Lamp Cord Delivery

Yes, attention to our blog has been scarce lately, but, much has been happening here behind the scenes. And we'd just like to drop a quick bit of information regarding some sweet lamp cord we've had shipped in from a company in Sweden.

They have a pretty impressive color selection to choose from and you can order samples for free. Our's arrived within a week.

From our samples we chose the Cement color in the regular weave (not the thin). And, again, within a week our order arrived. Have a look...

That's some sweet, cylindrical packaging. 

Check them out if you're searching for some unique cord colorsNUD Collection.


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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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


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.


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

86it Longboard

A couple of months ago Moss Robot was commissioned by Wake County's Anti-Litter Movement, 86it, to design and build a longboard. And a request such as this has a simple response.

Here's how the thinking goes: somebody wants a longboard, they get a longboard. Come on people, we can't have people out there without longboards, people.

Fast forward to now, and we are happy to say that the board is with the 86it folks in their booth at the NC State Fair. We're very proud of it. And if you're at the Fair stop over at the booth and check it out and have a chat with the 86it team. They are inside the CW22 tent next to the entrance at Gate 1.

And for crying out loud, please throw away your trash...people.

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The graphics were all made by Raleigh's own Paul Friedrich, he of Onion Head fame and other delights.

And the photos were all taken by another Raleighite, skateboarder and member of the Moss Robot family, Geoff Wood, he of the cleverly named Geoff Wood Photography.

Roll safe,
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: 


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

Blue Bureau Biology

Dull, little caterpillar transforms into classy, vibrant butterfly.

The larva.

Seems this one just never made it into the chrysalis. And spent way too much time moving around from place to place hoping for some kind of metamorphosis.

Well, hope no more, you old worm. Beauty is right around the corner.

The blue morpho.

The wings, of course, are theoretical. But still, certainly dramatic. And it's got that look-at-me-now attitude about it. I'm a butterfly. A real, blue-bureau butterfly!

 And have a look at the zebrawood drawer pulls. Very zebrawoody, of course.

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Inside (outside) the chrysalis (at the workshop). First things first. There was a broken drawer to contend with. A small problem but important to fix.

So, we removed the side wall that was chipped, cracked and broken and made a new one. Then routed out a long recess for the drawer's bottom to slide into.

Here's some pictures of the... pupation.

The legs were recycled from an old side table that withered years ago. A bottom was added so that the legs would have somewhere to attach themselves to and we swapped out the existing hardboard back with a wood back that would look better as well as offer greater stability.

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Tip time. Here's an easy way to paint the legs. Attach the leg plates to a long board and face them upwards (and you really just need to use 2 of the 4 screws). Then, screw the hanger bolts in the legs into the plates.

You'll have all your legs standing in front of you ready for painting. And they can stay put to dry.


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The perfect color. We had decided on the zebrawood for the drawer pulls, so, we wanted to choose a paint color to complement those well and make the zebrawood a strong focal point.

We did have some ready-to-use colors that would have worked reasonably well. But, they just weren't quite the right tones. There was a nice blue. A light blue. An aquamarine. And we decided on something sort of in between-ish.

So, our resident paint-mixer went about her magic science and created a color that both blows your mind and soothes your soul. ...I know. ...Magic, right?


And here's one last look at this little miracle of nature before it takes flight for the first time. Off you go, you beautiful bug. Be free!

But watch out for birds. Cause you look delicious.

Want us to hurry along the metamorphosis of your wayward caterpillar? Send us a note.
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...


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!

Matt and Lisa

LONGBOARD Design/Build

Moss Robot gets into all kinds of projects. Some months ago we had the utmost pleasure to design and build a longboard for Geoff Wood Photography.

Fortunately, I had the prudence to snap some pictures along the way. And we're proud to be able to share the work with you now.

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We first decided on the bomber-style board or teardrop shape and went about creating a template out of some poster board. Or, half a template anyway. Traced the half-a-teardrop shape onto the wood (3/4" plywood). Flipped the template over. And traced the other half. Everything matches up. 

It's great when everything matches up. 

Then it's out to the workshop for sawing and clouds of sawdust.

The rough shape.

Once that shape is released from the confines of the plywood sheet, it's time to round and smooth the edges. We used a vise and a planer. 

Matt's personal note: I love a planer. Really I do. And absolutely no workshop is complete without a vise. ...I have three. And they are all my best friends.

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Unfortunately, no pictures of the top design in-progress exist. But there is a nice shot of it laying down on top of fresh mulch.

Fresh mulch with deck.

Black, electrical tape was used to mask the colored stripes. Each stripe was painted individually with a wash of color so that the grain of the wood shows through.

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Then the tricky bit. Measuring and marking for the trucks. We tried a few different methods but the one that worked best used the riser pads that came with the trucks themselves. Riser pads allow you to increase the height of the deck a little. They fit right where the trucks meet the deck. Which means they share the same through holes. Which means they are a great template for measuring and marking placement.

Like so.

Just those riser pads and one long straight edge to align the risers and (with the help of another smaller ruler) to find the perfect center of the deck.

Eight pencil marks later and it's back to the workshop for drilling.

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It's very important that the holes go through absolutely perpendicular to the deck. Otherwise, you could have crooked trucks. Crooked trucks = crooked wheels. Crooked wheels = Anger, Frustration, Madness, Dejection and predominately a lengthy session of eye-flaring and an oh-this-&#!%-board! kind of afternoon.

We happen to have a leveling thingy on the back end of our battery-powered drill. So, you know, phew! Perpendicularity, achieved.

Another good idea is to widen the top of the hole using a countersink bit. This will let the bolts rest flush with the top of the deck. 

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Back inside, everything matches up.  Holes and bolts. Bolts and trucks. Trucks and nuts. Dons and Knots. 

White wheels!

And the finished bomber board...

A great project to have completed. A feather in our cap.
And we'll be making these to order for any of you enthusiasts out there.
Just send us a message.

Thanks for being around.
Matt and Lisa

Cork Spools

This certainly isn't an original idea. But it is a good idea. And it sort of felt like an original idea when my brain told it to itself. Aha! Cork! Spools! ...Cork spools!

So, gusto: check. Plenty of cork and scattered, knotted, tangled cords and wires:


Cork is just one of those things that we never throw away. Can't bring ourselves to throw them away. Same goes for a great wine or liquor bottle. We always have grand plans to cut them. But cutting glass bottles isn't easy.

And on that note, I did just recently find this video from Green Power Science that makes cutting glass bottles look real easy. Have a look.
Bottle Cutting.

Meanwhile, back at cork spools.

We got into this box of chaos. Pulled. Pulled. And pulled. And pulled, until we got some strings separated. ...And then pulled and pulled some more.

And the results of our dividing and conquering are below.

Here are all the wild things together now—tamed by cork.

Small projects can be a lot of fun. As can wine. So, why not go out and get you a case of red and start sorting through your own box of chaos.


Six-Pack Plastic Pendant Lamp

We just finished up this intriguing lil' pendant lamp after about a year or so of being "in-progress." It's made out of six-pack rings, torn open at random breaking points and affixed with metal grommets.

And did we guzzle that many six-packs in order to complete this pendant? I'm sorry, what? I didn't hear the question. Well, how about we just show the pics.

The hanging apparatus.

The plastic, ripped apart and pushed together into a dense configuration, flows and stretches outward as though underwater.

She's jellyfish-like. She's entrancing. She pulls you in... closer...closer... but don't worry—this little beauty can't sting.

Swim away.

Unlit, she is no less a treat.  Her whole form glistens in natural light.
Anyone who sees her, knows the delights she holds within.

These were taken before the light was installed. We dangled her by a chain and eye hook from branches and let her soak in the sun. She's a natural. Except for the recycled plastic, of course.

Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoyed our new girl. (psst. she's that pendant lamp.) We are both proud of her look and of keeping all of this plastic out of the landfill.

Comments are welcome. Or email us here if you like.

Matt and Lisa

Furniture Revamp

Moss Robot recently had the pleasure of designing and building some storage pieces for a private office/multi-purpose room. It was a very fun and rewarding project. We learned a lot of useful tips along the way and think we ended up producing a pretty sweet set of furniture, too.

We're so proud, in fact, that we'd like to share a little bit of the process with you.

First up is the armoire. We found this monster on Craigslist. Solid wood and in decent working order but just an aged mess and a little smelly, frankly. But, you know, perfect for a revamp.
Here it is after we lugged it home.

You can see that the drawers were already taken out. And that's because we knew we were chopping off the bottom section in order to put her up on legs. There was some molding around the top that we tore off by this point, too. The muck and such was sanded off and the holes and warpy bits were filled, glued and fixed. Then a couple coats of paint and this old monster gets a new life as a beautiful, brawny princess.


The shingle inspiration came from a pantry created by a company called Field Day. The turned legs, well, ...turned up... on Craigslist. We bought a few bundles and cut them into sections to be used on all three pieces we created. Handles and hinges came from the hardware store.

We love the shingles for the fairy-tale-cottage-look they give the armoire. Fun. A little mysterious. Feathery. Owlish.

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The second piece is a long, low cabinet. And we decided to make this out of a bookcase that was already being used in the room. The issue, of course, would be turning this thing on it's side and generally making it look like it was never a bookcase at all.


This started as a very solid, well-built piece which made the process of transformation just that much easier. The legs would have to be sawed off. The top replaced. A new top added. Doors. Shelves. New legs. And customization, customization, customization.
Now, it's so happy as a low cabinet that you'd never know it could stand so tall.


The back was cut out of the left side for a fully open display area. While two existing metal shelves, that were just begging to be useful, were installed into the enclosed cabinet side for storage. 

A really stylish, modern cabinet. And the converted horizontal arrangement strikes a much more warm and inviting figure than it's previous looming one. Makes you just want to touch it. ...But get permission first...


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Now to the third and final cabinet, which we are particularly proud of. This little piece has no "Before" picture because it was built from scratch using the leftover shelves and top from the bookcase. Let nothing go to waste, eh?

This small bureau will be a great place to store supplies. It has two drawers and two shelves with plenty of room for articles of various shapes and sizes. The counter top is the top to the old bookcase. And the sides, middle partition and left-sided shelf are made from the shelves of the old bookcase.

We added turned legs and gave the doors a more simplified take on the shingle design to set it apart just slightly from the others. It's a cute little guy, we gotta say.

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And if that wasn't enough, there is still one more component of the project to feature. Floating shelves. In addition to the metal shelves that were installed into the low cabinet, we were provided with 5 floating shelves to incorporate into the design. Three of the shelves were solid black and two were solid white. So, we've got to make them all work together, don't we?

Enter... The Stamp.
By using this stamp with white paint we added a unique and interesting pattern to the black shelves and connected the grouping of shelves together visually.

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This project was a great experience for us. And we hope to do a lot more of this kind of thing. So, please help us by spreading the word.

And thanks so much for reading about our process. We're glad you're here.

Special thanks to Geoff Wood (@_geoffwood, for the professional shots of the final pieces. And also to Summer Busto for the trust and the opportunity to impress.

Please comment below or email us.
Matt and Lisa

Well, well...

It's been one month and approximately (or exactly) two days since our last post. that's a long time in the internet world. And we hope we've still got a few of the old crew still checking back in.

Because today you will finally be rewarded for your steadfastness.

We're not quite ready to update you on the goings-on of the last month and two days but that will come in time. and by "in time," of course, I mean "shortly."

For now, enjoy this...

And This!

That's marblwood.
And she's a stubborn beauty. Broke a sweat but I tamed her all right.

How's about one more?

Oh, that's nice.

Stay tuned for a post on our furniture design/build project from the last month. It's gonna look professional and everything. promise.


Ode to Zebrawood

Zebrawood. Zebrawood. Zebrawood. Your stripes are sleak and svelt.
Your wonderfulness is a mystery.
And you gave my brain a welt.
                                              -unknown author (no, it was me. just now)

This here zebrawood put up a fight.
I added tools to my armory for this thing.

But I also streamlined my process.
So, tit for tat and all good things have silver clouds and amen.


But that's not all!

I've also started on metal inlays.
Bronze, to be exact. Have a look at this one I made for my sister-in-law:

photo by Regan Wood, stolen with pride from instagram

Bronze is harder to get your hands on than you might think.
But... the internet came through in the end.
Try out
if you have the ..."metal desire"...dibs on that band name.


Felt Color Swatches

We've been working on the color swatches for our felted work that will roll out mostly in the fall: The Universal Season of Felt, obviously.
But, currently, there is one style of felted necklace up in our etsy shop. Our goal is to offer a few different styles that can be customized, by you, using the swatches.

And I know what you're asking yourself right now: Do these various swatches of myriad hues have names, sir/madam/ya'll?

Why yes they do. Let me introduce you...


First Ziricote Bangle

I still have to put a finish on this thing. But I thought I'd share my accomplishment for the day (and, yes, it took a large portion of the day).

The hole alone seems like it was hour in the making. This stuff is dense and heavy. This bangle weighs 50 pounds (no, it doesn't).

I've got enough wood to make about 6 or 7. And this one will be up for sale tomorrow.



Check out this piece of Ziricote I just picked up!
It comes from parts of Mexico and Central America. A very dense wood. But, I'm told that it's relatively easy to work with. And it's next up on the list for shaping.

A closer view below.
There are not many, if any, woods that have such a unique grain feature. I'm really looking forward to boring through this thing making something cool.

So, check back here or visit the etsy site for the final pieces I sculpt. I hope to have some bangles finished by tomorrow.


A Bangle, A Cuff and an Etsy walk into a bar...

Moss Robot finally has their act together. We've
got ourselves an etsy site!

And wouldn't you know it, we've got a few things for sale already.

This walnut bangle is listed along with the suede
cuff below. Plus more green cuffs.

And more walnut bangles are on the way.

So, if you've been following along with our
progress, I hope you'll give us a good 'ol pirate
"way to go, mateys."

Because I feel like we've finally arrived. Or, at
least, are methodical waves of

Now, without further ado, click here!