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All Business

What brought me here today:

Business brings me here today! To be specific, my small business! Halloween and Day of the Dead are both fast approaching. To guarantee delivery of any order by 31 October, orders should be placed before the 17 October. I’d like to thank all of the people who have already purchased Halloween and Day of the Dead themed artwork from me in the past month too!

Another reason why I’m creating this “businessing the business” post is because I need to get into the habit of writing posts like these. The kinds of posts in which I actually come out and say, “I would like it if you would purchase some o my one-of-a-kind original artwork. Because I am running a business and I would like to make some money.” (WHEW!) There! I said it!

(Sounds of me breathing into a paper sack here.)

New Items in Shop:

The seven imp dolls turned out pretty cute, even though I do say so myself. I placed wire inside the arms, legs, and tails of these dolls so that they can be posed. I thought it would add to their mischievous impish natures to be able to pose them as if they’re being caught in the act of pulling a prank!

I’ve gotten a little attached to a few of these dolls. It will be hard to say goodbye to them. But I like the idea that they will be going to homes where they will be loved and looked after. Medora, Ginny, Lucia, Flavia, Novalee, Miranda, and Portia are all looking forward to being adopted soon!

Remaining Halloween items in the shop:

I have other Halloween and Day of the Dead themed work in my online shop. Minerva, Lorena, Xochitl, Ginger, and Saffron are all still looking for a home. Just to name a few. There are also skull pins available. I will be taking any remaining Halloween and Day of the Dead items out of my online shop during the first week of November. If there is anything that you’ve been looking at, but not purchased yet, now is the time to do it.

Card table:

I will be participating in a series of holiday pop-up sales at a local venue here in Wilmington. It’s a great opportunity for me! I’ll be offering lots of dolls, pins, and other original art. I’ve been working on holiday themed plans for items I would like to add to my online shop. The series of pop-up sales will be a good chance for me to meet some new people, and introduce my artwork into the wider art-buying market.

I’ve not participated in any kind of face to face sales in several years. Part of me is tremendously excited about it. There’s another part of me is terrified. And yet another part of me is running through all the logistics of packing up and displaying my work. I am so glad I work small and light weight right now.

The venue isn’t large, so a small table with a a chair or two will be more than enough. I’ve started looking at buying a folding card table. I actually need another table anyway. There are several tables that I’ve found online that aren’t expensive at all. The table can be shipped to me too.

So now what?

I forge ahead with new plans and creations! And hopefully package-up some Halloween and Day of the Dead themed artwork to ship off to some customers!

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Friday,

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47 DAYS

What brought me here today:

Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. Late autumn was my favourite season when I was a kid.  Halloween was an overlapping venn diagram of delights for me. Cooler weather, getting to pretend and dress-up, creating costumes, and candy! FREE candy at that too! You just went to a house, knocked on the door, said the magic words and BOOM! Candy in the bag! This was candy with no strings attached to it either.

Christmas and Easter, yeah, there were candy and all kinds of sweet treats, but they were doled out by adults. When I was a little kid, Halloween candy was under the sole control of the kid who humped their butt out to hit as many houses as they could on Halloween night. Halloween candy could be traded (my younger brother and I did that) but not taken from us. It was ours. We could eat it when we chose to.

For a kid like me that had a lot of her food intake as a child scrutinized and controlled, there was no wonder why Halloween was my favourite holiday. Well, that and given that every single tooth in my head is a sweet one.

Inspirations:

My love of Halloween and the candy that it would bring me as a child aside, there were also other things I liked about Halloween. Monsters were another attaction for me as well. I’m the person who’s always rooting for the giant monster in the movie. One reason might be the fact that my early childhood experience with “monsters” was largely of the Sesame Street and Muppet-type variety. Blame my empathy towards all monsters on Jim Henson.

The weird thing is, I don’t like slashy, gore-filled movies. Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street are movies I’ve never actually seen. Mostly because of the aforementioned gore. You might fin it odd that I did enjoy the hell out of Lovecraft Country then. A large part of my enjoyment of Lovecraft Country was due in part to being already familiar with H.P. Lovecraft’s work. For me, the scariest parts of Lovecraft Country involved racism and violence against black people.

But, let’s put a pin in that C’thulhu for right now, and get on with the rest of this post.

Themed work in online shop:

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog and Instagram account, you already know I’ve been creating a lot of artwork with distinctly Halloween themes over the past few weeks. Marlene and Minerva, two little witches, are available for purchase in my online shop. But don’t forget about some of my previous artwork either. I’ve not made Halloween specific themed artwork in my recent past. Dolls like Cielo and Xochitl, who have a Day of the Dead inspired theme are available in my online shop. And don’t forget Nutmeg, Ginger, Russell and Saffron!

Skull pins:

My latest additions to my online shop are skull pins that were inspired by Day of the Dead sugar skulls (Dia de los Muertos Calaveras Azucar). It’s customary for people to have sugar skulls with their names placed on the forehead of the skull. I wanted to try something similar with my skull pins. I’m working with felt and embroidery floss instead of sugar and icing though. Once the buyer has chosen the skull that they want, all they have to do is give me the name and the colour they would like it stitched onto the skull in the ‘Order Notes: optional’ shipping section while paying for their skull pin. You can see a photo of what this section looks like here with the skull pin listing.

Remember too that ordering a customised skull pin will require a bit more working time for me on my end. Two days should be added to the shipping because of this.

No wait! There’s more!

I’ve also added three more Halloween-theme dolls to the shop! Junia, Lenore, and Elena. These three really aren’t witches. But they do appear to be incredibly ready to celebrate Halloween. That is, if their clothing has anything to say about it. And maybe the pumpkin and black cat head. Oh. And then the bat wings. Then there are more little black cats on their boots. Maybe not witches, but really, super-duper into the Halloween spirit!

The title of this blog is 47 Days. There are 47 more days until Halloween and Day of the Dead. As always, ordering early (and often!) will ensure that you recieve your order in time for the holidays!

So now what?

Honestly? I think I may take a nap. I’ve had a cold for the past week. This morning I didn’t take any over the counter medication for it for the first time in several days. Hopefully this is an indication that I’m through the worst of it. Oh. And I have more pieces that I’m working on for my online shop as well. So yeah. I’ve got all that going on. Yup.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Tuesday.

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Bland Blog

What brought me here today:

This past week has not exactly been a terrifically exciting week. I’ve spent time working on my artwork. Making plans for upcoming pieces and projects. At times, having to ‘sit tight’ while waiting for other things to happen. Which is incredibly annoying. Planning can only take me so far creatively speaking. Then I want to actually work on the project!

I’ve had to make due with creating smaller pieces of work to take my mind off all the waiting. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The pieces that I’ve been working on have been a lot of fun to create. And they have generated some income for me as well.

New in shop:

I’ve finished two new witch dolls, Minerva and Marlene. I’ve added them to my online shop. They’re pretty cute little witches, even though I say it myself. For some reason, I decided to make twins. I don’t do that very often either. Minerva has a dress made of a lovely shade of aubergine. While Marlena’s dress is purple. Each doll is wearing an indigo coloured witch hat and boots.

I’m having a lot of fun creating these little witches. One of my first Halloween costumes was a witch. I wore a store-bought mask that had a green face, and black hair highlighted with purple and orange. I had a little black skirt and loose fitting top with black fringe on it. A pointy, black hat. And I carried the small broom from our families fireplace set.

I have another Halloween-themed idea that I’m incredibly eager to start working on. By the end of the day, I should have it started and will post pictures of the progress on my Instagram.

Art materials:

I’ve begun picking through the recyclables that we regularly have for specific materials that I want to use in my artwork. This can only mean one thing; I’m edging closer to creating some larger, paper mâché pieces. And yes, that is exactly what this means. I’m glad that my husband is an understanding soul regarding my magpie-like behaviours. He’s now keeping items back that he knows I will want.

Two of the recyclables that I’m not used to saving for art materials are plastic beverage bottles and aluminum cans. We saved them and returned them for  deposit at the grocery store in Finland. They ranged between 10¢ and 30¢ depending on the bottle or can. In Delaware, there’s no plastic bottle or can return. So I’m free to use as many as I would like. I suppose the same could have been said about the plastic bottles and cans in Finland, but I really wanted the deposit back!

More stuff; more problems:

I’m now trying to figure out how I want to store these new recycled art materials. My small studio room is directly off of the bedroom. It was originally used as a walk-in closet. We have consciously purchased as little furniture as possible, so the only thing in our bedroom is our bed. It’s a large bedroom too. I’ve stored my corrugated cardboard there simply because there’s not enough room in my studio room. I’d like to create a storage solution for all my recycled art supplies that doesn’t look and act like a crap-slide!

I’m not a fan of over-the-top bedrooms. I don’ think of my bedroom as a spa or a retreat. It’s a room that I spend 99% of my time in with my eyes closed. A comfortable bed. A warm comforter and clean sheets are all I need in a bedroom. The only things we want to add are two lamps, so it’s easier to read in bed.

So, now what?

As always for me, back to creating artwork. Remember that idea that I’ve been wanting to work on? Yeah. That one. I’m going to start that one. I’m also going to continue my research for a paint purchase. Dick Blick is where I think I may be placing an order for paint.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Friday!

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Shop Open!

Open shop!

This is just a short post announcing that my online shop is once again open! There are presently a limited items currently available for purchase. I’m still making decisions regarding what items will be returning to the shop, and which items will be permanently removed.

Currently, I am only able to ship purchased items domestically within the United States. During the next week, I will be adding more shipping options so that I may ship internationally again as soon as possible!

All of the downloadable patterns I have listed are available for purchase from my shop. You can look through the online patterns here.

New items:

I’m slowly getting my new studio organized so that I can begin creating all the new artwork I’ve been wanting to start. The new items will begin appearing in the shop in the next few weeks. To see what I’m working on, make sure that you’re following me on Instagram @Katie_Kinsman_Artist and on Twitter @KatieKinsmanArt.

If you have any questions, please contact me here!

Thank you for visiting my website!

 

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Incredible Kindness

What brought me here today:

Regular readers of my weekly blog know that my husband and I are moving. It’s been strange and stressful. Also a but sad. Pulling up stakes and rearranging your entire life isn’t supposed to be easy. I’m glad that I have great friends and an amazing husband to help me through this weird period of time. I know I’m not alone in all of this.

Incredible kindness:

I wanted to take moment to thank all of the incredible people who have purchased of my artwork. And all of those who have contributed (money, time, support, abilities, advice, etc.) to helping us get through the unforeseen snags that our moving has run into. I am completely and totally awestruck by the incredible kindness of the people who have stepped-up to aid us in our time of need.

When I asked one friend how I could ever possibly repay their kindness, she simply said, “Pay it forward.” I only hope that I’m up to the challenge. The contribution from this friend will allow me to expand my small business. And begin working on many of the projects that I have planned for the upcoming year. I’ve now added new project ideas to that list that will allow me to pay it forward too.

Doubting Thomas:

There is a part of me that is always suspicious of the aforementioned kindnesses directed toward me. There’s a part of me that always thinks that there MUST be some kind of string attached to the offer. No one would ever want to do something nice to or for me. Remember, I assume that people don’t like me or want me around because I’m loud and annoying. Oh yeah, and fat.

Being born and raised in the United States doesn’t help either. You know the saying, ‘There’s no free lunch’ right? As an American, I assume that nothing is ever free. And if it appears to be free, then there must be some strings attached to the offer. Sometimes, those strings don’t even have to be a specific term or condition. It could be the removal of friendship, love or approval. Or the threat of using it against me in some imagined future situation.

Yeah, I know exactly how messed-up that sounds. Such is some of the baggage that needs no packing when we move.

Additions to shop:

This part of the blog post may seem a bit odd. Why would I possibly be adding more artwork to my online shop when I plan on closing it in four short days?! Part of moving is deciding what to keep and what not to keep. I hate making these kinds of decisions. I’ve thought more about what art supplies, tools, materials, and artwork to take with me to the new residence than any of my clothes, shoes or other possessions.

The three dolls that I have added to my online shop are ones that I never intended to offer for sale. Each of them had some slightly experimental creative aspects to their design and construction. All three of the dolls have a lot of appliqué and embroidery work on their bodies and clothing.

Adama started out as a clumsy little drawing in my sketchbook. I created a hairstyle and method of attaching the hair to the head of the doll that I continue to use. Cielo and Xochitl were both created because I found myself missing the Day of the Dead celebrations in Albuquerque NM. Each of their skirts has a double-headed serpent on it. I used a piece of Aztec artwork as inspiration.

Now what?

Back to businessing the business. Packing up orders to get mailed out tomorrow. Working on some Go Marielle stories. Packing and organizing for the move.

Thank you for reading, and I will see you again next Tuesday,

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Relocation and Online Shop

What brought me here today:

My previous blog post talked briefly about some of the rather large changes that will be occurring in the life of myself and my husband in the near future. The timeline for our relocation is slowly becoming more solidified. I honestly think that getting ourselves emotionally ready to relocate, and making the plans to do so are the harder parts of the entire process. We’ve done this before, so it’s not a complete unknown to us.

There is a certain degree of freedom felt on my part once the process is completely underway. It forces me to to make decisions about what are the most important tools, supplies and materials that I cannot part with. When those decisions are made, donating, gifting and selling the remaining items is easy. While relocating isn’t ever easy, I do employ some methods for making it somewhat easier.

I’ll detail some of those super-easy-to-do methods later in this post. First, I need to do a little “businessing” of the business.

Online shop:

During the relocation, I will need to shut down my online shop for about four weeks. The last day that I will be able to receive and fulfill orders from my online shop will be Saturday, June 12, 2021. Orders received by 12 June will be sent by 15 June from Jyväskylä, Finland.

Large pieces, like Blue Doll #10, Sister Bougainvilla, Point of Conception, and y Tragedia, require more intricate and careful packaging to be sent through the post. I recommend that if you wish to purchase any of these pieces, purchasing sooner would be better. The closer I get to the deadline, the less I will be able to package larger pieces for the post.

When will online shop reopen?

My online shop will reopen Monday, July 19, 2021. When my online shop reopens in July, there will be some items no longer offered for sale. I recommend that if you see a piece that you want, purchase it before 12 June 2021. Because I cannot guarantee that it will be returning to the shop in the future.

If you have any questions regarding the temporary closure and reopening of my online shop, please contact me here.

What about the rest of your website?

Blog posts on Tuesdays and Fridays will (fingers crossed) still be written and posted every week. Relocating can be stressful and anxiety-riddled. Writing blog posts is something that I can still do with nothing more than a keyboard and an internet connection required. Keeping up with my blog posts will give me some needed structure during a somewhat chaotic period of time. It will also give me a way of communicating to the world.

What may change around a bit is what I’m writing about within each of the twice weekly blog posts. My Tuesday blog posts often have entrepreneurial and/or business themes. While my Friday blog posts are mostly about creating artwork and talking about what I’m making or thinking about making. Relocation time may see these thematic posts morph a bit.

And this is totally okay. My personal motto is: “If it’s not bleeding or on fire, I can handle it.” What this really means is, if I don’t need a physician or a fire truck full of fire fighters, I can fix and/or figure it out myself. Okay, perhaps with the help of my hardworking, long-suffering, Totoro-Bear husband.

Now for something you’ll really like:

I’m still creating artwork, but I’m keeping it small. I created eighteen tiny, teenie and teensie dolls knowing that they will be finished after I have set-up a work space in our new accommodations. Other pieces like the 4 Box Doll set, and the 4 Bottle Dolls will be finished in the new location as well.

I’ve started playing around with the physical form of the 12 cm dolls. I created Penelope and made her two hair buns actual little heads with faces on them. I was partially inspired to do this by the Kashira in Spirited Away. There was something that’s strangely visceral for me about these three rolling and stacking heads. I can’t quite explain it. I just wanted to make a small doll with stacked heads.

Another influence for this head-stacking is an episode of Adventure Time. It’s the one where Lumpy Space Princess runs away and terrorizes a village of little people that she calls ‘fat villagers‘. There’s something about those little villagers. I just want to stack them one on top of the other. The residents of the Candy Kingdom are also an influence. Especially the ice cream people.

Penelope’s sister:

The news right now, and most of the world is a bit scary. We’ve been watching the Netflix She-ra and the Princesses of Power series. It’s very good. The creators did a great job updating the characters while referencing the artistic styles of the past. It’s better storytelling and more cohesive than the Snyder Cut of Justice League in my opinion.

I was never a fan of the original She-ra cartoon or toys. I was 15. A little old for cartoons and dolls. Even though I loved cartoons and dolls at 15. I had to put up the pretense of NOT liking them for my fragile teenage psyche. (Insert eye roll here.) Newsflash to my former self: I’m 50 and make dolls and watch cartoons and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it. The Geezer Paradox is on full display here!

Penelope’s sister, who still needs a name, has been influenced by the Princesses of Power. Especially the residents of Bright Moon. She’s getting a longer, poofier skirt too. Her boots will be more like something Glimmer would wear though. And perhaps a little crown, or three that are a little more Adventure Time/Candy Kingdom too. But first she needs a name.

Super-Easy-Organization-for-Relocation-Method:

This method of making decisions regarding what to do with all the items I’ve collected for my art midden over the years is super-easy. It leans into my intense love of putting things into categories. The four main categories are: Keep, Donate, Give Away/Gift and Trash/Recycle. There is also another category: Sell. I’ll write another post giving more detail about how I use all five of these categories in the weeks ahead.

During the sorting of items, they may be moved from one category to another several times. No decisions are final until the donation van pulls away from the curb, or the bag of treasures given to a friend or colleague!  Do not feel that you MUST give up items that you have a deep or sentimental connection with either. That can be traumatic. And this method is an attempt to reduce mental and emotional trauma.

Don’t feel as thought you MUST do all of this sorting in one day either. There is no need to get yourself mentally and emotionally exhausted or wound-up simply to finish the task in an arbitrarily set amount of time. Sometimes making a list of who I would like to give/gift items to is enough for the day. Other times, I can blow-through an entire wall of cabinet items in an hour and half. Take the time you need to do what you need to do!

So what now?

Well, I’m going to continue working on small pieces. 12 cm dolls mostly. Then there is all the cleaning, organizing and dispersal of non-critical tools, supplies and materials. And that’s just my studio items! Then I’ll be seeing friends and gifting a lot of stuff!

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again next Friday.

 

 

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Tiny Animal Sale!

Spring is finally here and all of nature has come back to life again. Winter here in Finland can sometimes seem like it will never completely end, but it does. Eventually.  I’ve enjoyed watching the birds returning to the trees and filling the air with their sweetly twittered songs. I’ve seen more and more hares out and about, looking for new greens to eat too! And strange as it may seem, I’m even happy to see the insects! Well, maybe not the mosquitos.

The air is warming. The sun is shining longer and longer each day. I watched the sun begin to come up this morning around 5 am. Seeing the rosy sky during sunrise made my mood so much lighter and content. The windows can now be opened too! I’ve actually been outside without a hat, gloves or a scarf! It’s sunny enough that I need to find out where I put my sunglasses last autumn. I have no idea where they are.

Suffice it to say, I’ve been completely enjoying this later part of spring and am looking so forward to more green, flowers and more wildlife all around me!

Tiny Animal Sale:

Inspired by this, all of the Tiny Animal dolls in my online shop have been placed on sale at a new price of 24€ ($29 USD) with free shipping! Free shipping is for domestic and international shipping too! Purchase of multiple Tiny Animal dolls will come with free shipping as well!

There are a total of 33 Tiny Animals currently in the shop. This includes 11 brand new Kitty dolls! Each of the kitties is a unique, handmade piece of original artwork made completely by me. I’ve loved cats my entire life and cannot quite figure out what took me so long to create these little kitty dolls.

Tiny Animal Dolls:

Cleo, Coco, Paulette, Salma, Brita, Ramona, Bunny, Iris, Mabel, Bernadette and Sabrina are all new in my shop and waiting to be adopted! There are also bunnies, bears, ducks and even an elephant that are part of this Tiny Animal dolls sale!

If you have any questions regarding any of the Tiny Animal doll sale, or anything else in the shop, please let me know via the Contact page! I will answer your questions as soon as possible!

Thank you for stopping by my small online shop!

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Exhibition Art for Sale!

My art exhibit in the Käytävä Galleria at Matara in January generated an increase in the interest in my larger pieces of artwork. And by generated interest, I mean, I sold some of my artwork! It was an instance in which the ‘happy dance’ was done in the privacy of my own living room. Well away from anyone I might blind with my Elaine Benes-like dance moves!

It’s different for a reason:

I’ve added four of the pieces of artwork that I showed at Käytävä Galleria to my shop. These pieces differ a great deal from the artwork that I have in my shop currently. A big reason for this is because the artwork that I created required that it be hung on a wall, and not displayed in a case or behind glass.

Each of these pieces of art have metal hanging hardware so that they can easily be placed upon a vertical surface. Well out of reach of a little person or pet that might find them an irresistible attraction. Adults who may want to touch the artwork are something that will simply have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

New art:

I’ve added y Tragedia, Point of Conception, Sister Bougainvillea and Blue Doll #10 to the shop. Click on their names and it will take you directly to their page in the shop! There has also been additional video added for each piece in my Instagram Highlights. I’ve had to abbreviate the names a little bit though! Some of the titles I chose were a bit verbose I suppose.

If you have any questions regarding these four pieces of artwork, or any of the artwork that I have for sale in my shop, please feel free to contact me!

Thank you all for reading, and I’ll see you again next Friday!

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Discount on New Artwork in Shop!

The Berry Little Ladies!

Oh boy! The name for this limited group of teensie-tinsie dolls came to me while I was working on their little dresses and hats. They just turned out to be so incredibly stinkin’ cute that I thought their name should be just as cute as they are!

I’ve added the ten Berry Little Ladies that I’ve created to my shop. These very special dolls needed a very special debut!

Special Price:

The Berry Little Ladies will have a special price compared to other dolls of this size. For a limited time, each of the Berry Little Ladies will be specially priced at 29€ with specially priced shipping to boot!

These special prices and shipping are only for the Berry Little Ladies!

Thank you all for your continued support! I know that you will adore these Berry Little Ladies as much as I do!

 

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Accomplishments of the Week

Introducing: Henna Haalarit!

I’ve added a new doll to the shop, Henna Haalarit! Alliteration seems to be a theme I’m running with lately. It does seem to make it easier to remember the names I’m giving to the dolls that I create though! Henna is what I call an alpha doll. This means that she was a first try at a pattern or doll idea. Henna and Pastelli Pastel were created at the same time, and have some similarities.

Henna has two teenie companions too! Pippy and Nifty. Her favourite dolls! These two teensie dolls are tucked into the pockets of Henna’s overalls. They are removable too!

Teensie Dolls:

I’ve spent part of the past week working on a group of teenie-tiny dolls. Each of the measure around 3 cm-ish. Some come in around 3.2 cm, while others come in at around 3.5 cm. The reason for the .03mm difference is due to the felt.

Wasting materials is something that I try very hard not to do. Scraps of fabric and felt are saved and stashed away in small bins and used to make some of the tinier dolls I make. The tiny bears, bunnies, ducks, and dolls are all made from these scraps.

Because the scraps are so small, I cannot always tell which way the stretch in the felt runs. Because of this, some of the torsos and legs are cut in such a way that the stretch of the felt is running vertically. This results in the torsos and legs stretching a bit while I’m sewing them. It doesn’t seem like much, but a millimeter here or there is a lot when the finished doll is only around 3 cm tall!

Check out some of the teensie dolls on my Instagram account here!

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you again on Friday!