Last week, after I posted some photos I took of my friend Marlena‘s mannequins. I got this message from her:

Oh my, those are gorgeous photos! You have captured my mannequins’ strange beauty. Did I tell you the story of the male mannequin, Klaus? If not, remind me to do so when I see you. I have attached a photo of Klaus and the girls from last summer shortly after I got him. The cracked mannequin is the one on the far right pre-cracking. I have also attached a couple of photos of her after the winter’s ravages. The painting that I did for the upcoming Harcourt House The Works exhibit is based on her.

click on photos to enlarge

The next time I saw Marlena she told me the story of Klaus and it was so delightful I asked her write it down so I could share it with you.

Hi Mike – I have included a photo of Klaus and his friends, as well as a photo of the painting I did for The Works Harcourt House members’ exhibit (inspired by the cracked mannequin #5285) and an example of a mannequin that I arted up.

The Story of Klaus:
One day in August in 2010, I was driving down an alley in my neighbourhood when I saw a garage sale, which is not so unusual, but this one had a mannequin that caught my eye. The mannequin was male, anf those are harder to find than female mannequins. I stopped to look and noticed that a price of $1 million was written on masking tape across his forehead. I waved down one of the young men who were running the garage sale and asked him if he would be willing to drop the price. He said that they were selling things because they were university roommates who were moving out but they didn’t really want to sell “Klaus”, although they couldn’t take him with them either. Klaus had been with them for a long time and had attended all of their parties and had become an important, albeit very quiet part of their lives. But he said that if they could find someone worthy, they would be willing to part with him. I said that I felt I could be a worthy contender. I explained that I am an artist and I use mannequins for some of my art. He became quite excited and had a quick huddle with his roommates. He came back with the announcement that I could become the proud owner of Klaus for the greatly reduced price of $10.00. He also gave me a photo of Klaus with the gang that I could keep.

We exchanged emails, and I told him that I would send him photos once I had Klaus arted up. When I got Klaus back home, I put him in the garden with some of my other head-and-torso mannequins that all happen to be female. He looked so comfy that I adorned them with a few blooms and took a photo that I sent to my garage sale friend to reassure him that Klaus was settling in just fine. I have yet to make art with Klaus, but I have been recently inspired to make him into a rain-god for my rain barrels. Maybe when we actually need rain, though. -Marlena

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Latest Thrift Store Art

September 17, 2010

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Polldaddy doesn’t display “other” answers directly because of spam concerns, so don’t freak when your suggestion doesn’t show up.  I’ll add them myself from time to time (what a pain).

Dr. Tad Soapstar
Michael Landon
vigoda’s ballsack
Señor Chinbum
I Messed My Pants
My lord honey
Uncle Dave

I just keep seeing Blueboys everywhere I go.

My friends Michael & Marlena are retiring to Newfoundland next year (I’m choked about it) and they’re starting to divest themselves of possessions they don’t want to haul across the country – especially Michael who is an unrepentant crap-hound.

Michael C.

This weekend Michael had a sale in his gallery in the Ortona Armoury. Among the priceless treasures on offer were pieces from his Trash Art and paint-by-numbers shows. (The items that radiate sunbeams are the things I bought).


Lenticular 3D Little Red Riding Hood scene.


The needlework Jesus on the right has come full circle – I gave it to Michael some years ago and now I have it back, along with the same scene depicted in paint-by-numbers.

Also had to have this Jesus bust (no, honestly, I don’t have a Jesus fetish).

I snuck next door into Michael’s studio to document the stuff there – which wasn’t on sale (this time – there will be more sales).

Downstairs there was another large room filled with fine objets for sale.

Behind the ghastly glare are two lovely Hawaiian lithos that emulate black velvet paintings, by an artist called Cross (who I have had no success googling).

Blanket coats.

Six plates from the King Eddy Hotel, 1904-1982.

Very swank.

My Saturday

April 12, 2009


Breakfast: pancakes with real maple syrup, sausage, two eggs sunny side up and endless cups of the most wonderful smelling and tasting coffee.



What the heck? The Emergency Relief thrift store was open on Good Friday but not today?









The new art gallery under construction. It seems you either hate it or hate it. I think I like it. Right now it looks like something collapsed – this is what it’s supposed to look like when it’s finished:




Bought my ticket to see this dude.


To the library for cds and dvds


but my membership had lapsed and I didn’t want to wait in line to renew and risk a parking ticket.


Made the thrift rounds in the northeast part of town which I don’t get to very often.




…because it sucks. No thrift finds. I also trolled a couple of Giant Tiger stores I hadn’t been to before for remaindered dvds.





Late lunch at Sunterra market on the south side. Delicious soup (more like a stew) chock full of chicken chunks in spicy coconut milk broth. Then grocery shopping at Spinelli’s for pizza fixin’s.


Homemade pizza with bocconcini, feta and olives.


Enjoy your Easter.



I disagree. I think they’re beautiful.

The Week in Thrift

July 22, 2008

femme nue sans yeux

Christmas in July

The Art of Eleanor Chambers


I bought the two ladies above and the gentleman below.


They have such a lovely old-fashioned look to them, like old family photos. I have no idea when they were painted but the styles look to be from the 1940s (?). I can tell you nothing about the artist beyond her name.






Some features, such as hair and jewels, were applied very thickly, giving a relief effect.


Moving Weekend 2

October 13, 2007

Help Me, 3D Jebus

We got in too late Friday night to offload Gary’s stuff at the storage place so we’re doing it this morning with a crew of Gary’s uncle Laurie and friends.


Uncle Laurie




Bundles of records. Gary got rid of about half his record collection this year so this is only half what he usually has to move.


The crew. With so many studly dudes helping out we’re done in no time. Laurie lends Gary ‘n me his truck so we can tootle around town.


We’re in good company with dashboard Jesus and friend. First stop: Chinatown for some snacks.


Then we pay a visit to our Tiki Central pal Slacks Ferret at the community art centre where he works.


His latest painting The Birth of Pele is hanging in an exhibition of staff works.


Time for some thrifting.


The eyes on this plaster dalmation at the WINS store weird us out. It’s not for sale – too bad.


This also weirds me out – inverse plaster Jesus. If you hold it the right way it looks as if the face is jutting out instead of an impression in the plaster. There were a bunch of these at the BFM, including…


this one that was painted gold. Another weird thing is that if you hold it sideways


you get what appears to be a profile.

Good luck on the new job, Gary. I hope there are interesting thrift stores in Cranbrook.

Ellensburg, WA

July 26, 2007

tiki face?

tiki faces in strange places?

Dick and Jane’s Spot:

dick and jane’s 1

dick and jane’s 2

dick and jane’s 3

dick and jane’s 4

dick and jane’s spot 5

dick and jane’s spot 6

dick and jane’s spot 8

dick and jane’s spot 9

dick and jane’s spot 10

dick and jane’s spot 11

dick and jane’s spot 13

dick and jane’s spot 15

Dick & Jane’s Website

Dick and Jane’s Spot on Roadside America