Garden Slugs and Beyond!

November 18, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Rubber molds for the world of Garden Slugs is fully in the works. More cutesy and hilarious characters are being developed and here is one of them…  Mayor Toad isn’t really the mayor of Slug Garden, but everyone is afraid to tell him.  Look at him! He’s huge! He could sit on a three slugs while having two more for dinner!  …The big bully.  Maybe some day little Garden Slugs can have a revolution.  But right now they’re waiting to be cast in plastic and come to life.

Mayor Toad is currently covered in liquid latex and waiting to be popped out and replaced with resin.
YAY for toys!

I can’t wait to see how these babies all come out.

An Exercise in Tiny Molds

November 1, 2012 by  
Filed under News

I’m making slugs.  Little garden slugs will silly faces who are as collectable as Smurfs and probably a billion times cooler.

I’m going to take a huge leap into the unknown soon by casting molds to try to produce plastic Garden Slug figurines.

So far the look like this:




Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan



Party Hardy

Party Hardy



UFO Sighting

UFO Sighting (AKA: Mulder)

Love Slugs

Love Slugs

Baby Face Nelson - He's not a baby, he just has a disease.

Baby-Face Nelson (He’s not really a baby.  He has a disease.)

Here’s the trick to sculpting well with Sculpey…

First, Super Sculpey is much nicer to carve and sand after its been cooked.  It’s got more plasticity to its feel and sculpts nicer.  I’ve combined the two for some of these guys.  Regular and Super.  I had purchased the regular thinking “Super” was just a marketing gimmick, but it really is better.  the combination was an attempt at stretching my supply.

Sculpt the way you would sculpt with clay, but instead of letting your clay dry, you’ll have to cook it.

So, begin with basic structure (for a figure bone and muscle, but in my case a squirmy slug body).  I took in mind to have a gaping mouth hole for open smiles and sticks in place for the eyes.  Cook it and let it cool.  Carve away what you need to with a sharp exacto and continue to add clay for detail.  I ended up putting these little guys through the oven about 6 times each, if not more when things chip or need extra smoothing.

I think too many people struggle with small sculpture because they try to hold on to soft and squishy material while trying to detail.  That’s when it ends up looking like a rolled up Play Dough cinnamon bun.

Carve out wrinkles and details, sand it down with sand paper and then varnish.  The varnish should do away with the last little scratches and microscopic lumps that sanding didn’t take care of.

I’m hoping to be able to make a sensible mold and create a series of plastic (resin) slugs using a system like this one:

I haven’t made a mold in a couple of decades, so it’s still a mystery as to how the project will end up in the end.  My tiny little guys may need to be cast in three pieces.  It’s their wiggly slug bottom that’s throwing my brain for a loop.

But plastic slugs are what I want.  Just like smurfs.  Only cooler.

Kid Stuff

June 3, 2012 by  
Filed under Rachel's Thoughts

Whether you’d like to believe it or not, Rachel Peters was just a weeny little kid once, just like you, and not the Greek goddess and definition of “suave” you see before you today.  She put her diaper on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.  She still does, in fact!

There was once a time when those little, pudgy fingers played in mud pies, drew refrigerator masterpieces and maybe (possibly) occasionally got stuck up a nose or two.
For some reason it was considered much cuter then than it is now.

So, let’s take a self-indulgent ego trip down memory lane and revisit her childhood in the form of her drawings:

(If you can get passed the horrible photo quality, this trip will be a lot of fun.)



I. Hate. Playing. Kitchen.
What “fun” could possibly come from pretending to work? I don’t like cooking in REAL life, so why would I like cooking invisible food??
Why don’t we all pretend to EAT invisible food at a fancy, invisible restaurant instead!
Somebody please tell me why before I go ape-poopy on this photographer with my miniature skillet.  Look at that hatred in my eyes. Don’t turn away, LOOK AT IT!!!
Don’t TELL me not to cry! I will cry if I WANT to cry! And then I’ll wet my pants!  And you, the grown up, will have to clean up the mess!!
Damn straight.  That’s the only ace I have up my sleeve.
(I really hated playing kitchen. …Also, having people tell me to smile.)

Here is a great, timeless story of a baseball game gone horribly awry.  To the left we see what is obviously a mascot with a mop on his head, covering his mouth as he stares on at the scene, in horror.  It seems the umpire (center) and the mop mascot have witnessed a violent beat-and-run incident during a baseball game disagreement.  The bat is lying on the floor and the beater has long since fled.  The victim (on the right) is in need of serious medical assistance, crying for help, through his blood-stained eyes.
I’m not sure, but this may have been a warning to anyone who planned to make me play kitchen again.

Two homeless children with nothing but a bed to their name play soccer next to the overpass, under which they live.
Life is hard.

Like all great artists, I started with religious paintings.  Christmas was a reoccurring theme, regardless of the time of year.
As you can see here, Baby Jesus doesn’t have swaddling clothes, he has one enormous leg, in a cast.  And Mary and Joseph are super happy about it.  They probably think they can get into Year 0’s edition of Ripley’s Believe it Or Not.



No Kitchen. Better – A little bit. I always thought the puppets were ugly, but at least I didn’t have to pretend to cook anything.  This was the year I began to learn how to fake a smile… Although, I probably still wet my pants and ruined the puppet theater for the rest of the children.

At age four I began working on original cartoons as well as themes.  For most of the year, my compositions involved one or all of the following:
A hill in one or both corners of the page; a sun or quarter-sun with a funny face; A cloud with a funny face (because the sun and the cloud are buddies); a dog or several dogs; Smurf houses; and Easter Bunnies, regardless of the time of year.
The drawing above depicts me, sliding down the corner hill, our dog, intently reading a gibberish sign, horrible emissions seeping from our chimney (likely from burning tires to keep warm at night), and a little bird mocking the sun and cloud for being boyfriend and girlfriend.

Sad, sad Easter Bunny can’t give out eggs because Smurfs don’t celebrate Easter.

But they do glue asparaguses to their walls.

This bull dog became my my most impressive original cartoon in all my three years of Kindergarten.
Also, quarter sun and Easter Bunny.



That Kitchen…………………………………………………….
(I sincerely do remember being very angry.)

At age five I started taking art more seriously and began working hard at portraits.  My Austrian Kindergarten teacher, Tante Beate let me use PENCIL like a REAL artist (as well as my left hand).
Here is Tante Beate.

Daddy’s face was my favourite thing to draw.  Daddy’s balding head was the icing on the cake.

I took a whack at landscapes, but layouts are boring.

Sarajevo, 1984.  ‘Nough Said.

There was apparently a play about a pope and a puppet show about an alligator.  I remember drawing these, but I don’t remember why.
The play about the pope MAY have been an actual Catholic mass service… I wasn’t Catholic so it probably just seemed very theatrical.  I don’t know what religion the alligator was.

I am very, very proud of this drawing.  I really don’t think anyone told me to draw it. Who would have??
This piece, “The Good  Samaritan” had only a few minor flaws.  If I could go back I might have told my five year old self that Jews and Samaritans weren’t generally Austrian-coloured and that I need to stop consistently drawing my frowns upside down.  I didn’t do it because I was a cheerful type – it was more of a juvenile dyslexic sort of issue  That is one happy, pink naked man getting his swim trunks stolen from him, at knife point.
I also think my affinity for stories like these is what ultimately led me to a preoccupation with true crime shows like Dateline.

In Austrian Kindergarten we learned to sew and embroider by the time we were five.  True story.  This is my practice cloth.


AGES 9, 10, 11

I thought this jacket made me look so tough.  I wanted to be The Fonz SO badly, but I knew I’d never get a leather jacket.  This was as close as I was going to get.  (Sometimes… I even popped the collar.)
And whoever thought making kids’ jeans with buttons on the knees was a good idea should be punched in the ear, hard.

Age 9

First day of grade 4.  I had to prove my superior drawing abilities.  A vicious fight developed over whether or not I had traced it, but I hadn’t.  That background should be proof enough.  Layouts are boring.
I also couldn’t draw the horse’s ear.

Age 9

Sampson. Copied from Sunday School illustrations.  I was a church kid.

Age 9

I wrote a lot of “books” in elementary school.  And by “books”, I mean about four, double spaced, largely printed and poorly spelled pages, spread out between lots of big illustrations, and stapled together.
In this one, Chief Yamagoochi, the hump-less camel ruled a small town in the Old West.  Gun fights and comedy ensued.

Age 10-ish

Fan art.
I was absolutely in love with a childrens’ novel series called “Bunicula”.  It was about a quiet, little bunny with a black widow’s peek and sharp front teeth who would suck the colour out of vegetables at night.  Only the other animals in the story would talk to each other and try to figure out the mysteries surrounding little Bunicula.  And now that I think about it, I’m not entirely sure what the threat was.  So he sucks the juice from vegetables… Normal bunnies eat them, juices and all.  Which one is more gruesome??

Age 10

Original drawing. I was SO proud of myself.  The day I brought it home someone used it as a coaster.  Not that I’m holding a grudge.


AGE 12

When I was 12 I looked like a boy.

Junior High.  Disney, Disney, Disney, Disney, Disney.  Practice, practice, practice.  Draw through the pain.  When you draw you can’t hear them calling you names.  Just keep drawing through math class.  When an art project comes along, they’ll all want to be your friend.  Just keep practicing the Disney and maybe some day you’ll have a better life.

And that is a summary of Junior High.

And the pay-off.  These are some original characters from the junior high days.  Some of them ended up scratched into my school desk.  I was the only one who never got in trouble for it.


AGE 13-17

I over-compensated for about a full week when I was 13, for having looked like a boy when I was 12.  It would be another two years before I actually began to look like a real girl without the help of large, pink flower patterns and perms.

“Two Seconds Before The Horse Steps in the Margarine”.
I’ll explain it to you when my subconscious explains it to me.
Also, when layouts aren’t boring, they’re completely overworked.

I drew from photos a lot.  They, you know, keep still.  But so does vegetation.  The flowers were from life.

At 15 I sold wildlife drawings for about $20 to $30 bucks a pop.  That was a lot of money for me in 1994.

Sculpting lessons at 15.
Like I said earlier, my Dad was my favourite face to draw.  This crossed over into clay.

In my teen years (these were somewhere between 15 and 17) I was really into making mediocre copies of other people’s genius.

I was ok at it, but a serious knowledge of human anatomy was needed.  David’s got lumps in places no one should ever grow lumps.  He also has a head so large he shouldn’t be able to hold it up on his own strength.
(The M.C. Escher Santa also looks like my Dad.  Go figure.)

Age 17.

This truly was the drawing that began me thinking that I could draw whatever and however I wanted.  It took me this long to realize I was capable of expressing myself.  I know it doesn`t look like much of an expression, but it was a big leap for me.  I can`t explain why or what about it was so ground breaking, other than tearing up multiple drawings of a baby and taping them back together with my own eyes, but this was sincerely the one that started me on the road to making what I want and not only what the majority perceived as pretty.

And that`s about it.  This sums up my childhood in art.  Smurf houses, Daddy`s face, elaborate stories… and layouts are boring.

Thank you for joining me on this walk down diaper lane.  Now go pull out your own drawings and see what they tell you about yourself.

Rachel and a Bus Trailer – Cute, Concise and Catchy

May 21, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Why did I not post this video two years ago, when it was a little more relevant?

Probably because I was a lazy-arsed slacker, that’s why.

If anyone out there at Discovery, TLC or PBS wants to make this into a real series with me, just say the word and a beautifully polished proposal is in your mail box, ready for shinier, bigger adventures.

See the series here (minus the end shorts that got filmed but lost).

Rachel and a Bus Adventure Blog ~ The Full Series

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under News

For those who are curious about Rachel and a Bus but can’t commit to watching full episodes yet, here’s a trailer with little blips and snips of what you might find:

Here is where I keep an orderly list of Rachel and a Bus episodes.  Now you can watch them in order!

Keep Coming back to watch the remaining episodes light up with links!

Episode 1~Rachel and a Bus

Episode 2~Tips for Travelers

Episode 3~Dumped on the Trans Can

Episode 4~Northern Secrets

Episode 5~Subscribing to Schreiber

Episode 6~Child of the 80’s

Episode 7~Circus Bizerkus

Episode 8~Winnipeg Weather

Episode 9~Stop Sawing the Table

Episode 10~I Heart Brandon

Episode 11~Bathroom Break in Regina

Episode 13~Backtrack to Brooks

Episode 14~Beeeeeeeee Happy!

Episode 15~Beautiful, Beautiful Banff

Episode 16~Travel Day

Episode 17~Splitting Hairs

Episode 18~Peters Reunion

Episode 19~Olympics!

Episode 19A~Jana Banana Catches Up

Episode 20~Nanaimo Bars

Episode 21~Cherry Bombs

Episode 21A~Victoria Is.

Episode 22~Free Spirit Spheres

Episode 23~Old Folks Ville

Episode 24~Hamming It Up in Bellingham

Episode 25~Waiting is Hard Work

Episode 26~Dang Hippies

Episode 27~Playing With Frisbees

Episode 28~Tinsel Town or Bust

Episode 29A~Rachel Makes a New Friend #1

Episode 29B~Rachel Makes a New Friend #2

Episode 29C~Rachel Makes a New Friend #3

Episode 30~What Happens in Vegas… Goes In My Videos

Episode 31~Vegas, Baby!

Episode 32~Denver Gold Panning

Episode 33~Meet The Halseide Family

Episode 34~A Halseide Tour of Fort Collins

Episode 35~Yoyo and Gravity

Episode 36~Effingham??

Episode 37~Evan All Amish

Episode 38~Evan All Amish #2

Episode 39~Reverse Doppelganger Week!

Episode 40~Little Sammy in the Big Apple

Episode 41~The Windy Apple

Episode 42~Sing For Your Supper

Episode 43~Connecticut Karl on the Equinox

Episode 44~Weldon Alley

Episode 45~Hiding Oscar in the Attic

Episode 46~Ottawa and Art Direction with Chris Robinson

Episode 47~Cat Sanctuary

Episode 48~Home Again Home Again, Jiggedy Jig.

Rachel and a Bus Adventure Blog 29c~Rachel Makes a Friend, #3

April 13, 2010 by  
Filed under News

As promised, on day 2 in LA Rachel went out to find someone to hang out with.  Here’s a guy she met named Dave.  Topic: Treasure Hunting


Rachel and a Bus Adventure Blog 27~Playing with Frisbees

April 7, 2010 by  
Filed under News

In San Fransisco Rachel stays with the Frisbee boys, meets a Greyhound/Chihuahua and goes in search for Uncle Joey.


Rachel and a Bus Adventure Blog 22~Free Spirit Spheres

March 31, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Rachel’s childhood dream of becoming an Ewok and living in the trees FINALLY comes true!