Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Playboy Problem

About a year ago, I bought 14 copies of 1960s and 1970s Playboy, which I found moldering on a shelf at my favorite second-hand shop, Tarrytown's Hank's Alley.

A few I haven't chopped up yet.

As I forked over a modest amount of green, Hank winked at me, "You'll make your money back on these, Honey."

See, at the time, I told Hank, "I'm gonna resell these on eBay." Until I did some online research, I thought I'd get a decent return, turning a $30 investment into $300+. A few minutes' search proved me wrong. Turns out, horny 1960s and 70s college boys did a fine job of squirreling their naughty stash away, and they all want to unload now (pun intended, I guess.)

As I flipped through my new purchase, I also discovered that about half of my new Playboy collection was literally moldering, torn and water-damaged.

After giggling and eye-rolling my way through the lot, I put a profitable plan into action.

I've made shrines to Playboy's classic Vargas Girls...
"What kind of peace did you have in mind, Mr. Smith?" SOLD boxes full of mischief...
I think the lambskin rug gives this box the right kind of sleezy swinging feel. SOLD

...and briefcases that bite the hand that feeds it.
Interestingly, not sold...Learn more about this case here.
I'll gladly make a deal to get it out of my life and into yours...

I turned these kitschy coasters...

...into these kitschy coasters.
Again, SOLD.
"Uh-huh, uh-huh...and the problem is...?"

Well, last night, while prepping for Philly's Punk Rock Flea Market on June 7 (be there!), I hit a snag...

I was again making coasters--because Small Things Sell--upcycling thrift shop and church sale tins of coasters... these: $.75 at Goodwill...
...and these, $3 for the lot at The Cherry Door. I can't possibly use all of these,
so if you're ever walking down Main Street in Tarrytown and you feel
something lightly thwap! the back of your head, worry not--
it's just me practicing my frisbee skills.
Then, the snag: this set, bought for $3 from Union Pocantico Church Spring Sale.

See the problem?

At first glance, I only thought, "Metal. Nice. Cheap(ish). BUY!" When I flipped the canister over last night, I felt my first small shock: $65 for coasters? I mean, I know this was donated to one of the richest churches in America, but, uh, $65...?

Alan Chan Creations: "Rediscovery of cultural art for contemporary life style."
Yeah, fair enough. But $65?
 So, I opened the tin, laying the truth bare. (again, pun intended)

Mr. Chan, you dirty, dirty dog. 

Is that 1st base or 2nd?

On the mat

In the forest

I don't the bath?

Is she gouging out his eye? Ugh. Different strokes...

As I looked Mr. Chan's upcycled images over, things became clear in my mind: "Ah, so this is what you get for a former 1960s Playboy reader!"
And things became unclear: "Should I cover these ancient smut scenes with merely vintage cheesecake?" 

So, that's my problem. For now, I'm covering the cardboard coasters, but I want at least one more tin of metal coasters for Philly.

Am I alone in thinking that these young women, with their unaltered bodies and their playful expressions are more attractive and innocent than what I see in today's average music video (not to mention what's available in the ancient scroll art scene)? 

Can you help a Badger out, dear Readers?

If you have any tins of metal coasters featuring teddy bears or Precious Moments, I'll trade you for my set of "cultural art for contemporary style," you dirty dog.

copyright 2015, Tanya Monier

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Mommy of Invention: Prepping for Philly's Punk Rock Flea Market

According to my partner in craft, Jonelle Greene of FREEload Apparel, we will have tightly limited space for our next craft fair on June 7 in Philadelphia, so I've got to think about what really sells.

And like I said last time, what sold most is the Small Stuff, aka MAGNETS.

A tiny land of treasure, just waiting to be made magnetic

So, this Memorial Day Weekend, while friends go camping or visit the Statue of Liberty with the kids, I'm home with two suddenly coughing and feverish Badgerettes, slicing up anything punk rock and sticking it to glass between soup-making and temperature-taking.

Let's take a quick tour, shall we?

For this project, you will need strong glue, paper, glass, magnets, and enough sitting time to develop your first bedsores.

I have the legendary frontmen and women all ready to one evil impresario, Kim Fowley (top row, center)
If you haven't seen Michael Shannon play Kim Fowley in The Runaways, put that movie on your list!
If you're wondering about Iggy Pop, I've got several. Weirdly, no one bought them at the street fair.
I'm in love with big magnets and with magnet sets right now.
The Kinks, 2" x 3"

Culture Club, .75" x 2" pieces

The only band that matters: The Clash. Paul Simonon, I love you!

Dead Kennedys. Hello, Jello.

U2. Eh, it'll probably sell.

The Beatles. All from the same photo, but the photographer clearly favored Paul.

Black Sabbath. Not my thing, but if it's yours, it's all yours.

Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention

BB King, RIP. 2" x 3"
Thank you, Rolling Stone and MOJO magazines for favoring one-inch sized pics of album covers. I happen to have a ton of one-inch sized glass pieces...

Eh, voila!
 I'm ready for the nostalgia lovers, too, with my 1953 Romance Comics magnets.
1. "I don't even know how to be a wife!"
2. "Oh, Don, I have to you really love me?"
both 2" x 3"

Get a room, People!
2" x 3"

1."Oh, I don't want to be afraid! I don't want to be lonely all my life! But...
but I'm so afraid of being hurt again!"
2. "Even when he kissed me...he was thing of her...!"
Been there, Sisters. It gets better.
2" x 3"

"We almost did marry years ago! We were very much in love!
Remember, Lillian? We had it bad!"
Just look at that narcissistic bum, so proud of actually remembering effing up a sweet girl's life!
2" x 3"

Oh, Roy Litchtenstein, I'm afraid we've gone full circle.
 Comic book fans should be satisfied with my new pieces...

Trekkies, classic and New Generation, should also walk away happy...
Look closely, Sex and the City fans--that's Kim Cattrall behind red-suited Spock.

You know which one of these is going to sell first?

This one! Tribbles rule!

I've even chopped up a Cheerios box (special edition at Target) for the just-right-for-magnet-making Star Wars pics.

As you can tell, I'm not taking the term Punk Rock too literally. "Something for Everyone!" I say.

See? I told you Gorgilla would make a great cigar box!

And let's be honest: nothing is more punk rock than stowing away on a cargo boat, crashing a Yankees game (top and bottom panels on the box) and climbing the Empire State Building (inside panels). Gorgilla, I salute you! 

I'm praying that Everyone will buy these, so I won't have to take them home again. Boxes of glass magnets are hella heavy, man....

Copyright 2015, Tanya Monier

Monday, May 18, 2015

Report from the Field: Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby & Arts Festival 2015

This entry's title is somewhat misleading. I should have titled it, "Report From Under a Tent (plus one quick trip to the Port-o-Potty").

This is what I missed while I was in Philly: Art and Science meet on the street!
Learn more about Kinetic Sculpture Races across America here.

The Trenton Avenue Arts Festival was my first foray into day-long street fair vending, and I could not have managed it (I wouldn't even have learned about it) without my partner in craft, Jonelle Greene of FREEload Apparel.

And look! Now I have my very own FREEload apparel!
(Yep, those are my still tired-like-the-day-after-my-wedding feet)
 Jonelle warned me to get lots of good sleep to be ready for the long day ahead of us. Instead, I made a decoupaged Wonder Woman stool, including new leather seat, with The Man until 1:00 a.m.

Giving new life to old things! Old Thing Before...

New Thing After!

I was superglad to have that superhero stool to perch on during the fair.

Despite lack of sleep, we got out of Westchester County on time and arrived at the fair just about when we expected to...

...Late to the party.
Our borrowed but much beloved tent lacked assembly directions. I hauled our boxes and tables out of Snowflake the Van while Jonelle got tent-building directions from her phone.

I wondered briefly if we would end up with a Kinetic Sculpture Tent...

but Jonelle (and some helpful, tentless neighbors) made shade happen.
We even got the Badger Banner flying, until we realized that it was acting like a sail in the pre-thunderstorm breeze--rocking the tent and knocking all kinds of precious items to the ground--so we cut it free and stuck it to the side of a table.

"Quit whining, Badger!" I can hear you say. "Tell us about the Fair!"

I really can't say much except what I saw, which was a street section perpetually chock-full of kind, curious, sweaty shoppers. I did my best to talk up my film vases like a professional carnival barker and was rewarded with dozens of faces shifting from looks of perplexity to amazement...but not one film vase sale.

So, what did sell?
MAGNETS, baby. Lotta magnets.
This set of Beatles magnets (made with jeweler's glass and superstrong magnets)
was bought by a ten-year-old with a discriminating eye, a limited budget, and admirable bargaining skills. 

Funny little decorative magnets like these sold well, too. In fact, the guy who bought
"Crochet Your Own Hot Pants" insisted that he was just about to crochet his first pair of hot pants.

Almost all of these sold. Weirdly, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr.,
and Johnny Rotten are still with me.
Thankfully, some larger (and pricier) pieces, like this glorious Wonder Woman purse, also sold.

Just as good as ending up in the black after a long, hot day was meeting some great people.

Like Philly's dumpster diva and artist Ellen Benson. Can you see her
very cool silverware headband and glasses set?
 Plus--after waiting almost two years--hearing this delighted exclamation: "Is that VIXEN?"
Look out for Ariell Johnson's Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse
(at the corner of Frankford and Huntingdon in Philadelphia), and you may see this very box!

Jonelle and I ended the day with pockets full of sweaty cash, and we jumped in the van before the storm that had been threatening the day's revelry broke loose and turned the the streets of Philadelphia into rivers.

I'd call that success, wouldn't you?

Now, to make loads more magnets for our next event: The Punk Rock Flea Market in Philadephia on June 7.
Learn more here.

copyright 2015, Tanya Monier