Ornitholego Society

Gloria GoldfinchBritish bird and LEGO enthusiast Thomas Poulsom created a series of gorgeous local birds in LEGO blocks. Pictured here is Gloria Goldfinch, but he's also done a puffin, a woodpecker, a kingfisher, a robin, and a blue tit. 

Thanks to the LEGO site Cuusoo, amateur designs like this actually have a chance of being made into official LEGO products, if they get 10,000 supporters on the site. Poulsom's birds still have a very long way to go, but they are very deserving with their lovely simplicity. 

via Make.

Dispatch from London: Donya Coward

Adjacent to Anthropologie King's Road is a little companion gallery. The current exhibition features the elegant "taxidermy" dogs of Donya Coward

Dispatch from London: More Museum of Childhood

Some characters I encountered at the V & A Museum of Childhood.

You know what would be an awesome project? New tin toys illustrated by contemporary illustrators...

A wonderful book



It is amazing how one little dog (and amazingly talented and sincere woman, Camilla Engman) have inspired so much love and creativity! Purchase the book on Blurb and proceeds go to the World Society for the Protection of Animals.

So many foxes!

Wow — nearly 40 submissions of painted, drawn, gocco'd and collaged foxes have come in from all over the world! I will definitely need to add some pages to this feature. Unfortunately I won't be able to include everything, but I'll post some of them on the blog as well. Above is a collage by Gracia & Louise.

Call for Submissions: Gallery of Foxes

In our upcoming issue, Deidre will be exploring the allure of the fox. To complement the article, I am gathering a "gallery of foxes." I've already invited a few illustrator favourites for their work but am opening it up to our readers! To participate, send us your fox illustrations and inspirations by Friday, February 19. Submissions must be at least 4" wide at 300dpi to be considered for publication. Label the file with your last name, and submit it here. Please send a follow up email with your full name, address, email and a brief description of your submission. There's only room for a few submissions! Thanks.

Couch computing

I'm at home most of this week (crazily, we're getting a new ikea-installed kitchen just weeks before the baby is due... must be that nesting instinct!) So the couch is my office today, while a new floor and cabinets are in progress.

I was doing some image research for issue 5 and came across the dog reading, part of a set of Rand McNally Elf books from the 50s. There are some interesting photo collages/illustrations, particularly of dogs and cats in clothing... slightly more strange than cute.

Birds gone electric

Creature: crows and their sticks

CBC is re-airing The Nature of Thing's "A Murder of Crows" this evening. It is a fascinating look at the intelligence of these birds—the New Caledonian Crow, in particular, is one of only three species (other than humans) that can make their own tools.

"Many of us have heard that crows are smart but most people have no idea just how intelligent these birds are or how much we, as humans, can learn from them. With exclusive access to a series of fascinating new research experiments being conducted into the cognitive abilities of crows around the world, A Murder of Crows will shock and amaze viewers and change how people look at the common crow."


...that UPPERCASE readers are the GREATEST, most CREATIVE people in the world.

Made my day! Thanks, Donovan!

Red Rabbit

Cute dogs for your Friday

I had fun photographing Lisa Brawn's studio for the fall issue yesterday. Here's one of my favourite shots of her shop assistants.

Sunday: super sweet

Lovely Leo. Photograph by JV.


Well it's true, I love foxes and draw like a seven year old. If you share my love of the fox, feel free to read 'Tricky,' an illustrated, surrealist fox tale I wrote last year while living in London. I sure miss coming across these elegant creatures in the wooded patches of Holland park.

Type Tuesday

Janine is in Sweden but the show, as they say, must go on. I'm sure she'll be back in action and posting from overseas next Tuesday so stay tuned.


Since bringing home my new kitten I have a one-track mind so I did a little digging into animal typography and came across Bembo's Zoo, a fun book and website with animal acoustics.

Be mindful playing it around your pets as it provoked a wild streak in Leo who instinctively pounced on my laptop when he heard the elephants!

Oh Happy Day!

Meow! Janine sent me this inspired kitten photo (image credit) when she heard I was planning on adopting a furry friend. I am happy to say that I will be celebrating this Easter with Leo, my fabulous new feline companion. He is sweeter than a chocolate bunny.

A special shout out to my friend Amber who showed me the 'way of the cat.' Thank you Amber!

Happy holiday weekend to all.

Adventurous spirits...

This amazing list has grown. Thank you to all the fabulous people who have subscribed over the past few days. I just heard from the printer in Winnipeg and the magazine is just finishing up in the bindery and should be on a truck this afternoon. All systems are go — we're on track for the launch this Thursday!

{ This image is a matchbox label depicting Belka and Strelka, the Soviet astrodogs, via Dan Mogford and his collection of labels. The dogs were sent into space in 1960, accompanied by a rabbit, dozens of mice, a couple of rats as well as an assortment of plants and fungi. They were the first earthlings to be sent into orbit and return alive. }

Feature Creature

One of the odd joys of living in Alberta is living in the land of dinosaur lore. This week paleontologists discovered the fossil remains of North America's smallest known dinosaur, 'Hesperonychus,' ("western claw") in the badlands of southeastern Alberta.

Cousin to the ferocious velociraptor, this creature sensation is described as 'half the size of a house cat, running on two legs, eating insects, small mammals, or whatever else it could find.' Sounds pretty sweet... For more details about the discovery and how this little critter is shaking up evolutionary theory, read the following article in the International Herald Tribune. I have a familial duty to keep up on dinosaurs as my nephew is seriously BIG on these beasts.

As well, I am intrigued by the enigmatic beauty of natural history illustration. The image above is a life reconstruction by Nicholas Longrich, University of Calgary. Hesperonychus elizabethae is pictured chasing a cicada through an Alberta forest some 75 million years ago. Cool!

Below is an illustration of Albertonykus borealis, North America's previous creature contender for smallest dinosaur. (Image courtesy of National Geographic.) These animals earned a strange reputatation as 'chicken-size dinosaurs with a taste for termites.'