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! ❤

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! 😀
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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Wednesday Guest Blogger: Chef Nick Pantchev

Chef Nick Pantchev

I probably don’t talk about it often enough, but I really love food! I LOVE FOOD. I love kitties, tea, mustaches, dresses, crafting, wine… AND FOOD! Unfortunately, I am not an awesome cook. I’m pretty damn good with the prep work, but I need someone else to do the actual cooking. Especially meat. I am paranoid about under-cooking meat. I also suck at baking… anyway, I love to try and at least make a decent attempt at cooking, but I am fascinated by people who are actually amazing at it – hence this week’s guest blogger: chef and wine connoisseur, Mr. Pantchev! Not only is Nick a talented food-making-machine, he also loves cats and mustaches, which is pretty okay by me. He is also a fellow Sheridan Illustration kid, so I am most likely a little biased. Anyway, as soon as he opens his own restaurant, I will be first in line to try it out! Enjoy! 😀

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

Nick: I’m Nick Pantchev, an up and coming chef in the GTA. Was born in Bulgaria and moved around Canada and the US until Ontario became my home. I guess it all started by doing jobs just to pay my living expenses – then cooking got to a point where I could make a decent living out of it.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Nick: I get to play with food and make my own menus. Working with other industry professionals is like a secret club or more like an awesome pirate crew. You always learn something new in this industry. Subconsciously, I’m probably a masochist with all the hours I’ve dedicated to it.

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

Nick: I specialize in French and French/Asian fusion cooking, but not limited to that. What’s unique about me is style and the way I execute food. I constantly refine and deconstruct what I know. Aside from graduating from culinary top in my year, I also completed 2 years of Illustration at Sheridan College (in Oakville, ON.) This in itself gave me a stronger understanding of design and composition on a plate. I’m certified in tasting and pairing wines. I recently completed three months at a five star hotel, Crillon le Brave, as chef de partie in the South of France – this achievement has opened many doors in my career.

nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Nick: A broad spectrum of things, there’s chefs like Grant Achatz, Heston Blumenthal and Anthony Bourdain. Then there’s things like looking at architecture or street art, you see elements of design that make you think, “How can I put that on a plate?” Toronto food missions have been a great inspiration – with such an eclectic range of cuisine, it’s a great way to stimulate your palate or read up on dishes you’re not familiar with.


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

Nick: I try to have a physically active lifestyle so I usually like to hit the gym, skateboard or go paint-balling. Other than that, chilling out with friends, enjoying a good bottle of wine, or on an uneventful night hanging with my cat and catching up on TV series or reading.

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

Nick: I know Lisa from Sheridan and we just reconnected after all these years. Is her mustache obsession ridiculous? Not at all – although, I’m kind of nervous to grow one around her, eye contact would just shift on my heavenly man whiskers.

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! Feel free to creep Nick and his cooking escapades via his Facebook page.

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WEDNESDAY GUEST BLOGGER: Musician and Bass-guitar Instructor, James Rooke

Session Musician and Bass-guitar Instructor, James Rooke

Finally, another male guest blogger! And he’s a musician! Who doesn’t love a cool dude in a band? How exciting! (Well, at least for me… hopefully for you, too.) I am pleased to welcome James as this week’s guest blogger! Him and I have had some pretty good chats about self-employment, the desire for world domination, and of course mustaches. His determination and dedication to his music is definitely inspiring – and he’s pretty awesome at what he does too, which is a plus! I have not yet seen him live in action, but promise to one day. And you should too! Check out his website to see who he’s touring with and when… I’ll do the same 🙂 Enjoy!

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

James: I’m James Rooke (a.k.a Modern Era Pirate): Ottawa-based session musician and bass-guitar instructor. I started playing music in Grade 7. I quickly became a hardcore band geek! I couldn’t escape my love of music. My focus eventually switched from formal school-related ensembles to indie music. At the moment, I tour internationally and record with a variety of groups/artists/genres.

YOUTUBE VIDEOS – listen while you read on 🙂

Melody for Grandma (1923 Piano)

JW-Jones LIVE at the Savoy Theatre (Bordesholm, Germany)

Grand Motel – May (offical music video)

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

James: It makes me sad when someone can play music but chooses not to. It’s also out of my control I think – my passion is too strong. Music has been the most important thing in my life for over 15 years now! There’s a universal, timeless connection people have with music and rhythm. There’s so much complexity and yet so much simplicity.

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

James: There seems to be a general lack of bassists in society, hah. Trying to play music professionally is a vicious competition! It’s hard enough for a band to stand out against another band let alone the sub-level of musicians trying to compete for a spot within those groups. My “fight” is way easier than a guitarist. Playing with multiple groups also puts my “eggs in lots of baskets.”

I also have a well-rounded understanding of music. Learning classical music formally throughout school gave me a head start; Practice discipline, performance experience, theory knowledge – all transferable to my day-to-day life now.

nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

James: Inspiration is everywhere! I’m just trying to absorb as much of it as I can by studying other bassists, watching my friends perform, jamming with friends, an energized audience, playing along with my favourite albums at home, learning a variety of genres, having creative conversations, travelling, enjoying the beautiful Ottawa summer… inspiration is everywhere!

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

James: Music is incredibly encapsulating – I’m not big on TV, video games, sports, reading, etc. It’s my job, my leisure activity, my passion, my social activity, my hobby. Although, I haven’t found a way to eat music… yet.

I love using my slow-cooker, not for stews but for ribs, roasts and various other meats in large portions. I can also turn any conversation topic into a Simpsons reference. I like photography. I used to use a dark-room and all analog techniques. Now I have an iphone and some apps. The joys of technology…

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

James: I know Lisa of nerdbiskit fame through my cousin (another crafter: SparkleGirl). I wouldn’t call her MO obsession ridiculous. I know a lot of people who dig mustaches. What separates Lisa is her desire to always wear a MO! It confuses me sexually…

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! Follow James on his musical ventures via the links below:

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GUEST BLOGGER: Owner/Founder of Gabry Road and Craftsperson, Rosa Yorke

Owner/Founder of Gabry Road and Fellow Craftsperson, Rosa Yorke

Rosa is such a lovely lady! I am inspired by her dedication – both to her beautiful crafts (handmade aprons to die for!) and also to her Canadian Handmade Marketplace, Gabry Road. (I just recently signed up and still have a lot of work to do to get all my items added, but feel free to check it out here: www.gabryroad.com/nerdbiskit) Rosa not only makes beautiful items, she also has a very contagious “can-do” attitude, and is one of the nicest people I have ever met! Not long ago, we had a lovely chat about how tough it is to be your own boss, and the challenges of taking over the world! However, I left the conversation feeling freshly inspired and ready for anything! It’s so nice to meet other determined crafty ladies, and to share knowledge and experience! I just love it. Anyway, I have no doubt that Rosa will be continue to be successful in her endeavors! She also seems to really love mustaches – so she is A-OK in my books. Enjoy! xo

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

Rosa: I’m Lisa’s new friend! My name is Rosa and I am the founder and owner of Gabry Road, your place for great Canadian handmade goodness!

I started crafting when I was a teen or maybe earlier but my memory doesn’t go that far back anymore 🙂 I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Spent 10 years at Simon Fraser University, obtained two degrees, a great job then left the ‘great job’ because I missed creating and because hubby’s  job took us to Yellowknife for two years.  We left Yellowknife (far too cold for me) and moved to Ottawa. I then opened and ran an incredibly successful online scrapbooking supply store for two years. While running and operating the online store, I discovered Canada has such amazing and talented artists, designers and craftspeople and I wanted to create a venue for Canadians to shine and not get lost in a sea of handmade as I felt they were on other online handmade marketplaces. So I created Gabry Road which features exclusively Canadian artists, designers and craftspeople to share and sell their handmade goodness worldwide!

The name Gabry stems from parts of my children’s names, Gabriel and Rylee. We wanted to create a name which was more personal, and I liked the ‘Road’ part cause it made the site seem more homey, dontcha think? 🙂

Eventually, I would like to see all Canadian artists find their home on Gabry Road!

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Rosa: I love creating… anything… and love challenges. I work with paper and fabric and refinish furniture but not at the same time. My self-diagnosed OCD prevents me from moving onto another project before the current project is completed. (Note from nerdbiskit – Rosa also makes beautiful aprons, seen below, which can be found in her shop on Gabry Road of course!)


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

Rosa: Hmmm… don’t think I have ever been asked this question before. I don’t think I am unique in any way. I am me, plain and simple. I guess the first thing that comes to mind which could be considered unique rests in the fact that there is no $$$ for me to be made in running and operating Gabry Road. I simply wanted to create a marketplace to feature Canadian artists. The $20 yearly membership fees goes right back into the site for hosting, server fees, administrative and web design changes.


nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Rosa: My mom and dad… hands down. They are amazing people who sacrificed tons for their children (I have two sisters).  

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

Rosa: I love to read! I can’t remember if a day has ever gone by without reading, even if it was for only a few minutes. And of course, I love creating… even if the project ends up being a flop. I love flea markets and especially love turning new furniture into old furniture. I don’t think I have any unpainted furniture in my home right now… oh wait, yes I have an antique tea cart but I think that one is scheduled to go into the garage for some painting and distressing. I even painted the family room floor! Ok, this list could get longer once I start thinking about my favorite things to do.


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

Rosa: I first started stalking ‘nerdbiskit‘ via Instagram. Lisa has a contagious smile and an obvious love for what she does. She is the epitome of ‘love what you do, do what you love’ which I don’t think enough people do. She is so graceful in ‘shameless self promoting’ which I love. A lot of people are shy about putting themselves out there and promoting themselves but Lisa manages to do this with such grace and class you instantly begin to smile and gain inspiration. I don’t think her mustache obsession is ridiculous. Ok, maybe at first… but not anymore 🙂

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! If you are a fellow craftsperson than be sure to check out Gabry Road and consider signing up! Or at least get some online shopping done! 🙂

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Guest Blogger: Freelance Illlustrator & Motion Designer, Miss Hyein Lee

Freelance Illustrator & Motion Designer, Hyein Lee

Head shot by Andy Zeng, 2012

Hyein Lee. What can I say? She is one of those people that are so interesting, cool, and unique that you are nervous to even approach them. She is extremely fashionable, has an amazing personality – and also has incredible talent. She is one of those people that everyone just adores, and after she leaves a room, people turn to each other and say, THAT GIRL IS SO FREAKIN’ COOL. I have always been in awe of her and her work. It’s cute how she answers the “what’s unique about you?” question below so modestly, since she’s pretty much the most unique person I have ever met! (Well, I’ve met some “unique” in a weird or bad way type people, but she’s a unique in an AWESOME way kind of person.) Anyway, her responses to my interview questions are short and sweet and perfect and leave you wanting more – sort of exactly like her! She’s not really that short I guess. Maybe I’m just really tall…. Hopefully she will invite me to tea again soon so I can have the chance to sit near her, maybe I will soak up some of her awesomeness! Enjoy! xoxox

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

Hyein: My name is Hyein. I grew up in Korea, now live in Toronto. I’m a freelance illustrator and motion designer. I am also an educator. I used to be an engineer many years ago. Back then, I thought if I get hit by a truck tomorrow, I’d regret not pursuing art, so I went back to school for illustration and just finished my master’s. I’m very poor compared to my engineering friends, but I’m happy. A lot of my dreams have been coming true these days, things like speaking at Pictoplasma festival in Berlin (watch it here). I’m fortunate for all the opportunities I get, and I feel like I don’t deserve them.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

HyeinI have to. I feel miserable without working. I think I’m a bit of a workaholic.


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

Hyein: I am still working on being unique. It is very hard because an idea is universal and I get influenced by other art that’s out there. I have to work even harder to be set apart from the pack.


nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

HyeinTravelling is a huge inspiration for me. I grow as an artist everytime I go abroad. I’ve just been to Berlin last month for an exhibition, and came back freshly inspired.

Reading also is very important. I often get ideas from books and short stories I read.

It sounds sad, but deadlines are also an inspiration. Whenever I have no idea what to do, if there is a deadline looming over my head, something comes out.

Lastly, my artist friends inspire me a lot too.

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

HyeinLet’s list it.
Food – Ethiopian food is one of my favourites. M & B Yummy and Nazareth are really great. I also love Green’s Vegetarian in China town.
Drinks – London Fog and Red Velvet tea soy latte. I like hanging out at Cafe Pamenar.
Desserts – Delight chocolatier makes this awesome dairy free chocolate coconut icecream. Heavenly.
Reading – Science fiction! I love books like Engine Summer, Spin, Road, Oryx and Crake and Ender’s Game.
Shopping – A Korean website, www.buyanne.co.kr has beautiful clothes. I look at their daily updates. They don’t ship overseas nor accept foreign credit cards, so I can’t buy anything. It’s good because I don’t spend money.
Sitting – I like sitting around at Trinity Bellwoods Park and Christie Pits.
Moving – Ping pong and swimming at salt water pool.

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

HyeinI met Lisa at college. She had such original style and I always wanted to be friends with her. I was too shy to talk to her. She’s was such a cool punky girl back then. Now she’s a hot pin-up looking lady and I want to be like her. 😀

Mustache obsession is a little ridiculous indeed! But Lisa can trim my mustachio any day.

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! Definitely make sure you check out some of Hyein’s videos, they are AMAZING. Beyond amazing…. just watch them, you’ll see. Trust me.

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Long Overdue, Thursday Things I Dig!

Well folks, it has been a while since I have written a blog post that wasn’t from a guest blogger… so I figured I would fit in a Thursday Things I Dig! I am sitting here, enjoying tea and oranges, and ready to give you an update on what’s been up and why I’ve been so MIA 🙂 Here’s my long overdue Thursday Things I Dig!

1. ENGLAND tomorrow!!! I am finally venturing across the seas to Europe, though only for a short time – just a week. I am going with 2 people who will be backpacking around for a month or so, and I only joining them during their first week in London. I’m finally EXCITED! It just hit me today when I actually got around to packing… I have 7 dresses, cardis & tights all lined up on my love seat and am ready to roll. (Miss Greta will not be packed into the suitcase, unfortunately. In place of her there will most likely be rain boots.) There will be plenty of sight-seeing, tea drinking, museum meandering & vintage shopping ahead! I plan to come back with a sweet vintage dress 🙂  I promise I will share it with you all!

2. My 2013 nerdbiskit pin-up ‘stache calendar is under way! In case you missed it, I am designing a calendar featuring 11 lovely ladies (myself as the 12th) who share my love of ‘staches! All the mustaches have been mailed and I am anxiously awaiting the pinup photos to start rolling in. This is going to be AWESOME. I’m hoping to have it ready to start selling at FanExpo in August. Part of the proceeds are going to my friend, Tristan’s, MS Charity. I’m stoked that so many people are as excited about it and just as eager to participate as I am! Each lady will receive (or already has) a wearable nerdbiskit mustache and in return, will send me back an AWESOME pin up shot of them wearing that, PLUS a super cute retro dress (or retro something-rather.) Then I will get designing the layout! 😀 I can not even wait! I’ve been busy sewing & mailing out custom coloured ‘staches all week!

3. Nerdbiskit.com is well under way and I am hoping to launch it when I return from my trip. I’ve been busy web-designing for the past 2 weeks, off and on or course, and am about 70% complete. I’m pretty excited to share it with you all! During this process, I fell in love with a new program called Adobe Muse. It is one of the easiest programs for web design I have ever used! My site is nice and simple of course, so combined with a nice simple program, this has been a breeze! Here’s a sneak peak (and yes, there are plenty of ‘staches):

4. New ladies night dinner parties are under way with the ol’ work girls. (In case some of you didn’t know, I left my design job a few weeks ago! (Time to nerdbiskit & freelance design full time for the summer, woo!) Because I love my work ladies so much, and was so used to being with them 40 hours a week, I simply could not be without them – so we started a dinner party club! Our first one was last weekend. The host, Miss Tea, made the main course – almond breaded chicken with quinoa risotto & asparagus. I brought the kale salad, and there were also delicious apps & desserts from the others – and plenty of wine! SO DELICIOUS. I can’t wait for the next one, I think I will host it in mid June – I just have to come up with something equally as delicious as the last one!

5. I don’t know if you knew this about me, but I sort of love any excuse to get dressed up… so last night I was invited to be the eye candy/DD at a film screening & awards ceremony, so I rocked a classy black dress and some curls. The dress itself was 30 bucks and I went ahead and altered it by adding a peek-a-boo polka dot hem along the bottom to give it a little extra pizazz. Anyway, here’s me at my attempt to be classy with a 50’s vibe! I promise I didn’t make this awkward winky face in public.

6. I confirmed my first freelance design client! We’ll be meeting up when I return from England to start working away on projects. I am so excited! Freelance designing combined with nerdbiskit-ing for a while is going to be a blast – and a much needed and exciting change!

Ok, that’s about it! I am waiting on a customer to stop by and pick up some ‘staches, and then it is back to packing! I’ve been busy with custom orders lately, which is awesome! Oh, and if you need custom buttons for your weddings and bachelorette parties coming up, let me know – I’ve got some designs ready to go and will be posting them on Etsy when I return. Message me if you need anything 🙂 (INAPPROPRIATE GRAPHICS BELOW)

xoxo Lisa

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GUEST BLOGGER: Freelance Illustrator & Cartoonist – Britt Wilson

Freelance Illustrator, Britt Wilson

What can I say about this lady and her witty, whimsical (I love using that word, I even created this alliteration based around it) and wonderful work! Britt probably doesn’t even know it, but I’ve been following her blog in secret for a long time and admiring her illustrations and comics from afar! And not always from afar, I sometimes even approach her if I run into her at a show, and check out her latest books and goodies. One time she even had mini cupcakes! Her hand illustrated type BLOWS MY MIND. I want her to write all over my body with those mad skills! I have also been admiring her cat, Panties, for a VERY LONG TIME and I love him as though he is my own. I am honoured that he loves my catnip toys! We also share a love of mustaches, Twin Peaks, TED Talks… and Vicki Nerino (if you haven’t read Nerino’s guest blog post yet, get on it!) The 3 of us definitely shared at least one or maybe two laughs during the ol’ college days… and Britt tells a pretty good one below! Enjoy! 🙂

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

Britt: It started when I was born. Hairy and jaundiced. A few years later I discovered crayons. That’s when my parents knew it was over. The chances their daughter ever had at a successful, normal life, were shredded and a little soggy, like the paper wrapper I ripped off those crayons. Move forward a bit more to now, with my BAA from Sheridan (received a scant year after the lovely nerdbiskit herself) which I placed lovingly in the envelope it arrived in, and promptly lost, I’m a freelance illustrator, cartoonist, and work the dreaded part-time day job to keep the other pursuits funded.

nerdbiskit: Why do you do it?

Britt: I do it because I am simply not good at anything else. Including things like “small talk” and “patience” and “tolerance” which are three essential traits for working an office job. I like the immense feeling of satisfaction I get after completing something difficult. And I like to be able to hold it in my hands, and say “I made this.”

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

Britt: We are all perfect little snowflakes or some shit like that, right? What makes my work different is all the different media it intersects/borrows from. I usually paint with my hands, and real paint in bright colours, reminiscent of children’s books, with very animated and lively characters. I’ve often been told I should have been an animator, but sucks to them, they draw the same thing all day. Also technology is allergic to me. My comics and graphic stories are also very animated, and though child-like in sophistication, they often contain enough violence that most parents give me dirty looks while they herd their children past my table at conventions.

I’ve recently also gotten into hand drawn type in a BIG way. I’ve always loved drawing letters, but I’ve started going at it like a mare in heat! In an attempt to improve my lettering skillz I’ve been fumbling my way through old-school calligraphy. Using a scratchy old nib and ink to address all my Christmas cards, and sometimes even my grocery lists!

AND, I’ve been doing pattern design for textiles or your desktop, whatever! I have my fingers in ALL the pies. My gooey fruit-fingers are what make me special.


nerdbiskit: What/who is your inspiration?

Britt: I have too many artists that I love and who’s work I gobble up like some sort of troll living under a fan-girl bridge. But also I am inspired by my friends. More precisely by my desire to be better than them. It keeps me working very hard. So far, most of them are still better than me, but that’s good, it keeps me motivated to keep going and trying new things.

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

Britt: I’ve been swallowed whole by pinterest. It started because I got engaged, and a friend recommended it for keeping track of all my ideas, and the next thing I know, ADDICTION. If I ever manage to leave my desk, I love to walk around Queen West (in Toronto, where I live) and go to all the little cafés nearby. I have an insatiable sweet tooth, and love nothing better than good coffee, a pastry of some kind, and a comic book in my hand.

I love to BAKE. I don’t get to do it very often outside of Christmas-time lately, but cookies, cupcakes, PIES, I am THERE.

Recently I can’t stop watching nature themed TED talks. And Twin Peaks, and Futurama, and historical dramas, and audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks while I work, and I go through them like crazy. Currently, I’m listening to “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”

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

Britt: Lisa and I went to Sheridan together, I transferred there partway through the program from OCAD, and was scared to death when I walked into class and this loud, tall (I’m short), fashionista with giant hair and very red lips was sitting there probably saying something gross and/or inappropriate. I remember one day, towards the end of our last year (I had to come back for 3 random credits the next year) we were all sitting around goofing off during one really stupid class, and Lisa had an orange shopping bag with two clementines in it. I believe it started off with the doodling of balls all over Vicki Nerino’s sketchbook, but it ended up with Lisa dangling the bag of clementines between her legs and thrusting around to make them swing back and forth. I thought I ruptured something that day. Hopefully that isn’t too awful a tale to tell. Lisa, I give you permission to edit that. Here’s an alternate version: I like Lisa, she has pretty hair and my cat likes her cat toys. I also like moustaches, so I think she’s alright in the head, mostly. (note from nerdbiskit: I KEPT BOTH STORIES – chose your own preference! I liked both!)

nerdbiskit: That about wraps it up! Check out more of Britt’s work via the links below!

xoxo Lisa

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