Spring Cleaning

Twice a year I have to basically strip the work areas down to the bare bone (tabletops). There are two times of the year where I am the busiest. The first six months immediately followed by the last 6 months. KIDDING! Sort of. If you've been following along you know that I have two businesses. One business is super busy during "wedding season".  March to September are the core times for me with that. 6 by 6 flourishes during wholesale reordering times, which is all the time but there are particular stock up times for a majority of our buyers and the holiday months. We just know that we'll sleep when we're dead during the holiday months. Makers have a joke that we'll sleep when it's pajamuary (January), after all the holidays have passed. 

If you've ever been around creative makers while they are making, you know they tend to be messy. I'm hella messy when I'm working. I have piles of fabrics, wood, paint, papers and more in my work areas. I get into a groove and become a working machine. I don't want to put stuff back when in said groove! So some areas become disheveled and require some extra tidying up. 

6 by 6 Arts workspace

We've had a few recent requests to be filmed/photographed in our workspaces, which is basically our entire home. So we had to do our spring cleaning a bit earlier than normal. I always love the clean slate of tidied up areas and it usually lasts a bit. I don't want you thinking that we live and work in a pig sty. We are maximalists, so we have a very full home but it's really not as cluttered or dirty as I make it sound. For me it was mostly the pressure of showing our workspaces to the world. It's intimate, personal and a brutally honest look into our life, especially since we work from our home. Whenever, I invite someone over, I want to make them feel welcome and not overwhelmed. There's a lot to look at in our home. Our kid's friends love being here because it is "homey".

Thea's desk area

I've been trying to remember to share little peeks of our home on Instagram. We do decorate and incorporate our own products around our home. We're our own product testers obviously and I know others like to see how we use them. Is there a product of ours that you'd like to see in action? Let me know in the comments and I'll make it happen.

As always- thanks so much for reading!

Lasers and love - 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 

At Home With 6 by 6 Arts - Furry "Employees"

I thought it would be fun to add a little twist to our home tour. There are two very important fixtures in our home, our "puppies" Toki & President Baberham Lincoln. Toki is 9 and Baberham is 2. 

Our ladies "on guard". 

Our ladies "on guard". 

Pictured above, is their favorite spot in the house in our front room. Our old couch is exclusively theirs, parked right next to my vintage Plycraft chair and our Lego Tower of Orthanc.  That couch is thei perch and comfort zone.

It's amazing how a home wouldn't feel the same without your pets around. While they do have little barking fits to alert everyone that their arch nemesis "The UPS guy" has pulled into the driveway and get a little to beggy at dinner, we'd miss them greatly if they didn't. 

We actually had a scare soon after we brought Baberham home after we adopted her from a local shelter. She got curious and wandered into the forest. She was missing for a couple hours. Thankfully she ended up in a neighborhood close by and was easily identified by the custom ID tag we engraved for her.

Custom engraved pet ID tags. 

Custom engraved pet ID tags. 

They are like our furry children. Like our real children, they too are very animated, have distinct personalities, leave things all over the house and fill our home with even more love.

Baberham

Baberham

Toki

Toki

How about you? Who are your fur babies? I'd love to see pictures! I watch every single pet video that is posted to Facebook/Instagram. I'd be a crazy dog lady if permitted to. 

We hope everyone stays cool this weekend!

Lasers and love -Thea 

At Home With 6 by 6 Arts - Where Prototype Signs Go To Die

When I posted the first post, I imagined my mother's horror of me not putting things "away" before showing the world what my home looks like. I grew up in a house that had those weird plastic protective runners on top of the carpets. Anyone even know what those horrible things are? I think they were meant to keeping your carpet clean.  I ate shit on them every morning, by tripping on that *one* little bumped up part.

Not in my house. I keep a house where my kids actually feel comfortable living here. I do have one son that is a little TOO comfortable and thinks the tv room is his hamper...

But we have our Lord of the Rings Legos displayed in the front room (I'll show those in a future post!) Dr. Seuss book characters painted in the our old dining room and of course our own signs that we designed. 

A recent vintage mid century Quartite lamp thrift find. Thanks to those who chimed in on Instagram. The original colors have grown on us. If you look closely, you can see the reflection of our refrigerator that has all sorts of chalkboard magnets we've designed stuck all over it. 

We often will display our original prototype signs on our walls. Like this Damn Fine Cup of Coffee sign.

Can you notice the difference in lighting or what? Bright light in the kitchen vs the soft tv room light as seen in the previous photo.

We had some stability issues with the first layout of the Damn Fine Cup of Coffee sign. We adjusted them but kept this original one. Appropriately hung on the wall next to our coffee pot of course. Which sits elegantly on my fine "vintage" (beat to hell) formica countertops. I also had to display one of my vintage Pyrex coffee pot stands. (I'm a vintage Pyrex collector!) I might as well explain the other things going on here. A Partylite pineapple candle holder that was a gift to me. A slightly hidden sugar dispenser. Ferdinand the Bull from the Philippines. Odd story about that - my mom just sent that to me with no note, or explanation as to why she sent it. Just Ferdinand in a box. We laughed for days with slogans for the bull. "Bull in a Box", "Big Box of Bull", "Pack and Play Bull", "Bull on the Go!" I later found out that she just forgot to include the note when she packaged it up. A framed card that reads "I hate everyone that isn't you" - from one of my best friends. Some coasters that no one uses. A basket of napkins - because they are way cheaper than paper towels and when you have a house full of teenagers you don't bother buying the expensive stuff until they move out. Finally, an outlet with a mustache. I draw mustaches on outlets because it makes me laugh.  

I hope you're enjoying this little series and a peek into our home!

Lasers and love - Thea 

At Home With 6 by 6 Arts - The Truth

Hello Friday. It has been a rough week socially speaking. Many discouraging things going on all over the world. Surreal things, things that make you wonder if we as human value life truly. The saddest thing about all of the social turmoil is that it's overshadowing an amazing human feat of Juno orbiting Jupiter. Humans can do amazing things and horrible things. I'm just a lady who runs a small business in the trees of Western Washington. The part I'm contributing to the world is raising good accepting people. I don't make any big social decisions for others, but I do support those who share the same views as I do.

8bitheart_6by6Arts.jpg

Before this week, I had planned to start a little weekly series about us. A little home tour of sorts. I decided to do a little soft and truthful introduction into that. Earlier today I took a picture of one of the walls in my living room:

At home with 6 by 6 Arts

At home with 6 by 6 Arts

I left everything in place. Disheveled front door mat, boxes from shipments. Folding chairs from my last craft show and other business stuff that belongs in the garage. A few weeks ago I had posted a photo on Instagram about a vintage (mid century) table lamp. I noted that our house is a mish-mash of things. Here's a little glimpse of that. My gallery wall that John isn't too keen on. I have a few decorative plates that came from my dad's house, a handful of thrifted scenic paintings. With spaces for wall art that I am making myself. A glass bonsai tree, a vintage brass menorah, wooden Ibex family, vintage Alsy lamps, some of my vintage Pyrex and my childhood Japanese dolls in the cabinets and my what my kids call the "Blue Clues" chaise chair.  As you can see I'm no home stylist or even care much about style. There's lots going on here. To me, it's comforting, I like looking at things, lots of color and things that make my home unlike any other. The stuff from work can go, but John has been rearranging the garage so that will be short lived. 

I will post an update of this room once I complete that wall art and will share pictures of other rooms and where we predominately display our original We Hate Everything Together sign. I wanted to share what our home, which is where we work too - looks like since we design many things for your homes. It's only fair. 

Lasers and love - Thea