Sunday, May 29, 2011

Faust is in the House.

  It's raining and thundering outside. I had barely enough time to plant a few more flowers & herbs this morning, but I did it.  The huge lightning strikes happened about 10 minutes after I finished.  I was a little concerned about ending up like that priest in Caddyshack.

  Man, we still have so much to do outside.  When things are closer to finished, I may post a few pictures of our tiny backyard.  We did our best to make it our own little world, and it's still continuing.  We built our own deck, flagstone patio and planting beds-with our own grubby hands.  And believe me, wrestling with 100 pound flagstones was not easy or fun.  It was well worth it, though. :)  Remind me to post a couple pics, ok?

  Sorry for all the pointless rambling in this blog.  Just as a warning, I gotta tell you that you will get blog posts like this occasionally.  Today I feel like showing you some random things in our house.  Sound good?  Well, I can't hear you if you are screaming at the monitor, so I'm going ahead anyway, with or without your approval.  Oooh, I gotta get off topic for a second- did you see "Oddities" yesterday on the Science Channel??  It was a marathon!  Check it out sometime.  It's nothing but a televised freak show, but I really love seeing some of the objects in the that curio shop.  Okay, back to the matter at hand.

  I'm thinking about taking you on a guided tour of our humble home, one room at a time.  I will carefully edit out most of the mess, dust and children's clothes that may find their way into the photos.  That's the nice/scary thing about the internet and digital photos- with a few minutes labor and a couple clicks of the mouse, you can give a completely inaccurate impression of almost anything.  Frightening, no? 

Moving on.

Okay, here are some random pics of our stuff in the front room/living room. If I were 95 years old, I guess I'd call it the "parlor".  Look it up.  Anyway, lookey lookey.  Here's some of our knick knacks in our bookshelf. 

Some of them are silly.  I think you might notice a theme, though....

 And yes, we do have books in our bookshelf, but I didn't think you'd be too interested in our reading material.  Or are you?  Again, I can't hear what you're saying right now, so I'm just going to make a few assumptions unless you email comments to the contrary.  Whatever.  On with the show & tell.

I call this one "Mr. Moosenheimer".  Yes, it's a moose skull.  Antlers would have been cool.

Here's one of our curio cabinet.  The sparkly glasses look nice. 

And this is on top of our shelving unit.  To the average observer, it would seem slightly dangerous.  We built that frame as well as hand painted the sign.  Mmmmm....shameless self promotion.... You may be wondering why we have a ridiculously big, 6 foot long picture of our mascot/logo on our bookshelf.  Long story.  But, it looks nice up there.

So whaddya think so far?  Shall I continue room-to-room?  We'll see what kind of mood I'm in on Tuesday or so.  Our office is by far the most interesting.  We can get to that later.

I hate to cut this little visit short, but I gotta paint stuff.  My husband came up with a couple GREAT ideas for a line of products and posters for Crows Feet Studios, and we gotta hash out some details today.  Plus the kids are screaming about something or other.  I think it has to do with popsicles or socks.

Okay, kids.  Until next time. Here's a quote from Goethe that I really like-

              "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

He was a very smart, dead German dude.  Read "Faust" sometime.   Auf Wiedersehen.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 3 in California- I saw Mickey, Dressed in Black, and Spent Lots of Money. Then I left.

Okay, here is the last exciting installment in the LA soap opera I was involved in.  Again, sorry for the long delay.  It wasn't some lame attempt at suspense; recent developments have allowed me to get back to a semi-regular schedule, thankfully.  So saddle up, 'cause here we go.

Day three- Bats Day.  Oh, day three...  I think the reason why it took me so long to write this was because so much happened that day-  but it didn't all get absorbed and processed until much later.  You won't hear any of it from me, mostly because I still don't have a clue as to what really went on.  C'est la vie.  Don't ask.

Bleary eyed, I rolled out of bed to the sound of of a text from Karen.  It was time to break out the outfit I had specially planned for the day- and hey!-  the basic black corset that I ordered from the UK just for this trip was two sizes too big.  Eh, with four hours of sleep, I guess it didn't matter... tightening something that snug around my waist for twelve hours at a theme park was enough to make me a little queasy anyway.  So, after gaining some sense of balance and motor control, I then stumbled downstairs and met Karen & friends in the lobby.  We were all promptly driven to Disneyland in Matt's cute little square car (or maybe it was more of a trapezoid.  I can't remember.  My Euclidian geometry is a little rusty).

This is the point where we met up with (now unfortunately defunct) the "Crown and Casket Society" founders and members. The plan was to head over to Sleeping Beauty's castle with them for the Bat's Day group picture (which apparently is a tradition).  There had to be hundreds of us dressed in our finest gothy clothing.  Luckily, it wasn't 90 degrees, otherwise there would have been a LOT of sweaty pale people dressed in black- some of which would be passing out.  I think there was a movie like that.  What was it called?  Lord of the Rings?

Now, most of our group was exhausted from the night before because of the Market, or staying out too late with the nice neighbors (shh!  that wasn't me) so we decided to take it easy- a train ride, Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Carribean.  NO TEACUP RIDES.  Spinning, rotating teacups are just tempting fate.

I met some really fascinating, incredibly sweet and welcoming people that day.  The Crown & Casket members were most gracious in including me on their day out- Natalie and Joelle, Shannon- Jeff and Damian to name a few.  Oh, and Chuck!  Chuck likes to sit and read a book whenever he goes to Disneyland.  I love that.  Funniest, best guy I've met in a long time.  One of the perks I found being with this wonderful group is that we were in the company of a couple of castmembers (aka Disney employees), so we were able to see a bit of behind the scenes!  We all were able to ride on the Presidential Car on the train that travels the perimeter of the park, the one that Walt himself would ride, and sneak behind the Haunted Mansion for a peek at the back pet graveyard.  Oooooooo....spooky.

The traditional "goths-only" visit to the Mansion was a hoot.  If you have ever been, when you are in the first room of the house, and the floor begins to sink.  Then there's a creepy monologue meant to set up for the rest of the attraction.  Go figure, EVERYONE in the room knew and recited it word for word.  Loudly.  I think it's a universal fact that the locals all have annual passes, which allowed them to know the sacred words.  I know that if I lived here, I'd just come to go there and hang out, too.  While riding the moving car pod thing with Karen through the familiar sights, suddenly the car stops.  Mid ride!!  How cool is that?  Heh.  I wish now that I could have gotten out and taken forbidden picures- except for the unforgiving steel bar on my lap.  Damn those Disney security thugs.  Walt thought of everything.

After a bit of touristy-like shopping with Karen, I got something from a food cart (about 10 hours after we got to the park) that I will never in my life forget.  It was THE BEST corn dog I have ever had in my life.  Was it because I was so damn hungry, or the fact that it cost me $6.50?  I may never know.  But that corn dog was heaven on a stick.  Oh, I love you, deep-fried and processed meat.

After meeting Captain Hook, The Evil Queen, Minnie and Mickey (they were oddly silent) - it was time to say goodbye to the wonderful and down-to-earth people I met that day.  They were delightfully sweet and have a "I have a real life behind this one" kind of  feel to them, just like the rest of us.  At nearly midnight, after hugs and a promise to see them again, I was on my way back to the hotel on the tram and in the rhombus car.  Or maybe it was a dodecahedron.  Hee.

I called Becky.  She was awake (her night shift occupation allows). We sat in our jammies for three hours talking about nothing and everything in this big ol' suite that I didn't spend enough time in (thankfully) and wondering what life is all about.  What a day.  

What a life.

After all this, I think I'll put in my will that I want to be cryogenically frozen, and propped up next to Mr. Disney.  And maybe next to this guy, too.  Now go wish upon a star or something.  I've got stuff to do.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Does Robert Smith dream of electric sheep?

Better late than never, I always say. 

I think I'm finally returning to normal.  Literally (wait, I don't live in Bloomington or Normal.  Darn).  I was getting a little too comfortable with the gothyness and the lack of structure.  I have to say, after this past weekend it was odd to see people wearing jeans and men at the airport carrying briefcases on their way to a business meeting.  I was starting to think that it was acceptable to express myself.  Crazy, huh? :)

  Day two started quietly, planning the trip up north of town again to see my friends- and then looking at the pictures I took at the pier on the previous night.  Then quiet fizzled away at that point and morphed into fun and frivolity  And the nervous, exciting feeling you get when you go someplace new.  I then managed to find yet a THIRD way to get to their house, after an accidental exit that took me to downtown LA and a nice traffic jam (why does every highway lead to the same destination in this town?  I guess you just have to know whuich ones you won't get caught at a dead stop for two hours.).   Today, we eat Thai.  The best noodles I've had in a long time, coming out of a hole in the wall.  It's amazing what you find in a hole in the wall!  Like a prize in a cereal box.

  After a trip to this really cool art store for a little paper clay- the Rockwalk.  One of my main goals on this trip was to obtain an imprint of Robert Smith's hand. (You know, the lead singer of the Cure.  Come on- he's been around for 30 years!)  Yeah, I know.  He's not "Goth".  And I was feeling a bit giddy right about then.  After a few photos, and some hysterical laughing with Annie and Greg- we got back in the car to find a flat spot to safely dry Fat Bob's hand.  From there, a whirlwind tour of Hollywood.  Again, places you see in People magazine and on TV- except they were cool.  Sunset Boulevard, The Viper Room, Whiskey a Go-Go, Rodeo Drive and all of it's rich folk.  On to Beverly Hills (speaking of rich folk), The Chinese Theater, The Egyptian, and the world headquarters of Scientology.  Man, that's a BIG building.  What do they do to those people in there?  Do they have their own soccer field and dirigible hangar?  I mean, really.

  Afterwards, I planned to meet friends at Disney for the official Bat's Day - then back in the car to brave the crazy motorcyclists (what's up with them riding between moving cars constantly?? They really don't know how to ride bikes.  Good grief.).  It's time to head back for the Black Market.  After finding yet another way to get from the hotel to my friend's house, I managed to get back in time to finally talk with some of my favorite artists, and some people I knew only by my computer screen.  It's so funny to look at someone and realize they look familliar, like you have known each other before- then a light turns on.  Once in a while, human interaction is a pleasant experience.

  I talked to many very talented people that day, and admired their work- and some of them had very encouraging words for me as well.  It is nice to get some positive reinforcement from peers that are in the same business as you, once in a while.  Smiling broadly, I returned to my room to get gussied up for the Swinging Wake.

 It was really a big excuse to hang out with friends, network, and play dress up. But the preparation almost killed me- white makeup from a tube, thirty yards of silver tulle and... who's going to tighten my corset?!  Poking my head out the door, I saw my lovely neighbors from the night before- looking quite dapper as always.  Ash and Casey were dressed to the nines, and were about as nice as anyone on the planet .  Anyway- after a white makeup emergency to which my friend Becky came to the rescue- we departed for the Wake.  Morticia and Uncle Fester, some great makeup from 13 Ghosts, and a plethora (heh, I used the word "plethora") of ghoulish apparitions attended.  I think I took pictures of them all.  The ones that showed up on film, anyway.

  Fast forward to the hotel bar for a drink or three.  There, we laughed and got to know new friends, and the current ones better.  Earlier in the evening, my dapper neighbors invited us up for a drink, so we took them up on the offer.  Green liquor is good!

  After making too much noise in the hallway at 3am, I returned to my room to try and gather my thoughts for Bat's Day at Disneyland the next day.  But that's a story for another day.. and let me tell you, all this with four hours of sleep and a bit of a hangover was QUITE an experience.

So, that was Day Two of my Excellent Adventure.  To close this entry, I offer up a quote from one of the classics-

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those ... moments will be lost in time, like rain."

Now, that may be a little Emo and melodramatic.  Well, maybe a LOT Emo and melodramatic, and throw in some sci-fi dorkiness. But come on, Bladerunner was a really cool movie.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Christine's Excellent Adventure

There are strange things afoot at the Circle K.

For those of you, my loyal blog afficianados, who don't know- I am in L.A. this weekend.  I am visiting some kindred spirits out here, and getting to know some other artists that I've been dying to talk with.  Today I've spent a load of time with 2 good  friends from the L.A. area, and I've been having a phenomenal time with them!  I'll also be going to Bat's Day, which is the spookiest day of the year at Disneyland.  Goths from around the country swarm and converge on Disneyland at this time of can see the dark clouds forming as I type this...  Mmmmmmmmm......

I am resisting sleep at all costs because I don’t want to miss a thing.  I bought many cans of Red Bull last night, so I can guarantee this.   I tried to make a bandolier (just like the one Chewbacca wears) out of duct tape and 24 cans of Redbull, but it proved far too heavy and dorky-looking.  Nearly awake for 24 hours yesterday, I went from our midwestern village, to the village on your computer monitor.  So, tell me- what’s with all the palm trees?  And the Hummers?  Not everyone drives a Prius here, to my surprise.  And they don’t use turn signals.  This can be a little unnerving while driving on a 10 lane highway.  It's like a big, scary game of bumper cars/Deathrace 2000.

Well, that was the actual travelling,  My hotel room was quite comfy.  I was welcomed with a warm cookie.  It was a REALLY good cookie.

The evening turned into one of the best in recent memory, with the best taco joint named after a llama (pronounced “yahmma“ because two L‘s doesn‘t mean you have to pronounce an extra long L), a drive to Santa Monica Pier, chai latte, great conversation, fishing pelicans and barking sea lions.  A neon ferris wheel and Zoltar the Fortune teller machine.  Sand!  There was sand!  And a really big ocean.  It smelled like California.  I am feeling a combination of pretentious and hedonistic.

I was driven through Venice, Bel Aire, through UCLA’s campus, West Hollywood, and up a canyon road to see the lights of LA.  Familiar names of streets and towns that you think don’t even exist, but on your television screen.  Soundtracks to Pretty Woman,  Lethal Weapon, and Police Squad were going through my head constantly.

The good gothyness is all around me right now.  The cute couple next door to me just got engaged, dressed in their best Victorian mourning clothes last night- complete with a black diamond ring!  There are men with mohawks not seen since the glorious 80’s, and some super tight corsetry.  No, the men aren’t wearing the corsets. Or at least no men that I've seen yet.  Or maybe tonight they will.  I’ve seen some interesting stuff since I’ve been here.

Tonight is the Swinging Wake- a costumed event that is SURE to be utterly fascinating on many levels.  I mean that in a nice way.   I actually sewed for this one.  I SEWED.   I’m gonna be “utterly fascinating” too. 

It’s good to be around a group of people who don’t look at you sideways because your appearance is a little different.  So tonight, amidst the palm trees, corsets, tattoos and black eyeliner- we dance!  We will dance like children of the night. Or stand around and look like we’re brooding- I’m not sure.  I am wild and unpredicable, so  we will see what the night brings.

So, from Plainfield to LA in a day.  There's quite a difference.  Our Illinois town is split down the middle of historic Route 66, you know.  The highway that spans the whole country and ends at the end of the Santa Monica Pier.  I was there.  I saw the end of the road.  And it was beautiful.  Insert whatever symbolism or allegory or whatever literary device you want.

It will be dark soon.  And you know what THAT means....gotta find my flashlight. :)

Keep the dial tuned here, kids.  More to come.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Worst blog EVER . Well, not really.

Bloggedy blog blog.

We at Crows Feet Studios are finally getting used to this whole "blog" thing.  It sure seemed very self-absorbed at first; now we just think of it as info-tainment and a pleasant distraction, rather than the egotistical tripe we originally thought it would be...

Okay.  Now we can continue with a clear conscience.

  If you're reading this, chances are (according to the analytics and stats that we've compiled ) you've already been to our informative, yet tastefully goofy website.  And somehow you managed to force yourself away from that little slice of heaven and into our blog.  Well, good for you!  We congratulate you on your good sense and sheer willpower. So what happens now?  Oh, keep your shorts on. We're getting to it.

  Right now Crows Feet Studios has got a full load of work to do.  Several portraits lined up, t-shirts, posters, more murals, plus more coming down the pike.  You can't imagine how much we are spending on Red Bull and effeminate coffee drinks right now.  Still, we are NOT complaining, believe me.  It is a very good thing that we are growing so fast, and it is well worth the extra hours.  We enjoy the work very much, in fact.  Now how many people can make that statement?  Not many, let me tell you. How many people do you know who actually enjoy their work?  For most people, work seems to be one of two scenerios- either the employee is good at their job but don't enjoy it at all, or they absolutely can't stand their job and are doing it strictly for a paycheck.  Either way, it's not easy for the long term.  Your job takes up so much of your time, so much of your LIFE--well, it sure would help if that job were something that you didn't dread going to every day.  I've been there.  I'm pretty sure it took 6 or 8 months off of my life.  Not to mention how much I spent on medication.

  Anyway, the whole point of this soliloquy is to keep you- the gentle yet fashionable reader- informed as to what Crows Feet Studios is doing, will be doing, and can offer you. Right now there is a visit to LA this weekend, which will consist of half genuine networking with other artists and half just dressing up and being goofy.  Money well spent.  But we are also working on our line of "characters" (for lack of a better term).  These will be painted figures, each with their own personalities and themes, out of which we are building a line of products!  You know- stickers, coasters, t-shirts-that sort of thing.  Mmmmm....shameless marketing.....

I could talk about capitalism and art markets all day, but I'm afraid work must intrude.  Plus I want to watch Tremors tonight.  I never get tired of that movie.  Heh.

See you on the other side, kids.

Chris & Carlos