Friday, March 28, 2008

Kate E. Austin March Newsletter

Kate E. Austin Newsletter

March 27th, 2008


First things first - Hopefully this isn't coming across as spam. You may have signed up at an art show or event for the newsletter, or perhaps I know you in person or came across your business card and added you to the list. I'll be mailing a newsletter periodically, whenever there’s news to be shared! If at any time you wish to be removed from the newsletter mailing list, reply to this e-mail or write to with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.


w I’ve launched a new shop on etsy called Ivy Teakettle, where I am selling funky chainmaille jewelry and eco-friendly bags made of “plarn” (plastic yarn upcycled from shopping bags – see my blog for a tutorial!). I’m having so much fun making these items! I’m working on getting some of my work into local shops, so keep an eye out for my work when you’re shopping around town!

w I’ve also established regular studio hours – Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays from 5:00 – 10:00 pm. Of course, my many meetings often conflict with this, so there are exceptions. I’ve got a Google calendar (also on my website under “News”) to keep everyone updated with my schedule, though. Feel free to stop by during studio hours to see what’s new!

w I continue to be busy with North Country Arts Center. We are currently looking for artists and crafters who are interested in our Colors of Fall Arts & Crafts Festival. Be in touch with me or visit for an application!

w I’m also available for custom artwork, custom chainmaille pieces, and web design. See artist Laura Neadle’s website for an example of my work.

w My art blog is still updated weekly, as is the Idiotic Idioms cartoon blog – be sure and bookmark them!


I’m booked right up for 2008! Here’s the list of upcoming events. Keep in mind that I will have some new pieces for each show, so try to make it to all of them so you don’t miss anything!

Kate E. Austin Solo Show at Lake Sunapee Bank

Location: Lake Sunapee Bank, 1995 Route 4, Killington, Vermont

Date: NOW – April 13th 2008

Final Friday Shirt Factory Open House

The last Friday of every month will be an Open House at The Shirt Factory. Stop by to see the studios of artists, painters, potters, stained glass artists, felters, jewelers, fabric artists, pastel artists, woodworkers, and more! There are also shops open – a tea shop, an art supply shop, and a quilting shop, to name a few.

Location: Studio #307, The Shirt Factory, Corner of Cooper & Lawrence Streets, Glens Falls, New York

Dates: Friday, March 28th, 2008

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Kate E. Austin Solo Show at Rock Hill Bakehouse

Location: Rock Hill Bakehouse, 19 Exchange Street, Glens Falls, New York

Date: April 20thJune 14th 2008

Reception: Thursday, May 15th 2008

Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Kate E. Austin Solo Show at City Hall Gallery

Location: 42 Ridge Street, Glens Falls, New York

Date: July 2008

Reception: Thursday, July 17th 2008

Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Kate E. Austin Solo Show at Ridge Street Coffee Co.

Location: Ridge Street Coffee Co., 1 Ridge Street, Glens Falls, New York

Date: August 2008

Reception: Thursday, August 15th 2008

Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Kate E. Austin Solo Show at The Glen at Hiland Meadows

Location: 39 Longview Drive, Queensbury, New York

Date: October 2008

Reception: Thursday, October 16th 2008

Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm


To register for a class, please be in touch with me

at 353-2121 or

More information can be found at

Class sizes are limited, so reserve your seat early!

All classes take place at the studio, located at The Shirt Factory, Suite #307 (Third Floor), Corner of Lawrence and Cooper Streets, Glens Falls, New York

How to sell your art or craft online

Date: Saturday, April 12th 2008

Saturday, May 17th 2008

Saturday, June 21st 2008

Time: 10:00 am

Fee: $20

This beginner’s class is for the artist or crafter who is finally ready to part with some of their work. We will cover everything you need to know to start up your own online business, including which websites to use, how to use them, describing your work, shipping, shop policies, promoting, networking, and more.

Introduction to Chainmaille

Date: Saturday, April 19th 2008

Saturday, May 24th 2008

Saturday, June 28th 2008

Time: 10:00 am

Fee: $20 Class fee

$25 Materials fee

Learn the basics of chainmaille – how to make rings, where to purchase supplies, and how to put together a stunning matching bracelet and ring in your choice of colors! All materials are included in this class, and you will leave with a gorgeous piece of jewelry you have made yourself! Students are asked to bring two sets of pliers and to reserve their seat by April 5th.

Bookbinding class with Janet Nolin

Date: Saturday, April 26th 2008

(Keep current on the website for May and June dates!)

Time: 10:00 am

Fee: $20 Class fee

$25 Materials fee

All materials are included in this class! Walk in with nothing, walk out with a beautiful handmade journal and all the skills and information you need to make more! Class is led by Janet Nolin of ButterflyGrace Creations.


Hope to see you at one of the classes or upcoming shows!

Please keep the following sites bookmarked as they’re all updated at least weekly: – My website – My online store for my artwork – My online store for jewelry and bags – My blog – Goofy cartoons, updated every Monday



Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Well, I learned something today. You can't go two days in a row making chainmaille for five hour stretches. At least, not with dollar-store pliers. Let me tell you, my wrists are killing me! On the up side, I've got a bunch of jewelry that I'm in such love with, though... Wouldn't bother me terribly if nobody bought it and I could keep it for myself! Here's my new favourite item, the Aphrodite Earrings (click the picture to see the listing and the rest of my shop):

After a whining session on the etsy forums, I decided to invest in some new pliers. I don't want to end up with carpal tunnel, here. I just ordered these ergonomic ones from etsy user MailleEtc. I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, March 21, 2008

New shop on etsy!

I didn't like the flea-market look of my original etsy store, aephemera with the art AND crafts, so I made a separate one for the crafts! I've got my plarn and upcycled purses there, my chainmaille jewelry, and I'll be selling supplies too. Now aephemera is just for art, and ivyteakettle is just for bags and baubles. Check it out!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What I made Friday Night

I finally had a day away from meetings, so I spent some time in the studio...

This purse is listed in my etsy shop right now and is made from plarn, reinforced with pink cord.

This one is made from cut-up strips of scrap fabric, crocheted together and upcycled into the height of trashion. I'll be listing it soon.

I also made two chainmaille bracelets:


Friday, March 14, 2008

Red Cross Art Auction

Last night was the Art Auction at the Queensbury Hotel to benefit the Adirondack/Saratoga Chapter of the Red Cross. They collected Windows and handed them out to local artists to decorate with the theme "Windows on the Adirondacks". I made one - pictures 1 2 3 4. They did a good job of advertising, a mass mailer, lots of posters and even went through the work of putting all the images up on their website.

However, the hors d'oeuvres were lacking, the drinks were expensive, and most importantly, the auction seemed to be mainly attended by the artists themselves, not necessarily patrons of the arts with fat wallets. Of course I love events where I can meet socially with my fellow artists, but the "starving artist" title isn't ironic - it's true.

No art went for more than $250, I believe, which is an insult to the artists - the time spent on some of these is worth thousands of dollars per window. There were windows sold for a dollar. There were a total of 112 windows, which makes for a very impressive show, but also for an excruciatingly long auction. The fee to even get in to the auction was $35, which is steep, in my opinion. I think that if it was lower, more people would have come to the auction and bid, and also that people attending would have been a little more excited to spend money if they hadn't already dropped a chunk of it at the door. The fact that the auctioneer didn't know much about art and had to practically beg people to bid was very nerve-wracking to me as an artist. The entire time, I was mortified that my painting was going to be insulted and then sold for a dollar.

To my relief, mine found a good home with Post Star photographer TJ Hooker. HUGE thanks, TJ! Here are the pictures TJ took for the Post Star.

I couldn't help but think that there must be more efficient fundraisers that aren't as frightening to artists. As is, art isn't the most thriving business - there is a very small percentage of the population who cares enough about art to make it to such events, and an even smaller percentage of that percentage that can afford to pay a fair price for artwork. The auction was impressive as an art show, but I feel badly that the Red Cross (and the artists donating their work) put so much work in for so little return.

Of course, with Glens Falls striving to cater to a more sophisticated and cultural audience, perhaps the next charity auction in this town will be better than the last few.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March Madness & Blog features

My studiomate Casey the Candy Thief and I have decided we're doing a CLOTHING CHALLENGE this month! She made a flickr group - so anyone can participate! This week is all about wearing the clothes in the back of your closet that you never wear. Joining flickr is free - check out the group at!

In the past week, I've been featured on THREE different blogs:
No Ordinary Moment on 3/7,
Making a House a Home on 3/10,
and this one that's affiliated with the Post Star:
Getting Greener today, 3/11!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Plarn for sale...

A few people on LiveJournal requested the plarn itself when I posted the tutorial, so I just wanted to put it out there that I've now got plarn for sale in my etsy shop! I've been working on some chainmaille jewelry too, so keep an eye on the shop for that.

Monday, March 3, 2008

How to make "plarn"

I've been making "plarn" - plastic yarn out of grocery bags - and thought I'd share with you how I've been doing it.

Here's a video tutorial:

(Music is "Prince Charming" by Jim's Big Ego.)

And if you prefer to see still shots, here's a Flickr photoset showing you how-to!

Start with a flattened plastic grocery bag. It's better if it's kind of flimsy.

Fold one side to the middle.

Then fold the other side to the middle.

Fold it again.

One more time.

Cut off the handles and recycle them.

Cut off the bottom of the bag and recycle it.

Cut the rest into strips. How big the strips are depends on how thick or thin you want your plarn to be. It doesn't have to be exact.

Unfold one of the strips into a loop.

Lay two loops down, one over the other.

Fold one of the loops up over the other one.

Then bring that loop through itself.

Pull it tight! If it breaks, just recycle it and use a new loop.

You can make a whole bunch of it at once, or just add on loops as you go to form a pattern.

I made this purse out of it!

...And this hideous hat.