Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Decorations

It's Christmas Eve. The holiday baking is done and the presents are wrapped. We never got a tree so we don't really have much in the way of decorations. We hung a few ornaments on the chandelier that we acquired between last Christmas and this Christmas:

  • The Barbie ornament was found at a garage sale.
  • The Mach 5 and View Master ornament set are from the 2008 Hallmark collection so they were on sale.
  • The two small retro ornaments were in a gift basket that Dan won at a school raffle.
  • The Chimpanzee was purchased at a store in Escondido that was next to the motel we stayed at.

The items in the other photos were found at a garage sale by Dan's sister. They are called Snow Stick. You are supposed to wet them with a sponge and stick them to your windows. I decided not to try these on our windows. There are two different sets. One religious and one assorted Christmas designs. The Holy Family had been used so were not there but there were shepherds, angels, and the Magi. The other set had bells, holly, a candy cane, and the scary jack-in-the-box. Maybe I will try them next year.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Nutrcracker Suite

Here is one of the 45 rpm classical music boxed sets that my dad gave to me. The sets are from the 50s and vary in the number of records in them. My example, The Nutcracker Suite, has three made of clear red vinyl. The Beethoven's Ninth Symphony set had eight records while the Mikado is a two volume set with a total of eleven records.

The artwork on the box sets vary as well. Some like the Nutcracker set have very creative illustrations. Others are rather bland with just the name of the composer, the piece, orchestra, conductor, and some of the performers. The sets also came with inserts that have a some information on the composer and piece being performed.

My Dad collected these record sets when he was in the service. He liked them because they are compact and he moved around a lot. He also has a 45 rpm record players with the auto changer that I will probably take as well even though it needs some work. These records are fun to listen to but it's a bother to keep changing the records with the player I have now.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December Again

Well it's December again and I'm not ready. I've been trying to organize things and making a bigger mess. We haven't got a tree or started to decorate yet.

Actually, I just put up a festive fireplace screen I got from my parents. My parents are going to be moving soon. They are moving from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment. My sisters and I have been helping them go through the things they have accumulated through the years. That means I've been adding to my accumulation of stuff. So far I've taken the rocking chair they got the year I was born, my mom's cookbooks and cookie cutters, my dad's collection of 45s in boxed sets, lots of books, and some of my old artwork from school. I also got some art supplies, dad's artwork, and an unfinished painting of his that he thinks I should finish (oh! the pressure!)

I've posted a photo of a wonderful pin I got from my parents back in 1975 for our first Christmas in that house. The pin is two inches tall by 1 and 1/4 of an inch wide.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

DesignerCon and the Pasadena Museum of California Art

Dan and I took a little time off and went to Pasadena on Saturday. The first stop was DesignerCon at the Pasadena Convention Center. DesignerCon (aka DCon) started out as the Vinyl Toy Network Show. The name was changed to cover all aspects of design including plush/fabric design, apparel, print media along with vinyl.

The show was much larger than the show in May of 2008 so there were more vendor and artist booths to see. We purchased a Domo Kun figure, Some Spider Booms as well as a couple of Do-It -Yourself Quees that I will eventually customize. We also purchased a set of small prints from Hyperactive Monkey and an original water color painting of Mr. Toast from Dan Godsell.

Here I am picking out some Spider Boom blind boxes.

Our last stop was the Custom Yoka Show, an exhibit of customized Yoka figurues. It was hard to see all of the designs as it was crowded and everyone was trying to take photos of the figures. Dan managed to take some photos before we left to get some lunch. Here are photos of one of my favorites that was painted to look like Edvard Munch's The Scream and Dan's favorite of the Pancake Yoka.

After Lunch we went to the Pasadena Museum of California Art to see the Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting exhibit. Thiebaud is one of my favorite artists so it was great to see so many of his paintings in person. Many of the paintings are quite large so I spent a a good while just looking and getting drawn into them. Naturally I bought the book on the exhibit!

There was also an exhibit of color block prints by Frances Gearhart which was excellent. It featured illustrations from a children's book, Let's Play, as well as many wonderful landscapes. The bookstore didn't have a book for the exhibit yet but will have one soon. I'll have to pick one up the next time we visit.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Here is an old photo of my sisters and I. We had just moved from an apartment in San Francisco to a brand new house in a new neighborhood in San Jose. This was our first time Trick or Treating.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sugoi Life

Sugoi Life is a store in the Northridge Mall that Dan and I visit. According to the Sugoi Life website Sugoi means fantastic. Sugoi Life has the largest selection of Re-Ment products that I have seen as well as a large selection of vinyl toys and Anime related items. They also carry t-shirts, bags, stationery items, house wares, and snacks. The store has some odd photo booths in the front but I decided to have my picture with Domo Kun instead.

Here is a picture of my current Re-Ment display that I took before I changed it. These are from the Fairy Tale Tableware series which has a lot of very creative sets. There is also one Mega House set in there as well (can you guess which one it is?)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Baseball Super Freaks

Here are some trading stickers from my childhood that I thought were long gone. These are from the 1973 Baseball Super Freaks by Don Russ. There were 44 stickers in the series but I only have 40 of them. They bring back memories of summertime when we used to get these and Slurpees (in DC comic book heroes collector cups) from the local 7-Eleven store.

So, who do you think "Henry the Horrible" was based on?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


A young relative of mine recently posted a picture of their Champions Online character on Facebook. The game has changed a lot since my friends and I played Champions back in the early 1980s. It’s probably easier to set up a character and keep track of all of its super powers and other attributes. The characters and backgrounds look pretty cool, too.

Dan and I found some of the old character sheets that we used back then. We would create our characters by looking up the various super hero powers, skills and disadvantages in the game book. The sheets were filled in with all of our character’s information and we hoped they’d never get lost as we seldom made copies. The sheets also had rudimentary figures sketches that we would customize with character’s costumes.

Here are some of the characters that were created by me and some of my friends that played back then.

“Pixie” was my character. She was an alien that could fly, but only when she was tiny. She also had bracelets that shot energy beams.

Rick was inspired by Greek mythology when he created “Polyphemus”. This was the big, strong guy.

Wheatie Man was by Brian and I have no idea what he was thinking about when he created this. It’s been years since I’ve seen Brian so I can’t ask him.

The last one was by Jennifer, another friend I lost track of. She didn’t write down her character’s name and I don’t remember what it was. He looked like a smaller version of the Thing and had martial art skills. I don’t recall her being into comic books so maybe she borrowed a few for ideas.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

DC Comics Superhero First Day Covers Part 2

Here are the other DC Comics Superhero First Day Covers I made. These four had special commemorative postmarks. The Batman postmark is the coolest and the Flash postmark is amusing but I really like the name of the post office that canceled the Superman envelope. The Wonder Woman envelope was a bit of a disappointment as they used the regular postal cancel over the commemorative postmark.

Friday, July 24, 2009

DC Comics Superhero First Day Covers

Well it's Comic Con time again. Dan and I were not able to get down to San Diego so we went to see the Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938 - 1950 at the Skirball Cultural Center. It has a very long name but was a fun and interesting show. Dan posted a review of the show on his blog.

Here are some first day covers I made for the DC Comics Superhero stamps that came out in July of 2006 at a special event at the San Diego Comic Con. They made stamps for ten DC comic book heroes. I only made covers for seven of the heroes. I included Walf with my favorite, Plastic Man. This is the third appearance of Walf on a first day cover.

I will post the other heroes soon.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Here are some pictures of my desk. Some things have changed since this post from August.

The First photo shows the shelves on my desk. There isn't a separate photo for the very top as the photos I took didn't come out very well. Some of my dolls are displayed on the very top including my "Clueless" dolls from the T.V. show. There are also some of the McDonald's Madame Alexander dolls depicting characters from the Wizard of Oz to the right. You can see the Wizard and one of the Lullaby League dolls at a table and chair set from Re-ment. The Totoro is a paper toy that I downloaded from Cubeecraft.

The second photo shows part of my Re-ment collection - The "My Sweet Recipe" series and the "Donuts to Go" series. Also shown are some small vending machine toys.

The third photo shows toys mixed in with office supplies. Actually, a few of the toys are also office supplies. The cat is a marker pen, the alligator head is a staple puller, and the Felix tin contains paper clips, binder clips, and push pins.

The last photo shows an array of vinyl toys, wind-up toys, and small action figures.

Note: This post was edited because it had been brought to my attention that I hat not listed information about the first photo.

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Walf Illustrations

Here are some other Illustrations of Walf that I did. The Walf story was done in 1992 but never made it to an actual comic book. It was based on a story that my roommate told me when I joked about getting a hamster ball for Walf. I'm sure he made the whole story up to dissuade me from getting one...

The Walf Tarot card was made for a mini comic series called Kardz, made and published by my friend Keith O'Brien back in the early 90s. The series was based on tarot cards with an anthropomorphic theme. Various animals were used in the different suits and many artists sent in their artwork. At the end of the series a special custom deck was made with selected cards and a limited number were printed for those who were interested. Walf didn't make it to the deck but another illustration of mine was chosen instead.

Walf Mini Comic

This is a story Dan and I did back in 1989 about Walf, a hamster that belonged to a roommate of ours. The story was based on some facts but mostly embellished. It was for a mini comic called Acorn Comics which was self-published. Rick Schmitz also contributed a story and the back cover illustration. The comic was somewhat primitive looking and was published for fun.