Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Is It THAT Time of Year ALREADY???

August isn't even over.  Labor Day is at least a week off.  The apples haven't started ripening.  Kids are JUST NOW going back to school.  So *WHY* am I thinking about, dare I say it, Christmas??  ("Because you're an idiot."  "Oh yeah, that's right!")  Because every year, around Thanksgiving, I get panicky messages from people wanting custom pieces for Christmas... made from resin...  or painted with glazes... which take forever to dry... while it's raining outside.

I feel bad turning people away at that point, but I just can't make 10 layers of acrylic glazes dry any faster in 100% humidity.  And resin is temperamental when it's cold and damp.  Then we all make the sad face.  Like this :(  Sometimes this  )`:

I Took The Handmade Pledge! BuyHandmade.orgLet's try to keep the happy faces on this year.  If you're going to support the handmade community, and I really, REALLY hope you do, you need to think a few months in advance.  We can't carry a lot of stock, so we won't need to clear out unsold items to avoid inventory taxes in January.  We're not WalMart.  If an item isn't in our shop on the 20th of December, we can't just reach into the warehouse and put another on the shelf for you.  If you want a one-of-a-kind or personalized gift, now is the time to start shopping around.  So start poking around on your preferred handmade shopping site and see what's out there.

Kim's custom wooden trinket box
Like many DIY-ers and artists, I work on a strictly first-come, first served basis.  If I have the time, I'll happily take the last-minute commissions.  Luckily for me, my workload has been filling up earlier and earlier each year, but that means the holiday-rush "last minute," which used to be around December 1st, has been pushed back to mid-October.  Even I can't say when the "last minute" will be this year.  However, I understand that people are more focused on returning to their school-year routines and getting in one last day on the lake before the weather turns and the days shorten than buying stocking stuffers.  Therefore, I'm offering you all a little incentive plan this year: order early & get some deals. <-- keep an eye on that link for updates and details as we get closer.
"inchie" pendant of
Grinding to a Halt

To get you started, I'm running a little pre-sale-sale in the form of five four "golden ticket" coupons for 30% off your entire jewelry and print order from Krissi's Art Studio (yep, that includes custom pendants).  If you would like to get a jump on the winter holiday crazies, enter the code HOLYCRAP30PERCENT when you check out.  These are one-time use coupons, so get everything you'll want the first time.  And once they're gone, they're gone.  Adios.  Bye bye.  Sayonara.  Hasta la...  etc.

I'll be looking for some handmade dealios for you all as the shopping insanity slowly descends upon you.  Be sure to check in on my Facebook page to keep up to date on those goodies.  When I see them, I'll pass them on to you!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

It Is Good To Have Friends, Is It Not, Mr. Garibaldi?

I'd apologize for the gratuitous geek reference of the title but, let's face it: I'm not sorry at all!

Skelekitty & Skelemouse (SK's debut!)
Skelekitty & Skelemouse art quilt
©2007 Krissi Sandvik
Those of you who have been hanging around in the same circles I have for the past 6 or 7 years will remember that I started my "art career" as a hobbyist quilter in 2004 or so. That addiction quickly turned to art quilts in 2005 (which led to the very first Skelekitty image in 2007).

I have since changed my preferred medium to pyrography & acrylic on wood paintings, but in between there was a quick stop at fabric painting.

A a few months ago my friend, seamstress and bag designer extraordinaire, Brooke Heavey of Brooke Van Gory Designs told me she had a customer looking for something special for a diaper bag.
Her customer wanted a purple and green "tree of life" theme with a hand-painted look, but was having difficulty finding fabrics that she liked.  Since I had some experience with fabric painting, I was happy to create a couple of custom panels for this bag.

silver alcohol-based ink & acrylics
on black cotton 

Then I remembered...  I had a a "black calavera" panel I'd painted back in late 2007.  Not knowing what to do with this weird hybrid creation, promptly rolled it up and stored it away.  I figured now would be a good time to pop it in the mail to Brooke to see what she could make of it.

As usual, she delivered in spades, creating one of her signature "Expedient" bags in black, red and a coordinating sacred heart print with my calavera painting front and center as a HUGE pocket.

Wanna know how MUCH stuff this bag will hold?

Although Brooke is known for high quality custom diaper bags, this would be just about the coolest laptop bag, like... EVER.  It would also make an amazing gift for any traveler, college student, mom (or dad!). It would even be a perfect substitute for a DIY business owner who needs a briefcase but wants to make a statement that says "I buy handmade."

With that winter gift-giving season coming up faster than you think, you guys won't want to wait on this one.  While Brooke and I will certainly continue to create collaborative items, this bag will never be duplicated and Brooke's schedule is pretty packed through the new year.  Don't try getting a custom bag made in November.  It won't happen.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm tossing in a free 1" glass tile and resin art pendant with the matching design? 'Cause I am.

 And shipping's included.

Try getting something this bad-ass for under $100 at the mall ... go on, I dare ya.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011