I’m in the last stages of releasing a new design (it will be released in late March) and it’s going to be the F Market train. Designing for a dish towel means that I need a strong image that can fit onto the front third panel of the fabric because that’s how everyone hangs their dish towels, right? So I need some specific stuff and it meant I needed to get out there and take some pictures of trains. I went out on two separate occasions and here’s what I got.
My dad had this drum kit sitting in his garage. He told me I could have it years ago but I always fly home and have been unable to bring it back with me. Plus, I don’t really have a place to put it. Well, I managed to solve both of those problems by making a drive down to Los Angeles and by having a friend who is a musician and who also just happens to have space for such a drum kit to live. It’s a 1965 Ludwig kit and I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s a Downbeat (black diamond pearl finish) with a Supraphonic snare drum. I took the last week and did my best to restore this kit so that it can be played again, as it should be. Anyway, here are the “before” pictures and I’ll post the “after” pictures next week. It is with a heavy heart that I must admit that as a teenager, I destroyed the original bass drum pedal. That, one bass drum rim and the hi-hat stand are all that keeps this set from being wholly original. Maybe in time, I’ll save up and make it whole again.
A few weeks ago, I awoke at five in the morning to the familiar but dreaded sound of a mosquito buzzing around my head. Mosquitoes love me. They will bite any part of skin I leave exposed and the welts these bites leave are no joke. I’ve received bites on my eyelids that have swollen them shut! So, I’ve become a bit of an expert on mosquitoes. Once a mosquito feeds on you, they usually land nearby to process all your blood. When I heard the mosquito buzzing, I knew they were resting nearby. I woke up, turned on the lights and smacked that bug into oblivion. My wife is used to this and had already been lying there awake, waiting for me to also hear the mosquito and do my thing.
“Got it!” I exclaimed to her and she replied with something wholly unexpected when she asked me if I wanted to go on an adventure. She surmised that since we were already both awake, that we should make a thermos of coffee and go watch the sunrise from Bernal Hill and that’s just what we did. Here are the pictures I took. When we got home, I laid back down and realized that I wasn’t feeling so great. By noon, it was clear that I was sick and spent the next three days in bed with a nasty cold. Still, I wouldn’t have traded it. Sometimes you just have to watch the sun rise.
Did you know that I do some woodworking? I’m pretty terrible at it, which is great because fixing all my mistakes makes me slightly less terrible at it. I took some woodworking classes at San Francisco City College (which I highly recommend) and have been sucking at it ever since. This time around, I decided to build a bench-like plant stand for our back deck. Here are results.
Are you familiar with the store Local Take in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco? You should be! They opened up in May of last year but the truth of the matter is that I’ve known and worked with the owners, Jenn and Kyra for years. As you might have gathered from the name, Local Take carries items made by local artists. It’s a great place to shop and I highly recommend dropping in if you’re in the neighborhood. Click the picture to visit their website.
So when a reporter from a newspaper that covers gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender stories came in to inquire about which of their makers is an out gay person, my name came up. Raymond Flournoy gave me a call, we did a little phone interview and it came out in this week’s paper. Here’s a link to the story online: http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=69392
I’ve been interviewed a few times and I’ve got to say that Ray got more quotes correct than any other reporter I’ve worked with. I swear, some reporters just make up quotes but not Ray, darn it. The interview got me thinking about being out and what it means to me. A few years ago, I was taking a business class and the teacher, a woman maybe ten years my senior, admitted towards the end of the semester that she is gay but that she’s always terrified to talk about her wife as freely as I talk about mine.
The thing is, I’m still scared every time I say “my wife” out loud to strangers but I do it anyway because I think it’s important for people to realize that gay people are not a fictional concept, they’re real, regular people. I make it a point not to hide because it’s who I am. To live any other way would be a lie. You may not like it. You may hate it. But I don’t care because I’m not living my life for you. So, now you know your local, lesbian screen printer. Do with that knowledge what you will.
The day before the holiday Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco this year, I found myself awake at four thirty in the morning, filled with anxiety. I’d really wanted to get some signs painted before the show but was worried that I wouldn’t finish in time. Things snowballed and what was originally some stress about signs turned into a full-on freak-out about the direction my life was taking. My wife was already awake (she’s a florist and often rises at these un-Godly hours to go buy flowers) and talked me off the ledge. She brought my coffee, dried my tears and got me up and going. Support is important. So damn important. By noon, I had finished and all was well with the world again. Here’s the process I went though to make these suckers.
2013 was a year of big change for me. I left my job as a secretary to take The Heated full-time at the end of June. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get money without having a boss ever since my first job, kitchen staff at Round Table Pizza. Well, I finally did it and it is awesome!
That’s not to say that everything was amazing in 2013. There’s no change without effort and sometimes effort hurts. I’ve had some real failures this year and it’s taught me a lot. I put a few stinkers out this year and damn it, I’m glad I did because it taught me a valuable lesson: test things before you release them! So, now I do that. There have been countless tiny failures along the way and it’s only gotten easier to see them for what they are, tiny indicators of what might actually work.
That’s not the only thing I learned this year. I also learned how to paint signs by taking a course at New Bohemia Signs. I’ve been using it less for signs and more for screen printing stencils. Consider this “Thank You” card that will be widely available so very soon.
I’ve got more to say about this year but let’s not get too weighed down in words when all I really want to do it thank everyone who helped my this year. There are so many of you! I’ve also got so many ideas for this coming year for new designs and products so I’m heading into my slow season fired up for this phase of product development. It’s the artsiest time of the year!.
There is one craft fair left in my holiday season for 2013 and it’s a big one! The Renegade Craft Fair is full of hand-crafted goods for everyone on your list. Get there, friends!
Here are the details:
Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco
December 21st and 22nd
Concourse Exhibition Center EAST HALL
620 Seventh St. (at Brannan)
San Francisco, CA 94103-4901
11:00 am -6:00 pm each day- FREE TO ATTEND