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.


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