Friday, March 28, 2008

Showing a little Kansas Love

If you're a college basketball fan, than you no doubt know that tonight at 8:40 pm CT, #1 KU plays #12 Villanova in the 2nd half of the NCAA Sweet Sixteen Tournament. To show our Kansas spirit and cheer the Jayhawks on to Sundays game, we've put together a little collection of crimson & blue from our talented group of artists.
From left to right: 1) Foil-lined Disks w/Red Stars 2) Adorable Queen Tween Red & Blue Card Set 3) What Mama Said, 5x15 Print 4) Red Eyed Bug, Fiber Art Pendant 5) Bird in Paradise 6) Quark Honeycomb Coin Pouch 7) Lavender Orchards Soy Candle 8) Kyanite Aqua Quarts & Solid Sterling Sliver Dangle Earrings 9) Go- Mixed Media and Canvas 10) Ruby Red Bracelet

*Written by TinyStitches

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring Fling Trunk Show at Frist Fridays

If you haven't come out to a Kansas City Etsy Street Team First Friday's Show at Shiraz Restaurant yet, April is the month to attend! Galleries and restaurants will open their doors Friday night, April 4th (the first Friday in April) with a variety of art shows from local artists, throughout the Crossroads Art District, and Shiraz Restaurant is no different.

What: KCEtsy's First Friday Spring Fling Trunk Show

Where: Shiraz Restaurant, The Gallery Room

320 Southwest Blvd., Crossroads District, at Southwest Blvd. and Broadway

When: First Friday, April 4th, 2008
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Admission to our Spring Fling Trunk Show is free and open to the public. Buy a glass of wine at the bar and join us in the Gallery Room to talk with the artists, and shop their amazing handcrafted items showcasing lots of Spring inspired designs!

Check out these participating vendors' Etsy Shops for a sneak peek:

*Posted by tinystitches

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fresh New Beginnings As Spring Comes to the Heartland!

Heralding Springs arrival, the KC Etsy Team is busy creating new works inspired by the season of warmer temperatures, rebirth, and regrowth. We've asked several team members to share what they're working on these days, and how they are inspired by this lovely time of year.

"I find much of my inspiration from colors and nature, so when spring rolls around I'm thinking pastel colors like pink, light greens, robin's egg blue and love designs that include little flower beads or leaves," says Julie of JewlLi. "I've been working on torch-fired enamel pieces and am also using lots of pretty faceted gemstones like apatite, amethyst, blue topaz, phrenite and citrine. "

1) Little Flowering Hoops 2) Tourmaline Branch Necklace 3) Spring Blossoms 4) Swallow Necklace with Apatite

According to Karen of Karen Kay Art Works, "Spring for me is a time for new beginnings - everything starts out new again in spring. Trees get fresh new leaves for the summer and flowers pop up from the previously frozen ground to say 'Hey, I survived the winter!' I am working on some softer colored girls (pastelish with soft earth tones), full-figured (not just faces anymore) with new beginnings topics and words of affirmation and inspiration. New spring items will be in my shop soon, very soon!"

"Spring is such a time of renewal and new beginnings. Each spring I like to step a bit outside my comfort zone," says Sue from Angelfire Art Glass. "I like to try new techniques or work in colors that I am not usually drawn to or use a lot. The warmer days of spring allow me to just go out and try new things and simply play! I've been working in bright, juicy colors like orange, lime, yellow and red. One of my weaknesses is picking a limited color palette and working up new bead designs or making a variety set of beads that are all different, but coordinate instead of beads sets that are all the same. That has been my focus the past few weeks along with expanding my colors and styles of my Bloomkin series of pendants and rings!"

1) Colorways Lampwork Disk Beads 2) Speckle Pink Lampwork Ring 3) Blue Speckle Lampwork Ring 4) Lime Twister Lampwork Ring

AJ from AJ’s Country Cottage says, “The changing seasons are definitely a source of inspiration for me. When spring comes, I'm thinking about the bright colors and sweet fragrances of flowers. Spring also calls for fresh, clean scents and the earthy fragrances of the garden. I've tried to capture some of these concepts in my new spring soaps and soy candles. I wanted to create a soap that smelled like the earthiness, the herbal greens, and the sweet blooms of my garden, so I came up with my "Spring Mosaic" soap (pictured below left). I swirled earthy browns, fresh greens, and bright yellows in this batch to mimic the colors of my garden. I also created a soap that reminds me of strawberry patches full of ripe fruit. "Strawberry Fields" (pictured below top right) is both earthy and fruity, an elegant and sophisticated "grown-up" scent featuring deep burgundy swirls on a tan background.”
AJ also has great soy candles in many new fresh scents. AJ adds, “White Jasmine, Wildflower Meadow, and Dream Weaver are all lovely and elegant flower scents, and Country Clothesline, Ocean Breeze, Linen Closet and Summer Breezes are wonderfully fresh & clean fragrances. And I love fruit, so I've added the sophisticated and elegant Mediterranean Fig, as well as Strawberry Coconut, Monkey Business, Forbidden Fruit, and Satsuma Citrus to my line. Satsuma is my new favorite! It's bursting with energy.” Find all of AJ's new soy candles ... flowers, fresh & clean, fruits ... listed in her shop.

As you can see, The KC Etsy team members are ready for spring, and hope you’ll check out these and other great spring themed items in their shops!

See Karen Kay Art Works, JewlLi, Angelfire Art Glass and other KCEtsy team members show off more of their new Spring creations at our April First Friday's Show, April 4th at Shiraz Restaurant in the Gallery Room.

* Written by AJ of
AJ’s Country Cottage and Julie of JewlLi

Monday, March 17, 2008

Coming Together for the Craft

Local Kansas City Art & Craft Classes

An artist's creativity is the heart of their work and we tend to let our imaginations run wild trying to dream up fresh ideas or learn new techniques. We all have those half finished projects or botched pieces that we tried to construct late at night while we swore to ourselves that if we were experts in jewelry that soap making would be a piece of pie. Go figure, the soap didn't set, but don't panic! Part of the handmade movement is getting locals involved in your city to come together for the craft - here is a list of art classes/workshops available in the Kansas City area so we can all share our own expertise while picking up a new skill from our crafty neighbors.

UMKC Communiversity Classes

  • Available to public, sign up anytime
  • Classes change each season offering variety
  • Price: $$
Hot classes for Spring 2008 Season:
  • Victorian Netting
  • Basic Blacksmithing
  • Figure Drawing

Urban Arts + Crafts in Briarcliff
  • Available to public, sign up anytime
  • Classes change regularly offering variety
  • Price: $

Hot Classes:

  • Photo Arts for Beginners
  • Paper Arts Collage
  • Soldered Jewelry Charms
  • Screen Printing

Kansas City Art Institute - Continuing Education

  • Available to public, need to enroll early
  • Classes run for 1-2 months at a time
  • Price: $$$

Hot Classes:

  • Art Business - Selling Your Artwork
  • Silk Painting
  • Woodworking - Furniture Making
  • Cartooning - Comic Book Illustration

* Written by christamarie612

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Picture is Worth ...

a thousand words as the old saying goes, and so it is. But put the creative talent and editing eye of a true photographer behind the camera, and the results are worth even more. They are more vivid and stunning and personal. Here are four special pieces ... a photo card, photo print, a photo postcard, and vintage photo magnet ... created by KCEtsy Team members, centered around different types and forms of photography. Enjoy!

1. Good Morning Coffee Card by christamarie612
2. 8 x 10 Lavender Print by gshot
3. A Bowl of Raspberries by sylviac
4. 1950s Vintage Photo Magnet by NMPhotos

* * * * *

P.S. - Local photographer Patrick Binder, of, attended our First Friday show last week and took some wonderful photographs of the event. We hope you'll take a minute to look through them on his blog.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another Successful Show

A huge thank you to everyone who braved the fridged temperatures Friday night and joined the KCEtsy Team for the Crossroads Arts District First Fridays. Shriaz Restaurant was warm and inviting place to come in out of the cold and enjoy the fantastic Mediterranean cuisine, and a wide range of local art in their Gallery Room.

The KCEtsy Team is already gathering artists for April First Fridays! So mark your calendars (April 4th) and call your friends for a fun night out enjoying local art at Shriaz Restaurant and other participating galleries in the Crossroads District.

A special thanks to Shiraz for the use of their wonderful Gallery Room and continued hospitality as well as the many KCEtsy team members who participated!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Artist Spotlight - Ni-Chern Designs

Designer Nicole started Ni-Chern Designs, handmade handbags and accessories, originally to help pay off study abroad loans. But what started as a young designers wish to pay down traveling debts, has quickly turned into a love and passion for designing and making new things with crisp, chic fabrics on a daily basis.

Nicole finds much of her inspiration in the colors and textures of the fabrics she uses. “Being able to see the colors and textures of a fabric is one thing, but touching it’s softness or the raise of the design adds a different dimension. Using those senses as inspiration really guides me to what item a piece of fabric should become.”

Modern and ├╝ber chic without losing out on any functionality, best describes the style you’ll find at Ni-Chern Designs. Finely crafted with exceptional attention to detail from both upholstery and cotton fabrics, Nicole’s bags are fully lined and sprayed with Scotchguard, to help keep them looking beautiful.

“I absolutely love it when someone tells me they love the item they bought from me and that they get so many compliments on it. I love that an item I created with my hands brings a smile to their face.”

You can find Ni-Chern Designs on Etsy and at First Fridays this month, March 7th at Shiraz Restaurant in the Crossroads District, as part of the KCEtsy Team’s Go Green Trunk Show. To learn more about the show, and see a sampling of the quality and variety, of unique handcrafted items presented by other team members at the show, see this blog post.

*Posted by tinystitches

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Artist Spotlight - JewlLi

Silver, gemstones and sea glass are the three favorite materials you’ll find artist and jewelry maker Julie of JewlLi, working and creating with in her Lawrence, KS studio. Julie says she’s always found, “… that I am just happiest when I’m being creative.” After exploring many, many artistic mediums through workshops and classes, she finally found her true passion - jewelry making. “After a couple of metalsmithing classes,” she says, “I was hooked. It is pretty much what I think about 90% of the day!”

Julie uses sliver, gemstones and sea glass to create beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets and her favorite to design, rings. “Sometimes I just sit down with a jar of sea glass, hold the pieces in my hands and wonder what object they used to be … a bottle, a jar, someone’s dinnerware? It’s fun to imagine it’s prior life before it becomes a pendant or a ring.”

When designing a piece, Julie typically looks to color and nature to find inspiration for what direction to take with a collection of beads, or piece of sea glass. But when she doesn’t have a specific plan in mind, “I let the piece sort of take on its own direction. Sometimes, that’s when I make the best pieces.”

Recently, Julie has been experimenting with torch fired enameling and the results are stunning! She currently has beautiful earrings (like the red heart earrings pictured above) and pendants in shades of vibrant red, blue green, and aqua listed in her shop using this technique.

You can find Julie’s beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry at her Etsy shop - JewlLi, Broer’s Flower shop in Eudora, KS, and at First Fridays, March 7th, at Shiraz Restaurant.

Monday, March 3, 2008

KCEtsy's Go Green Trunk Show

The Kansas City Etsy Street Team is teaming up once again with Shiraz Restaurant this month, to participate in the Crossroads Art District's First Fridays.

Where: Shiraz Restaurant, The Gallery Room
320 Southwest Blvd., Crossroads District, at Southwest Blvd. and Broadway

When: First Friday, March 7th, 2008
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Admission to the KCEtsy "Go Green" Trunk Show is free and open to the public. Buy a glass of wine at the bar and join us in the Gallery Room to talk with the artists, and shop their amazing handcrafted items.

Check out these participating vendors' Etsy Shops for a sneak peek:

*Posted by tinystitches

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Artist Spotlight - Cinderelish

By day, Kansas City pottery artisan Cindy, of Cinderelish, is a humble HR coordinator. But in her off-hours, you're likely to find this creative wife and mom at her potter's wheel. Her passion for making beautiful, functional stoneware began about eight years ago. "I have always loved art, but I thought I was too busy paying the bills to be able to be creative. After I got married, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my daughter. When she was about 5 years old, I was able to devote one day a week to pottery. I was hooked!"

The rainbow is a source of inspiration for Cindy, as is evident from the bright and lovely colors she chooses for her pieces. "A nice creamy white stoneware is my favorite material to work with. I really love to make altered bowls with rolled rims." Her current projects include large platters and slabrolled trays. "I am trying new alteration methods and new surface decorations. I think I will always be working on something new."

Cindy's pottery creations are sold at the Liberty Heritage Festival, on First Fridays at the Shiraz Restaurant in KC March 7th with other KCEtsy Team Members, and in her Etsy shop. Stop by and check her out!

* Written by ajcountrycottage.