• More lens flare
  • moonpendant2
  • beercan gauntlet
  • Nettlepesto
  • I totally meant to have some bottle caps in this picture. Crap!
  • Screen Shot 2012-05-01 at 5.50.47 PM
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Hollow brass tube, copper bezels with one 4mm and two 5mm rose cut garnets. Overall length 5cm when assembled.



These message tubes will hold any note that you can roll to 4mm x 3.5cm

Future designs may include a Caduceus for storing emergency medical information.
Really, you can keep anything in them that fits, but I would advise against anything to be consumed.

With my current materials I can set them with any round gems 3-5mm in width and could be made in custom lengths.

Presently the two pieces fit together very snugly but over time they are likely to loosen up and would be at risk of coming apart if not for the tension put on the satin cord by the charm’s own weight.

Even if they do ever come apart, they are both independently tethered so you won’t lose either piece.

I chose cord over chain because metal will eventually wear through and would be very expensive to repair so close to gems, where a satin cord can easily be replaced.

Geeks After Dark: Lost in Time.

So, an acquaintance of mine is involved in this thing called Geeks After Dark. I don’t know all the details. They regularly run themed shows which could be anything from Star Wars Burlesque to stand up comedy.

He recently contacted me about making these Starfleet Sheriff’s badges for some sort of western themed geek convention they’re doing in Barkersville BC.

Check it out, it sounds like a blast. I’m kind of wishing I could go now.

Moon Pendant

Moon pendant, Sterling silver, 1 1/2″ diameter
Chain not included.


This is a piece I can remake in almost any size. They’re a lot of fun because I get to pound out each crater.

I can’t say it’s an accurate map of the moon’s surface, but you get the right idea by looking at it.
It also comes in your choice of finish. Matte, high-polish, or a combination.
To give the effect of the moon being in various phases I can give part of it a high-polish and the rest matte. Or you can have matte/high-polish for the bright part of the moon, and a black oxide finish for the part that would be in the Earth’s shadow.
Though the black oxide doesn’t always go on evenly
To make it even more fun, there are ways of finding out what phase the moon was in on a significant date, like say, your birthday.
This one presently has kind of a dull, not quite matte finish to it.


The Lord of Recycling.

By no means an amazing prop, but one of my more clever moments.

Last year, the Megasteakman crew entered the RCBC ‘Trailer Trash’ film festival.
The idea was to create a recycling PSA in the format of a film trailer. We made The Lord of Recycling.

Ours was not the only entry based on ‘The Lord of the Rings’ but I think we were the only actual film makers to enter, because everything else I saw looked like it was shot on a cellphone.
I of course offered my sword, but they didn’t want it. So I made the ‘Lothlorien’ brooch instead.

To be fair, Kial, our director did message me the day before. But I had left my cell phone buried in my work clothes when I got home and didn’t pick it up again until I went to message him and say the brooch was ready.
Then I saw it. It went something this:”Hey Dave, do you think you could maybe whip up a Ring Wraith gauntlet for the shoot?”
So I get this message with about three hours left to do anything.
I called him in a bit of a panic and was going to say there wasn’t any way. First of all I didn’t have the materials.
Just as the words were coming out of my mouth, I spotted a box of empty beer cans in the corner of the garage…
I promise Kial he will have his gauntlet.

We only needed one for the planned shots, though they ended up making a second one out of duct tape when they realized the other hand would be visible at times.

It was a little dodgy. When you cut the tops off a beer can, the aluminium really is like paper… Razor sharp paper, slightly less flexible so it’ll slide easily into your flesh.
But, once you put a crease in the right spot, it becomes quite ridged. This is the same way you strengthen steel for armour.
I snipped out some very simplified finger segments, sanded the edges and used some sinew to sew them onto a lone polyester glove I had kicking around.
Regular thread was easily sliced through by the aluminium, but the sinew is far more resilient.
The irony was lost on me until after it was finished that I had made a gauntlet for a recycling PSA by recycling beer cans.
Had I thought of it, I might have had the outer part of the can face up. It would have fit perfectly with the garbage-bag tattered robes.

I was amazed at how good it looked on camera. Particularly in the first shot. You only see it for a moment the second time.
I don’t know how they got a hold of a bulletproof horse like that whom would let a man covered in garbage bags climb onto it’s back.

Needless to say, we won the competition. But recently, some outfit in the Netherlands bought the rights to use it for their own recycling campaign.

Shoe’s on the other foot now, eh? You little, green bastard.

Let me take a moment to tell you about this horrible green thing that terrorized me as a child.

I used to be a carefree little forest sprite, frolicking through the woods whenever I pleased.
When on one occasion, I was suddenly seized by the feeling that an entire hive of bees had decided to sting me.
I gathered that it was a plant of some sort, but my first encounters with it were in areas so lush, I couldn’t tell which one of them was the culprit.
It seemed like such a horrible, rare occurrence. I had been in those woods all my life and never had anything like this happen.
I was somewhat more hurt by the way my mother seemed to trivialize it, saying “Oh it was just a stinging nettle.” … JUST a STINGING NETTLE!?  A being capable of causing such immense pain, so perfectly camouflaged into my every day stomping grounds?
She may as well have said “Oh, it’s just the Chupacabra. It attacks children if there’s no goats around.”

“Oh, it was just Predator.”

It was a few years before I encountered them again. That time, I was able to tell what stung me.

Last year, my girlfriend and I went up into the narrows of the Georgia Straight to visit her cousin who lives off the grid with her husband and their child.
The second day there, we went clam digging. That night for dinner, along with the loads of cockles and littlenecks, sea urchin and oysters, we ate mashed yams and steamed nettles.
It turns out, they’re really tasty.

During the trip, we had collected a huge bag of them which we brought back to dry.
Coincidentally, as we were arriving home, we noticed one nettle plant growing in our garden.  This year it’s spread and we now have this wonderful patch of it.

Yes there's weeds in my garden. Do you want to go weeding the nettle patch? Didn't think so.

Yes there’s weeds in my garden. Do you want to go weeding the nettle patch? Didn’t think so.

There’s all kinds of things you can do with them. They make a nice tea which is good for a lot of things. It turns out this thick, dark, murky, brownish, green liquid.
They’re great on their own, steamed, which usually causes a lot of the juice to collect in the bottom of the pan, so you get the tea anyway. It’s also good as a soup broth.
You just need to be lucky enough to know where to find them… Or unlucky enough to have found them already.

When you’re collecting them, use gloves, obviously.
Generally the buds and small leaves at the very top are the most tender and juicy. I don’t mind cutting a little further down the stock, but too far and it gets woody, also best not to take too much or you’ll kill the plants.
I think we must have had a cold night here a little while ago, because most of the leaves on mine started to wilt. Some of the plants looked completely dead.
I collected any of the leaves that looked damaged and cut the stems of the ones that didn’t seem to have any new ones growing. They might be a little woody, but we’ll dry them out and use them for tea if nothing else.

Any chance you get, collect as many as you can and dry them.
They store well and re-hydrate nicely.

Due to the sudden need to harvest, I got to try something last night that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.

Nettle Pesto.

All you need is:

Olive Oil – 500ml ( 2 cups). Probably not all of it, but it’s a safe amount to have available.
This is one of the few times I’m going to ever recommend using a less fragrant, less flavourful olive oil. The nettles have a strong flavour, but it was a little overpowered by the oil I was using. I could taste them, I just wanted to taste them more.

Garlic – 5 cloves to a whole head.

Black pepper – To taste. A tablespoon give or take a tablespoon.

Pasta – 500 grams/1lb

You’ll need a fair amount of nettles. This is all very rough estimates of proportions. You can’t go wrong using more I don’t think. It’s alright to use some of the more mature leaves for this because you’ll be dicing them up quite fine.
Take a large sauce pan big enough to cook the bag of pasta, fill that with nettles without packing it down too much. That should be enough.

-Put the nettles in a vegetable steamer and put a very small amount of water in the bottom of the sauce pan. Maybe a quarter inch.
Get it really hot, but don’t steam them too long. At this point you’re just trying to remove it’s ability to sting. You still want the juices to stay inside the plant. They’ll go all limp and if you don’t mind risking the sting, touch them to see if they’re still biting.

-Let them cool  then chop them up fine.

-Crush or dice the garlic and fry it lightly in a bit of oil.

-Put the nettles, pepper and garlic in a bowl, muddle it up as best you can, then add some olive oil.
The nettles will probably soak up a fair bit of oil so keep adding it until it seems like they’re actually sitting in liquid. Stir it up and let it soak for an hour or so.
Or if you have a small food processor, you can slurry it up in there. It will probably speed things up in terms of soaking time, too.

Alternatively to steaming them, I’d suggest putting the nettles in a pan with some olive oil and frying them down, stir in the pepper and add the crushed/diced garlic so it cooks just a little.
This will probably cook more of the juices out into the oil. But the only easy way to chop it up after will be in a food processor.
This method may even require less oil to be added after it’s been processed, because more of the plant will have been liquefied and will be easier to spread throughout the pasta.

Prepare your pasta as normal, then mix it all together. It should turn a pleasant green.
Add any meats you think you might like. In my pestos I often throw in some fried prosciutto or pancetta, again, not too much or you’ll overpower the nettles. Shrimp, chicken or scallops are also good. But it’s great on it’s own.

Of course, you don’t need to make it to these exact proportions, or even put it on pasta.
Basil pesto is good in all sorts of things and I’m sure this is no exception.
Put it in a chicken panini, sandwich, salad, lightly fried portobello. Whatever you think it goes with.

So, if like me, you’ve unknowingly run headlong into these jagged-leafed pain elementals. Remember, revenge is a dish best served sprinkled with parmigiano cheese and a dry,  beefy, red wine.

Added realism

This is a cheapo airsoft gun that I decided needed to look a little more realistic.

Here’s some pictures from before I got to it. Despite the look, the internals are actually pretty nice.

Notice the lack of magazine. Because of the mechanics, sometimes the guns didn’t load like real guns. A revolver might hold 20 rounds in the handle, or something like that. This one has to have a special magazine loaded in that slot in the foregrip.
But most of them at least had a dummy mag. This one didn’t so I remedied that.
I bought a real 5 round magazine in the caliber that the real version of this rifle commonly takes. I cut a space for it, cut the finger spaces out of the stock and filled them in properly, then I had to take care of that cheap looking plastic body. So I bought epoxy coating that’s meant for real firearms.
It’s far less reflective so it adds that real look and feel to it.

I don’t get to play airsoft lately so my guns have retired to film making for the most part.

At the time my old cat was really interested in what I was doing, he wouldn’t get out of the picture.
He’s since passed on. I’m happy to have pictures of him like this one.

Beware the general.


Note: I do NOT take credit for constructing the body armour, upper leg plates, gauntlets or pauldrons. Those were rented.

UPDATE: Finally, here’s the video!
Not even sure if it’s the final cut. But it’s close.

In March of 2012 I was put in contact with Richard Olak. For the last five years Richard’s been working on his brain child, ‘The Battle of Burgledorf’
It’s a really clever story.  If, like me, you’re a geek, nerd or similar breed of basement-dwelling troglodyte, you’ll love it. I had heard of it back when we were working on Pokemon Apokelypse.  Our ‘Jessie’ also plays the the scantily clad elf you see in the trailer.

Richard had managed to get a local metal band called ‘Unleash the Archers’ to contribute some music to his film and in return he would make them a music video. The song they chose was called The General of the Dark Army.
Already being quite the metalhead, I was excited to get on board.

Time was an issue. We were shooting in a month. I came up with some sketches for what I thought we could put together in that time.

The original plan was to have one heavily armoured arm, a lightly armoured sword arm, a helmet, a chainmail skirt and shin protectors.
We were going to bulk out the shoulders using some lacross pads to imply he was wearing a lot of heavy armour, then mostly cover the torso in a tabard. If I had time to make it, I was going to have the chain mail go part way up his body, and rip the tabard just to give the illusion that he was wearing more armour than he actually was.
I spent the first week shopping for materials and running tests to make sure they’d suit my purposes .

First thing I made was the main piece of the left shoulder pauldron. It required some fairly heavy dishing, which is tough work with cold rolled steel and no proper way to anneal it.

The chainmail was going to be made of plastic. If you’ve watched the ridiculous amount of behind the scenes footage included on the extended versions of Lord of the Rings, you’ll know how I was planning on making it.
The jig for cutting the rings was not working out and I didn’t have time to experiment. Instead, I found some thin aluminium which we were able to cut into scales for a scale armour skirt.
My sister and a friend of ours did the work for that while I worked on the shin guards.


The General Wore Tennis Shoes.


I had just finished the shoulder pauldron when I got a call from Richard saying that someone he knew had made a chest plate and gauntlets for themselves and was willing to rent them to us. This meant I didn’t need to make any arm coverings. A godsend for the time we had, though I was kind of looking forward to doing it all myself.

This also allowed us to show that he was in fact wearing armour under the tabard.
We wanted to use the pauldron I made just so he’d be a little asymmetrical, but the ones we rented were designed to fit into the gauntlets a specific way, so mine was left out.
Just as well. Having only seen the rented armour in pictures, I couldn’t gauge size. I don’t think we would have had the desired effect using mine.

Fabric took more thought than expected. It seems like a no brainer for a metal video, just use black! But we wanted some contrast.
In the end, the only available fabrics that really fit the bill in the textures and weight we wanted, were black.
The cape and mantle needed to be a thick, woolly material, and the tabard I wanted to be linen.
I found a cotton/synthetic linen-like blend. It had texture and reflected a little bit more light than the synthetic/wool blend I got for the cape, which just looked jet black.
I enlisted the help of our friend who assembled the scale armour, to help me put the clothes together.

In the end they looked beautiful. Plenty of thanks to the camera we used, I’m sure. But also, moisture collected on the wool during the shoot which gave it contrast and a more natural appearance.


I had a few bumps in making the helmet. The upper section was going to require some very, very deep dishing, which I just didn’t have the equipment to do.
I was able to tweak the design. It involved cutting out more pieces, but it was a sure bet.
I was putting the finishing touches on the helmet as the band showed up to see it.
Not that I had any more time to change anything. I was leaving for vacation the next morning.

Total material cost for everything I did was about $170.  I think the fabric alone was half of that. It could have been less if the original rivets I ordered ever came in.

I got back a week later. Apparently the first day of shooting was hell. But I was able to help out on the third day, again doing craft services. I conjured an epic chili(My secret, a can of Chipotle peppers) and some onion-fried kale on the side.

They really are an incredible band. I think just about everybody who worked on the video became a fan.
Check them out.

Here’s the behind the scenes video. I even did some camera work for this. I’m a Jack of all trades!