Category Archives: blog posts

Boobs & Spiders

When I was six months pregnant, my husband, brother and sister-in-law decided to go the country for a lake adventure.  While eating lunch on one of those old wooden splinter in your ass picnic tables, my husband and my brother stopped talking and just stared at each other.  I knew this look.  It’s the “don’t tell Joey a spider just crawled into her bathing suit top look.”  

So I did what any pregnant women would have done.  I ripped off my top and shuck my boobs to the the left and right.  (If we were in California, it probably would have registered a 4 on the Richter scale.)   Once the bouncing of my pregnant giant boobs settled down while my brother, husband and sister-in-law’s eyes pooped out of their head, we heard a thump . . . needless to say, the spider did not survive.

I look at the bright side . . . 26 years later and I can still kill a spider with my ta-tas. . .the difference is, I don’t have to bend down to do it!  OK, anyone who knows me, knows that isn’t true since I had a breast reduction; but it seemed like a funnier ending.  

One Response to Boobs & Spiders

  1. Judy Caruso says:

    You are a hoot!!!!!
    Thanks for the laugh.

Is Crazy Contagious?

In my case they are ALL crazy.  When I was approximately 8 months old, my aunts Millie and Lilly offered to change my diaper while at my parents house.  Then they got a better idea . . . Let’s change Joey’s diaper, put Uncle Paul’s toupee there,  pin the diaper back on, and give her back to her mom laughing so hard they needed a diaper themselves.   

When I told my therapist this, she threw out the word “BOUNDARIES” and we seem to have none!  The good news is , I have created an entire brand out of it, the bad news is, I have about 35 mores years of therapy!

How to survive being an artist on camera . . or as I call it. . .”old lady neck”

I have made an ass out of myself so many times on TV, I should win a blooper Oscar!  Way before I became a working artist, I produced commercials for TV.  Not just any old commercials; but ones that used real people.   I’ve done EPT commercials where I had to run around with women’s pee sticks, I’ve also put the town of Pound Wisconsin on a Slim Fast diet.  Let’s just say I am used to being on the other side of the camera.    Years later when I started licensing my artwork, Silvestri (one of my big licenses) would dress me up like a drag queen, OK, I dressed me up like a drag queen and they slut me out for free PR.  I was in Little Rock doing an artist signing and they put me on the 12 O’clock news to promote it.  The anchor was talking about this woman who did this and that.  I was so impressed with who this woman was that I asked her if I could get her number after the show.  The anchor woman stopped, looked at me like I had two heads and said “It was me she was talking about”!  I have always been the last to know.  

My favorite ass story was when I was on Oprah. My family speaks of this as the “ummmmmmm” incident  .  I like to refer to it as “Oprah is the only person who has ever shut Joey up” moment.

I was so excited to meet the great Oprah, I knew I had to say something so profound that she would invite me over to her house for dinner.  This did not happen.  She asked me a question. . . what was the question? I do not remember.   This was before YouTube and Internet just begun, luckily there is no evidence :)  Anyhoooooo, when she asked, I opened my mouth and “ummmmmmmmm” came out.  Not a very proud moment!  I have a goal to meet Oprah one day and try again.

Have I learned, no!  I have been on Doctor Oz twice.  Once for bad hair and coconut oil and once for meditating with Deepak, which I giggled and snorted.  Again, not proud!  There have been other stories,  thankfully I just can’t remember them right now. 

This brings me to my newest adventure.  I was just interviewed by Shahar from Curious Mondo – If you ever want to take a fun informative class on pretty much anything, please check her web-site out.  Love her!    Here’s her info . . .

Shahar asked if I would do an interview about licensing as an artist etc.   I spent half the day trying to make sure my hair didn’t take off and the other half making sure my studio wasn’t a mess.  A half hour before we were to air live on Facebook, we couldn’t get the video to work.  So we decided to go as an audio interview which meant I could have stayed in my pj’s!  Then that didn’t work.  What was a girl suppose to do?  Go bother her husband in his office.  And that my friends is why behind me are boy toys and dark furniture.  Luckily my picture on the computer screen was tiny and I couldn’t see my old lady neck.  (I would have been so distracted, I probably wouldn’t of heard a thing Shahar asked me.)  I have to say, I don’t mind sharing this video.  Hopefully it will inspire someone.  And you ask, what have I taken away from all these experiences?  I’ve learned that becoming an older artist isn’t about what you say or don’t say, it’s about your neck!  I also don’t mind making an ass out of myself so much anymore, maybe it’s because I am too busy looking at my older neck or maybe it’s just that the looser your skin becomes the tighter your inner peace is.  It does make you go ummmmmmmmmmm.


Happy Fabric Hoarder

I am a fabric hoarder.  I have two full dressers, an armoire and 15 cubbies full of fabric.  One can never be too sure when a fabric life emergency may come up and I can honestly say. . . I am prepared!  I feel as an artist and designer, I have the gift of making the best excuses on why I just had to have the fabric and when someone is asking “What are you making?” I replay . . .”I don’t know” with a surprised look of, do I need to know?  It’s pretty and it makes me giddy, is that not enough?

My agent, oh how I love saying that . . .it makes me feel so grown up!  So my agent Suzanne contacts me about designing a fabric line for a client who manufacturers quilting fabric.  I almost fell out of my chair, me. . . .designing dolly mama fabric . . . me?  I literally did the happy dance in my PJ’s.  So many ideas were spinning in my head.  Where to start . . . hummmmm . . . panic . . . and that’s where I started.  What do I know about fabric design?  After I calmed down the negative voices and realized I do know a lot about fabric. . . helloooooooo . . . fabric hoarder.

That’s when the fun began.  After my menopausal meltdown I started pulling dolly images that I would love to see made into fabric.  Originally waaaaaaaay back when, I stored all my original drawings into binders, now everything is in files on my computer.   The dolly mamas are still hand drawn, than scanned into Photoshop so I can fix all the mistakes. (Mostly coffee stains that I spilled or when I got a little rambunctious and colored outside the line.)  Once everything is in Photoshop, I can start to put together the whole design.  Sometimes it works and other times I feel I should just get a job at Starbucks and call it a day!  But the creative fairies calm me down and in the end, it always works out. . .it always does. . . Just maybe not how I planned. (Yes. . . I am working on the “control thing”!)

Before I send my designs off into the manufacturing world, I will give them a 24 hour break.  There are many times I come back to a design and think “was I smoking crack”?  I tweek everything and off it goes.  Then I wait until I receive a mock up of my work.  Once it’s approved, my job is done and I’m off to create something else or go junk shopping.  Months later when the box of fabric shows up at my door, I will explode with happiness and add it to my collection . . . well, unless my mom comes over and takes it all.  Hi, my name is Joey and I am a fabric hoarder.

I would like to send a big shout out to Janet Andersen and her crew for fixing any misspelled words and mistakes on my layouts.  To my fabulous agent Suzanne Cruise and to Cranston Quilting Fabrics for giving me this wonderful experience!

My dolly mama quilting fabric collection will be coming to quilting stores early fall of 2018.  I’ll keep you in the loop when it gets near.





I am enough!

I was minding my middle aged business when I received an e-mail from Jana, the Editor at Art Doll Quarterly.   She said Devon from one of their parent magazines sent her a photo of a pillow I had sent.  Now . . . I remember sending Devon photos of jewelry displays but I have no recollection of sending this pillow, (it’s the one on the right that says “I am enough”).  She asked if I would be interested in writing an article about how I created her and to please send other pillows.  Now, I have always been the girl who says “sure, I can do that” and then figure out how to do it. Then it occurred to me , (since I don’t remember sending her the photo, how the hell am I suppose to remember how I made the pillow!). . .That was the least of my problems. . .My head started spinning and I went down the rabbit hole. . .”Who is going to want to see my work?”,  “other doll artists are so much more talented than me”,  blah, blah, blah!  I needed to stop if I wanted to move forward.  So, I replied immediately, saying” I would love to and I will send you other pillows”.  That is how the second pillow was created, (the one on the left that says “trust”).  How appropriate!  I took step by step pictures so I would remember what I did and thought to myself, “Wow, I thought I would hate doing this type of process.”  My other thought, which wasn’t so healthy was “why does anyone care what I am doing”; but I did it anyway and this time I didn’t listen to the “Itty Bitty Shitty Committee” in my head . . .Once I pushed the fear shit aside,  “I believe in me” – (the middle doll pillow) came alive.  The reason I am telling you this is the only thing that stops us from being happier is fear.  Fear of failure, of success, of the “what ifs”.  And the truth is . . . what we fear the most is fear itself.  They are all made up stories in our heads.  The only truth I had when I started my pillows was “I never painted pillows before”.  That is true; but the other crap like “what if no one likes them” is a made up fear that I created.   And this is how I conquered the fear. . . I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down, “why not try”,  listing  every pro and con that was in my head.  Then I went back and crossed out everything that was a story and circled only the true facts.  I was surprised that almost everything was just fear controlled.  That was the day I grew a little wiser . . .Like the pillows say . .  I am enough, I can trust myself and I believe in me!




Trunk shows and handbags

I had a Trunk show this past week at a fabulous store in Exton Pa called Whitford Flowers & Gifts.  Me being me, I could not just show up with dollymama manufactured gifts.  So… between having a cold and hot flashes, I took dollymama banners I had lying around and turned them into cell phone handbags.  My grandma would be so proud of me!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



Self help burnout


Is it possible to overdose on self help?  I have been obsessing over “who am I, what’s my purpose” blah, blah, blah while listening to every type of self help I can get my hands on.  Why?  Hell if I know.  I guess I feel I should be making myself a better person.  Why?  Hell if I know.  I haven’t killed anyone, I’m kind, well, except for the periods of mass peri-menopausal surges.  Instead of just connecting with other women I am sitting in my studio playing with dolls and talking to the dog.  Not that I am knocking that, but I think it’s time I get out of my comfort zone and talk to people who don’t pee on a wee-wee pad.

All this blabber brings me to my pics above.  While searching for myself I came across an idea I had in 2012 to make my metal dolly mamas into wood.  Like most of my ideas…it ended up in a drawer.  Then I came across a bag of cut-up fabric I picked up at Goodwill for $2.00. I have always been drawn to as my daughter used to say “old dead peoples stuff”.  I love the possible stories that are tied to everything.  For example, the fabulous fabric on this skirt was made from a pair of pants that someone hand sewn and then cut apart at sometime.  I wonder what her story was?  Why did she cut her pants up, was she having a bad week too?  Did she eat too much chocolate and not fit into her pants anymore?  Did she feel just like me?  And then I wonder….one day will someone find this dolly mama at our local Goodwill and wonder what my story is?   Anyhoooooo. . . what was I talking about?  Oh never mind, I’m starting to bore myself.  I guess the moral to the story is to stop trying to be better and realize we are good just the way we are!  Because personally if I don’t start to listen to my own advice, my daughter will probably donate me to Goodwill!


the perfect man . . .

The perfect man

The perfect man

Need I say more?  Have a fabulous happy weekend!


Creative or just lazy?

don't bother me

don’t bother me

My problem is I’m always in a creative mood which makes getting real work done . . . well . . how do I day this?  Ummm . . .not done!  I started my day out with a cup of coffee and my computer.  So far, so good!  Then I saw a couple old cookie tins in my studio yelling “cut me”. . . So I did!  Needless to say, 6 hours later, I’ve done not a lick of grown up work and now I am the proud owner of 6 necklaces and no money coming in for the day.  I would fire myself; but then who will do the HR paperwork?

metal heart necklace with pearlmetal heart necklace happymetal heart let go

metal heart necklace-bemetal heart necklace memetal heart necklace i am strong

2 Responses to Creative or just lazy?

  1. Candy Muth says:

    Fantastic. You need to hire someone to do the Adult things so you Can Create yourself SILLY!

Girlfriends and other silly matters

its been aI’ve been in a negative funk lately, my hormones and my ego are at war and it’s not pretty.  I was just about to call it quits and put my butt on the couch to watch an old movie and eat crap while feeling sorry for myself when the Universe decided to step in with, “nope, you don’t get to feel sorry for yourself, you have it too good bitch!” and then the phone rang.  My college BFF that I haven’t spoken to in ages was on the other end.  She was a dear old friend, not granny old, more like I haven’t seen you in 30 years old, though . . .I guess that makes me granny old!  Anyhoo . . .After literally talking on the phone for almost 2 hours, (who does that anymore?) I was waiting for my dad to come into my room and yell at me that “grandma has been trying to call for the past hour and GET OFF THAT #@*&% PHONE NOW because she doesn’t know how to make an emergency breakthrough! ”  That really didn’t happen,  my dad passed away 12 years ago, so that would have been kind of weird, plus I don’t think anyone under the age of 40 knows what the hell I am talking about!. Well that was one hell of a run on sentence!  Kind of funny since my girlfriend is an English teacher!  OK, time to bring it back home.  We decided to meet and found a spot for lunch half way between both of us. Because of my obsessive need to be on time and I was running late, I parked in the first place I could find near the restaurant.  Why didn’t I park at the restaurant?   Well . . .that would be too easy!   I illegally parked in the back of what I think was a post office slash dump and ran.  Hoping when I got back I still had a car,  then it occurred to me. . .  how appropriate it would be having my car at the pound since it kind of looks like a monkey cat, (don’t ask, I’m not sure what monkey cat is), anyway, that is if a monkey cat had eye lashes!  mini cooper with eye lashes

What was I saying?  Oh yeah. . .so I made it to the restaurant only 2 minutes late and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember if Lynne was a 15 minutes late girl or anally early like moi, (well, except for this time).   I think years of smoking pot in my 20’s killed me of all remembering brain cells.  She was there on time and looking just like she did when we met 100 years ago.  It was like no time had past since we last saw each other.  And when I mean “saw” each other, it was because we both now had glasses on!  There might have been some added wrinkles;  I couldn’t find my reading glasses so I wouldn’t know.  PS, about an hour into our conversation, I did find them . . . .on top of my head!

if we get caughtAfter pretty much pissing everyone in the restaurant off who were within 10 feet of us, playing a little game we like to call  “remember this, remember that” talk which kind of goes like “Oh, remember that girl, what’s her name, she had fake blonde hair, dated that guy who we hated, what was his name”?  I am not sure if we completed on full sentence; but it was deliciously fun!  That’s the thing about girl friends, the true ones are always there and love you even when you don’t love yourself!  So I say to all of you who are feeling like me, that the world is against you and there is no way out, reach out and send love to someone you know who will make you laugh, not judge you on how you feel and will be more then happy to be there when you don’t have the strength to be there for yourself.