Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Leather Journals - Cloth Options

Edit: Please take care and number carefully, first photo is photo one, last is photo four. Number each fabric from left to right. Easy peasy.

For those coming over from etsy, here are your fabric lining options for the lambskin journals.

Choose you first choice, choose your second choice, and let us know in your message to seller at checkout.

Indicate choices by naming the row (the top photo is row one, next photo is row two, etc.), and numbering the fabric from left to right. Also describe it if you would. Supplies are limited, so first come first serve. We'll try to keep this updated, but no guarantees your choice(s) will be available. Thanks!

Click each photo to see them larger

Second photo, third from left (musical instruments) is no longer an option.

The last one (colorful money) is out of stock.

Also, note that the first one in this fourth row turns quite transparent when adhered to the leather, an example of which can be seen on this gray journal. Also, the fourth one in the fourth row (paisley) is no longer an option. Also, the first photo(row one) numbers 2,3 and 5 are no longer available.

Etsy Busy

So, the Boutique was a bust - zero sales - But Karleigh's shop and my shop on etsy have been smokin of late. Thanks in part to her genius idea to make these lambskin wrap journals ($25, free shipping, different colors available), which we have both been making and have both been listing in our shops. Two days ago I noticed tons of people hearting (favoriting) my shop, and a jump in sales, too. After a google search for my shop, up popped a link to The Storque, etsy's handmade blog. Guess whose photo graced the top of the article? Guess whose book the photo was of?

Another big seller were these rustic tied journals ($21, free shipping), which we made intending to sell like hot cakes at craft shows, but didn't do much there, but have sold quite well on etsy.

While these priced to sell items are doing just that, even the high end books are moving, including this dear skin journal ($76, free shipping) I made with scrap leather, and leftover nideggen paper from two fancy custom artist sketchbooks Karleigh made. Click the photo, and look at the weaved lining I made for the deer skin book:

Karleigh's second year thus far has had triple the sales of her first year. About 100 in year one, to nearly 400 to date. Could year three triple year two?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Show this Weekend! Thursday through Saturday

In Pleasant Grove, Utah. The card illustrations in the previous three posts will be sold alongside my wife's books. Or, you can just buy online. :)

A Christmas Tree (is often green)

Made in Inkscape.
For printed cards, or a file you can print yourself, see

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Ho Ho Whoo!

Made in Inkscape.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Tree (in Blue)

Made in Inkscape.
Printed cards are available at

Monday, November 16, 2009

If You Ever Meet a Whale


If you ever, ever, ever,
If you ever, ever, ever,
If you ever, ever, ever, meet a whale,
You must never, never, never,
You must never, never, never,
You must never, never, never touch its tail.
For if you ever, ever, ever,
If you ever, ever, ever
If you ever, ever, ever touch its tail,
For if you ever, ever, ever,
If you ever, ever, ever
If you ever, ever, ever touch its tail,
You will never, never, never,
You will never, never, never,
You will never, never
Meet another whale.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ugly Pictures Part 2: Gamma problem, or something else.

Edit: I do now think it's just a difference in how some monitors are displaying the images, some look right, some are skeewampus, and probably because the monitors are set to too high a contrast or brightness, overpowering the somewhat light colors in some of my illustrations. I think that's it. Maybe. I'm considering that I'd like to use bolder colors anyway, which would also help out with the illustrations displaying acceptably on other computer screens.

In my last post, I was alarmed about my illustrations looking waaaay bad on another monitor. Not good bad. Bad bad. I set out to figure out why.

I researched a bit, and although I don't have the computer on hand that was displaying my illustrations much too brightly, I think that that particular monitor's brightness and contrast settings must have been way out of wack. I now suspect this because I created my images with a monitor gamma setting of 1.8 (brighter), and most other monitors should display at a gamma of 2.2 (darker). Thus, that monitor should have shown my images darker, not brighter. Even if that monitor was set to display at a gamma of 2.2 (darker), other calibration settings on the monitor might have countered the gamma to create a brighter than usual display. I think. I'll check it out when I get another chance to sit down at that particular computer.

So, if in this illustration you can see the border, and circular shadow shape under the tree, and textured lines behind the tree, and shadows under the presents, then you are seeing a good approximation of what the illustration is intended to look like. And all the illustrations in earlier posts would be displaying just as well on your monitor. If not, you may have a monitor with an out of wack calibration (too bright and/or too contrasty).

I'm not fully settled that this is the full problem. Because other images besides my recent illustrations looked alright to me on that monitor. (?) I'll need look into this more.

Helpful links for those interested in knowing more about gamma and color management, which might include anyone, especially anyone making images on and/or for computer display or for print:

John Nack on Adobe: Why Your Web Content Will Look Darker on Snow Leopard
  • Lots of pertinent info, whichever OS you use. Read the comments after the article for lots of further info, corrections, and clarifications.
Mac OS X v10.6: About gamma 2.2
Not as informative for me as the previous link, but helpful, especially for learning how to set the gamma to either 2.2 or 1.8 on a Mac.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ugly Pictures (gamma problem, or something else?)

Edit: Okay, I researched a bit, and have some more info. See what I learned in my next post.

So, just saw my recent illustrations in earlier posts on a different computer, and they look terrible as compared to on my screen at home. Something's haywire with how they may be appearing on your screen as compared to how they should look. I have a couple ideas on what to do to fix that. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Whales and Baby Books

My wife, Karleigh, had a custom order request for a baby book with whales on the cover. So, I created a pattern in inkscape.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Shmalloween. Let's Eat Pie!

All that is missing is enough whipped cream to hide the pie. Yum!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I've been going about it all wrong

Well, not all wrong, but halfway-ish wrong. As mentioned before, a favorite illustrator of mine is Steve Mack, and I've been playing around with the idea of illustrating with texture within Adobe Illlustrator (and Inkscape) as he does. I struck upon a different means of going about it, much speedier than the way I'd been trying, and with what I expect will be better results once I get a chance to really play with it. I'm excited!

The Halloween illustration in the previous post won't get the texture treatment until next year, I'm afraid, but the first illustration with this new found technique will be posted soon, I hope. May be a couple weeks, though. (Dashing through the snow...)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!

So, life added more, and just now feeling somewhat adjusted to it, so maybe I'll post again with some greater frequency. In the meantime, here's a partially finished illustration for Halloween.

Trick or Treat! This is "halfway finished," as it still needs to be textured.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Love My Brain

Stumbled across super*dd's work on flickr. Her style rocks, sorta retro-disturbed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cards for Sale

The illustrations from the previous three posts (monkey, rhino, ogre) are now available as greetings cards and invitations at If you check them out, you'll find that the text on the cards is fully customizable.

I did make some changes to the illustrations, and these may be seen by clicking through to my zazzle store, threeholedesign.

If you wish to link to my store, you may do so with*

Happy Birthday Ogre (editable text) card

Rhino Party Invitation (editable text) card

Happy Birthday Monkey (editable text) card

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ogre Birthday

Green ogre, or linebacker? Either way, he wishes you a happy birthday. This is the one that started it all. That is, the precursor to the previous two illustrations/posts, yet it took me the longest to finish. Had to set it aside to get a fresh look to figure it out. Well, I guess I did decide that the monkey needs something more, so that will actually be the last to finish. Still not fully pleased with the ogre. But still having fun with the texture. It began with him wearing Laker purple and gold, but since I didn't finish it in time for my bro's birthday, I went with different colors since I was having trouble making the original colors work together with everything else. Hmmm, what if I made the monster's skin purple and gold?

Click image to enlarge.

Edit: birthday card now available. Read my post about them. Buy one.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Red Rhino

Red rhinoceroses are the life of any party. After finishing this rhino, I'm more certain that the monkey isn't quite done yet. The monkey might need some more balloons. And as I look at this, I might have to do away with the multi-color happy birthday. And put a kink in the party hat.

Edit: balloons at to monkey, and kink added to rhino hat, multi-color happy birthday gone. See the changes.
Also, now available for purchase as a birthday card. Read my post about them. Buy one.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Monkey.

New illustration here, inspired by my brother's 30th birthday. (Silly, I know.) Actually, I began a different illustration similar to this one, but didn't finish on time. The illustration I began for my bro was a monster, in the same setting, wearing Laker purple and gold. Still toying with that one, but in the mean time I started and finished (I think) this one. Probably will tweak the feet and hands, though. I'm pleased with how my experimenting with texture with vector is working out. Still using inkscape. Click image to see it larger.

Edit: added two more balloons. See the changes.
Also, now available for purchase as a birthday card. Read my post about them. Buy one.
Happy Birthday Monkey (editable text) card

Friday, July 24, 2009

Trigger Point Therapy: Foot Pain

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition

Foot Pain
: I had foot pain that began inexplicably. No moment of injury, just pain that came out of nowhere. I found a name for it, plantar fasciitis, but no cure. Plantar fasciitis, it seems, isn't much more than a description of the area of pain, without doing much to say about its cause or how to heal it.

It was really weird pain, more so than my knees, which had been somewhat inconsistent, but always there if even slightly. But my foot pain would disappear almost entirely when I would run hard in a game of ultimate (frisbee). I'd feel it now and then in the course of the game, but for the most part it went away, but came back strong afterwards. And this was pain that was sometimes excruciating to the point of barely being able to walk. Over a long stretch of days when the pain remained fairly high, I was concerned I might even have a stress fracture. But this highest level of pain would usually only come if I was on my feet for long periods of time. So, it hurt if I walked, but largely went away if I ran. Say what? Some days it hurt, some days it didn't, others days it came an went. Strange.

I ultimately attributed the source of my pain to a pair of shoes I wore that were cushy, but mushy, and didn't provide the support my feet needed. But, I don't really know if the shoes were the main factor, or if perhaps my part time job spent walking around the bookstore and frequently going up and down the stairs combined with my often brisk walk to class up a hill were the main cause. I ditched the shoes for another pair, but it didn't cure me.

Eventually I discovered plantar fasciitis discussed in The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook. My foot pain had nothing to do with my feet, but with the trigger points in my lower leg muscles. Go figure. Properly treating the trigger points relieved my foot pain, but I wasn't as diligent as I needed to be, so it never fully went away. However, I stopped experiencing the occasional stop-me-in-my-tracks pain. Later on I developed the same pain in my other foot, but I just didn't work on the trigger points sufficiently to get anything more than mostly relieved. Being that it wasn't a pain that was constant, but only occasional, I didn't think about it often enough to treat it as frequently as necessary.

Foot Pain Gone
The pain finally went fully away, strangely enough, after an athletic tournament where we played six games in two days. My legs were pushed to their limits, and my only explanation for the foot pain going and staying away after these two days was due to the muscles being stretched and worked to their limits, and for whatever reason, this released the trigger points, which are small nodules of contracted muscle. I'm assuming the contracted muscle, these trigger points, couldn't keep their hold through being pushed through such a rigorous athletic effort. Certainly, whatever the full explanation, the foot pain was certainly not due to any sort of injury, but the trigger point explanation seemed to me to fit perfectly. The trigger points were finally released somehow through vigorous, force-my-legs-to-get-up-and-move-again-for-one-last-game tournament.

I don't recommend that as a treatment, but it may work for you, who knows. But I can confidently recommend trigger point therapy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Over at there is a an article written by Ahmed Alrefaie aka owaikeO, detailing how he created his illustration titled Scribble. It's longish, but an interesting look into his process.

Friday, July 17, 2009


What with a family reunion last weekend and getting some kinda stomach bug, I've been running behind schedule in the blogging world. By necessity I've kept up on the garden (minus weed control), and harvested these beets the other day. If you've never had beets, you gotta trry them at least once, if only for experiencing the pink colored pee. If you do like beets, you may be interested in reading about how I prepared them with orange sauce here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baseball History and More

Jack Clements Digital ID: 55745. New York Public Library
This here photo is of Jack Clements, putting out the vibe even as he throws the runner out at second. It's no wonder that historian Al Glynn said that Clements "certainly was the best left-handed catcher in all baseball history."

Over at the New York Public Library (NYPL) website, they have a nifty digital gallery providing open access to over 685,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more."

The above photo is from this collection.

It's a fun browse, and if you have a hankering to use an image for editorial or commercial purposes, you can do so for a reasonable fee. Pricing can be seen here, but note that while my Firefox 3.5 wasn't opening the pdf link today, my Safari 4 did.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Choux Buns, Food Photography, and Strobist

Strobist is a smashing good blog for learning photographic lighting. Presently, the author is putting his readers through a boot camp, the second time he's done so. The above photo of choux buns is my current submission for Strobist Boot Camp II. Although, I've another idea I want to try. If you're interested in this kind of thing, I did a small write-up on food photography over at Cooley's Kitchen.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cooley's Kitchen Is Alive and Kicken

My new cooking blog is now live and rolling. If you'd like, check it out here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Andrew Zuckerman's Wisdom: 50 Unique and Original Portraits not only contains beautiful portraiture, but is packaged together with a 60 minutes of the portrait subjects discussing the meaning of wisdom. At there's video excerpts from the interviews, plus 'making of' footage and commentary, and even has portraits of all the subjects. The book, however, has large, beautifully printed pages of these portraits, plus other images of each portrait subject, along with text, wisdom, from each person photographed. It is a beautiful book, and is on my wish list.

From a photographers standpoint, I found it fun and instructive to watch the Making Of: How It Was Made video (click link in upper left when you get to the site). Catching glimpses of the photographer at work, seeing his use of light, and seeing a bit of how he works with his subjects, all good stuff.

A few favorite quotes from the interviews:

"One of the reasons I haven't slipped into some sort of retirement is I always feel I'm learning something new all the time." - Clint Eastwood

"I always thought that inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work." - Chuck Close

"I don't know if political change can affect that much. Change has to be in the heart." -Kris Kristofferson

It's fascinating to see in so many of the commentaries on wisdom, how frequently the comments stem from the professional experiences of those who are being interviewed. Maybe that's obvious, but, there is something about it that I can't yet put my finger on... I just found it fascinating, one person of one background juxtaposed with one of another.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Blog, blog, blog

Funny, but I already broke my weekly blogging goal, but that's not what's funny. What's funny is that I broke my blogging goal because I was blogging. Been ramping up to launch two new blogs, one anonymous, the other to be found here. It's tough work getting all things ready to do what I plan to do for these blogs, but it's gonna be fun. Within the week they'll be launched. 'kay, gotta go, and blog some more.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Miss Photography

I was posting the photo at left to flickr in order to submit it to a contest , when I peeked at my recent activity (comments to my photos and such). I looked at the favorites of one who favorited one of my photos and then spent the next couple hours looking through photostreams on flickr using this list of favorites as my guide.

Here are a few of my favorites from my viewing.
(To see larger, click each photo to go to the photographer's photostream.)

salt flats by antimethod

I Think I'm Falling For You... by GoodMolecules

There's No Escaping It by stephaniedan

Morelle by Elle Moss
Elle Moss is also on etsy, where I became a fan of her work.
Finding her on flickr was fun to see some work that's a little different from her stuff on etsy.

Wacom Bamboo Fun, Not Just for the Kiddies

After a month or so of illustrating with a mouse, my shoulder had it. It ached. So I looked into getting a tablet. Glad I did.

Quality Counts
Second rate products don't cut it with me. Much rather spend double for quality, than half as much for junk. But I crave value, and can give up the best for something still quite good at a more easy to swallow price. So I looked at the competition, searching for a great value. In the end, I couldn't bring myself to go for a second tier brand. Reviews too mixed, and the build quality was pretty much universally considered sub par. I went with Wacom.

Price Counts Too
But the Wacom Intuos 4 is just so dang pricey. This illustration gig is still experimental for me, and the Intuos isn't set at an experimental price. I looked at the Wacom Bamboo Fun. Then I read every review on Amazon. Seeking for the only reviews that I could rely on: those who use the Bamboo as professionals. I found, I think it was two (note that different colors will have different reviewers, so I read reviews from all available colors). They were sold on it. So was I. Now, nearly two months later, I still am. It's a great little gadget.

Beautiful Design
On opening the box, I could see what a sexy piece of peripheral it really is. A few years ago I used a 12x12 Intuos 3. Huge, thick and clumsy for me. This Bamboo Fun is sleek at an 8.75" x 5.5" active area (11" x 9.25" total size) and feels nice in the hands. Drawing on the surface has a nice pen on paper feel. Very nice. If I could, I'd go for the new Intuos 4, only to get it's extra buttons. I don't need it's extra levels of pressure sensitivity, as I don't use this feature but occasionally in Photoshop, and not sure if it would make much difference for my style of use anyway.

Buttons: customized
The four buttons on the tablet are customizeable. Make them a keystroke, a couple keystrokes, run a script, whatever. I have mine set for undo, redo, shift, and control. My two pen buttons are set to alt (for dragging and zooming), and the second one opens my custom contextual menu. I could use one more button on the tablet. I'd make it the delete key, and then I'd rarely touch the keyboard. But otherwise, I haven't any thing I want more from the Bamboo. There's also a zoom and scroll pad on the tablet. Don't much like the scroll, but very much like the zoom.

Contextual Menu: customized
This is what made the Bamboo better than I hoped for. I set one of the buttons on my pen to open a contextual menu, in which I can put anything I want. Tools, dialogs (palettes), save, etc. All of my 'most used' can be placed in this menu, so I don't have to use the keyboard, or reach all the way over to the tool palette. Click, select tool, get to work. Repeat. Time saver. Patience saver. Arm saver. Love it.

The medium is just right for me. Not too much space to travel the pen across for clicking on menus, and not too small for drawing. Any smaller would be too small, and my experience with the 12x12 Intuos 3 a few years ago, tells me bigger isn't always better. It just didn't suit me. This 8.75" x 5.5" active area suits me fine.

Black, Silver, or White
I chose the silver, because at the time it was the least expensive of the color options. I looked at other sellers, but Amazon was within $10 of the cheapest seller, and I trust Amazon. Other than the cheapest seller, all other sellers were no better priced, and usually pricier.

Wacom Bamboo Fun at
This has been a Wacom Bamboo Fun Review

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How I Became An Illustrator

Okay, so that title is a bit of an overstatement. Illustrator. Time will tell if it becomes an accurate description of what I do, but to date, I have only just begun learning to illustrate. Here's a brief telling of what actually is a, well, a brief tale.

For about sixteen months I had been contributing occasionally to a microstock photo agency. (Aside: If you're a creative that's down on microstock, I can understand, but I've come down on the "I'm cool with it" side of the microstock model. Times, methods, models, and technology changes. I figure those who don't appreciate the change, and don't adapt, risk falling behind as others take their place. Those who do adapt, succeed just as well as they did before. They can succeed by doing things how they used to, albeit with some modifications, or they can take the new road altogether. But some sort of adaptation must take place. For certain professions in this blink of an eye technological life we live in, that's how life seems to be. But this is a whole other topic. I'll discuss it further in depth at another time.)

So, I've been contributing photos to microstock, and wanted to take it further, so that I might be able to make a living this way. I submitted to other agencies, which brought more sales, but realized I needed help to do this at the scale I needed to. But I didn't have built-in help, and couldn't yet afford to higher help. So, I figured I'd supplement my photography with illustrations along the lines of Nick Monu's fantastic work, which is an image style that doesn't require illustrative skills so much as design skills. I thought, "I can do that." (After a little dabbling, I have yet to do that kind of illustration, as you can see by the few images in this post.)

Enter Inkscape 0.46, a free, open source vector illustration software (0.47 will be released within the week). Free is a whole heckuva lot cheaper than what I believed was my only alternative, Adobe Illustrator or a similar pricey package. Inkscape rocks. More on this nifty piece of software at a later time.
So, I downloaded Inkscape, dabbled, looked up tutorials and instruction from many sources online, and over the course of a few weeks felt pretty comfortable, and in a few weeks after that, even more comfortable. I studied the work of others, found a lot I liked, and few I really liked (including Steve Mack, Bob Staake, and Russell Tate), and began to make some work that was somewhat alright.

It's late, and I'm not feeling well, so I'll finish this up Thursday sometime, including a few illustrations.
Thursday: Okay, feeling worse, and better at the same time (Thanks D. Fish), and it's late again and so I'll get back to this post on Friday.

'kay, I'm back, six days later...

The topmost illustration was my first complete one. It was inspired by Maurizio Santucci's sweet 3-D paper illustration in the April '09 Popular Mechanics (an interesting article, to boot, about the improved technology that is behind the latest 3-D movie craze of late).

These last two illustrations are my effort at using texture within the vector software itself (click any image to see it bigger). Steve Mack uses Illustrator 10 to do his illustrations, from sketches all the way through to the final illustration. Even his texture is done in AI, which is
significant, since everyone who uses texture so heavily takes the vector image into Adobe Photoshop or some other bitmap software to add the texture. That's how he used to do it, but to streamline workflow he developed a means of texturing within AI. I wanted to emulate Mack's work somewhat (he has such good stuff), and the texture was key. Since he was hush hush about his vector texture technique, which by all appearances seems unique to him, I went out and tried to figure out what he might be doing. These final images are my first efforts. The last one, too, serves to counterbalance all the cheeriness in the first four illustrations above it. Bah humbug.

I've more to say about what I've learned and am learning about illustration, but that's the beginning, and enough if not too much for now. Good evening, and goodnight.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Karleigh Hits 200

My wife Karleigh creates handmade books. Journals, photo albums, notebooks, sketchbooks, guest sign-in books, and so on. You can catch another glimpse of her work in the sidebar, or visit her shop by clicking here.

In less than six months she reached her second 100 sales at The first 1oo took about a year. She rocks.

In addition to selling her books, she sells lambskin leather, the same stuff she uses on her hard bound, leather bound books. It's soft and supple and sells at a price much cheaper than you can likely find anywhere else. She buys in bulk to lower her per hide cost, and then sells the extras at a low price for a quicker sale. People have bought her leather for bookbinding, purse making, and clothing. For those interested, you can see her current color choices in her shop, or make a request for the color you're looking for.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

White Mamba

It wasn't my doing. I was dubbed. There's the Black Mamba, and now there is me. White Mamba. Okay, okay, okay, let's put this in perspective. Three games of two-on-two. Me and my early twenties brother, against our late fifties Pop and our mid thirties bro. Hey, that's the way the free throws fell when we shot for teams. Although Pops can still compete, he started out tired, and our older bro has been training for marathons, not for leaping, cutting, picking, in your face two-on-two basketball. He's got all the stamina in the world, but he felt like he had no quick, no hops (not to mention no shot). Me? I had my way. Driving, shooting, rise up over the screen and put it in the cup from twenty. That's the way it goes. I don't touch a ball for months, and then the first game back, I got a sweet shot like no other. If I play again within the week, look out, bricks be fallin' from the sky. That's just the way it is.

After three games of two-on-two, same teams each game, it was 3-0. White Mamba. Pops bailed, and the three of us played three games of twenty-one. Would you believe I ended the night 6-0? White Mamba. Cutting, driving, corner threes, reverse left-handed layups. Fall away jumpers. Even a few Magic over the Celts baby hooks. White Mamba. I haven't done much of anything athletics-wise since Vegas, so by endgame, my legs were like jelly. Doesn't get better than this.

Another bro is coming tonight. Gonna play again. Watch your head. Bricks be fallin' from the sky.

Second night recap: White Brickamba

Friday, June 5, 2009

Conversations with a two-year-old: Teasing Mom

[Earlier in the day, Jadon had been playing with the dog, Rizzo. Jadon came inside crying after he got bumped on his head as they played together.]

[Later in the day, on the back porch, eating lunch]
Jadon: It cold.
Karleigh: Yeah, It's cold from the wind. I have goosebumps. You have goosebumps too.
Jadon: I have bump.
Karleigh: Where's your bump?
Jadon: Forehead. I got hurt.
Karleigh: How did you get hurt?
Jadon: Rizzo. Tail. Bum piece wood.
Karleigh: [laughing] Rizzo's tail is not a piece of wood.
Jadon: Tail hurt. Piece wood on bum.

[Two minutes later...]
Jadon: [points to his bum] "I have bum." [He laughs] "I tease mom."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I love my Lotto Primatos

About two years ago my cleats died after a long, action packed life. One of the cleats broke off during an intense game of ultimate (frisbee). I lost the cleat on the same play I lost my lunch, having sprinted the length of the field twice, on back to back plays, at the end of a long point. But you don't want to hear about that (and neither do I since I was scored on to boot). I was bummed, but it was the best thing that could have happened to my feet. The old cleats had probably been best retired much sooner, but I tend to wear things into the ground, even when I shouldn't necessarily do so, such as with athletic footwear. The old cleats were Adidas brand, and I had a high opinion of them, so expected I might replace them with the same.

I lived in a small town with few store options. Nothing I could find was suitable. So I turned to the internet and three different stores that rock when it comes to shipping and returns:

If I was looking for cleats today, I'd add another store to my shopping list, one owned by

Free shipping, free returns

What's great about these stores is that I was able to buy a half dozen shoes, try them on, then return what I didn't select without paying shipping, not even return shipping. Sweet deal.

What I tried

In looking to buy, I researched a great deal, as I tend to do, but can now only remember two of the boots I tried but did not end up choosing:

  • Adidas Predator (I forget which iteration of this model) - These were stiff, kinda plasticky feeling, and the toe didn't fit right. A soccer cleat should fit to the toe, and this left too much space in it's pointy end.
  • Adidas Copa Mundial - Nice fit and feel, but just couldn't justify the $100 tag. In the end, the Lottos I bought had a similar feel, but at a better price. In fact, I think I liked the Lotto's sole/cleats much better.
What I bought
Lotto Primato. I love, love, (love) these cleats. Instantly comfortable fit. Light weight. Clean, classic styling. And I almost never slipped on dry or damp ground. They just bite into the turf. In about thirty games, and three times as many practices and scrimmages, I've gone down to the ground due to slipping only two or three times while wearing my Lottos. They work equally well on grass or artificial turf (the new stuff that looks like grass with rubber bits that fly in the air when you cut hard).

About Fit
A soccer cleat is designed to fit to the toe. The shoe conforms to your foot, and you shouldn't have any excess room at the tip. Because of this, as you wear them they leave the foot looking much smaller than you may be used to them looking. With my Lottos I came to realize how much excess room there was in my old cleats. With my old boots, my toes tended to drag too frequently, but with a proper fitting cleat I felt much quicker just by reducing this unnecessary toe room. These fit true to size. I bought a size ten, which is the size I usually wear.

Lotto Primatos come in black or white.

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