They’re Back!

The journals/notebooks were new this year. I had toyed around with the idea for awhile and finally got off my butt and figured out what would work best for me. I’m super stoked with how popular they’ve been. I recently ordered a new batch. In case you haven’t kept up on Instagram I now have 4 designs to choose from.

All of them are 120 lined pages and are 6″ x 9″, which is the perfect size for a notebook.
Right now they are all in stock, so I can ship them out within 24 hours. If you’d like to order one they are all available in my online shop. They are also available in person at Viva Paso – 1211 Pine St in downtown Paso Robles.

Thanks for the support!
See ya!

– Jeff

Halloween 2019 : Elli The Jelly

Elliott was a jellyfish this year for Halloween. I know that’s a bad photo, but I’m trying to show off that it lights up. Here’s another attempt, but it’s still not a good photo.

You have to trust me, the costume looked awesome in the dark. All the credit goes to Coral for this one. She made the whole thing and it was so impressive that a lot of the houses we trick-or-treated at gave Elliott extra candy because they thought his costume was so great. “Why not take another couple candies? I just LOVE your costume!” It was a fun night. One lady even told him to take an extra handful.

Here’s a photo in the daylight so you can get the full effect of Jelly-Elli.

Per tradition we went to downtown Paso Robles where they block off the streets around the park and the shops hand out candy. It gets pretty crazy, so if you can’t handle a lot of fast movement and big crowds you’ll probably want to avoid it, BUT it’s actually really fun to see so many costumes all in the same place. We even found another jellyfish, which Elliott was very excited about.

After a couple of hours of walking, arms tired from holding the heavy jellyfish, we were happy to be home to enjoy this pile of candy.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!

Oh yeah, here’s a bonus photo of some fun Halloween cut outs Elliott made earlier in the month.

And that’s that.

– Jeff

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Bonus Blog:
Yes, today is the last day of Blogtober. I posted one blog every day for the entire month. I never got to that point where I thought, “Ughhhh….why did I decide to do this?” It was fun for me and it was interesting having to come up with something to write about every day. I don’t like to talk about “inspiration” because I think it’s cheesy, but inspiration is everywhere. One day I wrote about a lady buying way too many boxes of Wheat Thins. Another day I wrote about a hole in my sock. Anyway, I hope it brought you some enjoyment. I have two minutes to hit the PUBLISH button before midnight strikes and there is no way I’m going to fail this dumb challenge on the last day.

Thanks again for reading and following along.
See you soon!

426 Days In A Row

This is the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever had in my entire life. It’s also the most expensive. I would say that with the majority of purchases you get what you pay for and after wearing these shoes for 426 consecutive days I feel that I got my money’s worth. Let’s be honest though, I got my mom’s money’s worth. What can I say, my mom likes to buy me shoes. She doesn’t buy all of my shoes, but she’s certainly purchased a fair share of them. Thanks, mom!

After wearing these everyday for 426 days here is what they now look like.

Yeah, so they’ve lost a bit of their original pristine. Now they have character…I guess? I’m not a fancy person by any means, but for the times I’ve had the good fortune to experience the finer things in life I have learned something. Quite simply, I’ve learned that it’s worth it. You get what you pay for. I’ll give you an example. I’ve been wearing hoodies for years. Yes, a lot of people wear hoodies, but I’m talking practically every single day. Day after day. Year after year. I used to buy my hoodies at Bello’s. Anybody from SLO remember that place? The hoodies were your run of the mill hoodies that ranged in price from about $19-25, if I remember correctly. One day I found myself strolling around Farm Supply (don’t ask) and I saw this amazing Carhartt hoodie. It was thick and really fuzzy inside. I wouldn’t say it was fleece lined, but something magical was going on in there. To put it lightly, it was the best damned hoodie I had ever seen. The $49 price tag shocked me and I knew there was no way I could justify spending that much money on something I normally get for half that price. Then I came to the realization that I would literally wear it every day just like I wore my other hoodies every day. There’s no reason this one would get less wear than any previous hoodie I owned. The BIG difference, besides the price, was that it fit better, it felt softer, was way more comfortable and it would last longer because it was made better. So, I bought it and it was totally worth it.

Now let’s say I wore a hoodie once or twice a month. There is no reason I’d ever pay $49 for one. I’d just stick with the cheapo ones. At this point it might be needless to say, but I wear my shoes like I wear my hoodies. Over the years there are plenty of shoes I’ve worn every day for a year straight. That’s just how I roll. The thought of wearing a pair of shoes with a $190 price tag sounded ridiculous, especially when I normally find a pair of skater shoes on sale for $50 or less.

That’s a very brutal before and after photo. Anyway, the second I first slipped my foot into these I knew my shoe wearing experience would be changed forever. These are literally the only shoes I want to wear now. That’s a bit obvious, right? I mean, I have been wearing them every day for 426 days.

Here’s the thing. I like to break down the cost of things based on how much I use them. To me, $190 is a crazy amount of money to spend on shoes. It’s probably totally normal to some and might even sound like a deal to others. Anyway, I break it down like this. Let’s say I rented these shoes on a daily basis. Wearing them now for 426 days my cost would be about 45¢ a day. That’s pocket change, people!

What’s the moral of this story? I don’t know…buy some of my artwork so I can buy more shoes. Just kidding! Not really, but yeah…

The truth is, I looked at my shoes today and thought they looked so ridiculous I can’t believe I’m still wearing them. I was planning on just posting the before and after photos to get a laugh. Then my mind just started going and my fingers started typing and now here we are.

Look, you only live once. It’s silly to deprive yourself of something that might only cost you 45¢ a day in the long run. Just go out and buy that thing you think is overpriced or hard to justify. Chances are it will be totally worth it.

Hoodies and shoes. Another banger of a blog post.

See you tomorrow…
for the last day of Blogtober.

– Jeff

P.S. – Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, the shoes are Pikolinos. I picked mine up from Seattle Thread Company. The people at STC were super awesome with over the top customer service.

P.S.S. – The model is called Palermo and I’m a size 44 (11 US). Just sayin’.

The Chesebrough Farm Tradition

Every year we go to Chesebrough Farm to pick out a few pumpkins and it’s always a good time. We went a couple of weeks ago and Coral and Elliott picked out some favorites. I feel like every time I go there I am surprised with how many different types/varieties of pumpkins there are.

They have a lot of fun photo opportunities set up around the farm, but we skipped all of them except for the big pyramid of pumpkins at the top of the post. I guess none of else felt like being Instagram models that day.

The farm is located at 790 Moss Lane in Templeton and is open 10am – 6pm every day in October. If you need to grab some pumpkins in the next couple of days now is your chance.

See ya!
– Jeff

Sample Shirt: Some Bitch Stole My Lunch Money

It’s been a long time since I had some shirts available…and it’s going to be a little bit longer before they are ready. This here is a sample shirt that I had made before I go in for the BIG order. And I’m glad I ordered a sample first, for two reasons.

One, I meant to order black, but somehow ordered a color called Oxblood Black, which is really a dark dark purple. It’s a hard color to describe and when I first saw it I actually thought it was dark brown. And two, I need to do some fine tuning on the lettering. I’m never a fan of my handwriting, but this messy scrawl actually worked for the “Some Bitch Stole My Lunch Money” theme. The thing that bothers me is the “E” in “some” and the “O” in “stole” and “money”.

I have another sample that should arrive in a few days where the girl is done in black ink on a light colored shirt. Unfortunately, it’s with the same text because I ordered them at the same time. Hopefully, I can fine tune the text tonight and get some new samples ordered ASAP. If they turn out good and get my stamp of approval then new “Some Bitch Stole My Lunch Money” shirts will be officially ready for the world. If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know this image is not new to shirts, but this is the first time I’ve included the title. Not exactly sure why I’ve been so hesitant about it, but I’m glad I finally got over whatever my hangup was.

One last thing, the sample shirt is available for $17 on my site. When this graphic gets my final approval and is “officially” released the price will be $24. This sample shirt is basically one-of-a-kind, so if you like collecting things like one off shirts now is your chance.

This shirt is a unisex medium and is a “Bella + Canvas 3001” shirt. I know that’s a weird name, but they’re popular in the blank tee business. Anyway, it’s 100% combed and ring spun cotton, so it’s super soft. Also, keep in mind, although it’s a sample shirt there is really nothing wrong with it. I’m just very picky about the lettering. Ok, that’s probably more than enough information. If you’d like it you can purchase it right here.

Thanks for looking!

In other news, I can’t believe this is day 28 of Blogtober. Only 3 more days to go. This hasn’t been as demanding as Vlogtober, but it’s certainly more work than I had anticipated. There have been a few last minutes posts where I started writing at 11:45pm and posted just before midnight. Being that last minute would not have been possible during Vlogtober. Making a video last minute meant starting at 10pm, filming for 15-30 minutes, editing for 45 minutes to an hour and uploading just before midnight, which was scary because if something happens during the upload process I’d be posting late.

That’s it for now.
See ya!

– Jeff

Digital Art Sunday: Bugs Bunny Appropriation

About a year ago I messed around a little with making some appropriation art. There’s something about it that doesn’t totally sit well with me, which is weird because there is a lot of appropriation art that I do like. It just makes sense that if I like some of it then I should make some of my own. Why not put my own spin on appropriating popular images? Because, let’s face it, there is a lot of questionable appropriations out there. I certainly wouldn’t be able to single handedly ruin the art form. I don’t really have to dig too deep to realize why appropriating makes me a little queasy. Simply put, it’s just low hanging fruit. There are so many artists, especially on Instagram, who seem to have made an entire career out of painting other peoples images. Some of them do it in a clever way with their own unique twist and others are straight up knock offs. The outsiders perspective (mine, at least) is that all of them are laughing all the way to the bank.

Quick interruption, shouldn’t the phrase “laughing all the way to the bank” be phasing out by now? To get with the times we need to start saying, “laughing all the way to Venmo” or “laughing all the way to Square” or “laughing all the way to PayPal”. Ok, moving on…

And it makes sense that some artists have made appropriating a career. It’s the same reason there are so many remakes/reboots in the movie industry. The path has been paved. Why risk making something new that nobody knows about and attempt to make that new thing popular? It’s so much easier to take something that is already popular with a built in fanbase and just remake that. Like I said, it makes me a little queasy, it’s low hanging fruit, and in way it sort of lacks integrity. After I drew my first appropriation piece (my take on Jiminy Cricket) it took me about three months before I posted it on Instagram. Before that I only showed it to maybe three people. The people I showed it to were supportive of it, which was nice, but I still waited awhile before posting it online for the whole internet to see. I finally got over my apprehension because I realized I’m the only one thinking this much about it, meaning nobody cares. And at the end of the day, making art is fun and if I enjoy the process of making something that’s the important part for me. If the outcome is a success that’s just a bonus. Also, what I did wasn’t a straight up knock off. I added my own style to the original source, which, in the world of appropriation art, is taking something that exists and making it your own. That’s a big difference compared to the artists out there taking something that exists and copying it. I tried my best not to do that.

I could go on and on about this topic, but I’ll stop for now and file it away for another time. Anyway, I posted this Bugs Bunny piece on Instagram back in May and all I wrote for the caption was, “What’s up, Doc?” and now I’ll expand on that. I grew up watching Bugs Bunny. I know a lot of people my age did, but I was really into it. I even had that Looney Toons book with the real life animation cell in it. That totally fascinated me. I had no idea how cartoons were made and when I saw that animation cell in the book it was pretty mind blowing. What I’m trying to say is that I chose Bugs Bunny to appropriate because he really meant a lot to me and I’ve been a true Bugs fan for as long as I can remember. This wasn’t just a mindless decision based on the fact that Bugs Bunny is popular.

I have yet to make an actual painting appropriating a popular character from our culture and I’m not sure if or when I will. For now, since I’m sticking to the digital realm with my appropriation art, I thought it would be fun to throw the characters into my own photos. Here’s the original photo that I used for the Bugs Bunny piece.

I took this photo in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park earlier this year. It might seem random, but to me it makes perfect sense for Bugs Bunny.

I’m curious what your thoughts are about appropriation art. Not just mine, but the art form in general. Let me know.

Hope you had a fantastic weekend.

– Jeff

* * * * * * *

Want to see more?
Check out Jiminy Cricket. I chose him as my first one because he’s not only a cool looking character, but the shape of his head was perfect for the faces I paint.
And also Fred Flinstone. I chose him because I watched the Flinstones when I was a kid and I mistakenly thought Fred’s head was also the perfect shape for the faces I paint. It turned out super ugly, so I hope you get a good laugh at it.

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Last night I promised to talk about our drive home from San Diego in today’s post and I’m just going to get straight to the point.

We got a puppy!

This has been in the works for awhile. If you know anything about Coral she LOVES to do research. She would never acquire a new pet on a whim. She already knows a lot about dogs, but I’m guessing she’s spent the last 6 weeks becoming an expert on Pugs, specifically. Her timing could not have been better because she found a pug puppy that wasn’t too far out of the way from our drive home from San Diego.

Elliott was completely clueless to the fact that mom had been on the hunt for a puppy, so we totally surprised him. We left San Diego and headed to Fontana. The problem was we couldn’t pick up the puppy until 5:45pm. We were stuck with a lot of time to kill because we didn’t want to stay in San Diego too long in hopes of avoiding traffic, but we didn’t want to get to Fontana too early because from what we could tell there wasn’t much to do there. Luckily, we found a pretty sweet Barnes & Noble in Corona that we spent a lot of time at. Clean bathrooms too, which is always a plus when you’re on the road.

When it was finally puppy pick up time we pulled up in front of a house after hours of telling Elliott that we had to pick something up for work. He was slightly confused why we had to go to a house, but I think he was so tired of driving he didn’t question it too much. He didn’t even think it was too weird when I told him to cover his eyes while I was holding my camera and nothing says, “this surprise is for you” more than a person pointing a camera at your face while telling you to cover your eyes. I got the whole thing on video and it’s adorable, so by the time I finish editing it you’ll be able to see it in about eighteen months.

Those first two photos were from Coral and this next one is a screenshot from the video. At this point in the surprise he was so thrilled to be holding a puppy that it hadn’t crossed his mind that it was ours. After cuddling and laughing he asked, “Where can we have this.” Coral said, “She’s coming home with us.” And his face did this.

I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of Inez on the Viva Paso Instagram. Today was her first full day with us and she spent a lot of time in the shop. She did great and even played a little bit of dress up.

See you tomorrow!
– Jeff

* * * * * * *
Not satisfied and need more?
Check out my YouTube Channel.
Take a look at the Viva Paso Blog.

Thirteen Things I Did In The Last 48 Hours

Well damn…last minute blog posting again. Allow me to explain by writing a list for today’s post.

Things I’ve done in the last 48 hours.

– Woke up at 3am Thursday morning.
– Drove to San Diego.
– Met up with Corals’s mom in Mission Bay where she was staying on a boat, which was actually a pretty cool Air BnB.
– Went out for taco’s because when you’re in San Diego you have to eat Mexican.
– Surprised Elliott with a visit at the San Diego Zoo.
– Ditched Elliott so he could have a sleep over on the boat with grandma.
– Stayed at my friend Sam’s house. He and his lady made us delicious chicken burritos.
– Woke up earlier than I wanted to.
– Drove to a vendor’s warehouse to pick up new merch for Viva Paso.
– Picked up Elliott and grandma.
– Drove home. It took FOREVER. There is A LOT more to the drive home, but I will get to that tomorrow because it deserves A LOT more attention than one sentence.
– Literally, just got home 15 minutes ago.
– Typed up this post as fast as possible.

Ok, goal accomplished.

See you tomorrow!

– Jeff

Oh yeah, photo of Mission Bay was taken by Coral. She’s awesome.

The Hot Wheels Track You Didn’t Know You Needed

So, this is new and I am pretty sure this is not what Hot Wheels intended, but when you have an 8 year old boy left unattended for a few minutes this is what you get.

In other news, I am typing this with 12 minutes to deadline. As much as I would love to expand on what is happening in this photo, sadly, I just don’t have the time. Sorry, it’s been a very busy day. Don’t worry, I’ll make it up to you with a real banger of a post in the next day or two.

As always, thanks for reading.
– Jeff

Well That’ll Ruin Your Day

Besides car trouble and root canals is there really anything worse than having to deal with a hole in your sock? It’s one thing to put your socks on in the morning and notice the hole right away. You simply put on another sock. Tragedy averted. It’s a totally different thing when the hole only becomes apparent once you’ve left the house and will be gone all day. You’re stuck to deal with it. Sort of like when you realize you’ve drank too much and are all, “Great…now I’m going to have to deal with this situation for awhile.”

Anyway, I’ve become a sock snob in the last year or two. It started when I was gifted a pair of Stance socks. They were actually a perfect gift because they are at that price point where I don’t want to spend my own money on them, but I have no problem if somebody else wants to. You know what I mean? To me, those are the best gifts. And of course, since getting that first pair of Stance socks I’ve purchased several on my own. They probably aren’t even that expensive, but when you’ve purchased socks in bulk from Costco your whole life…well, you get the idea.

Needless to say, it was sad to say goodbye to another sock. On the plus side, buying a new pair or two is totally justified and what feels better than slipping your feet into a brand new fresh pair of socks? Nothing. Oh wait, putting socks on as soon as they come out of the dryer is pretty amazing.

And we’re just hitting these blogs out of the park. This was the twenty third day in a row and we have eight more to go. I wonder what lurks ahead. Will I be able to find something more exciting than socks to write about? Who knows? You’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next time.
– Jeff

Spiderman, Chillin’

Oh, Elliot is at it again. If I remember correctly, he requested that I visit his room for a surprise. And wouldn’t you know it, when I walked into his room I was surprised. There was Spiderman, just chillin. From what I can gather, Elliott lent Spidey his Einstein shirt and camo sweat shorts. And without being asked to borrow my stuff, Spidey was proudly wearing my hat. For some reason he had my keys and he also had a GoPro remote velcroed around his wrist. That GoPro thing was very surprising because I hadn’t seen that remote in a long time, which means Elliott fished it out of the depths of my closet. I’m actually glad he found it. His curiosity (or nosiness, as some call it) has paid off. Oh, Spiderman was also reading a book about dolphins. All in all, just a regular day.

When was the last time you played dress up?

– Jeff

Unexpected Guest

I was a few minutes late opening up the shop today and when I got there an unexpected guest was waiting for me. Say hello!

Maybe you don’t see him. That’s ok. At first I was like, “what the?” But on closer inspection I realized it was a praying mantis.

Here’s the same photo, flipped over and zoomed in so you can get a better look at him.

Isn’t he adorable?

If you don’t know already, praying manti are my favorite insects. Not sure if manti is the right word or even a real word, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s like using the word “octopi”. It just makes sense. And it sounds cool. Manti. Anyway, I had to squeeze by him with my bike when I walked in and had to make sure one of his legs didn’t get caught in the door when it closed. And wouldn’t you know it, just as the door closed he made a leap for it and landed on my bike chain. Had he waited a second longer he probably would have been squished. I should also mention that I had to stop immediately so he didn’t get ground up in the gear of the bike. Mantis burger, anyone? Little daredevil, this guy.

As much as I loved him and wanted to take him in and raise him as one of my own, I decided to put him in a nearby planter.

I’m not sure where he came from, but it was pretty random to find him chilln’ on my door. I hope he’s happy now and eating plenty of French Toast or whatever Praying Manti eat.

Here are some fun facts you might like to know about the Praying Mantis. I posted these years ago, but they never get old and are always fascinating. So, here you go. Praying Matis are the only insect that can turn their heads 180 degrees. They will eat their own kind. The female will sometimes eat a male during or after mating. They have a one year life span. The are loved by farmers because they eat crop destroying insects. Of about 2000 species there are only 18 known species in the entire North American continent. And this last one might be the best one. They have a single ear located on the underside of its belly. What? And why? An ear on their belly? What do they need that for? I won’t judge. I still love them anyway.

Good times.

– Jeff

* * * * * * *

Need more? Not to worry. I can talk about myself all night. Just kidding, I can’t. Anyway…
– Check out my other praying mantis post from October 2013.
– Not sure how many people read all the way down here, but if you have dreams of owning a cute shop I will totally sell you Viva Paso. Let me know. I’m totally serious.
– Be sure to check out my Society 6 shop if you’d like phone cases, leggings, totes, etc. with my artwork.

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