Here’s another blast from the past. I used to watch a lot of Cheers re-runs back in college. Let’s face it, I’ve spent a lot of my time in college watching TV. It the first time in my life that I had a TV set all to myself…didn’t have to share it with anyone except when my two-nights-a-week roommate who didn’t like TV was over. I was so possessive of my TV that I’d been known to throw a boyfriend or two out of my place because they insisted on changing the channel/turning it off. I’m grateful that my husband is more of a TV fanatic than I am. Now I find myself telling him to turn the TV off!
It seemed kind of serendipitous that when I was working on a set of Ruth Bader Ginsburg that I had the third US presidential debate on in the background and Trump went after the supreme court justice.
“Ooooh,” I stopped painting momentarily and stared at the overly coiffed nominee in dismay. “You’re in deep doo doo now!” Not that he has kept his shoes free of scat since he dove into politics, but rather, this statement would no doubt anger the legions of RBG fans. The fact that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a supreme court justice, has fans, says a lot about this woman, and that she’s so awesome that I was asked to paint her likeness in doll form.
Since I like to add a little surprises into sets that doesn’t include the littlest doll, this one will feature two gavel charms for the recipient to fashion into earrings.
Just letting everyone know that I’m still currently sourcing materials for a very very limited edition of Pink Flamingos. As for the other sets, there will also be a limited number scheduled to be painted in August. Check back for more deets then! Thank you so much for your interest and inquiries! All my work are hand made in my little sweatshop, so it’s not humanly possible for me to make more than a few of these dolls at a time.
In the meanwhile, here’s a little video made by the outrageous Emi of The Pygmy Hippo Shoppe (sadly, she’s also sold out but check out her other fabulous wares!):
Moving to a new country at any age is not easy. I was fortunate enough to have landed in an English-speaking realm. Other than that, there are still a host of things to get used to such as Kookaburra attacks, calling appetizers “entrees,” converting currencies and measurements in my head and thus blowing a few fuses (as I mentioned before, math and I are not on first name basis), having to wear sunglasses just to hang up laundry…the fact that I have to hang up laundry instead of tossing the whole lot into the dryer, and sighing over the same but slightly different version of food and daily products that I was accustomed to. It can really do one’s head in. But the one constant is of course my first love—television. It has never disappointed me before and it still didn’t. I got through the first few tumultuous years in Australia by being able to tune into American television, and the one that helped tremendously is “30 Rock.” Not only is it well-written and quirky like the way I love my television, but it’s also shot in my old home NYC. Every week was like a brief visit back there and that had more than made up for trying to figure out why there seems to be a new prime minister every other year since I’ve been here.
Here’s some of the cast of “30 Rock” with (large to small) Jack Donaghy, Liz Lemon, Tracy Jordan, Frank Rossitano, Jenna Maroney, and of course, the NBC page: Kenneth Parcell.
Here are some closeup shots of (left to right) Liz Lemon’s Mexican cheese puffs “Sabor de Soledad,” Tracy Jordan’s “EGOT” necklace, and Jack Donaghy’s drink.
It wasn’t easy trying to pick out a hat for Frank but I do enjoy pairing the words “karate” and “sluts” together. Here’s Jenna Maroney looking calm and collected, and there’s Kenneth in his full page regalia.
The best part of my childhood was finally being allowed to trek all the way to the Fresh Meadows Cinema by myself (or with friends) to catch an afternoon matinee. “Coming to America” was one of the best cinematic experiences I’ve ever had ’cause let’s face it, it’s a great movie and what girl didn’t want their Prince to turn up, put on a dorky uniform, and proceed to woo you with lines like, “When you think of garbage, think of Akeem?”
Here’s the cast featuring (largest to smallest) Akeem, Semmi, Lisa, Cleo McDowell, King Joffery Joffer, and Queen Aoleon.
There was a slight incident with the crown as I got a bit too carried away with my Dremel and ended up taking an extra spike off. Oops. Luckily it was easily repaired but man alive, I just can’t be trusted with power tools.
My BFF from way back when is one of those people who can be counted on to answer questions concerning the events of the human race, be it past or present. I mean, there’s nothing that girl doesn’t know. She was like this when we were eleven, and even more so at the ripe old age of (not applicable). So when I posted this “teaser” photo of my current project on facebook, I said to myself, “that girl is going to know exactly who this guy is.”
I was right. Despite wrangling three small boys from six months old to four, she still manages to know every single one of the nine supreme court judges of good ol’ USA.
When the idea to paint the nine supreme court judges was proposed to me, it was suggested that Judge Roberts’ ears ought to be prominent, as they are quite large. I eagerly looked for photos of Judge Roberts, hoping it’d jut out like Ross Perot’s except comically bigger. To my disappointed, Hon. John G. Roberts turned out to be a rather handsome man and his ears, although large, didn’t resemble Alfred E. Neuman‘s.
I initially thought I’d have to painstakingly sculpt a few ears, cast them, and then spend a few days sanding them down to identical sizes. Since I now often have to choke down meals at my work table and resent the easy lifestyle the ginger cat down the street was living, I was not looking forward to this extra work. Then I remembered that I had eaten straight up Ramen for many many months just so I could invest in a 3D printer and everything started to come together after that.
From biggest to smallest: John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Elena Kagen, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
This was a set of 10, which means I had to leave out the last doll and put something else in its place…as a surprise for the buyer. So I looked around and found the best accessory for these judges:
This fabulous miniature gavel!
Also, here’s the 3D printer, which the Hubs has modified somewhat. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this thing. One one hand, it has the ability to print me a pair of ears. On the other, the sound it makes whilst printing is driving me insane.
This is the deluxe version of “Workaholics” that I painted as a break from painting commissioned stuff. Yes, yes, I know. I need to go out more.
In this version Blake is wearing the bear coat,
Adam’s got a butterfly clip on his neck,
and there’s a new addition of Montez and Jillian.
Why is Jillian looking like a Kiss groupie?
She’s not a Kiss groupie! She’s straight up Juggaho!
The last time I set foot outside the LAX I was seven years old. I took a picture with E.T., I went to a zoo, and I witness a flood at the Universal Studios. So when Emi of Pygmy Hippo suggested that I come and see her at her shoppe during my layover back to Oz, I became religious. You read that right. I had to pray to the Great Organizer of the Universe that nothing would delay my flight so I may go and meet this girl whom I’ve been working with for about two-and-a-half years.
Nothing did delay my flight from Denver to LA, although there was a hairy moment involving a power outage…not something you want to hear at an airport. I planted myself into a cab piloted by a very accommodating driver who put up with my incessant chattering and pointless questioning. You spend two months painting in a basement and I’ll bet you will talk the ear off a cornstalk too! We arrived at the Shoppe just as the sun was losing its last rays and I started screaming like a One Direction tween fan as soon as I spotted Emi. Arms were flapped and words were shouted at top volume. It was so great to see this fabulous shop and its proprietress in person at long last!
Look at this gal! I could, even if I try, never ever look half as cute as her!
Emi’s man Nathan more or less built every single item in the shoppe. He had measured the counter space just so so it was literally designed just for Emi! I’d love to spend hours in there, browsing and trying not to knock over things with the giant butt I’ve acquired over the two months thanks to Mom’s delicious cooking, but alas, there was another flight awaiting me.
We hightailed to the Culver City In-N-Out Burger. As a former East Coast being, I’ve heard great things about their legendary burgers and insanity fries. Emi and Nathan ordered some off-the-menu items for me. It was a shame I was so excited to meet them that I couldn’t finish my animal style fries. But that’s just an excuse to come back out another time, isn’t it?
Thank you, Emi and Nathan for treating me to the best layover meal and conversations ever!
The Pygmy Hippo Shoppe has been featured in many media outlets. This is the one I found that was pretty darn special.
Please. Do you think I wasn’t going to do a Hazmat suit version of Breaking Bad? I couldn’t wait to get started on this but looking for all the proper items to tag onto it took some time.
The idea of incorporating a bucket of chicken was presented to me, which of course, was taken into serious consideration, except I couldn’t find the proper receptacle to put the chicken in. But I did manage to find 1/2″ x 1/2″ Ziploc bags…
I was so thrilled with these bags that I did a Dance of Joy and stepped on my dog in the process. Art making is always the hardest on the ones in the direct line of fire.
Now, I need to look for miniature wads of cash to really amp up this set!
I finally got around to watching the entire “Breaking Bad” series, which lasted for about a week. Netflix streaming is a beautiful, beautiful thing, is it not? I regret not finding the time to watch the whole lot sooner. But later is better than never and here’s one of the three Breaking Bad sets to come:
Heavy Hitters comes with (from left to right): Saul Goodman, Jesse Pinkman, Mike Ehrmantraut, Walter White, and of course, our favorite drug kingping/chicken restaurant owner, Gus Fring.
Saul clutching a fistful of cash.
Walt with his duffle bag of cash.
The drink Gus handed to Hank, which ultimately became his undoing.
Jesse’s cigarette pack with the deadly ricin hidden inside.