Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Upcoming Holiday Events

For November, we have a few events coming up at various locations across town.  
This is the perfect time of the year to shop local and make a positive impact on small local businesses and your community by choosing to buy from small businesses.
Please stop in and check these great events out!

November 18th

Aunt Christy’s Country Kitchen (selling jams and jellies) will be at
KC Local Exposure 2017 – Adams Pointe Conference Center, 1400 NE Coronado, Blue Springs, MO 64014
Saturday, 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Come shop through over 75 local artisans, makers and crafters! No booths are available to direct sales vendors (Scentsy, Lipsense, etc) 

Creations by M & J (selling handmade children’s items, quilts, scarves, etc.) will be at
Burlington Christmas Craft Festival, Burling Middle School, 720 Cross St, Burlington, KS 66839
Saturday, 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM

Hang Ups Jewelry Designs (selling recycled jewelry) will be at
Pop-up Shop at Meyer Music, 6312-14 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO
Saturday, 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM
Hang Ups makes jewelry out of recycled musical instruments, which they are selling at this event

Ivory Isis (selling recycled and redone vintage jewelry) will be at
Belvoir Winery Sip N Shop, 1325 Odd Fellows Rd, Liberty, MO 64068
Saturday, 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM
It's the most popular Holiday shopping event in the Northland, and we have expanded to the second floor! Shopping with over 50 local vendors, free wine tastings, lunch, chair massages and giveaways! Door prizes valued at over $800 will be given away. $25 value free gifts given to the first 40 that walk in the door at 10:00 AM! (yes, the football games are on in the tasting room!)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Harry Potter Craft Printables!

November is here and it is COLD! Handmade in KC member Scott Gipson took some time from creating amazing hand crafted wands from wood and has created these printable Harry Potter themed crafts, perfect for chilly winter evenings.  The first few are perfect for any age and the last three require a bit more patience!

 Pipe Cleaner Bowtruckle

Pipe Cleaner Harry Potter Glasses and Scar

 Felt Spell Book

Flying Winged Key Tutorial 


Cornish Pixie

Enjoy - and visit Gipson Wands to see Scott's wands, crochet hooks and other specialty items!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Handmade in KC - Events in September

September is here and there is no shortage of great events all over the city!  This month is the perfect time to get out, enjoy the gorgeous weather and support local makers.  Handmade in Kansas City members have been busy creating a fresh supply of hand-crafted products and can be found at these festivals and shows.  Stop by their booths and say 'HI!"

September 8-9
Seller(s): Creations by M & J
Main Street, Belton, MO
Hours:  Friday, 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm, Saturday, 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
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September 9
Seller(s): Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen
Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W Pacific Ave, Independence, Missouri 64050
Hours:  Saturday, 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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September 9th
Seller(s): Ivory Isis
North Kansas City, MO
Hours:  Saturday, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
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Seller(s): Creations by M & J
California, MO
Hours:  Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
September 15 -17
Seller(s): Hang-Ups Jewelry Designs, Ni-Chern Designs, Lil Rhae
Johnson Farms
Belton, MO

Hours:  Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sunday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

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September 23
Seller(s): Creations by M & J, Ni-Chern Designs
Santa Fe Commons Park 8045 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS 66204
Hours:  Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

September 30 - October 1
Seller(s):  The Little Wing, The Bot Connection
KC Pumpkin Patch, 13875 S Gardner Road, Olathe, Kansas 66061
Hours:  10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How to Care For Your Artist

There are a lot of posts out there that talk about the Arts and Artists--but very few of them address what it means to live with one, be with one or want to support one. And so, I took a moment and put together a list of things that I think can be helpful and good-to-know when dealing with an Artist in the Home or in their natural habitat, the Studio:

Listen to them
If they have a project idea, they will probably need to talk it through. It might be really manic, ranging from ‘this is the coolest idea ever” to “but it’ll never work because I suck” all in one session. Don’t try to fix it, dear listener, just listen and keep on listening. If they ask for your input, try to offer something. Please don’t give in to the “I’m not creative so I have nothing to offer” You sell yourself and your ideas short and you’re making a huge assumption. Sometimes artists need to hear a “non-artist” perspective on something so they can check it against their own ideas and concepts. It’s important.
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Showing their sketches is really scary
There’s a misconception that artists are making art to be seen and consumed by the public. And to some extent, they are. But sometimes they’re also just doodling their coffee cup. Or making random marks on the page with a new pencil. Or drawing a really crappy rendition of the flowers on the dining room table because they feel rusty and out of practice. By all means, look and support at our work but understand that just because someone is drawing or working in a sketchbook, doesn’t mean it’s a vanity piece. It doesn’t even mean it’s good. Or art. It could just be a doodle. And that’s OK. But please don’t seem disappointed when the big reveal is just a series of lines and hatch marks.  
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Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Artists love compliments as much as the next guy--sometimes it feels really good to have those kind words validated and backed up by an action, however. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy their work (though that would be nice, too) but more that if you care about someone’s work and feel they’re talented, show up for them. Go to their shows, be there to help take down work, figure out how to be a good resource for them when they can’t seem to get to the gallery AND the grocery store to grab snacks for a reception.
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The first rule of studio is don’t talk about studio
An artist’s studio is their place to be free and create stuff. Even if it’s not going to be their “legacy”. There’s a good chance that their work space is a mess. They know that and probably feel pretty bad for having a messy space to begin with. It’s also entirely possible that an artist’s studio is an homage to work they love, not necessarily their own. Opening the door to their space where they are supposed to be realizing all the expectations society has on them for choosing this absurd lifestyle can be pretty intimidating. Honor that space and let it be what it needs to--a place for them to create.
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Thank you Larissa from Unravelled for this week's post!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back to School Fun - Recycled Crayons!

Thank you Tania from Ivory Isis for this great craft tutorial!

  • Old crayons, separated by color
  • Silicone star baking cups
  • Exacto knife (optional)
  • Remove the paper wrappers on all the crayons. I used an exacto knife for speed, but if you have children helping with this project it would be best to do it by hand.
  • Separate the crayons into color groups. Try throwing gold or silver pieces in with another color - this will put streaks of gold or silver throughout the other color. Play with your color combinations and see what happens.
  • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cut all the crayons into 1/2 inch to 1 inch pieces.
  • Place enough crayon pieces into each silicone cup so that the bottom is covered. Each cup will be filled about 1/3 of the way up.
  • Place the mold into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
  • When the crayons have melted completely, take them out of the oven. Set the mold on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then place in the freezer for another 15-25 minutes or until the crayons have re-solidified.
  • When the crayons are solid, gently push them out of each cup in the silicone mold.
Now you have brand "new" crayons! This is a very thrifty and fun craft!

These can be made before your kids go back to school, instead of buying new ones, use the old broken ones. Your kid is sure to have the coolest crayons in the class. These also make great gifts for children and adults alike.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How To Get Yourself Out Of A Jam!


So you are in your favorite grocery story and looking for that oh so yummy fruity goodness to go with your peanut butter sandwich.  You get to your favorite aisle and the confusion starts.  You see jelly, jam, preserves (wait, isn’t that jam?), conserves, fruit honeys, chutney, fruit curd, marmalade, and fruit butters. Your head explodes.  How do you make a choice??  Why can’t it be more simple?  Well, here ya go, sugar.  Your personal path to simplicity in the condiment aisle, courtesy of our very own jam and jelly queen, Christy Bean, the owner and maker at Aunt Christy’s Country Kitchen.
JELLY is made with juice and is usually translucent, with no particles. It holds its shape nicely, yet it is soft enough to spread on toast.
JAM is made with crushed fruit and sugar. It is thicker than jelly, yet should be spreadable.
PRESERVES are made with whole fruit or chunks of fruit and are suspended in jelly.  They are great over cream cheese or ice cream, but should also be great on toast.  Or you can eat them right out of the jar, if you so desire!  
CONSERVES are made with dried fruit, sugar, and nuts.  They are typically very thick and can sometimes be made with spices or liquor.  They are great served with a meat and cheese tray, but are wonderful with a bagel and cream cheese.

FRUIT HONEYS are made with fruit juice and honey or sugar.  They can also be made with a fruit puree.  They are thick and very sticky, but can be spread like a true honey.
CHUTNEY is typically made with a combination of fruit and/or veggies, vinegar, spices, sugar and is usually used as a condiment.  However, some chutneys are sweet and are amazing over goat cheese or baked in a brie cheese. Chutney is usually thick and chunky.
FRUIT CURDS are made with fruit juice, eggs, and butter.  Curds are typically thick and creamy and very rich.  Very spreadable and smooth.
MARMALADE is jelly that is made with fruit rind and is typically made with citrus fruits.
FRUIT BUTTERS are made with pureed fruit and sugar, and can sometimes be made with spices.  The fruit is usually cooked down until it is soft and then it is pureed until it is smooth.  It is typically very thick, but spreadable.

So there you have it.  Your quest for the ideal fruity spread is over and the mystery is solved. Now go and use what you have learned. Make some great food!!

Thank you Christy for this great information!!!  Visit her website to find out more -  Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Meet the Maker - Scott Gipson, Gipson's Wand

Today, we get to know Scott from Gipson Wands!  GipsonWands makes Harry Potter inspired "Magic" wands, crochet hooks, carved bookmarks and other products including Wizarding Clue. All Wands are handmade from naturally dried locally sourced trees or salvaged lumber with a hand rubbed oil finish.

Q: What brought you to Kansas City? A: I'm a Kc native, born and raised. Went to school here till college at UCM (CMSU at the time) where I got my Fine Arts Degree.
Q: What makes you stay? A: I actually really like it here, it’s a big town with a small town feel. Plus my immediate family are all still here. I love my day job.
Q: Original career plan? A: I got a BFA with an emphasis on graphic design in College, I’ve always been an Artistic person.
Q: What do you make and when did you start? A: Around 2004 the city did some tree work on my Sycamore and since I have a fireplace I asked to keep the wood to burn. I wasn't thinking about wood work at the time but I was a pretty big Harry Potter fan and wanted my own wand. They sell these Resin cast replicas online but that's not what I wanted. I only had hand tools at the time so I literally whittled down this large sycamore log to make a wand for myself. That led to me making wands for my family members out of other local woods. Eventually someone told me that I should be selling them... It was all by hand in the beginning. It wasn't until (2008) I inherited my Grandfather's lathe that it really started taking off.

Wizarding Clue 
Q: Tell me about your creative process, what is your inspiration? A: This is going to sound super corny. I hardly ever have a plan for a wand in the beginning. I select a wand blank put it on my lathe and let it tell me what it wants to be.

Q: Hardest lesson learned? A: When I first started I was doing 100% custom wands, I had no social media, and my own website that I built myself, looking back, not a great business model. Since I didn't have that big of a back catalog it was really hard for customers to tell if I could do what they wanted and I had no way to direct people to my work. My first year I had 1 person buy a wand which is amazing because they just found me via Google or something. I didn't give up. I shifted models and just started making wands to list. Just E-bay listings at first, then added Facebook, Storenvy, Twitter, Instagram, craft shows.

Crochet Hook

Q: What motivates you to keep going when things get tough? A: I've had some dry spells, where nothing was selling. It was discouraging for sure. I didn't take it to heart because I believed in what I was doing, using only local sourced or salvaged lumber. I diversified what I sold, added more wood types, hoop art, art prints, key chains, and bookmarks.
Q: What are you currently working on in the studio? A: I got a Comic Con coming and there's always a stack of wood that needs milled into wand blanks. Comic Con is a huge motivation though, last year was my first and I loved it.

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