From Spread Whimsy

Candy Wafer LLLama Peeps Protection Stymied

Protector of Peeps® Candy Wafer LLLama is one of the LLLamas featured in Meet the LLLamas. She has a new challenge, but she’s ready.

Meet the LLLamas
Meet the LLLamas
Candy Wafer LLLama is in charge of Peeps Protection
Candy Wafer LLLama is in charge of Peeps Protection

As her fans know, she was the SpokesLLLama for a number of multi-national candy companies until senior management replaced her with a giggling animated candy bar. She recovered from that insult by joining an international nondenominational non-profit that cares for retired Easter Bunnies.

Her second job: Peeps Protection

She took on a very part-time job, Peeps® Protection, and began blogging for “Safety First: Keep Peeps® Out of Microwaves.”  In the early years, when Peeps® were in stores for 15 minutes before Easter, this was a very part time job. Now that Peeps® are available year-round, she has had to up her game. None of her friends are surprised that she now has two full-time jobs.

Her challenge thrown down from AARP

A recent AARP newsletter features 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Peeps® which would be fascinating were it not for the instructions for creating a microwave to-the-death engagement between two Peeps® and two toothpicks.

Candy Wafer read the piece and cried “For shame!” She has begun a massive social media campaign to thwart this dastardly turn in the long and storied life of Peeps®.

Peeps Protection and the international water crisis

“Peeps® protection has never been more important than it is today. With a growing international water crisis, it is irresponsible to blast Peeps® in a microwave. The cleanup takes an enormous amount of water. Melted and boiled sugar is difficult to remove from easily accessible spaces, but microwaves require a long reach — especially for short people.

“Inevitably,” she added, “the culprit is not the one in charge of cleanup.”


Signed copies of Meet the LLLamas are available at the Art Shoppe at Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis for $9.99 plus tax.

The Backyard Roosters of Saint Paul

From the Small Friends’ Research Institute

Spreading Rooster Whimsy

Coming to print & e-book by mid-March 2015…

The Backyard Roosters of Saint Paul
The Backyard Roosters of Saint Paul

The Backyard Roosters of Saint Paul has 41 pages of portraits and stories of the Rooster leadership in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Some of the 42 roosters in the book…


My Cat Max: Muse, Model, Taskmaster, Pal

My Cat Max is my Muse, Model, Taskmaster, and Pal. Time to give credit where credit is due.


Standing Max
Standing Max
TV Shelf Max
TV Shelf Max









Max’s Motto

 maxes final motto



Max: The “Who Me?” Cat

After he learned to climb to the top of bookcases (of which I have many), he decided to get my attention by batting on the paintings that he could reach from his new perches. He is a rhythymic batter, leading me to consider that he was a drummer in one of his former lives. Because the Laws of Gravity have not been repealed in my house, batting on paintings is a bad thing. I say sharply “Max!” He turns and says “Who me?”

7 Who Me Cats
7 Who Me Cats (print at ETSY)


Max the Holiday Cat

Max supervises my painting, sometimes attacking the brushes, sprawling on the papers, and just once, knocking over some water to make an editorial change to a painting. Now he has a business plan: He will pose for Holiday Cat paintings, ornaments and bookmarks. He was awesome at Christmas as an ornament and bookmark. He did a fine job on a Valentine card and in four original paintings, and, because he is really on the ball, his Shamrock Cat portrait is already work-in-progress.

9 Who? Me? Cats
9 Who? Me? Cats Ornaments (and bookmarks! Yes! Bookmarks)
Pink Heart Cat 2015-22
Pink Heart Cat 2015-22
Valentine Cats in Love 2015-27
Valentine Cats in Love 2015-27
Two Colorful Cats 2015-12
Two Colorful Cats 2015-12

Shamrock Max in Progress


Shamrock Max Work-in-Progress
Shamrock Max Work-in-Progress

Musings on liking your own work

All the Colors & Paths #1, at Altered Aesthetics’
Straight Trippin’ Juried Show
February 28-March 28, 2013

If you don’t like your own work, how can you: 

  •  expect anyone else to like it — ever;
  •  get pleasure out of its creation;
  •  want to do anything other than use it for kindling.


Will you love every piece?

Don’t expect to love every piece. Because making art is a journey, there will probably be some odd turns or dead ends:

  1. You will inevitably make an awkward and damaging splash or drop the brush or do something that in the cold light of day makes you cringe. Learn from it, and enjoy the pleasure of making art. Forgive your child or your cat if one or both might be the culprit.
  2. When you get a new paintbrush or color or piece of equipment, your first experiments might be happy accidents that you love (and sell), noodlings that you will use as reference material, or something to recycle by painting on the back.
  3. Not that this would happen to you, but in my earnest determination to get back to painting after being ill, I put a lot of brown paint in a place where, on reflection, it does not belong. Whether I can bring this painting back to where I hoped it would be, turn it into something entirely new, or trash it, is yet to be determined. What did I learn? When the act of speaking a simple, declarative sentence is unmanageable, I should stay away from paint brushes.

Who is the SpokesArtist?

I am the SpokesArtist for my own art enterprises which are dedicated to Spreading Whimsy. I have no idea how artists who pour their angst onto their canvases think about liking their own work.

Vulcan’s Victory: An inspiration from a great collaboration

Vulcan's Victory
Vulcan’s Victory (1960s)
Clement Haupers (1900-1982)
Collection of Minnesota Museum of American Art
Gift of Mrs. Benjamin Grey, 1976.

By the end of the 2011 Minnesota State Fair, I will have served as a State Fair Foundation Volunteer for 6 of the Fair’s 12 days. I was lucky to have been assigned to the J.V. Bailey House and to the tiny exhibit, Fairs, Circuses, and All Things Fun, which is a collaboration between the Foundation and the Minnesota Museum of American Art. As the MMAA is currently looking for a home and its collections are in storage, it is a special treat to be able to see these paintings and sculptures.

My favorite piece, Vulcan’s Victory by Minnesota artist Clement Haupers, is an inspiration on many levels. It celebrates one of my favorite events, the St. Paul Winter Carnival (ice palace, bouncing girls, and fireworks), and it has a secret linked to Minnesota’s great agricultural tradition imbeded in its frame. Really? When Haupers made the frame, he used egg flats to echo the shapes and bursts of the fireworks.
Egg Flat Frame
Many visitors have been intrigued by this painting, and there was much speculation about how Haupers achieved the look of stucco on this three-dimensional frame. Was it plaster? Plaster-of-Paris? Very thick paint? Stucco?
Having gone directly to a grocery store after seeing this frame, I learned that egg flats are not the egg cartons in grocery stores; they are made to hold 30 eggs. Nonetheless, I am inspired once again to create my own frames, and to look for unusual materials to do that. What inspires you?