Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Why “the bimbo of the arts” is one of my favourite things

Why “the bimbo of the arts” is one of my favourite things

Hey guys, Amy here. If we don’t know one another, I make up one half of the X37 Adventures duo. I currently live in London currently (hence why I haven’t been able to meet up with you lovely people) I am working on my Masters’ Degree in Art and Design History. In my readings for class and essays I have stumbled upon some interesting articles and bits or books that deal with indie craft and craft fairs. And they always seem to talk about community. And while that wasn't the focus of my research I tabbed the passages and kept them on a back burner to read after my essays are finished.

Now let me explain the bimbos quote. When you are writing essays, you come across lots of weird quotes in the research and if you are running on fumes, late at night, they can become really  funny. And craft being describe as a bimbo was one that made me chuckle.  Just so you know, I don’t think craft is a bimbo, the context was in discussing why craft is not seen as legitimate and serious as a form of art. in its relationship with fine art craft, and mostly DIY craft can be seen as a secondary form of art. Now I can (and did) write about why and how craft is more than capable of keep up with and even surpassing its posher cousin, fine art. What I want to write about is the areas that set craft apart from fine art; and that’s community.
Renegade Craft Fair, 2016, London (picture from renegade website) 
When I became active in the craft scene, it was because I was asked by a friend to help run a show, and because of it I have made some amazing friends I never would have found without it.  The craft movement we focused on was also my first introduction to indie arts and crafts. Which was wonderfully described (in the book Extra Ordinary: craft and contemporary art) as focused on hand-crafted and locally produced items that are championed as alternatives to mass produced, globally distributed goods. I love the term championed for describing indie art, it fits so perfectly with what the indie movement aims to create. In Extra Ordinary, there is a paragraph or two about craft fairs and how they are changing "with the rise of the DIY craft movement, a new form of  craft fair has emerged over the past several years in many cities through-out the United States. Examples include the Renegade Craft Fair...; Art vs. Craft...Bazaar Bizarre. While these fairs reflect some characteristics of traditional craft fairs, the difference is the vendors are mainly Gen Xers  who are commercially savvy, art educated, conscious of good design, and who seek to transform what was once considered mere feminine and domestic forms of creativity and decoration into something new. In these fairs, it seems that DIY craft as a subculture has an interest in capitalizing on the subversive allure of hipness in an effort to subvert hegemonic systems of taste and consumption. At DIY craft events, one frequently sense a palatable measure of tastemakers' confidence. These craft practitioners are insiders because they have not only built up social capitol through communal work sessions in craft production but have also embraced their inner geek and built an identity for themselves via the social community that exists on the internet"

In almost every book that dealt with DIY craft or craft fairs the topic of community was brought up as a huge distinction between 'Art' and 'Craft', one thing the community needs (and usually does) to do is support the community and keep raising each other up.

Putting local first

One thing I have learned from the indie arts and craft movement is that local is number one, and while it sometimes defines local a bit loosely, the indie community really tries to build, support and promote the local creators, makers and business. You know, the whole strength in numbers thing, and it takes a village to pull focus from major corporations to small businesses and creators. The interconnected web of the indie movement is so much fun to explore. Next time you have a free day just play local business telephone; start one place and ask them where you should go next, for shopping, or food, drinks, whatever you are looking for I’d confidently place money on a local small business knowing the best places around. (if you play this game, be sure to share with me! I want to see your fun day!).  One of the hardest parts of being in London is having to be far from this community that knows what’s happening, and people who are usually up for some get together. One of my highlights was going to a Renegade Craft Fair in November - it was just like being at any fair in Kansas City. It was great to see that the indie and DIY craft community has the same vibe even when thousands of miles apart.

If you are new to the handmade scene in KC then check out Handmade in KC on Facebook or their website.  All the makers that are part of the group are some of the nicest folks around, and can help you find pretty much anything you're looking for (or make pretty much anything, for that matter).

Blog submitted by Alexis Webb-Bechtold & Amy Folkedahl (a.k.a. the A-Team)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thank You From The Bottom Of Our Hearts

A couple of weeks ago we introduced you to Robin, sister of the wonderfully creative Handmade in KC member, Sara, from Gypsy Soup.  Robin is bravely battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  We wanted to help so as a group we decided to have an auction to raise money to help pay for Robin's medical and living expenses.  We launched the auction 3 weeks ago and put it out on social media. The response was overwhelming, heartwarming and spirit lifting.   With your help we raised a grand total of $1,326.94 for Robin.

Donations came in many forms; bids on auction items, an outrageous bidding war and cash donations.

Every member of Handmade in Kansas City participated in this auction whether it was by donating an item handmade by them, bidding on an item or spreading the word repeatedly far and wide.

The following is the story of the bidding war, posted on Facebook by the artist who made the necklace; Cindy from FabTabulous:

I'd like to share an inspiring story about a handmade cross necklace, an online auction, a woman battling pancreatic cancer, and a group of Handmade in Kansas City makers who came together to raise some money. The part that was so special to me was when two high school friends decided to bid on the necklace that I had made and donated to the auction. Todd and Kevin bid against each other until that simple cross necklace made from reused guitar strings was up to $800! You read that correctly...EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS! Kevin's cousins, Rob and Chris, also joined in the fun and added to the cause. Folks, this is what it looks like to show love to an absolute stranger. Pictured below is the $800 necklace!

Handmade in KC would also like to send a special thanks out to Sandi and Greg Clootz from Eden Alley Vegetaria.  When they heard about the auction they reached out to us and made a generous financial donation.  If you haven't visited Eden Alley yet put it on your list.  It is an award winning vegetarian restaurant located on the lower level of the Unity Temple on the Plaza. Along with big hearts, they also have a beautiful garden patio.

To sum it all up - THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.  The proceeds from this auction will make a difference to Robin.

This blog post was written by Carolyn Adams from Hang Ups in KC on behalf of all Handmade in KC members.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Things to Love About May

April in Kansas City has been full of showers. Like the saying, "April showers bring May flowers." May starts off with May Day with baskets full of lowers but also brings many additional occasions for us to celebrate heritage, family, and ones we have lost. See how Handmade in KC artists can help us in the month of May with touches of themselves and their handmade pieces.

May Day encourages us to create May Day baskets for our neighbors or participate in a May Day celebration. (May Day on May 1 is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival. It is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures in Europe).  

Even if you are little late fill a heart shaped basket to hang on the door of a neighbor or the one you love from Demeter's Charisma!  Your neighbor will love it!

Cinco De Mayo
Whether you celebrate Cinco De Mayo because you need a reason to drink margaritas or Corona's or your heritage takes you back to Mexico and you understand the meaning behind the celebration! (Cinco de MayoSpanish for "Five of May", the holiday is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza SeguΓ­n.)

Attend a Mexican fiesta or celebrate all year long while wearing this upcycled keychain from FabTabulous!  While we have your attention, this or one of FabTabulous' other beer themed items would make a great Father's Day gift!

Pop Tab and Bottle Cap KEYCHAIN - Corona Light -  black and mustard gold - eco-friendly/upcycled - under 10 dollars
"This is a totally unique, upcycled keychain made from pull tabs of post consumer aluminum cans, a 1 1/8 inch key ring, and black leather cord. It features a post consumer black and mustard gold Corona Light beer bottle cap which has been woven right into the design." ~FabTabulous

Mother's Day reminds us to say thank you to those who have helped raise us or have helped us when our mother is no longer there to do it herself. (Mother's Day is a day to honor the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society).  If you are late with your Mother's Day gift here's your chance to redeem yourself!  

Taking time to show our appreciation and love can be as simple as giving her a Spa in a Jar from Seasons of Love!

"This spa sets contains all the basic spa materials and a few other deluxe items. So take some time and enjoy a long bath with your bath bomb, exfoliate dry dead skin with a moisturizing sugar scrub, or lather on some whipped body butter to leave your skin soft and smooth. Spa sets are a great way for you to sample a variety of items as well. " ~ Seasons of Love

Memorial Day

Spring is also the time for baby showers and dressing little ones in outfits allowing them to show off their patriotic spirit as they help pay tribute to those who have fought for their freedom! (Memorial Day in the United States is a federal holiday established to remember the people who died while serving in our country's armed forces.)

Dress up your little one or share with a friend with this patriotic ensemble from Handmade by LoloZ

Baby Girl Patriotic Gift Set - open back top, ruffle bloomers, sandals
"Adorable set in coordinating red, white and blue stars and stripes prints. Open back top has ruffle trim and snap closure. Bloomers have three rows of ruffles and elastic legs and waist. Sandals have elastic. Available in 0-3, 3-6, 6-9, 9-12 and 12-18 months - specify size when ordering."~Handmade by LoloZ

Whether May means celebrating spring, Mother's Day, Mexico's victory, or recognizing those who have fought for freedom, it is a month full of hope and thanks! Handmade in KC has numerous artists who can help you find a unique way to show your support or love!

A big thank you to Kjrsten from Demeter's Charisma for creating this blog post.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Looking for Unique Mother's Day Gifts?

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and I have a feeling that some of us may be slacking in the gift department.

It’s ok, not to worry-we’re here to help!

We’ve put together a list of awesome and unforgettable gifts that mom will love, all made with love right here in Kansas City.

Before I get to the list though, I have to say that even though we are all craftspeople and makers, even we struggle with what to get the one woman in our lives who has done so much for us--if you look through our features and don’t see that perfect thing, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to make something custom for you!

Without further adieu, I present, the Handmade In Kansas City Mother’s Day Gift Guide! (say that 5 times fast!)

First up, this lovely hand-stamped bangle from Hangs Up inKC:

"Mom, you were right" Hand-Stamped Aluminum Bangle by Hang Ups in KC

It’s comfortable but durable lightweight aluminum and bears the message “mom, you were right!”  We’re going to warn you--you may never hear the end of how cool this gift is--and with the message attached to with caution.  Click here to find it on Hang Up in KC's website.

Italian Bead  Labradorite with Bronzed Chain and Wire Wrap Copper Necklace by Unravelled

Next, this necklace from Unravelled LLC. If you’ve ever wanted to take your mom to Italy but just can’t afford the plane tickets, this necklace might be the next best thing. The beads were found in Rome and they complement the labradorite beads and copper chain just beautifully.  To find this necklace on Unravelleds Etsy shop click here.  

Handmade Dolls by the little wing
If jewelry really isn’t her thing, I highly suggest one of The Little Wing’s dolls: they are literally the cutest things ever. Handsewn and designed with lots of passion, these little beauties are sure to impress. 

Game Day Dresses by Handmade by Lolo Z
Is your Mom is a huge Kansas City Royals fan?  How about a handmade game day dress by Handmade by Lolo Z? Click here to check it out on Handmade by Lolo Z's Etsy store.

Southern Peach Smash Jam by Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen

If Mom loves food the jams & jellies from Aunt Christy's Country Kitchen would make the perfect gift.  

Lavender Bath Bomb by Seasons of Love Gifts

Finally, what Mom doesn't love bath products? To find these lavender bath bombs on Seasons of Love Gifts Etsy shop click here.  There are so many choices - you'll want one of everything!

These are just a few of the lovely local and handmade gifts from the Handmade in Kansas City group you could give your mom for this Mother’s Day. It’ll definitely set the bar high for next year but we all know mom’s worth it--good luck and happy gifting!

This blog post was written by Larissa from Unravelled.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Birthday Wishlist from the A-mazing Handmade In KC Group

Hi! Let me introduce myself. I am Kelly, of Kiser Krafts Handmade, and am a guest blogger for the first week of the month of May on the Handmade In Kc group blog! ☺ I am so honored because...*lean in close* Come on. Yeah, little closer...there! Ready?? It is my birthday May 3rd! And while my shop is celebrating with a huge sale and a giveaway (click HERE to enter as all are welcome), I am here to tell YOU my gift wishlist from my favorite (okay, honesty here - all of them are my favorites but I don't want to be greedy on my birthday wishlist - if ya'know what I meanπŸ˜‰. So, here are my top 8 out of my list of 20. 😍 I made this cute little collage for easy Pin-ablity. Feel free to Pin It!☺ birthdaywishlist by @KKHandmade for @HandmadeInKC blog ( above only represents 7 of the EPIC handmade small businesses that are part of this amazing Handmade In Kc group but as I said above...if I did my whole would be pages long. ☺ Let's first start with the beautiful bracelet at the top of the image and work down. ☺ I love each item equally.

  GUITAR STRING BRACELET - by FabTabulous on Etsy FabTabulous creates from up-cycled materials and this bracelet is made of an old guitar string. 😍 I love the beautiful twists and turns to create an infinity type design. It is so pretty and well made.

If you only need to know one thing about me,😍 I love - LOVE - coffee. ☺ I could not have a birthday wish list without these adorable Coffee designed Cookies by Pippa's Parchment. Don't they look delicious!?! Yum!

As like above, I just love coffee. And who would not want to pamper herself with a Handmade Coffee Scrub?!?! Gah! I love all the amazing things Seasons of Love Gifts makes!! 😍 Her bath bombs are so relaxing. And I bet this scrub smells divine and feels amazing! This is on more than just my birthday list, but my everyday wishlist. ☺

I am a Northerner, who transfer down to Kansas City when I married my husband. And he introduced me to my NEW most favorite team - the Royals. I am so in LOVE with these Royal Game Day team dresses Handmade by LoloZ . They look so comfy for the spring and summer! Each dress is unique and yet, still has the love of our local baseball team. My heart πŸ’™ truly beat for the Blue. πŸ˜‰

I was not a huge robot fan until I met Remnants by R & J. They create the most unique up-cycled robot creations! And they just added this adorable Robot doodle Pouch! 😍 It is so cute and I can see so many things (crochet hooks πŸ˜‰ ) I can store in it! Make sure to visit this shop to see all the A-mazing, creative, hand-created robots. You will want them all.☺

Another thing about me is I have sewn since I was 4. My Mom taught me young and I enjoy it so much. I sew each creation at Kiser Krafts Handmade. And this adorable handmade 'Sew Cool' hoop art by Violet's Buds is A-mazing! It would add so much to my crafting spot. I would love to see it hanging up on my wall encouraging my next sewing project. Violet's Buds has more than this darling hoop...she creates gorgeous hair flowers. I love them and wear each one that I already own.πŸ˜‰ Anything in her shop is on my Birthday list. 😍

Finally, I just recently got my ears pierced and I am drooling over this pair from Nuggets of Goodness. She has in her shop so many wonderful hand-crafted jewelry pieces. But I fell in love 😍 with the delicateness of this pair of Gold Filled Violet Lover Knot earrings. 😍

Thank you so much for letting me share my Birthday Wishlist from Handmade In Kc group with you! ☺
Your Crafty Handmade In KC Friend,
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