Halloween at the Bee Hive!

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You better not fool with a Bumblebee!—
Ef you don’t think they can sting—you’ll see!
They’re lazy to look at, an’ kind o’ go
Buzzin’ an’ bummin’ aroun’ so slow,
An’ ac’ so slouchy an’ all fagged out,
Danglin’ their legs as they drone about
The hollyhawks ‘at they can’t climb in
‘Ithout ist a-tumble-un out ag’in!
Wunst I watched one climb clean ‘way
In a jimson-blossom, I did, one day,—
An’ I ist grabbed it — an’ nen let go—
An’ “Ooh-ooh! Honey! I told ye so!”
Says The Raggedy Man; an’ he ist run
An’ pullt out the stinger, an’ don’t laugh none,
An’ says: “They has be’n folks, I guess,
‘At thought I wuz predjudust, more er less,—
Yit I still muntain ‘at a Bumblebee
Wears out his welcome too quick fer me!”

—James Whitcomb Riley

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Move out of our way Beyoncé because there is a new Queen Bee in the hive and she ain’t wearin’ hair extensions nor does she need a constant fan blowing in her face to look fabulous—she’s just simply Mamma Biscuit. OK, maybe she does love having a fan blowing in her gremlin face (preferably air conditioning) but it’s Mamma’s tongue that flaps in the wind, not expensive hair extensions fresh off the black market in India. Now everyone knows that our girl rules the world (girls, they run this motha) but she’s also crazy in love with her two daddies and her honey-coated hive that has been meticulously decorated for the most spookiest night of all—Halloween! In fact, Mamma’s been ‘a buzz with excitement for her second favorite holiday of the year ever since September rolled around. Actually, she got stung with the spirit of Halloween right in her curly tail the moment I put this bumble bee costume on her back. Her jaunty antennas swayed back and forth as she ran from one corner of the room to the other, revving up her wings, trying to hover like a lazy bee over her sticky throne. In fact, once she got her wings going, she began flying like a heavy, clumsy yet determined bumble bee, going from one display to the next, sometimes crashing into the wall, in an effort to put detailed finishing touches on her most extravagant Halloween display yet. When she wasn’t busy, toiling away with her scary decor, she was busy trying to sting me in my butt for peanut butter treats, taking too much advantage over me as a bumble bee.

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Forget the pollen, forget the honey, if you want something truly sweet, then the trick is to get into Mamma’s hive to savor her treat. She has ghosts and goblins and skeletons galore. A creepy Halloween tree at the center of it all, boasting Mamma Biscuit’s name as the focal point by way of a fabulous garland alongside a menagerie of Victorian string puppets, glass balls, spiral twists, skulls, skeletons, paper bats, body parts and Krampus, the Austrian and Bavarian Christmas icon swirling around from branch to branch. Literally, every face of Halloween imaginable is depicted within this tree. Our hive is swarming with pumpkins and leaves and paper masks, all waiting for the bees to return home, to worship the Queen Bee and her sweet Halloween honey. So put your yellow jackets on and come buzzing through our extensive digital tour of Mamma’s Halloween hive, you’ll be happy you got stung!

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Need some more honey to keep your strength up to continue on with this tour, let Mamma Biscuit give you a buzz . . . Bzzzzzzzzzzzz

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So that’s it folks, our tour has finally come to a conclusion. Only two more weeks before we unveil Mamma Biscuit’s annual Halloween costume and this year, it’s gonna be more EPIC than last year, if you can even imagine that!

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Enjoy

Posted in Fashion, Holiday, Vintage | 4 Comments

Apples to Apples!

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I guess you’re wondering why Mamma Biscuit is seated in the pumpkin patch, right? After our last post where our Biscuit Lady stumbled upon the Great Pumpkin while taking a short walk through Fort Tryon Park, why would she waste her time (as she does every year) waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear when she’s already had a one-on-one with him in NYC? Good question. I myself wondered why she wanted to head into the pumpkin patch right after having a picnic with our friends before embarking out into the fields in search for the biggest apples we could find at Wilklow Orchards and all I could come up with is that she’s a pug, she’s stubborn and she’s a creature of habit. Moreover, I believe she really wanted to show off her new black cable knit sweater and bat wings accessory amongst all those big, round pumpkins in the patch.

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With children running around everywhere and parents following several steps behind with their respective cameras in hand, Mamma Biscuit provided a much needed distraction from all the noise. I could have set up a “take a picture with the pug in the pumpkin patch” booth and made a killing. Instead, I steadily worked through our seasonal photoshoot of Mamma Biscuit while people everywhere crowded around us. I had to gently tell the children that they could pet her and give her a squeeze once I got my shots and they all waited patiently. With her wings spread wide and far, our little gremlin began to spook everyone around us with her batty disposition. She was giving us all gargoyle realness and had that been a legitimate category in Paris is Burning, Mamma would have won, hands down!

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Once she got her fill in the pumpkin patch, the Biscuit Lady literally began to flutter her bat wings violently in attempts to fly off into the fields only to smash into an apple tree, mouth first, tongue out! I mean, Mamma barely has enough finesse and grace on any given walk through the neighborhood, you didn’t expect her to be able to fly smoothly, did you?

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Now before we even get into the actual apple picking, I have to say, this is the first time we planned our annual visit to the orchards on a Sunday and the first time we ever scheduled it on the second week of October (normally, we go on a Saturday and on the third week of October) and I will never make this mistake ever again. I could not believe how fucking crowded the orchard was! It was like everyone on the Northeast got the memo to go apple picking over the weekend, specifically on Sunday and specifically at Wilklow Orchards. When the crowds are this dense, the activity is less enjoyable in my opinion, until of course, when we got out into the fields where we could find desolate areas of peace and calm amongst the beautiful and bountiful apple trees. Tommy and I have been making the annual trek every year for the past 10 years to Wilklow and we just couldn’t believe the sheer volume of people. Picnic seating was limited, parking was packed and there was a 10-minute wait for apple cider doughnuts, all of which depressed me beyond repair considering I have great memories of years passed where there were maybe 10 families in total at the orchard. I blame social media and blogs like this for glamorizing apple picking to the point of national hysteria. Just remember who was ahead of this trend: MAMMA BISCUIT, bitches!

At any rate, if you are the only one in America who has not gone apple picking, or pumpkin picking, or apple cider tasting, or pumpkin throwing, or corn mazing or whatever-the-hell October enthusiasts will come up with next, then sit back at home (which must be under a rock according to the fact that you have not participated in this trend), away from the crowds and enjoy a virtual tour of Mamma Biscuit’s day in the orchards with friends and family. We ended our day touring the historical town of New Paltz, specifically in an old cemetery, exactly where every Halloween excursion should lead you to.

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And that’s all folks! Only two more weeks before we reveal Mamma Biscuit’s official Halloween costume for 2015!

Enjoy

Posted in Fashion, Holiday, Knitware, Outdoor Life | 4 Comments

The Great Pumpkin and Mamma Biscuit!

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There is something really special about Autumn in New York and it has little to do with cool weather and cable knit sweaters and everything to do with Mamma Biscuit and her impending Halloween costume. I cannot wait to show you all what we have come up with for her this year because to merely say it’s EPIC is really just a gross understatement. It’s beyond EPIC and unfortunately, y’all will have to wait another three weeks before we unveil it here. In the meantime, to usher in our most favorite and spookiest season of all, we bring to you the Great Pumpkin and Mamma Biscuit!

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I know, I know, you’re wondering how the hell did this happen! It’s so crazy that Mamma Biscuit has been wasting all of these years planting her cute butt in the pumpkin patch at the apple orchards up in New Paltz waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear the way Linus does every year . . . and of course, every year, he never shows up. Who would have thought that a nice brisk walk through Fort Tryon Park on a perfect Autumn day would bring these two together?

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Here’s how it all went down. Mamma Biscuit woke up that morning with a pep in her step and a glimmer in her marble eyes and I knew something special was about to happen the moment she pranced out of the apartment door. At first I thought it was the sheer comfort of her pumpkin pajamas that gave her this extra boost of confidence but when she started tugging on her leash, literally walking me straight into the woods, I knew something was up. The moment we cleared the brush alongside a park lamp post, there he was, the famed Great Pumpkin in all of his glory, waiting patiently for our little gremlin to arrive. It was a Halloween miracle really and all I could think of was how poor Linus and Sally was missing it all. I unclasped Mamma’s leash and off she ran right into the Great Pumpkin’s lap soaking in all of his magical Halloween powers. It was as if I was charging a battery because Mamma Biscuit eyes were twirling as her Halloween tank was being filled. The Great Pumpkin gave her a few words of Halloween encouragement, wrote down a witch spell to make her daddies give her loads of peanut butter treats against our will and then he disappeared, right from under her.

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Poof, he was gone and Mamma Biscuit was titling her little pug head from left to right wondering if it was all real. Thank goodness I was there to witness the whole thing with my camera!

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So there you have it folks, Mamma Biscuit and the Great Pumpkin are officially ushering in the Halloween season. Star your engines and may the best costume WIN!

Enjoy

Posted in Holiday | 6 Comments

Tails From Her Booth!

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Sit . . . stay . . . smile . . . a common command from my mouth to Mamma Biscuit’s ears during the hundreds of photoshoots I have taken of her throughout the years. Unfortunately, that command alone is completely meaningless without a bag of soft-chew peanut butter treats that I dangle before my lens to entice my little gremlin to strike a pose as I click my camera to capture the magic that you see laid before you in this blog. Now have you ever wondered how dogs would look and act like squeezed together in a traditional photo booth? I know, it never really crossed my mind personally but fortunately, it did for Lynn Terry, a professional photographer from St. Louis, Missouri—and the results of such a concept are sidesplittingly hilarious and adogable! Coming this October from Gallery Books is Lynn’s book entitled Tails from the Booth, a heartwarming collection of over one hundred photos of dogs in photobooths cuddling, wrestling, smooching, laughing, yawning, howling, jumping, sneezing and generally looking too cute for words. As an Art Director in book cover design, there are a few projects that come across my desk annually that I can actually get excited about and when Tails from the Booth was presented as a book that we were going to publish, I was beyond excited to get started. Halfway through the cover design process, Lynn Terry came to Simon & Schuster to give our staff here who own dogs the opportunity to capture them on film in a booth for the book and of course I made sure Mamma Biscuit was a part of this.

On the day of the photoshoot, I brought Mamma Biscuit into work wearing her plaid Vivienne Westwood punk dress. You know me, I’ll do anything to set her apart from the pack although her epic tongue alone would suffice in making Mamma unique to other dogs. The photoshoot was hilarious. Mamma got to lick peanut butter straight from the jar while the flash bulbs went off in her face. In other words, it was like a canine red carpet experience. In the end, not only did Lynn Terry put Mamma Biscuit in the book but I made sure to incorporate one of her photos somewhere within the jacket design. Take a look at the back cover and tell me if Mamma Biscuit hasn’t stolen the show with her curled tongue?

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And now for the the moment you all have been waiting for, the final interior photographs of Mamma Biscuit mixed in with unused outtakes from the photoshoot.

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And how about some behind-the-scenes video . . .

Tails from the Booth is a must-have book for dog lovers and Mamma Biscuit enthusiasts from around world. It’s the perfect gift for the upcoming holiday season. There are over one hundred photos of dogs of every breed, size and background making funny faces and striking silly poses. Share a slobbery, wet smile with the dog lover in your life with Tails from the Booth, out on book shelves everywhere in October!

Enjoy

Posted in Book Club, Design, Fashion | 4 Comments

School’s in Session!

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It’s hard to believe but Summer of 2015 is quickly coming to an end here and at the Pug Palace, we couldn’t be happier than ever. Autumn is our favorite season of the year and we are so looking forward to the brisk, cool days ahead that get shorter and shorter by the minute, the falling leaves in every color imaginable, apple picking, pumpkin carving and one of Mamma Biscuit’s favorite holidays of the year, Halloween! But before we jump the gun to Halloween here (and boy will you all be impressed with her costume this year) Mamma Biscuit has finally decided what she was going to do this Fall to continue her education and she would like to share it all with you. It took a while for her to make up her mind considering this isn’t her first time at the rodeo when it comes to going to school for our little gremlin. It’s hard to believe but our Biscuit Lady has behavioral problems and does not do well in a classroom setting. She’s easily distracted, falls asleep at the drop of a dime, she pants excessively when she’s around male bull dogs, is always looking to hop into open car doors and seems to have lunch on her mind at all hours of the day. She’s like Dawn Davenport from Female Trouble except Mamma Biscuit wouldn’t dare topple the Christmas tree over my limp, lifeless body if I didn’t make sure that Santa brought her a pair of Cha Cha heels. OK, maybe she would trash the tree if she didn’t get a stocking full of peanut butter treats but I digress. The point here is that Mamma Biscuit has a problem with authority. She tried her paw at beauty school many years ago only to become a beauty school drop-out after trying to give a shampoo job with her tongue. I tried to speak with her hair and make-up teachers but they just felt that hair styling wasn’t her calling. We then tried to send her to finishing school to see if we could refine her ways to match her impeccable wardrobe and boy was that effort fruitless. Bitch would give anyone the side-eye, pee on their leg and walk off as if nothing ever happened—and don’t even get me started on having her try to walk with a book balanced over her head either because she failed that test a long time ago. In fact, Mamma Biscuit would show up to etiquette class with ripped fishnet stockings as if she were Madonna circa 1982 which ultimately got her kicked out completely. The only good thing to come out of finishing school was that she befriended a gay teacher on staff who encouraged her to become a fashion muse instead of a refined New York City socialite which I think Mamma ultimately fulfilled here with her blog, successfully, don’t you think?

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Mamma Biscuit is definitely a pug that walks to the beat of her own drum so when she came to me this year and barked up a storm to say that she wanted to enroll in classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology to become a fashion designer, I thought maybe we had potential here for something new and exciting. Being the good parents that Tommy and I are, we didn’t want to discourage our little gremlin by reminding her of her previous failed academic endeavors (especially since she’s a bit senile these days) so instead, we showed much enthusiasm as we quickly enrolled her in a class entitled, “Fashion Design 101” and I personally whipped up a fabulous pin-cushion brooch that Mamma could wear for her first day of classes to give her the confidence boost of making her feel like Diane Von Fürstenberg or even John Galliano rather than some old pug broad hitting night school to take a stab at dress making.

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Before she headed out to her very first class, I decided to take some back-to-school photos of her in the park. Decked from head to brisket in all pink, Mamma Biscuit was sure to turn heads at FIT looking like she was about to take over the world in this ensemble! Despite her constant yawning and general boredom of it all, I believe she makes the Think Pink segment in Audrey Hepburn’s Funny Face seem practically beige by comparison!

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After snapping a few photos of her I thought I would quickly leaf through Mamma’s black leather bound sketch book to see what has been inspiring her lately and this is the kind of shit she’s been doodling.

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I mean really, after looking at these sketches, I give her three attended classes before she wanders off to the dog run to hang out with the other delinquent dogs to smoke cigarettes and look for some poor schlub who will give them peanut butter treats or worse, I’ll find her hanging out in the East Village spray painting some of these illustrations on a brick wall!

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At any rate, wish Mamma Biscuit good luck at school and keep an eye out for our upcoming posts this September. We have so many exciting things lined up for you all!

Enjoy

Posted in Fashion, NYC Life, Portraits | 7 Comments