Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Katie Miranda Studios Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Katie Miranda, I'm an illustrator and painter from California. I have an etsy store that sells jewelry, scarves, fine art and prints. I have a BFA in illustration and an MFA in graphic novels from the Academy of Art University. In 2005 I left California to volunteer with the nonviolent resistance movement in Palestine. I lived in the West Bank for three years where I divided my time between being a volunteer human rights worker, a political cartoonist, and an art teacher to children. Now I live in Oakland, California and just finished the first issue of my comic book called Tear Gas in the Morning which is a story about the nonviolent resistance in Palestine.

Apart from being ‘creative’ what do you do?
Apart from being creative, I volunteer with local anti-war and anti-occupation organizations.

What inspires you to do the kind of work you do?
The bravery of other citizens, standing up to occupation and repression like Palestinians, like Egyptians, like Syrians, like struggling Americans whose homes have been foreclosed inspire me. I don't mean to leave anyone out. I should say the bravery of "The Protestor" like Time magazine named. These people inspire me, the martyrs inspire me to work for a world in which the atrocities and injustices we are seeing today won't continue into the future. The gifts and generosity of God inspire me.

Do you look up to anyone? Who? Why?
I look up to a lot of people, activists like Neta Golan and Huwaida Arraf. Two teachers of mine: Michael Buffington who taught me character design and Ehab Thabet who taught me Arabic calligraphy. All four of these people are masters at what they do. I'm lucky if a little has rubbed off on me.

What other passions do you have in your life?
Other passions... well my husband and I are trying to figure out how we can build an earthship. I think this is the future of building.

How do you promote your work?
I promote my work on my Facebook page, on Twitter, and using google adwords. I've had some success with google adwords. I also try to promote myself by trying to meet my customers needs, by giving good customer service, making them feel like someone cares about them. So much customer service these days is depersonalized and cold. What I like about Etsy is that it's not that way.

In the future I’d like to be…
In the future I'd like to be doing more of what I am doing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Facebook Landing Page

I've been trying to figure out how to make a Facebook Welcome page. since it's the "in" thing this month. After days of research and learing new HTML code, this is what I've come up with for my page:

I'm trying to make it similar to this page for branding purposes, but I'm going to try different image sizes to see which one ends up working for me.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

More New Necklaces

I can't seem to stop making necklaces. Lately I've taken apart some Afganistan necklaces that I bought at the Seattle Gift Show last year and put them back together with modern beads and clasps.
Triangle & Clear Bead Necklace

Triangle Red & Blue Necklace

Square Jingle Red Necklace

Then I found this great pendent from the company Blue Moon that I fell in love with and create a necklace with it too.
Diamond Black & Blue Necklace


christy said...
hannahsgems said...
They are all great...but I'm partial to blue so the last one will be my fave.

Friday, December 16, 2011

New Necklaces

On Monday, I went to my friend Rasha's house for a bit of tea and conversation. While there, she mentioned that she missed me not making necklaces anymore. I seemed to recall that she was the one that purchased my very last original necklace design from my home show two years ago.

So inspired by Rasha, today I locked myself in my studio and came up with these two designs. What do you think?

Afgan Coin & Amber Necklace

Berber Blue Necklace
I haven't decided if I'm going to list them in my Zibbet shop yet, or for how much. I just felt creative today and wanted to share my finished product.


hannahsgems said...
Yes, very creative. I like the Berber blue necklace.
Beat & Rubbish said...
the blue necklace is gorgeous! keep up the beautiful work.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reactions to How low(e) can you go?

4 comments: Hard Core Spirituality said... To me it sounds like yet another round of "how dare you interrupt my hateful stereotypes with facts!" I'm not a Muslim, but I grew up in one of the areas of the country with a substantial number of Muslims. Muslims, therefore, seemed no stranger to this Catholic kid than, say, Lutherans, or Orthodox, or any of the many other groups you find in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. And, as is inevitable when people intermingle as people, not as stereotypes, one of my siblings married a Palestinian. Never in my wildest imagination could I picture Muslims as anything but the kind of people who came to family gatherings and who might live next door... And then came 9/11, and I think this country has gone insane. Muslims have become more (and much less) than they really are: they have become the locus of American rage against perceived national decline (never mind that scapegoating only hastens real decline). "All American Muslim" ruins this. How can you successfully hate The Other when The Other you're hating is one of us? That FFA would complain about the lack of terrorists (never mind that, in the Muslim community, there *is* a paucity of terrorists) isn't surprising: Muslim as The Other has a special place in their back-to-the-Middle-Ages Evangelical heart. That Lowes would go along with such an outrageous campaign is a lot more shocking to me. Oh well: time to give my business back to the local lumberyard, where it should have stayed in the first place. December 14, 2011 at 7:49 PM Unknown said... Well-written piece. I literally cannot believe the amount of bigoted hate being spewed forth on Lowe's Facebook page. I knew Islamophobia was a problem here; I never realized it was so widespread. It's almost amusing (and more than a little sickening) to watch as the haters gleefully yell out their support for Lowe's and their right to spend their ad dollars as they wish. Talk to them long enough, though, and it becomes clear that they are really delighted about one thing-- finally having an excuse to publicly bash Muslims. December 14, 2011 at 9:52 PM Sandra (Etsy) said... GRRRRRR !!!!! I heard the commentary last night and I want to scream.. How is it 2011 and this guy is able to go on television and spew his words of hate and ignorance. It's a sad day. December 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM Sulayman said... What an excellent piece. It's amazing how threatened people feel by this show. Wonderful that you pointed out the hypocrisy of asking where the moderates are then silencing them. December 18, 2011 at 12:59 AM

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How low(e) can you go?

I'm really trying very hard to wrap my head around what is happening with the controversy between All American Muslim, Lowe's and the Florida Family Association. I just can't seem to understand what it is that the FFA wants to accomplish with all this.

First thing that happened was the FFA issued a statement against AAM and sent this statement to all the advertisers on the show. Basically the statement was about how the show showcases Muslims in too much of a normal light. They wanted to see more Muslims on the show following jihad, sharia, and basically blowing things up. Because that is the only version of Muslims that they know from having interviewed various Muslims around Florida (I hope you read the sarcasm there). Ironically, one of the companies (Lowe’s) decided to listen and pull their ads. I say ironically because these blowing up Muslims would have needed that company to supply the components to blow up things.

In their press release, Lowe's acknowledged that it received messages from a "broad spectrum of customers" and that is why they decided to pull their ads. So basically Lowe's also felt that AAM needed scenes of Muslims going into Lowe's to buy supplies to blow things up.

So now there are sides saying that everyone needs to boycott Lowe's, while the other side thinks that Lowe's should be free to advertise on whatever show they want. I think Lowe’s should look into shows that highlight true American values, such as Sister Wives, Toddlers and Tiaras, 20 Kids and Counting, and of course my all time favorite, Hording: Buried Alive.

So here lies my dilemma with trying to figure out what it is that America wants from its Muslim society: After 9/11 there were lots of questions asked about 'Where are the moderate Muslims?!?' Now here is a television program showing America where the moderate Muslims are existing (Dearborn), living very boring lives (adjusting to motherhood, marriage, job transitions), and not blowing things up. But now we have a group that is asking 'Where are the radical Muslims?!?'

In the words of Seth Meyers "Really...?"

P.S. If you click on FFA or Lowe's in my first paragraph, it will take you to the petition from Sign On. Yes, this was intentional.

Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 Handmade Harvest Open House

Every year, for the past five years, I've had a vendor fair in my home. It's not publically advertrised but it's always well attended.

I invited eight other entrepreneur women to join me in a home show that showcased all things handmade. This year’s event was inspired by a segment done by Diane Sawyer on ABC World News to take the ‘Made in America” Pledge: What is American-Made in Your Home? In 1960, foreign goods made up 8% of our purchases, but today nearly 60% of what we buy is made overseas. And a large chunk of that is purchased at big chains during the holiday season.

Here was our change to help change our local economy and encourage community businesses that are supporting themselves by creating things with their hands. We had craft, art and food items for all three religions celebrations that are occurring this month and next (Eid, Hanukkah, and Christmas). We had hostess gifts, children’s toys and clothes, jewelry, cake pops, stocking stuffers, cards, soap and many other items made on kitchen tables, during soccer games and sewn in guest rooms that double as craft rooms.

Below are shops that vended the event. If you were unable to attend, please feel free to shop from them online.

A Crafty Arab: Handmade Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu Crafts and Cards

Elves In The Attic: When Hallmark isn't cutting it...

Nates Mommy Made it: Baby Blankets, Tag Blankets, Cloth Wipes, and more!

Norik: Original handcrafted gemstone jewelry for UNIQUE YOU

Pepo Park: Beautiful, handmade soap and lotion products

Ms Maude: Fashion for You and Your Home that's Always in Bloom

Seville Designs: Handmade Jewelry: Silver, Copper & Bronze

Vanilla Bean: The tastiest cakes, cookies, bars, and candies on the Eastside !

Van Tuyl Catering Services: Marvelous cuisine on a Modest budget.

And new this year: my own daughters created crafts to sell and had their own table. I was one proud mama.

Save the date for next year: November 10, 2012!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reactions to Where is my Muslim consumer?

I had some really great comments from my post yesterday that I wanted to preserve -


jane p said...
If you are selling at the right places, maybe the question should be: what would my Muslim consumer buy? Then make those items.
I faced a "similar" issue some time ago. Most of my customers are working women from mid 20's to 40's. I wanted younger women from 16 to 25 to buy from me as well. But nothing for a long time. One day I made a bag that I felt was cool enough for the younger women and sure enough I started hitting this age group. Still they form a small % of my sales.
A Crafty Arab said...
Thanks Jane, great suggestion. I have tried to *almost* make every product out there. I've made things for moms, dads, kids, etc. In the past, when I've been at American craft shows, I look at what sells and adjust it for the Muslim consumer.

The poster was a huge hit at the focus group and everyone that has one loves it. But at fairs where the Muslims are, it's not selling. It's doing very well online, but does not sell in person.
Sketched Soul said...
As-salaamu'alaykum sis,

Wow@your effort, masha'Allah.

It's sad! I thought we were just cheap.. but that might not be the case.

Anyway.. I'm trying a few things too.. hopefully it works out.

If you hit any gold, please share :)
UmmLayla said...
I have had the same problem... I have given up on the Eid events tbh. I wish I could say I understood it, but I don't. I could never have a business that depended on the support of only the Muslims. It would be too scary. I have a daycare too, and the same thing. I don't have 1 Muslim client even though they must see me because they park in front of the building for jummah!!! SMH
Safiyyah said...
Sad to say but many Muslims want things free or for the sake of Allaah. I knew a Muslim publisher that had a similar problem. Especially with the schools not bothering to reply. Maybe get a kiosk in the mall where many Muslims are lol.
julietcaesar said...
I think that a lot of Muslims are self-conscious about their Muslim-ness. They want things that remind them of Islam, but not overtly. It's very frustrating to hear as a businesswoman, "Oh, I love your design," and then never see a single sale. I suspect that the giving of cards will only catch on once it becomes common for non-Muslims to give Eid cards to their Muslim friends--expectations will change with a new generation and Muslims will be sending them out to each other in the same way that Christians send out Christmas cards. At least this is my sincere hope! :)
Tasnim said said...
Slam Alikom Sis,
I'm so sad to hear this as a fact.
I have the same problem here :(
all people say"oh this is a very nice products"
but I rarely get a sale.
well some times I have been asked to teach them how to make the product themselves :((
I don't know what is the problem with the Muslim community :(
I had a customer that asked me to make cards for here,after making them she said "oh nice cards" but I don't want topay more than 80 cents max $1 for them ...they will through them in the trash anyway ??!!!!
I was shocked when she said that to me.
and when i told here once that I'm going to make banner and decorations for Eid and Ramadan she smiled and said "who care about decorations for Eid and Ramadan??"
I don't know why not??
I'm a Mom know,and I really don't know why all Moms don't make decorations for our Eids??
why not make them as much fun as Christians do??

anyway,JAK for this post it somehow helped me to figure that its not only me who struggle here.

can you please follow back my Blog?