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My DIY pipe shoe shelf/entry closet

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This long weekend, other than celebrating my brother’s 25th birthday, I embarked in a DIY home improvement project, another pipe shelf (this one much more complicated than the last-  see pic above).

Last weekend I made this pipe shelf (pic below) for my bathroom as a test to see if I had what it takes to take on this big one. It turned out pretty decent right?

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I have this awkward nook behind the front door to my apartment where we store shoes, jackets, houndstooth patterned doggy jackets, Hudson bay striped doggy jackets, umbrellas and more embarrassing dog costumes. It’s always a mess and looks like shit and is the first place you see when you walk in which has made it a cause of stress for the past 5 years. I made an attempt to organize it by putting some hooks into the walls for hanging jackets but a few hooks fell out of the wall and now there’s big patchy wall holes of grossness. Disgusting stuff.

The complicated part is the electrical panel is located at the back which makes my shelving possibilities limited because I have to keep the area accessible. I’ve spent the last two weeks plotting and imagining a few ideas and after several sketches, finally have a plan that I think/hope to God will work.

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Home Depot is a fantastic place that smells like fresh cut lumber and has become a favourite weekend destination. I have embraced this part of adulthood with open arms.  Rona gives out Air Miles (which I’m an avid collector of, and have been known to make wine selections based on the amount of bonus miles I can score per bottle) but they were a bit more expensive for the same parts so the HD won out.

All my advance planning and time spent preparing quickly went to shit as my domestic partner (I call HIM that to piss him off in the hopes of him finally giving in and putting a ring on it) pointed out to me that my plans were…well, shit. I kept a calm face and we re-designed the plan on the spot while digging through boxes of pipe fitting and piles of cedar plank and driving the sales associates crazy.

$221.83 cents later, I had a car full of supplies and lofty dreams of DIY excellence.

I planned to include detailed plans of exactly so this shelf was made so you could re-create it’s beauty in your own home but in the end ain’t nobody got time for that.

Here are pictures of the process…

…And the final product. You’re welcome.

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Hal Lasko, the oldest and possibly only person using Microsoft Paint

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I’m feeling rather humbled and slightly useless after learning about cool cat Mr. Hal Lasko. Not only does his passion for his work and continuous learning put those who-have-yet-to-discover-Google or anyone who’s ever muttered “I don’t know how to use this program” to shame, his sense of discovery at his age is truly something to aspire to.

I recently stumbled across a great feature on 97-year old artist Hal Lasko on COLOSSAL, one of my new favorite digital art finger surfing destinations. After seeing his gorgeous portfolio I will no longer poke fun at so called “designers’ who use Microsoft paint. That is a promise.

After a long and successful career as a typographer back in the day when everything was done by hand, Hal started a second career in his 80′s after his family introduced him to Paint 95. Sure he’s had almost 20 years to perfect his Paint skills, but the guy is also legally blind and really, really old. When I’m 97, I don’t picture spending my free-time (between doctor visits and bingo) in front of a computer screen but by then we might have screens implanted into our faces so who knows.

Here’s a short documentary on Hal.


For Kainat

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I’ve promised myself to start painting this summer and over the past few months, I’ve been slowly absorbing stories and visualizing the paintings that will tell these stories.

After watching last night’s episode of Frontline on Kainat Soomro, the 13 year old girl who’s brave quest for justice made international headlines four years ago after she was drugged & gang raped in Pakistan, I was inspired to create a piece that reflected her struggle.

Watch the documentary on Frontline: Outlawed in Pakistan



A lot like playing Bingo

As a graphic and web design professional, I wear many hats to accommodate all the professional services expected of me from my clients; the Project Manager, the Artist, the Collaborator and the Management consultant and the Psychic. Creating stable, respectful and lasting client-designer relationships is an art, but every so often despite best efforts, sometimes these relationships can unravel.

In the past, I’ve blamed distance as the culprit as in our disposable culture, it is easy to “dump” a designer, friend, lover when you have little or no face-time. This is when the technology designed to keep us connected fails us. I believe that people are generally good, so when a recent client stiffed me for my last invoice and dissolved a previously fantastic relationship for no clear reason, I blamed the fact that for some people, it may be easier to cut of ties than to justify reasons for breaking a contract. Throw a border and miles between us and being dumped becomes an easy-way-out. That being said- it never stings any less.

It can be a lot like playing a game of odds and chance. Sometimes your letter comes up and you walk away a winner and sometimes not, but the pleasure is in the experience, dotting your bingo sheet with your over-sized marker and screaming out BINGO!!! So despite the occasional unfortunate tale where the designer walks away feeling helpless, I am fueled by and indebted to all the wonderful clients I’ve serviced throughout the years.


Tribute to Theo Dimson, Canadian poster designer

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Graphic designer Theo Dimson, known for his poster designs, died on January 18, 2012 from complications from pneumonia. He was 82.

Dimson was born in London, ON in 1930; he graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in 1950. Well known in the Toronto design scene, he co-founded Reeson Dimson & Smith Ltd. (later renamed Dimson & Smith Ltd.) in 1965 and established his own solo studio, Theo Dimson Designs Inc., in 1985.

Dimson was the author of Great Canadian Posters. His work has been  exhibited internationally and at home — specifically at Marci Lipman Graphics in Toronto in 1978 and at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1993-94. More recently, in 2010, a collection of his theatre posters was exhibited at Toronto’s Theatre Museum Canada.

Source: Design Edge Canada


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