Saturday, December 30, 2006

Before we get too far from the holidays, I thought I'd post a few pictures. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of tree trimming, shopping, cookie-making, present-wrapping, present unwrapping, sight-seeing, and family bonding. Observe:

A tiny nativity I made in 1991:

In my family it is tradition (going back 30+ years) to "hide the ugly Santa."

Sage makes cookies with his grandparents:

Twas the night before Christmas:

. . . and then the morning after:

I hope your holidays have been full of family, friends and fun. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

BazBiz in brief

Last Saturday was the Bazaar Bizarre at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown L.A. It certainly wasn't as well organized/publicized/attended/financially successful as Felt Club, but it was an opportunity to meet some indie aficionados and hang out with cool crafters. The night before, I made these cupcakes for the BazBiz Cakewalk:

They were little strawberry cupcake boobs and each one had a flag that said "Breast Wishes for a Happy Nude Year!", inspired by my contribution last year. I heard they were one of the first to be chosen among the cakewalk winners. Someone liked my boobies!

Here I am at my booth:

Wow, that looks kinda sparse. To the right is a wall-o-racks that isn't translating well. Two tiers + one clothing rack+ one purse rack + one table full of stuff = kokoleo overload.

When I see other vendors walking in with only a bin or two and setting up in less than 15 minutes, I'm jealous. Meanwhile, I'm making numerous trips to the car lugging tons of clothes, pillows, monsters, purses, accessories and the paraphernalia needed to display it all. Why do I always do things the hard way? Why am I not drawn to creating small things like toothpick sculptures or matchbox paintings? My life would be a lot simpler then. . . but then also, less kokoleoier.

I didn't have much time to mingle during the show, but toward the end Erik and Sage showed up and I quickly took Sage around to see all the wacky stuff. I bought him this shirt from The Mighty Squirm because it remined me of him and Kali, and this hat from Things That Are Square:

Don't dare call him a frog though. He will inform you, "I'm not a frog! I'm a dead monster." This hat paired with some kokoleo flame print monster pants makes Sage the weirdest looking kid at preschool. Luckily, he doesn't mind.

It was nice having extra hands at the end to disassemble my racks. Sage gladly lugged bags out to the car and wheeled my clothing rack through the parking lot like a scooter.

I, in turn, treated them to a nice dinner at our favorite Italian restarunt. Two purses sold = one nice dinner out.

I promised them I'd cut down on the craft shows for a while to do more family fun stuff. Speaking of that. . .

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Felt Club XL Holiday Event

The Felt Club XL Holiday event was yesterday and it was a BLAST! It was pretty much like this the entire time:

Jam-packed with people who appreciate handmade goods. Shows like these make me realize that there is a reason why I make all the things I do. Although an item may sit in my studio for days, weeks, months, even years, someday someone is going to see it and and say, "That's the one I want. I love it!" Yesterday was one of those days and I was able to send a whole bunch of kokoleo items out into the world.

Here was my setup:

One of my sixth grade students, Lillye, showed up with her dad. Lillye is one of the most creative 12-year-olds I've ever met. She has a sewing machine and enjoys working with felt so last week I gave her a postcard for the show. I was so happy to see her there and she was in awe of all the cool handmade stuff. She purchased this purse from me and I gave her a good deal because it was one of those things that when I made it, I wondered, "Who in the world is going to want this crazy thing?" I'm glad Lillye was the one. I told her I predict that in ten years she'll be doing shows like these.

Another exciting purchase was when someone who was doing the interior design of a treehouse for an L.A. executive bought these three vintage calendar linen pillows:

I couldn't bring myself to ask who the executive was (this is Hollywood, after all) but she said she would send me pictures. Sweet! Is sounds like my kind of place.

There's nothing better than when someone walks up smiling, and says, "I'd like to buy this," or, "I really like your stuff." I like to tell people the history behind the items. Like, "That's sequined applique came from this old seamstress lady at the Melrose Ave. flea market." or, "That fabric came from Savannah, Georgia." or, "I held on to that material for 10 years before I made that purse, I loved it so." or, "I just made that monster yesterday, it's hot off the sewing machine!" These are the things that make buying a one-of-a-kind more intimate and special than purchasing a mass produced good at a chain store.

Not only did I sell a bunch of stuff, but I also won two things in the raffle - a skirt kit from my pal Susan Stars (I'm going to give it to Lillye) and a "Lucious Pies" t-shirt from Rotem Gear. Sweet! I also got a cool Craft Show Survival Kit hand-delivered by Marie from The Sampler. Plus, I had my holiday project how-to published in the event program:

Driving home on the freeway I couldn't help but thinking, damn, here I am driving home on the freeway from a big show on Melrose Ave. in Hollywood where I was a vendor selling my own designs. Kokoleo's come a long way in the past few years. And next week I'm doing it all over again at Shrine Auditorium for Bazaar Bizarre. See you there!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Of Monsters and Marvels

Saturday night was the opening for the this show at Monkeyhouse Toys:

I had eight pieces in the show. I took them all in to show Mayra, the gallery owner thinking she would pick out just one or two, but she insisted on taking them all! I love her.

Here's my Jack-in-the-Hatbox. The blue furry winged thing above him is by Jenny Harada. Jenny's stuff rocks.

Here are four of The Five Senses, from bottom to top - Mouthius, Handre', Nosetradamus, Earick. I accidentally cut off Eyevan who was at the bottom of the totem. Oops.

Here's Threeo, the one with three eyes and overalls:

I also had an orange five-eyed one fin/footed t-shirt wearing monster named Fiveye that sold before I got there so I never got to take his picture. Oh well. Bon Voyage undocumented one! I hope you enjoy your new home!

The show was jammed packed with lots of cool people mingling amongst the monsters. At Monkeyhouse, it's hard to tell where the gallery ends and the shop begins. Likewise, the line between art and toy is blurred. It's all art. Check it out:

Here's Sage with his friend Ava.

He fell in love with that top hat while we were there. It's a magician's hat and it comes complete with a bunny. He wore it all night, took it to bed, and this morning I awoke to him standing beside my bed saying, "Abra Kazabra! Look! I'm magic!"

Thanks Mayra, for making magic happen.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Me and my sexual buttons

Okay, you're going to have to keep reading to understand that title up there.

A few weeks ago I was psyched to get an order from Tel Aviv, Isreal. It was for my flower tote that had been featured on page 81 in issue #004 of N.E.E.T. magazine (another item they featured, my friendship pillow, was purchased by someone in Paris, France). Yesterday I received this email:

hello girls,
my name is Yael Regev and i am an Israeli journalist. i admire and am inspired by your work; therefore i have incorporated it in an article of mine.
it is in Hebrew, sorry, but enjoy anyway
Yael Regev

Sweet! Kokoleo's goin' global! Since the article was in Hebrew, I Googled around for a translation and all I could come up with was this:

"Mother in the fulltime job. Her love to sewing and cloths, brought her to try and to produce from it economic fringe benefits and in the this goal inaugurated her website. The site is designed in the amateurism of balance, visible laden and in disorder and will be prepared written in the clear fonts of word. A little depressing, lame beginning, but the designs completely is not bad.

Oanhorn offers varied eclectic stylistically and with respect to type of the products. The sewing and the decrees that is most basic, but the colorfulness that are abundant and the creativeness are thrilling.

Apparently that the woman supposed her paws on from stonecutter of fantasy Ointag ' desireable the most and authentic neighbour she creates clothes, purses, repairs and wallets are visible as if were yanked from the years 70 and therefore also the decrees that are basic and the oldfashioned add to the authenticity of the product. Oanhorn unafraid to combine between cloths with different adverse examples and mysteriously this exit her successful on the way that thought that only shade Stephanie was successful to slide.

By combination of the cloths that are random this, Oanhorn add to the most sexual buttons, embroideries and knitted oldfashioned applications of owls, girls of pin, berries and my bottle."

Ha! What? That's hilarious. Thanks Yael! Now I'm off to sew more sexual buttons on stuff. Hubba hubba.


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