September 3, 2010

New Website and Coupon!

Hey, remember back in June and July when I was super stressed out about having to learn all new programming languages to recreate my entire website as fast as possible because of a broken computer? No? Well good, because it was really stressful. Anyway, I did, and now I have a brand new website! I also own now, so it's almost like my website is in two places at the same time. Okay, not really.

One of the cool things about my new site is that it's powered by Wordpress, so it has its own blog built into the main page. I'll be updating that blog (which you can subscribe to) with all the latest news and updates for the business side of Bread and Badger. Y'know, like shops that carry our work, events we'll be at, new products, custom work I want to show off, sales and promotions, press features about us, etc. It's going to be great. You can also subscribe to our product feed if you'd like to know about our newest products the second they're released (this feed is different from the news feed above).

You've probably already noticed that I don't update this blog very often anyway, but I'll try to post something every now and then when I discover a really cool band or product or artist. Mostly, I post those things on Twitter when I find them, so I encourage you to follow me there if you're interested in my interests and personal goings-on.

Since I love my blog readers more than vanilla pudding, I'm also giving you a 20% off coupon which is good on your whole order from our website until next Friday, September 10th. Just put the code "phoenix" into the coupon field of the shopping cart, and it'll calculate your discount for you. (This coupon isn't applicable in our Etsy shop--sorry!) Let me know what you think of the new site, and thanks for reading!


July 20, 2010

Ghost in the Machine- Kurt Cobain

Ghost in the Machine- Kurt Cobain
Originally uploaded by iri5

Just had to share this amazing work by artist, Iri5. Her medium is cassette tape on canvas. Completely mind-blowing!

[Thanks to Eye Pop Art for sharing this!]


July 16, 2010

Hopeless Savages

True Story: I used to draw a webcomic, and I had big dreams of one day moving to Portland and getting into the comic book industry. Oni Press was my favorite comic publisher, and I even sent them samples of my work for one of their talent searches (they told me to keep practicing and send more work along in the future, which was hugely encouraging to me, even though I never did it).

One of the first comics I bought for myself was Hopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter. The story was about a misfit family of musicians and artists, with lots of musical and anglophilic references thrown in for me to relate to. I was immediately hooked.

Fast forward. Not only did my comic heroine, Jen Van Meter, run into me at a recent craft fair, but I also discovered that she's a fan of my glass etching work, as well as a knitter! I was majorly starstruck, and couldn't even believe my awesome luck. She was even nice enough to send me one of these exclusive art cards that she made for comic book conventions this summer, featuring my favorite of her characters, Zero (full name: Skank Zero Hopeless Savage--which is pretty much the best name ever!).

So, I HIGHLY recommend that you read the Hopeless Savages comics, and that you say hi to Jen at a con if you see her. She's absolutely swerval.

Follow Jen on Twitter.


July 4, 2010

Recap of Awesomeness

Super Quick Recap of the past few weeks:
  1. I taught a class and a workshop at the Summit of Awesome, and attended lots of super-awesome classes and workshops in turn. I got really inspired! Susan Beal is doing a bang up job detailing the Summit week on the Craftzine blog here, here and here (I was quoted a lot in the second link). There are hundreds of photos from the event on Flickr too.
  2. I've been creating a whole new ecommerce site using Wordpress, but it's kind of tedious and there's a lot for me to learn. The good news is that it should go live within the next week. Yay!
  3. Sean and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary with some fabulous baked brie (and more!) at The Farm Cafe. It's amazing to look back and reflect on all the great things we've done together in the past 7 years.
  4. We've been clearing out old wood piles, killing blackberries and English ivy, and re-roofing our shed on sunny days. We also planned out our bathroom remodel when the medicine cabinet started dismantling itself, and we've been to every furniture store 3 times since then. We've already started re-planning our kitchen remodel, which won't happen until next spring.
  5. Custom orders! We've had tons of custom designs to work on recently, from wedding favors, to baptism candles, and some collaborative work with other artists thrown in.
  6. I finally got my badger tattoo! The blurry photo above doesn't really do it justice, but that's the best I could do while trying to click the shutter button with my left hand.
  7. A new webcomic is in the works! We're still in the planning stages, but the amazing Kim Werker and I are putting together a fun crafty webcomic based on a concept that she's been carrying around for awhile. Despite being so busy with everything else, this is one of the most exciting things for me right now, and I can't wait to get it together.
[Tattoo by Lew Hess at Atlas Tattoo in Portland, OR

I love this so much, I can't even describe it. Just for reference, I asked Lew to base his design on this old Sailor Jerry tattoo of a panther with a snake.

I shouldn't have to say this, and I know it's weird, but I'd really appreciate it if you're considering getting a badger tattoo like this to have your tattoo artist redraw the design themselves and not just duplicate mine. Someone else found one of my original tattoos on the internet and got the exact same thing (same colors and everything) and it kinda weirds me out. Thanks.]


    July 2, 2010

    Urban Craft Uprising Summer Show

    We'll be vending at Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle next weekend, July 10th & 11th! This is a perfect time to pick up birthday gifts, wedding presents, and a little something unique for yourself.

    We'll have our newest dinosaur designs, plus cute little juice glasses and some one-of-a-kind ceramic mugs and teacups for you to purchase. There's also a diy craft area, so you can make something fun to bring home with you, and the first 100 shoppers in line each day will get a sweet swag bag!


    June 10, 2010

    Sad iMac on a Happy Birthday

    It was my birthday on Monday. Lots of amazing friends came over for a barbecue on a rare sunny day. It devolved into a late-night dance party thanks to our Xbox, and inspiration from Leslie and the Lys. I am now older, wiser, and on my way to a less-stressful lifestyle... right after I get over a few more hurdles.

    My very insightful and loving husband noticed that I was spending a gluttonous amount of hours every day, waiting for things to happen on my computer. My iMac is old. So old, that I haven't been able to watch videos on it since before YouTube became popular. So old, that there's often 5 seconds of delay while typing.

    Running an online business means spending a lot of time in front of a computer, and my time was just wasting away. So he bought me a brand new, very speedy new PC. Just shut up for a second if you're about to say something snarky about Macs vs. PCs.  This new computer is is so fast, progress bars don't even have time to show up on the screen before they've been dismissed. The screen is like sitting in a movie theater. And it was affordable on our tiny home business budget.

    This, of course, starts out as a mixed blessing because I have to transfer all my files over (about 30 gigs of product photos, mostly), and my iMac decided on that day to commit suicide. It won't start up, no matter how much coaxing we've tried. Even the forceful kind.

    Luckily, I have a backup hard-drive that only took about 4 days to successfully copy my files over without corrupting them. It's taken 5 days to get the printer to speak the same language as my new image editing program (GIMP, by the way, which I'm trying very hard not to assume is anything like Photoshop but it's hard.), and there was a bit of a learning curve when I had to switch to the PC version of my shipping software (which I spent an entire evening screaming violent threats at when it charged me 3 times for a $20 international label and still wouldn't print the correct date).

    Things are finally beginning to settle down. The iMac won't even pretend to boot up, so it's just a very large paper weight until we can figure out how to erase the hard drive and donate it to "science". I'm proud that we've been able to pretend it was business as usual, even as we struggled to ship labels and create custom glassware designs in time for Father's Day. It's been hectic, but we haven't completely lost our minds yet.

    The last big challenge is now the website. I don't have Dreamweaver anymore, and I'd like to switch to a fancier shopping cart anyway, so I don't have to code all my webpages individually. I'm researching software like a mad-woman, so that I can hopefully reinvent the site as quickly, cheaply, and seamlessly as possible. If you've got any suggestions, I would love to hear them (I'm considering WP eCommerce and Zen Cart).

    Oh, and I'm teaching a class and a craft workshop for Hello Craft in less than a week, and haven't really started working on either project yet. Yikes. Good thing my sister sent me some awesome mead to help me drown my sorrows like a hero. (It's called Viking Blod, and it's super awesome! Sweet, but not as syrupy as most commercial meads that I've had. Also, a good amount of spice and flavor from added hops. Highly recommended!)


    May 20, 2010

    Hello Craft: Summit of Awesome

    I'm going to be a guest speaker at the Summit of Awesome event put on by the lovely people of Hello Craft! This is a huge crafty learning event, held at the Kennedy School McMenamins for 3 days next month. Crafty celebrities from across the county will be there to speak and inspire.

    My class is called "Finding Your Niche", and I'll be sharing my experiences and insights at 2pm on Wednesday, June 16th. I'll also be teaching a workshop on glass etching at 1pm on Thursday, and selling my wares at the Show of Awesome from 10am-3pm at the Doug Fir Lounge on Saturday (the day before Father's Day). Whether you have your own small business and want to learn ways to improve it, or you've been thinking of selling your crafts, you should register for the Summit of Awesome now!

    Get the full event schedule here. Quote from the Hello Craft website:
    The Summit of Awesome is three days of business and technical education seminars as well as hands-on workshops produced by the non-profit Hello Craft. Taking place in the Alberta Arts District of Portland, OR, from June 16 to 18, this year’s Summit is co-produced by Hello Craft’s event partners and PDX craft superstars, Crafty Wonderland and DIY Lounge. Summit seminar topics range from how to organize craft fairs and develop successful product lines to teaching crafters how to prepare taxes and form LLC’s. At the 2nd annual Summit, Craftnote speakers are crafty renaissance man Mark Montano and BuyOlympia founders Pat Castaldo and Aaron Tuller. Full speaker list can be found here. A special addition to this year’s event is the “Show of Awesome,” a 40-vendor craft show on Saturday, June 19, at Doug Fir Lounge.


    May 13, 2010

    New Juice Glasses

    We've been getting requests for small, everyday juice glasses for a while, and we decided to finally make some. These 5oz glasses are so cute, I just want to carry them around and use them for everything!

    3.5" (9cm) tall, 2" (5cm) across the mouth, holds 5 oz (148ml) of liquid goodness

    They're sandblasted by my husband and myself in our home studio. The stencils are handmade, created from my original artwork (and Mary Kelly's original Robo-Dino artwork), and applied by hand. The etched designs are permanent, and the glasses are sturdy and dishwasher-safe, initialed on the bottoms.

    They're only $12 each, available in any quantity on our website and Etsy shop, with discounts for buying them in sets. Enjoy!


    May 11, 2010

    Scottish Bagpiper Glasses

    I've been working hard to get the new dinosaur designs into production (in case you missed the poll, we're going to be making T-Rex and Brontosaurus glasses very soon!), but there are a lot of custom projects that have been keeping me busy as well.

    A lot of personalized wedding glasses have just been mailed out, and I just finished a Father's Day request for a set of Scottish bagpiper pint glasses. This isn't a design I would have come up with on my own, but it was really fun to turn this concept into my own creation. I also had the pleasure to work with a fabulous customer who really gave me the freedom to work in my own style. It's one of those things that make this the best job ever!

    I also got to use my new Wacom drawing tablet (another early birthday present from my dad--thanks, Dad!!). I don't know how I ever worked without it. I used to sketch on paper, using tracing paper, filling things in with markers or calligraphy pens, and then scanning it into Photoshop to spend hours "fixing" and smoothing all the lines. Now, I can create my artwork directly in Illustrator, with my left hand, no less! Excellent.

    We charge custom design orders by the hour now, and this has significantly sped up the process for me, which makes everyone happy. I still went over the initial estimate I gave the customer (by about half), but I didn't charge her for it, and I feel really good about the results.

    Custom orders are the soul of our business, and this new tablet just makes it so much more enjoyable for me. I still like drawing with "real" tools, but I'm all about embracing technology like this. If you're an artist who works digitally a lot, you should consider getting a drawing tablet. They take a little getting used to, but it's so much faster!


    May 6, 2010

    Super Secret Scott Pilgrim Party!

    Sometimes, I have the opportunity to work on super secret projects that I'm not allowed to talk about. My friends at New England Comics in Allston, MA (which, incidentally, is the home of The Tick, and where I used to sell my original little comic book series) have been organizing a big launch party for the release of the final volume of the Scott Pilgrim comics by Bryan Lee O'Malley.

    Volume 6, "Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour" comes out July 20th, and the film based on the comics (starring Michael Cera--which will be awesome) comes out August 13th, so there's quite a bit to celebrate. Watch the trailer for the movie here. Oh, and there's also going to be an 8-bit style video game.

    You can't tell, but I've been essentially bouncing with excitement over all this magical SP-goodness since I got asked to work on this project! The event seems to be getting bigger and bigger as things come together and the ever-amazing Michelle wrangles it all together.

    I still can't talk details, but I can say that I'll be designing something rad based on the Scott Pilgrim comics (which you should totally read), and that I'll be wanting very badly to be in Boston this summer when the party happens. I'll post more info when I'm allowed to release it, and the NEC website will also share news when it gets closer to the date. Read some comics!


    Tea Time

    Community is sometimes hard to find, so I know how lucky I am to have friends in the crafty community here in Portland, whom I see pretty regularly. I'm hosting a PDX Etsy team Tea Time at our house next Wednesday, May 12th, from 11am-3pm, so we can all catch up now that the big Crafty Wonderland Spring Sale is over.

    If you're a member of the PDX Etsy team, check the Tea Time thread in our message board to get directions to my new address. If you're not a member of the team, then why not host your own tea time to gather some friends for an afternoon of gossip and bonding? Taking time out of our busy schedules is absolutely necessary for making those personal connections that often spur on a bout of inspiration!

    The photo above was taken at the last PDX Etsy Tea Time, at Mary Kelly's house. Check out the little yellow cream pitcher that Sean and I made her as a housewarming present! Her Robo-Dino artwork looks great on all our products, and I knew we had to make give her something special with that little guy on it.


    May 4, 2010

    RJD2 Live at Moog

    I love keyboards. I love video game music. I love this version of the Mario Bros. theme song by RJD2.

    The videos from the Live at Moog series are making my day. Have a listen to RJD2, Amanda Palmer and (presumably soon) Umphrey's McGee playing in the Moog studio, in Asheville, NC. Even more bands are lined up for this, so I'm going to check back later for more synthy goodness.


    April 27, 2010

    Crafty Wonderland's Spring Sale

    Crafty Wonderland's Super Colossal Spring Sale!
    Saturday, May 1st + Sunday, May 2nd
     at The Oregon Convention Center, Hall D 
    (777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR) 
    from 11am-5pm
    FREE * All Ages

    Our first event of the year is coming up this weekend! We'll be at booth #89, between Crafty and Knotpile. We'll be debuting our newest juice glasses, plus we'll have an assortment of fused glass jewelry, all our most popular tumblers, soap dispensers, oil & vinegar bottles, and super discounted less-than-perfect items.

    Check out the other reasons to come to the Super Colossal Spring Sale:

    * 200 goodie bags stuffed with fantastic treats from local and national crafty businesses that will go to the first 200 shoppers through the doors - EACH DAY! That's right...200 bags on Saturday morning and 200 bags on Sunday morning!
    * Local craft supply super store, Collage, doing free workshops both days in the DIY area.
      (a complete schedule is below)

    * The lovely folks from Hello Craft running their Make Something Awesome area to help spread the word about the upcoming Summit of Awesome.
    * Crafty super star Mark Montano will be signing books and leading a craft project in our DIY area!

    * A fancy event program featuring a fun craft project, an interview with a local crafty superstar, and a full vendor list + map of the room!
    * Lots of food options - including vegan and vegetarian options.

    * Space to sit and relax between shopping and crafting!


    April 24, 2010

    Send Me Your Badger Artwork

    Back in high school, my goal in life was to become a tattoo artist. I bought a whole kit of tattoo equipment (including an autoclave to keep things sterile, of course), and I practiced on grapefruit for a long time. I did eventually tattoo a terrible tribal thing onto my calf when I was 16, and I gave some not-so-great kanji symbols to my friends.

    I gave up on the tattoo artist idea a long time ago, but I've still been collecting body art whenever it's affordable. I know that tattoos are an extravagant waste of money to some people, and a regret waiting to happen for others, but it's something that makes me feel good about myself--putting artwork onto my body for everyone to see--and I rarely spend money on myself otherwise.

    Not all of my tattoos have stories behind them, but my next one certainly will. I've been especially frugal for all the years since starting Bread and Badger, and I'm finally feeling like the business is successful enough that I can afford to celebrate it with a tattoo. I've made my appointment with a local artist (Lew at Atlas Tattoo) for late June, so I have plenty of time to get my artwork ideas worked out.

    A lot of my Twitter followers wanted to share their tattoo artwork ideas with me, so I'd love to see what you guys have got! There are no guarantees that I will actually get your artwork as my tattoo, but I'd love some inspiration.

    I'm planning to get a badger (naturally) on my forearm, opposite my purple and blue knitting tattoo. I'm thinking it should be a semi-traditional style with bold black outlines to complement the yarn design. Since honey badgers are my favorite, I'd like to get one of those, possibly fighting with a snake. I mean, it should be pretty badass, right? And they're impervious to viper's poisonous bites, so it would be symbolic of my little business succeeding in this tough economy.

    If you want to sketch out some ideas for me, send them this way! I'll post your drawings on the blog here, and let you know what I think. I'm totally open to suggestions (Lew thought I should have the badger and snake in cartoony wrestlers outfits, maybe even as luchadores). It's going to be fun, and colorful, and completely empowering!

    [The badger drawings shown are from the Wikipedia page about honey badgers (ratels).]


    April 21, 2010

    New Camera!

    My dad sent me an early birthday present this year, and it's a Canon EOS 10D camera! I've been using the same Nikon Coolpix 995 for the past 6 or so years, and it's done me well, but I've been itching for something with more capabilities.

    I've been playing with it for the past few days around the house and around Portland. It's amazing how nice the photos are turning out without being edited in Photoshop! The camera is quite heavy compared to my old one, so I'm having to build up some muscles to use it, but it's giving me some really nice results. Plus, the telephoto lens is capturing views of our house renovations that really show off the space. It's so exciting!


    April 20, 2010

    Zombie Apocalypse Teacups

    I've been pretty excited about these zombie teacups ever since I found them at the thrift store! I've been trying to do photoshoots with fake blood to get the flesh-eating zombie vibe down, but it's been harder than I expected. I thought our backyard would make a good backdrop for a zombiepocalypse wasteland, but it turned out looking like a teaparty in a slightly neglected garden.

    I might try to redo these photos another day with some props or something, but for now I'm pretty satisfied with this photo. What do you think?


    April 15, 2010

    Dinosaurs Rule the Earth

    Back when Sean and I went on vacation, I finally had some time to sketch out some new design ideas. One of them is going to have a steampunk theme, one is going to be a kitten, and one is going to be a dinosaur.

    The only problem with the dinosaur is choosing which one. I'm pretty sure everyone has a favorite from when they were a kid, or from reading a variety of current webcomics.

    In an effort to make some of the people happy all of the time, I decided to put a poll up to find out what most people's favorite dino species is. If there isn't a clear winner when I decide to tally up the results, then I'll just have to make an assortment to sell as a set.

    Vote for your favorite now, in the poll at the top of the right-hand column!


    April 9, 2010

    Salamander Sighting

    I've been working on cleaning our yard, since there's a huge pile of trash and rotting wood that the previous owners left back there. A large mound of wood was piled up under a tree, and grass and weeds have been growing over it, but I've been picking out the wood to level the ground again. Today, I discovered my first salamander!

    I think he/she's an Oregon Ensatina.

    The funny thing is that I totally thought I'd discovered a snake when I lifted a log and saw it's head! It's very lumpy, like a snake's, and not many salamanders seem to have that.

    Here's another website with info and great pictures of these guys:

    I guess I don't know much about salamanders, since I never expected to find one in my yard, in Multnomah County, nowhere near a body of water. I always thought they lived near rivers. Pretty cool! The beehive that's also in the wood pile is a little less cool.


    April 8, 2010

    2,000 Sales Celebration Giveaways!

    We've almost reached 2,000 items sold in our Etsy shop! As of my typing this, we've had 1993 sales, which is the year that my favorite album of all time came out: Siamese Dream. If you consider that most of the "items" that we sell are actually sets of 2 or more glasses, then we've probably sold around 4,000 products on Etsy since opening shop on July 5th, 2007. Wow!

    To celebrate this big milestone, I've decided to give away some extra special fused glass jewelry and brand-spanking new BADGER shot glasses for each sale up to our 2,000th. None of these products have been available for sale online before, so you'll be the coolest kid on your block (and possibly your whole state) if you get one.

    Purchase something now to get one of these free gifts! Thanks for helping us get this far!

    [Fine print: I'll choose the gift that you receive, and the gifts are subject to availability, but I'm open to suggestions if there's something you'd prefer. Fused glass jewelry incorporates an assortment of my original designs, includes pendants, rings and hair clips, and comes in red, turquoise and olive green. Badger shot glasses come in round cobalt blue or clear square shapes. Also, the retail value of your gift will be of equal or lesser value than your purchase, but I'll throw in some extras if you spend over $50 or buy more than one item. Mmmkay?]


    April 5, 2010

    Not Amused

    Right now, we're working on a custom order of shot glasses for a memorial party that's happening this Friday, so we're rushing them out! Sean drew guidelines on the glasses with a gold paint marker so he can line up the text properly when applying the stencils.

    After he'd drawn all the lines, he said, "I'm sitting in front of a table full of shot glasses that are clearly not amused with me." I had to sit down to see what he was talking about, but he was right!


    April 3, 2010

    Vacations Make the Mind Grow Stronger

    Sean and I took a spontaneous vacation last week, to visit family in Nevada. It's about a 17 hour drive down there, so we turned our escape into an excuse for a roadtrip. So much more fun than flying!

    It was just a couple days of hanging out, reading books and relaxing. Exactly what I needed! We saw so many different landscapes and weather patterns along the way, that it really felt like we'd left our busy lives behind for awhile.

    I keep trying to take at least one full day off from work every week, but it's nearly impossible. There's always some project that I decide to work on, and before I know it, the day's over. No matter how much work needs to get done, there's nothing more rejuvenating than a serious break. I'll have to keep reminding myself of that, as time goes on.

    I had time to draw in my sketchbook, (which hasn't happened in ages!) and I'm already working on some new designs for summer. I've got a T-Rex design in the works, and I'm considering adding another dinosaur to keep him company. Any favorites I should consider? I'm thinking of something really iconic, like a stegosaurus, or triceratops. I'm also working on a cat design, since they're basically the best pets in the world (if you disagree, then I'm sorry to say that you are just WRONG). Mr. Kitty might end up looking very distinguished with a top hat and mustache.... I've also got a top-secret steampunk idea that is being developed. Stay tuned!

    You can see more photos from our journey on our Flickr page: (or just click one of the photos above). We went to Red Rock Canyon, and saw snow in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. There were lots of tumbleweeds.


    March 22, 2010

    The Slackers

    Originally uploaded by Stoic Manifesto
    When I was a teenager, I was convinced that I hated ska music. I just didn't like horns. I blame it on a traumatic experience in elementary school, involving me trying to play the trombone.

    At some point, after listening to mixtape after mixtape in friends' cars, I finally started picking out things that I liked. I'm still not a third-wave fan, but I've come around to the Way of the Horn. The only band that I still can't stop listening to is The Slackers.

    They're not even ska, really. I mean, they're a modern rocksteady band from NY, heavy on the "rock". Even though their songs make me want to dance and sing along, it's the melancholia of the lyrics that really won my heart. And it has nothing at all to do with the fact that Vic Ruggiero looks smashing in a porkpie hat.

    I've missed The Slackers every time they toured, usually because I was traveling on exactly the day they rolled through town, or I was broke. Not this time! In two days, I'll be at Mississippi Studios in Portland, getting to see my favorite ska-band-that-isn't-really-a-ska-band, for the first time.

    If you're in town, SEE THEM. If not, buy their stuff. I especially love their album 'Wasted Days', and they've got cheap downloads from Whatevski Records (or Itunes or Amazon). The absolute best part of their website is that you can listen to samples of every single song! Hear a sample of Rude and Reckless right now, (from the 'Redlight' album), but keep in mind that these mp3's don't do the songs justice at all. Get a whole album, already.



    March 15, 2010

    Free Zombie Bottle Giveaway!

    We're sponsoring for the month of March by giving away Zombie Apocalypse recycled glass spout bottles to two lucky winners. I would love for these prizes to go to our blog readers, so get over there and enter! You can even submit an entry every day until April 1, 2010 to increase your chances of winning.

    These recycled glass bottles are perfect for syrup, oil & vinegar, sauces, dish soap, or as a vase! They each come with a classy metal pour spout, which has a side vent to make pouring smooth and easy.

    Here's a direct link to the giveaway page. You'll have to create a login if you don't already have one. Visit their site for more info and more chances to win cool stuff.

    If you want to pick up a bottle (or two) of your own, you can purchase them from our website or Etsy shop right now.


    March 14, 2010

    New Mugs and Stemware

    March is traditionally one of our slowest months of the year, but that just means we've got more time to make stuff! I recently bought a whole bunch of mugs, teacups with saucers and champagne flutes from the thrift store, which we sandblasted with a whole assortment of images.

    I've been listing them in our Etsy shop for the past few days, and one of the champagne flute sets has already sold! I'll be shopping for more stemware and mugs soon, to try to keep them in stock all the time. Sometimes they're really hard to come by, though. Matching glassware in good condition (without a bank logo or something on it) is hard to find. Also, you'd be amazed how many chipped or broken-handled mugs end up at thrift stores. I spend HOURS carefully scrutinizing items before I buy them secondhand. But I think it's totally worth it, don't you?

    Since we had to move all our furniture for the carpet installation in our house, I had the opportunity to do some reorganizing of our inventory. The exciting thing is that I found a box with 4 brand new wine glasses in it, which I didn't even know we had! I promptly put mustaches on them and listed them in our Etsy shop as well.


    No, it doesn't match the drapes

    I feel really guilty that I haven't posted anything here in a long time, but business has been slow and Sean and I have been focusing on home improvements that desperately needed to happen. The most exciting thing was our carpet installation, which was finally possible after our strong and considerate friends helped us move the gargantuan wood stove out to the garage.

    Now our house is cleaner and doesn't echo everywhere! We bought new socks as a celebration gift, since all our old socks have holes in them from being worn on the rough sub-floors for 6 months.

    I took lots of photos, in case you'd like to check out our renovation progress on the house (Flickr). We've also been planting vegetable gardens in the yard, and removing all the overgrown blackberry bushes. There's still a lot left to do before the yard and house are the way we'd like them, but things get better every week!


    March 5, 2010

    Drinking Vinegars

    I first discovered the exciting beverage world of drinking vinegars when some friends took me to Pok Pok, a Thai restaurant in Portland which immediately became my favorite. If I remember correctly, drinking vinegars are actually a Japanese thing, but the adventurous owners of Pok Pok just had to share them, because no other restaurant was.

    I think the flavor I tried that first day was boysenberry, but plum is now my new favorite. Every trip to the Asian supermarket (Fubonn, here in Portland) has me searching for the best brands. They tend to be popular, and sell our very quickly.

    Just mix 1-2 oz. with some club soda, and you've got a fabulous non-alcoholic cocktail that doesn't taste like it'll rot your teeth or make you crave the hard stuff.

    After photographing these bottles, I noticed the little slogans for each flavor:

    "Plum aroma, sweet and sour taste that moisture your throat and quench your thirst."
    "Lemon keep youth, beauty and maintain healthy."
    "Scent of strawberry is just like the scent of happiness and sweet love."

    Each label ends with:
    "Sweet and sour, refreshing taste, it gives you a new experience in love."

    Tastefully put.

    [The cup, by the way, is one of the silk-screened hi-ball glasses that Urban Outfitters made with my artwork on them.]


    March 1, 2010

    I Heart Art PDX + My Day with Visitors from

    This past Friday was the first I Heart Art gathering here in Portland, set up as a meet 'n greet networking event for locals to meet each other and learn more about the group. There was quite a bit of networking going on between the 500+ attendees!

    If you're unfamiliar with I Heart Art, it's basically a big collaboration between, PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art), the PDX Etsy team (sellers on Etsy), and other local groups that want to offer resources and business opportunities to students, Etsy sellers, and the general public. There will be FREE monthly professional development workshops, one of which I'll be teaching in August!
    The day after the meet 'n greet event, Vanessa and Morgan (from headquarters in New York) met with Christine Claringbold and me at the Trillium Artisan store to discuss a potential partnership with the Trillium Artisans Etsy team. I'm super excited about the prospects of this collaboration! Christine outlined some great goals that will help our team enormously.
    After our meeting, I brought Morgan and Vanessa over to Sword + Fern, which is a rad brick & mortar boutique run by fellow-Trillium member, Emily Baker. I couldn't stop photographing the rainbow-colored origami decorations she has around her shop! Emily has tons of stunning artifacts in every nook and cranny of her store, but I kept being drawn back to the bright colored paper.
    For lunch, I brought the ladies over to the food carts on 12th and Hawthorne for some crepes. Really, what trip to Portland would be complete without eating at food carts? They're all over our city, and everyone has a favorite. My crepe had figs, prosciutto, chevre and honey. So good!
    Spending the day with Morgan and Vanessa was such a great opportunity to learn more about Etsy's goals with I Heart Art, and to share some of my personal feelings on things. I feel like my voice was heard, which is sometimes hard in a group of over 4 million users. Since the majority of my business income comes from my Etsy shop, it's extra important to stay in touch with their company. I can't wait to see what else is on the horizon!


    February 18, 2010

    Lulu Bonanza

    My friend, Michelle (a.k.a. Lulu Bonanza), works at New England Comics in Allston, MA. We used to frequent the comic shop as much to buy comics as to hang out with the super friendly employees. Michelle's enthusiasm is completely infectious, and she always has lots of recommendations for every genre, age and interest. She's never steared me wrong!

    I'm thrilled that Michelle has started her own blog to publish her videos about comics: They're silly and she admits that they're "a little odd", but that's why I love them! She's not doing this because she's getting paid for it, or anything like that. She's just sharing her love of comics, which shines through beautifully.

    Go, Lulu Bonanza! <3

    Also, she's totally right about Bone, by Jeff Smith. Read it! Get it from your local comic book purveyor, or


    February 13, 2010

    Die Antwoord

    Die Antwoord (which means "The Answer" in English) is a South African rap group, the likes of which I've never seen before. Never has a mullet looked so hot on a girl (or anyone, for that matter). I love their fashion, their "next-level" beats, and their rhymes.

    Read more about the band's origins in this BoingBoing article that came out earlier this month, and read the mind-blowing (extremely nsfw!) lyrics to the song "Beat Boy". Their album, $o$, isn't available yet, but you'd better believe that I'll be buying it when it's out.

    The video below is "Enter the Ninja", which is extra awesome because Yo-Landi is singing a version of the song, "Butterfly" from Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3.

    20 FUN FACTS ABOUT DIE ANTWOORD [from their website]

    1-NINJA, YO-LANDI and DJ HI-TEK made all their music, music videos, video stings, photos, and this next-level interwebsite all on their own with the help of some good friends.

    2-NINJA was in many weird rap groups before DIE ANTWOORD: The Orginal Evergreens, Max Normal, Fantastic Kill, and Total Confusion on Planet Phunk to name a few. Then one day NINJA tapped into his inner zef and discovered DIE ANTWOORD.

    3-NINJA has a secret fairy forest tattoo on left arm that he covers with bass.

    4-Just to clear up the rumors: NINJA and YO-LANDI are not in a relationship. They are just good friends. NINJA says: Relationships are fickle, like the relationship you are having with your body.

    5-Yo-landi's mom cuts her hair, but she gets her hair dyed at SCAR HAIR. Yo-landi says: It's always important to remember your roots.

    6-This next fun fact is dedicated to all the confused retard people out there who hate DIE ANTWOORD but can't stop watching their interweb videos every single fokkin day of their boring lives. DIE ANTWOORD put Puma & Jagermeister logos onto this next-level interwebsite because Puma gives DIE ANTWOORD free clothes and free shoes and Jagermeister gives DIE ANTWOORD free dop. Puma and Jagermeister did not give us money to make DIE ANTWOORD. DIE ANTWOORD was created from nothing using alot of blood, sweat and tears.

    7-NINJA likes Dolfins.

    8-YO-LANDI likes sexy boys with no front teeth.

    9-DJ HI-TEK likes his PC Computer.

    10-ZEF is a unique South African term that has been around for fuck knows how long. This term was made famous 10 years ago by a next-level interwebsite called

    11-NINJA, YO-LANDI and DJ HI-TEK started DIE ANTWOORD because of WAT KYK JY?

    12-JACK PAROW is DIE ANTWOORD'S duk gang$ta kung-fu panda chommie.

    13-The 1st time NINJA saw JACK PAROW'S fat rap cap he got goose bumps.

    14-YO-LANDI rocks more bling than C3PO.

    15-YO-LANDI's best friend is KIMPOSSIBLE who lives in Mitchell's Plain.

    16-DJ HI-TEK is a shape-shifting alien from another dimension.

    17-NINJA does not sit like a doos with a koki pen and draw every single one of his tattoos on in the exact same identical place every time he has to be in a photo or a music video or a rap show you fuckin idiot, or wait...maybe he does. Jissis!

    18-DIE ANTWOORD are busy blowing up faster than the speed of light because they are the freshest, most futuristik rap-rave crew in the world.

    19-DIE ANTWOORD raps for the Chosen Ones.

    20-Anyone who doesn't like DIE ANTWOORD is a poes.


    February 8, 2010

    Skynet Symphonic

    This video is awesome not only because Terminator 2 is one of my all-time favorite movies, but also for the strange coincidence that I happened to watch it last night before discovering this (via Laughing Squid).

    Pogo has also remixed clips from other classic films such as Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, and more.

    Check out his website and YouTube channel.


    February 1, 2010

    Micachu & the Shapes

    A friend of mine recently sent me a mix CD of a whole bunch of bands she thought I might like. I do have pretty wide musical tastes, but I've been in an "experimental" phase for a while now. I like music that pushes boundaries with the instruments they use (bonus points for homemade instruments, especially of the electronic variety), the chaotic noises they make, and the sometimes loose definition of singing that they employ. But it's still gotta be pop music.

    While listening to this mix CD, I was nodding my head as each band played, weighing their merits in my head. When I got to Micachu and the Shapes, I immediately had to listen to it again. And again. And again. I stuck all their songs on repeat and called it a day.

    [Here's a live version of my favorite Micachu song, "Curly Teeth"]

    Sure, I like moody, angry, bob-your-head introspective stuff. But there's nothing like a song that actually makes me want to get out of my seat, jump around, and then look up the band online to find out how they made that noise.

    I don't know a lot about 22 yr. old front-woman, Mica Levi, except that she's a classically trained musician from the U.K., and I want to listen to everything she's ever created. She made a bowed instrument out of a CD rack, fer chrissake!

    [Check out more from Micachu and the Shapes on Myspace:
    I strongly encourage you to search for more songs and videos around the web. There seem to be quite a few.]


    January 29, 2010

    Valentine Giveaway!

    From now until Feb. 14th, any purchase of $25 or more (not including shipping) will receive a FREE "I Heart Music" Recycled Glass Corked Bottle, while supplies last.

    It's a roly poly bud vase! Or a perfect gift, if you fill it with candy. Or a keepsake bottle, great for displaying colored sand, glitter, or your favorite spice mix. You could use it as a scented oil diffuser... There are so many possibilities!

    We have lots of offbeat Valentine's Day gifts, especially if you're searching for the ever-elusive "guy gift".


    January 28, 2010


    It's Thursday. That means you need kittehs! Triana is turning into a teenager with lots of attitude, so I've been taking lots of photos.

    Oh, and if you feel like browsing, I created a clearance section in my Etsy shop for all the sale stuff. And I marked down the retired pint glasses and soap dispensers to 40-50% off. In case you need something non-fuzzy to peruse.

    These are my favorite cat photos that I've taken recently, but I have more on Flickr.

    Triana got into our chalk line, and wound up with red chalk on her face and paws for about a week.


    January 27, 2010

    Homegrown Mushrooms

    Sean's mom sent him three different mushroom growing kits for his birthday last fall, and we've been doing our best to care for them. It looks like we're only going to get one shiitake from this batch, but it's been expanding like mad the past few days. The picture above shows it 4 days ago, and the one below is from this morning.

    We have a bucket full of "Espresso" button mushrooms (which required a couple lbs. of spent coffee grounds to grow), which are multiplying, but still don't really have caps yet.

    The third mushroom is for making tea, but I forget what it's called. I love that it's growing straight through the side of the plastic bag it came in!

    You can buy your own mushroom growing kits from Fungi Perfecti, which is where ours came from. If you want to see more pictures of our mushrooms, I put them up on Flickr.


      © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

    Back to TOP