The Kira Nichols Etsy Shop

Plenty more to see at! Bookmarks, planner clips, digital stamps, ornaments, and many more unique gifts. Thanks for supporting this artist!

Toucan Sculpture: He's wearing a hat!

 Here's what I've been working on this week! While I was on vacation, I saw an awesome toucan sculpture made from different stones in one of the gem galleries. It was an instant WANT, but I thought, hey, why don't I make my own? It won't be made of rock, but it will be cute! So I started on this toco toucan guy on Monday.

 I had a little bit of air-dry clay in my stash, but I didn't want to use up ALL of it, not to mention wait days for such a huge hunk of clay to dry, so I first made the form of the toucan out of aluminum foil. The beak and body were made in two separate pieces, so the beak is attached and supported by two toothpicks jabbed in  and glued at the base. I stabbed in and glued the legs, which were just made from pretty sturdy .032 safety wire.

 Then I just had to cover the outside as smoothly as I could with the air-dry clay. I wanted a reasonably thick layer, because I was planning on sanding it smoother once it dried. And I did. The clay sands really nicely when dry, actually! The clay I used is Premier Lightweight Stone Clay .
 Then all I had to do was paint the toco toucan goodness on with artist acrylics. I used those because they dry a little shinier than craft acrylics, and I wanted the sheen. Oh, and I also added the tail which is just a tail shape cut from thick canvas I had painted/stiffened with the same acrylics I used on the body.
 "Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark." I needed a quote about faith, things hoped for, but not seen... Dreaming about and working towards having a toucan someday is going to take a lot of faith! Not to mention everything else...
The mini-hat is from Hobby Lobby and embellished with a fancy pheasant feather and lots of novelty yarn! 
And I also decorated the base with a bunch of inchies made from a cut out book page and toucan doodles. I can't wait to show it to Bobby when he gets home! He's been watching this little sculpture progress over the past couple days... Anyhoo, happy Wednesday, friends! Until next time.

Silly Rabbit Felted Felt Badge

Another felt badge! I mostly used needle felting to make this little rabbit badge. I did four different layers of felt on the bunny (back legs, body, front legs, head) to try to get some dimension to it. It's a little hard to see, but easier to feel.

Then I embroidered a little colorful silly on his rump for good measure. It's about 2.5x2.5''.

I'm back from camping in North Carolina! Bobby and I had a great time mining gems, going to gem shops, cooking over the fire, and pretty much just having a good adventure. However, it's SO nice to be home in the air conditioning and with access to a soft bed :)
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First Bookmarks in the Wicked Awesome Series!

Hey everybody! I just listed the first 5 bookmarks in my new Wicked Awesome Bookmark Series. It's going to be a limited series, with 100 unique witches... Why the new awesome ones? I've really been wanting to change up my bookmarks, as I've been making the same thing on a regular basis for over a year now. I need to keep things spicy to keep from going nuts! I also have been having a bit of a hard time, finding the bright side of living out here in Alabama, away from family and old friends... How do the two relate?

I found my motivation... I want to buy a toco toucan, and Alabama has a great climate for tropical birds. Land is also very cheap out here, so we'll be able to buy a house with a large enough property to build a large flight aviary for my future toucan. It's something I'm really passionate about and a goal that can really keep me focused. So, the more art I sell, the closer we are to buying a home, and the closer I am to having a toucan :)

So without further ado, here are the first 5 Wicked Awesome Bookmarks!

1/100! Link to Etsy Listing

3/100 Link to Etsy Listing - This one is my FAVORITE. Notice she has Emerald Slippers :)

5/100 Link to Etsy Listing

So, please, help me reach my goal of having a toucan. If I can't have a baby, I want a toucan, dangit. Share these listings with your friends if you would like, and don't forget to check out my For Sale Page, always linked at the top of my blog. Thanks, friends! 
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Coming soon... Wicked Awesome!

I know I've been too quiet on the blogging front... I know, I know, you've all been refreshing this page like 50 times per day to see something new ;) Kidding, of course. I can, however, tell you that I've been hard at work getting ready to release an exciting new wicked witch bookmark series. This pic is a sneak preview. Each bookmark will be unique, and will of COURSE feature those classic Wicked Witch of the East Legs with Ruby Slippers (Or Emerald! Or Sapphire! Oh, I've said too much!) They shall be hitting my Etsy Shop soon! That's all for now. I hope you all are having a wicked awesome week!

Wicked Forest Altered Matchbox

 Oh, you all know I love to do Craftster swaps :) This time around, the swap was an altered matchbox with a "Wicked Forest" theme. I love matchbox swaps because it's such a challenge to fit all your big ideas into a teeny weeny matchbox... Good thing I like to work small... The quote I used for the outside of the matchbox is "All things truly wicked start from innocence." by Ernest Hemingway. I thought the quote was a perfect fit for my little box.
 You slide off the cover revealing a leafy green, lush watercolored box.
 Swing open the doors...
 And a wee fluffy and friendly squirrel greets you! The piece folds out...
 To reveal a plethora of cute fluffy forest friends.
But wait...
Holy crap! The reverse side shows how secretly sinister they are!
I know they're pretty scary, but the theme was wicked after all. The animals are watercolor and ink, drawn and painted just for this matchbox. I showed it to Bobby and he didn't want me to send it off to my swap partner... But I did anyway.

Happy Wednesday, everybody :)

A couple of monster goodbye cards

 Stamp: "Hug Monster" by Kira Nichols for Stampotique
Stamp: "Keykeeper" by Kira Nichols for Stampotique
I made a couple of cards for the young women at church to sign for a mother and daughter that are moving away to Oregon this week. I'm gonna miss them! I am just a teensy bit jealous they are moving back to the Pacific Northwest (home!) and I did a fair bit of sulking this weekend. Oh, Alabama, there is nothing wrong with you, but you're not my favorite. 

Oh well, life is good anyway. Happy Monday to you all.

My Best Idea!

Happy Thursday, everyone! So, back in the day when this blog was a wee new bloglet, I shared an idea I had about using clothes hangers as a source for cheap chip clips (See original post here). Enter Pinterest a few years later, and this little idea has spread far and wide!

Well, having thousands of folks see a picture of my thumbs-up is cool enough on its own, but I had the opportunity to contribute to a fabulous new iVillage video series called "My Best Idea." In these vids, the Kissters, a dynamic (and pretty!) hosting duo, present good, useful ideas that you can start applying to your life right away! I'm all for working smarter :) So hey, watch this!

To see more "My Best Idea" videos, click here over to iVillage. You'll learn something useful, I promise!

I hope everyone is having an awesome week so far.

May Calendar Page

 It's that time again, the beginning of a new month, and that means another calendar page! I wanted to go with something lively and cheerful, so I picked yellow this month. The page looks much better in person. I couldn't get the colors in my photo right, but you get the general idea.
 I used Wolfie King on this spread because he looks magnificent and powerful :) Can you tell that I'd like an energetic month? I started doing Zumba, and it's my third week! I feel GOOD. All I want to do is shake it!
Happy May Day to you!
And here's a shot of the past four months of calendar spreads because it's colorful.
If you haven't already, click to The Kathryn Wheel. That's where all this fun calendar business began!

Giggle Bunny Journal and May Unique Crafter's Challenge

 Good morning! I made this bunny journal for the Unique Crafter's Challenge for May which is "Ribbons and Fibers" (see the bottom of the post for more details).
 I've really been loving making little journals lately, and especially using novelty yarns and gems to embellish. I listed this one and a couple of others in my Etsy Shop if you're looking for a gift for somebody (or just want it for yourself!)
 Here's the back. The stamp I used is "Picket Fence" by Daniel Torrente for Stampotique.
The inside pages are recycled kraft cardstock, so it's sturdy enough to use as an album... And BOOM, ribbons as dividers :)

So here are the details for the Unique Crafter's Challenge. You can enter over at the challenge blog:

The theme for this challenge is:
“Ribbons and Fibers”

We are offering two prizes this week. The first place winner will receive three free paper crafting packs worth over $25 from our sponsor, Scrapbook Unique and all of our challenge winners will be given an opportunity to receive free digital images and join us as a guest design team member for a month.

To qualify, your entry can be any paper craft project with some type of ribbon or twine. Our design team has come up with a wonderful variety of examples to give you a few ideas on incorporating fibers into your projects.