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Archive for August, 2007

San Francisco Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Summer of Love

Posted by Kyle Design on August 31, 2007

Summer of Love Cigarette LighterIt’s Labor Day Weekend 2007 and San Francisco is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love in Golden Gate Park. There will be free concerts and performances at the Summer of Love Festival all day Sunday at Speedway Meadows, but getting there could be the trick: The Bay Bridge is closed allPeace Sign Money Clips weekend for seismic retrofits. Be sure to check for the best alternate routes.

The cast of Hair will be making an appearance on stage at 10:30 a.m. I remember that my parents saw the musical Hair in San Francisco when it came out, and they bought the soundtrack album Hair as well. My sister and I would listen to the songs over and over – Customized Pill Holders with Sunrise Design“This is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius!” and “Let the Sunshine In.” Both those songs on the soundtrack were by the Fifth Dimension from their 4th album, also titled The Age of Aquarius.

Here is link for the free concert schedule for Sunday, September 2, 2007: Summer of Love Concert Lineup.

For more unique gifts, please visit Peace Symbol Gifts, Sunrise Sunset Gifts and Decor or Heart and Love Gifts. If you want to light up in style at the festival, check out our Love Cigarette Lighter shown above. Click photos above to find out more about any of the gifts shown.

Posted in Cigarette Lighters, Events, Money Clips, Music, Pill Boxes, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Giant Spider Web in Texas Attracts Tourists Like Flies

Posted by Kyle Design on August 30, 2007

A monstrous spider web has been discovered in Texas that has entomologists wondering about its origin. This huge web stretches across 200 yards of bushes and trees in Lake Tawakoni State Park.

Rangers had said the huge web was so white it looked like fairyland when they first discovered it but that it now is filled with the carcasses of mosquitoes and flies, giving it a dingy brownSpider Lace Metal Wallet or Cigarette Case look.

This rare event is attracting tourists who can actually come hear the mosquitoes scream at being caught in this giant trap. The rangers don’t know which type of spider is responsible for this Spider Web Key Chain in Goldhuge web. That would have to be determined by an entomologist, so the rangers are hoping some will come out to investigate it. Some experts guess that it may be social cobweb spiders who have created it.

If you’d like to see more of our unique spider gifts like the lacyHalloween Spider Ornament In Orange and Black spider wallet above with the iridescent white background, the gold spider key chain at left or the Spider Halloween Ornament at right, please visit Unusual Spider Gifts with Artistic Style.

 

Posted in Animals, Halloween, Key Chains, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michael Vick’s Rub – Sorry He Got Caught, But Dead Dogs Can’t Grow Up

Posted by Kyle Design on August 28, 2007

Football Business Card CaseFootball quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to a federal dog-fighting charge yesterday and apologized to all those to whom he lied by saying,”I was not honest and truthful in our discussions.” These included his Atlanta Falcons teammates, coach Bobby Petrino, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Falcons owner Arthur Blank. He further apologized to “all the young kids out there for my immature acts.” He then stated that “I need to grow up.”

Dog Light Switch Plate Cover with Silhouette of Two DogsI have two issues with this. First, he didn’t apologize for the cruelty he inflicted on the animals or comment on the sadistic treatment the dogs received. Apparently, that is not what he had a problem with. One gets the feeling that he is only sorry that he got caught. Maybe he needs a Dog Light Switch Plate to help that light bulb in his head to go off that there is a bigger issue here.

Secondly, what exactly was he referring to when addressed the kids? What specifically does he consider his “immature acts”? Just lying? (Hey kids, don’t lie and get caught like I did, OK?) What a role model. Was one of the “immature acts” just keeping Bad Newz Kennels running for six years? Holding the fights on his Surry County, Virginia property? Immature is certainly not the word I would have chosen.

Casually tossing off the comment that he needs to grow up, without any compassion for orCustom Dog Christmas Ornament mention of the poor dogs that will never have a chance to grow old, still shows that Vick has a very, very long way to go in his quest for maturity.

The only bit of karma in this is that his sadistic hobby is now going to cost him well over $100 million in lost pay and endorsements. Oh, those expensive hobbies the rich have. Hope it was worth it.

If you’re a dog lover and would like to see our other contemporary dog gift ideas, please visit Artistic Dog Gifts and Decor. We also have some attractive football themed gifts: Football Gifts and Home Furnishings.

Posted in Animals, Social Commentary, Switch Plates, switchplates | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Custom Tampon Party Favors???

Posted by Kyle Design on August 27, 2007

Custom Tampon Case. What do you think this means? Would this be a case for custom tampons or a custom case for tampons? Here are some hints: you can pick your color, design and metal finish. Now, unless you are some sort of Iron Maiden in need of a metal tampon, one would hopefully read that description and realize that it is the latter: A beautiful metal case customized with the design and color of your choice.

Custom Tampon Cases in Designer StylesSo we got an interesting call from a woman who found our custom tampon case page and thought we made custom tampons. “I’m looking right at it and your page says ‘custom tampon‘ “, the customer insisted. We calmly pointed out that it specifically says, “custom tampon holder cases“. (Here’s the link if you want to see for yourself: Custom Tampon Case.) She wanted tampons that had customized wrappers with the name, date and colors of the event. (!!!) (We can engrave that information on the back of the metal case, if so desired.)

Red Dragon Case for Pill or TamponsThe kicker was that she wanted to order these custom tampons as party favors for a bat Mitzvah for a 13-year-old girl! Where, I’m assuming, there will be friends and relatives in attendance in addition to the girls.

I don’t know about you, but that was not an age at which I was keen to be discussing such delicate subjects with others, let alone in a mixed group of my extended family and friends. I’m just imagining, “Oooh, I got the pink butterfly tampon. What kind did you get? Oh, the red dragon – bum luck!” or some such scenario.

Maybe times have changed…but that much?!? I just hope that some topics will always be considered too crass for casual public discussion.

I consider myself an artist and an inventor, and I really do encourage people to contact me to see if I can create with something that will meet their needs. Over the years, I have gotten some really good suggestions, or comments that triggered a new creative line of thought, but I’m going to pass on this one.

Anyway, just another entry in my web retailing “I’ve Heard Everything” file.

Personalized, Engraved Bookmarks in 150+ DesignsIf you’re looking for more appealing party favor ideas, we suggest our Custom Engraved Bookmarks, and yes, these can be engraved with that all-important name and event date.

And if you’d like to see the full Kyle Design collection of unique cases for tampons and pantiliners, please visit our Designer Tampon Cases page.

Posted in family, Humor, Social Commentary, Unique Gifts, women | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Largest Alien and UFO Convention Sighting in San Jose, CA

Posted by Kyle Design on August 25, 2007

Alien Business Card HolderThe biggest UFO convention in the nation is going on today and Sunday in San Jose, CA. The 9th annual Bay Area UFO Expo is being held at the Doubletree Hotel at 2050 Gateway Place in San Jose. Exhibitors and speakers will cover such topics as UFO’s, Implants, Sasquatch, Time Travel, Conspiracies, ET Encounters, Inner Earth and Tesla Technology. Speakers will include Mark Allen, co-owner of AboveTopeSecret.com, Dr. William Birnes, co-author of the best-selling 1997 book, The Day After Roswell, and actor/entertainer Gary Busey, who often makes comments that are sort of out there.

Custom Identification Holders with Aliens, Crowns, TreesOur family has been a fan of aliens ever since my husband and daughter, who was 18 months old at the time, were stuck overnight in Denver because of a canceled flight. The airline put them up at a hotel that had an Alien & UFO convention going on at the time. It made a very big impression on my daughter, so that she always favored aliens if given the choice between a pink doll and a green alien. We had a life-sized (for a 3-year-old) inflatable alien around our house for a very long time, and my youngest daughter wanted to be an alien for her very first Halloween, so of course I whipped out an alien costume for her.

Our Alien design is especially popular on Identification Badge Holders, such as the one shown above. For anyone in the business of researching UFO phenomena or proving that Aliens exist, our Alien business card case above would be perfect. If you’d like to see more of our unique Alien gifts, please visit Unusual Alien and UFO Gift Ideas.

The UFO Expo runs from 7:30 a.m. till midnight today and from 7:30 a.m. till 10:00 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets range from $20 for some of the workshops to $109 for the two-day pass.

Posted in aliens, Badge Holders, business card holders, phenomena, UFO, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Southern Baptists Encourage Basic Skills – But Only For Women

Posted by Kyle Design on August 24, 2007

The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, TN, is offering classes thisCooking Themed Pen and Pencil Case fall on how to cook and sew. The coursework would include instruction on clothing construction, homemaking, nutrition and meal preparation. This 23-hour course will count toward a bachelor of arts degree in humanities.

Now, I must admit that I was thinking they had a good idea there until I read that the classes were for women only. Cooking and sewing are basic skills that everyone could benefit from knowing. Certainly, as increasing numbers of women have joined the workforce, more and more men have taken an active roll in cooking, cleaning and generally sharing duties at home. I think the general consensus about changing gender roles is that they have created a new level of cooperation beneficial to the happiness and well-being of families.

Knife, Fork and Spoon Christmas Ornaments for Chef, Cooking School StudentI love to cook and sew and I am always surprised when acquaintances, usually women, announce with an air of misplaced pride that they don’t know how to do either. They think they are implying that they are modern individuals free of traditional roles, but I think it just comes across as unfortunate. Everyone has to eat, so why not learn to make something that tastes good? If a shirt is missing a button, sew it back on! It’s not hard. Really. And it shows a degree of self respect.

If you need a gift for someone who could use a class or two in cooking or someone who’s career goal is to become a chef, I offer as a suggestion this Cooking Themed Pencil Case. This long engravable metal case can hold pens, pencils, markers, erasers to keep a future chef organized, and an organized chef is a good one. We show it here in pink for those ladies mentioned above, but it also comes in manly black at right. As anyone who spends any time in the kitchen knows, there is no time for chaos – enough comes up on its own.

Posted in Cooking, Social Commentary, Unique Gifts, women | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Space Shuttle Returns Safely – Makes a Big Splash

Posted by Kyle Design on August 21, 2007

Space Shuttle Night Light Flying Over FloridaThe Space Shuttle Endeavour landed safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:32 p.m. Eastern time. Endeavour took a route over Central America including Costa Rica and Cuba, then over the south tip on Florida on its way to the Space Center on the eastern edge of the state. Its landing approach was 20 times higher and 7 times steeper than that of a commercial jetliner’s.

The Space Shuttle landing made a big splash in the news when it landed without incident after concerns about Hurricane Dean and damage to the protective tiles. Endeavor Flight Number STS-118 finished its 5.3 million mile journey safely to everyone’s great relief with two previous shuttle disasters in the back of everyone’s minds. The landing is always a big hit with the crowds that gather for the dramatic landings.

Splash Business Card HolderSpace Shuttle Challenger exploded on January 26, 1986, just 73 seconds after take off because of faulty o-rings with the debris falling into the ocean. Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry over Texas on February 3, 2003 because a piece of insulating foam broke off and punched a hole in its wing, allowing it to break up.

If you’re an aviation buff and would like to see more of our unique gifts for pilots and those who enjoy flying and planes such as night lights and business card cases, please visit our Aviation Gifts page.

Posted in American Made, business card holders, Night Lights, Science, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Vacations and Being a Self-Employed Artist Don’t Mix

Posted by Kyle Design on August 21, 2007

I recently managed to get away to Lake Tahoe, on the California and Nevada border, for an overnight trip. Mountain Getaway Christmas OrnamentBeing an artist/entrepreneur I find it hard to get away for vacations. There is always so much to do running a small business, and the work certainly doesn’t go away while I’m gone. No, in fact it just piles up and increases in urgency.

My mom and dad were artist-entrepreneurs before me and the family joke growing up was “I’m self-employed: I get to decide how many hours I work and I don’t even have to take vacations.” Workaholics, one and all. I was well trained. 65 hour weeks are par for the course.

Bike Wheel Business Card Holder for CyclistsIt is really hard to back off of that, compartmentalize it, and go off, be in the moment and enjoy not working. Obviously, I enjoy working. I tease my family about the license plate holders that say, “I’d rather be biking” or “I’d rather be diving” and tell them to find me one that says, “I’d rather be working”. My eight-year-old says with earnest that she will keep looking, but my husband and older daughter just shake their heads.

But in fairness, it can be very challenging to make a living as an artist. Not only must we be capable of running a small business and marketing a product, but we have to constantly invent NEW products. It’s not like selling the latest software update to Windows where you just grab a neatly shrink-wrapped package off the shelf, stick it in a box and off it goes. Granted, there is plenty of competition for a generic product, but also a lot of brand awareness and built-in need.

But for artists, we have to be constantly creating new looks, products, designs. Then hope that everyone (or enough everyones) out there likes what you’ve come up with. Those who survive are those who have that innate ability to reinvent themselves and their work over the years as styles change. I’ve seen plenty of artists who are so proud of a few pieces and somehow believe that those beautiful creations would carry them for years. In my experience, it is rarely the case.

And if you have employees, which I do, the pressure increases. I have a responsibility to my employees to make sure they have a job to come to everyday. I can’t guarantee that they will, but I try my hardest and take the task very, very seriously. When things are slow, I’m the one who goes without a paycheck. I have a great staff and simply don’t ever want to lose any of them, so I’d rather live off savings while I figure things out rather than introduce doubt into their minds.

Notice that I say “figure things out” rather than “wait for things to get better”. There is no sitting around. Proactive is the only way. I know my staff rolls their eyes at me sometimes because I have so many projects in the works at once – things I’m running tests on, research for supplies, new products I’ll make a sample of then ask everyone what they think. But I’m trying to be ready if the market changes so I’m not be left flat on the floor.

And it is August, the month where I ramp up for the holidays. We order supplies, check our stocks, clean and organize the studio and generally do anything we can to avoid having to do it between October and the end of the year. Anything new not already in the works by the end of August probably won’t happen.

I’m still working on learning to let go a little. But my list is long and the days fly by. Maybe next year we’ll take that vacation to the East Coast we were talking about….

Posted in Business, entrepreneur, professional artist, small business, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

30th Anniversary of Elvis Presley’s Death – Where Were You?

Posted by Kyle Design on August 16, 2007

Crown Ornament for the KingThe King is Dead! Long Live the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll! So where were you 30 years ago today when Elvis Presley died? On August 16, 1977, I was standing on a train in Tokyo, Japan, nearing the end of an 8-week stay, when word traveled from person to person, so obviously it was big news around the world. He officially died of a massive heart attack, but long-term drug use most certainly contributed to that.

It’s funny how certain momentous events such as the death ofAsian Fan Pill Box in Gold and Blue someone so talented and famous will stay in our memories forever. But, if you think there’s something important that you might forget, we offer our engraved Commemorative Holiday Ornaments in more than 150 designs. Have one engraved with the birth of a baby, a graduation date, a special wedding anniversary, or even the name and make of your first car. A fun way to make sure you Never Forget.

My sister and I used to play the Elvis Presley 45s of Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog over and over again when we were kids, dancing and entertaining ourselves over our long summer vacations (which are apparently becoming a thing of the past in many school districts). We even turned them over sometimes to play the flipside songs: Hound Dog – Don’t Be Cruel and Jailhouse Rock – Treat Me Nice. Turns out, Hound Dog was actually considered the B-side when originally released, but in our minds in was always the A-side.

So, where were you? Take that momentary trip down memory lane to see if you can still remember.

For more unique gifts with Crowns for a King or Queen, Princess or Princess, visit our Unique Crown Gifts page. For more gifts with an Asian theme like the Japanese Fan Pill Box above, check out our Asian Gifts, Jewelry and Home Decor section.

Posted in Christmas Ornaments, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Custom Engraved Organizing Labels – Do It with Style!

Posted by Kyle Design on August 16, 2007

Custom Engraving Labels in Brass and BlackHave you decided to get organized? Out with the clutter, and everything in its own place? Looking for some organizing tips and ideas? Well, this latest edition to the Kyle Design line of organizing products for home and office will help you keep all your stuff where it belongs in an attractive way. Organizing product don’t have to be ugly!

We’re just introducing our new metal Custom Engraved Name Plate Labels. We can engrave whatever you need on them – vacation dates, drawer contents, someone’s name – your choice. These are a classier, more professional way to label kitchen cabinet doors, drawers, photo frames, light switch plates, jewelry boxes, file cabinets, etc. Whatever you’d like to add a title, ID label or name. And so much more attractive than a plastic label from a label maker machine. Organizing tip: If you label something, you are more likely to keep assigned items in that spot and less likely to fill it with clutter that doesn’t belong. That will make putting things away and finding them again faster and easier!

Custom Engravable Name Plates for Home OrganizationThese metal organizing labels come in two sizes and in two finishes: black and brass. Both kinds are made of anodized aluminum with neatly finished edges. When engraved through the black or brass finishes, the natural silvery aluminum color shows through for contrast. We provide industrial strength double-stick tape for attaching the tags. Just make sure the surface is clean, dry and smooth, and they should stick just fine. They will work on metal, wood and plastic surfaces, as well as most glossy painted surfaces as well.Light Switch Plates with Engraved Indentification Tag

The smaller ID labels are 1-5/8″ x 3/8″ and can be engraved with up to 22 characters. They will work on any size light switch plate or outlet cover, whether toggle or Decora rocker, one gang or ten. The length was especially chosen to work with multiple gang switchplates, so each switch can have its own nameplate without interfering with adjoining switches. Here we show the black ID nameplate on our Dark Bronze Light Switch Plates.

Medium Engraving Labels on Picture FrameThe larger ID tags are 2″ x 1/2″ and can be engraved with up to 28 characters or with larger letters. (Just keep in mind, the longer the text string, the smaller the letter height.) These labels will work on a single toggle switch plate, either above or below the switch, and even above or below the screws.

While these organizing tags are perfect for both the home or office, they are especially appreciated in a guest house or vacation rental. Knowing where things belong or which switch controls what device would be very helpful to visitors. Commonly requested phrases for cabinets have been “Recycling”, “Garbage”, “Cups”, etc. On light switch plates, we expect identifiers such as “Fan”, “Light”, “Disposal” and “Porch” to be popular.

Decorative Crest Stamp Holder for Dispensing Postage StampsPlease be sure to visit our site for other creative ways to organize and beautify your home or office. We specialize in turning the everyday objects into mini works of art. See more at Kyle Design.

Posted in Decorating Ideas, Engraving, Home Decor, Organizing Products, Switch Plates, switchplates | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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