Saturday, December 31, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Every Christmas Card I Write...

I'm a push-over for Christmas cards - specifically wonderful old cards. They're the best ones. We never purchase new cards each year, but instead send out used vintage cards, even if they're already written in. Simply sign your name under the previous sender just like you're endorsing a check. "Season's Greetings from Clyde and Flossie Humperdinck ... but mostly from Kevin!"

After years of mailing beautiful old cards out, never to be seen again (by us), we've begun scanning them first. Our Virtual Vintage Christmas Card File is looking mighty fine right now. I've just shared twenty of our favorites on the Miehana Flickr gallery. Check them out here.

Merry Christmas from Great-Grandma Schmickle - and me!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A-Frame Doll House

A perfect gift for the cool kids on your Christmas list: a miniature mountain lodge you can build yourself! From Sunset Magazine, December 1961.

Both sides of the roof open out flat on the floor, and fold up for storage.

Built of 1/4" plywood, and pine molding, with a sheet of heavy clear plastic for the windows. The roof is painted with one thin coat of brick-red paint, and the shingles are simply drawn in with a soft pencil and a T-square. So easy. I seriously want one of these.

(And you can get the perfect furniture for it HERE... including a teensy Hemisphere Chair!)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Disneyland's Unknown Muppet Parade

"Here Come The Muppets" Parade models, 1990.

With the Muppets' recent comeback for a new generation, I was reminded of my brief brush with Muppetdom in early 1990. "Here Come The Muppets" was the title for a proposed Disneyland parade that would have featured giant inflatable characters rolling down Main Street on floats, similar to the balloons in the Pardi Gras parade (also 1990). Disney had just purchased the Muppets from Jim Henson for an estimated 150 million dollars, and the company was speedily making big (and wild) plans for Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

Disneyland President Jack Lindquist had an idea of sending Mickey and the other Disney characters  on a year-long "vacation" away from the Park while the Muppets took over for the duration. Some of the concept sketches we saw at the time included draping the Disneyland marquee on Harbor Blvd with a big banner reading "Muppetland", painting the Matterhorn green, and replacing the Mickey flower bed in front of the Train Station with Kermit's face.

Thankfully, none of this came to pass, but the Disneyland Art Department certainly enjoyed working on several Muppet parade models. In the photo above, Kermit, Sweetums, Dr. Teeth, and Animal were all sculpted by Rich Collins. I did Fozzie and Beaker. Miss Piggy was done by Scott Sinclair, and Jackie Perreault sculpted Swedish Chef. One other model I'd started but never completed: Gonzo in his super-hero cape and red tennis shoes.

Beaker and Fozzie sculptures in Plasticine. In the final ver-
sion, Fozzie sat on a steamer trunk full of vaudeville props.

On May 16th, 1990, Jim Henson died unexpectedly of pneumonia. I heard the news on KCRW while driving to work that morning. It was a terrible shock, made even more surreal because of the project we had been immersed in for months. With Henson gone, Disneyland's Muppet deal immediately floundered, and we were told to stop working on the parade. Any artwork that we had done featuring Muppets was packed onto a truck and taken away (possibly to the Henson company?) Maybe there's a warehouse somewhere with all our models packed away in crates. At any rate, I'm glad we snapped a few photos while we had the chance!

TV's "Magical World of Disney" welcomed the Muppets to the family. (1990)

Friday, December 02, 2011

STUDIOS Photo Shoot

Hey, we're in a magazine! The current issue of Studios Magazine has a feature article on the Kevin & Jody Co. studio -- and with some very pretty pictures. Sure wish our workplace was this tidy all the time...

This is where I work. The radio is always on.

The ever-changing Wall O' Projects. (Yep, we have no ceiling!)

Jody's Paint Headquarters.

Some beautiful stuff happens at this table.

Pick up the Winter 2011 issue of Cloth-Paper-Scissors' Studios Magazine at any Barnes & Noble books, or at a Michael's crafts store near you.