Rad Shit: Space Shuttle House In The Richmond

I live in the Richmond and although it is pretty far out on the west end of the city, there is still some kooky shit out here. Laughing Squid tips us off to this house that takes pride in bringing the black holes home. I wish The Selby would get into their house — I’m sure the inside must be just as cool.

Rad Shit is exactly what it sounds like — rad shit. We’ll post inspirational tidbits, great designers and funny stuff that’s getting us through the day at Workshop. Have a suggestion? Email Monica at


No Comments April 27th, 2010 11:21 AM

d.i.y. essentials: mason jars

Mason Jars have more street cred than most kitchen essentials. They can be used to store bobbins and buttons, can and ferment food, as a hooch jar and even for terrariums! At Workshop, we use Mason Jars for everything from decoration to demonstration. Two of our most creative classes — Pie In A Jar and Glass Jar Terrariums — use these jars for the most creative projects. Here is a little on the iconic container and exactly why you should keep some handy in your cabinets.

one of the best inventions ever! the mason jar.

The jar was invented by John L. Mason in 1858. The Mason Jar was originally called a wax sealer, since it was used to store sealing wax for writing letters around the turn of the 2oth Century.  There were many jars that were invented around this time that had different types of sealing lids and jar shapes, but eventually a version of  the metal jar and ring design that we know today won out. It is rumored that most of the jars that were invented back then are still usable today. And during the Vietnam War, a variant on the hand grenade was made to attack the enemy, since the glass could not only hold the grenade, but was also strong enough to fall from choppers and still retain its shape without detonating.  Talk about durability and standing the test of time!

use them to organize place settings at your next party!

mmm, spiked summer tea perfection.

Watch out for sales at your local grocery store or online. Sometimes, cases of these can get expensive. But think about it — you’re pretty much buying them for life! Local thrft stores also have them if you’re really trying to cut down costs.

If you’re looking to give a gift, Mason Jars are perfect, since it can be reusable after the container is empty. Spreading the Mason Jar love is always a good thing!

Though the glass is extremely durable, the Ball company does NOT recommend using the Mason Jar to bake in. Since temperatures to bake breads and things can go up to 400 degrees, this is hot enough where the jar may burst. SO BE CAREFUL!

hanging mason jar lights.

How To Hack A Blender With A Mason Jar via Simply Recipes

How To Make Hanging Mason Jar Lights via Design Sponge

How To Make Your Own Soy Wax Candles via eHow

Mason Jar Cupcakes via Joy’s Hope

50 Ways To Use Mason Jars via Planet Green [This list is FANTASTIC!]

use it as a cookie/biscuit cutter in a pinch!

Mason Jar History

Mason Jar Listings on Amazon

The Seattle Times on Mason Jar versatility

Have any cool examples of awesome things you’ve done with a Mason Jar? If you’d like your tutorial or project featured on the Workshop blog, please email me at We’d love to feature you!

Lets get our hands dirty,

No Comments April 22nd, 2010 12:08 PM

meat pillows. time to snuggle up to a pork chop and learn how to sell on etsy.

i stumbled upon sweet meat’s hambone pillow a few years ago at an event. it was pretty tuff to miss a cute lauren dressed up as a butcher, selling meat pillows that she wrapped up like you bought at it the butcher or deli. love at first site doesn’t describe it. she has harnessed the power of bacon & all of my fave meats into cuddling. i’m used to sleeping with meatheads, so i welcome a plushy meat pillow that won’t talk back, fart in the bed or talk about football scores when i’m trying to sleep.

meatmedleyplushtoyssteak. ham and porkchops, oh my!

baconplushtoysweet, sweet bacon. aghhhh (in my best homer simpson drool voice).


iloveyoumorethanmeatbuttonsthe i love you more than (insert meat here) pins. that sounds wring, but you know what i mean!

lauren who is the cle(a)ver lady behind this all..haha..has years of experience in design, websites, e commerce and running her own rad indie business. so, we asked her to teach at workshop. she’s teaching a few classes, but this week we are bringing you the first how to get started on etsy class. etsy has become the new ebay, but for handmade and vintage. it’s also a rad way to shop and support indie designers. you can find everything on there from awesome new silk screened tees, to duct tape wallets, to handbuilt bikes to vintage cowboy boots to teacup lightfixtures to diy science kits to apparently, a steak you can sleep with! it’s also an easy way to run an e-commerce site without all the hassles of setting up your own shopping carts on your site, dealing with flash & web design…its easy to join, sign up and head towards making a nice chunk of change on etsty. there is even a new etsy coming out for packaged and indie foods. hear me now peeps…etsy is it. the future of shopping for those bored to death with the mall and craving some unique goodies. it is also the easiest and most streamlined way to run a small design business and sell you wares online. check out our new class with lauren & she will jedi you in everything you need to know to get started and be successful on etsy. check it out…



Indie Biz 102: How To Get Started On Etsy $38
So you’ve perfected the design of your cigarette pack slash date book slash bike lock slash key-hide-it, and you’re ready to unleash this amazing, original product on the vast world of consumers. Or maybe you’ve recently re-worked and re-finished all of your Auntie Vera’s estate jewelry and you’re ready to make some moolah? (its okay…its not like she was a blood relative or anything..) In Indie Biz 102: How To Get Started On Etsy, Independent toy designer and small business consultant Lauren Venell will show you how to start selling your wares on Etsy. You will learn how to set up an Etsy account, tips for how to market your products, how to take and post photos, how to get paid (cha-ching) and much more.

no pre-req for this class.  you do not have to take Indie Biz 101 in order to take this class.

supplies needed: none. (but you may want to bring a pen + pad for notes.)

Teacher Bio: Lauren Venell is an independent toy designer, artist, and small business consultant from San Francisco. She is the founder of Sweet Meats plush toys and a Senior Design Partner of Burning House Design. She manages several product lines in addition to independent creative consulting. Lauren is also the editor of the Biz Miss blog for creative women, a contributing “biz lady” for design*sponge, and the Indie Business columnist for the Bazaar Bizarre SF blog. She’s kind of a big deal…if you didn’t know.

Thursday, April 22nd, 7:00PM-10:00PM
xox kelly

No Comments April 21st, 2010 10:18 PM

Rad Shit: Star Wars Amigurumi

This rad shit post goes out to my super awesome boyfriend, who is OBSESSED with Star Wars. And, really, what boy isn’t? I may not know what amigurumi means, but I know these little figurines will keep the force strong. And the best part? You get to make them yourself! Buy the patterns here.

PS: Crocheting classes anyone? If you want to suggest a class, drop us an email at We’d love to hear from you!

Rad Shit is exactly what it sounds like — rad shit. We’ll post inspirational tidbits, great designers and funny stuff that’s getting us through the day at Workshop. Have a suggestion? Email Monica at


Comments Off on Rad Shit: Star Wars Amigurumi April 21st, 2010 04:41 PM

pie in a jar. it’s more precious than you think.

pie in jar 66

if you look around workshop, it’s no surprise that we like anything in jars. terrariums. storage. infusions of tasty booze we make. thread. flowers. old bearded guys modge podged to the fronts for weird candleholders. and now pies….thanks to Gillian form Black Jet Bakery, she has figured out how to make pie in a jar. she had at me the cute factor. but alas there are so many more selling points to this wonder of a class that gives terrariums a run for its money as far as ease & cuteness. here’s a few…(and if that’s not enough scope the pictures)

  • it’s so easy once you learn, you’ll dazzle all your peeps with this slightly effortless wonder
  • Gillian does all the hard work for you…makes the crust, cuts up all the fruit and puts her magic tlc into it, so you can just make pies. then eat them.
  • she brings one for you to eat. that’s how you start class. eating pie. seriously? hello!
  • they are perfect portions…small, petite and easy to store. so single people like me, make a bunch store them in the fridge and when you have guests or a solo pie emergency, dig in. they go from freezer to oven easy.
  • i made these for friends, then served with whipped cream and caramel. they thought i spent hours on it and we so dazzled that i once again giggle when they leave for realizing how easy it is to make people think you slaved over a hot stove forever, maybe next time i’ll splash flour all over my face and put on a dirty apron too!
  • you can even decorate your pie jar lids and add terrarium/ cake toppers after they are cooked for more adorableness. peep my mustache topper.
  • you can make cheesecakes, savory pies, crumbles, anything in these. once you learn, fly free little bird. we will be adding more in a jar classes. now if i could get a boyfriend in a jar. pull him out of the freezer and heat up when needed. dammit. oh well.

workshop pie in jar 11

we will be adding way more of these classes, so keep posted. for the class fee, you walk out with 3 pies, eat one and learn how to make them. not so bad. additionally, you can re-use the lovely jars over and over again once you become addicted to making these. trust me, you will. if terrariums and pie in a jar got into a cute battle, i am just not sure who would win. its like hercules v. zena. or ashley v. mary kate. chocolate v. peanut butter. oh my.

pie in jar 44pie in jar 33workshop pie in jar22

No Comments April 20th, 2010 05:18 PM

some next level shit.

ok guys. so we are constantly trying to come up with new classes and ideas. we arent exactly the ymca, so we don’t yet have the resources, funding and space to offer complex classes that require fancy equipment. but you can bet we are always trying to re-invent simple and cheap ways to do things diy your house, with simple equipment and low budget. our hamster wheel is a turning! this summer we are starting interior design classes on silk screening wallpaper, poster art, re-uping the bachelor pad (if you dont know the re-up, watch the wire people!). we are also adding dressmaking, new sewing classes, pattern & draping classes, diy park grill kit making, mac & cheese workshops, more pie in a jar, making headboards, i can go on and on….. expect 3-4 new classes a month in addition to all the regular classes that you’re asking for more of.

i think what i am most excited for is summer events and bringing our style of diy to more peeps. we will be setting up big booths at the indie marts (we’re the indie mart too..incase you didn’t know) all summer offering everything from live art, screen-printing, all day demos, heavy metal aerobics (yes you can get you metal fitness on at the indie mart) and build your own terrarium booths. our events aside…one of my favorite parts of getting ready for all these summer festivals, shows and events is the posters & fliers. whether it’s creating ours or looking at everyone else’s.  i am a graphics whoremonger. if your poster is awesome, i will come to your event, show, party, bar mitzvah or jail release party. in a world of photoshop and new technology…i am still an appreciator of printing things old school via printmaking. though i am still only a few years in with my printing experience, i have spent a lifetime collecting posters and gawking at the newest posters. the resurgence of poster art for rock shows has been on fire the last few years with printmaking. as dig around for inspiration, see what’s new and hunt for ideas for future classes. printmaking is the next frontier for us. it may take us a few more months, but check out some of our favorites…..and expect some next level shit in the summer! classes, workshop poster and rad artist collabs.


keep on making stuff


No Comments April 19th, 2010 01:48 AM

Rad Shit: Wordboner T-Shirts

If you don’t love this shirt, there is something seriously wrong with you. Wordboner has more typography genius by the bucket load here.

Rad Shit is exactly what it sounds like — rad shit. We’ll post inspirational tidbits, great designers and funny stuff that’s getting us through the day at Workshop. Have a suggestion? Email Monica at


No Comments April 15th, 2010 09:46 AM

Read All About It: Workshop featured in Dwell Magazine!

If being addicted to making terrariums is a disease, then we want to be incurable. The classes are fun, you get dirty and the decorating possibilities are endless! Dwell Magazine dropped in for a class not too long ago and were kind enough to give us an awesome write-up. Check it out here. To sign up for our next terrarium class, check out the calendar.

No Comments April 15th, 2010 09:27 AM

DIY Essentials: X-ACTO Knife

It always helps to have a tool that can slice through anything — paper, plastic, cardboard or transparancy. The X-ACTO knife has been a long time friend of the artist, and a functional tool of many designers, stencilers and crafters around the world.

ain’t she a beaut? the #1.

Invented around WWI by Sundel Doniger, it was originally engineered as a scalpel for medical practices. After being rejected because of its inability to remain sterile or be clean, Doniger began distributing it as a craft tool after an advertising artist used it as a retouching knife for one of his projects. Its sturdy handle and ability to place in different types of blades made it extremely versatile, and thus the X-ACTO knife we know today was born.

With its pencil-like precision, we use X-ACTO knives at Workshop for stenciling and cutting out graphics for various projects, some that even include our handy friend, Mod Podge. The #1 is our classic go-to, while the Gripster puts our crafty hands at ease with its great rubber handle.

the gripster being put to great use.

Though we are always advocates of crafting with a beer close by, do be careful when cutting anything while drinking. We don’t want you to get hurt!

Investing in a knife sharpener will not only make your blades last longer, but will avoid that annoying trip to the store when you’re neck deep in your next project.

When carving or cutting your next project, be sure to do it on top of a surface that you don’t mind screwing up. Whether its an old table or a piece of foam, the cuts you make are sure to go through your material so be prepared!

leather chain necklace

How To Make a Perpetual Desk Calendar via Apartment Therapy

How To Make A Homemade X-ACTO Knife via Rotten Eggs

Snow Globe Postcards via Giddy Giddy Blog

Leather Chain Necklace via Cucumbersome

X-ACTO Official Website

X-ACTO Knife History

X-ACTO Listings On Blick Art Materials

How To Use an X-ACTO KNIFE via Do It Yourself

Have any cool examples of great X-ACTO projects that you’ve put together at home? If you’d like your tutorial or project featured on the Workshop blog, please email me at We’d love to feature you!

Lets get our hands dirty,

No Comments March 23rd, 2010 11:48 AM

Rad Shit: Pret a Porter Tea Bags

Now you can have tea with the cream of the designer crop. Donkey Punch has made these ingenious teabags for your next Sunday brunch. [via Refinery 29]

Rad Shit is exactly what it sounds like — rad shit. We’ll post inspirational tidbits, great designers and funny stuff that’s getting us through the day at Workshop. Have a suggestion? Email Monica at


No Comments March 23rd, 2010 11:10 AM

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