Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Daft is Closing, but Not Dying!

*sadface* Only two days left until the closing of Daft Crafts, the brick and mortar store that we own.
Exterior before
Exterior Dafter
Interior before
Interior Dafter
It's going to be a busy two days. We are having a huge going out of business sale, selling displays, meeting the new shop owners (They are opening a handmade boutique in our location, so at least it is continuing to bring handmade joy to the neighborhood!) and artists will be stopping in to pick up their merchandise. On Thursday, we will box up everything left and ship it back to the artists, with final checks. Then cleaning out the shop and removing the left over furniture. It's all very bitter sweet, remembering all the hard work that went into it, all the fun times and great memories at the shop.

Me, my kidlet and Jessica playing dress up!
Soap making classes were always a riot

If you never visited Daft, you don't know about that toilet
Tie dying was always a huge hit at Daft!
 But instead of allowing the Daft Crafts dream (to offer unique art at affordable prices, and an affordable venue with unrivaled exposure for artists), I have decided to grow it into something else! The Daft Crafts Facebook and Daft Crafts blog will remain active, and function as art advocacy and an art business resources. We will promote artists, provide indie business resources, and also an epic outlet for Midwest artists!

I am working with Debbie Luttrell, long time Daft Crafts vendor, even longer artist and event coordinator, to coordinate a large indie event called Daft Crafts Show!

While still very loose in the planning, Debbie and I have so many ideas and a great event outline already! A large indoor/outdoor two day event with poi (fire) spinners, a drum tribe, live music, free craft stations to experiment with new mediums, local bakeries selling yummy cupcakes and goodies, and dozens of artisans and indie designers! Swag bags with merchandise and coupons from the vendors and businesses that sponsor the show, raffles, and games! Face painting, Henna art, and more!

So far we are planning tentatively for May or June of 2013 for Kansas City's first Daft Crafts Show! It will be held in Independence, Missouri, where Daft Crafts was born. Since we are relocating to South Carolina and will be back to visit at least once a year in Missouri, I figure why not make it a really big deal!?

I am very excited about this! It's going to be a grand event, and a lot of fun to plan with Debbie! :) Not much actual planning can be done until closer to the event, but as we begin the process of securing a location, booking artists and entertainment, and developing media for the event I will share with all of you! ♥ As always, thank you for supporting me in my crazy and ambitious dreams! You guys are amazing! 
If you would like to be on the mailing list for when we start to accept applicants for the Daft Crafts Show, email us at with "Mailing List" in the subject of your email.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Daft Crafts is Closing

This is devastating news to bring you. I think the best way to deliver it is by sharing a post Cody wrote for her personal blog, which I will copy and insert here. You can see the original post at this link.

This is incredibly difficult to write for me, and it may not be the most coherent post I've ever done because it's a very emotional subject for me right now and I imagine it always will be. 

After 11 months of awesomeness, Trace and I have decided to close the doors of Daft Crafts, the brick and mortar shop we opened last July in Independence, MO. It's not like we weren't getting enough foot traffic - in fact, last week we had customers come in that were visiting the International Quilt Market who had heard about our store from all the way in Australia. They were in Kansas City visiting from Australia, and made it a point to come visit Daft Crafts. Astounding, huh?

And our doors aren't closing for a lack of support from the community. Quite the opposite - we have had the most amazing band of artists and customers. The artists volunteered at the shop, filled the shelves with incredible art and handmade wares, taught work shops and made donations of  their times as well as art and office supplies. We have regular customers we see weekly at the workshops and who stop in at least once a week to shop. We have worked closely with the local animal shelter to set up a cat fostering program to help them increase the amount of cats being adopted by fostering cats in Daft Crafts, who can be adopted by our wonderful customers! Being such a large part of the community and getting to know all the beautiful people who have been involved at Daft Crafts has been such an honor and touched my heart. I will never forget any of them and hope to keep in touch with everyone that has been a part of Daft Crafts.

So, you are probably wondering why are we closing Daft Crafts then? I still ask myself this as well, and have to keep reminding myself why it is for the best.

During the twelve week breast cancer scare, I lost my grandfather, and a very, very dear person in my life had to begin dialysis. These were devastating blows, as when I learned the news, I was still battling with the fear that I may have breast cancer. It was a very difficult time for me. And I spent more time during that chaotic, depressing period at the shop and lining up promotions and advertising for my artists than I spent with my fiance that I moved half way across the country for and my six year old son. I began to feel like I really needed to re-prioritize my life. I talked to Trace and we have struggled with the decision since the end of February. 

Two weeks ago, a few weeks or so after I got my breast cancer screening results (which were all clear, thank God) a very dear friend of mine got not-good results on her mammogram and had to have a lumpectomy, which thankfully showed the tumor to be benign . But I knew then when I heard what my friend was going through, that terrible wait between appointments and tests to get an answer, what our decision would be. I need to make more time in my life for the people who need me, and I need time to cope with things. My life has been in turmoil since February and I need time to heal and collect myself. I need time with my family. It seems so selfish to me since I am taking a valuable resource away from the community, and it hurts so badly but I know that this is the right thing to do for my family, and they are the most important thing to me. ♥

I will miss Daft Crafts and all the amazing people it has brought me in touch with SO much that it literally hurts my heart. I can't think about it without tears rushing to my eyes. These past 11 months being a shop owner have been amazing, and I love everyone it has brought me in contact with. The experience has been phenomenal and I plan to stay active in the artist community. I will continue to promote indie designers and artists via social media, and I hope to revisit being a shop owner in the not-too-distant future. I have already made plans to volunteer at Scrivner's in Leavenworth so that I can stay involved with local artists while helping another shop grow, and I am very excited by this.

I wrote this article for The Examiner, a local paper here. They wanted to showcase me talking about why I wanted to open a shop that sells handmade things, and asked me to write the article for them. So I decided to focus on the economical and environmental impact of buying handmade versus buying from big box stores. I had limited space for the article, so I had to really condense my thoughts on this to make sure it would all fit on the page. I wrote this a few weeks ago and it just hit the streets this Friday, and though it's bittersweet, I wanted to share it all with you now.

The Value of Buying Handmade

When you buy handmade from a local artist, you aren't just buying a bow, dress, wallet, belt, hat, blanket, toy, or what-have-you. You are buying something that someone made a personal investment in. They invested their time, energy, and supplies into that one thing that you purchased. The money from your purchase often stays local and is often times invested back into your community - at the grocery store, post office, gas stations, and local stores to buy more supplies for the artist to continue their trade. When you buy from an artist, you are supporting a person, an individual, not a corporation. You are supporting their lifestyle, their dreams, their goals and their hopes. Your purchases have power - make them count!

Buying handmade doesn't just give you a warm-and-fuzzy feeling of doing something great for your local economy though. It also has it's environmental benefits as well!

When you buy local, and buy handmade, one of a kind items, especially from eco-friendly artists, you don't have the waste of energy and resources that happens in big box stores -Thousands of products are made (where's the individuality in that?), individually wrapped, packed in a larger box, stacked with other boxes, saran wrapped and shipped to distribution factories. They are then divided, extra packaging is discarded, and shipped when needed to big box stores, who then throw away all the extra packaging, and stick them on a shelf waiting for a person to buy it. Real personal shopping experience, right? When you buy from a local artist, they make the product in their home or studio, and then it goes from their hand to yours. Or a local shop's shelf to your hand. Or it's packed and shipped to you if purchased from their online venue. Not even a fraction of the amount of fuel, packaging waste and pollution from factory production occurs when you buy handmade, versus buying from big box stores. Why not make every purchase have a positive impact - on the economy, and the environment?

I am proud to be an owner of an establishment that thinks big with small actions. Every product in Daft Crafts is handmade, or items that have been revitalized to keep them from the landfills - old books turned into sketch books, suitcases turned into art, watch parts turned into jewelry, game pieces turned into kitchen ware. All of our products are unique, and each  artist brings a new form of creativity to the mix. Our art education workshops every Wednesday and Saturday help encourage the community to think creatively and try new mediums, and reduce their product consumption and replace it with a means to create for themselves.

♥ We are still exploring options to transfer ownership, but if that doesn't happen June 14th is set to be Daft Crafts last day open. Thank you to everyone for all your support, this has been the greatest journey.

Our hours through June 14th are 11-4, Tuesday-Saturday, with closures on Thursday, 5/24, and Friday, June 1st, and Saturday, June 2nd for out of town trips. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crafty Cats

Hi guys! I wanted to write a post to tell you about our latest venture, partnering with Independence Animal Shelter for their Mews on the Street program.

I feel like first, I should disclose that I am a total sap when it comes to animals. I have four cats at home (Lu, Sephie, Princess Meow Meow and Cammy) plus one dog (Ripley, who most of you know as The Daft Dog). I do short term foster care of cats and dogs occasionally, and work really, really hard to find foster and adoptive homes for animals, focusing primarily on animals from Independence Animal Shelter on Truman Road.

So when Independence Animal Shelter sent me an email asking if I would like to be the first business to take part in the Mews on the Street cat fostering program, I agreed immediately. I mean, I could sit around with cute kitties all day, play with them, and help them find adoptive homes? It's a win win for everyone involved!

A huge benefit to this program is we are giving the foster cats great exposure and more chances to meet their perfect new owners, while freeing up shelter space so that they can help even more animals. How it works is I have a crate, litter box, food and a cat. I feed, water, and care for the kitty, socializing it with our customers and artists and finding it the perfect adoptive home! The shelter handles the adoption fee and process, and then the kitty gets to go home with it's adoptive family, and Daft Crafts gets a new Crafty Cat to foster.

We started the program Tuesday, April 3rd, with Arella, a beautiful, long haired calico cat with a super fluffy tail and lots of love to spare!

Arella was adopted the following Saturday, and renamed Atticus by her new owner! Only four days hanging out at the shop before she found her new loving family! :)

Our second kitty we received to foster this week is Lotus, a beautiful, playful black cat! She is affectionate and sweet! She's only been here three days but I bet she will be adopted just as quickly! She is very playful, loves catnip, and is great with kids, other cats and dogs. 

I am so very excited to be able to be a part of this program!  If you want to come in to meet our Crafty Cat adoptables or are interested in adopting any of the cats, come by any time during business hours or for an art workshop! If you are interested in learning more about fostering feel free to contact me at or visit your local animal shelter to see what programs exist in your area that you can participate in to help cats, dogs, even bunnies and other pets live in a stable family environment while they wait to be adopted into their forever homes.

Please share this post on your social media sites - Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. The more exposure these cats get, the better the program will work and we will hopefully be able to have at least one cat adopted through this program a week! :) We can't do it without help from you - you are what makes Daft Crafts great! ♥

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Children's Line

Mindy Keyhoop is the our latest Daft artist! Mindy is creator of a funky children's clothing line, called Mindy's In-Stitches. Her clothes for girls are affordable, fun and colorful. We are so excited to have us join our pool of creative and colorful artists here at Daft Crafts, and we know you will just love her clothing line! Bring your little ladies by the shop to try on Mindy's line of skirts and dresses in person, and be sure to like her on Facebook and on follow her Twitter!

Visit Mindy's online shop here. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Photos From The Glass Fusing Workshop!

Here are some photos from our first glass fusing workshop at Daft Crafts! To see all the photos from this workshop, check out the album, here! Cindy Gillespie was the instructor at this workshop. We had a great turn out! I can't wait to see everyone's finished pieces(they were taken home with Cynthia to be fired in her large kiln). I will post photos as soon as they arrive back at the shop for pick up!

Hi, class!

Apt Pupils!


Flak, to use as filler

Finished pendants as examples

Ready, set, create!

Glue to hold the dichroic glass and flak down

Kiln at 1500 degrees!

Glass just beginning to melt at 1500 degrees

1900 degrees!

After cooling briefly, but still way to hot to touch for 24 hours.
Thanks for looking! Like I said, to see the entire album with all the pictures from the event, click here. We have another glass fusing workshop May 9th at 6pm - 3 magnets for $20!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Artist Showcase - Desiree Warren

Meet Desiree Warren, creator of Eighty Acres Art. Desiree is 29 and lives in Midtown Kansas City, Missouri. She is also a part time florist at Needham Floral in Waldo.

The name of Desiree's vinyl art business is from the eighty acre farm that she grew up on in Ottawa, KS. She says it was actually more like a big garden, than a farm. :) She went to the University of Kansas and studied sculpture and art history. While in Lawrence for school, she met her now-husband, Sean! In 2006 they bought their first home together in Kansas City where they now reside with their several cats (not enough to qualify Deisree for a crazy cat lady, though!)  they enjoy lots of ice cream and Project Runway together. They also enjoy time outside gardening and biking.

Desiree's first ever art clock
Desiree first started using vinyl and sign materials her senior year in the sculpture program at KU (2004). She says she has always been drawn to street signs and graphic design, and she was exploring people's reactions to signs that weren't quite right (Like a mislabeled STOP sign) to see if they even notice. For research, she called the public works department and as it turned out, the City of Lawrence used a sign manufacturer from her hometown so she was able to approach them and ask them for their scraps they would otherwise just throw away. She collected their scraps and started using them to make cards and bumper stickers. Her first post job after college was at a store called It's About Time - it was a storefront for an artist who made metal art clocks. Desiree combined the two, and created vinyl art clocks on aluminum backing. 

'Green Produce' is vinyl art on produce tags from Safeway, where her grandpa worked in the '70s

She dove into clock art, and a little later, wall art. Her first pieces were portraits of her family based on prints she made a KU, or photos she found at home. They were originally made up of just vinyl on aluminum, like the clocks, but then she started to create mixed media pieces, using old papers and images. She said her family tended to keep all things, even junk mail, so she took full advantage of those weird time capsules and turn that junk mail and scrap paper into art. 

Desiree's favorite piece of her own art called 'We Ate Dessert Because it was Cheaper'

When asked what her favorite piece was she had ever made, Desiree shared this photo of 'We Ate Dessert Because It Was Cheaper'. She says of it:  

"My favorite piece is 'We Ate Dessert Because It Was Cheaper,' because it has a loose quality to it and the story behind it is a weird family thing. My grandma got scurvy during WWII while my grandpa was in Europe fighting because she only ate Hostess cupcakes and drank Coke…she had to eat lots of oranges later to reverse the problem."

Desiree says she finds herself inspired by so much - color, shape, family history, Midwest history, found images and photographs, coloring books, accidental humor, old graphic design, free stuff, old stuff, silhouettes, and mostly the Gestalt Theory of Design (the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, basically). She also likes to view and experience art, like blind-contour drawings and all kinds of ink printing (woodblock, screen print, etching).  "A really well-done, kind of quiet ink and colored pencil drawing can really make me happy, too. " she says.

Outside of vinyl art, Desiree's favorite art forms to delve into are carving wood, collaging, and reclaiming furniture. 

To see more of Desiree's work and learn more about her, visit her website and be sure to "like" her Facebook fan page to keep up with special promotions and new items hitting her Etsy shop! :)

Learning to Needle Felt!

This Saturday, we had a needle/wet felting class taught by Sarah Goins. We used Suri alpaca fiber, learned about alpaca, different types of fiber, the differences of wet and needle felting, and made very different projects! Cody made needle felted beads for a bracelet. Mary and Debbie made wet felted eggs and a needle felted nest, and Mary also made a cute little needle felted bunny! Here are some pictures from the class!

A rainbow of roving!

Needle felted Alpaca

Needle felted alpaca

6-year-old Gauge playing with the raw fiber

Photography of the workshop from a 6-year-old's point of view

Haha, epic column called "Confessions of a Shearing Novice"

Debbie and Mary hard at work felting eggs

Mary showing off the bunny she is working on!


Sarah demonstrating how to skewer a bunny felt a flat bottom

Wet felting eggs

The needle felting process

Felting needle - see the tiny barbs on the shaft?

Deep purple roving.

Barrek experimenting with needle felting

Mary and Debbie's completed eggs, nest and bunny!
If you are interested in taking this workshop and learning to wet or needle felt, we are having another felting workshop April 11th at 6pm. Click here for the event page and to RSVP! :)