Monday, December 25, 2006

Best Wishes to all

Christmas Bears & FriendsMay love, light and laughter fill your days during this holiday season. See you in January 2007!

Illustration for Sea To Sky News (Squamish BC, Canada), Dec. 21/06 edition

Xmas Decorating with Pandas

Instead of the fake tree we normally put up (I don't like cutting down a live tree only to discard it later) I opted to specially make two pandas for the season. This one is a hair above 1' and the second bear ever to have wings.
Back view of the wings. They came from a folk art dove on a stand that I busted up for parts. The base is unpainted fir previously intended for kindling and hauled out of the Soo Valley this year.
The crazier the eyes, the better.
This one is over 2' high. Again, the base is made of kindling. The gifts look great around this guy.
In other craft news, Dave had a special request this year for a particular gift, so long as I can replicate it out of wood. He also wanted it wrapped in a suggestive manner. Makes for some weird xmas photos to send to his folks in South Africa.

Go Ahead, Dump on Us

I have a feeling that the storm we experienced up here is the culprit that is affecting Denver Colorado at this moment. 24 inches dropped in one night and didn't let up till 3am. I was out shovelling in three hour intervals so that Dave would have a place to park our car. HIs round trip to Vancouver that day (220km) took 12 hours when it normally takes 2.
Despite shovelling without electric light till 2:30am, I managed to clear enough of a path for our car to park in the driveway. The neighbourhood transformer three doors down blew up in pink flames an hour earlier and I saw the houses around me go dark one by one in 2 seconds flat.
The fate of all cars left out in the road; they get packed in by the snow plows that shovel around them, or worse, get a deep vertical dent from hood to trunk.

Last Bear Links for '06

Pics of the smallest teddy bear in the world.
A cute flash game called Honey Bear.
The TeddyBears have a page on MySpace.
The strangest Coke ad I've ever seen.
Bear Calvary: Yeah, you're pretty much f*&@ed.
There's a crazy looking bear at the 3:11 mark in Cyriak's Animation Mix.
News from last thanksgiving; Brutus the bear dines with his human family. Note: has dinner, not makes dinner of them.

I can tell it's gonna be a much better xmas this year

Come to think of it, the Delta wood planer Dave got me last year really was a nice xmas gift. The shop vac for my birthday though kinda screamed "I see you vacuuming the house almost every day so I know you'll love this". Um, yeah.

That's more like it. Click on the box to see what was inside. Thanks for the early xmas gift Dave.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Visiting Victoria once more, leftover pics from the November trip

A quick stop to Mountain Equipment Co-Op in downtown Victoria for a little window shopping. Dave is modelling a $450 expedition quality down jacket. I punched him in the stomach after taking this photo and he didn't feel a thing.

A walk along the breakwater is a must during any visit to Victoria.

This sunset was unusually clear enough to see the US border and Port Angeles across the Juan De Fuca Strait, again, at the breakwater.

The rain let up just enough to venture out to the Saanich Observatory, hubris notwithstanding.

I was dismayed to find the 100 year old telescope open to the public for only two hour-long tours a week. 9/11 prompted the government to greatly curtail access.

On our way back to BC Ferries, we made a detour to Goldstream Park for a look at the annual salmon spawn. It also was the beginning of a strong storm front that didn't let up all day.

Chum salmon struggling to spawn in the rapid current.

Ashes to ashes... the predictable end to a four year lifespan.

The storm scared off the lazier gulls who didn't want to dine amid the hassle of pelting rain and whipping wind.

This feckless volunteer fish counter told me there were about 10,000 salmon in the stream on this particular day.

Dave told me to stand there to illustrate the scale of this fallen tree. Since our visit, the Goldstream area lost quite a number of large old trees from the storm. Another ferocious one is expected to blow through this week.

Of course, I've got to add some bear content. There's got to be a few fat bears, what with all this fish everywhere.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

What's New Pussy Cat?

I've actually been sweating away in my (dry for the first time ever, thanks to this new deck) garage making xmas gift and I can't post them quite yet of course. I'm resigned to the snow being here for the next 5 months, sigh. I get gently ribbed by the neighbours for not wanting to take up skiing in a ski resort town.

I can show your this scalloped thingamajig I made out of cedar and installed last month. The brake light lens came from an abandoned Chevy truck up the Soo Valley. They are screwed over holes to let light in from the window and appear like they're braking. And that's a shark jaw on top.

I got the inspiration to do this from Ms. Stuffed who posted a pic of her dad's perfectly preserved 50's kitchen window.

Another Chevy brake light lens getting a second life as a sun catcher on these plywood stars.

A new mantle on top of the existing fireplace mantle. The knickknacks desperately needed the extra shelf space.

A 40 or 50's print from the Sally Ann in Victoria. It looks like it decorated an apartment laundry room for a very long time. I'm happy to have snagged it.

A large devil duckie like the ones at Archie McPhee's. Also bought in Victoria at Zydeco's on Johnson Street.

Cheap fishing bait jars make great containers for beads. They screw atop each other and keeps everything easy to look at and separate. There's a neat little gift idea for the crafters on your gift list.