The Snail just creeps right along…
Minding his/her biz
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: creepy crawlies, Friday Haiku, snails
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” The saying couldn’t be more apt than in the case of shelter animals looking for forever homes: it has been repeatedly proven that good photos greatly increase their chances of being adopted. Inspired by this fact, Hungarian artist Sarolta Bán launched the “Help Dogs with Images” project in March.
Putting her incredible skills to work, she takes ordinary photographs of adoptable animals from across the globe and creates fantastical images with the hopes of increasing their visibility and, ultimately, getting them placed in loving new homes.
Currently, anyone can submit a photo of a homeless animal in need through Bán’s Facebook page to be considered for the project. Photos will be accepted through June 30th, 2014. Check out Sarolta’s site and fan page for more info and images.
These Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lights will make it look like the boys are breaking through your walls with their faces. The lights feature the 3D faces of Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo. Preorder now for delivery in May.
See the rest of the turtles after the break…
Product Page ($44.99)
I’d like to call Neila Rey a fitness guru or something encapsulating, but she eschews any kind of label on her site and the closest thing I could find was “Accessible Fitness & Active Lifestyle” on her twitter.
Whatever you call her, I call her a genius when it comes to making workouts geeky and easy to understand thanks to her poster series.
You can see more of her posters after the break.
From The Avengers to Game Of Thrones, she’s designed themed workout posters for just about everything. She also offers nutritional advice and some great recipes. I’d definitely suggest stopping by her site and checking out more.
(via Incredible Things)
(A customer and his two teenage children come into the store at the beginning of every month, when they get their food stamps. We don’t sell a lot of food – being a drugstore – but we have basic essentials like bread and milk, and also candy. Every month, they would spend their food stamps on the most expensive candy we have. A few days later, they would return it, without the receipt, which rewards them with a store gift card. They would then use the gift card to get things they really wanted. It takes several months of the same cashier/manager combination to figure this scam out, because they try to buy and return from different cashiers at different times of the day. When we finally catch on, the next time they try to return items for a gift card, they were informed that we would NOT be giving them a gift card, nor accepting the return.)
Customer: “Why not!? I return things here all the time! I’m a regular customer!”
Manager: “You are returning food items that you bought with food stamps in order to get non-food items for free. That is a violation of the terms of the food stamp program. Goodbye.”
Customer: *as he and his children are stomping off* “Well, we are NEVER coming here again!”
(It was only three weeks until they were in the store again! Way to teach your children, Dad!)
Toys don’t have to be made from LEGO bricks in order to be attractively blocky. Artist Amanda Visell does a fine job making angles with her wood idols. We’ve featured her Star Wars figurines in the past, and now she’s added superheroes and Disney villains to her portfolio. The unique figures aren’t quite like anything I’ve seen, and I love the take on the characters and the fact that Visell also makes the boxes. Her newest designs feature Wolverine, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Hook, and more.
See more of the cool toys after the break.
South by Southwest takes place in Austin, and that puts the festival in the same town as Mondo Gallery. It’s a match made in art heaven. This year Oh My Disney is taking over the space with their “Nothing’s Impossible” show. The list of artists is impressive and so is their work. I’m head over heels for these takes on Disney and Pixar films and wish I could seem them in person. They’ll be on display from March 7-March 11. Hopefully we’ll be able to buy prints from Mondo one day.
The gorgeous Beauty and the Beast art pictured above is by Martin Ansin.
See more art after the break.
by Tom Whalen
by Rich Kelly
by JC Richard
by Anne Benjamin
by Kevin Tong
by Dave Perillo
by Tom Whalen
by Billy Baumann
by Tom Whalen
Jackie Rabbit, an artist in Roanoke, Virginia, made this crisp and striking tattoo. She calls it the "Heart Tree." The blood of the long buried heart flows up into the living tree, emerges as leaves before falling down to the ground in death.
Okay, this is my new obsession. So, I have to share.
This technique is so fast and simple that I can have a perfectly (and I do mean perfectly) soft boiled egg in the same amount of time that it takes to make my coffee. Why soft boiled eggs? As my someone once described it, a runny egg yolk is like the perfect mix between melted butter and cheese. It’s creamy, smooth, and utterly divine. BUT, the tricky part is getting the yolk to be liquid and the white to be solid, because for every bit as awesome as runny yolks are, runny whites are equally disgusting (IMHO).
I used to make sunny side up eggs, but that technique always left some of the white goopy or gave me half cooked yolks. Poaching can work, but that technique is all together a pain (and I’ve tried every trick in the book). This technique, on the other hand, is pretty much fool proof. I can do it at 5am when I’m half asleep and still get stellar results.
My favorite breakfast lately is a bowl of warm jasmine rice with a little coconut oil mixed in, whatever greens I have on hand, and a soft boiled egg. Oh, and sometimes a splash of sriracha. Soft boiled eggs are also awesome on an English muffin, salad, or roasted vegetables. They’re pretty much great for adding creamy, delicious, inexpensive protein to any meal. Give ‘em a shot.
Are you ready to see how easy it is?
Fill a pot with about 1/2 inch of water. Yes, that’s all you need. Use the smallest pot you have that will house the number of eggs you’re making. I usually only do one or two eggs at a time, but this same technique can be used for any number of eggs.
Bring that 1/2 inch of water to a rolling boil over high heat (with a lid on top). This happens very fast because it’s only a 1/2 inch of water, after all. That’s one reason this is so much faster than boiling an egg. Gently place the egg(s) into the pot. Tongs make this easier to do without burning your finger tips. Make sure to not drop the egg or else it can crack and the whole process will be ruined. Just gently set it on the bottom of the pot.
So, now your eggs are sitting in a little bit of rapidly boiling water. It’s not actually the water that cooks the eggs, but the surrounding STEAM. So, we’ll need to put a lid on top to trap the steam and create a steam bath.
After adding the eggs, place a lid on the pot and set your timer for SIX MINUTES (for large eggs).
After exactly six minutes, turn off the burner and carefully pour out the hot water. Fill the pot with cool water to stop the eggs from cooking. After about 30 seconds to a minute in the water, they’ll be cool enough to handle.
Carefully tap the egg on a hard surface to crack the shell, then gently peel it away. You’ll need to be gentle because the inside is still liquid and the egg will be somewhat soft and wobbly. Give it a quick rinse after removing the shell to get rid of any shell fragments.
And now it’s time for that magic moment… OMG the yolk is liquid perfection! *squeal*
Just so you can see a close up of the awesome results… The whites are completely solid (no snotty, goopiness) and the yolk is ALL liquid. How perfect is that? I feel like I won the lottery.
hello everyone, It has been a long time! it has been a crazy time for me, and the fact that this picture is from finland I suppose illustrates that. anyway, here is the behind the scenes of my latest picture “finland”. it was taken on a frozen lake with the most amazing snow on it. the snow flakes were gigantic (in fact, you can see them in the picture if you zoom in) and so light, fluffy and crunchy you could literally blow them away just by sweeping your hand near them.
this was one of my favorite pictures to color grade, it just worked, and along the way of adding the littlefolk I learned some new techniques. lets get started. this picture was taken with my Nikon d7000 and a 35mm f/1.8 at f/1.8. the big footprints are mine, and the little ones I made with my glove. it is a collage of 6 pictures so the final shot was equivalent to a 25mm f/1.3 (calculated using this lovely extension calculator). first thing I do is merged the 6 shots:
since the sun was setting, I didn’t have a chance to photograph my models before the sun set. turns out, there wasn’t another sunny day for the rest of the time we were in finland. I always try to match conditions as closely as possible between my littlefolks and their backgrounds, but I really wanted this picture to be of one of the people from finland (Tiina) and also the family’s lovely dog (Eddie). there was nothing for it, I had to take the pictures in cloudy weather. this added a lot of extra work for me, but, all’s well that ends well.
Tiina was standing there holding onto the leash, while someone off to the left called Eddie. this made him strain at the leash and put both of them in perfectly natural positions. I didn’t really like any of the shots I got for both of them, so I used Eddie from one and Tiina from another:
I placed them onto the scene and very roughly cut them out using masks and a brush. I then set the blend mode of both of their layers to Multiply. basically what Multiply does is make the image only appear where it is darkening the image below it, if it is brighter than what is under it, it disappears. this worked because the snow they are standing on is much brighter than what they are being photoshopped into, but they are much darker. this saved me a lot of time hand cutting them out, and creates a more perfect edge than one could ever create any other way, preserving the slight blurriness at the edge. the problem is, they are slightly transparent, and a little dark. to fix this I could have changed the blend mode to Darken (basically like Multiply but with a more sharp cutoff between dark and light) but that makes the edge of them 100% pixel perfectly sharp, which never looks good. so I make copies of each of them, set the blend mode to Normal and erased the entire edge of them so they only existed inside the originals. now they still have slightly transparent edges, but I usually make edges of littlefolk a little transparent anyway, it blends them in. also, it will come in handy later. using the magic wand I select the rough shape of both of them and apply that to a mask in a levels adjustment layer. in the adjustment I up the blues and greens in the shadows a bit to better match the background image:
now I got done with all of that and… somehow they just don’t fit. this is the issue with the fact that the picture of them was taken in very different conditions then the background was. to fix this, I thought that adding bright fringes to the edges of them, like would appear when shooting this low angle into the sun, might fix the problem. how I went about doing that is by copying Eddie and Tiina (the ones set to Multiply, not the Normal blend mode ones with the edges erased). for the moment, I hide the originals (the little eyeball button next to the layer). now I invert the colors on both of the new copies, and set the blend mode of both to Screen. Screen, is the exact opposite of Multiply. instead of only appearing where it darkens what is below it, it only exists where it brightens what is below it. after inverting the colors, the snow around them is black, so it disappears, but they are almost white. I now put these copies underneath the originals, and make the originals visible again. using transform, I make the copies slightly bigger than the originals, so they are peaking out in a lot of places. now, the fact that the edges of the characters was slightly transparent means the this new bright layer underneath is affecting the edge a little, which really sells the effect:
I now drew the shadows in, (just mirrored versions of the originals, with the colors changed to a blue slightly darker than the snow around them). the leash is just a drawn line with an outer glow and an emboss:
now for the color editing. the first thing I do to a lot of pictures, is try a Black and White layer, set to Overlay. it adds amazing structured contrast to flatter images. very rarely though, do I have one on 100% opacity. it is almost always is way too much. for this one though, since the “shadows” were actually only slightly below medium gray, it worked fantastically. I didn’t really like what it did to the sky though, so I masked out that area. I then added a vignette with a levels adjustment. both of these adjustments were bellow Eddie and Tiina, because they darken the image a lot, and the models were a little too dark already. above Eddie and Tiina, I decided to enhance the sun flare. I did this by creating a levels adjustment, bringing up the red, and lowering the blue channels. with a gradient in a mask, I made this only affect the area around the sun. I copied this adjustment and made the affected area a bit bigger, and in a new layer I drew a large off-white splotch around the sun, at low opacity. this flare helps the image not be too monotone blue, and makes it feel a little more like sunset:
When your pooch starts acting weird and not eating or drinking, you know you need to take him to the vet. What you might not know is that he ate something weird when you weren't home.
In Petey's case, that something weird was seriously weird. In fact, it's hard to believe it fit in the five month old dog's body at all. That's because Petey ate a toilet bowl scrubber -a whole 15" toilet bowl scrubber.
After a quick surgery, vets were able to remove the brush and Petey is now recovering just fine. “It was the one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen in veterinary medicine and the strangest surgery I have ever performed,” said veterinarian Dr. Yvonne Kline.
Norwegian graphic designer/illustrator, Daniel Brokstad created this fantastic medical illustrative type set that he says is “playful and fun for an otherwise serious setting.” It certainly is! Each letterform is so creative, well thought out, and can easily stand on their own.
Daniel is a talented young designer who is currently traveling the world freelancing.
View more of Daniel’s work at danielbrokstad.com!
There’s a new love in my life, and I want to introduce you to him. He’s thin, satisfying, and rich.
His name is Salami Chip. He is everything I’ve ever wanted on an appetizer platter.
I baked very thin slices of salami on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes. The edges crisp up in the oven, and the entire slice will crisp up as it cools. I prefer pre-sliced Genoa salami, and unless you have the knife skillz of a ninja, I don’t think you could slice your own salami thin enough for this preparation.
I like dragging Mr. Chip through this white bean dip with roasted garlic quite frequently. Pair this with a buttery Chardonnay, and you have an appetizer that I could eat every day at happy hour. Salami (we’re on a first name basis, you know) is totally transformed in the oven to a crispy, addictive chip you just can’t quit.
If you’re hosting a party, plan on about 2 ounces of salami per person. I buy the 4 ounce package, and the Mr. and I enjoy it on Fridays while I cook a leisurely date night meal.
Yes, these chips really are as good as they sound. Bake up some salami chips for the big football thing going on sometime soon. What’s it called? The soup bowl? The fantastic bowl? Oh, it’s the Superbowl. Right. Is that a big deal? I have no idea. I’m just over here eating meat chips and loving life.
Click to continue reading and see the recipe... Salami Chips + White Bean Dip (251 words)
Pomegranate, rosemary, and goat cheese combine in this grown up version of the classic cheese ball. Serve it at your next get together or party.
Would you guys believe this is the first cheese ball I’ve made in my adult life? How crazy is that? When I was a kid, there was always a cheeseball at the big Christmas meal with the family. It was cream cheese based and had ham on the outside. Slathering some of that cheese and ham goodness on some buttery crackers was a real treat. At least, it seemed like a treat since that was the only time of year we got to eat something like that.
This cheese ball is not the cheese ball of your childhood. It’s a sophisticated cheese ball combining unexpected flavors. The cheese spread itself contains three kinds of cheese: cream cheese, goat cheese, and white cheddar. Then it’s got some rosemary in there as well. After the cheese spread has been formed into it’s ball shape, it’s rolled in my all-time-favorite winter ingredient: pomegranate seeds.
These little jewels are what make the cheese ball shine. They provide a burst of juice that counters the saltiness of the cheese. The crunch they provide balances well with the creaminess of the cheese. Basically, if you can’t find pom arils, don’t make this cheese ball. They make the recipe. If you can find pomegranate seeds, then make this cheeseball for your next get together. Or bring it to a Superbowl party. It might not be traditional football food, but everyone around you will thank you.
Two Years Ago: My Go-To Cream Cheese Frosting and Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Soup with Sage
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting and Spinach with Pan Roasted Red Peppers and Goat Cheese
Four Years Ago: Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies and Overnight French Toast
Five Years Ago: Raspberry Meringue Cookies
Remember this story from June of last year? A fellow named Josh drove up from Florida to Atlanta to get a Goldie Puppeh, and we asked for suggestions for a name. Well, he picked one!
“Needless to say, after getting my puppy I was consumed by that for a few months so I apologize I never followed up. I ended up naming him Enzo, after Enzo Ferrari because I am a car nut! He’s my first dog…I could have never imagined how much work it was going to be! Anyway, I just put this video online of him and thought you might enjoy it.” -Josh.
And just think, he coulda named him Yugo, Kia, or Hyundai! Needless to say…Enzo has grown. Exponentially.
A couple of years back, a Russian woman began taking photos of her sons with various animals.
Whether the animals are big or small..
You can tell that these little fellows have quite a bond with the critters.
Mail Online quotes Elena Shumilova, “Children and animals – they’re my life. As a mum of two sons we spend a lot of time on the farm, so I often shoot my boys with dogs, rabbits and ducks.”
“When shooting these pictures, I largely trust my intuition and inspiration when I compose photos of my children with animals.”
“I get inspired mainly by desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is until I have taken the shot of them with the animals.”
Photos from Caters/Mail Online.
If you’re tired of threatening enemies with a scientific instrument, point an artist’s tool at them instead! Etsy seller Carved Crayons (maker of the awesome Game of Thrones house sigil crayons) just tried out this Doctor Who design for the first time. It’s the 11th Doctor’s screwdriver, and the artist used melted wax from other crayons to apply different colors to the sonic. Given his dislike for childish things, the War Doctor probably wouldn’t approve – we, however, do.
Bonus: see Dalek and TARDIS crayons after the break.
Minnesota brothers Austin, Connor and Trevor Bartz spend their winters in their hometown of New Brighton building giant snow sea creatures.
Not content with building the standard old school snowmen of yore, the three teens spent a grand total of 95 hours over the course of 3.5 weeks building a 20-foot snow shark. They collected snow from their neighbors, and stored the excess fluffy stuff in their garage–if it’s too cold, snow won’t pack properly, so they had to wait until it warmed up. The boys documented the construction process over on Youtube, and you can watch the clip after the break.
Check out more pics of past projects along with the video after the break…
(via 22 Words)
The vanitas-like nature and pencil execution of these skulls is beautiful. Created by Warsaw based graphic designer + illustrator Tomasz Majewski.
Airports are giant stress-centers this month. He’s traveling here, she’s traveling there, and they gottabethererightnow. Cue the Wag Brigade, please.
The dogs will wear personalized vests that read “Pet Me!” and ID them as Wag Brigade volunteers. The goal is to provide stress relief and make travel more enjoyable for SFO passengers.