The Game(ing) Show needs you!

Let's face it, Moss Robot is a diverse universe. Just when you think you know what it is that we do, we throw something new at you. Falling into this realm of "who knew?" endeavors-is the hand we played in a recent, spunky production called 'The Game(ing) Show' by Urban Gardens Performing Arts.




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UGPA came up with an innovative concept that combines staged acting, improv, games, puzzles and "free beer" tokens with a fully, interactive audience. Bystanders draw cards to choose characters and plot devices, enter into competition and take on their hero's adventures and challenges, ultimately deciding their hero's fate by the way they play each game.


Our hideous dragon in piece.

 

Think 'Zelda' meets 'Who's Line Is It Anyway' and then goes on to meet "So I Survived a Japanese Game Show' and they all somehow combine to make a super love child, and you're getting warm... 


 Super love child?



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Anyways,
UGPA approached us about making some very "homemade looking" props and costumes that leaned toward minimalistic and the absurd. We were told the more ridiculous the better. We know ridiculous. (see above photos) They came to the right place.

 Game cards in-progess.



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Our involvement did not stop with the twenty-some props and official game-play cards they commissioned us to make. Oh no, kind friends, it gets better. We got this crazy idea that we would like to do LIVE sound effects for the show-just to add an extra level of absurdity. Even more crazy, UGPA let us do it!

NASA-esque command center.



Basically, we raided our six year old son's gear. We have his old water bottle for splashing, his trusty electronic toys for transition music and "Horribozo the clown" sounds. We used his kid instruments and harmonica to play interim music and to eventually play "taps." for one of the death scenes. Most of the time we made vocal sounds, and beat-boxed the mike. Very close to how we spend our evenings at home, mucking around, trying to make the other one laugh.


 Clown poison warnings... (non)Lethal spears... Wizard bits.



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Fun was had by all, the show was a rousing success, and well, they want to do it again. But in order to continue to do it around the Triangle here in NC, "The Game(ing) Show" needs a little backing.  They have a Kickstarter campaign to fund this possibility, so if you want to get behind some talented folk, and have a future opportunity to partake in the games, here's your chance.


Heinous Beasts... Tetris... Sweet abandon.



And while we are talking about support for the arts, let's give mention to the one venue in town that does this consistently. The Game(ing) Show was held at one of our favorite places in Raleigh, Kings Barcade. Kings not only houses excellent bands and music of all genres, but it opens it's doors to every kind of creative, cultural and community-enhancing event that it can place. Again and again the fantastic owners of Kings have donated or discounted their space for a charitable function, or a fledgling troop of performers, testing their wings.

Hats off to Kings and let's throw our coin to the coffers of these traveling players.



Lisa and Matt



Little Lap Desk

UPDATE: Now available in our etsy store!


I grew up with a Mickey Mouse lap desk. Mickey was posed happily in the center of a white hardboard top. And an orange cushion was attached to the underside to ensure full comfort while I colored the day away.



























I loved that little lap desk. And years later I was given a larger, grown-up version with a mahogany stained top, ergonomic design, perfectly-contoured cushion and absolutely no Mickey Mouse. But I loved that one, too. I set my very first lap top on it one day and never looked back.

So, in the interest of creating things that we love, it was high-time we made a lap desk.



























This one is made of birch ply. It is adorned with a very simple and very cute elephant. We used a white wash so that the grain of the wood still shows through. And the eye and ear are drawn on with a silver paint marker.

The wood and artwork were then sealed with a few coats of a water-based polycrylic. So, that elephant ain't going anywhere.



























The cushion underneath (not pictured) is made of organic cotton and filled with bamboo stuffing. We also added velcro strips so the cushion can be removed if necessary to clean.



























Now, our niece, Gibson, can take her lap desk anywhere and comfortably color her day away.


(Again, thanks to Geoff Wood Photography for the crackalackin' shots.)

Matt and Lisa


Smörgåsbord

Hello again after another lengthy period away. We certainly didn't intend to snub all of September but...alas, we did. And these things happen. And we hope that September will just accept that and we can move on and be friends of some sort. Or acquaintances.
...
Just holiday cards?

This time we don't have just one big project to share. Instead, we have thrown ourselves into a number of activities over the last couple of months. And we are hopeful that these activities will grow into products that you will just love.

Oh, go on, love 'em.

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Felted Pendant Lights.
We've just begun a brand new design for pendant lights. Sculptural, felted branches cascading from a seamless form. Natural drama? We'll take it.




Felt Flower Necklaces. 
Our original felted necklaces were such a big hit last year that we're bringing them back. Production has started on millions of flowers (so many) of various colors.

















The flowers are then beaded and sewn to cording like in the examples below.


















Felt Pins.
We also combine the flowers and branch forms to create naturally-inspired brooches.

Luxury.














Felted Cashmere Capelets. 
These smart little numbers are a combination of pieces of cashmere knits mixed with hand-felted adornments and accents. They cover just enough of your bits to be toasty warm without being an overbearing protector. The capelets wrap around the shoulders and clasp just over the heart. Awww.  




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But, it's not all felt, of course. We've still been tinkering in the wood shop and hard at work on ye olde sewing machine.


Shoulder Bags.
A cheery, little light-weight bag that hugs your hip, messenger style, leaving your hands free for other fun. We've been honing these nuggets for a month or so now, calibrating shoulder to hip proportions, tweaking our pattern here and there and choosing fantastic colors. It's all very scientific. Right now, we are doing "test runs" on lovely models (lady friends). And we're nearing completion on a variety of colors in vinyl and suede.
 











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Wooden Spoons.
These wooden spoons are pretty fantastic to hold, we must say. They're made of Bocote (on left) and Ambrosia Maple and are finished nice and smooth. And the grain on both is a bit... bazow!



















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And last but certainly not least...


Business Cards.
We are now armed with cards to distribute or throw in the air or pass secretly in handshakes. We are here, world!

Never felt so official.

 
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So, that's where we stand at the moment. Creating and readying a slew of items to launch in the etsy shop. And, additionally, we'll be launching our own online shop in the very near future. That's the goal, the dream. Our grand... wait for it... design.

Thanks for stopping in. 
Matt and Lisa


Rings and Where Have We Been

I know we've been a teeny bit inactive on the blog lately. But that's because of all the prolificacy we've been dealing with out there beyond the computer. Sometimes the ideas...they just take over.

And that, of course, is a good thing. In fact, it's the thing. We see ourselves as more than just designers. We see Moss Robot as an idea factory. Which means we have our hands (brains) in all sorts of different mediums.

Which also means that there are new things to come. And to start we'd like to quickly share some wooden rings we've been making.



The rings are made of Bocote, Zebrawood, Marblewood and Ziricote. And some, as you can see, are comprised of layers of more than one wood. They are elegant, yes? no? yes.






































We're currently creating these in three distinct sizes. And have the ability to tweak those sizes for custom fits.
Different woods are also in the process now.  Out in the shop currently, we're introducing Macassar Ebony, Cocobolo and this really interesting piece of Ambrosia Maple.


 Really interesting.


More to come. And thanks for staying tuned. 

Matt and Lisa


Beans and the Dinosaur


two for one

Born one day, two families and hundreds of miles apart, our two nephews, Crosby and Brandon, were embarking on their first birthdays.  

We set out to create a gift design so delightful and ingenious that it would soften even the hardest of baby hearts, bringing countless hours of joy and laughter to all...


Instead, we came up with: 


BEAN BAGS!!!

Okay, a little off target, but come on. We're talkin' funky, homemade, Moss Robot bean bags! 





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the usual prerequisites:

So, let's back up. Knowing the entertainment needs of every one-year-old across the globe and their parents reasonable desire to maintain their wellness, we aimed for a present with these essential elements:
*safe and organic materials
*able to produce noise
*lightweight – for easy handling and damage control (babies like to throw)
*fun, soft (remember the throwing) shapes
*learning-aid device


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the true genius of the family

Our 6 year old son, Graham, who will no doubt surpass us in every creative and intelligent way possible, decided to spearhead the project. He chose a palette and drew on the first five bean bags using kid-safe, fabric markers.

...Just left the grunt work of sewing and assembly to yours truly.


 

Pretty sure Graham will be running our company and making six figures before he's a teenager. 



Let's hope he keeps us on the payroll.




After the "circle dudes" were finished for Crosby, we made dinosaur versions for Brandon because his new bedroom has brontosaurs painted on it's walls.






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Just the facts

Keeping with our list of wants, the bean bags were made with organic cotton canvas (bodies), scrap cotton and wool materials (feet), and loosely filled with organic black beans (noise) and organic lavender (dirty diaper combat!). 

Colored stars with corresponding number symbols and names ranging from one through five were written on each set (high-tech learning device). All inks were non-toxic kid-safe fabric markers.









Hope this inspires you to make your own fun, family projects.

As always, you can reach us here, follow our twitter link over to the right or leave us a comment below.
Matt and Lisa

Ahoy! Pillows Ahead!

These fetching lil' vintage island gals had been wallowing away in a loveless marriage to some threadbare tea towels. Our client reckoned them too winsome to go forgotten and asked us to find a new way to showcase such novel booties, uh...beauties.




So, we dusted the ladies off and gave them a new gig entertaining house guests aboard voyages destined for dreamland (read: guestroom pillows).


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Battening Down.
We reinforced the tea towels with some iron-on interfacing. Ensuring that the ladies new dance number will forever be supported.

The girls then got teamed up with a crisp, bold floral pattern for a fresh, updated stage on which to feature their talents.


 
 


 The finishing touch was a pretty, little bias tape boarder to give their stunning forms higher definition. 




Do not disturb.
Now, who wouldn't want to spend their vacation with the likes of these lovelies?
































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Fluffing the Queen's English.
We sailed north to embark on our "To London With Love" custom adventure: Commission to repurpose two bed pillows into Union-Jack, accent pillows.

New square housing needed to be made to create the pillows' new shape before the actual pillowcases could be designed and measured.




A modern palette of orange, grey and white was selected over the traditional British colors. Cheeky.

The two pillows needed to be complimentary without being all matchy-matchy. Incorporating a mini cooper graphic into the design was suggested. Thus, driving the project forward. Tally-ho!




We used a reverse applique to create the window effect on the cooper. Assembled the rest of the design elements onto the front of the pillow case. Sewed everything together and Bob's your uncle...



Brilliant!



That's it for today's travel log.
We are always ready to be whisked away! If you would like to take a design journey with us, just throw us a line (read: email). Who knows where we might go!


  Toodle-loo,
Matt and Lisa