Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Halloween Signs Y'all

I know it's the middle of August and you're getting the kids back in school still y'all, but before you know it, those same little hobgoblins will be ringin' your door bell. So I've been working feverishly on some creepy signs that I think you'll have fun decorating your living spaces with this fall. Here's a brief run down of my All-Hallows-Eve treats:

Witch on a Stick
Nothing says creepy like a black flying witch y'all. And she's a big girl too, allmost waist high, perfect for the front of your house.

Boo, word sign
This word says it all doesn't it? It's the simplest of decorations for the scary night. This would make a great hostess gift too.

Vampire Bat
This guy is just menacing, don't you think? This piece was inspired by old book illustrations of bats from the turn of the century.

Pumpkin Head
This is inspired by those vintage paper machie pumpkins you find in antique stores. This would be a great piece for your front porch or to put next to your treat bowl.

Moon Face
This is a fun piece that comes straight from the corner of a Ouija board. You southerners will recognize it also from the Moon Pie box.

Shown with my random starts, see below. Stars are not included with Moon Face.

Star Set
These go great with the Moon Face. They are just quick cut random starts. They are also available in larger sizes. These are 4" square in size.

Email me if you want a larger size at

Bite Me Vampire Fangs
With Vampires being all the rage these days I could not resist making this y'all. This is a totally funky and fun image & word sign. It's loaded with different meanings.

Black Crow
This handsome fella comes from a vintage BB-gun target practice poster. Just luv'ed his shape, minus the target naturally.

Dead Skulls
I've always loved "Day of the Dead" imagery so I took the typical halloween skull and "Dead-Headed" it. It's shown here with 5 hot colors perfect for this unique holiday. But you can choose from any of our 16 colors.

Voo Doo word sign
What Halloween wouldn't be complete without looking to New Orleans for Voo Doo inspiration? This is in my usual Slippin' Southern style word sign. If you have another great Halloween word idea just let me know, I'd love to hear about it! (Email me at slippin'

I have two more items that I'm finishing up, pictures coming shortly, they are:

Spooky Owl--This one is understated, a simple image of an owl, quietly sitting on his branch... watch it--he's watching you.

Menacing Raven--This little Poe-esque Raven is looking over his shoulder, with his classic curved beak.

All of these are available Now in my Etsy Shop y'all, just click here:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Friday for the Monkey Man

Downtown Raleigh, NC

Last Friday Susan and I ventured west of our studio in Snow Hill to Raleigh to meet Beth who has included our signs in her gallery space at Design Box, which is a workspace, art gallery and design shop all rolled into one. And last Friday was First Friday. I know that makes no sense so I'll explain. In downtown Raleigh, on the first Friday of each month all of the downtown galleries, museums, and art studios feature an open house event where art enthusiasts are welcome to drop in and take a look around. Many of the local restaurants, bars and clubs also join in by offering specials too. And there are a lot of restaurants and bars downtown y'all.
Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh
When we arrived in the warehouse distinct, I dropped off Susan in front of the Contemporary Art Museum to find parking since they have great benches for sitting outside. Parking was my next challenge, I later found out that there were several lots just up the street but I spent 20 minutes looking for parking on the street, something I'm totally used to coming from Chicago.
Art enthusiasts gather outside during First Friday's
On the street, there's so much people traffic. There's tons of pedestrians walking from venue to venue, mostly couples and groups. There's also lots of people like myself trying to find parking. Many driving vintage cars and scooters which I thought was very cool. This too reminded me of mine and Susan's days in Chicago gallery hopping on Friday nights, something we used to do when we were in college, you know, before we had kids. 
Art lovers easily get around via Raleigh Rickshaw Company

Oh, and here's something you don't see in Chicago on a Friday night, bicycling art enthusiasts. A group of about 20 cyclists all of a sudden peddled up in front of Design Box, parked their bikes and all wandered in. Another great way to get around First Fridays is by Raleigh Rickshaw Company which operates till 3 a.m. Remember my parking problem? This is a great way to get back to you car at the end of the night.

Slippin' Southrn signs hanging at Design Box

Once I made my way back to Susan we walked over to Design Box. Inside it was pleasantly crowded, we sort of had to weave our way through the crowd to try to find Beth, who we have never met. The gallery space is small but jam packed with many artists and interesting things to look at and buy.

Then all at once I looked up above all of the heads of the visitors and I saw my little signs, just before you enter their work spaces. This was the first time I've seen my work hanging in a store. Like old friends, each of them I knew personally. Peanut, Howdy, Hey Y'all, the Monkey gang was all here. And folks were really looking at them, studying them, touching them. I felt very pleased, I tried not to stare at them too much. I tried not to let anyone know that "I did them".  As if by me looking at them in some way, someone would figure out that I created them. Then I made my way past them. I tried to look interested in other things and other artist's work. And there were a lot of other artist work on the walls.

Barrel of Monkeys by Slippin' Southern
Then a woman approached me from behind and gently asked, "Excuse me, are you the Monkey Man?" I smiled and said, why yes I am, and then I extended my hand. She went on to explain that she had just purchased my Barrel of Monkeys and she just wanted to meet me and say hello. For me, this was the crowning moment of the trip. The thought that someone wanted to meet me was exciting and made me feel so complete. Like I was doing something right. Like, hey, this Slippin' Southern thing is actually going somewhere. Thank you lovely customer, where ever you are, you made my evening! I truly hope you enjoy your Monkeys.
Coquette Brasserie in North Hills
After our First Friday experience we left downtown and went to North Hills to have diner at Coquette Brasserie. I know we should have stayed with the whole First Friday theme but that's not how we roll, we always break with the plan and do something different. By now the diner crowd was thinning out, yet we managed to be seated next to a couple that had a 10 year old boy with them that banged on the banquettes like Ringo Starr during our entire dinner. Other than that, our diner was decent but I wouldn't go back.
Beth told me on last Friday that she needs more signs so we are definitely going back for another First Friday next month and I think this time we'll stay in the neighborhood for diner and drinks.  If you see us, ring your bike bell and say Hey Y'all! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Slippin' Southern Explores Wilmington

Wilmington boardwalk near our hotel
Last weekend we decided we needed a little getaway from the farm fields of Snow Hill so our family drove down to Wilmington to hand-deliver a lovely order to one of our newest retailers that has just started carring our signs in the downtown historic waterfront district. We blew into town around 2:00 pm, very exhausted since we had just spent the last few days producing three new large retail orders plus getting out many of our lovely Etsy customer's orders too. And we've done it all during this fabulous heat wave we've been having on the East coast.

A Proper Garden, a great place to shop y'all
 Once we arrived downtown, which we knew little about, we went straight to Ann Street and into our newest retailers great brick and mortor location, A Proper Garden, which  is very charming. It's a little garden, a little historic, a little artsy and Lotta cool. After exchanging introductions with Peg, the owner, a great fun lady, and wandering around her cute shop then popped across the street to Elijah's and took a table at the bar which overlooks the beautiful Cape Fear River. We were starved, hot and wanted to take in the waterfront for a moment and this was the place to do it. While sippin' martinis we sampled their wonderful oysters Rockefeller, Oysters Elijah's (over flowing with crab dip) and some nice, chilled. peal-n-eat shrimp. While I was relaxing here I felt totally relaxed and that there must be so much to explore here. I wanted to jump up and see it all and at the same time, just sit right there all afternoon.

A little further down the boardwalk near Elijah's
If you are a water-lovin', southern crab like me, yes, I'm a Cancer, you'll love the downtown waterfront. I was totally in my happy place here. All of the shops, hotels and restaurants in Wilmington sit right on the river and are connected by a very nice dock-like boardwalk. It would be possible, but not on a hot day like ours, to walk from any of the hotels all the way down to any restaurant you wanted. On this weekend, there were several weddings going on so brides maids and groomsmen peppered every establishment we went in to.

I love staying in hotels. I love the crisp cool sheets, the quiet seclusion and the fact that no one in the world knows where I am when I'm there. Across the river from our hotel room sat the majestic USS North Carolina, a WWII battleship that was totally restored with proceeds from the school children of NC along with the help of a few investors. We didn't bother to tour the ship on this visit since the heat was unbearable but we do plan to come back when the weather gets cooler this fall. I also love touring battleships, the USS Alabama in Mobile is a great ship to visit too, I went there many times as a kid.

The Dixie Grill, a great place to get grits in the city
On Sunday morning we got dressed and did what Susan always wants to do in a new town, get a good cooked breakfast. And in Wilmington, look no further than the Dixie Grill on Market street. The experience begins as soon as you drive up to the door. The look is very 60s throwback. There is a huge Peter Max 7-Up sign just inside and all of the walls are covered with kitchy paintings for sale by local artists. The service was phenomenal. We loved that we were seated in the kitchen so we could see the cooks making everything. This place is atmosphere on steroids, booths, lots of vegetarian items on menu too, Plus, on top of everything there was live music too! I felt like we were in a hip eatery or diner in Chicago, it was one of the most surprising places we've seen in NC, no offense Bojanles'.

NC Aquarium Aligator saying Hey Y'all
Our plan for this overnight trip was to see a little of the town the first night and then go out to the beaches the next day. But it was so hot that we decided to do something that was a little darker and cooler.... so we went to the NC Aquarium. And just as I had hoped, it was cool, dark and very interesting. It's located out on Kure Beach at Fort Fisher. Among the many exhibits we saw, I was most impressed with the alligators in the atrium entrance including an albino alligator. Also on the inside, there was an Open Oceans Exhibit that let you actually hold live sea urchins, star fish and touch horseshoe crabs.

Susan and me enjoying Sweet Tea at the Dixie Grill
I have to say, since our home is in the middle of a corn field, Wilmington is now added to my list of new happy places to visit in North Carolina. It's got water, food, drink and so many things to see y'all, we will return for more very soon, heck, I'm even thinkin' of a second home here.