Saturday, February 6, 2016


Mouth Puppet from "The Risley Brothers"

Getting back into posting a puppet each week!  Look for one to pop up each Saturday!   At least from now till summer! 

In the original pilot and test trailer for "The Risley Brothers" we used a puppet I had made of my friend Jordan to play the part of ""Wes"
Once deciding to go further I felt like we should re-make the puppet to be an official Wes, and so I could return the puppet to Jordan's parents (who I borrowed it from)

Here's a look into the making of the official Wes!

 Wes meets Jordan...

Totally unrelated picture...  Gabe was hanging out as I started the puppet.  Ain't he handsome? 

 Here he is almost done.  Hanging out with some other in progress puppets.
And yes, that is Sammy from HEAD!  
But he died in the first film, right?

And here he is done...  With his brother Quigly

Be a friend with Wes on Facebook!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Because it can never get weird enough...

Sweet Dreams

When you wish upon a star... It makes no difference who you are!

And another..  We're at that age...

Maurice White has jumped onto the Mothership...
I love Earth, Wind, and Fire...
The song above is one of my all time favorite songs.  It's message is beautiful, and it gets the booty moving!
My brother really introduced me to their music in the late 1970's, before I was even in school.  I remember seeing performances on various TV shows and whenever they came on the radio he'd demand it louder.  As I got older and really got into music and learned more about funk and soul these guys were getting a lot of play on my tape deck, them eventually CD player.

My brother would mention this animated movie they were part of called "Rock and Rule" that I had very faint memories of.  I didn't really remember them as part of it.  I did remember very well Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, and Iggy Pop though.
The movie kind of became a forgotten gem, except by people of a certain age, and back in the mid-part of the last decade it was finally released to DVD.  I got it the day it came out.  And sure as anything...  EWF had a song in it...
The movie is way more adult than I had remembered when I was 8 years old seeing it...  
And it's awesome.  

Sweet dreams Mr. White.  
And thank you for the art, the music, the joy.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Nobody told me there'd be days like these...

A real conversation I had...  Very recently:

So Jon, you have followers online.

Yeah, I do, it's pretty cool.

All you really ever talk about is puppets, and art, and music, and stuff like that.


And stuff about you life, kinda.


How come you don't get into politics?  Or more on religion?  
Or important issues?

So puppets, art, and music aren't important?

No, I mean, it's just there are deeper issues.

Yeah, I get that man...  But...


No matter what I say, you'll be right, and I'll be wrong.  
So I'll stick to what I know best.

Awe man, I just wanna know what you think.

Well...  I just want you to think for yourself.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

And another...

Went through a Eagles phase when I was 15...  Lasted till I was about 25...
Still dig them, and love some of their songs...

Over the years most of my Eagles albums disappeared.  Glad I still have some though...

I have some great memories of riding around with Dan, AKA The Mighty J.Slim, listening to Eagles somewhere around 1994.  Good times.

This tune was in my head over the weekend...   
Probably not their best song ever.  But it makes me smile
"I'd like to find your inner child and kick it's little ass.  
All your bitchin', moaning, and pitchin' a fit...  
Get over it"

Sweet dreams Glenn...

Monday Song... A great weekend behind me, looking forward to the rest of the year...

Good morning Monday...

Last week I had a couple weights lifted off my shoulders.  One was a little sad, the other was a huge relief.  Nope, I really won't get into the meat of it here, now.  That's for another day.
Today though, I'll present a Monday Morning Song...  One that kinda fits my mood of relief, and moving forward, and it's just silly fun...

Looking so forward to the creativity of this year.  It really has started off on the right foot.
I feel so good about the work I'm making, and the people I'm making it with.   No slight to anyone before, but right now just feel so right.
And I feel so good about me.  Where I'm at, and who I am.
That's a good feeling to have...  I hope everyone I know can feel this way at some point too.

And here's another tune..  Just cuz I like it!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Family Tree - 1/16/2016!

Paris In Plantsville is happy to announce our first show of 2016!  

Opening Staurday January 16th is "Family Tree". Featuring a variety of styles and mediums of art from a talented group of artists that just happen to be related!

Featured artists:
Brie McDonald
Desi Hugh
Norma McDonald
Karen Cranford
Jay Clang
Samantha Hugh
Kara Cranford
Zack Clang
and Jon Bristol

The show will run from January 16th through February 13th.  
Please join us for the opening reception January 16th from 6PM to 9PM.  
Since it is January we do know weather may become an issue, if so, look for a snow date if that happens!

For more info and updates check out the Facebook Event Page!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Said You Sailed The Big Ship. Said You Sailed Away. Didn't Know The Right Thing To Say

There are times in your life that will be hard.
Times when you're not sure where to turn, or who to talk to.  Or even how to get relief.

As I woke up this morning and got my pot of coffee started I began my normal morning (when I'm alone) routine...  As the coffee brewed I turned on the CD player, and popped in a CD.  It didn't want to work.
So I took it out and put in another, then sit at my messy desk and turned on the computer.  Time to catch up on emails , since I haven't checked them all weekend, check on all the various Elmwood pages and emails, reply to messages, and so on.

I put the CD that wouldn't work on my desk and looked at it as my machine started.  I thought about the day I bought it.  And how at that moment it was one of those time in my life that was hard, I wasn't sure where to turn, or who to talk to.  Or how to get relief.  I was 18 years old and my brother had died a week earlier.  And I just needed music I hadn't heard before that day.  So I went to the record store and bought an album I hadn't really ever heard before, "Young Americans"... It was the Rykodisc version, with bonus tracks.  
I Loved it.  Every second.
And it was therapy.  And wasn't going to cure all that was broken of my heart.  But it did help me see there was someplace to go.  And it reminded me "Somebody Up There Likes Me"...

And then I looked at the internet.  The news first.
I woke up today in a world where David Bowie was no longer here.
And then I got a text from my wife...  And Gabe...  Then Tricky
And I cried.
I stopped and listened to the CD I did put in, disc one of the 2014 set "Nothing Has Changed", and as I started typing Mr. Bowie was singing "Where Are We Now?  Where Are We Now?  The Moment You Know, You Know.  You Know."

I then checked messages.  First I hit up a thread Elmwood has privately on Facebook.  And Paul and Rick made mention of the news...  "As Long As There's Sun...  As Long As There's You"
At that point I paused.  And sat back with my coffee.  And listened.


I've posted here on this blog about David Bowie in the past.
His music, films, and art has impacted my life since my earliest memories.  I had hip parents who loved music, and my mom was a fan for sure...

We are lucky to have music, and art, and film.    To entertain us, and give us relief from day to day life.  And to inspire us to do whatever it makes us want to do.
And we're lucky Mr. Bowie left us so much.  We're lucky.

Thank you Mr. Bowie, sweet dreams.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Come See Elmwood Puppets And More Art Of All Kinds - By Some Great People!

Hey you!
I'm going have some puppets in an art show on 1/16!
I'll be surrounded by some great work!  By some amazing people...  My family!

Here's al the info via Paris In Plantsville
Paris In Plantsville is happy to announce our first show of 2016!  

Opening Staurday January 16th is "Family Tree". Featuring a variety of styles and mediums of art from a talented group of artists that just happen to be related!

Featured artists:
Brie McDonald
Desi Hugh
Norma McDonald
Karen Cranford
Jay Clang
Samantha Hugh
Kara Cranford
Zack Clang
and Jon Bristol

The show will run from January 16th through February 13th.  
Please join us for the opening reception January 16th from 6PM to 9PM.  
Since it is January we do know weather may become an issue, if so, look for a snow date if that happens!

Keep up to date with the event on the Facebook Event Page!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Who doesn't love cake?

My 40th Birthday Cake...  2/2015...  Made by Brie.  She totally digs me.

So 2016 has begun...
And I feel like everyone on the internet has made some post about how this is going to be "the best year ever!"
Now it's my turn...  
Wait, it's been four days so I shouldn't do that now?  We've moved on to something else?
"I don't feel tardy"

Forget about the best year ever...  I'm just trying to make every day the best day ever...

I'm looking forward to camping trips, making movies, making puppets, hanging out with my cats, good coffee, being with my awesome wife and family and friends...  Also looking forward to maybe seeing some old members of Gun N' Roses play with the band, a new Bowie album, and a Batman/Superman movie...  And I'm sure some other stuff I'm too tired at this hour to think up!

And smiling.  I plan on smiling a lot.
So with that in mind here's a picture of my goofy face, smiling.
I hope you get a smile out of it!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Some call this "Spock Thoughts" - Happy New Year

I'm not an overly religious man.  
Spiritual, yes.  
But not religious...
This poem; Desiderata, has had an impact on me over the past decade tough.  And recently it's been on my mind quite a bit.  Some read it as religious.  I don't.  I just think it's good, fundamental thinking.  

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. 
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. 
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. 
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. 
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. 
Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. 
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. 
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. 
You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. 
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. 

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

 - Max Ehrmann,

Friday, December 4, 2015

Feels like a century ago... But it was only 1994...

I remember this guy...  
He had just bought a Prince bootleg no one else had heard, I'm sure...  
And when done listening to that was blasting Gn'R (or something) while planning a movie that never got made...  
He worked at a real coffee shop, and hung out with guys with funny names like Tricky Rock, Mighty J.Slim, Rich Warren, Sten, and women who were probably too good to been seen in public with a dork like me....
 Go ahead...  Laugh.  It's OK. I did too when I saw the hair!

It's that time of year when we need a smile, a laugh.  
The video, shared below, was one I posted to Facebook and YouTube earlier this week, and shared in a mass message to some friends and family.
It's a little (very little) piece of history.  But it's a big piece of history for me.  
My brother was so much to me.
Not just a brother, but a best friend, a collaborator, and more.  Had he lived longer he would have been a part of Elmwood Productions without a doubt, and I can only imagine what he would have cooked up.

It's the "holiday" season.
Let's Do Good Things.
 Let's be good people.  And let's share positive thoughts and keep smiling.
We live in such a wild world now, Hell, we lived in on in 1994 when this was first filmed...
This wild world needs a smile.  Needs a "hug".
Let's do that.  Embrace each other.  Show love regardless of religion, skin color, age, gender, whatever...
Let's just be in love, with each other.  

Support the MDA
In 1994 local television station WFSB was still airing the annual MDA Labor Day Telethon. Late that summer they sent a small crew to my parents home to do a piece on my brother, Michael, who had passed away just after the 1993 telethon. 
This is a transfer of that piece from a VHS tape provided to my family after it aired. 
My aunt also gave me a copy of the tape recently, which prompted me to transfer it to digital, and share it.
I don't own it, or the music. Just want to share this small piece of my family history.

So that's it...
Til 2016, Jon's Java is on vacation!
See you in the new year!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


I had a good year...
Better than a good year in fact.  It's been a great year.
There is so much for me to be thankful, and grateful for this year.

I hope everyone in my life knows how much I appreciate them, and how I hope they all feel as good as I do right now.

Sweet dreams...  

Some pics from only a few of the good times...  So many great times to choose from!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Getting ready for next year, and happily wrapping up this awesome one... Live and Let Die

Thing might be a little quiet here on Jon's Java for the rest of 2015
In 2016 the puppets will come back to this page a bit more...
Going to make an effort to post a puppet a week as Elmwood is prepping some big things to be shot over the year, and as I bulk up on commission and puppets on my Etsy page!
Looking forward to getting back to work!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Shoulda took more pics last nite...

 Elmwood gang being goofy... 


I'm so damned proud of these guys.  And I'm proud of this flick...  Looking forward to the madness we create in 2016...

Gabe, Mike, and Russ (not in the pic)
did a killer job on the special effects on HEAD and more than earned this award!
Rick (in back) agrees with me...
Looking forward to a great 2016 with these guys and eventually an even more great "HEAD 2"!

Friday, November 13, 2015

It's Madness

"For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war, and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all...
 They'd built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. 
Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. 
Their world crumbled. The cities exploded. A whirlwind of looting, a firestorm of fear."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


There is not enough coffee for me today...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Almost back...

Got a message yesterday...  When something like this:
"Jon!  I see you haven't updated the ol' blog since mid-October!  Is everything OK?"

Yes.  Everything is wonderful...
Just been so busy!!!

HEAD has been screening all over the world, I've been doing events with Elmwood, including this coming weekend!  And I've been prepping for the big stuff coming next year...

DOn't worry if you enjoy the blog I have here.  It's still alive.  Just give me about another two weeks and I'll share some wonderful madness again!

Monday, October 19, 2015


Who has two thumbs and needs coffee?

This guy.