Tuesday, March 31, 2009

LETS GET HAMMERED... featured hand forged item # 1

To go directly to this sellers listing just click on the picture! this stylish wine holder was made by Ark Iron on etsy. It is hand forged from steel and is a great deal at $30.oo.

Is it Karma?

I was fortunate enough last night to get to spend the evening with my husband, which is rare for many derby girls. In fact I never would have become involved with my husband if he had not been affiliated with duke city derby- but that is a wonderful story suitable for an entry of its own.

Adam got online to pay a bill and there was a pending transaction for a Smart Savings Center for $29.95 er… wha??? So we looked it up. We came up with a website that touted remarkable savings when you spend a “low” monthly fee. That made my stomach turn because it sounded remarkably familiar. I worked for the A VERY LARGE Call center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico right before I moved to Portland. When I worked there we were required to offer almost all of our customers a savings program, either the LARGE COMPANIES home or escapes program. I am not sharing the name of the program, not because I want to protect the company, but rather because I signed a lot of paperwork when I started and I am willing to bet that one of the things that I agreed to was not to leak inside information. However, if you would like to see what their customers have to say about it, you can read all about it here. The difference, as far as I know, is that the customers were told about enrolling in the program. We had a very specific script that we had to read VERBATIM in order to receive credit for selling the program, and the large company TOLD US that if we did not follow the script with a proper acceptance from the customer that they would NOT be sent the program. This company was a truly excellent employer, so I hope that this was true. I think the program is terrible, and I wish the large company I worked for would discontinue their involvement with it.

SO how did Adam get signed up for this program??? He ordered a book from hotbooksale.com and was AUTOMATICALLY, and without authorization signed up for this program. We dug as far back as we could in his account history and he was being charged 14.95 monthly for this bogus (yes I totally just said bogus) program that he never signed up for. In addition, there was no notification that the charge had increased to $29.95. But here is the real kicker… ADAM NEVER EVEN GOT THE BOOK THAT HE HAD ORDERED! He was having a really hard time finding the book and was excited to get it at a great deal, but a few days after he ordered the book he received an e-mail that the order had been cancelled and the book was out of print. He eventually ordered the book on e-bay for almost $70.00 meaning between the exaggerated price he spent on e-bay and the disgusting charges that he incurred from this Smart Savings Center SCAM he spent well over $200.oo for a book that originally cost about $17.00. OMFG!

SO we get one evening together this week… and we spent it dealing with a scam.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Roller Derby Love Item # 1

Roller Derby Mobile By Salty and Sweet! It is only $30! How much fun is this!? Click on the picture to go directly to the etsy listing!

I did not ask them if I could post this item, so I hope they don't mind.

More awesome roller derby inspired items to come! If you are a roller girl and make stuff, I want to feature your stuff... and if you have roller derby inspired items, I want to feature your stuff! e-mail me and I will get something up. Otherwise I will hunt you down :) Just kidding.

My Very Cute Baby Girl

I just wanted to share some pictures of my little Autumn Pumpkin! That is an awful picture of me... good thing autumn is cute enough for both of us!

Getting to Know Portland

It has been harder for me to adjust to Portland than it was for me to adjust when I moved to Los Angeles, or Savannah. I am not sure what is different about Portland, but I know Adam is having a harder time adjusting to Portland than the other places he has moved also.

I can’t say that it was especially easy to adapt to L.A. or Savannah, and I am even pretty sure the only place I have ever REALLY liked living is my home town, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I can’t help missing the wide open spaces and the clear sunny skies of the desert southwest. I love Albuquerque’s laid back attitude and cheap rent. I miss hiking in the foothills, climbing, and eating New Mexican food… which is not the same as Mexican food. I miss my old roller derby league. There are benefits to my current league, and I am adjusting, but I spent nearly 3 years playing with those Duke City girls. We were never as organized, productive, or polished as my current league… but we had a lot of fun practicing Vag. Assists, pretending to be polite ladies, and I occasionally I would come home after spending the night at my (then) boyfriends house ( now we are married) to find out that there had been a derby cuddle club meeting on my bed..!?!

There are things I DON’T LIKE about Portland. I don’t like the weather. I don’t like having other people pump my gas. I don’t like how overly regulated EVRYTHING seems to be. There have been more blatantly unpleasant people here than anywhere I have ever lived, my husband Adam agrees… and Adam has lived in New York City. We have also managed to offend a lot of people without intending to or really even understanding WHAT we did that bothered them. Of course we have met lots of awesome people too; it is just a very strange trend that we have noticed. We are also now living with our new 4 month old baby, so it may be the exhaustion and added edginess of having a new baby that has caused that strangeness. I also know that there are a ton of fun things to do here that we have not tried to do because we have a baby.

Have you ever had trouble adjusting to a new place???

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My First Treasury on Etsy!

I just made my first Treasury on etsy!

How fun is that? It is kind of fun to wait... wait... wait... for there to be room in the treasury and snag one!

My treasury is a Tribute to acrylic paintings of women. Please check out my treasury ACRYLIC LOVE!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I just made a spotlight on byhand.me

Check it out:

Roller Derby Love!

It showcases a few of the really cool roller derby inspired merchandise available on etsy. Many of the Items are made by roller girls.

In other important news, one of the young DJ's at Hillsboro Skateworld offered to download "Roll skate, rock skate" so that it can be played the next time we come. I have to admit though, I think the jam skaters will appreciate it more than I do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

How it all began...hot metal and hammers

Well, not really the real beginning, that was probably the big bang or something. The next beginning, was when someone figured out how to get iron hot enough to make a knife. My beginning was in August, 1973, and the beginning of my interest in knives was probably reading the hobbit, or the black cauldron, or the lion the witch and the wardrobe or something similar. But none of those is the beginning of me learning how to forge knives.

A few years back, in October 2005 - has it been that long already? I had a break in life, and took the opportunity to take an introductory bladesmithing class from the American Bladesmith Society in Old Washington, Arkansas. The two instructors of the class were Joe Flournoy (for the first week) and Mike Williams (for the second), both ABS mastersmiths. It was a two week class, with a little bit of theory and a lot of application. On the second day, driving in to class from the hotel, an approaching driver took a turn wide, clipped a semi, spun and totaled my 8 months new Honda Element. After missing half a day of class, I returned, jammed my hand into a glove and learned how to forge. With a sprained thumb.

We used gas forges, 2 kilo cross pein hammers, and really nice belt grinders, and started with 1095 high-carbon steel bar stock. The masters took us through the rough shaping, tapering the blade, drawing out the tang, working on the choil, and all sorts of technical words for banging on hot steel and turning it into a knife shaped object. Then we learned how to grind them into pretty knife shaped objects. Finally we learned how to normalize, quench, temper and differentially harden those knife shaped objects into knives. Without handles.

My first 9 blades were made in that class, although the handles came later.

Actually, I made 11, but one walked away. And one was tested.

The culmination of the class was testing a knife, the testers weren't pretty, but just designed to meet the test.

The 8-10" blade is sharpened to shaving sharpness, used to cut through a free hanging 1" manilla rope ( in one swipe, near the bottom), then chop through a 2x4, and should still shave. Then the edge is taken off on the belt sander, a third of the blade is put in a vice, and the blade is bent 90 degrees, if your blade doesn't crack more than a third, you pass. Mine didn't crack at all. And I passed the test. I'll post a picture when I dig that blade out of its box.

And that was how i learned how to forge.

My next forge was a little different, but that is a story for another post.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Post...

So, the first post, I suppose, is an excellent opportunity to tell you a little bit about ourselves. When Broken down to the simplest of terms "We" are a family. My husband and I make cool things, and we sell them on esty. I just had a baby girl in November. Her name is Autumn and she is growing fast! She is only 4 months old and she already weighs 18 lbs 6 oz!

My Husband Adam is a wildlife biologist. He also makes beautiful jewelry and hand forges knives. I have an AA in Fashion design from FIDM in Los Angeles, but am now an artist and stay at home mom. I paint, sew, needle felt... and lots of other miscellaneous crafts. I also play Roller Derby. I started playing in November of 2005 for Duke City Derby. I love talking derby... so I will save that for another post.

Adam and I recently moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Portland, Or- and it has been a little bit of a culture shock for both of us. I grew up in Albuquerque, and while I spent a little time in Los Angeles, Ca and in Savannah, Ga I cant help missing the wide open spaces and vivid sunsets of the desert southwest.