Having a pink and purple corner fireplace is probably a bit of an oddity itself — but decorating with a combination of vintage holiday ornaments, brass cranes from an estate sale, new candle holders and vinyl art toys is probably pushing it over the top. No matter though, the arrangement works perfectly fine for us.


Back in December of 2012, I noticed that the second Shag racer vinyl toy was being released. This one is called “Skull Boy.” Jim and I aren’t super into vinyl art toys, but when an artist that we admire partners with a toymaker — all bets are off.


That’s why it was so exciting when I was able to purchase one of the 100 limited edition Skull Boy Shag Racer toys to add to our collection.


Our other Shag Racer is the Shriner — which was released during the Red Star, Black Eye Shag show that we attended at the same gallery (Rotofugi in Chicago) back in 2010. We originally went just because Shag (Josh Agle) is my all time favorite living artist and I wanted so badly to meet him.


Jim and I drove down early to make sure we wouldn’t get stuck in traffic, killed a few hours walking around the area where the gallery was and then as soon as it looked like a line was forming in front of the gallery, we jumped in it. I ended up being second in line and — being the chatty type — was talking to the woman in front of me who didn’t really seem to know much about Shag. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man dressed in black chucks, jeans, a black jacket and a black and white scarf (who looked like a cartoon character) run across the street and towards the gallery. It was Shag himself! I immediately got nervous and didn’t know what to say so I just blurted out — “Did you take the bus here?” He laughed and said no, he had taken a cab and then popped into the gallery to get set up. The woman in front of me then turned around and said, “who was that?


Shag was really awesome. He was super funny and signed every book that I brought along, talked to me for a while and even posed for a picture. It was at that point that Jim and I decided to go get in line and try to buy one of the prints that were for sale — most of which were artists’ proofs and had long since become unavailable. When we got up to the front of the line and found that the “The Heavenly Host” print was still available we were so excited. On a whim, Jim suggested we also buy one of the limited edition vinyl toys that were being released and have Shag sign it just for kicks.


Of course I wouldn’t disagree about buying more art — so we bought the Shriner Shag Racer and then got back in line again. Shag seemed surprised to see us back for more — but gladly signed our vinyl toy and then took more photos with me in front of the print I had just purchased. I remember vividly how much my face hurt from smiling when we were leaving the gallery at the end of the show to start the long drive back to Milwaukee. If you ask Jim, he would probably recall that I babbled all the way home about how exciting it was to meet Shag and wondering where I should hang the print (at our then first house).


So here I am again a little over 2 years later with another Shag vinyl art toy and another amazing Shag print


…and a funny arrangement on my fireplace mantel.



  1. Too fun and all very personal. It’s your home and you “wear” it well….or should I say it “wears” it well?

  2. I watched “The Sophisticated Misfit” a few weeks ago and Shag seems like such a cool person. I also signed-up for the e-mail alerts that you mentioned when you purchased “The Nosy Neighbors” so now I’ll have the scoop on what’s new.

  3. Great story and cool print! I’m attending a Shag event in June (the 50th anniversary of the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland). In addition to his artwork, I like his shirts with the retro prints. This way you get to wear a piece of art.

    Lastly, Chicago to Milwaukee is not a “long drive” at least by Chicago standards. It’s about an 1.5 hr trip (depending where you are in Chicago). It can take an hour to get to downtown Chicago from the surrounding suburbs on a busy Saturday night! 😉

    • Lucky you! That sounds like a really fun Shag event to attend. I’m jealous! 😉

      You’re right about the drive from Milwaukee to Chicago — To downtown it usually takes us about 2 hours from our house (and my husband is a lead foot). His family live in a suburb of Chicago and yes, there have been times that it has taken nearly an hour to get from their house into the city — it all depends on where you are trying to go and when you are trying to do it. Once we tried to leave Milwaukee around 4 on a friday, got stuck in traffic through Milwaukee, hit road construction around the state line, were trying to get to the Bears Stadium and all roads leading there were a parking lot. Took us somewhere near 4 hours to get there and we ended up missing half of what we were trying to see. Never again!

      The drive probably also seems long to me because when we go down that way, we usually pack in a full and exciting day and then drive home in the evening…so the whole day seems long. Still — could be worse!

      • I hear you about the traffic in both cities. I think the city of Milwaukee has replaced every overpass/bridge in the area surrounding the airport. LOL

        I’m a road warrior. I’ve driven from Chicago to Milwaukee just for dinner at Sanford and then driven back that evening. Other times, I snag a hotel room for cheap from Priceline and enjoy the night worry free. Despite all of the traffic woes, I love both cities and their merits make up for their potentially grueling travel times.

  4. Enjoyed seeing those pictures of you and Shag again … and seeing your latest vinyl toy acquisition. 🙂

  5. I hadn’t heard about Shag until I saw a print in someone’s featured house on RR…I like his art and in the similiar vein El Gato’s. I sure envy artists…wish I had that kinda talent.

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