Pushing Daisies

People, you have no idea how long I’ve been jonsin’ to paint this set. “Pushing Daisies” is lovely, quirky, yet sadly short lived little show that speaks to the artistic side in me that craves bright colors and bold patterns. It also speaks to the macabre side in me as the show deals mainly with deeply dysfunctional people, murder, mayhem, and death. Not an easy feat to pull off but they did it! I think some of my favorite parts of the show is when little Olive Snook (played by the magnificent Kristin Chenoweth) and Aunt Vivian (or Audrey from “Little Shop of Horrors”, as she is known in my warped mind) played by the delightful Ellen Greene, bust into songs. What a wonderful world it was when a show about resurrecting the dead and solving crimes features two Broadway veterans and allow them to showcase their vocal talents as well!

Pushing Daisies

This one features Ned the pie maker, Chuck, his lady love, whom he raised from the dead with his magical powers but can’t, sadly, touch due to some silly conditions of his abilities, Emerson Cod, his business partner, a PI who is really into knitting, Chuck’s aunts Vivian and Lily, and of course, little Olive Snook, a former jockey now waitress.

Some details:

Chuck

Chuck with one of her bees (she kept an apiary before her death in her backyard and then on the roof of Ned’s pie shop).

emerson.cod

Emerson Cod with his knitting.

the aunts

The Aunts, the former Darling Mermaid Darlings, who are really into tea, cheese, and pies loaded with mood enhancers.

Olive

And Olive Snook wearing a pie hat, naturally.

I was unfortunately walking the earth when this show was on air and was forced to binge watch it, for the first time, while cooking a 10-course Thanksgiving dinner. It’s lovely that my local library has both seasons in stock, allowing me to revisit this show again whilst painting the set. It sure beats binge watching “The Walking Dead!”

God Save the Queen (and Everyone Else)

This one was so much fun to do mainly because I got to go into my box of bling to jazz up the Queen’s crown and gown!

Royal Family

This set of the Royal Family features the Queen, Charles, Princess Di (in an outrageously outdated dress bless her heart), Prince Harry, Prince Wills, Kate, Prince George, and baby Princess Charlotte. But never mind them…check out the Queen’s shiny things!

Jewelry Jewelry 2

I used a combination of glitter glue and nail art rhinestones and painstakingly separated glitter fragments to create the effect of priceless jewels.

The Queen

The crown proved to be a bit difficult, but the Hubs was able to 3D print me a base for the crown and I got out my glue gun and some shiny baubles from my collection of charms and fun bits and went to town. It’s a shame the crown is about the size of a Nyquil dosage cup, or else I’d happily wear it myself!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail…Part II

Oh man! Most of my childhood consisted of my brother and me quoting lines from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” which was why I painted a set for him for his birthday just in case he forgot what nerds we were back in the day. I’m so glad there are people out there who are just as into the movie as we were because I get to paint another version!

Monty Python

This time I painted only two of the knights: King Arthur and Sir Bedevere. In place of the other knights, there’s Tim the Enchanter, the main knight from the Knights Who Say “Ni”, and of course, my favorite minor character of all time, the French Taunter.

Sideways

Here are some interesting facts about wine after the film “Sideways” was released:

“Throughout the film, Miles speaks fondly of the red wine varietal Pinot noir, while denigrating Merlot. After the film’s U.S. release in October 2004, Merlot sales dropped 2% while Pinot noir sales increased 16% in the Western United States. Other reports claimed that sales of Merlot dropped after the film’s release. A 2009 study by Sonoma State University found that ‘Sideways’ slowed the growth in Merlot sales volume and caused its price to fall, but the film’s main effect on the wine industry was a rise in the sales volume and price of Pinot noir, and in overall wine consumption.”

Sideways

The cast of Sideways (largest to smallest): Miles Raymond sniffing his wine while plugging his ear, Jack Cole, broken nose and clearly in disgrace…let’s face it, anyone wearing a bandage and a bedspread is clearly up to no good; Maya Randall the waitress and Stephanie, who had beaten up Jack with her motorcycle helmet but she’s got a good reason to. What’s the fifth doll? Why it’s a bottle of Belle Glos wine, which is not featured in the film, but a representation of the buyer’s husband’s favorite inebriant.

Belle Glos Belle Glos2

Rik Mayall

As an immigrant to the United States at an early and impressionable age, I was primed to be fed on a steady diet of 80’s American pop culture as a part of my linguistic education. I was to learn English watching Sesame Street and acquire the ways of the west from “One Life to Live” and Phil Donahue. Instead, I learned English watching the Monty Pythons and The Benny Hill Show and eventually got into The Young Ones and Fawlty Towers and an odd assortment of Britcom. I would’ve been a riot if we’d lived in England. In the US I was just “that-weird-girl-with-an-even-weirder-accent-and-calls-the-hood-of-the-car-a-bonnet.” The news of Rik Mayall’s death made me really sad indeed, as he had been quite an influence in my formative years.

I was thrilled to be asked to paint this set featuring Rik Mayall (and Adrian Edmondson, another roommate from The Young Ones) as a birthday present for someone in the UK.

Rik Mayall

(Biggest to littlest doll) Rik from The Young Ones, Lord Flashheart from Blackadder, Alan Beresford B’Stard from The New Statesman, Richie from Bottom, and Adrian Edmondson from Bottom.

This request came while I was still on holiday, and it was a great one to work on while trying to figure out where I’d put everything before going away as I get to emulate Rik’s explosive temper while looking for a wayward brush or a particular shade of blue!

Wonder Woman

When I was asked to paint Wonder Woman in different costumes, I thought it might have to do with the various versions worn by different actresses throughout the years, but to my utter delight, it was going to be all about Lynda Carter and her wardrobe! The thing is, that woman had the exact figure of a Barbie doll, so I had some misgivings painting a boofy version of her. But who cares? I got to pull out my metallic paints!

WonderWoman

We have Lynda Carter in the traditional Wonder Woman outfit, her in a skater girl (helmet and all) outfit, her getting ready to ride a horse, her in a skirt and a cape, and her in a swimming costume. The main doll consists of the logo, which I did free hand because I couldn’t be bothered to make a template. I didn’t realize until the end that I didn’t breathe while painting it. That might explain why I was sprawled on the floor and blinking wanly at the ceiling when it was finished.

Not Your Average Vacation Photos

After being on this planet for a number of years, I have learned that most people couldn’t care less about seeing your vacation pics. I can certainly understand why. Unless you’re a world class photographers, the photos produced from you cannot effectively capture the true essence of the sights you’ve seen, no matter how breathtaking. But this doesn’t stop people from asking you why you haven’t taken any photos on your holidays either. I do want to share my holiday photos, yet at the same time, I don’t want to bore you all. Here are some of the pictures I have put together from my travels to the US in the last month and a half, a combination family reunions/belated honeymoon/birthday.

LA

Here we are in Los Angeles, checking out a few theme parks as part of the Hubs’ birthday present (Disneyworld, California Adventures, and Universal Studios). We also wandered the streets of Hollywood and had dinner at In-N-Out Burger.

Pygmy Hippo

Whilst in LA I had to visit one of my favorite gal, Emi of the teeny weeny Pygmy Hippo Shoppe!

Then off we went to Colorado to visit my parents, who were kind enough to take us around to a few places of interest:

Colorado

(Clockwise from left) We toured the Celestial Seasonings factory, had a gander at the wonder that is The Garden of the Gods, rode the train up to the Pikes Peak summit, and gawped at the amazing chapel at the Air Force Academy.

For our honeymoon we took a cruise in Alaska and had a blast stuffing our faces with the bounty in the myriad restaurants on the boat and marveling at the wonders Alaska had to offer, often with a plate heaped with cake in front of us. I was smart. I packed nothing but elastic waisted pants for this trip in order to accommodate my ever-expanding girth.

Alaska

Fortunately, the shore excursions prevented us from asking the staff to roll us off the boat at the end of the cruise. I enjoyed a tram ride and hike in Juneau while Anthony biked to admire some glaciers before being taken to a brewery. We sampled salmon in Ketchikan and kayaked a bit and we took a train ride up to the Fraser in British Columbia for yet another paddle.

We went to Kansas to visit our friends whom we haven’t seen in years and spent several days gabbing in their bunker-style home with the knowledge that we’d be safe should a tornado hit this fair state.

kansas

After spending a bit more time in Colorado with my family, we flew off to San Francisco to visit another set of family that I haven’t seen in years. There we were fed sumptuous feasts and were given a 5-star tour of this glorious city.

San Francisco

Cousin Carolyn drove us down Lombard Street just for kicks; we saw the Palace of Fine Arts twice, once with Auntie Glendy and the second time on Segways. We admired the gorgeous architecture of San Francisco and looked at the Golden Gate Bridge from many angles.

But the best thing we did was taking the ferry to Alcatraz!

Since I was in San Francisco, there was no reason why I shouldn’t visit Alix Bluh and her gorgeous jewelry/curio shop. She is every bit as delightful and whimsical as the jewelry she creates!

Alix

By this time I am bloated beyond recognition, so I’m treating you to some photos of her gorgeous shop:

alix_store_350_right

Alix+Blüh's+Maker+Spaces+-+Makelight

modern-relic-28

Can you imagine being surrounded by so much beauty?

So that’s it for my time away from the sweat shop! I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work!

Fawlty Towers

I’ve had this set in mind for the longest time, but of course what with one thing after another, it took a while to produce it. It’s for my friend’s dad’s birthday, and it’s only right he should be getting a Fawlty Towers set complete with the exceedingly rude Basil Fawlty, his domineering wife Sybil; Polly, the only calm and competent staff, and the language deficient porter/waiter Manuel. I remember walking past my friend’s TV set as a child and saw Basil Fawlty goose stepping around the dining room and immediately demanded to know if this was a lost Monty Python episode. Mr. S patiently explained the brilliance of Fawlty Towers to me and at my next play date there, my friend and I watched all 12 episodes, more or less in one sitting.

Fawlty

Here’s Basil, Sybil, Polly Manuel, and Manuel’s pet hamster, which is really a rat, named after Basil.

Years later, when my friend and I were driving around the UK, checking into whatever B&B we came upon at the end of the day, we met a real life Basil Fawlty. Actually, that’s not fair on his part. He was polite but uncomfortably stern. The man did not crack a single smile the entire time we were there. When we returned from a late dinner at the pub, we found him standing in the front hall with his arms folded, bearing the manner of someone who’s been waiting there for a very long time. I thought we’d get a tongue lashing about stumbling in at 10 PM, as we’d been conditioned by Basil Fawlty’s school of hospitality, but really, he just wanted to take our breakfast order. Still, the whole thing was just really really weird and we were simply glad that we didn’t end up buried in his garden.

Let Me Entertain You!

Did I ever mention I was a bona fide musical theater nut? It helped that my BFF from way back when was totally into theater too so we more or less spent our allowances on theater tickets growing up. Later on, when she’s away at school in Boston, she’d make frequent trips back to the Big Apple so we could take in a matinee or two. One of the first musicals we’ve ever gone to see together was “Gypsy” starring Tyne Daly as Mama Rose. Later on, I was the one to make a trip to Boston to see the very same BFF take on the part of Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee at a community theater production. I figured for her very first Bobo Babushka set from yours truly ought to commemorate this musical. Of course, it was a hard choice between Gypsy or the guys from Monty Python, another one of our favorites in our teenage years. What can I say? We did not have a run-of-the-mill childhood.

Gypsy

This one features Mama Rose, Gypsy Rose Lee, Herbie the boyfriend, young Louise and Baby June.

Happy Birthday, Irene! (That’s right, she and I also share the same first name. In her house I was known as “The Other.”) Hope everything’s coming up roses for you always!

Wild at Heart

The best part about painting the cast of the David Lynch film “Wild at Heart?” Nicolas Cage’s snake skin jacket.

Sailor Ripley

I used to have an orange and tan suede fish scale jacket that might’ve looked fine on a pimp, but so wrong for a short female. Wearing it to my painting classes in art school was fine, but not so much when I was confronted by the real world and jobs that required me to fill out a W2 form and hire an accountant once a year (what? Did you think I could be trusted to do my own tax returns? Please). Back then I wish I could’ve utilized this line to its fullest potential:

“This is a snakeskin jacket! And for me it’s a symbol of my individuality, and my belief… in personal freedom.”

But of course I’d substitute it with “fish scale jacket.”

Here’s the rest of the cast:

cast

(Clockwise from left)

Marietta Fortune (after she colored her face with lipstick), her daughter Lula, Johnnie Farragut, and Marcelles Santos.

ast2

Here’s also Bobby Peru and Sheryl Lee as The Good Witch.

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