06 December 2012

My 1st Renegade Craft Fair: Branding Inspiration for LA

I took this photo for you all in my new home studio, #AWESOMEnerdnest.
Get used to seeing these coloured magnetic blocks from TEGU - I bought them to make videos with!

This may shock you, Awesome Reader
But I kinda have an addiction to colour.

It's a bit serious. I even hinted at it on my new business cards:

My neon green Catloaf from Careful It Bites approves over my new MOO cards; even the typo rocks.

You can't be a "life-long crayon enthusiast" without totally being an addict (..duh).

But can you believe I was scared of sharing that? I was scared of sharing a lot about my life.

I can't tell you how often I try to fix my mistakes in life. I've always been worried about what people will think about how I do something: in my life, in my business, in my dreams.

But the reality of it is that it's not so bad.

And that's why I go balls out with my branding at nerd JERK

Balls... like in this video that my animator, iCKY the Great, showed me long ago. 

José Gonzalez's version of "Heartbeats" plays in my head whenever I bounce around San Francisco as a native.

So when I was accepted to my very first Renegade Craft Fair this Holiday Season, I was bouncing around!!! I bounced all over different stores, trying to find the perfect way to express my inner holiday beast! I wanted to show the Renegade Gang that they made the best decision ever to invest in me this year.

I'll be in LA on December 8th & 9th, showing off new goods... as in THE NEW STUFF I'VE BEEN DESIGNING ALL YEAR! (which bearo did an AMAZING write up about! Click here to read it!)

EXCLUSIVE: I asked the rad Jian Shen of bearo come & get a "Behind the Scenes LOOK
at how I construct my amigurumi. Click HERE to see the exclusive PHOTO ARTICLE!

Can you tell I'm excited yet? That's the face I'm making right now, writing this article for you. 

Can you tell I'm effing stoked to be able to create plush toys for a living?!?!

If not, I took this picture and tried to convey how I feel every time I sell something to an Awesome Human.

Oh how I love you, EPIC CUSTOMERS!
 I can't wait to send you some
awesomeness from my home studio.
Until then, let's run into each other on the internets.

05 December 2012

Our Geek Rockstar Wedding Video

Roger L. Moore [Effing AWESOME sf] & Steph C. Cortés [nerd JERK] became "The AWESOME-nerds" on Saturday, 13th October 2012 in San Francisco at around 6:30 PM... and they couldn't be more happy!

I know it's super late, guys, but I have been a busy Mrs. Cortés. Until I have enough time to really get back into hanging out, check out this AMAZING video that Golden Gate Xpress put together about our Geek Rockstar Wedding!

So glad to have been able to work with Kirstie Haruta on this story. She listened to me babble endlessly. Check outm ore of her work here.

And tell us what you think! Cos... we're turning this into my first BOOK!!!

*shuts eyes tight, cross fingers, whispers excitedly* Please comment, please comment, please enjoy this, please wanna read the book, please please please...

10 October 2012

OUR GEEK ROCKSTAR WEDDING - A Sneak Peek into the Pre Wedding Prep + Green Room Lighting

I didn't care what I had to do, but I knew in my heart of hearts as soon as I saw these handmade neon coloured pyramid lights, I had to f*cking have them for our wedding. 

Pyramid Light Garland in Pink Mint Neon - by The Society of National Industry - $65 USD

And I say that in the most sincerest way possible.

... cos how could I not, right?!?!!

So I was doing some trolling on the internets (read: actually catching up on my Facebook whilst picking my nose, or something equally as stupid), I stumbled up an Etsy Find post... and my mind was blown.

Keep in mind that this was after my 2nd or 3rd day of teaching at School House Craft in Seattle, WA as a Certified Etsy Educator (which means I was effing exhausted from all the work I had been doing all weekend).  It was pretty late at night and I was in my friend & fellow Etsy Educator/Local Etsy Team Captain's (Marlo M) house!

.. which means I should have been asleep.

But HAD I actually been doing what I was "supposed" to be doing, I probably wouldn't have stumbled upon the most epic find of all epic finds in the universe.

... cos, I mean... C'MON! F*CKIN' PYRAMID LIGHTS!!!

Did you already forget what they look like? Oh? Really, well let me give you ANOTHER PHOTO (please)!!

Even more gorgeous when lit up at night (is that even possible?! You'll SEE!)
Pyramid Light Garland in Pink Mint Neon - by The Society of National Industry - $65 USD

It might also interest you to know that I am in no way being paid or compensated for yelling about these amazing lights to your internet-faces.

Actually, I should have been spending my last 2 hours working on a press release that I need done and sent out to the universe in 3 hours...

... cos, you know, that's an important thing about out unique-assed effing geek rockstar wedding (how do I hashtag that!?!).

But, like, WHATEVER! (confession: I recently rewatched "Clueless" on Netflix and I'm still havin' Cher-echoes)

These are gonna be EPIC!

Katey & Chris from The Society of National Industry (aka the humans that make these amazeball freakin' lights) claim that they deliver "Paper Goods from Outer Space"... and I gotta say, I kinda f*ckin' believe them!

Rainbow Neon Garland of Paper Pyramid Lanterns -  by The Society of National Industry - $40 USD

Oh... what was the point I was trying to make again?

OOOOOHHHH! I remember now: I'm using these amazing things at my wedding.

... which, if you remember my post from the very beginning of this year, is what my f*cking book is going to be about!

Here's a gratuitous shot of how we're celebrating:

Steph (me) & Roger being excited about our Geek Rockstar Wedding
Photos for our wedding all by Stefanie Renee

You can check out more photos of our (pre)wedding on Stefanie Renee's website... cos you know you wanna see what other shenanigans we were up to!

And you can also check out our evite: which includes even MORE PHOTOS from this awesome photo shoot that we did at Teahouse last week.

Our evite was designed as a surprise by my good friend, Bettina Throckmorton of iCKY the GREAT! You should check her blog out... she even did a whole post about the graphic she did for us:

Our little pixelated selves done by Bettina Throckmorton of iCKY the GREAT for our evite!

p.s. I made Roger shave his beard.

ANYWAYS - as you can see, it took a lot of people to help make things for our wedding possible. And all of it was done by friends (new from Outer Space, or old from Berkeley, CA & Rupert, ID) that supported us.

Man, I've got a case of the warm fuzzies... I should probably take that and do some work... or I could just add more things to my Etsy Wedding Registry.


Oh and if YOU WANNA SUPPORT OUR WEDDING, you've got 2 days left for our WEDDING SALE!

Roger and I put all the items in our shops on special pricing just to make it easy for everyone to help support our wedding - and this way, you get something geeky out of it, too!

NOTE: I am only making my high-quality hand-crocheted Nintendo Amigurumi til 12/31/2012. After that, it's gone for good!
So the next 2 days is your best bet of getting it at the best prices before they're gone.
== Shop for Wedding SALE nerd JERK stuff here

Roger has been holding his Effing Awesome sale, too! Like cute hand-sculpted mini food? How about wearing it?
== Shop for Wedding SALE Effing Awesome stuff here

14 September 2012

Help Us Have an AWESOME Wedding - Sale!

As I was crocheting flowers for the bouquet for my wedding last night, I was thinking about how wonderful all my friends have been about helping make our wedding possible.

The night before, Roger and I got to sample some delicious beer that our neighbour has been home-brewing for the event. He specifically asked us what we like in beer and then =POOF= there was an icy bottle with a stopper delivered to our porch a few weeks later. :D

Then our good friend, Loun, scheduled her vacation so that she could make us some tasty cupcakes for our guests! Pumpkin spice and Mexican Chocolate - my FAVOURITE!!

Then my friend, Katy, came over today to check out the "situation" that is our backyard. With some weedwhackers and some composting, it looks like we may be able to actually pull this thing off!! *fingers crossed*

But even with all of the extra gigs we've picked up and money we've tried to put aside, we still don't have a ton of funds to get food, lights and pay the awesome photographer (you know, Stef did my portraits last year)!

That's where you come in!! :D I've noticed that people really love getting a good deal and being part of something awesome. Well, since we don't have time to run a Kickstarter, Roger and I thought we could do a "Help Us Have an AWESOME Wedding" SALE in both of our shops! Roger hand-sculpts cute polymer clay jewelry shaped like food and you know I make geekery of all kinds!

This was a particularly good meal at Denny's
We've gone through both of our shops and marked everything down for you, so all you have to do is go in and shop your little hearts out! :D

Every sale made from now until Oct 12th will help fund our BIG DAY!!!

Roger may even make his super happy face as seen in this picture... which he normally reserves for really tasty food or when he sees adorable kitties.

You can see why I wanna marry him. :)

Thank you all so much for supporting handmade geekery for all of 2012! And for telling all your friends!!!

I'm particularly excited to be moving on with my brand in 2013, so this will be the last year that I'll be making Super Mario Amigurumi plushies.

So if you'd like to get them for holiday gifts (or even a gift to self), this would be the best time to do so! :D

That's all I've got for now, dudes. I'm still a nervous bride trying to figure out paperwork and possibly giving up on the whole making-my-own-piñata deal, but really - it feels so good to know cool people like you are out there supporting us!


xo - Steph

P.S. Here's a shot of the beer! It was sooooo freaking delish! :D Nevermind all the craftastic hot messes in the background....

20 August 2012

Things I Love to Share: SHOWER ART!

I saw this at Rosalie's table at Geek Girl Con and I JUST HAD TO get it!
Glasses Are Awesome - Shower Art by Ugly Baby

About a week ago I was in Seattle, WA and stayed at my friend's house, cos they're cool like that. We agreed to help each other crash at each others' places when we were visiting our respective cities back at Craftcation. And it was marvelous!

I loved hanging at her place, filled with awesome art! In fact, while I was showering at their place, I got to see some of what they make in action.

What do they make, you ask?

SHOWER ART! - I purchased some of their awesomeness for my friend. You should, too!
Get some at UglyBaby.etsy.com!

It was so great to see some shower art (waterproof art for your shower) in its intended habitat! In fact, their entire bathroom was kind of a shrine to everything awesome.
PROOF: When I needed to go to the bathroom, Rosalie told me to put on the 3D glasses and look around. The freaking art of the walls came to life! Best experience using the restroom ever!
I only share this peeing experience with you since we're such good friends. ;D 

Image by Jessica Glein
Also Rosalie & Doug's company, Ugly Baby, was just featured on Etsy's blog under the "Quit Your Day Job" section!

Wowzers! I loved reading their ultra practical advice for leaving your 9-5 for a creative life. 

If you're a creative human looking for some perspective on being a full-time artist, read on...

I gotta say, I always love product process shots. It inspires me to be more creative... Well, I'm even more inspired by throwing-glitter-in-the-air shots, but that's besides the point!

So, MY POINT WAS: I bought some shower art! I wanted to share the shower art that I got for my friend, Katy Kristin (who also make adorable things, but more on the jewelry side). She has a baby blue themed bathroom, and we love potty humour. I just know she'll love looking at Rosalie's art in her adorably themed shower.

And to thank Rosalie for letting us hang out at her house (appropriately dubbed "Couch Island") for the weekend, I made her a little something-something to go in her HUGE collection of designer dolls in her bathroom (oh, I didn't mention that she has an amazeball collection of toys on one of her bathroom walls?! No? Well, I should have)....

It's not finished (cos I underestimated the amount of time f*ckin' cacti spikes would take to make out of felt), but here's a sneak peek at her pressie!

Rosalie had a mini collection of tokidoki items, so I made her a Bastardino!
Then I branded that bad boy on the ass!
I won't be making this fool to put up in the shop, but some of my readers have said they've wanted to see more of the items I've been working on! What do ya think?

Anywho, thank you so much to Rosalie & Doug of Ugly Baby for making amazing shower art & for the use of your couches. :) 

17 August 2012

Bearo likes Bob-Ombs! Even in Japan! - A Toy's Travelogue

Mini Bob-Omb w/ Tanooki Mario in Japan!
Photo courtesy of bearo.com
There was a day earlier this year when I got a lovely email from Jian Shen, the curator of the awesome Bearo blog, asking me if there was a chance we could do a feature together.

He runs a blog that features designer toys (mainly vinyl, but we would make some room for plush nerdity) and I design custom toys!

Awesome sauce!

So we met at the Cherry Blossom Festival and started chatting about all kinds of toy goodness!

He even did a sweet feature which included my plushies and the whole festival experience (which was ultra awesome)! Plus, his pictures of my items are phenomenal! It's as if you could just reach out and touch them through the screen.

I mean, who else could make Thwomp look so insanely terrifying and really adorable at the same time?!

Thwomp - photo courtesy of bearo.com
Hot Pink Bob-Omb
photo courtesy of bearo.com

If you dig toys & amazing photographs of toys, take the time to meander over to Jian's new blog, Bearo! I promise you'll be amazed with how gorgeous everything is! I could spend a whole afternoon drooling over all of the eye candy!

Plus, if you've never been to Japan (like me), you can check out Mini Bob-Omb near Tokyo Tower and live vicariously through his trip through a sunny day in Tokyo while Hot Pink Bob-Omb devours French macaroons in California. :)

The trip begins here!

Thank you so much, Jian, for taking the time to feature my items - and especially for being patient for me to take the time to tell the world about your amazing photographs!

03 August 2012

We wanna CELEBRATE! - On getting hitched at a comic convention

There's a lot of reasons why I wanna celebrate this year (and even some things that I wish I could forget), but the biggest thing I'd like to get excited about is my upcoming nuptials!

If you haven't heard the rumours that Roger and I have been spreading since the beginning of this year, we're totally getting married!!! And we're doing it at APE 2012!

I usually draw a comic on my envelope for the comic book convention application. This year, I drew an invite & shared it on the interwebs. It looks like this:

Pretty silly to put on your application envelope, right? But we're hopeful it'll happen!

Anywho, we've been trying to think about how we want our wedding to go down. All we know is the following:
  • We're ultra broke so it's gotta be simple
  • It's gonna be at our booth at APE an hour before the end of the first day. :)
  • We want to get a taco truck for the food bit at our place, but probably won't be able to afford it
    • We'll probably make a lot of enchilada casseroles, salads & punch
  • We can't afford to buy tickets for everyone to get into APE to see us get married
    • Someone said that's okay, since people just wanna come to support us. We hope that's true!
  • We have no idea how to get married at a comic book convention or if they'll even let us do it.
With wedding planning comes a lot of money necessity and craziness, so we're foregoing that  part. I mean, I don't even have an engagement ring! Roger might make me one...

Roger makes cute polymer clay sculptures, so maybe a cupcake ring? Check out his Etsy shop, Effing Awesome!
... which has the potential to be pretty cool! :) Anywho, since the wedding about 2 months away, we have to get started on officially inviting people. If you're gonna be in San Francisco around mid October, you should stop by & party with us!

These are the kinds of faces we make at shows:

You've been warned of the zaniness! :D

I imagine that I'll be pretty excited when we can just go home with the well earned titles of "HUSBAND & WIFE!" I'm sure it'll look something like the comic version I did of it a million years ago.

The way I imagined exiting my wedding in "A Girl Can Dream, Right?" - $3 USD

09 July 2012

My Take on Super Heroes - Spiderball & Fatman at BUS Gallery

My Super Balls - Spiderball & Fatman - for Big Umbrella Studios Gallery show
When Rick from Monkey + Seal told me that Big Umbrella Studios was going to be doing a comic book hero themed show, I practically begged him to let me be in it! After all, I am a nerd.

But not the nerd that grew up reading these comic books - I was the nerd who'd rush home after school to sit down with a bowl of cereal & watch Batman cartoons. And on the weekend, after the Batman cartoons were over, I'd watch Batman movies.

I really liked Batman. :) He's super badass.

So when I found out that Batman would be featured along with Spidey in "The Amazing Arachnid Guy & Flying Rodent Man Tribute Show" ... you know I had to give it a shot.

Fatman - Super Ball Series - by nerd JERK - $150 USD
FATMAN, as I lovingly call him, is about 7" tall and is made of soft wool blended & acrylic yarns. His cape is made of wool felt & his little accents on his face, emblem & belt are hand-cut eco felt.

Can I just say that when I saw him all together for the first time, I squealed like I was 9 again?!?! I had originally pictured him all dark, muscular and fierce, but then it struck me that's not so much my style. I'm a round human that make round toys our of soft yarn... there ain't no shame in Fatman's game.

You can check out more deets (and even BUY HIM) on Etsy. :)

Spiderball - Super Ball Series - by nerd JERK - $150 USD
SPIDERBALL was another story. Made solely of acrylic yarn & eco felt, this guy was a hell of an embroidery piece. All of Spiderball's trademark accent webbing was hand-stitched over many hours. He also stands about 7" tall and is crazy awesome.

After unsuccessfully stitching his planned out webbing no less than 5 times, I finally had to just freeball it. I was obsessed with getting it right... and I still don't think I quite got it. But for a Spiderman amigurumi whose head is only half of a ball..?!! Not so bad. It also struck me that I had to do the webbing detail work on every red surface on Spidey... which really frustrated me. In the end, though, I gotta say it was worth it.

These guys were so time consuming - and I wasn't really expecting them to be!! The snag I ran into was that I ended up redesigning the kind of Spiderman & Batman I wanted to do about 3-5 times (depending on each character, respectively) and even started crocheting Spiderman in cute muscular form, using new techniques to create joints and such.

But no matter how hard I tried, I just hated doing it that way.

From the very beginning, I giggled at the thought of them being balls. Mainly cos I like saying the word "Balls!" but also cos how rad would it be if these guys were reduced from all muscles to roly polies?!

It was exciting to try out new methods of construction that I hadn't really thought about doing before and go through the whole "This Will Never Work!" design phase again. I haven't had a chance to be able to do new designs in such a long time, especially with new techiniques. I hope with my rebranding in 2013, I'll be able to make a lot more items that challenge me in rad ways.

Thanks to Rick Kitagawa & the whole Big Umbrella Studios crew for letting me show my work in this awesome show last month!

I'll also be submitting some of my more well known pieces for Big Umbrella Studios' upcoming show, J-Pop Explosion!! The opening will be this upcoming Friday, July 13th from 7 to 11 PM.

There's a whole bunch of talented artists that'll be featured, along with food carts, a DJ & a live art battle!! I don't see how we could stay away. Lolita kawaii-ness and overall Japanese awesomeness also encouraged. :D See you there!

30 June 2012

The Real Reason Why I Haven't Been Around - My Health

In the ER for 7 hrs at SF General makes ya take photos

Folks - it's time to get real. So, gather round & pop a squat - it's "Real Talk" time.

I've been pretty sick since mid December 2011. Without going into gruesome detail, I've been depleted of some needed nutrients and have been exhausted for it. I thought this problem would just sort itself out, so I continued to ignore it.

In fact, I decided the best way to ignore the problem was to keep myself busy... so I started taking on more work. I started setting huge goals for myself (speaking, teaching, consulting, gallery work), gathering a work force (2 interns and looking to start wholesaling with a sales rep) and get married!

Now, beloved audience: what do you think happened as a result of all of this new stress on me & my system?

I totally prevailed!... for a while. Until my body rebelled against the late nights (sometimes all nighters) and started shutting me down.

Soon I was just falling asleep while I was working. I felt weak all of the time. My hair even fell out, dudes. And as the month went on, it only got worse.

So I ignored it some more...

Oh balls...
... and it got pretty horrible.

For someone who takes great pride is working very hard, meeting as many deadlines as possible & taking care of the people around me, I sure wasn't doin' myself any favours.

Despite the pain & lethargy, I decided to keep my condition under wraps - 'cept to a couple of my homies that needed to be in the know. These homies could tell something was up. I wasn't my normal "Steph-like" self. They begged me to go to a doctor & take care of myself.

Instead, I put it off cos of anxiety. I could come up with a million reasons why I didn't need help. I was a DIY Crafter. I could fannegle my way outta some health issue.

Well, no - I couldn't. More often than not, I was so exhausted from trying to get things done & just feel normal that I ended up going to bed... for most of the day. Eventually this ended up affecting my business & personal relationships in a big way. Deadlines whooshed past, people didn't talk to me anymore (cos I was sleeping & hurting) and I just shut myself out of the world.

Something had to be done. So I went to the hospital.

After a million tests, they came up with a simple solution (which I thought of months before but was too chicken to go through with) and sent me on my way. I'm glad to say that "our" solution is working well enough to get some of the health issues under control.

I'm still tired, I'm still achey and I'm still stressed from all the deadlines about to whoosh past me next week. :(

What my face looks like when I look at my To Do List
And while, yeah, stuff isn't gonna change overnight and we don't completely know what's wrong with me yet, I took the first step to getting back to getting back to you guys... getting back to being myself.

I'm excited to get this shit under control, dudes. And I'm really stoked that I will be able to be normal for my nerd wedding (which I might need your opinion on)... but in the meantime, I've just gotta take it a day at a time.

So that's the real reason why I haven't been around: I put myself last on the "To Do List" for too long.

I'll try to be better about that, guys. It may take practise, but we'll get there.

Thanks so much for being patient while waiting for me to get back to you all. It means a lot to me that y'all still give a hoot about this nerd.

xo, Steph

26 May 2012

On being exhausted & ghost-hunting

Needle-Felted Retro Green TV  - by ThingsByV - $20 USD
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of one situation to manage after the other, guys. And to be perfectly honest, I'm completely exhausted by it all.

I thought that taking some time away from social media (I'm 12 days into a 30 day Internet Rehab, btw) would help give me some perspective about what I really need to accomplish in life.

Turns out that I just wanna turn everything to do with "work" (also known as the beast I constantly manage called nerd JERK) the heck off for a while.

This may be because I never get everything done my To Do Lists.. and in some cases, have never gotten back to some really kind people (I'm looking at you Cody from Daft Crafts and Katrina from toffee magazine)... but, again, to be perfectly honest - I just don't have the bandwidth!

It's gotten the point that I wake up in the morning, email people if I have to, then avoid everything by crocheting & watching ghost shows on Netflix.

Glow In The Dark Miniature Ghosts Figures - by jpants4sale - $16.40 USD
I mean it, guys... I've even resorted to watching most of "Ghost Lab"!! And it's not a great show.

So now that it's late at night, I've spooked myself out by watching 12 hrs of ghost shows and my boyfriend and cats won't stay up with me to speculate as to whether or not we should do an investigation on our house (We totally should! But I'm scared!!!), I'm left here to whimper into the internets about how much I'm not getting done while getting a lot of other stuff done.

I need a real vacation...

If anyone would like to pay for one, or even wants to paranormally investigate my house, let's chat. ;)

16 May 2012

nerd JERK at Maker Faire!

We've been busy here at nerd JERK. Between the Cherry Blossom Festival, the MOCFA Craft Bar, and showing our amigurumi at the STUDIO Gallery, we can hardly stand the awesomeness!

But the awesome is just going to keep coming, because May 19th and 20th, we're going to be under the Bazzaar Bizarre tent at Maker Faire Bay Area!

Kirby loves nerd JERK!
Kirby is so excited for Marker Faire, he can hardly contain himself!

What's Maker Faire? You mean other than being super rad? ;D  It's a two-day event that celebrates creative DIY endeavors. It's a family-friendly affair, with lots of fun stuff for humans of all ages!  Seriously, the list of topics covered ranges from food to electronics to music to sustainability to arts and crafts, including of course all of the schweeeet stuff nerd JERK is going to be bringing!

See nerd JERK at Maker Faire!
You can get some awesome nerd JERK geekery hot-off-the-presses! We'll be debuting some new designs for our Handmade Felt Brooches & Journals, as well as introducing a "Make Your Own Gift Set!" station! Mini Adorableness will be available in a customizable way! We've even got some BRAND NEW Cross-Stitch Necklaces that you're gonna LOVE!

And you never know - There may even be a surprise or two!

WHEN: May 19th 10am-8pm & May 20th 10am-6pm
WHERE: San Mateo Event Center (2495 South Delaware Street, San Mateo, CA 94403)
COST: Ticket prices vary.  Check out the Maker Faire Ticket Page for pricing.  There are discounts for children, students, families, and for purchasing your tickets early (hint hint!)

This will be the last weekend Steph will be 28 years old (her 29th birthday is on Monday) so come on by and help her celebrate! We hope to see you there!

09 May 2012

Lessons a 3 week-old newborn will teach you

In a sunny little cottage by the sea sleep a tiny baby boy & his mommy. I slip in around 8 and try not to wake them as I turn the door's lock with my key.

Turns out they were both kind of awake anyways, but I thought I'd be nice. :) 

For those of you who didn't know, I am now a "tia" or aunt! Well, sorta. As much of an aunt you can be without being related to someone by blood. 

Meaning I was around while he was being baked in the oven of him mom's guts and I am changing a few diapers, carrying him around on my shoulder and making sure he's happy while his parents get a few moments of reprieve.

Little Baby Jack was born on April 18th, so he's still pretty new to these parts, but he's already figuring out some crucial things:

  • Boobs make food. Make sure there are always boobs around.
  • Pooping is hard to do. Make sure you give it your all as many times as you can.
  • Bouncing is awesome. Make sure to make people bounce you as much as humanly possible.
  • Gas is super lame. Make sure to get rid of gas in as many funny ways as possible for maximum crowd shocking effect.
  • I am adorable. Make sure to use that to my advantage.

Needless to say, I've already picked up a few tricks of my own in the few precious times I've been able to hang out with Baby Jack and his lovely mum, Katy.

Artificial Heart II felt brooch - by hanaletters - $50 USD
  • You are growing at a ridiculous rate right now. Even if I started making your acorn cap that I promised your mum, it wouldn't fit you in a week!
  • Sometimes you're just gonna cry cos you feel like it. If you ever feel like toning it down so that your mum can relax for a bit, that'd be a tremendous bonus.
  • You totally don't even know how loved you are by everybody yet. One day you will and you'll start smiling on purpose!
  • You got your dimples from ME! ...possibly thru osmosis.
I feel really lucky to be able to be a part of Katy, Kevin & Jack's lives right now. I've never been this close to a newborn or helped a kid grow from all stages of life, so this will definitely be weird. But I guess so long as we keep Baby Jack & his family fed & watered, everything will turn out all right. :)

Something else I learned from hanging out with Katy & Baby Jack is that if you feel like doing something awesome, do it! So one day when I felt poopy, I decided to do something awesome to make my friend feel better. Today I drew a gnome farting & framed it to celebrate Katy's birthday. A few weeks ago, I made a grumpy raincloud pee on everyone in shot of my friend's rearview mirror.

Mr. Pissed Off Cloud aka Mr. Tinkles - spur of the moment rear view mirror decoration
Custom awesomeness made for iCKY the Great
I will leave you in the knowledge that sometimes you just got make awesomeness: whether it's a whole baby that you made in your guts for many months, or a few random works of radness that you're excited about. Chances are that if you're excited about it (even if it occasionally frustrates you), it's totally worth doing.

Thanks for teaching me that, Baby Jack. ;)

08 May 2012

Praise from daniellexo for nerd JERK: "Best description I've ever seen"

Mint Typewriter Necklace - by nerd JERK - $48 USD

I've been busy getting things all polished up in my Etsy shop
  • Christel & I have been making more items (mainly in prep for Maker Faire!)
  • My sister helped out with a recent photo shoot to show how my items look on humans
  • Jen & I have been tweaking my item descriptions to be more consistent &... well, ..descriptive!
So as we're taking a few weeks to do all of this, imagine my surprise when Danielle from Etsy (also known as daniellexo) drops me a line to tell me that she used my Mint Typewriter Necklace listing in a treasury & Online Lab about "Descriptions that Sell"..!!

I may have pooped myself.

It was amazeballs! She even told me I ought to quote her in my item description. I'm gonna be a geek and embed the video for all the world to see below, but I don't mind following her advice & quoting her first:
The best description I've ever seen... breaks down the description by telling (you) what it is, the story behind it... who it's best for. I love that she points that out! ... One of my favourite descriptions I've ever read. Woo-hoo, nerd JERK!       - daniellexo

Okay, now for the video! She starts chatting about my item description at around 11:53 in. ;D

[NOTE: Very informative & thought provoking video, complete with exercises on how to get your customer's questions answered within your descriptions]

Watch live streaming video from etsy at livestream.com

Do you like the changes we've been making around nerd JERK? There's been quite a lot. I know I said there would be in my wacky vlog, but I don't think you all knew how nutty it was gonna get. :) 

Let me know what you like and what you'd like to see more of! My whole brand is built on custom orders, so hearing your feedback is the best thing for me - then I can give you what you want!

P.S. I can still make you something special for Mother's Day! In fact, here are a few items ready to ship TODAY!

01 May 2012

DIY Cross-Stitch Brooch Tutorial & how Lita approves

Colourful materials to make a DIY Cross-Stitch Brooch - "How Tuesday" Tutorial by ME on Etsy Blog

The surprise project that I was working on is finally live on the internets! I wrote a double-whammy of a tutorial for the "How Tuesday" section of the Etsy blog  in a few days. It was quite a crunch, but I'm really proud of how it turned out.

I've learned the last few days that when my boyfriend, Roger, and I pull together, we can pretty much make anything happen. So he took pictures with me for a very intense hour (he doesn't like taking pictures nor does he know how) and after a lot of yelling about "framing the shot" on my part, we got it done. Then I edited for a million years and wrote for a couple of hours.

That's the behind the scenes of that epic tutorial. :D I'm SUPER proud of how it turned out, but was sad not to see the picture of all the materials included... so I posted myself.

You know what other picture was missing? The picture of my adorable "Quality Control Expert" AKA Lita (my granny who originally showed me how to embroider) so I took a picture with the brooch on... and the brooch is covering a juice stain on her cardigan. ;)

Lita didn't know why we were taking this picture, but she was excited about her new brooch!
Wanna see more pics from behind the scenes of nerd JERK? Follow me on Instagram!

My tutorial basically covers you for Mother's Day - but you might still want a little help in person? 
We've got you!

Monogram Brooches don't have to be monotonous
DIY Cross-Stitch Brooches by nerd JERK

Definitely not a kitten

DIY Cross-Stitch Kit - Polaroid
by nerd JERK - $18 USD
If you've always wanted to learn to cross-stitch, now's your chance. And at nerd JERK, we don't cross-stitch no kittens or cabbage roses (as you can see from our Etsy Shop).

On May 3rd I'll be teaching a DIY Cross-Stitch Pin Workshop at CRAFT BAR hosted by Etsy Labs at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art! Make a cute and cool pin, a perfect present for your cool mom on Mother's Day or for any other cool humans in your life!

-WANNA COME? Here's the DEETS-
WHEN: May 3rd from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
WHERE: The Museum of Craft and Folk Art (51 Yerba Buena Lane San Francisco, CA 94103)
COST: $5 (Covers materials, tips, and tricks)
BONUS: Adult Beverages will be available (liquid courage always helps crafting).

Pick any 2 Handmade Felt Brooches for $25!

Still need help with a rad Mother's Day gift or don't feel like making flair for yourself? 

You're in luck! I'm selling my Handmade Felt Brooches & they're READY TO SHIP today!

I'm really excited about these guys! Fellas look snazzy with a mix tape on their lapel & ladies look lovelier with a camera on their cardigans. 

Thanks so much for supporting handmade geekery, guys! Whether it's by making a DIY Cross-Stitch Brooch for a cool person, coming out to make stuff at Craft Bar this Thursday or buying a little gift for your Mum (or yourself!), I really appreciate your awesomeness.
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