Pee Wee Loves Henry!

I was scrolling through Facebook this morning when I came upon a picture of my kid. Not that unusual to see on Facebook, sure. But then I realized that I hadn’t posted that photo– Pee Wee Herman did! Henry’s Pee Wee Halloween costume was featured on the real Pee Wee’s site today! Talk about this gal’s dream come true!

Pee Wee Feature on Henry's Halloween costume

For those who haven’t seen the blog post on which Pee Wee based his feature, you can check it out here. By popular request, I’ve also added a listing of where I found the toys included on Henry’s Pee Wee helmet so you can make your own! (And if you do make an attempt that that epic helmet, please share– I’d love to see!)

Thanks to Pee Wee for featuring my kiddo, and thanks to Henry for being so awesome and loving Pee Wee as much as I always have.

What’s in Season

This year we planted are first legit garden at the house. We installed raised beds in the front patio where there’s full day sun, and planted strawberries, leeks, beans, greens and basil, along with tomatoes in the back where we’ve grown then for the last three years. Even as an adult, growing vegetables is still such a wonder to me. You put something in the ground, water it every once in a while, and a few months later, there are suddenly things you can eat in your yard. Never ceases to be amazing.

In honor of the growing season, here are a few produce illustrations I’ve been eyeing lately–

New Custom Projects

I realized it’s been a while since I shared some of the custom projects I’ve been working on lately. Things always slow down a bit after Christmas, but I’ve had a few super fun commissions to keep me busy over the last few months. I hope you like ’em!

Yukon CorneliusIt’s likely been a few months (maybe a few years!) since Yukon Cornelius crossed your mind. An old friend of mine requested a Cornelius finger puppet to give to her husband– a redheaded mountain climber in his own right– for his birthday. How could I refuse? Finger puppet Cornelius turned out to be a pretty epic finger puppet with so fun details to include!

Andy + AmeliaThis Andy Warhol and Amelia Earhart pairing were inspired by the book, The Who The What And The When – 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History, which features illustrations of famous figures’ champions and muses. The customer was gifting the book to a friend and had the idea to create finger puppets of some of the people featured. After going over the list of who was included, we settled on Johnny Cash from my regular collection, and custom Amelia Earhart and Andy Warhol to complete the gift set. Amelia was a puppet I’ve always wanted to make, and it was a fun challenge to update the Andy Warhol I’d made a few years back. I really love how the pair turned out.

Shaun + EdI first spoke to a customer named Katie back in 2009 when she suggested Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead as very promising potential finger puppet subjects. At the time I don’t remember if I’d actually seen the movie, but it happened that I’d recently rewatched it just a month or so back and Katie contacted me again– six years later!– wanting to move forward with a custom pair of puppets. If there was a pair basically tailor made for puppet-dom, it may be these two. Between their befuddled expressions, classic outfits and zombie fighting implements, they translated pretty seamlessly.

Custom PupsCustom pet portrait finger puppetsThis custom pack of adorable dogs was created for an Italian customer as a gift for his girlfriend. As a recent (temporarily) two dog household, I am pretty amazed– and maybe a little jealous– by anyone who could successfully manage their life with five dogs in it. But with these sweet faces, I can see why you’d want to try.Custom pet portrait finger puppetThe one above was my favorite. I’m a sucker for a dog with pointy ears!

Got a custom finger puppet idea of your own? Give me a shout– I’d love to make it happen!

Stitched Corner Store

As a gal who appreciates a hand-stitched oddity (not to mention a clever statement on consumer culture), British artist Lucy Sparrow’s new project, The Cornershop, is totally my new favorite thing. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sparrow spent the past seven months creating plush versions of the snacks, drinks, personal products and sundry items you’d find in an any other local corner store, creating a site-specific installation that’ll function as a real store and workshop space throughout the month of August.The store occupies a formerly abandoned laundromat in East London. Sparrow explained in her Kickstarter description that the “felt politics” of the project “Lucy’s work develops a politics that is at once humorous, grotesque and gentle. It is a politics that for all of this is no less insistent, requiring that we engage with our unquestioned practices in consumption spaces, face up to the fetishism of consumption, and draw to the fore the changing politics of the British consumption landscape, and the demise of our cornershops as spaces not only for consumption but also for community building.”It’s so inspiring to see this style of conspicuously handmade items used in such an accessible, yet radical, space. I always appreciate artistic statements that are truly rooted in people’s everyday lives and accessible, both physically and conceptually, to anyone who walks in off the street. And though the project poses questions about contemporary consumption habits, I also really love the inherent contradiction at play with nostalgia for a locally-owned cornerstore stocked full of corporate products. Not to mention the idea of an artist turning herself into a sort of sweatshop worker churning out the sheer volume of consumer goods it takes to fill even a small space like this!In one of the interviews on the project, Sparrow said that after Cornershop was all over, “I’m going to lie down in a dark room for two weeks and just not move and have someone feed me grapes.” As a gal who’s shut herself away for weeks to obsessively sew little felt things in anticipation of holidays and craft fairs, I have to admit, I can totally relate.

Via MessyNessyChic.



Paper Garland DIY

My kind of DIY project is equal parts great design and elementary school throwback. While I’m certainly a fan of good styling and clever ideas, I also rely on a do-it-yourself to get me back in touch with the good old days of glue sticks and construction paper.

Along those lines, I really loved this giant paper bead garland project featured on Oh Happy Day. It’s simple and clever, and I love the idea of a bunch of these at a celebration. Plus, unlike so many projects that you have to buy lots of supplies you’ll likely never use again, this is a great use of materials you’ve probably got lying around anyway.

via Oh Happy Day.

Potholes Turned Art

To say that Chicagoans are glad that it’s finally summer is, well, a massive understatement. Though I’m of the opinion that listening to people complain about the cold is occasionally worse that actually being out in it, I have to admit that this year just about did me in. That is to say, I found myself complaining along with them. A bit. And rejoicing at the first sign of spring.

No surprise, the slog of a winter wreaked havoc on Chicago’s streets. Just about everyone I know has a new epic flat tire story from bike riding and car driving in the past six months. But, lest we devolve into complaining about the conditions of the streets now as a replacement for that weather bellyaching, artist Jim Bachor has created a clever response to Chicago’s pockmarked streets. Bachor is a mosaic artist who’s has been filling Chicago potholes with cheeky and clever tile installations. According to his bio, Bachor creates “mosaics that speak of
modern things in an ancient voice,” and while some of his pieces are straightforward in simply labeling the potholes for what they are, others give the hole a unique identification number and one reads out the number to a local repair shop. Bachor’s work is meant as a a bit of good-natured ribbing to the city rather than an actual complaint. And you gotta admit, it’s a pretty good looking solution.

via Colossal

Stuff I Love Right Now

1. The Tudors (again) I mentioned the Tudors here more than three years ago when I watched Season one and two for the first time and since I finished Lost a few weeks ago I’d been looking for another series to pass the time while I work (they save so much time over choosing a new movie every time I sit down in the studio). Lucky for me, the later seasons are now available so I started from the beginning again. As it turns out, Season one and two were by far the best ones. I’m not finished quite yet, but am pretty sure that nothing will top Henry and Anne Boleyn’s one ridiculously melodramatic and sex-crazed season together.

2. Peach Tree Lane Locket

I bought this necklace on a whim and couldn’t be happier with it. So sweet and simple, and one of these days maybe I’ll get around to actually putting a picture inside.

3. Spaghetti Squash How did I not know about spaghetti squash before? I mean, I guess I knew about it, but I never realized how crazy this vegetable really is. It’s seriously just like spaghetti inside. How did evolution come up with such a crazy thing? It’s our win, though, because this stuff is great.

4. This Video

I guess the story is that the little girl kept hearing imaginary fireworks outside her room at night and couldn’t sleep, so they made this video together to distract her. Not sure it worked, but we’re the better for watching the adorableness. Henry and I have this on heavy rotation right now. (Also, I totally want to rewatch The Jerk again now.)  Via Gawker.

Vintage Adventure

We took a little road trip to Hammond, Indiana last weekend to check out Hammond Salvage and Resale, a spot I found out about after recently joining the Chicago Midcentury Modern Facebook group. The shop in Hammond had been posting teaser pics of some interesting finds, and I’m a sucker for the gems you can find at a small town thrift store. The visit did not disappoint.

I think the outside area was my favorite. So many hidden treasures out there!

Tons of kitchen stuff– bottles upon bottles, pots, pans, linens, dishes, and on and on.

Always wondered how they did that 40s roll thing in the back. Gotta ask my grandma about this.

Love these two little gentlemen.

I don’t really understand this card, but that didn’t stop me from bringing it home.

Secret find! I’ll post about this one soon : )

Nothing Good Comes from Hitting Reply-All

In the online circles I run in, I feel like there’s a lot of conversation that applies to people who work from home– designers, creatives, etc. And I totally get that maybe there isn’t a ton of stuff otherwise that applies to them. As someone who works her day job in an office, though, it was a pleasant surprise to come upon the New Rules of Work series by Division of Labor. Finally we office workers get someone other than Dilbert to speak up for us!