Another one down

I finished another project last night, although I'm not really sure what you'd use it for. A pretty tray to, uh, hold things? Like keys, and...treasures?


Yes, treasures. I will definitely put my treasures in there. Hell, I don't know. I'm happy with how it turned out, though. 


These tiles were a pain in the ass to cut because they kept splintering, but they're really pretty so at least that aspect made them somewhat enjoyable to work with.

I like the look of the vertical patterns, and I've gotten a lot faster and more adept at laying them down. But it's time to challenge myself a little more and give the vertical tile thing a break for a while. (Unless you want something with vertical tiles on it--I absolutely take commissions!)


I'm thinking this photo would be fun to do a mosaic of. I took it on a hike last month in Big Bend Ranch State Park, the national park's less visited, more rugged sister.

While I was deciding what to do and how to do it, I wandered over to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission building, the front of which bears six beautiful mosaic seals, in search of a little prickly pear tiling inspiration.


Look at this craziness! So beautiful, right? If you look closely, you can see the artist even included the damn needles!

I'm going for a different style (and ok, I'm also nowhere near that level), but it was cool and informative to see how something like this can be done. I'll post pictures of my progress, so check back from time to time, all right?  

Yay we are home

And the trip wasn't as harrowing as I thought it might be, thanks to a nonstop flight, fast security at LAX, and unexpected exit row seats.

One thing I noticed is that all the locals we talked to were really friendly and down to earth. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it wasn't warmth. Sweetness, even. We didn't spend any time in Los Angeles proper, though, so I can't speak to that. I would very much like to explore L.A. at some point too, but Pasadena was a dandy place to spend a weekend.



image from

Dag. I had so much fun this weekend. I've been cooped up in an office for the better part of two decades, so I forgot how fun it can be to stand behind a table and talk to everyone who flows past. Exhausting, but fun.

We met so many creative, funny people this weekend and saw and bought (and sold, if I do say so) some really cool art.

Tonight and tomorrow morning is our mini-vacation portion of the trip; so far it's been sushi, a trip to the liquor store for good local beer, a ramble through old town Pasadena, and a soak in the hotel hot tub.

I had ambitious plans to get down to Watts towers before our flight home tomorrow evening, but man, we're tired. We may just end up sprawled out by the pool until it's time to check out. It's a very nice pool. Don't judge me.


Greetings from the toy convention.

The people watching here is amazing. It's nerds on parade, flowing through the aisles like a river, and it's beautiful. Blue hair, cat T-shirts, punny tote bags ("Sofa King Rad," with a little cartoon king poking his sword and crown out of a couch-cushion fort was my favorite). Hot dog tights.

HOT DOG TIGHTS. Jammed into black patent-leather platform shoes.

One guy in his early 20s breathlessly told me, "I love this place because at home we're all weird but then we get together and you see how many of us there are!" I wanted to hug him but instead I just sold him a sticker. My face hurts from smiling. Some of that is come-buy-our-stuff customer service smiling, true, but mostly it's genuine.

Fulmination culmination


Freshly-painted heads. Photo by Eric.

Tomorrow morning we fly to Los Angeles to attend Designer Con, an art and toy extravaganza in Pasadena. Eric rented a booth there and has been feverishly painting, designing, printing, and packaging toys nearly every day for the past several months. It's been intense.


A couple of krampuses. Photo also by Eric.

He's been playing around with customizing existing toys for a long time, but it's only in the past few years that he's ramped up his efforts and started designing his own figures and putting them out. He even wrote a backstory for the latest batch. I'm extraordinarily proud of him--plus I'm excited to go take in the spectacle of ~300 toy vendors in one place.

His website is here and he is krotpong on Instagram if you want to go see what I'm talking about.