Project spiderlamp

For years, I have been looking for a perfect lamp in my livingroom. Nothing beats a home-made one, of course. So when i found an original and complete(!) Matador hobby-box in the local thriftstore, I decided to give it a go.

60 euro and 2 weeks later, I have created my own ‘spiderlamp’.

It looks simple, (assemble and go) and I think recreating it would take me 1 day, instead of the 14 days of problem-solving, testing and shopping around that I enjoyed so much.

I bought another lamp in the thriftstore, quite ugly, but I love the little black lampshades. They are made of glass, containing perfect halogene fittings.

I think the Matador box is really old, but they still sell simular boxes today. My daughters friend Eminy helped me with the spiderlegs, we were one part short but managed to trick the missing part with glue and saw. Electric wires had to be eye-candy too, of course. But how to stick the lampshades to the wooden legs? It was a puzzle.

It is beautiful!!!

Spencer Museum of Art in Second Life – gone!

One of my favorite spots in the virtual world of Second Life is the Spencer Museum of Art. I have been filming there, for my Robotworld series. After weeks of trying to teleport over, with no luck, I contacted Inara Pey, and she investigated – only to come back to me with the bad news: the sim is gone.

Crazy, that it has been gone for weeks, and nobody even noticed, it seems?  Sigh. It cannot be just me, I heard that it is a favorite hangout for many Linden employees, and their director Ebbe Altberg.

Can one be sad, over the lost of a virtual place? Certainly. I am.



I met many people there, only recent spent hours talking with an Italian filmmaker and art curator, sitting on the giant couch, commenting in awe on the art surrounding us. The outstanding art machinima by Toxic Menges was shot there, recently showcased in Leicester UK, at the machinima convention – which featured mr. machinima Hugh Hancock himself (so glad I met him!).

INternational Machinima Convention

I was filming, never finished the machinima – a hard lesson to be learned. As my mum used to tell me: never postphone … she was right, of course.



Shortcuts for twitter

Keyboard Shortcuts for Twitter? These are great!

?           Opens a pop-up containing keyboard shortcuts.
n          Opens up a dialog box to post a new status.
r           Replies to the tweet that is selected.
t            Retweets the reply that is selected.
m         Sends a direct message to a user.
/           Takes you to the search box
.            Moves you back to the top of the page and updates your feed.
g + h  Takes you to your Twitter home page.
g + r   Takes you to your Mentions (NOT Messages)
g + m Takes you to your Direct Messages.



Source: MakeTechEasier

Rome 2016: Art, Friendship and Charlie

Looking back at a great week in Rome, with Cathy Spensley, DC Spensley, Rubaiyat Shatner and his cousin David .
Occasion was the showing of DC Spensley‘s virtual world artwork and living ecosystem ‘ARS PLASTICA‘ ,  in Pineta’s unique gallery Pied à Terre 37788.  Pied à Terre is owned by Laura Rossi and Paolo Monti.
We stayed in an AirBNB loft, that felt like home.



The lazy susan on the table (she served us all week), Cathy playing the piano, DC projecting his art and Fellini movies on the wall, Rubaiyat and David at the table doing their nerd stuff and appreciating our food 🙂 and Laura and Paolo Monti helping us out with grappa and limoncello and all of us partying . Huge pans of fresh tomato soup. The image of Paolo climbing the ladder and sitting in the window will always stay with me. Yes, we still have it, we know how to live !!!! New friendships were made, for live. And we met Charlie.







Tony Dyson, my personal memorial tribute.

In memory of Anthony John Dyson (1947 – 2016)
Best known for being R2-D2s ‘Dad’.

BBC Archives (1984) showing THIS

His website is gone, but archived here.
His facebook page.

Tony was honoured at the BAFTA 2017 ceremony.  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts gave credits to the man that created R2D2 for Star Wars, and one of my own photographs was used for this. (with permission, of course!). Aired on BBC television on February 12, 2017. He would have loved this!

In memory of Tony Dyson


Special Effects Designer
13 April 1947 to 3 March 2016

A British special effects designer and expert in robotics, Dyson’s first film job came designing the jetpacks for Moonraker (1979). He was best known for the R2-D2 robots for Star Wars (1977), which included remote control versions, stunt versions, and models that could seat performer Kenny Baker.

I worked with Tony since 2011, we met online in Second Life, and he agreed to be head of jury for the 48 Hour Film Project Machinima. We soon started creating machinima together, which he called ‘real time animation’. In 2013 we met in Malta, and I quit my day-job to work full-time on producing animated shorts and e-books with Tony. We met again in Finland for the Robotics conference, and later in Gozo, Xlendi, where we rented an office together.

Tony was more than a tutor, he was my inspiration and best friend. There are plenty of stories to tell about him, and our projects, but today I will share a personal memory.

Today, March 7th, 2016 – just 6 days before his 69th birthday – his ashes will be spread in Gozo.

To honor Tony, and the bond we had, I am sharing the only photograph that shows both of us together (I took hundreds of photo’s of Tony) and a poem he wrote for me, years ago.



Dawn has gone
Dusk is upon us once again
Swallows are resting
Bats are hunting
The Night Angels prepare our spirits for flight

Only our soul knows the true journey ahead
Only our soul knows our deepest desires
So listen to my voice and see my dreams unfold
For I will be heard above life’s din
I am mortal of flesh and bone and will have my time before I die
To see the colors of the rainbow up high

Touch me not with gold so bright,
Touch me not with ebony so dark
Touch me not with marble so cold
Touch me not with hands so eager
But touch my heart with love and truth and I will be yours for ever, Chantal.






The day we found PIP.

A look-back – September 19, 2014.

That day my friend Janet and I found something in my garden, tiny tiny – and it moved. No, it was not a mouse, but a 4 day old kitten. We took her in, called her Pip, and she made it – against all odds.


Pip is named after Pippi Longstocking, the strongest girl in the world – she can lift a horse with one hand.

Well, Pip can’t lift a horse, but she sure is a fighter.


64 grams is not a lot to go on, poor little kitten.


After 48 hours of struggling to keep her alive, I decided to take her to the vet. And that is where we all got lucky – sometimes all it takes is a bit of luck. A mother cat was admitted that same day for a cesarean– and our little babylady joined that litter of kittens.  Mummy cat Dimphy took good care of our little baby.



The lady that looked after Dimphy became a good friend. During the next 10 weeks, we were invited (weekly) to visit Pip at Marjolijn’s house, which gave us a perfect opportunity to bond, and for me to take photographs.

Pip’s survival tour in 8 pictures:









Then, one year later (24-01-2015)  we found another stray in our garden, a little baby boy that now lives with us too, and we named him BenBen!
Pip and BenBen share the same mother  🙂


I always preferred dogs. But now I could not live without cats, too! Love for pets is a strange thing, it makes life so much better.


A look back at my lost garden. New opportunities!

January, 2015 – looking back.

I spent summer 2014 outside, in my garden, which is a plot that had over 40 neglected trees on it. Had, yes,  – we chopped most of the trees as they were over 26 meters tall and it was becoming a dangerous situation, neighbors complaining and regular storm-damage. Yes, I am re-planting this spring.

Looking at all the wood, branches, piles and piles of it laying around, I wondered how something good could come from the devastating left-overs of what once was a beautiful, peaceful garden. A purpose for all the wood. Keep my fireplace going, sure – and I am hoping to sell some of it to cover expenses. During the work I found an abandoned kitten between the branches of a tree, the poor thing was only a few days old, and with the help of my daughter and foster mummy Dimphy (thank you, Marjolijn) it survived! Pip now lives in my house. So my little bush-cat is the first good thing that came from the garden.

Let me show you some pictures, taken during the summer of 2014.

The last day of my enchanted wood – garden.


My Lost Garden.



And here we go, first tree down.




Inspection! Biertje, my little dachshund.


With a little help from my dad

And chicken “Bitchy” (yep that’s her name)

Pip, September 15, 2014. 63 grams….




Pip in fostercare- TY Marjolein, Ron, Dimphy !!



enough photographs, although – how about this? Do you see what I see?

Ok, a bit closer:

A virtual Party

On March 12 , 2016, I visited the Art opening on the Amsterdam Sim in Second Life.
Starshine Halasy threw a street party when Gallery Fermate opened, quite an event.

My avatar, although still named Chantal Harvey, has taken the shape of Robi, the iBot2000 character that is the star of a new animated series. She blended in fine!
Go and visit the location here.

(You have to download and install second life on your computer, first – and choose a free avatar).
Some pictures:


The Virtual Reality Cinema

The very first VR Cinema is opening in the Netherlands, Amsterdam.

Wait – where is the silver screen????
Picture this: you will find yourself on stage with your favorite band, fly helicopters, fly into many adventures with your most loved movie stars ….. and much more.

VRcinemaAmsterdam The VR Cinema is a place where everybody has the opportunity to get familiar with virtual reality and where even VR experts will be surprised.

Watch movies like you’ve never done before. For one, noisy bags of crisps, ringing mobile phones and noisy visitors belong to the past. There are no traditional red cinema chairs and also the big white screen is nowhere to be seen.

See you there!

The VR cinema Amsterdam:
Oosterdokskade 5
1011 AD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0) 20 233 99 88

The future of virtual reality

The future of virtual reality and moviemaking.



Pixar’s Ed Catmull: It’s not storytelling
David Attenborough: It gives you a dozen different stories
Chet Faliszek: You can slow gamers down
Mike Woods: VR demands interaction
Nicole Stenger: Hyperreality is a trend
Werner Herzog: We might live in VR
Baptiste Charles: VR is an insanely compelling way to tell stories, be they fiction or not
VR Circle: a lot of the excitement related to virtual reality has to do with the film industry, where the whole concept has disruptive potential.
The Wrap: it will likely be indie filmmakers who first master the format, Hollywood will follow