Tag Archives: BAA

Stand By Me

There’s a non-zero chance you’re reading this because I gave you a business card at the recent Stand By Me art market in Brownsville. First of all, welcome to my world! (You poor sod.) Second, I thought a handy little primer on my craft blog would be appreciated. If you just want to buy my stuff, you can skip this and click straight to my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SkirkbucketStudio. I will be posting stuff I was selling at the art show just as soon as I can take product photos and whatnot. If you already know what you want, please contact me and I’ll sell it to you immediately with Square or a reserved listing or something. I’m pathetically eager to please.

Those tablecloth wrinkles are your imagination.

This was my table.

1.) Profanity: I have a fucking filthy vocabulary, okay? You’ve been warned.

2.) WTF is this site?: This is my humorous craft blog. I mouth off in an (I hope) entertaining way about my journey as an artist. I do the occasional tutorial, often walk you through my mistakes and how I fixed/failed to fix them, and detail results of my craft experiments.

3.) Usefulness: My goal is to be funny, but I also like to at least pretend to be helpful. So I do reviews of products, experiment with all forms of art, and sometimes write tutorials. I always welcome questions, either via my comment sections/contact form or email (skirkbucketstudio@gmail.com).

4.) Specialty: We don’t need no steenking specialties! I used to try to confine myself to one craft, but my short attention span and desire to DO ALL THE THINGS makes that impractical. The plan was for me to focus on selling my projects on Etsy and at craft shows. Now I’ve happily settled on doing whatever the hell I want and writing about it. Speaking of which…

5.) Business: This IS my job. If you enjoy my writing, please consider popping over to my Etsy shop or contacting me about a commission. Your support is what keeps me from being forced to have ads on my website or to gate content behind Patreon fees. Also, the more feedback I get, the more I’m encouraged to write. Comments make the world go ’round.

6.) Etcetera: Twitter and Instagram handles are @Skirkbucket…blah blah blah…I take topic suggestions (with a grain of salt…blah blah…I have cats…blah…the sky is green… I can’t think of anything else you would need/want to know about this site. Lemme know if you think of something.

Thanks for giving me a chance,

2015 Holiday Market

On December 5th I participated in my first-ever craft fair. My dad and I shared a table at the Brownsville Art Center Holiday Market, and I had a lot of fun.

my side of the table

This was my side of our table at the Holiday Market.

Dad's side of the table

This was Dad’s side of the table.

Between Dad’s killer illustrations and my upcycling, we had quite the varied set of wares. I’m especially proud of the shirt pocket pen holsters for sketchbooks (please let me know if you can think of a catchier name). I sewed those up from old shirts, and I think my design is way more versatile than a standard journal cover pattern. For one thing, the size can be adjusted easily by moving the buttons. There’s no need for a lining or any kind of stiffening for the holster to keep its shape, as it’s supported by the sketchbook cover itself and doesn’t gap when opened.

Anyway, I’ll go into the individual projects in a later post. What I really wanted to tell you is what I learned from my first craft fair:

1.) Bring food. Luckily, I had a swarm of relatives popping in to the art center all day who could bring me noms. If I hadn’t, I might have starved to death from having to watch my table all day.

2.) Wear armor. I managed to stave off a lot of anxiety (I gots me some pesky brain problems) by wearing elaborate makeup, which subconsciously put me in “performance” mode rather than “freaking out because there’s too many people who want to make small talk” mode. I imagine a silly hat or a costume would also help.

3.) Bring supplies. The deciding factor for people considering buying cuffs was my offer to adjust the fit right there. I had needle and thread so I could quickly move buttons around and such.

4.) Speaking of cuffs, improvise. I sold one bracelet to a guy by pointing out that it could also be used as a coffee sleeve.

5.) Compliments are currency. The consensus among shoppers was that I am extremely clever and my art is awesome in all ways… but not so awesome that they were willing to pay for it. I got a lot of praise and very few sales. If I had been counting on the money from the fair, I would have been devastated, but treating my first fair as a learning experience let me appreciate the compliments. The boost to my confidence is money in the ego bank for encouraging me to keep on crafting.

6.) Stress is underrated. When I agreed to participate, I had very little time to prepare. (I was asked to join at the last second when not enough artists signed up for the fair.) I didn’t have even close to enough product to fill a table, so I had to bust my ass to get ready. That meant the occasional day of sewing for nine hours straight, and that I had to beg my dad to help, but I think the kick in the pants was worth it. The pressure taught me that I CAN do it, and now I have mentally opened myself up to opportunities I would have deemed “too hard” before accomplishing so much in just a few weeks.

7.) My nephew is too fucking adorable for words. I already knew that, but I thought it was worth pointing out to you delusional people who mistakenly think YOU have the world’s cutest nephew. His parents brought him to the fair, which perked “Auntie Mae” right up when I was in the midday doldrums.

8.) Something will go wrong. It didn’t occur to me that so many people would ask if my stuff would still be for sale at the art center after the fair. I had to tell them I would try to get the art that didn’t sell posted on my Etsy shop as soon as possible. I was positive that I’d prepared for anything, but I didn’t have those listings ready to go when I needed to. Also, there wasn’t room for two chairs at our table, so Dad had to sit in a nook behind the Christmas tree like an elf who had been banished to a corner by an angry Santa for not making toys fast enough.

9.) Don’t assume you can come up with enough pithy advice to fill a ten-item list. You will be so very, very wrong.

The Joy of Deadlines

On December 5th I will be hosting a table at the Brownsville Art Center for the holiday market. Let the panic begin!

Some of the pressure is off me because I suckered convinced my dad to contribute to the sale. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I am less than totally prepared (read: I do not have even close to enough inventory to fill an entire table, especially one of the gigantic tables at the art center). So lately my days have been filled with a frenzy of making stuff. Don’t get me wrong–I love creating. It’s just that I have a persistent voice in the back of my head shouting, “Work faster! FASTER, I say!” That little voice is strongly of the opinion that I don’t have time for trivial matters like sleeping, eating, shitting, etc. It spends a lot of time arguing with the other little voice that thinks everything I make is complete crap and should be redone from scratch. My brain is super fun, guys.

Anyway, I will have several of the following items for sale: Pouches of varying styles made of inner tubes, sketchbook “holsters” made from old shirts, decorated shirt cuffs, block necklaces, and Peppermint Beasties. This is also a good opportunity to order custom work, especially if you want it done in time for the holidays. Check out my portfolio for examples of things I’ve made in the past.

I hope to post pictures soon of what I’m working on. It depends if I can convince the little voices to let me, or if I manage to sneak past them. Wish me luck.

I’ve Been Working On…

It’s been a while since I posted, but I have a good excuse! Really! See, I’m teaching a class in June at the Brownsville Art Center, and prepping for it has taken up most of my time. I can prove it, too. Check out these badass flowers made from assorted junk (click any picture to see a slideshow with commentary):

These aren’t all the types of flowers we’ll be making in class on June 20th from 10am to 1pm, but it’s a good sampling. You’ll be able to register at the Art Center soon; I’ll post an update when it’s set up.  There is a $20 non-refundable registration fee for supplies.

There will be a ton of other activities designed to prepare artists for the Junk Art Show in August. Stay tuned to find out more.





ap whole

My new mixed media piece, “Adventure,” will be in the Brownsville Art Center from Feb. 4th through March 14th as part of the annual 8×8 show!

The background is the result of my recent experiment with pouring medium.  Pouring medium, which I discovered through a Donna Downey online workshop, is a really fun tool that provides an interesting abstract effect with a minimum of effort.  Just pour a puddle on the canvas, add some blobs of acrylic paint, and let the medium carry the colors all over the canvas.

Once the background was dry, I added a couple of other layers without covering the entire surface.  That got me a subtle dripping texture and added more depth.

ap indoors drip only

The pouring medium is really glossy and hard to photograph without reflections, but you get the idea.

ap angle drip

These colors are a bit more accurate than the previous picture.

I found the lace embellishment in a bag of random trims that came from an estate sale.  It’s possible that it used to be on somebody’s wedding dress.  I’ve been saving this flower for something dramatic, and I think this setting is just right for it.

ap closeupThe final touch was the “quote” written with a white Gelly Roll pen.  As far as I know, nobody famous has ever said this.  It just popped into my head when I saw the lace against the deep blue part of the background.  I like how it implies a sort of Zen-like philosophy.  Other than that, it really has no special significance outside of sounding cool.  Sometimes my brain just spits something out and I have to use it to keep my my subconscious from going off to sulk in a corner of my skull, you know?

If you happen to be in Brownsville, be sure to stop by and see the show.  It’s going to be awesome.