27 December 2011

Happy Christmas!!!

My Silly Family - taken by Sarah Cortes - Top Left (clockwise)
Sarah (sister), Me, Roger (boyfriend) with kitty & Lita (grandma)
What a wonderful holiday season, dudes! It's been ridiculously busy and I was struggling just to keep up. But I was so stoked to have this many awesome folks ordering nerdity for gifts this holiday!

Some of my new items ended up being hits at shows. I'd meant to actually have these gift sets ready to sell online in October, but Granny's heart troubles took priority over gift planning. So, I've extended the offer until the New Year! :D

Giant pile of Holiday Gift Sets - $36 USD each
These cute gift sets have my Mini Mario Items in Holiday Harmony - meaning at a savings! :D Some of the Sets include:

But I gotta say, the best seller this Holiday Season was one of my NEW DIY Nerdy Cross-Stitch Kits! Can you guess which one?

That's right!
Don't Be Poopy - Beginner Cross-Stitch Kit! - $18 USD
Making tons of these kits reminded me to be less of a poo when I was stuck crocheting all night. And at my holiday craft shows that I did after sleepless nights. And hanging out at my retail gig for..ev...errrr!

Anyway, just wanted to wish you all a Happy Holiday season and I hope that you're all doing awesome things with rad people!

Take care & remember to lay off being poopy. ;D

09 November 2011

Sorry for the radio silence: A Proposal

Every few months, I write the same thing: I'm sorry I've been so quiet, guys. It won't happen again.

But, as we can clearly see, it totally does.

Now, mainly what happens during this period of time is that my other commitments (you mean there's stuff you do other than nerd JERK?) get the best of me. This almost always totally blows, as my passion is really with my geektastic creations... and how to make them more nerdifyed.

However, this time it was different. I have a pretty good reason this time.

My grandma (affectionately known as Lita) at Wal-Mart
[P.S. She loves Wal-Mart]

My adorable grandma had a couple of heart attacks. I'm her full-time care-giver, so I'm supposed to be able to fix those, right? Well, the good news is we caught them in time and after a couple of procedures, she's on the mend in a rehab center.

So while she's getting better, I've got this gut-wrenching cold/flu/disease-from-hell that I still go to my retail job with during the week. And I've got social worker meetings to go to for my great-aunt (not to mention the phone calls from the same great-aunt about her sister in the hospital). And I've got a business to run.

Needless to say, I'm exhausted, so it only made sense that my body decided to give up and get super duper sick in the middle of all of this. But that doesn't mean I'm not trying to be awesome... somewhere on my insides.

What I wanted to say was thank you to all the homies that have stuck it out & are waiting for new content. :) I definitely wanna give it to you. But I wonder if I've made it kind of a big deal for myself to blog something. I mean, the content I put out is usually well-thought out and has tons of pictures (plus a purpose). But lately, I've been thinking about one of my big dreams back in the day... I wanna write a book.

This could be on the cover:
photo by Stefanie Renee
Cos, I mean, c'mon - who WOULDN'T wanna buy this book?! It's got Bestseller written ALL over it!

This picture (taken by my friend, Stefanie Renee) is the kind of person I really am, but don't show too often. I worry about what people will think of me (says the girl who makes crocheted toys for a living) instead of thinking of the rad people who'd embrace my kind of weirdness.

So, keeping with the theme that I haven't been taking very good care of myself, that I wanna do better & I've got a whole lot of awesome I've been wanting to share, but haven't because of fear, I think I'm just gonna say I'm gonna go for it.

Is anyone strongly opposed to knowing more about the person behind the glasses? Or do I get an "All Systems Go" from y'all?

26 August 2011

Getting to know the Lovely Ladies of LIDL

Some of you folks may or may not know that I belong to an awesome group called the Ladies Independent Design League (or LIDL for short). It's where a few select female entrepreneurs gather to talk about their projects, business and lives.

If you're a nerd like me, it sounds like a rad secret society of hand-picked go-getters trading the keys to success. All that's missing are the capes! :D

I'd love to take a minute away from our "regularly scheduled" program to show introduce you to some of the coolest ladies that I know. I know you're gonna love them as much as I do!

Hand-printed linen -6 piece scrap pack
by Jen Hewett - $20 USD
Jen shared her time (non) management tips on the blog When I Grow Up, in between packing for her trip to Istanbul and adding new fabric packs to her shop.
In addition to printing and consulting, Jen also writes a weekly post about her adventures in self-employment on her blog. You can check out the series here & follow her on Twitter.

the girls - by Stefanie Renee - on Flickr

Stef has been enjoying the last few days of summer with her kids along with brainstorming ideas for a new Photography website! Look for transitional changes soon and even bigger changes in the coming months!  Teahouse Studio is ramping up for the Fall Class Line Up! Have you signed up for your class yet?

art space - by Stefanie Renee - at Teahouse Studio
The lovely Mati has been busy working on her first 2 children's books and a painting book called "A DARING ADVENTURE IN PAINT" to debut with Quarry Books in Summer 2012.
I've seen her working on some amazing paintings at her lovely space at Teahouse Studio. It's so inspiring to see her process.

Social media maven, Willo of WilloToons Connect, recently updated her network on her busy life:
Last week was all about breathing more space into my life & *slowing down* a bit. This week it's head's down crankin' on client projects.

Find out more about Space Craft here!
Amelia created these cute little desk buddies for her latest GoGo Craft workshop adventure: SpaceCraft.  These alien friends will be featured at a FREE Mini Plushie Workshop on Sept 12th and 18th at SF Public Libraries.  For workshop locations and details click here.

23 August 2011

Question about Revisiting Comics - APE 11

Some things heal with time.
From ...You Don't Have To Be a Dreamboat
An unfinished comic about a guy I knew

Yesterday I got a letter in the mail from Justin Dutta of Comic-Con International, letting me know that THEY know "that [APE 11] is very important to [me & my] company."

And, dudes, don't get me wrong, I'm stoked!! I had given up hope on participating in Alternative Press Expo this year as an exhibitor, as so many of my friends had already been given word of getting in such a long time ago. But I'm still kind of dumb-struck again this year...

Have I drawn anything new? NOPE! Have I done ANYTHING remotely comic-y? Nuh-uh. I've been getting by on the two 24-HR Comics I've done. And I haven't even put the new one for sale yet... a year later. :( I'm gonna just take a chance and call that a COMIC FAIL.

So that had me thinkin' about the body of work I've already got from 2008...

Elevator Boogie in an Art Store
From ...You Don't Have To Be a Dreamboat

It's called "...You Don't Have to be a Dreamboat" and is based on a dating experience I had that year with a foxy hipster. Yeah - we've all been there... right?

Anyway, I drew "..Dreamboat" kind of like a diary: it helped me cope with my excitement, lows and uncertainty surrounding this affair. While it's 3 years later and I feel very happily "married" (seriously, the only thing missing is a certificate), I'm wondering if I could get the story right in time for APE 11.

I thought redrawing the whole thing would be best, as I drew this comic a) on the bus, b) in miniature (like Jeffrey Brown) and c) as a beginner in comics. As time went on and I drew more panels per day, I progressed in my style. My current drawing style is a bit awesomer than all this.
What do you all think? If I re-draw it, I might be able to get 24 pages done by the end of September. If I don't, would it be acceptable to print a rough draft?
          What would YOU do?

01 August 2011

An afternoon photo-shoot with Stefanie Renee

Photo by Stefanie Renee
It's true, folks... sometimes I'm a little weird about taking photos. 

Maybe weird isn't the right word. Maybe it's more like I see a camera and then my face tenses all funny at the thought of a lens being pointed in my general direction.

Yeah... kinda like that!

Except I didn't have to feel all "weird" when I spent an afternoon laughing & cracking craftastic jokes with my friend.

So it's great that a very talented lady named Stefanie Renee came along with her fancy pants camera & eye for beauty. Cos she got some fabulously candid photographs of some of my creations of our photo-shoot last week in my neighborhood in San Francisco. :)

New prototype for the Turntable Nerdy Cross Stitch Kit Pattern
Photo by Stefanie Renee
Another prototype for a new line of broaches - Retro Polaroid
Photo by Stefanie Renee
Been wearing this broach for months now! Really need to get on making & selling them soon. But I just love it so much! I hope everyone else will love it enough to appreciate all the attention to detail (not to mention the awesome vintage button lens)!
New Sea Foam Typewriter Cross-Stitch Pendant
Photo by Stefanie Renee
When I went on a trip with the ladies in LIDL last month (check out a blog post about our shenanigans here - courtesy of Cindy Ann Ganaden), I spent a good portion of a Saturday working on this perfecting this pattern. I'm in LOVE with the colour SEA GREEN and with vintage typewriters. It seemed to make sense that this pendant would come into being. I'm sure Stef shares my love of all things green & vintage!
My awesome vintage green Schwinn bike
Photo by Stefanie Renee
We had so much fun on this photo shoot, that I almost forgot I was kind of nervous to be getting my photos taken. :) 

Get ready to be featured, folks!
Photo by Stefanie Renee
But really, since I'm working non-stop trying to get my business to sky-rocket into epicness, it seemed like it was time to take the next step & start getting professional style photos of myself done. Cos hey - you never know when you're gonna be an Etsy Featured Seller or even interviewed by BUST magazine, right? (Those are two my biggest dreams!!)
I kinda love yarn a lot :)
Photo by Stefanie Renee
So I'm getting ready to dream big!

If you are ready to take that next step and need some profession shots take of you in your awesome creavite environment, then I'd love to recommend Stefanie Renee. :) She's currently running a promotion for folks that want to document their lives through photography: portraits, events, "day in the life" sessions, etc. She's got a great eye and really loves her craft. 
Read more about her New Photo Package Special on her website!

15 July 2011

What do you do with those toys, anyway?!

Believe it or not, I get this question a lot at craft shows. *laughs* So I thought I would demonstrate what you can do with the items I make at nerd JERK.

Featured in this video:
1. Mini Bob-Omb - 2. Mini Boo
3. Boo - 4. Mario Invincibility Star

So - sit back and be amused for about 85 seconds. :)

Also, if you have any nerd JERK items at your house & wanna make a video about how you use them to entertain yourself (and/or guests) in your home (and/or office?), I'd love to share it!

17 June 2011

Geek Chic Guide - Derby Girls

'Derby Girls Rock my World!' by NerdJerk

I've got a wicked obsession with all things Roller Derby. Not-so-secretly crushing on the idea of being a full-blown Derby Girl is one of my specialties! Here's some rad gear that makes me wanna buy that first pair of skates and rock out!

I'm pretty sure of a few things in life... and one of those truths is that "We are all geeks about SOMETHING!"

Whereas I've never been too ashamed of my geekiness (heck - it's how I make a livin'! Thank you, loyal fans!), I do have a long-standing secret crush & embarrassing point of shame about said secret.
Awesome starter skates that I've been
eyeing since before Maker Faire 2011.
On SALE for $144.99 USD
I wanna be a bad-ass derby girl!!! RAWR! :)
 I am totally afraid of skating. :(
Okay, okay! I can hear you all the way from over here!
  • "What's WRONG with you?" 
  • "How could you wanna be a derby girl and not be willing to suck it up and get a little beat up?" 
  • "There's no way you'd make it as a bad-ass. Better stick to yarn!" 

And you know what? Part of that might be right! But not all of it. So to answer your (*ahem* hypothetical) questions:
    • Nothing is truly wrong with me other than:
      1. I was traumatized by roller blades as a young child. Take 9 y.o. girl with poor balance, add roller blades, a rope, a bike and some sugar-crazed kid pulling you along downhill on asphalt. Marinate for almost 20 years. Serve.
      2. I'm the heaviest I've ever been in my life & as other types of physical exercise leave little to be desired, the prospect of derby gets my blood going!
      3. Roller Blades are not Roller Skates.Roller skates have the potential to hold more weight at a better distribution. And possibly go slower... down hills?
    Roller Derby Poster by Whiskey7Art - $5 USD on Etsy
    • Dude - although I've got these extra pounds and gimpy crochetitized wrists, I'm willing to make it happen. I just need to get that first pair of skates. I suppose I can *grow* a pair while I'm savin' to buy a pair.
    • I will stick to yarn, but I'll do you one better. I'll make my own bad-ass derby gear. ;) Being a hookin' baller has it's perks.
    That being said, I ended up getting an email from Erica of Derby Girls Blog about possibly doing some advertising on their site. As I've yet to fully invest myself into the derby culture, I don't know if I would quite fit in very well. But it still got me thinkin' about how much I love the culture! Which led me to looking at my favourites on Etsy! Which led to a treasury! Which is what today's Geek Chic Guide is all about!

    What activities have you just been dying to try out?!
    Have you gone for it yet? If not, what's holdin' you back?

    13 June 2011

    Vlog #2 - Living the Life of Nerdity

    A young Steph Cortes, nerding out over
    generic brand crayons. I still get that crazy
    look in my eyes when I see bright colours!
    Trust me, you don't get to call yourself the Master of Geekery without earning it somehow! And while I may not have earned it conventionally through hardcore Nintendo Entertainment System gaming at the age of 2 in 1985, I believe that I have indeed willingly participated in enough button-mashing marathons (with minimum tours in D&D campaigns as a blood-thirsty ninja) to have been awarded the right to an MFA in Nerdity.

    That being said, I thought I would take this opportunity to show my followers a little more about what my day to day life looks like, starting with a tour of my bedroom.

    Not that it's that kinda tour, but more of a peek into a little of the "hoarder-like madness" behind the curtain of kawaii plush at nerd JERK.

    DISCLAIMER: This video may be a bit overwhelming to librarians and retail craft store sales associates, as it may trigger flashbacks of previous stressful workplace environments. Proceed with caution.

    I love colour! And I love crayons! :D
    My severe love for crayons has never died. In fact, with time, it has only grown stronger.

    I guess that's why I have such an obsession with things that bring back nostalgia. When forced to deduce my brand into a few sentences today, all I could come up with was:
    nerd JERK aims to excite your inner geek with a love for all that is old-school & retro! 
    And really... what more is there for me to say?!

    Tell me a little bit about what makes you feel like a geek!

    I  know I can't be the only one enjoying making plush typewriters, smelling the pages of old books and occassionaly bustin' out that 64 pack of Crayolas. :)

    09 June 2011

    nerd JERK First Vlog

    The fact that I'm vlogging right now is probably a sign that the universe has made it easy enough for preschoolers to make movies.
    And yet, I encourage you to take a few minutes and watch this, cos it's got some important news about some changes at nerd JERK... along with a whole lot of other stuff that isn't quite as important. 

    However, I would like to take a moment to say that this latest venture into the blogosphere was made possible by the following sponsors:

    punk rawk purl

    I got an email on day from Tammy George at PuNk rAwK pUrL with a link to her newest vlog. Although she'd sent it along with a cute joke about her looking like a frog in the screenshot (not true, BTW), I saw the instant connection that can be made with peeps over the internets once you can hear and see them.

    Tammy did her vlog in answer to a conversation on My Girl Thursday's blog, in which she's been giving away items (giveaway ends today at 11:59 PM) in celebration of her blog recently reaching 1,000 followers! :D She's now well into the 1,100s, but that's totally reason to celebrate! She had a few questions that were posed on her blog that seemed to inspire answers in their video bloggin'! So, like Tammy, I was inspired to do the same. Check out the questions below the video.

    PSST! Here were the questions I couldn't remember on the 4th take of this video:
    1.Do you have a middle name?
    2. What was your favourite subject in school?
    3. What's your favourite drink?
    4. Favourite song at the moment?
    5. What would you name your children?
    6. Do you participate in any sports?
    7. Favourite Book?
    8. Favourite Colour?
    9. Favourite Animal?
    10. Favourite perfume?

    Image c/o Madame Scodioli
    Solid Perfume mentioned in this vlog:
    $12 USD
    Possibly the greatest perfume I've EVER worn. Lovely notes of almond, milk & honey mingle & melt on your skin to leave you smelling of some sort of dreamy marzipan! YUM!

    And who knows... maybe I'll post some outtakes of the first couple of versions of this once I figure out how to do video editing on my iPad. But until then, I'm afraid you're stuck with one-shot takes! :D

    Comments encouraged, but please be gentle. ;D
    I'm such a n00b!

    01 June 2011

    Geek Chic Guide - Neon Lights for Summer Nights

    Oh folks! It's so obvious from my product photos that I love me some neon colours. And you know what? They're finally coming back in style! So as an ode to the photo-shoot I'll be having soon in front of some neon chartreuse backgrounds, I thought I'd share this POPPIN'  treasury that MaukyJo put together!

    'Neon Lights' by MaukyJo

    80's Flashback....everything neon!
















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