Strawberry Swing: MacKomics Studio

Strawberry Swing: MacKomics Studio

The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair Blog just featured MacKomics Studio with a really cute write-up! click on the link to see beautiful handmade products from all the fine vendors coming together on July 10, 2011!


Tending to the Pilot Light

Back in January, I sent out this email to friends, family and artist contacts I've made over the last year or so.  My intention was to get feedback on an idea for weekly creativity lessons.

_______ . . . . . . ______

I'm writing to find out what you think about a once a week creativity session/experience at my house.

During the many many arts and craft fairs I participated in this last year, it was astounding how I seemed to be a magnet for people who wanted to talk about their creative lives, wanted encouragement/permission etc., to explore their artistic sides! In addition, I've been holding these valentine-making parties for several years now and the one thing that keeps coming up is people's desire to be more creative, to have a space and a time set aside for letting that side of themselves flourish. I know that even for active artists there is a great appeal to having a new place to play; with someone else's supplies; hanging out with interesting people, and then at the end of the night - being able to just leave with your creation(s)!

This email is a first query into forming some sort of venue to rekindle that spark-that pilot light we all had as children, to feed that side of our brains that longs to be recognized.

Would you be interested in:

open creating - with no direction, just supplies available

guided projects

multi-week projects

seasonal projects

medium-driven projects




small group setting

large 10+ group

art techniques


work that incorporates a spiritual or personal meaning

Would you be willing to pay $5-8 to defray costs?

I am not an expert in any one medium, however, I am an expert in the transition between being a frustrated and stifled artist to someone who is creating all the time. I have lots of random supplies, space, tables and cheer and am willing to walk this path with anyone. I see this as a gathering place for people at any place along the continuum, sharing ideas and creating works side by side.

If there is any interest in this idea, I will follow-up with a more formal flyer like the one mentioned above with more details about types of projects we could work on together. If you have any suggestions or know anyone who might like to participate, please let me know!

Although this is an email to many people, it's not a blanket email. I've selected you personally as someone who might be interested OR might have some feedback for me on the idea!

______. . . . _________

I received lots of great response, enthusiasm, feedback, specific preferences and suggestions.  It took these six months to prepare for the launch of this idea, however, as of this week, the project is "A-GO"

I recently sent out the following email to the same mailing list:

______ . . . . . . ______

Thank you all for all the great feedback and apologies for the long lead-up... I did not want to launch this project unless I was ready to commit to long term hosting, and the time is NOW!

"Tending to the Pilot Light" will have the following structure...

From seven to nine pm on Tuesday and Thursday nights, my doors will be open. I will have tables set up and will have a project planned and prepped, however, misc. art supplies will be available to work with if you wish to be independent.

New projects will be introduced on Tuesdays and will carry over to the Thursday of the same week, so it won't matter which day you attend!

I am open to any project ideas and will post a schedule as I get more feedback.

I propose a fee of $10 for each two-hour session, however I am open to alternative commerce.

I will provide all materials needed for each project and an interesting selection of additional art materials for the independent workers. You are always welcome to bring your own projects and enjoy the generous and loving company of other artists just like you for an evening.

This is an adult gathering, however, if you have a very grown-up tween or teen who would like to accompany you, please let me know and we can discuss!

This week we will be working on collage mandalas - a beginning place without words or specific images, focusing purely on color and visual texture.

Next week we will be making intention or wish candles, an interactive piece to help focus our desires for this year (Summer Solstice to Summer Solstice)

For future weeks, I plan on teaching you how to make some of the products I sell at craft fairs, such as elaborate burnt-organza hair clips, hand painted rosette gift tags, multi-media greeting cards, vinyl painted record albums, etc. Additionally, I would like to explore transfer printing, creating symbolic omamaris, as well as seasonal crafts and of course, plenty of fashion-themed pieces!

This is a social, fun, introductory, community building experiment.

If you have any questions, (or suggestions) please contact me at any of the locations below, and please forward this to anyone you like!

I am looking forward to creating with you!

_____ . . . . . . . ______

If you, dear reader, know of anyone who might be a hesitant artist, someone who would like a safe place to explore creativity, someone who wants to make things but never gets around to making time, please send them my way! 

I have created a non-judgemental environment and my priority is to facilitate the FLOW of creativity, and engagement in the PROCESS, with the finished piece just being a delightful by-product of the evening.

MacKomics Studio on FB


May Dress Up Challenge: Submission

Yes.. Yes.. it is desperately late and I have not even started the June challenge, but this post will give me a good opportunity to show you what I've been up to in the mean time!

The Dress-up challenge for May was Rubens... now, I must say that researching dresses in the "Rubens" style is a bit challengeing, especially because a typical google image search looks a bit like this:

Notice anything? Like perhaps the LACK of CLOTHES?
Thanks Angela!!

Here are a few pictures of sumptious dresses I was able to find:

These beautiful dresses are dark colored, have full and layered skirts, low decolatage, billowing as well as slashed sleeves and ruff components.  My piece, alas, was not constructed with the same care, time, and historical accuracy that I expect from myself, however, it's made with 4 of the above details, so, I'm letting it pass!

It is mounted on a 5 x 7 glittery gold mat board over a picture of Versailles(?) Again, not accurate, but hey, what's artistic license all about anyway?!

This pattern piece construction is based on a couple of things..
One, I really wanted to use my new paper rosette style I found at:

Isn't that luscious?  right after I saw that on FB, I haaaaad to make something with paper and cut up the "reasons to visit" section of a map of NM and some newspaper strips left over from a Little Bostons Art Session.

This picture gives you a better idea of color of these cool 5 x 7 mat boards
(from clearbags.com http://www.clearbags.com/5-x-7-setup-board-assorted-matboard-drop.html) what a steal! 100 pieces for $5 bucks...

Anyway, I digress.... I searched in vain for a Rubens dress that would be purely rosettes 'cause I was in that kind of mood, but had to settle for just the one.

And two, I wanted to work with pattern paper some more...
This cute little dress is the tiny compatriot to some of the work I was doing for a show in KC on the first Friday in June.  Specifically, the last of the series of six life-size mannequin figures. (you may recall the teaser picture I posted in April http://mackomics-studio.blogspot.com/2011/04/artistic-update.html)

Here are some close-ups of the details with the full piece shown last:

Here is what they looked like on the walls at Krzyz Studio at 18th and Locust on June 3, 2011

The orange piece on the left has a multitude of layered flowers made from maps and netting sewn at the center with a bead, the blue and white one has a corset made from paintings of Spanish ships over a paper mache bust, and the fourth one sports record albums and Italian floor tiles for decoration.

The black piece on the left has a padded base and bust, a fitted top and a "bustle" made from various recycled fabrics.  The "steampunk brooch" detail is shown below.  The white piece has a padded base and bust, is made from a whitetablecloth and stiff tutu netting, as well as beads and feathers at the neck.

These are all life-sized and my inspiration was the concurrent "Eighteenth Street Fashion Show in Kansas City with the theme: Summer in Spain

This is the first large scale series I've ever made and it was challenging in many ways, not the least of which was my impatience with the prep work (jig saw, sanding, painting, attaching hardware) as my eyes and heart were only concerned with the prize of "Dressing UP"!!

Take care and thanks for taking a look.  Please stroll over to Angela's wonderful blog at
http://www.sewloquacious.blogspot.com/ to view all the other lovely May Dress-up Challenges and quite possibly all the June ones as well!

Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair

from hand crafters and artisans for the first 50 visitors to the Strawberry Indie Craft Fair on July 10, 2011

Click link for directions
Alexander Majors Barn - 8201 State Line Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Check out these links for more infomation!
Vendors are interviewed and featured at this link:

and news and information is updated multiple times a day at this FB site:

This should be a great venue for really nice handmade items - many Lawrence and KC artists are participating - stop by the MacKomics Studio tent and say the magic words:
Bostons in a suitcase and you can pick out a free postcard!!

See you there~!

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