Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Inspiration- Dream Big

I am so proud of my great aunt. For years she has had the dream of building a labyrinth. She has visited labyrinths on her travels and became enamored with the idea of creating one in her home town of Charlotte. Shrouded in ancient Greek mythology, most people think of labyrinths as mazes, but the more modern interpretation is more like a contemplative garden. Labyrinths are very beautiful, organic structures and posses a peaceful quality making them a great place for reflection and meditation.

It's not an easy task to get others to see your vision, especially when it is a concept that is new and different. For years she has worked on this project and it is finally coming to fruition. The land that the labyrinth will be built on has been acquired and you can see her pictured with the beautiful artist rendering. She is definitely one of my sheroes. Here's to dreaming big!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Urban Paper Girl- Yvonne Trace from the Handmade Project

Urban Paper Girl is our feature that spotlights incredible women that you should know.

Two line bio:

I am a fourth-generation kitchen gadget junkie and life-long Girl-Scout. I am also a proud ethnic mommy to a beautiful lil' girl.

How long have you been making dolls, what other things do you make.

I started making dolls when my daughter was born, she's now four. I also make sewing patterns for the more successful projects I've created.

How and when did you start sewing?

My sewing journey began in 2001 when my mom blessed me with a sewing machine for Christmas. My first project was something else! Hot pink fleece pants with a drawstring...phew.

Your blog encompasses family, lots of handmade items, food, crafts. What is you personal philosphy. How do you make time create?

Self-sufficiency is in my genetic makeup. My parents talk about spending summers on their grandparents' farms and I want to recreate that in my daily life. Creativity was almost a devastating discovery for me because I could happily spend all of my time and resources pursing it. The solution I found is to make handmade as quick and easy as possible.
From a business perpective, what are your challenges and successes as an independent artist?

Right now I am very grassroots! I'm just moving beyond the prototype and development stages and am working to have a 20 or so dolls marketed by May. The biggest challenge I faced was the romantic notion that starting a creative business would be all play and no work. The success is realizing that this is rarely the case and still wanting to pursue it.
Your Sites or where we can find your work?

You can find me at and

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Studio Love-Part I

In the very near future I will be working on designing my home studio. I am very excited because it will be the first time I'll have my very own space for working that I will have control over the design. Here are the things that are most important:

  • Lots of storage-I will get some big flat files but also lots of containers for various craft and art supplies.
  • Bright walls
  • Work zones-a place for messy work and a computer center
  • A comfy chair or sofa for naps. I've snagged some photos online that I love for inspiration.

Nice color and organization

Bright walls-color-right up my alley

This is my favorite. Love the center work center and the brightness.

This is warm and cozy..and a bit mod.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Things I love-Funky ceramics

Spending way too much time today admiring the cute ceramics from Circa Ceramics. I love the high contrast icons paired with bright ceramic tiles.

ware, like cups, bowls, spoonrests, etc:
smaller things, like pendants, magnets & tabs:

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Urban Paper Girl - Jasiatic

Urban Paper Girl is our feature that spotlights incredible women that you should know.

If you know Jasiatic, you'll know she's far from ordinary. Smart, spunky and one of those few individuals who talks her talk and walks her walk. I've had the pleasure of knowing her for many years and she continues to be one of the most inspiring people I know.

Two Line bio:
i am an ordinary person, capturing ordinary things. my work is about the possibility of intense beauty in the faces and elements we see every day.

How long have you been a photographer? What sparked your interest in it and how did you get started?What do you enjoy photographing the most?
i have been a photographer for about 7 years and really focused about it for journaling would indicate that i have been a photographer my entire life. i have an intense interest in the process of birth and midwifery. i began photography with the documentation of birth and pregnancy.

In addition to photography, you're a homeschooling mother? How do you balance that?
i don't. not today...they are entering the system of school next year. i am passing the tourch. i love and honor my time sharing and learning with them, but it is due time for selfishness and they deserve the assets that will follow the blossoming of my career. i am a single mother, and they depend on me enormously!

What inpires you?
right now...loneliness...the tragedy of emotions. i dwell in them until i create something i deem beautiful. i am inspired through imperfection. africa. texture. women. curves. love....

From a business perpective, what are your challenges and successes as an independent artist?
business itself is a challenge..i am really nice and not the best self promoter. paperwork is a mess! but my word is good...and i am livicated creatively. that saves me. i am working on the rest!

You also have a blog. How does blogging inspire your work? How do you interact with your online community?
i have 3 blogs! one on Creative Loafing. blogging is awesome.
i am always amazed that others find connection in what i see and bring forth. it is my way of speaking and all that will listen or see. i am thankful for those who do.

In ten years you will be:
..."oooh baby!"

Find her:

We're looking for movers, shakers, beauty mavens, fashionistas and entrepreneurial women to feature on our blog. If this sounds like you (or someone you know) shoot me an email to kia (at) with a picture, a link to your website or blog and a quick bio. We'd love to feature you here!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Our Carnivorous Terrarium

My sons and I have wanted to make a terrarium for some time now and finally did about two weeks ago. This was such a fun project --that totally didn’t go the way we planned. My vision was to create a beautiful, landscaped masterpiece full of tropical plants but the final results visually were just ok. But what we didn’t accomplish in beauty, we more than made up for in the lessons we learned about plants, how terrariums work and this project was an awesomely fun learning experience. My photos aren't great, but here's the story of how we (accidentally) built a carnivorous terrarium.

The first issue that I had was finding suitable plants. It is cold here and Georgia and most of the plants that work well in a terrarium environment just weren't plentiful at the local nurseries I visited. However, along with some other small plants, I found a cute little Venus Flytrap at Lowe's and bought it on a whim.

We assembled all our supplies. Some of the plants that I bought were just two big to fit in our selected container. We watched several how-to videos on YouTube on terrariums. I realized that there was no ‘right’ way to create one, and everyone had slight variations on their steps and the supplies that they used.

Time to get started. We first poured a layer of pebbles, followed by a layer of sphagnum moss and then a thin layer of activated charcoal. The moss and pebbles help with drainage. The charcoal helps absorb older. Finally, we covered the pebbles, sphagum moss and charcoal with a layer of soil. We found some moss from our yard and we placed it in our terrarium. Then, in went the Flytrap plant.

Ironically the next day my son went on a field trip to a nature preserve, and his very cool teacher gave him a Sundew plant, which we planted that evening. Sundews are also carnivorous.

What we learned. Venus Flytraps are native to N. America only in the Wilmington, North Caroline area. They have redundant trigger mechanism that must be touched twice in succession in order for theplant to close. They thrive on insects and spiders but can go months without ‘eating’ them. The Sundew on the other hand, has sticky tentacles that will trap small insects. There are a variety of species and they can be found throughout N. America and the world.

The closed lid of the Terrarium allows the plants to thrive with minimal watering. We talked a lot about condensation and the water cycle. Because our terrarium is carnivorous, we’ll have to feed the plants occasionally with insects. Other than that, we will just mist the leaves with water once a week or so.

My hat goes off to all the wonderful Etsy sellers making terrariums, my original source of inspiration. I see I have a ways to go in making my terrarium look like a work of art. However, we’ve already started gathering plants and a vase for our next project.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Goals and stuff..

I'm reposting this article from the author of that I really thought was on point. I don't know about you, but my January started out completley hectic, but ended well and I have to really get down to work now that the post holiday crazies are done with. I'm working on a vision board now and hope to get that posted soon!

Give Your New Year's Resolutions a 2nd Wind

Studies suggest that most people give up on their New Year's Resolutions within 30 days. You don't have to be like most people. This year can still become your best year. Now is not the time to give up. Writing your book, starting a non-profit, expanding your business, saving money and advancing in your career can still happen.

By February 1st you will be 1/12 of the way toward the end of the year. Do you feel as if you are 1/12th of the way toward reaching your goals? Will the month of January be a reflection of the rest of the year?

Here are a few quick tips to keep you motivated all year-round:

1. Be Gentle With Yourself. There is no need to beat yourself up for not maintaining a weekly or daily goal. Guilt and shame are counter-productive emotions that keep you stuck in a rut.

2. Observe What Did NOT Work. What were some of the distractions that held you back during the first 30 days? Begin to keep a time log on how you are really spending your time.

3. Implement a New Plan of Action. You learned a few great lessons about what to do and not to do. Now is the time to develop a new strategy that will keep you on track.

4. Read a NEW Book. There are hundreds of books about goal setting and motivation. Ask your friends for a few suggestions.

5. Make Your Vision Plain. Place your goals in a picture frame and look at them everyday. Learn how to create a vision board.

6. Get Support. Hire a life coach or get an accountability partner.

7. Be Flexible. Always be open to changing your approach along the way.

Andrew Morrison, President
Small Business Camp
70 Devonshire Rd.
New Rochelle, NY 10804
914-633-0725 - voice
914-206-3947 - fax

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Craft for Haiti and more news...

One of my directions for the year has been less computer time and more time for creating art ...and this has been one of those weeks that I have been very busy doing just that. SO although this has been a slow blog week, I do have several blog posts planned for this weekend and next week.
  • I'll be posting pictures of my first ever terrarium project with how-to's.
  • Check back for a special sneak peak of my new jewelry pendants.
  • Also, I have two new urban girl features coming soon!

Most importantly, with the tragedy in Haiti, I've been reflecting on how fortunate I am and taking more time to enjoy all the things that are important like family, friends and good health. Please give in any way you can. I'll be participating in Craft for Haiti. Check back because I will be adding several items to the site this week.

Finally, be sure to check out for the current give-a-way.

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Vegan Kitchen

I love to cook and my biggest food challenge is converting 'regular' recipes into vegan-friendly dishes. Several people lately have asked me what types of ingredients I use so I thought I'd do a quick post about things that I always keep on hand in my kitchen.

  • bragg amino acids-Kinda like soy sauce but much lower and sodium and high in amino acid. Basic seasoning for main dishes and great on tofu.

  • nutritional yeast -Comes in flakes or powder. I love this stuff. it is the base for my delicious vegan gravy as well as a key ingredient in spinach artichoke dip. If you want to make something creamier or cheesier this will do it . Plus high in protein and b vitamins.

  • egg substitute- I prefer Ener-G Egg Replacer in food recipes and apple sauce in baked goods.

  • tofu-I don't think soy is great for you, so I try to be conscious of the amount I consume. But tofu is the great vegetarian staple. I freeze the firm variety for dinner dishes and refrigerate cartons that I will use for scrambled tofu in the morning.

  • coconut milk- Again adds cream and tasty excitement to most dishes. I love to do curried coconut vegetables.

  • beans and rice-Make a pot on Sunday and you've got two plus nights of eating. Use leftovers to make patties. My favorites are black beans and black-eyed peas.

  • oils-I use olive and sesame oil the most. Sesame add flavor to almost anything. Add olive oil, sea salt and rosemary to vegetables on a cookie sheet(my favorites are squash, zucchini and onions, roast and get ready for vegetable heaven!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why I love Home Girl Blog

I'm pleased as punch to have been featured on Home Girl Blog. Quel is one of my favorite bloggers. Most of the time when I read her blog postings, I want to say "get out my head!" because her commentary is so right on. She's a super cool mom blogger who seamlessly posts on beauty, fashion and life and general. She lives in Texas and for some reason I love people from Texas (shot outs to Jonetta, Cherie and Meggie Eggie). I think they have that great blend of southern charm and good sense-and definitely applies to Quel.

But I digress. The point is this. Check out the post on little ol' me and learn how you can win some (shall I say) fabulous prizes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kia Does Crafty

Since I work at a company that makes craft products, you'd think I craft a lot. Not true. I make stuff, but not really crafts. But last year I was really inspired to do more. Cathie Fillian,one of my favorite crafters, did a series of plates using Mod Podge. I loved the idea. While not as crafty as her, I thought I'd give it a try. For the holidays I presented my parents and in-laws with these decoupaged plates honoring my two grandmothers and my husband's grandmothers. I love the old vintage pictures of them. They are so romantic and I tried to find phrases that fitted their personalities:

Eunice: My dad's mom-I've talked about her. Fisher, homemaker, lovely person.

Pauline: My husband's paternal grandma. Smart as a whip. Still going strong

Edith: Fun-loving and still vibrant.

Cenora: As sweet as they are made.
These were so fun and easy to make. Next time I'll bling them up a bit more. I am looking for more vintage photos and want to try this Mod Podge technique out on jewelry.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


After a much needed, 3 week blogcation, I bring to you a much refreshed, happier 2010 version of Kia 3.0.

Like most people, the new year brings a chance to recharge, rethink and review. Evaluating what is working and what isn't can often be a complicated, energizing, frustrating and inspiring, especially when it comes to matters that are personally important to you.

Like many, I've made a few resolutions for 2010, both personal and professional. There are the old standards like getting in shape and getting organized which are revisited every year because they are constant journeys.

But in addition, I wanted to rededicate my work and my work on this blog. My general idea was working around a theme- something like "living a more creative life"--which I'm finding takes work, effort and energy After pondering this for awhile, I was able to sum what my direction for the year in one word -Spunk.

My favorite definition of the word is Informal courage or spirit. I think of it is energetically pursuing your goals and living life; making a stand for the things that are important to you; being brave in the face of tumultuous times and laughing in the face of uncertainty(tee hee- me laughing because almost everything is uncertain these days.).
Recently I have found myself sometimes doing things out of routine, habit orobligation, ie void of passion. Spunk is the word that I'd like to use to describe my approach for the next 12 months. So this year you'll find me spunkily pursuing my work and goals and trying my best to enjoy both life's pleasantries and unpleasantries.

So, I have started the year out with a number of creative projects, a brisk (and short) run, some yoga and a grateful heart.
Here's wishing you a spunky 2010.
ps photoof erykah badu, my spunky heroine.
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