Friday, December 28, 2007

Blade Runner

For Christmas, Rich bought me the new boxed set of Blade Runner! The first thing we watched was the "Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner" documentary. It was great! I think it was close to four hours long, but we stuck to it, and watched the entire thing in one sitting.
I never realized just how much of a contribution Rutger Hauer made to the film. He actually came up with the famous line, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
Here's what the script asked for, " I've seen things.......seen things you wouldn't believe.....Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion bright as magnesium....I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate....(pause)...all those moments.....they'll be gone."

And here's the famous, wonderful line that we all know and love, " I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate............All those moments will be lost in tears in rain."
Excuse me......I have a lump in my throat! *sniff*

Here's one of my favorite sequences "Eye World"....Chew's laboratory where he makes eyes. It really was a meat locker, and they had to stop filming to warm the equipment up and air the place out. Everyone on the set was getting sick! But it was such an amazing environment. The whole movie had such an palpable atmosphere.

Ridley Scott wanted even seemingly insignificant props to fit in. He had them make custom magazines to sit on the news stands that were most likely to exist in the year 2019. One is called "KILL" about guard dogs you don't feed!

There are some "new" scenes in the Final Cut. One is of the goalie mask wearing Go-go dancers depicted at the bottom, here. They're only on the screen a matter of seconds, but they were originally filmed and I don't know why they were omitted. Their breasts and everything were fully covered, and they were just shown as part of the neighbourhood Deckard has to go into to find Zhora. Oh well, maybe someone found the goalie masks offensive.

A lot of the inspiration for the look of the film came from a comic book called "The Long Tomorrow" by Moebius. Ridley Scott freely admits it, and here's a panel from it. (From Rich's collection, of course.)
Also, of course, Syd Mead. They talk to him quite a bit in the documentary as well. I believe that's one of his paintings below.....and at the very bottom (right) is none other than a sketch by Ridley Scott!
You can really see the Moebius influence there, eh?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

William Morris Cross-stitch we go again. There was a little problem with Blogger where images posted weren't opening properly, but now that the problem has been fixed, I decided to re-post this image of an unfinished cross-stitch I'm working on.
I'm doing it from a pattern in a book called "The Art of William Morris in Cross Stitch" by 'Barbara Hammet'...I believe. The book is great! There are patterns for some other wonderful designs that I will post in the future after I've had a chance to work on them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Papier Mache Bull's Head

Aha! I bet you thought I forgot! Ha! Well I showed you! I was just waiting for film to get developed, that's all.'s the skull/head under construction:

Luckily, I have one of those cool old dress-maker's I got HER is a whole story in itself. But anyway, I added a cardboard "tube" to make room for the jaw, because it couldn't go on otherwise. I still have to build the teeth, then paint it and cover it with bits of sheepskin etc.

But here's something ELSE I've been working on. MORE cute Christmas tree ornaments!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hallowe'en Blankie

And here are some close ups.

Like I said before, I think the best part was collecting all the Hallowe'en fabric!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Skull Sketches

Just some sketches I did.....because I like bones. I know...I'm one of those WEIRD people who wants to pick up dead things from the side of the road.
I drew this one because I wanted to study the form of the papier mache Minotaur mask I am building. I started it this morning!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Robot That Started It All

Here's a costume from when my son was in Kindergarten. This is when it hit me that I could dress my kid up in ways that I wished I could have dressed up when I was his age. Crazy, eh? Well, I didn't have much experience with LEDs or anything, so I tried to light his costume with coloured lights I bought at "RadioShack"....(now called The Source....for some corporate marketing reason)....but anyway....I managed to get the lights to work for this ONE PHOTO ONLY. I have since mended the errors made back then, and I believe I could do a much better job now.
The other horrible thing I did wrong when constructing this costume was I forgot that he may have to go up a flight of stairs! He couldn't raise his legs high enough to do that without pushing the box part of the body up and almost knocking the head off! The discovery wasn't made until he wore it to school and they had to parade up to the second floor to show off their costumes! I felt terrible for him, because he looked so forward to being a robot.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What I'm Making For Hallowe'en

For those of you who haven't seen "Time Bandits", here is my inspiration for Rich's costume that I'm making. I LOVED this design. I thought it was so well thought out. It's as if they were saying the Minotaur wasn't a REAL beast, but a symbolic one. It was just a persona of a great warrior, and he wore the head of a sacrificial bull on his own head. I noticed though....that somewhere in the film-making, it seems someone changed their mind....and they made the flesh hanging from the bull's head fresh with blood. Then, after Agamemnon, (Sean Connery), slays the Minotaur, he takes the head/mask which is accompanied by a ripping sound ....and the remaining shots of the warrior on the ground are angled so that we see no trace of his head.
Anyway, if I had a digital camera I could post my progress immediately.......but I'll get my film developed soon and show off what I've finished so far!

Monday, September 10, 2007

More Ghosts of Costumes Past

Okay, these aren't from the 70's, they're 80's photos, but they're just as scary. I don't know what I was supposed to be. Some sort of KISS inspired alien. I was 18 years old and I went to some party a bar if I remember correctly.You can tell it was the 80's by the belt I was wearing. Remember those? And the ankle boots my friend liked to refer to as "Peter Pan Puddle Jumpers". The most impressive thing about the costume is that I actually took crystals from an old chandelier and made them into earrings! They were HEAVY! And the necklace was the exact same one I wore when my sister and I were dressed as cats. (It belonged to my Mom, and it's long gone now.)
Here's a later photo taken when I worked at Loomis and Toles, the art supply company. They always had inventory on Hallowe'en, which really pissed me off, but I got dressed to go to a party right after. I was supposed to be a cave-woman. I sewed all the rabbit skins together by hand, and frizzed my hair out by sleeping in tiny braids the night before. I don't think crimping irons were available yet....because I would have killed for one of those!
Boy, I actually thought I was fat back then. I can only WISH my body was in that shape again.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Ghost of Hallowe'en Costumes Past!!!

Here are some scary photos from my distant past. I happened to find a site, which I now have linked to my blog under the heading of Ugly Old Hallowe'en Costumes, which contains tons of images of those horrid, cheap plastic costumes we poor kids of the 70's were forced to tolerate every Hallowe'en. Well not me! I only remember wearing ONE, and it was Little Red Riding Hood. It was most likely purchased at "Woolco" at Agincourt Mall! Here is a photo of me wearing only the plastic "apron" part of it along with a red woolen ski hat, because my Mom knew the mask was nearly impossible to see through, and it looked stupid......and it smelled funny.
That's me, behind the other kids....looking mildly sulky.
I have to laugh at the ingenuity of the kid dressed as a pirate's parents for colouring in a piece of paper to make it "black", so he could have a proper eye patch! He also had a cardboard sword covered in tin-foil. I was probably jealous.Here's what my Mom used to do for us. She would take two socks, cut them a certain way, then sew them back together again forming a little "cat" hood. She'd put a cotton ball in the heels of the old socks, and BEHOLD! Cat ears. This is me on the left in white, and my sister in black on the right. We were probably around 8 years old. (She was the "man" because she was taller.)
Here I am using the same sock cat hood AGAIN! Our Mom liked to recycle.
Here's me again trying to be a Hobo. That was always such a cheap cop-out. A hobo. I decided to use an empty booze bottle and put water in it and put it in a paper bag. Ah.....authenticity.
I think the scariest thing about THIS photo is the hideous orange curtains we had in our house!
Here's another pretty scary home-made costume. Scary because I had a really bad perm, and I had NO IDEA how to apply eye-liner. I also used almost an entire cake of white eyeshadow on my face too. I'm also wearing a turtleneck ! Now THAT'S scary. This photo was taken the LAST year I went Trick or Treating. I had just turned 12, and my parents thought I was too old for that stuff.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Last Year's Costumes

Here are last year's costumes. I took a shortcut, and used store bought costumes and embellished them. My son was "The Grim Reaper" and my daughter was a Mermaid. The Reaper was a cheap, black nylon robe and dollar store plastic scythe, with strips of leather fringe tied near the top. I did his make-up with just a black eyeliner pencil and white face make-up.
The Mermaid was a "Barbie" mermaid dress which I ripped the badly made sleeves off ( she couldn't get her arms into them), and replaced with pink bra straps. I also sewed some applique sea shells and fish onto the front and embellished a blue wig with cowrie shells, fake pearls and beads. I bought the tiara in Chinatown. I don't know why my daughter insisted on carrying a "magic wand"...but whatever. Little girls love magic wands. I also put some lipstick and eye shadow on her of my own. She insisted that "Mermaids always wear lipstick!"
Oh well, that's it for this post!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Back To Hallowe'en

Because I don't have a digital camera...yet....we laid this quilt directly on Rich's scanner. I made it last year, and it's a twin size quilt. I was too eager to finish it so I abandoned the idea of making it a double. He loves it, and uses it all year 'round. I got the pattern off of a quilt block website, and the blocks form spiderwebs. It looks even better as a whole, and as soon as I get a chance, I'm going to photograph the entire thing.
I think the best part was going out and finding all the various Hallowe'en fabric!
And here are my kids dressed up a couple years ago as a Black Cat, and I forget who that other guy was. You know .....someone from Star Wars......oh I forget his name.......(I hope you know I'm being sarcastic!) Anyway, I had to buy the helmet and light saber, but the rest of the outfit I made. I found him great boots at Value Village. (That store is amazing for finding Hallowe'en stuff!)
And here's an earlier one of my son as a Viking. It all started when he won a prize from TVO Kids which was a book on Vikings. He thought it would be great to be one, so I made it happen. I made the sheepskin vest out of scraps I got for free from a leather shop near Spadina and Queen. It took a lot of work to piece them together, but it was worth it.
The helmet is papier mache, as well as the axe blade. The horns I carved from curved Juniper branches, and the little rivets on the helmet are actually lentils. Oh the fun you can have with craft glue!
The suede boots came from a yard sale, and I just shortened them a bit. I made the shield out of plywood and painted it according to a Viking design on a brooch, (from that book.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

More Musicians

Here are a couple of other guys who were great that night too. The first is Dave Bachelor, who is an amazing bass player, and if it weren't for his efforts, I never would have gotten the chance to sing the one song that really meant something to me. Thanks SO MUCH Dave!!!!!
Secondly, is Jan Carlee, who was also my supervisor, and the D.O.P. of layout. He's a great guy with a great sense of humour and phenomenal taste in films. He was our drummer on many of the tunes we did!
A couple of others whom I don't have photos of were Tim Deacon who was absolutely amazing on harmonica, and Jean Pilotte on guitar. That really was an excellent night, and if we never get to do it again, I'm just so damn thrilled we got to do it at all!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Regarding "Still Singing"

Here are some photos of Music Night II at DKP/IDT/Starz Animation. I guess it WAS officially "Starz" at the I should continue to call it that. It was held March 29th, 2007.
To help boost morale while our project was being overhauled, the studio was kind enough to sponsor a fun night, allowing many of the musicians that make their livings as artists get up there and show off. It wasn't an "open mike" thing....we'd all rehearsed together many times and tried to make it as coherent as possible. Although we were constantly reminding each other that it was just for fun and there would be no talent scouts in the audience, there still was a bit of nervousness involved....on MY part anyway.This is Eric Murray on the far left. He was really great, playing keyboards and singing at the same time. I, for one, can barely manage singing and playing the tambourine at the same time!!! That's Avi Katz on the far right playing one of his many collectible guitars. We were doing "Mustang Sally", and he sang lead vocals. I was just there for back-up.
Avi played an absolutely KICK ASS version of "Cross-Eyed and Painless" with Eric. I wasn't on that one though.
The two songs I got to sing as lead vocalist were CCR's version of "I Heard it Through The Grapevine" and (my favorite) "Don't You Want Somebody To Love" by Jefferson Airplane. People were calling me "Grace" for days afterwards!
Eric and I sang a few songs with him in the lead, and myself as back-up. "Here Comes Your Man" by The Pixies was one of them.
I really like this photo. It looks like I actually know what I'm doing.
Oh well, that's all the photos I was able to mean ...have from that evening.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Another Hallowe'en Prop

Here's something that was cheap and easy to build. I took a Dollar Store Hallowe'en skull, repainted it, cut open the back, poked small holes in the eyes and wired up a couple of flashing LEDs. I mounted it on an old mop handle and stuck it in the ground. I added a braided deerskin headband with feathers, and now it looked like it was part of an ancient Indian burial ground.

The other skulls on the ground were more expensive....made from a thicker plastic, but I gave them a new paint job too. Here they are at night!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

MORE Hallowe'en Stuff

So here is your typical "graveyard" with the styrofoam headstones and silly names. It looked great at night, and it freaked out my overly-Religious neighbour who thought I must have been some sort of Satanist. KNOW....that only EVIL people celebrate Hallowe'en......
I guess it didn't help that I placed a tea-light candle in front of every grave...........and fake calla lilies.

With the help of "The Monster List" of Halloween Props.... (yeah...they spell it without the apostrophe).....I learned how to make this nifty cemetary fence using only PVC pipe and spruce "strapping", and a whole lotta black spray paint!!!

Next is my masterpiece. My "Mahakala Jack' o' Lantern". I wanted to include some spiritualism in my celebration. Mahakala is "The Great Power of Time" in Tibetan Buddhism.

Now THIS one took quite a bit of effort. I cut the signs from an old fence, tried to carve out the letters with a cheap Dremel-tool wannabe, then just ended up painting the letters on instead. I traced them on in graphite first, copying them from an old Letraset catalogue. Remember that stuff? Letraset? If you don't, then you're too damn young!!!!!
Anyway, I was very pleased with the result, and I hope to use it during Hallowe'ens to come.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hallowe'en Is Coming!!!

For the next little while, I'm going to be talking about Hallowe'en. Why? Because August is when I usually start making costumes and stuff. I have quite an elaborate costume planned for my boyfriend this year, and I've already bought the materials. One thing I had to buy was leather..........ah....but , I'm not going to give it away THAT easy.

Here are some photos from a couple of years ago after I went nuts checking out ideas on the internet on how to make certain Hallowe'en props. My kids helped design the above Jack'o'lanterns (but I did the carving for them). I loved the idea of a "13 hour clock", but I have to admit I rushed through the project and it could have turned out better....but it wasn't bad for a first try. I glued rubber bats and mice to the wood, after painting it black and aging the oval in the centre to look old.
I also wanted to try my hand at an "Axworthy Ghost" that flies along a clothes line.....but I only got the ghost part made. I wired it's eyes with LEDs and it looked pretty cool. But it was windy that night, and using no flash, I had to rely on a timed exposure, and the photo turned out blurry.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Here are my kids. My son, doing his impression of the Amazing Spiderman, and

here's my little girl imitating her Mommy. I had my camera set up on a tripod, and I was trying to pose glamorously. She decided to do the same. Going through a divorce isn't easy on them......but I want them to know I love them immensely.
I know this post has nothing to do with art or's just a personal thing.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pazyryk Tattoo

This is a picture from National Geographic, October 1994. It was drawn from the mummified remains of a woman who died 2500 years ago. What was my first reaction when I saw this? I must have it! It has to live again!
I had to flop the design, because my left arm was already occupied by a Bee. And I felt the curve of the creature's body was too abrupt. So I drew a slightly different version for myself, and showed it off at work, (Nelvana) to get some other people's opinions.

Well, here are a couple of reactions I got. The drawing in the upper right corner was mine, and the other two are from these other layout artists I worked with. They were totally against the idea of people getting tattoos, and they thought I was crazy to want one. I actually had two already.....but they were small. It's funny in animation.....we're all artists, but we are a very diverse group.
Another guy I worked with WAS into tattoos, and he drew THIS for me on my birthday.
I thought it was really cute. That was back when we were working on "Eek The Cat", several years earlier. But I already had a dragonfly on my leg. So I guess I had crossed into the world of the "Tattoo People" back then.