July 31, 2009

No Soap, Radio #30

June 24, 2005
Sometimes music can be inspiring. Sometimes it can be annoying. Other times, it can give you a good idea that gets ruined because it lacks beer.


July 29, 2009

No Soap, Radio #19

You guys seemed to enjoy the comic, so I thought I'd skip ahead and find one that's more appropriate for this heat wave we're having. I'm ashamed to be missing Dunkin' Donuts right now.

April 8, 2005
True story. The cream almost killed me. I passed the test though, and there was much celebrating when it was over. I'd also like to point out that I truly and deeply love coffee, but there's just something about drinking from a plastic cup the size of your head which is halfway filled with dairy products that is unappealling to me. Maybe I should switch back to espresso...


July 26, 2009

I Can't Dance

So, I used to want to be a comic artist. Wait, let me try again: I used to be a webcomic artist.

Before I quit my job selling shoes, I drew comic strips and published them online, as an outlet for my frustrations with the daily ritual. Before that, I printed comic zines and sold them to my local comic shop (the New England Comics on Harvard Ave in Allston--go there!!) about four kids on a roadtrip, loosely based on my own cross-country journey fresh from of high school. I even talked at a workshop for comic book artists and writers, and was interviewed for the Boston Phoenix. Pretty cool.

One reason I wanted to move to Portland was because a bunch of indie comic book publishers are here. Being a comic artist was sort of my back-up career, which is hilarious, since I think it's a lot harder to break into the comic biz than to start your own online shop. It's still in the back of my mind though, and I terribly regret that my schedule hasn't permitted me to draw comics in many a year.

For the sake of reminding myself why I love art in the first place (and to give you something to look at while I get my life sorted out), I thought I'd share some of my old No Soap, Radio comic strips. You'll probably need to click on the image to view it at full size.

Here's the original text that went with the strip:

November 19, 2004
This is the first comic in the No Soap, Radio series. Thanks to the mighty Phil Collins for inspiration. I would like to take the time now to point out that the characters in my strips do not represent real people, even if they may look like me, my friends, or people that you know. Also, I don't dance like this, and I certainly wouldn't sing into a can of Pledge.


Martha Stewart in 1985

I'm always asking my neighbors to bring over their old newspaper for me to use as packing material for my boxes that I ship out, and one friend just gave me an unexpected surprise. In a big box of newspaper (some of which dated back to Mother's Day), was a paper bag stuffed with yellowing copies of the Oregonian from 1985. That's right, this newspaper is the same age as my sister who's getting married.

I just discovered the bag of antique papers tonight. Holy Mother of all things Retro. I feel guilty packing my glasses with these pieces of history, especially when they contain pictures of a young Martha Stewart, features on a "Sportsman's Thanksgiving" (a "celebration of a harvest of field and stream" with recipes for pheasant, duck, venison, and salmon), an op-ed article whining about hooking up a touch-tone phone, an informative piece on "Salsa, Mexican Ketchup", and breaking news about the trend of wine coolers.

I might just have to hang on to these relics for a time. At least until I can make the pheasant recipe that calls for Krusteaz pancake mix and a package of bacon.


July 23, 2009

Back Home Again

We had a fabulous time at Renegade, but we're still recovering from all the driving, the short snatches of sleep we got on our friends' futon, and all the Cheetos we ate in the car. I got a bunch of awesome handmade stuff that I'm dying to show off to you guys, but it's going to have to wait a few days for me to get my head on straight again...

Sean and I had planned on taking this week to do inventory, and catch up on orders from the past weekend. Instead, Etsy was gracious enough to feature us in their Etsy Finds, and we were bombarded by new orders. We swept past our 1,000th Etsy sale today, and we barely had time to congratulate ourselves.

I'd like to take a moment right now to thank all our amazing customers for supporting us over the past few years. Everything we do, we do for you. Truly.

Even when I'm tired and cranky, I still remember that each order is like a little piece of myself that I'm sharing with the world, and I appreciate each and every person that tells me they like my work, and believe in what I'm doing. It's been a hard road, and it will continue to be a struggle, but every day it gets easier. And I have YOU to thank.

Thank you. <3


July 16, 2009

Tea Time with Anda from Etsy

A few folks from Etsy.com are traveling around the west coast, visiting some of the street teams between Renegade Craft Fair events. We were lucky enough to have Anda (who does the social networking and webgraphics for Etsy--if you follow Etsy on Twitter, you've been reading her tweets!) stop in for Tea Time in Laurelhurst Park!

It was a beautiful day to be in the park, and I loved getting to see some of my crafty friends. We need to hang out more often! I also got to knit a few more rows on the banana silk scarf I'm working on.

From the left are Ryan (littleputbooks), Lea (leakarts), Leah (leahpellegrini), Aimee, Danielle (misspurl), Judi (curlygirlglass), Kirsten (piperewan), and Anda.


Renegade San Fransisco

We'll be at Renegade this weekend with pint glasses, soap dispensers, jewelry and more! Come say hi and pick up some birthday gifts, wedding presents, or a little something for yourself.


July 15, 2009

Recycled Cardboard Cat Scratcher

Design*Sponge has a great tutorial on creating a cute round scratching pad for you cat out of recycled cardboard. I saw this when it was first published, and I immediately made one out of all the cardboard boxes I had laying around from the glassware we purchase.

Rupert loved it right away, but it was a lot of work to cut down some of the box parts to all be the same height. Also, I used duct tape, which just didn't stick to the cardboard very well.

Pint glasses come in a case of 24, and have these great dividers between them inside the box. After the first scratching pad project, I decided to save all the dividers to make a new one, which wouldn't require any cutting since all the pieces would start out the same height. I also used wide masking tape this time, which worked perfectly!

The d*s tutorial tells you to wrap the finished scratcher with decorative paper, but I'm just not fancy enough to have decorative paper laying around my house. I suppose I might have some holiday wrapping paper in a closet somewhere, but that just isn't my thing. Rupert gets the rustic look, and he seems to like it just fine.

This is a great afternoon project, and an inventive way to recycle some cardboard. Try it yourself!


July 14, 2009


When I was a kid, my family used to go camping every year, plus a few short trips with the Girl Scouts. Since I've lived on my own, I haven't gone camping at all (unless you count the months that we traveled across the country in a VW Vanagon--we did stay at a few campgrounds then).

This past weekend, Sean and I took a 4 days off to camp with our friend Autumn and her extended family in Scotts Mills, OR. It was strange to be completely disconnected from technology for that long. It was pretty much the only way we could force ourselves to relax, and it was much-needed!

Mostly, we just sat around the firepit eating junk food, but our campground also had lots of activities for us: paintball (Sean and I sat that one out, but the other guys had fun giving each other welts), frisbee golf, volleyball, and more. Our large group site came with a yurt, which had fusball and airhockey.

It wasn't quite "roughing it", but it was low-stress and simple. If only the weather had a been a little warmer (it dropped down to the 60's for most of the time we were there), maybe we wouldn't have huddled around that fire so much. It's still nice to get away every now and then to make you really appreciate the running water and flushing toilets at home.

Thanks to the Drey family for sharing your hospitality with us! We had fun!


July 7, 2009

Not Really Work-Related Stuff

I feel like a tornado has picked me up, spun me around and dropped me back on the ground. I'm no longer spinning, but I'm completely disoriented and my life is kind of spread out across the countryside.

We started house-hunting recently, and we've got a great realtor who's really enthusiastic about finding us a great house. Awesome, right? Well, it's great except that Sean and I have been spending every waking moment (plus some sleeping ones) thinking about what we're looking for in a home, and what our plans are for the future. It's a lot of heavy stuff, which we really weren't prepared for right now. It just kind of happened so fast when I started thinking about the housing market.

Buying a house is a dream-come-true, and I'm amazed at all the wonderful choices we have! I just feel bad that I haven't spent as much time making new items and photographing them. We're about to go camping for the first time in our adult lives, and there's a lot we need to do to get ready. The weekend after that, we're driving back down to San Fransisco for Renegade Craft Fair, which should be lots of fun. It's just a lot of things happening all at once.

Also, an old friend of Sean's (they went to high school together in Germany) just spent a few days with us on his way up to Seattle. It was another crazy whirlwind weekend, showing him around the city and cooking giant meals at home. He plays a lot of instruments, and even let me try out his bagpipes! (I could only get them to honk, but I think everyone in the neighborhood could hear me).


July 4, 2009

Solar-Powered Theremin

For Father's Day this year, I gave my dad a solar-powered theremin kit that I picked up at Maker Faire. It took him a while to get around to putting it together, but he finally did it! I'm so happy that he took a little video with his iphone to share with me--and now you!

If you want to learn more about theremins, you can read about them here and on Wikipedia. If you want to purchase your own (totally affordable) solar-powered theremin kit, you can buy one from Clockwork Robot here. (Assembly involves some soldering.)


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