Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Treasury Tuesday: Into The Woods...

A common theme I'm seeing with a lot of the treasuries made this week is that we are all yearning for SPRING! The pictured treasury is one that I made about looking forward to taking walks in the woods again. It features my fellow Rochester NY Etsy Street Team members, SunshyneSilverwear and PeachesPictures.

Go check out today's Treasury Tuesday post on the RNEST blog for some links to some other treasuries featuring, and curated some more of my fellow RNEST members.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Barn Owl Plush

I've been inspired to make some more owls lately. They seem to sell well at shows and I usually don't make enough. But I'm trying to keep up and build up a decent supply to keep up with potential demand. Today, I got inspired to make a barn owl.

As I was sewing these owls, I was wishing I had my own DVD of "Legend of the Guardians" to watch (I'd gotten it from Netflix before). I actually ordered the book from the library a few days ago. I'm hoping it comes in soon. I have a thing for reading the book that a movie is based off of...after I've seen the movie.

I took a trip to the thrift store today (half price day!) I was looking through the kids' books, trying to get lucky and maybe find an Ed Emberley book...unfortunately, no such luck. But I did find some books I wanted...by Eric Carle, Steven Kellogg, Dr Seuss...a Fraggle book, some Sesame Street books...and an owl book. Children's books are free (up to 5 books...after that they are 25 cents). I have no kids, but I like kids' books..plus it's nice to have books for my friends' kids to read/look at when they come over.

Since owls are cool now, I figured I'd get this little educational book. A picture of a barn owl is what inspired me to make my little barn owls today...

Of course, whenever I thnk of owls, I think of my friend Casey, who is a fellow RNEST member. She was into owls before they were cool! For some cool owl plushies and needle felted stuff...go check out her Etsy shop, PeachesProducts!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Etsy Favorite Friday!: Norajane Rubber Stamps

I've decided to start doing a new weekly blog post series. I've been doing Treasury Tuesdays...and now I want to do Etsy Favorite Fridays! On Etsy Favorite Friday, I'll be featuring some of my favorite shops and items on Etsy.

This week I'm featuring Norajane, an Etsy seller who does the cutest little rubber stamps....

I have a great love for rubber stamps. I get it from my mother, who is the Rubber Stamp Queen. I showed her this Etsy shop and asked her which stamp she would want...but the better question might have been which ones she DIDN'T want! She couldn't decide on just one! I may need to buy this one or this one for her. The two I have pictured above are my own personal favorites.

I hope you've enjoyed this first edition of Etsy Favorite Friday! Hopefully I will remember to keep this going!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

RNEST Monthly Challenge: March (Natural History)

It's that time again! Time for the RNEST Monthly Challenge! The theme for March is "Natural History"...so I decided to adapt a design for the custom Godzilla plush I did awhile back and do a big T-Rex! Please take a minute to go to the RNEST Blog and vote for "Sharptooth the T-Rex" in the poll in the upper right-hand corner. You don't even have to register or anything. Just go and click!

I'm up against some pretty tough competition this month. People have entered some really cool items, but I'm the only dinosaur item that entered. Everyone else's items are bird/plant/woodland creature themed. And I forgot that people could enter more than one item. I should have thought to enter Mika the Raccoon as well! Oh well. :P

I named him Sharptooth because I was thinking about "The Land Before Time" the whole time I was sewing him! The pictures don't give a very good sense of just how big he is (I forgot to do a pic with the ruler), but he is twice the size of the Godzilla...about as big as my large sweater monsters.

Raaaaaaawr! Vote For Meeeeeeee!

***EDIT: I won the Challenge!***

Photos from the Rochester Zine & Craft Fair

Here are a few photos from the Rochester Zine & Craft Fair I was at on Sunday! The Flying Squirrel Community Space was kind of cool and funky...kind of a place I envision hippies hanging out at. I was one of the few artists/vendors who were in the downstairs room. Most of the other artists were upstairs. But I feel like it was a pretty good show overall. People seemed more interested in my lower-priced items (I didn't sell any sock/sweater monsters) but I did well. I sold mostly Nubbins, owls, and bottlecap magnets. And Sir Jackson Rabbit and Liam the Lion found new homes. I actually had a guy come back looking for the lion towards the end of the show, but it had already been sold. I guess I'll need to make another one!

My mom came and helped out (like she usually does whenever I have a show!) She took these first two pictures for me. But it was hard to get a good picture of the booth because of the windows behind me.

I'm not sure if this kid was trying to imitate this "Emo Nubbin"'s expression or not...but he and his mom were kind enough to let me take a picture with his new friend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rochester Zine & Craft Fair

This is the show I'm doing this weekend...

I've never done this one before, so I hope it goes well!

Little Owls

I'm preparing for a craft show this weekend, and have been making some more little owls...

I just can't get enough of taking pictures of these spools of thread! I just put this one as my desktop wallpaper on my laptop.

Treasury Tuesday: Lovely Things I Can't Afford

When browsing Etsy, I sometimes find items that I like, but are WAY out of my price range. And I debate about whether I should click that "favorite" button...since I will never be able to afford it...or at least will never justify spending that kind of money on myself (admittedly, the $80 parasol isn't that bad). And I wonder if i'm just being a tease to the seller...because in all honesty, I will probably never buy the item.

That bed in the top-lefthand corner was what inspired me to make this treasury. Some of these items were already in my favorites, but in order to fill out the treasury, I actually had to go searching for some things. You'd be surprised how difficult it is to try and find items that are SO out of your price range. (and I know my mom will look at the fine art paintings and say "Come on Kira! You can do that!"...to which I will admit that I probably could, but I put them there to fill out the treasury.)

For some more lovely Etsy treasuries, go check out this week's Treasury Tuesday blog post that I just posted on the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST) blog! My fellow RNESTers have been cranking out some really wonderful treasuries lately! Go on over and check them out!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I went with my mom to her hair appointment today. While I was there, I got my own hair cut (just a trim, the ends were awful) and my friend and stylist, Rochelle, decided to play when she was finished cutting. She loves working with my hair (It's not often a hair stylist gets to work with long hair...because they usually end up cutting hair off!)

I LOVE it! As soon as I saw the back of it in the mirror, I said "I need to go to a renaissance faire now!" I wish I could do this myself. I could try, but the braids wouldn't turn out nearly as tight and neat. It's really simple, just two french braids on each side, and connected in the back with a decorative clip. I wish I could remember the business name of the company where I got my clip. I get them every year at the Lilac Festival craft show in Rochester.

Rochelle also did my hair for my wedding. This girl is able to do some beautiful things with my hair! :)

Polly & Me

During my visit to my grandma's house a few weeks ago, we were looking through this box of random photos, and I found these three pictures...

Yes, that blue-eyed baby is me! I had blue eyes for a long time when I was a baby, much to my mother's delight, who loves blue eyes and thought I would be dark haired with bright blue eyes. But then when I was two they changed to brown . Sorry Mom! I couldn't help it! I would have liked to have kept those lovely blue eyes too!

I have no idea how old I am in these (probably only a few months), but look who I'm hanging with! It's Polly Esther!

Even at such a young age, I loved my sock monkey!
I have a philosophy that every child needs a sock monkey. Until I started making my own plush toys, it was my go-to baby shower gift.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Joy of Ed Emberley Books

I have recently re-discovered the awesomeness of Ed Emberly. Who is Ed Emberly you ask? He is the author of a plethora of drawing books for kids. He is probably most famous for his thumbprint book. At least that's what I remember the most. I remember getting that book from the library and busting out my mom's ink pads and making thumbprint drawings.
I mentioned these books in one of my link roundup posts last month, and have since been keeping my local library system busy with ordering a few Ed Emberley books every couple weeks.

I've mentioned before that I'm teaching weekly "art lessons" to my friend's 6 year old son. This week, I brought over Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals, and we were drawing for about an hour and a half!


A giraffe and alligator...

And the big one...a dragon...

Eli's dragon (left) and my dragon (right). This was the first week I drew along with him. I think it helped a lot to keep him interested and engaged, as well as to help him see how to draw in addition to the book's directions.

These are some faces he did last week from Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces.
I may just need to buy some of these books for myself.

KiraArts Giveaways!

I've shared this on the KiraArts Facebook page, but realized I never posted about it here on the blog!
I've been featured this week in the RNEST "Wednesday Wellspring" Giveaway! Click the link to be taken to the RNEST blog and find out how to enter in order to win this cute multicolored spotted Nubbin! You have until Tuesday, March 8th to enter!

As an added bonus, I've decided that when both my Etsy shop and Facebook fan page reach 200 fans, I will do ANOTHER giveaway here on the blog! The Etsy shop is past the goal right now (with 202 fans! Yay!), and my Facebook page is only 42 fans away from reaching 200! So get over there and click that "like" button!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Squarc the Sweater Gremlin

I'm finally back to making some monsters! I've been lining up craft shows for the Spring and realized that I need to build up my inventory again. Here is my newest creation... Squarc the Sweater Gremlin...

"Squarc is a Sweater Gremlin, made from a green and blue striped sweater. He's the kind of Sweater Gremlin that likes to eat socks...particularly green ones. So keep a close eye on him if he's ever near your sock drawer!"

* Available in my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My First T-Shirt Dress!

I got the book "Generation T: Beyond Fashion" from the library last week. It's a "sequel" to the original "Generation T" book. I love the idea of refashioning clothes into new ones, and actually own another book on the subject, "99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim, and Tie Your T-Shirt Into Something Special", but have always been too intimidated by the idea of making clothes. (Of course, I also owned "Stupid Sock Creatures" for almost a year before I overcame my intimidation and made my first sock monster.)

I've had people call me a "seamstress" after they see my plushies, and I am always quick to correct them and say that I am NOT a seamstress. I don't make clothes. I enjoy the margin of error that plush-making affords that I think making clothing doesn't. If I mess up on a plushie (especially if it's a monster), it just adds to the charm. And I don't believe it's the same way with clothing. I don't know if it's because I tend to be a perfectionist, or because I'm a plus-sized woman and feel like I can't put on just any piece of clothing and make it look good.

Anyway...with that all said, I've been flipping through the book and gaining inspiration, and the day before yesterday, I finally took the plunge and decided to make myself something!

I love this style of empire-waisted dress. I have a few that I wear all the time in the summer. I bought 4 T-shirts at the thrift store on Monday specifically in order to make this dress. I was inspired by the Project # 20 "Fun In The Sun" sundress in the book. I made a few alterations and deviations from the original pattern (don't I always?). The black band was an addition to hide a mistake I had made. Plus I think it adds something to the overall look of the dress. I am considering adding some straps to the back, since the back part of the bodice tends to droop and I don't want to be showing flashes of my strapless bra. (I made sure it wasn't showing for the picture below!)

This is the first piece of clothing I've ever made for myself. It took a lot of time, but it was satisfying. And it actually looks good! (if I do say so myself!). It's not "perfect", but it's wearable! It's obviously a warm-weather piece of clothing, but I was so excited to wear it, that I wore a black, long-sleeved shirt underneath it yesterday...and it still looked good!

Thank you Generation T for helping me overcome my clothing-making phobia and insecurities! I CAN make my own clothes! I can't wait to cut up more old T-shirts now! I'll have to dig out the stash I've been saving. And maybe I will actually use my other T-shirt transformation book after I have to take this book back to the library.