Tide clock!

Tide clock!I bought the mechanism for a tidal clock. Basically a regular clock, but instead of showing the hours it will indicate the time it takes to reach high tide and low tide. We love visiting the La Laja beach with low tide, so this is a perfect ‘thing’ to place on the wall. I only bought the mechanism, so I will need to make the entire clock myself. I could have bought a finished product directly, but I did not like the versions that were available. I thought I could do better myself.

A tide clock is specifically designed to track the motion of the tides, which are influenced by the Moon’s position relative to the Earth. A tide clock typically completes one cycle every 12 hours and 25 minutes, reflecting the average time between two high tides or two low tides.

  • Get the tide mechanism. Note that there is only one dial! There is only one dial needed to indicate the water is going up or going down. There is no need for a dial indicating minutes or seconds.
  • Get a regular clock. Try and find a cheap one where you can more or less easily disconnect the plastic front panel, and disconnect the clock mechanism.
  • Dismantle the regular clock. Remove the mechanism and remove the backplate. We only need the outside frame and the plastic front cover.
  • Create a new backplate, and put it in the clock. The backplate has the term ‘High tide’ on top. Then to the right a countdown to low tide. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. At the bottom we have the text ‘Low tide’ and on the left of the backplate we have a countdown to high tide from the bottom to the top. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
  • Place the tide mechanism in the clock, and the tide clock is finished!

Costs: Mechanism 3.47, Clock: 8.50, Paper/decoration: 2.00. Total: 13.97.
Having a beautiful homemade tide clock on the wall: Priceless

Insect hotel

Our birdhouse showed us we that we had set our goals way to high. Our objectives were unobtainable. Maybe it was caused by the heat, or the general lack of birds in our area. We don’t know, but it is clear that after more than half a year we haven’t seen a single bird getting near the birdhouse we placed outside of Alex’ room.
We needed to refocus to something a bit more realistic. There are lots of insects, so why not make them a home, and see if we can get some results here. An insect home should be easier to make, and insects are probably less picky compared to birds.

Step one: With a couple of pieces of wood we made the basic frame
Step two: We pained the basic frame the same color as the wall, so it will not stick out so much
Step three: We collected a couple of sticks and some bamboo, which we cut in lots of pieces of 3 centimeters
Step four: All the pieces were glued inside the frame.
Step five: Leave to dry, and hang outside.

Now we only need to be patient. Maybe some insect will find the hotel and visit it for a while. We shall see.

Big box

Box!It arrived! A big box was delivered to my home. I am very happy because I know what is inside. Do you know? The kids will be happy for sure, even though Alan will need to be a bit patient. He is still a little small for this box. Alex will be very happy, as it fits perfectly with the small collection he already has.

My problem now? How do I get a huge box (47cm x 55cm x 40cm) with number 75192, weighing about 15 kilos safely to Spain.


Spinner!All the kids in Alex’ school have a spinner, except for Alex, and that situation needed to be corrected. Buying a spinner would have been the easiest, but making our own spinning toy was much more fun.

The result was something that made us both very happy. The steps to make a spinner are easy. First you need four bearings, some glue and a piece of shoelace.

First you need to take one bearing and take of the metal coverings and clean it with some soap to remove all the grease. This make the bearing spin faster. Step two is gluing the other three bearings and glue the shoelace around the entire spinner to make it a bit stronger.

In the middle we put a piece of wood, so you can also spin the spinner on the table. The easiest way is spinning it in your hands, but Alex’ hands are still a bit to small. The only issue is that after some use the glue does not always hold and the spinner needs some repairs.


With Alex I made a nice wuppie. The process was relatively simple and the result is a nice soft ball for playing. Finally something different than all the ‘vechten’ (fighting) Alex wants to do all the time with his toys.

wuppie1Step 1:
Cut two cardboard circles and put them on top of eachother. Make sure both of them have a cut across from the outside to the center. You will need this cut later to easily remove the cardboard from the wuppie.
wuppie2Step 2:
This it the bulk of the work. Use a cord to cover all the cardboard, en keep adding the cord until the entire center is filled with the cord and you cannot add any more.

wuppie3Step 3:
Once you are done spinning the cord you need to cut open the wuppie from the sites. Put a sharp knife of scissors in between the twee pieces of cardboard and cut all the cords.

Step 4:
After cutting all the cords do not remove the cardboard. First add a few ropes to bind the center of the wuppie. Wrap the rope thightly though the center (in between the twee cardboards) and make a thight knot. Then remove the cardboard pieces. Your wuppie is now done. Some prefab eyes make it even better. Have fun!

Selling colored coins

oranjegeluksdubbeltjeColored coins are appearing in quick succession, and it seems the Royal Dutch Mint has found a need goose with golden eggs. His time they are selling 10 eurocent coins for 5 euros. Very easy money. The coins are sold as lucky dimes and have the number 10 on the front of the coin painted in orange. The entire set comes packages in a piece of cardboard, ready to be collected. Of course the person collecting this coin will be expected to pay 5000% more than the face value of the coin.

How long will it take this time for a cheaper alternative to arise to the colored coins. It is perfectly legal and with a potential markup of 5000% it seems to be very much worthwhile. It can even get better, you can paint your own coin! Just imagine, a little bit of creativity and a little bit of paint and all of a sudden a 10 cent coins is worth a lot more. Using the KNM markup you could even sell a home painted 2 euro coin for 100 euros.


  • Colored Enamel Paint
  • Metallic Enamel Paint
  • Tiny Soft-Bristle Paintbrush

Instructions for painting or coloring an existing coin
1 – Quickly wash existing coin in warm water and mild soap. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub dirt from crevices of the coin’s surface. Pat coin dry with a soft cloth.
2 – Mix enamel paints to a smooth consistency by adding small drops of warm water. If using different colored paints, determine what the finished painted coin will look like. Practice with the paints by drawing a coin on a piece of paper.
3 – Lay the coin backside down on some paper. Carefully paint over the areas of the coin’s face. Let the front side of the coin dry naturally for 3-4 hours before turning it over to paint the backside. If using metallic paints such gold or silver, paint several layers of paint onto the coins. Let one paint layer dry before painting on the next layer.

Coin fail

Euro coin Adrie!The design I made for the commemorative coin resulted in a big fail. The fact that I had really though about the design did not help a bit.

In my design all the European countries were united into one big arrow. The arrow was constructed out of various smaller parts. Each little part represents one of the European countries. The side (width) of every part is calculated using the number of inhabitants of a country. The height is dependent of the value of the countries original coin from before the euro, and the starting point is related to the year the country introduced the euro.

All my calculus and drawing efforts have been in vain. To bad. If you want you can still vote for one of the selected coin designs.

Design a coin

Empty euro coin!To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the euro coin a design content has been started to get the new design of a future commemorative coin. All citizens of Europe can participate and if you present the best design of the 731 million potential participants you win a set of coins and of course some honor. You have two more weeks because the design needs to be submitted in the 20th of May.

The design needs to be related/inspired by the 10 year existence of the euro, but the number 10 cannot be used. Using the number 10 would be confusing when you need to determine the value of the coin. A 2 euro coin with a 10 on it could easily be used to rip off non Europeans, and that should of course be avoided. It’s also prohibited to use any written text on the coin.

I’m going to have a brainstorm session about this theme this weekend, and maybe I’ll try my luck with a simple design.


De Flamboyan is een soort boom die geregeld vol zit met rode bloempjes en iets later groeien hier enorm grote bonen met de zaden. Eenmaal gedroogd worden deze bonen soms gebruikt als muziek instrument. Omdat ik bezig ben mijn horizon te verbreden was mijn nieuwe plan om een aantal van deze bonen bij elkaar te sprokkelen en deze op typisch canarische wijze te beschilderen en ze dan te verkopen op een website voor ambachtslieden.

Beschilderingen in de grot van Galdar!De authentieke canariers (guanches) hebben een aantal grot schilderingen achter gelaten die voor dit doel perfect gerecycled kunnen worden. Verder kunnen we ons repertoir uitbreiden met beschilderingen van hagedissen, stranden, spaanse gehuchtjes, etc.

Vooralsnog heb ik 1 beschilderde boon in guanche stijl. Wie maakt me los!