Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Treasury Tuesday: Grandmother's House & Seamstress Gift Guide

Here are some Etsy Treasuries I made this week...

I made this treasury with the theme of a road trip to grandma's house. I was initially inspired by the first item, a photo of some colorful suitcases...which reminded me of a little red suitcase I had as a kid that said "Visiting Grandma" on it. I was also inspired by the colorful illustration of the Singer sewing machine. My actual grandma doesn't have crazy bright color schemes like this in her house (she's more of an earth-tone kind of lady). maybe I'll make a treasury one of these days that actually represents MY grandma's style (think Adirondacks and birds). ;)

This treasury was inspired by the photo of the spools of thread. It was all I could do to refrain from making the whole treasury photos of spools of thread...but I kind of already did that once and wanted to have different items, There was originally a print from a shop I recently favoritedin this treasury, but the item disappeared, and you can't put a sold item in a treasury, so I had to replace it with something else.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

RNEST & Etsy Present: CRAFTMAS!

Hello! You regular blog-readers know that I am a part of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (aka: RNEST), a group of Etsy sellers in the Rochester area (and surrounding areas *wink!*).
A while back, RNEST applied for (and was awarded) a grant from Etsy in order to organize a series of crafty events at the Hungerford Building on East Main Street in Rochester. We originally planned to have Halloween-themed events in October, but scheduling conflicts arose with the location and those plans fell through. But, not being an easily discouraged bunch, we switched gears and decided to do some holiday events in December instead. And for the past month and a half have been scheming, planning a series of handmade holiday events which we have dubbed "Craftmas"!

I'm organizing a Clothing Swap!...
"It’s time to clean out that closet!
Bring in your unwanted clothing and take home some new-to-you pieces for your wardrobe...all for free! RNEST artists will also be available to teach demos with techniques for altering and upcycling your clothes into fun, new items!
*Any clothing left over at the end of the night will be donated. Nothing will go to waste!"

I used to regularly organize clothing swaps (or "swap meets" as I used to call them) at my old church. They were always a hit! If I didn't keep on top of it and do one every few months, I'd start getting regular inquiries from people about when the next one would be!

Be sure to check out the other Craftmas events! (the links will take you to the Facebook Event):
  • Craftmas: Etsy Style! First Friday Holiday Craft Sale (Friday, December 2nd 5pm-9pm &Saturday, December 3rd noon-4pm)
    A Handmade Holiday hits the Hungerford Building! Come shop from a selection of quality items made by local artists. Give the gift of handmade this holiday season!
    *(I will have a table there on Friday!)*

  • Creative Play Session (Saturday, December 10th 7pm-8:30pm)
    Creativity boosting activities and exercises to spark your artistic inspiration and get out of a rut. Come with an open mind and leave with ideas for new projects! (For ages teen and up)
  • Open Craft Night: Etsy Style! (Thursday, December 15th 6pm-9pm)
    Demos: glass pendant soldering, knitting, bead weaving and MORE! Everyone is invited for a handmade, fun-filled evening of simple planned projects and unstructured time with RNEST artists. Bring your crafty works-in-progress, share our supplies, experiment with our tools, and ask us about tips and techniques. A small sampling of our works will also be available for sale.

I hope you can make it to at least one of these events! They should be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Treasury Tuesday: A Cozy November

I'm not a huge fan of November. I think it may be the most depressing month in the fall season. The time change makes it get dark earlier. The beautiful fall foliage has dropped to the ground and the trees are almost bare. It gets colder. It gets drearier.
BUT....November doesn't have to be all that bad! There are a lot of good things about it too!...like craft shows and our thoughts turning to the holidays and spending time with family!
I say "Make the best of it!"...so I made this treasury to turn our thoughts to staying cozy in November. It includes some members of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team I'm a part of, RNEST, as well as artists I've met at Mayday Underground. (And other artists are included just because I like their stuff!)

Be sure to check out some more Etsy Treasuries on the RNEST Blog's Treasury Tuesday!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweater Ninja!

Here's a look at the "Sweater Ninja" that accompanied the order of Ninja Nubbins!

The Ninja Nubbins were for the goody bags for a birthday party. This Sweater Ninja was a gift for the birthday girl!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ninja Nubbins!

Here are the photos of the new Ninja Nubbins, as promised!

This is the custom set I made with each of the Karate belt colors represented.

The classic black ninja...

And a girlier, pink ninja!
My husband and I used to take a Martial Arts class. It's actually where we first became friends and then fell in love...while beating each other up in class! (so we were quite literally "hitting on" each other!) We were each given a ninja throwing star by our good friend who was also our martial arts instructor. So yeah... I have real ninja throwing stars. They made the prefect props for shooting these photos!

Monday, November 7, 2011

You Are Beautiful

It isn't often you find something uplifting written in a bathroom stall...

"You Are Beautiful"

Thank you random person who wrote this in the Walmart ladies room. :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Customer Appreciation Photos: Andy the Traveling Nubbin!

One of the highlights from Mayday Underground was a previous customer showing me the following photos...

The customer and his wife had bought this Nubbin at a previous show and named him "Andy". They brought Andy with them to their trip to Paris, and took a series of pictures of him at famous Paris landmarks. The first being the Eiffel Tower!

Andy sitting on the Eiffel Tower.

Andy in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

Andy with "The Thinker".

I was so excited to see these, and am so glad they took time to show them to me! It really made my day! It reminds me of the picture of my monsters in front of the Las Vegas sign. I love to see how much fun people have with the work I make!

*If you have any cool photos of KiraArts work you've bought, feel free to email them to me (kira(at)kiraarts(dot)com) and I'll feature them in a Customer Appreciation Photo blog!

The "Mega-Nubbin"!

At Mayday Underground, there was an art exhibit called "The Root of Art Over Craft", the theme of which was the concept of "Challenging the boundaries between art and craft".

"How do you differentiate art from craft? Are they connected? Are they two separate entities? This exhibit, which occurs concurrently with Mayday! Underground, seeks to extend publicity to artisans in the area and help shoppers and viewers gain a better understanding for art and craft."

This was my submission to the exhibit...the "Mega Nubbin"!

I had put bags of rice in his feet to try and help him be freestanding. At one point before the show had opened, and we were all still setting up, he was standing (I wish I'd gotten a picture!). But the exhibit organizers moved him later (I'm assuming because he wasn't that stable and was easily knocked over).

This picture of me holding him really gives the sense of just how big he was!

I also did a painting of a Nubbin as kind of an afterthought, inspired by the theme of Art vs Craft.

A far as my thoughts on the "difference" of art vs. craft...because the lines of what constitutes"art" have been so blurred, I think of "craft" as the process of making "art". I think of "Craft" as a verb, and "Art" as a noun. Art is the result of Craft(ing).

Mayday Underground! November 2011

This past Saturday was the November installation of Mayday Underground...my biggest craft show of the year!

I had so much fun seeing customers and fellow artists! I always love doing this show! My friends Casey and Amanda always do an awesome job organizing it!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sneak Peek!: Ninja Nubbins!

I got a custom order request from a loyal customer for "Ninja Nubbins" for a Ninja/Karate themed birthday party for her daughter. She wanted 15 Ninja Nubbins in an assortment of colors to include in the goodie bags for the party. I made 2 of each in Karate Belt colors...white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red...and one black ninja. I also made a large, multicolored Sweater Ninja that will be a gift for the birthday girl! (pictures will be coming soon!)

I liked the idea so much that I am making some black ninjas and pink ninjas to sell at Mayday Underground this weekend! I will be making a made-to-order listing in my Etsy shop next week!

Halloween 2011

Hello loyal blog readers! Sorry I have not been such a loyal blogger lately! I've had a lot going on and focusing on getting ready for the November edition of Mayday Underground, my biggest craft show of the year! (And it's in only 5 days! Yikes!) Anyway, I'm taking a break to blog about my Halloween fun...

My favorite part about Halloween is the costumes. This photo was taken when I was "playing" around with makeup a few weeks ago, trying to get ideas for my woodland faerie queen costume.

Here is the first incarnation of the costume at a party I went to on Friday night. My costume consisted of a black bridesmaid dress (thanks Kasey!), my reversible corset, and my green velvet Renaissance Faire cloak. But on Saturday morning, I went to JoAnn Fabrics with my Mom and got some faerie wings and foliage in order to make my costume a bit more impressive and more "woodland faerie" like.

The foliage changed my color palate a bit and made it a little warmer and less monochromatic, but I think it turned out nicely...although my makeup when I was "playing around" was a lot more defined than my makeup was last night. But it was fun to do nonetheless! I love having an excuse to do crazy makeup!

We spent Halloween night at my parents' house, since last year at our house, we got maybe a grand total of 5 trick-or-treaters. It may have been because last year's Halloween fell on a Sunday though. We may try staying home next year. I'd like to try hosting a costume party for our friends!

I originally bought the fall leaves garland to make the headpiece, but I ended up liking the berry garland better and pinned the leafy garland to the back of the cloak so that the leaves looked like they were cascading down the back. But then, CJ and Mom suggested I bring the ends of the leafy garland around my shoulders and pin them in the front. I think that detail really made the costume! Almost every mother that came with trick-or-treaters commented that they liked my costume!

Luna was my little faerie buddy! (she only tolerated the wings for so long though. But whenever she would shake, it made the wings flutter! She looked adorable!)

(I like how the motion-blur makes it look like her wings are fluttering!)

CJ put on a skeleton mask and pretended to be a dummy sitting in the chair. He scared a group of kids really good!

Mom's tiki-torches with colored flames! (blue, green, and red)

Mom & CJ hanging out on the deck.