Fat & Happy

Xmas Hi•Fivories
My wife, she knows me so well. This was one of my gifts.

Yes, it's the post-Christmas fallout. I ate so much yesterday I felt like I could nap for over a year. The holiday was a good one here, although, it wasn't truly Christmas without some drama thanks to a missed delivery by a certain package delivery service that incorporates brown into their identity logo. It was not a happy evening for Andrea & I on Christmas Eve when we realized that Ava's BIG GIFT - you know, the ONE she talked about for weeks; the one she would look at over and over in the Playmobil catalog, noting all the fine details; the one she made quite certain Santa hear when visiting him at the department store downtown a week ago; the one we had infused into our brains - wasn't going to be delivered that night. So, we did some last-minute thinking and came up with Plan B: I wrote out a letter from Santa saying that sometimes during the course of Christmas Eve, he's bound to lose a package or two, and Ava's Playmobil Hospital playset was one of the unfortunate ones that fell out of his sack. He had his best elves working on locating the present and when they find it, they'll deliver it right away. It seemed to work. Ava seemed happy even though she wasn't going to have the BIG GIFT on the BIG DAY. There were enough gifts to take her mind off of the situation, which was nice. Ezra, he was happy as long as he had his Star Wars Legos and Hot Wheels.

We are missing our family from back east, so it's been nice to have Andrea's brother from New York, Von, here to hang out with us during the holidays. The kids, they love Uncle Von.

Here's wishing you had a great and wonderful Christmas.


A Very Merry Christmas to You

I'm making this a yearly thing:

The First Noel

I've posted this for the past two Christmases, but again, I say it's worth posting again: The First Noel, a small Golden Book illustrated by the brilliant husband-wife team of Alice and Martin Provensen, 1959.

You can view the book in its entirety HERE.

The First Noel: pp. 5-6

The First Noel: pp. 15-16

The First Noel: pp. 17-18

The First Noel: pp. 21-22

The First Noel: back cover

Normally I don't scan an entire book, but I did so for this particular one because 1) it's not really that long, 2) the illustrations are amazing, and 3) the story.

This book was done during what I consider a highpoint of creativity for The Provensens. Around the same time, they illustrated the equally beautiful Homer's The Illiad and the Odyssey from 1956.

Merry Christmas!

(And a very Happy Birthday to bro-in-law Von!)


Hooray for Snow Days

hello little snowflake

Been laying low lately because of a freak snow storm that's pretty much paralyzed Portland and the Northwest. It's been a lot of fun. See for yourself:

If you can't view it here, you can always check out the YouTube version. Same thing, lesser quality.

Of course, this was about a week ago when it was all fun & games. Now that we've been hammered (pummeled?) with over 10 inches of snow, cabin fever has kicked into high gear. Fun!

the kids they were sorta excited


After it's all said and done, I'm happy to report a couple of firsts for myself: 1. First time shoveling snow. 2. First time experiencing a white Christmas (assuming that the snow will stick around for Thursday, and so far, all signs point to yes).

I've got some vintage ephemera scans to share with you all, but first I need to stir up a fire in the hearth. It's a good thing.


Another Shameless Etsy Plug

Christmas is upon us, so yes, that means another blogger plugging their Etsy shop, hawking various creative gifts. It's a terrible time to start up a shop, what with the economy in the cellar, but I'm hoping that there's someone out there who'll dig my stuff. Like, for instance, these two adorable girls:

The girls

And these cool guys:

Ready to go
See, right before I mail all the prints I like to line them up all pretty like and give 'em a nice long pep talk.

Looks good right there
Looks good right there, doesn't it? Of course it does. Imagine this without my hand, of course. And the plastic bag.


Besides The Ward-O-Matic Shop, there's also my wife's new Etsy shop, finally up & running: Hula 70. Lots of color and beautiful imagery. We print to order each and every image, so we're doing our best in getting each print out to everyone in time for Christmas. Last day for Christmas delivery is December 20th, just so you know. If you need a 2 day or next day shipping, contact us and we'll work with you on your order. We want you to be happy, just as you've made us happy in buying one of our prints.

We're eternally grateful for the nice start of our shops so far. Thank you thank you thank you.

Okay, that's it for the shameless plug. Proceed as usual.

At the Grass Hut

Grass Hut

As previously mentioned, I took the kids the following night after Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly show to the Grass Hut Art Market on Burnside. They had an opening for the Grass Hut Gang Show, with lots of color and talent. Both Ava & Ezra really enjoyed the experience. Here's some photos from the night:

Ava in the Wonder Wheel

Grass Hut Gang Show

Young art admirers

Grass Hut Gang Show

Watch the wheel in action!

At least Ava had a chance to take it for a spin. I was told that the Wonder Wheel broke later on in the evening. Silly drunk people ruin it for everyone.


Culture Jellying

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

It's not often when I get out (freelance turns you into a shut-in, I'm afraid), so it was nice to get out and enjoy some art this past Thursday. In fact, it was extra nice, since it was fellow animation-pal Joel Trussell and his Culture Jam Jelly show at the Grassy Knoll Gallery (same place where I had my b-boy show) here in Portland. The show is a stunner, with plenty of colorful bearded characters. Joel promised beforehand that not all of the show would consist of vikings, but honestly? I wouldn't mind. As long as they had that unmistakable JT touch, I'm there. Oh, and just so you know, there are girls in the mix, too. Sans beards. One interesting feature of the show that can't be missed: a wall covered with faux fur.

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show

To view the show online, as well as to purchase the artwork, click here.

To view the show in person, be sure to contact the gallery by going to Grassy Knoll's site.

I took some shots of the show opening, including the wall of fur: Joel Trussell's Culture Jelly Show Flickr set.

Another thing: you can nab yerself a limited edition show poster signed by Joel himself: Culture Jam Show Poster. Nice 2-color off set printing.


The following night I was able to get out (again!), this time with kids in tow to check out the Grass Hut Gang show at the incurably hip Grass Hut, on E. Burnside. The show featured some gloriously creative work by Bwana Spoons, Martin Ontiveros (whom I met), and APAK. The kids loved it, but I found it incredibly hard to keep their mitts off the merchandise. If you have cool robots on view, Ezra will want to take them down and play with them.

At least Ava got to experience the Wonder Wheel! That's a must if you visit the place. (Probably not a good idea if you've been drinking, tho. One girl almost bit the dust while spinning in that thing.)