Tag Archives: toys


A Shoebox Diorama: “The Factory”

Last October, a friend asked if I’d be interested in joining her friendly shoebox diorama competition amongst her acquainted artists, filmmakers, musicians, scientists, engineers, etc. Of course, this came at a particularly crazy time in my life — the aforementioned garage construction, the new startup business, and, ya know, the whole “baby thing” — so it didn’t seem likely. But in the end, I was too intrigued to pass up an opportunity to flex the creative muscle!
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Geneva Stopped?

It’s best to think of this post like an apologetic hint to a certain friend that may or may not be expecting a certain “project” to be done in 14 days time…that I may or may not be able to realistically finish. But, say I was still pushing to complete said “project”, I thought I’d share some of my ambiguous progress.

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Puppy Love

Gift-Giving Anxieties
I get a ridiculous surge of anxiety whenever someone is about to unwrap a present I foolishly crafted my own two hands. Is it gonna be cool enough? Is it big enough? Will they like it? Will they like me?!

I don’t suppose the hint of sleep deprivation after finishing them at 5am this morning does much for my anxieties.
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Story Dice…Eternally Limited Edition

While I vowed not to make any Christmas presents after last year’s wooden gift extravaganza, in the final hour, I inevitably buckled in the face of the alternative:  Spending more time in the mall.

And so for one of my gifts, I made a set of Story Dice.  These are quite simply 6-sided dice with pictures on each side, but the fun is in how you use them.  All you need to do is roll a handful of story dice across the floor and you have the beginnings of a magical fairy tale!
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Nyan Cat-omaton!

For the past couple months, I have been avoiding the shop.  It was a long battle to plead for garage permit approval only to boil down to 30 torturous minutes in a meeting with the horrible Board of Variance.  Their ignorance on the situation and their strangely biased comments against “the young people” moving into the neighbourhood culminated to the anger and deep hatred I feel for them at this moment; but in the end, I’m at a loss for words.  It is clearly a story for another time.
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Metamorphosis: Constructing the Caterpillar

I often lament the impracticality of subsidizing our west-coast life will selling homemade wooden toys.  My personally slow production rate notwithstanding, even the simplest wooden toy would take Geppetto several hours or even days.  Throw me into the fold and you have yourself an epic project spanning the odd evening hours over several weeks to make something you could buy at Walmart for under $30.
In the wake of mass production, I can only assume genuine toymakers are a dying breed in North America.  That being said, I will one day use this blog to document my bumbling efforts to build a personal CNC machine using one of my 14 decade-old computers collecting dust in my basement…but only after I build my garage…and then a new sideboardand then after I rebuild the deck…move the interior staircaserenovate the kitchen…add some french doors…

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Granville Island wasn’t particularly close to where I grew up, so we didn’t go there too frequently.  However, on the summery days where the temperature was ranking in the +20s and mom craved mussels and oysters enough to defy the law of “months that end in ‘r’”, we’d pack up the car and venture into the City.

The trip to Granville Island would always come to an end with the pervasive scent of fish when my mom would eagerly sift through pools of seafood for our dinner that evening.
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Babies Everywhere!

Much like a few years back when all of our Saskatoon friends were done with the weddings and moved onto the baby making, it would seem that the westerly winds have brought the infant-bearing instinct to Vancouver.  If I look back at my fond memories of being 1-month old, I imagine being surround by wooden pull-toys and hand-cranked automatons that tortured my living soul for not having the innate gift of bipedal movement or…well, any motor skills whatsoever.  So what do you make for the drooling individual aged 0 to 1?

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