Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goodbye Paulie V

I apologize for my lack of blog posts last week, but it was a rough week. A good friend of ours from our old church, Paul Vasconcellos II (aka: Paulie V), was killed a week ago. He was shot in front of his house in Rochester at 10:45 p.m. last Sunday.

I've started to write this blog post 4 different times, but there's just too much. All I can say after it all is that even though the world is a broken place, God is still good and He has a plan. I know Paulie knew the Lord and that he's in heaven now. And his death has made as much of an impact as his life did. He was kind, gentle, and had a servant's heart. He's the kind of person I can picture Jesus being like.

The picture above is of Paulie hugging CJ in the receiving line at our wedding. It's always been one of my favorite pictures from the wedding, because Paulie just looks so happy for us. He was such an awesome guy. So many of us are going to miss him. He wasn't an in-your-face kind of guy, but he touched everyone's life that he met. And I keep thinking that 1000 of us can't take his place.

It's been a week since my mother called me on my cell phone to tell me the news and I cried in the corner of a thrift store. While I was driving around, running errands today, I heard a song on the radio on K-LOVE, our local Christian radio station. I've heard the song before, but today the lyrics really struck me, and my tear ducts' let loose. I can't even read the words now without crying. I'm sure it's no coincidence that this song was played today, on All Saint's Day...a day to remember those who have gone to be with God.

Don't be mad if I cry
It just hurts so bad sometimes
'Cause everyday it's sinking in
And I have to say goodbye all over again
You know I bet it feels good to have the weight of this world off your shoulders now
I'm dreaming of the day when I'm finally there with you

Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

I have asked the question why
But I guess the answer's for another time
So instead I'll pray with every tear
And be thankful for the time I had you here
And I wanna live my life just like you did
Make the most of my time just like you did
And I wanna make my home up in the sky
Just like you did
Oh, but until I get there
Until I get there

Save a place for me
Save a place for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon
Save a place for me
Save some grace for me
I'll be there soon
I'll be there soon

Goodbye for now Paulie. We'll see you "soon".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pink & Blue Spotted Sock Monster

I gave away the monster I made with this sock's mate a long time ago. (sadly, I have no pictures of it.)

The legs on this monster are from a sparkly sweater. The tongue is the thumb from a glove.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Custom Rainbow Sock Monster

I made this guy as a custom order from the Allendale Columbia show...

A little girl had been to my booth and had her eye on a particular monster. When she brought her mother back later to buy it, someone had already bought the monster she'd wanted. The little girl described the monster to me...rainbow with pink fuzzy belly, and fingers and toes. I knew exactly the monster she was talking about. I told her mother that I still had the other sock at home and could custom make a monster similar to the one she'd wanted...

This is the first monster I've made a tag for. I made the tag with a logo stamp I'd gotten from JackBear Stamps, some Staz-On ink, and some twill tape.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Black Cat Nubbins

Here's some more Halloween-y Nubbins. The classic black cat...in both blue and green eyed versions.

These are both up in the shop.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Skele-Nubbins 2010

These guys got featured today as Friday's "Jack's Pick" on the RNEST blog. I didn't realize I hadn't blogged about them yet.

I made one Skele-Nubbin last year. This year I decided to use embroidery floss for the bones instead of felt. I can't decide which I like better though, the embroidery floss or the felt.

One of these has already been snapped up, but one of them (the one on the right) is still left in my Etsy shop. Originally those spots on the side of the skull was a mistake, but luckily they look like the indents you see on the temples of a skull...so it was a happy mistake.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Fall Owls...

I've been making more fall Owl Nubbins...

I'm loving these colors together. I bought the dark magenta fleece from the remnant bin at Joann Fabrics. I may need to go get some more sometime. It looks really nice with the gray.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt!

I'm giving away an Orange and black Halloween Nubbin as a prize of RNEST's Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt!

All you need to do is follow the RNEST blog, then go to the participating shops in RNEST and look for shop listings that have a picture of candy as the last photo. So for example, if you go to my shop and start clicking on some of the items, you will see one of them has a picture of some candy bars hiding in the photos.

Then you post what you find in the blog comments (comments will be hidden until the contest is over), and you have a chance to win one or more great handmade items.

* Speaking of give-aways, I am seriously considering doing a give-away if my KiraArts Facebook page breaks 100 fans. I am currently at 95 fans (or "likes" or whatever). If you haven't already, come on over and click that "like" button and suggest my page to your friends! *

RNEST Logo Update

I've been working on the RNEST logo some more. They turned out agreeing on using mine...mostly because no one else submitted any. There were some notes from September's meeting (which I was not able to attend) about the logo...that they wanted a color version. I was stuck on using the Hand version I had done and was getting frustrated with trying to color it. The best I had come up with was the version below, but I was still not satisfied with it. It just didn't look right to me.

October's meeting was last night and I was able to attend. We talked about the logo and the difficulty I had been having with figuring out a color version. It tuns out I was trying to make it too complex. For one thing, they liked the most basic logo (the one with no extra graphics). They agreed that it was hard to make a "color version", but someone had the brilliant idea of just putting a colored "swish" behind it. Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? (oh...that's right, because I was trying to make things too complicated!)

So pulled out my laptop and whipped up a quick "swishy" version while we moved onto other business. They loved it. Then when I got home, I came up with this version with colors for Halloween (when I asked about color scheme at the meeting, they said it would be cool to just change it with the seasons).

I did another version with a little spider for some extra Halloweeny spookiness...

A square avatar/icon version with just the "R" was also requested...
The other night, I was taking a break from the frustration of colorizing the logo. I was looking at new fonts on DaFont.com and after finding some new, crafty fonts, I was playing around and came up with this alternate version of the logo...
It's a bit edgier looking, I think. I don't think we'll change to this logo or anything. I didn't even really bring it up at the meeting. I really just wanted an excuse to play around and use some of the new fonts...particularly that button "R".

Monday, October 11, 2010

Handmade Costumes ROCK!

I saw this commercial while I was shopping at Target the other night, and it kind of annoyed me...

UGH! I feel like it's kind of a slam at handmade. I thought the homemade Iron Man costume was great! (well, until the light fell off, but some hot glue can fix that!) I think it was a brilliant idea to use a touch light for the Iron Man's reactor thingy. If I had been that little boy, I would have thought "Wow, my mom is so awesome for making this for me!" It takes more creativity to lovingly make a costume than to just go buy a plastic one! My mom always made our costumes growing up, and I liked it that way. I never even had a desire to go get any cheap storebought character costumes.

Case in point...
The year was 1999. Star Wars: Episode I had just come out. I was 17 and had gotten some comments from some people that they thought I looked like Natalie Portman, the actress who played Queen Amidala. I think she's prettier than me, but anyway, those compliments got the wheels turning and I decided that I wanted to dress up as Queen Amidala for Halloween...

I told my mom about it, and my wonderfully crafty mother (a woman who insists that she "can't sew") gleefully took on the challenge and MADE me this costume! And it was (and is) so much better than any cheap, overpriced thing we could have bought at the costume store!

One of the biggest challenges of the costume was the elaborate headdress. Mom bought a pool noodle, stuck the ends onto a wooden dowel, and pinned/glued hair extensions onto it. She then built the rest of the headdress out of gold fabric, red lace, cardboard and...lamp parts for the very top.

A cool little "secret" about the costume is the gold filigree design on the front of the costume. Mom used gold fabric paint, and wrote my full name in cursive, then mirrored it, so that to the untrained eye, it just looks like a scrolly design. Oh...and the little balls around the bottom?...clear Christmas ornaments stuffed with colored cellophane. And on the nights I wore it, we would put glowsticks in the balls so they would glow (the little balls light up in the movie if you look closely).

And I ended up winning every costume contest I entered that year. :)

So, whatever Target...don't tell me handmade costumes aren't cool. Handmade costumes ROCK!

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Give-Away from a Fellow Plush Monstermaker

I found out about LEFTZ by ArtTales from the Mayday Underground blog. I was excited to meet another plush maker and have her at the upcoming show. Although, I must admit that I was a bit intimidated too. Her work is very good, she has a lot of sales on Etsy and she's been featured in Stuffed Magazine. But it turns out she's not able to do the Mayday show. Oh man!...I was really looking forward to meeting her and seeing her work in person. Her work particularly intrigues me because she stuffs her plushies with shredded plastic grocery bags... and I'm curious what it feels like.

My favorite design that she does is (obviously) her monsters. This geeky one pictured below (which has already been sold) is particularly adorable!

LEFTZ are "Handmade plush softies created with reclaimed, repurposed, & upcycled materials. These Eco friendly plushies are stuffed with recycled plastic shopping bags & are unique in their own way. Their good eye is made from layered vintage buttons. Materials are found via yard sales, thrift shops, or my family."

Anyway...all that to say, ArtTales is currently having a giveaway on her blog. The prize is a $20 gift certificate to use in her Etsy shop. Go check it out! Who knows? Maybe you can win!

(You may think I'm just being nice and giving LEFTZ a shout-out or just letting you guys know about the giveaway, but if you want to know the truth, it's not totally selfless...because I get an extra entry in the giveaway if I blog about it! ;) )

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Autumn Owl Nubbins

All the owl Nubbins I had made before were sold at the craft show last weekend, so I needed to make some more...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shopping at JoAnn's: Wishlist

I went shopping at Joann Fabrics the other day to buy some fleece. After this weekend's show, I need to replenish the Nubbin population before my next craft show. I've been making a habit lately of taking pictures of things I have on my "wish list" (as you may have seen from my book post). A lot of these are things I would like and think are cool, but can't justify buying them for myself.

First up is this new Cricut cartridge, "Mini Monsters". I heard about it a few months ago. Come on, it's MONSTERS! It's perfect for me! I know there are a lot of Halloween-y designs on it, but I mostly want it for the quirky monsters so I can make different monster cards (there is a "card" feature on this cartridge!).

I'd buy it, but Cricut cartridges are SOOOO expensive! The usual price for cartridges is $89.99, but even the $49.99/$39.99 sale price they sometimes have is still a little pricey for me (I'm too frugal for my own good sometimes) Hmmm...if anyone needs an idea for a Christmas present for me... ;)

Next is a stack of Autumn theme printed scrapbook paper. I can't justify buying it because #1. I'm not currently in scrapbooking mode at the moment, and #2. I already have a lot of scrapbook paper. But I'm loving some of the designs in this stack. Here are some of my favorites.

This tree design (above) is my absolute favorite in the stack.


This lat thing is, again, something I like, yet can't justify. This wood pendant is too big for a necklace, although it might be just the right size for a keychain. I actually would like to get a couple tomake into keychains as gifts for my photographer friends. But then the icanmakethat disease I suffer from kicks in and I think "If I get a camera rubber stamp, and slice up a tree branch, I can make that!"

More Sock Dogs

I finished up these two sock dogs Saturday at the show before we moved outside...

I made sure to take pictures of them before I put price tags on them and put them out for sale.

This red dog went home with a little boy that day. I'm glad I took a picture.