techno: don’t fear the internet

August 16, 2011

If you’re a creative person, have a lot of time on your hands and would like to take a stab at designing your own website, check out It gives you a basic intro in to html, web browsers and CSS. It would also be a great tool if you’re interested in being able to talk to your website developer about what you want and what you need. AND it’s written with humour.

Categories: techno.

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portfolio: Delta Marine website

May 16, 2011

A new site has been launched for Delta Marine in Sidney BC. Offering boat haulout services and yacht repair facilities, the website outlines their services and facilities. Keep an eye on their regularly updated integrated Flickr gallery or check out their long list of partners.

the new site!

the old site

Categories: portfolio.

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portfolio: Wisequacks Website

April 26, 2011

A new website has been launched for!

The website was launched back in 2009, but the “Wisequacks” (Dr. Dave Hepburn and Dr. Rob Sealey) had outgrown the original design. They needed something dynamic, powerful and easy to update. The new website was built using WordPress which will allow the ‘Quacks to update the site regularly from their end with new articles, medical information, podcasts and videos. A new question is posted every week, and what’s most exciting is that you can ask further questions or submit your own. The site is organized and action packed, while keeping the main goal in mind – to be the go-to hub of medical information, all dished up with a little humour. So go ahead, take a test, listen to a podcast or find out why prostate cancer and finger length are linked

Categories: portfolio.

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eye candy:

December 10, 2010

‘Tis the season for online shopping. Yes, shop local whenever possible, but crossing items off your Christmas shopping list from your mobile works.

48-hour sale events with the world’s top fashion, accessories, beauty, kids and home brands. Each day, HauteLook offers discounts of 50 to 75% off. Membership is free, ordering is easy and my items have arrived as expected (and even better than expected!) on my doorstep while I tap away at my keyboard.

A few items up for grabs today:


Categories: eye candy.

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bits & bytes: Donna Hay Online

December 6, 2010

Admiring Donna Hay’s online store for its down-under style. Cohesive, modern, delicate… yummy! Her new book “fast, fresh, simple” is out now.

I’ve had my first major online shopping success! Amazon, sure. Restoration Hardware, JCrew, yes and yes. But a website offering limited time sales of hugely discounted designer items? New to me! What are your online shopping hotspots? I’ll let you in on my revelation soon.

Christmas pudding, Keep Glam & Rock On poster, shopping list pad, apron | via

Categories: bits & bytes.

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locals only: Share Organics

November 18, 2010

I am relieved that I don’t want to purchase today’s Groupon. It’s a great deal – $11 for a Customizable Classic Calendar from Staples Canada (up to $22.99 Value) – but I’ve got that realm covered. I’ll be offering 2011 calendars on my online store soon! Stay tuned for a sneak peak and more info.

My first Groupon purchase was a “Singles Box” from Share Organics. A selection of fresh fruits and vegetables including root vegetables, greens and salad stuff all sourced close to home arrived on my doorstep this week. I beefed up my order with some organic milk, a baguette from Wild Fire Bakery and some raw milk parmesan.

contents of my Share Organics box

Although I enjoy sourcing my own food, I have always wanted to try one of these programs. It’s convenient and a thrill to have hand-picked organic groceries delivered right to your door. The contents of your box are emailed 5 days before delivery and you can customize the contents or add fresh local dairy, meat, baked goods, prepared meals…. the list goes on. What I was particularly excited about was the hope that the box would contain ingredients I don’t normally buy. The “what are those things?” in my box were Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes). Find out what I did with them later this week! The contents arrive in a plastic tote with a cold pack. You set your tote out on your next delivery day and voila – it’s filled back up again. Receive a delivery once a week or once in a blue moon.

Categories: locals only.

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bits & bytes: Stipple

October 20, 2010

Too easy!
Stipple is a slick way to label and share the content of photos on your site or blog. When readers mouse-over your images, information from your labels pops up.

Welcome to Stipple from stipple on Vimeo.

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it’s graphic: New Day & 3 Advertising

October 5, 2010

Admiring this work from for New Day, whose mission is to “engage troubled youth and their families in charting a proactive life course that will help them become meaningful and productive members of our community.”

“Will he own a rap sheet? Or a skate shop?”

“Registered drug offender? Or registered nurse?”

“Will she struggle to feed herself? Or fight to end world hunger?”

Check out the New Day logo. Notice the ‘Y’ about to flip over? Nice.


Categories: it's graphic.

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it’s graphic:

September 27, 2010


Take a look at by, “french but happy and creative”. Incredibly beautiful interactive digital gallery for the launching of the Claude Monet exhibition at the Grand Palais Paris. I wonder if Monet would believe you if you told him his work was being explored this way.


Categories: it's graphic.

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portfolio: Swell Time Charters Launched!

September 9, 2010

A website has been launched for Swell Time Charters! Located in Port Renfrew on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Swell Time offers year-round fishing and wildlife viewing excursions. The website needed to reflect Swell Time’s already established reputation of consistently “filling your freezer” through a website that stands out amongst their competitors with clean design, updated information and a little slice of humour. The fish are biting. Get out there.

Bookmark the site to check back for seasonal updates and fishing reports.

Services provided:
Creative Direction
Programming including Javascript gallery

Previous entries blogroll.
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Categories: portfolio.

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bits & bytes: Stock Photography

July 28, 2010


My clients are usually surprised to find out you can purchase stock photography for under $20. One of the most difficult challenges can be finding imagery or video that both illustrates your business and appeals to your demographic. If you’re creative (c’mon even you can make your own invite or t-shirt design) stock sites are great for textured backgrounds and vector graphics. Here are a few of my faves:

iStockphoto: my most frequent haunt. This was one of the first stock sites I worked with, it’s affordable and easy to use. Sign up, buy stock, sell stock.

Dreamstime: lots of affordable images, I find the interface a little awkward.

Fotolia: stock photos from 14 cents!

Shutter Stock: “the largest subscription-based stock photo agency in the world”. Thousands of photographs, illustrations, and vectors added every day.

123 Royalty Free: credit packages or subscriptions, similar to iStock.


YouWorkForThem: A collection of artists offer everything from stock images, fonts, videos and audio. Check out their blog for other design inspiration.

Categories: bits & bytes.

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bits & bytes: World Cup Fans

June 16, 2010

World Cup calendar wheel from

Apparently the World Cup is on. And apparently it’s a pretty big deal. Does supporting South African wineries count?

All you fans out there, keep track of what’s on using this cool online calendar (above).

There’s also an app for that. View the match schedule, save the final score, show both groups and second stage table, build statistics and update the results on-line.

Categories: bits & bytes.

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bits & bytes: Icon Set for Web Developers

May 17, 2010

Came across this nice icon set. Minimal with a little funky style. Download the set for free here.

Free Icon set for web developers

click for free download

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locals only: New Butcher Cook St Village

May 10, 2010
butcher victoria bc

Island Meat and Seafood Web Site

Good news! Just heard about a new butcher shop in Cook Street Village. Island Meat and Seafood at 307 Cook Street has a slick new website featuring a cool wood textured background with links to local suppliers, recipes, and general info. It’s great to see a new business like this put so much thought and care into a solid website. They are actively involved in the online community: join them onFacebook and Twitter.

I hear there are some other new noteworthy additions to Cook Street Village – full report to follow.

Categories: locals only.

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portfolio: Royal Jubilee Denture Clinic Website Launched!

April 21, 2010

Royal Jubilee Denture Clinic Web Site

Back in September I announced the launch of Royal Jubilee Denture Clinic’s logo. I am so pleased to welcome them to the World Wide Web! This project focused on the clinic’s target market by showcasing easy to access information along side the clinic’s well established colour scheme, images of the clinic and use of large, easy to read text.

Have a closer look here and check back this week to view Royal Jubilee Denture clinic’s collection of print materials from business cards to greeting cards.

I’d go to this denture clinic just to hang out:

Denturist Ian Lam and inside Royal Jubilee Denture Clinic

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Categories: portfolio.

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portfolio: Vasati Homes Vancouver

February 26, 2010

Vasati Homes logo

Last month saw the launch of a logo and web page for Vasati Homes in Vancouver BC. Offering custom residential design and construction, the stylized home in the logo design uses greens to reflect the meaning of “vasati”: an integral architectural concept based on the natural laws of spacial energy used to bring the living space in resonance with nature and its inhabitants.

Vasati Homes requested a one page web site to provide easy access to an image gallery and contact info. Update: site no longer active, but here’s a screen shot:

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portfolio: Wagging Tails Web Site

February 17, 2010

A website was launched last week for Wagging Tails Adventures, a new company in Victoria BC offering daily adventure hikes for dogs, pet sitting, doggie daycare and pet taxi services. This lively site shows the adventurous, animal-loving side of owners Mark and Jenn who were inspired by their rescue dog Zeus. He showed them that proper socialization and exercise makes a much happier and healthy companion. Stay tuned for the before and after of their logo in an upcoming “logo whisperer” post.

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chit-chat: In Conversation With Big Fat Hen

January 14, 2010
Ruby Blossom Blanket from Big Fat Hen

Ruby Blossom Blanket from Big Fat Hen

I was really excited when my client Big Fat Hen was announced Pick of the Year from! Co-owner Emily was kind enough to take the time to discuss her business of offering fresh, fun and functional modern baby essentials.

BCC: What compelled you to start your own business? Can you tell us a little bit about the beginnings of bigfathen?
Emily: When I was pregnant with my son, I couldn’t find anything for the baby room that wasn’t super disney’d out or insanely expensive. So my Mom came up with all these great ideas and together we created a bedding set. People really loved the bedding and it got us thinking about starting a business. At first we were going to do a few crib quilts and market them to local stores but we soon realised that we wanted to do it right which meant a website, business cards, hang tags, labels etc… My mom and I have a great personal and working relationship so its been a blast doing this with her.

BCC: How did you come up with the name “Big Fat Hen”?
Emily: Big Fat Hen was a childhood nickname- its not as bad as it sounds! My older brothers mixed two nursery rhymes -One, Two, Buckle My Shoe and Higgledy Piggledy to create a nursery rhyme for me. They would recite the made up nursery rhyme to me and over the years created all these great endearing nicknames that I still have today. When my Mom and I were considering starting a business my brother Dean suggested Big Fat Hen as a name and we loved it.

Dawson's Diggers Blanket

Dawson's Diggers Blanket

BCC: “Mompreneur”. Tacky or terrific?
Emily: Good question. When I was on Maternity leave I first heard the term and wasn’t wild about it. Now I work full time, run a business, try to have a sliver of a social life and at the same time I am fully committed to spending as much time as possible with my son. I totally get this term now and embrace it. One day I may be known as a successful entrepreneur in the public and a successful Mom at home but for now these two are tied closely together for me.

BCC: How have you managed to juggle the roles of business owner and mom? What falls by the wayside?
Emily: I work full-time and love my job so for 8 hours my attention is there. When I come home I put my energy into spending quality time with my son and husband. I then put my son to bed and start working on Big Fat Hen. I try not to mix work, Big Fat Hen and family because they all need my undivided attention. So I guess I juggle roles by trying not to juggle. A lot of things fall by the wayside- the thing I miss most is free time.

BCC: Where are your products manufactured?
Emily: My Mom hand makes all of our products in Victoria. We have another talented sewer who also helps us out when we get busy.

BCC: What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Emily: Our products have been reviewed on a several blogs and we have been featured in some local magazines. The best blog for us has been because we have been approached by stores who have seen us featured on that reputable site. But you can’t beat word of mouth. We have had a lot of our friends pass around our website which has generated a lot of business and support for Big Fat Hen.

BCC: What is your favorite BFH product?
Emily: The Sam Savanna blanket.

BCC: What is your favorite baby/toddler find?
Emily: I am loving the ‘foaming tot wash’ by Rocky Mountain Soap Company. It’s natural, smells good and because of it my son can’t stop saying ”soap” a million times a day.

Emily's favorite blanket fabric in bib form - Sam Savanna

Emily's favorite blanket fabric in bib form - Sam Savanna

BCC: What is your biggest business startup tip?
Emily: Use your resources. Friends, family, acquaintances and even people we have never met have either offered invaluable advice or helped us grow our product. I have been so surprised at how willing business people are to help other people in business. In the conception phase, I emailed an online store and asked a few questions and she wrote me back a long informative email that I still refer to today.

BCC: Have you subscribed to the latest in social media – facebook, twitter, blogging…?
Emily: We are on facebook which has been great for us. We have been able to reach our fans when we have a sale or when we get picked up by a new store. I would like to spend more time on reaching people through social media but its all about priorities and right now our priority is providing our stores and individual customers with good service and a great product.

BCC: You have paypal integrated with your online store, are you happy with PayPal?
Emily: PayPal has been super easy to work with. I have never had any issues with online payments and our customers report that it has been seamless on their end.

BCC: What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of running your business?
Emily: Knowing that I have my Mom as my business partner. She reads me very well and knows when I am running on low. She picks up a lot of the work when I can’t. I also love our products and believe that we will become more successful each year. We are always thinking of how to expand our product line so it keeps us on our toes and excited about all the possibilities.
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Categories: child star, chit-chat, portfolio.

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newsflash: Client Wins Pick of the Year

January 13, 2010

Big Fat Hen

Big Fat Hen

Guess which one of my clients won “Pick of the Year 2009″ from Cool Mom Picks?

Big Fat Hen!

Check back tomorrow for a discussion with owner Emily Gidden.

Categories: newsflash.

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portfolio: Hinds Blinds website

December 7, 2009
Hinds Blinds website, click to view

Hinds Blinds website, click to view

New website launched! Hinds Blinds is a family operated window coverings company based in Victoria B.C. They offer everything from blinds to shutters and drapes.

The website’s patterned background was created by using a repeating window graphic on top of a gradient. Hinds Blinds wish-list included simple photo galleries of their products, opting for a rollover feature which keeps visitors on the same page, viewing text along with images. Check out their list of testimonials.

Read more about the project here.

Categories: portfolio.

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portfolio: Bamberton

November 20, 2009

Bamberton website

Bamberton website

This new Bamberton site was launched back in the summer and transformed what once was a fairly straight-laced informational site, to an interactive site focused on the past, present and future of Bamberton. Further design development meant the extensive content could be presented in a clear fashion, making good use of brilliant photos of the area, maps, a blog and image/video galleries.

Check out the photos from the remediation process, BC’s largest privately-funded remediation project, or find out what’s in store for the area by checking out the Bamberton website.

The Bamberton project continues to be an ongoing one, find out more about the other materials I’ve worked on for this project here.

Categories: portfolio.

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on the road: uk grocer

October 22, 2009



In recent history, the UK has not been known for it’s glorious food or cracking deals on… anything. Step into Waitrose. Not sure if it was just the change of scene, but the entire operation really impressed me – from their selection of fresh items, prepared dishes, wines and various other delectables that I haven’t seen before, all presented in a chic fashion. Well laid out, fresh looking and full of goodies, we scored goods including wine and ingredients for a thanksgiving feast for 6 for 80 pounds. Check out the website for it’s design as well as canape calculator and recipes and wine info. They even have an online invitation service and a cute section about cooking with children.

Categories: on the road.

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happy hour: DRY Soda (part deux)

October 6, 2009

Had a closer look at DRY’s website. Not only is the design on the ball (they’ve received their fair share of design awards), but they’re up to some pretty neat things. Turns out I wasn’t far off base on my instinct to create a cocktail – check out the recipe page!

Created by Jared Scarr & Andrew Lanier | Crush Restaurant – Seattle, WA
2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. fresh cucumber juice
3/4 oz. agave nectar
4 mint leaves
1 oz. Cucumber DRY Soda
Serve: Tall Rocks Glass
Garnish: Cucumber slices and mint leaves

Pairing recipes here. A fun idea for a non-alchoholic event.

Categories: flavor of the week, happy hour.

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bits & bytes: Social Media

September 14, 2009

Lately I’ve been hopping aboard the Social Media train. Many of my clients have been asking me about Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

Facebook lies somewhere between Twitter and a blog. It’s a place to connect with friends and family on a more personal level. The usefulness of Twitter is not as readily obvious to some people as Facebook; it lies more in the world of Instant Messaging. Responses are instantaneous and you can connect to literally anyone. It’s a place to bounce around ideas and find out what’s going on in any given realm. Is joining this network necessary?

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it’s graphic: rifflandia mag

September 7, 2009

I dropped into Sitka yesterday and saw a copy of the Rifflandia 2009 Festival Guide. It’s a looker. Anyone who has a passion for print media will get a kick out of the description on the website, “The festival mags have arrived, freshly inked. They smell like crayons, and new school supplies… perfect for all you back to schoolers. You can smell it from across the street… mmm waxy. Come and grab one from the HQ (523 Pandora).” The pages have a nice tooth and matte finish and there’s great use of typography and colour. I’d love to give credit to the designer, but the only reference I can find is to the “scum boys”. Obviously not cool enough to know who they are.

Rifflandia Music Festival

Rifflandia Music Festival

The website is totally worth checking out. There’s a blog roll on the left to follow, music to listen to and the schedule/lineup to check out. There’s also great discounts and free stuff to be had at local businesses for those with festival wristbands. Better get one. Festival starts September 24th at various venues in Victoria.

Categories: it's graphic.

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