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  • E.M. Forester

    "We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned to have the life that is waiting for us." - EM Forester.  It's a commonly passed around quote and one that was on the label of my Honest Tea bottle.   But just because it's popular doesn't mean it doesn't have merit.  It's quite the truism!

    For me it applies to relationships, letting go of my preconceived notions of relationships and letting in the ones that I truly connect with.  i.e. I don't need to marry Rachael McAdams, though I am still not opposed to the idea should the situation present itself.

    For work, I never had any notion of a planned life.  I have no memory of ever thinking life would turn out a certain way.  Aside from believing I would be a firefighter at age 5 (and an astronaut since then) I have always raged against certain normalities.  My dad would have longggg talks with me about financial responsibility, retirement, family, etc.    I always pushed back.  I am really grateful for those talks.  Dad was expressing nothing but love and trying to help me have the best life possible.

    Luckily I had an inkling of an idea that I needed to pursue other avenues.  Now, I get to be a nexus for amazing artists and produce fun items that people really connect with.  It's an amazing ride.

    That's another thing, don't forget that life is a ride... hold on tight cause it will be over before you know it.  And don't forget to scream, have that sinking feeling in your stomach, hold the person next to you, feel the rush... you get the idea.

  • It's True!

    Best fortune from a fortune cookie!

  • Yosemite Pt. 2

    A few weeks ago we wrapped up a successful trip out to San Fran and L.A. to do some craft festivals.  Inbetween the San Fran and L.A. shows my friend Mike and I visited Yosemite... Part 2.

    The first thing we saw when we got to Yosemite was a massive gift shop.  We didn't expect it to be such a commercial park.

    We just might have found a really cool rock slide to climb.

    On the way up the trail.  Keeping it cool.

    We couldn't climb the rock side any higher, it was starting to get dangerous and went from rocks to rock dust.  Not exactly sure footing.

    The next day Mike and I climbed the Glacier Point trail.  It was nearly 45 degrees tack backs all the way up the mountain.

    A view of Half Dome on the way up.

    Waterfall.  This is a waterfall.  Another view on the way up the Glacier Trail path.

    View from the top.

    On the way down I touched a red wood.

    On the way out of Yosemite we got right up to the base of the waterfall.

    Standing triumphant at the base of the waterfall.  Later I would climb closer and closer and closer till the mist was so dense that I couldn't see and was totally soaked.

    Then we headed back to L.A. to do another craft festival.  Amazing vacation.

  • My Interns Will Destroy Your Interns Any Day!

    Heat index has us near 115.  UV warning.  Pollutant warning.  It is one of those rare days we decided not to sell at Eastern Market but instead stayed in the workshop and are working on making hundreds of wrist cuffs for the Christmas Season.

    Matt is a first year intern.  He's learning the ropes and seeing what it takes to make a business successful.

    Palmer is a second year intern.  Last year he was working with us in my parent's garage.  We're happy he stayed with us!  That's some serious dedication!

    This is John Paul, who owns Fuzzy-Ink.com.  He is hanging out in the workshop and escaping the heat as well.  We all met at a show a few years ago and both realized their are few people that are obsessed with their companies as we are.

    And saving the best for last, Jeff Ball, President of the operation.  Jeff took a big chance on me.  I once told Jeff of how I hoped we could grow the company enough that I could pay him a salary.  He took that quiet seriously, quitting his job and living off his savings for over a year until we could get the company far enough that I could pay him a modest salary.  It was rough.  We were broke.  We made it work.

    Two years later and I couldn't run the operation without him.  And now it truly is an operation.

  • New Dog Collar Patterns Coming Soon

    As the title says, new patterns coming soon...

  • Nickel in L.A.

    Lovine (aka Paul of Paul and Kat) came to visit me at the Renegade LA event, and brought Nickel (aka the original Hipster Dog).  It was quite the nice surprise.  Apparently Kat lives in San Fran and Paul lives in L.A. and they commute back and forth to see each other.  Very romantic!  When you meet them you instantly realize this couple could finish each others sentences.

    On this Cali trip I got to see Nickel in both cities.  Nickel is one of those special dogs that came into the lives of Paul and Kat unexpectedly.  They weren't looking for a dog, but they seemed to be the only one to take him.  Long story short, it was meant to be.  Of the people I know who claim an intense soul-bond with their animals it always seems that the animal finds them in a way.  Just like really good human relationships, they come about when you aren't looking or from unexpected places.

    It sounds weird to say, but I try hard not to look.  It's quite challenging, but every amazing relationship I've had, both with friends, girlfriends, and animals has come when I was not looking for one, when I was just letting life happen... saying 'yes' to new possibilities.

    Now the good stuff, some awesome Nickel photos from L.A.  With me is my friend Jasmine from college.  We reconnected after 10 years, and shit stayed the same... keeping it stupid.

    Nickel decided to play 'Humpy Dance' with me.

    The tongue sticking out is the best!

    It took forever to keep a straight face.

    We're trying to look stoic, is it working?

  • Last day in L.A.

    These are the yummy things I ate during my last day in L.A.

    Banana and walnut pancakes with cream cheese topping and syrup.

    Senior Fish, a mini chain with good Tacos.

    Beard Papa's, a cream pastry shop from Japan.

    Veggie grilled panini.  I'm trying not to eat meat just cause it's in front of me.  It was delicious.

  • Yosemite pt.1

    More photos of Yosemite once I get them off the camera, but for now enjoy the update.

    In-between our Cali shows my friend, Mike, and I did some hiking in Yosemite.  The first day we inadvertently picked a rather touristy hike, so the second day we made sure to pick a more arduous one, only to discover there was a road that leads people to the top of the mountain we spent all day hiking to.  So when we arrived to the top of our breath taking view we were bombarded by Rascals and Hoverrounds.  Need I say more.

    The Hostel we stayed at covered all the beds with plastic, in case we had accidents.  Very kind of them!  It made me laugh.  Then we made howling noises to freak out the people in the hostel cabins around us.

    I finally got to see my waterfall.  I jumped the barrier and climbed the slippery rocks to get as close to the slash-down point as I could.  I was getting soaked just by the mist alone.  It was amazing.  You could hear nothing but the crash of the water on the rocks.

    After two days in Yosemite we headed back to LA, where I am composing this blog, to prepare for this next weekends Renegade Craft Fair in LA.

    Some things to note about the Econolodge we stayed in.

    1. Dirt Cheap

    2. Shower so powerful it will blast the dirt right off you.

    3. Terrible Wifi

    4. If the number on your room is gone they will replace it with a print-out taped to the door.  This gave me a good laugh as we left.

    5. Lots of Wal-Mart drivers stay at the Econolodge.

  • Who wouldn't want to be Nickel

    This past weekend I was in San Francisco at the Renegade Craft Fair.  The Renegade group only picks the cream of the crop for it's shows and it is an honor to get in to one of their shows.  It also means all our hard work is paying off.

    Some of that hard work culminated in turning Nickel, already an internet star, into a t-shirt.  This weekend I got to meet Nickel in person for the first time and see Paul and Kat again, fellow crafters and the owner of Nickel.

    Nickel ran into some fans in the parking lot of the Renegade show.

    Thanks to Paul and Kat for the wonderful photos.

  • Karma

    I'm in the eye of the storm again, where I get a moment of peace and clarity just before a series of big events.  The next two weekends, with 9 shows, bring in all the money needed to prepare for the Christmas season.

    It's a lot of pressure, but I truly believe that when faced with a challenge, we have all the tools we need to meet that challenge.  So, I am anxious, but not nervous.  Nervous ended a while ago, when I was unsure if people would like our graphic belts.  Now I am confident in what we do, and I just need to remember to keep moving forward in a positive manner, one that benefits all the people with whom I come in contact.  It's Karma, for lack of a better term.

    I had a whole list of awesome Karmatic things that happened because I kept a positive outlook or  did the right thing when the wrong thing would have seemed more fun or helped someone out,  but Karma is more elusive than that.  It's power is much more indirect and it's effect much bigger than a tit-for-tat accounting.  Also, I'd like to keep some of those moments close to the heart and not blast them in cyberspace.

    This next challenge will crumble before us, because we have the right people, the right thinking, and the right goals.  We also now have a George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine in the workshop, which is making a world of difference.

    I just came across this old photo, which for some reason got me thinking about Karma.

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