Building Paper Toys


This is what my drafting table looks like, today. Those cute little things are paper toy prototypes that I’ve been designing. That white patch at the top right is glare through the window, from a snow bank; a result of my other all consuming pastime… ploughing out the driveway, but let’s forget about that snow part for now…

This set is four 3 dimensional  animals: a rabbit, mouse, cat and dog with four corresponding 3 dimensional  vehicles: a car, boat, airplane and tractor. Each package will contain one animal model and one vehicle model that you cut out and glue together. I’m not yet sure how I will pair up the animals to the vehicles, but they will all be interchangeable if you have the entire set.  Once the set is finished, they’ll be printed and sold in my Etsy store  and other retail spaces. I should mention that I use a black and white laser printer for the prototypes because at this stage, I am testing for scale and how well the pieces assemble. The finished products will be printed in colour.

I’m also working towards a show in April, which I’ll post about later, and the toys will be available for sale, there, too. All my paper toys at Etsy are digital downloads and while I like the convenience, I know that printing and packaging them will allow them to reach a wider audience. Besides, the printing and packaging is fun and it’s satisfying to see a finished product.

12th Annual Portside Gallery Miniature Show and Sale

12th annual Portside Gallery Miniature Show and sale


Every February (for the past twelve years), the Portside Gallery, in Port Stanley Ontario, has an open call for art no larger than 16 square inches or 45 cubic inches. They always have a great response to the call for entries and the opening is a fun way to spend a February Sunday afternoon.

I entered two graphite drawings this year:


Thing With Wheels












I went to the front desk to get my name tag, and was congratulated. I’d won honourable mention for Pieface.  Here’s a list of the winners:

Miniature show awards

Best in Show

  • The Ball – Cheryl Garrett – Jenkins

Honourable Mentions

  • Pie face – Gabrielle Nowicki
  • Fall #4 – Diane Dobson
  • Winter Chill – Jerry Cutting

 Peoples Choice

  • The Cat – Kit Cutting

Here’s an article from Relish Elgin

I wish I had remembered to take pictures :(

If you are in the area, drop in to see the show. It runs until the end of February. The Gallery is open 7 days a week from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

New projects, and free downloadable paper toys



For the past year, I’ve been involved in our local theatre West Elgin Dramatics Society, located in Dutton-Dunwich, Ontario. Although you’ll probably never see me on stage, I’ve been designing the promotional materials, building their new website, and helping out back stage whenever I’m needed.  One of our advertising ideas for the current production, Norm Foster’s Dear Santa,  was to distribute promotional material with something free included, that people could take home with them and enjoy – something to celebrate the spirit of giving.

So, I designed three paper toys that could be cut out, folded and assembled. There are three different cards available, each including one of three toys. They were distributed by our indefatigable Executive Producer, to libraries, seniors’ homes and businesses.

I am also offering them here, as a gift to my readers, so click on the links, download, follow the instructions and enjoy!



Christmas_Tree_paper _toy

Dear Santa runs from December 5 – 8 and 12-14. For ticket information, please visit the West Elgin Dramatics Society website

Putting a few things by

Diefenbunker illustration of canned rations from the cold war era

This summer, we visited the Diefenbunker, located in Carp, Ontario, just outside Ottawa. The bunker, built between 1958 and 1961, by the order of Canada’s then Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, was an emergency government hideaway during the Cold War years, in the event of nuclear attack. It’s an underground, four storey concrete fortress. The bunker was decommissioned in 1994, and is now a Cold War museum.

It was creepy and steeped with atmosphere. We visited on a beautiful sunny day in July but once I entered, I lost the context of present day. It’s otherworldly down there and sobering to think how close we actually came to using it… The atmosphere stayed with me a long time after I left.

You can walk around the bunker on your own, some rooms are gated but many are open. There’s an operating room, morgue, sleeping quarters, store rooms, a CBC emergency broadcasting studio, meeting rooms and a private suite for the Prime Minister. On the bottom level is a Bank of Canada Vault.

The cafeteria has a banner posted on the wall that reads “You’re lucky to be alive so… just eat it!” In the store room behind the cafeteria are metal shelves filled with old cans, boxes and packages of food. Also included were bags of dehydrated rations, with the idea that once the cans and packages were finished, the dehydrated rations would be used.

My favourite was the Hu-Co Cut Refugee Beans…