STAY CRAFTY

HELLO, I AM KYRA PHEE


WELCOME TO DEAR DARLING DESIGN!

I am a multi media artist from Chicago. From design and woodworking to tedious image slicing and hand painting, each piece is made in my colorfully cozy apartment. With the help of some amazing artists, models and photographers I have a line of greeting cards as well.

Buy my work here or just check out things I have made and projects I am working on.

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” ― Charles Bukowski

  • GOOD LUCK

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Blog, Crafts

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    Adventures in basement hunting. I love our creepy old basement because I always find something awesome down there. Our landlord is in poor health and so she has not been inside our building in over ten years, if things need fixing we just do it ourselves. When I moved in over three years ago I found a hoarders dream of probably 20+ years of renters crap in the basement. If you read my last post you know that my inner weirdo could not tend to my laundry and not try to clean up while I was down there. I finally called the landlord and asked her if I had her permission to clean it all out for her. Since she did not know about the mess she was grateful for my help. While I did find a couple gems to keep like a shelving unit and a projector screen the rest was craigslist worthy or headed to the alley for pickers. There were a couple items I left alone because they weren’t in the way and they were pretty self-contained. An old rusty filing cabinet was one of them. The drawers were so hard to open that I just didn’t bother…until yesterday that is. I couldn’t help myself, I just had to know what was in there after all of these years. I found a 1930′s bird lice treatment container, some old plumbing parts, fridge bins and racks and horseshoes. Horseshoes? What luck! No really, they are supposed to be lucky if you hang them above your door.

    The tradition of putting a horseshoe over the door to bring good luck and keep the devil away has long been tradition. The story behind this tradition has many variations. This is one of them: Once upon a time, a wise old blacksmith was hard at work making horseshoes. The sound of the anvil attracted the attention of the devil. He saw that the smith was making horseshoes, and he thought it would be a good idea to get his own hoofs shod. So the devil made a deal with the smith and stood to be shod. The wise blacksmith saw with whom he was dealing, and so he nailed on a red-hot shoe, driving the nails square into the center of the devil’s hoof. The devil then paid him and left; but the honest blacksmith threw the money into the forge fire, knowing it would bring him bad luck. Meanwhile, the devil walked some distance and began to suffer the greatest torture from the new shoes. The more he danced and pranced and kicked and swore, the more they hurt him. finally, after he had gone through the most fearful agony, he tore them off and threw them away. From that time to this, whenever the devil sees a horseshoe he turns and runs–anxious to keep out of the way of those torturous devices. (Dr. Doug Butler’s book, The Principles of Horseshoeing)

    Another lore is that if you hang the horseshoe above the door it was god luck. Legs up meant it is good luck for all who live within, if you face it downward it was believed your luck would run out. However others did/do believed that if you hang it legs down that good luck will pour down over all who enter. In most of Europe, the Middle-East, and Spanish-colonial Latin America protective horseshoes are placed in a downward facing position. Americans of English and Irish descent prefer to display horseshoes upward; those of German, Austrian, Italian, Spanish, and Balkan descent generally hang them downward. 

    So I guess you can hang it however you want. ”What IS important is that the horseshoe was actually used — worn and discarded by a horse — that it was found in the road or in a field, not purchased, and that the person who enters the door can touch it.” What I want to know is if it decreases its lucky power if I glitter the crap out of it. Lucky for me I found two horseshoes(insert sly wink here).

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  • SO CHEAP I WANT IT FREE

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Blog, Crafts

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    With three people living in our apartment space is an issue. Scratch that. I am the issue. I am an organized clutter minimalist, if that even makes sense. Sure I may own a lot of things, but not really. Our apartment seems cluttered even though it looks rather empty. Don’t get me wrong I love the gifts my friends gave me, the art we have collected and a homey feel but it needs to be put away somewhere.  I don’t like things left laying on the coffee table, not even remotes. Which baffles my boyfriend as to what I think it’s supposed to be used for then. Well now I just sound like a weirdo. I truly believe that a cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. I like the bright and spacious look of a clean and empty-ish looking apartment. So while space is a problem for storing our stuff it is also equally important how it is stored.

    We only have one closet for three people’s plethora of towels, bed linens and dining linens. Yes, we own dining linens. Also, I am so cheap, I want it free. Yes, I also said free. I decided to take this storage issue to the basement. Insert creaking stairs and eerie noises here. I found some seriously old, rusty cans of paint and a little bit of leftover shelf liner paper. I snagged some old shipping boxes, a Miller High Life, threw on some Law & Order Season 1 and went to town.  After painting the boxes white to cover up the USPS red and blue motif I added dots. I traced mugs, cups and shot glasses onto the shelf liner paper. I felt so fancy sipping my champagne of beers while cutting tedious circles. Oh Jack McCoy, your court banter is so witty. I could listen to you object all day. An episode and a half later and I was done. I threw sheets, pillowcases and tablecloths into the boxes, in an organized fashion of course and tied them closed with black ribbon. TADA!

    Of couse I had the perfect place to put them out of the way in our circus tent of a diningroom. So you can spend twenty bucks on a storage bin from the store or spend zero dollars and make them yourself.  The Miller High Life was even free. I found it in the back of the fridge. SCORE!

    Full Shot 2

    Full Shot 1        Close Up Materials    Boxes Step 1

    Boxes Final    Close Up 2    Boxes Final Close Up    Full Shot 2

  • FOR THE LOVE OF PRINCE!

    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Uncategorized

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    I was doing some spring cleaning in my apartment and found myself losing hours going through old boxes of keepsakes. I came across my Whole Woods name badge from when I was 18. I thought I was funny using another name, Danny on my badge and no on ever questioned it. With it was a Suburbia inspired patch my co-worker Matty (Matthew) made us.  He had silkscreened them himself and I started to wonder what he was up to these days. Well, it turns out that he is back at it again after recently ending his career as a hairstylist.

    txrx

    Now Matthew has an Etsy shop full of things I MUST HAVE! The name of his shop is called Gingersnap Press and be prepared to become instantly obsessed with his pot holders. I sent him a message asking him how Matty got his groove back. Sorry for the bad movie reference.

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    I started messing around with photoshop and made things I thought were funny or that I simply just liked. People actually started buying it and I thought oh cool, I can maybe make an extra 30 bucks a month or so. It was when I was making a sale a week that I remembered my  ”Hardcore” days of whole foods and making those TxRx patches(lol remember those?).  I thought “Oh maybe I should start silk screening again”. Not sure how the idea to do pot holders came about and I was stumped on what the hell to put on them, especially those damn purple ones!  Then a little buzzed on one too many PBR I was like OMG PRINCE!!! So in my creepy ass basement, I got to work!  (creepy basement photos included below)
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    I began instragramming, pinning and tweeting them, And Taking this “Etsy Thing” a tad more serious, and was even more shocked when people started buying the pot holders and when a store in Cleveland messgaed me about buying in wholesale from me (which I politely declined). So I thought shit, what else can I “put a MOZ on” hence the tea towels and light switch plates. So I just kept adding more random things to my Etsy and I went from 763 views in July to 3667 views in August and over $300 in sales this month.
     
    Eventually I want to do T shirts, working my way towards it.  I’m not too comfortable doing made to order items yet lol. 
    It was great catching up with Matthew after all these years and finding out he is still being creative.
    Now I MUST have some Gingersnap Press products in my life asap!!!
    Stay Crafty!

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