Monday, April 21, 2008

Artist Spotlight - TheFunkyFelter

Although she was an imaginative child and loved to doodle, her passion for creating didn’t begin in earnest until her college days, according to Shalana of The Funky Felter. “A few years into a computer science degree, I realized I just wasn't fulfilled. Searching for another major, I came across graphic design and grew to love all the fine art classes such as drawing, painting, and ceramics.” More recently, she discovered the fiber arts. “Now that I have found feltmaking, I feel like I have truly found my artistic calling. Fiber art is very fulfilling to me as an art form, and I believe the medium where I express my creative abilities best.” Her favorite materials to work with are natural animal fibers such as raw sheep’s wool, alpaca, and plant fibers. “It is a thrill for me to really start from scratch when I make my felted items. Essentially, I am starting with the most basic of materials, usually in their unprocessed states.”

Shalana draws inspiration from the things she loves best: her husband, dog, rabbit and home. Her first concern is the palette she‘ll work with for her next project. “When I think of design, I think of color first. I love color and color schemes.” Her passion for vivid color is evident in the bright array of hues she chooses for her work.

“I really like experimenting with new three-dimensional, wearable forms. Currently, I like making hats and purses. I've always liked to make things that are beautiful art yet wearable and utilitarian in nature.” But a new direction is also on the horizon for Shalana. “I am planning to do some wall hangings and sculptural pieces this spring and summer. Ordinarily my felted works are wearable and fashion accessories, but I am very excited to create some strictly art pieces. I'm also experimenting with some plant fibers to felt. Some people find wool to be ‘itchy’ or are even allergic to wool, so I would like to create some of my smaller needle felted items out of a plant based alternative to wool or even out of alpaca, which is a non-allergen for most.”

Shalana’s day job is teaching computer design courses part-time for a local community college. “Teaching is my other career passion, and I really enjoy working with the students and helping them to appreciate art and design.” What does she find most challenging about being an artist? “Probably having the time to accomplish all the things that I want to do. There just never seem to be enough hours in the day or energy for me to be able to carry out all of the ideas swimming in my head.” She loves living and working in Kansas City, and finds another source of inspiration in her students and co-workers.

Shalana’s items can be found for sale locally at Gifted Hand Gift Shop in Crown Center, where proceeds from sales are used to educate the local community's teen girls about domestic violence prevention. “I am very happy to have my items carried in a shop that contributes back to Kansas City in such a way.” Shalana discovered Etsy while searching online for a place to sell her wares. On the web, visit her shop at

*Written by AJs Country Cottage

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Giving Back

KCEtsy had the unique opportunity to contribute to a deserving charity function this month. Tomorrow night will be the Third Annual Rose Brooks and Alpha Chi Omega Foundation Wine Benefit at Kansas City Southern Cathedral Square. The fundraiser event will benefit Kansas City-based Rose Brooks’ Center and the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, both of which support victims of domestic violence.

The mission of Rose Brooks Center is to break the cycle of domestic violence so that individuals and families can live free of abuse. In 1978 a group of caring volunteers saw a need and began a crisis hotline for domestic violence victims. They were immediately inundated with calls. Soon after, the family of Rosa Brooks (a woman who took homeless individuals and sick children into her home) donated her home to the cause. In 1979, Rosa's home was opened as one of the first domestic violence shelters in Kansas City. Within 24 hours of opening, all 19 beds were full!

Today, Rose Brooks Center offers an emergency shelter for up to 75 women and children, a violence prevention program in 37 schools, a hospital advocacy program located in six area hospitals, a children's therapeutic program, court advocacy, outreach counseling and a Transitional Housing Program. All programs are offered from one site helping to provide victims of domestic violence a full continuum of care to heal and become independent from violence.
You can find out more information about the center at their website,

Our KCEtsy group had many members who were able to donate to a basket being put up for auction at the charity event. The donation had a combined value of $180! What a way to give back! You can see the wonderful items received included jewelry of many forms, baby items, a wallet, canvas and much more.

If you are interested in attending the event you can still do so and pay at the door. It’s a worthy cause.

Kansas City Southern Cathedral Square

427 W. 12th Street
Kansas City, Missouri
Tickets $25.00

Entertainment provided by the Olathe East Jazz Combo

Visit our Contributing Artists’ Etsy stores for more of their items:

CollageContessa* & CollageCuriosities*
NMPhotos & ElegantSolutions

*Charity Basket Organizer.

*Written by

Monday, April 7, 2008

In One Shining Moment ...

Tonights championship game between Kansas and Memphis is one that will be remembered for a long time. It was a phenomenal game of basketball between two number one teams, who were perfectly matched. For two hours, both sides were kept the edge of their seats until the very last second. In the end Kansas came out on top, allowing these KU Alumni and Lawrence KCEtsy Team Members to finally breath again! Congratulations to Coach Bill Self and the entire KU Men's Basketball team ... Rock Chalk Jayhawk, Go KU!

From left to right: You Stop Traffic Card from christamarie612; Burp Cloth Bundle from tinystitches; Blue GRID Pendant from StirDesigns; Chai Mosaic V-Print from lbolter; Perch Necklace from sudlow; Cornflower Blue Chalcedony Drops from JewlLi; Extra Small Pouch from nicherndesigns.

*Written by tinystitches.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Whole Kit-n-Caboodle

Pictured above are some of the fantastic handmade items found in the KCetsy Spring Fling, Trunk Show gift basket. This great gift basket contains samples from Dumb Kid Designs, Jewl-Li, The Funky Felter, Genea Beads, Cinderelish, SoHo Couture Cards and Gifts, Karen Kay Artworks, Semiprecious Designs, ni-chern designs and BBesigns.

Visit us at Shiraz, TONIGHT, Friday, April 4th from 7-10 p.m. back in the Gallery Room; enjoy the Spring weather, the shopping and the food. While you are there, enter for a chance to take home this whole handmade, Spring Fling kit and caboodle.

*Written by Cinderelish.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Artfully Preserving Memories Digitally

Ahhhhh yes…..Scrapbooking; it's every creative gal's favorite way to preserve memories. But let's be honest, who has time these days to shop for the supplies, get out the supplies, learn how to use the supplies, utilize the supplies, clean up the supplies, then put away the supplies?

As a mother of three kids and a small (very small!) business owner, I found that one of my favorite hobbies was turning into a headache I no longer found relaxing. So what to do?I didn't want to give up the memories I was preserving for my three children and their posterity, yet I honestly did not have time to keep up all three of their life threads.

During this frustrating time, a photographer friend of mine suggested digital scrapbooking as a way to cut down on the time, the expense, and the mess. She was in full digi-scrap swing and loving it, but I had my doubts. There was just something about a flat piece of finished scrapbook paper versus a 3-D piece of finished scrapbook "artwork" that didn't seem quite as nice. However, I decided to check it out and to my surprise, I was immediately hooked.

Digital scrap takes all the same elements we work with in traditional scrapbooking, and makes them digital. All your paper, cutting tools, brads, ribbons, fibers, finish techniques, embossing, etc., etc., etc., it's all there in a neat little kit you can simply get on line, pay for, and immediately download. Shop at home, there is no mess to get out or put away, and you can literally cut your scrapbooking time in half. Oh, and the finished product is awesome! I have completely converted to digital scrapbooking and I couldn't be happier.

If you have a photo editing program on your computer, you are good to go. Check out for some great tutorials, fabulous products, and lots of freebies. A few other sites my digi-scrap pals and I have found really helpful are:,,, and You can find enough freebies on these sites to set you up for a long time.

Digital scrapbooking skills, tools and elements don’t have to be used only to create memory books. Semiprecious1, uses all of these techniques and tools when creating unique and chic “Bubble Art” pendants. See semiprecious1’s amazing line of jewelry in person this Friday night at the KCEtsy First Fridays Trunk Show at Shriaz Restaurant from 7-10 pm.

* Written by semiprecious1.