Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Custom kokoleo bed sheet sundresses

I compiled some photos of custom sundresses that I currently have the fabric to create.

 Since the fabric and bed sheets I use are vintage and hard to find, I have a limited supply of each print. Often, I've found, when customers peruse my sundresses they find a pattern they love but it's in the wrong size. By custom-making them, I can save my fabric for those who really want it and can make a dress in size six months to six years. This way, customers can choose their favorite trim and buttons and get a true one-of-a-kind that they helped design. Check them out in my Etsy shop or email me if you're interested.

Recent personalized pillows and a banner

I haven't done a kokoleo personalized item update in a while. Here are some recent ones:

She's an angel straight from heaven!

Here's a little assemblage McKenna made from the scraps on my studio floor.

It's an angel. At the time, I was making her angel costume for our church's Christmas pageant.

And here's another angel she made 2 weeks ago in the snow.

6 down, 4 to go...

Ack! It's 11:07 on the last night of January and I didn't fulfill my 10 posts a month promise. There's still time though. I can do this.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thrift Thursday - Another Mt. Rainier

I found this painting of Mt. Rainier today: 

It's a little different than the one I found 3 months ago but I like it just as much. Erik looked at it quizzically and said, "Didn't you already get a painting of Mt. Rainier?" to which I responded, "Yes! And now I have another one." Then he looked at it closely and said "Eh, I think you could paint a better one." Critic! I still like it. In fact, I think I've found a new thing to collect - original oil paintings of Mt. Rainier that end up at thrift stores. The hunt is on...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Save the Owls

I made this pincushion the other day:

I found the ceramic owl and trunk vase at Value Village and though I try to avoid acquiring knick-knacks at thrift stores, this guy spoke to me. It was something to the effect of , "Whoo whooo... hey yooou... take me home and make me into something newww!" So I did.

It originally held a tiny bouquet of ugly fake flowers which I immediately tossed. I filled the empty trunk with beans and hot glue to give it weight and attached a plush patchwork sphere on the top.

I also made this guy...

Who who whooo needs a place to put their pins? They'll be flying into my Etsy shop soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mosaic Inspiration

Tonight I got elected to our neighborhood's Homeowners Association Board. I also gave an impromptu presentation about a grant I am applying for to build a community-based art installation/mural in our neighborhood park.

"The Children's Park," as it's called, is a small clearing in the wooded area of our neighborhood with a playground, benches, and a picnic table. It's nothing fancy, but we love it. The kids have spent a lot of time on the swings and monkey bars and merry-go-round and I have spent a lot of time on this bench talking to the other moms and dads. It's where we first met the people we now call friends.

In the Renton Reporter last year I saw an article about how our city was offering grants for neighborhood projects. Inspired by a trip we took to Vashon Island where I saw a library playground decorated with brightly colored mosaics, I started talking up an idea to do a similar project in our park in the form of a mural underneath the park bench. The idea has evolved to possibly include marbles, small tiles or pottery pieces, stones, hand prints, and small toys, rocks, or broken dishware from as many people in our neighborhood as we can convince to get involved. The other night I Googled phrases like "park mural," "marble mosaic," "handprints," and "toys in cement" to create a sort of vision board to share with people and send in with my grant proposal. Here it is:

I presented it to our homeowners association meeting tonight, feeling a bit presumptuous being a newbie to the neighborhood and proposing a big colorful change to a place where others in the room have lived for 35+ years. But they seemed to like it! Also, unbeknownst to me, one of the people in charge of determining the grant awards happened to be in the room, and she seemed to LOVE it. I'm starting to think we might actually DO THIS. Every day I walk past that grassy spot and and try to envision a mosaic in it's place. I can't wait to see it for real.

Jack & Jill - Your Favorite Band!

McKenna told me she wants to be a rock star when she grows up (in addition to pilot, ballet teacher, and hair stylist.) Last month when we were visiting the Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center she saw a recorded performance of Gwen Stefani singing with No Doubt on the the huge screen in the lounge. Her eyes were wide and she looked at me and said, "I want to do that." Yesterday she asked me a profound question, "How do I get people to give me money to sing and dance on a stage?" I told her that's the thing grown ups always try to figure out - how to get people to give you money to do the things you love. That didn't answer her question though, so I told her if she just keeps doing what she loves and never stops, she will find herself in places with stages and she'll sing and dance and people will notice.

She and Erik started a band. It's called Jack & Jill. He's Jack, she's Jill. He plays guitar and she sings and bangs on one of the many instruments we have in our music chest - drums, triangle, kazoo, various shakey things. They perform covers of Three Little Birds by Bob Marley, Day-O by Harry Belafonte, punk versions of Mother Goose rhymes and originals like Flowers Everywhere, a song McKenna made up. Their first album, coming someday, is called Jack & Jill -- Your Favorite Band!

Truth be told, they really just make a bunch of noise that gives me a headache so I usually hightail it outta there and let them have their daddy/daughter time. Every now and then Sage and I are summoned to the rec room for concerts, which often culminates in Erik going off on some screaming guitar riff and McKenna shouting, "JACK! STOP THE MUSIC! STOP THE MUSIC JACK!!"

This summer, I found this circa 1970s sweatshirt for a dollar at a garage sale and had to get it for her. 

 It was a bit boring though, so this past week I turned it into something more her style.


They're my favorite band.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Even more resolutions...

Oof! It's been 9 days since I made my blog resolution to write at least 10 blog posts a month this year. Luckily, there are 9 days left in this month, so I still have time to do it. There are lots of things I want to do this year. Here are a few:

1. Focus more on kokoleo custom work - personalized pieces, custom plush, sundresses, monster pants, skirts, special commissions.Although it is a bit more work to custom-make an item on demand, I've found that my favorite kokoleos are those where I've make a connection with the client and involved them in the process.

2. Continue to make random one-of-a-kinds in my downtime.

3. Revamp my website.

4. Update Etsy weekly.

5. Social network better. Offer special monthly sales to Facebook fans. Be a better Twitterer.

5. Seek out new selling venues - shops, shows, etc.

6. Open a new Etsy shop to sell some of the weird and awesome vintage and handmade goodness I find at thrift stores. 

7. Become more involved in the Seattle craft scene. I feel like a nobody here and it's my own fault - I haven't applied to many shows or attended many events. I miss the crafty camraderie I had in L.A.

8. Write more, and for other websites and publications.

9. Teach a local craft class for kids.

10. Do all these things wholeheartedly, sincerely, and without apprehension.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My 2012 blog resolution...

Happy New Year! (that started 2 weeks ago). One of my resolutions was to blog at least 10 times a month this year. It didn't seem like too difficult a task when I resolved it but now it's 14 days into January and I haven't blogged a bit. It's not too late to start, right? Let's see if I can do it.


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