Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Abraham Lincoln Shirt

Abraham Lincoln helped keep the U.S. together through civil war and introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery. Sounds like he deserves to be on a shirt, so here it is...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Who Killed This Blog?

Whoops, a bit of a lapse between posts, I see. So much for my blog-related resolution! (See my Jan. 14th post. Or rather, don't.) I won't make any promises or predictions as to whether this will be resurrected. I'll just let time be the judge-- and you, depending on at what point in time you have found this sorrowful note. If there is a great deal of time betwixt the date of this message and the date of your arrival here, and if this post remains at the top of the page, then this blog has truly suffered an ignominious death. Sniff.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Lyrics often work so much better in the context of a song than on paper. That's the case with those that follow, but they work better if you imagine them being sung in a bluesy, gritty tone. This is from the opening track to Captain Beefheart's bizarre and amazing work "Trout Mask Replica":

My smile is stuck
I cannot go back t' yer Frownland
My spirit's
made up of the ocean
And the sky 'n the sun 'n the moon
'n all my eye can see
I cannot go back to yer land of gloom
Where black jagged shadows
Remind me of the comin' of yer doom
I want my own land
Take my hand 'n come with me
It's not too late for you
It's not too late for me
To find my homeland
Where uh man can stand by another man
Without an ego flyin'
With no man lyin'
'n no one dyin' by an earthly hand
Let the devils burn 'n the beggar learn
'n the little girls that live in those old worlds
Take my kind hand
My smile is stuck
I cannot go back t' yer Frownland
I cannot go back t' yer Frownland

Always manages to take me out of a frownland.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You only write when you need us...

One of the foremost T-Shirt sites on the internet is Threadless.com. A few things set them apart from the other sites that rule the search engines. The first is that generally their T-shirts are of a higher caliber than other T-shirt sites (speaking of the designs). The other thing is that all the designs are user-submitted. There are hundreds of designs constantly up for voting by T-shirt fans, and the ones that do well end up getting printed. Pretty cool, eh?

I decided I'd put myself up for potential public ridicule and submit a T-shirt. The problem was that if I had an idea good enough to possibly get chosen, I'd want to keep it for my own web site. So I chose an idea that's been in the back of my mind for a while that doesn't really fit the "look" I'm going for on my own site. So please, go on over to Threadless and give my design some love (in the form of giving it a high vote - you'll have to choose a user name and password). Leave a comment under it as well if you feel so inclined (and if you're feeling friendly).

So what's my concept? Well, argyle and Space Invaders- together at last. Of course! The black one is based on the colors of the original game (but toned down a bit!). The other is a subtler color scheme.

Here's that link again: Michael's Threadless Submission

Friday, January 30, 2009


After much deliberation I have decided on a winner for the URL contest. The chosen URL for my T-shirts is ScatterbrainTees.com. There were some really good suggestions, a few of which beat out the winner when shared with select friends and family. But ultimately I had to choose the one that sat the best with me. Funny thing is, the person who submitted this one is... myself. Um, isn't this like one of those parables where a seeker of knowledge ends up back home at the fulfillment of his quest, or finds his answer in a mirror? Um, let me get back to you on that one.

But, as promised, there are still some prize winners. I mentioned in the rules that if I chose one of my own ideas (and no, I didn't KNOW that I would) that I would still draw three runners-up to win one free shirt each. And so I did. Congratulations to Gabi, Beth and Nate & Dani, who have all been notified by email.

Now, if anyone read my new year's resolution post about being a "reformed blogger", you'll know I've already broken it. But so you know, I did spend a good deal of my non-blogging time creating the ScatterbrainTees website. I hope that's a pretty good excuse.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Buy Handmade" T-Shirt

I'm still mulling over the URL ideas for my shirt site. Given how picky I'm being about this, you may be surprised when I end up with something ridiculous like anadromouscow.com (no, that is NOT the winning entry!). It's a hard decision (see previous two posts- contest still open!).

Meanwhile, I realize I've neglected to post my most recent shirt creation. This one is geared towards fans of the handmade movement- people who prefer to support independent artists over large corporations with mass produced items. Being that I sell on Etsy, I thought that a lot of the sellers (and buyers!) there would enjoy this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

$100 T-Shirt Giveaway Update

Thanks to everyone who's entered the contest so far (see previous post for details). There are some really good entries that are being seriously considered, but I'm still hoping for a few more entries before I make my final decision. Remember- think "out there" and crazy. I'm currently leaning towards the more off-the-wall suggestions, but there is at least one "safe" idea that has my consideration, so you never know!

Friday, January 16, 2009

PhippsArt $100 T-Shirt Giveaway

It's fun to give stuff away. When I grow up I wanna' be a philanthropist!

But for now I am giving away $100 worth of shirts to one winner, and one shirt to a runner up. Whoever can help me come up with a PERFECT URL will be given $100 worth of T-Shirts! To encourage more people to enter, two randomly chosen entrants will also be given a free shirt.

Here's what this is about: I'm already selling my shirts online within Etsy and Artfire, but it's time to start my own URL as a place to sell my shirts. Initially it will point people to those shops, but at some point it will be a store in and of itself.

My problem (and this is where you come in) is that I can't decide on a name! My first thought was that it should have a name relating to wearing art: wear art, wearable art, yada yada. All the best URLs along those lines are taken. So now I'm trying to just think of something off the wall- something creative and bizarre. Example: prostheticbraintees.com (That one's a little long).

Here are the details:


-Please send your entry to:

contest [type the @ symbol with no spaces] michaelphipps.net

-Leave a comment to this post (if you want) but please don't post your URL ideas here!

2) Deadline: The sooner the better! The contest ends when I have decided on a URL. At that point the runner-up prizes will also be chosen. If I think of the URL on my own, I will draw 3 total names for runner-up prizes (one free shirt each) from the entries (must be at least 20 entries). I want to have this URL chosen ASAP, so expect this to be a short contest!

3) PLEASE check to see if your suggestion is taken before submitting it. Simply typing it into your browser does not necessarily tell you! Go to register4less.com (or somewhere similar) and type it in. You can do several at one time. I am only interested in URLs that end in .com

4) Extra stuff: You can suggest multiple ideas (which will increase your chances of winning the main prize) but will only have one entry for the random runner-up prizes. I reserve the right to reject entries that seem like you're "not even trying" and not even include them in the runner-up drawing. Example: ihopeiwinyourstupidcontest.com

Winners may choose any shirts as available on http://phippsart.etsy.com
The grand prize winner will get FOUR total shirts, whether the total (including shipping) is above or below $100.

4) Hints: Here is some more information on what I'm really looking for:

The name should DEFINITELY be catchy, easy to spell, memorable, creative, and unoffensive.

It would be NICE if it is also short.

It can end in "tees" , "tshirts", "garb", "wear" etc. but doesn't have to!

One of the most popular t-shirt sites on the net is www.threadless.com - I'd love to have something that simple and creative. Remember also that it can be REALLY off the wall! quixoticcabbage.com? Sure!

Good luck!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Radio Interview

I'll be interviewed today on BlockTalkRadio about my art, screen printed shirts and about the Handmade Movement. It airs at 9:00pm EST on www.blogtalkradio.com/blockheadrod

Tune in and hear me fumble through my first ever radio interview! Expect long, awkward delays, constant searching for every-day words, incoherent and irrelevant answers, and sorry attempts at humor. What could be more fun?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Reformed Blogger

Ah, a new year. Time to resolve...stuff. Last year was my first as a blogger and I didn't do extremely well. From when I started in April to the end of the year, I posted all of 21 times. That's just over two posts a month. This year I've resolved to post every weekday (starting today, silly!). Does this mean this blog will fill up with mindless, inane, drivel? Well yes, but now there will be MORE!!! This is just one of many resolutions I've made this year. This one comes right after "gain ten pounds of muscle by pure will".