boys and their toys

boys and their toys

In Fifty Shades Darker, Ana gave Christian several gifts on his birthday. Some were life-changing, some were naughty (and fun!) and some were sweet. I decided to create an illo showing the moment when Christian thanks Ana for the gift that belongs in the latter category. ;)

Most would not think that the solar powered toy helicopter would not be at all appropriate for a man like Christian Grey. But of course, only Ana would know they would be wrong. The seemingly simplistic toy not only represented his very own Charlie Tango, but also incorporated green power–of which Christian had great interest.

Not that she was completely confident giving him the gift. In fact she hesitated just moments before presenting it to him, taking into consideration recent events. Ana just wasn’t certain it was too soon and could upset him. But fortunately she went ahead and gave him the gift anyway, and he could not have been happier. This made her both relieved and excited at the same time. Instead of looking at what could have been, Christian was delighted and intrigued with the toy.

The birthday gift could also be thought to have a somewhat symbolic meaning as well. The last time Ana had given Christian a gift that represented one of the expensive toys he enjoyed, it was the model kit for a glider like the one they had flown in Georgia when they ‘chased the dawn.’ But he received that during a time that they would probably both like to forget ever happened. It marked a time when it felt as if an end was inevitable.

But this time, the gift of the toy helicopter came at a time of new beginnings. Not only due to their recent engagement, but also after Christian’s close call. It was a sort of symbol of optimism for the future and marked a new start for the both of them and a life together.




category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration

what’s for dinner?

what's for dinner

As I was reading Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, I was pleasantly surprised to discover lots of humor sprinkled throughout the book. Often it’s quite subtle, sometimes it occurs in dialogue between characters, but in one particular scene it slowly unfolds as a sequence of events after a simple question is asked. I couldn’t resist trying to recreate the scene in an illo!

It all starts out innocently enough in Gabriel’s kitchen. His sister, Rachel, is in town visiting and has decided to treat both her brother and Julia to a home-cooked meal. But when asked what’s she’s preparing, her answer sets into motion quite an interesting chain of events! ;)

What unfolds next was almost like a Rube Goldberg contraption the way each reaction caused another (and more explosive) reaction! It was no surprise that part of the menu selection would provoke more than a casual response from Rachel’s dinner companions, but unfortunately for Julia, she was caught quite off-guard. Already trying her best to avoid triggering any more wrath from Gabriel, the mention of a simple side dish destroyed all hopes for an uneventful evening.

It was also unfortunate for Gabriel, since he had just changed into one of his favorite crisp, white (and of course expensive) dress shirts. But to be honest, he deserved the dousing and was in need of a cooling off! Just prior to Julia’s refreshing spritz, he had giddily anticipated–then enjoyed–closely watching Julia expertly savor her first taste of his special vintage Chianti from Tuscany. Perhaps he enjoyed it a little too much…as Julia noted to herself. ;) So even though it was unintentional, Julia put out the fire she had innocently just started!

But, Gabriel’s reaction to the events was not funny at all, and instead stoked an entirely different fire in him. Once again he manages to upset poor Julia. However, this time he realized what he had done and tried to make amends. This treated Julia to a much more pleasant interaction with him, and allowed her to experience his much gentler and compassionate side.



category: Gabriel's Inferno Trilogy, illustration

adventures at sea

adventures at sea

After an unplanned and hastily arranged stay at the Fairmont Olympic in Fifty Shades Darker, Christian later surprises Ana with outing on his catamaran–The Grace. While setting sail, he gives her a tour…and they just happen to find themselves spending a bit more time exploring the master cabin. ;) I thought I’d attempt an illo during a moment when both of them are enjoying the luxe surroundings while at sea.

A quite tumultuous few hours had taken place for the both of them. But now that they were sailing the waters of Puget Sound, things were calmer and allowed them to reflect a bit on a variety of developments and discoveries. Not only about events but about each other as well.

Emotional declarations and discoveries made by Christian and Ana gave them more strength and bravery in their intimacy and their relationship in general. At one point, both of them even noted it to the other while in the midst of enjoying the plush master cabin. ;) Their individual strengths had actually helped the other with weaknesses they were experiencing in their interactions with one another.

It’s no doubt that Christian’s traumatic childhood led to his very guarded emotional state. While Ana is quite open emotionally and has no problem expressing her thoughts, opinions and feelings. At first he most likely found it intriguing, since he had never encountered a potential partner that behaved this way. But as he became more attached to Ana, nearly lost her, then reunited with her–clear communication became of utmost importance to prevent another misunderstanding having the potential to tear them apart. So, Christian mustered the strength to open up to Ana more and more about his past. He seemed to allow himself to feel more emotions due to his feelings for Ana and became less guarded and more gentle and tender. It was no longer just a ‘session’ with a sub, as it was in the past.

Whether it being with any of his partners in the past or with Ana, Christian never had problems showing physical intimacy. However, Ana’s inexperience made her much less forthcoming in that department. The confidence and knowledge Christian displayed also quite unnerved her, which caused her to be even more timid. But as Christian became more emotionally available to her and she learned more about him, it gave her more confidence. She better understood him and the reasons for his reactions in certain situations. So she became less intimidated by Christian’s occasional unpredictability and mercurial nature. This allowed her to show more boldness about what she wanted when being intimate with Christian, and at times even taking control of the situation. (although it excites Christian so much that it often led to him taking over from there) ;)

Their moment shared together while on board The Grace was yet another instance showing the progression of their relationship, and how much each was learning from the other.

But this isn’t the only time that Christian and Ana find themselves at sea. In their further adventures, things get a bit interesting in a variety of ways…and turns out to be a very interesting voyage for them both. ;)



category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration

fifty shades of grey exclusive blu-ray editions

In anticipation of the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Fifty Shades of Grey, I was fortunate enough to receive several #OfficialFifty Gifts from Grey that would all help to make a movie night at home special. But what’s a movie night without the Feature Presentation?!

Well, #OfficialFifty and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment both made sure that this was taken care of as well…and in a big way! I received a special package that contained the different exclusive Blu-ray editions that Best Buy, Target and Walmart are each offering starting in the US on May 8, 2015!

After giving each of them a viewing and exploring all their extras, I thought I’d share what each has to offer:

Best Buy Exclusive Collectible Steelbook
Best Buy:
Exclusive Collectible Steelbook Packaging
This edition comes in a special collectible Steelbook packaging featuring the same graphic used in the first promotional movie poster. I have always loved tins of all sorts, so I really liked the look of this. I have to admit I have chosen to purchase steelbook packaging of other movies in the past… ;) It makes displaying your collection of movies a bit more special and as a bonus–protects its precious cargo!


Walmart Collectible Photo Book
Collectible Photo Book
The packaging of this edition is very unique! As you can see from the photos above, the case that holds the discs looks and feels just like a hardcover book! But that’s not where it ends…when you open the ‘front cover’ of the case, you will discover several ‘pages’ of stills from the movie. The pages consist of sturdy card stock, so no worries about accidentally ripping or damaging them. When I saw the description of this edition before release, I assumed it would be a small additional book packaged separately from the disc case. But I was pleasantly surprised by this packaging and how cleverly it tied the book origins to the movie adaptation.


Target 30 minute bonus disc Target:
Limited Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack with 30 minutes of exclusive bonus content

A bonus DVD comes with this edition and contains 30 minutes of extras! The disc is separated into five different menu items:

The Music of Fifty Shades of Grey:
Danny Elfman discusses how he went about scoring the film. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson also makes an appearance, and there are also some behind-the-scenes snippets.

Signing in Vancouver:
A short feature focusing on a book signing in Vancouver with comments by several fans and an appearance by EJ James!

Seeing Fifty Shades:
The stars of the film–Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan–reveal how they felt the first time they viewed the finished movie, while several behind-the-scenes snippets and clips from the film are shown.

Favorite Scenes:
This is probably my favorite from the bonus disc. It’s broken up into four sections where each of the stars, the director and EL James choose their favorite scene from the movie. Lots of behind-the-scenes footage help illustrate their choices.

Photo Gallery:
A montage of several stills from the movie.

But no matter which version you choose, all three include the Blu-ray Combo Pack which contains both the theatrical release on DVD and the unrated version with alternate ending on Blu-ray. In addition, there are hours of fun things to see and hear–such as interviews, behind the scenes segments, music videos, and other interesting extras.

Happy viewing! ;)




category: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty shades of grey official party kit

fifty shades of grey official party kit

Just received this Fifty Shades of Grey Official Party Kit from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and #OfficialFifty, and now I can share it with all of you too!

It’s a fun collection of photos and recipes to make your #FiftyShades viewing party complete!

To get your own copy, just download the PDF by clicking on the following link:

Get your Fifty Shades of Grey Official Party Kit Here!

But a viewing party is nothing without the feature presentation! So don’t forget that the Fifty Shades of Grey Unrated Edition with Alternate Ending will arrive in the US on Digital HD this Friday May 1, and on Blu-ray Friday May 8. If you’re outside the US you can see a list of International release dates here.

Enjoy! :D

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category: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty shades darker tease

fifty shades darker still

More news from #OfficialFifty! As you can see above, a new still has just been released…but this time it’s a new film still from a special Fifty Shades Darker tease that is available exclusively on the upcoming release of Fifty Shades of Grey DVD coming up Friday May 1 and on Blu-ray Friday May 8!

Fifty Shades Darker will be arriving in theaters in February 2017!

Not only that, but there is also have a new trailer in support of the #FiftyShades DVD release as well!

Enjoy! ;)



category: Fifty Shades of Grey

passion for printing

passion for printing

Through the kindness and thoughtfulness of Neda from the lovely @THESUBCLUBbooks, I was introduced to Ava and Max from The Work of Art Trilogy by Ruth Clampett. She felt that I would enjoy the series since it takes place within the art world. While that is true, I also enjoyed the locations used in the first book: Work of Art Book 1 – The Inspiration. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting several of the places mentioned, including what has to be my favorite bookstore on the planet, Hennessey + Ingalls!

I enjoyed all of the characters, but it was fun and interesting to follow the ever-changing dynamics between Ava and Max. Both of them possessed many facets to their personalities, but I really enjoyed how strong, driven, intelligent and skilled Ava was, even when she was feeling less than confident or confused. Whenever there were times when she was second-guessing herself or at a point of weakness, she may have been feeling it internally but did not easily let it show to others. But at the same time, she did not hesitate to seek advice from her close friends when needed as well.

But while Max also had a very strong personality and did not appreciate nor accept others attempting to dictate his actions, he was more than willing to allow Ava to teach him a thing or two. ;) One such instance occurred when Max asked Ava to show him how to screen print some of his artwork. I decided to attempt to illustrate a moment of weakness that overtook them both, when they let their guards down a bit… ;)

But beware: things are not always what they seem…and events can, and do change in an instant!



category: illustration

Fifty Shades DVD News

Fifty Shades DVD

click here to pre-order your DVD


Just received confirmed International release dates from #OfficialFifty! Check out the following list to see when the Fifty Shades of Grey DVD is available in your neck of the woods!

Australia, Russia


New Zealand


Benelux (Belgium Netherlands Luxembourg)

Mexico, Spain


France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland




Plus, there are lots of new Fifty Shades film clips and extras now on YouTube! Here are a couple of clips that you can see right now!


Ana Wakes Up In Hotel Room:

Finding a link:


The book:


But be sure to check out all 13 videos for your viewing pleasure:

Ana Wakes Up In Hotel Room:
Christian Show Ana Playroom:
Christian Surprises Ana:
Christian Turns The Table:
Extraordinary Success:
Finding A Link:
Luke Grimes:
Marcia Gay Harden:
Max Martini:
Sam Taylor Johnson:
Seamus McGarvey:
The Book:
Victor Rasuk:

The clips will give you just a taste of the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey Unrated Edition with Alternate Ending on Digital HD out in the US on Friday, May 1 & Blu-ray Friday, May 8.

Happy Viewing! :)



category: Fifty Shades of Grey

the same…but different

the same...but different A trip to an apple orchard is featured a couple of times in the first book of the Gabriel’s Inferno trilogy by Sylvain Reynard. But while it is the same grassy clearing that Julia and Gabriel had visited years before, it seemed different somehow, even though nothing had really changed…to their surroundings at least. I decided to attempt to capture a moment from their second visit in an illo!

On the occasion of their second clandestine visit to the orchard one cool November evening, Julia immediately noted to herself that it seemed much smaller and less impressive than the first time she had been there. Perhaps it was due to the fact that Julia was somewhat swept up in a fantasy of sorts. Somehow she had found herself alone with a very gentle and attentive Gabriel.

Actually, their first visit to the orchard together was somewhat removed from reality for both of them, albeit in their own separate ways. Julia was filled with excitement yet was somewhat anxious. It was almost as if she were in a dream. While Gabriel was extremely inebriated, so obviously his perceptions were quite clouded as he drifted in and out of lucidity. But both enjoyed their time together (even though only one of them would clearly remember the encounter after that night.)

However, on their second visit, it was almost as if the trip was made in order to duplicate the moment so that both of them would have the same pleasant memory of it together. While their surroundings didn’t seem as dazzling, the actual intimate moments shared by Julia and Gabriel was rooted in reality this time. So it still provided a magical feeling, even if the orchard did not.

The two of them were fortunate enough to relive a special moment from their past in a special way that evening. Unfortunately, another part of Julia’s past also emerges during her Thanksgiving visit back home. But while it may be quite unpleasant (to say the least!) it actually brings Julia and Gabriel even closer.




category: Gabriel's Inferno Trilogy, illustration

viewing valentines

viewing valentines

I thought I might try something a bit different for Valentine’s Day this year. Since it also coincides with the release with the much anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie, I thought I would create an illo imaging what Christian and Ana might be doing during the film’s opening weekend… ;)

Knowing Christian Grey, he would never bother going to a normal movie theater like everyone else. Instead, with his power and connections, he’d arrange to have a copy sent to Escala! Although we know he had an entertainment room (no, I don’t mean the Red Room) where he kept a television, I’m sure he would probably also have a state-of-the-art home theater as well!

Hmmm…I wonder which scene from the film they happen to be viewing? ;)

Happy Valentine’s Day!



category: Fifty Shades of Grey, illustration