Saturday, November 21, 2015

Holiday Sale!

Hey there!  I have a bunch of things to blog about, but I wanted to let my readers know that I have lowered prices on all of the items in my shop.  The prices are good until the end of 2015, so great for holiday shopping.
I don't have all items that I've made listed on the shop site, but I will post pictures and get the listing done as soon as possible.  I have no computer other than my phone,  so it is harder to get things done, but I will do my best.

***If anyone is interested in custom orders for holiday gifts, now is the time to contact me, so that I have time to get your orders completed and to you.

I will endeavor to keep everyone updated regarding local markets where I'll be vending and any new stuff that I don't have time to get listed but are still available for purchase. ...we can simply do the order without Etsy,  as I have the capacity to take credit/debit cards through Square.
Please feel free to visit the GKR shop at:
I will also post pictures and keep ya'll updated through the GKR Facebook page at:
And I will try to get pictures up ASAP!
More news is forthcoming, too!  So stay tuned. ...namaste!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Finishing the Uniform Bags

I have to tell you, life certainly has been throwing a lot of curve balls my way since moving to NC.  I'm not complaining, as North Carolina is definitely home to me; however, finding space to work has been a challenge. 
I am happy to report that I was able to finish the two 'uniform bags' for my client in time for her to take them on her trip to visit her son (his uniforms). And she loves the bags....and he loves the bags. ...and she got another uniform from him, which I will be turning into a backpack/cycling type of bag.  I can't wait. ...she loves to give me projects that stir my creative juices!
I will attempt to include pictures of the bags, both in process and as finished products. ...not sure if I can, as I am blogging from my phone and I am extremely technologically challenged. If I can't get them included in this post, I will give you a link to see the pics.
I'm just happy that my client is happy!  It is always scary to take the scissors to someone's something precious. ...and I am very tickled with how the bags turned out.  
I will be updating you on some of my other projects in my next post. ...hopefully I will figure out the 'picture' skills. ...oh boy!
Have a good and peaceful day!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Quick Hello. ...

We made it to North Carolina on the 18th. ...and due to space restrictions,  I am currently unable to sew.  This makes me sad, since I have a couple of commissioned projects that I can't work on/complete.   I have come to terms with this. ...its not within my control at this time.
I do, however, have my paints, so I am working on a pair of Birkenstock sandals for my mom.  She has graciously opened her small home to the three of us, and I want to do some extra nice things for her as a small token of my appreciation for her generosity.
Otherwise,  I hope to get some more items listed on my Etsy store site. ...that's about all I can do from here at the moment.
I am also going to the beach for a few days. ...R & R and inspiration.
I will post some pictures of the Birkenstock sandals as soon as I can figure out how to handle this delicate procedure from my phone.!   I am not technologically gifted! 
But the bottom line is that we made it and we're looking for our own place.   I am looking forward to creating a new studio space for GKR. 
I wish everyone a happy 4th of July, should I not get back to post anything between now and then.
Keep the peace. ...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The News!!

There is much to tell....well, nothing is overtly exciting, other than the biggest news....we're moving back to North Carolina in a few weeks!!!  GKR gets to go back to her home state, and already we have some vending venues lined up!

The clients I am currently working on projects for have been awesome!  They have each given me the time off for packing and moving, and I'll pick back up on their projects when we get moved and some kind of working area aka studio set up again.  I appreciate their patience and kindness more than they could ever know.  Waking up this morning without feeling that extra pressure was a big relief.

And that relief has allowed me to get to the business of listing a couple of things that I completed in GKR's shop; and, get on to culling (yet again), and packing up GKR for the upcoming relocation.  I will be listing these two handbags on etsy....I have been so pleased with the response from people on etsy regarding the painted shoes that I listed, that I hope the painted handbags will garner the same kind of attention.  It will be interesting!  That's for sure!

I think that the sailboat bag will, of course, have a specific clientele.  The garden/bird bag should appeal to a wider audience. 
I love both of these bags,  
    and they should appeal to a     host of people.  If you know
     anyone that might like    
    either of them, please feel 
    free to share....

I have come a long way on the second shoe for the 'lotus blossom shoes' as well:

They are probably 85% complete now, so I will pack my paints last....and hopefully get this pair finished, waterproofed, and hopefully, listed on etsy before we head eastward.
These shoes have been just a joy to work on, each blossom, leaf, etc., is different from any other on either shoe.  It has been a fun project for me!  And for the next week or so, will give me a 'go to' for expressing built-up creativity!  I am going to need that!  At least till June 11th, when the Veteran's Thrift Store comes and picks up my current work surface, which obviously won't be traveling with us to NC.  By then I'll be so busy getting ready to leave, I will eke out any excess creativity through my pen.

I guess that is all the news for now!  I will keep you updated, I promise!  Until next time, may your path be smooth and your journey peaceful!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Uniform Bags - Part 1

I know, three posts in one day?  Well, I have had a lot to catch you up on as far as what has been happening around here.  And I have finally gotten myself motivated enough to cut into someone else's son's military uniform, so that I can create a couple of bags for her, so that a little bit of her son is with her whenever she uses her, don't worry, he's alive and well, just not with his mom.  Being a mom, I completely understand!
But it was really something I had to give some time and space to....before I took scissors to something near and dear to someone else....because once its been cut, you can't ever put it back together like it was before.  So I had to decide which of the versions of the duffel bag that I had in my head would really be the most attractive use of the uniform's components, and also be the most useful and versatile.  The other bag, which will be an extra-large yoga mat bag, should be a good bit easier to put together.
I know I have shown this picture of my 'raw materials' for the bags in a previous post....but I wanted to include it here as a reminder of where I started.  I have spent a lot of time rearranging, inspecting, and just plain figuring out how this puzzle was going to fit together suitably.  And I sure didn't want to start with the cutting until I had a complete grasp as to what I wanted the end result to be.
I made the front and back panels by cutting this lovely pillow sham in half and making sure that the two pieces were 'the same'.  I had to close up the back (which faces inside the bag and will actually be concealed once I have made the bag's inside lining) and not have anything gaping or out of line or sync with any other part.  I also made the bottom for the bag, using the greenish cargo pants in the first pic.
The sides, well, they were more than the average challenge....the width of the bag was wider than my original idea, so I made a couple of pieces from the back of the uniform shirt, added a little ultrasuede pen holder, and commenced to add these pieces to a couple of matching placemats.  The big challenge was assembling the sides without sewing them closed, since they will be BIG pockets all the way down each side.
Now, these were my conceptual pictures for the front and back panels; the top picture is pretty much how the front ended up (I have sewn these on since taking the pictures) after everything was attached.  
The bottom picture is close....I changed the center piece....made it into a big pocket with the pre-upcycled smaller pocket on it and the 'U.S. Air Force' patch is sewn onto the bottom of the big pocket instead of being above it.  The squares with
the identical patches are from each sleeve, and I made the squares, which are now also pockets.  
On the outside of the bag, there are pockets on the front and back, and the sides are each big pockets....lots of pockets, lots of places to put things.  I really like lots of pockets, as you well know if you have ever seen my bags....pockets are sort of my trademark....especially those big side pockets.
That is the story of "The Uniform Bags" so far.  Tomorrow I will assemble all of the pieces and that will be what constitutes the outside of the bag.  I will also start figuring out the lining for this bag, which, go figure, will likely have a pocket or two!  
I will update you as soon as I have gotten more of this bag under my belt, so to speak.  Until then, I bid you peace....


Project: Lotus Blossom Shoes

"Onward Ho!!" as they said when they were trailblazing back in the pioneer days....I have never been afraid to be a trailblazer....
Back in 2010 when I started GoodKharmaReThreads, the upcycling and repurposing craze was underway but I don't think there were many people doing what I was, using items from thrift stores, especially stores with 'causes', so that my initial investment of raw materials for any project was purchased with funds that would partially go to help something or someone.  And of course I have donated many items for fundraisers, and also made specific items for special causes.  I love what I do! I feel fantastic knowing that there are more artists and artisans that share my philosophy these days. 
Okay, on to this project, which I am personally in love with: the lotus blossom shoes!   I am having so much fun doing these shoes - and covering up my original and ugly crap with these lovely flowers and greenery.  I'm not going to is a challenge to paint such beautiful examples of nature's wonder, and somehow capture and preserve that natural wonder in my work.  I will say that it takes a great deal of time to get these beauties 'right'.  I am still working on the first shoe, but it isn't too far from being done, I think. 
Mostly, I'm having to figure in the covering-up of my original little branches that I had painted on the shoes, before I decided to do the lotus blossoms.  I am also pretty much finished with each 'blossom' as I go, but I will go back and work on the lily pads and other greenery to give it the depth that goes along with that of the blossoms themselves.
As I said before, this is really a challenging project, due to the layers of color that I am finding necessary for the blooms.  But, those same layers work great when I have made a little mistake and can just keep painting till that little blip is no more.
Here, I am letting the pictures sort of tell the story of the progression of the one blossom gets completed I have to figure what will be next and start looking for the perfect image to paint for that area of the shoe, always trying to envision the end result....never would have imagined that I'd be turning shoes into works of art, but it really is fun!!  It is going to take a while, getting BOTH shoes completed, which I don't mind....I want them to be awesome, and awesome can't be rushed.  The base product, a pair of Merrell clogs, in great condition, made of some fabric that has many of the properties of burlap (as far as weave, texture, feel), make for a great canvas. 
I will keep everyone posted on the progress of these guys....and I'd love to hear from you....a little input can be a good thing....since I have questions about a couple of things, ideas....such as, should I make these seem like they are part of a koi pond, and possibly add a watery look, or add a koi somewhere?  Let me know what you think!  I would love some feedback....                                                     


Project: Denim Handbag

Well, so much has been going on here at the GoodKharma studio that I decided to do a few blogs that basically are about a specific project; that way, for those that find a project particularly interesting can go straight to the posts that they want to follow.
This post is about that denim handbag, with cork handles, that I've been working on little by little....and it is very close to completion. 
I am finished with side one, the landscape scene, other than adding something to the water - probably some highlights and ripples, or something like that - and looking at it once more to see if anything needs touching up before I seal it with waterproofing sealant spray.

So, for side two, I decided on birds, and chose three to work with....the first two are a cardinal and what I believe to be a finch of some sort....and the third, well, it is from my imagination, other than the outline and pose and such....I made up the colors because the original one was yellow, and I already had a yellow bird on the bag.
But I needed a bird that was not on a branch, something to give the appearance of being near the ground instead, since the other two are on branches.
I am still not completely happy with this side of the bag.  I have considered whether or not to add a background to this side, or to somehow outline certain things....I don't really like either idea.  I will do some touch-up work on these guys and see if that will do the
trick to make sure that the dark parts, such as the black tail and
head on the yellow bird, are not lost against the dark denim.  Other than that I think this whole bag is very close to completion now.
I am excited at the thought of getting this one out there into the marketplace and seeing what kind of reactions I get.  Of course, I would love it if someone were to buy it in the near future....not about the money, just about the exposure for GKR as I work toward using multiple art mediums within a project (I am itching to get to the first Buddha bag, which combines painting with creating and sewing the bag).
There are so many things I want to work on, it is distracting at times.  I want to paint, but I want to sew, but I want to paint....and then all that other stuff - cooking, laundry, cleaning, chauffeuring, etc. - that I have to do, which all take away from the art.  But I remain dedicated; at least, most days I get a good bit done, fibromyalgia notwithstanding.
Okay, I will go on to my next blog....I have a couple more posts to do to get 'caught up'....whatever that is supposed to mean.  Thanks for your interest....if you have any ideas about this project, please feel free to share them....I would love to hear from you!
Until next time, namaste....


Sunday, May 3, 2015

May....Less Painting....More Sewing!

Yes, I've spent a good deal of time painting now its time for me to get to sewing.  I have several bags to make....custom orders....the first GKR Buddha Bag....and so I will be changing gears, starting today!
I did manage to get a little painting in....what else does someone like me do first thing on a Sunday morning but a little painting....and finished my sandals....good old Birkenstocks that have seen better days, but now have a new face and allow me to 'show off' one of the things I enjoy and want to do more of....the shoes....painting the shoes....I really like the idea of wearing art on one's feet for some reason!

I guess I'll have to 'paint' my toenails so I can wear these today!  I'm pretty pleased with how they have turned out....they just need to be sprayed with sealant and they'll be ready to go!  
I also managed to finish the first side of the little denim handbag I've been painting....I am waiting for my muse and I to agree on what belongs on the other side of this one....I am leaning towards a big butterfly or birds?   Perhaps with some big blossoms or branches, depending on which creature gets chosen....but here is side one....

I also have been trying to finish 'side one' of an old project that my son brought me from NC a few weeks ago....I thought it was misplaced during my relocation, but I think I just missed a few things, so I was glad to open a box and find this little handbag waiting....
My first butterfly....and I've done quite a bit of work on this one since this I will update you on the progress next time I post.  Hopefully I will have this side finished and get to 'side two' in the near future.  A little morning painting each day and I will get it done soon enough....

I also did this butterfly on paper....and I have two more butterflies to paint....a black one and and orange complete a set of three.  It should be pretty cool when they are all fact, I think I might put the other two on 'side two' of this little bag, good practice for the regular paintings.
This is just a close-up, to show the detail....I found it quite challenging and learned a good deal about what paint will and will not forgive when doing this kind of work.  
Well, as I stated earlier, I will be doing limited painting for a while so that I can get some sewing done, but I will still pick up the brush every day for a half-hour or gives a different kind of satisfaction than the sewing, or the writing....and so I won't just stop will just become the 'back burner' thing while I attend to the other stuff. 

There you have it....switching gears will be okay.  I know that once I delve into the sewing and cutting and ironing and pinning and all of the rest....I will enjoy the work....making something out of nothing!  It is great fun, and gives me so much pleasure, so it is really all good.  I know that I'm blessed to be able to do so many diverse creative activities, expanding GoodKharma as I with the GKR Buddha Bags, which will combine painting and sewing.  
I should get myself to work now....ironing....ugh!  Not my favorite part of the process, but totally necessary.  I should have some baggage to show you when next we 'meet'....until then, I bid you peace.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Good Things for GoodKharma

I know, its been over a month, yet again, since my last post.  The good news is that I've just been, family, and dealing with whatever my fibromyalgia throws my way! But I have made a bit of headway....and I have several projects that are close to completion, which is a great feeling.  

These clogs, for example, are very close to completion.  I still have some 'fine' detailing to do, and then, when I feel like they are truly done, I will spray them with waterproof matte clear finishing spray.  
I wanted to show their progression through the pictures.  Its hard to imagine, unless you do what I do, how much work and how many little layers of paint go into each piece.  This is why I'm usually working on painting several items at the same time; I'm constantly working on each piece, moving closer to a finished product.  
These are the 'Dogwood Blossom' shoes....they remind me of the south and of spring, since they are one of the first things to bloom each year.  Dogwoods even grow wild in states such as North Carolina, where you can see them in     the woods during spring, standing out against the browns of winter and the budding greenery signaling the end of cold weather.  
I think they have turned out very nicely thus far.  I wish they were my size....I would likely keep them....but they are 8's, and I'm a 9.5, so they will grace someone else's feet instead of mine.
I hope to have them finished by the end of this week, and I will list them on etsy, along with the brown clogs that I have already completed.  
I am looking forward to seeing how much interest they garner.  I think I am going to offer custom order availability so people can even send shoes they'd like to have painted.

Of course, there are projects that are going to be started today and tomorrow, too.  I just set up my sewing machine, so that I can work on a few bags.  One will be the Buddha bag that I have picked the materials for already; one will be another new concept, using crocheted front and back pieces along with complimentary fabrics for sides, lining, etc. This one will be the prototype, just as the Buddha bag will be the first bag using my usual bag-making materials 
and featuring a hand-painted image.  
The one I'll be working on first will likely be a custom bag that will include parts of a military uniform, which was commissioned by a lovely person who had purchased a bag from me a couple of years ago.  I have already picked the 'raw material' components, and now I will start putting this puzzle together.  I think it will be a truly fun and personally rewarding project. I just love to do this kind of commissioned work!

So, I really have been keeping busy; and I'll be back, sooner rather than later, with updates on what I've got going on here at GKR.  So many steps for each piece, but then that gives me the opportunity to share the process with you all....making something out of nothing!  

By the way, I'm even working on shoes for myself....I figure its great free advertising!  These pictures show the shoes as they progress from my tired old Birkenstock beach sandals to cute little pieces of art!  I am still adding more different colored flowers and foliage, but I think I'll be finished with them in a couple of days, being that they are just strappy sandals, so there is only so much area to embellish.

Thanks for checking in with me.  I enjoy my work greatly, and I get caught up easily in too many various projects.  I am still at a place where my brain is just swirling with ideas, concepts, and more ways to mix things up.  Much peace to you until next time....

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Back To Work - Again!

I know, its been a month since I last posted.  Its been an intense time for me physically, as I have fibromyalgia, and the up and down weather has kept me from doing the things I love.  I have managed to get a little done, though, so I wanted to at least share that with everyone.

I finally got to the 'art store' and got the sealant spray for my Buddha head paintings (these will be incorporated into bags) and hand-painted shoes.  This is great, because now I can make the two 'Buddha Bags' that I've been itching to complete, and I can list the shoes on my Etsy store site.  I sold my very first painted shoes a couple of weeks ago - what a wonderful surprise and blessing! 

My next jaunt will be to the thrift stores in search of a new iron, as I didn't bring one with me when I relocated, and now will need to do a good bit of pressing as I create bags!  I have selected my 'raw materials' for the first one, using the painting that I did in watercolors on linen.  The combination of the linen, the silk front and back, the ultrasuede for the sides, the cream embossed fabric for side pockets, and the floral piece that brings everything together, should make for a very elegant, truly original piece. 

I also started work, painting, on a really cute blue denim bag with cork I thought you might like a peek at that, as will eventually have birds and flowers and all things spring/summer....and I'm really enjoying making it up as I go.

And, lastly, I started on a new pair of shoes....they will feature dogwood blossoms and foliage....I've only gotten the 'rims' started so far, and I plan to put nice big blossoms on the tops....I work on them a little every day, and I am really enjoying the process....more of that making it up as I go....they were originally going to have stars and the moon over water....then the dogwood blossoms came and possessed my muse!  And I do trust my muse exclusively!
So, now you are caught up on my getting caught up, after being caught up in an abrupt season change that kind of sidelined me for a bit.  I will keep you updated on the progress of my current projects, promise!  Until then, have a peaceful Spring Equinox and do visit my Etsy store if you get a chance; I will probably have some new items listed by the middle of next week, starting with those brown suede shoes!!  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Snow Days Ahead...What to Do!!????

Well, I know I haven't been posting for a couple weeks or something like that....I haven't really had anything new to report or show since I haven't made anything, and just have 'ideas' waiting to be turned into actual pieces.  
Just wanted to let everyone know that there are things in the queue and I think 
I'll have some time this weekend to get a few things started, at least.  

Also, I will be taking pictures today and getting some new items listed on over the snowy weekend, so that will be its own kind of progress.  It has been a while since I was able to list anything new so I'm excited to see how people like the stuff and also what kind of attention new listings will bring to the GKR etsy store.  

I will post another blog entry over the weekend, too.  Keep everyone up-to-date as to when you can hop on etsy and see what hasn't been seen yet.  

Until then, I really just wanted to say 'hello' and let ya'll know that we're still here, just been working on other things (life does have a way of pulling us away from time to time).  Winter is definitely a butt-kicker for me, and my first Colorado winter is proving to be rough on my motivational skills, to say the least.  But we're here and there will be more to come shortly!!  Till then, keep warm and safe and peaceful!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Little Accomplishments

Well, I can't say that I've been just busting it....but I have managed to finish three things since my last post, and just wanted to share them with you.  

    The monkey bag:  I decided to do something different for the handle/strap and I really like the result...

 I made 'ties' on each end and then ran a matching woven belt through the ties...makes the length adjustable using the belt and using the side ties, which are made from the same soft ultra-suede as the sides.  

I love the way all of the materials I used for this bag coordinated so well...I'll be listing her on etsy soon. First I have to take her for a test drive to the grocery store to check her capacity and strength.

I also finished this colorful, cheerful grocery bag, which you last saw as a pile of raw materials....I really love the colors and also the belt strap, and it is very strong...double seams throughout for carrying heavy groceries....I'll be taking her for a test spin to the store this week to be sure she meets my strength standards.    

And, last but not least, I finished painting these awesome clogs (size 7)...all I need to do to them now is apply the spray-on matte finished protective coating.  I really am excited about these...they turned out very well, I think...                                                                                                                                                     ...and I've already started on a black pair (size 8) that will be based on night skies...a little bit daunting but I have a vision and I am going to try and replicate it on the shoes.  Should prove interesting and probably a bit difficult, but I gotta try!

What's next?  Well, I have a dress to embellish with Oriental fabric; I have a bag, a large handbag or tote actually, that will have crocheted front and back with fabric lining and sides.  Still working on matching things up, and I haven't begun to figure out what the straps will be like.  I just know these will be fun to do and I like doing fun should be fun, right?  
I hope you have a wonderful day!! And please feel free to share my blog, my Facebook page, pieces of work, etc., with your friends and co-workers...I believe each piece that I create is made for someone individual, and so I want to do what I can to match the persons with the pieces that are waiting for them.  And of course, you can send folks to if they'd like to see more of what I do.  I hope to get these new items and also some of the painted art listed on etsy within the next week. 
Peace to you...thanks for taking the time to come and see what I've been up to!