Organizational Projects

This weekend I became fed up with our old plastic 12 inch wide cutlery organizer. We have 15 inch wide drawers and the old plastic organizer looked a bit too "I'm still in Univeristy" for my liking. Time for another weekend project. I bought some Bamboo adjustable organizers from kitchens Plus then added some more dividers with some project wood from Home Depot. To match the existing bamboo I rubbed in some walnut oli to the poplar wood strips. I think it turned out pretty good.


I had some extra poplar left over so I decided my sock drawer could benefit from some orginization as well.

This amsued my girlfriend to no end. :)


I then finished cutting the rest of the panels and gave it a coat of Anitque Mahogany stain.




Ember BackPack Utility Strap Mod


I cut away the center post at the back of the utility strap to create a second bar to increase the strap resistance.

The setup of the stock straps always seemed to loosen and could easily be pulled in most directions.


I then inserted the strap into the new opening that was made and up through the hole nearest the teeth of the clip.


Then back down and through.


Now the strap is doubled up on itself when it exits the new hole.

Hope you Emberites find this helpful.


Here are the two straps holding and umbrella


Another Small Leather Project

Decided to upscale the main sewage drain that ruins through my "Harry Potter- like" work shop under the stairs.

Now I have a place for some of my regualrly used items. It was a good project to hand sew whilst watching the newest episode of Dr. Who.

The googily eyed box monster was supplied by our 8yr old to hold my white board markers.
You won't see this kind of decor upgrades on Trading Space or Mike Holmes. You saw it here first folks!



Leather Earbud Keeper

Continuning my journey into making simple leather goods I came across an earbud keeper over at Vinted Goods and thought I would have to make one for myself.

It took me a couple of tries to get the right dimensions but I am fairly happy with the results.

Some lucky people will be getting these as a little gift at the Holidays.


Hand Made Leather Tool Roll

Here is a tool roll I made for myself to hold my two sets of wrenches with some other odds and ends.undefined








Iron Man MK IV Armour update



Good ole Mark 4 is coming along nicely

SeaDrift Soap Unboxing

Today I received my order for "Deep Clean and Stoned!" soap from an Etsy store owned and operated by Podcaster extraordinaire Tony C. Smith. Tony is well known for his podcast Starshipsofa and the Districts of Wonder Family of podcasts.

This is perhaps one of the coolest soaps I have seen. It arrived beautifully packaged in a burlap cloth stamped with the SeaDrift Soap Sea horse emblem.

I'll update you with a review after a few tests. I am already happy that the soaps are fragrent free as I find most commmercial brands add to much fragrance to most products we consume.

UPDATE: I 've tried 3 of the Seadrift Soaps so far. I 've really enjoyed their Activated Charcoal Soap and particularly their all natural fragrance free soap.


Benjamin Franklin on Conversations

On People Who talk too much:

"It is very pleasant when two of these people meet: the vexation they both feel is visible in their looks and gestures; you shall see them gape and stare, and interrupt one another at every turn, and watch with the utmost Impatience for a cough or a pause, when they may crowd a word in edgeways: neither hears nor cares what the other says; but both talk on at any rate, and never fail to part highly disgusted with each other."

Ben Franklin

My Iron Mini, and Iron Missy's


Daniel Tiger wins Kidscreen Award


The animated show that I work on has one an award!

And now there are books too! A Ride Through the Neighborhood


Best Animated Series 2013
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
The Fred Rogers Company/9 Story Entertainment/Out of the Blue Enterprises

Pepkura Iron Man MK VI Helmet

Jamie and Adam Tested



I am loving the site where you get insights into all the crazy things adam Savage is into and all the smart logical things the Jamie Hyneman comes up with. Will Smith and Norman Chan cover consumer electronics, the Internet and any other cool things that come up as well as act as the interviewers.


Fractal DNA Matrices?

I wonder if there is any relationship with Fractional Geometry and DNA matrices???

Dragonriders Of Pern Author Anne McCaffrey Dies

Anne McCaffrey passed away. I'll always remember her dragons, particularlly the way Michael Whelan painted them...

Buy the Book

undefinedIt's out just in time for Elevenses!!!

Get your copy of
Starshipsofa's Stories Volume 3. I did an illustration for a James Morrow Story starring none other than John Wayne.
s Volume 3 | StarShipSofa


New Art for SSS Stories V.III

I just handed in my artwork for StarShipSofa Stories Volume III. Another fun story to illustrate starring none other than the 'Duke', John Wayne.

You can see the art for it here. The book will be available in a few months from

Community of which I ramble incoherently

I was on the train today and met a young artist named Josh. It struck me how easily artists get along and how we announce ourselves so simply by removing our sketchbooks from our backpacks.

Have a great day everyone!

StarShipSofa Nominated for a HUGO second year in a row!



I am proud to announce that the StarShipSofa Podcast has been nominated again for a HUGO Award!

A quicky for SSS story by Will McIntosh

undefined This is  a quick painting I did for StarShipsofa's March Podcast #182. It illustrates a short story by Will McIntosh called 'A Clown Escapes From Circus Town'

A Call for Artists


Call for ARTISTS!

Every wanted to create a fantasy or science fiction cover to be adored by thousands of fans?

Contact me via the contact page or go to and leave an email for the Host of this HUGO Award winning podcast.




StarShipSofa Volume II Promo

Video: Dee Cunniffe Music: David Bradshaw

Check out this weeks "HUGO Award Winning" podcast

meanwhile over at

Aural Delights No 154 Ben Bova / Jack Dann

Sofanauts Awards

Jason Sanford Interzone

Coming Up This Week 00:48

Interview: Stephen R. Donaldson 03:50

Fact Article: Looking Back At SF History: Amy H. Sturgis 22:40

Main Fiction: The Man Who Hated Gravity by Ben Bova 38:20

Fact Article: DragonCon by Randal L. Schwartz 01:17:45

StarShipSofa Interrogations: Samuel R. Delany 01:33:45

Main Fiction: Cafe Culture by Jack Dann 02:10:30

Competition: H G Wells The Food of the Gods by Gollancz 02:31:00

Narrators: Mike Boris, Fred Himebaugh

StarShipSofa wins a HUGO!

undefinedOver in Melbourne, Australia the winners of the esteemed HUGO Awards were just announced and I am very pleased to say the StarShipSofa has won. The first podcast in the history of the HUGO's to ever be nominated and ever to win!

I have contributed artwork to the 'sofa' on many occasions over this last year and feel a minute piece of that rocket statue was earned by me. Just a fragment of a grain of it mind you. Congratulations to Tony C. Smith, to everyone that has contributed over the years and of course to all those who voted and listened.

You can visit StarShipSofa at or download free shows on itunes.

You can see my StarShipSofa Contibutions here.

The view from this morning






Decided to take an early morning walk along Niagara Falls and remembered to bring my camera this time!

Locus 2010 Awards

I was surprised to see this year I had not read a single story, magazine article or anthology nominated for an award thisn year.I've been meaning to pick up The Windup Girl by  Paolo Bacigalup as I've great things about it as well as The City & The City by China Miéville.  I guess I better get to the bookstore ASAP.

Locus 2010 Finalists

More Sofa Art to come!


I just signed up tp do another StarShipSofa Cover. I must be mad!

Look for it probably around the end of July maybe August. [Update: its done and you can find it here]

Meanwhile have look at the the cover art for Starshipsofa: The Captain's Logs by Dee Cunniffe.


The Captain's Log is the transcribed version of all the past shows put together by an entirely volunteer crew that spans the world.
Pretty amazing when you think about it.

New Art!

undefined undefined

I was just handed the type treatment to the artwork I did for's Aural Delights No.138.
This cover illustrates Charon the Boatman of Hades as he starts his holiday. This story was written by Award Winning Author Jeffrey Ford.

This time I got away with having the image partially cover over some of the SSS title...which I believe is a first in their history. I'm planting a flag anyways and claiming rights!!!!!

The image on the right was my attempt at some typography.

Hope you like it!


StarShipSofa nominated for HUGO

Just a quick and very happy note to say was nominated for a Hugo award in the BEST FANZINE category. I had the honour of doing a cover painting for issue 122 and I am not to proud to say I feel like I got nominated as well! Can't wait to finish the next  one.

Congrats to Tony C. Smith for creating such a fantastic vehicle!




This is how I'd like to spend my days...

Too cool!

StarShipSofa Art

undefinedThis week I completed the following painting for the Feb24th Episode of StarShipSofa's Aural Delights Audio Magazine No. 122. The painting is an illustration of Michael Flynn's HUGO nominated story entitled 'The Clapping Hands of God'

If you are interested in hearing more about the experience of painting of this cover click here.


Gaiman writes a Doctor Who Eppy!

I just learned today from SFX that Neil Gaiman has already penned a Doctor Who script for the second "Matt Smith" season. I remember when Neil did a script for Babylon 5 (Day of the Dead) and turned in a beautiful, haunting and personal bit of TV that in my opinion was the best epsiode they ever taped. This is good news. This is great news. Its like a birthday.

I hope they can give him a walk on roll as well. We've seen the Master, we love the Doctor and we hated the about a small role as never before seen Time Lord? The Dreamer perhaps?.....The Sandman would be a bit too obvious.

It will be interesting to see how his episode stacks up to Steven Moffatts Hugo Award winning episode 'Blink'. Not to mention 'The Girl in the Fireplace' and a two parter 'The Empty Child' and 'The Doctor Dances'

I, however, have complete confidence in the Doctor Word...ah...I mean...Neil.

Can't wait!







Chipotle Beans and Toast


Coming from a Scottish background, it is not unsusal to have beans and toast with a cup of tea for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Last week I tried the new Heinz Chipoltle beans...on toast. And I have to say it is an improvement on the old traditional variety.

Happy eating all! and on iTunes!

undefinedThis is another podcast I find myself listening to quite often while painting or working at the animation studio. Host Tony C. smith is the most energetic and enthusiastic host you'll ever run in to.

The podcast is a free download or stream from as well as a free subscription from iTunes! There are occasional book reviews, non fiction pieces relating to science fiction, the odd movie review and much more. I really like this podcast. Its got character and charm. I'd hoist a pint with Tony any day!

There is a possibility some of my work may be featured on the StarShipSofa website in the near future as Tony has book cover art for each months Aural Delights episodes.

Stone Relief Carving


One of the many carvings found on  the old Hydro Buildings in Niagara Falls.

Another Day at the Park


Taken from the Queenston Heights Park. I had a great day spending time

with some friends at the park using the old style pit Barbeques.

5 Must Read Books for Artists

k. So these are my top 5 must read books for artists. Or what to do when not drawing and painting. Answer: Read about drawing and painting.


Imagine FX Magazine

So your first thought is "Hey, this isn't a book, it's a magazine!" True, but never mind that. What a great resource for anyone trying to figure out how to use their computer like a paint brush. In depth step-by-step tutorials on digital media with focuses on Photoshop and Painter. The website has past tutorials, or Workshops as they call them, to download for free as well.



Color Choices by Stephen Quiller: This book is great as a colour theory primer as it is. The theory of artistic colour is clearly explained with beautiful full colour pages. The interesting difference in this book is the Quiller Color Wheel. Imagine an artists colour wheel that, instead of all the usual suspects arranged around the circumference, has Windsor and Newton, Liquitex and a few others manufacturers labelled in their places.


Painting Techniques of the Masters by Lester Cooke: A great resource if you can find a copy, it is out of print. I found mine at Amazon. This book analyzes Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Durer and many more. Great to flip through and remember what those before you have already figured out. Really this is centuries of hard found knowledge that nearly disappeared and has been rediscovered. The dissection of classical drawing and painting techniques is the most useful and interesting I have come across. Sadly, out of print, you can still find good copies out there.



How to Draw Comics the Marvel WayHow to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee and Joe Buscema A book about comics? Are you serious? Never. Except this time. This easy read is a great book for a couple of reasons. One it's accessible for kids and adults. The lessons are presented in a slapstick manner taking away the pressure that can come from a blank page. I believe that everyone can develop the ability to draw just like most of us can write. Granted in seems unlikely that a doctor would make a good artist based on that comparison. This book focuses on the dynamic figure poses and layouts that made Marvel Comics famous. Lessons learned are the basics, literally what you need to know and why waste time on the others stuff! The book covers realism, perspective, figure studies, foreshortening, composition and a few comic specific chapters as well. The cool thing about this book is its like Stan is there talking to you in his usual enthusiastic voice.



Rendering in Pen & Ink: The Classic Book on Pen-&-Ink Techniques for Artists, Illustrators, Architects, & DesignersRendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill: Want to draw and sketch in black and white then this is the book for you. So many examples of techniques that will instantly improve your sketching. One of the more comprehensive books on pen and ink rendering.
So there you have it! My list. Do have any books that you feel deserve to be on list. Send me them!











The Mighty Niagara River


A view of the Niagara River from Queenston Heights, Ontario, Canada.

Nearly Underway


Sunday night I was invited to take an evening cruise on my friend Stacey's boat.

This was taken just before we boarded the 'Yacht'. What a great night for boating!

This picture was taken at the marina in Port Dalhousie on the south shores of Lake Ontario

Major-General Sir Issac Brock

Major-General Sir Issac Brock Monument

This monument sits high on the Niagara Escarpment looking over the village of

Queenston Heights. The monument is dedicated to Major-General Sir Issac Brock.

Hint: (He is the little guy pointing at the top)

Some Wildlife for a change


Thought I would change things up after all the buildings I recently posted.

The Branta canadensis or Canada Goose.

CN Tower II

CN Tower

Ok. Last Toronto pic for now. Maybe.

This photo was taken from the waterfront of Lake Ontario. You

can just see the white domed roof of the old "Skydome" Arena. Now called

the Air Canada Center. First CN Tower photo

Toronto From Afar

Toronto as viewed from Queenston

Continuing on the Toronto theme...this is a view of the Toronto skyline

as seen from Queenston Heights some 40 - 50km away. I waited for

over an hour just to get the right lighting.

The CN Tower

The CN Tower Toronto

This is the view that greets me every morning at the end of my morning commute to the studio.

It is easy to take this tower for granted...but the skyline would certainly be a great deal less impressive with out it.

Photo of the Day?

Oakes Park

I feel like I am starting a photo of the day website! Maybe not a bad idea.

This one is Oakes Park in Niagara Falls.

Another Falls Shot

Niagara Falls July 2009

Another shot of the Falls taken with my Canon this weekend. I
think I may try to make a habit of taking small photo excursions
around my local area.

Fireworks Over Niagara Falls

Fireworks over Niagara Falls

I took a little break from working to watch the fireworks over Niagara Falls.

Using the opportunity to play with some of the settings on my Canon

(Powershot SX100 IS 8MP) camera and take some pictures of the fireworks.

This ended up being the best one.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Bobcaygeon - Pigeon Lake

Happy Birthday Canada! You are still one good lookin' Country.

This is a photo I took at Pigeon Lake, Bobcaygeon just before heading
out to do some fishing with some friends. Thought I would share it with you.

Stoked - For My American Friends

Just a quick note!

For those of you South of the Border! The Premiere Episodes of Stoked will air on The Cartoon Network on July 17th.

Contact Page Fixed!

Hello All,

The contact page is now fixed for those of you that were having problems. Thanks goes out to my 'Web Ninja' Pierre at Imagery Fusion who fixed it within minutes. Now thats web support!

Drop me a line!

Oh and just another reminder that the Premiere episodes of the new animated show Stoked that I have been a part of airs on Teletoon Canada at 7pm this Thursday!

Also keep sending me those tutorial ideas! We've had a few good ones already sent in.

Thats all for now,



Stoked Premiere on Teletoon

Well its finally here! The Premiere episodes of 'Stoked' will air Thursday June 25th at 7pm on Teletoon Canada.

This is one of the teaser ads that are currently promoting the show. Enjoy!

Or click here to watch it on Youtube directly.



P.S. Also forgot to mention that I will be compiling some tutorials for  Adobe Photoshop and Digital Colour Theory over the next few months. Drop me a line if there is anything you are interested in seeing.