Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Upcycled Card Gift Tag DIY

We all have a collection of greeting cards. Most of us gather a small group of them after an event such as a birthday, wedding, sickness, and of course, the holidays. Shortly after that event, the cards are typically tossed out. Some of us never throw any of them out and have an ever growing collection of cards. We all know how much those cards cost, a minimum of $1, typically more like $3-5!

Here I present you with an easy alternative to tossing those dollars away! Gather up those cards and create some gift tags! Gather up some materials and I will show you how I turned 13 cards into over 75 large and over a hundred (I’m not counting them!) small tags. Use them as gift tags, labels, even price tags! Follow the super easy steps below to upcycle and stretch your dollars!
greeting cards
large hole punches

I like to use a large tag shaped punch, and a medium sized circle punch, but you can be creative and use any size or shape you like. I recommend removing the cover from the base and using your punch upside down, so that you can more easily place your punch.

Use your larger punch first to strategically place words or pictures where you would like them. Pay attention to the wording on the inside of the card and the back of the card! You may have to use your scissors to cut into the card a bit to get the punch exactly where you want it. Then use the edge of pictures or the fading of colors to create an interesting tag. If you plan to use the tags for labeling or pricing purposes, there will be a ton of white space that is useful for a simple white tag.

 Take a look at this simple card, I used the wording and images to create 4 large and 2 small tags with words and colors. I continued to utilize the white space and created several blank tags.

Once all the cards have been punched, thread a coordinating thread or twine through the tag. (You can use a needle, or maybe use a small hole punch to create a hole to thread the twine through.)

Voila! You have a tag! Some tags will be appropriate to write on the backside, and some will be ok to write on the front. Also, if there is writing from the original card’s use, if it is not acceptable to leave it, use a drop of glue to the backside and double up two of the tags, back to back!
I hope you are able to find a use for all of those cards you have stashed, think about using holiday cards when you are buying your gift wrap this winter too!
While supplies last, I will be including a set of 6 of each of these tags in any purchases from my Life's Gems Storenvy site.

A big thanks to Handmade in Kansas City Member, Brie from Life's Gems, for this fun DIY!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Finding Supplies In Our Environment

“ My favorite things often have a story behind them and are usually handmade or discovered at a flea market.” Amy Sedaris (actress)

The uniqueness of handmade gifts is one both the artists and the recipient cherish. As an artist, putting time into creating something with my hands is a process which can be both fulfilling, yet frustrating. Many times you have an idea in your head of what you hope to create. The frustration comes in trying to bring that idea to the physical world. It can be even more frustrating when you are creating not only a finished product but the supplies needed to create the piece also.

Today you can get on the internet and order about anything your imagination can dream of (well almost anything) but it is nice to know when you purchase an item, where the components were created. We have many artists from Handmade in KC who look to their own environment for their own supplies; some from scratch, others by repurposing items that others see as trash.

Growing Herbs
What a better way of ensuring the quality of your own supplies than to grow it in your garden! You may not think of growing basil as creating your own supplies, but growing something from a seed, nurturing it, harvesting it, and creating yummy jellies from the basil is a exactly what Christy from Aunt Christy’s Country Kitchen. Doesn’t her purple basil jelly sound like something worth trying?

Purple Basil Jelly (SEASONAL – June – Sept.)
This sweet herbed jelly has a distinct licorice flavor and is wonderful as a sauce over pork or chicken, or served with cream cheese and crackers.

Handmade Beads
Have you ever thought of making your own beads for a stylish necklace or bracelet? What would you use to make the beads? Glass? Rocks? Metal? How about paper? Amy Beth from Wicked Red has numerous types of handmade beads created using various paper products. Grab some paper and give it a try! Are you a lover of music? A necklace created using beads made from sheet music would be a perfect addition to your wardrobe. Do you love have a friend who loves Comicon but you aren’t sure what to give them? How about beads made from comic books? Check out the comic book beads below!

Baskets are come in all shapes and sizes. The supplies you use to make baskets can vary also. Traditional reed baskets can be dyed or painted various colors to suit your decorating needs.   After making baskets for a couple of years (and having to order supplies on-line since there is not a local source for reed) I wondered if there was anything in my environment I could use to create baskets. After a little bit of exploring I was curious to see if I could use some of the items growing in my own front yard. Our goldfish pond has both yucca and cattails growing around it. I had already made twinning from old fabric to crotchet a rag rug, so I am in the process of creating twinning from the yucca. It is still a work in progress, but I am excited to see what the finish product will become.

What items are in your environment that can be used to create something straight out or your imagination? Do you have an ideas for unique supplies you can use to create your next project?

Thank you to Krjsten from Demeter's Charisma for creating this blog post. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Meet The Maker - Larissa from Unravelled

This week's Handmade in Kansas City blog is an introduction to one of our newer members, Larissa Uredi of Unravelled LLC. 20150721_100858Larissa is currently a working artist and web developer in the Westport area and has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. She started Unravelled in 2007 and is proud to showcase her handmade jewelry, hand-dyed silk scarves and fine art paintings at various places around Kansas City. Here she is in her own words to explain a little bit about herself and her process: 
What brought you to Kansas City? What makes you stay? 
Well, I was born and raised in Denver and moved out to KC for college. After college I realized that KC has a great arts scene--it's really supportive and very eager to let new artists in to gain some exposure. I was really lucky to meet some great gallery owners right out of college and had some awesome opportunities to showcase my work.

Tell us a little bit about your artistic process and background: 
Well, I started drawing when I was a little kid. I would draw my Disney movie covers and was convinced that I was going to be an illustrator for Disney when I grew up. Unfortunately for me, they had long since moved to computer animation by the time I got to college and I lost a lot of interest in Illustration as an art form when I saw how digital it had become. When I started at KCAI I was thinking that I might pursue something along the lines of photography or creative writing but ended up falling in love with fiber and textiles. I discovered that I could get really excited about dyeing and manipulating silks, wools and other natural materials and decided that it would be a good major for me.

Where do you draw your inspiration from as an artist?
This is always a tricky question for me--the short answer is the natural world but it's more than that I think. I really love exploring new places and getting out and physically experiencing the world. I enjoy hiking and running and biking and all forms of movement and so for me, while I draw a lot of my inspiration from the colors and shapes found in nature, it's really about being out in the world and being present in different landscapes and spaces that gets me excited. I am still working on exactly how to convey that passion for movement and seeking/exploration in my work but I actively work on collecting artifacts, textures, colors and geometry when I go out adventuring or exploring in hopes that I'll get some of that energy across in my work. 

What are you currently working on in the studio?
Right now I'm actually participating in an artist residency in Spain called Can Serrat. It's a really wonderful place and I'm in love 20150622_102014with the village. The landscape around here is really amazing and I'm looking forward to creating work inspired by the place. I've been thinking a lot about the great mosaic patterns and art in this area and am hoping to bring some of that into my work. I have a show coming up in June of 2016 at The 504 Gallery in downtown and so a lot of what I've been doing lately is geared towards that. I've been working on silk wall hangings and just these really bright, colorful pieces. I'm excited to see how it all comes together!

How did you find out about Handmade in KC and what prompted you to join?
A friend stumbled across your website and sent me a link. It sounded like a really cool group of people and I liked the structure of the group with people actively sharing and working together to help promote each other. I think we need more things where artists can look at each other as allies and advocates instead of just competition. Kansas City has a LOT of artists and while we all want to stand out, I love that we can also come together as a community. Creative and artistic support is something that I think a lot of artists miss after they graduate from college and being able to find a group that I can talk to and work with has been really exciting.

Can you tell us a little bit about Unravelled?
_MG_3039Sure! So I started Unravelled LLC in 2007. I have always been interested in running my own business and had found a new love of jewelry and design and decided to combine my two interests. It's been an awesome experience and I've learned a lot about myself and about the arts world. I typically can be found set up at various galleries in Kansas City during First Fridays and more recently I've teamed up with The Classy Collective as a way to promote and sell my work in a group. It's another great example of artists + community and I'm excited to be part of it. As Unravelled I mainly focus on my more commercial work such as contemporary jewelry made with natural gemstones and findings as well as my painted and dyed silk scarves. I also feature a small collection of art prints and fine art paintings. You can find some of my work on my website:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Back To School Shopping Guide from Handmade in Kansas City

Summer is winding down, and the school year will be soon upon us. Start your child's school year off with unique, fashionable, and locally made items from Handmade In KC members. Here are a few fun and functional choices. Stay Organized with the College Dorm set from The Tulle Box, or storage bins from Life's Gems.
dorm set by The Tulle Box
storage bins from Life's Gems
Kids can keep their room in order with Mon-Stor storage by Lu & Ed.
Mon-Stor by Lu & Ed

What better way to carry a student ID card than a badge holder and a lanyard? Pick from a selection of fun patterns, colors and designs by Ni-Chern Designs.
Badge Holder by Ni-Chern Designs
Lanyard by Ni-Chern Designs
Your son can carry his lunch money, and a love note from mom, in a cool new wallet by Geek Chic Boutique.
Caped Crusader wallet by Geek Chic Boutique
Every girl needs a new outfit for the first day of school. Why not a handmade dress or skirt?
 Chevron dress from Handmade by LoloZ
Once you have the dress picked out, add a flowery hair clip to complete the outfit.
Vintage Lace flower clip by Violet's Buds
What is your must-have item for back-to-school?

Thank you to Handmade in KC member, Melanie from Violet's Buds for creating this post.