Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Here we are, and thank you.

Today I got my current copy of National Geographic, this issue dedicated to the exploration of space, with a forward by Ray Bradbury.

Very soon, I'll read it from cover to cover and get a little lost in the photos. And for a short while I'll be a little girl, lying on the grass in South Carolina, wondering at the stars, asking my future self if people will ever reach them.

This is time travel. I still watch the sky and wonder as we all do, about the big questions that make us feel so small.

For tonight, I have a little white Russian in my iced coffee and we are off to sit cross-legged on the floor with a bit of Berlioz (thank you, Alison!) and we'll tape and wrap and wish the best to all the other humans on Earth.

And especially to you.

Thank you.

Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve and though I remain firmly agnostic, I grew up with this holiday and continue to celebrate a version of it.

This morning the tree is beautiful and the fire is lovely though I'm not looking forward to the wrapping to come.

As with all holidays, this one carries sadness too. We look behind us, and ahead of us, too much. And measuring where we are, this year.
Possibly we should try to focus on today.

So far, the best part of the day is looking at the owl Orion made for me at school. I've put it in a place where I'll see it often, because it's impossible for me to look at it without smiling.

Hope your day goes well. I hope you carry what is good with you, and leave the things behind that are not. I hope you find kindness out there, wherever you are. I hope others find kindness in you.

Now, to find out how Brate and the squitypips fare...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday the birthday


Yeah. That happened.

I'm thinking...for all the birthdays from here on,
I might like to give presents
to other people.

I'm thinking...I have a lot of decisions to make.

I'm would be wise to take a bit of time off before I
start making them.

Birthdays can lead to thinking. Enough with the thinking.

Gurtie stalks the cake.

She likes the cake.

She is weird like that.

The puzzle table is a collaboration with Spencer, who appears here to have just phased in from another dimension. It's not as big a jump as one might think.

I have photos of the making of the table. I'd like to get them onto the forums.
It's on the list. I'll do my best, but you may have to nag me a little.

Alison and Orion hung out at Strange Too after our meeting.

Orion was very brave at the dentist's office.

The dentist's office is a difficult place to be brave.

We rounded things out with some Mario.

Mimi Ko took these photos. She helped with the tree, made apple crumble and translated directions for the new version of Rez, from Ben, Samantha and Joyce.

Aubrey made a pound cake, which tastes even better today than yesterday. Pound cakes tend to be like that. They improve if allowed to sit for a few days. But, that never happens.

Thanks for all the good wishes, calls and emails.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ravyn says "She might kill me...."

.... But before she kills me, please join me in saying:


We loves you! - - ravyn

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wet. Clear. Crystal. Shiny.

It's morning, around 7:45 and I've dropped Aubrey off at school. It's raining and I'm wearing my beloved military issue raincoat over pajamas. Rachmaninoff piano is playing on the radio. I've caught Orion's cold (Orion who is sleeping in today because of it) and am experiencing the ultra clear-headedness that inexplicably appears sometimes when I'm muddled with congestion. As I drive over the bridge I find myself in one of those moments when everything falls into place. One of those crystal clear moments where all the disjointed bits of life---including the aches and worries and bills---come together in a mosaic that makes perfect sense.
I am where I belong.
Perhaps it's because the desert is dressed in rain. The mountains I've come to love are mantled in cloud. Possibly my raincoat is secretly magical. More likely, I'm experiencing some weird sort of cold tablet high.
But I don't think so. I recognize the sensation. It's a rare thing, so rare that I remember the last such moment of clarity, which occurred as I stood on the edge of the swimming pool with Orion in the summer of 2006.
If this is happiness, I'll take it. I much prefer the quiet, deep sort of contentment that slips up without bells or whistles or identifiable cause to a giddy imp skating on temporary surfaces.
Even now, as I type by the windows overlooking the gloom, the essence of clarity remains.
In moments, the phone will start its ringing and the day will fill up with activity and distractions. I can try to carry the moment with me, but I know that is akin to trying to carry a handful of sand. Instead, I'll deeply appreciate it now and hope that appreciation will lend balance to the rest.

I'm thinking this might be as close as I can get, being a silly human, to poppet vision.

I'm off to the studio, with my imaginary handful of sand, seeking translation.

Hope you have a good Monday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Spirit of Days Past

Days go by. Years. Sometimes memory is a gentle snow. Sometimes memory is a maelstrom.

Holidays tend to bring on these sorts of storms. They rage and swirl behind the candles and dinners and smiles.
Behind our eyes.
They bring depth and understanding, the weight of our pasts anchoring the present, allowing the lights of today
to shine more brightly.

Yes. You were right. I needed winter, so I made some.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More work

Work now, words later. Hope your Thursday is good.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Days like this

Frankly, I'm having one crappy morning. It started out fine--crisp cool air, kids on the playground before school.
Then a seeming avalanche of stuff came crashing down around me.
It happens. It's life. I know.
But on days like this, I want that time machine---I want to be back on the playground, thinking about how I'd like to read aloud to these kids once a week or so.
It would be fun. I'm half there already. They always seem to gather around me in the mornings, waiting with Orion for the bell to ring.
Possibly they sense a fellow alien mind. Possibly I smell like bacon.

Anyway. I'm older now. I've had my cry. This stuff will pass. Always does.

In the meantime, here's some of the new work. We're still working away. No doubt more will be forthcoming.

Let me know if the video for the music box works. You should hear "Puff the Magic Dragon."

Hope your Tuesday is going better than mine. I continue to know that in a grander scheme, things could be lots worse, that things are lots worse for lots of people, that I have to make the best of my own troubles and not let the larger ones---disasters I can't control or help---shut me down.

Deep blues, dammit. And the water's too cold---no hiding there. I must do what I always do---make art. Time for toys, it seems. As my wise friend the Neil Gaiman says--if the work is good, the rest will rest. Or something like that.
Thanks for checking in. More later.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dreaming Winter

People shoveling snow right now would at best think I'm insane right now---I'd likely tell them to get in line---and at worst would want to punch me for my winter longings.

I've got mostly blue skies and palm trees here, day in, day out. Whaaah. Right, hate me if you wish, but it's all relative. Too much of a good thing is, well, too much. Human beings need seasons and change for renewal. It's that simple.

But today is cloudy, and I can sit outside with hot chocolate and blankets and pretend winter. So I'll appreciate that. Poppet tells me winter dreams are usually better than the real thing. And I've spent enough time trudging in snow to know that when my feet are numb, the romance becomes reality.

I am a very silly human, hiding in my own head.
Thank you Poppet, for pointing that out, once again.
I'm working a lot and will be adding new photos throughout the day, as we get them done. Hope you like them. And, if you are dealing with winter, don't forget to warm your feet and drink warm things. And if it would make you feel better, I'll put up photos of palm trees.

Monday, December 01, 2008

There is a season for Crash of the Titans

On the forums, we've been talking about how difficult it can be to make the creative drive behave itself enough so that we can function in everyday life.

Well, that's what I've been talking about. Still, it's a discussion about balancing the things we must do against the things we want to do, things that give our lives meaning. That pretty much applies to all of us.

On days that seems less productive, it helps me to know that later, when I step back a bit, I'll see these experiences in context, as part of the mosiac and then, they'll fit.

That said, I'm...still working on it.

I'm ending this day with a huge list of things to do tomorrow through Friday and a resolve to be up before six to start doing them. On Saturday, I plan to put everything aside for studio work. And Sunday, for feet up and TiVo. Well, that's my plan.

But most importantly, on Wednesday at 3pm, I have a date with Orion, to ride huge honkin' monsters and crack through walls and smash evil. Crash of the Titans.

It's a start.


Friday, November 28, 2008

New Winter Poppets

Welcome to Winter at Poppet Planet!

We've unleashed this season's Poppets:

Gingerbread Poppets smell and look like cookies.
Don't get confused.

Winter Dreams Poppet is a numbered edition.

Our Little Red Poppet ornament is the first
in a new series.

Bah Hum Bug says what we

all say sometimes,
only better.

Cafe Poppet in shades of your

artist's favorite drink.

and comes with a little surprise.

On December 6th, this winter's original art
will appear, along with one of a kind Poppets
and other surprises.
oh--and there's a great sale on Little Red Poppets-
and other favorites as well. Check the store for

Don't worry. We'll send up another balloon.
It's a new season. We're in it. Poppet Planet
wishes you every good thing to be found in

It's chilly! I'm going to get back into the studio. The fireplace is going, there's a little Bailey's in my coffee. Turkey casserole is but a day away. Then sandwiches. Then soup. sheesh.
Anyway. nearly perfecto.
I must go. Poppet is waiting...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank you

It's the evening before Thanksgiving Day. It's rainy and cool outside, there's a fire in the hearth. I'm thinking to take a break, breathe, appreciate the moments and all that is good for me.

The world is a sad and scary place. The world is full of beauty. The world is bigger inside than out.

Tomorrow is for family, and cooking, eating and resting. Because the world is a sad and scary place. The world is full of beauty. The world is bigger inside than out.

It's not an easy thing to live in, this world. But it's the only one we've got.

So we do the best we can, we don't worry and tomorrow, we enjoy all that's good in us.

Silly humans...

I send you all warmest thanks for watching the world with Poppets, and me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Are we talking to walls?

There are nine televisions in this house. Nine. As I type this, I glance at one of my Del Rey copies of Fahrenheit 451. It keeps company with my old puppet, the one and only, the inspirer of dreams and Poppets. Above them hangs a Ron Brown angel in pencil.

but I digress.

Nine freaking TV's.

Fahrenheit 451. The original, the one and only, the inspirer of dreams and Poppets. Will we go there? It's a short trip, isn't it? Once our computers and televisions are married into one entity? And that will happen, you know. Sooner than later.

At what point will we begin to communicate with our walls?

I comfort myself (with an almost guilty glance at Bradbury's novel) by reminding me that all of the sets aren't for cable. Some are strictly for games or photography. One is for security.

The concept of Family Dinner and a Movie is very appealing. Last weekend was a long breakfast with "Ice Age." Conversation, Schmonversation. We talked and laughed together. Dinner isn't the time for family meetings. In this instance, we gathered around it. Besides, teens generally consider the casual questions at dinner to be on par with say, interrogations or firing squads. So the little TV in the dining room is quite the positive tool.

...she says, trailing off.

I dunno. I'll think on it a bit more. I have my reservations. Convenient and fun, yes indeed! No question. But still, it's sort of like having a weapon. It has its up side, but it's a dangerous thing and must be taken seriously.

Because television is a very dangerous thing. And it's in our homes.

And if we think our television isn't watching us, we're mistaken. It watches us. It watches us every single time we buy something. And generally, we buy what it tells us to.



I walked this morning, enough to sweat. I need to swim. I miss the water. But walking fast, in cool air....

is no substitute. Who am I kidding? Still, it's better than not moving.

studio work moves along. A bit on larger projects and new pieces for the store. Poppets for coffee lovers and ginger bread scented Poppets will be appearing in time for the holidays.

Some new gallery art too, a bit darker around the edges than most. Some long overdue gifts and thank-you's too.

Aubrey is sick and relegated to her bed, with soup and juice and lozenges, antibiotics and comfort movies. Zorcon has a new ball to hang out in. Pets in plastic balls. rolling around the floor. What would Ben Franklin say about that one?

And Orion reads really well now and is so very very tall. How did that happen?

and that's all I've got for tonight.

Hope you have a truly good Saturday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Now Boarding

So. At last. The Poppets who missed their flights are on their ways to various destinations.
Yes. Packing and shipping these past weeks have been problematic. The main problem, it seems, is that your artist was doing the packing and shipping.
Hmm. Artists are not necessarily the most organized humans on the planet.
There are exceptions, but this artist is not one of them.
The good news is that now we have, once again, more capable humans to make sure every Poppet gets to its destination without major pandemonium.
That said---if you've been expecting a Poppet and are concerned about it and haven't heard from us, please do email to and we'll tell you exactly what your Poppet is up to.
(huge sigh of relief) Now I'm looking forward to a lot more time in the studio, where I'll cause less chaos and make more art.
Speaking of less chaos;
We're still discussing "The Anti Snowball" collaboration on the forums---(click on the "one of us" image on the sidebar.) It's just starting, so if you want a say in how we approach this particular project, now's the time.
Now. Miles to go before I sleep.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Once again, S. Cal is on fire. This time it's north LA.

We are helplessly hoping.

Here in the desert.

There are sheep. Sheep with very big horns.
Who shall lead them out of their own desert?

It seems a wasteland, a giant ash tray balanced on a broken table with termites at its legs.

Anda Child shall lead them.

or is it Poppet?

Then, where must they go? These sheep, with big horns, noise without substance?

Do Poppet shepherds finally go home?

Sheesh. Your artist is going to hide away and make things...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Poppets like Magic the Gathering, and Light Shows

This from Robert Johnson Jr.

Poppet as a 1/1 Red Creature, costs 2 mana. My favorite kind of creature. Seems humble enough, but distraction can be a powerful tool in any sort of Magic, the Gathering or otherwise.
I'd say, Creature Poppet is bigger inside and out.

Possibly somebody ought to let folks at Wizards of the Coast know they could use a Poppet or two around there.

We've resumed work on the Poppet video projects. I'm certainly glad to see it. It seems a good step toward regaining our forward momentum.

We invited a hundred or so of our closest Poppet friends to watch.
They seemed to to enjoy it.
But it can be hard to read Poppets.

Unlike rodents, who do tend to enjoy their sharp-witted sideline commentary. Smart-asses, they are. Adorable.
Zorcon is telling me he wants more carrots by biting a hole in my shirt.
This is becoming a habit, bringing him in for blogging.

After,we had snacks and a movie to celebrate.
The Poppets in this house like vanilla. I'll accept their sharing as approval of the work.

I've started the forum for work on the project I wrote about in the last entry. The forum (working) title is The Anti-Snowball. While you're there, you might find some other inspiration too, or an opportunity to inspire someone else.
It's still morning...I'm off to work.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Walk with me.

This is a bit from mail to Ben:

What I need, more than anything else, is time. I need time to rest and think and get over things. I need to clear my head so I can get back to meaningful work and have some life.I'm not even seeing a break for that any time soon. I'm on a wheel and I can't get off. I've gotta tell you, I feel pretty close to breaking.
Thanks for the email. Helped.

What I needed wasn't time, but balance. Balancing inspiration and obligation. Long term goals vs short term. Want to vs Have to. Which idea to act on? Which to write? Which might be lost? What's the right choice? So many little....wait. maybe this is about time. Work? life? friends? family? play, love or art? The choices, the juggling, the running, the guilt ....the wheel and the tsunami of minutiae--the noise, the noise, the noise

the fear.

all that you love will be swept away

Silly human!

Right. So. Here's something I struggle with as an artist and a human being. I get out of balance and my inner gyroscope starts to wobble. Sometimes the wobble is mild, sometimes it can knock me right out of orbit.

All that said,
added 11/11
{I'm thinking that if this is an issue for me, it very likely is for lots of other people too, including you. I'm thinking we can try a group collaboration of a sort and explore this struggle (we can better define it together on the forums)

I'm hoping you might want to take a closer look with me. You can use any medium you choose in any creative discipline.
The only thing I ask is that you don't participate without fully exploring the subject. The most important ingredient in this soup is the human element.
Ravyn tells me we can make a place on the forums to post work and comments.

Now, here's my question to you for the moment: what will we call this place?


Two Little Guys from Vancouver

So... I'm working on what I think is a cool collaboration for us. I'll do my best to get it posted tonight. Today, I'm making sure everyone who ordered stuff gets it. I've made a list, now I'm checking it twice.

In the meantime---can anyone tell me who created these two little guys? I bought them from the art show at VCon and they're not signed. I've put them in my display cabinet but want to put a little card with the artists name. She had a whole bunch of these little guys. They're sort of Poppet-y----simple but with a lot of expression. Rubius? I'll bet you know.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blast Radius

Poppet learns a great deal about picking up pieces.

and...Thanks, Carl.