Angels We Have Heard
Are High

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Cavalcade of Bad Nativities
it came upon a midnight weird

The Passion of the Tchotchke
holy week kitsch-o-rama

Stations of the Kitsch


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Friday, June 27, 2008

space case

I'm only slightly obsessed with finding more vintage space art for Ike's walls, since I'm so pleased with how the You Will Go To The Moon frame turned out. I found this insanely cool website: Space Art in Children's books 1950's to 1970's. I can search abebooks/ebay/amazon for the ones I like.

My parents arrive in a few days; as usual, I front-loaded my anxiety so I'm less of a basket case today than I was a week ago. Before, I was trying to get every outstanding project around the house finished, and now I have a giant case of the FuckIts and I might vacuum or something before they get here. They're coming to see Isaac, not the house. Not that he's much easier to keep clean. He loves dirt, especially in the form earthlings call "mud."

Whale watch: I'm down 25 pounds. I have one pair of interim jeans that fit me; I'd been wearing what were my Skinny Jeans, but they slip off and on without unbuttoning the waistband now and that's not optimal. Especially when there's a small boy yanking on them. So those are going into the pile of Dead To Me. Fortunately, most of my hippie skirts still fit and I'm just going to be overdressed for work this summer.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008


(alternate post title: Walker, Texas Boodle)

We have first steps! Isaac walked from the coffee table to me on his own this afternoon! Yay! Very cool Father's Day present for Dennis.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

what did you do today?

I sent myself 34,024 test emails at work, which was roughly 34,023 more than I expected to receive. This brought our mail servers to a grinding halt for a few hours. If you need me, I'll be in the corner wearing a DUNCE cap.

Tomorrow will be better.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

she's crafty

Sunnyvale replaced the farmer's market with their Art & Wine festival this weekend; just your basic-issue California street fair, and clearly not one at the top of the food chain. Ryan and I took the boys for a walk up there Saturday morning. They were not all that impressed, except for the bubble-wand booth and the puppet booth.

The puppet booth was hilarious. They were selling very muppety shaggy-fur bird-monster marionettes. The guy was walking two of them around in front of his booth, and Isaac needed to be OUT of his stroller NOW to check it out. He got right up in the puppet's face and patted it and laughed his crazy delighted cackle. I think he was ready to move in with it. That kid is fearless.

I managed to wrap up a couple of projects for Ike's room o'space this weekend (no, the kitchen cabinet doors aren't finished yet. Shut up.). Almost a year ago, I got the idea to put the words BLAST OFF! on his bedroom wall. I ordered some wooden letters and painted them metallic red, but ultimately they seemed kind of...meh and I wasn't in a hurry to put them up. And then we moved and I didn't get around to dealing with them until recently. I decided that they needed some kind of backdrop, so I spray-painted a bunch of wooden circles silver and glued the letters on. I like it. It's not perfect, but I've decided to be ok with that.

As I said, Isaac is a fearless little guy. Sometimes I wonder where he gets it, since I am of course anything but fearless. But then I remember some brave-but-stupid things I do, like thinking that I know how to apply silver leaf just because I did it one time about ten years ago. Hint: not so much. But I'm still reasonably happy with the way this turned out (although not with how it photographed; this was the best I could do):

I got the frame at a garage sale for 50¢. I painted it silver and put the leaf over that, and then used a stiff scrub brush on it to dull the metal and make it look a bit scruffy. The images are cut from a book I found @ the flea market, an odd thing from 1959 called You Will Go To The Moon. It's the story of a kid whose parents sell him to NASA. Or something like that, I'm not really clear on a few plot points, but the part where they hand him over to "the rocket men" really could use some more explanation. The book is slightly preoccupied with the boringness of interstellar travel. The good news is, there is TV in space. After reading the book the title almost seems like a threat. Oh, you're GOING to the moon, young man. Now get in the rocket.

It's not like modern kid media is any better. Dennis and I have a little game we play called, Porno Dialogue, or a Line From Bob the Builder? So much discussion of laying pipe. Oh, Spud, you parsnip-nosed freak.

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Sunday, June 01, 2008


It was a fine weekend for kitsch-hunting. Yesterday morning I went out and hit some garage sales; in addition to some useful things (pyrex!) and some pretty things, like a pair of Spanish canisters for the kitchen, I brought home...this object that someone was willing to let go for $1.

That's a gen-u-ine Statue of Liberty lamp, with a clock and, uh, a big Christmas tree bulb. It's huge. I suspect it doesn't work; I'm not willing to plug it in to see, since it has very questionable wiring. Eh, who cares. When you look this good, baby, you don't have to work.

Today I went to the Alameda Flea Market with Ryan and Leigh. I didn't find anything quite as wonderful as Isaac's piano this time, but I came home with one piece of vintage awesome:

Who are Helen and Frank? I have no idea, but they seem like a fun couple. This is a Duncan Ceramics ashtray; the copyright is 1949 and I believe it's the sort of thing you'd make in a ceramics class. The paint job is pretty good, though. I wonder what the backstory is; it's not signed, so I don't know if it was made by Helen for Frank or by a third party as a gift to Helen and Frank, those fun-loving kooks who'd just love a personalized nudie ashtray.

I also found an adorable small-scale bookcase for Isaac's room (photos after it gets a makeover), a vintage Dansk paella pan that is a perfect match for the new paint in the kitchen and two mod-ish plates in the right colors to put on the wall.

I love the flea market. It's such high-quality entertainment; it's the show that dares to ask, "Why does this even exist in the first place, and why do you think I'd give you $80 for it?" We're getting better and better at gearing up; today we had sunscreen, a tape measure, tote bags and paint swatches. I also brought a pen but neglected to bring anything to write on. Baby steps. My camera phone is the essential piece of flea market gear. I take a picture of where we parked relative to nearby buildings and note the row number, get pictures of whatever we buy and need to go back for later (noting the booth number in the photo description), and snap odd sights like this set of mirror-posed toys:

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