Monday, June 30, 2008

KiraArts Etsy Shop Logo

Here's a sneak preview of my Etsy shop logo. I just designed it today. What do you think?

Here's a second version...probably for a business card.

Don't get too excited...the shop isn't up quite yet. But soon...

Eco Conscience vs. Personal Preferance

I am amused. I was reading the Eco Etsy Street Team Blog and saw this entry about little "eco-tips". I was amused because two of the tips I already do myself out of sheer personal preferance (not out of any eco conscienceness).

Stop or cut down on using a hairdryer. Your hair will love you for allowing it to air dry without that harsh heat destroying the natural oils.

I don't use a hair dryer. I have always preferred to let my hair air-dry. It dries to a lovely wavy/curly texture when it air dries. I always get compliments on my hair...and I think that is probably one of my little secret of why it's so nice. That and I don't use any products in my hair besides shampoo and conditioner (and only once in a great while a little gel to keep flyaways out of my face during my fitness boxing class).

Use small low energy lamps instead of overhead lighting whenever possible and put out lights when you’re not in a room. Overhead lights can be harsh on your eyes. Soft light is more calming and creates a beautiful ambiance in your home.

For some reason, I have never liked overhead lighting and prefer lamps. (I sometimes drive my husband crazy with this habit! He turns on the overhear light switch and when I walk in, I turn on a lamp instead and turn the switch off!) I wonder if it has to do with my first bedroom when I was a teenager, my room didn't have an overhead light and lamps were my only lights. Then when I had my room in the basement, I continued this habit because the overhead lights were flourescant lights (which I hate!).

Cool!...Free Toys!

I saw this site on the Craftzine Blog.
It's called The Toy Society. This person makes toys and randomly places (or "drops") them around the city she lives in...I think it's in Australia.
I'm very intrigued by the idea. She's doing it as a non-profit project...But I think it could be a great marketing tool to use to promote my monsters. Can't you just see my little guys in ziplock bags taped to telephone poles?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


*** My blog's URL has changed to***
I thought the name was more fitting than "kirascraftyweek", since (as I said in one of my previous posts) this blog is slowly becoming more of a Craft + Life kind of blog.
Edit: Sorry for any confusion for those of you who thought I shut down my blog! I wasn't sure what changing the URL would do for those of you that have me bookmarked (I still love you Mom! I'm not "shutting you out" of my life! LOL.)


So...I'm DONE! All done! I'm freeeeeee! Today was my very last day working at the school (although the staff is trying to convince me to be on the substitute aide list for next year...which I may consider.)

It was very surreal when it was actually time to go. I left about 30 minutes later than I usually do because I was saying goodbye to my co-workers I've come to love over the year.
Speaking of my co-workers and my love for them...I gave some of them sock monsters as going-away gifts. The first two are ones I just made last night.

Sue - the special ed teacher
Sue's monster was actually made out of one of the socks she gave me. She gave me a whole bag of old socks and told me that the argyle pair had been her I gave one of them back to her a monster!

Maureen - the classroom aide
Hers was the first monster I've made with eyelashes!

Erin - the speech therapist
Erin's is one of my "vintage" monsters. "How can you tell?" you ask? The button eyes.

They were all so thrilled with their monsters! And that makes me so happy! And everyone who saw them raved about them! I only wished I'd brought enough to give everyone. I'm thinking of randomly popping by from time to time to leave a surprise monster in someone's mailbox!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Doodles from work

I know it's been a lot of "life" and not a lot of "crafty" lately here at Kira's Crafty Life Blog. So here's the closest thing I can give you right now... Doodles I did today at work in between greeting parents of future Kindergarteners at the door and checking them off my list.

Kindergarten is over, but my official last day at school/work is Wednesday. So since I had no student to aid, today I was the official school greeter and was helping with checking in new Kindergarteners that came in for "screening" for next year. Which is probably what I'll be doing tomorrow too!
Two more days!

Church at "the Farm"

CJ and I had church at "the Farm" yesterday. It's so wonderful out there. No traffic screaming neighbors...and the only gunshots you might hear are hunters (and not "gangta's"). We read and discussed the book of James, had dinner picnic-style on "the island" in the middle of the pond, and generally just enjoyed the great outdoors and the beauty of God's creation.
My husband...the child magnet!...or as we call him "the baby whisperer".

Kim's sisters, Rachel and Tricia, ready for a nap after dinner.

Karl fishin' with the kids (I love how they all happen to be color coordinated!)

Buggy holding a fish his daddy caught.

Lydia swimming in the pond. (I promised the kids that next week I'd bring my swimsuit so I could go swimming with them.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

"The End of an Era"

So...the day is over. I'm exhausted, but A. had such a blast. Despite so much being out of routine (which resulted in a few tantrums) she had a lot of fun.

Thus ends a chapter in my life. "The end of an era" as my husband put it.

I'm going to miss my little sweet pea. She has taught me so much...or rather, God has taught me so much through her. I've been working with her since the Spring of 2006, and I am convinced my experience with her over the past 2 and a half years has been preparing me for motherhood someday. I think I could only love this little girl more if she had come from my own womb. But, she's someone else's daughter that I just got to borrow for awhile.

As much as I love her, I know it was time for me to step back and let her go. She can't rely on me to be there for the rest of her life. Plus, it's time for me to move on myself and help other people in other ways. I kind of feel like Mary Poppins.

I did cry as I put her on the bus (just like the end of last summer when I wasn't sure if I'd get the job to be her aide in kindergarten). But it may not be the last time I see her. Her parents have been great and they both have made it clear that I shouldn't "hesitate to call if [I] want to stop by and see [her]".

Her mom is a Creative Memories consultant too, so that gives me another excuse to stay in touch! She actually gave me a nice little Creative Memories "Picfolio Minutes" photo album as an end of the year "thank you" gift.

So it may be the end of an era...but perhaps not the end of a friendship.

Picnic Day!

Our happy class on Picnic Day! Waiting on the bench for relay races.

Fun for the kids...exhaustion for the adults! I've survived so far and am on my first break! Let's hope I make it the rest of the day!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I've been pretty useless the past few days. Sickly & yucky and blah. I've been slogging through the day just trying to make it through work and then flopping into bed as soon as I get home. What a week to feel like this! I haven't been letting myself take a sick day because I "have" to be there! The Kindergarten "moving on ceremony" was today and the school picnic and kindergarteners' last day is tomorrow. At least I have the thought "It'll be over soon!" to keep me sane.

I've been back into knitting lately. (who said once you go to crocheting you never go back!) I've been making beanbags. Beanbags are such a great project for something quick to whip out for those of us who want instant (or near-instant) gratification of having a finished product.
I promise I'll post pictures of them later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Google Maps is stalking you!

This is cool...but also kind of creepy!
A coworker emailed a link about google maps street view. So, naturally, I had to look up my house. Yup!...there it is! I can see my plants on the upstairs porch and my downstairs neighbors' old car in the driveway.

They're watching us!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Porch Flower Boxes

It's been a project weekend! We feel accomplished! (even thought the project isn't completely finished yet)

CJ had the day off from work on Friday and started building the flower boxes for our porch. When I got home from work, he had the first one (on the east side of our house) almost completely built and installed. On Saturday afternoon, he cut the boards for the next window while I painted the first box. But, as I was doing that, we figured out that painting the boxes after they were installed is a pain, so we decided to paint the boards before CJ installs them into the window. The great thing about how he made them is that he didn't have to nail or screw anything into the house itself. The boxes are removable.

Before... (picture from last year)


Before I was married, I never pictured myself becoming a gardener! My mom was the gardener of the family. I never really cared. It must be something about having a place of your own. I love having a "real" garden now instead of my poor plants being confined to pots (we live in an upstairs part of a duplex).
And I like the idea of growing my own vegetables and herbs as opposed to a flower garden. Maybe I'll have a couple flowers...but flowers aren't my main passion. I'd like to plant plants that are useful and practical. I have some letuce and cherry tomato plants started so far. My only problem is that only the side windows (the east and west ends of the porch) get much sun.. The eaves of the house prevent a lot of sun from getting to the front (south) openings. So I'm going to have to research what plants like shade (Lettuce likes shade!).

And...Rachel and I went to the Public/Farmer's Market and some garage sales yesterday morning. I bought some dill and rosemary at the market and I found the perfect little table to use for my gardening at a garage sale...for only $3!
It was originally all painted that grey color. I painted a bit of it the green I was using for the boxes while I was waiting to put a second/third coat on.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Anniversary gifts

My husband never ceases to surprise me. I'll steal a phrase we use to describe the girl I work with..."predictably unpredictable".

These are the flowers that were waiting for me on our coffee table when I got home yesterday. I like red roses, but I love how these were not your typical red roses. And the sprig of little purple flowers and the random sprig of fresh euculyptus. It's a big deal for him to get me flowers...since he has allegies and usually doesn't like flowers. So a bouquet of flowers is definitely an expression of love for him.

But that wasn't all. He got me a locket and took the time to painstakingly put two tiny pictures of two paintings I've done inside.

I really wasn't expecting anything. Since our anniversary and my birthday and his birthday are all within 2 weeks of each other, we usually just get one big present for the both of us. I was just expecting to go out last night. We saw "Kung Fu Panda" and went to dinner at Red Robin.

My work schedule prevented us from doing our "tradition" of going to a new Rennisance Faire. (Can you have a tradition when you've only been married 2 years?) We always go to the "local" one in Sterling NY (about an hour away), but we have a goal of going to a new one every year. We want to go to one in Ohio this year later in the summer.

But I had a wonderful time last night anyway.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

2 years...

When my husband and I were dating/courting, he gave me a CD of some music by this Celtic Christian Band called Iona. The song that was on the third track on the CD, a traditional Irish/Celtic folk song. I absolutely fell in love with the song and had it sung while I walked down the aisle at our wedding.

"I will give my love an apple without e'er a core
I will give my love a house without any a door,
I will give my love a palace wherein he may be,
And he may unlock it without any key.

My head is the apple without e'er a core,
My mind is the house without any door.
My heart is the palace wherein he may be,
And he may unlock it without any key."

(click the sheet music at this link to hear the tune)

Happy Anniversary my beloved!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Brother & Sister Monsters

More monsters with patterned bellies! These are T-shirt Remnant Monsters I finished this weekend. The belly of the girl is a fabric swatch I've had lying around for some time. The boy's belly is from a fabric belt (that I don't use) that came with a skirt I like to wear that is the same fabric.

2.5 more weeks...and then I can make monsters (almost) all day!

Friday, June 6, 2008


It's so hot today and everyone has been complaining about the heat. But it's funny...I'm strangely happy and content (I'm usually a semi-moody person). Don't get me wrong, I hate being hot and sticky as much as the next person. But for some reason it's not really bringing me down. I'm sitting here on my lunch break at work with bare feet (I've litereally kicked off my shoes!) in a quiet , empty (albeit un-air-conditioned) room with a computer...I just finished a chicken ceasar salad from McDonald's...I have some beautiful, quiet music playing. Life is good. I'm strangely content.

Maybe it's because it's Friday. Maybe because it's another week closer to the end of the school year and my last day of work. Maybe because it feels like summer. Maybe it's because I'm happy my friend just had her baby. Maybe it's because of the beauty, comfort, and encouragement of the memorial/celebration service last night.

Or maybe it's just the peace of God.

Letting Go and New Life

My husband and I went to the Memorial/Celebration Service for Jacob Fahmer last night. It was beautiful. I've never cried so much for someone I've never met. After the initial service inside the church, we were asked to all go outside to the lawn, and on our way out of the church, the first 139 people would get a for each day of Jacob's life. Once everyone was outside and all the balloons had been given out, we released them all. What a beautiful symbol of letting go and trusting the Lord.

"He left the arms of his earthly father and into the arms of his Heavenly Father."

And I found out, when I happened to check my email this morning before I left for work, that my friend Amy had her baby this morning! Congratulations Chris & Amy! Welcome to the planet Simon!
How poetically fitting. The day after celebrating the life of a child who has gone home to the Lord, we get to celebrate the Lord blessing us all with a brand new child.

Like my Dad says..."God is good. All the time."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

50 Ways to Love your Lurkers...

I just came accross this blog entry tonight about "How to start a craft blog". I was most amused by this little snippet of it...

"Lurking - bloggers give lurkers (people that visit your blog without commenting) a hard time - but remember that your lurkers may be your most avid readers. They may just be little word-shy or perhaps they are not sure how to use the Blogger commenting function. Or they may just like lurking. It's okay, as long as they keep popping in. Learn to love your lurkers! "

I am so a lurker! But I do comment once in awhile.
Do I have any lurkers? (besides you Mom! I know you're out there! Stalker!) If you've been lurking, please leave a comment, even if it's just a random word (spatula!) And leave your name too, even if it's just your first name. "Anonymous" is just weird to me.

To smile...or not to smile? That is the question.

I've been on a monster kick lately. I just started to play with putting patterned fabric on them as an accent. I've had some random scraps of this crazy, bright, 60's-flower-child-looking pattern that I used on my newest monster that I made last night. All I have left to do on him is the handsewn features (teeth & heart). But I can't decide on how to make his mouth...

Happy? (the norm for my monsters)
Or frowny? (Not the norm for me, but strangely still cute)
When I asked my husband's opinion, he said "I'd be frowny too if I had that flowery pattern sewn on my chest!" I brought him into work today with the intent of finishing him up on my breaks (the monster...not my husband!). At the lunch table, I brought him out and asked the kids which they liked better and they said they wanted him happy.
What to do?...what to do? He looks so cute either way!
Any more opinions?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Polka-Dotted Messy-Haired Monster

On a much lighter note than yesterday, here is my newest monster!

He kind of reminds me of Red Fraggle.
(BTW: my birthday is this month and Season 3 of Fraggle Rock is out on DVD! ~hint hint~)

His hair is made out of a "fancy fur" yarn I bought at the Dollar Store a while ago. And his body is made of a scrap of a crazy polka-dotted sock. Here is a picture of his "brother" that I made out of the other sock (on the right...obviously). I've since given both of these monsters away .

It's interesting to see how much my sock monster making style has evolved since I started. In ther beginning, I was highly influenced by John Murphy's work (since it was his book that gave me the idea in the first place). But I think I've developed my own unique style.

If you want to see more of my "early work" go to my photobucket album. I'll be getting with the times and moving my pictures over to Flickr soon.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Perspective and prayers

Jacob Fahmer
January 14th, 2008-May 31st, 2008

There's nothing that puts things in life into more perspective than the passing of a child. Yesterday at church I found out that my friend Nancy's nephew, Jacob Fahmer, passed away on Saturday. We have had him and his family in our prayers for a long time. He was 138 days old. Jacob had a "genetic disorder known as Trisomy 18. This disorder is found in about 1 in 3000 live births and is the second most common genetic disease behind Down's Syndrome...50% of all babies born with Trisomy 18 die within the first week. Another 25% die with in the first month and almost 95% die within the first year."
I did not ever meet Jacob, nor had I ever met his mother, father, or siblings...but I cried when I heard the news. I'm misting up even now as I write this. It was one of those things that you knew was supposed to happen inevitably, but is a shock when it actually does. I love that his parents decided to spend their precious moments with him at home instead of keeping him in the hospital.

My words seem inadequate. If you want to read some wonderful, encouraging words, go read the awesome blog his parents kept that chronicled every day in Jacob's precious little life:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11