Renegade Craft Fair: Holiday Sale in San Francisco

I drop out of touch every year around this time. It's not on purpose, it's because I'm spending every spare moment printing and hustling my wares. It's the most wonderful time of the year! Come see the fruits of my labor, including rad new designs and sale items at the Renegade Craft Fair this coming weekend, December 17th and 18th. The Heated and This Humble Abode are sharing booth #162! at the Concourse Exhibition Center (635 8th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103-4901) on December 17th and 18th, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm.See you there.


Heart in High Heels

This particular event is pretty rad because it features all women artists and designers. It's happening this Friday, November 18th at 31 Rax (3309 Mission Street, SF), kicking off at 6:00 pm. Not only will I be there, I'll be offering a selection of towels at 30% off. 30% off, people! 


Chair Repair

We've been slowly putting together a dining set over at our house. A few months ago we found some chairs in need of some love on craigslist. A friend re-covered the worn out seats. In the meantime, we had scored a table from a store in Santa Cruz and our dining set was almost complete. Then, a day after our chairs came back re-covered, padded and looking great, one of the chairs snapped. I wasn't too surprised and I had already noticed that two of the chairs had already snapped in the same exact position. Luckily, I have the skills and tools to fix such a crack.

Here's the chair.

I used a knife and these paint brushes to get the glue into tight spots.

Here's the crack itself, held open with a screwdriver.

Here is a dry run of the clamping process. Whenever you're gluing something, always do a dry-clamp first. I taped that piece of wax paper resting on the seat in place around the leg, just in case I spilled some glue.


You can see that I used enough glue by the way it's gushing out of the crack. Also, those little wooden blocks are to protect the surface of the chairs from getting marked up from the clamps. I also wrapped the wooden blocks in packing tape so they wouldn't stick to the glue.

Good as new!

Barely noticeable, right?


Be Mission Market

Mission Local is a great local blog that covers all the important shootings in my neighborhood! I kid, I kid. They cover a wide range of topics and I read their blog on a regular basis. So, I'm pretty excited to be a part of their new marketplace, the Be Mission Market, where they sell products from vendors based in San Francisco's Mission District. You can check it out here: http://missionlocal.org/bemission/


Low Horse

I've talked a bit about how I switched my office job's old desk with a standing desk. I had hoped that this stool would allow me to rest my feet on the lower rung when I wasn't sitting on it but there wasn't enough room for my knees to fit underneath the seat. I remembered seeing a project via Make a while back for some low saw horses and I decided to just make one as a foot rail. This was my first attempt at doing joinery with hand tools only. I learned a lot and the project turned out just fine. Here's the tutorial from Make if you're interested: http://makeprojects.com/Project/Low-Horses/813/1

As with any project, careful measuring in the beginning will save you heartache in end. I had just sharpened my chisels so this was a great project to try them out on.

Here are the feet before I carved them. I just used some simple pine 2x4s I had lying around.

Here is the glue-up of the foot and the rail.

One of my joints fit perfectly. The other? Not so much but it still held together after the glue-up.
If this was something that I was going to use in my shop, I would have taken the time to really smooth those rounded edges but since this is something that I'm using in my cubicle to put my feet on, I took some liberties.

Here's my set-up. My keyboard and mouse are on a (very fancy) pull-out tray and now I can rest my feet on my standing rail all I want.


Mail Center

My wife and I have had this little crate as our mail center for a long time lying flat on a table in our hallway. We recently sold the hallway table and I realized that the crate didn't have to lay flat anymore. I used some copper wire wrapped around small nails to make sure the mail doesn't fall out. I ended up adding two more rows of wire after the initial two pictured below. I also gave it a good once-over with some sandpaper because you know I like it smooth.We've hung it up and it's been working perfectly for weeks now.


Total Furniture Failure

This post has more swears than usual. Please make a note of it.

In an effort to continue to improve my woodworking skills, I took a woodworking class at the Randall Museum this summer. I knew that I would be familiar with a lot of things we were going over but it has been a while since I'd been in a professional shop and wanted to gain some new skills.
     Unfortunately, the class was a total failure. Our class had ten students in it and we were all trying to do the same operations at once so each operation involved waiting and waiting for the other students to finish. Often, other students asked to go ahead of me, "just real quick". I always said yes even though any woodworker with even the smallest amount of experience will tell you, nothing happens quickly in woodworking. The class was titled "Zen and Sawdust" so I tried to get my zen on by not getting all bent out of shape with people cutting ahead of me. This proved to be a mistake.
     This was also the first time I felt like some of my classmates were sexist.This never happened at the woodworking classes at City College. But at the Randall Museum, there was a moment, standing at the table saw, where two guys stood there and gave me instructions. I was shocked. Number one, the advice they were giving me was unnecessary (which I know because I've been using a table saw for two years. I didn't tell my classmates I had experience because I didn't want to sound boastful but TWO YEARS OF EXPERIENCE). Number two, as this was happening, I thought, "They would never do this if I were a guy." I mean, I don't have proof of this, or anything but it just felt like bullshit to be in a class where we should all assume everyone is at the same level and have some people assume they knew more because of their gender. I hate that shit.
     I'd also like to say that the safety training was extremely lacking. On the last night of class, I was giving two classmates instructions on how to use the table saw. My advice was to stay to the left of the blade and to not move your left hand at all. One of my classmates said, "I don't know. It seems like if it was going to kick-back, it will fling the board off to the left of the blade." I then watched him inch his left hand closer and closer, just begging the saw to take his fingers off. AND THIS WAS THE LAST NIGHT OF CLASS!!! There are now nine people who think they know how to use a table saw who actually have no idea. As a huge safety nerd, I find this completely unacceptable.
     So, fine. It was crowded, mildly sexist and not very safe. And yes, I missed one class. I asked if I could make up the class but was told not to worry about it because it would move faster if I was out of sync with the rest of the class. That turned out to not be the case ("just real quick") and when we got to the next to last class and my teacher said I might not have time to taper my table legs. So, I busted ass to get them ready to be tapered because that was literally the only operation in the class I hadn't done before and I wanted to learn SOMETHING. But the teacher didn't have time to help me so a classmate helped me taper the legs instead. This too proved to be a mistake.
     About halfway through the very last class, I realized that two of my legs were tapered incorrectly so my table wasn't even going to fit together. The teacher said he had some extra legs somewhere, then wandered off to help another classmate taper her legs correctly. I waited around for maybe ten minutes and talked to another classmate whose table was also not working out. Not only did was her table a complete failure because she also had to ask a classmate, rather than the teacher, for help, she had also noticed how bossy the males in the class were. In short, it was a complete waste of time and money. I didn't want a table. I wanted to know how to taper legs correctly. My only thought at that point was, "Fuck. This."  I gathered up my stuff and walked the hell out.
     So, if you're thinking of the Randall Museum for woodworking, perhaps consider City College first. It's free and superior in every way. You may have to be on a waiting list for a while, but it's so worth it. You can take the class four times too! For free! If I hadn't already taken it four times, I would be back there RIGHT NOW! "Furnituremaking and woodworking" is the name of the City College class and it's on the Evans campus. You can find it listed under "Construction"

Here's my $300 piece of shit. I've already started cutting it down into other things.

The Projector Cover

I'm pretty excited with how the cover for The Projector is shaping up. It's also the first time I've successfully screen printed paper, so that's exciting too!


Woodworking Takes Patience

Especially when you don't cut it right in the first place.


Summer Memories

Yeah, summer isn't officially over yet but I had such a great time camping with my family and friends in July that I got inspired for a new design. Like always, this comes on a flour sack dish towel, which in my mind is the only dish towel material worth having. It's my job to dry the dishes in our household so I actually know a thing or two about it. The flour sack is thin enough so that it actually absorbs the water and then it dries in a snap. Anyway, of course I'm biased. Allow me to introduce "Camper".


Art Final

Perhaps you recall that I took a basic drawing class earlier this year. Our final was to take a still from a film noir and draw it in charcoal. My teacher was really impressed that I went to the library and found an actual book with pictures, rather than just finding one on the internet. Yeah, I'm teacher's pet and I don't care who knows it. I think I picked up a lot of valuable skills from that class that I've already been able to use for The Heated.
Here's the film still I worked from.  The actress is Lily Carver and the film is called "Kiss Me Deadly".  I may just have to rent it.


Tickets For The Projector

I've got an idea for the album cover (you know, those 12 songs that I recorded last year, then mixed, added extra vocals to and whittled down to 9 songs). The album will be called The Projector and these tickets will play a part. Notice how the outside ring of tickets are tan and the inside ring of tickets are blue. That's because the sun bleached the heck out of them. I thought I was buying tan tickets but blue is good too.


The Mission Community Market

I'm vending at the Mission Community Market tomorrow (Thursday, August 11th). The weather is supposed to be lovely. Come on out to Bartlett Street and at 22nd Street in the Mission (duh). 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. They were kind enough to give me a little lovin' via their site today. Check it.


Stool For Standing Desk

A few weeks ago, I switched over to a standing desk at work. I've been actively working on correcting my posture for years now and feel that this is a step in the right direction. Plus, my butt cheeks have left permanent indentations in my office chair and that's just wrong. I've changed my schedule at work so that I'm down to only four days a week so the timing seemed right.
     But just as sitting for nine hours a day can't be good for me, neither can standing, so I picked this up at a thrift store over the weekend. When I'm not sitting in it, it's under my desk so I can use the ring around the bottom as a foot rest. 
     The new set-up really blew my co-workers minds. One woman seemed almost upset at the idea. It's weird when people react so strongly to something that does not affect them at all. I've joked about putting up a sign that says, "Ask me about my standing desk" because nearly everyone wants to talk about it when they first see it. So, be prepared for that if you want to make the change.
     My feet have been fine. The only thing that's caused me some discomfort is the back of my calves where they hit the backs of my knees. Who knew that little muscle did so much for standing?


Austin Trip

This Humble Abode and I went to Austin last week and right before I left, I decided to buy an iPod touch, mostly so that I could have a camera that connected directly to the internet. I didn't end up taking too many pictures while we were there but I'm pretty excited to be able to blog more regularly. My old digital camera has been a real trooper but the batteries run out after about ten pictures and it's a total pain in my ass. Plus, Angry Birds.
     Anyway, we stayed with our pals Natalie (who runs Miss Natalie) and Ben (who runs Salt and Time). A good time was had by all, despite the fact that is was over a hundred degrees every day we were there. It really made me appreciate the cool ocean breeze of San Francisco.

Jenny thought this sign was awfully suggestive.

Salt & Time at the HOPE Farmer's Market.



Women. They Rock.

Damn it, I hate that I forgot to post this earlier. What is my problem? At any rate, if you're around tomorrow (Saturday, August 6th), it's the WomenRock (a Bay Area women's music collective) has free music all afternoon/night long at the Box Factory (865 Florida Street, SF). I'm working the bar starting at 2:00 pm and playing a set at 6:00 pm. There will be dishtowels for sale too. You can come by and watch some rocking, then go out to dinner or something, really make a night of it. 


Speedball Knows Customer Service

When I was attempting to learn how to lino cut a few weeks ago, one of the cutters that came with the kit totally broke upon first use. I'm one of those curmudgeons who actually takes the time to write angry letter to my representatives so it shouldn't surprise you that I taped the broken cutter to a note explaining that it had broken and could they please send me a new one. Speedball sent me a whole box of them, which proves to me that they have got their customer service department together. Thanks, Speedball.


Indie Mart Next Sunday, July 24th

Renegade is clearly the biggest craft fair of the summer (and it went great!) but let me tell you that Indie Mart is nothing to sneeze at either. It's one day of well-selected local designers selling rad stuff on the street behind Thee Parkside in Potrero Hill. I've met some really cool people from this event. Plus, it will give you an excuse to shop and listen to bands (or DJs if that's your thing) while drinking and eating good food. So, it has everything! Say hi if you come by.


Renegade Prep

Last night we assembled a mock-up of our Renegade Booth (which will be booth #82, by the way) last night in our kitchen. Usually we merchandise while we're in the booth but this time, we actually planned where everything is going to go. It feels like we're getting it down. Renegade is this weekend (July 9th and 10th) so I should hope that we're at least somewhat prepared for it.

We've nicknamed the fixture with the window "Big Ben". Last week, I painted Big Ben black. I think he looks just fine in black.

I've got some new products and designs.


Guess what it says inside?


New Design!

I don't think I officially introduced everyone to my latest design, "Goldfish". Not too shabby, eh? You can get one online or you can swing by the Renegade Fair at Fort Mason on July 9th and 10th (and get some deals!).


Pride Show This Friday, June24th

That's right, Wild Side West (424 Cortland, SF 94110) is having me back, this time for a Pride Weekend Party. I'm on first at 8:00 pm and let me tell you that they are serious about this starting on time so get there! It's free and it will be a blast! Woo! Here's a flyer for the show. This flyer is extra-rad because I didn't even have to make it. Someone else did. Someone else! Someone else!


Renegade Craft Fair

It's Renegade Craft Fair time again! Myself and this humble abode will be sharing booth #82. It's worth noting that the summer fair is back at Fort Mason. This year, preparations have felt much less hectic than in the past. Much of that is due to the fact that this is the first year where I could afford to buy a ton of towels well in advance, so each time I printed a design, I was able to print for Renegade too. It took a few years but I knew that someday I would be able to get my production in line.

I have a new design to introduce at Renegade as well as a few new products to test out. I'm pretty excited to show you what I've got! More information and web flyers can be found here: http://www.renegadecraft.com/san-francisco


Learning Linocut

I've been wanting to learn how to do linocut for a while now. As a screen printer, I feel that it's important for me to have more than one trick up my sleeve and linocut seems like a simple enough way to expand my repertoire. So I dove right in.

I marked my cuts. This design is intended to be sea grass, by the way, for a nautically themed print I've been working on.

Then I got to carving. This part was really fun. I could see doing much more intricate designs in the future.

The inking of the stamp gave me the most trouble. I started out rolling it on this glass sheet I have but after much experimentation, I switched over to a piece of cardboard. You really need to get the ink rolling smoothly in order to create a clear print. After all that, you'd think I got a shot of the print but no, I didn't. The truth is that it looked really weird combined with screen printing. Oh well. At least I have the basics down. I have it on my to-do list to take a picture but I haven't posted in a while and it's starting to give me anxiety. Onward!