Crafts Fair in Houston TX and other news

Okay – a few notes.  One is that after a great deal of frustration I’ve gotten my PC working again.  I backed everything up and then it went from bad to worse, from ‘blue screen of death’ to ‘black screen of death’ in which I could not even reach the command line.  Fortunately I found a way to get back to BSOD, then from there I wiped the C: drive and reinstalled Windows, followed by copying the backed up data back onto the C drive.

The day or two after that?  Mostly spent reinstalling a long list of utilities and software packages.   Then and only then, could I resume work on a range of projects that had been unfortunately on hold while the computer was screwed up.  This has been a huge hassle and I’d like to replace the aging video card as I’ve long suspected it as the root of my PC issues.  I know what other better cards are compatible with my desktop, and I am planning to get a replacement, as soon as I’m able to factor it into my budget.  To that end:

I’ll be attending a crafts fair at 5700 Lawndale, Houston, TX, this Saturday April 22nd from 9 am to 3 pm.  This is the Redeemer Lutheran church buiilding and they’re hosting the event and organizing it, plus some Redeemer Episcopal and Missio Dei Houston members are also involved and participating.  

Anyone who wants to meet me there can do so, I’ll have a booth and will be selling handmade art and will also have some great freebies available.  Some of those free items may run out quickly so it’s advised to show up on the early side of the event, ideally during the first hour or two.

There’s a massive crafts fair there, plus garage/yard sale and bake sale, bbq, etc.  It’s basically one of those huge fundraising deals, which I’ve attended in the past.  The booth fees are $25, which gets you an 8 foot table, although it may be too late for anyone else to sign up now.

The vendors keep whatever’s raised, generally, and I am hoping to sell a few handcrafted artworks at this event.  I will also have some other stuff like stickers, pencils, prints, push pin buttons, and DVDs/BluRays which are going to go fast it looks like.  I’m still agreeing to hand them out for free on a ‘pay what you want’ basis.  My dad says they should cost $20 but I’m fine with just handing them out.

Church of the Redeemer DVDs
DVDs of closing services for Church of the Redeemer Episcopal Houston

Those are mainly of interest to people who have been a part of the Redeemer Episcopal community, but the handmade stuff has much broader appeal.

I have sold a set (triptych) of three artworks at one of these old events, at a price of $90, which was later appraised at $150 by an art dealer.  You might find similar bargains here; many items will be marked 15% lower than on Etsy, given the local nature of the event and the fact that they won’t need to be shipped, so shipping isn’t built into the pricing.

What is?  Well, materials, plus a rate of about $3 per hour for my creative work on each item.  Some items are a bit more if new, or less if old.

Worth a look for anyone in the Houston area.


April 10-15, 2017 – the big updates

Why is next Monday, April 10 – and every Monday after that for the next 15 weeks – going to be epic?  Here’s why:

  1. Comics.  New T4 content – the Troop 4 Uncensored, pt 4 comic book [divided into 10-12 parts] -and the first portions of Another Road Taken, which have been delayed way, way too long, will be posted during this span.  Not that anyone has complained.  Most of you either don’t know what I’m even referring to – or do know but have been really patient with me.
  2. Game news.  Spiral Skies sees actual up-to-date media content [new stuff to see on a new website specifically chosen for the project – – posted on one of these Mondays.  This is something that actually has gotten a bit of response which is great… though at this time nothing is visible on the new domain, just on
  3. The video channel.  It’ll be on I’ve put some substantial effort into this launch but my friends/actors mostly have yet to sign a digital document I sent them, which, in effect, stalls almost every video I really strongly want online from actually being placed online.  When they ask about the videos not being online, I turn the question around and ask them why they have been unwilling to sign the documents I sent them.  I tell them that THEY are holding back said releases.  Most of them seem genuinely surprised by this.  Perhaps once I am pulling in thousands of viewers these holdouts will actually notice, and respond to, the messages I sent.
  4.  More artworks on Etsy in the lead up to the mid-April launches.  This is the only way that some of the launch content can actually [realistically] materialize faster.  If you audience members like the items I list on Etsy then buy them, knowing that those sales [if made in the next few weeks] will finance completion of more videos, etc.  So once again, please take a look at my Etsy shop.

Here are the different videos [definitely] making it online in the next 15 weeks.  Longer projects are often split into multiple webisodes and I currently estimate between 24 and 36 videos being on the channel by the last of the 15 weeks.   24 is the likely outcome if nobody signs off on the legal documents in the next few weeks.  36, potentially, if a bunch of the signatures are collected soon.


House Trek: The Original Series – this is a reworking of an old video series from 2001-2004 that had a very silly take on space travel, badly going where much better sci fi series had already been before.  The fifth episode, the longest one, is now a two parter, and there’s also a short new episode tacked on to the end of the series to bridge the gap between this and the upcoming House Trek: The Next Generation.

Storm – an old 2003 art video short depicting a rainstorm.

Storm 2 – new short video two-parter in which I find myself alone in the house unprepared during a severe hurricane.

Relativity  – Escheresque 2004 art video with cool [and recently somewhat reworked] imagery that messes with your perceptions.

Send in The Clones 1, remastered  The brief first [2001] video in the aging ‘Clones’ video series.

Creativity – 2005 art video short.

Awakening  – new eerie short video in which I find myself struggling with persistently trippy and creepy nightmares which affect my judgement and sanity even when I’m awake.

Refuge – new 3-episode sci-fi short with some freaky horror-ish surprises.  It’s the year 2202, Earth is a poisoned wasteland and the surviving humans have traveled to another world to keep going.  But now people are going missing at an alarming rate!

Sheol – psychological horror/mind bender.  Brand new short.  After an internet troll interrupts a video chat, and threatens to kill me, I wake up the next morning imprisoned in a horrific death trap.


“Matthew’s Portal” (2005) a classic family mind-bender with a fun and clever story.

“Send in The Clones 2” (2002) My clones rapidly transition from laziness to rebellion.

“Duel 2030” – Recorded in 2007-2008, it’s a dark post-apocalyptic action mini-epic.

“Snow Siege” – The first of the videos I recorded with my cousins, in 2003.  A kid-friendly holiday classic.

“Tinyville Disaster” (2003) – A classic comedy made with stop-motion animation.

“Fortress Siege” – a 2009 medieval comedy that is equal parts visually impressive and wackily absurd.



Another Etsy item listed!

This 18″ x 24″ gouache original handmade artwork is now available on Etsy for $40 with free shipping within the USA and $0.99 shipping everywhere else.

A fantastic bargain!  The Etsy listing is right here.

Winter Landscape
Snowy winter landscape.

In other news:

-It looks like the Vineyard video production group may be postponed to September (assuming the church approves it)

-Ongoing revisions to the Still Art page to include new artworks as they’re finished.

-New content heading to the stock media section around end of March 2017, among other unique and exciting products soon to be posted.

Launching new items on Etsy & ArtFire this week

If you’re at all interested, over the next week I am about to start posting a batch of new listings on Etsy and ArtFire.  Just FYI, there have been a number of people with bad experiences selling & buying on these platforms, so if something goes wrong and, for example, one of these shops runs into a glitch or the shop suddenly shuts down for no good reason, just know it’s the platform’s decision and their screw-up, not mine.  I’ll do my best to handle my shops here with integrity but realistically there are some things I cannot control, like the other sellers [who may cheat you in some cases, or sell shoddy knock-off items that are mass produced in China and not really artful or ‘handmade’] and the decisions of the venue owners.  So be careful to buy carefully from vendors within these markets who you know have some sort of good track record – either positive ratings right there or elsewhere.   In my case?  I do not yet have a clear track record on these shops but I DO HAVE A SOLID 170+ RATINGS ON eBay.  And they’re all positive, 100% of them.

You should expect similar outcomes on my other shops, great items, inexpensively priced, with good customer service.  And if I do somehow screw up, and overlook something, I’ll do what I can to rectify the mistake.  This – delays in shipping or other screw-ups – can happen once in a while due not to malicious intent but simply because I am busy with many customers and things occasionally fall through the cracks.

I have actually been rated negatively on eBay a handful of times but in each case I managed to resolve the complaints involved.  I ended up refunding the sale amount, apologizing profusely for the late/damaged item which had trouble in the shipping process… or in one case an item was not quite what the customer was looking for visually.  All of these were issues I did try my best to resolve and on these rare occasions, the customers ended up retracting their negative ratings of my shop, usually replacing them with positive ones.   The same willingness to exceed customer expectations, and resolve problems even if it means I lose money on the sale, will apply on every shop I run, whether it’s Etsy or ArtFire or eBay or my own shop here on this website.

Triumphant Artists eBay shop Shop

Triumphant Artists Etsy Shop

Triumphant Artists ArtFire Shop

I am also aiming to post new stuff on my own shop the week after that. This should include some really cool things that I’ve put a ton of work into.  Watch for that.  Oh – and by the way – there are a couple of amazing eBay auction this week too and they end in a couple of days.

They’re for custom made to order art and the opening bids are under $3 on both listings.  You might want to jump in on that!

UPDATE: eBay auctions relisted and the first of the new art items has been posted on Etsy.

Fantasy beach landscape with colored pebbles
Fantasy beach landscape/seascape with colored pebbles.

New VFX stock footage .GIFs!

All of the video archives in the ‘Stock Footage’ section of, now have little .GIF previews so you can see what you’re downloading before downloading it.

Here are some great examples of this, in the ‘pyrotechnic’ category:


HD pyrotechnic stock footage

All of this is free and royalty-free and you can use it in your own video projects.  Please, however, don’t try to sell the content or pass it off as your own work.  You can, however, redistribute it for free by sharing links to  Okay?

I have ordered a video camera capable of recording 720p HD video at 120fps.  That is, when played back at 30 fps, it’s 1/4 speed, slow motion footage.  So the blasts of fire and sparks will look HUGE but they’re really quite small – the nature of high-speed video means that at this framerate everything should move as if it were 16x larger.

The collection will be a modest batch of ‘zero-gravity’ pyrotechnics elements for all your indie sci-fi blockbusters.  These are also great for exploding aircraft shots and other explosions that are in the air.

I’m shooting these essentially the same way Hollywood would, but with somewhat cheaper supplies on a smaller scale, and no salary involved.

There’s a little remotely triggered bundle of explosive material, ignited electrically from a switch & radio setup – when the switch is flipped, the radio signal activates an electrical charge and that ignites/blows apart the rest of the materials like coffee creamer, debris chunks, etc.  The whole explosive rig is hanging beneath a fireproof black backdrop [Duvetyne cloth] and the surrounding area is sprayed in advance with Fire Gard, a fireproofing liquid, to minimize risk of other things catching on fire.  I’ll also have two fire extinguishers on hand, and three containers of water, two of them with spray nozzles, one is basically a large bucket.

I’ll be triggering this from a safe distance wearing a protective mask/goggles.  I’ve read up on relevant precautions and will do this as safely as I am able.

The ‘zero gravity’ recording will be captured with an HD camera and telephoto lens; these won’t be under the explosion for obvious reasons, so I’ll be using an acrylic reflecting surface [like a big cheapo mirror] positioned at a 45-degree angle directly under the blast, with the camera viewing and recording the reflection of the explosion off the surface.

I’ve plugged in the physics numbers for the sequences and can say fairly confidently that the main portion of each fire burst effect will last about 2.5-3.6 seconds when played back at 30fps.  Maybe some drifting smoke and haze after that but not much else.  There may be about seven or eight of them in all.  They’re, as I’ve said, small effects by necessity, but the high speed photography will help with that.

This recording effort may occur within 2-3 months, and other supplemental effects for a few of my video projects, a few months after that.  If the idea of highly affordable pyrotechnic and other useful video effects elements at under $1 per clip, sounds great, then by all means keep an eye on the stock media page.


Recapping the recent events of February 2017, just the last month, to remind everyone that despite appearances, a lot of updates do actually happen on my web network if you keep looking:

-eBay auctions with low starting bids continue.  Look at these three in particular, especially the top two as they’ve gotten relatively few views so far compared to the third but are nonetheless impressive value:

Pastel Pencil art, 16×20 inches, starting at $1.99

Oil pastel art, 18×24 inches, starting at $2.49

Acrylic Painting, 18 x 24 inches, starting at $2.99

-The new batch of polls continue to go largely ignored by website visitors.  I’ve gotten *hundreds* of visitors to my websites in the past week, over 700 actually, but the polling page seems to be a bit hard for them to find for whatever reason.  It’s a shame, too, given the amazing opportunity for the few who actually take a look at that page.

The polling page.

-Membership options just launched.  There are some stupendous perks to being a subscriber and signing up for a Premium Membership status here.

The most obvious is free shipping while a member and 15% or more off all store items.  You could get some great bargains on handmade art doing that right now.  $4.99/year for 15% or more off everything, and a list of other extras.  Really reasonable.

Membership benefits

-The VFX section of Articles were just recently posted.  There are four new articles on, and they are all in that category.

VFX and 3D art-icles

-Still Art section has a few new images and is now sortable.  You can now view the artworks I’ve made, organized by year, art medium, or size.

Still Art Page – now sortable!

-Ground work laid for some big stuff updated in the next 30 days.  As in, major news related to ‘Spiral Skies’, release of House Trek content, and a new batch of HD stock footage, as well as more comics stuff, finally a new vlog entry, and continued expansion of the articles section with even more valuable information.  There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes and it’ll be publically revealed over time.

-That goofball auction of five hours of my time.  Nobody bid, but I am not really surprised given the brevity of the auction.  It was kind of an experiment and it failed.  Time to move on.  Maybe I’ll try that idea again later on with a longer build up beforehand.

-The Vineyard Video Leisure Group is now moving closer to fruition.  I posted a teaser image for it just this evening.  [See previous post]


You can show your support for my work by becoming a paid member, for a really low price.

You’ll find it’s actually a very impressive bargain given that all the products on the shop are 18% off or more for members, with free shipping also.

Take a look here.

I know, I know, the auction thing I tried last week didn’t go well.  I figured it was worth a shot.  Maybe I’ll try it again in a month and see if anyone is interested then.  A lot of ideas have been suggested to move my creative work forward – and most of them have been underwhelming.  Ad revenue?  Less than $2 per month at best, even with a few thousand regular visitors, so not a viable option.   Art sales work great, on eBay, but that fluctuates wildly and eBay’s fees aren’t great.  The subscription option I’m opening up for you here right now, plus the poll I mentioned earlier, seems like a good way to smooth that out – encouraging people to buy on the shop instead of eBay, by giving everyone great deals.  It’s worth a shot and I’m optimistic about how it’ll end up playing out.

The unconventional work auction commences, and will run until midnight on the 23rd.

I’ve offered the winner of the auction I just posted, a chance to redirect five hours of my time on the morning of Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, to the project of their choice.

So this is a chance to ‘put your money where your mouth is’.

If you voted in the poll (see previous post) and you felt strongly about a particular project, you can get me to commit five hours of work to it this Friday for as little as $0.01.  (Seriously, the opening bid is actually a penny, for five hours of my time.)

You do not want to ignore this!

My morning of Friday, Feb. 24, 2017

Auction Image

My first five hours of personal work on Friday, February 24th, are on sale, and the winning bidder may choose what project I commit them to.

It has occurred to me that I not only have $7500 in funding to raise between all my unique projects, and that it'd take 3 1/2 years to fund them all at the current rate, but that I have an additional issue of time as a limited resource.

Think about your favorite highly anticipated project you've been waiting forever for me to finish.  The one that you probably ranked a '10' in my poll on Triumphant  You've seen that sit mostly on the backburner for months or years and want it done faster.  Now you can toss a few pennies in the ring as a bidder, and say, for example, for $0.01 (one freaking penny!) I could convince Matthew to put five more hours of work into the specific project I am actually excited about.

So you may have been waiting forever for 'Isola' to actually be done.  I hear you on that.  So you place a penny towards that.

But then, someone else wants to push for 'Vivid Minigolf', for example, and raises the bid to two cents.  And on and on it goes.  Some of you want me working heavily on other things altogether, maybe a particular video project, or what have you.  It could even turn into a small scale bidding war!

So the former scouts from Troop 4 who want me focused on the T4 comics and videos, might face off against the Missio Dei/Redeemer people who want me to resume work on the virtual tour of the old church which is now being sold off, and they in turn might face off against adventure gamers hoping for 'Panoramic Worlds' or a certain fangame, or fan-created world, versus some friends who want a movie like 'Eutopia' improved, and even they could get pitted against the family members who want '1999' done right NOW.

Heck, if the bidding goes above $4.95, or $0.99/hour, at that point I'll even open this up to a roster of tasks that are your project, not really at all mine* which might include:

-graphics elements for your web page

-a video vfx shot or two for your video project.

-photo editing of some pictures you want modified

-an online meetup, over an online voice/video chat, to discuss a topic that you want help with or are interested in.  (tutoring, interviews, whatever.)

-a 3D model for a game you're developing.

-general-purpose video editing and audio editing/clean up.

-editing passes on a written story/work/article offering proofreading and feedback.

-roughly a few seconds of cartoon animation or about a page of comic/graphic novel content based on your ideas.

and pretty much anything else creative work wise, that uses the 5 hours of time but does not use up physical materials [that] would cost me money.

IF THIS GENERATES ANY REASONABLE BURST OF BIDDING ACTIVITY, I WILL DO THIS AGAIN ONCE A WEEK.  If that occurs, it could amount to 20 hours sold a month, or 100 hours in the next five months, enough to make a major dent in even the biggest projects, assuming the same person keeps winning the auctions most of the time.

Note that you will be asked to - upon winning - pay the auction end amount using PayPal.

Starting at $0.01

Refresh Current Bid

  • Ending Date - 23rd Feb 2017 18:00:00
  • Ships to - nowhere - no shipping
  • Location - Houston, TX

Auction closed

Current bids
    Payment Details

    Payment must be made using the following method

    PayPalAuction winner will get a PayPal payment link via email.

    The first videos on Triumphant…

    Date the below entry was originally posted – June 25, 2016.  If you don’t know why the old copy was lost, check this post:  Website Port and SSL upgrade completed


    House Trek old sci-fi videos, House Trek, remastered.

    To be clear – the closest this comes to a fan film is the word ‘Trek’ and the fact that it’s in outer space. While I drew inspiration from a certain TV show, there is a major effort in the online release to avoid anything remotely resembling copyright infringement. I’m also often asked if Chris Van Allsburg’s work inspired this silliness. No, no it didn’t. This was inspired by my love of sci-fi as a young teen and I thinkthe reason I shot the videos inside my home was because I had no budget for a sci-fi set and I couldn’t really drive anywhere else. (Like the original ‘Send in the Clones’, It’s all in my house and I’m the only actor because my sisters wouldn’t be caught dead in my early videos, and nobody else wanted to be in them either.) So part of the goofball charm of the old videos is the way I childishly disregard science with sounds in space, no spacesuit on spacewalks, no obvious visible source of propulsion, and of course I’m using old computers from the early 2000s as my navigation system, and wearing sweatpants and walking around barefoot. It’s incredibly dumb and the fact that I’m redoing about half the VFX and almost all the audio doesn’t change that.

    So this blog entry is the start of a series of occasional blog entries about my adventures in indie video production. The first three House Trek videos and Send in The Clones 1, were all made in 2001, shot on crappy tape-based camcorders, and marked the start of my infamy as a video/vfx nut. Back then I was using Bryce 3d and AlamDV2 as my VFX tools. Now I use Lightwave & After Effects, among other high-end programs, and can do far better work. So for online release I’m enhancing or replacing over 60 VFX shots in the six House Trek videos, creating a 9-second intro title sequence that kicks off each video, and restructuring the audio completely. The stock audio is the main cost here. I used some sci-fi movie soundtracks originally but clearly I can’t license any of that for online release without getting sued so I’ve swapped out all the music.

    The new stuff is actually pretty good and licensing the stock music/SFX I needed was only around $30. Obviously this is only a tiny piece of a very long list of 80-odd videos made in the past 15 years so the process of getting them all recut, or as Minhthien says, “George Lucas-ing them” will cost hundreds of dollars. That doesn’t even consider the cost of the new video projects (which include a follow-up to this old series, “House Trek: The Next Generation”) or my video game projects.

    It also doesn’t consider the time involved. I wish this blog were a huge hit, and the shop too, because then I’d be able to finish all the stuff I’d like to finish. There have been a hundred or so viewers here since I launched it just 3 days ago, which is great, but I would like to see this go even bigger. I want this blog to go viral, but it won’t happen without great content, and the great content won’t happen at a fast enough pace without an audience of roughly 12,000 regular viewers to support it, and what I have is a rotating batch of maybe 5000 regular viewers, who get bored and drift away as fast as new ones arrive. So we’re kind of stuck here in a slow-moving rut. I’m hopeful that things will improve, though, after the release of Spiral Skies. Which, sadly, is taking far longer than I’d like.

    Shop details

    Date the below entry was originally posted – June 21, 2016.  If you don’t know why the old copy was lost, check this post:  Website Port and SSL upgrade completed


    The price of items on the shop here will be based on the eBay ‘Buy it Now’ pricing, with typically only a slight 1-4% reduction in price per item. That’s not thrilling in itself.

    The good news is there are a ton of additional discounts planned – discounts for repeat customers, aka loyalty rewards, and also if you refer friends to the blog, there’s a discount. If there’s a sale going on, then there’s another discount on top of that. You’ll even be able to join our affiliate program, which means if you refer somebody to the shop, and they buy something, you get a small percentage of the sale amount!

    Basically, I will want the people who are fans of my work – the content on,, etc, to spread the word about this shop because if it takes off I could potentially raise a lot of cash – enough to finish a long list of lingering projects that I really want to complete.


    The first sale on the shop will be an opening ten-day sale – from June 22 to July 2. There’ll also be a one-day sale on July 4th on a few items, but the broader sale will be in the initial ten day timeframe.


    -Local event services. If you want some sort of service in the Houston, TX area, especially near the 77023 zip code, such as videography of a special event, mural/wall/large surface painting, or group events/workshops, I will make some of those services available through the shop.

    -Unique miniatures in N scale. Got a special place in mind that you want recreated in miniature? I can actually craft a miniature replica of a special location chosen by you. You might want your home recreated in miniature, or some other local building there is no premade kit for. The item can be sent ‘as is’ on a flat surface, for integration into a model railroad layout, or it can be placed in a display case with a painted backdrop, or it can be embedded in a snowglobe! Pricing and other details will be viewable on the shop before too long.  The miniature category will also include a lot of premade designs to choose from.

    -DVDs and Blu Rays with either video content or interactive media/games… found nowhere else and made by me!

    -Prints of handmade art I’ve designed, i.e. posters and postcards and other similar items.