Monday, September 14, 2009

Life's Roller Coaster (A Slightly Melodramatic Metaphor)

Up and down, twisting and turning, it seems like we're 21 years old and just barely hanging on as this roller coaster of life keeps throwing me (and Jonathan - he's in the seat beside me) for new loops.

We're at a hang up. Disappointed by our inventory clearance sale, tired of the nagging issues in our home life, and wary of reopening Peculiar Curiosities, Jonathan and I (Miss Kateri Joe) are hanging up-si-down in our roller coaster cart waiting on a repairman to start the ride again. Sadly, he seems to be on his lunch break. So, what can two stalled riders do?

Try, try, and try again to get rolling! It's a challenge, as it seems like we just can't get moving. But, we're going to work on a solution. Who needs a repairman, right?

Unfortunately, Peculiar Curiosities has hit this snag with us. Our shop won't be reopening as planned. It stinks, but once we get our roller coaster going again (a.k.a once we've dealt with the bothersome issues at hand), we'll start fresh with Peculiar Curiosities.

Yay for new beginnings!

Anywho, we'll be checking back as we see fit. This is not good-bye.
(hehe. See, melodramatic, right?)

With blood draining to our heads,
Kateri Joe & Jonathan

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Giddy as a schoolgirl

Greetings, my friends! Jonathan manning the Captain's wheel today!

Just as the title suggests, I am as giddy as a schoolgirl! Why you ask? Well, it's 51 days til my favorite of favorite holidays!


Pull out your cauldrons, your broomsticks, wake the undead, light the black candles, and invoke the spirits! The haunting season is on it's way! I was never the kid who enjoyed trick-or-treating. I've only gone trick-or-treating once in my life. The other kids scared me. It wasn't the costumes they wore or anything like that, it was just them, the kids. In fact, most kids still scare me, haha.

What I enjoy most about Halloween is decorating the house with spooky things and the fact that I can be as creepy as I want and people don't stare me like I need to be removed from society entirely, haha! That has been my tradition since I can remember and only until recently I've started to watch the Ghost Hunter LIVE Halloween investigation on SciFi.

Before I depart from you all, I'd like to ask what is your favorite holiday and why?

Until we meet again!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Arrival of Yumminess!

White Chocolate Cherry Cupcake Truffles from The Fancy Lady Gourmet

The entire package that we woke up to this morning. Yummm...we had a sweet breakfast!

Thursday morning had come and gone, but Jonathan and I were still in bed. Daylight wasting, our bad sleep habits tend to get the better of us when we go to bed at 4:00 a.m. So, that morning, we snoozed on with dreams of high Etsy sales in our heads. (ha. ha.) :-P Yet while we snoozed, a kind delivery man planted a peculiar (yet snazzy) box on our doorstep.

Much to our surprise, our order from the Fancy Lady Gourmet had come in early! As soon as we realized it, we were having a breakfast of cupcake truffles. *hehe

We ordered, on Etsy (of course), a batch of white chocolate cherry cupcake truffles. (Say that three times fast!) What we received was that, and an additional sampler of the Fancy Lady's baked goodies! Now that made our week. :-D

First, we both tried what we had ordered; the pink cutsie cherry-flavored cupcake truffles. With a sweet, yet slightly tart taste, these yummies are pure delights for the tastebuds! Moist in the middle with a creamy chocolate outside, the flavor throws you for a zing of a curveball when - low and behold - you bite into a real cherry in the center. Oooh, I hope I have you drooling.

That first treat lead to the tasting of more. It was like a slow-moving sugary landslide. (We ate all of this over the course of the day, haha.) Next, we started in on the sampler items. After lunch, we each tried a pumpkin spice cupcake truffle...and then we cried with joy. Later that night, we devoured fall-themed shortbread cookies...and giggled from a delightful sugar high. Finally, for our last tastebud adventure, we conquered chocolate chip cookies. That left us in awe of the Fancy Lady's talent.

The neatest part is that despite coming to Arkansas from New Jersey, everything tasted like we purchased them at a local shop that day. Awesome, right? And see that swanky packaging!? It's adorable! That packaging made me feel like I was opening a Christmas gift.

And what a gift it was. Thank you, dear Fancy Lady!

Now that I hopefully have you drooling, tell me: What's your sugary weakness? We've now found ours! And hey, if you're just dying for that sugar boost, here's the Fancy Lady's Etsy shop: :-D

Until later,
(unless we run off to Candy Land)
-Kateri Joe

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Renewing Dilemma

Today felt like Fall here in Arkansas, so I couldn't resist posting this pumpkin picture that was taken last year. It's way off topic, but who doesn't love a little visual treat while reading?

Hola, little buddies of 'ze blog! It's Kateri at the Wii remote tonight.

First of all, before I even get started tonight, I must say that the Wii internet browser is fantastic. End compliment now.

Anywho, back to the topic I planned to discuss: Renewing your items on Etsy! Within the past few months, Etsiers have been questioning the profitability of renewing an item after it has gone unsold. The topic has strong arguments on both sides. Some say that renewing is worth the 20 cents, as it is a reliable source of advertisement that brings more traffic and sales to their shop. Others who argue that opposition say that it's a waste of money that burns through your potential profit.

As newbies to the Etsy scene, Jonathan and I really didn't know where to stand on this issue. But, a certain article has proven to provide an intriguing insight into the more positive side of renewing.

Angela Schade of Something Blue presented a blogpost titled "The Etsy Experiment Revealed" on her blog, . After a LONG and highly-observed 25 weeks of experimenting with renewing, Angela found renewing to be highly beneficial. She found herself not only making more sales in a month (from nine sales a month to 42), but she also managed to land more front page spots. She also became a treasury regular. So, yay, we have a final answer on the matter, right!?

Maybe. I still would love to hear everyone's opinions on the matter. Are you a chronic renewer? Do you see benefits? Or, do you think it's worthless to pay 20 cents for a brief front page spot and a momentary higher rank in search results?

What has experience taught you?
Until carnivorous seahorses exist,
- Kateri Joe

P.s. Angela of Something Blue's Etsy page is :-)

P.s.s. I had a ditzy moment and got the terms "renew" and "relist" confused. I made the appropriate edits, so oopsie daisy on my part! Sorry for the confusion! :-P

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bad Day

Have you guys had a bad day lately?

Oh man, for your sake, I hope it wasn't as bad as ours.

Our awesome HP laptop, Master Boo, DIED today - only one day before our big clearance sale! What a damper, right?! Now, we're having to resort to using our Wii for an internet connection. So, if our typing seems a little clunky lately...well, we're typing with a Wii remote so...hahaha.

At least we got the sale off and running....but because of our limited connection, we started it a bit early!

OH, but here's the bright part of our day! Before our computer died, we made our FIRST Etsy purchase!!

White Chocolate Cherry CupCake Truffles from

Yes, those little delights are coming our way straight from the Fancy Lady herself! And we are ridiculously excited about it! Aren't they scrumptious!? I can't help but drool! They look fit for a queen...or two goofy artistic-types who've had a bad day. :-D

Well, I could keep going on with the BADNESS of this day, but I'd rather leave on a high note.
PLEASE tell me you've had a better day than us! We'd love to hear some happy stories, after the death of our beloved Master Boo the HP laptop.

Until later,
(unless something goes incredibly wrong)
-Kateri Joe

P.S. In light of this bad day, we didn't get to go on our planned hike. So, we can't share sweaty pictures quite yet. But, for me, that could be a good thing...bahaha!

P.S.S. Par usual, that picture is owned by The Fancy Lady. :-) 'Just so youz knowz.

An Explanation

Hey guys! It's once again Kateri Joe at the helm.

You might have noticed that our spider buddy has gotten a new sign as a friend that speaks of yet another P.C. sale. Here's the explanation:

Jonathan and I are wanting to give everyone a last chance to snatch up anything in the Peculiar Curiosities shop while it's still available. After September 13th, those items (like Dr. Bubonic and Brendan) will be gone for good to make room for curious specimens such as this guy:

Monster embryo, phase three.

Rawr! *giggles*

You know what this means, right!? We're two weeks away from opening up the new shop! And, when we mean NEW, we mean brand-spanking-kick-you-in-the-face-with-sweet-action NEW! We'll even have this thing called FOCUS! Oooh, it will be zesty!

Okay, enough with the shameless promotion. End now.

On another note, it feels fantastic to be back to blogging again! I hope that in the month-long span that we were away that everyone met good times of some sort.

Jonathan and I were busy, par usual, but we did manage to find time to enjoy the last of this unusually cool Arkansas summer: We went hiking! And, if all goes well, we should be venturing off for another one tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, we'll share some pictures of the sweaty adventures. *wink*

After our infestation of Petit Jean Mountain,
-Kateri Joe

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Music Trippin'

Heidi-ho, ladies and gentlemen! It's your long silent friend Kateri Joe at the keyboard tonight. I've been plugging away at revitalizing Peculiar Curiosities! Oooh, you guys should see's going to be bizarre! Two words: Victorian laboratory. *giggles*

Speaking of the upgrade, the Etsy storefront will actually be changing on September 14th! We'll give you more details on that in a later post.

Today's topic is about a fun little exercise that Jonathan and I seem to do all of the time: The epic event of venturing down memory lane to the music, both good and bad, of our life so far.

So, here I present to you a small representation the music of my life. It's going to be a gruesome journey, but insightful to say the least.

First song in my memory: Billy Ray Cyrus Achy Breaky Heart
At the age of three or four, this FANTASTIC train wreck of a song became a constant on the airwaves in Arkansas. Being young and impressionable, somehow I managed to find my four-year-old self singing this song (and dancing to it) one random Sunday after mass to my father. Yeah, Dad, don't break my achy breaky heart. Never again will I sing country music with such Arkansan pride.

Somewhere around the age of nine: Natalie Imbruglia Torn
I'm the youngest kid in my family. I have six older siblings, all of which were pretty much out of the house by the time I was seven years old. With that age gap, none of them were consistently in my life. So, when this song started playing during one of the rare occasions of alone time with my older brother Ben, it was kind of awkward. Maybe I didn't help by humming to it...maybe.

On the edge of my freshman year of high school: Dirty Vegas Days Go By
Pubescent Kateri was showing signs of growing into her skin. Yeah, I still love this song. I played it for hours in my fake Walkman CD player while on a family road trip, with the rolling scenery of the Southwest playing in front of my eyes from the backseat of a Jeep. Imagine the oranges, yellows, and blues running together while this song droned on with it's killer beat. Heavenly.

A year ago, just before my 3rd year in college: H.I.M. Venus Doom
Tired and usually annoyed, this song (and the album matching it's name) played in my car rides to and from working a full day at my university's academic advising center. Yes, I'd sing this song at the top of my lungs in the car after a day of being chewed out by misguided parents over the phone who just KNEW that I, being the office student secretary, somehow messed up their precious, and dependent college student's schedule. It seemed to ease some tension, I'd say.

Eh, that's just a taste of my musical timeline. Somewhere in the mix, you could throw in some Marcy Playground, Savage Garden, N*Sync *groan*, The Teenagers...but this is an overview. Billy Ray Cyrus is pretty rough, huh?

Until next time,
-Kateri Joe

Friday, August 21, 2009

What's under your skin?

Greetings ladies and gentelmen! Jonathan here.

Lordy, lordy! It's been a while since Kateri and I last posted something and there's a good reason I promise! You see we've been hard at work developing new items, new designs, and all that sweet jazzy stuff to bring you all... *drum roll*

Peculiar Curiosities 2.0!!

We're getting a systems upgrade which'll be fully powered by small children! Just imagine the productivity that'll come out with those little fingers working 'round the clock! Oh, I kid...but a boy can dream, right? It's been full steam ahead on our little purple locomotive toward the grand upgrade, running over all the cows standing on the tracks!

Now that we're done with the sampler of what's to come. Let's move on to the main course, what'd ya say? This post was inspired by a friend of ours, Fancy Lady. She had written a post where she talked what her heritage was and asked about everyone else's heritage. That immediately set off a nuclear light bulb in mah head as Kateri and I were looking for the right thing to make our blog a bit more personal. I thank you, your fanciship!

And as my brother once said to me, "Mi'jo, if you want to get your feet wet, you've got to jump in feet first." So here we go! Mi madre is a Mexican born in Austin, Texas and my father is a Hungarian born in Dublin, Texas.

The Hungarian Flag

The Mexican Flag

I was born in Bossier City, Louisiana and now live in Arkansas, not a place I'd prefer to live, but I guess it works for the time being. There was a single question that the Fancy Lady asked in her blog post that really struck a chord with me. It was, "Are you proud of your heritage?" As a Mexican-Hungarian, I can say I am only proud of the Hungarian side. I love my mother dearly, but I cannot stand that I'm Mexican. All throughout school I had teachers that would say, "Jonathan, you're Mexican, aren't you? Can you help so-and-so with what I'm saying?" and in response I'd say, "No, I can't speak Spanish..." I'd get a blank stare with, "...but, you are Mexican, right?"

My own mother can't even speak Spanish, haha. So what makes them think that I can? It was too funny to see my teachers react to my parents walking into the classroom at Parent-Teacher Conference. There's an average height WHITE, balding man with a short, (when I say short, I mean SHORT! My mom is only 4 foot 11 inches tall)Mexican woman. Haha, my parents would get very livid with my teachers when they'd say, "I just thought since Jonathan was Hispanic that he'd know Spanish, t-t-that's all..." Now a little 4 foot Mexican woman doesn't seem all that intimidating, but my mom always seemed to make ALL of my teachers stutter when she'd glare at them down her glasses and say, "I don't speak Spanish. Why would Jonathan?" My dad would follow up with, "We speak Hungarian at the house."

What my dad would say wasn't really a lie nor was it really the truth. We would speak Hungarian, but it was only the swear words that he happened to pick up from his father, haha. I usually speak pretty ill of any Mexicans, which I shouldn't because there are a few very hard working, good Mexican people who become US citizens like my Uncle Mike who loves being an American. It's just frustrating to say, "Yes, I'm Mexican." and get an, "Oh...well, umm...I like burritos and Corona!"

I love being Hungarian, because there is so much about my family that's interesting. Like my great grandmother was Hungarian royalty, before she rebelled and married my great grandfather, who was a high ranking officer in the Austria-Hungarian Calvary. Mixing royalty with "military trash" was a big no-no during that time.

Before this post gets any longer, I shall end it here with this summing up the love/hate relationship with my heritage.

Cool? Not so much.

Hells Yeah!

I leave you all with this - What is your heritage?

Until we meet again, my friends!


PS - I'd like to thank Moondoggie for letting us know about the Etsy Success email that featured our forum post. That's pretty awesome, ya dig? And I'd like to welcome all the new followers with a Howdy howdy! You may now stare at me like some sort of crazy, stuttering cowboy!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Snazzy Dream

'ello Peeps, of the human kind!

I had the most AWESOME dream last night.
Two words: Robert Smith.

Mr. Smith, himself

Let me set the scene. I'm wandering around at this Woodstock-like scenario, sans the stereotypical sex and drugs. A tour bus pulls up and, low and behold, The Cure band members step out. I see Robert, complete with lipstick and eyeliner, and somehow I catch his eye. My dream skips scenes, and the next thing I know, I'm sitting beside him. We're chatting it up, and becoming acquintances of some kind. It was a colorful conversation, but I don't recall any details. It lasts for hours, until he has to depart back on his tour bus. But, at the end of the conversation, I know that we're some kind of friends.

Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with Robert Smith, he's the face of the band known as "The Cure". Famous for little diddies like "Friday I'm in Love", "Just Like Heaven", and "Lovesong", this band has been on the scene since the late 1970' 1976 if I'm not mistaken. While the line-up changes, one member has always remained - Robert Smith. Traditionally done up in his cherry-red lipstick and Einstein-like hair, Smith is often considered to be The Cure by himself. His voice defines the band - if he weren't the lead singer, the band wouldn't be The Cure.

The Cure is my all time favorite band, hence why this dream is so snazzy. And Robert Smith is just an icon for me. He's an artist who just DOES what he wants to, without hesitation.

Who can't respect that?

I'll leave you now with two of my favorite songs.
The first is from earlier in the life of The Cure.

"Why Can't I Be You" by The Cure from 1987

And this lovely song is from their most recent album.

"Underneath the Stars" by The Cure from 2008

Tell me, have you been having some awesome dreams lately?
If so, you're a lucky devil. This was the first good dream I've had in a long time. :-P
But how awesome it was...

Until I come out of hiding,
-Kateri Joe

P.S. In the first video, can you catch the naughty reference during the music video? See if you can catch it...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

This Week's Featured Etsy Item: Wynn Studio's Siamese Kitties

kitty cats...not-so-ready to be chopped in half

Siamese cats, what with their slinky prowl and Disney-produced stereotypical snottiness, always drum up some animated imagery from Lady and the Tramp for me. Yes, you remember the pair...with their knieving faces and swinging tales. They had that song...and oh how that song got trapped in my head:

"We are Siamese if you please.
We are Siamese if you don't please."

Yeah, thanks Disney. That little diddy has stuck with me for at least 15 years.

Much to my surprise, this age-old mental image that has stuck with me for so long may be replaced by this adorable drawing! Truly Siamese, in medical terms, this charming duo can't seem to get away from one another - nor do they seem to mind the permanence of their situation. In fact, these twins embrace their attachment, what with their adorable matching overalls with two slightly different t-shirt characters. Aww, a birdie and a fish...cute! As described by creators Thomas and Jane Wynn of Wynn Studios, these kitties have "been caught doing what they love most - frolicking in the backyard with their toys".

Wynn Studios specializes in adorable oddities, such as this 9 x 7 inch signed giclee. Other colorful creations include a two-headed deer, a one-legged bird, and even a necklace containing an inherited wisdom tooth! Yes. You read right - an INHERITED wisdom TOOTH. And it's a gnarly booger at that! Oh, and another cool feature about Wynn Studio is that they show progress shots of their prints!

I encourage you to further your education of fine oddities of the world, starting at this link with the wonderful Wynn Studio. You won't be disappointed!

Until tomorrow,
-Kateri Joe

P.S. Jane and Thomas Wynn have all rights to that lovely picture. :-D

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things that Go Bump in the Night

Good evening, everyone! Jonathan here.

Today, I thought that I would reveal a bit more about myself. A sort of peeling away the layers, if you will. I'd like to talk to you all about a personal interest that I've had since I was 12 years old - ghosts. Now, I do realize that many, many don't even give ghosts a second thought, much less have a belief in them, but I've had three events happen in my life that I can't explain with normal logic.

I'd like to tell you all of my very first experience. Here's what happened.

I was eleven years old, sitting in the living room watching Bill Nye the Science Guy. My brother, who worked the night shift at WalMart at the time, was asleep in our bedroom. I had just finished my bowel of popcorn and had very dry mouth. (As you do when you've eaten an entire bag.) I got off the sofa to get me a glass of water, not really paying attention to my surroundings. No need to, right? It was my own house. Nothing should ever really be out of the normal in your own house. I stepped into the kitchen, thinking about the DIY science experiments that Bill Nye had just been talking about as I turned on the faucet to fill my glass.

Like everyone, I got the sensation, that presence of someone behind me crossing from my right side to my left side. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a figure, turn the corner, and disappear. Just Nick coming out of the bathroom and walking through the kicthen. Or at least that's what I thought. I chugged my glass of water and started back out when I realized I didn't hear our bedroom door close. (Usually, Nick slammed it shut, because he was always upset if he woke up before 7pm even if he had to use the bathroom.) Weird, I thought, but didn't think any more about it until my mom woke him up for dinner. We had finished eating when I asked Nick if he couldn't sleep, because I saw him leaving the kitchen when I was getting my drink. He looked at me funny and said that he hadn't gotten up at all until our mom had woken him up. And at that moment I felt my stomach drop and the hairs on the back of neck prickle. Who did I see coming out of the kitchen then? I'm not sure, but it wasn't Nick.

That was during the final weeks of summer before I started back to school. Even after I realized that what I saw wasn't my brother, I chalked it off as my imagination or something logical. Surely I didn't see a ghost. They're not real, right? It was my first week into the new school and my english teacher had my entire class in the library. We had to do a research paper on whatever topic we wanted, I rooted through tons of books and found a book called, "Real Ghost Stories" author's name eludes me. I read the book and shortly after finishing it, I started putting the pieces together of that event during the summer. Maybe I did see a ghost, I thought. After reading that book and experiencing what I did, the paranormal had left a mark - A mark that I would never want to fade, a mark that has grown through the past 10 years to where it is today.

I'd like to leave you all with a video clip of my all time favorite shows: Ghost Hunters. It airs on the SciFi channel and is about a real life paranormal research group, called The Atlantic Paranormal Society or TAPS, for short.

Now, I would like everyone to know that I'm not trying to make any of you believe in the paranormal. Everyone has their opinions and are more welcome to them. I just wanted to tell you all a little bit more about me and what my interests are. :)

Until we meet again, my friends!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reconstruction on the Horizon

Hey everyone!

Jonathan and I have some fantastic news!!

Peculiar Curiosities is going to be revamped!
That's right - more paintings, more prints, and who knows what else! :-D
And heck, there might even be something in there that you'd like. ;-)

We're super excited about this. It's going to be a full-fledged overhaul of our inventory, our prices, and even our graphics! Our projected goal to have this completed is September 1st, so we've got a lot of work ahead of us! But stay tuned, it should be pretty entertaining.

I guess, this is our delayed spring cleaning? Or maybe it's us shedding our newbie skin that's grown too tight in exchange for some fancy big-insect shell? Or...maybe that's a bad metaphor. lol

Either way, we're excited. Tell me, my fine friends, are you in the spring cleaning mood? And hey, do you have any suggestions for us as we begin our revamping journey?

Adios for now!
-Kateri Joe

Spirited Away on Howl's Moving Castle with My Neighbor Totoro!

Hello hello, everyone!

Do you know who this man is?

I'm sure some of you have seen a few of his films. Maybe with your children, maybe with a spouse, maybe even just by yourself with a giant bowel of popcorn and didn't realize who the mastermind behind the wonderful movie was? "What are you talking about?!" I can hear everyone saying, "Go to bed!" In due time, folks, in due time. But for now, I shall talk about the man that you see before you now. His name is Hayao Miyazaki. He's the director of the following fantastic films:

My Neighbor Totoro

Kiki's Delivery Service

Princess Mononoke

Spirited Away

and oh, so many more!

Miyazaki has been dubbed the "Japanese Walt Disney" by some for his magical storytelling. And with the help of John Lasseter of Pixar, Miyazaki's work was brought to the States with authenticity and found success. Probably the most interesting thing about Miyazaki is with each film he does, he hand draws each storyboard himself. Thus, what you see in the movies varies very little from what he puts down onto the boards.

Have any you seen of his films, if so what was your favorite?

Farewell for now!


Sunday, July 26, 2009


To end the week, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my recent doodles. Eh, they're just for fun and practice, so they're not anything special. But, I thought we needed a bit of a personal touch on the blog lately, so here we go!

My gypsy girl

An aviator/octopus

An undefined alien with a passion of the floral type

A galactic pharoah

Rosalita, the charming Latina from the restaurant down the street

Jonathan doesn't have any doodles to show, so I guess I have to claim all of these boogers! Haha!

How has your doodling been coming along? What have you been practicing?

Until the start of a new week (a.k.a tomorrow)
-Kateri Joe

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Little Diddy of a Story

So, the picture keeps uploading sideways. Odd.

Bahaha, so why am I showing you this lovely picture of a picture!? Why, because I have a story to go with it of course!

As I talked about a few posts ago, my birthday came around last Sunday! And on Monday, Jonathan, my parents, and I went out to do the family celebration. I chose a Japanese hibachi grill. (I've just recently realized that the majority of my birthdays have been celebrated at one which is interesting.)

Well, the chef is doing his whole show and I'm eating it up like I do ever year, when he starts in on the questioning. First, he asks if Jonathan and I are married. This is a common question recently. People have started to ask that, because I guess we now FINALLY look old enough to be of marrying age. (Jonathan and I started dating when I was only 15 and he was 16.) Jonathan shook his head, and laughed. "No, no. Not yet. We want to be, but not yet." The chef grinned, "well what's holding you back, man!?" Jonathan snickers and rubs his first finger and his thumb together - money.

We all giggled, because that's the hearty truth. If we had the finances, we'd run off and get married in a heartbeat. We've wanted to be married since the young ages of 15 & 16, and that desire hasn't wavered.

After he created the standard onion volcano, he looked back at us and asked "how many babies are you going to make!?" Not HAVE, but MAKE. That was a little awkward, but hilarious. And mind you, my parents are in the chairs beside me.

I giggled and made a "zero" with my hand. Right now, that's true. We want zero kids. Ask us in about two years and we'll answer with three fingers, or maybe four. But right now, the answer is zero.

I couldn't help but appreciate that question. Jonathan and I got together in high school, so from day one everyone has said "DON'T HAVE KIDS NOW! DON'T GET PREGNANT!!" It's been preached at us, over and over again. Someone has even gone as far as to say a child of ours would be a MISTAKE. And here is this hibachi chef, almost pushing the idea...for entertainment purposes, but still....

It was refreshing to actually have someone even suggest the idea for the first time.

That, at least to me, was a compliment. And definitely a sign of the personal times. I'm an adult, and that is exciting.

Tell me, has a hibachi chef made you realize your standing in life recently? Haha, or wait, here's a more universal thought: Have you had an experience lately that reminds you of how much life has changed?

Until tomorrow,
-Kateri Joe

Friday, July 24, 2009

D'espairsRay Redux!

So, I was running through some of our older posts and I realized that I more or less just half-assed the D'espairsRay musical inspiration entry! Just threw the video up and said, "Hey, I like them! Watch the video!" Such an awesome band like D'espairsRay deserves far more respect than what I gave them. And so do you fine people. Like I said, I tossed the video up and told everyone, "Watch!" and didn't even say a single thing about D'espairsRay. Who they are, why I LOVE their music, and so on and so forth. Everyone ready? Fasten your seatbets, cuz we're off like a hooker's clothes!

The members of D'espairsRay are:

HIZUMI (vocals)

Karyu (guitar, vocals)

ZERO (bass, vocals)

Tsukasa (drums)

Now that they have all been introduced and gotten the "Who they are?" out of the way. We have come to the "Why I LOVE their music." Well, ladies and gentlemen, the answer is quite simple. D'espairsRay satisfies all of my musical needs. Their songs vary from fast and aggressive to slow and depressing. The song above, "Trickster", is about middle of the road when comes to their sound and style.

While I am learning Japanese, I know very little (probably just enough to get myself into trouble, haha.) Hizumi sings in a mixture of Japanese and English and though is a language barrier. The emotional way Hizumi sings, at least in my mind, shatters that barrier. What's that saying? "A smile can overcome any language barrier." I think the same principle could be applied here as well.

Until next time! Everyone have an awesome weekend!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Etsy Find: Dismantled Fashions!

Woo! Check out that sexilicious dress! Me-ow! It makes wish I was a girl! Haha, oh I kid...or do I? You may never know! I stumbled across this jewel of a shop earlier today and fell in love the clothing that Emily, Dismantled Fashions's owner, had there. (Especially, the dress shown above!)

And I know what you must be thinking, "Why is Jonathan looking at dresses?" Well, boys and girls, I have something I need to come clean about...haha, just kidding! Truthfully though, I enjoy rummaging through the poo pile of the internet to find rare, beautiful gems. In this case, I was in search of cute clothing opinions for Kateri and it just so happened that today was my day to write a new post. Und, viola! Dismantled Fashions appeared like a breath of fresh air!

I could probably spend all day talking about how much I love Dismantled Fashions, but I'll spare everyone my mad rambling! Be sure to check out Emily's shop!

Have a great day!


*NOTE* The image above is the property of Dismantled Fashions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Random Interest: Solanin

As I'm sure it's now obvious, Jonathan and I love to strive to show you guys something that you might not have seen before. And today is no exception!

Today's topic, ladies and gentlemen, is that of Solanin by Asano Inio.

(The cover of Solanin)

A vibrant twist on the mundane day-to-day of a young 20-something, this illustrated story deals with that scary realization every person deals with: This is it? This is MY life? Centered around Meiko, a recent college graduate who finds herself struggling to enjoy coorporate slavery, Solanin documents her journey to break away from the social standards of having a stable job. She choses freedom over stability, and over the course of the book, she discovers herself through music.

Also weaved into the plot is a love story, a story of friendship, and a story of an artist. But, I'll spare you all of those summaries.

(A page from the manga.)

Totally void of age-old plastic characters and dead storylines, Solanin is purely a joy to view. I fell in love with it, and finished it in maybe four hours tops. I guess the story is a bit relatable, haha.

What do you think? Have you seen this before?

Until later,
-Kateri Joe

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What's up at Peculiar Curiosities?!

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to let all of you know that our sale is still going on and it'll end on the 22nd!

Hope everyone has a splendiforus day!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Visual Influence of the Week: Takashi Murakami

**HEY GUYS: I just wanted to apologize for my wonky images. I've since removed them, but I hope that my good words about Murakami will inspire you to look at his work. :-)

A name that is reaching great acclaim in the United States, Takashi Murakami is the known artist behind the famous "teddy bear" Kanye West album cover and the "cutesy" Louis Vuitton bags. Here in America, he's not an artistic icon by himself, but rather a pop culture mini-planet that circles around big-name celebrities.

But in his native Japan, Takashi Murakami is a profound visual artist who is often compared to the great Andy Warhol for his talent of blending pop culture imagery with the world of fine art. Murakami is known for the Superflat movement, which consists of imagery that embraces Japanese traditional Nihonga flat deminsions and mixes it with Otaku* iconography. The results are vibrant characters with zero visual depth, but a strong emotional impact for the viewer.

*Otaku refers to the Japanese culture of obsessive gamers and cartoon enthusiasts. This culture is not often praised as it seems to promote counter-productivity.

Murakami continues to grow in worldwide fame. His company, KaiKai Kiki LLC, continues to blur artistic barriers between high and low art in Japan. And, his art continues to grow in the market and now sells for millions of dollars!

What I've shown here is only a TINY part of his portfolio. His work is cuteness captured, even with his more adult themes.

What do you think?
-Kateri Joe

(P.S. I've been having formatting problems with this post, so my apologies if the font sizes are wacky!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Someone's got a birthday...

Happy Birthday to....

ME! (haha)

(That's my "Oh Gosh, Am I Really an Adult?!" face.)

Hehe, notice that my hair is fucshia...and Jonathan's foot is jutting into the frame on the right. :-P

In honor of this special day, tomorrow will be the start of Peculiar Curiosities first sale! (You know, the one that I talked about in this past Tuesday's post.) So, check it out if you're curious.

Until tomorrow,

-Kateri Joe

Saturday, July 18, 2009

We got our har did!

Hey everyone! The Manic Panic haircolor came in!
Orange and pink, whatdaya think?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Musical Inspiration: Mindless Self Indulgence

What can I say? Jonathan and I are inspired people.

This week's musical muse comes in the form of MSI, or Mindless Self Indulgence.

Sprouting from Jimmy Urine's solo album known as "Mindless Self Indulgence", the punk rock project - later a full-fledged group -came around two years later with the addition of Steve Righ?, Vannessa Y.T., and Kitty under the same name as Urine's original endeavor. Still raging on over ten years later despite line-up changes*, MSI packs a punch that leaves grandma twitching on the floor beside her rocker. Their music, often politcally incorrect and deviously playful, is the industrial sound that just tickles my fancy.

(*Vanessa Y.T. was later replaced by Lyn-Z.)

Give them a listen. The repetitive lyrics with that rushing bass are sure to soothe your angry soul.


Until we meet again,
-Kateri Joe

P.S. -- Here's a fun fact for any comic connoisseur: That video in this post was directed by Jhonen Vasquez.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Featured Etsy Item: Flirty & Girly from Ouma

Doesn't this just scream femininity? From Ouma on Etsy, this tulle creation is simply known as the "Striped Tutu Party Dress". The stripes touch into something a little Tim Burton-ish to me, which I absolutely adore. (Plus, if you could see the outfits I love to wear, they are all about the stripe-E-doodles!) The tulle skirt brings me back to my ballet days: It calls to my playful, girly side that wants to have pillow fights and girl talk. But, something about this entire ensemble also screams "sophistication", thus it speaks to my sensible side. For $180, I wish I would have found this for my prom dress three years ago. I would have saved money and looked ten times cuter. :-P

Check out the actual Etsy listing, and give Monique's shop a glance. Every item is this adorable!

Until another time,
-Kateri Joe

P.S. The photo used in this link is owned by Monique at Ouma. (Store link:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Of inspiration and interests!

Hey everyone! Jonathan here.

I'm sure, by now, all of you fine folks have come to figure that I find a lot of wonderful/crazy art pieces in the strangest of places. And today's post is no different. It comes from two loves of mine - the arts and video games!

"Video games being artistic?! Blasphemy!!" Several closed-minded college art professors would be chanting. (Now, I'm not saying all art professors are closed-minded, but quite a few are.) But, I bet I could convert a few of them if they saw this beauty!

In Okami, you play the Japanese Shinto sun goddess, Okami Amaterasu - the Great White Wolf, and do battle with the Darkness that spreads across all of Nippon. The graphics of Okami draws inspiration from Japanese watercolor paintings, Japanese calligraphy, and rich Japanese folklore. Okami weaves several folktales together into a single story of Amasterasu retrieving her divine power. And if the gorgeous graphics weren't enough, the soundtrack to Okami is just as beautiful as the art!

Hope you guys enjoy the little trip into Amaterasu's world, a place I frequently find myself enjoying! Now if you would excuse me, all of this talk about Okami has given me a yearning to play my Wii. Where do you guys find an escape and inspiration?

Adios, peepsies! Til we meet again!

P.S. -- We made our first sale today! Thanks to the Fancy Lady *wink wink* ^-^

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This Week at Peculiar Curiosities: Sale Prep

So, our little Etsy store is moving slowly. Sadly, we had to brush it to the side for a little while to give us time to reorganize our life. But, now we're ready to kick it into high gear!

Our first act in this new high gear is to have a sale! We're not sure what day it will start, but we intend on discounting our paintings. Basically, we want to sell something before we bring in new products!

Woohoo, maybe we'll get our first sale!!

Speaking of sales, does anyone have experience with discounting/sales events? Do you have any tips for us? We'd really appreciate it!

Until Tomorrow,
-Kateri Joe

P.S. Just to keep up with keeping pictures in the post, here's a pretty flower picture from my photo archives. It's nearly cliche, but eh...I thought it was neat-o!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Sister is watching...

Good evening class! May I bring your attention to the blackboard?

Today we'll be studying the fine artistry of this man right here.

Don't know who he is you say? Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is David Mack - creator, author and artist of a beautiful piece of art work known as Kabuki. (Which is a topic all unto its self!) David's work has earned him mainstream fame, at least by comic book fanatic standards.

Among some of the more important things, other than becoming a comic book celebrity, he has earned several nominations for his unique approach to the comic page and the possibilities that it holds, one of the nominations even included the Eisner award - the comic book world's version of an Oscar - for Kabuki. David's style not only uses pencil and pen & ink, but also ventures into paint, magazine clippings, manga scans, and crayons to create a stunning collage. Here's a couple of examples of his work from Kabuki.

Does it not make you drool? Kateri and I are constantly amazed by his level of talent when we're sitting together, thumbing through the pages. David has also worked on Marvel Comics's heavy-hitter, Daredevil. He brought a breath of fresh air to the 45 year old series by diving head first into the psyche of Matt Murdock and finding out what makes The Man with No Fear tick.

I could go on, and on about David Mack and his work, but I'll spare you all! Haha. If you guys get a chance, check out his site.

Class dismissed! Catch you kats on the flipside!


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just a Memo

Hello, all!

It's be a bit quiet on the front, I'd say. *sigh* I hope we're not boring you guys!

Today, I was taking a breather/get-my-head-straight day. (I've been having a LOT of those days lately!) I managed realize something: I've only been pursuing art seriously for a year.


Whoah. It feels like it's been in my life since day ONE! But, looking back, a year ago I started creating my scholarship portfolio for art school. (Yeah, here's the's the same art school I can no longer attend thanks to a last minute financial failure.)

Last July, I had never drawn anything aside from doodles. I certainly had never painted. And, above all, I wasn't even sure if I could create art. But, when I decided to apply to SCAD, I knew I had something to prove to myself - even if the admissions department didn't accept my application.

I needed to show myself that I wasn't just a day-dreamer. I wanted to show myself that I could apply my love of the Arts into my own creations, which I never thought to be possible.

While my SCAD ambitions have stalled out for the year, and I often feel like a failure because of it, I realized something today: I did manage to make an amazing leap into the life that I never thought possible. Above is the first serious drawing I finished - a self portrait. It may not be perfect, but completing it gave me hope. A year ago, I never knew I could draw, period. Now, I feel like with patience and a clear vision, I can do anything I put my mind to.


And I hope you have that same feeling about your skills.

Until we chat again,

Kateri Joe

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Interesting Story of the Week: Being Carnies

What would you say if I told you that Jonathan and I, two relatively reclusive artists, managed to also work as carnies? You'd laugh, right? Imagine us, or really ANY artist at that, screaming "STEP RIGHT UP" from a game booth, complete with the stuffed animal prizes and old-fashioned just doesn't fit with an artist stereotype, right?

Right. But it still happened. Jonathan and I were, in fact, temporary-hire carnies. And not only were we carnies, but we were HIGH CLASS carnies , or "entertainers", as our boss claimed.

Picture this: It's July 4th, at the ritziest country club - complete with rolling green grass and top-of-the-hill views - that is home to "the richest people in Arkansas." The wealthy men are sporting polo shirts and khaki pants, making all of them look identical to one another. Their wives, some trophy and some not, are wearing either a maxi dresses or dress pants with tall heels. Their kids look like carbon copies of their parents. There are roughly 700 of these people, all sauntering between the fully-stocked, outdoor bars while chatting it up with one another. They are all waiting on one of two events - the skydivers or the fireworks show. Now throw Jonathan and me into the picture, both wearing old shorts and aging t-shirts with "Royal Events" caps on our heads. Needless to say, we stuck out like sore thumbs.

Royal Events, an entertainment company owned by a round-about family member, needed extra hands for a contracted event at the Little Rock Country Club. The club had ordered a medley of kids play-things, from carnival games to inflatable play houses. So, ba-da-bing, we became carnies as a favor for our family.

Jonathan's job was to sit at the top of this inflatable slide and make sure the kids were not bouncing.

(Royal Events's Fire Engine Slide)
Many kids did bounce. And, therefore, many kids grated Jonathan's nerves. But, those are different stories for different conversations.

I got put in control of the game trailer. More specifically, I ran the cork gun shooting game.

(Royal Events's Carnival Game Trailer)
As you can imagine, 5-year-olds trying to shoot a cork gun is entertaining to say the least.

We also had to help set up these doozies:

(Royal Events's Rock Wall)

(Royal Events's Kiddie Play Place)

(Royal Events's Mechanical Bull Ride)

The event, that had us out of the house by 10:oo a.m. and not home until midnight, was a lovely reminder that sometimes, it is good to be thrown out of your element. Silly (and sometimes snotty) club members aside, we ended up having a blast. We were even paid for our day of play!

Simply put, being a high-class, "entertaining" carnie turned out to be one of the neatest experiences. So, that begs the question, what jobs have you done in your life that have pleasantly surprised you?

-Until another day,
Kateri Joe.

P.S. All of these photos are property of Royal Events. And hey, if you're curious, here is the Royal Events website: