Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Fell In Love With a Fish: You Can Too

I fell in love with a fish. He was glorious hanging on the antique shop wall slick and shining blue. Aside from the dangling tag that read $3000.00, I had no plans to carry him around for the next two days of my holiday.

But darlings, I NEEDED a marlin for my dining room desperately. So, I made one instead.

I know, I know. You want a giant fish too. Luckily for you, I've broken the process down into five easy steps! You too can be the proud owner of a fake Marlin just in time for the holidays!

Step One:  Find a glamorous stuffed Marlin at antique shop and decide you aren't going to buy it a train ticket home.

Step Two: Visit your sister, who recently returned from an Ikea trip and steal away into the night with her cardboard.

Step Three: Hastily paint giant fish onto found cardboard in an effort to finish it before your boyfriend comes home and tells you this might be a terrible idea.

Step Four: Add glitter until you're giggling to yourself.

Step Five: Get that beast on the wall and admire your handiwork.

Live the Dream and Stay Crafty, Muffins.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Dark Cutie MKE: Illustrator Catherine Palmeno

"I make cute things gross and gross things cute."

I had the opportunity to interview and explore the quirky, sometimes creepy and always beautiful mind of Milwaukee illustrator, Catherine PalmenoWe talk death masks, Christmas shopping and her upcoming exhibition.

I have the pleasure of knowing a little bit about your process and your workspace. Can you give us a little 'fly on the wall' insight?

I work very small, so all of my work is done at my little drafting table in my office. All of my cut paper work is done at about 5"x7" and scanned, then finished in photoshop. I try to pick up different textured and colored paper whenever I see it, and I make a lot of photoshop brushes to add texture and dimension. 

I am an avid collector of antiques, so my workspace is filled with trinkets and oddities I pick up all over. My favorite things in my workspace are a Ouija board that has been in my family since the 60's and a replica of L'Inconnue de la Seine death mask (a girl who drowned in the Seine river in the 1880's and who's death mask has been on the walls of Albert Camus, Rainer Maria Rilke and Anaïs Nin).

You've said that if you weren't an artist you would be a mortician. Do you feel like that comes through in your work?

Oh definitely! A lot of my subject matter has a darker side to it. I think we tend to push things relating to death and our own mortality out of our mind because it's scary to think about the end and the unknown, but I am fascinated by the weirder and ugly parts of life. I try to make the macabre more accessible in my work. My summation of my work is usually that I make cute things gross and gross things cute.

How do you choose who to star in your prints? Do you have a favorite in the shop right now?

If I'm doing work for myself and not a client, I just pick whatever is my interest or obsession of the moment. Maybe I'll read an article or see a photo and it will click that I have to do something on that subject, or using a certain color scheme, or someone will suggest a subject and I run with it. I have an illustration of a voodoo priestess name Marie Lavaeu in my shop that is my favorite right now. She was the voodoo queen of New Orleans, and is a character on American Horror Story for the third season. 

You have a show opening at HotPop soon. Can you divulge any secrets about what we can expect?

All of my work for this show will be spooky (and super cute)! The show is December 6th at HotPop, and I can't wait to see how amazing everyone's work looks in their beautiful new location!

See you there, Kittens.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Land Before Time Waterfall Adventure

The smell of forest debris, trembling water and wind sounds. 

Lake Park is one of my favorite places to haunt--especially the waterfall. The ravine that leads you to the mouth of the lake has been there longer than humans have walked. (That's millennia, muffins.) With water tumbling down over 30 magical feet, it is the highest waterfall in Southeastern Wisconsin.

And it's in our own back yard. How about that? Let's go for a walk.

Do you have a favorite haunt?

Adventure On,

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy these adventures. See more Dreamsicle videos here!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Costume of The Week: Dead Rock Stars

Our Costume of the Week is a compilation of dead rock star inspired finds from the weekend. While on a short Chicago holiday, I pilfered the Crossroads Exchange in Lincoln Park. It's the time of year that I shift from Tank Girl mode to a more Janis Joplin moment: fringe, faux fur and flowing fabric.

The breakdown: Q & A suede jacket and Junkie Gypsy maxi dress via the Crossroads Exchange, leather boots snazzed with rumage-sale motorcycle spurs, tangerine cotton scarf by Cleavland Goodwill.

What are you wearing this week?

Stay warm, Puddings.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Milwaukee Treasures: Flicks & Scribbles

While snuffling through my studio closet looking for my Bedazzler, I unearthed a super-secret stash of vintage Milwaukee postcards. What an awesome surprise! One of the perks of being terribly forgetful is that life is full of little presents you didn't remember you had...

The postmarks on the technicolor cards range from 1909 to 1919. It's challenging to imagine so much elbow room between buildings and the streets buzzing with Model T's. My favorite part about these cards is the delicate penmanship: beautifully human flicks and scribbles of our fair city's past.

Do you have a favorite treasure?

Keep digging, Muffins.

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Faust Finale: We'll Do Our Best

Everyone has a Faust story.

We huddled outside the legendary building sharing our own Faust stories, waiting for a chance to revisit or discover the temple that is--or was--Faust Music.

The crowd was full of familiar faces: musicians, collectors and local historians, all hoping to leave with an artifact-- a little mildewy piece of the myth. 

Distressed speakers, gongs and scuffed trombones flowed out of the door as they let a few more anxious buyers slip into the store.

Liquidation Sale.

We couldn't help but be a bit wistful seeing the doors of the vault be thrown open and pilfered. We were watching the end of a Kingdom.

Though Bill Faust was notoriously gruff, he was a force of nature and his store was an Institution. A Time Capsule. A crumbling fortress of ferociously protected trash and treasures.

As I snapped pictures and shuffled through the chaotic and exciting buffet of smelly gear, I wondered how Mr. Faust would feel about this: the trained and untrained, the young and inexperienced, the casual and the True Believers rubbing shoulders in his Museum.

It was sobering to say farewell to the peeling blue paint and signed photographs-- the ephemera of an incredible career. Instruments poured out into the streets, being taken to studios, garages, basements, storefronts and to the hands of kids all over the city--

Making way for a new generation of  "Bullshit rock and roll".
We'll do our best, Mr. Faust.

Do you have a Faust story?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Costume of The Week: Violet Femme

It's no secret. I'm having a purple moment.

This weeks outfit came together after a new Fashion Farm Boy haul of faux fur descended on Beauty. This  reversible violet treasure spoke to me, tickling my ear, "Trust in your own bad taste, Molly."

I'm a Tacky Jedi. Side effects of this marvelous garment include petting and the ability to attract strangers looking to purchase recreational plants and chemicals. I'll take that as a win.

The breakdown: Coat by Fashion Farm Boy, lacey heart shapped sunnies by Urban Outfitters, canary silk scarf by someones great auntie and lipstick in "Morange Matte"  by MAC.

What are you wearing this week, muffins?

Stay Weird,

 If you liked this costume of the week, you might also enjoy these posts.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Love Letter: The Stranger, Mr. Broom

Dear Mr. Broom,

I walk to work very early in the morning while it's still a quiet dove-grey no-mans-land. There are very few sounds: my boots, the jingle of a dog collar, the mumblings of birds--

and your broom.

I walk past you, hunched over with a blue baseball cap and loved khakis, examining the state of the pavement. You diligently sweep the sidewalk, caring for the curb with a grimy plastic dustpan in hand. Leaves and cigarette butts are coaxed in and sandwich wrappers gingerly plucked.

 I feel better knowing that you're around. That someone notices. That someone takes care of the things I'd never think to.

Forever Grateful,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cocktail Highlander: How To Survive

Cocktail season has descended in all of its awkward and rewarding glory: work gatherings, family dinners and holiday parties. The pressure of hosting a fete is one thing, but having to steel your nerves to attend this ritual is another.

The list of social hurdles can be daunting: Your uncouth uncle, the notoriously drunk weeping co-worker, or the anxiety of being on an alien planet with strangers. Fret not, honey bunnies--Cream City Dreamsicle is here for you with Cocktail Survival Skills.

 Anti-Shoe Propaganda. I've never understood this phenomena. This classic "oh shit" incident often happens mere seconds after entering a party: your hostess tells you to take off your shoes. As an adult who spent time making herself presentable, being asked to relinquish my shoes is infuriating.

"Why yes, I would love to walk around on your cold floor half dressed." If I had known I'd be humiliated in this way, I would have skipped the lipstick and shown up in footie pajamas.

 Be prepared! Survive this trap with new stockings or a pair of cheeky socks. Ninja Level: Bring your own marabou trimmed Fredricks of Hollywood slippers.

Bring a gift, not a project. Now that you're walking around barefoot in your in-laws kitchen, it's time to offer a Host or Hostess gift. Bringing flowers that need to be cut and put in a vase or treats that require more prep are thoughtful, but not helpful to your hosts. Keep it simple: a bottle of bubbly, a box of chocolates, fun stir sticks, a stinky candle or a carton of cigarettes. 

Talk the talk. You've handled the hostess gift like a boss and now it's time to work the room. What do I say? Before you barf on your shirt, warm up with an open ended question: How do you know so-and-so? 

Don't ask where they work, what they do or where they live, blah, blah blah. No one cares and neither do you. Kick it up a notch: Are you having a good time? Do you have any nick names? If you had to kill, eat or marry someone in the room, who would it be?

Your Phone is not a friend. Resist the urge to futz with it. If boredom is eating you alive and you can't resist the burning urge to text or check your Instagram feed, offer to take pictures of other guests. 

Wear it out. It's okay to be fancy. Bust out that bright blazer and bow tie. That Liberace cocktail ring you've had hiding in your sock drawer? Wear it. A statement piece does just that: it makes a statement. I'm here. I'm fun dammit and I'm willing to do anything to survive. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE!

Put it in your mouth. Even if the invitation says dinner, have a nosh before the party to avoid getting tipsy too soon. More importantly, a pre-game snack will spare you from being "that guy" frothing at the mouth and hoovering shrimp like an animal.

Friends don't let friends be 'Shrimp Guy'.

Coming soon: How to Host Like a Boss!