Project: The Simon Le Bon Aztec Bird(?) Shirt

I’m an 80s gal. I loved the music, the clothes, the TV shows, the toys and the knickknacks of our daily lives.
I was a big Duran Duran fan, too. I had a group of friends that shared my adoration for them, some to the point of being fanatical. A couple even signed their last names on notes back and forth with their last names as “Le Bon” and “Rhodes”. They are still my friends to this day, so if they are reading this I hope they share a chuckle with me. I preferred Andy Taylor myself,but I always tended to kinda go for the more unusual person in a band. Anyway, I was fortunate to be able to watch “Live Aid” when it happened, and I taped most of it, the whole day. It actually occurred on a day that we were having a birthday party for me at my parents’ house. I would run over to the TV periodically to check that it was recording or to shove a new tape into the VCR, and then get back to the festivities. I would watch my favorite acts when they happened..I remember it was just a very loose sort of day.

When Duran Duran came onstage, I was really wowed by Le Bon’s new look; he had very short dark hair instead of the frosted blonde mullet he had sported before. I was also very enamored with his outfit and have pretty much wanted to mimic it ever since. It was a red blazer(God,I loved the blazer-over-graphic tee look) over a white tee shirt with a black bird or dragon-bird in a very Aztec-like style.

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This is a composite I have made of the shirt. I have paused and screencapped this video(the video is also known as “The Bum Note Heard Round the World” but I won’t go into that. I felt bad for the guy but I will admit cracking up when I heard it) over and over but I can’t get a shot of what the bird’s head looks like. Still,I think I could draw it if I wanted to, and I do want to. I want my own shirt, dammit! It’s long overdue.

My Weird Life: E.T. Dolly!

When I was in sixth grade, our classes had to participate in an “assembly”…or rather, the school play. The theme was America from its birth to the current time,which would have been 1983. The time is important because E.T. : The Extra Terrestrial came into theatres the past year. I was rather afraid the first time I saw the movie and E.T.; later, I saw the movie again and truly embraced him. I asked for anything E.T. that my parents could find for Christmas. I received shoelaces, a windup figure, the E.T. Light-Up Finger, trading card packs,and the best present of all, an E.T. doll.

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This is not my actual toy–mine is packed away, because he is disintegrating. The fake leather material these toys are made from is a fabric covered in a leathery coating that cracks and falls away after a couple of decades in certain cases. My dolly was very much loved and cherished, so he got worn out much faster.

When my elementary peers and I were in this “America” school play, we all had to participate in the opening number, which was pretty spectacular for a bunch of grade school kids, if I do say so myself. To the tune of Neil Diamond’s “America”, we marched into the lunchroom(where our stage was) in an orderly procession to take our places on the risers beside the stage. We were all dressed as immigrants from countries all over the world, carrying packs and suitcases, and in some cases, babies. The teachers instructed some of us girls to carry baby dolls, wrapped up in shawls and blankets.

I didn’t own a baby doll; I couldn’t stand them. I had dozens of beloved stuffed toys, but no baby doll. Still, I wanted to participate in this for some reason. So I took the most babylike-proportioned toy I had, and swaddled him thusly:

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I proudly carried my “baby” in the school play and only one or two teachers knew his true identity.😄

 

Vintage Pic: I Survived the Fourth!

I forgot to post this for the day AFTER the Fourth of July. A great vintage pic! Probably ’91 or ’92.
We got these t-shirts(“I Survived the Fourth of July at Stone Mountain Park”, with firecrackers sticking out of you) for surviving the Fourth at Stone Mountain Park. When I worked there–and probably this still holds true—our boss said “Do not try to leave the park today. Do not even try to leave your parking space, unless of course you have an emergency. Because you will never get back in.” Stone Mountain Park is a massive, massive destination on the Fourth for Atlanta Metro Area citizens, and it is a complete MADHOUSE.
To avoid the problems of having to go get lunch, our boss also had a cookout for us. That was great. Good times, good times.
The snake I am holding is King Henry, our wild-caught king snake who was so patient with visitors wanting to touch him during demonstrations and anyone needing to pick him up to clean out his exhibit. He was a really great little guy.

 

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Happy Birthday to my brother!

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There’s a bit more to tell about this drawing. I drew a lot of little dog and cat characters in the late 70s and very early 80s, still in grade school. I also had a mouse and bird character, seen here too. The cat’s name was Oglevie..no idea where I got that name…and the bird’s name was Elmo. This was long before Elmo Monster trashed Sesame Street, but oddly enough, the bird was red. I am drawing a blank on the mouse and dogs’ names.

Vintage: Project from College Printing Class!

I had to take a printmaking class in college. While I found some of the projects fascinating and enjoyable, it was often excruciating, because for each exam, we had to turn in a certain number of prints of the current assignment as exactly alike as possible. The teacher also had a very obvious clique of little favorites from previous classes and it was really nauseating to watch him giggle with them as if they were all 12.

If there is anything I cannot stand, it is cliques–groups of people that seem to live to show you how cool they are, how much fun they’re having, how exclusive their club is,and what a loser you are because you aren’t part of their group.

Still,I made it through with some neat projects. This is a woodcut, and as you can clearly see I used nail heads to decorate the backs of these two lizards. I also had to work the design around the knot in the wood.

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