Sibling Rivalry Can Ruffle Feathers

I turn my bill up at you peon!

Imagine my surprise when I returned home from an errand to see a package on my porch. It was mid-November, not yet the holiday season. It wasn’t my birthday, my son’s or husband’s birthday, or my anniversary. What glorious gift could be within this brown box?

Then I saw the return address. Chad – Amy’s brother. Uh-oh.

Apparently Chad wants in on the action, and went so far as to quadruple the value of this ugly duckling by paying to mail it to me. But alas, no amount of priority shipping will turn this ugly ducker into a swan.

Sadly I will not be able to take Chad’s suggestion of using this to create a ‘classy centerpiece’ for my Thanksgiving dinner. This year I will be a guest instead of a hostess for the holiday, so who knows who will receive this quacktastrophe next…


That is where my pen is


This cowboy is hard to resist.  Originally designed to grow a cactus, nothing like a prickly tickley.  I have no plans for growing a cactus, but it makes a great place to store a pen or perhaps a fat marker.  For a man with a perpetual boner he sure doesn’t look happy, maybe he needs cactus boob lady.  How long do you think this could sit on my desk at work before I got called to HR?

Just in time for Halloween – A very odd clown

This odd little clown is a thank you gift for Molly Mobbie.  The clown appears to be sitting on top of some sort of table that is perched atop of some small animal.  No matter what I do I cannot get a clear pic of this clown, this leads me to believe the clown is possessed.  Also, the clown’s eyes freak me out.  This thing is just weird looking.  Who in their right mind thought this was going to be a big seller?  It looks like the clown is crushing a small animal. FREAKY!

Note from the gifter: Amy I am so sorry. It was clearly a bad idea to get anything commemorating an evil clown sacrificing a small animal via table crushing. You should donate (okay, burn) this immediately. My luck has turned for the better since this evil clown left my home. I do not think that is a coincidence. I’m pretty sure this was originally sold by Jack Marshak.

A bank so we can save for the future

On a recent visit to Brig we received this lovely item, a wedding gift for the newlyweds.  Nothing says save your money like a pink iridescent monkey bank.  I think I might have to put money in it just so I can smash it to get the money back out.  I especially love the tiny monkey, you can’t tell from the pics, but it has clearly broken off and been glued back on.  Someone cared enough about this ugly ass monkey to glue it back together, wtf.

Meet Dolly, Molly Mobbie’s Tarted Up Country Cousin

Oh Molly Mobbie, just when I thought you were the most wonderfully kitsch thing I’d ever receive, Amy had to go and give me your cousin. Your country cousin with precisely applied jet black eyeliner and bright red lipstick, giving her a certain smutty adorableness. Unlike Molly, who is hiding her enormous head under a bonnet with a very trendy bow, Dolly has a simple polka-dotted ribbon adornment that matches her apron. While both Molly and Dolly have gigantic noggins and feline companionship, Molly – being the citified cousin – gazes appreciatively/psychotically at the grandfather clock in (presumably) the parlor of her townhome in the state capitol. Dolly is stuck spinning yarn on some barely settled prairie.

Luckily for Dolly, she was painted by a different Holly-hobbyist.  How do I know, aside from the obvious difference in quality? Once again, this creation was signed by the crafter. A crafter who had the ingenuity to add details using felt-tip pens. Dolly is actually very well executed artistically – she’s just still really, really tacky.

Were ‘paint your own’ Holly Hobbie knock-off kits a bit of a trend in the 1970s? Can a reader answer this? And by ‘reader’ I mean ‘one of our moms.’  How else can I explain that there are two big-headed girls currently residing in my closet?  And now that this is a potential trend in the ugly gifting world I have to keep them both for a few months just in case I have the opportunity to do a formal family photo later.

Words fail me. I’m awed by the horribleness.

No longer content to merely spend their evenings playing poker and drinking out of the toilet, these four dogs have formed a militia hellbent on taking over the world.

Eagle-eyed as I am, I am always on the look out for terrible pieces of crap to give to Amy. But sometimes tacky just walks up and smacks you.

I’m usually prepared for these moments. In fact, I seek these moments out. If the thrift store has a section of ‘knick knacks’ I am going to sort through that pile of ugly. I will try to find ugly housewares. My real weakness in this game is my unwillingness to sift through bad art. There’s just too many generic photos of the Eiffel Tower to sort through. And I’d feel bad if something that I bought as bad art turned out to be some kid’s 8th grade collage that he needed to complete in order to graduate from junior high.

But then there was this. I was buying a bookshelf in a real furniture store when I spied these four paintings in a living room vignette. These were for sale. And they were over $150. A piece. I’m talking a $600 price tag for four paintings. Of dogs… in British-inspired fancy-dress/military uniforms. WTF.

I repeat, WTF.  

Nothing says ‘God save the Queen’ quite like a schnauzer dressed to kill. Literally.

Baaaaaad Gift

What are you looking at? No seriously, which eye is the good one?

I think the most interesting thing about this mass produced ceramic goat is that it was mass produced. This implies a market for this item. Which means that somewhere along the line in America, a whole lot of people looked around their homes and said to themselves, “You know what would really perk this place up? A goat statue!”

Not content to simply get any old ceramic livestock, the purchasers of this cross-eyed, cloven-hoofed beauty could have also used this as a self-defense item. This is one pointy statue, and the horns are perfectly spaced to take out both eyes simultaneously. Most animal figurines tend to be cute and smiling. With its combination of pointy horns and evil smirk, this one seems to play up the popular culture associations between goats and devil-worship.

Tippi Hedren Called. She Wants Her Teapot Back.

Help! Help! Giant pink and white birds
are attacking the castle!

I take my tea with a squeeze of lemon, a little sugar, and unfortunately for this teapot, a smidge of dignity.

Many moons ago – okay, years – I got married. Amy was my Maid of Honor. A duty she very obviously took to heart. Not only did she consent to wear a light purple dress of my choosing (with matching shawl!) but she found, purchased, and beautifully presented this gift to me. In front of all the other bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids, mind you, who did not know about our passion for bad gifting.

The collective breath holding followed by plastered on fake smiles was priceless. I could practically see profanity-laden thought bubbles appear above their heads. When I responded with a genuine “This. Is. Perfect!” My other ‘smaids were unsure if I was the best actress ever or waaaay tackier than they knew.

Thankfully my mom chimed in with an “Oh, they know this is ugly.”

On the bright side I suppose I could construe this to mean that my husband and I are supposed to live happily ever after. At least until we drown in the boiling tea filling up our castle.

But now that the lovely story of its origin is out of the way, let’s dissect the tackiness that is this piece o’ crap.

  1. There is a tree bent by some force of nature crashing into the castle.
  2. The same storm seems to have ripped a turret astray.
  3. The paint is really uneven.
  4. Last, but certainly not least, the birds perched on the lid are the same size as the turret roofs.

And to think that most people have to wait until their 20th anniversary to receive fine china.

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, It’s the Real Doomsday Clock

Such unnaturally blond hair, and WIDE eyes.

Such attention to detail, every flower in the basket behind her is painted.

The clock works. It keeps perfect time. But, this lovely little gift that I received for my birthday is about a year older than me. Conveniently the artist included the date in her signature. Yes, this piece of crap is signed. I’m sure in the mid-seventies this Holly Hobbie knock-off was the most awesome thing in some little girl’s room. The purple dress and bonnet even have a subtle sheen.

But what really creeps me out is the wide-eyed stare of Molly Mobbie. I keep expecting this ceramic resident of the village of the damned to solve a puzzle box and grow up overnight.

Needless to say she resides in my closet… until she can be set free at my local Goodwill. Then she can go live in another damned village.

Happy Easter! I hope the bunny brought you band-aids.

Egg-themed decor is no longer the exclusive domain of long-dead Russian czars.

The crafter really shouldn’t have stopped at just breaking this into two pieces.

Easter is supposed to be one of the classy holidays. You wear your Easter bonnet. Spring has sprung and everyone wants to celebrate outside. There are adorable bunnies, and cute baskets, and beautiful hand-dyed Easter eggs.

And then there’s this.

Not content to simply be bit tacky and poorly crafted, this egg is actually sharp on the unfinished edges. I can practically hear a mean old lady yelling at her grandkids at Easter lunch, “C’mon over here and grab some of this thirty-year-old ribbon candy out of the egg dish! Hey, hey stop bleeding on my plastic-covered couch!”