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October 2009

photobooth as film strip


I almost never reprint posts from other websites but this one was too cool not to. And isn't it Harry Potter-esque the way the pictures move here in a sea of text?

This concoction is from a very cool website on vernacular photography:  SQUARE AMERICA  
Do hop over and check it out.

You know we have a huge passion for photobooth pictures here. A couple of years ago we had American Photobooth, a show by  Näkki Goranin.  Näkki's book sets the standard for the history of Photobooths, with hundreds of fascinating images and thoroughly researched text. So check that out too. 

One more from Square America:



Soupy Sales is dead. Long live Soupy.

When I was in high school in the 1960's I'd rush home every day to watch Soupy Sales on TV. Although it was supposed to be a kid's show, he never failed to crack me up. This was a show that was oustide the box, or maybe completely inside the box, since Soupy and crew keep the viewer fully aware of all the shennanigans that were happening off camera in the studio.

Not since Kukla Fran and Ollie had any kids show been so dopey and so sophisticated at the same time. Too young to get these references? Think of Pee Wee Herman, live, in black and white, in a barely equipped studio, some rikkity hand made props and a  camera operator and a couple of co workers audibly egging him on. Then watch out for the pie in the face.

 soupy sales, lunch with soupy, TV Junior, television 

At school dances my bohemian friends and I would do Soupy's dance, The Mouse. In the hallway between classes  we'd do endless imitations of Soupy's mostly unseen puppet friends, White Fang and Black Tooth, who had to have been, Rut Roh,  the grandparents of Scooby Doo. I clipped articles on Soupy and put them in my journals, which were otherwise filled with fragments of poetry from Ferlinghetti or Ginsberg, or pictures of John Lennon.

 soupy sales, love in the afternoon, David Newman, Robert Benton, children's televsion 1960's, New York Live Television
Here it is, still taped into my journal from 1965. Love In The Afternoon by David Newman and Robert Benton. New York Herald Tribune, January 24, 1965. Two years later Benton and Newman became famous for writing  the screenplay for Bonnie & Clyde, followed by What's Up Doc? Benton wrote Kramer vs. Kramer, Places In The Heart and many other iconic American films.

 Blog soupy 1
"He has a camera and a floor crew that laughs and hoo-haws loudly on the set. He makes cracks at them, trades reactions and jokes with them and lets the audience in on their existence to the point where their names (Frank, the sound man; Eli, the prop man ; Bob, the producer; Lennie, the floor manager) are as familiar as...well, as familiar as Pookie, White Fang and Black Tooth."

 Blog soupy 2
"The personal appearances have their varying rewards, too. People tend to hurl pies at Soupy when they see him, and a kid in Los Angeles once made the mistake of heaving a frozen pie before it defrosted. 'It caught me in the neck,' the victim recalls, 'and I dropped like a pile of bricks...One little kid ran up to me and said, 'Hey! How'd you get off the TV?' "

 Blog soupy 3
"...Frank Nastasi, the voice and soul of White Fang and the others, arrives at the office. Nastasi, a small, sturdy man with iron gray hair, ordinarily earns his living on the stage, having appeared on Broadway in Lorenzo, off Broadway in Cindy and in a number of Phoenix Theater productions. He now finds himself working puppets, waving a paw and delivering long speeches that go like this:" "Guggehh, bluahhh, luhhh-uhggghh, beahhhh!"

 Blog soupy 4
" 'You come in with Pookie and say you're gonna do Italian magic. Then you wave your and and say, 'Gina Lollabrigida! Gina Lollabrigida!' and I say, 'That's magic?' and you say, 'Have you ever seen Gina?.' Nastasi laughs so hard he almost cracks his head against the corner of the desk. The question of whether a five year old child will appreciate the reference to the voluptuous Italian movie star is never considered: Soupy knows that he has the child laughing at Pookie's funny magic get-up, and the gag is for Mommy's benefit."

I lost the last page. But hey, I hung onto the rest of it for 45 years.


Soupy Sales and his lion puppet Pookie.

Watch this all the way through. Every second is gold. Pookie bops his head along with Clark Terry playing Mumbles. He sneezes. Soupy smooches Pookie on the nose. Pookie:  "There's a draft in here, Bubbie...and I hope they don't get me."

Later, Soupy bops along with the Isley Brothers. Just his punim on camera, enjoying the music,  for over two minutes. How brilliantly simple is that?  I don't even know why I find it so hilariously funny, but I do.  Jazz, politics, blues, pratfalls, breaking the fourth wall,  all with a Jewish flavor packaged for kids. Wow.

The Archie gang even got to hang out with Soupy:


Billy Ingram and Kevin Butler wrote a great piece on Soupy at TV Party dot com, so you might as well hop on over and read it.

 soupy sales, clyde adler, television, live television, New York television, children's television 1960's
Soupy with Clyde Adler

Also read this one by Mark Evanier.

And check this out:  Blogger Don Brockway of Isn't Life Terrible  took a bunch of pictures when he visited the  Soupy set in 1965. He writes a great blog, too.

 Soupy sales with eli and pooky photo don brockway 1965
Soupy in the studio with Eli and Pooky. 1965. Photo by Don Brockway. Used by permission. (i.e. ask Brockway before you reuse this)

 Soupy Sales on the air. Frank Nastasi at left. Don Brockway photo
Soupy on the air. Frank Nastasi on the left. 1965. Photo Don Brockway, used by permission.

Do you love Soupy? Tell me about it. Leave a comment.

Tick Tock, time to think about holiday shopping

 Blog pop clock tempus fugit
Tempus Fugit, pop out clock by Timeworks, Inc. Available at PSAW for $17.75

As I posted on my sandwich board today, "Tick tock, time to think about holiday shopping" Actually, as a retailer, I've been thinking about holiday shopping since mid summer. Truth be told, as a consumer I enjoy buying presents for my loved ones, but it's even more fun selling fabulous things to my customers. In this economy we're all being careful of what we spend, so I've worked at getting great stuff at reasonable prices. By reasonable, I try to mean under $50. Often under $25.

  Blog pop out clock
Pop Out Clocks from Timeworks, Inc. Seven different clocks available here.

These clocks are super cute and a brand new product from the Timeworks, Inc. Clock Company from Berkeley, CA.  They come in a reusable box and  assemble in a jiffy,  really.  I think they are made of melamine. The clock runs on a battery. Great little gift for under $20, easy to send, too.


  • Blog pop clock alice
  • Blog pop clock bear in a bottle
  • Blog pop clock football
  • Blog pop clock love grows
  • Blog pop clock time flies
Blog pop clock time flies

Check out the clock faces. Click the small image and it will pop up!


 Blog card boxes
notecards, portfolios, labels, sticky notes etc. at PSAW

I've been a stationery lover my whole life. Mostly I've collected postcards and notecards, but anything with pretty images and shapes will catch my eye. Now that our local paperie, Scribbles, has closed (alas) I'm trying to fill the void a tiny bit. Above are some sets with images by Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol, Geninne D. Zlatkis. I also have Lotte Jansdotter and  Paul Frank as well as assorted classic botanical images.


 Blog mini prints
Canetti Museum magnet frames and PSAW mini prints

Not new to PSAW but one of my favorites, the Canetti Museum Magnet Frame. At $28 these are a sensation and very popular with my customers.  Made of pure acrylic and tiny magnets by a small company in New York, (although manufactured in Thailand) these are the original  Magnet Frame. They inspired me to offer PSAW mini prints by PSAW artists, made to fit the frames. At $20 a pop, these are also a fun and charming gift.


 Blog kornbluh pendant
glass pendant by Marc Kornbluh at PSAW. Aprox 2" diameter. $45

No two of these pendants by Marc Kornbluh are alike. Marc used to live in Burlington and his glass studio was one of my favorite places. Now he lives. in Nebraska, but I'm lucky enough to be able to sell his lamp-work jewelry. At $45, this is a gift that will be loved for generations.

 cigarette tin, sixty, liza cowan photo, yellow, tobacco, collectible
Vintage cigarette tin. $16.

I've been collecting typewriter tins and cigarette tins, lovely for both their shapes and graphics. No two alike, only while stock lasts since buying them is a random operation. But I've got a bunch here now.


 AO! Glass, Snow men, glass snow men, handblown glass,
Sno Folk by AO! Glass

AO! Glass, whose retail shop is right here at PSAW (separate store - common roof) are in high production for their very popular little Sno Folk. Great, perfect holiday gifts, they can be a tabletop decoration, or hang from a tree or mantle. Tove Ohlander also will custom etch the bowls and other pieces that she and her partner Rich Ahrentzen make.

There's more, but I'll leave that for another post. Just come on buy and check us out. Tick Tock.



CARDBOARDDESIGN: Liquid cardboard


 Liquid cardboard display
Liquid Cardboard by Cardboardesign at Pine Street Art Works.

I can't remember how I first heard about the NYC company Cardboardesign. Maybe it was on one of the home design blogs I frequent. I do know that when I placed my first order a few years ago I was one of the first, if not the first wholesale customer they had. Hooboy, not anymore.

Cardboardesign products were  featured at the Guggenheim Gala honoring Frank Gehry, at the American Museum of Natural History Climate Change Launch. They were featured on Big Ideas For A Small Planet on The Sundance Channel and on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Look for Cardboardesign products at some of the tonier retail venues around the country, including, of course, Pine Street Art Works.

Liquid cardboard 8 on hand
Liquid Cardboard #8. Liza Cowan photo.

The various products made by Cardboardesign - furniture, toys, tableware - are all made of recycled and recyclable materials. Even the glue they use is eco friendly. Equally important, they are all design forward, sophisticated and fun. I'm featuring the Liquid Cardboard line, pieces that can be used to hold flowers, candy, candles, or just sit on the table to amuse your guests. They morph into all kinds of shapes and are endlessly fun to manipulate. I've even had a customer buy one to use as a bracelet.

 Liquidcardboard #6 cd
Liquid Cardboard #6 used as a votive holder.

 Liquidcardboard #6 lc
Mannequin pumping Liquid Cardboard #6. Liza Cowan photo

If you live near Burlington or are planning a visit, come on by and check out the coolest line of table top sculpture you'll see this season. If not, you can buy online direct from Cardboardesign

Liquid Cardboard #3.

Some Liquid Cardboard items are available at our online store. Check it out!


Liquid Cardboard #4

Canadian Clouds

 Canadian cornfield, big fluffy clouds, harvest, rt 135, photo liza cowan
Clouds Over The Field, Canada. Liza Cowan photo

Driving home from Montreal yesterday afternoon just after a rain. The clouds were so pretty, the cornfields so autumnal, and the light so perfect, I had to stop and snap a few pics. South of Montreal, north of Vermont, on Rt.133.

 Candian clouds, big clouds, puffy clouds, truck on road, photo liza cowan
Truck, Field, Clouds, Canada. Liza Cowan photo

 Silos, canada, harvest, hay wagon, puffy clouds, sunlight reflection, farm buildings photo liza cowan
Silos, Clouds, Canada. Photo Liza Cowan.


 Blog sign 

We write our sign daily. Then the rain washes it away. True ephemera.

It's been a slow week. I'm busy stocking up for the holidays, but meanwhile...ain't nobody shopping much. Rainy day, listening to Rufus Wainwright and the soundtrack of Wicked.  Here are some random shots from the day.

 Blog kornbluh 

Pendants by Marc Kornbluh. TMNK paintings in the background.

 Blog moleskine 

Moleskine journals. Nakki Goranin's American Photobooth. Liza Leger painting.

 Blog card wall 

Card wall. Cards by me, from my ephemera collections. Ever changing.

 Bog typewriter ribbon tins 

Vintage typewriter ribbon tins.

 Blog shinzi in foreground 

Shinzi Katoh in foreground. Then Flashbags, then cards. TMNK paintings on the wall.