Friday, May 30, 2008

A Weird Sort of Neil Gaiman/Lisa Snellings-Clark Sort of Almost Collaboration which dead things and honey were utilized.

I totally get into doing this kind of thing. It's like a grown-up version of that summer camp activity where you get some macaroni, glue, a couple of feathers and a jelly bean and are told to create something cool.

When you're a grown up it's the same, except that you get to start with cooler components.

In this case, it was dead bees from one of Neil's hives, and other stuff. What to do? Lots of ideas came to mind. Here is the first one finished.
We put this and also some of the honey produced this year in the BUG OUT sale.
You can scroll down for more photos of work or click on the BUG OUT box top right to get there.
We'll be adding new work all week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Right to Left, Back to Front

Pete teaches Orion to read Dragon Ball Z.

Aubrey's into manga and seems happy Orion has discovered DBZ, so he'll have a library right next long as he knocks first.

It seems a good idea to teach kids to read various formats. I didn't understand much about comics until I met Pete. But now I can see that reading comics and manga and graphic novels broadens vision and teaches us to approach concepts from many directions, to be more flexible.
--which will come in handy when he's an adult, for sure.

It also seems a good idea to take photos of our kids in their rooms, with their stuff. It's for later---like thirty years later. Orion will think it's cool to see his toys and posters, not to mention reading with his dad.

It'll be like know...time travel.

Have a good Wednesday.

Off to work I go...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some Very, Very New Lisa Work and A Very Very Short Story


Flight Risk

All the Days We Didn't


Brave New Soup

For which Greg Carere has written a short, short piece you can read on The Two Minutes Project.

Tomorrow we're taking a day off. It was ridiculously hot, then cold and rainy and now we're walking around in our bikinis and sarongs.

On Tuesday, more work will be listed in the Poppet Store. I'm awaiting a package from Neil the Gaiman containing a dead Queen, a jar of honey and whatever other bits he sends me to put together into something entirely weird for the CBLDF.
We are nearly officially bugged out and intend to stay buggy for the rest of the week, possibly the summer.

Now it's Sunday evening and Orion and I have plans to watch Bee Movie

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bug Out, Pete rants and HDR rocks

OK. So, kick me. Yes, we are behind getting the pieces up in the store.
Or don't kick me, because your artist is working hard on lots of things.

Really hard. And last night, I needed to put some stuff into my brain, instead of pulling stuff out of it.
It happens.

I got some good shots of Pete doing his comedy gig at the Red Barn. It's good for me, to not be the one on stage, to be the one in the wings, holding the water and camera and supporting someone else. He did pretty well, actually. The strongest opening I've seen so far for his act. Comedy is a tough gig. Go Pete!

Then LA band HDR rocked. I'll admit, I was immediately crushed out on bassist Amy Tung and took tons of photos of her.

After it was late night fare at, where else, California's classic In and Out.

Then sleep.

It's Saturday now. I have studio work this afternoon---we're working on some solar options for upcoming kinetic pieces.

But I promised to put new Buggy work in the store. I'll be putting things up, probably all week, because we have a lot of new stuff.

I'll have some of it in the store by tonight, I promise.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I've just completed another 12+ hour studio day. Yesterday, the high outside was around 115, I haven't heard for today, but it was windy and mostly like standing in front of a giant blow dryer. I'm dirty, my eyes are irritated, my feet are dry and cracked and my brain says "No" and "uh-uh" and "lalalalalalalalala."

It's a short list I want now, which has nothing to do with working on it and starts with a shower and good music.

hope you have a good night too...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Triple digits, Bugging Out and Summer Drag

It's here. And we're not ready, shade-wise, and I'm not ready, head-wise. I've been completely immersed in projects and Pete's been working like a fiend, gig after gig after gig. So we've been eeking through household stuff, calling each other on the phone to keep in touch. The canopies I bought are still lying in boxes outside, in the blistering sun.

Angie seems to feel pretty much as I do, but she plows on, getting the studio organized and helping me keep focus, making better coffee than me And Alison, infected not with our desert summer but with the "June gloom" murkiness that hovers over the coast this time of year. But she's working too, designing packaging for our future gift poppets and creating our database.

Ben takes it all in stride, as usual. Just look at him. Sheesh. He says he's never had a bad dream in his life. Sometimes he needs a kick in the shin. He is busily finishing up his turn at three different collaborative pieces. In the next few days, he'll hand them off to me, for my contribution.

They're like brainling children, these collaborations. Possibly that's why long-time collaborators begin to seem very much like family.

We'll be having a sale beginning on May 23. In honor of our summer-dread-madness, we're calling it BUG OUT. There will be lots of bugs. The Poppet studio will be somewhat quiet this summer while we make other things, but there will be a selection of Poppets always in the eBay store, and a few spontaneous one of a kind Poppets here and there.

Otherwise, we will work on projects, hide in the dark and in the water.

I got this great shot of Orion before he realized I was pointing the camera at him. Lately, when he sees the camera he either runs or makes a silly face.

I recognize this camera -avoidance phase. Aubrey is still in it.

So the heat is on. Not the crushing depression---just the nod of recognition it so unerringly demands.

Its the work that keeps us sane. And the closer look, (which is bigger inside than out.)
Except when it doesn't. Then we must flee for a reset.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chipping Wisdom 2.0

Today I had a(nother) dental appt. Afterward I drove Pete to a gig in Indian Wells. Driving back, I listened to reports of the devastation and sad loss of life after the quake in China, reminded again that the filter created by distance has gone. Technology has brought every event into the here and now--makes us more aware of ourselves as members of the human family. At the break I switched to some Pink Floyd, and at the precise moment the music started, the numbness in my jaw fled suddenly and this fresh pain put bright edges around everything.

By the time I got home I was genuinely bummed out. So I settled in at the computer to work at minute image details for a project, feeling more and more overwhelmed as my mind wandered off to other projects---and the deadline trailing behind each. I remind myself to employ chipping wisdom when I'd rather curl up and sleep off this gloom.

It's sort of working.

I'm working on a number of projects, with a number of collaborators. The projects are each very different from the other, as are the collaborators. I send bits of ideas or images to them and they send bits back and once in a while that feels a lot like solving a jigsaw puzzle with a best buddy on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

That's pretty okay.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Grapefruit and How to Kill an Idea

This afternoon found me eating a grapefruit over the sink, trying to decide how to fend off this latest idea assault.
It's the second of the day, the first occuring at about 5:50 am.
It's that time of year again. Orion and I are swimming in earnest. In another week the water will've warmed enough for everyone else.
As always, with the change of season, the vision imp arrives, this year like the lion's roar.
So I'm there with my grapefruit slices, leaning over the sink because I don't want the comittment of a plate.
A plate means I'm stopping to eat.
Not happening today. Instead I'm deciding whether to put this one in 'the notebook' while the previous one is burned into Memorex.
So, here's the thing--writing an idea down can lead to its death.
I have only loose theories about why, but I have experiences.
Many ideas should, without a doubt, be written down. But some should not.
Herein lies the choice.
If this particular vision is the latter sort of idea, it won't survive being put on paper. Like Dorian Grey in reverse, the ink is archival but the vision will fade into oblivion.
By the time I clear my grapefruit carnage, wash my sticky fingers, I've decided not to write this one. Instead, I toss it into the mental soup. I likely won't be able to recall it intact later , but it's in there, like some sort of strange DNA. It will stew there with other bits, waiting for the right sort of spark, then POOF! it combines with other bits and something new emerges.
When it works right, the something new is yes, more than the sum of its parts.
It is Bigger Inside Than Out.
That is, when it works that way. At least some of the time, it does.
We pays our money and we takes our chances.

Monday, May 05, 2008

sun day, wind day, most nearly perfect

Sunday afternoon in the park.

We're here to video and photograph Spencer Anderson and the skateboard he converted for 'land sailing.' We find ourselves distracted by our surroundings.

The mountains are a bit hazy still. Possibly left from the fires just on the other side of the range.

This day, this afternoon, is the avatar of tranquility, beauty, nature and civilization.
Elsewhere, (and elsewhen) things are very, very different. This classic icon, this Sunday Afternoon in the Park doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Instead it lives between much sadness and uncertainty, rare and fragile. We take a moment to appreciate it for what it is.

Mimi Ko and I, with our cameras and without our shoes, capture a bit of it to share.

Three amigos--Zoya and Max and

Kiril and Orion wait for wind, prepare to run behind Spencer as he sails by. Later the footage will be used to create an animated segment for a Poppet-y video to be shown at VCon.

Spencer explains a bit about the physics and principles of land sailing.

He hopes to get others interested. After seeing him in motion, I'm thinking it might be a matter of getting the word out.

It is an extremely cool concept.

Today's work was a sort of practice run, to get a feel for what we're up against.

I'm seeing we're in for some work, and some fun.
I'll keep you posted.

Oh---and of course, none of this human activity is ever lost on our little watchers.

Have a good Tuesday. Take your shoes off.