Saturday, July 12, 2014

TINY Mermaid Art Doll Kits + a Fun Personal Announcement‏

New Goodies!

Happy Saturday everyone!
We have some great new goodies in the shop including TINY (and I mean itty bitty) Articulated Merfolk, Sugar Skull Collage Sheets, awesome Molds and Mold Making Supplies, Stamps, and much more!

Art Time!

These adorable, TINY, Merfolk are by the talented Deb Moon. Deb sent these itty bitty folk as part of her swap. She made them out shrink plastic, using the Medium Merfolk as a template. I immediately fell in love with them and knew they had to be a kit. Deb was actually going to ask me to make them, and was thrilled when I told her!!!

I've been wanting to make a Dia De Los Muertos Mermaid for quite some time, so this was the perfect opportunity! Since they are so small, the project was really fast!
1. Paint pieces with Gesso. I used a few coats on both sides.
2. Zentangle your pieces. The Signo pen was a DREAM on he Gesso. I've used lots of pens on Gesso, and some get clogged rather quickly. The Signo wrote beautifully the entire time!
3. Fussy cute Sugar Skull and attach to head. Attach pieces together with Tiny Brads.

Inspiration By Gena Boone-Curtis!

Gena Bone-Curtis did a bee-utiful job on this Queen Bee Art Doll. I especially love her Honeycomb Stencil work and the gorgeous finish on her wings. The beads and charm at the bottom are also a sweet touch! Lovely Gena!

Inspiration by Diana Darden!

This stunning Frida Shrine is by Diana Darden. The quote is fantastic, and of course I love all of the bright happy colors. You definitely honor Frida Diana! Beautifully done!

Inspiration By Tracy Delisle!
Tracy Delisle was definitely using her head with this fantastic piece! They way she used the Phrenology Head Shrine, painting parts of the Paper Cut is just so unique and awesome. And if you need Light Bulb Cut Outs, we have those too. Thanks for the bright ideas Tracy!

Inspiration By Linda O'Connor!
Linda O'Connor created these delightfully unique Steampunk Fairies. The detail on them is absolutely incredible. I really love the faces, and am dying to try my hand at our new Art Doll Molds. They would be perfect for the Fairies and several of our other Art Dolls! You find more photos and info on Linda's Blog here. Check out their backsides!

Announcement - We've Moved!

Hi everyone, I have some exciting personal news to share. We moved!!! The process started WAY back in January. We had been leisurely looking at homes for a few years. It was obvious we needed a larger space, and our (my) goal was to find one with the perfect dream studio. A place for myself and Retro Café Art Gallery, with room to grow. Chris was doubtful, and as we looked we discussed other options. But as fate would have it, in January we found THE perfect home, and even better, it was just three minutes from our current home at the time. Now my plan from day one was to keep this a secret project until it was completed. I was bursting at the seams wanting to spill the news, but I also knew this: We have the BEST, most considerate customers around and I was worried that folks might not want to place orders, concerned that I would be too busy. I mentioned this to a customer and her response was "Yeah, I would have waited until you were settled." See! Well frankly, moving aint cheap and I knew this was going to be a long process so "business as usual" was my ultimate goal. Chris doubted my vision, but I was determined, and by golly we pulled it off. We moved the studio on a Saturday and by that next day I was packing orders again. During the months prior, we were having renovations done, cleaning both homes, and sneaking in packing when we could.

As seamless as everything was, it was a ton of work and planning, and I'm not sure if I could do it again. But I don't have to! We adore our new home and plan to stay there for a long long time. And feel free to place those orders! The hard work is all over. And I only flipped out and cried once, and I think that's pretty good!

We love the entire home, but the thing that sold it for me was definitely the studio. The entire studio space is over 1400 sq. feet. What you can't see in the photos below is a large storage room, perfect for boxes, material, and extra inventory. There is an adorable full bathroom. A walkout area with double doors and a small brick patio area (perfect for a little table for tea and coffee breaks). And there are tons of daylight windows. I wanted the space to be happy and bright. We added lots of can lights and get this, they are all on dimmers which is a super cool feature. I had no idea this even existed. Our electrician rocked and added the dimmer switches for free! We also replaced all of the flooring and repaired and painted all the walls. The floor is seriously the coolest! The home is 10 years old, but it's practically like new again. Chris also has a fabulous office, a large bonus room above the garage. We're both happy. He no longer has to look at bins of "creepy doll heads", and I won't have to trip over his Legos and have a dining table room covered in computers.

These pictures are a few weeks old, so things are falling more into place now. But I'm not in a huge hurry. I'm taking my time, enjoying the process, and getting even more organized. I have lots of great inventory I've been hoarding too, so stay tuned for that! I've had lots of requests for more photos, and I have posted several on my personal Facebook page if you're interested. I'm not sure why we love seeing photos of other peoples' homes, but I'm the same way! When we were looking at houses with our realtor, I loved going in homes, even if we weren't really interested. We looked at a few interesting houses just for fun, even though they were out of our price range.

One of my favorite studio features is this lighted art case. Some of the work might look familiar! I have so many treasured pieces of art that have been sent to me over the years and I'm thrilled that they will receive the display justice that they deserve! As you can see I have lots more room. I may keep a few shelves free as a swap art holding area.

Some of my most prized possessions!

This is how I look most days in the studio. Comfy pajama clothes are a must!

Growing up we didn't have much money. I didn't get senior photos, or go to prom. Those things cost money. I started working when I was 14 detasseling corn and then moved on to working in a nursing home when I was 15. I put myself through college, completing a Masters level. I've always worked for what I have and I will continue to do so. I'm not complaining at all, and I know many of you have a similar story. Because of this I can tell you I appreciate every bit of what I have. For the first time in my life I have a dresser, a refrigerator with a water dispenser in the door, and space to just breathe. It may sound silly, but these things to me feel like a dream, and I feel truly blessed! I feel incredibly fancy every time I get crushed ice from the fridge door! Our new home isn't a mansion, but it feels like one to me!

When I started Retro Café Art Gallery back in 2003, selling a few of my Collage Sheets on Ebay, I had an ultimate goal and dream. I've been working extremely hard toward that goal ever since, and I'm elated and proud that the dream has come true! (and of course now I have more dreams and goals). A few of you on Facebook already have me teaching classes and hosting art retreats. You never know! If you have any ideas or suggestions for the studio space, reply to this newsletter. I'm all ears.

So what does this mean for you? Well, it means the continued growth and longevity of Retro Café Art Gallery. It means our awesome art swaps will continue.  Great customer service will continue.  And it means there will be an extra happy goodie designer and order packer behind it all! It's entirely possible I'll be dancing while packing your orders, just because I can. Truthfully, it's already happened.

Thank you, dear customers, from the bottom of my heart, for joining me in this artful ride with your continuous support and encouragement. Here's to many many more years of creativity for us all! XOXO Kristin


  1. It couldn't happen to a sweeter, more hard working person! Congrats and can't wait to hear about your Art Retreat or Classes! How long does it take to get to Indy? XXX


  2. Congratulations Kristin on having all your hard work come to be! It looks fabulous and of course you will make it even more so. :)

  3. It looks wonderful Kristin. Wishing you all the very best in your new home.

    Toni xx

  4. This is all so wonderful. Congratulations. It is a beautiful space -- and even more important a dream come true!

  5. Congratulations on such a fabulous move....and all of your hard work is paying off!! I am so happy for you. I wish you continued success and much happiness!

  6. Congrats on the move--lovely home! And congrats on working toward goals and then achieving them...that's amazing!

  7. Awesome job and congrats on the new amazing place!!!!

  8. Congratulations on your fabulous new home and work space!! All of your hard work is paying off and your dream is a beautiful one that we can all share in a bit of. I wish you nothing but good things!!


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