Friday — August 15th, 2014


Bite, Bite, Bite!

Ah yes, wooden toys! Where baby teeth and cedar meet. The boy is teething, therefore anything and everything is going in his mouth! I had passed down some wooden toys I had when I was a lad, but they had to be removed quickly. It’s not that he can’t play with them, it’s just that he’s trying to eat them. Like my toys from the past we bought new wooden toys from Brio, but they’ll have to stay high up on the shelf until he’s ready. Brio is just one of those trusted brands I grew up with which is why I pay the higher dollar to own their toys.


Rubber Ducky You’re The One!


Rubber Duck

It’s bath time! Yay! Who can take a bath without one of these friendly faces in the tub? Of course they make all sorts of squirting toys of various sea creatures, but none as classic and sought after as the rubber ducky. I’m not quite sure it this is the real rubber ducky, if it is don’t tell Ernie!

Puttin’ the Toys Away


3 Sprouts

kanga box

The baby’s room sure does look pretty cool with the storage bins we bought from 3 Sprouts! Check out their products here!

Toot Toot

Brio Train 

Excert from ‘Chugga Chugga Chugga Choo Choo!’ post 2014-07-25

Now when I was a tot, I had a different kind of train. A Brio wooden train that had freight cars made out of stacking blocks. A fantastic train with metal hook connectors and bright colors simply made this train ‘pop’! I use to run around the house on my knees driving the train into pretty much anything that got in the way.

The Deal

My third Lego animation.


Gone Fishin’

Another Lego short I did over the weekend.


Do the Lego!

Nothing like playing with Lego on a Saturday afternoon with the wife!



I’ve been getting to know a good friend of mine again…my playstation! One of my favourite genres of video games are the ‘shooters’! Recently I’ve been addicted to R-Type, due to the fact that this game tests your patience on an extreme level. My wife has over heard me use numerous cuss words or sentence enhancers as I call them, within minutes of turning the game on. R-type is one of those special games where it seems near impossible to complete any level without dying at least once! The game throws multiple enemy ships at you at full force even on their ‘pussy’ setting. It is bloody aggravating to see the ‘Game Over’ screen again and again. Yet every morning there I am with my cup of coffee, mashing away at the controller in some kind of desperate attempt to thwart the baddies and save the universe! If you still have your original PSX kicking around in the closet and are fed up with current games and are in need of a real challenge, pick up R-Type off eBay and plug in!


Where Have You Been?

To put it simply, I’ve been getting hitched! Over the past few months my fiancé and I have been planning our wedding & reception! We had alot to accomplish in such a short time, but it all came together in the end whether we were ready or not!

Below are a couple of links to check out if you are planning a wedding or reception. We had such a fun time at the Burnaby Village Museum and carousel! We took some stellar photos that day, probably about a thousand photos!!! Also Deer Lake Park is so beautiful in the summertime, almost anywhere you go you can take fantastic shots.

Burnaby Village Museum

1912 C.W. Parker Carousel

Deer Lake Park


Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the apartment,

 Not a silverfish was stirring, not even a varmint.

 The bug traps were laid by the foot of the bed,

 In hopes that the insects will soon be all dead.

 The girlfriend was nestled all snug in my bed,

 While visions of electronics and gold danced in her head.

 And a smoke in my hand, and gin in the other,

 I had just settled down and couldn’t be bothered.

 When out in the alley there arose such a clatter,

 I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.

 Away to the window I flew like The Flash,

 Tore open the blinds and broke the lamp with a ‘crash’!

 The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

 Gave light to the hobo smoking crack down below.

 When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

 But a rusted old shopping cart loaded with beer.

 With a little old driver, so homely and sick,

 I knew in a moment it couldn’t be St. Nick.

 More rapid than eagles his followers they came,

 He whistled and shouted and called them by name.

 Now, Derrick! Now, Eric! Now, Phil and Bill!

 On, Craig! On Meg! On, Jimmy and Jill!

 To the top of the bin! The empties they leave!

 Now drink away! Drink away! As fast as you please!

 As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,

 When they meet with an obstacle, they choose to get high.

 So up to the house-top the coursers they climbed,

 With a cart full of empties, were they stupid or blind?

 And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,

 The thumping of foot steps which sounded like proof.

 As I drew in my head and was loading my gun,

 In came the little man, who was in for ‘No fun’.

 He was dressed all in rags, from his head to his shoes,

 And his clothes looked out-dated and he smelled of booze.

 With a bundle of cans he had flung on his back,

 And he looked like an addict who had just smoked some crack.

 His eyes – how blood-shot and red! His pimples how merry!

 His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a berry!

 His droll little mouth was drawn-up like a bow,

 And the crusted old beard on his chin was as white as the ‘blow’.

 The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

 And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

 He had a broad narrow face and a little round belly,

 That shook, when he laughed, gosh he was smelly!

 He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

 And I laughed when I saw him, and pee’d a little myself.

 A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

 Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

 He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

 “What the hell?” I said, “Get out of here you jerk!”.

 And laying his finger aside of his nose,

 He shot the snot out, which landed on my toes.

 He sprang to his cart, to his team gave a whistle,

 And away they all flew like a nuclear missile.

 But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,

 “The aliens are coming!” And “Who wants to fight?”

Illustrating Techniques of the ‘Toaster’

With most of my illustrations I start by blocking in my characters in non-photo blue pencil. I prefer the Staedtler 0.5mm mechanical pencil lead, but feel free to pick up the wooden pencil ‘Copy-Not’ type. I draw in the non-photo blue because let’s face it, when you’re ready to scan if you’ve made a mistake or make additional changes the scanner won’t pick it up. After the rough sketch is blocked in, I go over the illustration again in a thinner 0.3mm black lead and clean up any lines that might affect the image when scanned.

Next I scan the image or character at 600 dpi and save it as bitmap. I take it into Photoshop and run a series of ‘Actions’ I’ve developed to clean up the scan, convert the image, resolution, create selections, and even folder directories of the original scan and the working copies! You gotta love Photoshop for helping save you time by developing basic ‘scripting’ in the form of a palette anyone can use! Still within Photoshop, I complete the coloring and special effects, save the working copy before I run yet another ‘Action’ that will save another ‘flattened’ copy in a different folder to use for the final greeting card layout. I’ve always preferred the motto ‘Better safe than sorry’ in saving multiple copies of my digital work after experiencing several losses.

Using the flattened image, I complete the layout in a nicely reduced file size and my illustrations are ready to be developed at the local print shop! Each finished card measures 4.25 x 5.5 inches and comes with one standard white envelope and is printed on 12 pt card stock paper with a glossy finish. You get two greeting cards on a single 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of cards stock.

This ‘Action’ palette has really saved me time in a number of different ways. Namely the multiple copies in different stages of completion, where you can go back to a ‘pre-flattened’ copy file and change the color of the character and other aspects of the image. Seeing as how I’m typically scanning in black & white drawings, it made sense to write an ‘Action’ to clean up the fragmented pixels and other commands so I didn’t have to continually do the work over and over again for every new scan. Don’t forget to add the ‘Save Copy’ and set up folder directories in your ‘Action’ it’s a great way of ensuring you have a backup of the illustration!