Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lego Minecraft

My friend's son, Ethan, LOVES Minecraft! (what kid doesn't nowadays?)
The funny thing is that CJ and I are the only adults he knows that "get" Minecraft. We play it ourselves, so we actually know what he's talking about when he talks about Minecraft stuff. All the other adults at church don't get it. Maybe it's because we're the only ones who don't have kids and we actually have time to play it.

Anyway, because Ethan knows that I "get" Minecraft, he was excited to show me his new Minecraft Lego set!

So I took some pictures of his little Lego Minecraft scenes...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bethany Gardens Bazaar 2014

Here's my setup at the Bethany Gardens Bazaar at the Bethany Gardens Skilled Living Center in Rome NY.

My cousin, Kristyn, made sure she got her favorite monsters early! She works at Bethany Gardens and helps organize the Bazaar.

My behind-the-scenes tools all jumbled in their drawer. They usually are more organized, but this is what it ends up looking like mid-show.

Rome's pretty Christmas lights on the parking garage downtown across from Fort Stanwix.

Even though this show is 3 hours away from where I live, I didn't need a hotel. I spent the night at my grandma's house! (and taught her how to play Mahjong on my new laptop). The fact that my cousin helps organize the show and that I can visit Grandma are the main reasons I do this show! I always figure that even if I don't do that well at the show (which is not the case. I do pretty well), I get to spend a weekend with Grandma!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas In Medina 2014

Thanksgiving weekend is always a bit of whirlwind for us due to having a booth at the "Christmas In Medina" celebration that's always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Either we're driving back from visiting my husband's family in Cleveland, or switching gears from hosting Thanksgiving at my house. But it's a nice local show for me, so it's worth it!

My usual spot outside the old Bent's Opera House...on the corner of Main Street and West Center Street in Medina.

Braving the cold, as usual! I always figure more people are more apt to shop when I'm outside because I have more visibility being out on the sidewalk (instead of in one of the indoor spaces inside one of the empty shops). Plus, there's no booth fee if you opt for an outdoor space! Again...worth it! I just make sure to bundle up and have some hand/toe warmers on hand.

My mom being silly while trying to stay warm...

Snuggly monsters waiting for a home!

Raccoon Nubbins.

Trying to encourage people to support small business (and handmade) on "Small Business Saturday".

Having fun with sidewalk chalk and the "Shop Small" & "Shop Handmade" slogans...

The view of our cars and my booth from the 3rd floor of the Opera House.  We're acquainted with the mayor, and some mutual friends of ours were in town, so he was showing them the inside of the building. I had to man my booth so I didn't get to see it (mom hadn't gotten there yet), but my husband got to get a mini tour of the third floor of the building, which is where the Opera House stage was. He made sure to take some pictures for me...

There are people trying to revive and restore the building back to its former glory.
"In 2010, Bank of America, the building's last commercial owner, donated the Bent's Hall property to the Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc. (ORG), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing arts and cultural programs to the greater Medina community. Leaders of ORG hope to restore the Opera House to its former glory as a functioning performance venue." (excerpt from Wikipedia)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rochester Mini Maker Faire 2014!

CJ and I attended the Rochester Mini Maker Faire today! I had a few RNEST & artist friends who had booths there. (Jackbear Stamps, Manic Metals, and Retrobots) as well as some of my friends who work for Simplified Building Solutions. It was a blast! I'm considering having my own exhibition booth if they have it again next year!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Fashion Friday: Rainbow Pullover Sweater To Cardigan

Introducing my new favorite sweater!

So, this sweater was originally in my sweater-monster-making stash, and was originally a pullover.

It has awesome colors, but the knit was too loose to make a monster with. When stretched and stuffed, the stuffing would poke through the holes.

So I tried it on, and it fit me nicely. It was quite cozy and I wore it around the house for about a week.  But it was a pullover sweater, and didn't look very flattering on me. So, I decided to make it into a cardigan.

Super easy.  Just snipped it down the middle in the front, pinned the raw edges under, and zig-zag overlock  stitched them to keep it from unraveling!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Couch Monsters (November)

Gearing up for Christmas In Medina.  Here are the sweater monsters I have so far...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mayday Underground (November 2014)

Mayday was awesome, as always! It continues to be my favorite show of the year! Here are some highlights...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Works In Progress...

I've been working a lot this week, prepping for Mayday Underground (which is next weekend!) Here are some sneak peeks of what's been going on at KiraArts Headquarters...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Etsy Favorite Friday: Spool Stool, Tailor's Gauntlet, & Yeti Head

It's Etsy Favorite Friday ! 

This week's Etsy finds are some amazing items that I really love, but can't justify spending the money on myself! (Although the Tailor's Gauntlet may be a justifiable splurge, since it would come in handy for sewing on the go! It's a business expense...yeah...that's it!)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Artist Row 2014

Artist Row is an annual craft fair they have at the Rochester Public Market.  It's held on a Sunday, since the regular farmer's market is on Saturday.  This was my first time ever doing Artist Row.  My friend John from RNEST has been trying to get me to do it for years, but there was always some reason I couldn't do it.  But this year, I took the plunge...and was glad I did!

I've started saying "You know it's a good show when I don't have time to take a lot of pictures!" That means I had a lot of customers and sales and was kept pretty busy!  I made a little sign for this show to encourage people to take pictures and tag me on Instagram.

Technically, it's proper etiquette at a craft show to ask the artist if you can take pictures of their work. Some artists don't like people to take pictures of their booth or their work, because they're paranoid that people will steal their ideas/designs. I can understand this if they are a photographer or painter. I've heard stories of people taking a photo of someone's work at a show, and then printing it out at home to frame instead of buying a print from the artist.  I agree...that's pretty shady.  But there are other artists, like jewelers, who are afraid that the people will go home and try to make the item themselves... or worse, make it and start selling it.
 But I personally don't give in to that kind of paranoia.  I'm secure enough in my work that I know no one can make my stuff exactly like I do.  And if I can encourage people to make stuff, I'm glad to!  Sure... if someone started making and selling my Nubbin design, I probably wouldn't be too happy.  But I don't want to let that fear make me into one of those people who forbids picture taking.  And if someone wants to make something for their personal use... I don't care! Besides, sometimes when people try to make stuff themselves, they realize just how much hard work it is and that it's just easier to buy it!

And... I love seeing the pictures that people take of my stuff at shows!  Sometimes (like at Artist Row) I don't get a lot of time to take pictures myself.  Plus,  I consider it free promotion if they share them! I encourage people to share pictures on social media and tag me.  As long as I'm credited, I'm happy!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Full Disclosure: My Living Room

Full disclosure. This is how my living room looks right now. 

I fought the urge to make it perfect before snapping these pictures on my cell phone.  But then it wouldn't be full-disclosure, would it? I have the trunks/suitcases arranged for photographing Sweater Monsters for Etsy listings.  Sweater Monsters and Owls have taken over the couch.  An A/C unit that my husband is meaning to bring upstairs.  My pile of craft show stuff.  Could be better, but could be worse!
My husband just hung that poster of "The Wave" on the wall, since we finally got around to buying a frame for it this weekend!

Sweater Monsters and Owls I have so far...

Scheduling a Balance...

I've always had trouble finding a balance between housework and my craft business work.  I tend to completely focus on one and ignore the other. So I am finally buckling down and decided to give myself a schedule to help me find a balance.

Coffee helps motivate me when I clean!

 I've had people suggest to me before that I schedule times of day for  housework and craft work. (for example: Housework from 9am-noon, craft work from noon to 5pm)  But trying to adhere to that kind of schedule stresses me out for some reason.  I think it's because I get into a groove. I hit a stride and then get frustrated when I have to stop... or I forget to stop.  So instead of assigning times of day, I'm assigning days of the week.  So then I have a whole day to devote to what I want to accomplish.  And a night's sleep makes for a nice, natural reset button.

 I always do my grocery shopping on Monday mornings and tend to spend the rest of the day cleaning the house after the fun/chaos of the weekend.  And I noticed over the last couple weeks that Tuesday through Thursday tend to be my most productive sewing days.  And then by Friday, I feel like the house needs to be tended to again.  So I've decided that my schedule will go like this:
  • Monday - Housework
  • Tuesday - Sewing
  • Wednesday - Sewing
  • Thursday - Sewing/Computer work (Etsy updating, photographing new monsters, etc)
  • Friday - Housework 
And these are not set in stone.  But I'm fining it helpful to have a rough outline.  For example, I am babysitting kids for two different friends tomorrow (Tuesday).  One set I'm watching in the morning, and the other set I am watching in the evening, so I will most likely not get much sewing done tomorrow.  But I love my friends and want to help them out. That is the joy of working for myself at home (well, and having my husband's income to support us!). 

A scented candle also helps motivate me when I'm cleaning!  "Mulled Cider" makes me feel cozy and domestic!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cat Calendar?

I feel like I could do a calendar with all pictures of Terra. She's such a photogenic cat!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Babysitting Hijinks: Sidewalk Chalk Photo Fun

I had a ridiculous amount of fun yesterday taking these pictures while babysitting my friend's kids! 

I had brought some art supplies and sidewalk chalk to do an art project with the kids.  After they'd done their projects, they wanted to play outside, so I let them use the sidewalk chalk on the patio.  All of a sudden, I remembered this idea I'd seen on Pinterest that I've always wanted to try.  So I started drawing some balloons and called the kids over and explained what I was doing and told one of them to lay on the ground and act like they were holding the balloons. Of course, after that, everyone wanted a turn!

Oh no! He's floating awaaaaay!  


I didn't even need a ladder, since they have a small back deck overlooking the patio that was perfect for me to stand on to get these overhead shots.

But I couldn't stop with the balloons!  We made the kids into flying superheros next!

He got a little bit of chalk on his butt while he was trying to get into position!

This girl is going to be a model.  Look at her looking into the camera with that cheeky little smirk!  

Laurel couldn't quite get the idea that she needed to lay on her side.  But it's okay... she's 3, and it's still cute!
I wish I could have done one with their 5 month old baby brother to complete the set, but he's still nursing and was out with mom and dad on their dinner date for their 13th anniversary!

Behind the scenes.  Eli decided to color in the balloons.  It looks like Lula is letting go of the balloons and falling!