Saturday, December 29, 2007

Limbo: Another Ink Blot Illustration

Limbo: A black and white ink blot illustration by Michael Ayers and Lani Mathis.This little blot had a rough beginning. Due to our process, (two people adding shapes to a drawing one after the other), not all blots come out perfectly. We have several pages of "bad day" blots that just took a turn for the worse. This little guy seemed to be headed in that direction, but all of a sudden everything came together. I think all artists have these moments. Sometimes I think the pieces you struggle with the most end up feeling a little more special. Maybe it is because they aren't exactly perfect. Maybe art is a lot like people- it needs a few imperfections to be interesting and memorable.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fishing For a Flower: A New Ink Blot Drawing

Fishing For a Flower: Ink Blot illustration by Lani Mathis and Michael Ayers
We've been dragging this blot out for a while. It finally seemed finished just the other day. I believe it's a very happy fish, even with those menacing teeth! It has felt like a very unproductive month as far as art goes. Between all of the gift buying, wrapping, and giving (not to mention making those yummy stockings :) we haven't gotten much done in the shop! Yes, the holidays are over. I guess it's time to get back to work, but who could possibly mind with such happy little fish around?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Rockin' the Stockin's

This year, we decided to make our own stockings, so we borrowed a sewing machine, bought some fabric, drew out some wildly sketchy patterns, and went to town. ***Attention. We have never sewn before.*** Several days (and tears) later, we proudly produced these beauties. Not bad for not having a clue! I'm so pleased, I'm starting a sewing machine fund. Michael will eventually put red bells on his points (his is the orange and red stocking), but with it being so close to Christmas, they were a bit difficult to find. We hope wherever you are reading this that it is warm and merry no matter what you celebrate. Best wishes.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eco-Bow of Death: Merry Christmas.

recycled bottle cap Christmas bowWe sincerely hope that Michael's little sister will be smart and carefully remove this from her present instead of slicing her hand to pieces. We really are optimistic that she won't lose a finger tip permanently. (doctors are great at reattaching things now) Mostly, we are confident that she is up to date on her Tetanus shots... Ok. So maybe we're taking this whole "recycled" thing a bit far, but isn't it totally awesome? Michael spent way too much perfectly good time carefully constructing this little bottle cap saw blade torture trap of doom. But admit it- it is super cool. We'll stick to can bows from now on. They're safer.

recycled bottle cap Christmas bowBe safe this holiday season :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our First Custom Bottle Cap Bracelet

recycled bottle cap bracelet enviromental jewelry
And I'm just tickled over it! This was a local order, so the customer picked out the caps themselves. Michael sharpened the punch with the Dremel and it is working out much better for us. Hopefully this is the start of many more custom orders. We don't make much off of these because they take so much time, but I enjoy them too much to stop. We hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Brighten Your Packages with a Recycled Surprise

This year, we're giving most traditional wrapping a break and going green. With the exception of some hand-me-down wrapping paper, everything will be reused or recycled. Today we're showing off our snazzy soda can bows. These are fairly easy to make and are a great conversation piece. Take any soda can and using an Exacto knife, cut evenly spaced slits down the face of the can. Once all of your slits are cut, slowly press down on the top of the can to force the sides outward. You may need to help the pieces along with your fingers. (Be careful of course, but I didn't find them to be very sharp) Once the sides are spread out, take some heavy duty tape and slide it into the the center space of the can to join the top and bottom (this will keep the can flattened). Flip it over and tape it to any gift you want to make extra special!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

I start to feel a little ill the week after Christmas while driving past row upon row of houses with four or five trash bags full of packaging and wrapping paper out by the curb. Next to them, a now sad looking bundle of sticks and needles reluctantly waits for the trash truck. This year, we really wanted a live tree (roots and all) so that we could plant it after the holidays, but it didn't seem practical for our current living space. Instead, we spent a lovely evening making cranberry and popcorn garland to wrap around a wreath for our balcony. (credit to BlackStar for the cranberry idea) We had a lot of fun turning our fingers red with cranberry juice and hopefully the birds will enjoy a holiday snack. I think these activities are so much more rewarding than a trip through the Wally World "made somewhere else" holiday section. As for packaging and wrapping paper, most gifts will be handmade this year with the exception of a few specific requests. We'll be using recycled boxes and bags to make wrapping material and decorate them ourselves. Who needs another throw away bow when you can be crafty?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Domino Ink Blots Are On the Rise!

Ink Blot Domino Pendant by GreenSpaceGoodsThe Ink Blot Dominos have been doing pretty well, so here is another. This one was completed in the Metro Coffee House in Augusta, GA. We highly recommend the place, if you happen to be in the area. They have live music on Sunday afternoons, and some of the best coffee I've had.
You can find a collection of some of our Ink Blot illustrations here. We are trying to flesh out the album. Keep checking back. There are many more waiting to be added. Have a great week!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Surfing Blot ( at least that's what I see :)

Ink Blot Domino PendantWe recently spent a weekend in Savannah, GA with some of Michael's family. Every time I see the ocean I feel more and more like I belong on the coast. We probably walked a mile along the hemline of the sea with my feet almost as blue as the water I was splashing them in. I didn't mind the cold a bit. I guess we still had that day on our minds when we started this little Ink Blot. I hope to go back soon, and hopefully more Blots will follow. You can find this one in our Etsy store.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Reclaimed Angels Make Lovely Ornaments

Recycled light bulb angel ornament by GreenSpaceGoodsThese used halogen bulbs have been sitting around for a while. They are really too beautiful to be light bulbs, so today they get to be angel gowns. The bulb makes up the dress and body of the angel while a snap makes a shining head. We used an old brass clock gear for a halo and cut pieces out of an old decorative belt to make little wings. I think she looks just heavenly. Check one out on Etsy
Happy holidays!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Peter Alsen- A Ceramic Circus

We've been following Mr. Alsen for a while (I swear we aren't stalkers... really.), but we've never committed to purchasing one of his amazing pieces until now. About three years ago, Michael and I found these whimsical characters at Art On Broad, a fantastic little gallery in downtown Augusta, GA. Being rather broke at the time, we knew they would have to stay there. We have visited them often over the years, always hopeful that the right piece and the right price might coincide. This weekend we found one.
From the top down- meet Maurice, Rudy, Harriet, and Eugene (we name just about everything around here), a wonderful menagerie to make you smile. We think of art pieces as friends and who couldn't use four more? There is something joyful in Mr. Alsen's ceramics that warms your heart, and we are very happy to have one in our home.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Speedy McBubbles Ink Blot Illustration

Ink Blot illustration of a snail named Speedy McBubbles in black ink on white paper.Meet Speedy McBubbles. We know it kinda sounds like a drag queen name, but look at him! This little ink blot snail came to visit us in the coffee house the other day, so we invited him to stick around. He's full of sass and ready to race! Speedy is our smallest ink blot to date. We hope you enjoy him. :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Eco-Karma: Recycled Dragons are Reincarnated

A dragon domino makes a nice pendantWe're sure if this dragon could talk, he'd have a great story to tell. We don't know what misadventures brought him to the delivery bay behind our favorite bike shop, but that's where we found him. He had a few friends too. There were three dominoes total along with an array of other odd items that didn't really belong back there, so we've given them a new life. We've carefully brought out the dragon's design with a little silver paint and lovingly strung him on a leather cord to wear as a pendant. Hopefully someone else will like him as much as we do. :)
See him on Etsy here or Visit GreenSpaceGoods on Etsy

Friday, November 2, 2007

Klockwerks - timepieces with recycled souls

Roger Wood is an amazing artist from Toronto where he is creating some of the most memorable and whimsical clocks you'll ever find. A symphony of flea market finds adorn his unusual pieces, saluting the history of a bygone era and all of its many bits and pieces. Ironically timeless, these playful clocks bubble with personality and take you back to your childhood fantasies. They are a testimony to those who believe in magic, though it be in the hands and imagination of Mr. Wood. You can find his other "werks" at where he also offers an email newsletter. I've been a reader for some time, and believe me, it is often the highlight of my day.

I hope everyone is doing well, and getting ready for a great weekend :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Confection Perfection- Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was growing up, we often spent Christmas with my Grandparents. I remember being amazed at all of the treats my Grandmother would make. She never settled for one or two items. We had brownies, and m&m cookies, and peanut butter cup cookies, and coconut covered things that I wouldn't even eat! I guess she just wanted to make sure everyone had something that they particularly enjoyed. I've never been a great cook, but if I ever have kids, I want to be able to share holiday treats and recipes with them too. I think I've finally got chocolate chip cookies right:

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
1 stk salted butter softened (This is considered baking blasphemy. I prefer salted.)
1/2 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 1/2 ts vanilla extract
1 large egg room temp lightly beaten
1 (12 oz) chocolate chips

1. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. Blend together butter and sugars.
3. Add vanilla and egg. Mix to incorporate.
4. Incorporate flour mixture, and repeat with the chocolate chips
5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees- this may vary per oven. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pack the dough into balls and place them approx. 2 inches apart.
6. Set your oven racks on the second and fourth levels. Put the baking sheet on the 4th level and bake for 7 min.
7. After 7 min, rotate the sheet 180 degrees (front to back) and place on the 2nd level. Continue baking 7 more min.
8. Remove and allow to cool. Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sharing the love for Green and recycled…

Today, we'd like to spotlight Loran Scruggs, another artist who makes eco-friendly products. And while promoting your competition probably isn't good for business, we're so jealous of how awesome these items are, we just have to show them off. Check out this bottle cap whistle:

And there are so many cool designs, we can't decide which one to buy! In addition to whistles, Loran makes all kinds of things from airplanes to rat sculptures out of discarded materials. The shop is full of fun and whimsey and is sure to make you smile. Check out these items and more in their Etsy shop:
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sailing the High Seas with a Bathroom Blot!

Ink Blot illustration by Michael Ayers and Lani MathisMichael and I started this InkBlot to go in our guest bathroom. The room has this awful yellowish beige wallpaper, low ceiling, and bad lighting, so in my girly way I set out to make it as happy as possible. In order to make the walls appear more sunshine yellow and less dingy beige, we decided to add some fresh ocean blue to this blot. It is actually the first and only piece in the InkBlot series that has color and it is by far the largest blot to date. Here it is in the room:

With the new flowers and shower curtain, it's starting to look better than OUR bathroom! *sigh* It never ends. :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's all in the details...

Pen and Ink Portrait of Michael by Lani MathisI'm probably going to embarrass Michael a little for the sake of this post, but so be it! This is an ink drawing of my dearest and fellow Greeny, Michael. The drawing was made for his Grandmother and consists of hundreds of tiny shapes and patterns. Some of the patterns are very specific to his interests, such as music notes and letters from his name. Others are just random textures. Here is a close up:

It's difficult to depict someone you see everyday. I think we start to "assume" we know what people close to us look like, but we really don't pay much attention. Hope everyone is having a good week! *hugs*

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Whole Hearted Half Tone

Whole Hearted Half Tone: Ink Blot illustration by Lani Mathis and Michael AyersAnother Ink Blot has come to stay with us! This one is our submission to Illustration Friday for "multiple" because of all of it's hidden imagery. Everyone sees something different in it. (One of our readers kindly posted in the comments that she saw a peacock, a pinecone, a heart, a feather, and a leaf! ) The intentional multiples however, are a face (the mouth is pointing left and an eye looking right), and botanical remnants (seeds, flowers, leaves, and stems).

It's a bit larger than some of our others and came out nicely. Due to our process, we never know what size they will be when we begin. We always start on large paper or bristol and allow the ink to carry us where it will. When we feel like it is complete, we crop it to a pleasing size. Most of them stay around 5in x 7in, but on this one we got a little carried away!
See it here on Etsy or Visit GreenSpaceGoods on Etsy

Monday, October 8, 2007

Kicking off Halloween with Widgets

You have to admit that this guy is just awesome. There is a mummy too and more coming. Happy Halloween a little early. Click his head- he bobbles. :)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Excuse me... Sir, could you please stop licking the magnets?

Bottle cap magnetsThey do look yummy don't they? These were made out of some New Castle bottle caps. Michael carefully etched the paint off of the caps to reveal the metal below in the outer rings and center stars and then we coated them in various translucent paints. Needless to say, we won't be making any more. They are simply too labor intensive and no one wants to pay big bucks for bottle cap magnets. (But my aren't they pretty?) The outer edges are painted silver and they are clear coated for durability. Check them out in our Etsy store!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Buzzing Blot

We finished another InkBlot last weekend. This one is named Buzz. He's headed to Augusta, GA. We hope to have some more listed on Etsy soon. We just have to find some time to frame them! For those of you not familiar with the InkBlot series, our process starts by making some sort of shape and then passing the paper to the other person. We work back and forth until a theme starts to emerge and then go with that theme. Everything is in ink from the beginning, so you have to work with whatever the other person added. It's a lot of fun and something that we feel sets our work apart.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Presentation is key. (Hope we can find a locksmith)

We've been asked to put together a point of purchase display to show off our items at a great little boutique. These are the moments when creating from discarded remnants can become a bit tricky and making a trip to Home Depot looks awfully tempting. We have plans for a larger unit that will require used items we currently don't have, so in the meantime we've thrown together this little beauty.

Point of purchase display holding tiki pendants and earrings
The base is a piece of an old shower caddy that has been dressed up with a section of a sea-grass beach mat. The label is a bit of aluminum can with our logo stamped on it. Not too bad for a temporary fix if you ask me. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. :)

~Michael would like to add that this photo was taken with his iPhone. (He's still trying to validate his purchase!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TheBlackApple~ haha not another mac post!

To continue Apple week, I'd like to highlight an artist who needs very little introduction. TheBlackApple aka Emily Martin is a fabulous artist out of Athens, GA who delights her audience with whimsical characters reminiscent of vintage story books. Her next shop update is this Friday, so to celebrate we've made the nifty countdown you see on our left sidebar below. Visit her at

Monday, September 24, 2007

Apple Week part 2- impaled by a red delicious

One of my dearest friends made these smart little earrings. They are actually made out of the little rainbow enamel apples found on older apple generation models. Truly this is a must have for any apple enthusiast. :) She occasionally sells them on ebay if you are itching for a pair.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A is for Apple (and other useless knowledge)

This week we are a bit preoccupied with a new addition to our family (or at least Michael is). The usually strong silent type is currently bubbling over with geeky gadget goodness and can't wait to brag... um, I mean share about his newest shiny paperweight:

Ever since Apple announced the iPhone, I knew I just had to have one. The original plan was to wait until early next year and hold out for a 3G (faster data) model, but the desire for a new toy kicked in a little sooner than expected. I've had the phone now for a few days now, and I must say the the iPhone simply ROCKS! Everything feels so solid and well thought out, both hardware and software. It's a breeze to use... especially coming from a Windows mobile smartphone. Even activating and transferring my number from T-Mobile with iTunes was quick and painless. The phone was up and running within minutes of unboxing. I was honestly shocked that activating a mobile phone while sitting at home could be this easy.

Since the iPhone has the Safari browser and AT&T offers unlimited wireless data, now blogging knows no bounds.

So there you have it folks. We can now make smart stylish blog posts from anywhere- even the poor house! :) To celebrate our new found poverty, we'll be blogging about Apple all week!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Return of the Endless Mural

This is a detail view of the waterfall and giraffe in our jungle mural.
This is a detail view of the underwater scene in our jungle mural.This is a detail view of the tiger and iguana in our jungle mural.
As promised- here are some of the detail shots of the mural. It continues to be far from finished, but what good is art if you don't enjoy the process right? We still have plans for a lion, a macaw, and a monkey (although I have no idea where the monkey is going to fit!) My favorite spot is the underwater scene. There are eggs, tadpoles, and an adult frog so the kids can learn about the frog life cycle. Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pirates, Ninjas, and Robots, oh my!

WooHoo! We snagged our first Etsy treasury today. Check it out to see some wonderful artists depicting the finest character types ever imagined.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Our newest stretchy recycled bottle cap bracelet. Enviromental jewelry by Lani and Michael.
We've been trying to figure out bottle caps for a while now. Millions are dumped in landfills every day. They are small, but add up quickly. The problem is, there is plenty of bottle cap art out there. We just aren't big fans of any of it. I've seen caps that have been painted, glittered, glued, filled with photos, etc. (No offense to anyone who works with caps. To each his own.) I guess it goes back to my design roots. I appreciate the original artwork that someone designed for the cap to match the bottle's label. For me, that's what makes them cool. So we've been fooling around with a punch, trying to use the colorful caps in interesting ways and this is the first complete test piece. We took the sections of cap and domed them. They make some pretty nifty slide beads for this stretchy bracelet. We don't know if these will be offered for sale. I'm not satisfied with the quality of the punch cut yet, so I'm just going to wear this myself and see how I like it. Leave comments if you like the the look and we'll see if it is worth pursuing further. *Smiles* (*frowns* this post will knock Seamour off the first page! How sad!)

*update* We finished our first one for sale!!! Yay!! And it appeared on the front page of Etsy! You can see it here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Holy Snickers! We have a couch!

Here in GreenSpace, we tend to reuse just about everything and believe me- it shows. Nearly every piece of furniture in the house has come to us from good friends, good family, or Goodwill. So when our dear friend mentioned that she wished she could take our couch home we went, "hmmmmm. ok". I am happy to say our old couch is now on its 4th owner (it's had a pretty good life) which made us not feel so bad about cracking open the piggy bank to get this beautiful plush bucket of yumminess. We've been sitting on the floor for weeks and it just arrived today! Here is the tag cutting ceremony:

Alas- either no more art in the living room, or I need a really big drop cloth! Sorry it isn't terribly art related, but I was too excited not to share!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Vintage 965 here we come!

This picture is of Kanoa, one of our bone domino tiki pendants
WooHoo!!! We have struck and agreement with Vintage 965 in downtown Augusta, GA (my home town) to showcase some of our work. It is a really snazzy shop and we greatly appreciate their interest in our art. Kanoa, the tiki above is currently on vacay there. Hopefully, someone will take him home. (He's a sneaky one. He needs lots of supervision) For those of you near Augusta, go check out Arts in the Hearts of Augusta next weekend, a yearly festival that promotes local artists and celebrates cultural diversity. We are sad to say we won't be able to make it, but plenty of other great vendors will be there. Go show your support!
Visit GreenSpaceGoods on Etsy for more Tikis

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Fortunate Situation

What you see here may appear to be a collection of yummy cookies, but do not be deceived. The large one is actually my old resume. When I graduated from college, we were encouraged to have something to give away at our portfolio show to potential employers, so I figured since I needed all the luck I could get, why not turn my resume into a soft fortune cookie?

Two years later, I still didn't have a job in my field (graphic design), I was miserable, and depressed. Michael had gotten a job at an interactive place and I started hanging out with them during lunch. One day, I was pouring my heart out to the creative director, " I just don't know what else to do! I can't catch a break!". In a fatherly sort of way he replied, "You know, what you need is a good gimmick. There was this girl once with this great resume. It was like aaaaaa......aaaaaa.....a fortune cookie! That thing was great! I think we still have it somewhere!" My jaw just dropped as I heard the words. "That was me."

Needless to say, I started working there soon after, and have ever since. It took a long time, but that resume really did pull through for me in the end. So to honor all of those long hours making resumes, (and to get rid of all this darn foam that is still hanging around) I present the fortune cookie earrings. May they bring everyone else as much fortune as they have brought me. :)

See the earrings on Etsy or Visit GreenSpaceGoods on Etsy

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Endless Mural

So I started this mural while working at the church it resides in. I was only about 1/4 of the way through when I was offered a wonderful career opportunity that I couldn't pass up. I didn't want to leave it unfinished, so Michael and I go once a week for a few hours to work on it. It has been over a year now since it began and it still isn't finished! I don't mind though- the kids love it and it has been a great way to stay connected to them. I'll put up detailed photos eventually. Until then, here is the progress:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ahhh.... if I could buy anything....

These are just some of our favorites from other Etsy sellers. Some things I've already bought! But the pictures are so pretty, I can't remove them. Greta is my all time favorite for Black Apple fans.
Have a nice day everyone!

Buy Handmade

Friday, August 24, 2007

Triple the green, triple the fun with tikis

Three of our green bone domino tiki pendants
Just a little tribute to our green tikis. The one on the left is going to Milwaukee. We'll miss her. I think we'll take a break from tikis for a while. I have some great earring ideas I'm dying to flesh out.
Visit GreenSpaceGoods on Etsy for more Tikis

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Seamour the Sea Monster

This is our newest Ink Blot. We had a lot of time on the plane from Atlanta to LA, so Seamour decided to join us. He's rather partial to hanging out in the tub attacking his bath toys. He is also our submission to Illustration Friday for "Tales and Legends". Enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ink Blot on a Domino

Here's the latest creative outlet for us. I guess you could call it a mashup between our Ink Blot drawings and tiki dominoes. The process is similar to that of the Ink Blots. We'll pass the domino back and forth adding shapes as we go. At some point, the piece speaks to us and we know that it is complete. It's really quite fun to begin a piece without any direction or idea in mind and watch what emerges over time.

That gives me an idea, we'll have to take photos of a work in progress and edit them together into a time lapse style video. It'd be fun to see a drawing ebb and flow to completion.
Check out this pendant in our Etsy Store

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Tiki is Born

This is Wainani, one of our bone domino tiki pendantsThis is our newest addition to the tiki domino family. We take antique bone dominoes and carve tiki faces on the back. The recessed areas are inked, and then the domino is painted, and clear coated. The finished product resembles a ceramic tiki mug. I wear mine every day. *smile*
Visit GreenSpaceGoods on Etsy for more Tikis

The Dragonator!!!!

This was Michael's Christmas present last year. I had a crash course in welding and had to complete it in secret (no easy task). The dragon is based on a small paper dragon he found on the internet and fell in love with. Because of the way the head is constructed, he appears to turn his head and follow you with his eyes. Currently, it stands guard over Michael's cubicle at work. (I get lots of "my girlfriend welded this HERSELF! comments" thank to this one)
Materials include: sheet metal, printing blocks, bike parts, a trowel, pipe, spoons, etc.

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