Thursday, January 28, 2016

Oh Baby! Last minute creativity is awesome!

Our Handmade in Kansas City community grew by one last week.  Big congratulations to our fearless leader Nicole, from Ni-Chern Designs, and her family on the birth of their baby boy. 

We had a team dinner last Sunday night but Baby Lucas decided to come a few days early, making it impossible for Nicole to attend.  In true maker fashion, we decided to that we needed a stand-in for Nicole at the dinner so this is what our wonderfully creative resident robot maker, Rebecca from Remnants by RJ, came up with.  This Mama Bot & Baby Bot are all set to do some sewing. 

At Handmade in Kansas City we tend to be each others biggest fans.  I think I can speak for us all in saying that Rebecca did a wonderful job in creating a Nicole-Bot.  Thanks Rebecca!

Stay tuned for upcoming Meet The Maker introductions to our new members, a peek at what's new for Valentine's Day and an upcoming article on how the makers at Handmade in Kansas City give back to our community. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

This blog post was written by Carolyn from Hang Ups in KC.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What Do Makers Do After Christmas?

Have you ever wondered what people in the maker community do once the Christmas rush is over? The first thing we do is take some time to relax and recover from the sheer amount of energy it takes to get through the holiday season of making, completing special orders, working shows and fulfilling, packing and mailing online and phone orders.  Then we clean our studios, which look like a tornado has been through them.  After that we start thinking about the fresh new year and planning what we'd like to do.  Many of us use this down time to take creative classes, business courses or attend a conference.  We thought we'd share with you what we do to strengthen our creative muscles and grow our business acumen.

Creative Live offers online classes in everything from photography, art & design, music & audio, hands on crafting and business skills for artists to lifestyle classes.  The class list is incredibly impressive and their instructors have solid skills that we can learn from.  The best thing is that most classes are free if you watch them live.  If you can't watch them live there is a small cost involved. Creative Live makes it possible to take basically any kind of class you want from the comfort of your home.  Check out their site and read the bio's on the instructors, we promise you'll be impressed.  

Eat Drink Stitch is a monthly series of embroidery happy hours, workshops and crafty events that rotate around various bars and restaurants in Kansas City.  You don't have to be experienced at stitching to attend these events - beginners are welcome.  These fun events were created by and are hosted by Kristen Shuler of Hey Paul Studios.  Several of our Handmade in Kansas City members love to attend these events regularly.

Craftcation is an annual four day business & makers conference that is held in Ventura California.  Instructors are comprised of industry professionals, several of which are well known authors in the "maker" world.  This conference is an excellent investment and experience for makers, bloggers, creative entrepreneurs and food artisans.  We (Hang Ups in KC) have attended this conference for the past three years and it's far exceeded our expectations every single year.  Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs attended with us last year and not only learned valuable business skills but screen printing and gluten free cooking.  We were thrilled to learn from one of our favorite authors, Kim Werker of Make it Mighty Ugly.  Kim gives a whole new meaning to the word dynamic.  The fact that the conference takes place in California, on the beach, is a major bonus.  Ventura is a gorgeous beach town with a wonderful creative vibe.  We highly recommend this conference!


MidWest CraftCon is a newly established conference for Makers.  Similar to Craftcation, they offer a wide range of classes in "maker" business skills to creative fun.  This March, Kristi & I will be attending this conference, located in Columbus, Ohio.  We are looking forward to making new creative like-minded friends from the Mid-West.  We are especially excited about keynote speakers Lisa Congden from Lisa Congden Art + Illistration and author and creative business guru Abby Glassenberg from While She Naps.  Both Craftcation and MidWest CraftCon are perfect for creative people who are considering selling their arts & crafts to people with established businesses.

If you have any questions about our personal experience with any of these events, classes or conferences let us know.  You can do that by commenting on this blog.

We all believe that expressing ourselves creatively is good for the soul.  If you have always wanted to be creative but think you are not creative we challenge you to make a resolution to try something new in 2016.  Happy making!

This blog was written by Carolyn Adams from Hang Ups in KC.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

DIY Mini Journals

Happy New Year!  Here at Handmade in Kansas City we believe that our creative muscle grows the more we use it.  To strengthen our creative muscle we love to make stuff for our personal use. Kelly from Kiser Krafts has generously shared this DIY project that is fun for the whole family - the DIY Mini Journal! These quick, cute, little books are great for writing down creative ideas, drawing cute pictures, or even giving an one of a kind gift to a friend! ☺
Supplies Needed: 1 sheet of 12 x 12 Card-stock - any color (I chose Brown) 6 sheets of 12 x 12 coordinating Scrapbook paper (you could mix it up and not coordinate - free creativity - Make it Your Style ;) ) scissors ruler paper cutter (if you have one or prefer to use one) hot glue gun decorative tape, ribbons, or other fun flare And optional: sewing machine
First, you measure your card-stock and cut a rectangle 5in high by 7in long. Then you are going to cut out two strips 4 3/4 in high by 6 3/4 in long from each scrap book piece of paper. You should have 12 total to make you inside journal papers.
Now comes the folding of your pages. You are going to fold 6 papers with print outside and 6 with the print inside. Then you put the print inside into the print outside make individual books. If you have a bone folder you can crisp up your fold edges with it. You should end up with 6 individual 'books'.
Then you stack them up, even them up and head to your sewing machine, if you wish. I chose to sew my 'books' together with my sewing machine. I hand turned my wheel and did one stitch at a time, slowly, and used a brand new sharp machine sewing needle. It took a touch of time and patience. But I liked the sturdiness of the sewn binding. You can also hand sew the books together with a book binding needle and embroidery thread, if so chose. And if you choose not to sew your "books" together, the next step will finish your journal for you. 😊
Now you need to warm up your hot glue gun. And put a bead of hot glue along the inner edges of the 'book' pages and place the card-stock around the inner pages. Making your book.
Add your final touches to the front. My Mom always tells me, "The more layers you have, the better details you include makes your piece feel finished." So, I added a saying and a few layers of different scrapbook paper scraps. Then topped it off with a ribbon bow and animal sticker tape. I am pretty happy with how it came together! It can now hold ideas, lists, drawings, and it can be a gift for someone else! ☺