September 23, 2015

Let's Fall. Let's SO Fall.

Uhhhhhh, you guyyyyyz, it is SUPPOSED to be fall right now but this global warming is all whackadoo and we are still getting some annoyingly pleasant sunny days.  Only a precious few mornings have been chilly enough to require longsleeved garments, and I solemnly swear I will not complain about rain or cold ONCE this year, I am so dang ready for it.

As we discussed at length last fall, one of the most delightful (and non-weather dependent) aspects of this time of year is the Back to School vibe, and all the exciting slash hideous nostalgia that comes with it.  I began my annual back to school vibe rewatching of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (that's BTSV BTVS, can we make that a thing?) and when Season 4 grated on my last nerve I switched to consuming every episode of My So-Called Life while I prepared a very special Back to School treat for you!

This new coloring book is full of 90s babes of tv and film! And don't fret about the lack of your fave 90s rockstar babes, they will get a book all their own!  Yes, this is also the time of year where I publicly announce the zillions of projects I plan to get done in time for the holiday season as if you'll all hold me accountable!  I'LL HAVE LOTS OF NEW ZINES, I SWEAR!

Meanwhile, you are also going to need some new art for your dorm room (or office or bedroom or secret lair) so I am going to go ahead and recommend you treat yourself to a rad screenprinted poster from my shop, because you always need more inspirational ice cream. Since it's FINALLY snuggling weather, I've marked down all pillows in stock by 25% for you to cuddle up!  And while you're there, you can nab some tasty fall fashion!  My new shirts feature art from the Eye Sharpener Manifesto and the forthcoming Eye Sharpener Activity Book.  Available in sizes S-2XL while supplies last!

I made a few batches of Eye Sharpener nail decals but decided they weren't something I wanted to produce on the regular, so if you want some just let me know and I'll tuck them in the package when you order a shirt!  After this lil batch of turquoise tees is gone I'll have another edition in a different colorway exclusively through Mixed Species!  Definitely keep your eyes peeled for the launch of their new webstore, they are also going to make tees of my Pizza on Earth design from last year's holiday cards!

For your sweet and spicy seasonal cravings, allow me to offer you a delicious recipe that contains zero pumpkin or cinnamon!  This is one of my recent contributions to They Draw and Cook and I have many more in the works!

Sprinkles as a magical accoutrement are not restricted to fall alone, but I'm overjoyed to even be able to turn on the oven again without dying of heat stroke, so let's celebrate this recipe (so simple! just one step!) too and get in mega baking mode!!  Visit these recipes on TDAC to view larger.

I've got a giant pile of local apples to turn into pies, and I'll just hafta keep batting my eyelashes at my cozy sweaters and coats til they can come out and play!  If anyone knows anyone who lives up in the clouds, please tell them to send rain.  Or snow!!  Anyone planning their Thanksgiving menus yet??  Gotta dream!

August 25, 2015

Shop Spotlight: Pygmy Hippo Shoppe

When today's shopkeeper first contacted me to order cards for her less-than-100-square-feet shop, my home studio was an overflowing room of similar size and couldn't imagine trying to turn it into a store. Since then I have been constantly impressed and delighted by all the treasures to be found alongside a few of my cards at this tiny, magical place in L.A.! Please welcome this kindred appreciator of snacks, doggies, and Danny Trejo.

For starters, please tell me your name, what shop you represent, and where you are located:
I'm Emi, owner and renaissance woman at Pygmy Hippo, located in my hometown of Los Angeles, CA!
Are there any specialties your shop is known for?
The off-beat, the cute and the curious! Our stapes over the last 4 years have definitely been a tight selection of indie greeting cards, hand painted nesting dolls (done as everything from Broad City to The Ramones), locally made perfumes, art zines, vintage kitsch and statement jewelry.
What are five things I'd be sure to see if I wandered the neighborhood where your shop is located?
Restaurants, rappers, chabadniks, skaters and lots of cute dogs.

Are you an artist or craftsperson yourself?  If so, please tell me a little bit about what you create:
Yes ma'am! I owned and designed a natural history inspired jewelry line from 2005-2010, where I made most of my pieces ouf of scarab and jewel beetles, and I still like to dabble in that arena when I have the time. Being raised in a very DIY or DIE household has allowed me to dabble in varying mediums, and I like to make the standard crafty staples, like terrariums, candles, soaps, but at the moment I'm most excited about the line of Pygmy pillows and paper goods we're working for the shop!
Does your shop have any resident pets or mascots?
The magical and glorious Pygmy Hippo is our mascot of course, but we think all of the dogs that visit us on a daily basis are honorary mascots, too!
Describe the most exciting or weird customer you have ever had.
Maybe it has to do with the type of people who go out of their way to seek out a tiny whimsical store, but seriously, all of our customers are interesting and smart and always share the best stories with us!

If your shop had a coat of arms, what images would be on it, and what would your motto be?
Ooooo okay, the coat of arms would incorporate a silhouette of the state of California done in gold glitter, a pink Pygmy Hippo, party poppers spraying confetti, plus a mix of marijuana, puppies, and japanese candy. And while ultimately I hope to encourage and inspire people to march to the beat of their own drum, we don't really have a shop motto! A couple of quotes come to mind, I think it was Judy Garland who said to “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else,” which is forever relevant, and of course, the late great Frank Zappa also brilliantly said, “If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it."
And lastly, because I'm Betty Turbo, I must ask: What is your favorite dessert?
Bameih and zoolbia! Bameih are basically little donuts (even shaped sort of donut hole-ish) made from a yogurt and starch-based dough that gets fried before being dipped into saffron rosewater syrup. Zoolbia is made the same way with the same flavors, but it looks more like a funnel cake than a donut hole, and they are usually served together with piping hot black coffee and one cube of sugar!  

Enjoy the magic of Pygmy Hippo and shop online! And follow their super fun Instagram feed!

August 21, 2015

Shop Spotlight: Homebody Boutique

I love it when friends and customers refer me to their favorite shops and shopkeepers!  I connected with today's proprietress through my hair stylist in Portland.  "You should get in touch with my friend in Brooklyn!" she suggested while cutting my hair one day.  A few fun emails later and some cards were traveling across the country to this fine shop!

For starters, please tell me your name, what shop you represent, and where you are located:

Kate Silver, Homebody Boutique, Brooklyn, NY, specifically, South Park Slope.

Are there any specialties your shop is known for?

We carry kind of quirky handmade & indie designer goods. Some on the dark side, some on the cute side. We have a good selection of homewares, gifts, jewelry, and of course cards. Ii think the cards are what most people come in for, with jewelry running a close second.

What are five things I'd be sure to see if I wandered the neighborhood where your shop is located.

Restaurants, dogs, strollers, dogs, hair salons. 

What occasions do you think are most underrepresented in the world of greeting cards?

Break up cards!

Are you an artist or craftsperson yourself?  If so, please tell me a little bit about what you create:

I decorate and sell toilet seats. I create an image using hand cut papers with different textures and finishes, and then seal them in with a waterproof, shatterproof finish. Also occasionally furniture, mostly tables, with the same technique.

Does your shop have any resident pets or mascots?

My pit bull, Piglet, is a part time employee.  She has bad work habits, but a welcoming personality.

Describe the most exciting or weird customer you have ever had.

I feel like EVERYBODY is weird. So, in my opinion, there’s at least one weirdo a day. Some in a great way, some in a less than great ways...but for that reason, no one in particular stands out. As far as exciting, John Hodgman has been a customer a few times, and for me, thats always a thrill.

If your shop had a coat of arms, what images would be on it, and what would your motto be.

There would most likely be a skull involved, or maybe I'd go with a picture of Piglet's face. My motto was thought up by my brilliant friend Shannon Bell Price : "Gifts and accessories for the anti-social."

Rings by Susan Ritter, sweet Piglet, and ceramics by Noelle Horsfield
And lastly, because I'm Betty Turbo, I must ask: What is your favorite dessert?

Dessert is my favorite food group. As long as there are no walnuts involved, it's probably been my favorite at least once. However, if I keep thinking about it, I lean towards cake-y items... mmmmmm. Now that I am thinking about it, I'm off to get a donut.

Photos in this post courtesy of Homebody Boutique's Instagram feed! Follow along!

August 19, 2015

Astoria Adventures

Camp Corndog's latest expedition to Astoria was a delightful adventure full of tasty treats, but did anyone really expect any less??  Of the notable ice cream flavors concocted by the wizards of Frite and Scoop, my wowiest wow moment was the Moroccan Brown Butter with a raspberry swirl and delicious Ras El Hanout spices.  

I ventured up early with Chris of Corvidopolis and his wife Philadelphia, poncho queen of the Pacific Northwest, in their newly acquired pop-up camper van.  I would have buckled the stack of posters into their own safety belt, but they were too sassy and oversized to be contained in any mere box, so I just had to be very, very careful.  Previously in these poor posters' history, we had come home to find the power washing of our (100 year old and definitely not air/watertight) house had soaked a stack of posters for this show in muddy water.  I tearily said goodbye to an unredeemable percentage of them and spent a few hours ironing the rest back out with a heat press.  So you can imagine my anxiety when the humid coastal air started to induce ripply wrinkles!  We contemplated the best ways to MacGyver the shit out of supplies we could acquire at Safeway, attempting to wrap them in garbage bags with an open bag of rice, before being rescued by Lisa from Frite and Scoop and tucking them safely away inside overnight.

After waking up to the squawking of seagulls, we enjoyed some delicious parking spot breakfast tacos in the camper van! We surveyed many of Astoria's fine junk shops and vintage clothing shops, and after a festive night of Art Walk socializing, we played some fierce skee ball and air hockey in the local arcade.

Glad we made an stop to do a funny dance in front of the Goonies house on our previous visit in May, as I've just heard the thousands of visitors have finally driven the owners to refuse all photo ops and curious wanderers by covering their house up in blue tarps.  Since young Taco Tornado can cross this stop off his Cool Childhood Checklist we moved on to spending more time with the ridiculously comical sea lions and checking out the barnacled remains of the shipwreck in Warrenton.

The gears in our brains are already creaking along to come up with the next fun reason to take a trip to Astoria!  Our posters will be up at Frite and Scoop for the rest of this month and you can also purchase them online if you can't visit in person!  (Visit my Etsy shop, Corvidopolis's Etsy shop, or contact Mr. Hairy McSpecies!)  Though if you are remotely maybe close enough to check it out, I promise you that you NEED these frites and ice creams in your life.

July 23, 2015

Shop Spotlight: Scout Salvage

It's shop spotlight time again!  Today we get to visit Scout Salvage in Philadelphia.  I wonder if Betsy's dad and my dad want to start a Dads Who Love Jackalopes club?  Is it totally weird I am working on a jackalope shirt design for my dad right now??  My connection with Scout Salvage must be destiny!

For starters, please tell me your name, what shop you represent, and where you are located:
I'm Betsy, owner, founder and creative director of Scout Salvage and Vintage Rescue-a vintage shop in Old City, Philadelphia

Are there any specialties your shop is known for?
Scout is known for having really well-priced vintage clothing, housewares and furniture, with a selection of new and handmade items that compliment our vintage selection and brand.  We sell all of it via our website at or via Instagram @scoutsalvage.

What are five things I'd be sure to see if I wandered the neighborhood where your shop is located?
Old City is a really funny little neighborhood, it's the historic district of Philly, so it's full of tourists and tour groups all day.  The Liberty Bell is right down the street, and we are around the corner from The Betsy Ross House and our shop is smack dab in the middle of it all.  If you were here, you'd see dudes dressed as Benjamin Franklin all over the place, horse drawn carriages with families in the backs taking lots of photos. One of my favorite sights is to see a tour-guide caught out of character with headphones on or smoking a sneaky cigarette in the alley.  Another favorite sight in Old City is the window display of the tech company Weblinc-which is a totally bizarro scene with little clown mannequins holding butcher knives and fake plastic steaks-people are always staring in trying to figure out what kind of company would have that window.

Does your shop have any resident pets or mascots?
Our shop mascot is either my van, or our resident taxidermy Jackalope, which was a gift from my father when I opened the store. The crew he had managed when he owned a business gave it to him when he retired, and he gave it to me when I opened the store.  We're making t-shirts later on this summer with him on them.  (the jackalope-not my dad)
Describe the most exciting or weird customer you have ever had.
My most exciting customer was Tina Fey.  I had to stop myself from screaming LIZ LEMON!!!!!!

If your shop had a coat of arms, what images would be on it, and what would your motto be?
Our coat of arms would be my vintage 1988 Dodge Van with crossed antlers underneath, that would be so Scout....

And lastly, because I'm Betty Turbo, I must ask: What is your favorite dessert?
Desserts....oh boy...I have recently discovered my love for Mochi and I'm kinda obsessed.  My boyfriend keeps it in his freezer at all times, he's such a good dude.   I have a soft spot for Tastycake cupcakes  and shoo-fly pie cause I'm a true Pennsylvanian at heart. I grew up in a very PA Dutch household so anything with that molasses flavor is right up my alley.

July 22, 2015

Ice Cream, Again. Forever!

Wellllll National Ice Cream month may be on the downhill stretch, but I'll never stop thinking about it.  Here are a few recent contributions I made to They Draw And Cook and They Draw And Travel in case you missed them!

July 20, 2015

An Ice Cream Transmission from Camp Corndog

Hellllooooo out there, ice cream lovers.  This #allicecreamallthetime obsession has fully saturated our consciousness here at Camp Corndog, resulting in a smashing series of hand printed posters which we are almost ready to unveil.  I will be returning to the sweet and lovely Frite & Scoop ice cream shop in Astoria on August 8th along with Hairy McSpecies and Christopher Adams of Corvidopolis.  We shall cover their walls with more ice cream goodness!

We're up to our armpits in posters and have determined the consumption of Talenti gelato should definitely be a business expense because their containers are perfect for ink storage as we pick the perfect pantones to portray our ice cream dreams.  A few copies of each print will be for sale in person from Frite & Scoop, and we will also list them online in our respective shops after the opening reception.  Editions are limited, so stay tuned to get the goods!  We've also produced new shirts for Frite & Scoop which you can pick up in real life or from their web shop!

xoxo, Betty Turbo / Mixed Species / Corvidopolis

July 3, 2015

Shop Spotlight: MADE

Heeeeeere I am with another shop spotlight for you! I've sure got travel on the brain lately and I realized when typing this that I've never been to Wyoming! Here's a fun place I'd visit.

For starters, please tell me your name, what shop you represent, and where you are located:     John Frechette & Christian Burch. MADE, Jackson,WY.

Are there any specialties your shop is known for?  
We work with about 200 handmade artists from all over the USA
What are five things I'd be sure to see if I wandered the neighborhood where your shop is located?  
The Tetons are a can't miss, the Antler Arches that surround the town square, Gaslight Alley is the little boardwalked alley that we are on.  Next door is The Valley Bookstore (our local independent bookstore) and our other shop Mountain Dandy.

What occasions do you think are most underrepresented in the world of greeting cards? 
We love a good location specific card, but as for holidays maybe uncle and aunt cards.

Are you an artist or craftsperson yourself?  If so, please tell me a little bit about what you create:  

I am...I make a line of handcrafted glass belt buckles.  Each one is custom designed and crafted through a five day process....

Does your shop have any resident pets or mascots?  

Sadly no. although we are dying for a good shop dog.

Describe the most exciting or weird customer you have ever had.   

We see a lot of weird ones, but that is what keeps it fun.  Being a pretty well know vacation destination we see a bunch of fun celebrities. Leonardo DeCaprio, the cast of Modern Family, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart, Julianne Moore and some other super fun ones!
If your shop had a coat of arms, what images would be on it, and what would your motto be? 

MADE to be Handmade    
And lastly, because I'm Betty Turbo, I must ask: What is your favorite dessert?

Favorite desert is Creme Brûlée - or a good old fashioned donut from Dunkin.

July 2, 2015

Betty Turbo All Over Everything

I spent a little time recently culling my illustration archives for bits and pieces I could recycle into new designs for fabric patterns.  I mostly use Spoonflower for making my pillows, but based on the popularity of my donut fabric design, I figured more foodie doodles would be a welcome addition to their marketplace!

I've made scarves and tote bags from my custom fabric, and occasionally dresses just for myself.  Lots of people ask for garments but I was never ready to fall down the rabbit hole of all the additional skills and up front costs required for that kind of production.  Enter my NEW favorite website... PrintAllOverMe!  You can upload your digital art files to their site and offer them for sale on a whole selection of garments.

If you balk at the prices, please keep in mind: 1) Their garments are all printed & sewn to order and many have XXS to 4XL available.  2)  Some of the production is in China, but as explained on their website, all employees work full-time, get health insurance, and receive at least 4x a living wage.  This is not fast food fashion! 3) A percentage of the sale goes to the artist, so you are definitely placing your vote FOR independent artists instead of Certain Popular Clothing Brands who notoriously rip off independent artists every chance they get.

I am already fantasizing about what head-to-toe look I will sport for the holiday craft show season. Candy covered jumpsuit? Scope out my shop on PAOM - I will happily add any designs you see in my Spoonflower shop to the garments of your choice on PAOM, just let me know.  There are lots of choices for dudes too!  Suit up, Betty Turbo Army!  I haven't ordered any pieces yet so be sure to let me know what you think if you pick some up.  I really hope it's all as cool as it sounds!!

(Please also note: PAOM is undergoing a massive site update so some pages & pictures may be slow to load or glitchy, but please don't give up!  I hope it'll all be smooth sailing soon.)

June 26, 2015

All Ice Cream, All The Time

I hear you say, "Hey Betty Turbo, will you ever get sick of drawing and painting ice cream?"  And I'm here to tell ya, NOTTTTT LIKELY!

The general inspiration of dessert is enhanced by ice cream's magical cold properties, which are related to my ice cold Alaska snow baby mojo. Unlike treats of the cake family (SO over it), ice cream never lost its magic once I peeked behind the curtain!  Most baked goods are less amazing to me now that I know how to make them.  I'm no ice cream PROFESSIONAL (minus those few days feeding gelato samples to Nicole Kidman) but I do make my own ice cream frequently, and despite knowing all the science-y bits about the process, still maintain my fascination and adoration.

Ice cream is a sweet, glorious treat for kiddos and adults alike. It can provide us interesting conversations about our behaviors towards food and consumption of indulgences of all kinds. It turns from goopy liquid into magic awesomeness because of science. It's going to be the highlight of our summer in this funky old house with no air conditioning because it's the best way to cool down. You really don't have to miss out if you're vegan or lactose-intolerant, because scientific advancements in the world of soy, almond, and coconut ice creams are really pretty great lately, and, well, fruit sorbets ALMOST count.

When some kind folks who had already collected some of my work asked me to show art at their ice cream shop this spring, I jumped at the chance and made a brand new batch of ice cream paintings for the occasion. Not only did my band of weirdos and I decide Frite and Scoop was our new favorite place on Earth, the weekend was barely over before we were trying to plan ANOTHER ice cream show, so now we're screenprinting a new series of ice cream posters to paper their walls in August. I'm not bored of it yet, are you??  (Hint: say no.)

I wanna help you stay cool this summer so I'm gonna send you some ice cream.  It's not the edible kind, but it will cool your spirit and you'll have to find the real life kind to chill out your physical self. I'll will send one winner the ice cream softie friend you see here and copy of each of the all-purpose ice cream cards you see in the photos above!

Get more information about "The Best" and these ice cream cards in my shop!  I actually have SIXTEEN items featuring ice cream for sale at the moment, and some of the paintings you see here are still available, so let me know if you have any questions!  Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway - you can choose any or all of the entry options given for up to five chances. (The email you supply is only for me to contact you if you win.) Giveaway is open worldwide, for ages 18 and over, and will run a little over a week on account of holidays. (I'll be busy eating ice cream.) Winner will be chosen randomly July 6th and I will be contacting the winner via email. You must respond within 24 hours to claim your prize or a new winner will be chosen! No purchase necessary to win!

Note added 7/2: Seem to have some issues with the Rafflecopter widget, sorry for anyone having trouble!  The automatic tweet isn't linking correctly but I'll still validate all entries that shared it :P

a Rafflecopter giveaway

June 16, 2015

Shop Spotlight: Rala

I'm back to introduce you to another fun shop!  The only thing I could think of that I know about Knoxville is how good The Tomato Head is and then I got really hungry thinking about it.  But I haven't visited since before today's guest was on the scene, so now I have another pin in my mental map. Take a peek inside Rala!

For starters, please tell me your name, what shop you represent, and where you are located:

Hello! I am Alaina Smith, and I manage a small shop in Knoxville, TN called Rala.

Are there any specialties your shop is known for?

We specialize in fantastic gifts and letterpress items. We love finding unique and funky printed paper to carry. It's fun to shop for cards for Rala, because I always have people in mind when I write an order.

What are five things I'd be sure to see if I wandered the neighborhood where your shop is located?

First of all, you would see the historic Tennessee Theatre across the street from us. You would also run into a man that dances and plays saxophone ­ he's fun. You would pass through Market Square: a large open shopping and dining area with a fountain and a stage. If you walk an extra block away you will see the radio station, WDVX. They are home to the Blue Plate Special, and they play lots of local bluegrass and country music. Lastly, you would see the Sunsphere. It's a giant gold disco ball in the sky and Knox locals love the thing.

What occasions do you think are most underrepresented in the world of greeting cards?

Good question: Probably "like" cards. Everyone makes love cards, but not everyone is in love. Many people are only in like.

Are you an artist or craftsperson yourself? If so, please tell me a little bit about what you create:

I am! I make simple leather goods and geometric jewelry under the brand name Cold Gold. I sell in
the store, on etsy, and through etsy wholesale. (( ))

Does your shop have any resident pets or mascots?

I wish! We've always joked about a shop cat. We do have a teeny tiny plastic pig that we hide notes to each other on. Where did that little guy go?

Describe the most exciting or weird customer you have ever had.

Oh goodness. We are in a downtown area, so we meet all the weirdos down here. There is a man that parks right outside our store and buffs his blue go cart car for hours.

If your shop had a coat of arms, what images would be on it, and what would your motto be?

There would be many cats. Like a herd of cats. And Dolly Parton, but dressed as a Catholic saint. And the coat of arms would probably be in the shape of a pie. Our motto would be something along the lines of "If you can't snuggle it, sing along to it, or eat it, what's the point?"

And lastly, because I'm Betty Turbo, I must ask: What is your favorite dessert?

Shoo­whee. That's a difficult question. My fave is angel food cake with whipped cream frosting and blueberries. It's the best. But I don't know, have you ever put a donut in the microwave? (Long live Liz Lemon).

June 9, 2015

Shop Spotlight: Paperish Mess

Howdy friends!  I've taken the time to ask a few juicy questions of some of the fine folks who carry my products in their shops.  I send my goodies out to many places I never get to visit, so I thought I should learn a little more about these habitats where you might find a Betty Turbo card in the wild!  Please check these folks out if you get a chance! I mean, they obviously have great taste...

For starters, please tell me your name, what shop you represent, and where you are located:

Sean Murty & Lisa Muscato (soon-to-be Murty! We just got engaged after 10 years of high school sweetheart-ness). The two of us own Paperish Mess in Chicago, IL. Located within the very cute neighborhood of Ukrainian Village.

Are there any specialties your shop is known for?

We sell handcrafted wares from over 100 different artists, focusing on stationery, jewelry, home decor, and art prints, among other handmade pieces. We also have a rotating gallery space where we host fine art openings, installations and the occasional pop-up shop!

What are five things I'd be sure to see if I wandered the neighborhood where your shop is located?

1.) Beautiful architecture-- Ukrainian Village is known for it's old churches nestled between apartment buildings-- each are breathtaking up close (but, really even from afar)!
2.) Super cute local businesses! Just within the past year, there's been so many new additions to Chicago Ave, It's been so fun to see the growth and development of our neighborhood and people investing themselves into creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.
3.) Friendly smiles! We see so many neighbors-turned customers-turned friends walking around, enjoying the local offerings. We live just a two-minute walk away from the shop and just within those 2 minutes we often end up saying hi and chatting with upwards of five different people along the way! It's super fun.
4.) Trees! Trees are such a rarity in a big city and there are so many trees along the sidewalks and within backyards in Ukrainian Village! It makes for a really pretty walk while exploring the area.
5.) The skyline! Though it's not in our neighborhood, you can still see it very clearly from our intersection and it's so cool to be able to be a straight shot to downtown and enjoy the view, but be just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of major tourist attractions.  

Which occasions do you think are most underrepresented in the world of greeting cards?

House/Apartment warming cards, Sympathy cards, Graduation cards. People ask for them all the time, so we heard enough customer requests and made sure to make these selections available, among all of the other occasions too.

Are you an artist or craftsperson yourself?  If so, please tell me a little bit about what you create:

Yes! Lisa creates jewelry from vintage bookpages (this is how we got the name of the shop-- I always had little paperish messes around me!). Sean is a woodworker! We have a wood studio downstairs and you can often hear him hammering/sawing away on custom furniture projects, creating record crates for vinyl collectors and of course, more displays for the shop! :) 

Does your shop have any resident pets or mascots?

Oh yes, we do! Mishka! aka ShopKitty. She is usually asleep in a little drawer underneath the children's section

Describe the most exciting or weird customer you have ever had. 

It's probably not super exciting to anyone else, but to us-- it's great. We had been open just a few days and an adorable couple stopped in to purchase artwork for their house. It had been one of the biggest purchases we had rung up at that point. Pretty sure my hands were shaking as I entered the credit card number.  After that, they would stop in often for new pieces, eventually commissioning Sean to make them a coffee table, sending us a postcard of their baby boy's birth announcement, and often referring us for custom furniture projects. It's been so fun getting to know them over the years and we are incredibly grateful for all of the support they have shown to us, as is the same with all of our customers of course. :) 

If your shop had a coat of arms, what images would be on it, and what would your motto be?

A siamese kitty, a hammer and a writing pen. (stationery has quickly become one of our best-selling items, so we've become very stationery-focused over the past year especially). Our motto: "Pet Cats, Write More, Make Stuff."

And lastly, because I'm Betty Turbo, I must ask: What is your favorite dessert?

Lisa: PIE! or Napoleons. Yum. Sean: Coffee Ice Cream! or Starbursts. 

Check out more Paperish Mess on their website, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram!

June 8, 2015

New and Improved Radness on They Draw and Cook

Today's the day They Draw and Cook unleashes their brand new fancy updated website!  I've been a fan of theirs for some time now, and I'm really excited about the upgrades they've made.  As a viewer you can now bookmark your favorite recipes. As a contributing artist you now get your own profile page where you can link up to your other websites so folks can check out more of your work! It's also become super simplified to order prints when you find crushingly awesome recipe artwork you want to put on your wall.  I'm adding more recipes frequently!  Here is a recent addition I'm sure you need try for yourself: 

Let's be honest, my life is all rhubarb, all the time.

Please go scope out the site, and stay tuned because there are more recipes added almost every day and I bet they break 5000 this summer!  Leave comments on your favorites, get inspired to do some cooking, and find some new artists you really love!  This is not a paid advertisement, it's just a blog post full of exclamation points because this site combines so many things I love and is such a fun community!  Join us!!

June 5, 2015

A Few Superheroes I Know

Time to go Inside the Agnes Studio again!  Humor, pop culture, and food are all fast access points to enjoy most of what I do, but if you'd like to dig deeper, please pull up your comfy chair and several handfuls of snacks.  Here's a peek into how some recent paintings took shape in my brain which might give you some important clues about inspiration and context.  The images below are works I completed in early 2015 and exhibited at Sally Centigrade in a show with Sara M. Lyons and Mandy Hazell.  These paintings developed as a natural continuation of some of the ideas I kick around with my wrestling drawings (see a recent interview here) and my Eye Sharpener products.  Their existence began with some pages in my sketchbook labeled "Lady Business."  Your host over there to the left is James Lipton.

Ms. Turbo, what is Lady Business?  Lady Business refers to the general business of being a lady, serves as a euphemism for lady things and lady parts, and is also a title for a superhero who we perhaps don't know yet but certainly need.  I set out on a quest to depict (and if necessary invent) some representations of who Lady Business could be.  I wondered about how we model excellence (now and throughout history), who we celebrate, what we learn from our mothers, what makes us feel powerful, how we costume ourselves, and what superpowers we might have.  This is what I came up with!

Jane as Joan

What is going on here? Is that the broad from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure?  Yes! My favorite scene in this film is when Joan of Arc takes over the aerobics class in the mall, and this stunned expression (not taken from the scene I mentioned) really summed up the total insanity of that cultural collision for me.  In addition to the interesting juxtaposition of Joan of Arc and some 80s aerobics babes, Joan was played by Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos, who deserves superhero status in her own right! 

Norway and Mum

What movie are these from? I don't recognize these people!  These people are folks I know, who posted some totally inspiring photographs on the internet.  I found myself staring at these images again and again. They contain a very unique yet somehow universal magic and some important essence of girlhood.  I gave Chelsea, enjoying all the ice cream she deserves, a bullfighter-inspired jacket because I was determined some incarnation of Lady Business would be a fighter of Bull.  Additionally, the world of actual bullfighting (about which I admittedly know little) is so overwhelmingly male-dominated, yet the bright shiny costumes would fit in any professional wrestling ring both on level of outrageousness and as a puzzling choice for demonstrating masculinity.  Norway helping her mum put on makeup was such a great moment as a slice of essential lady activity in a literal sense, but also in a broader sense of looking at beauty culture and our methods of decorating and armoring ourselves for our journeys out into the world.

Wait! I know this one! Julia Child, right?  But of course.  Julia, perhaps the most recognizable of anyone in this series, made a perfect addition to the lineup.  I am struck by what a warrior she was, and the impact she made with her work and even just her physical presence.  She is an inspirational figure who always reminds me to be fearless and blaze the necessary trails to do what I gotta do.  The sledgehammer is a favorite tool/weapon of mine, so when I came across an image of Julia with a kitchen mallet I couldn't resist.

But what's with the mask?  A mask, whether of the luchador, or superhero, or another variety, takes its wearer beyond the personal and specific, to stand for something greater and more powerful.  It's Julia but... it could be any of us, you know?  It's a larger-than-life presence whose magic is more than one person.  Masked wrestlers are played by multiple actual people over the years! In a quest for archetypal superbabes to fight on behalf of ladies everywhere, I definitely think masks would enter into the equation.

Laura Becoming Prickly

And this lady is... getting some acupuncture?  This creature is also someone I know!  Laura posted a picture that struck me as really beautiful in its simplicity.  Self portraits and looking at ourselves in the mirror are images that we see EVERYWHERE these days and I for one... am still really interested in them.  There was such honesty and calm in this picture, but it felt vulnerable at the same time.  A magical element which I wanted to incorporate somewhere was from last year in Alaska when I saw a HUGE ASS PORCUPINE.  After this encounter I looked up porcupine symbolism and was sure Lady Business would need to have some porcupine powers.  What's that you said, porcupine?  Calm, confident, nonchalant?  Self defense carried in quills representing the storytelling and wisdom of your ancestors? Yes please. I had the word "prickly" circled in my sketchbook as a note that really resonated with me in consideration of women warriors.  Prickly is seen so negatively, whether it is a convoluted politicalization of the very hair on our bodies, or the bristling of those self-defense quills that might be invisible on most of us.  Definitely gonna collect more porcupine mojo.

The Great Birdie
Is there somebody famous under that baggy mask? They look quite small...  This is also someone whom I admire on the interwebs, who is still a fresh enough human to readily embody pure joy and creative expression.  I deeply enjoy her exploits and adventures with her very artistic and fun parents (inasmuch as I can observe the highlights online) which remind of being a crazy little girl in the olden times, before I felt certain societal pressures.  I will also admit I did zero to embellish this costume and pose, it's straight outta real life magic.  I  would like to bestow all the medals and trophys on little girls exploding with self-confidence and pizzazz and hope that they hold on to that zest as long as possible.  

What are all the doodles in the backgrounds of these paintings?  For more on my personal use of diamonds and the eye images, please consult the Eye Sharpener Manifesto and/or consider the actual useful properties of diamonds!  The larger crystal things are sort of magical gemstones related to the diamonds, but were shaped in imitation of an object you can see in "the future" in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure! Perhaps it's used for time travel.  The elements individual to each painting represent tools or magic talismans specific to their respective portraits: Joan's sword, Chelsea's ice cream, Norway's lipstick, Julia's sledgehammer, Laura's quills (and bonus prickliness in cactus form), and Birdie's gold trophy.  I am very interested in the use of recurring motifs for storytelling purposes and you will see many of these images used in other work of mine as well.  

Thank you to James Lipton for conducting this interview, and thank you very much to Chelsea and her photographer friend, Norway and her family, Laura, and Birdie and her family, for letting me use their wonderful photos and faces for inspiration.

Betty Turbo