Sunday, March 22, 2009

Frog In A Blender

Don’t worry you are not witness to a papier mache industrial accident.

A papier mache frog was not placed in a blender.

The above photo shows the sixty odd pieces needed to create four more papier mache frogs.

Making one frog was fun while making four is tad bit tedious.

Notice how I resisted turning the word “tad “into a pun such as tadpole.

The frogs need to be completed by the end of the month so I better hop to it.

You knew that was coming.

Surfing The Library

Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet.

I love the forums, the social networks, the mailing lists, google, flickr and the instant gratification that comes from the click of a mouse.

The internet has changed the way I think, or more to the point the way I don’t think anymore.

How many cups in a gallon?

Dunno, let me google it.

When is the last time I picked up a dictionary?

Dunno, that's why there is spell-check and

About a year ago I was working on some new papier mache projects and had the novel idea of actually going to the library to research my subject and get some inspiration. You remember the library; it’s that big building filled with books.

After a quick turn at the card catalog which has also turned into a computer I was off to stroll through rows and rows of books.

Unlike strolling through pages of google images I had to get off my butt and physically walk, yes I was in danger of getting exercise.

Another funny observation, it seemed that there were other living creatures surrounding me, again I was in danger, this time of being social.

All kidding aside I find the library to be a great inspirational experience.

Browsing the shelves of books always leads to unexpected finds, subjects that I would never have stumbled upon.

My latest trek to the library gave me the source material needed to created some frogs, bats and owls but also exposed me to the wonderful world of Jim Henson, the art of Maurice Sendak and the travels of Thor Heyerdahl.

All unexpected but all inspirational, shut off the computer once in a while and check out the library, I think you will be glad you did.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Haunted Busts

Managed to finish my March entry for The Mad Lab contest.
For those unfamiliar with The Mad Lab, it's a monthly contest that challenges you to create something from a specific item. The item or items are different every month and the contest proves to be a challenge and great motivator. In addition to the satisfaction of creating something cool you are also eligible to win some great prizes.

This month's contest required you to build something from plastic CD cases or jewel cases. My concept was to use the cases as the base for some haunted busts. The busts were made from papier mache as well as an assortment of recycled items such as aluminum cans, cereal boxes and newspaper.

Check out The Mad Lab at and give the contest your best shot, it's fun, it's rewarding and before you know it you will also have a bunch of new props for the Halloween season. While you are in the lab make sure to stop by and say hello to your host Marsha aka jekyllandhyde, she is devious, conniving and scheming but that's what makes her special.

Seriously Marsha is a great haunter and a very fun person so check out the lab and see what you've been missing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Gargoyle Sculptor

This week I'm working on designing and building some new gargoyles for a workshop that is being offered in May and while searching the internet for some inspiration I stumbled across this feature from the BBC website. The story features sculptor Pascal Mychalysin who is creating new gargoyles for the Gloucester Cathedral, there are several photos and a 7 minute audio interview.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This past week I have been working on developing some projects for some new papier mache workshops that I will be teaching this summer. One of the projects is frogs, large frogs created from a variety of recycled materials such as corrugated cardboard, plastic milk jugs, cereal boxes and lots of newspaper.
By the end of the month I will have five different frogs created. The photos above illustrate the basic shape but there are still numerous accessories to be added such as teeth, tongue and warts plus some unique and creative painting styles.
As soon as the frogs are complete I will post a tutorial on, in the meantime I'm also working on some new gargoyles and a couple of other projects that I'm keeping under wraps.
Yeah, the 2009 build is on!

Spring Arrival

Ok, so we have this cat that showed up at our house last October while I was setting up our Halloween display. She is sweet, well mannered and basically a good girl.

Since she arrived she has worked her way into our family, staying in during the nights and just like our dogs she asks to go outside to do her "business" meaning we have never needed a litter box.

My wife and I discussed the fact that if she is indeed our cat then we need to have her spayed. Well as you can see the discussions were a bit late as she gave birth to five bundles of fur this past Saturday. Even though I'm basically a dog person I find the kittens to be cute and it should be fun to have them around for the next few months.

Spring really is the time of new beginnings!

The End Of Winter?

This winter has been brutal, not only the amount of snowfall and temperatures but the constant illness and mental drain. Our moods for the last few months pretty much ran parallel to the above photo which was taken by my oldest son on some dark, wet and cold January day.

The temperatures are finally rising and so are our spirits.

Today was warm and we all got outside getting some physical activity, fresh air and sunshine. The mood in the household is improving and it's refreshing to have daylight past 5 pm.

Projects are in the works and I will have much to share in the coming weeks.

Good bye winter, you will not be missed!


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