Saturday, December 26, 2009

After Christmas Handmade Sales

Well let's start off with the obvious one first, shall we?
  • Skelekitty & Friends on Artfire: 
    • Buy one 8x10" print, get one free (no limit) with coupon code BOGOPRINTS2009
    • 20% off ALL in-stock rubber stamps with coupon code AFTERXMAS2009 (offers expire midnight 12/31/09)
    • Free downloadable/printable gift tags (and they're not just for "holiday" giving!)  Just print them out on 8.5x11" paper and cut them out.
And for some of my other favorites:
  • Saints & Sinners unique handmade jewelry by the lovely Barbe SaintJohn: EVERYTHING is on sale through January 1st!
  • Kit Cameo has an entire section of her Artfire shop of etched glass, jewelry and art on sale.
  • Xena's Revenge jewelery by Brenda (marketed by her Chihuahua Xena): 25% off everything with coupon code NEWYEAR. All Christmas jewelry is 50% off with coupon code HOHOXENA9!
  • Miss Smiss art and accessories on Etsy and Artfire offers free shipping when you purchase two or more items. 
  • Kaotic Ekko Curiosities is offering 20% off all holiday items through the end of the month, AND free shipping (coupon code HAPPY2010) through January 31st, 2010! 
  • My favorite soapmaker Lori of Nemesis Productions is offering 15% off in her Artfire shop until this Sunday, December 27th!
  • Rocky The Zombie has a large sale section in her Etsy shop!
  • Check out the huge collection of Creature Closeouts in Absolutely Small's Etsy shop.
  • Harlowe Monroe Vintage on Artfire:  Buy one item, get 50% off your second item (refund via PayPal) - all shop items are under $15 too!
  • Luna's Loot on Etsy has supplies, jewelry and ephemera on sale.
  • Enchanticals on Etsy has select items on sale until 1/2/10 - just look for the word "sale" in the description.
  • JenniferLynn Productions has marked her entire Artfire stock of art, photography and accessories down 33% through the end of the year.
  • Hannah Grey Curiosities & Drygoods has LOTS of supplies and goodies on sale. In addition, they offer free shipping on orders $30 or more placed through midnight, EST on January 1.  Enter the code XMAS2009 at check out. 
  • The Folk Art of Flor Larios is on sale too! 
Not technically sales, but so affordable, they deserve mentioning:
Keep checking back my friends.  I'll be updating this as I receive more info on more after Christmas handmade deals.  Why?  Because it's NEVER too late to ...
Skelekitten sez: GIVE HANDMADE!
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Is It Competition or A Future "Intern?"

You may recall some posts Skelekitty and I wrote earlier this year about my neighbors' daughter, Santana, who hand-sculpted me a pink haired kitty and dressed as Skelekitty for Halloween this past year.  She's a cool kid for sure, who loves animals and is a bit of a bookworm (sound familiar?).

She has done it again and, of course, I had to blog about it.  Santana and her brother Grant just came by to give me this little treasure (mostly Grant played with Abby and laughed when Santana and I rolled our collective eyes seeing he wasn't wearing shoes)!

Skelekitty Santa by Santana P.

The mini-tote was hand-decorated with a great deal of glittery goodness (and a kitty, of course). The Skelekitty figurine was hand-sculpted AND hand-painted by Santana herself and, if I do say so, I'm not entirely sure I could have done any better myself!
Skelekitty Santa by Santana P.

Skelekitty Santa by Santana P.

I wonder how her Mom would feel about her daughter going into indentured servitude ... *cough* err, I mean "an internship" making Skelekitty figurines? LOL.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Putting It Out There

Oscar Bird threadpainted art quilt - private collectionThis thread-painted art quilt of my Oscar, the Military Macaw, was the very first piece I ever put in a group "art" (i.e., non-quilt show) show - the January 2006 "National Bird Day" art show in Sacramento, CA.

LoteriaSince that first night, I gradually increased the number of works in group art shows.  First I showed just with The Scary-Art Collective at Body Tribe where I nervously listened to criticism (positive and negative, but all constructive).

Welcome Home Skelekitty quiltBy early 2007, I had started showing at other Sacramento galleries like Side Show Studios and the former 24th Street hot spot, Cool Cat (R.I.P.).

Something Fishy (SOLD) I tried some new techniques and played with new mediums while I continued to find my voice. 

painting the roses red

In the last half of 2009, I finally submitted some pieces to out of town (actually, out of State) shows to a positive response.

Now, with four full years of group show experience (not to mention the long list of commissions I just completed), I feel confident enough to consider a solo show.  So I'm putting it "out there" that I'm ready to put it out there - you know, putting it in writing as a promise to myself and so y'all can keep me accountable.

Grinding To A Hault (final)I've already started working on a "theme" involving hearts and skulls with various things growing from them, and we'll see where this leads me. 
So far I'm planning on doing most, if not all the pieces using my pyrography and acrylics on wood techniques.

While I'm working on the pieces, I will also be looking around for a gallery to host this currently imaginary solo exhibition.  Oh, the joy of cold calls, how I look forward to it!   I have a short list of places I'd LOVE to show, a medium sized list of places I'd seriously consider (both of which I'm keeping secret to avoid jinxing myself) and a blank list of places I haven't even thought of yet.

If you have a gallery and would like to talk to me about the possibility of doing a solo show, please contact me with your list of demands.

Wish me luck and inspiration and I'll send some right back to you (I'll send you some anyway).
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Instant "Homemade" Soup

I've had a few requests for my Basil & Bean Soup recipe lately.  It's something that evolved over the last ten or so years and one of those things I cook that my husband goes crazy for as soon as the weather turns each fall.  It's deceptively simple and made almost entirely from canned pantry ingredients (except for the garlic and basil, which is worth geting fresh).  The best eatin' is always the very last bowl.
  • 2 cans each of organic beans (10 oz):
    • Black
    • Pinto
    • Canellini (aka white kidney)
    • Kidney
  • 1 "brick" (carton) organic, free-range, low sodium chicken broth (I like Trader Joe's)
  • 1 28 oz can plum tomatoes (diced or whole)
  • fresh garlic to taste
  • fresh basil (2 small bunches, de-stemmed & roughly chopped)
  • italian herbs - dried (approx. 2 tsp)
  • 1 bottle Guinness Extra Stout
  • salt & pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp respectively)
Open 1 can of each type of beans and rinse throroughly.  Place in stock pot with the chicken broth, half of the tomatoes, all the herbs, the chopped basil and crushed garlic.  Blend with an immersion blender (stick blender) until chunky to smooth. 

Add beer and remainder of WELL RINSED beans ans stir well.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for several hours.  Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.  Enjoy with fresh sourdough bread (and probably some Beano).

Even through there is just Ron and me, I double the recipe and we live off of this until it's gone (unless my father-in-law finds out - then we have to share).  Of course, you can also freeze half and enjoy later.

Om nom nom!  Let me know if you make it and, if so, how it turned out for you!
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

FINALLY I Can Talk About This!

I'm sure it will shock each and every one of you to the core when I say that I have a difficult time with keeping information to myself.  I know, you're thinking, "but Krissi, you are so quiet and shy!"  Go figure.

Anyway, I've been working on a commission that I couldn't post updates on since the person it was being commissioned for is on all the same networking sites that I am.  Well, he opened his Chanukkah present (the aforementioned commissioned painting) today and NOW I can spill the (Kosher) beans!

Final portrait of Samson Mordechai Wisenheid
This young man is Samson Mordechai Wezenheid, an applehead teacup Chihuahua belonging to San Franciscans, artist Mim Weisburd and her 'hubbear' Michel Chagall.  Michel describes himself as "married, queer, eco-kosher Jew, San Franciscan, dog lover, baker of challah who works with developmentally disabled adults (no relation to Marc Chagall)."   Thanks so much to one of my favorite people, Mim, for commissioning a piece from me and to Michel for just being yourself and giving me such great material to work with!

Samson admires his portrait
I think Samson approves!

As always, you can visit Flickr to see photos of this work in progress.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh Duct Tape! How Do I Love Thee...

As some of you may have heard, my little Jack Russell Terror Abby, recently had surgery to remove a small (probably benign) mass from one of her toes and is wearing a very large pressure bandage for at least a week.

Just to make the experience more fun for everyone, we have to keep the bandage dry during a deluge. We started off wrapping her bandaged paw in Saran wrap and Scotch tape every time she had to pee, looked like she had to pee or we thought she needed to go outside and pee.  It got old REALLY fast.

I looked up doggie shoes and bandage covers.  At $30-60, they just weren't going to happen (we are already closer to $900 than $800 on this round of health care for our "free" dog).  I decided to google "DIY dog waterproof boot" and found this awesome tutorial to make doggie shoes out of DUCT TAPE on my favorite place to geek out on DIY projects,  So for less than $1 of tape, my Crop A Dile & a few grommets and an old shoelace, I now have a reusable, easy-to-use waterproof doggie bandage protection!

Homemade waterproof doggie boot!
Homemade waterproof doggie boot!

When I took Abby in for her bandage change this morning, I had the entire staff cracking up.

** Update: 12/15/09: I am happy to say that ABBY GETS TO KEEP HER TOE!!! The weird mystery mass was an inflamed squamous papilloma (a  very expensive wart). Lab said our vet (the wonderful Jodi Van Tyne, DVM) got the entire mass. If it recurs, we'll at least know what it is.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

HELLA Scary (but I'm doin' it anyway)

Commissions. They are kinda scary 'cause, as an artist, I always worry that the recipient won't LOVE the work, and as a control freak, it's tough to hand over the reigns.  Custom works are also incredibly fun and fulfilling - especially when someone really loves your style and they just want you to 'do your thing' with some basic guidelines (color, favorite images, etc.).  The feeling of giving them something completely unique is incomparable to anything else.

The fulfilling and fun part has officially won out over the scary part and I've decided to take more pet portrait commissions (<-- check out the link to compare the original critter photos to my interpretations).  Prices start at $115 for a small (8x10") pyrography and mixed-media on wood plaque and go up according to size, number of animals / items, etc. 

Custom Pet Portraits
So.... ya want one for yourself or as a gift?  It's super easy!  Just visit the custom orders section of my online shop or drop me a line telling me what size and the basics of what you'd like (e.g., "3 skeleton dogs" or "2 parrots popping over a heart" or "1 stylized (long-necked) cat with a skull", etc.), and I'll get back to you with all the particulars.

While I have taken all of the commissions I can get "under the tree" in time for the holidays, I can create a printable gift certificate to give for Hannukah, to stick in a stocking or to hand to your special someone over a New Year's glass of champagne at midnight (pretty much right up until the last minute). That means that if you're still looking for that perfect gift, you're NOT "S.O.L." just yet.

Turnaround time for the actual piece is approximately 2-4 weeks from the time I receive all the stuff I need:
  • your pet's photos 
  • your list of preferred colors, 
  • likes, dislikes, and/or 
  • examples of other pieces of my work that you would like me to use as a starting point.  
The creative process takes so long becuase it's currently winter and the layers of paint and glaze dry  v e r y  S L O W L Y.   From May - October, I can churn these babies out in record time!

*     *    *    *    *    *

Here are some of the pieces I've completed this year:

This skele-doggie portrait was for a musically inclined friend from high school who said (roughly),  "I love my Chihuahua, Day of the Dead & Edward Gorey" which resulted in this painting:
Final Chi Chi portrait!

An artist and friend asked me to interpret her kitties in the Love Cats style with them popping over a skull (like Grinding to a Hault).  She also told me she liked the background A Brand New Sky.... I painted this (and it must have turned out OK as the prints are selling like hotcakes):
Kitties for Kit (final)

Of course, this all started because my goofball of a my husband asked semi-jokingly if I could, instead of painting pretty little stylized girls, paint him a "WALKING EYE" from The Venture Bros.  Answer: Yes. Yes I can.
Walking EYE (final)

Just in case you think I only do crazy ass skulls and robots stuff, here's a piece that's in progress for a friend's sister.  She isn't into Day of the Dead, likes dusty teal (which isn't usually part of my color palette) and loves her Chihuahua named Paco (nicknamed Pookie) whose favorite toy is a pink pacifier.
Custom Chihuahua portrait (Paco)

Any questions? Just e-mail me.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

You Have Been Warned

In all seriousness, I'm "feeling" this sign lately since I've been suffering from self-imposed exile in my studio while I work furiously to finish some commissions I took for the holidays. I reiterate that the exile (and subsequent absence of a real blog post) is self-imposed as I try to bring in as much cash as possible to build up the "Skelekitty Tee Shirt Startup Fund" we're working on over here. Yes, I know you all want a tee shirt! I'm painting as fast as I can (now go buy some prints while they're on sale 2fer one).

In other news, Abby has fallen prey to some mysterious toe malady and is going under the knife tomorrow morning. Hopefully, it's just something jammed in there next to her little doggie toenail which hasn't responded to antibiotics and hot epsom salt soaks. If not... well, I understand that even Jack Russells can live full and speedy lives with three toes on one of their front feet. Meanwhile, she's in good spirits and the funkiness that has afflicted said toe is in a place where it hasn't impeded her running any (dog park patrons beware).   I'll keep you all updated as we discover more.
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