Menu card for Christmas

It's the tradition that the family comes together each year at a different place. This year it is our turn to serve the guests a Christmas dinner. It will be a dinner for 9 persons. To make this dinner a bit more fancy i wanted to make also 9 menu cards. I picked a foldable popup card, added the menu, cutting and glueing the pieces together. This is the end result.

You can click on the image to see it in action.

For everyone reading this i wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 24/12/2007 13:34:47

Ports of Call DS

Ports of Call DSI've started to work on a project that has been on my mind for a long time now. It's called Ports of Call, an old game that i used to play on the Amiga and later as a DOS game on the PC. Over the years i kept playing this game. I even made a GameBoy Advance version of it. That version is playable but the econics section wasn't included yet. That project was dropped due to problems with the compiler (DragonBasic). But now i have found C++ and PALib to work with. It's a pleasant combination and i'll make lots of progress. You can follow this project on this site ( see menu item on the right).

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen

Foldable (Christmas) card

Foldable Christmas card

 It's nearly that time of the year again. Christmas and sending each other cards are so connected. Choosing the right card is difficult enough but what if you can't find the right card? Then you just make one.

For a few persons that i admire i always make a special card and each year a different one. I like the foldable type cards the most and to make one myself i made a template for it. You can use this template and add a theme that you like to it. Next you can see an example.

Template, a pre-made card and some more goodies can be found on my hobby site that i made some time ago. You can use the search option to find this card or navigate to papermodels and then the section named Zoelen


  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 26/11/2007 16:37:29

Agent Orange

My first homebrew for the Nintendo DSLast year the PALib community held a PALib homebrew compo. The theme of the compo was orange in any form. This compo made me try to learn C++ and actually make some software for the Nintendo DS. I had only 10 days to complete my submission so it won't get any price for coding. But despite all of this it did make me want to learn more of C++ and to program more for the Nintendo DS.

While cleaning up my harddrive i stumbled upon this little piece of code. I guess i could share it with anyone that want to have it.

ROM only

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 16/11/2007 18:53:49

Project JDS v1.30

Release 1.30


This release corrects a display error when you doing a large number of tests. When you reach the 100 correct answers mark the display of the wrong answers drops off.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 20/10/2007 19:46:02

Juwelry box

Juwelry box still closed

Juwelry box openedAfter making some books i had some material left. A few chunks of cardboard, a few sheet of paper and some linnen. To small to be of any use for a book and to big to throw away.

So i was thinking 'what to do with it'? I came up with this small juwelry box. It's about 20cm tall and all cardboard. The leftovers from this piece where thrown away finaly.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 19/10/2007 09:52:22


Now available at your local Aether shop


With this device your life will be complete, you will be wondering about the time before. ‘How could you have lived without this’ you may ask yourself?

Now available at your local Ætheric shop

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 12/10/2007 15:06:31

Oh! beautiful junk - part II

Getting the OS transfer via floppiesThe first problem arises. The laptop didn’t have any OS installed. I took a boot disk that i had at hand, formatted the hard disk and transferred the system files. Because of the dated hardware i decide to install Windows 95.

Ouch! How do i transfer the files. I have no network stack available, no CD or USB support. The only way doing this is using 1.44Mb floppies. I did give it a try with Interlink but i didn’t have the right cable for it.
Front decoration
Next problem. Most of the cab files are 1.6Mb and won’t fit on a floppy. To pass that barrier i used arj to make a multi span self extracting archive. Funny thing to notice here is that this shareware version of arj only can make 360Kb archives when doing self extracting spans. No sweat, i just copy 4 of them to each floppy.

A few hours later i starting up win95 setup…. nothing happens. It turned out that the system and related OS files are newer then win95 so the setup refuses to start. Format C: /s again but now with DOS6.22. Doing the exercise again with the floppies and after a few hours setup is running and the laptop is finaly operational.
The cover glued and under tension
Time for building a new case. I used MDF to make the case. I wanted to have a look of an old radio. I constructed all the pieces and screwed them together while making sure that every part will fit in. The top of the case is done with two pieces of cardboard glued together and press dried in place. This makes a perfectly shaped cover.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 08/10/2007 14:55:40

Oh! beautiful junk - part I

A pictureviewer made from a old laptop

I still had an old laptop around. With old i mean really old. It’s a model 486DX66 of which i had two of them. One of these i already converted to a picture viewer. I mounted the screen backwards and made a few more adjustments. Added a nice frame around it, drilled a few holes and voila, it hangs on the wall.A lightweight laptop

But what to do with the last laptop? I could make another picture viewer but i’ve done that already. So i needed a project that went a step further.

I removed all the unnecessary part and cut off all excessive materials. This left me the setup shown on the right. There was no need to make things smaller for the plans i had. This will be the basis for the drawing of things to come.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 07/10/2007 14:46:39

(a)symmetric nature

Nature loves symmetrical forms. You can see it everywhere, plants, animals and humans. True, there are also asymmetrical lifeforms but nature favors the symmetry. This is strange because studies have shown that when we look at the opposite sex we find a slightly asymmetrical face more attractive. So how much is ’slightly’ asymmetrical?

My star sign is Gemini. This sign is know for it’s duality so i was wondering if this also would show up in my face. I’ve took the image from below and split it in two halves. Then i mirrored each halve and paste it together again. I was really surprised by the results. I have really two quiet different faces in me. See for you self….

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 06/10/2007 14:42:08

One picture can tell more then it should.

Art and photography can come to one with ease. A simple picture can become a work of art and tell many, many stories. I was always attracted by the strength of pictures that at first sight looked so simple and ordinary. Images of people, the pictures taken straight in their face, no re-touche or any other cosmetic changes. You can see their lives in their faces, in every line in their face. Their suffering, their grieve but also the joy they have had. This i my tribute to this art form.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 05/10/2007 14:40:40


Another stone sculpture i made earlier. It’s my own interpretation of a water dragon carved out one solid piece of stone. Since i am moved now to a rent house that has a small garden without a pond i had to place it somewhere in a corner crammed behind a few bonsai in training. The gargoyle is about 60 x 30 x 20 cm.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 27/09/2007 14:39:27

Celtic hanger

Wrapping beautiful things in paper and putting it in boxes. That is what i’ve been doing a lot lately. So was this piece. It’s made from a piece of marble that i found beside the road and stands about 30 cm tall. I’d cut out all the surrounding material and left the hanger untouched. The tools i used for this where a small bag filled with sand to hold the marble, a hammer and a small chisel (tipped tool). It took me several days during the summer to carve this out.



  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 22/09/2007 14:37:23

Boxing paper art

Last weekend i closed the boxes containing the paper models that i made this far. Amonst the StarWars models, puzzles and decorative art there is also this piece. It’s a model of Howl’s flying castle. I never heard of it but according my teenage daughter this is from a TV serie. I found it rather cute and challenging. I had to print the complete model on 26 A4 sized sheets and all the instructions were in Japanese! The end result is a large model that nearly fills a box on it own. Now i’ll tape the box shut and place it in the storage that i rent. I don’t know when it comes out again i but i am looking forward to that day.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 10/09/2007 14:34:49

Paper model

A paper puzzleThe thing that i like most of paper is that it can be cheap, it is easily available and you can make really nice things with it. Sometimes I use it for prototyping, checking ideas or just to get me away from the computer. Here’s an example of prototyping. I wanted to make a puzzle from wood but i wanted to test the dimensions first. After some drawing, cutting, folding and gluing this is the result. A puzzle that you can make but now all the pieces are made of paper.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 30/08/2007 14:27:19

Metal lady

Airbrush and pensil art, acrylic

Another find in the o’l box. I made this one quiet a few years ago. It’s made with pencil, brush and airbrush technics in acrillic colors. I already recieved a few bids on this one but i never could bring myself to actually selling it. And the change is less likely for every year that passes.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 27/08/2007 14:24:22

From the old box

While moving to another house many, many boxes with goods passed my hands. I’ve seen many items again that haven’t been in the light for years. Things that i made earlier for fun or with some real purpose.

One of these items is this box. It’s a box for the Colonists(settlers) of Catan game, in this case the cards version.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 20/08/2007 14:21:03

Steampunk man

My dear colleague, what brings you here?’ i asked. 

A strong person step out of the shadows and into the well lit hall. Here carried some luggage with him which he dropped on the floor next to the now closed door. I took his coat and accompanied him to my study. ‘Mr Jonathan Nightingale Lait, what can i do for you at this strangest hour of the day?’ i asked him while poking into the fireplace to get the flames going again. He didn’t say a word but instead he revealed a small box that he was hiding till then in his pocket. ‘I’ve decided that you can make use of this device so you can prove you’re theory right’ and he handed over the small box. I accepted the box and while holding my breath i slowly opened it.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 08/08/2007 14:14:30

Dont touch my Absynthe!

At the moment i am very busy with moving stuff between houses. Dust, warm outside and boxes filled with heavy goods makes me very thirsty.

“I need something to drink! Something cold!”

“Where’s my cup filled with Absynthe. Ah! there it is… O no! NO! This little girl gets it!”

“It’s mine, mine, MINE!”

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 08/07/2007 14:09:16

Build your own GPS - Part 3

At this stage we got the actual GPS data separated into chunks and assigned to the GPSInfo object, which is technically speaking a struct. I use object in this case because is got much similarities with how an object is used and it is easier for OOP users to understand. Now we need to convert the Longitude and Latitude information to tile number similar of those in use with

You may wonder why this is. Well it’s because this way you can bulk download tiles from an area and check them to see if you got the right ones. Ít’s much easier this way then using your own coordinate system.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 06/07/2007 13:58:21

Celtic drawning

Celtic warrior

Celtic warrior

A few years ago my wife wanted me to draw some Celtic patterns. I started scratching, rubbing and tinkering with different patterns and shapes. How hard i’d tried i couldn’t get the right feeling into my drawings.

Then just out of fustration i started to draw just what came into my mind. A few rough lines heOrginal imagere and there and a nice drawing emerged. I drew that image on sketchpaper with a soft pencil. This makes the drawing rather prone to smutches. Over the years my wife kept it stored between two cardboard plates in a cupboard to keep it safe. Now we are filling boxes to be move to our new temporary home. And look what showed up..? The old drawing! I was surprised that it was still there. I placed it into my scanner to make a digital copy of it so i can work on it some more.

Images traced

I first traces all the lines to make them stronger and i cleaned the scan up a little. I have a nice drawing program that allows you to use digital water colors but i never used it. I wanted to try this program and this scan seemed to be the perfect practise for it.

I used a small pressure sensitive drawing pad to apply the different colors. Just by applying more pressure you can make the colors stronger and the stroke wider. I was indeed a nice practise to do.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 02/07/2007 13:47:32


Click image to see design drawing

After reading Dan Brown’s ‘The DaVinci code’ i got intriged about a device mentioned in the book named the cryptex. I decided to make one of my own. I used nothing more that hand tools like saw, vile and sandpaper.

I developed my own coding system to open it and a trail throughout the house with hidden clues and hints. Each clue found gave some hints about the code to open the cryptex and a clue to the location of the next one. My wife solved the puzzles and riddles i layed out in the house within a day. However she needed more then a week (and several hints because i felt sorry for her) before she was able to open this gift. Click image to see schema.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 28/06/2007 13:36:42

Scrapbook DeLuxe

This is my scrap book where i keep in my notes, funny ideas and the plans of gadgets that i made earlier. It’s a leftover from the time that i learned how to bind a book together.
One day i saw this idea on the net (
here ) and it got me intrigued. After close examination i decided to enhance my scrapbook with such locking system.

Click the image 
to see it in action.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 24/06/2007 21:08:59

>CD Lamp

CD Lamp lit

What to do with those useless failed CD’s?

 Make a lamp out of them!

Just take 166 old (or new) CD’s, a TL unit, some wood, 4 nuts and wires and a few other goodies that are just laying around. Disable the TL unit to it’s bare parts. Measure the diameter of the TL tube and enlarge the center hole of the CD’s. Make an extra hole in each CD to fit in the starter and the trafo block of the TL unit. Add two extra holes in each CD to put the wire through that will keep the whole package together. Make the top and bottom cap from wood. Use sand paper to make them snug fit in the end caps. Remember, you are working with a voltage that can kill if you are make a mistake so SAFETY FIRST!



The top and bottom cap recycled from old garden lampsA few of the prepared CD'sBundeled CD'S

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 23/06/2007 10:53:13

Its steam my dear.

It's steam my dearTo much activity lately. Preparing a house to be sold, doing the garden, my wife was ill and a training week (C# for with 2x each day 2h 15m travel time leaves me very little time to do anything else then ‘drop dead’ in bed.

So, while i was walking home at night after another heavy training day i notice a pile of junk in the street. Some neighbour is leaving and his leftover household goods are put on the street to be picked up by the garbage collector.. (no pun intended here ) I skimmed swiftly through the items and i notice a rubber gas-mask that i decide to take with me. At home i throw it in the dishwasher to clean it.

I love the steampunk theme and i got a great idea to make a nice pair of goggle of the mask. After cleaning i start cutting and redesigning the thing into a cool looking steampunkish goggle. Here’s the result of just 2 hours work. It’s looks so cool.

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 12/05/2007 11:13:31