Monday, December 28, 2009

Monster Journeys!

As 2009 winds down, I have been enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation and spending some much needed time with distant friends, friends I've lost touch with, and of course, family. The holiday season always goes by so quickly, making it even more important to try to enjoy every last bit of it. I made a decision last year that I would only ever give handmade gifts for the holidays, not necessarily handmade by me, but handmade by someone, somewhere, like me. There's something so incredibly fulfilling about picking out thoughtful, one-of-kind gifts for the people who are dearest to me. Knowing that I am supporting the handmade movement and an artist and entrepreneur like myself, is more than half the joy. I was able to convince my family to do the same this year making our Christmas morning just a little more fulfilling. I felt, for the first time, like we weren't just giving each other "things" but we were giving one another little works of art that were painstakingly created by someone with an obvious passion for the craft. Also, in doing so, we were supporting the handmade movement and artists who simply love what they do and work hard for what they believe in. It was a warming experience to say the least and I hope it's a tradition that we will continue for year's to come.

With all of that being said, I wanted to send out a huge thank you to all of my wonderfully amazing customers that I have met in the past year both online and traveling here and there. I had the opportunity to travel to cities (and states!) that I had never been to and each one was more welcoming than the next. Not to mention all of the places that my monsters have traveled to without me this year! Some places that I am nearly certain I will never get to travel to myself but I believe they have been welcomed with open arms and made to feel right at home no matter where they are. I feel truly grateful to have met so many amazing people throughout my journeys, both artists and non-artists alike. It's because of the support and encouragement from everyone that I have met that keeps the monsters and I pushing on. So, thank you, again.

As I hunker down for a long winter in the studio, I am hoping to make more frequent posts as I gear up for my many plans for next year. In the mean time, I've mapped out where my monsters have journeyed to just based on online sales. There are hundreds (dare I say thousands???) of other monster homes out there that will probably always remain a mystery to me and I think I'm o.k. with that. :)

Bring on 2010!!!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stuff This! at Rivet Gallery in Columbus, OH

It was a wonderful surprise to be invited to participate in this year's Stuff This! group show at Rivet Gallery in Columbus, OH! I had the great honor of making my first trip out to Columbus (and to Ohio, for that matter) for the Tiny Canary Indie Design Market. What a wonderful show that was and what a great energy the people of Columbus have! I had an amazing time at the show and Megan Green of Stinkybomb soap, formerly a Plush Team Member, was generous enough to offer me a comfortable place to stay and a good taste of Columbus eats each night I was there. I am looking forward to sending my work there for the Stuff This! show and only wish I could make the trek out there again to see it!

Without further adieu I bring you...

"made for each other."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Luv-able and Hug-able Show at Gallery Hanahou

We're happy to announce that our pieces for the wonderful Luv-able and Hug-able group show at Gallery Hanahou are finally complete and ready to be shipped off to NYC! The show runs from Dec 3rd to Jan 9 so if you're in the area and looking for adorable gifts for very special people, stop in and see the work of many amazing artists from all over the world!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crafty Bastards Round-Up

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to participate in Washington D.C.'s largest indie craft festival, Crafty Bastards. It was truly an amazing event and I am in awe of how well organized and incredibly well attended it was. The weather was beautiful, though there were threats of rain earlier in the week... I think we all did our best no-rain dances to fight it off together. I met a lot of really wonderful people and saw a lot of fellow craft friends that I always enjoy seeing at these events.

I made some great purchases myself. I bought an adorable ring from Figs and Ginger whose work I always love to peek at. I also took home another creature from fellow Push Team member Phil Barbato... Thorgrimm the Defeated. And my mom brought me a sweet little surprise from Lumpkin.

And now for some pictures!

I made a giant monster to hang from the top of my tent beckoning monster lovers to come in my direction...

I promptly sold said monster 3 hours into the show... but the monster lovers seemed to not need any beckoning...

There were a lot of awesome people wandering around!

A better view of my collaborative prints with my sister Robin Koss of Wind Up Bird Studios.

A monster lover caught in the act of making an adoption!

A close up of some of the handsome fellas...

The last four photos courtesy of Dots, Lines, and Polygons.

Thank you, Crafty Bastards!

Bring on the holidays!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we over at the Etsy Plush Street Team want to help save the boobs! In order to raise funds and awareness about this insidious disease, the members of PlushTeam have created mammary-themed plush. 80% of every purchase goes to the Susan G. Komen Institute, an international fund dedicated to raising money for Breast Cancer Cure research. There have been some amazing plushies designed by my fellow artists which you can check out here on the Plush Team Blog. A lot of them have already sold (and it's only the 7th day of the month!) but there are still many for sale in the Plush Team's Etsy Shop. So help us raise money for the cause and save the boobs! Remember, 80% of every sale will be donated!

Here is my donation, also available in the Plush Team Shop.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Monster lovers... cont...

In response to yesterday's post about happy monster customers, Heidi Elliot sent along a photo of her from Art Star Craft Bazaar with her new handsome fella, Simon.

Heidi had been following my blog for a while and that's where I first met her. She had mentioned she would try to make it out to Philadelphia for Art Star and what a great surprise to finally put a face to a name! You can read more about her adventure to Philadelphia here and peruse the rest of her crafty blog here. Thanks, Heidi for sending along such a great photo!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cutesy but not Cutesy and satisfied monster lovers

Now that Cutesy but not Cutesy has some down time between the end of the summer season and the start of the fall and holiday seasons, we finally have time to sit back and really think about all of the happy homes we've supplied with monsters this year (so far)! This is something that is sometimes easy to forget when traveling from place to place and state to state, weekend after weekend. But... sometimes these reminders show up right at our doorstep (or in our inbox) right when we need them the most...

This is a photo taken at Artscape of myself and Vanessa Petersen, of Churchton, MD, with her new monster companion. Vanessa first saw my work featured in STUFFED Magazine and was thrilled to discover them on the very streets of Artscape in Baltimore! It was a tough decision, but I think Vanessa made a good one! I think we may have a future plush designer on our hands... :)

And with that, if YOU have any photos of yourself with any members of my monster family, I'd love to see them! Please send them along!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cutesy July round-up and other updates

As we wind down our six-show-in-a-row whirlwind tour with one show in Collingswood, NJ left to go and gear up for some much needed rest before the hectic fall and holiday season, here are a few snippets from our time on the road.

First, as mentioned in a previous post, we were at the Manayunk Fine Arts and Crafts Festival in late June. Here are some delayed pictures...

The booth

The EMS on segways

Area Chef's getting some air

One very cool customer

And the Fiber Arts Award

From Manayunk we moved on to Haddonfield, NJ where we met many wonderful people. Unfortunately, we have no photos of this show... but you just have to trust that it treated us kindly :)

The next week we made our way to Baltimore for ARTSCAPE with Wind-up Bird Studios. Three 10 hour days in a row with hundreds of thousands of people. This had to be the most exhausting show we've done but fantastic nonetheless. And we were in good company, I saw a lot of familiar fellow crafter's faces as well as met some new ones! We had the honor of sharing our tent with Chelsea of Lola Miren. She has some of the most adorable baby products I have seen! We also met some great people who attended the Mortal Plush show in DC where we have "The American Dream". What a great weekend!

Soon after getting in from Baltimore and after only a couple days of hectic stitching to restock, we headed on the road with mom to Asheville, NC for Bele Chere. Mom had never been to North Carolina, let alone West Virginia and Tennessee, both of which we had to travel through... so it would be a true adventure for all! Asheville truly is an amazing place and this festival was a great event. We had so much fun meeting people from Asheville and the surrounding areas and meeting new vendors. It was nice to be so far away from home because it meant meeting that many new people! We had a booth across from Raimbow Tree who relocated to Asheville from Alaska a few months ago. Her work is amazing and I ended up buying a skirt from her and she purchased my favorite monster, a fair trade in the end if I do say so myself! :) We also met Yvonne Miller of Atlanta who we ended up trading with for some awesome wall art, as well. Overall, the Asheville show ranks above all the rest... it had the best music, the best food, and the most amazingly appreciative and supportive vendors and customers. I think mom never wanted to leave!

We don't pump our own gas in New Jersey

Some new top-secret products?

Street performer

Day 2 exhaustion and Barley's Pizza

Another happy customer!

And that brings us to this past weekend at the Stone Harbor Arts and Crafts Festival. Despite having to wake up at 3:45am each day to drive down to the show, the drive into the sun-rise sure was a beautiful one. We had never been so close to the beach before and what an adventure for the monsters! We ran into the wonderful couple behind Clay Monster whom we first met in Manayunk. They're work is too awesome, great minds think monsters! Unfortunately, there was a huge storm on Sunday and being solo this weekend, I decided to pack up the fellas early just before the downpour and lighting showed up. The tent wasn't as lucky, as it had to be the last to go into the car. I ended up having to hold it down from the wind gusts while trying to take it down at the same time. I'm sure it wasn't a pretty site at the time, but looking back at it... it might be mildly comical. With the sopping tent finally in my car, I ran in bare feet (the shoes were too soaked to wear) to gather the rest of the goods... and the monsters and I were safely on our way home.

Everyone hiding in their tents

Stopped traffic on the drive home

And as if that's not enough to take in... we're super excited to announce that we'll be participating in this year's Crafty Bastards in October and the Luv-able and Hug-able show at Gallery Hanahou in NYC in December!

Finally, our submissions are on their way for the Plush You show at Schmancy Gallery in Seattle in October. Here are our submissions...

The Keepers of the Mountains

Summer Mountain Keeper

Winter Mountain Keeper

Spring Mountain Keeper

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mortal Plush at Art Whino Gallery

Cutesy but not Cutesy is very excited to be a part of the Mortal Plush show at the Art Whino Gallery in D.C. The opening is tonight and they've just posted some pictures of the work all hung.

Also, if you're in the Anaheim area, the grand opening of Rothick Art Haus is also tonight. Looks like they have some really awesome artists for their opening and my monsters will be available for purchase in their gallery, as well!

And if that's not enough, if you're in South Jersey you can come see me and my monsters on display at theHaddonfield Arts and Crafts Festival!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A little bit of history goes a long way...

This past weekend, I had the honor of participating in the Manayunk Arts Festival which has been considered the largest arts festival in the Delaware Valley. The days were long and the streets were packed, it was undoubtedly an exhausting weekend but my mom (my wonderful helper) and I came away with a few wonderful memories that we are sure to laugh and reminisce about in the months to come. Not only was I honored to participate but I was presented with an Honorable Mention Award for the Fiber Arts Category and got to display a ribbon on my booth! This is the first time I've received an award at any of these craft shows! I'm not the best at receiving awards and the picture they snapped of me probably looked more shocked and confused than anything else but it certainly was a good feeling. (More pictures to come of this later...)

Traveling to my many shows throughout the seasons I have met a lot of people and boy do they sometimes say the darnedest things. My mom and I have even discussed having a notebook where we can write down all of the things that people have said and done that made us laugh or smile throughout the days....

With that being said, despite having won an award and meeting many wonderful people, the highlight of the weekend can be summed up by one particular family. It was early Sunday morning, post award, pre-100,000th person to pass by the booth (just a guess, there were LOTS) when this family stepped into my booth. There was a mother, father, grandmother, and three daughters, one in a stroller. The whole family walked into the booth somewhat in awe, dad and the two older girls the most excited. I said hello and smiled at their excitement when the dad looked up at me and said, "Did you sew all of these BY HAND?" This is a question I've become rather accustomed to, so I said, "Yes, everything is hand-stitched and one-of-a-kind". He then proceeded to tell his daughters that I was the artist and I made every single one of them and then he turned to me and said, "You know, if YOU were around in 1776 you could have been Betsy Ross!" Slightly caught off guard at this comment I said, "Yes, yes I could have." Again, he proceeded to tell his daughters that I was the artist and I could have been Betsy Ross! Then one of the girls came over to me and looked up at me behind her big sunglasses and said, "You LOOK like Betsy Ross!!!" Not knowing what Betsy Ross really looked like, I asked her, of course.... "She had broooown eeeyes and brooowwn hair..." And it was at that moment that Dad realized my actual name. Diane Koss. "Even your name is close!!! I bet you're related!!!" And there it was, I unknowingly and unintentionally changed history in those young minds. They MET the relative of Betsy Ross on their visit to the City of Brotherly Love. As they left my booth with huge grins on their faces, I thought to myself, this is why I do this. No, I don't do it to change history in young minds (although I'll pat myself on the back for that one) but I do it because in that moment I gave that entire family a memory that they can share. So those girls might grow up to think that Betsy Ross made monsters and that Diane Koss hand-stitched the American flag, but what does all of that really matter in the end. I'd take ten minutes of pure excitement, inquisitiveness, and happiness over a minor inaccurate history fact any day!

Now onto that inaccurate history fact... I didn't put much thought into whether or not I actually looked like Betsy Ross until now... but they may have been on to something here...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Renegade Brooklyn

Cutesy but not Cutesy had a few big weekends in a row with Collingswood Mayfair, Art Star Craft Bazaar, and Renegade Brooklyn. All were a great success! We had a wonderful time meeting our fellow neighbor vendors, other artists, shoppers, browsers, etc! It was great to see many familiar faces from past years and past shows and with the help of some really wonderful friends the shows will go down as very memorable ones! Below are some pictures of Renegade Brooklyn and once I get my hands on the ones from Art Star and Collingswood I will be sure to post those, as well!

We're restocking inventory and gearing up for our next big show in Manayunk, PA. In the mean time you can check out some wonderful write-ups from previous shows at Inhabitots and Nerdabout New York. Stay tuned for more upcoming show info and photos!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

T-shirts are in!

New Cutesy T-shirts are in early! T-shirts are $15(+ shipping/handling) but will be discounted at $10 up until May 30th. Leave a comment in this blog post with the style and size to order your Cutesy T-shirt!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More T-Shirts are coming!!!

Cutesy but not Cutesy has a few new T-Shirt designs on their way and will be available in about 2 weeks. In addition to the standard logo-tee, we've added two original Cutesy monster designs!!! Check out the new designs and get your order in early (before May 30th) for a special discounted price! Limited quantity! Post a comment with your size request and you'll be added to the list (Adult S, M, L, XL ).