Archive for August, 2009

It has arrived! Rejoice and be glad!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

When I went to Africa, I bought a beaded baobab tree, about two feet tall, which made it too large to carry home. A friend of my mom’s said that she would ship it back with a cargo shipment of hers, but it would take months to get here. And now it is here! I am so happy.

baobab1 baobab2

The guy who built it put in an extra wire piece in the inside of the trunk so I can turn it into a lamp. Giant glowing baobab! Hooray! I got it from the same store that had the GIGANTIC baobab lamp with flowers.

When I set up the cords and lampy bits, I will take a picture and we shall all enjoy the glowing beaded tree together.

Threadless. OMG, I love Threadless so much.

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Threadless is a t-shirt company that sells over the internet. It is, however, not like the other t-shirt companies one comes across in one’s travels on the internet. You, the graphic designer, come up with a cool idea. You submit it to them, and thousands of people vote if they like it or not. If it is well-received, Threadless gives you a monetary prize and then prints the shirt and sells it. It’s all community-involved. I own about twenty-five different shirts from them. Here are some of the more betterer ones:

extinct spoilt dog-homework

Here’s one based on The Cure song Friday I’m In Love:


And here’s one called Nice Boobies! (get it?):


They also do shirts with words, and sometimes they are very clever.

vague 623-tee_large 1515-tee_large 1046-tee_large

Even though I am a supporter of all things Threadless, I am by no means a hardcore fan. There are people out there who LURVE Threadless SO MUCH. I just found a guy who started Threadcakes, where people make cakes to look like their favorite Threadless designs. Some are technically very good, and some not so much so.


But some people took initiative, took the t-shirt designs and expanded on them instead of just copying them identically.

threadless-antcake threadless-devilcreamcake threadless-gluecake

So go check out Threadless.

Nude no more!

Japan is so very very special.

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

So this weekend was very meh. I did a bunch of stuff, none of it was particularly memorable or exciting. I saw a bunch of movies, they were all uninspiring, and I tried to draw a bird’s nest, but it didn’t turn out how I wanted it to. One movie I did see was Ponyo, the new Studio Ghibli film. Studio Ghibli does anime films, the two most famous of which are probably My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. The first Studio Ghibli film I saw was Princess Mononoke in 1997. It was my first anime film and when I saw it I was like, “What the huh? Nothing makes any freakin’ sense.” And when I spoke to other people, they all huffed and chuffed at me, I didn’t understand the finer nuances of this Japanese art, I needed to appreciate that they constructed stories differently then the way Westerners were accustomed, etc. So I tried to open my mind and embrace this anime thing, I really did, for a decade. After seeing Ponyo this past weekend I have come to the conclusion that the Japanese are just nuts and there is no plot line in the Studio Ghibli films and I quit. Recap of the story (big chunks pulled from Wikipedia):

The plot is centered on a fish girl who lives in an aquarium in her father’s underwater castle with numerous identical tinier versions of herself. Her father, who is human-ish, is some kind of sorcerer trying to keep the world in balance. When her father takes her and her tiny doppelgangers (let’s call them Ponyo’s sisters) on an outing in his four-flippered submarine, she is driven by a desire to see even more of the world and swims away. She ends up stranded on the shore of a small fishing town, and is rescued by Sosuke, a five year old boy who lives on a cliff by the sea. He cuts his finger and the fish-girl licks the blood. She also eats Sosuke’s ham out of his sandwich. Sosuke names her Ponyo and promises to protect her forever. Meanwhile, her father, Fujimoto, is looking for his daughter, upset that she ran away. He calls his wave spirits to return Ponyo to him. Ponyo and her father have a confrontation, where Ponyo refuses to let her father call her “Brünnhilde”. She declares her name to be Ponyo, and voices her desire to become human because she has started to fall in love with Sosuke. Since she has tasted human blood, she can now turn into a human. Her father silences her with difficulty and goes to summon Ponyo’s mother. Meanwhile, Ponyo, with the help of her sisters, breaks away from her father, and uses his secret magic golden fluid that he keeps under lock and key to make herself human. This causes her sisters to turn into giant blue fish made of water. They thrash around, making a huge storm that threatens to flood Sosuke’s fishing village. Running on the backs of the giant water-fish, Ponyo goes back to visit Sosuke. Lisa (Sosuke’s mother), Sosuke, and Ponyo stay the night at Sosuke’s house, hoping the storm will be over, whereupon Lisa leaves the house to check up on the residents of the nursing home where she works. Ponyo eats more ham.

Ponyo’s mother, Granmammare, who some kind of giant glowing sea goddess, arrives at Fujimoto’s submarine. Fujimoto notices the moon has come out of its orbit and the satellites are falling like shooting stars due to the imbalance of the world. Granmammare declares that if Sosuke and Ponyo pass a test, Ponyo can live as a human and the world order will be restored. Sosuke and Ponyo wake up to find that most of the land around where the house has been covered by the ocean. Lisa has not come home yet, so with the help of Ponyo’s magic, they make Sosuke’s toy boat life-size and set out to find Lisa. While traveling they see ancient extinct fish swimming, such as the Gogonasus and Licosus. They also encounter a baby in a canoe who is grumpy and who may or may not have a cold. Ponyo develops narcolepsy and falls asleep suddenly. After landing and finding Lisa’s empty car, Ponyo and Sosuke go through a tunnel. There Ponyo loses her human form and resumes the form of a fish. Sosuke and Ponyo are taken by Fujimoto into the ocean and down to the protected nursing home covered with a giant jellyfish dome, where they’re reunited with Lisa and meet Granmammare, both of whom had just had a long private conversation. Also, all the humans can breathe water in this dome and all the elderly wheelchair-ridden people in the nursing home can walk. Granmammare asks Sosuke if he can love Ponyo even if she is a fish or mermaid. Sosuke replies that he loves Ponyo in all forms. Granmammare then allows Ponyo to become human once Ponyo kisses Sosuke on the surface. Ponyo is placed in a bubble and everyone goes back to the surface, where Ponyo becomes a human. And most likely eats ham.

See? See what I mean? I’m not exaggerating any of that. Maybe it really all deep and meaningful, maybe it’s people ashamed to not understand Asian films and having a whole “emperor’s new clothes” thing, either way, I don’t care anymore. Frankly, the Japanese and I have been having a falling-out for a while now, this was just the final straw. The Japanese have given us such fine things as this:

origami 36100beginner momonga

But they have also given us this:

yamambas octopusicecream weird-japan-012

And let’s not forget the Japanese-invented genre of porn dedicated to schoolgirls getting raped by octopii and squid. So Japan and I are going to take a little time-out until they can stop this tomfoolery. I am going to a Japan street fair in a week and a half, hopefully my frustrations with that distant island will have ebbed by then.

Addendum: Here’s a review of Ponyo from someone who didn’t mind the non-linear not-based-in-any-reality-anywhere style. Just to give you a different perspective. Heads up: some expletives are used.

Wilhelm Staehle. He be so talented.

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

I love Wilhelm Staehle’s work. His work, well, it’s hard to describe. Ummm, he makes cartoons using antique paintings and the art of the silhouette to create witty pieces with a distinctive vintage feel. That’s pretty good. Here’s some of my favorites:

silmaser-thumb hibearbyebear 02singlestone 11uglybaby 05intervention

Ha ha! He is so very jovial! Here’s his website, where you can buy all his pieces framed. Framed! How marvelous! Because framing is a pain. So, yeah, they come framed! Hurrah!

Continuing with the “getting artsy things done” vein.

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

I’m trying to make a super-secret cool thing that I’ll tell you more about when it’s further along, but in the meantime I’d like to show you some drawings I made to “contribute” to the “secret” “thing” – a drawing of a pigeon (with the word ‘pigeon’ written to be printed on the back of said pigeon) and an artistic interpretation of a disease-resistant tree (with the word blah blah printed blah blah said tree). I think they turned out pretty great.

pigeon.jpg  tree.jpg

I have a few more elements to bang out, but as soon as I do I’ll tell you what I’m doing, because being all coy with the secrety-secretness is obnoxious. More to come.

Finally. The deep sea fish are scanned and done.

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Holy Moses, that took forever, didn’t it? I finally scanned in my deep-sea fish paintings and will be uploading them to my portfolio. I’ll be making prints of them as well and selling them in my forthcoming Etsy shop, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Making a dent in my pile of “to-do”s, it’s happening, slowly but surely.

deepseafish-hatchetfish.jpg deepseafish-viperfish.jpg  deepseafish-anglerfish.jpg deepseafish-pearleye.jpg deepseafish-gulpereel.jpg

Websites that are fairly self-explanatory and fun to look at when you have nothing better to do – part deux.

Friday, August 7th, 2009

1. A website called “There, I Fixed It.” I also call it “Look, I Done Made You Sumthin’.” Some of my favorites:

leannag-frankenbike.jpg tifi-facethandle.jpg tifi-hotdog.jpg tifi-macgyverheadlight.jpg tifi-snowfridge.jpg

2. Spoiled Photos. When people like me end up in (what should be) tasteful photos of you.

spoiledphotos-1218961875-34918.jpg spoiledphotos-1218961869-38655.jpg spoiledphotos-1218961867-53363.jpg spoiledphotos-1218961868-89926.jpg

3. And finally, Loltatz. Some of the worst tattoos ever. Many of these are inappropriate for work, or home, or your eyes. Just take that into account.

touche.jpg amazing.jpg lamp.jpg

The cutest picture in the world.

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

This past weekend I went to local street fair in Pittsfield, Mass. and the raptor people who I see every year at the Blessing of the Animals at St. Francis of Assisi were there. These people (photo taken at the Blessing of the Animals):


See that big orange-eyed Eurasian Eagle Owl? My cousin took a picture with him/her. The raptor people have a thing where you get a photo taken with the rodent-killing bird of your choice, you pay $10, and you get a photo. You support them and you get a keepsake in return. Everybody wins. You know how I love the Eastern Screech Owl? This guy? (photo also taken at the Blessing of the Animals)


Well, he was in Pittsfield! His name is Solomon and he is mega-adorable. I made my father pose for a picture with him. I don’t know who’s cuter in this picture.


Look at Solomon, doing his best impression of a rotting bit of tree. And ANGRY and APPALLED rotting bit of tree. My dad said he weighed three ounces. Three ounces of KILLING MACHINE. Three ounces, for those among us who suck at visualizing amounts, is equal to a Three Musketeers bar. Think of that the next time you’re holding one in your hand. The candy bar, not an owl. Don’t hold owls.

I iz 32. Feels a lot like 31. Also, Pinkberry and forthcoming art.

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

I had a lovely birthday, thank you. I went up to the Berkshires in Massachusetts and saw some theater, ate some food and generally just chilled. It was extremely mellow. I saw a few movies: Grey Gardens (the new HBO movie, not the documentary it is based on), and while it was excellently acted and apparently truthful, it also made me really sad. It was a freakin’ sad film, about unfulfilled dreams and wasted talents and a lost era, all that fun stuff. Ruined my Saturday night, I can tell you that. I also saw Wedding Crashers (finally!) and it was quite good. I mean, it didn’t change my life or anything, but it was amusing and clever and I had no idea how funny Vince Vaughn was! And now I do. I might, just might see The Breakup one day, even though romantic comedies (or anti-romantic comedies, as that one appears to be) are not my bag. VV might make it worth my while.

Also, in a totally unrelated note, I have tried Pinkberry for the first time this afternoon and it is yummy-nummy. I like the bacterial tang of yogurt, so that is a lovely change from regular frozen yogurt. I would recommend what I had, regular flavor with little yogurt chips (like the coating on yogurt-covered raisins). Dee-lishious. I don’t think I’ll become addicted or anything, but I can understand why others have become so. I think the fact that small is five bucks is definitely going to prevent me from making this a habit. But it is a pleasant treat every once in a blue moon.

I’m working on a ton of projects right now, so I’ll be telling you about those as they develop. Some graphic design, some logo design, some jewelry design, whooo, it’s a busy life. I shall keep you posted.