Friday, June 30, 2017

Making a Summer Splash in Moana (Movie Review)

One week into summer and it is HOT. The sun is blazing, temperatures are high so it’s time to crack out those ice pops and summer tops. With most of you young folks (I’m not that old I just like saying that.) getting off from School you’ll probably be out on vacations to the beach and the sweet salty ocean. For those days you can’t get out to the beach however why not sit down with your family, a bowl of ice cream and watch a summer themed movie? That brings me to today’s blog because man has it been hot lately and to cool down I finally watched a certain Disney animation which surprisingly released last winter, November 23rd to be precise. Know what movie I’m talking about? Let’s give you a hint, it involves Hawaii and 7.8 too much water without the Pokemon.

I’m talking about Moana.


You’re welcome.


Anyway Moana is another CGI Disney Animation Princess (Kind of Princess?) movie similar to the critically acclaimed movies Tangled (Which I talked about on this blog: http://zakentertainment.blogspot.com/2017/02/getting-tangled-up-in-vogue-knitting.html.) and Frozen (I talked about that on this blog: http://zakentertainment.blogspot.com/2016/12/holiday-christmas-movies.html.) but this movie definitely takes the whole Disney princess thing in a new direction. For one the main character isn’t exactly a princess but you could call her one. (Don’t, she doesn’t actually like that.) Moana is based on ancient Hawaiian folklore, which is already a plus one for me I love pre-USA Hawaiian history.

Hawaiian folklore actually derives from Polynesian mythology and the Polynesia people in general. This also applies to native New Zealanders and many other islands in the pacific. See if we go back far, and I mean pretty far the Polynesian people originated from places like Taiwan and the Philippines. These guys had some pretty good boats and were good at sailing with a thirst for exploration and expansion so with their Polynesian mythology at their backs they hit the oceans and colonized many islands some you will know as Fiji, New Zealand and Hawaii. (Known as Hawai’i) Actually Hawaii and New Zealand are some of the newest Polynesian colonization. Anyway I could go on and on about the history of the Pacific Ocean and it’s inhabitants (Okay I have to admit the pacific ocean is my favorite when it comes to history.) but back to the movie. Moana is based heavily on Hawaiian folklore and so features many elements from that, actually one of Hawaii’s biggest culture heroes, ancient chief and practical tricksters is one of the main characters of this movie, Maui. (You know like the island Maui except Maui was actually not named after Maui the demigod but after the son of Hawaii’s discoverer who was named after Maui.)


The story takes place early in Hawaii’s history before the Polynesian people had even landed on what would become Hawai’i. To start things off we hear a story about how the world and it’s land came to be, thanks to the goddess Te Fiti. However a precious stone was stolen from her by Maui, the wind and shapeshifting, only problem is this is actually her heart. He plans to give the stone to humanity as a gift but in taking the stone he unleashes darkness upon the world, monsters soon arrive on the surface world and islands begin to wither. Maui is soon attacked by a giant lava demon Te Kā (I wish I had a keyboard that made all these accented letters easier to type.) and loses the stone to the ocean.

Flash forward a millennia we reach the story’s starting point, a Polynesian island named Motunui. (It’s a real island.) The story you hear in the beginning is actually told by the chief’s mother and our protagonist’s Grandmother. We soon meet the main protagonist and the movie’s namesake, Moana, daughter of the island Chief. While the other kids are scared of the stories Moana is stricken with curiosity and adoration for the folklore. Soon afterwards Moana is chosen by the ocean to receive the heart of Te Fiti and return it to it’s original resting place though Moana clumsily drops the stone when her father, Tui comes to bring her back to their home. 


After a song about staying on the island and becoming the chief (There’s a lot of music and dancing in this movie, just giving you a warning now.) we flash back to a few years later. See the island Chief and those who came before him decided the oceans were too dangerous and stayed on the island, never traveling beyond the reef. Moana’s curiosity about the ocean beyond the reef has grown in time but starts to come to her father’s side and see her possible future as chief. With both her love for her people and the love for the ocean Moana becomes conflicted and insecure but with the island’s resources running scarce her love for the ocean and setting sail finally gains a purpose and Moana soon learns the stories her Grandma told might just be real after all. With one final tale from Grandma and the heart of Te Fiti regained Moana sets out to find Maui and make him return the heart. Oh yeah and a certain chicken named Hei Hei who may not be the most intelligent chicken in the world come along for the ride.

Overall the storyline of this movie is absolutely great and it pulls from so many awesome Hawaiian and Polynesian folktales which immediately got my interest. I’ve always been interested in those folktales and that’s probably why I loved Pokemon Sun and Moon so much, though Alola’s folklore is based more on the tales from when Hawai’I was already established and had a kingdom. The characters to fill this story are even more wonderful with a lot of personality in the two main protagonists Moana and Maui. Moana is conflicted (At first.) yet strong willed, adventures, passionate and a go getter girl who cares for her people and will see her mission through. Maui is more self-absorbed and arrogant though he does act heroic and wishes to make humanity happy, while getting the glory in the meantime. Both of these characters grow immensely throughout the film. While a supporting character I think one of my, if not my favorite character in the film may just be Moana’s Grandma. She’s wise yet full of fun and what she calls the village’s crazy lady. The history of Moana’s people is not lost on her and she wishes to see Moana’s people return to their lives as Voyagers.


This movie’s story is a much different story then one present in previous Disney Princess movies (It’s technically a Disney Princess movie?) and really stands out. Actually I just realized there’s kind of a trinity of CGI Disney movies now, we have Tangled, Frozen and now Moana all three are unique. I have to say Moana may of topped Tangled as my favorite out of these three because of how absolutely gorgeous the movie is. The animation is so brilliant and beautiful you’ll be captivated by the amazing visuals. Every little detail sparkles with inspiration from the old Hawaiian/Polynesian days and I applaud the Disney for how much research they put into this movie. Another point derived from the Hawaiian ways is the music and dancing. Yeah music and dancing is a normal occurrence in Disney movies but it makes a lot more sense in this movie. (Not saying Let It Go was bad, overplayed maybe.) Dwayne Johnson seems to be in a lot of movies lately and is even slated to play Black Adam in the DC Movie Universe starting with SHAZAM! I I also did not realize until this movie that Dwayne Johnson could actually sing but hey you learn something new every day. Dwayne and Auli’I really killed it with their characters and I probably couldn’t have thought of anyone else to play these parts. This actually was Auli’I’s debut role in a movie playing a character and I thought she had a wonderful voice so I would like to see how she can take her career going into the future.  Another character I loved wasn’t in it long but was Tamatoa, a giant gold loving crab played by Jemaine Clement. (Famous for playing Jerry the Minion in Despicable Me, yeah the minions all have separate voice actors, bet you didn’t know that.)


I actually noticed a few references and call backs to another waterlogged Disney Princess movie, The Little Mermaid. There are a few quips and throwbacks here and there I caught and I wasn’t surprised to find out this movie was directed by the same duo that directed The Little Mermaid, Ron Clements and John Musker. (They also directed the kind of recent Princess and the Frog movie.)


I actually forgot about this but this movie has actually been in the works for quite a few years, over 5 to be exact. It’s no new thing to hear that Disney movies take a long time, a lot of work and revision go into these movies but I actually remember now seeing concepts for what would become this movie not long after Frozen first released. For some reason I can’t find this concept art anymore only the more recent art but I do remember seeing some fairly early concepts a few years ago.

Anyway this movie is an absolutely gorgeous film that will captivate you and your kids/sibilings/friends basically everyone, this movie is one all can enjoy it has a little bit of beauty for everyone. It will intrigue you to dive deeper into Polynesian Folklore as it as me. You know what though? I just remembered a certain other Hawaiian Disney movie though set in the present time, Lilo and Stitch. Odd I wonder if this movie is like an ancestor prequel to Lilo and Stitch in which both are set in the same world just a thousand years apart, kind of gets you thinking doesn’t it? Another piece of truth I discovered in this movie is that there actually was a point in time where the Polynesian people stopped voyaging, not voyaging and discovering Hawaii again until 800 A.D. Amazing how much they put into this movie. For those wanting to watch it right now if you have Netflix you’re in luck! For those wanting a more permanent solution you can buy this movie on iTunes for $19.99 HD and $14.99 SD. It’s also available for rent as well. This movie will make an awesome summer family movie, I would know I’ve seen it twice already.


Oh yeah there are coconut guys who look like Shy Guys from Mario... Or maybe that's just me imagining things.

Before I move on there have actually been two movie releases (Okay one was a premiere not a release but I’ll get to that.) I wish to talk about real quick. First off the brand new Power Rangers movie is now out on DVD and if you want it on iTunes it’s $14.99 for HD and $14.99 for SD (I don’t get it when they do this.) and it’s available for rent. I haven’t gotten around to seeing this movie yet despite being a big Power Ranger fan but don’t worry, it’s coming.
Next up, Spider-Man: Homecoming had it’s theatre premiere in Hollywood yesterday. It seems to be a smash hit so far but you’ll have to wait until July 6th to see the movie yourselves in theatres!

With that said and done we’re going to wrap with my Free Knitting Pattern feature!  Was going to try and feature a Moana based pattern but sadly it doesn’t seem to be as popular with the knitters as frozen so I have to pass on that. However it’s still summertime so I’m continuing my summertime knitting features. (Actually I’ll be starting my pre-Christmas knitting patterns soon… Where is this year going?!) Like last time I’m featuring another top for you ladies. Today’s knitted pattern is “Gemini” by Jane Richmond.


While it may seem simple this top has a really nice lace pattern on the shoulders and would actually be another good pattern for those wanting to get into knitting tops. You will need 1 set US 5/3.75mm double-point needles, set of 5, 1 set US 6/4mm double-point needles, set of 5, 24-inch length US 5/3.75mm circular needle and one 32-inch length US 6/4mm circular needle for this pattern.

This pattern comes in various sizes but you’ll also need some DK Weight yarn and all the recommended amount is in the pattern on knitty.com! Also check out more of Jane Richmond’s patterns here: http://janerichmond.com/.


That’s a wrap folks! 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Nintendo Announces The SNES Classic Edition & An SNES History

As you probably know by now I’m pretty avid about Video Games, I used to put lots of hours into them and while I don’t have unlimited spare time in my life anymore I still love to put in some time every when I can. I’m even more avid about retro games. I grew up in the mid to late 90s through the 2000s so my era of Video Games consisted of the Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Playstation, ECT. I never got to experience the NES or SNES in its glory without using remakes or Virtual Console releases. Out of these two the console to really interest me was the SNES. The games on this machine were absolutely beautiful and state of the art for that day and age. 16-bit sprite gaming has continued to be an interest of mine throughout the years. This wasn’t helped by the fact I had classic Nintendo Power magazines from that era.

However Nintendo have just announced something that is exciting my inner retro loving self, the SNES Classic Edition! 


Finally you and I will be able to experience this wonderful machine in HD glory thanks to its HDMI support. This machine, similar to the NES Classic Edition that released last year, comes pre built with 21 games. These aren’t just b-list games no these games are pulled from the Nintendo Classics, I’ll list them all below. Prepare to be overwhelmed by nostalgia.

The SNES Classic Edition’s Pre Built Games are

Super Mario World
Super Mario Kart
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
F-Zero
Super Metroid
Street Fighter II Turbo
Super Punch-Out!!
Castlevania IV
Donkey Kong Country
Megaman X
Kirby Super Star
Final Fantasy III (Final Fantasy 6)
Kirby’s Dream Course
Star Fox
Yoshi’s Island
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Contra III
Secret of Mana
Earthbound
And Super Ghouls N’ Ghosts.

This machine is coming absolutely loaded with absolute classics, most of these games I’ve never played before but always wanted to, such as Donkey Kong Country, Secret of Mana and the original Star Fox. Wait hold on a second, I’ve only listed off 20… Yes there’s one last game I haven’t mentioned that’s coming to this little machine of wonders. This game has never been released before outside of unfinished internet leaks. Star Fox 2, the unreleased Star Fox game will be released in it’s complete finished form for the SNES Classic Edition! Holy moly they’re actually releasing this game after years of unfinished ROM leaks and fan patches. This is huge and makes me worried how hard it Is going to be to get a hold of this machine.

In celebration of this announcement it might be a better time then any to dive into the history of the SNES, or its origins the Super Famicom system.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System’s birth dates back to 1987. To compete with the sales market powerhouse that was the NES companies like NEC Home Electronics and Sega released their TurboGrafx-16 and Sega Genesis systems. These consoles had better sound and better graphics. Nintendo remained unconcerned for a short while but it wasn't long before they realized they needed to upgrade or be lost to history. After a few years in development and designed by the original Famicom designer Masayuki Uemura the Super Famicom launched November 21st, 1990 and one year later in North America as the SNES. Two games launched alongside this console and they were F-Zero and Super Mario World, the latter being a bundle game.


Nintendo regained their title as console king almost immediately but not without a strong rival. Sega with their Mega Drive system (Genesis) was a strong contender and for many years competed against Nintendo in what we gamers called “The Console Wars.”. Of course we have console competitions in the market today too with the Playstation 4 VS the Xbox One but this was a legit market war with Nintendo and Sega constantly downing the other in their commercial marketing (Mostly Sega with their Sega Does What Nintendon’t slogan.) and grabbing third party titles from each other. This war would actually carry on until the end of the N64 and Sega Dreamcast Era but these days Mario and Sonic seem to be buddy buddy.

Anyway the SNES made quite a few changes to the original NES aside from internal processors they also changed the controller shape, making it more curved with two added buttons besides the A & B buttons, thus birthing the ABXY button setup that has become a standard in controllers of all consoles now. The SNES also introduced the shoulder trigger buttons, both left and right. These changes made gameplay much more comfortable and allowed for more control options for developers and gamers. The SNES controller became the backbone for every standard controller to this date.

As it was with the NES Nintendo released a multitude of hardware accessories to add to the gameplay such as the Super Scope and the Super Advantage (A Arcade Joystick built for games like Super Street Fighter II). One accessory which stands out the most is none other then the Super Gameboy Adapter. The Super Gameboy allowed players to play their Gameboy games on the big screen. As far as Gameboy Color was concerned, correct me if I’m wrong but only the Black Cartridges (Not the clear cartridges.) from the Gameboy Color worked, though most of the games released were Black Cartridges. Also Pokemon Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold and Silver I’ve heard were hit and miss regarding the Super Gameboy as well.

Back in September when ZAK Entertainment was a mere infant I did a blog similar to this talking about the history of the Nintendo 64. (http://zakentertainment.blogspot.com/2016/09/20-years-of-64-bit-power.html) In that blog I talked about how Nintendo attempted a Disc Drive system add on. Well this idea of having a disc drive actually dates back farther then that. For the SNES Nintendo attempted to enter partnership deals with two specific companies in order to bring a CD-ROM system to the SNES. At that time Sega had released it’s Sega CD add on for the Genesis as well as TurboGrafx-16 receiving it’s own TurboGrafx-CD add-on, developers and consumers were slowly seeing the benefits of having Video Games on CD-ROMs and this is where things get messy. If you’re unaware of the history of the SNES CD-ROM system what I’m about to tell you will shock you. See in order to bring a disc system to the SNES Nintendo entered partnership with a certain company named Sony.

Mind blown yet?


Actually this add-on was in development back in 1988 a few years before the SNES released and would allow for higher capacity games to be developed for the SNES. If this add-on had come into fruition it would have been an incredible step forward in Video Game consoles and who knows maybe the partnership between Nintendo and Sony would of remained to this day. However things got dicey when in that same deal Sony would be developing it’s own branded console separate from the SNES that would play SNES Cartridges, SNES-CD Titles and Sony’s own software. This separate console was revealed in 1991 as the PlayStation. (Originally called the Super Disc.) Sony however would become the sole worldwide licenser, basically Sony had it’s claws in Nintendo, especially when the Audio Chip featured in the standard SNES was also developed by Sony, more to the point Sony Engineer Ken Kutaragi. The entire deal fell through and Nintendo decided to strike a deal with Philip instead to develop a CD system. I don’t actually know much details about the Phillip CD deal all I know is that deal also fell through with Phillip then going on to develop it’s CD-I system with games featuring licensed Nintendo characters. (Gee, I wonder what Ganon is up to?) Sony and Nintendo’s relationship was officially over before it barely began and Sony would go on to develop their console into what we know today as the PlayStation. A working prototype (Well okay it took a lot of work to get it working.) was found a couple of years ago and you can check it out at: http://kotaku.com/hacker-makes-the-nintendo-playstation-fully-operational-1794968886 Amazing how someone actually came across this piece of forgottten histoy. There’s a lot more I could go into about this but maybe it’s more appropriate for a History of PlayStation blog.

One more upgrade for the Super Nintendo that actually happened came in the form of enhancement chips, instead of being an add-on to the SNES hardware these chips came installed on the actual game cartridges. Enter Argonaut Games with what is probably the most groundbreaking chip from this system, their Super FX chip.


The Super FX chip allowed for the original Star Fox to even exist, in such allowed for the Polygonal Renderings you see featured in that game, most of the game is 3D polygons with only some of it being sprites still. Games like Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island used it for advance graphic sprite movement such as scaling and stretching, which is why you see the bosses do that crazy stretch after you defeat them as well as allowing multiple, separate moving layers on the foreground and backgrounds. The chip was originally codenamed the “Super Mario FX” chip as well as being codenamed “MARIO” which stood for “Mathematical, Argonaut, Rotation & Imput/Output” pretty creative naming if you ask me. Other chips such as the SA1 also existed which allowed Super Mario RPG to with it’s 3D rendered Sprites and environments to actually run without lagging the system down.

Of course I’ve only really talked about the hardware itself, the library of games this machine had was enormous. With many classics such as Super Mario World, Star Fox, Donkey Kong Country (All Three Countries I should say.) Super Metroid, F-Zero and many more I wouldn’t be able to talk about all of these awesome games in just one blog. The SNES went on to sell 49.10 million units worldwide before being discontinued in 2003, this was 30 million less then the NES but the machine was a hit nonetheless.


While I did not grow up with this console and I’ve barely experienced a portion of the games it still very much interests me (I’m a sucker for Retro Video Games.) and the SNES Classic Edition is already becoming a must get for myself and I would love to finally experience this machine and the games it has to offer, even more so the unreleased Star Fox 2 which I’ll dive more into on a separate blog as well (Man I got a backlog of blogs to write, the second half of 2017 is looking to be pretty busy.) Now hopefully the machine actually turns up in the market and doesn’t disappear 5 seconds later due to scalpers and Nintendo’s lack of manufacturing. Luckily reports from Nintendo have stated they are producing a significant amount more of the SNES Classic then the NES Classic so fingers crossed guys.

You know what be funny and also tragic at the same time? If the SNES Classic Edition also yellowed like the original SNES, maybe Nintendo will sell a separate version with the Yellow coloring, haha. Anyway I’m absolutely excited for SNES Classic Edition and while it doesn’t have every classic SNES title (Chrono Trigger is missing.) it has 21 amazing games, most I’ve never experienced before. This bad boy will be releasing Sep. 29th, 2017 you can check out more at Nintendo’s website: http://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-classic. I’ll be discussing more classic games from this console including a blog dedicated to Star Fox 2 soon so stay tuned!


That’s a wrap folks!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Triple Mechanical Eraser Review and A New Colorworks Knitting Project

As an avid writer and with my recent interest in drawing and sketching I tend to erase a lot. Maybe that shows I’m being too much of a perfectionist (Could call me a correctionist, someone put that in the dictionary.) but yes erasing is a normal occurrence to me. Erasers can also be used for shading and detailing so having the right eraser for the right job is a must. That brings us to this blog today. Mum put in another art supply order from Blick (Dickblick.com) over a week ago and we finally received it last Friday. Aside from the sweet Winsor & Newton watercolor set Mum got (I’m pretty jealous no lie.) she also got these three mechanical erasers of three various sizes from three different brands. What are mechanical erasers? Basically they’re mechanical pencils but they have a long eraser inside of it, they work pretty much identical to a pen/mechanical pencil. As an avid writer and sketcher Mum has put me in charge of writing a review on these three erasers.


The three mechanical erasers we got are this General’s Factis BM-2 Mechanical Eraser for $2.99 on Blick, this Mono Knock 3.8 MM Mechanical Eraser for $1.79 on Blick and finally this Staedtler Triangular Eraser for $1.99 on Blick. The Staedtler eraser confused me at first, it said triangular so I assumed the actual eraser was triangular but only the pen is triangular the actual eraser is a round cylinder like the others.

My first impressions were pretty good; they’re not too expensive with the Factis being the most expensive. The Staedtler seemed a bit too big but for the most part these could be really good for travel. Of course looks don’t mean a thing when it comes to erasers so I set up a few tests in hopes I can accurately compare all three of these erasers as well as compare them to the erasers I currently use myself, which are this gummy moldable eraser and this standard vinyl eraser.


The first test I conducted consisted of drawing lines with my main sketching pencil, which is this Mirado Black Warrior HB 2 pencil. I drew 5 lines for 5 of the erasers I was testing.


First off I erased using the Factis, then the Mono Knock, the Staedtler, my Vinyl Eraser and finally my Gummy Eraser.


As you can see they all erased the standard pressure lines (All accurate to each other) with ease only leaving an impression but that was because I used thin printer paper. For simple lines they all erase quite well. The Staedtler is pretty chunky but you can still erase small details if you use the side of the eraser, it’s just a bit trickier. So far I feel as if the Staedtler is the smoothest out of the three mechanical erasers and it didn’t take much to erase the line.


On my next test I conducted I drew 5 circles and shaded them all in evenly, this test is where I got to see the true quality of these erasers. From left to right I erased a portion of the circles as if to add detail to the circle, okay I’m not exactly good at that but this was a successful test none the less, take a look.


As you can see the mechanical erasers faulted compared to my vinyl and gummy eraser, sadly these mechanical erasers don’t seem to be very good at all. I erased portions of these circles in the exact same way between all 5 erasers so I’m sure I got an accurate test here. The Factis erased it slightly but it left it awfully choppy and dirty, leaving a bunch of lines when I’m sure I erased completely. The Staedtler is probably the best at erasing out of all three mechanical erasers. It’s chunky yeah but it seems to get the job done, mostly, it still left it a little dirty. The Mono Knock barely did anything but I will say one thing it actually was a lot less choppy then the Factis. This Mono Knock could be good at detailing and shading as you don’t want to completely erase when doing that. My gummy Eraser did it’s magic and erased a portion of the circle as well as leaving a smooth edge between the non erased and the erased, really this eraser is built for shading and detailing but it erases quite well too, probably would of erased better but I shaded this circle quite a bit. My Vinyl eraser is the best at actually erasing.

I decided to do one final test. These erasers are built for art and sketching not writing but I decided to do a writing test regardless and see how it holds up on erasing written words.


I wrote ZAK Entertainment three times using three different pencils. First off my Mechanical Pencil that I use often (I don’t actually know what lead is in this but it comes out a light color as you can see.), next up my Black Warrior pencil (Shouldn’t be using it to write words but ohh well.) and this other mechanical pencil, with HB lead.

First off I’m erasing a portion of all three of these words with the Staedtler.


Not bad actually, it erased my first mechanical pencil pretty much completely, struggled on the black warrior and left a bit behind and erased the last mechanical pencil for the most part. This Eraser is actually quite smooth and doesn’t feel like it’s going to rip the paper apart.

Next up the Factis eraser.


Oh boy this eraser left a lot behind. I kept rubbing at it but no luck this didn’t erase the pencil lines completely. This is my standard handwriting (Thus it sucks.) and I didn’t apply much pressure at all so this should of erased.

Finally the Mono Knock 3.8 mm.


This is actually the worse out of all three, it left so much dirt behind and the text is only faded not erased.


Finally my Vinyl eraser got rid of the text and only an imprint is left behind. I did a test with my gummy eraser as well but this eraser was not made for erasing words, it’s an art eraser.


With all three of these tests out the way I can say these mechanical erasers are not great and are not really that good either. I’ll say the Staedtler is the best but it is kind of chunky. The Factis is actually super overpriced for how bad and choppy it erases and the Mono Knock might not be that bad for details and shading but for full blown erasing? It can’t hold up to a standard vinyl or gummy eraser. Mum and I will find uses for these erasers of course but I’m not sure if I can recommend them to you artists, sketchers and writers out there. You can have a look at the photos I took and take a good look for yourself then decide. I’ll give you guys the links to the products on Blick below.

The Factis Eraser:

The Staedtler:

The Mono Knock:

Kind of unusual to give such a low review to something I’m a little disappointed. Anyway life goes on and I’m currently working on some new art projects one of them I’ve been teasing on Instagram a lot.


I’ve been working on this full body illustration of Aeris Eclipse after weeks of fiddling with my art style I’m finally going back to this character for a proper art piece. I’m actually really getting happy with my art style lately. I know I draw Aeris often but she’s an easy character to draw for me as she’s one of my oldest characters. I’ll have to do a big timeline of her design changes over the years once this art piece is done, so yeah an Aeris blog is inevitable. I’ve been wanting to get into more backgrounds lately so I’ve actually placed Aeris in an actual location from my Dream Eclipse story, I’ll dive into that later but yeah there’s a lot of bridges and rivers involved. Got some more fiddling around to do before I transfer this over to watercolor but I might be using the drawing of Aeris in this for something digital as well. (I have to make a ref sheet at some point.)

Let’s take a walk away from sketching, art and erasing for a bit because I have a brand new knitting project! Yes I wasn’t going to go too long without starting up something new but this time it’s a little bit of a blast from the past on how I came about taking on this project. This project is going to be a knitted colorworks case that was originally going to be made for an ipad but I also found it fits my sketchbook so I’m basically make it a sketchbook case/cozy. I actually need a case for this sketchbook because it’s not really the best sketchbook in the world and the pages get wrinkled easily because of that, I’ll review that at a later time.


Anyway this project originally was being knitted by Mum. Similar to how my very first project, Chrissie’s Christmas Blanket this was first started by Mum then handed down to me as my first foray into knitting. It’s incredible to think I’ve almost been knitting for an entire year now and ZAK Entertainment was started not too long afterwards. Mum has used this colorworks pattern quite a bit in the past, it’s a really nice pattern and not hard to knit either. This would be my second colorworks project, the first being my oversized beanie I knitted last year but I think I’ve learned a lot since then and this colorworks project should turn out a lot better then that did.

On this project I’m using Knit Picks Palette Yarn, which is 100% Wool and Fingering Weight. This yarn is made for colorworks and comes in a huge variety of colors. I actually do not have the labels for the colors I’m using anymore and it seems like Knit Picks doesn’t carry the colors anymore but the closest colors would probably be French Lavender (SKU: 24575) and perhaps Sweet Potato (SKU: 24249). No matter the color this is the same yarn I’m using but I’m actually doubling it, using both strands together from each skein which makes this more DK weight then fingering weight, making the case more thicker and padded. Each skein of this yarn has 231 yards and 50 grams in it. You can check out this yarn at Knit Picks: http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/Palette_Yarn__D5420132.html

The needles I’m using are not too unfamiliar to me they’re Addi Turbo needles which I used on my first sock project last year. Unlike that sock project in which I used Size US 3 Addi Turbo these are actually Addi Turbo Lace Needles US Size 6 / 4.0 MM. I’m actually not sure what the difference between Addi Turbo and Addi Turbo Lace but they’re supposed to be perfect for lace knitting. This is not lace knitting however. This project is coming along great so far so I’ll keep you guys updated!

Before I wrap apparently I think we’re getting invaded. We’ve always had a wide variety of birds in our backyard but we recently got a visitor that I normally only see when we’re out traveling, Cattle Egrets. There’s this one specifically that seems to love the worms in our backyard.


His name is Eric and he’s been hanging around with some other of his kind for about a week now. We have a farm nearby so it’s not too out of the question for this to happen as they love cows and horses but I’ve never actually seen them in our backyard before and this often. He really loves worms and he’s constantly eating every worm that comes in his sight, apparently our backyard is full of them. Oh yeah and frogs, that’s probably not something you wanted to hear bit yeah apparently these guys eat frogs. Anyway I actually recorded a video of this guy wandering around so I’m going to see if I can get that edited up soon, I have a backlog of videos to edit so I guess I should work on that. Until then however…

That’s a wrap folks!

Friday, June 23, 2017

(1999 The Mummy) Mummies Back From the Dead in Summer Knit Tops


You know I have a question that is one of the oldest questions in the book yet completely unanswered, why are all Mummies called Mummies? Where are the Daddies in the ancient Egyptian world? Ancient Egypt has always been a big interest to me as a writer (Thanks Rick Riordan for fueling that fire.) and a lot of filmmakers tend to feel the same way. Mummy movies date back as far as the 1930s with the original Universal Monster movie “The Mummy” in which Boris Karloff (The Uncanny) played the toilet paper wrapped undead man. It was a massive hit (As were most of Universal’s monster movies back then.) a timeless classic and spawned quite a lot of “loose” sequels (They weren’t really connected.) like The Mummy’s Hand, The Mummy’s Tomb (Which WAS a sequel to the Mummy’s Hand.) and a few others. British production studio Hammer Film remade these films in the late 50s into the 70s with none other then Christopher Lee playing the part of the Mummy in the 1959 “The Mummy” film by Hammer.

Basically the Mummy has been remade quite a lot over the years; I mean an undead Egyptian wrapped in toilet paper in a thrilling movie is pretty popular. Recently Universal released their new remake of these films The Mummy in theaters but it seems like it’s not doing so well when it comes to consumer and critic opinions. Not to start anything but this probably has to do with Tom Cruise having to do with the movie and bad directing but I haven’t seen the movie personally to make an opinion on that.

The movie I’ll be diving in today however is the 1999 remake of the Mummy franchise titled, take a guess, “The Mummy” starring Brendan Fraser (One of my favorite actors, mostly because of George of the Jungle.) the lovely Rachel Weisz and John Hannah. (Who I know best for his role in Four Weddings and a Funeral.)


I discovered these Mummy movies years ago when they aired on TV during the day. I believe I was home sick from school or maybe it was summer vacation I don’t remember exactly but I do remember not actually seeing this Mummy movie first but instead The Mummy Returns first, but I’ll talk about that movie in a different blog. A lot of people in my generation tend to view this Mummy movie as the classic original but no the movies I mentioned before are the originals.

The 1999 Mummy movie spawned a trilogy of three films and I own all three so I’m going back to the first of this classic series. The movie begins with a narrative introduction to the plot of the movie, which dates back to 1290 BC Egypt, Thebes to be more precise. The high priest Imhotep (Who was the Mummy in the original 1932 film as well it’s just not Boris this time but Arnold Vosloo who does a pretty awesome job to be honest.) is having a love affair with the Pharaoh’s lover Anck-su-Namun (Patricia Velasquez) which ends pretty badly for the two lovers. I mean love affairs normally end badly but in ancient Egypt? Yeah you get hunted down and mummified while your girlfriend is forced to stab herself in the stomach. Imhotep’s wrath was locked away for 3000 years until a certain someone accidentally awakened him.


Flash forward 3000 years to 1926 we meet our protagonists Rick O’Connell (Brandon Fraser) at the time captain in the French Foreign Legion soon turns adventurer when stumbling across the ancient city of Hamunaptra also known as the City of the Dead and somehow surviving the trip back.

In a different part of Egypt aka Cairo a young, clever but amazingly clumsy Egyptologist and Librarian Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) soon discovers a map to the City of the Dead conveniently stashed inside a tiny box that her older brother Jonathan Carnahan (John Hannah) obtained (Actually he stole it.). This map lasts for two seconds before the head of the Library “accidentally” (Intentionally.) burned it after Evelyn presented it to him. Only one option was left was to seek out the man who Jonathan guiltily admits he stole the box from, Rick O’Connell. Rick is apparently got himself arrested and locked up in some point after returning from the City of the Dead and is now set to be hung, not sure how this happened but after making a deal with Evelyn to get out of prison and barely escaping the noose they all head out to the city. Following them close behind are American treasure hunters led by Rick’s coward colleague Beni Gabor. (Kevin J. O’Connor)


After a rocky, bumpy and camel filled journey they finally make it to the City of the Dead unknowing what lies beneath the surface. This is where the Mummy comes into it. Evelyn’s overpowering curiosity accidentally sets forth events that reawakens and resurrects Imhotep from his 3000 year slumber. He’s not really a toilet paper kind of Mummy more like a crusty, flaky kind of Mummy in this movie. Imhotep then seeks to resurrect his lost lover Anck-su-Namun and will stop at absolutely nothing to achieve this.

This movie is a thrilling ride from beginning to end with a loving cast and amazing actors to fill those roles. Oh yeah and this movie has a lot of bugs in it, but hey it's Egypt you gotta expect a few bugs. Though The original 1932 The Mummy would probably be classed as more of a horror movie as this one but there’s just something about this and the movie that follows it that no other Mummy movie can hold a torch to, this movie is absolute fun. With all the thrilling close calls and unpleasant scarabs this movie doesn’t forget how to have fun which emanates from the main three actors Brendan, Rachel and John. This movie isn’t just a cheesy goofball movie however it juggles the serious, thrilling and engaging moments with the fun and that to me makes a wonderful movie. Back to the characters I find them to be well written. Rick O’Connell is a gun-ho, rough and ready kind of guy but has a heroic streak and can be a bit of a blunt dork at times. Jonathan tends to be the comic relief of the movie and isn’t really great at fighting, navigating as Rick. However he does have some knowledge of ancient Egyptian and has considerable skills in thievery. (Probably not a good thing.) Evelyn tends to outshine the other two by being ambitious, passionate and a go getter. She knows what she wants and despite her clumsiness and over powering curiosity she puts herself out there. Her entire expedition is fueled by her desire to further her career and her romance with Rick is a surprisingly, unpredicted occurrence but just as well written


Wasn’t sure whether to mention what some of my favorite scenes in the movie were considering this may be spoilers but it’s an almost 20 year old movie so why not. This is a spoiler warning anyway the next paragraph holds spoilers.

Some of my favorite scenes in this movie are probably not scenes you’re expecting. The first off would be after Rick and Company escape the boat after being attacked and they’re split up between a river. Beni exclaims that he has all the horses and Rick retorts with “Hey Beni, Looks like you’re on the wrong side of the river!” I don’t know I just found that scene hilarious.

Another favorite would be after the expedition as they’re setting up camp and having a few drinks Eve, with too many drinks drunken starts up a drunken conversation with Rick and exclaims “What’s a place like me doing in a girl like this?” with Rick replying “Yeah something like that.” She then goes on to proudly proclaim, after a pause that she is a Librarian.

Finally another favorite scene would be Imhotep and his interactions with cats. Cats were worshipped as gods almost by ancient Egypt, said to be guardians of the Underworld. They were absolutely sacred but over time they became more of pets like they are today. It only makes sense for Imhotep to feel intimidated by a cat; probably thought the cat was going to take him back to the underworld, still funny nonetheless.


I’m not quite sure how the new reboot can hold a torch to this movie and it looks like it isn’t with the waning reviews. Luckily these movies still hold up to this day and were worth re-watching after all these years. This movie makes me wish there were more thrilling adventure movies of the sort that were this engaging. If you don’t already own this movie you can buy it on iTunes for $14.99 for HD and $9.99 for SD. I actually have a physical box set of all three movies but it appears iTunes doesn’t have them available and I can’t actually find where to buy the box set anymore. They also have I believe all of the classic movies on here as well. (They do click this right here to see the 1932 Mummy movie.) I’m really going to have to watch the classics at some point for you guys. (I’ve watched the 1932 Mummy I’m sure of it but it’s been way too long to remember it completely.) I’ll be discussing the next two movies in the future!


Even though I’m not so interested in the new Mummy movie it is out in Theatres now and I recommend you give it a go yourself despite my opinions of Tom Cruise and the critics.

For now however it’s time to talk about Mummy wraps… Well it’s something you wear anyway and you can definitely wear it if you’re a Mum. It’s time for the Free Knitting Pattern!

Been diving into Summer knitting as of late, it is summer of course and I’ve given you guys some cool toys to knit but what about actual summer wear? Knitted wear might mostly be viewed was sweaters, beanies, gloves and socks but there’s a lot more summer related items you can knit with those needles of yours and some thin weight yarn. These items are shawls, shawlettes, that snazzy beach wrap I shared a few weeks ago and what I’m featuring today, a top. Yeah it’s a top, a summer top and it’s pretty elegant for being so simple. For some reason I cannot find any male tops (That aren’t sweaters.) as knitting patterns but you ladies are going to love this. Today’s free knitting pattern is “Istanbul” by DROPS Designs.


This is perfect for the summer and autumn seasons with its lovely lace pattern long the bottom of the top to the beautiful lace design in the chest of the top. Before we dive into the pattern I’ll list off the materials you’ll need. First off you’ll need some sport weight yarn. I recommend, as does this pattern, some 100% cotton, that’ll make this top as comfy as can be. Depending on the size you knit you’ll need 250 g all the way up to 400 g of sport weight, cotton yarn. Up next you’ll need double pointed needles and of size US 2.5/3 MM (Or needles that’ll get you 24 stitches and 32 rows stockinette stitch on 10 cm / 4” in width and 10 cm / 4” in height, that’s the gauge.) and some DPNs and Circular needles of Size US 1.5 /2.5 MM or the right size to get a 26 stitch, 34 row stockinette stitch on 10 cm / 4” in width and 10 cm / 4” in height gauge.

Now we can dive into this free pattern! From the look of things you’ll be working bottom up on this top. (That wasn’t a pun I swear.) Seems you’ll need a sewing needle as well as your knitting needles because the back and front of the top of this shirt as well as the sleeves are all worked independently then assembled. It seems to be good for beginner knitters wanting to get into knitting tops, like myself and the only difficult part could be the lace chart but I’m sure, especially with the symbols laid out in front of me and described I and you too will be able to knit this with ease. Anyway challenges are good and can be very rewarding at the end. You can check out this awesome pattern by following this link to Drops Design’s website! https://www.garnstudio.com/pattern.php?id=8007&cid=17

I might be eyeing this pattern for knitting a certain Mum of mine a lovely gift but don’t let her know that okay? She actually reads this so the gigs up already. Haha, anyway I think this is definitely one of the prettiest patterns I’ve shared and I would love to do more lacework. Speaking of lace I need to bust my butt and finish my shawl finally, with no other projects on the needle I don’t really have an excuse now do I? Anyway until next time be nice to your Mummy and Daddy. (Let me know if you actually see any Daddies would like to see one for once instead of all the Mummies, Daddy deserves a movie franchise too.)

That’s a wrap folks!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Self Striping, Afterthought Heel, Sock Knitting Journey

So my with my knitting progress these past few months I have been a bit slow but as I announced last Wednesday I finally finished a project that really shouldn’t have taken me this long. My afterthought heel socks are finally complete and today’s blog serves as a recap of the journey I took on these socks. I haven’t done a blog where knitting is the ultimate main topic for a while so sit back, grab your needles and let’s start knitting! (Finally.)

To truly proof how slack I’ve been, I started this project back in January. (January 28th to be more precise.) For those who have been with the blog since then I started these socks after being given more sock yarn by my loving and giving Mum. With an urge to start a new sock project after finishing my first sock project I decided to go with this self striping yarn, because It looked cool and I’ve never used self striping yarn before. Mum actually doesn't remember where she got this yarn from but it's fingering weight for sure. I used US 2 / 2.75 MM circular needles as well, no DPNS this time round.


While these socks did end up being mostly vanilla I did not want them to be just a copy and paste of my first pair so after a recommendation from Mum I decided to make these afterthought heel socks. For those unsure what that is afterthought heel socks are where you knit the sock like you normally would but instead of knitting the heel flap and heel turn you leave two half rows of scrap yarn where the heel would be and continue knitting to the toe. After finishing the sock you go back and knit your heel. It’s actually a lot simpler and less scary then I originally imagined. While my first pair of socks was knitted for myself I decided as I have a little more confidence in my knitting to knit these afterthought heel socks for my little sister. I figured I would give them to her on her Birthday so starting them early would be a good idea, which it was but I kind of scraped the barrel and almost didn’t finish these on time.


To start these socks off I decided to forgo the usual standard ridge that I used on my first pair and use my newly kindled love for cable knitting to knit a pretty cool ridge. This sock’s ridge ended up being a repeat of Cable 1 to the Back and Purl 2 all the way around the sock. I got this idea from Mum who was knitting some gloves at the time with a ridge that consisted of Cable 1 to the front and purl 2. Got to say it did add a spiffy look to what otherwise is a normal stockinette sock. Instead of using a cable needle however as I thought the cable needles I owned were too large and would stretch the stitches out Mum introduced me to another way of knitting cable, Paperclips. Yes those random paperclips you have floating around your house can easily be morphed into shape to act as a pretty good cable needle. They work like a charm and allowed me to knit these small stitches without stretching them out. This idea is perfect for those who don’t have cable needles at home or have lost theirs down the sofa. (It happens.) To better get this idea out there a few weeks ago I released a brand new ZAK Knits episode based on this! You’ll be able to see how I knitted the ridge on these socks too so it’s a must watch for readers of this blog, I think you’ll enjoy it. Even though this video was done on the second sock of the pair I’m going to go ahead and let you guys watch it below! (Click this link here if it doesn’t work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVMDp8n39nI.)


Knitting cable with a paperclip is just as good as knitting with a cable needle but I did find it to be a tad bit fiddly at times, mostly because I wasn’t used to knitting cable with such thin yarn and small needles. Oh yeah this ridge actually takes quite some time to complete so be patient, or maybe I’m just slow.


Now funny story it only took me about a week to get onto the body and from then on it was a breeze, it was simple stockinette up until I had to place the waste yarn in for the later heel. It wasn’t super tricky all you need is some scrap yarn in a color that doesn’t blend in and knit a half row to the end, purling back that half row. Sounds unusual for a sock huh? Don’t worry it actually works. Afterwards you can dive bomb your way to the toe and finish.


I’m actually surprised I didn’t any disasters on this first sock everything seemed to go smoothly and by the beginning of March this sock was completed. Now this is where things came to a screeching slow halt before moving slowly to the finish line. I don’t know what it was about March but March was not a good month for knitting. I got really busy with a bunch of stuff that didn’t work out or took too much time out of my day and with writing the blog and not being good at organizing I guess I just lost it. Lighting a fire under my butt however I finally got the second sock going only to come across an old enemy of Mum and mine as well.

SECOND SOCK SYNDROME

Yeah if life wasn’t busy enough this guy had to come up and make things worse. I actually got the sock casted on in March but with everything else happening it wasn’t very easy going especially when I royally screwed up right after finishing the ridge. I don’t have any photo evidence, you wouldn’t want to see it anyway, but after starting the body I accidentally slipped a couple of stitches. I’m getting pretty good at picking up dropped stitches lately so I figured I could tackle this problem with ease but nope Second Sock Syndrome struck me hard and for some reason one or two of the stitches ran, ran into oblivion. Mum tried to help me save it but in the end I had to frog the entire sock, gone just like that. Even worse I apparently split the yarn on countless occasions making the future of this entire project seem bleak. My motivation for knitting was at an all time low. This didn’t stop me from giving you guys knitting on almost every blog with my free knitting pattern segment (I’ll be starting that back up again, don’t worry E3 was busy but that’s over now.) but actual knitting progress was almost none.


May was a bright new month however and my motivation for knitting was back in full swing. I managed to knit the cable ridge and finally got onto the body of the second sock. I was scared stiff that I ruined the yarn but luckily I managed to get away with only a few burrs here and there. To be honest once I started this sock back up it only took me about two to three weeks to finish it.


After finishing both of these socks I was onto the part I was extremely nervous about, the afterthought heel.


To me surprise the process isn’t just hard it just takes a bit of time and concentration. To pick up the stitches we turned the sock inside out and picked up the stitches from the scrap yarn from the back, it’s easier that way. After picking up one row of scrap yarn stitches on both needles (This is why you knitted two rows of scrap yarn in.) you just knit the heel as if you’re knitting the toe, same process and you even kitchener off at the end.


Thus this project had finally come to an end, after four months of work and the other two being filled with lack of motivation. Really this should have not taken me this long but Second Sock Syndrome hit me like a truck and as long as I said my first sock pair took this took way to long.

I actually have to apologize to you guys for the lack of actual knitting from me, I mean I know I started doing other art stuff but that isn’t really the reason my knitting slowed down. It’s not like I’ve been completely knitless I’ve done a few dishcloths and smaller projects in between this sock project as well as continuing my shawl which is so long it takes forever to knit a row now.

Anyway I need to dedicate more time to knitting but I’ve been getting back into the groove of it so more is bound to come soon. I have a question to ask all of you however, as this sock was not your average afterthought heel sock would you be interested in a free knitting pattern of this sock? Let me know on Social Media or the comments below! I still have another free knitting pattern I’m supposed to be putting out and it’s basically written but I’m unsure if it’s any good. Need to start taking more risks and take a leap.

Now with that chapter of knitting closed I’m looking towards the future and that brings me to today’s free knitting pattern! (About time I bring this back it’s been gone for an entire week.) Today, if you’re reading this on the day I’m posting this, is actually the first day of summer! I’ve been speaking about summer knits as of late because you wouldn’t want to wear beanies or sweaters during the hot weather and by hot I mean it’s getting really hot in the world right now especially western America and even where I live right now. (Humidity doesn’t help in the slightest.) So over the summer my knitting patterns I’m featuring will be more on the thin wear side. Toys also make great summer knits for your kids or your pets and today’s pattern features a toy a certain feline of your house (If you’re a cat person anyway.) will go wild for. This is “Catnip Bunny” by Selina Kyle, wait Selina Kyle? Catnip Toy? CATWOMAN?! Sorry Selina if that’s offensive but your name made my comic book loving self smile and as this is a catnip toy I had to laugh at the coincidence.
Anyway these look to be a quick and easy knit so your cats won’t have to be impatient for too long. You’ll need some DK weight yarn of your choice scrap or not, US 3 – 3.25 MM Needles, black embroidery thread or black yarn for the eyes (Buttons would also work.), a sewing needle, toy stuffing, white felting for the tail and of course some catnip which you can buy at your local pet store. After that the pattern seems easy enough to follow and the photos she provided helps a lot. These are adorable but sadly I don’t have a cat (I used to but that was years ago.) but these would make fun toys, minus the catnip, for your dog as well. I could probably knit Alfie up a few of these. You can check out the pattern here on Ravelry but be sure to check out Selina Kyle, aka Catwoma… I mean Coffee And Cream she has some other patterns you may like!

With that all said and done, man I haven’t done a dedicated knitting blog in awhile that was fun. For knitters looking for some paid knitting patterns you could win a knitting pattern of your choice of up to $6 value by entering the giveaway I’m doing on patreon! Entry only costs you $3 and I’ll be doing a raffle at the end of every month with a minimum of 3 entries. Go check out my Patreon at: patreon.com/zakentertainment . There aren’t many rewards as of right now but I’m working on it, you guys can suggest rewards to me via email, comments or social media! (Or on Patreon itself.)

That’s a wrap folks!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cobras, Chevys and Custom Cars, Oh My! (Father's Day Car Show)


You know last week was pretty hectic considering it was E3 week and all but with that wrapped up this week we’re going to switch over to some non Video Game topics for this week. (If anything comes up I will report on it, just not as the main topic.)

I completely forgot to mention this but last Friday Cars 3 released in Theatres! It’s the third (Possibly last.) entry in the Cars franchise and conveniently I got to go somewhere last Saturday filled with just as many awesome cars. I along with my car loving Dad with Family in tow went to a Car Show. It wasn’t a massive car show but it was filled with some gems. Of course I had my camera in hand to take some photos of these cars for you guys. Now before I kick start this blog I want to point out that I might not accurately name some of these cars. Half of them had information stickers or their owners nearby for me to ask for the other half well it was pretty hard to get an accurate name considering I’m not the biggest car expert in the world. Though I am doing heavy research I would much appreciate it if you guys left me some feedback on these cars to help me accurately name them.

Immediately walking into the parking lot these guys were set up in I immediately noticed this beauty of a car.


This is one of those cars where the owner was nowhere in sight so I only have the help of the internet and my Dad to decipher this car. I thought it could have been a 1950s Buick considering the vent ports on the side and the triangular nose but Dad pointed out that it could have been an Oldsmobile Delta 88. Looking up both of these cars, well this car seems to be a hybrid of the Oldsmobile’s front and the Buick’s side, which tells me this is probably a custom job of sorts. I'll just assume this is a custom Oldsmobile Delta 88. Regardless of what it is this car is pretty awesome and as I can’t find a match make this one unique ride. Maybe I should have looked harder for the owner but considering this was a local car show he probably lives around here somewhere. I’ll let you guys know if I encounter this beauty again.

Next up is a car I recognized immediately; this without a doubt is a Chevrolet Street Rod, possibly 1932. (I’m a big sucker for 1930s cars.) I’m not sure if the Eagle on the hood is original or a custom job but with all the hot rod Street Rods out there this might be the closest you can get to the original. I did not expect a beauty like this to be here by any means and man do I wish I could have sat in this gorgeous car. Actually I wish I could of driven it but that’s pushing the buttons a bit.


I did get to sit in a classic car however, two in fact and it came as a complete surprise to me but I was actually offered to sit in this 1965 Shelby 27 Cobra Roadster.


This is probably a dream come true, actually driving it would have been but regardless getting to sit in this amazing car was a treat and props to the owner of letting me. Now before you question me yes I actually do have proof, my sister who was with me snapped a pretty awesome shot of me.

Photography by Lady AnnaVintage

Of course I’m squinting because I forgot my Sunglasses but it’s an awesome shot regardless. (Check out her blog ladyannavintage.blogspot.com for more awesome photography.) Getting into this car was a bit difficult actually, apparently my legs are just a little too long but I squeezed my way in anyway. The car wasn’t turned on but I felt the power resting within this car.


Not sure what the lights inside this car are for can anyone enlighten me on that? Is this secretly some sort of Secret Agent car? An ejection seat button was probably placed somewhere in here.


Now if only I got to drive this baby, I’m not even sure if I could handle the power of it.

That wasn’t the only car I got to sit in and this next one is not of the 4 wheel variety. This is a Morgan Three Wheeler!


Now is it just me or have I seen this car before? Actually looking this car up this shark paint job is everywhere. Is the Shark paint job a normal paint job for these vehicles or does this specific three wheeler get around often? Checking it out it’s actually based on the Spitfire Airplane. Definitely not your normal ride and the only way I could get in this car was taking the steering wheel out. (Which is not hard, apparently? Don’t want to do that while driving.) Another huge thanks to the owner who let me sit in this car! Maybe you’ll let me drive it sometime, haha.

Photography by Lady AnnaVintage

After I managed to get out of the three wheeler (Almost fell out of) I immediately spotted these other two beauties next to it. First off another 1930s Chevrolet Street Rod this time it’s a hot rodded convertible with the traditional hot rod flames.


While I prefer the original Street Rod to it’s customized brother this is pretty sweet. Actually I called this a convertible but I’m not even sure if it has a cover it just seems to be an open roofed one. Wonder how powerful that engine is.

Next to it is another 1930s beauty but this one is more in it’s original glory. This is a 1931 Ford Model A.


I’m not sure which I love more the Model A or the Model T. The Model T I’m on about is the original from Ford’s pre-1927 cars before Ford retooled its production and pumped out the Model A from 1927 on. (Not to be confused with the ORIGINAL Model A which was Ford’s original motor from 1903, have I confused you yet?)


Anyway this is a Ford Model A and apparently it was restored back in 1983 and wasn’t classed as Show Quality but they brought it here anyway. I’m assuming they’re going to finish this baby up in the near future, would love to see what it looks like fully restored. Like I said, I’m a sucker for 1930 cars.

After leaving those awesome cars behind I came across another Shelby this one being, well new. This is a Mustang Shelby G350! (It’s still under the Ford brand, Shelby is just the sports variant and the company who makes them is also Shelby, some Shelby built motors have gone to companies like Dodge as well. They also stuck It out on their own for the Shelby Daytona in 1964.)


I’m not actually sure what year this is it could actually be a 2017. Regardless it’s pretty awesome. I’m not usually a big fan of Mustang but Shelby wins me over every time. I didn’t get to ride in this Shelby sadly but I love the color with the double black racing stripe down the center. Bet this car sounds like a beast.


Oh yeah Ford has announced they will be continuing the Shelby GT350 for 2018 but apparently no mechanical changes will be done just some new colors. Sounds like the Shelby GT350 may be coming to an end soon sadly but you’ll get at least one more year of them.

Speaking of Mustangs let’s flashback a little with this 1968 Mustang Fastback!


Apparently this car won some awards in the recent years. This was also one of the only cars who actually had all of the information wrote out on this plaque that was standing next to it.


Apparently this car was originally Candy Apple Red but I’m guessing they got a new paintjob on it. I’m not a big fan of the normal Mustangs like I said before but this is cool nonetheless. Oh yeah this car has AM Radio in it, remember when AM was the only Radio? Haha, yeah.

This should have been expected, you can’t have a huge car gathering on this blog without a Corvette. (We love our Corvettes in this area.) This is a 1973 Corvette Stingray Coupe!


I’ve featured quite a few Corvettes in the past but this is not one I’ve featured before. Unlike the previous Corvettes I’ve featured this one is narrower and arrow head like. (This is why it’s named Stingray.) The owner of this Corvette actually told me his father had it and passed it down once it broke down, which is funny. I’m assuming it’s up and running now however. This car is really awesome I love the narrow sleekness to it. It seems kind of futuristic despite coming from the 70s.

Up next we got two newish cars from a brand I’m smitten with. These are two BMWs!




Going by the design, forgive me if I’m wrong, the red BMW Coupe is a 2013 BMW M3 and the Black BMW is a 2008 BMW M3 Sedan, I think? I’m just looking at the design and taking a wild guess here with what I have of the BMW design knowledge wise. These are two sweet cars regardless; wish I could take them home I’ve been a BMW fan for a while now. (If only there was a 1959 BMW 507 Roadster here.) Oh yeah the BMW Coupe has this awesome racing helmet sitting on the engine. I’m not sure if these are owned by the same people or not.

You know what this actually was a pretty large car show because I’ve only showed you half of what was there so far. Guess I should speed things up, and to do that we need a certain blue hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog. Not sure why I’m bringing him up? Well apparently this, what I’m assuming to be a custom car, had this Sonic the Hedgehog plushie in the front window.


This car seems to come from Team Sun*Works who are a club/network of sorts that include people who do vinyl works and custom car buildings. They go around the country (Even the world if we’re talking Sweden), especially in my area showing their cars off and having a blast doing so. You can check these guys out at teamsunworks.com. Sonic the Hedgehog was just a nice touch to this already awesome custom car. The engine is in the back of the car and peeks through a glass window under the floor of the back.

So I’m not overloading you with cars I’ll just show you guys these last two. This next one is a car I’ve featured twice so far this year, the Chevy Impala Super Sport!


Unlike the previous encounters however this is model is one year older, instead of the two 1964s I’ve encountered this is a 1963 model of the Chevy Impala SS! To make this even more awesome my Dad actually owned one of these. I don’t know if that’s the original engine or not. I’m not super well versed on engines. (I’m learning, don’t worry.)

Finally I’m wrapping this up with one last Chevy but this time it’s not a car and not a street rod. I might be off on the year a bit but I believe this is a 1955 Chevy Pickup Truck! (Not sure on the actual model name either.)


I’m not a truck person when it comes to new trucks but these classic trucks are really nice and stylish. Knowing Chevy these trucks got the job done back in the day but I’m not sure if I want to get this truck dirty doing work. I think this truck might be altered slightly in the fact it’s more low riding then what the original would have been. The engine isn’t the original either but this truck is awesome regardless.

After looking at all these awesome cars and getting over heated we head to some sunflower fields, which is a story for another time. I wasn’t sure how large this car show would be but there were some insane awesome gems here, lot’s of 1950s cars but that’s one of my favorite era of cars so it’s all good. Just getting the chance to sit in some of these cars made this trip one of the most memorable car shows I’ve ever been too. Maybe I can get to ride/possibly drive some of these cars in the future? Actually I’d be happy enough to just ride shotgun. Hope you guys enjoyed these cars as well; you can see some more cars by clicking the cars tab on the blog but also check out my trip to Elite Auto where I run into more classic cars including the lustrous Austin Healey 3000! You can check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

This car show was actually perfectly placed, well almost. It happened one day before Father’s day so being able to head out to see all these cars with my Dad was an awesome gift for him. Speaking of gifts for the past week or so I’ve been working on a new illustration for Dad. I’ve never illustrated a car before, ever. I’ve only been doing art for the past three months so this seemed out of my comfort zone but I soon discovered I have sort of a knack for drawing cars. So for Dad’s Father Day card I took some of this cardstock which seemed to hold watercolor as good as watercolor paper and illustrated this baby blue 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air which is one of Dad’s all time favorite cars. (He’ll tell you 57 Chevy is the best every time.)


Pretty cool huh? It’s not perfect, I’m still new to drawing but I’m quite shocked I pulled this off. I’m going to be doing more car illustration in the future because of this so be sure to keep an eye out for that. I used my recently obtained Sakura Koi Watercolors, that cardstock paper which actually came folded and is built for making cards and some line art pens. I’m surprised how I managed to make this car seem not flat without having to do too many black lines. Maybe I’m slowly improving with my watercolor. I’ve been some other artwork as well but you guys are going to have to wait, they’re story related and I don’t want to just throw them up.

With that all said and done I’ll see you guys Wednesday, don’t forget to go see Cars 3 in Theatres now if you’re interested in Cars, Pixar and you know, talking cars.

That’s a wrap folks!