Monday, April 6, 2015

New Monster Monday: Rainbow Cyclops

Rainbow sweaters have been hard for me to come by lately.  I particularly love how bright the colors are in this one! It's perfect for spring!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday...

A blessed Good Friday to you.
One of the church kids made this and gave it to me last Sunday (Palm Sunday).  It's a cross made from a palm leaf.

(Warning...I'm going to get all "Christian-y" here. If you read my blog just for the fun monsters, that's fine. If "religion" freaks you out, you can skip this if you want. But this is a big part of who I am and I'm not going to hide it.)

I'm trying to be mindful of what today means.  "Good Friday".  When I was little, growing up in a Christian household, I always wondered why it was called "Good" Friday. It was the day Jesus died, so wasn't that bad? But as I grew up I understood more of why it was good. 

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—
though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
(Romans 5:6-8 ESV)

It was good because Christ died for us as an ultimate sacrifice for our sin. Back in the Old Testament, they sacrificed animals who were flawless, "without spot or blemish". But they had to do it all the time. Jesus was our once-and-for-all sacrifice...flawless, spotless... sinless.
But the best part is that Jesus didn't stay dead.  He rose from the dead on the third day.

I feel like there is so much to be said and explain. I grew up learning all the "Christian-ese" language and learning the Bible verses, so it's hard for me to step back and see if my words could make sense to someone who isn't a Christian or has never read the Bible.  My best answer is to go ahead and read it. (I'd start with the New Testament. The book of John is usually what is recommended to start with.)
 Those who seek Him will find Him. I'm not one of those people who will try to ram my beliefs down your throat or argue with you if you're not interested. 

God is sinless and just and Holy, but God is also Love. He loves the sinner and wants to see them turn away from their sin. I may be a Christian, but I am still a sinner.  The difference is that I am constantly repenting of my sins and realize that I can't do it on my own. I realize that I need Jesus.
And the reality is...we all need Him.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fashion Finds: Torrid Deals

My mom works at a school and had this week off due to Spring Break. So she and my dad came out to visit and go out to lunch on Tuesday. During lunch, mom had mentioned that she's never been to the Galleria Mall in Buffalo, so we decided to have a spur-of-the-moment mother-daughter shopping trip (while dad hung out at my house, since he's not big on malls or shopping).  My favorite store to go to at the Galleria is the plus-size women's clothing store, "Torrid", since there isn't one in any of the malls around 
Rochester (which is where I usually go to shop, since I'm more familiar with Rochester). 

I've been looking for a good coat for a while now that fits and flatters my plus-size frame. I've been wearing my husband's old wool coat for the past couple winters, and I can't button it up comfortably. I was searching for coats online back in January when there were some sales, but any coat I liked was either out of stock, or out of my price range.  And I just don't like ordering clothes online.  I need to try clothes on. But any coats I'd tried on at other stores were always too tight in the shoulders.  I knew I needed to look at a specialty plus-size women's clothing store like Torrid.

So I was excited to find this coat on the clearance rack! I tried it on, and was able to button it up, and put my arms forward without it feeling too tight! The best part was that it was marked down! The original price was over $100, and it was marked down to around $50!

Torrid was also having a "Buy One, get the Second for 50% off" sale, so I decided to try on some dresses. My mom picked out this butterfly print one for me. I've decided that it's going to be my "Easter dress" this year.

This dress is comfy and looks good with my "wear a dress with jeans" style. I was trying to decide which dress to get, and mom insisted on buying one of them for me so I could get both! The stripey dress had a small tear in the seam of the skirt (easily fixable), so mom got them to discount it 40%!
I am usually really thrifty and typically buy my clothes at thrift stores (and occasionally Target and Old Navy), so buying something from Torrid was a major splurge for me!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Too Cute Tuesday: Bunny Nubbins!

Bunny Nubbins are in my Etsy shop!

Sorry that it's SO close to Easter that I'm getting them listed, but if you order by Wednesday (maybe even Thursday) you should get them by Sunday for Easter. I have the white bunny variations in stock, but if you order the Ninja Bunny, it may not get to you in time, since I have yet to make more

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monster Monday: Couch Monsters!

It's that time of year again!  The sweater monsters are taking over my living room couch!

I'm prepping for Mayday Underground.  Setting the sweater monsters out on the couch helps me get a good sense of how many monsters I have and what colors I need more of. I definitely need to work on making some brighter colored monsters. I seem to have a lot of darker colors and greys.

Monday, March 16, 2015

New Monster Monday: Hints of Green

Some of my newest sweater monsters. 
(I think knowing St Patrick's Day is coming subconsciously made me include hints of green)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Worktable Wednesday: Watercolor Monsters

Every once in awhile, I get the urge to pursue other art mediums to get my creative juices flowing. If you know me only as a plush monster maker, you may not know that I love to paint. I painted a lot in my senior year of high school and then in college.

Watercolor pencils were a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law years ago. I made a chart to see how the pencils look on paper and when water is added.
I've always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with watercolors.  They intrigue me, but there is very little room for error.  When I used to paint a lot, I preferred acrylics.  But my interest in watercolor keeps creeping back every once in awhile. I tend to use them a lot when teaching art to kids. They are quicker than acrylics in terms of cleanup. I like the look.  And I've recently tried to embrace their slight unpredictability.

I've also started combining watercolors with black pen.

I am debating whether I should add watercolor paintings to my KiraArts products or just keep it as a "just for me" creative outlet, with no pressure to make them to sell. Because I do admit, sometimes that pressure saps the creativity from me. I actually am feeling very uninspired to make plush lately for some reason.  I'm hoping maybe this brief foray into watercolor can help bring back the spark.

My Leonard Nimoy Tribute Monster

 I did this little sketch in the waiting room while getting my car inspected! I recently watched Big Hero 6 and was inspired! I am absolutely in love with the design of Baymax. The simplicity of that face! That squishy belly! And he's just the proportions I tend to favor in my monster designs...long torso, long arms, stubby legs. I just want to hug him!  I love Baymax!
Some Big Hero 6 & KiraArts crossover art!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lego Minecraft

My friend's son, Ethan, LOVES Minecraft! (what kid doesn't nowadays?)
The funny thing is that CJ and I are the only adults he knows that "get" Minecraft. We play it ourselves, so we actually know what he's talking about when he talks about Minecraft stuff. All the other adults at church don't get it. Maybe it's because we're the only ones who don't have kids and we actually have time to play it.

Anyway, because Ethan knows that I "get" Minecraft, he was excited to show me his new Minecraft Lego set!

So I took some pictures of his little Lego Minecraft scenes...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bethany Gardens Bazaar 2014

Here's my setup at the Bethany Gardens Bazaar at the Bethany Gardens Skilled Living Center in Rome NY.

My cousin, Kristyn, made sure she got her favorite monsters early! She works at Bethany Gardens and helps organize the Bazaar.

My behind-the-scenes tools all jumbled in their drawer. They usually are more organized, but this is what it ends up looking like mid-show.

Rome's pretty Christmas lights on the parking garage downtown across from Fort Stanwix.

Even though this show is 3 hours away from where I live, I didn't need a hotel. I spent the night at my grandma's house! (and taught her how to play Mahjong on my new laptop). The fact that my cousin helps organize the show and that I can visit Grandma are the main reasons I do this show! I always figure that even if I don't do that well at the show (which is not the case. I do pretty well), I get to spend a weekend with Grandma!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas In Medina 2014

Thanksgiving weekend is always a bit of whirlwind for us due to having a booth at the "Christmas In Medina" celebration that's always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Either we're driving back from visiting my husband's family in Cleveland, or switching gears from hosting Thanksgiving at my house. But it's a nice local show for me, so it's worth it!

My usual spot outside the old Bent's Opera House...on the corner of Main Street and West Center Street in Medina.

Braving the cold, as usual! I always figure more people are more apt to shop when I'm outside because I have more visibility being out on the sidewalk (instead of in one of the indoor spaces inside one of the empty shops). Plus, there's no booth fee if you opt for an outdoor space! Again...worth it! I just make sure to bundle up and have some hand/toe warmers on hand.

My mom being silly while trying to stay warm...

Snuggly monsters waiting for a home!

Raccoon Nubbins.

Trying to encourage people to support small business (and handmade) on "Small Business Saturday".

Having fun with sidewalk chalk and the "Shop Small" & "Shop Handmade" slogans...

The view of our cars and my booth from the 3rd floor of the Opera House.  We're acquainted with the mayor, and some mutual friends of ours were in town, so he was showing them the inside of the building. I had to man my booth so I didn't get to see it (mom hadn't gotten there yet), but my husband got to get a mini tour of the third floor of the building, which is where the Opera House stage was. He made sure to take some pictures for me...

There are people trying to revive and restore the building back to its former glory.
"In 2010, Bank of America, the building's last commercial owner, donated the Bent's Hall property to the Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc. (ORG), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing arts and cultural programs to the greater Medina community. Leaders of ORG hope to restore the Opera House to its former glory as a functioning performance venue." (excerpt from Wikipedia)