Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pricing your work

{via Etsy via Kelly Rae Roberts}

I'm a big fan of Kelly Rae Roberts. I adore her and her style, but most importantly I love her honesty, eloquence and humility on discussing topics that, as an artist, I find myself bumping up against on a frequent basis. 

One such topic is pricing you work. Etsy recently featured an overview of her thoughts on the matter, and I found them to be incredibly helpful. Though I think there's a difference between selling art in the traditional sense versus art in furniture or home decor, I do think a lot of Kelly Rae's points still apply.   

As someone who is just starting out, pricing my work has been a struggle for me. With my furniture, some of my pieces took ages to complete. I am entirely self taught in my craft and this first furniture collection involved a massive learning curve. I learned, repeatedly, the hard way when something didn't work. As a result I spent a lot of unnecessary hours redoing and amending mistakes that (hopefully!) can be avoided in the future. 

My goal for the furniture side of this business of mine is to create beautiful, funky, one-off pieces that are not only original and unique, but also affordable. I truly believe that every home should have a piece of furniture or decor that they love and that speaks to their character. Trying to find the balance between pricing based on current economic situations, competitiveness and affordability versus costs of materials and time put in though, has been nothing short of difficult. As this was my first collection, I found myself undervaluing pieces. Basing my pricing off what I would spend on the piece. I also found myself consumed with the tinnest of flaws and despite no one but myself bearing witness, or even knowledge of these, I still felt compelled to price things accordingly. 

To give you a bit of perspective, the first piece I sold, after I took away the costs of materials and the stall at the market, left me with a wage earned of less than 5 euros an hour. Impressive I know. 

Kidding aside, I realize that as I grow in skill the time it takes to complete each piece will decrease and my rates will be able to better reflect my ability. But at the end of the day I didn't start this purely for monetary gain - I did it out of love and passion for what I do.  

{Design crush} Martini Table

This martini table may be a bit too OTT for my tastes (mostly because I need things that can withstand my clumsy destructive ways) but damn if this isn't the prettiest lil table I ever did see. With it's raw organic top balanced perfectly by the ultra glam gold metal base, it's a fabulous study of contrasts. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mustard + Grey

Calalita Designs, or rather Ms. Ivy, has been featured in an oh so charming Mustard + Grey Treasury on Etsy! 

To see the full treasury, with links to all of the fantastic shops, go check out the full post on Calalita Designs


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Postcard Swap

Back in July I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the oh so lovely Kat's first Liberate your Art Postcard Swap. 170 participants from 13 countries and 37 US States came together to liberate 1020 pieces of art through the use of postcards. 

How Kat manages to pull this off while simultaneously organizing a move from Italy to Organ and running an e-course, I'll never know - but pull it off she did. 
My art liberated on postcards. Clockwise from the top: "Home is wherever I'm with you" mixed media  painting on canvas, "Dino Bot" mixed media painting on paper, "Let Go" mixed media painting on canvas, and "In a world full of shame and regret do something to be proud of" photograph. 

My postcards, along with a lil note and painting all packaged up and ready to be shipped off

This was such a wonderful experience and I loved receiving such unique and lovely works of art from all over the world.  Each postcard boosted a sweet heartfelt comment or inspirational quote, but to read it in Kat's words, makes you realize the full depth to which this project was felt. 

All my lovely new liberated works of art!
Paula Bogdan @ Little Scraps of Magic

 I love softness of this photo. It's so sweet and delicate
Anglea P. Shenk @ Peach Coglo

'We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world"- The Buddha
Anita @ Going a Little Costal

"Every artist was once an amateur" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jo Murray @ Jo Murrary Art

An acyrlic painting on canvas, this is the closest I'm getting to a summer here in Dublin. Every time I look at this sweet beach scene it makes me smile (and wish for a pina colada!)
Gail @ Picturing the Year

'In the right lighit, at the right time, everything is extraordinary" - Aaron Rose

A postcard from the amazing Kat herself!

 I love that it's a picture of a Vespa, I think of her every time I look at it!

A huge success drawn from a simple gesture, Kat created something that I know will continue to thrive and prosper for years to come. Thank you to everyone who participated and to those artists whose cards I received. Each and everyone made my day, and I as I hang them up around my place they serve as not only a constant reminder of how connected we all are, but what we are all capable of as well. xx

Friday, August 26, 2011

{Introducing} Calalita Designs

Hot off the heels of the Brocante Market, I'd like to (finally!) introduce you to Calalita Designs!

A labor of love, Calalita Designs started as a tiny dream a long time ago.

Ever since I can remember I’ve always been drawn to art and color. Over the years it’s manifested itself in different ways, but it wasn’t until I moved to Dublin, Ireland in 2008 that I started to narrow my focus.

What began as a simple effort to make my apartment feel like a home, soon turned into a full fledged passion. My flat became my canvas where I was constantly upcycling my own furniture, painting walls, rearranging rooms and creating my own art.

Eventually I saw an opportunity to turn doing what I loved into a business. In late 2010 I acquired a small studio space and began teaching myself the tricks of the trade. Since then I have been remaking furniture and developing my own collection of mixed media illustrations that bit by bit I've been sharing with you here on Furi Kuri. 

Inspired by nature, travel and the playful, whimsical side in us all, Calalita Designs is rooted firmly in the belief that home decor, like life, shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

I'm so thrilled to be able to share my site and my work with you all. I'm officially online now - how groovy is that? There's still quite a bit of tweaking and adjustments that need to be made so please bear with me as I navigate the uncharted waters that is wordpress and html code. 

I originally had intended to slowly phase out and integrate Furi Kuri with Calalita so that the website and blog would all be in one. After I got the website up though, I realized that I wasn't quite ready to give up Furi Kuri. Compounding the issue was the realization that to make things more 'professional' I'd probably have to streamline and censor my posts more to help with marketing and image branding. I'm not sure that posts on travel, random musings or killing zombies would align with Calalita's aesthetic. Maybe it would work, but for now Furi Kuri will continue to be my personal blog and Calalita will house more a design and art centered focus, highlighting new pieces and any upcoming exhibitions. 

I apologize in advance for what I'm sure will be a bit of overlap while I figure out what works best. The perfectionist in me has been strongly opposing launching something that is not 100% finished but the realist in me knows that it will probably never be totally complete.  The time to wait it is over: these days it's all about the forward momentum baby!  

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brocante Furniture Market

I apologize for the absence around here lately, but I promise dear nuggets, it hasn't been in vain.  I've been working non stop and I'm so excited to finally share the news I was only able to randomly hint at before.

This past Sunday was the Dublin Brocante Market, were I (officially) unofficially launched my first furniture collection.

This is something I've slowly been working towards for what feels forever, a true labor of love (and blood, sweat and tears) that despite a few false starts has finally come together.
I've wanted to share all of this with you for ages, but every time I tried to write the words simply wouldn't come. In hindsight, I realize until now, that the timing was never quite right.

I believe that art is in essence an extension of oneself. As someone who is entirely self taught and still making mistakes learning as I go, my wavering confidence in my abilities prevented me from sharing that which had become so personal.

This market has been a goal of mine since the beginning of the year, a way to own my work and put myself out there. In the week leading up to it, despite being (mostly) prepared I hesitated telling anyone about it until Friday. Residual fears and doubts (hello neurosis, my old friend) kept creeping up but eventually the only way to silence those voices is to do that which you are scared of and embrace action.

The market was a wonderful experience and I am so grateful for the support of friends and most importantly S. Monster - without whom I wouldn't be where I am today.

I garnered a lot of attention and sold a few pieces but ultimately I realize that if I want this little business of mine to succeed, it's going to take a lot more than a stall at a market. It's going to be a lot of hard work, but I've always known that this market was merely a stepping stone. Now the real fun starts and mark my words - before I leave Dublin my name will be known.

Because you're the best nuggets anyone could ask for, here are a few sneak peeks from Sunday...

Friday, August 19, 2011

{Book Crush} Hunger Games

It's been a long time since I was so completely and utterly transfixed by a book that it all but consumed me. Literally unable to put it down, I just finished Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins in less than 24 hours. Within the first 2 chapters I was hooked and now, even though it's finished I'm itching to start book 2. I've heard distant rumblings as the hype for this book builds, what with Hollywood turning it into a movie, and I'm so glad I read it before things blew up out of control (aka Hollywood turns it into the next Twilight). 

Beautifully written and captivating from the start, you feel an almost instant connection to the main character. And as the sinister Big Brother world and true meaning of the Hunger Games is made known, you're left on the edge of your seat, desperate for more. Despite being 384 pages and packed from start to end, the book somehow feels too short, as if it's merely teaser of what's yet to come (aka I have yet to come to terms with the fact it's over). To be honest though, it's probably a good thing it ended when it did. As it is now, it's taking all my restraint not to start the second book, but with a ton of work still ahead of me, I know I need to hold off or otherwise I can just kiss any (further) form of productivity goodbye. Even though this has already pushed me way behind schedule on things and more than likely will result in an upcoming all nighter to finish things up,Hunger Games was totally worth it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Industrial Revolutions

Danny MacAskill is literally jaw dropping in his almost otherworldly abilities with his bike. I am blown away by his talent, inspired by the ease of which he can do that which I never would have dreamed possible. Beautifully captured, this clip presents a sneak peek at the gravity defying performance, shot as part of the U.K.'s Channel 4 series on urban action sports for Concrete Circus

{Found via the always impressive CoolHunting}

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

{Design Crush} Bringing sexy to the bedroom

{ViaBright Bazaar}
I have never been a huge fan of 4 post beds. I don't have anything against them mind you but they just never appealed to me.  That is until I met this handsome devil.  I love the dark, sleek edge the metal gives the frame. and the shape has a softness, almost feminine touch in it's masculinity. This bed is nothing short of sexy (yea, that's right. I said it. this bed is sexy!). Can't you just picture snuggling up under twinkling fairy lights in the winder or lying there on lazy summer days with light as air fabric floating in the breeze? Needless to say this is going in the "save" folder. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

{Monday Edition} Life around here lately

Happy Monday nuggets! The past few days have been crazy. My weekend was filled with work that I could never have gotten done without the help of some amazing friends. As we kick off a new week I thought I'd share some highlights from life around here that I'm incredibly thankful for. 

{These lil guys were in our care for about a week while S. Monster and I  fostered them until they were old enough to be adopted. It broke my heart to give them back, but at least I know they've ended up in a good home. Just so you know, it took all my resistance not to flood this blog with cute kitty pics (though if I get drunk later all bets are off)}
{A shot of our "assembly line" as a group of friends pitched in to help finish clearing out the new studio space. See those lovely specs? It was so dusty in there, this was the clearest photo I could take.  Unfortantely due to several beer breaks, I forgot to take a proper group photo once we finished. Opps}
{Sunday was spent setting up for a photo shoot an incredibly talented friend of mine shot for  a few of my finished pieces. The end results will be shared in good time, but for now here's a lil sneak peek of whats to come!}
{After a long hard weekend, nothing's better than a pint and homemade pizza}

Tell me, what's making you happy today?


Friday, August 12, 2011

{Inspiration} Friday edition

{Via here}
Things are picking up steam around here lately as I head into the home stretch with the past 6 months  of work cumulating into the next 10 days. So many exciting big changes are literally right around the corner and I can't wait to share them all with you, my lil nuggets!  It's all a bit scary but Holy Delusions of Grandur Batman is it incredible to think that I am *this close* to realizing what I've worked so hard for. As I pull my "get shit done" pants on (not to be confused with my "eat everything in sight" elastic sweatpants or "is it me you're looking for" tighty whities) I hope you all have a great weekend. xx

Thursday, August 11, 2011

{Design Crush} Kitchen Makeover

{All images via The Bee Hive}

This kitchen makeover found via the always incredible Design*Sponge makes me weak in the knees. Done in only 3 weeks, it seamlessly blends industrial, rustic and vintage elements together to create a bright, airy and inviting space. I adore the use of high gloss white paint here to balance out the rough exposed beams and matte gray plaster walls. It's a gorgeous combination that was not only cost effective but simple to do. I never fail to be amazed at how easy a coat of paint can transform things! Add to that pretty turquoise accents, a salvaged wood table with mix matching chairs (love the green one) and a stunning light fixture and this little kitchen is being filed away for future reference. For more info and to see the "Before" shot (along with more finished pics!) check out Design*Sponge and The Bee Hive


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

{Design crush} Wedding Love

{All the lovely images via Heidi Ryder}

I've seen my fair share of wedding porn over the years, but nothing has ever left me so utterly breathless before. Not only are the bride and groom oh so cute and stylish (I love her blue cardigan and birdcage veil. And those shoes! Those shoes are the perfect blend of classic and quirky, beautiful and bold) but their entire event, down to the tinniest DIY details is simply amazing.

The venue itself is stunning.  The vintage cameras, books and framed posters that all coordinate with the cushions and linens sets my heart a flutter. The oversized button cushion? The escort cards pinned to a mannequin bust? The adorable homemade signs to wave after the ceremony? The gorgeous wreath and fantastic bride/ groom chairs? The taco bar?!? Be still my heart! It's all almost painful in it's perfection. I am so inspired by this beautifully crafted, one of a kind space I want to live here.  Heck I'm so in love with this event I want marry it and have it's little wedding babies. 

{For more images and info on this lovely affair check out Heidi Ryder and Wedding Bee

Sunday, August 7, 2011

{Inspiration} Monday

Sometimes I just need lil push at the start of the week, a jolt to get me out of my post weekend haze. I've been feeling a bit disappointed in myself lately - frustrated at how long its taken me to finish a specific task or how things haven't turned out quite like I hoped. Looking over my goals from last week I felt overwhelmed with inadequacy by the number of tasks that did not get accomplished. I was about to drag myself to bed when I stumbled across this quote. 

Incredibly inspiring, this is exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it. An encouraging reminder for all of us creatives out there, here's a lil Monday morning kick in the pants to get things going: 

{found thanks to  Karen McDade}

{Shop love} Terrain

{All photos via Terrain}

Loving this gorgeous rustic gem of  shop Terrain which, for good reason, has been making the rounds online lately. Their vintage furniture and one of a kind industrial pieces are beautiful and I imagine I could spend hours wandering around the store's grounds. Located in Pennsylvania, I can't wait to visit next time we're in the area. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

{Introducing} John Woo Bot

Be weirdly wonderful and and wonderfully wierd
Follow your dreams & forget your fears
Today is the first day of the rest of your life
So live so much that you live it twice

{an original illustration and quote by yours truly. Enjoy!}

Monday, August 1, 2011

5 Things...

This past weekend was a lovely productive few days spent painting and creating. I finished up a few paintings I'd been working on and rediscovered my love of pencils. It's always been the medium I enjoy the most and am the most comfortable with but yet it's the medium that lately I've work the least with. Coming across an old sketch I did last year reminded me just how much I'd missed it. 

As we kick off a new week and month, here's to starting again, to reconnecting with that you've missed and to find joy in the little things. 

"Aspen Matthews" sketch done last year
Lovely lil reminders found while running

Peanut butter m&ms - dinner of champions

The start of a new project and a new space

I can't help but smile and break out in uncoordinated dance whenever this song plays (which lately is a lot). 

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