• IGGY'S

    There is a well known institution in Rhode Island called Iggy's Doughboys, where Iggy's sells Doughboys.  Doughboys are kinda like a doughnut, but without the hole.  Powdered sugar, chocolate, etc are all common toppings.  Seeing as I am only in Rhode Island for one more day I needed to hit up my local haunt.

    We arrived just before the storm.  OMINOUS, isn't it!

    I was a little piggy, I ordered a lobster roll, three clam cakes, a cup of New England clam chowder, and a coffee milk. Coffee Milk is only found in Rhode Island.  If you read the ingredients you quickly learn it has nothing to do with coffee, but still tastes like it.  It comes as a syrup and you mix it with milk, just like chocolate syrup, except WAY better!

  • Mom Weekend

    My mom turned 65 today, and she does not look it.  She still runs her own general contracting business and still swings a hammer with the guys she employs.  It's kept her young and strong and I'm grateful.  Most parents settle into retirement about this age.  My parents, however, are still doing all the renovations on their house in Rhode Island by themselves.

    This week I'm up in Rhode Island visting them for the celebration and just enjoying the water.

    My sister and I grew up spending summers here.  Seems posh to have a beach house, but this little beach neighborhood is very much working-class.  There's not a lot of fru-fru here.  I greatly dislike fru-fru.

    When I was about 8 I didn't have many friends in Rhode Island so my mom put a sewing machine in front of me and taught me the basics.  I made hats, pillows, big pillows, little pillows, littler pillows, a game case for my Nintendo video games, and more pillows... they were easy to make for a beginner.

    If someone asks me how I got started in design I guess this is it.

    Just a little self portrait.  I kinda like a composition.

  • NEW Teeth Belt and War Penguin Belt

    Behold two new amazing belts.

    "Teeth"

    Design by Nina Carelli

    Concept by Jeff Ball

    ----------------------------------

    "War Penguin"

    Design and Concept by D.Billy

  • Chicken Ride

    One of my artists (and friend), David William, and friend, Nathan Manuel, were in the (e)merge Art Fair this weekend.  I stopped by to say hi and ride a chicken.  One artist made a roast chicken that you could sit on and ride just like the old airplane rides outside of grocery stores.  Only 50 cents and it was well worth it.

  • NEW 'Zombies in Space' Belt

    We just did a soft launch of the new 'Zombies in Space' belt.  We'll make a big stink about it when we finish the rotating belt images for the VR belt tour function.  But till then it is up online and ready to be loved!

  • Grand Central Terminal

    Jeff and I are hard at work designing our booth for the Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair.  It is the premiere Holiday Fair in the country and an honor to be invited to participate.  Last year this event was a huge BOOM to my company, helping up spread the word to NYC and surrounding areas.  Over 1,000,000 people pass through Grand Central Terminal each day during the holidays.  Can't pass that up!

    We like to make models before committing to actually building out the space.   Also building models is just plain fun.

  • Dog Collar Photoshoot

    Recently our Creative Director, Jenna, and Lead Photographer, Keith, took on the task of producing our dog collar catalog.  It's nearly finished, and soon we'll be bombarding pet stores!  This is Dewey.

  • Pepperoni Rolls - Future Pirate Chef Cookbook Entry

    Behold the majesty of the Pepperoni Roll.  I developed this little concoction while hanging with some friends for the weekend.  The local grocery store didn't have much in the way of food, but they had some odd essentials, which I managed to turn into a culinary wonder... The Pepperoni Roll!

    Here's what you'll need:

    1. Pepperoni (This time I used Turkey Pepperoni as it's 60% less fat... as if that'll matter by the time these are done)

    2. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (one package is enough to make 4-5 of these Pepperoni Rolls)

    3. Mozzarella String Cheese Sticks

    4. Preheat oven to 375

    Unroll the Crescent Roll dough, making sure to keep two of the crescent triangle together so that they form a rectangle that looks like this.

    Place 5-6 pepperoni slices in the middle of the dough.

    Add one mozzarella stick.

    Wrap up the little concoction, making sure to pinch the edges and seal it all in.  Double check to make sure the crescent roll perforations are sealed.  Remove excess dough from ends and save for a potential 5th roll.  One crescent roll package has 4 rectangles of dough, though if you remove the excess dough after you pinch your pepperoni rolls closed you can get enough dough for a fifth roll.

    Place then in a non-stick pan, leaving an inch or so between each one.

    Next place your pepperoni rolls in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.  You just want them a wee bit golden brown.

    Eat as a full roll or cut them up into little bits as an appetizer. Soooooo Gooooood!

  • 2011 T-shirt Time Capsule - BLAST FROM THE PAST part II

  • Repost from Our Friends Paul and Kat (and Nickel)

    Preface: This is a re-post from an original blog entry by my friend Kat of 'Paul and Kat,' who are the owners of Nickel, the original Hipster Dog and the star of our 'Being Nickel' T-shirt.  The original entry can be found here.

    Flight 2363

    It’s been a while since Paul and I have posted here, a lot’s been going on lately! The most recent news… we’re engaged! Now for those of you who know us or have met us somewhere along the way, Paul Lovine and I have been doing this long distance SF-LA thing for about 6 years now. With projects like PaulandKat.com, little Nickel the “Hipster Dog”‘s tumblog, camping trips, and small adventures, we’ve definitely racked up on the mile count of flights we’ve had at Southwest Airlines. Considering how we see each other almost every weekend, it’s crazy to think about how much Lovine, Nickel and I have spent on these flights. (Yes, ever since Southwest Air opened their doors to small dogs, Nickel became a happy frequent flyer as well! He knows the drill!)

    Pillbox hat custom made by our friend, Janie XY.

    One typical Thursday flight, I was on my way to LA for a long weekend. It was Paul Lovine’s birthday, and I was on my usual routine: Leave work, take the BART and BART Bus to OAK Airport, wait at Gate – either read or sketch, get in the plane, and pass out (as this is the quickest way to get to Burbank). Little did I know that on this “typical” flight, I was already being watched as early as while I was waiting at the gate, and that when I passed out, I was to wake with the most unexpected (and pleasant) surprise!

    Kat's Typical Pre-Weekend Pass Out Party

    So I woke, mid-flight, to a flash of light, and the sound of a guitar. I open my eyes, and there Lovine stood, smiling, and playing. And a stranger stood next to him, also smiling, and taking photos. Hands with Iphones and such were faced my direction, taking photos or videos of that poor little shocked sleepy girl and her serenading boyfriend.

    Paul Lovine Plays

    It was a mix of emotions. Still half asleep, I was all confused and just kept saying “What’s this about??” “How did you get here?!” “What’s going on??” “Where are we?!?” “Is this a dream??”  It was pure confusion from a half-asleep girl! For a minute there I thought that the plane had already landed at Burbank and Lovine must’ve hopped onto it and we’re off to some other connecting flight. Yes, I was that knocked out not to feel a thing. Then my thoughts shifted to “Hey! Lovine’s playing “Real Love!” By the Beatles!” “Oh! Wow!” I remembered asking him some months ago if he can play that, because he normally plays any song I ask him to, but that particular song, he never really did. Turns out he was saving it for the big one.

    Me, realizing that he was playing "Real Love"

    Him, just rocking it out

    I then just let it all go and sang along, people behind me were singing along too, and he finishes. Later on I found out that he printed out copies of the lyrics to pass out to the other passengers, which also included a Beatles cartoon drawing that I made years ago. And it wasn’t over. He then asked me to please step out to the aisle, because someone special wanted to say hello as well. And sure enough, it was Nickel! Popping out with that cute flight attendant hat from a bag I did not recognize! (I later on found out that Lovine had to get a new one, since Nickel’s flight bag was left up north with me.)

    Paul Lovine knelt down and placed a ring on top of Nickel’s hat. I was shocked.

    ... Will you?

    And at 30,000 feet above the ground,  I said YES.

    Yes.

    We're getting married!

    It was amazing. Even more amazing on how his proposal happened in a place that’s really, really significant to our relationship. I am forever thankful to Southwest Airlines for not just helping my now fiancee make this possible, but also for the fact that this company is not just any airline you hop onto. They’re like one big family, ready to serve, and always happy. Their cheap flights made it possible for Lovine, Nickel and I to see each other almost every weekend, which helped make our relationship grow.

    Nickel laughs, because he knew of all these plans all along.

    Now here I am excited for all the adventure, and art, that’s in store for us! :)

    For more photos of the proposal, and Paul Lovine’s side of the story as well (believe me, he went through a lot that day to get there!) click here.

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