Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Twitter Log: 2010-02-01

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Barbie Country Living Home

Filed under: Barbies and other favorite toys,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

When I found the Barbie Country Camper at Thrift Town, I also found this Barbie Country Living Home. It is truly a genius design.

Barbie Country Living Home by LauraMoncur from Flickr

It opens up to reveal a three room house, all in a portable case.

Barbie Country Living Home by LauraMoncur from Flickr

The back is made to look like the outside of the home.

Barbie Country Living Home by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Barbie looks right at home in the colorful house.

Barbie Country Living Home by LauraMoncur from Flickr

If eBay is to be believed, this home came with furniture: a white couch, a white chair, a white coffee table, an orange kitchen table, two orange kitchen chairs and a green bed.

Barbie Country Living Home Furniture

The home I found was broken and couldn’t be carried by its handle, but I think I’ve fixed it with some very powerful Gorilla Glue. It should provide years of play for my nieces and any other little girls who visit my house.

You can see the rest of the photos here:


Hasbro’s Fresh ‘N Fancy

Filed under: I Love Makeup!,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I was looking at the 1980 Sear’s Christmas Catalog on the Wishbook Flickr page when I found this toy set from Hasbro on page 548:

1980 Sears Christmas Catalog P548 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Here is the description:

Fresh ‘n Fancy Cosmetic Set by Hasbro

Create and explore the glamorous you! Everything you need to make lip gloss, eye shadow, cheek blush, nail polish, perfume. All ingredients are non-irritating, non-staining and non-toxic… they wash off with soap and water.

SET INCLUDES: Mirror, mixing tray, mixing container, beaker, funnel, gloss pots, tools, bottles for perfume and nail polish, instructions, folder of good grooming tips, labels, small decorative packages, jars, assorted ingredients.


This little cosmetic set is probably the reason that I love makeup even today. Despite my feminism, I have clung to the daily ritual of makeup, mostly because it feels like a little bit of creativity that I can do every morning. I’ve talked about it here before:

My mom was always so good about choosing toys that fostered creativity. I was able to mix scents to create my own perfume. I could mix colors to create a nail polish. I could create lip gloss that came in a color that no one else could have. I absolutely LOVED this toy and used up all the ingredients long before I used up the lip glosses, fingernail polishes and perfumes that I created with it.

If I remember correctly, the fingernail polish wasn’t like “real” fingernail polish. It created a plastic coating on my fingernails that could be pulled off in one piece. I didn’t need fingernail polish remover, I just needed to pull it off. Of course, because it wasn’t like grownup fingernail polish, I hated it instantly, but it didn’t matter because there were only two fingernail polish bottles, so it wasn’t the main part of this toy.

My FAVORITE was the perfume. I could create a perfume that smelled like roses, gardenia or lavender, but that wasn’t really exciting to me. I liked mixing the scents to try to create one of my own. I remember making a scent that I absolutely loved and when it was all used up, I couldn’t remember how I made it. It was a very important lesson on keeping good notes. Even today, I take the time to document every art project, fix it job or “hack,” so I can recreate it and write about it here. That was a habit that Fresh ‘n Fancy taught me at the tender age of eleven.

I guess I should send my mom an email thanking her for the AWESOME Christmas present, even though the gratitude is thirty years old.


Twitter Log: 2010-02-03

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am
  • It's like we're an old retired couple. Dinner at 4pm. (@ Outback Steakhouse – Sandy) http://4sq.com/cmkf36 #

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Esprit Bag

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

When I was in high school, every girl who was even close to cool had an Esprit Bag. I found mine in the pile of purses when we moved last July. After a good washing and ironing, it almost looks presentable.

Esprit Bag by LauraMoncur from Flickr

This bag cost me $25 of hard earned K-Mart money and I bought it at Nordstroms. I think that might be the only thing I’ve ever bought at Nordstroms.

Esprit Bag by LauraMoncur from Flickr

I felt so cool when I carried around this bag, but it really wasn’t a good bag for me. I always do better with purses that zip because then nothing falls out when I’m clumsy. Even though it wasn’t the best for me, I still proudly carried my books in that bag. I always made sure that the Esprit logo on the useless pocket was facing out so that everyone could see that it was an ESPRIT bag, not just some stupid canvas bag.

Now, I have tons of canvas bags that I use at the grocery store, but the Esprit bag is kept hidden safely away from them. It’s still special to me, even after all these years.


Twitter Log: 2010-02-04

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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The Gift I Tried To Give To My Grandma

Filed under: Barbies and other favorite toys,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

When I was in third grade, Academy Park had a gift fair. It was right before Christmas and we were allowed to bring money to buy gifts for our family members. I don’t know if schools still do that, but it’s a really good thing, in my opinion, because as a kid I wasn’t allowed to shop that often, so buying a present for someone was difficult.

We were Jehovah’s Witness, so I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Christmas, but that didn’t stop me from buying presents for everyone at that fair. I bought this for my grandma.

The gift I tried to give to my grandma

It stands only two inches high and it’s a pencil sharpener. That little drawer opens up to empty out the pencil shavings. My grandma was an antiques dealer, so I had seen the coffee grinders that she owned and loved. I thought that she would like this because it looked like an antique.

Because we didn’t celebrate Christmas, I gave her the pencil sharpening coffee grinder the next day. She took one look at it and said that she didn’t like it. She gave it back to me. I tried to explain to her that it looked like an antique and she liked antiques, but she was certain that I bought it because I wanted it myself, so she insisted that I take it back.

I didn’t want it myself. I really thought she would like it.

I found it last week with all of my Barbies. It kind of lived in all of my Barbie houses that I created over the years until it was finally shoved with all the clothes and furniture in the doll box. It kind of served as a doll-sized representation of my grandmother’s antiques. Seeing it again after so many years made me incredibly sad at the rejected gift. I put it in the china cabinet with her crystal and Depression glass.

On another note, DUCKZBUNNY Blog has the collection of pencil sharpeners that this came from. They are photographed beautifully.

And you can buy the ENTIRE set here:

Die Cast Pencil Sharpeners Antique


Twitter Log: 2010-02-05

Filed under: Barbies and other favorite toys,Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Answering Honestly

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

NakedJen tagged me to do one of these things. I usually don’t, but it was a good way to avoid really working, so I wrote it up.

Can you fill this out without lying? You’ve been tagged, so now you need to answer all the questions HONESTLY.

  • What was the last thing you put in your mouth? Diet Coke

  • Where was your profile picture taken? In the dining room of the Lake Street house… kind of miss that place.

  • Can you play Guitar Hero/Rock Band? Oh baby, yes I can! As long as you don’t make me play on any harder than Medium.

  • Name someone who made you laugh today? Garret Tan. He posted a funny Doritos commercial.

  • How late did you stay up last night and why? I went to bed at 10pm because I had to get up and be at BetaLoft early the next morning.

  • If you could move somewhere else, would you? Yes, I’d move to San Diego for the weather and the friends.

  • Ever been kissed under fireworks? Yes. Mike and I were watching the Disney 50th Anniversary fireworks and we kissed under the fake snowflakes.

  • Which of your friends lives closest to you? Penny Egbert Bivens

  • Do you believe exes can be friends? Nope. Too much baggage. Best to just move on.

  • How do you feel about Dr.Pepper? I like it, but not as much as Diet Mountain Dew.

  • When was the last time you cried really hard? When Carol died last year.

  • Who took your profile picture? My iMac.

  • Who was the last person you took a picture of? Kristen

  • Was yesterday better than today? No. Every day just keeps getting better.

  • Can you live a day without TV? I don’t know. I’ve never tried. Watching shows on my iPhone counts as TV, right?

  • Are you upset about anything? Yes, but I’m trying my best not to be.

  • Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? ALWAYS!

  • Are you a bad influence? ABSOLUTELY NOT! I’m the GOOD influence, kinda like Glinda without the fluffy dress, although, I’d love to wear that dress…

  • Night out or night in? Night out. I work in, so I ALWAYS want a night out.

  • What items could you not go without during the day? My iPhone, caffeine and food… oh yeah, and air! I really likes me some air.

  • Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? Carol

  • What does the last text message in your inbox say? Yes, just a minute.

  • How do you feel about your life right now? I am pretty lucky and happy.

  • Do you hate someone? Hate? That’s kind of a strong word. I AVOID some people because they really can’t be good friends to me, but I wouldn’t say I HATE them.

  • If we were to look in your facebook inbox, what would we find? Tons of messages that I never delete. The latest is from Stacey saying that she’ll come to my house for dinner.

  • Could you pass a drug test right now. Easily… just let me drink this gallon of water first, okay?

  • Has anyone ever called you perfect before? I don’t think so.

  • What song is stuck in your head? The theme song to The Dollhouse… la, la, la, laaaa, la, la, la, la, laaaa

  • Someone knocks on your door at 2:00am, who do you want it to be? No one! Don’t be knockin’ on my door at 2am unless it’s an emergency!

  • Wanna have grandchildren by the time you’re 50? Not possible.

  • Name something you have to do tomorrow? Write, write, write.

  • Do you think too much or too little? Too much when I’m alone. Too little when I’m with other people.

  • Do you smile a lot? Yes!

  • Do you think that the people you are tagging are going to answer honestly? I’m not tagging anyone. This stops here.


KCGL Poster 1984

Filed under: Living in Utah,Personal History,Puttin' On The Ritz — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Six years ago, I talked about KCGL and how important it was to me. You can read it here:

Nothing that we could do could stop KCGL from changing their format. It wouldn’t have been that big of a difference except that there were no other alternative or new wave stations on the radio at that time. Suddenly, we went from 24 hours a day down to one or two hours a week on public radio. After a couple of months, I was desperate for new music.

What I didn’t tell you was about this poster.

KCGL Poster

I loved KCGL and I loved this poster even more. I looked at those guys on the scooters and tried to recognize them. I used to imagine that it was Soren Winslow on the left in the blue suit. The drawing on the upper left reminded me of the Ritz and I used to look at it, wishing for the weekend to come sooner.

I didn’t get this poster until after KCGL died, so it felt very special and precious to me. I’ve kept it safe for a quarter of a century and now it hangs in my office with love.


Twitter Log: 2010-02-07

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Rococo Punk by Randall Lake

Filed under: Living in Utah,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

When I went to Westminster College, these posters were all over the halls, advertising a showing of Randall Lake‘s work at the Rio Grande. I stole this one off the wall and kept it for my own. It’s called Rococo Punk.

Rococco Punk Poster by Randall Lake

The funny thing is, that you can buy this poster even now, after twenty-two years.

I would love to know where the original Rococo Punk is. Was it bought by a private collector? Does it hang in a museum or collection somewhere? I wish I could see the original painting.

I looked at this poster so often during my young adult years that I feel like I have a personal relationship that punk in the painting. I’m sure he was a real person. Where is he today? Is he an aging punk? Did he cave and become a lawyer after Heroin Bob died? Was he just a poseur in the end?

Written on the back of my poster is the name of the person to whom it was supposed to go after the exhibit, but I didn’t wait that long. I stole it off the wall before she ever got a chance to claim it. I never really felt guilty for stealing it because it was a poster of a punk rocker and stealing a poster off a wall is more punk than putting your name on a list and waiting until your appointed time to take it.

I finally have enough wall space in the new house that I can display it again with pride. I’m not that punk rock girl anymore. I’m more of a punk in disguise…

Nope, not even that. I was just a poseur all along…

Update 03-31-10:

I got an email from Stuart Lake, Randall’s son. You can read it here:

Hey Laura,

My name is Stuart Lake and I am the son of Randall Lake. I stumbled upon your blog about the Punk painting you stole from Westminster and I printed it for my dad to read. He doesn’t have a computer and so he hand wrote a letter that I am to pass on to you. So here it is:

Dear Laura Moncur,

I loved the writing about the Rococo Punk. To have my art stolen off a wall is the highest compliment you could pay me. Thank you for doing so – and if you are ever in Salt Lake City – you are welcome to as many as you want, on me. The Rococo Punk was sold at the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco. It was painted in 1986 and it sold in the late 80’s or early 90’s. John told me that it was a difficult sale.

Like yourself, I would also like to know of its whereabouts. One of the caveats of doing business with a high-end, out of state gallery – is that they never tell you to who or where any of your artwork goes, out of fear that you would or the collector would go behind the gallery and buy personally from the artist and avoid the 50% commission the gallery takes.

Underneath this painting if it is x-rayed is Abraham and Issac. I painted over them to paint the Punk.

The model for the punk was a student at the time attending Roland Hall. Last I heard he worked at Sam Wellers Bookstore in Salt Lake.

Anything more I can tell you, feel free and ask.

Randall Lake


The Artwork of Syd Brak

Filed under: Personal History,Puttin' On The Ritz — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

His posters graced my bedroom walls for years. They are the artwork of Syd Brak. Now that I have entire rooms ready for wall hangings, I have brought them out of storage. These two are in the exercise room.

This one is named Lost Love. I loved this poster because of her eye shadow. I recreated that look almost every weekend for my visits to The Ritz. Thank you, Mr. Brak, for making me feel a little cooler than I could have ever felt on my own.

Lost Love Poster by Syd Brak

This poster is named ElectriKiss. I liked it because her hair was pink AND blue. It was impossible for me to dye my hair those colors back then because in 1986, hair dye just wasn’t as good as it is today. I used to wish that I could have cool hair like hers.

ElectriKiss Poster by Syd Brak

I have two more posters, but they are still in storage right now. As soon as I hang them, I’ll add them here. They were Forget Me Not (which is NOWHERE to be found on the web) and Long Distance Kiss.

Long Distance Kiss by Syd Brak

I never bought Wired for Sound, but I considered it for a LONG time. I just didn’t have the wall space in my teenage bedroom to hold more than four posters.

Wired for Sound by Syd Brak

Mike hates these posters and considers them cheap rip-offs of Patrick Nagel’s work.

Art of Patrick Nagel

I can understand the similarity, but I enjoyed Brak’s work much more. I think I liked it better because it was an illustration, but it was so realistic. It was my first exposure to Hyper-Realism and I loved to find little details in the drawings, such as the reflection of the window in the eyes on Lost Love.

You can buy some Syd Brak prints online:

Update 06-03-10: I finally took a photo of my Forget Me Not Poster and Long Distance Kiss. You can see them here:

Syd Brak Forget Me Not

Syd Brak Long Distance Kiss

Update 01-08-13: Here are two more posters that I believe are Syd Brak’s work. They are screen shots from this YouTube video taken at the 6:08 minute mark:

Here is the one on the left. The model has no nose and there is a cherry in her mouth (a very Syd Brak move).

Syd Brak at The Ritz No Nose Cherry

The other one also has no nose and a birthmark.

Syd Brak at The Ritz No Nose Birthmark

I don’t know the name of either of these works and I don’t own either of them, of course. If any of you know anything about these, it would be greatly appreciated if you left a comment telling me about them.


Twitter Log: 2010-02-09

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Twelve Inches Of Snow

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I love this time-lapse animated GIF of twelve inches of snow weighing down the branches and bushes.

12 Inches of Snow

This winter has been a weird one. We’ve had sub-freezing temperatures, weeks of fog and smog and more than our fair share of snow. I’ll be glad when spring finally gets here.

Animated GIF Via: * Your daily gif blog *: 12 Inches Of Snow (Lapse)


Twitter Log: 2010-02-10

Filed under: Twitter Log — Laura Moncur @ 12:42 am

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Stick On Jewels

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 12:44 pm

It’s amazing how much joy a couple of stick on jewels can give me.

Stick On Jewels

I wonder if I’ll ever stop being thirteen years old…


My Favorite Valentine Card

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

My friend, Jennifer Williamson, sent me this valentine card last year. It’s my new favorite:

Peggy Is A Whore

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