Thursday, January 31, 2008

Artist Spotlight - Karen Kay Artwork & Adrienne Designs

Painter, illustrator, sculptor, designer, photographer, crafter and all around artist, Karen of Karen Kay Artworks, finds inspiration all around her. “Inspiration is in a warm summer day, a child’s face, an antique rocker, music and TV commercials, which I love to watch. Most of my ideas come when I am alone, listening to music or even in my dreams.” And it’s reflective in her bright, fun and lively work.

Karen is not only another artist who will be showing her work at our Everyone Needs a Little heART, Trunk Show at Shiraz Restaurant tomorrow night, but she is also the main organizer of the event!

“I can’t imagine a day without working on a project or painting or just sketching and writing down ideas” Karen says. This year, Karen is turning her creative focus to painting, turning drawings from her sketchbook into works of art. For tomorrow nights show, Karen has brought one of her sketches to life on canvas, entitled “Heartbreaker” (pictured below top left). Heartbreaker isn’t the only new project Karen has in the works for her show. She’s also been working on more textural pieces, (textural materials are a favorite of hers) making their first public appearance tomorrow night!

I for one can’t wait to see the latest witty creations of Karen Kay Artworks. Karen can be found online at her website, and her Etsy shop.

* * * * *

Adrienne, of Adrienne Designs, was told by her high school art teacher she really should find another line of work because art just wasn’t something she was good at. Well that art teacher never handed Adrienne a pile of beads and wire and told her to have at it! Adrienne discovered her hidden talent and love of beads and jewelry design quite by accident. It all started with a simple bracelet kit of her daughters. “We did [the kit] and I thought ‘I could do something prettier than that!’” And from that simple child’s jewelry kit, an artist was born.

Natural stones and wire, fibers, are just a few of Adrienne’s favorite materials, “I enjoy working with so many materials! I have a special fondness for Artisan Raku beads and pendants.”

Adrienne’s passion for creating beautiful jewelry hasn’t been diminished by intense health challenges. Three years ago she underwent major surgery that unfortunately, didn’t go well and took a full year to recover from. During that year, she simply focused on survival, and survive she did! “… although I’ve lost a few cognitive skills and short term memory, I can still create. I’m awed by that gift. I’m lucky to be alive much less creating and making jewelry. I give complete credit to God.”

What are Adrienne’s latest creations? A unique and beautiful line of necklaces made of ribbon and other fibers, beads and found objects. She is also working on a few men’s jewelry designs.

**Posted by tinystitches.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Artist Spotlight - Dumb Kid Designs

Susanne of Dumb Kid Designs found Etsy while searching the internet for handmade goodies. For Susanne, Handmade has been a part of her all her life, well before “Buying and Giving Handmade” became a movement. She started crafting as a young girl trying to follow in her mother’s footsteps and make her own doll clothes. This quickly moved into making gifts for her siblings, and now nieces and nephews. When you come from a large family, (she’s the 7th of 8) Susanne says, “You really need to be creative. My younger sister and I would make gifts for everyone. I still do.”

Dumb Kid Designs will celebrate its first anniversary on in March of this year. When she first got started she thought, “if I sell one – that’s pretty cool.” Well one sale, turned into another and another and another and this hobby crafter is now becoming a growing business woman in the world of Handmade. And although dealing with all the legal paperwork associated with getting registered with the state and taxes and such, is her least favorite part of the trade, it is helping her achieve a dream, “and that feels so great to me!”

Whimsical wallets made with hip, conversation piece papers (maps, vintage images, original designs), laminated and run through the sewing machine for durability are Susanne’s signature offering in Dumb Kid Designs. Susanne is working on a new project for the upcoming show, this coming Friday night at Shiraz Restaurant, map purses! Be sure to come and check out Susanne, and the other fantastic local artists who will have their handmade goodness on display.

**Posted by tinystitches.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Artist Spotlight

One of the things I love most about the Kansas City Etsy Street Team is the diversity of the artists within the team. Not only are we from all over the Metro area and beyond, but the members are hugely talented and widely diverse in their creative talents and abilities.

In the weeks leading up to our First Friday’s “Everyone Needs A Little heART!” Show in February at Shiraz Restaurant in the Crossroads District, we will be giving you a special look inside the team, introducing many of the talented men and women who will show their amazing handmade wares at the show.

* * * * *

When you talk to Barb of bbesigns, about how she got started, she’ll tell you she’s always loved making things with her hands. Like many artistic people with a love of creating, she’s ventured into many different areas, everything from jewelry making to wall hangings to mosaic. So it’s no surprise to learn that Barb has a degree in design from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Barb’s current focus is on card making. “I like making paper from recycled materials and doing small water colors” she said. Each of Barb’s special occasion cards, available in her Etsy shop and also at Becoming Nana in Brookside, are made using her special handmade papers and small watercolors. When you send one of Barb’s cards, you are really sending a small piece of original art.

What does Barb have in the works for the upcoming First Friday’s “Everyone Needs a Little heART“ show? “Right now I am making extras of the lines I have and will possibly add gift tags and invites to my inventory. I really like making personalized cards which can be challenging to do ahead, but I will need to do that for the show.”

* * * * *

Shelli of MondeDesign, grew up around amazingly talented women who were experts when it came to using a sewing machine and fabric. But it wasn’t until Shelli started her own family that she decided to follow in her mother and grandmothers footsteps. She convinced her husband to get her a sewing machine for her birthday and “that was it for me!” And when you look through Shelli’s offerings it is obvious sewing is in her blood.

MondeDesign specializes in custom sewing and machine embroidery focusing on personalized custom made accessories for weddings and children. Wedding dress labels, pillows, purses, clutches, favors, and her newest offering, garters, are just a few of the many items Shelli offers to make your wedding unique and memorable. While weddings are by far the largest portion of Shelli’s business, she’s quick to admit that most fun things to make are for little girls. “Anything you can put their name on, they just think is the coolest thing ever!” Hair accessories, dance accessories, aprons, altered clothing, baby burp cloths and many more! But Shelli’s favorite item to make, “purses for little girls—little versions of grown up purses are the best.”

**Posted by tinystitches.