Inspired by nature.🌲

We’ve posting on our Instagram about our new plant stand designs. If you happened to catch the sneak peek pictures, you can see that we took inspiration directly right out of our backyard.  

John fine tuning the cedar leaf design. 

John fine tuning the cedar leaf design. 

We were trimming up the backyard and got an idea to create a new styles of our plant stands. We brought in some leaves and branches to create some original artwork.

Small Cedar Leaf Plant Stand - 6 by 6 Arts

Small Cedar Leaf plant stand. 

Up close. 

Up close. 

We’ve designed three different sizes for this design. They’re not quite ready for sale just yet. The largest one has taken a bit more design work. They are all square in shape and made from walnut wood. 

Small Cedar Leaf Plant Stand - 6 by 6 Arts

We’re pretty excited about them. So much so, that we’ve been talking about them nonstop for days.😂 I guess with the cold weather and growing cuttings from my "mom" plants, I've been motivated to handle plant care. I am embarrassed how many indoor plants I've murdered. My eldest daughter teases me about how I do that but everything thrives outside in my garden. Stay warm PNW! Keep your plants happy!

Thea 

At home with 6 by 6 - Domestics and product development.

As you know, we work at home. Once upon a time when I worked at a corporate accounting firm I dreamed about being able to do this. No more long commutes, spilled coffee in my lap in the mornings and rushed lunch breaks. 

Waking up and strolling down the hallway "to go to work".  Having a fresh pot of coffee all to myself. (In our case, John and I share.) It all sounded like a dream and I have personally be so fortunate to work from home for the past few years with my other business.

View out of our kitchen window while we cook. 

View out of our kitchen window while we cook. 

My fellow work at home self employed friends know that "dream" is not that simple. While our commute is just a few doors down the hall or down the stairs depending on what stage of production we're in, we do have a rigorous schedule to get things done. 

When the shop is too cold for things to dry in we bring them indoors. Which usually means our dining room or kitchen room table. 

When the shop is too cold for things to dry in we bring them indoors. Which usually means our dining room or kitchen room table. 

I'm up bright and early before the sun (which is a huge challenge for me because I am very much a night owl) with my kids to usher them out the door every morning. I then guzzle down a cup of coffee, not out of tiredness but for comfort and begin the work day. Often I have to take domestic breaks during the day to do mom things. Then I pick back up after dinner or into the late evening. 

During the late evenings I do a lot of design work. Lots of drawing and arranging ideas for product development. I doodle all day but late at night I've collected a lot ideas during the day and have time for them to resonate in my brain and I'll flush out ideas on paper. That way they'll be ready for John to critique and provide feedback on the following the day.

A vintage metal wire basket that I'll be repainting for a show display containing our small 8-bit heart magnets. 

A vintage metal wire basket that I'll be repainting for a show display containing our small 8-bit heart magnets. 

Our home also becomes one big workspace. Aside from the designated work areas when things are going, things spill all over into all sorts of areas around here. It can be a little frustrating at times, especially when the kids want to have company over. But we make due until we hit the next accolade - a designated shop.

I wanted to share a little insight on how we work at home, we've had a few friends ask us how we do it. 

Lasers and love - Thea 

Process

We've been up to ears with things as of late. Which is great! We're managing well, it takes me a little extra time to get to emails and invoices but I'm tackling it one by one. 

Processing 880 wood boards.

We currently have a large custom manufacturing order on deck. So all new custom work requests have an extended turnaround time. 4-8 weeks depending on the complexity of the job. All retail orders are heading out as normal. So if you place an order from any of our shops, expect our normal delivery times. 

It kinda sucks when I don't have anything to interesting to share. BUT! I can't wait to share what this mega project is! Meanwhile, don't forget to get your daily dose (almost daily) of us over on Instagram. @6by6arts 

Lasers and love -Thea 

New Stockist - The Space Needle

I'm not even sure how to begin this one because I have so many feels about it!

I'm a native Washingtonian that grew up on Whidbey Island during a time where there really wasn't much but trees and the Navy. My mom is Asian and we'd often make trips into the city for "Asian" food supplies long before there was any ethnic markets close by. I distinctly remember my dad driving, my mom singing off key to the current tunes of the early 80's and me peering out of my backseat window and seeing the Space Needle rise up on the horizon as we got closer to the International District. 

Every time I saw the Space Needle I'd imagine one of two things - that Seattle was the land of The Jetson's or that Wheedle was sitting atop the Needle. Seattle was a magical land to this small town island girl and the Space Needle was and still is THE landmark of the city.

A page from a vintage coloring book I've had for years. I referred to this for inspiration during the design process. 

When you think of city landmarks, you think tourists. When you think of tourists, you think of souvenirs. A lot of times they are cheap little magnets with a glossy photo enclosed in plastic, or something along those lines. When we were approached by the Space Needle people; A.) I don't think I've ever tried to act so cool and collected in my life. B.) They told me that they were interested in adding some new but different products for their gift shop. I think I actually looked around to see if I was the person who that question was being directed at. And C.) When they told me to "just see what I can come up with" and gave us permission to use their image and brand name, I went into full on panic. 

Why would the great and awesome Space Needle people ask me and my extremely tiny company to do anything for them? They could ask anyone to do this sort of thing for them, but they asked us. A local mom and pop shop. Whoa.

While we can get down with some elaborate design work, I really felt that we should keep the products we pitched at them simple and functional. 

Pages from my sketchbook: Although, the artwork is crude, we first spend a lot of time flushing out the concept before we laser cut the prototype. We decide if the layout works or in this case how usable would the writing area be. I often leave question marks on the pages about various things. 

I drew out a simple layout of a small chalkboard with the silhouette of the Space Needle cut out. Lots of usable space for love notes or reminders. I envisioned someone picking one up on New Year's Eve and someone writing a proposal on it. (Hey, I said I had the feels with this one!)

The second thing we pitched was a souvenir magnet. We really wanted it to be unique amongst the others. This was my opportunity to incorporate a small bit of my childhood imagination. The Jetson's shapes and sounds always made me think of the Space Needle. So I sketched out a mid century modern shape and John found an image of the Space Needle that included the architectural underground footings in their image archives that he liked. We selected a font similar to one on their website. Their website by the way, is AWESOME. 

Pages from my sketchbook: I drew out many versions of the wood magnet. I had a mid century modern "Jetson's like shape in mind. Like always with my raw drawings John took an actual picture of my drawing and used it as a guide in Corel to fine tune it. 

We did this as we do all of our original work, we both do crucial parts of the development. I depended on John to help me finalize the shapes I was hoping for. Sometimes I just can't draw the exact thing I had in mind. Also, I am far better at drawing freehand rather than in outlines. I initially spent a lot of time actually drawing the Space Needle in great detail. PAGES of drawings. The our final prototypes were approved on the first submission. 

We rounded the edges from my original drawing. 

Close up of the laser cut out Space Needle. We have a bunch of these cut outs now in the studio. 

We were able to engrave the product details and pricing on the back. Which is so awesome in a retail environment.

The final shape was the shape I had envisioned. I want to publicly compliment John for being so great at figuring out what I was trying to get out. The architectural design with the footings looks so great! It's hard to tell here because this is a picture from my phone, but I was so excited to share this news I took a quick photo to share.

It's an honor to have been asked to do this for the Space Needle. We're continuing to develop more too! Next time you're at the Space Needle look for our work. 

Lasers and love -Thea

Sneak Peek

We are totally in the camp of stores not putting out a holiday's themed items way before the actual holiday. But in the retail game you are creating your items well ahead of time. Especially right before the end of the year. As a designer I get giddy about products that we develop months ahead of the their release time. Sometimes I share my original sketches or our Corel Draw work in progress shots on our Instagram. John and I have worked on this product for months. It will be our first kit product! 

Coming Soon! 

This is just a teaser of what is to come. We'll be launching it in October. But I have had the most fun with project! 

"What happened to Bigfoot."

Can you tell? John had to reign me and my imagination in a little bit on this. John is not only my partner in life and in business but also my voice of reason for my creative process. 

Many of our buyers have asked us for kits. There are so many kits out there for various things, I wanted to make sure ours was something easy to do and fun. 

I hope I'm making you curious. 

Lasers and love - Thea

Process: Crowdsourcing input for our new Family Menu chalkboard

When developing products it's so easy to default to your own likes and needs for something. Our rule for us, we only make it if we like it. Sounds easy enough right? Liking things is easy when it comes to something in your taste and style. But how about functionality? Personally, I tend to gravitate to things that serve a specific function(s). One of the most functional and necessary things we have in our home is our family menu chalkboard. Years ago I bought a blank piece of 12" x 12" chalkboard, some super strong magnets and a chalkboard pen from my favorite local craft store and created my own weekly menu board. My children are like robots when they come home after school and they automatically ask "What's for dinner?". Which would be fine to respond to if I only had one child or if I didn't work out of my home where my kids just burst into my workspaces (no matter what I am doing - usually on the phone or in the middle of a reply for custom work. I've actually typed in the word "chicken fried rice" to a custom order reply because my train of though got derailed. 

I remedied that problem with my homemade menu board. My kids know to just go look at the board and see what's for dinner that night and the nights to follow for that matter. You know, in case they want to invite 20 of their friends over for dinner. There are a few flaws about my homemade menu board. First off, the days of the week are never evenly spaced because I'm not a robot. I often have to squish things in with tiny handwriting. This is not good for my OCD. Secondly, this is a petty one, I have to rewrite the days of the week. I would like to just clean off the board and have a blank template for the next week. Rather than recreating the whole thing over and over again. It's bad enough that I have to create weekly meal ideas, give me less tedious things to deal with! So we did. With the magic of a laser! 

Family Menu Chalkboards - 6 by 6 Arts

Family Menu Chalkboards - 6 by 6 Arts

Look at that beautiful ready to go template!!! These are just work in progress samples. We're testing colors and font styles. One sample not pictured we did in a "gothic" font that says "Addams Family Menu".  A very good friend of mine actually requested one too and we made one for them with their family name across the top. We will be adding that customization as an option once we list this item for sale. 

Close up view of the engraving on the family menu chalkboard.

Close up view of the engraving on the family menu chalkboard.

So here's where we need your input dear friends. For something like this would you want to hang it up in your kitchen up on a wall or cabinet? Or would you want to have magnets on the back so you can attach it to your refrigerator? The trouble with magnets is that many people have stainless steel refrigerators that magnets won't stick to. Also many of us already reserve the front of the fridge for other reminders and pizza coupons. So let us know what your preference is!

Lasers and love - Thea

Forever Or Whatever

Yesterday, we quietly listed a sign with a wider appeal than our "We Hate Everything Together" signs. 

ForeverLarge6.jpg

Like all things we do, it starts with a doodle.

My doodles are often crazy and more elaborate than they should be. This one wasn't too bad. As you can see there are some changes/development notes that occurred with this.  I was thinking of a classic and simple design. Something that could be multi purpose. Truth be told, I'm not a Valentine's Day girl. I'm also not a flowers and open the door for me girl. I'm a beer and ramen lady, hey it's hard to hate on someone who brings you food to eat. But I do like sweet little things like this. It could be for any day. After all it's appropriate to convey love for someone everyday.

 "Forever & Ever Babe" was my original wording. John then morphed into "Forever or Whatever", which we all found hilarious but we get enough "evil side eyeing" about our "We Hate Everything Together" stuff.  So we decided on "Forever".  We hope others will too. Not just the sign but after you've lived a bit and grown into yourself we hope you all find someone to fill your heart up for forever. Lovers, friends, puppies, whatever floats your boat.

ForeverLarge1.jpg

Love is good. 

Lasers & Love - Thea