The Kira Nichols Etsy Shop

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Princess and Octopus Mug Rugs

 I did the Craftster Mug Rug swap a little while ago and I realized that I never posted these little guys! A mug rug is a wee quilted thingie, kind of like a place mat. It's usually about 5x7" in size, big enough for a mug o' something and a little treat like a cookie or muffin. This first one was for a princess theme (if you couldn't tell by looking at it :)
 Here's a close up of the quilting on it. The fun thing about little quilts is that they're small enough to get some pretty cool stitching designs on there with just a regular ol' sewing machine.
 I used StazOn ink to stamp the letters and the images were printed onto sew-on printable fabric. I thought the raw edges of the letter pieces looked pretty neat.
 This next one is ocean themed and has a nice little octopus applique.
 Close-up of the stitching. The batting I used on this one was a bit thinner, so it's not as puffy as the princess one.
I used a zig-zag stitch to fix on some suede yarn for the border. Anyhoo, I gotta go get ready for my Disney trip :D So excited!!!! Happy Wednesday, everyone! Have a beautiful week!

Sharing Owls Journal

I can't stop making journals... The cover for this one is another old recycled cover from an RD condensed book. Before adding all the embellishments, I did a light wash of magenta india ink over a very green and white pattern... I wanted less contrast, so the ink was a good way to tone things down.
 The quote is from Elder Joseph B Wirthlin: "Kindness is the essence of greatness." This is one of my friend's favorite quotes! And it kiiiiinda fits with the owls sharing that mouse... The image is cut out of an old children's book.
 I used lots of various paints and embellishments to decorate. Mostly craft acrylics, acrylic inks, etc. Then antique stamps, gems, novelty yarns, etc. I really liked the way it turned out and its new owner was happy with it, too :) I hope everyone had a magnificent weekend!!!

Baby Girl Mini-Album

I made this mini-album to surprise a friend who had her first baby daughter after three boys :) I secretly took the pictures off of her Facebook page, I don't think she minded...

 I had a lot of fun doodling and embellishing in girly colors, and I was able to use my new eyelets and eyelet setter!

In other news, it's my birthday today! I had a bit of a lonesome day, since Bobby is working and our nearest family is a little under 1000 miles away... but I got to talk on the phone with them and then Skype with my BFFs back in Washington State. Plus, yesterday Bobby took me out to eat and I got to pet the cutest teeny tiny piglet at the pet shop. Overall, it has been a decent b-day :) Happy Tuesday, friends!

New Stampotique Releases! Blog Hoppage

Welcome to the Stampotique Winter 2012 Release Blog Hop!
You should have hopped here from Vera Lane Studio.  If you want to start at the beginning, go to the Stampotique Designer's Blog.
 Stampotique is glad to be introducing a new artist, Roc Nicholas, as well as many new stamps from the gang of other fabulous Stampotique artists.  I, personally, am super-thrilled to have 5 new stamps added to my collection from some of my various illustrations :) and I've used a few to make the projects for this blog post! 
For this card, I used Mr. Gentleman Fox, a dude that Bobby said looks like "Starfox's fancy cousin". I used black Staz-On ink, then colored the image with watercolors.

 Here's another card, but it features Wolfie King, who admittedly looks a lot like a bat. It must be the cape.
I added some teeny tiny gems to his crown for a little pop of fun. 
 I experimented with text in this bookmark featuring Old Timey Frog. He rides a big old timey bicycle like a boss.
I used watercolor paper to make this bookmark nice and sturdy for all the reading adventures it'll see in the near future :)

So go ahead and continue along the blog hop for a chance to win some most excellent new stamps! A random winner will be chosen from one of the blogs as well as one from the Stampotique blog, so comment, comment, comment. Not only does it give you a chance at some free stamps, but it makes the designers feel all happy inside. Let us know what your favorite new stamps are.  The random winners will be announced on the next Stampotique challenge on 2/22/12, so you can hop around til then.

And now a bio on the newest Stampotique artist! Definitely check out her blog... Way good.

Roc Nicholas has always had a great love of art and she credits that love to her mother. Growing up, she and her mom were always doing something creative, whether it was painting, sewing or making handmade Christmas ornaments annually.  Roc is married her grade-school sweetheart and together they have two adult sons and one grandson, Benny.  Roc resides in Pennsylvania but travels back and forth to Florida.
Presently she teaches rubber stamping and journaling classes.  A self- taught artist, Roc loves rubber stamping, collage, mixed media, journaling and doodling.  Her favs are all things whimsical, unusual and things that make her laugh!  She has an online international artist trading site which she runs, along with her blog and her facebook page. Roc has been published in a variety of art and rubber stamp magazines. 

SOOOO! From here you will hop on over to the  Stampotique Designer's Blog . Happy hopping, friends! Oh, and here's a list of all the stops along the way:

Hogwarts, Otter Feast, & Monster ATCs... And DT announcement!

hog image from Clipart Etc.
 ATC time! It's been a while since I've done up some good ol' artist trading cards. I've been meaning to get back into trading them, but things are busy, busy, busy. At any rate, I have made/traded a few in the past month or so. The first is this collage "I'd rather be at hogwarts" ATC for a Harry Potter theme. Yeah, I sometimes wish I were at Hogwarts, too.
 This is an original ink/watercolor illustration of an otter having a crazy feast. I think it's the cutest thing that otters use their tummies as a floating table.... My favorite snack of his is the little squid.
"Keykeeper" from my collection at Stampotique
And finally, this one is to be traded to an artist kinda new to ATCs, so I thought I'd add a hanger to the top with eyelets and wire and beads, so she could hang it up. The quote is one of her favorites by Edgar Allen Poe: "All we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream." and the image is a rubber stamp from my collection of Stampotique Stamps!

And speaking of Stampotique, there shall be a blog hop tomorrow celebrating the new images for Feb 2012. I have 5 new ones added to my line: Old Timey Frog, Wolfie King, Gentleman Fox, Shouting Bird, and Wombat! So get ready to help me celebrate, and do some hoppage tomorrow. You'll have the chance to win some stamps :)

Oh! And happy Valentine's Day to you all! Bobby & I don't really make a big deal out of it, because we're in love every day, but hey. Chocolate will be on sale tomorrow and that's what really matters.

EDIT: AW, SNAP! How could I forget to make this announcement?! I've been invited to take my very first design team position at the Unique Crafter's Challenge Blog sponsored by Scrapbook Unique. It's going to be a great time, and you'll get to hear about some fun challenges to enter and maybe win some rad stuff :)

Bookmark Book for BOOKMARKS!

 I love reading, and I love bookmarks of all kinds! I like to use a bookmark that matches the particular book I'm reading, either by theme or color :) It's fun. Up until a few days ago I had just been keeping all my bookmarks in a big jar, but I figured I needed a better way to both store and display them! Thus, my bookmark book for bookmarks.... The cover is bound together with my Zutter Bind-it-all, but was taken off of an old Reader's Digest condensed book. If you've ever noticed, the ones from the 60's have absolutely gorgeous colors and patterns, plus you can find them wicked cheap at thrift stores, flea markets, the library, etc.
 For the insides, I took 5 sheets of colored cardstock and trimmed them down to 10x12". They're folded in half, then a I made one cut to make that slant in the pocket. I suppose that slant isn't really needed, but I thought it looked nicer!
The creased side is along the outside, and the raw edges are bound into the binding. So there's a pocket on the side of each page to stash bookmarks galore! Now this strangely makes me want more bookmarks.

Happy Friday! Have a lovely weekend :)

Stamp on cover is Toby on Books by Alphastamps

Lilo & Stitch Drawstring Backpack

 I am so stoke about this drawstring backpack I made yesterday :D It took me pretty much all afternoon... There was lots of experimenting involved, so that meant seam ripping... But it turned out REALLY well and I'm super-pleased. If I ever decide to make one again, I'm guessing it would go much quicker.
 I really wanted some sort of Disney applique, since I made it for my upcoming Disneyworld trip. The fabric suggested Bambi to me, but Stitch is my favorite, so I had to go with him. I got the image from a free coloring pages website, then added some bits of color in Photoshop to go with the fabric better. Then I printed it onto a printer-friendly fabric sheet, cut it out and zig-zag stitched it on (all before sewing of course).
 The inside even has a pocket! With a flap! I was so proud I actually remembered to put in a pocket. Those are the kinds of things I usually forget until I'm completely done.
AND! I made a matching quilted panel that attaches with velcro for pin trading. I'm so stoked to do pin trading this year :) I bought a random lot of them for cheap on Ebay... In case you're not familiar, all the cast members (employees) at Disney have lanyards covered in pins and you can trade pins with any of them! I'm hoping to come home with lots of Stitch pins and Mickey and Chip & Dale! SO EXCITED!

I have some of the fabric left (printed duck fabric outside, printed cotton on the inside from hobby lobby) So I'm thinking about making a matching zippered pouch for my ID and cards and stuff. :D

Bee Yourself Notebook

 In the words of a wise and powerful genie, "Beeeeeee yourself!" I've got Disney on the brain. HEY! I made this bee-themed canvas board notebook for a fantastic lady a little while ago and have yet to share :)
 Bee-hold the bee-ling (bling). The cover is yet another painted/stamped/inked 5x7" canvas board cut in half! Painting them is pretty darn fun. On this one, I used a base of yellow craft acrylic. Once that was dry, I kind of dry-brushed on a darker shade to add texture. The next steps were stamping and flicking on pink alcohol inks.
The paper in the middle is recycled kraft-brown paper. I ordered it for something....But it was too thin. Now I have a whole box of it :) I have a feeling you'll be seeing it in other projects in the future...
The bee image is from this clip art site. You can't really see it, but I used clear glaze on the wings, so they are shiny.

Anyhoo, so many new and exciting things are happening and seemingly all at once! Some of them are still secrets, so I'll have to be cryptic and mysterious. But some good news I can share is that I am this month's CRAFTSTER CRUSH! I flippin' love c-ster and am so honored to be a featured artist for my birthday month. Such a good present :) Also, I'm going to DISNEYWORLD! Soon.... Unbelievable. Lots of more fun news to come. Happy Tuesday!

Giveaway Winner!!!

And the random winner for the Wicked Witch/Ruby Slippers Bookmark Giveaway is.....
I am glad to have such wonderful readers! A big ol' hi to new followers! Thanks to everyone who commented and entered :) Have a beautiful week!

Art Calendar Journaling: FEB!

It's mah birthday month! :) I just had to share my February calendar page. I'm joining in on the Kathryn Wheel challenge, and am so proud to say I've stuck to it :)
And as proof, here's January all filled in. Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!

PS. That giveaway is still happening... Enter if you haven't already. :D

Tacky Sci-Fi Altered Altoids Tin

 Woo hoo! I can finally share this altered altoids tin I made for the Vices Altered Tin Swap :) I was lucky enough to be paired with Cackle, the incredible, and one of her themes was Tacky Sci-Fi movies. How on Earth could I resist crafting that one?! And so this Sci-Fi altoids tin was born...

 I used acrylics to pain the background night scene complete with UFOs and sparkly pigment powder tractor beams. Some of the stars in the sky are crystal gems to add that extra other-worldly twinkle...
 You can see the black glitter I lined the inside edge of the tin with. It looks like space-rocks :) The alien and girl are from a vintage movie poster. I coated the beast in clear glaze to make it look slimy and frightening, much like the tactics used in so many of our favorite lame creature-features.
 The bottom has glass marbles for accent, and the base is a lamp socket. My favorite lamp sputtered out and died, but Bobby fixed it and I was left with this perfect little spaceship-looking thingamajig. It's colored with alcohol inks, then roughed up with sandpaper.
The back! The alien city is made from a bunch of cotter pins and one of those silly fake car keys the car dealerships send out stuck to mailers.
Tada! I wanted to keep this so bad, but alas, it belongs in another place... A far away place... Outer Space.

Haha, Happy Wednesday!!! OH! Don't forget to enter the Ruby Slippers Bookmark Giveaway that ends Feb 6th! Have a lovely evening!