Sunday, August 21st, 2011
Show Your Ukulele Play'n Pride!
This “ukulele merit badge” sporting Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole, better known as Bruddah Iz, is only a test/rough-draft, the first from a set of about 30 badges that’ll appear on a site targeting novice to “advanced beginner” uke players (I’m more toward the low-end of that talent scale myself). The site’s gist is offering guidance — lesson plans and skill challenges to keep learning fresh and avoid burnout or that frustration from “getting stuck” or not knowing what to try next.
Though he passed some years ago Iz remains incredibly beloved in his Hawai’i and you’ll no doubt recognize his Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World cover. Checkout NPR’s profile of Iz on their “50 Great Voices” series. So familiar to the ukulele community is this song that… well:
Q: How many ukulele players does it take to cover a Bruddah Iz song?
A: Apparently all of them.
Oh, tip of the hat to Mayang’s Free Textures for the free hi-res cloth texture.
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Hey, Valentine... STOP RUNNING!!!
This year’s card almost didn’t happen — not through a lack of ideas, but somehow, after a dozen rough sketches and a color study or two, still didn’t feel ready. But, as they say, nothing like a deadline to focus the mind. So here ya go. As usual the larger version’s available on Flickr.
“I Crave Your Brains…
But Will Settle For Your Heart!“
P.S. Yes, I know, grammatically it’s “brain” , but everyone knows a singular v. plural argument with a charging zombie is pointless at best and quite ill timed at worst.
Sunday, December 19th, 2010
Frost Your Holiday Windows With Undead Tidings
A few weeks ago Ludlow suggested several Zombie Christmas items (for Ben’s novel, Rise Again), this Zombie Snowflake being among them. My first attempt mistakenly began by folding the paper in successive halves – yielding an 8-pointed Zombie Hawai’ian quilt pattern — lovely, but a fairly unconvincing snowflake. So, it sat fallow, until last weekend when I did this 6-pointed version. (BTW, if you do make a zombie Hawai’ian quilt, please let me know — it’d be awesome!)
Download Zombie Snowflake Papercraft Pattern (87KB PDF)
Sunday, December 12th, 2010
A Musical Christmas Freebie
Recently, while Ben Tripp (also a ukulele player) and I were adding zombie holiday gift tags to his book’s website (where, incidentally, you can download tons of other great zombie-inspired freebies, RiseAgainTheNovel.com) we realized, in a moment of complete dimwitted obviousness, that the world desperately needs more free uke goodies. So here ya go, a set of twelve DIY gift tags. Enjoy!
Download Ukulele “DIY” Holiday Gift Tags (205KB PDF)
Also available from my Flickr stream:
Oh, the notorious “Zombie Papercraft Nativity Set” is not longer available on his site (long story, apparently), but someone has kindly reposted it on ZombieChristmas.org.
Friday, November 19th, 2010
Few things are as pleasant as lazing around strumming the uke, but admit it, don’t ya sometimes wish it was smaller? Of course you do. So scratch that itch with this easy, DIY paper craft soprano ukulele.
Download Papercraft Soprano Ukulele (PDF)
Monday, September 20th, 2010
Just in time for Hallowe'en...
Ben’s first novel hits bookstores late this October (buy) and you should be excited (especially if you buy it). Rise Again‘s the real deal, a character-driven novel where some (buy now) characters occasionally eat the others. So it goes. (c’mon, buy)
I had the opportunity to read an advanced galley which kept me up reading, red-rimmed eyes, far too late on a few consecutive school nights (buy, buy, buy).
So here’s my contribution to his effort: a zombie “half-mask” that you wear like a pirate’s eye patch — or more likely put up on your cubicle wall. Either way (buy). Grab the JPEG from my Flickr stream or (bought the book, yet?) go to his website, RiseAgainTheNovel.com (alledgedly it’ll be up sometime today) to download the PDF version.
The book’s speedy, movie-like action and real characters reminded me a bit of David Wellington’s “Thirteen Bullets”, all in a good way. (BUY IT!!!!!)
Oh, you should buy the book “Rise Again”.
Sunday, September 19th, 2010
A Beistle Halloween Homage Decoration
I’m a tremendous fan of Beistle Company’s die-cut, 2-4 color pressboard Halloween decorations… now considered vintage but those are what hung on our front door and windows every year of my Kansas childhood. Excitedly pulling down that tape-patched cardboard box of Halloween decorations from our cedar attic meant that cool, damp fall mornings were just around the bend.
Just thinking of this triggers a Pavlovian response in me still, one of giddy anticipation and nostalgia.
Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
Funny thing about LA: on the one hand it’s the sprawl cliche — all freeways & parking lots and things human & concrete — on the other hand, however, we have some simply ginormous parks squeezed into those fluted hills. It’s not unusual then, when driving along roads abutting these open spaces, to spy a pack of coyotes loping sideways down the shoulder or be startled by a deer popping out of a landscaped median. It’s here, you’re just apt to forget is all.
Sunday, January 18th, 2009
Further reason for your kiddies to think the pre-iPod generation really was all that dull...
OK, twas inevitable, right? A quickie conversion (please excuse its klunkiness), but was just down the hill at Cycleway Coffee and noticed their coloring pages bin was empty — dry, nothing! Thus this de-colorized version of last week’s Valentine’s Day Card. If you’d prefer an easy to print PDF version, hop over here: Cycleway Coffee’s Rabbit Barista Coloring Page.
Sunday, January 18th, 2009
Pardon me, but your cute is in my coffee
Love going to the markets in J-town (aka “Little Tokyo”). Really do. First, the area affords beautiful views of LA City Hall, its streets remaining largely faithful to their 1920′s construction (small plaques note each shop’s lineage — hardware store to meeting hall to, most likely, restaurant). But mostly it’s shopping in markets where a sponge, or bag of crisp lime-n-chili squid chips, or the lowly plunger all get the kawaii treatment. Couple dots for eyes and subtly cheerful “U” mouth smiling, friendiliciosly assuring you of the shared happiness that’ll be yours, just for having made this small purchase. Too great. Here’s my take for Valentine’s Day. Choose to perk up (poor pun) your iPhone (wallpaper) or print-out this larger version. Might turn some of these cards into coloring pages for CyclewayCoffee.net, stay tuned.
Friday, January 16th, 2009
Renaming Roses: And the Coffee's still great - Cycleway domain change
There’s a long, frustrating story to be told, but not here, not now. Hey, look! The bright side beckons! So make this bit of groan-worthy cheeze your new, happy iPhone wallpaper or use this larger version: save it, print it, clip it, what-have-ya-it (hi, DaftPunk!), but whatever ya do, please note that it’s now CyclewayCoffee.net. Argh. Not “…Coffee.com” but “CyclewayCoffee.net”. For now. And probably tomorrow. (Find my happy place, find my happy place…). Thanks!
Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
Crushing Hallmark while sprucing up your iPhone
When Roy Doty, discussing his fantastic personal Christmas cards, mentioned that he begins roughing out ideas and sketches in early Fall to beat his mid-December mailing deadline, well, I knew I was in trouble, really deep trouble. Adjusting for the ginormous talent gap between he and I this works out, approximately, to my needing to have started this year’s batch of Valentine’s Day cards some time between “Star Wars” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” releases. Well, definitely by “Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension”.
Despite this crushingly late start here’s my first foray: a coffee-themed Valentine’s card (doubling as a bit of rah-rah for Cycleway Coffee).
(iPhone Valentine’s Wallpaper (shown above) or save this larger printable card version.)