Tag Archives: favourites

MCM 10: Boyproof

I pulled this one off my shelf after I finished my plane books and had been reminded how much I truly love to read. Some books are like old friends and I enjoy rereading as much as I enjoy re-watching some of my favourite movies. It’s comforting to know what’s going to happen, and yet good books often have layers of meanings that are revealed upon rereading, the same way cartoons often contain adult jokes that you don’t notice until you end up re-watching them one day when babysitting.

This book isn’t precisely like that because it is a fairly short and simple story, but I loved it the first time I read it and I still enjoy it. I believe it was one of many books given to me throughout my life by my dear aunt and uncle, Joan and Charlie, who also gave me my first Harry Potter book (they have good taste and I’ve loved nearly everything I’ve gotten from them).

I think more stories of unconventional, imperfect but loveable girls can only make the world a better place.

MCM 8: Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely 4)

I got this hardcover for some steal like $6 as a backup read for the plane home. However it had been so long since I read the rest of the wicked lovely series I was a bit lost through probably the first half of the novel. That said I liked this ending (unlike some, looking at your Divergent *glare*). I preserve that this is my favourite paranormal romance series. It reminds me of the old faery tales I read when I was young where faeries were tricky and magical but dangerous (and allergic to iron.)

P.S. I prefer the spelling fairy to faery but I used the latter anyways in ode to the series.

This is incomplete as I tried to paint it and found myself at an impasse due to a long standing disagreement between colour and I. In short I cant paint… so yeah. Anyway, this went through three iterations to end up here. I submit it under the “favourites” tag because I love creating characters and giving them a backstory.

This is Jo, (originally Io :/ ), who is the daughter of death and the world-smith (the dude who makes planets). She found her own way as they aren’t really the type to stick around. Basically you don’t mess with her. The devil tried to once and she simply said “How do you like your lungs?” and escaped through a backdoor the world-smith had left in a mountainside. A few nights later he awoke to find his lungs placed gently on the pillow next to him and a note telling him to ‘take a hike’ in far less kind language. Being the daughter of the dude who literally makes the inner workings of the universe, she got them out with ease… meanwhile he never could figure out how to get them back in. Needless to say the devil did very much leave her alone after that. (…couldn’t even voice his frustration at her really. :/ )

Sorry we didn’t catch this right away!


Part two of Seeing Nano! Nano Waves!

This is my make art daily submission for favourites. I made it with my favourite person, it’s one of my favourite current projects, and it features three of my favourite things, nano, art, and education.



Photoshop doesn’t do well with light pressure recognition. Making thick-to-thin strokes requires a lot more fidelity than would even be necessary with a proper sable brush and ink in meatspace. It blows out pressure at the low end and makes soft lines blobby as hell.

You can combat this by turning off the lowest pressure settings of your tablet at the driver level, but you shouldn’t have to. I want a brush engine that senses those slight variances and accurately translates them.

It’s possible. Manga Studio, which I’ve used for inking since about 2006, does a stellar job at light pressure translation. Getting feathered strokes that look like they came from my Raphael 8404 #4 sable brush is no harder than inking in the real world. Painter does a pretty good job of this too. At the very least, both allow you to tweak how the brush engine interprets your strokes on a per-brush-setting basis instead of using a sledgehammer on a finishing nail by leaving you with an only recourse of neutering your full range of pressure sensitivity at the driver level.

Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash all exhibit this problem. I don’t know if it’s an interpolation/smoothing issue or something larger, but I do know that the result is shitty lines.

Since around the time of the Photoshop CS6 Beta, I’ve been attempting to create a brush that combats these shortcomings by dropping out some of the lowest pressure mark-making with a combination of flow and texture settings. The result is a brush that, while not 100% opaque at the lightest marks, provides a hell of a lot more fidelity and control.

This is a quick video of the brush in action. Below is a download link for the latest test version of the brush’s Tool Preset.


Illustrator Ray Frenden just made your life a lot easier with his Photoshop brush tool presets. Say thank you. 

There goes Drawn! my favourite blog before tumblr being awesome. Can’t wait to check this out.


Best-Ever Teen Novels? Vote for Your Favourites


Slow-Baked Beans With Kale

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and washed in two changes of water
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 2/3 cups white beans (3/4 pound) or dried lima beans, picked over and soaked for at least four hours and drained
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste, dissolved in 1 cup water
  • 3 cups additional water
  • A bouquet garni consisting of 4 parsley sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs and a bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • Salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the kale. Blanch for two minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain, squeeze out water and cut into ribbons. Set aside. (I blanch the kale to extract some of the bitterness, but you can skip this step if you wish).

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large ovenproof casserole. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the dissolved tomato paste, and bring to a simmer.

3. Add the drained beans, the remaining water, the bouquet garni and salt and pepper. Stir in the kale, bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Bake three hours until the beans are tender and creamy. Taste and adjust salt.

4. Mix together the remaining olive oil and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the beans, and continue to bake another 30 minutes to an hour until the bread crumbs are lightly browned. Remove from the heat and serve; or allow to cool slightly and serve.

Yield: Serves six.

Advance preparation: You can make this recipe through Step 3 and store it in the refrigerator up to four days ahead of serving. Top with the bread crumbs, and reheat in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes until the beans are bubbling and the bread crumbs lightly browned.

I’m saving this for when I have to cook.

I love Kale.