My Spot

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Two Tactile Cubes

Two Tactile Cubes

I just got two new Braille cubes. The black one is a Braille playing cube for playing board games. It's made in such a way that the dots are actually little pegs that you can feel and this way count the dots. However, the dots are also painted in white and are therefore visible, too. When you're blind, such a little device means that you can still enjoy board games with your sighted friends.

The white cube (in reality it's actually yellow) is a Braille letter cube. The three layers can be turned and this way Braille letters and symbols are formed. It's a great little device for learning Braille. It's also a keychain, so it makes a nice little fidget toy. It's very pleasant to turn between your fingers. Sighted people often wonder what this little device is, so this little cube connects the blind and the sighted, too, since it helps in educating sighted people about Braille.

These two cubes may look like only two small toys to anyone who can see, but when you're blind they can make a world of difference. Their most important role lies in their ability to connect the blind with their sighted friends.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Touching the Words...

Touching the Words...

I bought a new novel yesterday. It's in Grade 2 Braille. It comes in 7 volumes, each volume being about 3 cm thick (2.5 inches). These 7 volumes are equal to a regular-print paperback novel of around 500 pages. While you can put a regular-print novel in your pocket and head out into the park to read it, you need a bag to carry around the Braille book. However, the reading experience you get when reading Braille can never be compared to reading print. As Jim Fiebig once said:

"There is a wonder in reading Braille that the sighted will never know: to touch words and have them touch you back."

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tactile Illustrations

Tactile Book Illustrations

How do you illustrate a Braille book? With tactile illustrations, of course!

Tactile illustrations are raised pictures that can be explored by touch. They can be general or detailed, but it always helps if there is a Braille description under the picture. This picture, for example, represents a bike. The shape of the bicycle is raised and there is the word "bike" written in Braille under the picture.

In the Holiday Season, you can buy Christmas cards with raised pictures and Braille messages, so even if you're blind you can still experience the joy of sending or receiving a Christmas card :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Braille Learning Cube

Braille Learning Cube

When you start learning Braille, you need lots of practice. It's best to start with big Braille cells and learn to recognize letters and symbols there and then move on to smaller cells before finally learning to read Braille properly. This process is also known as acquiring pre-Braille skills.

When I first started learning Braille, I made myself a Lego Braille cube to gain some pre-Braille skills. However, there are also simpler ways to make practice-Braille cells. A few days ago I was cleaning up and I found this little Braille learning cube. I made it myself. I used a small cardboard box (dimensions: 7x5x5 cm - I got the box when I bought glucose testing strips) and 6 small bolts. I made 6 holes in one side of the box and stuck the bolts in them. The bolts can be taken out and put back in, forming Braille characters in the process. It's a great little pocket device for practicing Braille.

Today, I don't need such training devices any more, since I'm fluent in Braille. However, this little cube is still  a nice little fidget toy - and you can never have too much practice :-)

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Making Braille cards... :-)
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :-)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Urban Sketching

Pastel Lady

Pastel Lady

I was going through some of my urban sketchbooks and found a few sketches that I really liked. This is a sketch of a "pastel lady". She was dressed in pastel pink coat and had a pastel turquoise bike. The only vivid colour on her was her bright red beanie cap :-) Anyway, I did a quick sketch and then added some colour to it.
Materials used: Staedtlet Pigment Liners (0.05, 0.2, 0.5), Pentel Waterbrushes, SAX watercolour crayons, drawn in a Clairefontaine sketchbook.


Tiny Chapel

Tiny Chapel

In Slovenia, we have lots of these religious marks. Some are crosses, but some are these tiny chapels. Such marks usually stand on spots where something had happened (e.g. there was an accident and somebody died). In and around my village there are many of these religious marks, so I've decided to sketch one.
Materials used: Staedtlet Pigment Liners (0.05, 0.2, 0.5), Pentel Waterbrushes, SAX watercolour crayons, drawn in a Clairefontaine sketchbook.

Café Evropa

Café Evropa

This café is one with a vey long tradition. The building is very very old, more than a century, in fact. It's a charming old building in the centre of Ljubljana and worth sketching I decided to sketch just the corner of it since it has all these nice details.
Materials used:
Staedtlet Pigment Liners (0.05, 0.2, 0.5), drawn in a Clairefontaine sketchbook.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Irises in Our Garden

The Irises in Our Garden - White The Irises in Our Garden - Purple The Irises in Our Garden - Double Purple

We have several colours of irises growing in our garden. They are in full bloom now :-)