"Who bought this? Who wanted this?"
Seattle-based novelty company Archie McPhee is bringing out the weird with a new web series that is reminiscent of the low-budget cable shows of yore, and I mean that in the best way possible. The Archie McPhee Archives with Mr. Q premiere starts with a guy in a leopard-print fez and a black sweatshirt emblazoned with a big white question mark ("Mr. Q") digging through cryptically-marked banker boxes in the company's warehouse. We're then shown each of the bizarro items he chose, one by one. Of course, he saves the best for last. Two words: Mutant. Farm.
As someone who has toured that very warehouse and has dreamt about rifling around in each one of those boxes, I really appreciate this new show. Can't wait to see what they showcase next.
The series was inspired by the items they share in their "too weird" for their "main [Instagram] account," Cult of Bibo. Here's a taste:
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Inspiration for 2020
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Usually everything is better with googly eyes. Usually. #thrifthorror
Long live, Archie McPhee! Read the rest
The good folks at Choir! Choir! Choir! (previously) are still doing their thing, and now they've included both Patti Smith and Stewart Copeland to play along:
On April 13, 2019, Patti Smith + Stewart Copeland (on percussion) joined Choir! Choir! Choir! at Onassis Festival 2019: Democracy Is Coming, co-presented by The Public Theatre and Onassis USA. Together, we sang Patti Smith's anthem "People Have The Power" with a sold-out crowd and Stewart Copeland played percussion, especially a Brazilian samba frying pan!
Consequence of Sound:
Choir! Choir! Choir! have shared the video of the collaboration ahead of their special concert along the US/Mexico border. Taking place October 13th at California’s Boarder Field State Park, the performance will find some 300 people on the Tijuana side and 500 on the San Diego side singing “With a Little Help from My Friends” together. Presented by University of California San Diego’s ArtPower, the border show is part of C!C!C!’s fall tour, tickets for which can be found here.
screenshot via C!C!C! Read the rest
Saturday night was the tenth annual Mid-Century Supper Club's holiday potluck and, as is customary, photos from it have been flooding my feeds since it ended. Once again, there were lots of great creations (and costumes, whoa boy) but I was particularly gobsmacked by this gingerbread (and candy clay) house fashioned after the circa 1974 Fisher-Price A-Frame dollhouse.
Its creators are pals of mine here in Alameda, Jo Anne Yada (aka art teacher Ms. Y) and Michael Fleming (aka illustrator Tweedlebop).
Jo Anne shared on Facebook that they picked up an actual vintage Fisher-Price A-Frame toy this past summer at a yard sale and that's when inspiration struck, "We knew even waaay back then that we would be recreating it in gingerbread..."
They estimate the edible A-Frame took over 20 hours to complete. Michael focused on the house itself (he jokingly shared, "There was a learning curve.") and Jo Anne worked on the Little People.
The People were made of fondant, with the faces drawn with cake decorating marker; half a toothpick holds the heads on securely. We really wanted to diversify the People in our scene, so we made a rainbow of skin colors to include more people in addition to the classic yellow-and-red haired ones. And of course, we had to include the dog!
For their efforts, they won the potluck's People's Choice award. And, they're already starting to think about what they'll create next year. Can't wait!
images via Michael Fleming and Jo Anne Yada, used with permission Read the rest
These stunning felted-wool witch hats are the handiwork of a Kentucky-based fiber artist named Kate.
The world of fantasy felted creations is her full-time job now. On top of creating them, which she sells in her shop Felt Wicked Art, she also teaches felting workshops all over the United States and offers downloadable tutorials to would-be hat makers. But she writes that she nearly gave up after making (and selling) her first hat at a craft fair:
I made a few "normal" hats before making my very first witch hat. It would be unrecognizable today as my style, with just a few wrinkles and some embellishments. At that point it was really more of an experiment and I was actually a little self-conscious of it. I took it to a craft fair though and it to my surprise it sold that day. It was a relief that someone else thought it was interesting too, as some part of me still just wasn't sure. And I almost didn't make any more. I didn't want to go through that vulnerable process of making something unique and then asking people to give me money for it. In the end though I just couldn't stop myself from making another one, and then another one, not necessarily because I even wanted to sell them but just because I loved the hats so much! I'm glad I stuck with it."
We're glad you did too!
Kate's bewitching hats are available through her Etsy shop and her website. Read the rest
Leafcutter Designs of Oakland, California now has adorable mini metal mailboxes ($18 each) made to stuff full of their tiny letters and packages. Wee key included. You may already know that Leafcutter's founder Lea Redmond is behind the popular World's Smallest Post Service.
This mailbox “bank” is perfect for sending tiny mail within your household, or for use as a keepsake box. Children and adults alike can have fun redistributing tiny mail by way of this super cute, sturdy collection box.
Image: Leafcutter Designs Read the rest
Hey, I started something new. When I'm not blogging for Boing Boing or publishing my inbox zine, I'm busy crafting ways to take over the world. I mean, I'm busy trying to think of fun side hustles for myself. The first "hustle" out of the gate is Chicken Dinner Prize Co, a site I whipped together that sells award ribbons for grownups. Yes, I know there are other sites that make similar items but they all seemed to be geared to millennials. I thought it would be fun to make award ribbons for grownups like me, i.e. the more "middle-aged but still full of childlike mirth" variety.
Since it's December, I decided to start with holiday-themed ribbons. I missed out on Hanukkah because it was so early again this year. But I was able to get out some Christmas ones. In the photo, you'll see the "Naughty," and "Nice," as well as "Log Off." I thought it would be amusing to hang one or the other (both?) on someone's stocking and have them discover it. I also thought they could be used as fancy gift tags or even bookmarks. I also made a ribbon with a saying my 14-year-old daughter SJ thought of: "Drunk on Eggnog." We both thought was funny. The final one speaks to that line between naughty and nice, "Nice-ish."
I'll be making more (non-holiday) ribbons in near future. I have TONS of ideas ("I survived my mid-life crisis!" with clipart of a dumpster fire, for instance). Read the rest
This cute animated short looks at Pixar's in-house Halloween culture -- from the crazy costumes their employees wear to the unbelievably cool and completely unconventional prizes they receive for wowing the judges at the annual lunchtime contest.
Pixar's Halloween Celebration emcee Michael Frederickson narrates the piece and says, "At Pixar, we take not being serious on Halloween pretty seriously. It feels like a bunch of kids playing in a place of work where, of course, you should be able to do that." Read the rest
At a recent West Hollywood City Council meeting, a couple of guys from San Clemente had some sweet words in defense of Bird Scooters.
Now, Chad Kroeger and JT Parr are no strangers to city council meetings. You may remember when they fought for their right to (house) party. A quick scan of their YouTube page reveals that they've since appeared at other council meetings and been guests on the Howard Stern Show twice.
Gentlemen, respect. I'm dying over here. How do you keep a straight face when you deliver your statements?
(swissmiss) Read the rest
They're not dog bowls or flower pots, though DEVO's iconic red plastic vacuum-formed helmets, their "Energy Domes," have been mistaken for such things.
On the fan-site DEVO-OBSESSO, DEVO's co-founder and bass player Gerald ("Jerry") Casale explains their original intent (outside links mine):
It was designed according to ancient ziggurat mound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case the Dome collects the Orgone energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medulla Oblongata for increased mental energy. It's very important that you use the foam insert (which is included with every Dome when purchased from ClubDevo.com), or better yet, get a plastic hardhat liner, adjust it to your head size and affix it with duct tape or Super Glue to the inside of the Dome. This allows the Dome to "float" just above the cranium and thus do its job. Unfortunately, sans foam insert or hardhat liner, the recirculation of energy WILL NOT occur.
Mark Mothersbaugh, the band's co-founder, lead singer and keyboardist, shared with Fecal Face in 2008:
Read the rest
We did the red energy dome, which was useful besides being an icon it was a useful icon. You probably know this very well, but your orgone energy goes out the top of your head...and it dissipates out the top, but if you wear an energy dome it recycles that energy. It comes back down and showers back down on you and, among other things, you remain manly, shall we say, for maybe another 150 years of your life, probably.
I've experienced other incredible interactive-type adventures (for instance, 49 Boxes, Meow Wolf's House of Eternal Return, and the Jejune Institute along with its offshoot, the ongoing Elsewhere Philatelic Society), but I had never gone through an escape room proper before. I was definitely not disappointed.
Late Saturday afternoon, I arrived in Los Angeles to host a meetup I had planned for the readers of my inbox zine. A new Koreatown escape room called Stash House topped our agenda.
Per the instructions emailed to us at the time of booking, our party of seven arrived promptly at 6 PM to a storefront painted matte black. A green glass light clued us in that we were at the right door. I buzzed the video doorbell, the door cracked open, and the fun began.
For a little over an hour, we chaotically cracked codes and solved puzzles in small groups which then led us to more clues and surprises. Our host watched us through surveillance cams in the back room and, when we appeared to be getting stuck, offered us gentle clues through texts on a provided cell phone. For the finale, we all gathered to crack the last code together. Everyone seriously had a blast. Stash House has my highest recommendation.
The object of the Stash House escape room is to find the six little baggies of coke a drug dealer named Ray has hidden in his apartment and flush them down the toilet (shown above in the "Shitter" cam) before the cops arrive. Read the rest