Sunday, June 29, 2008


Here’s what we managed to get listed today…

It’s only about half of what we were working on, but we’ll have the rest listed on Tuesday. Jo’s parents had a vow renewal ceremony the other day, so we have been visiting with family members that came for the occasion. We babysat a little three year old cousin named Lucy last night whose favorite game was “Put the kitten in the box.” The little black cat resisted at first, but ended up taking a nap in the box after numerous escape attempts.
Our new kitten, Juno, has only been with us a few days. We went to the pound with a good idea of what we were looking for: a black, purring, shoulder cat. I’m not so sure the folks at the pound are trying very hard to get these cats adopted though. We got barked at for petting the friendlier cats through the cage bars. “If a cat bites you, it will be euthanized!” A t-shirt slogan if I’ve ever heard one. Thankfully, Juno did not bite. She just climbed up onto my shoulder and began purring. Sold!
I’ve been riding my bike all over town with my son ever since the Oregon sky began it’s summer mode. We were riding on the sidewalk the other day along highway 101 when my son became distracted by something and ran directly into a telephone pole. He banged his helmeted head and his shoulder hard enough to see stars. He couldn’t lift his arm, so I sat him on a park bench and took off for home to retrieve the car. Once we got him home, I lifted his shirt to look at his injured shoulder. It looked like the bones were trying to pop right out. I looked at his good shoulder for comparison, and it looked exactly the same. What can you do? The kid’s just plain boney. He has since made a full recovery, but we may want to fatten him up before we lose him to a heavy wind.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Hello, friends and family!
Here’s what we were working on this week when we weren’t party planning…

Today is our daughter’s 16th birthday! We threw her a surprise party out at our friends’ house in the country last night. The theme was The Death of Childhood, so her friends were encouraged to wear funeral attire. Jo made Day of the Dead style decorations, invitations, and even candy wrappers for souvenir chocolate bars.

It actually took quite a few lies to bring our 16 year old to that moment when she looked so confused as everyone yelled “surprise!”
Some of our lies included:
1. “We’re going to a fancy restaurant in Portland tonight to celebrate your birthday.”
This was so that she would believe that there was a plan of some kind to celebrate, and also so that she would get dressed up for her own party.
2. (On the phone) “The car won’t start! We’re stuck here at the store, but I have a tow truck on the way. If we can get it fixed today, we’re still going to go out to dinner.”
This lie was to get the rest of us out of the house and to stall for time as we picked up some of her friends and decorate for the party.
3. “We ran into Susan while we were waiting for the tow truck, so mommy went with her to help her with Willow’s softball party while I take care of the car.”
This would make it necessary for her and I to go out to the country house to pick them up once the car was “fixed.“ It would also explain any cars parked at the party house, and even the trail of balloons leading the way through the many forks in the road along their gravel driveway.
4. This one is not so much a lie, but it’s my favorite. On the drive out to the house, I had a bag of french fries and a couple apple pies from McDonalds in the car to mask the smell of the six pizzas in the trunk.

These lies were so effective that at the moment when she spotted her first friend and everyone yelled “surprise”, she thought What’s she doing here? Does she have a sister on the softball team?
Next year I think we’ll concoct a series of events that seem extremely suspicious, but lead only to mundane events. We may even have to stage a real softball party just to keep her scratching her head.


Sunday, June 15, 2008


Happy Father’s Day!
Here’s what we made when we weren’t busy celebrating me…

Besides making sure that my dad knows that I love and appreciate him, Father’s day around here means that I get the remote. That’s right, on this one magical day a year, I don’t have to suffer through “Groomer Has It.”
Really, Jo? A reality show about dog groomers?
My shows are about crab fishing, Nazis, cops, tattoos and motorcycles. I sew dolls for a living, so I have to compensate, OK?
It’s amazing what a comma can do. I nearly just invented a show about crab fishing Nazis. Yes!
I was looking through our enormous collection of digital photos of our art the other day with a friend. The sheer number of pieces that we’ve made in the last few years was staggering to see. I’m glad that I couldn’t see into the future before we began this venture because I would probably be paralyzed by the vision of all that work ahead. It’s much more comforting to see it in your rear view mirror. It’s easier to just look down when you’re climbing a hill, putting one foot in front of the other. Now I’m confused. Am I walking or driving in this analogy?


Sunday, June 8, 2008


Hello, all.
Here’s our week’s work, for your viewing pleasure.

Jo and I are quite pleased with the picture in Small Magazine of our Frida Kahlo doll in the arms of such a sweet child. It’s an online magazine, so you can put your keys away. There’s no need to rush out to the news stand. Just click here to see Frida.
They did a scathing article on us too, uncovering the corrupt underbelly of our so-called “art empire.” No, not really. They were kind, and quoted Jo liberally. . .while I was presumably somewhere else and not available for comment. Actually, I was probably hovering nearby Jo while she sat and answered the questions, dropping crumbs from my sandwich on her back and asking, “whatcha doin’?” Probably none of that is true either, but I like picturing these scenarios. Anyway, here’s the first page of the article.
There are only three days left of school, so we’ll soon be entertaining our son around the clock. Our daughter doesn’t seem to need much of our attention. Just headphones. But our boy is right there at our elbows ready to tell us how bored he is. I’m usually the first one to break, and the two of us end up exploring dirt roads on our bikes together or skipping rocks into the ocean. He tries to get me to play video games too, but I haven’t mastered anything past Pac-man. Even Ms. Pac-man is too new for me.


Sunday, June 1, 2008


Hello again, friends.
Here’s what we have ready for you, and there should be more listed on Tuesday.

We recently made a Frida Kahlo portrait doll for an online magazine called Small Magazine. I believe they had their photo shoot today with some kids holding our doll. We’ll send you a link to it when the photo is posted. I love seeing pictures of our work in unfamiliar hands or on someone else’s wall. I sent a guitar wall hanging to Kat Von D. for just that reason. If you aren’t familiar with her, she’s a tattoo artist that has a show called LA Ink. I’m hoping that I tune in next season to see my guitar hanging in the shop. She sent me an autographed picture to say thanks for the free art. I feel a bit embarrassed by the picture, so it’s just tucked in a drawer somewhere instead of on display. I mean, I’m not a teenager. I’m 35 and married, so I can’t exactly hang up pictures of girls. The day it arrived, I showed it to our son. He just teased me in a slow, dunce voice. “My dad’s gotta crush on a tattoo lady.” Wise guy.
But the effort to get my guitar in the televised tattoo shop was my obsession weeks ago. I’ve shifted my attention to electric bikes. With gas prices over $4 a gallon, I’m trying to walk or ride my bike whenever I can instead of burning fossil fuels. But it’s so hilly out here that an electric powered bike would get me out of my car that much more, since I could zip all over town with ease. My family is pretty much sick of hearing about electric bikes. I’ll know they’ve reached their breaking point if they hang up the autographed picture of “the tattoo lady.” That should shut me up.