram mode. The only catch is that you need to build the hologram viewer yourself from cardboard and a few other basic materials. Full instructions can be found at http://www.msibley.com/sleep-clock-stand where you will also find a YouTube run through.
The viewer consists of 2 elements, a cardboard stand for displaying your iPad or tablet at a convenient viewing angle and the hologram adapter which attaches to the stand when the app is in hologram mode.
If you have a go at building either the stand or the viewer I'd love to hear how you get on!
Posted in Technology on Tuesday, 27th October 2015 at 8:39AM
Update August 2016: This app now has a new home at http://www.msibley.com/sleep-clock/ where you'll find full usage instructions and latest features
Update March 2016: I have just added a couple of new features including:
• Soothing sleep sounds with adjustable timer that plays after sunset. Choose between whale song, white noise (hair dryer), breaking waves or off.
• Audible sunrise alarm. Choose between digital alarm clock, birds singing or off.
It's been over two years since the release of my original Sun clock, in which time I have had numerous feature requests and ideas from users so I felt it was time to give it an update. The app has now become Sun to Moon Sleep Clock and as well as some new features I am also releasing an iOS version to accompany the Android version.
• Continuous Sunrise/Sunset times
• Shooting star progress bar
• 'Secret Star' sunrise activation button
• Auto dim
• Saved settings
Posted in Art on Friday, 8th August 2014 at 9:21AM
A few months ago I stumbled across Arnos Vale Cemetery whilst waiting for a train in Bristol. It initially looks like quite a swish place to be buried, with it's own cafe and everything - what more could you want! However as you venture off the main paths you find large areas of the cemetery that have been left for nature to reclaim and the result is most enchanting. There are head stones that have become melded with trees and crosses entombed in ivy but best of all there is virtually no-one (breathing) there so it feels like a real oasis in the middle of Bristol.
Posted in Technology on Friday, 25th October 2013 at 5:28PM
Sun to Moon Sleep Clock is an interactive night clock app that helps make bedtime more fun and consistent for kids. With a star countdown, visualised sunrise, collectable snooze rewards and gifts for the Sun and Moon characters, it makes gauging the time until morning much easier whilst offering a few gentle incentives to stay in bed till morning.
In its simplest form you just set the wake-up time then click the 'Good night' button to switch the clock to night mode, but there are also options for setting sleep sounds, wake-up sounds, reading times etc.. depending on your requirements. You can also customise the artwork by collecting snooze rewards which are exchanged for gifts for the Sun and Moon characters including hairstyles, accessories, face paint, custom counters and more. The app can also be tailored for special events such as Christmas, birthdays and Easter to help build excitment whilst averting the dreaded 4am wake-up call.
All the artwork used in the app is custom made in a style that has evolved from my life as an artist. I will continue to add functionality and new artwork whenever I get the time, so feel free to email me with suggestions!
Sun to Moon Sleep Clock is available for Android, Amazon and iOS devices. It can also be used completely free as part of the Amazon Underground scheme. Full details can be found at msibley.com/sleep-clock or you can download it using the links below:
Posted in Art on Sunday, 20th October 2013 at 10:50AM
Recent figures from the Global Slavery Index estimate there to be a total of 30 million people worldwide currently living in slavery. Contrast this with the fact that the entire African slave trade accounted for about 11 million people being sold into slavery and it becomes one of those figures that make you ask yourself 'how did I not know about this?'. Taken, a New iBook by Hazel Thompson exposes this modern day slavery in Mumbai, India in a beautiful and hard hitting way.
Posted in Web Design on Monday, 9th September 2013 at 7:35PM
Update 26th April 2018: The Bing translate API has now become Microsoft Translator Text API and this tutorial is no longer relevant.
With the demise of free Google Translate API usage it seemed as if the only viable alternative for automatic website language translation was to use their web widget or something similar from another provider. The widget works well for simple sites but I have found that it can interfere with other scripts running on the page and that the lack of fine control produces variable results. Aside from the practicalities I also find the toolbars and branding that these widgets insert are ugly and don't look particularly professional.
After a bit of research I discovered that whilst Bing translate API is a commercial product it also provides free translation of up to 2 million characters per month so I set about creating an Ajax translator for NewOfficeAsia.com, a PHP based site I am working on, and here is the result.
Posted in Web Design on Tuesday, 28th May 2013 at 8:55AM
Over the years that I have been using ExpressionEngine my htaccess file has evolved to meet various requirements and I am sure it will continue to do so. The current iteration is based largely on the one supplied with HTML5 Boiler Plate but I have adapted the re-write section to do a few different things that I find useful.
Posted in Web Design on Thursday, 7th February 2013 at 9:27AM
This short tutorial will show you how to create a simple but effective jQuery slider that allows users to change the value of a number field on an HTML form. I built this for newofficeasia.com, a serviced office rental search site, to adjust the search radius but it could be easily adapted and put to all sorts of uses.
View live demo
Posted in Technology on Thursday, 10th January 2013 at 8:51AM
About 6 years ago I was working mainly as an artist and decided I wanted to learn how to use a 'real' camera. Digital SLR cameras were becoming both affordable and capable enough to allow amateurs (i.e. me) to give it a go without breaking the bank so I invested in a Nikon D40x with a Nikon Nikkor 18-200 VRII zoom lens. My thinking was that this would be a flexible enough combination that it would cover me in most situations without needing to switch lenses.
A few weeks ago I happened to be reading a review of Sony's new large sensor compact camera the RX100 and realised that the capabilities of this tiny camera far exceeded those of my 6 year old DSLR in just about every aspect. Within a couple of days my entire setup was on ebay and a couple of weeks later I had more than enough money to cover the cost of an RX100.