Handmade Highlights

Handmade Highlights: The Heated Interviewed by Dear Handmade Life

18 October, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

We’re pretty excited to have two Handmade Highlights in a row that feature Angie of Dear Handmade Life, both coincidentally interviewing Modern Mouse artisans! This time around shows Cristina Espinosa of The Heated, who makes those awesome screenprinted dish towels at the shop. The awesome Golden Gate Bridge + Sutro Tower + Bay Bridge + F Market Line San Francisco set? Yeah, that’s her doing. I always love reading about our artist’s backgrounds and what makes them tick, aren’t we all just so interesting? Read on to learn more about one of your favorite artists at the Mouse, through the eyes of one of our favorite local handmade blogs!

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Cristina calls the Bay Area home, and its reflected in her product.  She has some super practical business advice, and the way that she has started her creative business can be an inspiration to anyone! Meet Cristina of The Heated, and check out her amazing creations!

~ANGIE~

Please introduce yourself.

Hello. My name is Cristina Espinosa and I’m an artist living in San Francisco, originally from Los Angeles. The bay area has been my home for the last 22 years and I love it.

What do you make or do?

The Heated is the name of my business. I’m a screen printer who specializes in dish towels. I create the majority of the designs but pull in special guest stars from time to time. There’s another idea I’ve been kicking around for a line of frame-able wire sculptures attached to paper. Stay tuned!

Where can we find your creations?

If you want to find a store near you that carries my dish towels, go here: http://www.theheated.com/shop/find-a-store/

If you prefer to shop online: https://www.etsy.com/shop/theheated

For more information on The Heated: http://www.theheated.com

Is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?

Creativity is a critical necessity. My life without creativity would not be worth living. All of us have a story that we can’t help but express and I use art and music to tell mine. That being said, it’s a luxury too. To be able to sit in my living room and fill up notebooks with my doodles feels completely indulgent. I’m so lucky to do what I do for a living.

What obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?

My biggest obstacle to leading a creative life was my own fear. It never even occurred to me to pursue art as a way of life because I was afraid to go against the idea of what we’re all “supposed” to do (go to college, get a stable job, etc). So I focused on a career path I found dull and ended up bouncing from low-wage job to low-wage job after getting my degree, finally settling into a life of administrative assisting. It wasn’t until I worked for a screen printing company that I was able to see how art could make money.

Since I worked in the sales department, I didn’t even learn to screen print when I worked there. But I would argue that working the sales department gave me a far better education in the skills a person needs to run a business. There is still a part of me that doesn’t feel like an artist, but a sales representative who got lucky. I started The Heated when I was 32 without any sort of official artistic training, so it definitely took me years and years to take a chance on a creative life. I’m glad I hung in there and didn’t let my complete lack of experience stop me.

What inspiring advice would you give to other creatives be they established or just starting out?

Make something you would want to own.

Take time off. You cannot see your business clearly if it’s all you do.

Steer the ship and accept that going off-course is not only a given, but often a blessing.

Eat three meals a day. Drink water. Get enough sleep. Take care of yourself.

Be realistic when creating deadlines. Be willing to adjust what’s important and be honest about how long things take (hint: often much longer than you think).

Do the task that makes you feel the most uncomfortable first.

Run profit/loss and cash flow reports. Be honest with yourself about money.

Keep pushing your artistic boundaries and interests. Make stuff for fun. Go see other art. Read about artists.

Test products out before you release them to stores. If something doesn’t sell, kill it. No mercy.

If you’re just starting out, don’t forget that we were all in your shoes at some point. Don’t apologize for your pricing. Get what you are worth. Pay attention to what people respond to and expand on it.

theheatedtheheated theheated theheated theheated theheatedThe Heated

Source: Maker: Cristina of The Heated – Dear Handmade Life

Artist Profile: SFC San Francycle

17 October, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Everyone knows that biking is a great way to have fun, stay fit and get around. What everyone doesn’t know, is that you need a comfy, lightweight and awesome tee to wear while you’re biking. Check out these rad designs from SFC San Francycle, founded by Tommy Pham in San Francisco. He’ll have you cycling to the shop for one of his shirts in no time!

Cyclist Republic

Cyclist Republic

SFC San Francycle’s Story 
“We are a casual cyclist’s clothing store. We print and design everything in San Francisco and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

The Cyclist

The Cyclist

A Day at SFC San Francycle  
“We spend our days channelling our creative minds to create what we put forth in front of you.”

Exploded

Exploded

Fun Facts 
“Did you know we distribute throughout the bay area?”

Bear Hug

Bear Hug

Other Alias  
“SFC is our preferred nickname ;)”

 

Artist Profile: Bay Blown Glass

20 September, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

As Bay Blown Glass’ fortune cookie says, “Wander and you shall find.” Come by Modern Mouse and discover wonderful glass art by Dana Rottler and Peter Stucky of Bay Blown Glass in Berkeley. You may even spot a beautifully sculpted starfish or two along the way. Help us give a warm welcome to our new artist, Bay Blown Glass!

Dana Rottler and Peter Stucky from Bay Blown Glass.

Dana Rottler and Peter Stucky from Bay Blown Glass.

Bay Blown Glass’ Business Story 
We are two emerging artists who collaborate to create beautiful and unique hand blown glassware and hand crafted sculptures for the world to enjoy. Living and working in as well as being inspired by the San Francisco Bay Area’s city-landscape, culture, arts, and community. We are drawn together by a great passion and love for the arts concentrating specifically in glass, its process and the qualities that it, as a material, has to offer. Each Piece we create is a 1 of a kind, with unique individual character, and hand crafted with love.

Bay Blown Glass' studio.

Bay Blown Glass’ studio.

The Start of Something Wonderful
One of us is inspired by the perfect imperfections of people, places, and things.  Enjoying places like the train tracks and the freeway.  The quirkiness and honesty of it all.  Liking to see the weeds grow out of the concrete and the graffiti on the walls.

The other is driven by the duality of nature and the city along with the juxtaposition of people and places. Each contained within each other and understood through travel and exploration.

Glass snails.

Glass snails.

Fun Facts
Glass the ideal material is fluid yet stiff, timeless but temporal, captivating while transparent, malleable but fragile, illuminated and reflective- just like human nature.

Glass starfishes.

Glass starfishes.

Bay Blown Glass’ Other Aliases?
BBG or Bay Blown

Fortune cookie.

Fortune cookie.

Artist Profile: Fernando Pinon

06 September, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Everyone meet Fernando Pinon from ArtHouseUnited, based in San Diego, California. Fernando is an amazing entrepreneur who works with anything from charitable work to graphic design to creating leather goods. If you’ve been to Modern Mouse lately, you’ll notice some gorgeous hand-painted leather cuffs. These leather cuffs are salvaged by Fernando and made into the wonderful gifts you see today. Read on to learn more about Fernando and don’t forget to visit his website: http://www.arthouseunited.com/

Fernando Pinon from ArtHouseUnited.

Fernando Pinon from ArtHouseUnited.

Fernando’s Business Story 
“My art studio, ArtHouseUnited, focuses on using art for environmental and social change. In 2014, I started an environmental initiative called the Reclamation Project. The purpose of the project is to limit the environmental impact of manufacturing by using an arts-based approach to salvage discarded material that would otherwise be thrown away. We use art and design to transform the discarded material into artisan goods that can be sold to support good causes.”

Reclamation Project posterThe Start of Something Wonderful
“My art studio was founded in 2006 and was initially a public arts organization in Austin, TX whose mission was to bring conceptual art into public spaces. Over time, my interests and my studio grew to encompass painting, drawing, photography, leather goods and footwear design, illustration and graphics. My other projects include ClassroomArts – illustrated books and coloring pages and WorldHouseMusic Collective – music production.”

Heather and Shell for Reclamation2 2014Fun Facts
“The Reclamation Project currently salvage 200 lbs of leather each month from being thrown away and we’ll soon grow to salvage 600 lbs a month!

ClassroomArts provides over 1000 elementary schools with free Public-Safety -Announcement coloring pages.

The Reclamation bracelets are used to reduce homelessness, fund research for cancer, help the environment, and support local school and community projects?”

Summer2 2014Fernando’s Other Aliases?
Fernando – Fern
Studio, ArtHouseUnited
Product, Reclamation Bracelets

Handmade Highlights: Bird vs. Bird Designs Interview on Dear Handmade Life! 

31 August, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Greetings and welcome back to Handmade Highlights! In this addition, we’re featuring one of our favorite artists, Bird vs. Bird Designs! Bess Petty was recently interviewed by Angie of Dear Handmade Life. The first block of text below is Petty’s intro from her website and the second is the interview. We’ve been carrying Bird vs Bird Designs wallets, stuffies and more for quite a while now. We’re pretty sure she’s one of the longest running crafters to be “putting a bird on it” and we’re very excited to see her getting more recognition out in the world! :)

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Ahoy bird lovers!  I’ve been more than a little under the radar lately, but that doesn’t mean exciting things aren’t happening.  New designs are brewing, the goslings are on parade at Lake Merritt, and I was dive-bombed by a Brewers Blackbird this afternoon.

In other news, the lovely folks at Dear Handmade Life, who bring you the Patchwork Shows here in Oakland as well as down south, and also put on Craftcation, kindly featured me on their blog today.  You can read the interview here[ or below! ;) ]

Hope everybody’s having a lovely spring!

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Today we are featuring Bess Petty of Bird Vs Bird. She has some lovely designs, and in her own words “has been putting a bird on it since 2007”. She’s learning how to balance being mom, and creative at the same time…and seems to be doing a great job of figuring out how to do that! Meet Bess and check out her sweet bird creations!

{ANGIE}

Please introduce yourself.

Hi!  I’m Bess Petty.  I grew up in Davis, CA, went to college in Berkeley, where I studied studio art, and for a good long while now I’ve lived in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood.  My household includes my husband, Matt, our 8 month old baby boy Silas, and our handsome orange kitty Tucker.  Also a lot of craft supplies, cookbooks and knick knacks.

What do you make or do?

Long story short, I’ve been putting a bird on it since 2007.  To be a little more accurate, I make digital illustrations of birds, primarily those that can be found here in northern CA.  I make all kinds of goodies with my feathered friends printed on them, from magnets and pins to coasters and pillows.  While I outsource some of the printing to companies like Spoonflower, I do all the sewing, fabrication and packaging in my tiny home studio.

Where can we find your creations?

My work can be purchased online from my Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/shop/birdversusbird as well as at a number of brick and mortar retailers, which are listed on my website http://birdversusbird.com/

Is there an interesting story behind the name of your business?

Many years ago someone gave me an old Time Life book about birds that had an awesome photo of a sparrow fighting itself in a mirror.  That’s where the name and my fighting bird logo come from.

How long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?

I’ve been creating all my life and have been doing so in a business-like way for about 7 years.  Bird vs. Bird started out very, very small (I sold at one store on consignment and to friends and family).  The business grew over the years as I started selling on Etsy, doing shows, and making wholesale contacts. I had a full-time day job until September 2014, when I had a baby. (Who is now my full time job!)  So I’m still doing this on weekends and in the evenings.  Once Silas is a bit older I’m hoping to continue to expand, and we’ll see what happens!

When you’re not making things, what do you do?

I love to cook, which I guess is making things but in a different way.  I’m rediscovering Oakland on foot now that I have a wee one and no car during the day–we go on lots of long walks around the lake and through the surrounding neighborhoods.  It’s nice to take things in at a slow pace.

If money wasn’t an issue how would your life change with regards to your art?

I would no doubt pull the trigger on some new equipment I’ve been eyeballing–things like a new computer, some die-cutting machines, a swanky printer.  I think I would feel more freedom to experiment with new techniques and materials without worrying about a fancy idea turning into an expensive failure.  And if I could afford to have a separate studio space and part time childcare I think I’d be able to focus more and give myself more fully to the creative process.  Right now I usually feel pulled in 100 directions and never seem to have enough time to really settle in to something.

What would be your perfect day off?

Leisurely breakfast with husband and kiddo somewhere that has good coffee with free refills, then either a hike in Point Reyes with a delicious picnic or an urban hike where I stop at every weird thrift store, eating place, mysterious grocery store, etc. that strikes my fancy.

Sources: Maker: Bess of Bird vs Bird – Dear Handmade What’s Up + Interview on Dear Handmade Life! | Bird vs. Bird

Build a Better Dorm Room!

06 August, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

From top left to right: Sriracha & Little Dipper 7-Year Pens by Seltzer Goods; Essential Everyday Journals by Galison; Make a List Notepad by Ruby Taylor; 45 Record Coasters by GAMA-GO; Good Coffee Mug by Seltzer Goods; Work Hard Print by Will Bryant; The Holdster by Holdster USA; I'd Rather Be Sleeping Women's Tee by Headline Shirts; Road Rash Gear Pouch Set by Roads End; Pig Clock by [un]possible Cuts; Seahorse Reusable Eco-Tote by EnV Bags; Deuville Sling Crossbody Bag by Maika

From top left to right: Sriracha & Little Dipper 7-Year Pens by Seltzer Goods; Essential Everyday Journals by Galison; Make a List Notepad by Ruby Taylor; 45 Record Coasters by GAMA-GO; Good Coffee Mug by Seltzer Goods; Work Hard Print by Will Bryant; The Holdster by Holdster USA; I’d Rather Be Sleeping Women’s Tee by Headline Shirts; Road Rash Gear Pouch Set by Roads End; Pig Clock by [un]possible Cuts; Seahorse Reusable Eco-Tote by EnV Bags; Deuville Sling Crossbody Bag by Maika

Whether you’re freshly Freshman or a seasoned Senior on campus, living in a dorm is quite the make-or-break experience for most folks. Not only do you want awesome supplies to actually get your work done in your classes, but you also want a great homey space to go back to for fun, as well as studying of course. When it comes to unique products that’ll make your space great, Modern Mouse has you covered! We can see it now…

There are two kinds of coffee drinkers in the morning: those that wake up early enough to relax and enjoy a cup in their favorite mug and those that take it on-the-go. If you’re looking for some fun ceramic drinkware, you’ll definitely want to check out Seltzer Goods’ collection of mugs, but if you’re more of an on-the-go morning person, The Holdster is going to be your new favorite travel mug. It’s handmade leather sleeve allows you to actually hold your beverage-carrier without playing hot potato and the super-sealed mason jar lid lets it roll about your bag or bike without spilling. Oh and don’t mess up that vintage wooden coffee table you and your buddy found on the sidewalk, lay down some 45 Record Coasters by GAMA-GO. 

Whoops, time to go! You’re right on time, and that’s because you have an awesome Laser-Cut Wooden Clock by Oakland-based [un]possible cuts, right next to your Will Bryant Art Print you picked out. You’re getting to class right on time, so you can jot down some notes for later on your Make a List Notepad by Ruby Taylor, writing with your awesome 7-Year Pen by Seltzer Goods of course. You’re a college student, a $7.50 investment for a pen that’s going to write 1.7 meters per day for 7 years makes you a genius.

While leaving class, one of your classmates comments on how cool your Deuville Sling Crossbody Bag is. You let them know its handmade by organizational superstars Maika and they can find it at Modern Mouse! You proceed to show them how organized your bag is with your Road Rash Gear Pouch Set by Roads End, made with Abrasion resistant black mesh and truck tarps. Awesome!

What a first day that was, you were so prepared, and that’s because you went to the Mouse, hehe. Check out our Latest Arrivals online and these Collections for items seen here and more:

Seltzer GoodsGAMA-GOMaikaThe Grommet

Chronicle BooksHeadline ShirtsEnV Bags

 

K-12 Back-2-School Gift Guide

06 August, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

From top left to right: Hedgehog & Panda 7-Year Pens by Seltzer Goods; Airmail Messenger Bag, Giraffes Are Good People Lunch Tote, Tool Kit Pencil Case, Need More Shiny Things Coin Purse by Blue Q; Flexi Journals by BoyGirlParty & Donna Wilson; Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags by Jaq Jaq Bird; Eiffel Tower Canvas Lunch Tote by GirlsCanTell; Keeper of the Jackalopes Canvas Bookmark by Studio M.M.E.; Doctor Who - Matt Smith Button Pack by Nerdy Cat Productions; Kaiju LED Keychain by GAMA-GO; Artist Magnets Pack by Seltzer Goods; San Francisco Pens by Tomoko Maruyama; Wheelvils Water Bottle by Liberty Bottleworks

From top left to right: Hedgehog & Panda 7-Year Pens by Seltzer Goods; Airmail Messenger Bag, Giraffes Are Good People Lunch Tote, Tool Kit Pencil Case, Need More Shiny Things Coin Purse by Blue Q; Flexi Journals by BoyGirlParty & Donna Wilson; Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags by Jaq Jaq Bird; Eiffel Tower Canvas Lunch Tote by GirlsCanTell; Keeper of the Jackalopes Canvas Bookmark by Studio M.M.E.; Doctor Who – Matt Smith Button Pack by Nerdy Cat Productions; Kaiju LED Keychain by GAMA-GO; Artist Magnets Pack by Seltzer Goods; San Francisco Pens by Tomoko Maruyama; Wheelvils Water Bottle by Liberty Bottleworks

Well friends, it’s almost time. June and July have been whisked away by all of our Summer antics, August is upon us and September is fast approaching. That could only mean one thing…Back-to-School Shopping. Whether you’re reading this and thinking about your kids or thinking about all of the cool new stuff you want to make school a bit more fun, you’re already a step ahead by being here! Instead of waiting for those school packets and supply lists, get stocked up on the essentials that you know are going to be needed to make this school year awesome.

Here at the Mouse, we love organizing, so Blue Q‘s collection of bags and pouches are naturally some of our favorite products in the store. These are all made from 95% post-consumer material, making them some of the most eco-friendly items in the business. We can see your school-supply now, can you imagine it? Keep all of your pencil lead, erasers and small items in a Coin Pouch, the pens and pencils in a perfectly-sized Pencil Case and the rest of your school life in a nice Messenger Bag. Your lunch would of course be stored in a nice Handy Tote in your locker, awaiting you to enjoy its deliciousness.

Nestled in that nice bag of yours will also be some nice Flexi Journals that are designed to work with your everyday life and not get ruined by the slightest bend; plus, they all come with awesome artwork by local & independent artists! We can’t have you losing your place in those journals either, so be sure to pick up a Canvas Bookmark with original art by Studio M.M.E. And what do you plan on writing with this year? We would recommend skipping the dollar-store pens and go for something that gives you a little more bang for your buck, like a 7-Year Pen by Seltzer Goods. These bad boys will write 1.7 meters a day for 7 years, guaranteed by the artist or a replacement ink supply will be sent!

Oh and your awesome backpack would be incomplete without a little bit of flair. You should check out the awesome collection of buttons by one of our newest artists, Nerdy Cat Productions. They have awesome button packs and singles available with pop culture superstars like Doctor Who, Studio Ghibli, Orange is the New Black, Over the Garden Wall and more! If you’re in need of a little locker flair too, Seltzer Goods also offers some awesome magnet sets to keep everything tidy in that locker of yours.

From pouches to pens and notebooks to lunch bags, the Mouse is here for you with awesome goods that are sure to make you stand out from the crowded hallway. We can see it now, Yearbook’s Most Unique: the local Mouse-goer! ;)

Check out our Latest Arrivals online and these Collections for items seen here and more:

Seltzer GoodsBylee DesignBlue QLiberty Bottleworks,

Jaq Jaq BirdNerdy Cat ProductionsGAMA-GO

Summer Fun Gift Guide – Part II

19 July, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

From top left to right: I Love You California, Poppy Art Print by 3 Fish Studios; Bottles Up Wall-Mount Bottle Opener by FluffyCo; Surf Earrings & Popsicle Earrings by [un]possible cuts; Fabric Headbands by Cookie & the Dude; WOW Flag Water Bottle by Liberty Bottleworks; Ice Cream Earrings by Happy Cupcake Days; Summertime Fun Art Print by Le Petit Elefant; Cook and Eat Well Pint Glass by Bread & Badger; You're Doing Fine Women's Tee by Headline Shirts; DiverseCity Men's Tee by 57-33; Cyclist Republic Men's & Women's Tanks by SanFrancycle

From top left to right: I Love You California, Poppy Art Print by 3 Fish Studios; Bottles Up Wall-Mount Bottle Opener by FluffyCo; Surf Earrings & Popsicle Earrings by [un]possible cuts; Fabric Headbands by Cookie & the Dude; WOW Flag Water Bottle by Liberty Bottleworks; Ice Cream Earrings by Happy Cupcake Days; Summertime Fun Art Print by Le Petit Elefant; Cook and Eat Well Pint Glass by Bread & Badger; You’re Doing Fine Women’s Tee by Headline Shirts; DiverseCity Men’s Tee by 57-33; Cyclist Republic Men’s & Women’s Tanks by SanFrancycle

Reading the second part of a Gift Guide without reading the first is like watching the sequel to movie without having seen the first, its just wrong. Go check out the Summer Fun Gift Guide – Part I, if you haven’t already! ;)

We’re sure by now that you’re knee deep in Summer activities, so we won’t keep you around for longer than we did for Part I. Perhaps you’ve just gotten back from vacation, are about to leave or have just been hittin’ the beach during your breaks whenever possible. However Summer works out for you, we know that it can be quite the season for change, being in between school years, semesters and sometimes new jobs or homes. Let’s make ourselves feel awesome with awesome Summery goods from handmade, local and indie artists!

Summer in the Bay is kinda funny, because you never know when its going to actually get hot. That’s when lightweight tees, perfect for layering when necessary, really come in handy. Headline Shirts‘ trademark Vintage Blend is a brilliant combination of materials that creates the softest tee on the market; plus, they’re all printed with fun designs in San Francisco! If you’re more sure about your day’s dress code and are looking to go sleeveless, we’d recommend checking out some of the latest Tanks by San Francycle. If you’re into bikes, being a Californian and stayin’ cool, these guys are for you!

Stay hydrated out there everybody! You might want to pickup a new USA-made, recycled metal Water Bottle by Liberty Bottleworks, they’re pretty awesome and are guaranteed spill-less when closed with their patented “click-cap” design. For the days or nights that you’re kicking back at home, we’d recommend popping open a cold one on a Wall-Mounted Bottle Opener by FluffyCo and pouring it into a sandblasted Pint Glass by Bread & Badger. That’s a combination sure to stand the test of time.

If home is where the heart is, then shouldn’t it adjust to the times like you do? Freshen up your space with some seasonal artwork by 3 Fish Studios and Le Petit Elefant. The I Love You California series has so many different designs to choose from, you could put up a new one every month if you wanted to! Or if you’re planning on having visitors during your Summer, the guest room is sure to brighten up just as well with any number of the pieces we have at the Mouse.

Colorize your days out with super cute laser-cut Earrings by Oakland-based [un]possible cuts, we’ve got some new designs in intended for Summer Fun! And while you’re at it, hold back that luscious lox with one of many colorfully handmade Fabric Headbands by Cookie & the Dude. You can’t show off your new earrings with your hair blowing all over the place!

However you spend the rest of your Summer, know the heat is coming and we’re prepared for it with all kinds of awesome new products and fan favorites from all the best local & indie artists. Happy Summer, and see you at the Mouse!!

 

Summer Fun Gift Guide – Part I

04 July, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Ahhh, Summer in The Bay. Not to hot, not too cold, sometimes too much wind, but it is pretty awesome. Summer always makes me think of smoothies, sweets, beach antics and miscellaneous mozying about the East Bay with friends. Then again, that part about the sweets applies pretty much year round, but I think you catch my drift. Whether you’re sticking around for the season or have plenty of travel plans lined up for the next couple of months, the Mouse has you covered!

Let’s say you do plan on doing some travelling, why not bring an extra little companion along, like the 3D-printed Joi Torii by Joy Complex? Take part in the Joi Torii global art project by snapping photos of your Torii in fun places and posting them on Instagram or Twitter with the #JoiTorii hashtag. Joy Complex is going to make an art book some day with all of the best photos! 

Also helpful when you’re on-the-go, be it to the beach or Bahamas, are travel bags for your munchies! Jaq Jaq Bird has some great options that are made with Food Safe materials, are completely dishwasher safe, water & stain proof. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, veteran Mouse artist Girls Can Tell still has amazingly eco-friendly and durable Canvas Lunch Totes with fun diagram designs on them.

Need some new lightweight apparel options for your wardrobe? We’d recommend trying on some of the super soft Tri-Blend or Flowy Tees by Studio Oiduts, perfect for layering, making them great for anytime of year! Plus, they all have the Oiduts artist’s fun San Francisco-inspired designs on them, all originally hand-drawn with pen & pencil.

Looking for a little extra flair for those Summer nights out or days at the beach? [un]possible cuts always has fun and in-season laser-cut jewelry. Some of the most recent additions to their collect have been the Sharks and Ice Cream Cones. Om nom yum! Always petite, pretty and perfect for every occasion are Earrings by Yeah Hello, one of your veteran artists at the shop. Her floral studs come in a plethora of colors and flower types! If you’re in need of something with a bit more “oomph” with even more of a handmade vibe, you’ll want to check out the jewelry collection by Speesheez. She hand-dyes, cuts and assembles of her elegant lace pieces in her Berkeley home.

Wherever you find your Summer Fun, know that there’s always something fun and new at the Mouse! :) Stay tuned for Part II of the Summer Fun Gift Guide, coming next week~

From left to right: 3D-printed Joi Torii by Joy Complex; Laser-Cut Sharks & Ice Cream Earrings by [un]possible cuts; Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags by Jaq Jaq Bird; Canvas Cow Lunch Tote by Girls Can Tell; Cherry Pie Kitchen Towel by Artgoodies; Bow Feather Fascinator Headband by Poppyhearts; Watermelon Soap by A Slice of Delight; Lemon Hefeweizen Beer Soap by Handbrewed Soaps; Women's Turquoise Boba Flowy Tee & Men's Indigo SF Takeout Tee by Studio Oiduts; Aquarium Rhiannon Lace Earrings by Speesheez; Grill Bottle Opener Keychain by Girls Can Tell; Frost Blue Mini Mum Earrings by Yeah Hello

From top left to right: 3D-printed Joi Torii by Joy Complex; Laser-Cut Sharks & Ice Cream Earrings by [un]possible cuts; Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags by Jaq Jaq Bird; Canvas Cow Lunch Tote by Girls Can Tell; Cherry Pie Kitchen Towel by Artgoodies; Bow Feather Fascinator Headband by Poppyhearts; Watermelon Soap by A Slice of Delight; Lemon Hefeweizen Beer Soap by Handbrewed Soaps; Women’s Turquoise Boba Flowy Tee & Men’s Indigo SF Takeout Tee by Studio Oiduts; Aquarium Rhiannon Lace Earrings by Speesheez; Grill Bottle Opener Keychain by Girls Can Tell; Frost Blue Mini Mum Earrings by Yeah Hello

Handmade Highlights Double Feature: Foreignspell & Kuro-Same Arts!

22 June, 2015 0 comments Leave a comment

Recognize these names? It’s our resident Craftmaster Niki Baker of Foreignspell and Mouse Manager Matt of Kuro-Same Arts! Niki and Matt recently collaborated on a very special Wizard Sculpture for the Guest Artist Wizard Series, and Niki actually interviewed Matt for her Getting to Know You series on her blog. Seeing our artists working together like this is always a pleasure. With our  powers combined, who knows what could be accomplished from all of us working together? When it comes to these two though, magical wizards and bountiful information clearly comes about.

BLEU CLAIR, BRIGHT WIZARD

April 14, 2015

I’m proud to introduce Bleu Clair, Bright Wizard. Matt, of Kuro-Same Arts, started a very inspiring project: the Guest Artist Wizard Series. Matt hand-sculpts these magical wizards for various artist friends and we take over to make them our own. This art piece was insanely fun to make and I’d never done anything like it before. The wizard brims with character, so inspiration is easy to find. Along with whimsical flourishes, I used the song Do You Believe In Magic by The Lovin’ Spoonfuls to adorn the wizard’s cloak. If you are an artist and would like to try your hand at your own special wizard or purchase Bleu Clair, Bright Wizard contact Matt!

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via Bleu Clair, Bright Wizard — Foreignspell.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU:

KURO-SAME ARTS

May 28, 2015

kalogo

1. What led you to discovering your passion?

Which passion? Hehe. In regards to my jewelry, I started making my own pieces from a fairly young age. My mother inspired and encouraged me at that time to play with beads, making bracelets and necklaces to give away or hold onto just for fun. I started making jewelry with the intent to sell in 2011 or so, purchasing old watches and clocks to take apart and turn into wearable art. Taking stuff apart and looking at the insides, trying to figure out how interesting devices work, has always been very fun for me.

Photography is a bit more simple to describe I think. Anyone that calls themselves a photographer, I believe stems their love of the camera from the simple act of taking photos. We innately want to document our lives and (sometimes) everything around us. I began taking “serious” photos mid-high school, not being able to resist all of the wonders around me. I really enjoy capturing dark images and nature breaking through the concrete-clad society we live in, but there’s a lot that catches my eye!

Last one~ I started working with clay during my last two years of high school, but was absolutely terrible on the throwing wheel (and probably still am!). Working sculpturally became the immediate go-to for me due to that factor, so outside of class assignments, I started making figurines and oddball creations inspired by music I was listening to while working. I continued working with clay during my second semester of college, not being able to stay away, and that was when I really began to find my style. That first year of work saw the beginning of work that I have been doing ever since, including the Wizard Study and plaster-cast molds of my hands. I also made some pop-art shrunken zombie heads at that time that I still have, they’re pretty funny and almost became my bread’n’butter!

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2. What is the craziest hurdle you’ve had to jump and what advice would you have given to past you?

That’s a really good question. I think one of the toughest things I’ve had to come to terms with is a combination of the fact that I’m not destined for a traditional workplace position achieved from 4 years in college and am truly an artist in every aspect of my life. The thought of sitting at a desk all day and not making art frightens me, but we’re from a young age told that after high school we need to go to a 4-year college, get a degree and then go work with that degree for the rest of our lives. How many children (or even teenagers) are going to say they want to be an artist when they grow up? Playing off of that, nearly every level of primary education and society tells us that anyone that stays in the college system longer than 4 years that isn’t striving for a “real job” is just a slacker. Too many people view art as a pure hobby and not a lifestyle.

Hmmm, that may have dragged on a bit, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that the craziest hurdle I’ve ever had to overcome has been my own perspective on life, brought on by societal norms. Hope that makes sense!

3. When you aren’t focusing on your main hustle, what are you up to?

When I’m not making art in the studio or at home, you’ll most likely find me managing Modern Mouse in Alameda. We’re an independently-owned retail boutique that works with all local, handmade and independent artists. I one day would like to own my shop similar to the Mouse, but one with a gallery aspect and different types of artists. Other than the Mouse and art, I love making music, writing and anything that involves my other half (Mynto) or friends!

4. What is your favorite place in your city?

I have a lot of love for a lot of places, so we’ll do both! Oakland is my current home (+hometown), so some of my favorite places there are Portal (great bar), Awaken Cafe, the Roscoe Ceramic Gallery and (most-recently) Samurai Sushi near the Grand Lake Theater. In Alameda, other than Modern Mouse, I dig the Redux Studios & Gallery, Rocket Reuse (secondhand CD’s, vinyl, comics, vintage clothes, books), Yojimbo Sushi, Studio 23 and the Lucky 13.

Clearly, I have a think for bars, reuse stores, sushi and art, haha.

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5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

These questions are always tough for me, because although I’m quite OCD, planned and scheduled in many aspects of my life, I view the future much more fluidly. Ideally though, I’d love to be participating in a steady stream of art shows and craft fairs on a regular basis, continuing my art focus obviously. I’ll have my Ceramics AA by then for sure, but maybe I can have my BA in Studio Arts as well? That would be nice, hehe. A studio of my own (and not just the Laney Ceramics Studio), some published poetry zines, completed projects and such would be awesome. Who knows, maybe I’ll even record an album by then? Haha. However things turn out, as long as I’m with Mynto and making art, I’m positive everything will come together in one way or another.

BONUS : What’s your favorite song right at this moment?

Hmmm, Master of Tides by Lindsey Stirling has been perfect at any point I play it during the day, that chorus glissando is just beautiful. Hehe.

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Thanks Matt!!!

via Getting To Know You : Kuro-Same Arts — Foreignspell.

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