Friday, May 28, 2010

Small Changes

I recently decided to purchase a showcase spot for Caustic Threads, which has made me take a long hard look at my store. If I am going to spend a little extra money advertising I really want to make sure I am presenting my product in a desirable way. Several people told me that they did not like my banner, it was too dark, boring, text gets lost. At first I felt a little sad but that was dumb. People were just trying to help me be successful. I also had several people tell me that they LIKED my avatar, but since I don't like aspects about it I decided to change that too. It looks too pixalated or something.

Here is my old Banner and Avi:

And this is my new banner and Avi:

Any thoughts or suggestions?

I Loved these silly pictures so I couldn't help using at least one of them:

I still have a lot of work to do, I am trying to make the first image for all of my listings similar so that my store has a nice clean look. There are some Items that I cant do that with, and there will be more as I continue to add accessories from my other store, but I have a pretty good Idea of what I am going for. Unfortunately this means I have to re-take a lot of pictures. I am also working on new cards and a few custom projects.

I guess I know how I will be spending my long weekend...


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

We are Happy Campers.

We were going to go camping a few weeks ago, but no one was really prepared so we postponed our trip to this weekend that just past. I for one had a BLAST. Adam Autumn and I took one car and our friend Jon, (Better Known as Rocketpants) and his wonderful

We arrived late on Friday and instead of choosing a campground BEFORE we left we decided to wait until we got to the 3 sites we were interested in.

It seemed like a good enough idea, but no one considered that there would be no cell service when we got out there. Rocketpants was a little over an hour behind us, but we didn't really know if he was still in range so we went down to the little country store and called his cell from a really cool old payphone.

Since we didn't know if Rocketpants got the message we went down to the entrance to the campsite to flag him down. I am not sure if it would have worked, but fortunately he had already gotten our message so he knew which campsite to go to. That night we didn't have any fire wood and we thought about it after the country store was closed. It didn't matter much, we had fun drinking PBR in the dark wearing jackets.

That first night was freezing. It is hard to believe it can go from being so warm to being uncomfortably chilly. I grew up in the dessert so I SHOULD know this, but we didn't have enough blankets that first night. Autumn woke us all up pretty early, we had a yummy breakfast of bacon and eggs and made sure to pick up firewood and extra blankets. That day was spent climbing and hiking, and the evening was spent hanging out by the fire and drinking beer, but not TOO much beer. The people at the campsite next to ours were REALLY loud, but I slept fine anyway, and autumn didn't wake us up at such an early hour on Sunday morning.

On Sunday we packed up and wandered over to Jemez falls, where there is a great swimming hole that we couldnt find, but that was really OK since it was a little cool for swimming. I really wished we were not confined by Autumn and Melvin ( the awesome American bulldog pictured here) because it would have been a really wonderful place to explore.

From there we went to bandalier national monument, which I was super stoked about. Unfortunately when we got there we found out that they do not allow pets so Melvin and rocketpants headed on to Las Alamos and Adam, Autumn and I went into the park.

Bandalier is REALLY awesome. It is a historic sight where you can see some incredible adobe ruins and some native American cliff dwellings. It is in a canyon that still runs along a narrow creek, so while most of it is still typical desert landscape there is a lush green aria as well.

We ended up doing a little more hiking, and in Bandalier you are actually allowed to go in some of the caves, so that was fun.

There is also a very large cave at the top of a 4 ladder pitch. I think it is 140 feet or something. Adam and I took turns going up there because I didn't want to drop Autumn off a cliff. It was pretty cool , and it was not nearly as hard for me to climb up it as it was for me to climb down, but I am starting to feel like I am getting closer to mastering this fear of heights business.

So... How was your weekend?



Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh yeah, That's my baby!

WE have two cats, who have been generally uncomfortable with the presence of an new, little, person-like creature running around tormenting them and depriving them of a large percentage of the attention they once got. We were very excited when this photo-op arose and Twilight sat nicely while Autumn pet him.

Autumn never hesitates to put herself in someone elses shoes.

And she and Adam both have EXCELLENT table manners!



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Island of Dolls.

Have you ever heard of this place? It is in Mexico, and I kind of want to see it.

Yes, it is TOTALLY CREEPY... but there is part of me that is drawn to creepy, which you may remember from Adam's post about the Horror-Movie-Style meat cleaver he made me for mothers day.

I read about this place in a wonderful book I have about mixed media assemblage art entitled Dusty Diablos by Michael Demming. This perticular book focuses on Folklore. As someone from Albuqeruque I have heard several versions of La Llorona, a folk tale about a widdow who drownds her children after the man she wants to marry rejects her for having them. She is said to Walk the rivers looking for her own children and children must be careful at night or she may mistake them for her own offspring. In albuquerque we have big concrete ditches that run through town and a version of this story was used to prevent children from playing in the ditches. When the artist was working on his piece that was inspired by the La Llorona Tale he stumbled across information on The Isla de Munecas (island of dolls).
The story of the place is that a young girl drowned on the island in the 20's and since then the owner of the island has been collecting dolls to keep the child happy.
Have a Great day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Autumn is 18 months old!

This week was clearly on fast forward, it seems like I barely even got enough sleep. I never got around to my color feature, so I will post that next week. I used to have Mondays off and since I started working on Mondays again, and opened a new store I can barely keep up with anything.

I guess maybe this whole year has been on fast forward. Autumn is 18 months old today! It seems like just yesterday I was planning Autumns first birthday, and just Sunday was already my second mothers day!

Autumn amazes me and breaks my heart every day. Being a parent is an amazing journey and now I really understand what people mean when they say things like that. She can cry and scream and make huge messes, and all it takes is a hug, a smile, or a kiss to melt my heart.

Autumn is a strange girl. She is not really very affectionate, but she likes attention. As far as I can tell she is also very stubborn. She likes dried cranberries, and shoes.

My mothers day was wonderful, we went to the botanical gardens and Aquarium in Albuquerque, which is where these pictures were taken. Adam made me an awesome cleaver, which I may never use, but I REALLY think is awesome. It is hanging over our oven right now. He also gave me a wonderful book on mixed media folk art with some wonderful stories in it.

I have so much more to write about and not enough time! It seems like between Autumn, my job, roller derby and etsy I am working from the moment I get up until I go to bed!

Duke City Derby is having our first bout at the New Mexico Convention Center on Saturday, and I am sure it will be great but I am already nervous!

Have a Great Weekend!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just a Quick note...

I hope everyone had an excellent mothers day! I did! I was going to talk to you all about my mothers day, but the pictures didn't upload and then I had to leave for work.

So, I am not really sure want to write about.

Hmmm... I received some new screens in the mail on Saturday. I really LOVE PhotoEZ screen printing paper. It is fast and easy. I have already used up 7 of the 10 new screens I bought, so I am already ready to buy more. It seems like Ideas have been unlimited lately and I really wish I had the time and the funds to make even more! I am so glad I started this new hobby.

I really think I could quit my day job if I wanted to and make as much as I am working part time. Not that I am doing REALLY well but I am definitely doing OK in both stores. Of course it is nice for Autumn and I to get out of the house every day, and I like being able to see my dad every day, too.

I have been thinking about printing on things as wall art to put in acrylic and steel but I have not had a chance to yet, and i am not sure if anyone would be interested in that sort of a thing.
I am putting together a color feature for tomorrow or Thursday. If you have any green or pink items, or green and pink items or happen to see any really great green and pink items please post them in the comments or send me an email and I will try to include them in my feature.

Ok, I hope everyone is doing well, I miss being able to read every ones blogs every day, but I want you all to know you are in my thoughts.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Creepy Cool...

My wife is the coolest! Who else would say…you should make me a creepy knife?! I’m itching to get started. I have just the chunk of steel… and that was 3 months ago.

If you know Erica, you know she likes creepy things. Creepy dolls, creepy paintings, zombies, skulls, etc.. I think that is fantastic, so obviously this was a project that I wanted to do, and to put a little thought into...

So…what is a creepy knife? I guess its one that you can imagine seeing in a horror movie, rusty or bloody or sinister. Is it creepier to have an odd bone saw or a bloody butcher knife, or a rusty machete, or… what about a cleaver?

I’ve seen butcher knives with blood stains enameled on. But that just isn’t going to…cut it.

Something super rusty would be cool, but unusable. Lightly rusted is ok. So nothing stainless.

Mostly I just kinda like the idea of a rusty cleaver.

So I started it…

It all started with the chunk of steel, in this case 1095 high carbon steel, which is what I started forging knives with a few years ago. This particular chunk is the heaviest I've worked with, at 1 5/8ths wide and 3/8ths of an inch thick. That’s a lot of metal to move with a little hammer. Makes me wish I had a power hammer, although I do like hand forging. Sometimes I wish for a hotter forge too, but charcoal is pretty good and it feels like being back in time (except for the Dustdevil blower that I use).

Here's the chunk, with Autumn's hand for scale:

And an intermediate stage:

I thought I had a couple more intermediate stages, but I can't find the pictures anywhere, its a pretty big jump to go from the above stage, to the below stage.

Before Quenching:

After a few forging sessions, and a little grinding, I got the shape about where I wanted, quenched it, and ground an edge to it, leaving the forging and quenching patina on the back edge, while polishing the actual edge.

After Quenching:

I decided to go with oak as the handle, because it looks kinda basic, and was torn between rough twine and leather for the keeper cord that it will hang from. In the creepy theme I probably should have tied it off in a noose, but didn't. Oh yeah, and I used framing nails for the pins. Nice!

Anyway, I think it is pretty awesome, its heavy like a cleaver should be, sharp enough that you could probably shave with it, and creepy enough to meet the desired goal. We both kinda think that it should have a block to store it in, ya know, a head or skull or ribcage or something, but for now its going to hang on the wall.

I know its not rusty, but it did cut me a couple of times - I have all kinds of nicks on my hands - so its a little blood thirsty.

And I finished it on Mothers day :) Happy Mothers Day Honey!

What do you think?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Handmade Camping

So, our friend is unable to go camping with us this weekend, so we will probably be postponing our trip until the weekend of may 21st. I am still excited!

Handmade and camping seem to go so well together, I wanted to share some awesome etsy finds.Add Image
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Happy Retro Camper Trailer from thecraftpantry

Happy Camper Tee from my own CausticThreads

Camp Candles From CampCandles

Vintage Stanly Thermos from TheQueenofRe

Trail Mix from marasmaples

And on that note, I just noticed that I am hungry!

Have a great weekend, and happy camping, even if this weekend takes you no further than your own back yard!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Exciting Weekend Planned!

Adam, Autumn, our friend Johnny Rocketpants and I are planning a camping trip this weekend! I love camping, so I cant wait!

We are also going to go climbing outdoors, so I need to do some research on good places to camp and climb in New Mexico, and if we are lucky, the place we end up with will have some water.

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned it before, but I absolutely love New Mexico. I think the desert landscape, especially at sunrise or sunset is breathtaking.

I know that no matter where we end up going this weekend will be wonderful.

I have also made some excellent purchases recently. I will share them soon!

I am also still offering FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING at .