Canned Butter

Category: New Stuff

New & Old

Leonardo da Vinci's John the BaptistSaint John the Baptist (ca. 1515)
Leonardo da Vinci

I was hired on as a temporary front-end web developer this week! Perhaps all of this school debt will finally be worth it. The job was dealing with a mobile telecommunications website being constructed predominately for mobile devices using the framework: jQuery Mobile. Having never had any experience with this particular framework, I was fairly blown-away by how simple it is to build a refined user-experience within a website. I took an hour and read the documentation prior to starting the work and kudos goes out to the authors of those documents! They make it easy to get onboard.

I believe it was da Vinci who made the comment in regard to drawing the human figure: “You have to know it is there, if you want to be able to draw it.” This remark is what I thought of when diving onto this new (for me) jQuery mobile stuff. There’s so many frameworks and applications out there at our disposal, but we have to know what they are if we want to use them. It’s simple. It’s sound. Never stop learning.

The Urdhva Dhanurasana

The urdhva-dhanurasana

If you really want to stretch it all out go for this one, but beware: I tried it the other night and experienced the most excruciating pain that I have felt in a long while. It was like being stung by a hawk-sized bumblebee in my lower-back. In the aftermath, my back feels better than prior to the “sting”, but take care.

Here’s some instructions for the flexibly-inclined:
The Urdhva Dhanurasana
(OORD-vah don-your -AHS-anna)
urdhva = upward
dhanu = bow


Tea Time Problem… Solved

Samir Sufi's Teacup SlingsHot

Now here is a product that I’ve been dreaming of designing for a long time. Similar to many out there, every time my tea is ready to go I always find myself doing the spoon squeeze for my Earl Grey peace of mind. I also have seen a silicon gripper that sort of resembles a miniature hot mitt for use in literally grabbing the tea bag for a squeeze. However this product, the tea cup slingsHot, seems to solve the problem nicely by integrating the desired action into the cup itself. Brilliant! So simple. The cup design looks fairly elegant as well, and I’m sure that’ll improve as well as hopefully the product gains popularity. I’d love to get my hand around one of these this morning.

It doesn’t look like these are available for purchase yet,but check out the original post at YankoDesign

Shadowing Awareness


This was a project I put together to try and spark awareness in bicyclists and pedestrians. By defining issues that I have observed over the course of my life in Portland, I was able to devise simple “tongue-in-cheek” messages that I made into stencils for the purpose of turning into public art that would be read on the streets as people passed over them. These messages included such as:

  • (for negligent j-walkers) “Atleast look both ways before breaking the law”
  • (for illogical bicyclists) No helmet? Hooray for Obama care!

I cut these stencils out of plastic using a laser-cutter and Adobe Illustrator, and I used shadow fonts to reduce that standard “stencil” look that is needed to retain letterforms. My paint was a mixture of corn starch, water, and food coloring, which washed away with one good Portland downpour. Victory!

You can view the video here

DoF Media – San Francisco

DoF Media San Francisco

I’ve finally ended this project. A big celebration is in order. It was a rather tedious build as issues consistently kept arising that I had thought I had accounted for. The biggest problem was how to present video media in a manner that retained its quality in a responsive environment. I did this by using images as place-holders in a percentage-based grid that could easliy resize as necessary. This images then simply linked to the video using a lightbox interface. The simplicity of this also allowed for the frames to easily be updated by the client in the future as new content is created.

The Nitty Gritty


Yesterday a small team of college students traveled to Centennial Learning Center in a slightly more under-served part of Portland to teach a group of fourteen 6th – 8th graders an art lesson. I was a part of this group, obviously… never before have I related more to Michelle Pfeiffer. It was like walking into a jackal feeding frenzy with a determined hierarchy that did not involve a group of student-stranger-teachers at the top of the pecking order. It was amazing.


Portland Art Museum Continues to Impress

Tip Toland at Portland Art Museum

Tip Toland

New Picasso at the Portland Art Museum photo

Rare Colours for Picasso

I hit the art museum here Friday as a break from the toils. I say it constantly so what’s once more: the folks there do a great job with keeping that collection fresh. I usually go about every two weeks and there’s always something new to look at. Lots to look at there currently: The Venice show just opened, the Feast & Famine print exhibition is amazing, there’s a great Picasso up high in the Mark building, the Francis Bacon triptych, and there’s the Tip Toland African Child with Albinism work which is stunning and horrific and awkward. Please go and see this great stuff!

Portland Art Museum

Bowie’s Back With Sweets.

I’ve got a new album! I love when you get up on new fun that you just can’t get enough of. The latest Bowie album (released March 2013) is his greatest in awhile. It’s been on repeat now through various work sessions and there’s plenty to listen to. Something new to hear each time through these tracks. It sort of has that Station to Station / Diamond Dogs rocknroll vibe goin’ but fresh, ya dig? Bowie hired some help with the producing from Tony Visconti, which if you don’t know him yet get a clue Good set of ears on that man.

This latest album seems like a perfect balance of unpredictability and songwriting that goes just right where it needs to each time to either bring you back into the track or keep you going. Great dynamics too— up, down, raw, mellow, smooth, and cantankerous… I’m really diggin’ it people. Even the bonus tracks that always seem to ruin the end of albums put out these days are decent. Bowie’s back and he’s still timeless.

Journeys to Distant Worlds


Just completed: a prototype of an infographic style app that leads users through the solar system via past spacecraft voyages. The cool thing I envisioned is that the user can also navigate laterally to explore the different worlds out there unassisted. If they do choose a spacecraft voyage, the launch page acts as a loading page for a top-view layout to allow the actual routes to be mapped around the elliptical orbits of the planets. So cool.

Check out the prototype here!

On the Territory Update

On the Territory Gig Poster

This is a lil happening in NYC I did an update for just recently for Jazz pianist Darrell Green here in Portland. He had a WordPress site with the standard barebones theme activated and I was able to go in and style this despite the limitations of It was a challenge and took twice as long to complete the gig, and I cringe at having to use inline styling throughout (in order to transcend the forementioned limitations). I’m pleased I was able to find solutions, but definitely will be shying away from the stuff from here on out… it’s just a pain. From a capitalist point of view, the system they have setup is brilliant… from a designer point of view, you just have to set up hosting in order to use Enough said.

Check out the event site here if you’re so inclined.