"Frequently" is a relative term. I consider any question that's been asked once or fewer times to be frequent.

Can I post one of your pictures on my blog? How about a whole post?

Yes! Please! Share, use, print, alter, repost, tweak, play. I made it for you. It's yours. I've officially licensed all of my work - text and image - through Creative Commons. If you look at the bottom of my blog, you'll see this image:

Creative Commons Licence

If you want to read it (in human-friendly words, no less!), click here. But the gist of it is that you're free to reuse, repost or remix anything that I've posted here, with a few limitations:

  • You have to attribute the original work to me with a link to www.claybaboons.com (ie. don't pretend that you made the stuff that I originally made. That's just lame.)
  • You can not use any of my images or text for commercial use (ie. you can't make any money off of my stuff, since I'm not making any money off of my stuff. Sounds fair, right?)
  • If you alter any of my images, you have to attribute the original to me and license your derivative work using the same license that I have on the original work (ie. other people will be allowed to reuse, repost or change the stuff that you made using my stuff.)
  • I retain the "moral rights" to my work (ie. don't turn it into anything hateful, racist, homophobic or pornographic. That's just not cool.)

You're under no obligations to tell me how or when you use my work, although I'd love it if you'd let me know!

Are you crazy? Why would you give your stuff away for free?

Quite simply, I want to share my work. This blog is not a for-profit site. I make stuff because it's fun. I post it because I want people to read it. The more people share my work, the more opportunities there will be for new eyes to see it (and - dare I hope - enjoy it). I love the openness and collaboration* inherent** in Creative Commons. And I honestly believe that anyone unethical enough to steal or otherwise abuse other people's work will do so whether or not it is "allowed".

*I always have to spellcheck that word
**again with the spellcheck

Do you have a button?

Why yes, I do! If you want to add my button to your sidebar, here you go:

Do you make these stories up?

Nope. Unless otherwise specified, they're all true.


I do sometimes exaggerate (a lot) or change things a bit in the name of story-telling. For example, the job interview story...it all happened exactly like that. Except that - for some strange reason - they gave me a second phone interview. And awkward silences are even longer when you can't use body language to fill them. And I still didn't get the job. I just didn't see the point in adding in the phone interview at the end of the story, because it didn't help the story arc. It was funnier to omit it.

But overall, the stories are kind of true. Unless they're obviously dripping with sarcasm, in which case you'll have to use your own powers of inference.

Also, I realize that I'm really self-deprecating. It's a trap I've fallen into. But I'm actually nowhere near as neurotic as I appear on the blog. I quite like myself and my life, to be honest!

How long does it take you to create a post?

Usually about five or six hours. That includes creating the figurines (usually while watching old X-Files episodes on Netflix), taking the photos, selecting and cropping the photos, adding captions to the photos and writing the story. It also includes rereading and revising the story obsessively a dozen times to make sure that I'm satisfied with it.

Sometimes it might take a bit longer if I have lots of figurines to make, and sometimes it might take less time if I can reuse a figurine from an older post. But in general, five or six hours is about right.

What kind of camera do you use?

Nothing fancy. I have a small point and shoot that cost me less than 200 dollars. Someday I'd love to have a DSLR, but Berta meets my needs for now. (What? Berta's a perfectly good name for a camera.) I take all of my photos either outside on the front porch, or inside in a lightbox that I bought on sale. (Can I just say that I love the fact that I no longer have to use the homemade lightbox that that I built out of tissue paper and a cardboard box?)

I have a lot to learn about photography. I'm not very good at it yet, but it's on my list.

What program do you use to add captions to your photos?

I used to use www.picnik.com. I shed a metaphorical tear when they shut it down on April 19th. Now, I'm using www.picmonkey.com, and - after a bit of a bumpy transition - I love it as much as Picnik.

Why did you start this blog?

I love story-telling, and I especially love illustrated stories. It's the teacher in me; this is the first year in a decade that my days haven't been filled with picture books. While I would love to draw pictures for my stories, I just find it too tedious. I'd much rather sculpt than draw. I've always had my students work with clay to tell stories, so it just seemed natural for me to do the same now that I'm no longer in the classroom.

Why "Clay Baboons"?

Yeah, I wish there were a good story behind that. As it turned out, there were already dozens of blogs out there with my original name (Words and Pictures). I racked my brain all day trying to come up with a more interesting, unique name with an available URL. I ended up with Clay Baboons. Because one time I made a baboon. Out of clay. My creativity knows no bounds.

Do you make any money from this blog?



Do you sell clay figurines?

Not in any organized fashion. Shipping is pretty expensive...it costs me between 15 and 20 dollars to ship a clay figure. If you'd really like me to make you something, get in touch. We'll talk.

Why don't you swear? These stories would be funnier with some swearing.

Although I do read blogs with perfectly placed swear words that make me burst out laughing, this blog remains PG for two main reasons:

My eight-year-old niece reads this blog.
I may someday be a classroom teacher again.