Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Move On Over To MAD LAB!

This, dead reader, is the final entry for this blog. It's been quite a ride, hasn't it?

It all started with a massive tome of an entry, about Barnaby, way back in 2008.

And who can forget all the puppet making postings I did, like THIS one?

And of course, there was a call to arms to resist the continued decline of film making, which can be read here.

Yes, we have a lot of memories- you, me, and walsh-o-matic.

But the time has come to shut it down. I certainly won't be  TAKING it down cause there really is a heap of content here, and I think the puppet-making stuff is especially useful. But my energy has to go somewhere other than this blog. And that other place is:

More specifically, it's my new production company called MAD LAB PRODUCTIONS. 

It's a company whose purpose is to focus on the creation of animation. And more specifically, animation in the genres of SCI-FI, HORROR, AND COMEDY (and any combo of the 3 that tickle our fancy). Geri Bertolo is my partner in this. Geri has a brain that is stewed in more cartoon craziness than just about anyone I know, and together we're making some pretty neat stuff...

We have a production blog, that can be found here, and we're very active in general online, through Facebook and Twitter, and YouTube, all of which you can access via our website page. I really hope you'll subscribe to us on YouTube. The more subscribers we have, the more we know we have an active audience that wants to see more animation, and the more inspired we'll be.

So I hope you'll make the move (if you happen to still be haunting this blog), over to Mad Lab. If you like the honesty, integrity and (upon occasion) fun sense of humour from this blog, I personally 10000% assure you that you'll be happy with the work Mad Lab is doing.

Thank you very much for reading and commenting in this little corner of the internet over the past 4 years. Hope to see you (and hear from you!) over in the Lab...

The MAD LAB, that is!!!! (you can cue crazy laughter here, and flashes of electricity... )

One final comment: I apologize for how ugly this blog currently is (this one, not the Mad Lab blog!) Blogger has some very strange ideas when it comes to "user friendly", and as such I cannot, with sinking hours and hours of my life into it, figure out how to make this blog NOT look horrible. Sorry about that.

But I assure you, Mad Lab's blog looks nicer! Come on, give it a click.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cute Toy Truck

On topic of making toys, I made this for my son over the Christmas holidays. It's not from the toy book I just posted, I just "winged it".

It was very fun (and super easy) to make. I just used scrap wood, some dowel, and some store-bought wooden wheels (got the wheels at Michael's Craft). The tools I used were a drill press (to make the holes for the axle, and the hole for the exhaust pipe), a vice, a coping saw, and some sandpaper.

I used professional wood glue to glue the cab piece on to the body, and I used 2 sizes of dowel- one for the axles themselves, and one for the exhaust pipe. The most fun was the paint job. I just used acrylic paint (didn't bother priming the wood, just went for it), and used a hair dryer to speed up drying so I could get multiple coats done.

When it was all finished I used two coats of an acrylic gloss finish, to protect and give it that "new truck" shine. My son's been playing with it for about a week now, and if it can stand up to a week of his bashing and crashing, I consider it a success.

It was really fun giving it to him at the breakfast table that morning- I love the feeling of making him happy with something I made myself. That being said, I also enjoy playing car racing games with him on the PS3!

Book On Making Old Fashioned Toys

I have a little shop out in my garage, as well as a small work room in the basement. I enjoy working away on projects, sometimes for myself, and sometimes for my son. I recently came across this book:
It's got a lot of fun projects, that really are simple, and charming. If you've ever wondered how to make a Balancing Man, a Skyhook, or a Floating Ball, then this is the book for you. It's laid out very nicely too, with a nice mix of historical illustrations of the toys and games, as well as more modern but tasteful illustrations of how to make the stuff. Well, I'm off to make a Bullroarer, wish me luck. If you are in Canada, you can buy it here.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ben Whitehouse- Stop Motion Artist

I've just discovered the work (and blog) of UK stop motion junkie, Ben Whitehouse.

You can see his great work here.

He does extremely charming and appealing work, with lots of "how to" stuff to boot.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

NEW Mad Monster Party Book

I'm back, after taking an extended break from the land of bloggin'.

Facebook, through its ability to post info and links so quickly, has been the place I've been posting stuff lately. But a blog allows for a more in-depth look into topics, and I've started to miss that a bit.

And, when I look back at all my entries- gosh darn it, I've got quite a bit of information here, including interviews and profiles of all kinds of things, so I want to continue to nurture that.

And what better way is there to come back to this blog then by showcasing a brand new book that is sure to appeal to ANY fan of puppets, monsters, and generally cool stuff:

MAD MONSTER PARTY, by Rick Goldschmidt. It's a great tribute to the memorable Rankin-Bass stop motion feature from 1967. Rick has filled the book with lots of great photos and press images, the script from the film, music and lyrics from the songs, and all kinds of neat stuff that I'd never seen before. It's a must for fans.

You can order the book directly from Rick Goldschmidt here.