The summer had an early start with many places on a list to visit, things to do, roads to drive and people to meet.
The first intense experience was camping in the wild back country and is always the hardest (for me, anyway) dealing
with all of nature’s inhabitants big and small is always a challenge I have yet to succeed at. Bugs and critters alike
look terrifying no matter how much I tell myself that I’m bigger and more deadly than them. I sprayed myself countless
times with repellent to the point that my skin was getting itchy and red from the high dose of deet. Every little task
seemed like a huge ordeal I had to go through, there were no five minutes I wasn’t swatting or squishing bugs on my arms
and legs. The buzzing from horse flies and wasps was getting on my nerves and at some point I sobbed silently in our tent
hoping that every fly out there would just go away and I could enjoy a few minutes with everything else in nature I actually
liked. I kept telling myself that if it was easy, everyone could do it but in the end I succumbed again and again to the
constant buzzing and biting. We left a day earlier hoping to catch some breath and getting a quiet time at home. So once
again, it seemed that nature had won. Nature 1 – Faby 0
Kirk making some kindling to start a fire for food and to keep bugs away
Our upgraded tent for two. No more stepping on each other’s faces while contorting and trying to get out.
In the most Canadian fashion, socks and sandals
Cooking dinner on the fire. Steak wrapped in bacon
The next morning, first fire to smoke out the flies and mosquitoes.
Our clothes still smell like camp fire even after a couple of washes
Things I’ll never eat together: Celery sticks with peanut butter, one of Kirk’s favourite snacks
The next road trip adventure was longer and more civilized. We travelled through many roads to a cottage by a lake. The towns were hot, the people were happy, there was local fresh fruit in every corner and tall forest trees of all types wrapped around us wherever we went. From our window I could see the sun glimmering on the blue lake in the mornings. The smell of fresh coffee and toasted bread would usually wake us up and we talked about the places we would go for the day.
We travelled to towns close by looking for different places we had never seen. We ate at small local dinners and tea shops, we would peruse through antique shops and farms. Our time was spent eating delicious local food or by a lake smelling the fresh water and getting our skin tanned in the sun or with family enjoying a quiet meal and warm pies.
On some days we would walk to places we saw from the road exploring new paths and views. The vastness of forests and distances made me feel like the tiniest living thing. Every day we would travel 15km just to get onto a highway. The windy road to and from the cottage was in itself a trip filled with beautiful houses and boats by the lake. Hidden roads would suddenly appear at a sharp curve that lead further up or further down into dark forests. My adventurous self wanted to explore all those roads but I knew our little car couldn’t handle so much peril.
The newest member of the Werklund family: baby Miranda
Walking around the docks in Sicamous, BC.
Bridge in the background moves to let boats through or trains
Inverted trees as decoration
I saw huge cobwebs everywhere.
Kirk says they’re caterpillar nests, I say they are the nests of giant, hairy, spiders
Main street in Sicamous. Not very many people. Everyone seemed to be on a boat.
Baby holstein near Sicamous at a dutch farm. They had delicious home-made ice cream
A storm approaches as we have dinner and watch over the balcony. Surreal feeling as the sun shines through.
It seemed like a veil had just suddenly covered half of the lake that’s normally visible from our side.
family & friends dinners
Miranda bounced from arms to arms to whoever wanted to carry her.
I resisted a fair bit as I’m scared of dropping babies. She seemed so very fragile.
reading in the sun
entertainment for the baby
We liked seating by the window because that’s where the WiFi spot was better
Enjoying a couple of hours by the warm-ish lake
The sun hit hard on my skin. I’m now the colour of oak
Miranda’s favourite past time: Feeding.
…and watching her older cousins make faces at her
the beginning of a path around a lavender farm in Kelowna, BC
Kirk enjoying some shade on a chair conveniently located under a tree
A rare picture of me.
I have a nervous smile here. I was in the middle of flowers that were infested with bees
Walking through patches of the most beautiful flowers
a lavender crown adorning the farm’s kitchen window
Lavender-lemon loaf topped with lavender wipped cream and freshly picked blue-berries
Lavender buttermilk scone with lavender jelly and lavender butter.
These guys weren’t kidding when they say everything has lavender
Rolling hills at night in Winfield, BC
A barn store in the outskirts of Salmon Arm
We made a friend and made me miss the one back home
a beautiful flower hotel in Enderby.
This is going to be the next place I stay in when I’m in the area
Bird house spies on you
a loverrrly tea house with different cups on each saucer that the owner has been collecting over the years
Miranda enjoying a bit of sun on the beach
Not much to do on a beach but laying around a whole bunch
Mike and Miranda
George and Molly
Krysten and Kirk
Awesome light filtering through in a dark forest
The creek falling onto itself is quite the sight
mossy green is my new favourite colour
never miss an opportunity to read some ebook on your phone
The moon, shuswap lake and a golden reflection of salmon arm
finding our way back.
as it got darker it was more appealing trying to catch what my eyes saw and not what the camera wanted to expose
the weeping willow. A giant tree we passed every single day.
On the last day we finally made time to stop to take in its greatness.
it was the perfect tree
pretty warm night for August
a clear night with the moon reflecting on the lake
a reflection of the cabin and my shadow obscuring the window for the moon light to pass through
Breakfast at a lovely old barn in Turner Valley
A cute restaurant’s side decoration, Black Diamond
Iryna playing with one of my cameras
Found a huge thrift store full of old things
Hotel in Longview, AB
Longview was one of my favourite small towns on this trip, their stores were incredibly quirky
Iryna and I waiting outside of the largest beef jerky store. The smell was a bit much.
On the road to Waterton, AB.
Protospace was asked to create a Tree Topper for the East Village Christmas Tree. We had only a couple of weeks to come up with something awesome, geeky and cool that would represent Protospace, but at the same time would be suitable for East Village’s modern architecture and urbanite vibe. My idea of making a Tesseract or Hypercube came from a tiny obsession with this “impossible” 4-dimensional shape and the concept that it encompasses. The Tesseract is a 3D projection of a shape that we cannot see because of our dimensional limitations.
We brainstormed about the best material to use for making a Tesseract, we wanted it to be lit on its vertices and thus required something that would hold an LED and was sturdy enough to hold strong winds & cold temperatures. We figured acrylic was probably the best material we could use, it was relatively inexpensive and easy to shape.
We got acrylic rods and cut them into 24 segments of different lengths. The edges were held by acrylic triangles that would not only support all 16 vertices, but it would let light go through making it more homogeneous in colour and shape.
With the help of Travis, we created jigs that allowed us to repeat the fabrication with precision and accuracy. Without these, it would’ve taken us twice as long to glue the pieces together.
The rods were originally transparent. We had to sand them one by one so it would act as a light diffuser for the LED. Shining light through a transparent rod acts as fibre optic; doing through diffused material lights up the entire segment.
The inner cube was made first. It was easier for us to work with smaller segments first. Admittedly, neither Kirk nor I had ever done anything like these or worked with these materials. The acrylic segments were glued with Methylene Chloride, a compound that’s commonly used as a solvent. It reacts with the acrylic by ‘melting’ both pieces and once it cures, it creates a solid one-piece bond between segments. This meant that we only had ONE shot at getting it right.
Both cubes were going to be holding 64 LEDs of 4 different colours. This required us to measure the length of wire for each of the vertices as well as some soldering, wire stripping, heat shrinking and wire wrapping. The project box that held the circuit, controller and LEDs was TINY and had to be divided in three parts. We had to use extra thin wire to optimize space and we ended up with a VERY cramped but secure project box.
I got a better camera for these last photos, can you tell? Each of the rods were drilled on both edges so the LEDs would fit and shine through.
Big cube and little cube!
While I figured out the placement and wiring on the cubes, Kirk did the whole electronic component. He bread-boarded the prototype that controlled the blinking of the lights and its cycles by using a little Ardweeny as controller, NPN transistors, and resistor networks for all 64 LEDs.
Kirk soldering of the prototype onto a copper board
We were faced with a challenge when we tried to hold both cubes together. The inner cube had to be in the center of the outer cube and held by eight diagonals. The challenge came when we tried to adjust these steadily without compromising the structure of both cubes. We used nylon rope inserted through a clear tube and bolts to hold it in place.
Ben’s quality approval
The next step was to add the project box, yet another challenge for Kirk, who was left with 128 white wires and little to no space in the project box.
We hacked the project box by drilling two holes on each side, used a funky little connector that shuts down like the aperture in a camera and holds things in place. It was 5AM in the morning when I took this photo and we still had to wire-wrap each LED to the connector!
We finished this at home in a more comfy chair and better heating. I wire-wrapped the LEDs and Kirk did the final touches on the controller, the jumpers and the AC connector.
We had to make sure it worked before sealing everything in the project box with super strong silicon. We turned off the lights and crossed our fingers for it to work!
YAY!!!1!!11 it worked! We looked at it for some good ten minutes remembering all the challenges, sleepless nights, people that helped us along the way and realized we had DONE IT. A crazy concept done from scratch beginning to end. A first for both of us, a photographer and programmer. It was definitely an emotional moment.
The next day, the Tesseract was delivered to East Village for their Christmas Tree. Kirk had the honor of putting it up himself and made sure everything was in place before plugging it up.
We came back at night to see it shining (and to make sure everything was good) It was a really cold night but the Tesseract was intact.
THANK YOU! To all the people at Protospace that helped us create this amazing artifact. Kirk and I couldn’t have done it without the help and expertise of Travis Alexander, Andy Io, Ben Reed, Dana Schloss, Shannon Hoover & Maria Elena Hoover.
Never miss an opportunity for some colourful bokeh.
On Saturday, East Village held a market with all sorts of small businesses and organizations alike. Protospace was there selling electronic goodies and showing some of their automated machines.
The famous eggbot!
3D Printer and drinkbot
People were really drawn to the Egg-bot.