Everything’s Coming Up Alice

Have you noticed a certain aura of Wonderland in the air? It’s everywhere! As it turns out, the local Swamp Meadow Community Theater is putting on it’s own version of the beloved children’s classic. I am helping out with costume designs, directing, and playbill design:

SO, if you’re in the RI area (or heck, even CT or Mass), come on over and see the show. Dates are April 30, May 1,2,7,8,9. We have a huge cast, crazy unexpected staging and details, and an experience that will be enjoyed by all ages. It will sell out, so reserve tickets here!

Angus McDermott

St. Patrick’s Day is coming soon enough. If you are like me, you like to get a jump on Irishing up your house for the occasion.

Each year, I bring out certain things. Things like this guy:

Yes. I know. He is actually Scottish.

This is Angus McDermott, also known as the first item I can remember designing as a professional. He came with the name “McDermott” sewed to his leg. I added Angus as an homage to his obvious Scottish heritage.

Back in 1989, a few months after graduating from RISD, I started working at Russ Berrie and Co., in Oakland, NJ, a large giftware manufacturer. I was put into the “Plush Department” (What a dream! Making stuffed animals for a living!), and this is one of the first designs I ever made that actually got manufactured. Like other kinds of design, a huge proportion of what gets developed doesn’t actually end up manufactured. In the two years that I worked there, I was lucky to have quite a few go through to production.

Anyhow, when he comes out for St. Patrick’s Day, he reminds me of those early days and of my NJ friends. Begorrah!

2010 High Fives!

Playing catch-up a little here…
I did the recipe art for January’s Highlight’s High Five magazine.
I feel certain that you will never think of Mac and Cheese Muffins the same way, ever again.

AND, then… for February, here’s Banana Dippers!
I say dip it. Dip it good.

New York City in January

I just got back from a few days in New York, both setting up the FRED booth at The NY International Gift Fair and visiting my agent and publisher. Those meetings went well… more on that stuff *soon* !

Upon arriving in The Big City, we checked into the W Hotel, waaaayyy way up on the 30th floor.

The first thing I saw when I looked out the window was this:

What!?! Billy Elliot is playing right there in the back yard?? This is the one play I really wanted to see. We tried to get tickets the last time we were in town. This time, GOT ‘EM! It’s one of my favorite movies, so I was really curious about how they would make it a musical, of all things. So after walking around in the -20 weather to my meetings, Eric and I went to a Belgian restaurant (carbonnade flamande!) and then to the show:

It was fabulous! They did a great job of integrating ballet/dance/singing and miners striking and swearing. One would think that couldn’t be done, but they did it. Now that I am involved in community theater here at home, I couldn’t help but look at all the technical stuff involved. How did they keep the smoke machine smoke so even along the ground? How did they fling that kid on a wire from one end of the stage to the other without him dying? And just how deep do those hydraulic stage mechanisms go into the earth? And wow, dancing pants. I didn’t expect that! See it if you get the chance!

Never been to a big trade show before? You don’t know what you’re missing! Here’s me at the Fred booth (set up the day before, you can’t imagine how hellish the show looks the day before the show!):

All nice and clean, see? All the products looking their spiffy best!

We have a big TV now that scrolls through images. Cool. Here’s me with a WineStein:

My pal Barb was set up in a different section of the show devoted to licensing artists. This is a booth that’s hard to ignore! Check out the new fabrics and lamps!

Look who was overseeing The Javits Center!

Wait a minute. What did that taxi say? Let’s try that again.

Ah, irony. You’ve got to love irony!
It really was frigidly cold while we were there, so we didn’t stay outside too much. Here’s Eric freezing in Times Square!

Here’s George M. Cohan freezing in Times Square, too. He’s always cool. Yeah.

You know what we DIDN’T see in New York?

No KISS-guys with baseball bats. No mercenary mimes. No Riffs, no subway-stalking rollerskating guys. No Warriors at all!
And only one Lizzie. Hehehe.