Saturday, September 26, 2015

Custom Steel Trophies for the Missouri Manufacturers Association

Just shipped out yesterday for the big event: 18 custom steel trophies for the Missouri Association of Manufacturers.  They started with one of our past designs & we re-worked it to fit their needs--I think they came out really nice!  Love the pop of red & the accent of matte black : )

Custom steel fabricated trophy awards

These trophies are made of fabricated & polished steel; finished with a clear coat for rust protection.  Accents in candy-apple red & matte black, with laser engraved clear acrylic for the ring & mirrored acrylic for the plaque at the base.

custom created steel trophy awards

We were really happy with how they came out: I hope they feel the same way!    These stand about 12 inches tall & are substantial while still remaining fairly light-weight.

In the works; custom signs, more trophies & perhaps a few fun personal side projects....  Also; our very own plasma table is moving closer to being up & running: just a few more parts & we are off & running; so exciting! 

Have a good weekend : )  I'm so enjoying the lovely fall weather! 


Friday, September 25, 2015

Boise Film Festival Custom Metal Trophies; little film reels!

Earlier this year, we got a request to make some trophies for a local film festival; this was to be the first year & they were looking for some unique awards for the event.  After visiting with the event organizer, we came up with a film reel design: they were delivered yesterday just in time for the big event taking place this weekend here in Boise.  Check it out at:

custom steel film reel trophies

We had to stay within the first year budget & keep things simple, but I really love the way these came out : )  They are made from polished steel, with black painted steel accent for the film.  The base is a throwback to old-fashioned theater tickets.  The trophies stand just over 10 inches tall; a nice size for display in an office or trophy case.

Custom film reel trophies made from steel

I  hope the winners of the awards like them as much as we do!  


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Just completed: Covered Wagon custom metal sign

Just a quick share; today I put together this custom sign for a client who wanted us to re-create his logo in metals : ) 

custom covered wagon sign

Made from steel, with a custom polish & accents of candy-apple red.  The entire piece is clear coated for preservation of the grind pattern & the polish on the steel.  It mounts to the wall with 2 lag bolts & the detail pieces are spaced for a bit of dimension.

covered wagon steel sign

A fun little project : )  I hope they like it! 

Stay tuned for more updates; we have lots of orders stacking up; plus I need to update on the herd of birds: omg, the little turkeys are growing, but still so sweet & friendly!  Tomorrow 3 of the duckies are going to new homes; 17 ducks is too much!!

More to come...


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Featured on Today

Today, I was featured on another really cool blog call SaltLickLessons: they contacted me months ago & the feature finally came out today : )  Check out the link:


A very nice write-up about my backstory; check it out, if interested : )


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Retro-RocketShip Custom Trophies for the Aerospace Industry

The SC-Aerospace Commission has asked us to design trophies for 2 years; this being the 3rd.  We were told that the recipients of the awards many times  are the same from year to year & they have started looking at the trophies as a "collectors item" for their offices.  We decided to change it up this year; instead of abstract shapes resembling wings, etc; we had the idea to do retro rocket-ships....and if the idea was well received, we could design a new rocket-ship every year : )

We came up with a retro theme & cut all parts from steel; the front panel that has the portholes has a nice rust finish; we cleaned up the edges for a shiny silver look, but left the main rusty portion  to contrast with the background---which we chose a rainbow torch patina that came out mostly blue, purple, & some pink for a Nebula or Galaxy Space look.  The rocket booster part that attached to the base, we gave a copper plate to represent the fire of breaking through the gravity & atmosphere of our planet.

  These stand 15 inches from the base to the tip of the rocket-ship & are made completely from steel. We chose an infinity base with industrial hardware tying the whole trophy together.  Different patina finishes add color contrast for the different pieces.

I was very happy with the finished look; I hope they like them as much as we do!  I am now obsessed with Retro-Space imagery and we are considering a whole line of products around that theme!  What do you think? --chickens in rocket-ships?   Egg-Plants: Industrial Egg Factories (but not really---we like free-range birds)  Chickens in Space???   Turkeys on  Mars?  Ducks on the Space Station (they are now growing their own veggies).  Send me some ideas of what you would like to see us make for chicken coop/duck/turkey signs... we are very close to putting a lot a new ideas into production & would love some feedback!


Friday, August 21, 2015


Turkey is in love with Grandpa's truck

Gram & Gramp arrived today; they brought their camper & are staying with us for about a week, Gramps has a little medical procedure needing done in the "big city."  (they normally live full time in Challis--a very small town in central Idaho where I grew up)  They parked the trailer in the grass & left the truck out seems the young female turkey has taken a liking to Grampa's white truck...

Funny; she has never perched on my truck & took no interest in their Lincoln SUV, but boy was she fascinated by the white truck, lol.  I don't think Grampa saw her; otherwise I'm sure we would have heard some cussing ; ) 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

RC Controller Custom Metal Trophies

Done & shipped!  Custom trophies made to look like RC controllers for a big RC car race in California.  This was a special request from a repeat client; we took his concept idea & built it in metal : )

custom metal trophy

We used carriage bolts (with round tops) to represent the buttons, & layered steel for some dimension.  Lots of hardware...omg these took forever to put together, but it was worth it : )

gear trophy metal

We also made some cute little companion pieces to go with: 3 styles--these stand about 4 inches tall.   All of these were made from 16 gauge steel with laser engraved acrylic plaques.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Little ducks & Turkeys first free-range day

We let the baby ducks & turkeys out of their little run yesterday; they had quite the adventure...I was worried about the little turkeys; they are so tiny; but they loved being out & catching bugs; it was hilarious to watch.  The turkeys were the first to venture out of the run while all the ducks huddled in the corner not knowing what to think : )

They were immediately on patrol for bugs, weeds, & anything they had not seen before: so funny...

After about 10 minutes; the ducks decided to join in on the fun & followed the turkeys out; they are such a herd: if one decides to go somewhere, the whole herd follows.  It's pretty funny; someone will venture out ahead & most follow; those that are not paying attention will get left behind & as soon as they realize, they peep their heads off & run like mad to get back with the group; it's a crack up : ) 

The roo didn't quite know what to think of the new invaders; but everyone settled down soon enough.  The ducks seem to go like mad for a bit & then someone decides it's nap time & they all pile up together: usually with a turkey or 2 in the middle; so cute!

The little turkeys were having the time of their lives; peeping at each other constantly; the would run back to the duck herd, then range out to where we were & then back again.  They are very friendly & don't seem to mind being picked up & petted; they usually fall asleep...

So cute!  The turkeys might be my favorite these days; they are so docile & sweet, whereas the chickens & ducks seem to go through a period of panic at everything after the first week; they eventually calm down, but as teen-agers they seem convinced that everything is out to eat them.  Maybe they would be calmer if we handled them more, but we tend to let the mama chickens raise them & since they free-range, after the first couple days it's pretty hard to catch them.  But: I think they are happier & healthier that way.  And it seems like there is always a few out of the crowd that like to socialize: like Gold Chicken; she think she should be able to come in the house anytime she wants & will hop up the stairs to sit on Josh's chair while he's on the computer.

Here she is with her 4 babies; she is one of the originals of the flock; old by chicken standards & this is her first brood: she has proved to be a really good chicken mom.  Thanks to the roo in the back, we have got some really good color this year; lots of new little red hens & some really pretty blue-ish colors; not sure where that came from, but not complaining : )

Also; quite a few frizzles; thanks to our 1 frizzled hen; I think our count is about 5 young frizzes at the moment & a couple have some cool coloring; so far they all appear to be hens; crossing my fingers : ) 

little red chick

And; we had some more baby chickens hatch: including Grey Chicken (the one we found in the shop the other day)--yesterday most of her eggs hatched & we moved her into the hutch today.  She must have been in the shop for 3 weeks!  LOL; chickens go into a bit of a trance when they are sitting on eggs: they don't make any noise & hardly move; I'm glad we spotted her.  She chose a nice soft spot to sit on her eggs, but there was no way the babies would have been able to get out of the crate & if we had not moved them they probably would have starved within a few days.   But we did, & all the babies are safe with the mom in the hutch with food & water.  

We have quite the bird farm these days; this is the most babies we have ever had.  It's a lot of fun though to watch them range around the property.  So glad that we have a big lot on the outskirts; we are almost out in the country--it's perfect.   We will have to start selling off some of the chickens & ducks soon, though; there are too many & I don't want the pasture & garden to be decimated.  Any roos that we cannot sell will go to "freezer camp" this fall, along with most of the turkeys.  Boy duckies will be re-homed & we will sell the excess hens (we are not really a fan of duck meat).  We have decided on our numbers; for chickens--20 hens & one roo, ducks--8 hens, & turkeys--probably just keep a boy & a girl for breeding next spring.  Although, we are getting a bit attached to the little turkeys that we raised in the brooder; we will see what happens this fall : )  

Does anyone else out there raise birds?  We are thinking about trying some quail & pheasants next year, and maybe a couple guineas...  Anyway: happy weekend!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Chicken, ducks & Turkeys Update

Whelp; my workshop has officially been invaded by the birds...  We found Grey Chicken today in a crate of shop rags; sitting on 8 eggs.  Not sure how long she has been there; probably about a week.  Soooo; I will have her company for the next couple weeks until her eggs hatch, lol.  Chicken eggs take 21 days (usually) to hatch.  This is Grey Chicken's 2nd batch of eggs this year: she is a good Mommy chicken, so we decided to let her sit instead of taking the eggs away: even though we already have more baby chicks than we know what to do with...

broody hen in the shop

And...Gold Chicken the 2nd is also on her second batch of babies as well: she was stoically sitting on 3 little eggs: unfortunately 2 almost hatched, but did not make it.  We let her sit on the last one for another week & a half; no luck.  Fortunately; another couple of the hens had just hatched out some--but they were 1st time Mommy birds & kinda just abandoned the babies.  When we discovered 2 little fluffballs all alone, we decided to see if Gold Chicken II would take them; as she is an experienced hen.  Sure enough: all it took was putting them in the hutch with her & she called them over & they snuggled up under her feathers.   The next day, we found 4 more abandoned chickies:  & same thing; Gold Chicken II immediately adopted them & they are all doing great!  The last egg never hatched, so we did take it away so she was not tempted to just sit on it & let the new babies starve.   She is happy as a clam with her new little family & I'm glad we were able to re-home the abandoned chicks without having to resort to the brooder & heat-lamp : )

broody hen with baby chick

And, the baby ducks & turkeys are growing like weeds; especially the ducks!  They have been spending their nights in the brooder in the shop & days in their little run on the grass, but tomorrow we are planning on letting them free-range during the day & spend their first night in the duck house.  They have outgrown the brooder & the turkeys keep flying over the fence of the run anyway...time for them to fend for themselves (kind-of)  We will keep a close eye on them and make sure they don't wander through the fence; but I have a feeling they won't know what to think & will stay close : )

We have such a good time raising the birds; our property is pretty big, so there is lots of room for everyone to free-range.  And I love looking out the shop door or apartment window & seeing them all bouncing around & doing their thing out there: they are very entertaining...kinda a pain at times, but fun all the same.  The full-grown male turkey wants to come in the shop every time the door is open & I have to chase him out, but it makes me laugh : )  Same with Grey Chicken using a crate full of shop-rags as a nest: I can't even be irritated that she is going to make a mess. 

We had a busy day today & shipped out another order: I intended to share pics, but got totally distracted by the bird pics instead...  I will share trophy pics tomorrow maybe : )    Have a good Friday!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Drag Race Trophy made from Recycled Car Parts & Steel

A quick share of the final "big winner" trophy.  Made from steel with recycled car parts, chain, spikes, & LED lighting.  I was going for a bit of a Mad Max feel on this one; the theme for the race is "Outlaw Armageddon" so it fits...

Drag race trophy made of steel

I'm happy for the most part with how it came out; although I think it could have been better...  The lights did not work out the way I wanted, so that was disappointing.  (I am new to wiring, so each project is a bit of an experiment & I just ran out of time on this one)  Other than that, I think it looks pretty good: but I'm always pushing to be better.  I think the smaller trophies that go with actually came out better...  But sometimes it comes down to the fact that we have to ship & that was the case with this one.  Hopefully, they like it: and maybe I can take another stab at it next year.

I know every project I send out the door is not going to be a masterpiece, but it bothers me when I feel like I might could have done better.  I do like the spikes, lol: that's a first for one of our trophies.

Whelp; on to the next project tomorrow; holy cows--we have them stacking up all of a sudden...but that's a good thing : )


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Custom Drag Race Trophies made of Recycled Steel Parts

Just a quick share; finished these up today for the big event this weekend.  Made from recycled steel parts & a mirrored acrylic plaque.  The theme for the race was Armageddon: so we wanted to have a big of a Mad-Max-ish feel to them...  There is a matching larger trophy that will have red LED lights; still putting the finishing touches on it; I will share pics tomorrow : )

steel drag race trophies

Stay tuned for more: we have a busy week lined up!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dream a Little Bigger...

Just a bit of inspiration for the weekend...  I've been making & sharing these images on Instagram: not sure why I have not shared here, but I'm starting with this one & will add in more periodically : )  Hope you are having a great weekend!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Alternative Wedding Bouquets; made from metals, crystals, & occasionally flowers

We did another little photo shoot today for some new bouquets for Refinerii Bridal; these will be available soon on the Etsy shop, but I wanted to share a sneak peek : )  Tonya is really stepping it up with some unique ideas!  

purple flower crystal metal bouquet

Love the purple!  That color really pops against the aluminum & the hint of sparkles is just perfect!  I can totally see this one for a spring wedding; but really it would work for any time of the year...can you imagine it with a long, trailing deep purple dress?  So fun & flirty, but with a bit of alternative edge as well: I could see this one working with so many different wedding styles/themes.

alternative bouquet in puple

trailing couture bridal bouquet

And then, there is this amazing trailing couture piece; it has crystals, brooches, & soooooo much sparkle!  I have never seen anything like it.  I could see this with a traditional dress or something very off-beat & unique; either way it will make a statement for sure!

trailing alternative metal wedding bouquet

Gold wedding bouquet with brooches

And finally; the golden bouquet with amber colored crystals; so pretty!  Perfect for a cream colored dress or fall wedding or even a steampunk theme : )

If you are interested in seeing more; check out the Bridal Boutique on Etsy.  And if you are interested in a custom piece for your wedding; please email Tonya.  She can create something completely custom to match your them & colors, & even make pieces for the guys & flower-girls & brides-maids. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Custom Trophy & Matching Medals Made From Steel & Mixed Metals

Just finished this set up today; steel trophy with accents of polished aluminum, copper & mirrored acrylic along with matching medals.
Custom award trophy & medallions made from mixed metals.
I love the 3-D base that Josh came up with; very unique!  And I'm loving using pops of color against the metal; I think the green contrasts really nicely with the copper. 

The medals are about 3.5 inches in diameter & we included all the metals from the trophy along with the green.  This might be my favorite medal design so far...

Custom medals made from mixed metals by Refinerii Studios
This set was a custom request through Etsy; the client provided us with the logo & pretty much let us have free-reign on the design : ) 

We are gearing up to be seriously busy next month: a few big orders in the works, BBQ awards, film festival trophies (2 different festivals!) some Mad Max style awards for a drag race, & lots more!
Plus more updates on little duckies & chickens & turkey-birds ; )

Have a great week.