Thursday, October 29, 2009

KiraArts is on Facebook!

Hey, if you are on Facebook and like my work, PLEASE go become a fan on the KiraArts Facebook page!

Pink & Navy Blue Sweater Monster

Another sweater monster out of that bag of sweater scraps!...

I think I've found a new favorite monster design! The ears make them look like little gremlins.

In a conversation with my husband and parents while at dinner the other night, someone mentioned something about "the Shirt Trolls must have stolen" a particular shirt my dad was looking for. And it gave me this crazy idea for a story of an epic battle between the Shirt Trolls and the Sock Gremlins for possession of the laundry room. (Then my mom said I should add underwear sprites into the mix!) What a fun children's book that would make!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Robin Hill Arboretum

Go check out my friend Tricia's blog post about the Robin Hill Arboretum. It's just around the corner from where I live and really is a gorgeous place that I still haven't seen all of yet. Last time I went was when my in-laws were in town a few weeks ago, but my mother-in-law can't walk for long periods of time and we only were only able to stay briefly, so I didn't get a lot of pictures. And it seems as if the leaves have changed since I took my pictures. Tricia's pictures were taken more recently and are much prettier and more numerous.

"The Smith family always welcomed visitors, and that has not changed. Anyone who respects this wonderful place is welcome to enjoy it whenever they like." - Robin Hill Nature Preserve Website

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Orange Sweater Monster (with Yoda ears!)

I got a bag of sweater scraps last week from my good friend Amy. They were scraps left over from her endeavors in making wool soakers out of recycled felted sweaters. In the bag were some lovely remnants of an orange sweater. I love the color combination of orange and blue (I love it even more when the blue is more of a turquoise). Yay for complimentary colors!

Don't you just love his Yoda-ears? If I made him in green with a brown robe... hmmmm... I smell a Star Wars homage coming soon.

I liked doing his mouth differently too...not my usual white felt teeth or fuzzy lips (although I am quite overdue for making some fuzzy-lipped monsters!). I'm getting much more into doing simple embroidery on my monsters' faces lately.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Custom Dog Nubbins

These are two custom dog Nubbins I made for my most loyal customer...

He sent me these two pictures of his dogs for me to work from...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Out-of-the-House Adventures

Every once in awhile my lovely hubby will "exile" me from the house for the day and tell me to go have fun. Yesterday was one of those days. So I went out shopping and exploring.
There's this little place called 48A to Z, that is like a cross between and antique shop and a big garage sale...(I LOVE places like this!)

I wish I had a spot in my house for one of these old school desks! (they're priced between $30 and $55).

There's an old theater in Medina that is closed down/abandoned. It seems such a shame, because it seems like it's such a cool old building! (I think I've started to become quite fascinated with old things)

Around one side there is a whole section that is fallen down. I'm surprised they haven't roped it off to prevent people from going in. The crazy, adventurous explorer side of me wanted to climb down there so bad!...but I repressed it with the side of me that is afraid of getting into trouble (plus the fact that I was in a skirt, which is not an item of clothing that is condusive to climbing and exploring).

I wanted to take this chair home too... (but I didn't.)

Wordless Wednesday...

Monday, October 12, 2009


Just in time for Halloween...a Skele-Nubbin! I had rattley-bone sounding xylophone music playing in my head while I was making this (particularly a song from Corpse Bride).

More Halloween Nubbins are in the works...stay tuned!

"Let The Wild Rumpus Start..."

I made a Max Nubbin to go with my Wild Thing Nubbin!
And he's got a little tail...

These two will be on their way to Las Vegas to a guy who has become quite a collector of my work. I know I could probably make more and they'd be really popular and I'd be selling them left and right...but I'm not sure about copyright stuff and I don't want to get in trouble (I'm not even sure if I'll get in trouble for selling these). The only reason I'm selling them is because it's a one-time thing and it's to my best customer. If I make any more, it will only be as gifts for family or friends.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mini Apple Crisp

With no "real" oven I made a small apple crisp in my toaster oven. I just halved my normal recipe. It was just enough for two!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Apple Picking Fall 2009

This past Saturday, we finally went apple-picking. It's a tradition we've only picked up in the last few years (usually due to our friends inviting us to join them). And I don't know if it's from living in the country so close to so many orchards, but I've had such a hankering to go apple-picking ever since fall started this year.

We were debating about whether to wait until this upcoming weekend, since my in-laws are coming to visit us and see the new house. But the weather has been so rainy lately, and Saturday morning was so nice, that I wanted to go while I knew the weather was nice. (I didn't want to wait until this next weekend and that have it rain). It worked out well because I guess my in-laws went apple picking the same day!

Look at that fruit practically dripping off the tree! We went to Lynokan Farms (it's just around the corner from us) and got a bushel of apples (mostly Cortlands with a few Golden Delicious) for $20. We would have gotten Honeycrisps (which are monstrously huge and delicious!) but they were more expensive and had to be in a seperate bag.

(My friends on Facebook are all saying that this is "such a great picture" of me and I "look so gorgeous" in it. I didn't particularly think so, but I guess I won't turn down the compliments!)

Luna got the special treat of being allowed to go off-leash (which we very rarely ever do), and she was very well behaved! She stuck right by us and barely barked at anybody (except this couple that had funky hats on...she didn't seem to like them).

She kept thinking that the apples in our hands were balls that we were going to throw for her to we picked up a few bruised apples off the ground and obliged her!

She was such a happy puppy!

Now I need to make some mini-apple crisp to bake in my toaster oven! (we still don't have a real oven/stove!)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happiness in the mail!

So, I've been sick this week...sniffles, coughing, sore throat, headache...and just a general icky feeling. And this little bundle of joy I got in the mail on Wednesday just made an otherwise "ick" day just a little brighter!

They were a lot bigger than the picture I had in my head. I love them! I have the urge to do a little puppet show with them!

I imagine this blue guy with a deep voice and a British accent.

Any suggestions for names for these awesome little guys? Or how about a story that I can do a puppet show about?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Remsen Barn Days Festival (Part 2: The Carillon)

The highlight of our day at Remsen was discovering Cast In Bronze and their traveling carillon. We heard the music from across a parking lot and were just drawn to it.

A carillon "is a musical instrument that is usually housed in a free-standing bell tower, or the belfry of a church or other municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to play a melody, or sounded together to play a chord. A carillon is played by striking a keyboard called a "baton" with the fists and by pressing the keys of a pedal keyboard with the feet. The keys mechanically activate levers and wires that connect to metal clappers that strike the bells, allowing the performer, the carillonneur, to vary the intensity of the note according to the force applied to the key."
Sure, it may sound kind of boring to any non-music-geeks, but it's absolutely captivating to watch and listen to. And the guy doesn't just play the instrument, it's a theatric performance.

The carillon player (ie: the "Spirit of the Bells") was such a nice guy! He was autographing CDs and DVDs and took pictures with people and would just talk with you. He was a very approachable guy (if you're not intimidated by the mask!) Here he is with my Grandma...

Mom was at the table that was selling CDs and DVDs and was talking to a man about how she used to play handbells. So the man invited her to go up and sit at the carillon. Mom was intimidated at first and was going to decline, and the man says "It's my carillon! I own it. I can invite you up if I want!"

I thought the "Spirit of the Bells" had cool boots. He told me that they primarily play at renaissance faires.
I originally had a theory that the carillon player was masked because they do more than one of these performances at a time, but I read (via wikipedia) that the reason is much less practical and much more symbolic..."the musician was hidden from view within the cabin of the bell tower so the carillonneur was never seen. Thus the reason why Frank wears a black costume while performing. His face is concealed by a golden phoenix mask. All but his hands and eyes are covered as a symbolic gesture to downplay his identity and role in creating the music."

Although I am still curious if he is training other carillonneurs to follow after him... the "Spririt of the Bells" I saw and spoke to sounded very young. Plus his mask was silver instead of gold.