Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy, Happy Birthday, KCEtsy!

This week marks our 2nd birthday and Tuesday night we celebrated with a team meet and greet, gift exchange and of course, cupcakes! We had a wonderful time sharing ideas, techniques and favorite finds, brainstorming and planning for future team events, and finally putting faces with shops and online avatars. What a talented and friendly group of dedicated artists and artisans!

Our team member gift exchange was super fun. Everyone brought a little goodie - a sample if you will - from their shop, we swapped gifts and had a little show and tell. When shopping online you sometimes wonder if what you see is what you get. This was one of the first times many of us had been able to to see, touch, admire, inspect, and in somecases smell what up until now we've only seen online ... I'm here to tell you with these shops, what you get is even better than what you see. No one was disappointed!

Here are the contributions:
What are all these goodies you ask? I'll start in the back and introduce you to everything moving left to right ...

We have a 12x12 poster from shawnanonna, clutch from SouthHouseBoutique, hand towel from MondeDesign, bracelet from SilverTroveDesigns, anklet and ring from NewelryJewelry, small glazed dish from glazedearth, tote and wallet from StructuralExpression, map envelopes and business card holders from DumbKidDesigns, lip balm, soap and candle from ajscountrycottage, baby burp cloth bundle from TinyStitches, diaper dot air freshener and diaper tote from polkadotpapoose, tree notecards from HarvestofPeace.

And all the contributors:
Left to right, starting with the back row, we have Kathleen of TinyStitches, Shelli of MondeDesign, AJ of ajscountrycottage, Susanne of DumbKidDesigns, Diane of SouthHouseBoutique, Nicole of StructuralExpression, Annalee of NewelryJewelry, Carol of SiverTrove, Shawna of shawnanonna, Teressa of HarvestofPeace, Judy of glazedearth, and Tara of polkadotpapoose.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Friday Find - Ric Rac Roundup

Three years ago, sisters Betsy and Emily opened bon bon atelier, a boutique in Kansas City, MO that features apparel, jewelry and home decor created by local and small artists around the country.

This Saturday, July 25th, they are taking it all outdoors, hosting an outdoor craftshow in their Westport parking lot celebrating local artists. Ric Rac Roundup is open from 9am - 6pm at 300 Westport Road, in Kansas City, MO. For additional information and participating artist spotlights, visit their blog, ricracroundup.

Kansas City Etsy Team members,
cinderelish, kitmit and stir designs are participating along with many other local artists. Stop by and check it out, tomorrow!

Participating Artists: amuck designs • andrea yates • angela muir • bon bon atelier • cinderelish • decoylab • dirty laundry • early jewelry • emetalworks • emmy-ray jewelry • glazed earth • handmade by sodapop • kitmit • lesa dailey • liz gardner • oddly correct • pati lord judy • scarlett garnett jewelry • sheila blodgett • stir designs • And many more!

bon bon atelier is located at 314 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Find - Kansas City's Art Flea Market

Started as a way to provide an economical gallery location for artists to get their art into the hands of the public at amazingly affordable prices, everything's $1-$50, Art Flea brings over 30 artists together each Saturday to sell their wears. Each week you'll find a different assortment of art, handmade goods and vintage finds. Kansas City Etsy Street Team members who have participated in this weekly Saturday event, have all commented on the amazing variety of artists and vendors who participate in this relatively new art treasure trove.

Located just blocks from the Power and Light District and Sprint Center at 1522 Holmes, KC’s Art Flea Market is a unique venue for buying local art, handmade items and recycled vintage goods.

Vendors and visitors can find out more about KC’s Art Flea Market on their website at, via email at and by phone at 816-461-0201.

“We are excited to be a part of the growing Crossroads Art District. We are in debt to the many artists that worked really hard to create the original Crossroads Art stir. We hope to contribute by bringing business to the area on Saturdays,” says KC Art Flea marketer and artist, Michele Bridges.

The organizers (ArtsTech and Storytellers) are nonprofits and are hosting the event to bring public awareness to their services and also support their dual mission of providing new venues and resources to local artists and greater public access to quality arts and cultural events. The event is free to enter and gives the public one on one access to a diverse collective of artists.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Member Mini Spotlights

Every month as more and more area Etsy artists join our team, I am reminded of the immense creative talent and versatility found in this great city! Today I want to highlight just four of our teams recent additions. Please take sometime to look through their shops and send them a little love and let us know what your favorite listing is!

1. Brown Bauble Necklace, by christinavitale. christinavitale, specializes in creating modern pieces of jewelry using a mix of metals, stones and beads.

2. Sterling Silver Agate & Cultured Pearl Pendant, by SilverTrove. SilverTrove provides fine art sterling silver jewelry using the highest quality sterling silver, Argentium, gemstones, semi-precious stones and other natural materials.

3. Autumn Mist Lampwork Watch, by WMJewelry. WMJewelry, jewelry perfect for any girl - funky, unique with a little whimsy and totally you!

4. Elana's Lost Brass Ring (red rosette), by ForStrangeWomen. ForStrangeWomen is a collection of natural, handmade adornments, perfumes and meditation oils for sensually acute women.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Candle Makers of KCEtsy

Kansas City's Etsy Street Team has four local candle makers who provide a variety of different styles in a wide range of fragrances. When you are looking for a luxuriously, inexpensive (these featured candles cost between $6-12) way to pamper yourself with a handmade product that can influence your day to day living, by "making your little corner of the world a sweeter-smelling place," look to these talented arts shop's for the perfect product.

AJ from AJs Country Cottage, has been handcrafting artisan candles since 2003, and actively selling them on Etsy since October of 2007. She carries a wide variety of candles and scents for you to choose from will make your entire home smell incredible. Featured candle (1) - Dream Weaver Soy Candle.

Nina of Dream My Pleasures, handcrafts exclusively candles and wax melts, made from domestically grown, environmentally friendly soybeans in a variety of shapes, colors, sizes and fragrances. Featured candle (2) - Soy Wax Pillar Candle.

Sarah from Craftasaurus, is new to candle making but not to crafting! Her beautiful 15-hour votives are perfect for those not wanting to commit to a long term candle relationship. Featured candle (3) - Watermelon Votives.

Amanda of The Rustic Owl, is a candle maker who has been selling her artisan candles on etsy since the summer of 2007, and makes exclusively soy candles. Amanda offers 33 different scents for buyers to pick from. Featured candle (4) - Layered Oatmeal, Milk & Honey, Lemon & Spring Rain Soy Candle.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Votive Candles

Periodically on Tuesday's we will feature a tutorial by one of our team members. Remember the The Funky Felter's (Shalana) tutorial on making your own lightbox? Today's Tuesday Tutorial is from A.J. of AJ's Country Cottage. We've featured many of her amazing candles and artisan soaps before, and she's graciously sent in this how-to for making votive candles. When you give this a try, we'd love to see pictures of your completed project.

Thanks AJ!

Making Votive Candles by A.J. Smith of AJ’s Country Cottage

What you will need:

Double Boiler
Four votive wick pins (optional)
Kitchen Thermometer
Craft sticks
Kitchen Scale
1/2 lb. paraffin votive/pillar wax of your choice
1/2 oz. candle fragrance oil (optional)
Paper towel
Candle dye (optional)
Small glass container
Four 36-24-24 zinc core wick assemblies (pre-tabbed)
Small candle pouring pot or clean, empty coffee can
Four 2-ounce (15 hour) votive molds
Candle mold release (if using new votive molds and/or new wick pins)

Step 1: On your scale, weigh out ½ lb. of the wax and put into your melting pot or coffee can. Always weigh your wax when making candles. If using a coffee can, bend a small pouring spout into the top first.

Step 2: (Optional) Weigh out ½ oz. of candle making fragrance oil into a small glass container and set aside. Always weigh your fragrance oil when making candles. Do not exceed this amount; the wax will not likely be able to hold excess fragrance oil.

Step 3: If using new votive molds, you may want to spray candle mold release into the cups. Gently wipe excess off with paper towel. If votive molds have been used before, this step is probably not necessary; just make sure the molds are clean of wax residue from previous pours.

Step 4: (Optional) If using wick pins, place these into the molds. If they are new, spray them with candle mold release and wipe off excess with paper towel before inserting into molds.

Step 5: Cover your work surface with newspapers in case of spills. Place prepared votive cups onto the newspaper. Keep paper towels handy for wiping up spills and drips.

Step 6: Place water in double boiler and set wax pot gently into water to melt. IMPORTANT: DO NOT LEAVE MELTING WAX UNATTENDED! Watch it VERY CAREFULLY; wax can heat to dangerously high temperatures in a short amount of time. Once you have a little liquefied wax in the top of the pot, place the candy thermometer into the melted wax, taking care that the bulb is not touching the melting pot. Heat wax to 175-180 degrees F, taking care that no water from the double boiler splashes into the melting wax.

Step 7: If you’re using a coffee can, use pot holders for this step! Remove melted wax from heat and place on heat-safe surface. With your wooden craft stick, stir fragrance oil thoroughly into melted wax. Take care not to agitate so much that you are adding lots of air bubbles to the wax. Always add fragrance oil

BEFORE adding color so that you can see that the oil is fully incorporated before the dye obscures your clear view.

Step 8: (Optional) Add a drop of liquid candle dye or a candle dye chip, if desired. Stir gently but thoroughly with your stick until color is uniform.

Step 9: Have paper towels handy for drips and spills. Pour wax carefully into molds all the way to the tip top. Avoid incorporating air into the molds while pouring. You will notice that not all the wax in your pouring pot will be used; this is what you want. You want to reserve a small amount of wax (about 1/5 of the total) for the second pour, when we will be topping off the candles. (Wax shrinks as it cools, leaving a sunken area in the middle.) Do not touch molds after pouring, as they will be VERY HOT.

Step 10: If not using wick pins, wait a few minutes until the wax is starting to set up (congeal) on the sides of the mold tops. (The time this takes will vary according to the room's temperature.) Now there will be a bit of congealed wax at the bottom of the mold as well, so you can insert your pre-tabbed wicks and they will stay in place. Gently place these wicks into the middle of the votive, securing the wick in the thickened wax at the bottom.

Do not worry about marring the surface of the candle if the wax has a thin skin; we will fix that later on the second pour. If not using wick pins, check the wicks periodically as the candle cools; the cooling, shrinking wax may pull wicks slightly off center. Just gently push them back into place if needed. Sometimes I use craft sticks on top the molds to keep the wick more centered as the candle cools.

Step 11: When the candles have completely cooled, it’s time to re-melt your leftover wax. This time you want to heat to a temperature of 185-190 degrees F in your double boiler. Pouring about 10 degrees hotter the second time will ensure your layers will adhere and not come apart when the candles are fully cooled. Again, pour to the tip top to ensure you don’t have seam lines where the two layers meet.

Step 12: When candles are completely cooled, they should readily slide from the molds. If using wick pins, I gently tug those straight up and out of the mold to release the candle. If your candles refuse to release, chances are they are not fully and completely cooled. If they are fully cool and won’t budge, try putting the mold into the freezer for a short time. (Just a few minutes though, or the candle may crack.) This brief freezer time usually does the trick. If using wick pins, remove wick pins and insert wick assembly from the bottom of the candle.

Step 13: If there are surface irregularities on the candles, you may want to buff gently with pantyhose.

Step 14: Trim your wicks and enjoy burning your votives! If you used scent, you may want to wait a day or two for the candle to cure. Remember, votives are not meant to be free-standing candles. They are meant to completely liquefy and must be burned in a snug votive holder. They should burn completely up (or nearly so) and take about 15 hours to finish burning.

Meet AJ and learn about her creative process by reading her artist spotlight. **