Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Happy Mother’s Day!!

Mother’s Day has always provided supreme opportunities for kitsch. Be it flower arrangements, stuffed animal displays in front of gas stations for last minute pick-ups, or greeting cards – store bought and handmade equally qualifying – Mother’s Day is a kitsch karousel that never ceases to go round.

Almost everything I owned growing up in Detroit was thrown out when my mom passed away suddenly when I was 16 and my father remarried. Aside from a rubber doll I got for my first birthday whose head was tied on with a string and a Ben Casey bobble head with a hole in his heart, the result of me shoving a pencil through it after an unrequited love incident at 12, I had almost nothing to remind me of the sweeter life that preceded all of this. (Which is why it meant so much to me to get back into the house I grew up in a few weeks ago.)

About 20 years ago, after years of thinking these two medically deficient dolls were the only artifacts of Little Allee that remained, my brother shipped me my old steamer trunk that had been hogging a corner of his garage since I graduated college. I had always assumed it was empty but inside was a small cigar box that contained letters, post cards, hamburger recipes, and this Mother’s Day card I had made for my mom when I was God knows how old. I hope it wasn’t too old as my interpretation of the world was slightly naive.

I have no idea what country Mekoila is right above the S. Pole and I’m happy to see that I thought California was important enough to hog the entire West side of the United States. I have no idea if I actually thought that Michigan, where I drew my happy little self in, was really the east-most state or if I forgot to leave room for it when I drew this map that looks more like a cross-section of a cow with different meat cuts in it. I hope you can see the little thumb I gave Michigan for accuracy right above my left hand. And I’m happy that I took the time to draw myself in my favorite type of pleated dress in grades 2-6:

I’m the tall one in that photo with my two cousins, Sue and Marjorie Singer. And if memory serves, that’s actually a giant Mother’s Day rose tucked into my belt that I made out of a toilet paper roll and tissue paper to give to my mom a couple of years after I made this card. My mother’s name was Rose so that flower had a lot of significance in our family.

I definitely misspelled ‘You’re’ but I’m happy to see that I gave the rose much petal definition and that the leaves look like jubilant uplifted arms as it was a very happy rose and a very happy Rose that celebrated Mother’s Day that year. I did, however, completely cheese out on the poetry I included inside. I have no idea where I copied this from but I’m happy to see that I knew enough as a budding designer to carry over the rose logo.

Thankfully in my later years I progressed to the point where I didn’t need someone else’s words to express how I was feeling.

Never one to leave space empty for long, I ended the card with a picture of a present. Of course, my mom’s only present from me that year was this card but as a first grade teacher she always appreciated the effort I put into art.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. And Happy Mother’s Day, Rose, wherever you may be now.

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Categories: Art, Children, Crafts, Detroit, Families, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Painting, People, Photograph, Self expression

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Ba-de-ya, Baby! Photos Finally Up!

PHOTOS FINALLY UP from my sold out ’21st night of September’ Ba-de-ya, Baby! first show! http://www.alleewillis.com/photos/ba-de-ya-baby/index.php. Photos from the second show coming as soon as I go thru the remaining 3000 pics.

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Categories: Afro, Allee Willis' Ba-de-ya, Allee's live performances, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, Photograph, Self expression, September, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Being Even More Fluff – Part 2

So as I was saying yesterday, this last weekend at Willis Wonderland we aKitschionados from The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch saw the light of Fluff!

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Categories: Afro, Bar accessory, Celebrity, Clothes, Dolls, Educational, Food, Furniture and Housewares, House, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Music, Party, People, Photograph, Recipes, Self expression, September, The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Kellogg’s Cereal Microcamera & Shooting “Born In Detroit”

I spent most of Wednesday afternoon being photographed and interviewed for “Born in Detroit,” a book by Jenny Risher “celebrating Detroit as a unique place that’s cultivated an extraordinary number of singularly influential people.”

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Categories: Accessories, Book, Celebrity, Detroit, Drink, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Photograph

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Ambush Spray Cologne

More than anything, the one thing that accompanied me every single day of my four college years at the University of Wisconsin in the late 1960′s was a spritz of Ambush Spray Cologne. I should have bought stock in Dana,  the company that made it, for as many bottles of  it as I went through. The male equivalent was called Canoe. Sometimes girls wore that too but I was so attached to the scent and the shade of pink and hard rubbery shape and feel of the bottle I never made it past Ambush.

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Categories: Bathroom, Hair, Health & Beauty, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Photograph, Romance

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Lipstick Camera and Greg Gorman’s Retrospective Last Night at the Pacific Design Center

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Categories: Accessories, Art, Celebrity, Creative process, Creativity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Photograph

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s BonAmi “Push Button” Cleaner and A Smatering of What It’s Cleaning Up

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This vintage cleaning product can may be a little worse for wear but so am I as I hobble around my house shining it back up to its usual state after a couple hundred people trounced through here yesterday in celebration of John Lloyd Young’s debut exhibition featuring his very first works of Kitsch Pop art. I love that cleaning products in aerosol cans were so new when this came out in the 1950s that it was made of silicones (more than 1!) and was referred to as the “push-button cleaner”.

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Categories: Art, Celebrity, Crafts, Creativity, Fashion, Food, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, Photograph, Self expression, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 3D, Miami Beach & Charles Phoenix

aw,Viewmaster500_2477

With 3D all the rage today many people forget that the first ubiquitous mass consumer experience with the technology was with View-Masters.  Introduced in 1962, one could view seven 3D images as they spun around on a paper disc creating lifelike reality inside the mouse hole of two eyepieces. The earliest View-Masters featured popular tourist attractions like this one of Miami Beach, where I first started buying these.

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Categories: Architecture, Clothes, Creativity, Detroit, Fashion, Gadgets, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Photograph, Place, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The Day After… The Color Purple Opens In LA

luenell,-aw,-pf

Can’t even move I’m so stiff and a little pissed as well as me who usually travels around with four cameras, different resolutions for different occasions, only had one on me last night at the opening of my musical, The Color Purple, back in LA for the third time, and after many years of faithful service this camera just handed in its resignation and quit. I suppose that could be considered Kitsch, the co-author of the show’s camera rebelling at the opening no less, leaving a master archivist, me, with little other than words to describe the UNBELIEVABLE NIGHT it was.

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Categories: Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Party, People, Photograph, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – A Nice Comfortable Sunday Ride

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I hope she didn’t hit any bumps.

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Categories: Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, People, Photograph, Sports, Transportation

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