Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Honored By Thy Neighbor

You ready to get sappy?  Personal?  It's about to happen so steel yourselves.

When we moved in to the shop in April of this year, everyone and their momma (as well as my own momma) gave me grief about the somewhat unorthodox location.
The owner of the building is a bully and a blowhard, the surrounding area is industrial on its best day and lousy on its worst.

But the thing that stood out the most was the neighboring shop.

A tattoo parlor.

So I marched over to meet my neighbor.  Big tough dude, all tatted up.

Said he went by J-Rock but that I could call him Jason.

Let's be honest.  We perceive those we see by their outer appearance, don't we?
To some degree, we do.
Even if we are better than that, even if we are as evolved as we think. 
Even if we are peace, love, and understanding.  We do. 
It's human nature and it's kind of a gross part of the human condition.
I'm here to tell you something.
 For every "difference" we may see, there are are many more similarities.
Inside each person?  A story, a heart, and goodness.
There are lessons to learn from someone different from us if we are lucky enough to get to know them.
Over the last six months there is no one person that has been more of a friend to my shop, no one that has looked out for us the way that Jason has. 
He has moved furniture, delivered a giant old window for one of my customers, blushed when accidentally swearing in front of my mom, commiserated about lack of signage, picked up my tiny signs when they've fallen down, brightened our day with his (and his adorable dog Buddha's)presence. 

When I went out of town over the summer, he not only was the person that I trusted with my one set of shop keys and alarm fob, he was the one person I knew would show up to deliver the keys to the person working the shop for me.  On his day off.

All while being a big tough dude, all tatted up.

And in a few days, our shop's best buddy, is leaving and on to greener pastures.

In a few days I leave for Southern California to help my beloved aunt clear my grandparent's home.  We lost Grandma in January and Grandpa a very short time later. 
They are so loved and missed...this trip will not be an easy one.  Losing them was the catalyst for the dream of this shop to become a reality.  Life isn't long, I thought to myself, better do it. 
Do it for them.
I wish they were here every day and not just as a picture on the shop's wall.

So today, in honor of them, my friend Jason gave me my first and only tattoo. 

My friend Cindy came with and got her third.

My tattoo is on my inner arm and it's my Grandma's actual handwriting from the very last Christmas card she would send me.

Now I can look at her handwriting everyday and know that they are with me every step of the way.
And I also know that there is no one else I would have trusted to do this for me.
I am blessed to have had the opportunity to start this business with a neighbor unlike any other.
Helpful, awesome, talented, and wonderful.

If you are looking to have work done by a really amazing artist and even better person, go see J-Rock at his new location in Tacoma starting November 1st.
You can find his business BTU TATTOO here.

 It won't hurt a bit.  Promise!


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Handmade Gorgeousness and a Rant.

No matter how many talented, artistic, amazing people I meet and have the privilege of knowing...
...I am always so impressed by what people are capable of.
A new line of gorgeous handwoven scarves and cowls by Inga of Dunthor Design is in shop, here are just a few of her pretties:

"Autumn" favorite!
I mean, how cute, right?  :)
Inga also does these fantastic wire wrapped bracelets.   

Another new designer is in our midst as well, her name is Desiree and she's pretty dang awesome.
Hotsy and fancy faceted necklace.

Gorgeous bracelets too!
Love our collection of bracelets by Amy!
There's lots of her cuteness in shop!
 Michelle of Shell's Beads is always amazing
New necklaces now in!
 Her hand beaded rings are killer.
Another new necklace...Love.
And check out the funky fun from Jennifer!!
PBR tab bracelets?  Yes please!! 

Great big crocheted Tiki God? 
I heart all things quirky.
Cool stuff!  Right?
I am astounded by the very originality and beauty in each piece.
So now, will you allow me a rant?
If not, stop reading here and have a great day!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Design Challenge: Injecting Personality Into Your Home

Design Challenge

Injecting Personality Into Your Home

Is your house suffering from a "brown out".
Do you worry about what "goes"?
Are you color averse?
Got a big, blank GIANT wall?
I hear a lot of these struggles every day.  Lovely people yearning for color, suffering from a case of the blase', needing that special "something" that makes their house their home.
So let's tackle some common probs.
Here we go!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Knob Job


Ok, maybe get your minds out of the gutter for a sec. 

This is all about re purposing something cool and random into something cool and useful.

Re purposing items may be a hot trend but oftentimes necessity is truly the mother of invention.
With a side order of fortuity.
Our story begins with a Craigslist dresser that I wanted to give an aged grey French look. 
He was named (in a moment of wax fume impairment) Francey Pants le Buffet.
Say it like Phoebe from Friends' last name.


In great shape, this piece had only one problem:  it was missing the hardware on the center cabinet door.
The missing cabinet pull...where did it go? Was it eaten by a dog? Was it eaten by a frog? And by "frog" I mean that in the ribbit sense, not the derogative for French citizens sense.
Since this piece was being painted to look, like, super old, I wanted something super old and cool for the cabinet door.
*Sidenote on this piece. It was a different look and project for me at the time. Four different paint colors and all kinds of antique gels and dark wax.
 I looked at it one day and thought, "You remind me of something".
But what?
 I'll tell you what.
 Acid. Washed. Jeans.
  I convinced myself, convulsed, and was mortified. I kept stepping away and trying to "new eye" myself into a different conclusion but just couldn't. I needed a true new eye.
Enter friend, fellow painter, and shop contributor Denniel. I told her the piece reminded me of something but since I didn't want to cloak her fresh eyes in the same bad denim I kept seeing, I didn't mention what I was seeing.
"Hmm," she says. "Well....", she says.
"It kinda looks like an old gravestone," she finally says.
Cue the choir and hallelujah!  I'll take death markers over acid washed jeans any day.*
Ok, back to the point. 
 I could not for the life of me find a store bought knob or pull that worked.  And a one hole center set up is tricky for mounting.
I looked through everything in my box of tricks and found... nothing. Then, mayyyyybe something. 
Not a knob, not a pull.
But this:

An antique iron match holder.
 I had purchased that little fella at an estate sale earlier that month and hadn't put it in the shop yet.  So there it sat, waiting for a home.
Wouldn't it be cool if I could use it on Francey?? 
I looked at the back of this old black beauty and found that it was actually two pieces screwed together.
So what else is there to do but unscrew the screw?
Now THIS, this would work!  It just needed paint. 
And I could use that original screw to attach this piece to the cabinet door.
Lookie, a hole!
And it attached like a charm, the curves even matched the shape of the door!
Now this looks like it was meant to be.
And voila!
Francey Pants Le Buffet was complete.
I'm happy to report he found a lovely and immediate home with a fantastical family.
 Now to find the perfect piece to utilize the other half of that match holder...
waste not!
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