August 31, 2009

Eleven is my Lucky Number

What a fun way to start the day!

Don't forget to enter my LOLcat Book Giveaway, which ends this Friday! All the details are in this post. You could win a free copy of the new book from, How to Take Over Teh Wurld. Tell your friends!


August 29, 2009

Adventures in Stamp Carving

I've always wanted to try linocutting or woodblock printing, but I never wanted to drop the money for all the little carving tools and paint roller and such. I saw a tutorial a couple years ago for carving your own stamps from rubber erasers, and I was immediately intrigued. I could do that!

I got a really basic carving tool for fine detail work, since my designs were going to have to be pretty small. I bought a Magic Rub eraser at the craft store and made my first "Fragile Glass" stamp, which I've been using for about a year and a half to mark all my postal boxes. I was never really happy with that stamp though, and I really wanted to make something more fun.

I was having an especially inspired day last week, and I finally pulled out the extra erasers I got at SCRAP months ago. I made a second "Fragile" stamp, which looks a lot nicer than the first. It was so fun!

I've been working on this badger design for awhile, and I thought I'd just test it out for carving. I'm so pleased with the results! I don't know what I'll use it for, but I'm just thrilled that I can put that toothy badger face on pretty much anything I want to. Now all I want to do is pick up more rubber to carve into little stamps...


August 28, 2009

FREE LOLcat Book Giveaway!

Everyone knows that I love LOLcats. They make my days worth living, quite honestly. Not only am I thrilled to be receiving a copy of the newest print book to review, but I'll also be giving away a FREE copy to one of my faithful blog readers!

THE RULES: Simply leave a comment on this post with a link to your favorite LOLcat image from the icanhascheezburger site. Oh, and your shipping address must be in the continental U.S. to be eligible (sorry, everyone else!). I'll randomly choose a winner next Friday, Sept. 4th. Yay!

If you'd like to pick up your own copy of the book, you can pre-order them now and get a set of sweet limited edition icons for your computer, or wait until the book goes on sale 9/1. Get more info here.

If you don't know what the heck a "LOLcat" is, then you should probably head straight over here, and continue to click through the site until you find yourself ROFLing. If you still don't get "lolspeak", then here's a wiki page about it.


August 27, 2009

Wedding Planning

My little sister's getting married! I just got my invitation in the mail today, and I'm completely taken by it's simple beauty. My favorite part of the whole package is that the stamp on the reply envelope matches the color scheme perfectly. I hadn't seen these queen of hearts stamps before, but now I want to run out and get some!

Another tiny detail that I love is the option to request a vegetarian meal for the reception. I haven't been to many weddings, but I do know the stress of finding something to eat at a plated dinner when you can't eat the main dish. My sister and brother-in-law-to-be were very concerned about the food being good at their celebration, so I'm sure either option will be good.

Sean and I are etching corked bottles (made from recycled glass!) as favors for their guests, with a cute heart musical note design that the groom drew up. They look weird in this picture because they're halfway done--the stencil has been applied, the bottle has been masked, but they haven't been sandblasted yet. I think they're going to fill them with red candies before setting them on the tables. So fun!


August 24, 2009

Is packaging enough?

I've been cooking up new time-saving methods of packaging our orders, since I don't want to get swamped this holiday season due to our inefficiency. I'm eliminating tasks that take too much time to do by hand (like rubber stamping thank you cards), and replacing them with professional alternatives that I can make in larger quantities.

Back when I started my business, I relished making all the little things that went along with my products that told a story about me, as an artist. I loved all the hands-on crafty things I got to make as thank you's and packaging for my items. Now, I find myself dreading the need to devote entire days to rubber stamping or signing my name on everything.

Is it important to see my initials on each product to give it that handmade edge? Or do you appreciate all the time and effort I've already put into each item, and wouldn't notice those little letters on the bottom anyway?

I'm creating tags and inserts to go with every single product, telling a little story about how it's made by a real person. It's not like initialing and dating the glasses takes that long, but it's still a big process that's been eating into every day, and I've grown to resent it.

With all the other branding that goes along with each item, are a few letters and numbers worth this much to you? I'd love to hear your opinion! Leave a comment here, or vote in the poll at the top right of the page. Thank you!!


August 20, 2009

Badger Fierceness

I've wanted to create a new badger design for awhile now, since the Bread and Badger logo I created originally is overly stylized and sugary cute. I'm all for the cuteness, but the main reason I love badgers so much is that they're fearless. They inspire me to face situations head-on, instead of cowering or scurrying. I needed a new design that embodied those qualities, and I've been sketching things out for a few days now.

I just finished this one a few minutes ago, so I'm still deciding how I feel about it. Is it too angry? Not fierce enough? Maybe I just need to step back for a little bit. I'd love to hear what you think!


August 19, 2009

Moving on

So, I'm sure I've mentioned this, but I'll say it again: We're buying a house! It's been a crazy, stressful rollercoaster ride of an experience, and it isn't quite over yet. But if everything goes as planned, then we'll be moving into our very first house in September.

What does this mean to you? Well, it means that our shipping times will be slowing down a little bit for most of next month. We'll probably be shipping orders out once a week instead of every two days. It also means that I'm unable to create custom artwork for a while, since I'm overwhelmed with all the new projects that are arising (like packing all our things, researching lots of DIY home repair stuff, actually tackling those projects once we have the place, setting up our new studio, unpacking again, etc.).

This house needs a lot of work, and a couple projects need to be completed before we can even start moving in and settling down. Our lives have already been pretty crazy for the past month or so, and it's just going to get crazier. So I thought I'd give a heads-up to all our lovely customers, so you knew we weren't just slacking.

I've been working on creating new designs for jewelry, including a new badger design! We also just got in a new bottle for oil and vinegar that we hope to release soon, amidst all the chaos.

Holiday Orders
I know it may seem super early for thinking about holiday gifts, but I thought I'd mention that I don't plan on accepting custom orders at all in November and December, and I'm not taking any until the end of September either. We're just too busy with personal things for me to devote the proper amount of time to creating beautiful artwork. :(

So, if you're thinking of getting a special design on glass for a friend or family member, you should join our mailing list now (there's a box on the top right of every page on our website for signing up). If things work out, I'm going to announce a custom ordering period in October, which may only be open to our subscribers. Or, you're welcome to put in your custom order now, and I'll make sure it's completed before the holidays. Email me to work out the deets.


August 14, 2009

Stovetop Espresso Maker

Ever since we went camping last month, we've been searching thrift stores for one of those Moka espresso pots. We're too cheap to drop the $50 or whatever it is for a new one, and I just knew we'd find one eventually, secondhand. (Okay, I just looked it up, and you can find one for $19.95.)

A few weeks ago, we were in luck! It's not quite a Moka, but it's a little stovetop espresso pot that set us back about 8 bucks. How cute is it??

It'll be perfect to bring on our next camping trip. We can also take our battery-operated $2 milk frother from Ikea, and make some rustic lattes out in the wild. Plus, it's pretty heavy, so it could do as a coffee bean grinder if we were in a pinch.


August 12, 2009

Red Boots Design Hoodie

Another great thing I picked up at Renegade in S.F. was this awesome purple zippered hoodie from Red Boots Design! I knew I needed a new sweatshirt, but I still had a really tough time choosing between all their great colors and designs.

I finally settled on this great Koi fish design, since I loved these pretty fish printed on the front and back. Plus, I've never owned an outerwear garment in such a perfectly bold color. (Do I sound like a crazy elderly person for saying "outerwear garment"?)

Not only do Red Boots make great clothes with a heavy focus on bike themes and mechanical diagrams, but they also make beautiful wall-mountable bottle openers. I've already picked out the perfect one for my future house in turquoise and bright red. These folks have totally got my number in the color department. Plus, this dude has the best curly handlebar mustache, AND they let us borrow their dolly to load our stuff into Renegade the first day. Love love love them!!

P.S. The button that I put on the pocket says "get excited and make things" (patterned after those "stay calm and carry on" posters). Someone awesome gave it to me at Maker Faire.

P.P.S. Think it rains all the time in Portland? Check out the crispy grass in our front yard. It's sort of like the desert here in the summer, FYI.


August 10, 2009

Skeletal Dropkick Mugs

Remember when we went to Renegade Craft in San Fransisco all those weekends ago? I know, I haven't talked about it much. Well, one of my favorite things from the event was picking up some handmade pottery mugs from Skeletal Dropkick!

The first time I discovered these awesome skull creations was when SD were the featured sellers on Etsy. It's so great to finally meet an artist in person and be able to touch and hold their wares for the first time, especially if you've been secretly admiring them online for a really long time. I loved hearing the story behind how this mug shape came into being, and learning a bit about the firing and glazing process.

I love that these mugs are like the big and little brother of caffeinated pleasures. I had a tough time choosing between these and all the other monster jars, bowls, and teapots that were available. I guess I'll just have to add to my collection over time.


August 7, 2009

Shop in Person this Sunday

I'll be vending at Crafty Wonderland this Sunday, August 9th. If you'd like to pick up a specific glass, shoot me an email now, since I don't always bring every single design.

I'll have a box full of seconds (ones that didn't etch perfectly, or the glass has a minor flaw) for you to dig through. Now's the time to pick up something for yourself, because nothing beats these great deals!

There will be 40 other vendors there too, plus a DIY table for you to get your craft on. It's supposed to be rainy on Sunday, so come on down to the cozy Doug Fir!

Crafty Wonderland
The 2nd Sunday of Every Month
at Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside, Portland, OR
11am-4pm * All Ages * Free Admission


August 6, 2009

New Recycled Kraft Gift Boxes

Look what I just got today! Cardboard gift boxes made from recycled materials. I've been looking for a simple way to package my new fused glass jewelry items without spending a ton of money or a ton of time making my own boxes. These are the perfect solution!

The boxes look kind of tall (they're 2 inches, cubed) but they still fit in a padded envelope, so shipping prices can stay low. I have some blue tissue paper on the way as well, so that should match the little stamps for the tops. The stamps I'm making myself, from a bunch of adhesive-backed paper I found at SCRAP. I have to print and cut them all myself, but at least I have a wet sponge so I don't have to lick them all. ;)


August 1, 2009

Maureen Shields Paintings

I have some time this afternoon to sit in front of the computer for a little while (with a cold glass of water and a big fan blowing on me, of course), so I thought I'd finally share some of my favorite artists from Renegade Craft San Fransisco with you.

The first artist whose work really popped our at me was Maureen Shields. It could have been the vibrant colors she uses (I'm addicted to anything turquoise right now), or the amusing animal-people she paints in high-contrast retro styles.

Not only do Maureen's paintings feature bold dayglo colors, but most of her original work is done on wooden plaques. My future home has a wall that is just screaming out for one of these masterpieces!

[Purchase from or Artist Xchange in San Francisco, CA]


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