Sooooo it’s super last minute, but we’re throwing an impromptu fundraiser this coming Thursday, June 19th at F8 (1192 Folsom) here in San Francisco from 9 to 2! About a week and a half ago we were offered the date, so we figured what the heck! It was so much fun last year! We’ll have music, Beezus swag, and honey drink specials for you. ALL for only $5! Come get silly in the name of Beezus!
Sweet Beezus. What a night. Smiles for miles over here.
We rolled into NIMBY at 3 and got Beezus all prettified and placed just in time for doors. The honey bar was stocked and we were so excited to share with all of you lovely people. What a success! We might so many wonderful new friends and shared our honey from around the world! San Francisco local honey was a favorite once again, and Morocco was a super big hit with it’s distinct flavors. We literally had people coming up saying that people told them to try the Moroccan honey! I can’t believe how much we went through. So ready to do it over and over again on the playa though.
Another successful work weekend under our belts for the season. We got the lights working again!
Initially the plan had been to get new LED strips (RGB color change waterproof 12v). However, we decided it was smarter to try and get last year’s lights functional if at all possible. After investing in some new wire, clamps, and a soldering iron, we managed to get everything back online. We’ll be running the lights (and eventual sound) to a switch panel on the dash so that all of the controls are in one place. That should be arriving next week. So much excitement! Pics of it lit up at night coming soon!
Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re back!
Sorry for the haitus everyone. Beezus isn’t much for the winter months. But build season is back upon us! We had our first session this past weekend and made some solid progress already! Project of the day: put the steering and pedals all back in their original places. Yes, we put in a lot of work to get the steering up top so the driver could ride Beezus around. But as it turns out riding on a bee is a pretty bumpy ride on the playa. The good news is now we can ALL be inside of Beezus together! Check out the progress shots with our busy worker bees.I
Shortly after decompression, we were invited by the East Bay Burners community to be a part of their speakers panel/meetup on mutant vehicles, so aptly titled “Mutant Vehicle Reality Check.” About 6 art car builders from the Bay Area came out to talk about their experiences- good and bad. The idea was to give the community a realistic idea of what building an art car is like. The speakers and their projects crossed a pretty wide rage. Some were veterans having had their cars on playa for years, while others (like Beezus) were new. Some were massive party cars with giant sound systems, while others were much smaller. About 70 people came out to hear the speakers that night. It was great to hear so many stories, and to know that many of the struggles that we faced during this build were ones that nearly everyone taking on this project must come to terms with. Here’s the rundown of some of the key things I talked about (advice, if you will).
- Electric isn’t necessarily better for the environment. If you do an electric vehicle, you’re going to have to charge it. Often. Most likely that means a generator. We’re shooting for solar panels next year, but that’s a pretty major undertaking.
- Be prepared to put yourself out there and reach out. This was especially true for me since I had no technical skills to really speak of going into this project. Get ready to ask your friends. To post on eplaya or community blogs. To reach out to other builders. People may not always be able to commit their time, but they may be able to point you in the right direction, offer advice, or connect you to others that may be able to help. NETWORK!
- People have lives outside of your project. They may say that they can help and not be able to when it comes down to it- especially if they’re working for free. Feed your volunteers well. Be flexible. And know that most likely a lot of people will flake. It’s a part of the process.
- Start Early. This is true for building and for fundraising. Everything will take longer and cost more than you anticipated. The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to trouble shoot and find good deals on things you need without having to make desperate last-minute trips to Home Depot.
- If it’s not street legal, figure out transport. Make sure you have a trailer and means of towing it or some sort of flatbed/semi to put it on. Getting an art car to the burn is pretty crucial, and sometimes a lot more complicated than it seems. And renting a Uhaul truck and trailer for a week isn’t very cost effective.
- Stuff will break down out there. Plan to have someone accessible that knows what they’re doing, or be prepared to search someone out. Or just be okay with certain things not working. We ended up not driving Beezus at night due to lighting issues. But that didn’t make the experience any less awesome! We also had a wing break later in the week due to majorly bumpy roads. I had to hunt around for about 40 minutes for a welder, but I found one! People are pretty darn helpful if they can be.
- Don’t lose faith. Building an art car is effing HARD. And sometimes it’ll feel impossible or like you’re wasting your time. But if your heart’s in it, it’ll happen. There were definitely a few times where I contemplated giving up, but I couldn’t be more happy that I didn’t. Just be prepared for one helluva ride.
Yesterday we shook off the dust and brought Beezus back out to San Francisco for San Francisco’s Decompression. How was it? Pretty awesome.
The day officially began around noon. Beezus was fashionably late to the party thanks to football traffic on the bridge (boo!), but setting up with the crowd beginning to arrive made things all the more entertaining! Lucky for us Paul from NIMBY was such a trooper and Super Dave (our placer) was an absolute gem. Once Beezus was fully dressed, we busted out the honey! Technically we weren’t supposed to be serving (health code. psh.), but no law will prevent us from spreading the word of our lord and savior! From then until sundown, we shared honey with the masses. Beezus made lots of new fans that day, including several little ones! Early on we were graced with the presence of Poppy and her parents. They hung out inside for a while, and she left us with a great big heart-melting hug! We had several other adorable kiddos hang out and bounce around on Beezus’ squishy insides. One even helped us man the honey bar for a bit!
As the day wore on, we had all sorts of visitors. Some had heard of Beezus and came to show their support, while others were just couldn’t say no to a little honey! The local San Francisco and Hungarian forest honeys seemed to be the favorites of the day. Beezus was full of snuggles, hugs, and giggles all afternoon. He was quite the hit! We even got asked to be a part of Earth Day San Francisco in April, which we’re pretty darn excited about. Even though we mostly closed up shop by the time the sun went down, Beezus was a little sanctuary for the remainder of the event. And we wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Our day was filled with honey, hugs, and friends new and old. Thank you to everyone that came and hung out with us for a while. Thank you to everyone who helped with transport, set-up, serving, and tear down. Thank you to everyone who had some honey. You guys are the best!
Whoa. What a ride! We have officially returned from the wonderous place that is Black Rock City. It was so much more than we could have ever asked for, and beyond anything I could ever attempt to explain. But here are a few of the highlights.
1. The drive- not so much a highlight, but definitely an adventure. Planned to leave at 5. Actually left NIMBY at midnight. 20 minutes into the drive we’re on the side of the road when the tarp ripped off. But thanks to a special delivery from some friends some rope and extra ratchet straps saved the day!
3. Honey! We had honey offerings from burners in California, Colorado, Utah, Ireland, and Ireland while we were on playa (not to mention all of the awesome honey donations before we got out there!). It was pretty darn humbling, and people seemed to love it!
4. Mead!- Mead was a hit! Came out with 21 gallons of it. The apple-pear-clove and orange-ginger seemed to be the favorite. I even met and shared mead with a few other mead-makers on the playa! I now have a bottle of mead from 2004 that I’m quite looking forward to. Here’s one of our lovely patrons
6. The bee swarm!- We went out to serve honey and mead by the man one day in the early evening. Shortly after we showed up, a few bee people came over. We were pumped.They asked if we were there for the bee swarm. It turns out we showed up at the perfect time for a swarm of probably 100 bees! We swarmed the man and celebrated with honey and mead. It was pretty glorious. And the film crew managed to get it on camera! We can’t wait to see the footage.
We’re a little late on sharing the news, but we’ve been asked to be part of a documentary on gifting culture and economy! They’ve already flown to San Francisco to interview and film the building process. AND they’ll be following us around a bit on the playa to see the gifting in action! We’ll make sure to keep all of you updated on the film when we find out more! EXCITEMENT!
We’ve been remarkably MIA on the blog as of late, but not because we’ve been slacking by any means! The past month or so has been one heck of a whirlwind. Despite a few near anxiety attacks and endless supply and material runs, guess what?
Prepare yourselves for head-explody cuteness! See you all next week!
The Kickstarter has officially ended as of late this morning. We surpassed our goal, and I am in awe of the amount of support that I recieved on this project. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that believed in me enough to donate. I couldn’t have done this without you…
Thank you Michelle MacEachern Lunde
Thank you Barbara Lessans
Thank you Dave Gertler
Thank you Sue Baker
Thank you Peter Nyvall
Thank you Joshua Coffy
Thank you Lisa Beutler
Thank you Brooke Welty
Thank you Bjorn Mead
Thank you Gabbi Thomas
Thank you Will Benson
Thank you Evan Huffman
Thank you Joel Parker Henderson
Thank you Douglas Kauffman
Thank you Max Talan
Thank you Jessica Waters
Thank you Katherine Smith
Thank you Jabali Wamwala
Thank you Madeline Murrap
Thank you Ricardo Alaya
Thank you Edward Zink
Thank you Michelle Klamm
Thank you Richard Hughes
Thank you Julie Burkett
Thank you Leslie O’Bray
Thank you Daniel Jabbour
Thank you Karen
Thank you Katherine Becvar
Thank you Chris Kleinknecht
Thank you Jay Gregory
Thank you Kevin Meissner
Thank you Matt Kaftor
Thank you Kim Stribling
Thank you Amy Bot
Thank you Jesse McGee
Thank you Pani Page
Thank you Zack Sheppard
Thank you Kailey Offerman
Thank you Zack Orion
Thank you Carly Carpenter
Thank you Patrick Corrigan
Thank you Simon Bradbury
Thank you Envy Protege
Thank you Kayla Ormandy
Thank you Carl Coakley
Thank you Guywire
Thank you Trevor Mead
Thank you Tasha Johnson
Thank you Loren Hill
Thank you Abhik Shah
Thank you Jennifer Whalen
Thank you Patrapp
Thank you Daniel Valencia Backhoff
Thank you Vladimir
Thank you Abe Levine
Thank you Michael Schulte
Thank you Alex Cramer
Thank you Cheri Lewis
Thank you JD Bergeron
You all made this Kickstarter happen! ❤