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.


January 25, 2010

Rediscovering the Drill

My friend, Leah, makes beautiful fused glass mobiles as indoor and outdoor kinetic art. A while ago, we collaborated on a couple of mobiles with my hand-engraved artwork on them. One of these sold almost immediately (it was all different shades of green, and had trees drawn on each glass piece), but the ocean critter mobile has been sitting around for awhile without love.

This one-of-a-kind project has finally found it's home! The customer wanted to swap out the shark and turtle designs that I'd already made, with an orca whale and starfish. Last weekend, I dusted off the trusty dental drill and got to drawing.

It's been a really long time since I hand-engraved something, and it was really fun to get back to my etching roots. Using the drill is definitely not efficient for production work, but it's incredibly satisfying to draw something right onto the glass.

Leah and I have decided to sell the shark and turtle pieces as suncatchers, on their own. I don't know what our next collaboration might be, but I'm kind of excited about doing more one-of-a-kind items by hand. What do you think about a new line of glass suncatchers?


January 19, 2010

Zombies and Pirates and Robo-Dinos, oh my!

We've had a whirlwind of a month so far, making tons of new things, and also trying not to overwork ourselves. We took our first day off since New Year's, and spent it hanging gutters (our house and garage came without them) and chopping down the overgrown lawn. Now it's back to photo shoots and updating our wholesale order form!

The Robo-Dino design is our first artist collaboration! Our friend, Mary, of Lollytots, is letting us use one of her most popular images for our new collection. If you're a fan of the Robo-Dino then please check out her shop. It's chock full of cuteness, bright colors and fuzzy hats that are perfect for ladies, gents and wee ones!

We've already added Zombie Apocalypse and Jolly Roger pints, double-old-fashioned glasses and soap dispensers to our Etsy shop, with shot glasses and new oil and vinegar bottles being listed throughout the week. (Shoot me an email or convo if you want something that isn't listed yet, and I'll get it online for you asap!)

If you're a current wholesale customer of ours, I'll be emailing our latest order form and line sheet to you really soon. If you'd like to become a wholesale customer of ours, please let me know you'd like to be added to the list.


January 13, 2010


Last week, I found out that one of Portland's beloved landmarks was closing its doors and relocating to southern California. The Velveteria is a museum of velvet paintings, both old and new, lovingly displayed alongside vintage ephemera and labeled with the museum owners' humorous notes. When I realized I was about to lose something I hadn't even enjoyed firsthand, I knew I had to go.

A few days after hearing this sad news, Garth of Extremecraft sent an open invitation to join him and his wife at the Velveteria. They were driving up from Eureka to visit it one last time. The place was packed with newcomers like us, getting their first visit before it left town, and old-timers who wanted to pay their respects. They called out their 500th ticket sold while we were there, saying they've never had this many visitors in one day before.

I was awestruck by the variety of paintings inside the museum (they don't allow photos beyond the entry room, so you'll just have to buy their book for more velvety eye-candy). I imagined that I'd see mostly big-eyed dogs and elvises, but there was so much more than that! There are some seriously talented and inspired artists who use black velvet as their medium.

I loved that the paintings were grouped by themes--y'know, Jesus, next to the virgin Mary, next to Mr. T. There was a shrine to Michael Jackson, with portraits depicting the pop icon in various stages of his life. They've even got a black light room, where you can view some of the art in ways that nature never intended.

Having just glimpsed a small portion of the Velveteria's larger collection, I'm disappointed that it's moving away. Locals like to claim the place as an example of "Keep[ing] Portland Weird." I say, Portland can be weird without the Velveteria, and maybe it's time to spread some of that kitschy inspiration to another city.


January 8, 2010

Custom Etching from Photos

We just started accepting custom orders again, after a long break that allowed us to make it through the holidays. The first project I got to work on was this set of pint glasses, based on a bunch of adorable photos. See how they're all wearing white t-shirts and black glasses?

 Most of the custom work I've done has been logos, or drawings and digital art that I've created from scratch. I don't think I've worked from photos since I was hand-engraving glass, but sandblasting creates an interesting new challenge. In order to create a workable stencil, I have to turn a photograph into a high-contrast black and white image, without losing the "soul" of the image. I like the way these look like they were taken from a gritty comic book, and I hope other people like them too!

If you'd like to order your own custom designs, contact me to get a price quote. All the ordering info is below.

We're working on releasing new products next week, like the Zombie Apocalypse design we showed off recently, and a new Jolly Roger pirate skull, plus rectangular bottles for oil and vinegar. The oil bottles were a huge hit at holiday events, and we love that they're made from recycled glass!

Our New Rates for Custom Etching:

$40 per hour of design work, with a $20 minimum for each order.

Hours are charged in 15 min. increments.

Design work includes research, original sketches, color conversion to solid black & white, digital retouching, tracing, vectorizing and any revisions you request.

Extra fees will apply if you'd like etching over an area larger than 3 inches wide by 4 inches tall, or on both sides of an item.

Prices of actual products and shipping are not included in the custom design fee. The number of items you'd like with your custom artwork on them will have no effect on the custom design fee.

Design work fees don't include the time it takes to make the actual sandblasting stencil we'll use, or masking the items, or the sandblasting itself, or any washing, packaging or otherwise handling of your awesome customized stuff. That's all covered in the product price, so nothing else unexpected will get tacked on, we promise.

We do not manufacture glassware items ourselves, so availability of colors and quantities is limited to what we can find.

Custom Ordering FAQ's

Q. What can I get for the $20 minimum fee?

A. 1) A line or two of text added to a glass, even if I have to download a new font for you. (I recommend dafont.com if you want to browse through there in advance. Script fonts or ones with fine lines or small details may not work well, but I can help you find alternatives once I know what style you're looking for.)

2) A logo or image already in b&w vector format.

3) A b&w logo or image in another format, which doesn't have too many details or fine lines. Some color photos can work well too, if you don't mind letting me convert them to line art for you. I'll let you know how simple your image will be to work with once I see it.

Q. What if I don't have any artwork, but I have a really great idea?

A. Then the time it takes could be anywhere from one hour to 3 hours, or longer. The more information you can give me from the beginning, the faster it will be to create your perfect design.

I can usually create something from scratch within an hour or two, but it can be time-consuming to create something that's outside of my artistic style. Describe your idea as clearly as you can, and please send any sketches or images you can find online that help illustrate your concept. I'll give you an estimate before I begin, and keep you updated if it looks like I'm going to go out of your budget.

Q. How do I pay for my custom order?

A. Once I know what you want, and we've agreed on an estimate, I'll send you a Paypal invoice which will include the price of the items you'd like etched, plus shipping, and the custom order charge. I won't be able to start working on your artwork until I've received this payment. (You can use any credit or debit card to pay through Paypal, or I can send an invoice through another credit card processor if you prefer. We no longer accept checks.)

If you'd prefer to pay a 50% deposit instead of all at once, I'll send you another invoice for the balance when your order is completed. Your order will be shipped after your full payment is received.

Q. How long will all of this take?

A. Most custom projects take about 1-3 weeks from concept to shipping date, depending on how quickly you respond to emails, send payments, and how complicated the design process is.

Shipping times are usually 2-3 business days for up to 4 pint glasses. We ship Fedex Ground for larger orders, which usually takes 3-10 business days.

Q. What's the deadline for placing my order?

A. We're expecting to have plenty of time through the spring to work on your custom projects, but we may have to stop taking requests as business picks up in the summer and fall. Custom work has been a huge part of our business, but our focus may change as our original designs and collaborative projects take off.


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