Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jeff White - Masking Tape Sculptor

Masking Tape - Not Just For Painting

How often do you think of masking tape? If you're like me, only when you decide to do some painting around the house and in my case, that's very infrequently. However, there are people who look at masking tape as a medium for creativity. One such person is Jeff White, an Ottawa-based storyboard artist and animator. Jeff has adopted masking tape as his medium for sculpting.

Jeff and the Cowboy Gecko

The Hobbyist

Jeff has dabbled in wood carving and sculpting as a hobby for a number of years. He has created short-lived sand sculptures on the Pacific beaches of Ecuador and set his hand to paper mache sculpting as well. It is just recently that he opted for masking tape as his material of choice.

Haida Mask Turtle


His first major projects were face masks suitable for wall hangings. It was during his work with these that he developed his technique for simulating hair.

Collection of Masks

Facial Hair

Caricature, Cartoon and Fantasy Characters

Being involved in the animation industry, it is only natural that Jeff creates caricatures, cartoon and fantasy characters using masking tape.

A Rose By Any Other Name...

The Dragon

The Band

The Artist

Jeff can frequently be seen at local hockey rinks, pockets filled with rolls of masking tape as he works on a sculpture while attending his son's hockey games and practices. Or possibly you'll come across him sculpting as he enjoys a coffee at Tim Horton's or sitting in a shopping mall. He's hard to miss. If you do see him, feel free to say "Hello" and I'm sure he'll be glad to expound on the enjoyment and techniques of masking tape sculpting.

The Guru

And I guarantee, you'll never look at masking tape as just paper and adhesive again.

At least that's how I see it from Between Keyboard and Chair.


P.S. More of Jeff's work can be seen on Flickr and Picasa

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Good Bye, Mr Kitty

It is with sadness and a sense of loss that I sit Between Keyboard and Chair writing these words. I feel as if I've lost a good friend.

Mr Kitty

Mr Kitty was a cat. He wasn't my cat. He was a neighbour's cat. Or more accurately, he was the neighbourhood's cat.

Mr Kitty came into our lives when his owner, Frank, rescued him when his mother had abandoned him. Frank fed the kitten from an eyedropper every few hours and Mr Kitty survived to become a beloved character amongst most of the neighbours.

The Young Mr Kitty
The young Mr Kitty

The Alpha Cat

Mr Kitty was neutered and de-clawed but he was very much the Alpha Cat at our end of Ariel Court. Other cats knew to keep their distance when Mr Kitty was making the rounds of his domain and if they didn't show the proper respect they were quickly brought into line. He certainly knew how to use his teeth and his back claws.

The Food Circuit

Mr Kitty knew exactly where to go on the Court to get fed. He made his rounds to all the accommodating houses every day. At 5:00 AM he would be on our kitchen window sill waiting for his breakfast. He'd return a few times a day for a snack. If you didn't notice him or didn't pay attention to him he'd stand on his back legs and paw against the screen until you fed him. Anytime our van turned onto the Court, we'd likely see Mr Kitty making a beeline for our doorstep to greet us. At those times he likely wasn't hungry, he was just dropping by to get his head scratched.

King of the Court

When it came to petting him, you had to show the proper respect. If he felt you were getting too familiar he'd quickly warn you with a little nip on the fingers. After all he was the King of The Court. He was quite picky about his friends. If you were his friend, he'd rub up against your legs and let you pet him lightly. If you weren't his friend, then beware. He wasn't adverse to giving you a little nip just to show you your position in the pecking order.

A Fatal Weakness

Mr Kitty had a fatal weakness. He wasn't afraid of cars. He would sleep on, in or under vehicles. If you left a car window open you would likely find Mr Kitty sleeping in the car. If he was lying on the hood or roof, he wouldn't move even when you started the vehicle. He once spent two days locked in the trunk of a car because he had crawled in and gone to sleep. He was found when the owner took the car to a garage for maintenance. That attitude can be deadly and unfortunately, fate caught up with Mr. Kitty a week ago. He was lying under a vehicle and was accidentally run over. His injuries were too severe and he had to be euthanized the following day.

Mr Kitty on Arpil 23, 1010
Mr Kitty on April 23, 2010

During the years Mr Kitty was with us, he became a habit for us. First thing in the morning we'd put cat food out on the window sill for him. If we saw him coming across the walk between the houses we'd go to the door to greet him. He certainly had trained his subjects well over the years and we all had learned to show him the proper respect for one in his position.

Bless you Mr Kitty. You are sorely missed.

At least that's how I see it from Between Keyboard and Chair.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sean Rasmussen Fan Club

Time for an update for everyone who has been following my progress in Sean Rasmussen's For A Few Dollars More Learn and Earn Competition.

Firstly, I'd like to thank all of you who supported me during the affiliate marketing exercise by registering for access to the contest forum. If you haven't registered there is still time until July 31. Have a look at With A Little Help From My Friends for the details. If you're feeling brave you can go straight to the Registration Form.

My apologies to those who tried to register and received an error message. The server has been configured properly again and the registration process is working once more. I lost a few points during that fiasco.

You can check out my standing in the competition at For A Few Dollars More.

Yesterday, Sean gave us the task of writing a blog article. The topic is to be (surprise, surprise) Sean Rasmussen. We have until Friday evening (Australian time) to get the post ranked on the first page of Google with the keyword Sean Rasmussen as the search criteria. At that point, Sean and his lovely wife, Cherie, will be reviewing the blogs and allocating bonus points in the contest.

I decided I needed a new domain with Sean Rasmussen as part of the URL if I was going to make any progress in this exercise so I registered I then set up the domain on my Hostgator account and proceeded to learn how to use Wordpress to develop the new blog.

After 14 hours, I finally published the blog article Sean Rasmussen: Gentleman And Internet Marketer Extraordinaire. Surf on over and have a look. Feel free to leave a comment. If you wish you can also promote it by Digging, re-tweeting or sharing it on Facebook. Extra appreciation will radiate from me if you also share it on other social bookmarking sites.

There is another Webinar on Friday morning (my time) at 3am so I'll have to get my napping schedule in order so I can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for participating.

So that's how things stand right now. We're quickly approaching the final day of the contest and excitement is building. I'd like to wish Good Luck to all the great people I've met during the competition.

Don't forget to check out the blog article Sean Rasmussen: Gentleman And Internet Marketer Extraordinaire, leave a comment, give it a wee bit of promotion and/or link back to the article from your own blog. All means of support is really, really, really appreciated.

Now may the best person win. (I had to be politically correct there.)

At least, that's the way I see it from Between Keyboard and Chair.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

With A Little Help From My Friends

G'day, eh?  A standard Canadian greeting. And now I'll do something else we Canadians are renowned for; I'll apologise in advance of doing something. Sorry, eh? And finally the request for assistance.

This is not spam. At least I don't consider it to be, but then I'm somewhat biased.

Back in the middle of June I began to participate in an Internet Marketing competition. There is $20,000 AU in prizes up for grabs in the contest with the 1st prize being $3,000. My main reason for participating was to meet new people and have some fun.  But now I'm in 5th place and within striking distance of 1st prize. So I'm seeking a little help from my friends, family, relatives, acquaintances, friends-of-friends, neighbours, in-laws, outlaws, complete strangers, and maybe even peoples' pets. The rest of this article explains what is going on and the assistance I'm seeking. Be assured there is no cost involved for you. All I need is a little of your time, some mouse clicks and a bit of typing.
As mentioned, I'm competing in a 7-week Internet Marketing competition out of Australia (Sean Rasmussen's For A Few Dollars More Learn and Earn Competition) and, now in the middle of the 6th week, we are engaged in an affiliate marketing exercise. In order to gain points I have to try to persuade people (and who better to ask than friends, relatives and acquaintances) to sign up for access to a Year Of The Affiliate (YOTA) forum that has been set up for the duration of the contest. A few weeks after the contest is over the forum is to be taken down.

The process is relatively easy. Simply follow the link I've provided above and at the end of the article and fill out the YOTA application form. When you are filling out the form you are required to choose a password. Please make a note of the password so you can login to the forum after your application is processed. No credit card information is required but a physical mailing address has to be provided. The physical address goes in the section called the Billing Details. The address is simply used in the $0 receipt that is emailed to you. Once you have completed the form, click on the Submit button. You will then receive two emails. One is the receipt for $0 and the second gives you a username to use when accessing the forum.

Be sure to follow the link in the second email and sign into the forum. That's when I get my points.

For those of you kind enough to give me this assistance, there is a special bonus. When you login to the forum you will have access to an excellent 30 page ebook - The Ultimate Twitter Guide. Simply enter the Welcome Aboard! section of the forum, click on The Ultimate Twitter Guide (download) thread and follow the link to the download.

I've included an image below of what the application page looks like. My wife signed up on the forum in order for me to test it and, of course, to give me the ten points. If you can't market something to your wife, then who can you market to. (Hmmmm, I wonder if I should mention the iPod Touch I really need?)

And now the link to the registration form for the Year Of The Affiliate (YOTA) forum.

There is no cost associated with joining this forum. And the forum is to disappear after the contest. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

If you have any questions or concerns about the process, please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment and I'll do my best to answer any questions you have. Also, if you're so inclined, feel free to ignore the request as well.

But remember, you'll have my undying gratitude if you help me, whether or not I reach first place

That's how I see it from Between Keyboard And Chair.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Plurk And Me

Back in September of 2008 I wrote a guest blog on a website that has since changed it's focus. After a bit of creative searching I managed to track down the article and have brought it home to Between Keyboard And Chair. So after some minor changes and with no further ado here is Plurk And Me

I assume if you’re reading this article you may already know about Plurk. If not, there are plenty of other articles online that will explain Plurk. As for the “me” in the title, I’m a 67 year old, retired Public Servant, Linux advocate, computer aficionado, avid Internet user, social networking junkie, photographer and musician (see Grateful We're Not Dead) - all of which I engage in with varying degrees of success. But the only thing I intend to talk about today is social networking: Plurk and me.
I originally became involved with computers in 1978 when I purchased a Commodore PET 2001. By the early 1980s I had my first exposure to what could be called “early social networking” via Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) and I actually ran a BBS out of my home for a number of years. By the early-90s Internet access had become available at home and I started using email and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to communicate with people.
Then along came ICQ in the mid-90s and I started to connect with people world wide. I used various Instant Messaging Services until 2007 when I was introduced to the social networking / micro-blogging service, Twitter, during Ed Dale’s Thirty Day Challenge. I started using Twitter on a regular basis meeting more and more people around the globe. One of these, Allan Cockerill, a friend in Australia, introduced me to Plurk in June 2008.
Once I saw Plurk’s horizontal, scrollable timeline of time stamped messages (Plurks) along with the drop-down window containing all responses to the Plurk, I was hooked.
Plurk has become my main means of communicating within the social networking milieu mainly because of the ease with which I can track ongoing conversations (Plurks and responses). I quickly came to realize that Twitter was good for making announcement but Plurk had put the “social” back in social networking. I build my network of connections (friends) by checking the timelines of those who have responded to a Plurk, if I have not encountered them before. If the content of their timeline looks interesting I will either add them as a friend (once they have agreed to the request) or simply follow their Plurks. And in turn, I receive friendship requests from Plurkers who have come across me in a similar manner.
The one thing I find within Plurk is a sense of community that quickly builds up amongst the users. You can quickly become emotionally involved with the successes and failures, the joy and the sorrow of these on-line friends. If they disappear for a number of days you begin to worry about them and make inquiries of common friends. If they have a birthday, get a new job, have a baby, get married, etc., you celebrate with them. If they feel down you try to raise their spirits. As in any relationship, occasionally there are disagreements and arguments but as in most friendships these are usually resolved in an amicable manner.
As my group of friends has grown it has become virtually impossible to respond to every Plurk that appears on my timeline. However, there is a core group that I normally converse with, however briefly, each day. I then scan the timeline looking for interesting Plurks for which I may have a response. After that, I must confess, the remainder get MAAR’ed (Mark All As Read). But I do try to respond to every active friend at least once or twice a week.
Will I continue to use Plurk in the foreseeable future? I believe so, simply because of the emotional connections that have developed in this community of users. These are people I would miss if I didn’t hear from them occasionally. These “digital world” friends do not replace those in my “analogue world” but strongly supplement them.
I imagine I’ll continue to build my network of friends and acquaintances for quite awhile to come. And hopefully, if you’re interested, I’ll meet you in Plurk as well.
And if you want to link up with me on Plurk you'l find me at

Friday, June 25, 2010

You Can't Throw That Out!

Having lived in our home for almost 39 years, Helen and I have accumulated quite a bit of what would be considered by some to be junk. Now granted, it's all good junk but occasionally we get the urge to free up some space by passing on some of this excellent material to others. Of course, when that decision is made then comes the problem of deciding what we really, really need to keep and what we can gift to our friends, relatives, neighbours or whomever. Needless to say, as this task proceeds the keep pile always stays larger than the give pile.

However, the one area that is sacrosanct is Helen's stash. Anytime I look towards any of it, her immediate response is, "You can't throw that out!". Now when I was 40 years younger stash meant a whole different thing to me than it does now. Today's stash doesn't cause shivers down your back every time you see a police car cruise down the street. Of course, I'm talking about the fabric stash, that continually increasing collection of fabrics used for quilting. Helen is one of those quilters who keeps every little remnant of fabric just in case there might be a need for it. All of this material is stored in see-through plastic bins somewhat sorted by type of material and colour.

Part of the Stash

Now I thought it was getting a bit much awhile ago when I came across a bag of fabric scraps that were at least 40 years old. She said her mother had given them to her a few years ago and some of them were left-overs from quilts an aunt, long deceased, had made. My immediate response was, "What in Hell do you need 40 year old scraps for?". But being a well trained husband I didn't touch that bag.

Typical condition of frayed logs.

Well I've been put in my place. A few days ago, Helen started restoring a 50 year old Log Cabin quilt that belongs to one of her sisters. The quilt had been a gift from the same aunt whose scraps are in that bag in the basement. And guess what - some of that material is the same as was used in the quilt! So as part of the restoration, some of the original fabric will be used. A nice touch!

Original green fabric used in restoration.

So this old quilting-widower knows that when She Who Must Be Obeyed says, "You can't throw that out!", then I don't touch it no matter what it is, because her intuition is telling her that it will be needed in the future.

At least that's the way I see it from Between Keyboard and Chair.

Have a good one,


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Hands of the Quilter Stilled

I've been away from Between Keyboard and Chair for six months. It's amazing how time flies, even when you're not having fun.

My mother-in-law, Edna Gertrude Ireton (nee Gardiner) passed away on February 10, 2010 in her 93rd year. Edna had spent the last 15 years in a wheelchair as the result of a stroke which had left her paralyzed on the left side. Up until the Fall of 2008 when she moved to Lanark Lodge in Perth, Ontario she had lived in her own home near Drummond Centre with the assistance her son, Bob, who lived with her and home care workers who came to the house both morning and evening.

Edna was raised in the country, married in the country, raised her children (Helen, Allan, Bob, Barbara, Beverly, Dianne and John) in the country, lived her whole life in the country. In 2008, at the prompting of a daughter-in-law, she wrote some short notes concerning her life. I'd like to include a couple of them here.

First some comments concerning her youth:
"As a young girl I had a good sense of humour. Quiet. We didn't have much in the line of entertainment. We learned to play cards young. Sometimes some of us would gather at someone's house. If we were lucky we had live music, a violin, a tin whistle. We learned to dance. My father and two of my brothers were good step dancers.

I had three brothers older than myself, one sister younger. I never went to school after Grade 8. Back then it was Senior 4th Grade. My sister went to high school, then to business college. Got a job bookkeeping for a local business. I stayed at home, helped my mother. Money was scarce. You learned to save your pennies until you had enough to buy whatever you wanted or needed. You helped your neighbours when needed. Didn't always get paid. We didn't have the opportunities that the young people have today. I was 25 yrs old when I married in May 1942."
And what it was like being a farmer's wife:
"A typical day for me in my early married life would be to get up in early morning and help milk the cows by hand, feed calves and the hens or chickens before breakfast. There was a baby to look after, feed and dress. Washing to be done.

Had to have a noon meal ready the included potatoes and meat. Back then in the 1940s it was salt pork. It was stored in a salt brine in the basement. You had to dig a piece out, slice it by hand, parboil it in milk and water, then fry the slices. It tasted good enough. A lot of work. You had to have desert, pudding, pie or cake. Supper was much the same.

In the summer time there was always extra, the garden. Men had the crops and hay. Women were often called upon to help. It was busy and tiresome. Not much money. I guess when you're young you can handle these things better. It was the way of life."

Edna's passion was quilting and even after suffering her stroke and having the use of only one hand she continued to quilt with the help of two of her daughters, Helen and Barbara, and some of her quilting friends. All her children, grandchildren and some of her great-grandchildren received at least one of Edna's quilts during her lifetime.

Edna's Quilts - 1

Edna's Quilts - 2

Edna's Quilts - 4

Edna's Quilts - 3

Unfortunately, the hands of the quilter have now been stilled but her legacy will live on in her beautiful creations.

At least that's how I see it from Between Keyboard and Chair