Color Style Kyle

Combining art, creativity, design, family, health, humor and books.

Posts Tagged ‘art’

Hey Artsy Smartsy Types! Maker Faire for Creative Tech Arts This Weekend in San Mateo, CA

Posted by Kyle Design on May 30, 2009

The coolest fair ever, the Maker Faire – science masquerading as art, high tech passing as toys, creative solutions to world problems pretending simply to be fun – is this weekend, May 30 and 31, 2009 in San Mateo, CA.

Get yourself a creative business card holder that reflects both hands-on and high functioning.

Get yourself a creative business card holder that reflects both hands-on and high functioning.

Any of you (and your kids) who love crafts, computers, music, making, DIY, tinkering, technology, recycling, building, inventing, collaborating, this is THE place to be. You’ll come away inspired, informed, invigorated and happy. Find suppliers of really unique crafts and tech materials for future projects, websites with cool things to do, and entrepreneurs who have turned hobbies into fun businesses. A “DO NOT MISS” for families.

This year’s theme is Re-Make America, in keeping with President’s Obama‘s  call to action for “the risk takers, the doers, and the makers of things” to help re-invent the USA. This is the fourth annual fair, and in past years things that captured my family’s attention were the crazy parts bikes, the motorized giant cupcake-mobiles, Fiddlesticks bendable fabric building sticks, the computerized elaborate egg decorating machine.

Robot Memory Box in Wood - A creative way to store memories of fun events.

Robot Memory Box in Wood - A creative way to store memories of fun events.

I’ve always loathed the term “artsy fartsy” because it seems intentionally disrespectful to those are trying to do something different. If you never try, you’ll never succeed! So I much prefer the term “artsy smartsy” because it better represents what inventors, designers and artists are all about. It certainly sums up this show. Bright ideas and creative execution. Really smart, funny people who express that humor in their art and technological products. I love being an artist and I LOVE this fair!

The Maker Faire website describes the event as “The ultimate DIY festival – It’s county fair meets science fair meets farmers market meets burning man for families! Maker Faire will showcase individual creativity and grassroots innovation in the largest festival devoted to DIY culture and technology in the country.”

Have a crafts room or workshop? This Building Tools DIY light switch plate is the perfect finishing touch.

Have a crafts room or workshop? This Building Tools DIY light switch plate is the perfect finishing touch.

The fair is open 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday at the San Mateo County Expo Center.

Maker Faire Tips:

Buy your tickets off-site or ahead of time online. The crowds keep growing every year and I can only imagine what it will be like this year. Chronicle story in the paper yesterday about it, too.

Come early – lines are long just to get into the parking lot, let alone the door.

All you black sheep out there who are making a living in an unexpected way, here's a wallet that reflects your independence!

All you black sheep out there who are making a living in an unexpected way, here's a wallet that reflects your independence!

Bring food if you don’t like fried, (keep it in an ice chest in your car). Plus you can, once again, avoid long lines. (Although I am hopeful that there might be more of an emphasis on good food with the suggestion that there will be a Farmers Market.) This fair is so fabulous you will be tempted to starve rather than miss anything waiting in a line somewhere!

Wear a hat: Half the events and projects are outside, although this year it looks like it will be overcast most of the day.

Take a quick peek into each building first: Each building has a different theme and you can get stuck in any one of them for hours, so see which one looks like it is most interesting for you and your kids before getting involved. You WILL run out of time and not be able to see or experience everything.

If you appreciate creative approaches to life, please check out Kyle Design for unique gifts and home decor. We have switch plates, business card holders and practical gifts for those interested in robotics, crafts, science, music and more.

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Moms: Earth Day’s Earliest Advocates – And Mothers Didn’t Even Know It!

Posted by Kyle Design on April 22, 2009

Moms have always encouraged us to behave in ways that protect Mother Earth, whether they were conscious of it or not, and Earth Day 2009 is a great time day to reflect a moment on this. Consider if you will these momisms:

Wear a vegetable name badge holder to work so you remember to go green!

Wear a vegetable name badge holder to work so you remember to go green!

Feeling inspired to find new ways to save energy? This light bulb business card holder is great way to keep it on your mind.

Feeling inspired to find new ways to save energy? This light bulb business card holder is great way to keep it on your mind.

Eat Your Vegetables! – Moms have been trying to get us to go green since the beginning of (my) time. Even Thumper in the movie Bambi (1942) quotes his mother. “”Eating greens is a special treat, It makes long ears and great big feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat.” I made that last part up myself.” I shop locally at the Farmer’s Market here in Livermore, CA, for my greens and fruits the year round. I eat them, too. And ended up with big feet. 😉

Turn Off The Lights! – What household doesn’t ring with the echo of this familiar refrain of moms trying to save money? Turns out it also helps save the world. I tell my own kids that someday they will be sorry they wasted that energy. I can see their little minds calculating the veracity of such statements.

No TV Until You Finish Your Homework! – Yes, distract yourself with activities that don’t require the use of electricity. Maybe that’s not quite what mom meant, but hey, its good for the environment. Play outside! Hide in the dark! Anything to put off getting that homework done until the last minute. By the time you get it done, it’s past your bedtime and there is no need to fire up that big energy-sucking tube.

Hang your backpack on the side of your desk with this Television purse hook and think about your favorite TV show.

Hang your backpack on the side of your desk with this Television purse hook and think about your favorite TV show.

Hurry Up Or You’ll Be Walking To School! – Walking is great for kids. Perhaps they really do want to get that exercise. And maybe it isn’t just that Mom doesn’t want to be late for work. Really she’s trying to get you to burn less fossil fuel. And adding that heavy backpack is the best way to build muscle. Isn’t that what they do it the military during practice exercises? “It’s good for you!” Just want all kids want to hear.

World Refrigerator Magnet Clip - Think about Mother Earth each time you open the fridge.

World Refrigerator Magnet Clip - Think about Mother Earth each time you open the fridge.

But really, being an Earth Day advocate is good for all of us and Mother Earth, too.

Please visit Kyle Design if you’d like to see more of my Gifts for Mom, TV Gifts, Light Bulb Inspirational Gifts, Vegetable Gift Ideas and Earth Gifts where you’ll find unique business card holders, purse hooks, ID badge holders and more.

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Posted in art, Badge Holders, Business Card Cases, business card holders, crafts, design, Events, Functional Art, Gifts, Handbag Holder, kids, Lifestyle, mom, Online Shopping, Parenting, Purse Hook, Refrigerator Magnets, Shopping, Switch Plates, switchplates, Unique Gifts, Wall Plates, woman, women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California Independent Film Festival CIFF in Livermore CA

Posted by Kyle Design on April 20, 2009

Film Festival Holiday Ornament - Great Gift for Movie Directors, Actors, Screenwriters

Film Festival Holiday Ornament - Great Gift for Movie Directors, Actors, Screenwriters

Hurry! Today is the last day of the Califronia Independent Film Festival here in Livermore CA and there are still tickets available at the door for some great cinematic treats. (Vine Theater at 1772 First Street right in Downtown Livermore.)

Sunday Morning Festival Schedule

This morning you can catch nine Comedy Shorts from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Theater #1 (scroll way day to view really short Video Clips of Shorts here – is that a joke, too?). Titles include Cost of Living, HiBi-Chan, Just In Case, Rolla Saor (Free Film), The Green Film, The Mix Up, Three-Fifty, Ticket for Success and Wrong Number.

The 2009 Best Documentary Slate Award in being held in Theater #2.

Football Switch Plates would look great in the den of football fans, players and announcers.

Football Switch Plates would look great in the den of football fans, players and announcers.

Sunday Noon Schedule

The Shorts: Program C is showing in Theater #1 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. with six films. This section is sponsored by Goal Line Productions. Goal Line Productions is the full service sound stage company of Joe Madden (son of football player, Raider’s coach John Madden – who on Friday just announced his retirement from sports broadcasting after 30 years) and Jonathan “Sketch” White, who is the company’s studio manager. Again, you can view shorts of shorts More Video Shorts of Shorts. Films scheduled are Akira’s Hip Hop Shop, The Fenceline, The Miracle, Ruïne and Fertilize.

Award Winning Pill Box - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Great way to encourage a filmmaker, writer or videographer to keep going for it!

Award Winning Pill Box - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Great way to encourage a filmmaker, writer or videographer to keep going for it!

Over in Theater #2 in the Sapporo Short Fest Program that is sponsored by Kaori & Derek Zemrak (the lowbudget movie director and producer). International films showing in in this section include The Pond, Spoorweg (Losing Track), Auf der Strecke (On the Line – winner of over 50 international awards), Lumen, AlpTraum (Final Kick), Lui and Lone Rider.

Sunday Afternoon Schedule

From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., you can catch the feature film Rock Slyde in Theater #1, sponsored by Livermore Valley Florist.

Over in Theater #2, the festival is showing Shorts: Schedule A. Movies include On the Road to Tel-Aviv, Red Letter, Black Rose or How Mr. Fossenrath Tried Not to Change the World, Next Floor, The Border, Silent Lake, Limpiando Sapos and Ping Pong.

Sunday Evening Film Schedule

The feature film Camille, starring David Carradine, James Franco and Sienna Miller about a couple on their way to their honeymoon at Niagara Falls, will be showing in Theater #1.

Reach for the Stars! Movie Star business card holder will reflect your professional attitude toward a challenging, creative career choice.

Reach for the Stars! Movie Star business card holder will reflect your professional attitude toward a challenging, creative career choice.

In Theater #2 will be Shorts: Program B, again sponsored by Goal Line Productions. Films scheduled are Pluzman, Collector, Dudley’s Raft, One Little Step, La Lili à Gilles and Editing.

Sunday Night Film Schedule

The last film showing during this festival is War Eagel, Arkansas which runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It looks like a very moving, poignant moive that is based on a true story.

Be sure to check out Kyle Design’s unique gifts, business card holders, switch plates, pill boxes and Christmas ornaments. Click any of the photos to see more interesting gift ideas for actors, directors, movie stars, videographers, writers and more.

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The Purse Hook – Hot “Design Your Own” Handbag Accessory

Posted by Kyle Design on April 18, 2009

Purse Hooks are the latest hot accessory for women who carry handbags!

Purse Hooks are the latest hot accessory for women who carry handbags!

Familiar yet with handbag holders, those strong hooks that hang over the edge of a table or bar to keep purses close and germ-free? Here at Kyle Design we’ve added our own twist to these up-and-coming must-have accessories that are turning into the coolest new gift idea for women of style.

Unlike other sites that offer you a dozen or two popular images (purse, cat, flower, spiral, shoes, etc. – yes, we have those, too), Kyle Design offers over 400 patterns. Specialized designs include professions, sports, musical instruments, more unusual animals, monograms,  games, crafts, Chinese characters, alcoholic drinks, fruit, trees, desserts and so much more.

Better yet, you decide what color you want, you decide if you prefer silver or gold. Literally, you create the look, we create the purse hook. No need to have a generic handbag hanger, no fear of two women whipping out the same exact holder. And we’re fast. We typically ship within a day or two – even for custom items such as these designer handbag holders.

Do Comedy and Tragedy describe your dating experience? Then we've got just the purse hook for you!

Do Comedy and Tragedy describe your dating experience? Then we've got just the purse hook for you!

Choices, Choices: How many possibilities are there? Currently, 440 original designs x 2 metal choices x 19 gorgeous colors = over 16,000 possible looks! How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many of them carry handbags? More than 16,000? I think that the chances are pretty good that you won’t show up at a restaurant or bar with the same purse hanger.

Simple? Yes! They are so easy to use. Simply set handbag holder disc on the edge of table and hook on a purse strap. That’s it!

Interested in Safety? These purse hangers are perfect for holding designer handbags, shopping bags, digital camera, tote bag strap, umbrellas or backpacks where they stay clean, safe and convenient – right next to you at a table or bar. No more worries about forgetting a purse on the back of a chair, an umbrella on the floor, or being distracted and forgetting to keep an eye on your wallet.

We have great designs for professional women such as this purse hook for a pharmacist.

We have great designs for professional women such as this purse hook for a pharmacist.

Single? These designer handbag holders are great conversation starters, too! They provide a small window into your world that someone new could run with. Although popular in Europe for years, purse table hooks are new enough here in the U.S. that most people I run into are curious about them.

Support American Designers? California artist Kyle McKeown Mansfield creates all the fun designs and unique patterns found on every handbag caddy. You can be the designer when you design your own purse hook – we’ll make it for you right here in our art studio and promptly ship your personalized purse table hook to you in a velveteen pouch.

Show your creative side, have fun, express the real you! Select a purse hook design/color/metal grouping that is a true reflection of who you are! They make wonderful gifts for her including professional women, working girls, dating singles or the handbag queen.

Want to see more? Check out our full collection of Uniqe Purse Hanger Designs. We also have really cool gifts for professionals like pharmacists, attorneys, doctors, dentists, nurses, scientists, mathematicians and others.

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April Barrage of Butterflies in S.F. Bay Area

Posted by Kyle Design on April 18, 2009

Flit around in style with this gorgeous butterfly credit card wallet that is great for holding business cards, too.

Flit around in style with this gorgeous butterfly credit card wallet that is great for holding business cards, too.

It seems that the first butterflies flitting around the garden indicate that winter is over and spring has sprung. This year spring was announced in a BIG way with a brilliant show of thousands of orange Painted Lady butterflies. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, hundreds of butterflies a minute passed over cars, buildings, trees and people, on their northern migration from the Southern California desserts to Northern California.

The Painted Ladies do not stop flying until they run out of body fat. Then these butterflies will lay eggs, and their offspring will continue the northern migration next year into Oregon, Washington and even British Columbia. When I asked my niece if she saw the butterflies she said the children at school spent the entire recess running around the playground chasing them.

As soon as I got close to the flowers, the butterflies would fly away.

As soon as I got close to the flowers, the butterflies would fly away.

The butterflies’ multi-year migration is similar to that of their cousins, the Monarch Butterfly, who begin their migration in Mexico and over three generations eventually migrate to Canada. Then the fourth generation returns to Mexico in one continuous flight.

It is amazing to me that these small, beautiful creatures can posses the navigational skills, strength and tenacity to continue a journey of thousands of miles.

Bring the butterflies inside with a Butterfly Switch Plate to light up your room!

Bring the butterflies inside with a Butterfly Switch Plate to light up your room!

(Wo)Man vs. Wild Butterflies: These butterflies know how to avoid predators! Every time I even got close to the flower bush in hopes of capturing 8 or 10 in a photo, most would take off and flutter away. I still managed to snap four in this photo, and I considered myself lucky. All the rest were in the air above the flowers. They weren’t ready to leave these tasty African Daisies, but they weren’t taking any chances either. I was just happy to be gardening with them nearby.

It has been fun having the butterflies paint the town!

If you love butterflies and are looking for cool butterfly accessories, check out Kyle Design’s Butterfly Gifts. We have all kinds of unusual butterfly items that you won’t find anywhere else: Light switch plates, business card holders, tape measures, flasks, eyeglass cases and much, much more!

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Posted in Animals, art, Business, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Cigarette Cases, color, Gardening, Metal Wallets, Switch Plates, switchplates, Unique Gifts, Wall Plates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Turn a Snail into a Business Card Holder

Posted by Kyle Design on April 18, 2009

Pick the snail that appeals most to you. Green with golden highlights or brown with silver highlights.

Pick the snail that appeals most to you. Green with golden highlights or brown with silver highlights.

You’ve seen those blogs that tell you how to make a business card case out of a cassette tape, recycled circuitboard or Popsicle sticks. But I’ll show you how to make a cool business card holder out of a snail. Yes, a snail. In three easy steps!

1. Snails come in so many different colors if you look carefully. Here are two of my favorites. For this example I narrowed it down to a snail with a beautiful amber shell with silvery highlights or a green snail with golden highlights.

2. I settled on the brown snail for this demonstration. The next step is choosing the right classic metal business card holder. Choices include silver, gold or black. I think the brown snail looks especially nice against the black business card holder, so that’s what I’m going to use. I’ve also chosen the thick business cards holder because it is so practical. The matte black finish really hides dirt, fingerprints and snail guts, plus the deep size lets me hold more business cards and credit cards.

Your snail will make a really cool business card holder.

Your snail will make a really cool business card holder.

3. You want your card case to have a really slim profile, so place the silver and brown snail on the black case and smoosh hard. That’s all it takes to turn a snail into a business card holder. You create the exact look that works for you and everyone can still recognize the snail of the front of your case. These DIY business card holders also make great gifts for Slow Food Nation members, mail carriers or crafty insect-lover types who take their time to do things right!

Difficulty Level: Easy Sheamsy – at Kyle Design

Pick a color, any color! Custom business cards look great in a matching personzalized business card holder.

Pick a color, any color! Custom business cards look great in a matching personzalized business card holder.

At Kyle Design we help you turn any number of animals and insects into business card holders. Better yet, you can create your case for business cards in any color you want, thick or thin, silver or gold, black or not. You design it easily, we make it quickly. Check us out: Kyle Design Business Card Holders.

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Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacob – Book Group Reading Selection

Posted by Kyle Design on February 28, 2009

This Knitting Tape Measure is a cute gift for knitters who enjoy other crafts as well.

This Knitting Tape Measure is a cute gift for knitters who enjoy other crafts as well.

Our book group selection was The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacob. Overall we all liked it and were able to have a good group discussion, a big plus. Each member of our group related to a different member of the Friday Night Knitting Club – I naturally related to Georgia, the skilled craftswoman with a small business and a 12-year-old daughter who likes to cook, because that is exactly my situation. (But unlike Georgia, I also have a husband and 10-year-old daughter.) A talkative member of our group was the first to volunteer that she saw herself in the outgoing K.C., others responded to Anita, Georgia’s supportive, older friend.

Pretty Cooking Ornament - A great way to acknowledge a girls budding culinary interests

Pretty Cooking Ornament - A great way to acknowledge a girl's budding culinary interests

It was fun discussing how Darwin, the doctoral student writing a thesis on what a throwback knitting is, evolved over the course of the book. (If it’s fun, enjoy it, and don’t be intimidated by others who have different interests. It wouldn’t be a skill that is still practiced if it were true drudgery – anyone prefer to wash clothes on a washboard?) Knitting is meditative, it feels good in the hand, you can immediately have a sense of accomplishment and it’s practical – what’s not to like?

Learn to accept the twists and turns ones life takes with a River Name Badge Holder

Learn to accept the twists and turns one's life takes with a River Name Badge Holder

We discussed the fact that most characters in the book did the opposite of what was expected of them and whether this was realistic. I think the group was mostly against it in the beginning, but came around to the fact that this not unlike real life in many cases. If you think about what you were like in high school and what you thought your life was going to be like in future and compare, well, you too may discover that there definitely were unexpected twists and turns. Not everyone leads a predictable life, and quite often you don’t end up where you thought you’d be.

Fairytale Castle Bookmark - A lovely gift for the young reader who is enchanted with books

Fairytale Castle Bookmark - A lovely gift for the young reader who is enchanted with books

Even the ending of the Friday Night Knitting Club was not predictable, and this was a refreshing change from so many books one reads. It gets to the point when reading other books that half way through you’ve already figured out where it is going, know the neat tie-ups that are coming – that someone will keep a baby, get married to a long-time friend, be successful in business or whatever feel-good, fairytale endings the author comes up with. Not with this one. I think the characters have stayed with me for that very reason.

Maple Leaf Pill Box in Fall Colors - Reminds transplanted Canadians of home

Maple Leaf Pill Box in Fall Colors - Reminds transplanted Canadians of home

BTW, she was born and raised in Canada, which may account for why she comes across as such a nice, friendly person with whom you could quickly become good friends. Her characters, too, are quite believable that way.

Monogram Money Clip with the Letter K - for Kyle or Kate or Knitting! At Kyle Design, we now have gifts with all letters of the alphabet.

Monogram Money Clip with the Letter K - for Kyle or Kate or Knitting! At Kyle Design, we now have gifts with all letters of the alphabet.

Side note: Kate exclaimed when I said my name was Kyle, because that was what she had intended to name a female character in her latest book, Knit Two. But she was discouraged from using it by her manuscript readers as being not believable. So now she said she’s inclined to use again if it fits a future character.

So, the bottom line – good book that I would definitely recommend for book groups in particular.

If you’re shopping online for unique gifts, please visit Creative Knitting Gifts, Enchanted Castle Gifts, Gorgeous Monogram Gifts, Inspired Cooking Gifts and Meaningful River Gift Ideas. You’ll find a huge selection of distinctive Christmas ornaments, tape measures, name badge holders, pill boxes, bookmarks, money clips and more.

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