Category Archives: Brooklyn

15% off sale at Etsy!

The Men of Etsy team is having a week-long 15% off sale! You can find my shop here and use BOYSOFSUMMER as the coupon code. Additionally, if you search “boysofsummer” you will find ALL the shops offering this deal (same coupon code). This is a huge selection of shops with many, many different types of items. Christmas in July!

My Etsy shop.

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Sleep Through the Sun!

One of the nicest things about our apartment is this hug, half circle window over the other two regular windows.  It lets in so much sun during the day and makes the room really bright.  This, however, does not work well with one of the nicest things about my job, namely: I get to sleep in.

Here’s a picture of the window, early morning.

That’s a lot of sun, when one doesn’t have to get up for another two hours.  So, I did what I do… I found this pattern for a sleep mask, and made it one night.  Sure enough, when the sun woke me up the next morning, I pulled the mask on and went blissfully back to sleep.

Very happy, indeed.


Art for Fun; Art for Cheap

On Monday night I took part in an Etsy Labs Craft Night.  It was a mini drawing workshop with Carla Sonheim.  I was so impressed and excited with what I learned that night, that I signed up for her two and a half hour workshop the following evening: The Art of Silliness.  The biggest lesson that Carla imparts is: “We used to love drawing when we were kids, before our inner critic kicked in.  Stop trying to draw ‘perfectly’ and just have fun with it.” (my paraphrasing of her class)  What’s funny is, when you embrace that idea, when you stop trying so hard to do it “right” you get amazing results.  Results you actually LIKE!

I used to draw all the time as a kid.  In second grade, I wrote AND illustrated my first book.  Even in high school, after I finished taking tests, I would highly decorate my cover paper.  But somewhere along the way, I started worrying about how good my drawings were.  I started saying things like, “Well her nose doesn’t really look like that.  I screwed up.”  I quit having fun.

What’s funny is that in reality, I’m actually a pretty decent realistic artist.  When I took a drawing class in college, I turned out some good work.  But those pieces take hours, sometimes even days, to create.  For some reason, I held myself to this weird standard, that my quick, fun drawings of people and things, should look as “right” as the ones done for hours at the easel.

Anyway, here is some of my work from the class this week, taken quickly with my cell phone.

The rabbit is my favorite one  🙂  Anyway, here’s what I’ve come up with: I want to keep drawing for fun, drawing just to be drawing, but I live in a one bedroom apartment with one other person and a cat.  In other words, I don’t have a lot of room.  So I’ve decided that anything I make that isn’t just in my sketch book, any piece that looks nice enough to actually display, I’m going to sell on Etsy, but only for like $1 or 2.  Seriously.  Mainly just enough to cover shipping.  I think it’s a great way for friends and family to get some Kerr made art (see what I did there?) AND to keep my apartment from becoming too cluttered.  I’ll keep you all up to date as to when I add stuff.

OH!  And if there’s anything that you’d like me to draw, just drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.


Re: sorta complaining?

In my last post, I discussed how I wasn’t happy that I did a lot of things well but nothing amazingly.  Via Facebook, here were some of the responses that made me really rethink my “complaint.”

My cousin Jeff:

Personally, I think the true mark of talent is being able to do a lot of things well. I would much rather be second best at everything than an expert at one thing, and absolutely clueless about anything else. The second mark of that talent is seeing the flaws in your work. Only a fool looks at his own work an says “its perfect.” The true craftsman says “there’s a gap, I need to smooth that spot, that piece don’t match the other one, and there is another mistake” everyone else looks at the work with awe.

I loved the line “I would much rather be second best at everything than an expert at one thing.”  It kind of made me think of the concept of the Renaissance Man, people who tinkered in many different areas, including art and science.  Then I read my friend Jodie’s lines

I feel the same way! I’m not GREAT at anything, but I love trying my hand at everything. Once I get pretty good at something…. I’m ready to try something else! Creative ADD.

These are two artists whose work I admire.  My cousin’s metal work is simple amazing (and of course I want to try it!).  To be in the kitchen, cutting vegetables with a knife you made yourself must be a really cool experience.  Then there’s Jodie who makes gorgeous glass jewelry and who won a big ole’ gingerbread house competition at Grove Park Inn.  Even my mom, who helped foster this love of creation, weighed in:

Son, did you ever notice that I am also “not great” at anything? Once I learned how to do something “well” I was on to learning something else. For me, it was never about perfecting an art, but the learning… that was the fun part.

Maybe I was just in a foul mood that day… but also their words were really powerful.  They’re right.  I don’t create to operate as a business.  If that was the case, I’d make one thing and lots of it (or variations thereof).  I create because I enjoy creating.  As Mom says, “the learning is the fun part.”

Maybe it’s the crappy weather, but I just haven’t felt like creating lately.  Especially not for creation’s sake.  I guess not working on any projects combined with seeing some amazing stuff being created around me made me feel like there wasn’t a point to what I have done over the years.  But in truth, that’s not who I am.  I create for the fun of it.  I just need to remember that… especially when I’m not working on something.


Struggling

I am struggling to get good pictures for my handmade items, both for my Etsy shop and this blog.  We don’t have great natural lighting in our apartment during hours I am home and that makes a big difference.  I have been searching the interwebs, trying to find the best way to create a “home studio” using very little space, very little supplies, and very little money.  Any ideas?  Leave comments below, if so.  Anyway, bear with me as I experiment over the next few weeks.


How I Asked the World’s Awesomest Woman to Marry Me

When you have an amazing girlfriend, you have to have an amazing way to propose.  There are two versions of my story: what I planned, and what actually happened.

THE PLAN:
Tell Judith to meet me at a specific Metro station.  Surprise her by taking her to a pie restaurant.  Yes! a PIE restaurant.  It’s called Four & Twenty Blackbirds, and it is amazing.  Bring her whatever slice of pie she ordered on a bright red plate.  When she finishes the pie, the middle of the plate says, “Will you marry me?”  I had already scoped out the place, eaten there to look at the size/type of their plates, and I was going to go there before I met her at the Metro station.  I was going to give them the plate and they would serve her pie on it.  It was all so amazing.

…but.

THE REALITY:
They are closed on Mondays.  I found that out about 2 hours before I was supposed to meet her.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED:
I told her to meet me at the library because she loves it and there are many places to eat around there.  On the way to the library I hatched Plan 2.0.  I found this little coffee shop that sold cupcakes that were just the perfect size to cover the center of the plate.  I would have her grab a seat for us, put the cupcake on the plate, and serve it.  Brilliant!

At the library, I ask, “You wanna grab coffee?”  Judith says, “No, I’m hungry.  Let’s get dinner.”  She picks Zaytoons, a Middle Eastern place.

Plan 3!  She orders baba ghanouj as an appetizer and when it comes, I see that the plate is the perfect size!  Right before she grabs some pita, I say, “Why is your hand all dirty?”  She’s a teacher and has ink on her hands.  “Well aren’t you going to wash your hands first?”

While she is in the bathroom, I grab the Proposal Plate from my backpack and place it under the baba ghanouj plate.  My bright red plate is about half an inch wider, so it gives the white appetizer plate a nice border.

…which she never notices.

After giving her the birthday presents I made, I say, “And I made you a plate.” (These plates are one of the crafts I’ve made for her in the past, so she knew what I meant.)  Nervously, I stare at the red-rimmed baba ghanouj plate.  After a few moments, she says, “Oh, is that it?”  She picks up the appetizer plate and reads my message.

She said yes.  🙂


Another gorgeous day.

I’m looking out my window in Prospect Heights at a whole mess of Morning Glory (Ipomoea violacea), and thinking how blessed I am.  Amazing girlfriend, amazing job, and of course, amazing cat (Waylon Fluffings).

I think it’s going to be a splendid day.


2 Months in the Big City!

It’s been 2 months since I moved to NYC.  Brooklyn, to be specific.  Within a month, I was able to find a job… a sweet job that was right up my alley.  I am a puppeteer at a marionette theatre.  Crazy, huh?  But this job is perfect for me.

Then there’s the cat.  The Girlfriend and I wanted to adopt an adult cat from the pound.  We hoped it would be an overweight cat, to boot.  We got everything we wanted.  May I present: Waylon Fluffings.

Getting his nails done.

As you can see, Waylon Fluffings is one laid back cat.

In my craft world, I have started crocheting lots of the flowers that I had done in NC.  I’ve actually got the pattern memorized, I’ve done it so many times.  What makes me happiest is that I have been able to modify the pattern to make different versions.  This is something I would never have been able to do with knitting.  Knitting and My Mind just didn’t seem to want to be friends.  Here’s my newest variation.  I think I am going to start putting them on headbands, as was imagined by my step-sister.

I am more at peace than I have ever been in my life.  Surrounded by love, coffee, books, and yarn.


Startin’ Up, Startin’ Over

In two weeks, I will be living in Brooklyn, New York!  I am moving up there to be with the love of my life…I was gonna call her some cute nickname, but so far I haven’t created one for her.

Once I am in NYC, I am starting my own thing, craft-wise.  I have made a lot of moves in my 33 years on this planet (plus one or two on other planets), but I think this is the biggest, most important move of my life (other than moving off the rim of that active volcano).  With this being such an important, life-changing move, I want to completely go head-first into my art: creating, experimenting, showing, selling.

I have some amazing (to me, at least) projects already lined up and just waiting until I unpack in my adorable green Brownstone, which I shall henceforth call the Greenstone.

So, in preparation for my Art future, I have created this blog, an Etsy store, and a Twitter account for my new company: Cur Made.  (Old Yeller was a cur, did you know that?)  So please, bookmark this site and I will keep you up-to-date when the other places have more to them.  Already you can go over to the Etsy store and take a look at my favorites.


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