Darting out from behind a tree, the marksman sidles up behind a barrel before swiftly aiming his Tippmann 98 marker at an unsuspecting opponent crouched beside a stack of firewood. Such are the tactics that Go Big Paintball referees—themselves dedicated paintballers—witness at each bout on the outdoor field. The refs distribute players of all skill sets and experience levels between two teams before sending them off to fire 100% biodegradable paint at one another across more than 21 acres. Between rounds, the indoor facility facilitates reenergizing with air fills and concessions. Go Big also hosts birthday parties and puts together customized packages for groups that want a little more time or ammunition during their adventures.
The ninth-annual Great Kitchen and Bath Tour wends its way through the custom cabinets and countertops of 12 Puget Sound residences, including a modern bathroom designed by Richard Pope & Dawn Ryan of Creative Kitchen + Bath and a remodeled kitchen created by Denny Conner. As ticket-holders arrive at each stop, they can browse glazed-tile backsplashes, run fingers along beveled countertops, admire brushed-nickel spigots, and check medicine cabinets for Flintstones vitamins before traipsing to the next location.
Bisqueware-lined walls and buckets of bright paint await sparks of creativity to bring them into full-colour radiance. At Vikki's Clay Art Studio, artists first select an unfinished piece of pottery or a fused glass project-in-potentia, and then set to work with provided tools, patterns, stencils, and glazes to create their own unique piece. Expert supervision is always on hand as guests decorate pots or piece together cut glass under expert supervision. Once finished, the pieces disappear into the studio's kiln and emerge ready for pickup after about a week. Private parties let crafters socialize over glass or bisque art while testing out ideas for a set of risqué tea saucers on pals first.
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Big Dog Little Dog Bakery concocts artfully decorated dog treats from all-natural ingredients free of preservatives and artificial colouring. Pooch palates will dribble in Pavlovian anticipation at the sight of doggie delicacies such as crunchy liver slivers ($6.99 for 200 g bag) and luscious peanut-butter hearts ($1.99 each). Give a wet-nosed companion the greatest gift since that plate of chicken vesuvio fell on the carpet with a mini luv-ya cake ($5.99), available in peanut butter and honey, scrumptious liver, or wheat-free pumpkin maple. Customers who come for the sweets can stay for the swag, which includes a selection of collars, pet clothing, and accessories such as rhinestone-studded brandy barrels for saint bernards.
Back in 1970, a young Michael Moster was inspired to buy his first camera and create his own darkroom after visiting a friend's, where he watched fascinating black-and-white images appear on blank photo paper. Seven years later, he went into the photography business full time. Moster developed a knack for capturing candid moments, and for making clients laugh. In 1994, he moved his business, Michael's Fine Photography, to a new studio on five acres in South Langley. Moster has received numerous awards for his work, such as the title "Master Of Photographic Arts" along with a Fellowship and Honourable Life Member status from the Professional Photographers of Canada—British Columbia; he also spent many years on the association's board of directors.
As photography went digital, Moster embraced these changes, becoming an expert in Photoshop and digital photo manipulation. These skills allow him to remove distracting background images from photographs, or perform “photographic surgery” on his clients themselves—delighting clients by taking years off their faces and delighting surrealists by swapping their heads with dinosaur skulls.