Friday, November 30, 2007

Artsy Friday - Sewing Art

There's this store on Magnolia in Burbank called Out-of-the-Box (not to be confused with the thrift store Out of the Closet, which I love). I stopped in one day last year to see what it was like. The clothes weren't really my style, more for the middle-aged mom set (wait, I resemble that label), but the thing that really caught my eye was this:

It's a huge painting up high on the wall in the back. Unfortunately, it's not for sale. I've been back a few times just to visit it though, and the last time I was in they let me take this picture.

I've been looking for a sewing-themed work of art for my new studio (which I have yet to fully move into, more on that later). Erik says I should make one myself, and I probably will, but I like looking at other people's art too.

I fell in love with this painting I found on Flickr by Janet Karam. In fact, I love all her paintings.

On Etsy I found this print, by a seller named eepeadee. And then eBay always has some cool vintage ads and prints. I like this one.

When Michelle Caplan posted this one on Flickr, I knew I had to have it (especially since it's a one-of-a-kind.)

And now it's mine. Thanks Michelle. I love it! "Sabine" (that's what she named her) will now oversee all my seamstressing in my new studio.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thrift Thursday - Thank you Annette!

No thrift store scores this week. Instead of shopping, I donated a bunch of stuff to victims of the recent wildfires and I've been staying home making stuff for this weekend's Little Monster Market. Yesterday, I was working on some patchwork scarves and while I was sewing I was thinking about the first patchwork scarf I ever made. I still wear it every winter, I love it so. I made in college while I was working at the Dragonfly. Annette, the owner, put a sewing machine in the shop for us to use. When business was slow we'd mend stuff and make things with the scraps. One day I gathered up the weirdest fabric I could find (with prints of dinosaurs, lemons, horses, flowers, etc. ) and made what soon became my favorite scarf. I'd show you, but I can't find it right now.

So, I'm sitting there thinking about the Dragonfly and what a cool job that was and how Annette totally saved me from the hell of waitressing and how I learned so much about vintage clothes and fabric and thrifting from her and how all that has influenced kokoleo. Then, I heard the mailman come and I opened the door to find a package on our porch. It was from Annette!

Check out what she sent me:

Buttons! Big ones, little ones, rhinestone ones, ones shaped like apples and hearts, wooden ones, brass ones, one that says "Yes!" on it and so many more. Score!


Two wacky needlepoint pieces. Those boots remind me of a woodcut I made of my favorite boots.

Also, this:

Yay! I had this fabric before and made a few sundresses out of it which sold like hotcakes. More sundresses to come!

For Sage, this book:

Plus that awesome tooled glasses case for me. I love tooled leather, and I love painted tooled leather even more.

And for McKenna, this:

So freaking cute. Thanks Annette! How can I repay you? Not just for this stuff, but for everything you've done for me. You rock.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I'm a dork. (A busy dork.)

Excuse the goofiness of that last post. It must have been the Sake talking.

Pictures soon, when I figure out this new camera. Until then, check these out:

December 1st will be a busy day for me - The Little Monster Market in Studio City in the afternoon and then the "Welcome to Dollywood" plush show (I have two monsters in it) that night. If you live in the area, stop by!

Monday, November 26, 2007

KB at 33

To the tune of "Happy Birthday":
Happy Birthday to me.
Today I'm 33.
I went out with my family
and we ate some sushi.

. . . and many mooore!

When I took that picture Erik said,"I don't want my dinner to be used as your blog fodder." Then I said, "Ooo, that's a good quote, I'm gonna use it on my blog." I love my blog fodder.

Sage took this picture of me with my cake:


Look at what I got!

the Muppet Show, Season 2 and A NEW CAMERA! A Nikon D80 to be exact (that's like, 40 numbers better than the D40 I've been wanting!) Who has the best husband in the world? I do!

(Now, let's hope this new camera will help us take better pictures.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Handmade for the (ho hum) Holidays

So. Handmade for the Holidays was this weekend and it was a bust. The turnout was underwhelming to say the least (minus my cool customers, of course) and at times I questioned why I was even doing this to myself, spending two days away from my family just to sit amidst all this weird stuff I made and watch people walk by. I at least made my money back ($200, ouch) and about $175 on top of that, but I'm not sure it was worth it. The saving grace was having friends stop by and hanging out with the the other vendors. We commiserated on the lame music and crappy turnout and did a lot of Christmas "shopping" through some great trades.

I liked my booth though. I'm getting good at fitting everything in my car and setting it all up in a mad rush. Each time I do it it's a little different.

I had my wall-o-monsters,

my tower of sundresses (most of which I spent all last week making),

my turny circle display of necktie accessories (these turned out to be my best selling items),

and my rack of purses, trunk full of pillows, and another tower of baby clothes.

The question I heard most often was, "You made all these things? " Yep. Just don't ask me why. I have no idea.

My friends Lauren and Leslie stopped by:

Lauren rocks for watching my booth for a while while I ran around visiting others and moved my car.

(Sew Darn) Jenny, Cathy (of California), and (Miss) Alison stopped by:
Jenny bought one of my Smokey the Bear sundresses for a Christmas present. Those dresses turned out to be pretty popular. I sold another one to some nice customers and traded one with the super sweet Robert Mahar of Mahar Drygoods and Junior Society Fame.

He got the dress for his niece and I got McKenna a bag of beautiful crocheted vegetables.

Other shopping I did included getting hand carved letter openers (Christmas presents) from my vendor neighbors, Bridge for Africa, these Christmas cards from Jamie Zollars and an awesome work of art from Michelle Caplan (which I will show on my next Artsy Friday blog post.) They all gave me a fellow crafter discount, which rocks.

I traded my city skirt (yeah, the one I contemplated keeping - I can make another) for a bunch of awesome stuff from Random Nicole - a couple candles, something for Erik (I can't show you, it's a secret), and this cool shirt for McKenna:

I also traded a tie cuff for that gorgeous hat she's wearing made by a vendor DirtiMartiny and I traded a headband for a pretty button necklace made by her booth partner Didi Gal.

I got Sage some Christmas stuff too, a Robot wallet and a cammo/skeleton shirt from nice vendors whose names have slipped my mind (sorry!). I also traded two headbands for this shirt made by Bumble-N-Bee:

and a headband for all those cool silkscreened patches by Field Day. I also traded two monster print shirts for a lovely jewelry box by my supersweet other vendor neighbor Sherry Giang. I'd show you, but it's going to be a Christmas present for someone who probably reads this blog.

So the show wasn't a total bust. I took credit cards for the first time ever. That was fun. I also saw some of my fellow craft-show friends like Christine of Twospace (who bought and rocked one of my headbands) and Jean of Rotem Gear, plus I met some vendors who are also doing the Little Monster Market (Dec. 1st) and Craftmas Bizarre (Dec. 9th) with me. It's such a crazy lifestyle, this craft show circuit. Two more to go - then no more for a while. I need to regroup.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Made by. . .Tuesday

Grrrr. I missed my Monday deadline by a half an hour. Oh well, I was busy making these all day (and some last night):

31 tie accessories. That's 17 headbands, 4 chokers and 10 cuffs. I think my selection is adequately replenished now. My fingers hurt from all that hand sewing.

Tuesday's goal: Sundresses.

Wednesday's goal: Skirts.

Thursday's goal: Thanksgiving.

(It's after midnight and I just remembered that I forgot to get a pumpkin pie for Sage's Thanksgiving feast at school. Crap. Now I have to go on a pumpkin pie hunt.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Wrapup

Whew! It's been one hectic weekend. On Friday, I took Erik's parents on the downtown Hollywood tour (Erik was at work and Sage was in kindergarten). They had just returned from their trip to China so I thought I'd continue the theme and take them to Grauman's Chinese Theater, then to the Highland complex for on obligatory picture with the Hollywood sign (it's up there, try to find it):
Then I took them to our favorite restaurant The Pig and Whistle, and later to the airport so they could fly back home.

Saturday I was a vendor at the FSC Harvest Market (at the school where I used to teach) in Van Nuys. It was so nice to see my old students.

It was a pretty good day too but now I'm panicking because I depleted my stock and the Handmade for the Holidays show is next week. Eek! I must now get in sweatshop mode and crank out the kokoleos like crazy for the next few days.

Today I volunteered at Felt Club - handing out swag bags and selling tickets at the opening of the event. Crazy! Here's the line:

We handed out 250 swag bags in under 5 minutes! At noon, I taught a class on how to recycle holiday cards into ornaments. I was a bit afraid no one would show up but the class filled up quickly and I even had to turn some people away. Sorry! My "students" did a great job though. Check it out:

It was nice seeing another side of Felt Club for once. I was there three hours before I even made it over to the vendor area, which was awesome of course. I did some Christmas shopping and with the exception of a few little things, managed to resist buying myself a bunch of stuff. On the way back to my car, I saw this:
which I thought was pretty.

I felt a little guilty leaving Erik with the kids for so long this weekend, but they all survived. I have a show every weekend for the next three weekends, so they'll have to get used to it. Sorry family, but mama's gotta make some money! Two down, three to go.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Artsy Friday - Jamie Zollars

Check out this cool onesie Jamie Zollars sent McKenna soon after she was born.

How cool is that? We have friends and family who didn't even respond to our email birth announcement with a simple "Congrats!" or "Welcome!" but Jamie remembered I was (very) pregnant at the last Felt Club show and checked my blog to see when she was born and then sent us this. What a sweetheart! Thank you Jamie!

I love Jamie's work. The first time we did a show together I bought one of her cards to frame and put in Sage's room. At the last show I bought this one for McKenna's room.

Last night I was reading one of our favorite magazines, Juxtapoz , and came upon this near the front:

It's and ad for an art show at the CoproNason Gallery in Santa Monica where Jamie's show "Melancholia" is on display. I said to Erik, "Hey, I know that girl! She sent McKenna that cool shirt you liked." He was impressed that I have such a cool craft show friend. Thanks again Jamie! You rock.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

War sucks, support the troops.

A few weeks ago my cousin's wife Becky sent out this email:

Dear Friends -
Well we've made it through Halloween, temperatures are dropping, and we are getting into full swing with the holidays. As November will always be known as the month for "giving thanks", I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to do something nice for someone very special to me.
As you all know my baby brother is in Iraq. He's part of the 355th chemical company in the US Army. While he was trained to look for those illusive WMD, he's currently running convoy missions with generals and other important people that need military protection. He's been over there since August and luckily only one explosion hit his company so far. No casualties! However, I got an e-mail from him this week and I noticed a marked change in his mood. I can tell he is getting really homesick. In a nutshell, he said "Well, obviously it sucks because my daughter is growing up and I miss my wife. The days are long and it's hard. I miss home." The good news is the military has been good about giving a 2-week reprieve leave in the middle of their tour. Jon was one of the lucky ones to get the holidays off to be home. (I'll believe it when he calls me from a plane heading to America.)
After noticing his weird mood, I immediately sprung into action to send him a package. I got the idea that it would be so great if I could help flood him and his company with letters, notes and packages from home... Anything to pick up their spirits. Hence, the e-mail to you...
So, here are the deets... it's very easy and affordable to send a package. You pay only $8.95 to send it APO to New York and it gets shipped to Iraq for free. It only takes a week door to door. You just need to go to a USPS office and tell them you want to send a package APO. They have two different sized boxes they can give you and all you pay is the flate rate shipment to NY, regardless of weight.
If you feel so motivated and inspired, I would love for you to send something to my brother, even if you haven't met him. If all you have time for is a quick note or card in the mail that's more than enough. If you want to do more here are some ideas.
  • used magazines, books, or dvds (it doesn't matter what... someone in his unit will love it... He mentioned Mens fitness and celebrity gossip mags. No need to buy new... anything used is fine)
  • gummy candy or hard candy (chocolate has a tendency to melt but it's getting cooler there so it should be OK too)
  • gag gifts (anything funny you might find at a dollar store - just something to entertain bored people - they have 15 hr days on and then days off with not much to do)
  • canned tuna fish in water, beef jerkey, sunflower seeds, strawberry poptarts with frosting (he can't get pop tarts for some reason)
  • chap stick, hand sanitizer, baby wipes
  • shading pencils (shading pencils should be like 05- -05 --- I guess from an art store??? He draws.)
  • anything sports (he likes the steelers, cleveland cavs, ohio state, and the yankees but any kind of sport poster, logo, stickers, small flag, banner or pennent he would probably like to hang up)
  • drawings from your kids or students - he would love that especially since he's a dad now
  • something from your hometown
  • anything you think might remind him of the US
One easy thing you can do if it's appropriate is mention this to some of your co-workers or neighbors and take up a collection and throw whatever you get in a box. Anything you are able to do will be so much appreciated.

So, as a lesson on what Veteran's Day means, Sage and I put together this:

full of this:

Yeah, a lot of it is dollar store junk, but it's fun junk. I added even more stuff once I got it all in the box, filling the empty nooks and crannies with skincare samples, a Cars Movie DVD, a Hollywood magnet, and a few other odd things. It was like a puzzle getting everything to fit. I did feel a little weird writing a "Dear Jon" letter (that's his name) to a soldier at war though, but it was a nice letter. Hopefully the package will brighten his day.

With the holidays coming up, there are going to be plenty of soldiers who could benefit from a brightened day. Please consider doing this. Here's a good site to get you connected: It doesn't cost much and it's actually fun finding stuff to fill a box and then trying to make all that stuff fit. War sucks (understatement of the year), but this is a small way we can make it a little less sucky.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Recycled Holiday Ornament Demo at Felt Club

Wanna learn how to make these?

Then meet me at Felt Club this Sunday in Tent 2 at 12 p.m. I'll show you how to take your favorite Christmas cards and turn them into a holiday keepsake. Class size is limited so sign up early in the day.

I'll also be volunteering at the ticket booth and with swag bag distribution so don't forget to get there early! See you there!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Made by Monday - Skirts! Monsters! Etc.!

I've been wanting to make a skirt like this forever. So I made two.

The second one is smaller. I, um, can't fit into it. But Handmade for the Holidays is on Melrose Ave. and that's where all the skinny girls hang out, so hopefully I'll sell it there.

Also, a monkey skirt.

Next, monsters!

These were a hit with the kids last year at the FSC Harvest Festival, so I made a bunch this week. This year's event is Saturday, November 17th from1-7. Email me if you want tickets.

For the bilingual babe, a Saturday/Sabado shopper.

And one weird little box.


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