Kickin’ off 2013!

Hi guys! Happy New Year! (I can still say that until the end of this month, right?) Hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and all that fun stuff. Mine was nice and quiet as per usual :) There were plenty of famjams and friendly visits, and I even took a bit of a break from crafting, although I still had plenty to do and restock from all of my holiday shows!

After New Year’s I got right back to work, of course! I started off with a few new button designs, “cats are my boyfriend” and Gangnam style (how could I resist). They will also be available as bottle opener keychains in my Etsy shop in the near future!

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And of course, Grumpy Cat! (He’s not on a button yet, but will be shortly):

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I also sewed plenty of mustaches, catnip kitty tacos, and a few new character tote bags as well.

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I think I’m right on track for my first show of the year, coming up in just 2 short weeks: Craftstock in Hamilton, ON on February 2nd! I’m pretty excited since shows don’t usually kick off until mid-March for me, so it’s nice to get started earlier this year!

I even had a special visitor come see me for a working afternoon this past weekend! The wonderful illustrator/comic artist Vicki Nerino. (You can read her guest blog interview here.) We did a whole lot of catching up, while also getting some things checked off our to do list! I was working on buttons for NYC Pride, while she doodled characters for some upcoming comic books for TCAF!

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It’s always nice to have some company while I work :) My usual crafternooner, Miss Heather from Needlings, and I have taken up a new venture of exploring tea rooms! Well just one so far, but we plan to visit a whole bunch more, Tea Tour 2013! This first one, Taylor’s Tea Room, in Dundas was quite lovely. We also found a nice door to pose in front of on our way home!

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And look what that lovely lady made me, my very own nerdbiskit craft show skirt!!! I’m so excited to wear it at my next show! Eee!

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After Craftstock, I will be a vendor at Toroto ComiCON on March 9th & 10th! Super excited for that as usual :)

Well I better get back to work, there are custom button orders for NYCPride to complete!

xoxoxoxo Lisa

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2012 Wrap up!

Happy Holidays, my friends! What a busy season it’s been with custom gift requests, Etsy orders, and two back to back holiday shows! First up was the Holiday Maker’s Market on James North in Hamilton. Of course I was only a table away from the ever adorable Heather from Needlings, which makes any show extra awesome. We had a fun and festive afternoon – just look at those smiles!

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I only had a week to prepare and restock for the next holiday show, Crafternoon Delight, which was a new one added to my list this year! It was actually a pop-up shop in an old pharmacy that was gutted and decorated just for the day. Heather was there too, and plenty of other fun and talented vendors, making it a lot of fun! The ladies running it were amazing, and I was so happy to be part of it. What a lovely show to end the year!

Here was my set up for the day – the wrapping paper on the walls actually worked well with my display!

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And here is another picture of Heather and I, just smiling away as usual:
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I also worked on some bulk button orders, and some fun custom projects, including this mini plush storm trooper:

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After all my orders and shows were out of the way, I was finally able to get cracking on some new merch for next year! I finished some more tacos (big taco is a fleece pillow for people, little ones are catnip toys for kitties):

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and some new button designs, too!

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In other exciting news, my “Hot Chicks with Mustaches” mini wall calendar for 2013 was featured in the winter edition of Xalt magazine:

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And I have another feature coming up in Hamilton Magazine, which I am excited to see :D

I also made a donation to Movember again this year, and thank you to all who supported my MoBerg mustache companion campaign to help me raise money. Each new like on my Facebook page equaled $1 towards my donation! To thank everyone, I held a giveaway for some mustache merch :)

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Overall, I have to honestly say, it’s been the best year of crafting yet! This was the first year of my rebrand as nerdbiskit, and I am thrilled with how it turned out! I hope next year is just as fun and awesome! I’ll be taking a short craft break over the holidays, but will be back at it ASAP in the new year to prepare for my first show of 2013 in February.

Hope you all have a great holiday and a happy new year!

xoxo Lisa

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MOVEMBER IS HERE!

Well folks, here I am – finally – with a long overdue nerdbiskit update! Hope everyone had a lovely autumn, and enjoyed plenty of pumpkin-y goodness. Fall is my favourite time of year. It was a good one for me, and I am bummed that winter is on it’s way – I am definitely not meant for the cold and snow… my toes are already permanently frozen until spring and it only just started getting cold!

For me, winter mostly means it is time to take care of business! I have been busy making some new plans for world takeover in 2013 (well, it might not happen next year… but slowly. One day at a time.)

First on the list was ordering supplies! I was all out of bizz cards and promos, and running low on felt and tags and pretty much everything else you can possibly think of. Since I was bringing home boxes and boxes of new stuff, a major craft room re-organization was in order!

As you can see, it is much more nerdbiskity looking now! (It didn’t stay this neat and tidy for very long, unfortunately.)
I also took a break from the usual mustache and button making, to take on a few new projects – personal and for customers!
First up was a ‘biskit decoration to hang on my craft room door:

Then I made this fancy little apron for one of my fave ladies, Heather of Needlings :)

And a prototype for some new merch –  FLEECE TACO PILLOWS! The first one sold right away but I promise to make plenty more for 2013!

I was also asked to make some custom plush, including this baby mobile:

And also this plush Elvis doll!

They were all super fun to work on, and it was nice to switch things up!

I also managed to fit in a family trip to BC to visit relatives – which was great. We were so lucky that the weather was beautiful the entire time we were there! It was a nice break before heading back to the ol’ 9-5 design world, and a wonderful way to wrap up the summer.

Of course I took my mustache companion with me. His name is MoBerg, and he is pretty awesome. Since I can’t grow my own mustache, he is helping me raise money for Movember by letting me take pictures of him on various objects. If you want to help, all you need to do is LIKE my facebook fan page, and I’ll donate $1 to Movember (for each new like.) It’s that easy! MoBerg and I thank you!


Alternatively, if you don’t already know about my Hot Chicks with Mustaches 2013 mini calendar, $3 from every purchase goes towards the cover girl’s Movember campaign! Dads and boyfriends really seem to like it so you can support Movember AND get started on your Christmas shopping! I know everyone on my list is getting one of these ;)

Anyways, I must get back to mustache sewing – it’s a busy month for me, as you can imagine. I will leave you with this, a photo of myself dressed up as a fancy gentleman for Halloween – really, just an excuse to wear a mustache.

HAPPY MOVEMBER EVERYONE!

Oh, and my last show of the year is the Holiday Maker’s Market on Saturday, December 1st on James Street in Hamilton – come on out and find yourself some handmade holiday gifts! There will be plenty of great vendors!

xoxo Lisa

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The summer of nerdbiskit-ing comes to an end!

Well folks, looks like the summer of nerdbiskit-ing has come to an end. What a busy few months it has been, with so many amazing shows, and my busiest year yet with Etsy sales and custom orders! I was so lucky to have been able to take 5 months off of work to freelance and craft full time – not everyone gets to do that. And it was absolutely wonderful! But alas, it is time to head back to the working world and I have found myself a new design job. Timing seems to have worked out perfectly, since shows are winding down now until Spring (there will be a few Christmas shows in December, but nothing major.) And I’ll have plenty of time for custom orders and restocking over the winter months. It’ll be good to try something new – I’m nervous and excited… (and I start tomorrow, so wish me luck!)

My last post was right before FanExpo, so I guess I should start with that. Perhaps I am getting too old for these 4 day conventions, but it was absolutely exhausting! Tons of fun, of course, but I was totally wiped by the end. At least there were lots of exciting moments, caffeine, plenty of visitors and pals and awkward over the table hugs to keep me going. I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Gillian Anderson – I waited for her for almost an hour! Luckily my friend Kelsey dressed up as Scully for me on Sunday, which was even better than the real deal, because she even wore a MUSTACHE!

This was my table set up – smallest one of the year! It was jam packed, but I made it work best I could:

And here is me, doing what I do best (standing awkwardly behind my table):

Luckily my lovely friend Heather from Needlings was in the same table grouping, so I was able to visit with her during any down time – look at the two of us, so pattern-y and colourful :) She was so awesome and watched my booth when I needed a pee break! I am so grateful for her existence! <3

After FanExpo, I had only 2 weeks to prepare for the next big show: Locke Street Festival in Hamilton. This was my third year participating, and I look forward to it every time. It started off a little shaky, with a forecast for 100% rain all day – but by noon the skies cleared, the people came out, and everything turned out to be amazing! I am so glad I set up in the rain that morning and stuck it out – well worth it!

I didn’t get too many photos because it was so busy, but here is my booth in the morning before the rush – only set up at half capacity because of the rain. I was completely cleaned out of mustaches by the end of the day!!!

And then next up, with less than a week to prepare, was Supercrawl – another Hamilton event, which keeps getting bigger and more awesome each year. I had no idea what I was in for, and was totally unprepared for the 70,000 people who passed by on Friday night and Saturday. I can honestly say, this was by far the busiest and best show of 2012 – perfect way to end the show season! I had to shut down the “make-your-own-button” station after Friday night, and was sold out most items by early Saturday evening. It got pretty insane! AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE!

On Friday night I was lucky enough to have a helper taking care of regular sales while I worked the button station – look at her, expertly folding those tees! Thank you, Miss Tea!

And Saturday, I had a whole posse helping me out. Miss Tea even came back for MORE, bless her soul.

Of course every one of them left by the time it got super crazy on Saturday evening. Haha! I still love them all. And no worries, my parents came by later to save the day, with plenty of snacks, and helped me stick it out until midnight!

Man, I love doing shows.

Since then, I’ve been ordering lots of supplies, re-stocking my empty displays, and taking a bit of a break until the holiday shows start up. Oh, I also took a famjam trip over to BC – it was nice to have a quick getaway before I head back to the working world! And also to rest my arms and wrists, which have been so overworked with all these crazy shows. Nice to have a bit of a break :)

Anyway, I will post pictures from BC in my next blog.

Hope all you Canadian friends had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend!
xo

Lisa

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Summer of nerdbiskit part 2

What a busy summer of nerdbiskit-ing this has been! I’m busier than ever before, even without having a 9-5 job on top of the craft bizz. There have been crafts shows, weddings, birthday celebrations, freelance design work, custom button orders and wedding portrait pillows, crafternoons with Needlings, beach days, and plenty of adventures in between. It’s been pretty awesome, and it’s not over yet! The biggest event of the summer is coming up in just a few days: FanExpo Canada! It’s my biggest and most exciting show of the year, so I’ve been working hard to prepare for it of course. I will be in Artist’s Alley, booth A89. (Check my facebook page for a map.) I’m so excited to launch a brand new item at the show… should I tell you what it is? OK! You might already know this, but I’ve been working on a calendar called “HOT CHICKS WITH MUSTACHES.” And that’s exactly what it is. 13 (12 months plus cover girl) pretty girls rockin’ a nerdbiskit ‘stache! I’m so excited to start selling them, and am so appreciative of all the girls who submitted their awesome ‘stache photos. It will be available online in my Etsy shop in September, so mark your calendars… (before you replace them with this new one for 2013 of course!) Want a sneak peak?!?!? Ok fine….

I’m pretty excited about it! I can’t wait to hear people’s reactions at FanExpo, I think it’s a pretty silly idea! :) I hope all the hard work pays off!

I’ve had a couple pretty awesome shows since I last blogged, including Atomic Lollipop! APOP was quite an adventure! I’d never done it before but had been hearing about it for a while and decided to give it a shot. The coolest part was definitely the ferris wheel, AND MEETING PJ PHIL! I heard that Saturday night was pretty radical with a NON STOP PARTY! (I unfortunately did not get to experience the party aspect of it, but I did go on the ferris wheel, and I did meet a lot of really cool people.)

This was my setup:

AND THIS IS ME WITH PJ PHIL!!!!

I also did my very first on-site mustache commission for a hedgehog named Marty:

After APOP, there was Art Crawl – just a few weeks ago on James Street North in Hamilton, which was awesome as usual. I think that is one of my most favourite shows of all, even though it’s only a few hours. I met some new pals at the latest one, they offered to work for me in exchange for only mustaches! They helped me out with set up and de-furring my table cover with a lint brush. I was pretty grateful for that since otherwise I would have been doing set up alone!

Look how happy I am. I just love doing shows :)

Since then I’ve been hard at work with custom orders and restocking for FanExpo! Here’s a few of the things I’ve been working on.

My wedding portrait pillows seem to be quite a hit this year, I’m excited to work on a few more after FanExpo!

One of my favourite things about the summer of nerdbiskit has been weekly crafternoons with Heather of Needlings. Here are a few shots of us hard at work!

Look at us go! I’ve been sewing so hard, I actually got “tennis elbow” from overusing my arms! Ridiculous! I promise to rest after FanExpo. I also have 2 more big shows on deck after that, Locke Street Festival and Supercrawl, both in Hamilton. I’m so excited! So much to do though! Ahhh!

Well, I better get back to it. There are mustaches to be sewn!

Oh and in case you didn’t hear, my cat Greta had 15 minutes of fame as an internet meme. She was posted on the Taco Bell Facebook page and reddit and apparently got over 15,000 notes on tumblr! WOW!

So I made myself a shirt to celebrate.

You can’t spell CATTOY without T-A-C-O!

Ok that is all! Have a good week! See you at FanExpo! :D
xoxo Lisa

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Summer Of Nerdbiskit Recap: London, Shows, & Busy-ness!

Hi guys! It’s been a while since I’ve written an actual blog post – I’ve been copping out with my weekly Guest Bloggers! So I figured it was time for an update, and my guest bloggers have run dry for the time being. Let’s see, my last post was in May, just before I left for England! So I guess I will start with my trip!

England was pretty awesome! There was so much to see and do, and a week certainly wasn’t long enough for a visit. The jet lag hit me harder than I imagined it would, and I wish I’d had more time to rest within the first few days! I was exhausted by the end but it was definitely worth it! We took in most of the typical tourist-y sites, including: The British Museum, Piccadilly Circus, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Harrods, Tate Museum, Tower of London, London & Tower Bridge, the London Eye & waterfront, and the National Gallery… of course I brought Stachio along for the ride! He seemed to enjoy his visit.

Everyone told me the shopping is awesome in London, but aside from this pretty dress, I didn’t really buy much else!

I definitely had to enjoy some high tea, though! The tea was SO STRONG and delicious in England. I loved it!

When I returned home, exhausted, and in need of a few days of rest, I then had to prep for my next show, First Sunday Stroll in Fonthill. This was my first full 10′ x 10′ set up with 2 full tables, and a “make your own button” station! It was a ton of work, and my mommy offered to come along and help me out! It was her first show, too – probably not the best one to start with, since I had SO MUCH to bring! But I think she enjoyed it, and was awesome at talking people into buying mustaches for their car ;) The weather wasn’t amazing, but the rain mostly held off, and overall it was a good show! This was my set up:

Just a few days later, I had my first Art Crawl of the year on James North in Hamilton! It was…. AMAZING! I was so busy the entire night. Non stop button making and new friends to meet and chat with! I couldn’t believe how many people were out – such a fun time! I am already stoked for my next one in August. My mommy must have liked doing the First Sunday Stroll after all, because she made an appearance at the crawl, too! And brought me a lemon cupcake – yum!

Since those two shows, I’ve been super busy with my crafts: re-stocking, bulk button orders, custom wedding pillows, and t-shirt printing! And also with some freelance design work! So far, my Summer Of Nerdbiskit-ing has been productive and awesome! I’m loving every minute! OH! And I also launched my new website: nerdbiskit.com Check it out! I’m so proud :)

Looks like July is going to be an insanely busy month, too – both for work and for play! My own birthday celebrations, a wedding to attend, my next show Atomic Lollipop, a dinner party to plan, more birthday celebrations – and then it’s time to prep for FanExpo!!! AHHH! So much busy!

I better head off to get some work done! Miss Heather from Needlings and I have been meeting once a week to sew, drink tea, and chat! We’re officially co-workers for the summer! :) So off I go to visit her for the afternoon!

Have a good weekend everyone!

xo Lisa

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Wednesday Guest Blogger: Freelance Illustrator & Figure Athlete, Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez

Creative entrepreneur, freelance illustrator, creative director, lifestyle and business coach, personal trainer and amateur figure athlete, Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez

Phew, that was a long title! But I’ve got to cover it all with this busy and talented lady. Alejandra pretty much does it all –  so of course I had to feature her as this week’s guest blogger! Ale is another ol’ Sheridan pal, and I have always admired her whimsical illustration work. I noticed recently that she had taken a new creative path, however… all these photos of her stunning bod, which is a masterpiece of it’s own, kept popping up in my Facebook feed! And I was like, WHO THE HECK – OMG IT’S ALE!!! I couldn’t help be inspired by her incredible new feat – and her ability to mange both illustration and a fitness career, is really just remarkable. You know how I love awesomely motivated and dedicated ladies! I’m excited to share her beautiful work – both on canvas and her physical self. Enjoy :)

nerdbiskit: So, what’s the story? Who are you, and what do you do? How did it all start? Short bio!

Ale: Long story short: my real name is Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez (which not a lot of people can pronounce properly), I am originally from Mexico City and I lift heavy weights and art brushes.

It all started when I was born into a family with an overdeveloped artistic talent on my mother’s side, and an array of outstanding physical abilities on my fathers side. Arising from this unnatural combination of traits I’ve had to develop a split personality in order to nurture both sides of my brain.

In 2003 I came to Canada to study art as a business practice and graduated from the Bachelor of Applied Arts Illustration from Sheridan College. Since then, my life has been defined by continuous change where the only constants have been art and fitness. I started exploring the corporate world of art and design where I had a couple of very bad work experiences. These resulted in a very dark period in my life where I became overweight and depressed. I will always be thankful to the person that decided to see my true beauty and propose me to do my first fitness show, because thanks to her I am where I am right now.

I am currently exploring the corporate world of fitness working as a full time personal trainer and running my illustration freelance business part-time. Interestingly the more success I have as a personal trainer, the better I do at my art business as well.

Even though I am originally from Mexico I do not like tequila, I do not like Salsa dancing and no, and trust me, I do not miss the heat.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Ale: I do what I do, because I do not imagine any other way of living my life. I refuse to do things that I don’t like or that I do not feel passionate about and I refuse to die with regrets.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: What’s unique about you and what you do? What sets you apart from the pack?

Ale: What is unique about me is the fact that I have to live two separate lives (although not a lot of people know about this), like I said before in one life I literally kick people’s butts all day long as a personal trainer and act as an amateur figure fitness model, all this with a big sociable smile on my face and on the other life I am a true antisocial hermit where I sit for long lonely hours in my art studio weaving dreams and materials to bring into this world things that only exist in my mind.

When I say “I have to live to separate lives” I mean it. I have tried to give up one or the other and I always end up in heart break. It’s like being in love with two people and not able to decide for one or the other.

At some points in my life one takes precedence over the other, but both have to be a part of my life in one way or the other.

nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Ale: I am inspired by the mysticism and humour of mexican art. I approach art through the innocent and naive eyes of a child who marvels from fantastic details that adults typically overlook.

My current favourite artists are Nicoletta Ceccoli, Joe Vaux, Dave McKean and Alyssa DeVille.

Image copyright Alejandra Diaz Mercado Chavez 2012.

nerdbiskit: What are some of your favourite things? (To do, to eat, to think about, etc.)

Ale: My favourite things to do are causing myself serious pain by lifting heavy weights and preparing for 6 months for Figure Shows where I am only 6 minutes on stage. I love food above everything else, and by this I truly mean everything else, including sex, but I also give it up when I am preparing for fitness shows. Among my favourites are peperoni pizza, all you can eat sushi, and towers of husband-made pancakes topped with bacon.

I love to make To-Do lists, half of which never get done, love the idea of books more than reading them and love Apocalyptic movies and tv series.

And of course my most favourite thing/person in the whole world is my HUSBAND, just thought it was about time he knew this, hahaha

nerdbiskit: How do you know Lisa Bell of nerdbiskit? Do you think her mustache obsession is a little ridiculous?

Ale: Went to school with her, she caught my attention when I noticed she was a little strange. She had a doll-like beauty to her and her sense of style definitely set her apart from the crowd. I also noticed that her strangeness later developed into obsessive mustache behavior, which I have been secretly following through her social media. I also thought it was fair for her to know this by now, hehe

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up!

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