October 26, 2009


I'll be honest-- I don't really read a lot of books without pictures. And same goes for blogs. I like pictures, it's as simple as that. One of the blogs that I constantly read is Doodlers Anonymous. It's such a great blog filled with all sorts of artists and their sketches, doodles, and zines. Doodlers Anonymous gives me a bit of motivation to get the sketch book out and doodle.

Right now I'm all about Jolby. A collaboration between two friends, Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols who are separated by miles. Check out their website:


and check out doodlers anonymous:


Paper Toys from Korea

Last month, I announced my initiation into the world of paper toys when two of my models were included in Papercuts. Around that time I received a cool gift from my sister that she brought back from a quick trip to Korea.

According to the information on the back of the postcard:

“guan jian shou was two generals endangering the world but were intimidated by Dizang Wang’s Buddhism and Dizang Wang’s guards. These two observed good and evil in the world and in turn they prolong good people’s life and shorten bad people’s life.”

These little guys came from the Answer Ideas Studio, which is based out of Taiwan.
The Studio has developed dozens of paper toys ranging from figures to everyday objects with varying degrees of difficulty. Each model is cut from a single card and does not require any glue, and constructing my tiny guards took little more than an hour.

Now as they guard my messy table I catch myself glancing over at them and hoping they are prolonging my life. If I stay good I may have more time to make a few more paper models.


October 8, 2009

Creature Chart

I recently came across this cool chart showing the intersections of species that create mythical creatures.
I never knew the Australian Echidna was named after a part-snake, part-human monster! Creepy...


Out Wolfed

This is a great story about legalizing hunting of the newly reintroduced wolf population in Idaho and Montana.  It's controversial as these wolves have just been moved off the endangered species list.  The video is really great because it takes the point of view of the hunters, the animal rights activists, the lawmakers and the people who have to deal with the wolves in there yards and daily lives.

Not to mention the wolves, who no one can seem to catch anyway.


- Simon

One Fat Frog

A few weeks ago I had a chance to meet famous book creator/funny man, Mo Willems.  I literally cornered him at a signing and asked about his latest book.  After developing successful picture book series involving pigeons, piggies and pachyderms, Mo has set his sights on the humble frog.  Not just any frog but a frog SO big she can’t fit inside the book.

Mo teamed up with Bruce Foster to create the first ever “Pop Out” book.  Big Frog Can’t Fit In was released this week by Hyperion and I was fortunate enough to get a copy for myself.  The nine-inch by nine inch book comes in a tall resealable bag with an additional orange box that protects the dangling froggie toes from getting smashed on the bookshelf.  The six spreads feature oversized pop-ups and playful pull tabs designed out of sturdy heavyweight paper.  (This book has the potential to stand up to some very curious little hands.)  I am also very impressed with how the positive storyline is integrated with the pop-ups.  You can tell Mo and Bruce really had fun making this book.

In fact when I asked Bruce about his experience with the book and the collaboration he had this to say. “Mo was great to work with. Very funny guy.  When they called me with his idea I had to slap my head like in the V-8 commercials, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!!’ Ha.”

One of my favorite details of the book involves Big Frog flashing a gold tooth as she shrinks on the page.  It’s the little things like this that make the book worthy of reading over and over at bedtime. (or playtime, or anytime!)

Now that the pop-out book is out Mo and Bruce are had at work in a variety of different projects.  Keep an eye on Mo’s blog to get a taste of what’s to come out of his studio. As for Bruce Foster, well he is the most prolific paper engineer I have ever met. This month FOUR new titles he paper engineered are coming out: Big Frog Can’t Fit In, The Sound of Music, Angels and the Sports Illustrated Kid's Wow! The Pop Up Book of Sports.  I’m looking forward to seeing them all!


October 2, 2009

The Legend of Zela

It’s October. That means I can’t pretend that summer is still here. To reinforce this reality the temperature dropped and I had to break out the sweaters. I miss the warmth. I miss the summer. It makes me wish I was in sunny Florida right now instead of leaning against the cold winds. If I was in Florida I would be able to stop by the Scissors: Pop-up exhibition at the Florida Craftsmen Gallery. You may remember some of the details from my Call for Entries post in June. I made a small contribution to this show, possibly the smallest in the world.

The Legend of Zela portrays the epic tale of a battle between Julius Caesar and Pharnaces II that took place in 47 B.C. Quoting from his now famous decree- “I came, I saw, I conquered” the book carries the reader from Caesar entering northern Turkey, sizing up his main rival from Pontus, and defeating him at the hilltop town of Zela. This miniature pop-up book, measuring a half inch tall by a quarter inch wide, is the result of my pursuit to share big personalities, events or monuments in a small format. To my knowledge, The Legend of Zela is the smallest pop-up book ever created. This title was created in July of 2009 using inkjet printing on heavyweight photo paper, and is an edition of five for each day of the one-sided battle.

This little guy is in good company as I recognized works from Maria Winkler, Shawn Sheehy and Matthew Shlian (that’s a detail of his work on the postcard above!) The exhibition is on display until Halloween and if anyone visits the gallery be sure to snap a few photos and send them to me and I will upload them on the blog.


Where's the cake?

I have a very severe tree nut allergy, so it can be troublesome when we want to get baked goods for the studio - most bakeries will not guarantee that their products are nut free. It is usually a gamble whether I should try those amazing cupcakes someone sent us or not. (Jess and Simon know this firsthand - last year at Jess's after-work birthday party, I accidentally had a bite of nutella cake and ended up in the emergency room! It was pretty scary for all of us.)
Anyway, we like to get a cake when someone in the studio has a birthday, so today for my birthday Robert and Matthew went several extra miles and MADE me my cake! Check it out:

Wow! It's incredible! And it tasted as good as it looks - Robert made it from scratch (it was chocolate), and he and Matthew decorated it (Matthew did those cool flowers, the lettering and some of the edging). This is probably the most beautiful cake (and one of the yummiest) I've ever had. Thank you so much R & M!!


Paper Flowers

"Everything begins on paper.  Without paper I would be lost!"  And Karl Lagerfeld is right.  Chanel's 2009 Spring-Summer 2009 Haute Couture line begins on paper and ends in paper.  I found a couple pictures within some of the workshops that have 'Trail' the all white pop up book open for inspiration!  Not only the clothing pieces were inspired by paper, but also elaborate headpieces and wonderful 3D paper sets!  It's such an amazing thing to see other people use paper in 3 dimensional ways other than just books.