Monday, May 23, 2011


I've been holding onto this little secret for a while, but I guess it's ok to talk about now since I just spotted this behind the scenes video on youtube. . .

Some of our art is going to be in a Canon commercial starring Ron Howard! You can spot one of our Paisley Cat at 1:18 of the video, Gerard the Goat at 2:26, and Katie Pillar on the desk by Ron Howard at 2:42. I think I spotted our witch too up on the shelf, but I didn't get a good look at it. The full length commercial, which isn't out yet, is being directed by Dante Ariola, who has done some amazing commercials in the past including the VW Black Beetle commercial that debuted during the Super Bowl.

Jo and I may just sit around the house working most of the time, but at least our creations get to go out and have adventures.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


When Jo designed our paper dolls, the queen obviously wasn't going to fit on one page. When we got the two pages printed the first time, we made a mistake in the size of one of them, so they didn't match up when assembling it. We quickly fixed the problem, but we were left with 20 prints that we had no use for.

So there was the challenge. . .find a use for them instead of just throwing them in the recycling bin. So I took the head and the example picture of the queen and made this. . .

But that wasn't weird enough for me, so I took 4 of the prints and created the spider queen. . .

"Off to my web!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I better tell this story before I forget it. Our son, Jimmy, went to the senior prom over the weekend. He's only a sophomore, but his girlfriend is a senior. If it weren't for Jo, he would have been completely unprepared.

Jo: Are you going to get her a corsage to match your boutonnière?
Jimmy: What's a boutonnière?
Jo: It's the flower that goes on your lapel.
Jimmy: What language are you speaking?

In the end, Jo made the corsage out of crepe paper streamers and antique buttons, proving she can make just about anything out of virtually nothing. She's like MacGyver minus the mullet. Anyway, Jimmy and his girlfriend arrived at their friend's house for a pre-prom party and realized they had forgotten the paper corsage. So Jimmy gave me the address, I google mapped it and headed out. It wasn't hard to find. There were balloons leading me right to where I expected it to be. I asked the gathering of proud parents on the porch, "Is this Megan's house?"
"Yup, everyone's inside taking pictures."
The door was open, so I let myself in and looked for Jimmy among the crowd of football players in tuxes, girls all done up for the big night, and parents taking time off from appearing in the L.L. Bean catalogue. But I didn't spot Jimmy anywhere.
"Has anyone seen Jimmy? Jimmy Curry?"
"Wait, don't take the picture yet, we're missing someone. Jimmy who?"
"Um. . . is this Megan's house?"
"No. . ."
That's when I realized I was standing in a stranger's house uninvited holding a paper flower. Later I thought about all the things that had gone wrong to put me there.

1. Jimmy forgot the corsage.
2. I was given the wrong street number.
3. The number I was given did exist, so google maps couldn't catch the mistake.
4. There were balloons leading right to where I was expecting the house to be.
5. The parents out front didn't know whose porch they were standing on either.

I eventually found the right house about half a mile a way. The rest of the night went off without a hitch. They're pretty careful around here. All the students had to pass a breathalyzer test to get into prom, which is probably a good idea. I remember when a group of prom kids came to stay at the resort I was working at about 10 years ago. They went on a drunken rampage, smashing golf carts and windows until the cops came and rounded them up. The cops had no problem identifying the troublemakers. It's hard to blend in with the tourists when you have a boutonnière on your lapel s'il vous plaît.
Wait. What?

Friday, May 13, 2011


So...what have I been up to since I stopped writing these newsletters? Well, much to the dismay of the neighbors who peek in our garage every time the garage door opens, I've made a guillotine.

I'm slowly working on my next puppet music video, and I wanted a real show stopper for the finale.

Much of this guillotine is made out of recycled wood that used to be Jo's desk top shelf for her art supplies.

Originally I thought I'd paint the whole thing brown when I was done, but this was the first cheerfully decorated guillotine I could remember seeing, so I left it as is.

The blade, which is actually quite dull, had a previous life as the lid to our bread box, which looked like this. . .

I hate to throw stuff away if I can reuse it. You'll be seeing the bamboo cutting board part of that bread box soon, when my electric bike kit finally gets here and I outfit my bike with various bits and bobs that would make Sanford and Son proud. The giant 16 lb. lithium battery for the bike is already here, so we're just waiting on the slow boat from China to bring my motor. Then I'll be able to leave my car parked while I zip past gas stations on my electric bike, leaving puzzled onlookers wondering, "Was that a bread box?"



Hello, fans, friends, and family.
As the subject line may have already tipped you off, this will be the last newsletter that I'll be sending out. . .in email form anyway. You may have noticed that these newsletters, that used to arrive in your inbox like clockwork, have petered out. I know exactly what the problem is, so I may as well tell you and try to fix it. These newsletters started way back in 2005, a year when the word "blog" still confused the spell checker. Since then, people have been steadily requesting to be on the mailing list, making it a GIANT group of people. And that fact alone makes it statistically more likely that someone is going want to be removed from the list each time I send out a newsletter. I'd like to say that this doesn't mess with my head, but at a certain point, it gets hard to share when I consistently get back, "Please remove me from your mailing list!" Obviously, I'm not talking about any of you. If you're reading this, you're among the silent majority that has appreciated me keeping you in the loop. And some of you have not been so silent, and I appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement you've given me over the years.

But it's 2011 now, and even grandma and grandpa know what a blog is. You probably didn't realize it, but these newsletters have also been mirrored on my blog for the last few years. So I think that will be the best format to continue sharing what's going on in the cart before the horse house. I'll be able to write again without feeling like I'm bugging someone somewhere.

I had an "ah-ha" moment while sorting the recycling that clued me into this subtle difference between writing a newsletter to email and writing a blog. I was removing a bunch of unread newspapers from their wet plastic bags and grumbling to myself, "Why am I getting the paper all of a sudden? I don't remember signing up for it. I should call the newspaper and get them to stop sending them because this is just getting to be a nuisance on recycling day. I know where to get the news!"
You see, I constantly have the BBC news in my headphones. They're more focused on world news, and their British accents give everything an ominous 1984 tone that I appreciate. So in that moment I realized that to some people, my newsletters are like those soggy unwanted newspapers on the lawn. So from now on, I'll be more like the BBC news. If you want to know what's going on, just stop by and visit me here. . .

Thanks for reading.