Inara the Turtle

Meet our newest cubist animal, Inara the Turtle!



I took some pictures of the cubist animal construction this time to give you an idea of the process.


I tacked down the ribbon for the head and the tail really, really well.

Inara-construction3Inara-detail2She can hide her head and tail under her shell!

Inara-detail3Inara-climbing1She prefers climbing to hiding.


Check out our other cubist animals:
Ari the Lion
Elmer the Orca

Climbing Wall

One of our favorite activities to do together is indoor rock climbing at a nearby gym. As we’ve gotten more and more involved in the activity in the past couple years, we decided we really wanted to be able to climb more often than traveling to the gym would allow. We decided to draw up plans for building our own rock climbing wall in the spare bedroom.

I’ve already created a scale model of our house in Google SketchUp, which really helps when planning home improvement projects.


“Building” the wall in SketchUp helped us plan the project and calculate the expense.


Here is where the wall is going to go.


We removed the baseboard and began pulling back the carpet.


I constructed the angled wall and then bolted it to the ceiling and floor. (I had to add support beams in the attic between the ceiling joists as they run parallel to the wall.)


Then, I framed in the side wall and added support for middle of the angled section.


Once the 3/4″ plywood was cut, I drilled a staggered grid of holes and hammered t-nuts into the back of them. This is what the climbing holds will bolt into once the wall is complete.


The plywood is going up and I’m using a couple of climbing holds to help move the boards into place before attaching them to the frame.


3 of the 4 walls are done.


Construction completed.


Then we sanded the outside corner so it wouldn’t be sharp.


And added some paint.


Kristine is sorting out our climbing holds so it will be easier to design our routes.


Installing the first holds.


Testing out the first route.


Placing route tape to designate what holds can be used for each route.


We added a marker board to rate the difficulty of each route and keep track of which ones we’ve completed.


Several routes installed, and even a hammock to really give the room an outdoorsy feel.


The wall is complete with 83 holds, 20 routes, and a crash pad.

Person of Interest


I have the privilege of designing many of the graphics used for our church’s message series. The graphics are used as the title slides for PowerPoint as well as a header image on the bulletins. This design is for a series our pastor is beginning in February, titled “Person of Interest.” The sermons will be focusing on some of the lesser-known individuals in the Bible.

York Peppermint Vase

Kristine and I celebrated our 3rd Anniversary this week! (In case the great recipes and amazing creations from her previous posts didn’t clue you in, you should know I have the best wife ever.) Anyway, getting sentimental and thinking back to when we first started dating reminded me of one my creative projects of which I’m most proud. Kristine and I had been dating for 2 months when we graduated from college together. I wanted to get her flowers, but I wanted it to show more thought and personalization than just basic flowers would. So, that’s how I came up with the idea to incorporate her favorite candy into the vase. You can see below that she was surprised and thrilled!

You could do this with just about any small object (candy or otherwise). Simply buy two vases, one large vase and another small enough to fit inside it. Make sure the vases have the right amount of space between them to fit whatever you want to use. Then, line the bottom of the vase with your object (if you’re really obsessive about detail like I am), set your smaller vase on top of that layer and start sliding the rest of your items in between. Below is a close-up with one of the top York Peppermints removed so you can see the smaller vase inside. (This was back when York mints came in cool foil wrappers instead of the plain ones they come in now.)

Are there any other candies or objects that you think would work well for this? Give it a try and let us know what you create!

Wallpaper Illusion

I’ve had this idea for a while, but wasn’t sure how best to implement it. I wanted to create a desktop background that matched up with a design on the wall so it gave somewhat of a “window” effect, but I definitely didn’t want to paint the wall or do anything else permanent. My solution was static-cling material used for temporary wall decals. The on-screen part was created in Adobe Illustrator. (Sorry for the poor photo quality – the lighting in our office is kind of low.)

The graphic is designed to match the wall at our eye level when seated at the desk. While it doesn’t show this in the photos, the color of the background and lines match the wall and decals almost perfectly. It actually takes a lot of tweaking to get on-screen white to match the color that “white” really is when it’s lit by a few incandescent bulbs in a green room. Yay for tons of courses in color management and theory – they finally made themselves useful.

Obviously the graphic won’t line up at every angle, but the effect works surprisingly well even when you first walk into the room. (Hey, it got Kristine to say, “Whoa, that’s cool!” when she first saw it. And that, right there, made this project a success.)


The design project I was working on had outlasted my interest and completing it had become a chore. Food being one of the great motivators in my life, I grabbed some yogurt. As I tried to get those creative thoughts going again, I thought about how boring yogurt had become since they started pre-mixing the fruit instead of leaving it in the bottom for the consumer to stir. Yogurt needed something to bring the excitement back into the experience. I thought, if I had my own yogurt brand, I would do something different to make it stand out from the others. I would have all the fruit crammed to one side! Then I laughed at how typical that mentality can be among marketing people – they’ll ask you to defy the laws of physics (yeah, I know fruit on the side would settle to the bottom) for the sake of the most insignificant change, and they act as though that minuscule change is a catalyst for some new and wonderful product.

Originally this was sketched on a Post-It note, but then I recreated it in Photoshop CS5. I experimented quite a bit with my new Wacom Intuos5 tablet on this project too.