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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stand By Me/I'm Yours Mash Up

Things have been really busy around here with trying to get some festival appearances this Summer, news from California, and the rest of life. I didn't have much time to write this week so instead I arranged this today as I've been wanting to do something for Ben E. King since he passed recently and "Stand By Me" is one of my favorite songs of all time.

So here are two of my favorite songs in my first video ever with the only instrument I know how to play.


I have a guest post with an awesome playlist of family favorites on Jingle Jangle Jungle that goes live this coming Sunday, May 24th. I'd love for you to check it out and tell me what you think!




Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DIY Gifts for Music Lovers



The Queens Over Kings Goes to Hollywood Kickstarter campaign ended this weekend. Sadly, we did not meet our goal and there are still about two months left until the trip to California. Instead of choosing another crowd funding website, we've decided to be straightforward and accept donations through PayPal. We have also added merchandise to our website featuring one-of-a-kind QOK swag. One-of-a-kind meaning we make it ourselves! Way cool. You can do the same thing for gifts for music lovers in your life, saving you money and creating personalized items from their favorite artists. As long as you DO NOT sell the items you make there is no end to the awesome things you can create. Note Muggle's #BeRoyal puppy bandanna above. Get some inspiration from the band merchandise we've made below.



T-Shirts
As you know, we have our own in-house graphic designer(s). My sister-in-law, Christina is amazing at it and we use her artistic talents for many things. I also dabble in some creative design. Together Christina and I have come up with lots of different brand visuals. To make our shirts, my mom and I print what we want onto iron-on transfers and put it all together right in our kitchen.

You can purchase the paper at your local craft store along with the things you wish to embellish. Choose T-shirts, bags, bandannas, anything you want. Get images from whatever band you're looking for, print, and iron. Be sure to read the directions for the transfers before doing anything! Different brands and styles require different processes.



Guitar Picks
A couple years ago I bought Jerald a guitar pick punch as a Christmas gift. As I was putting together our merchandise table for recent performances I knew I wanted something extremely unique and that could be made from things around the house. I came across a tutorial for making guitar picks out of CDs and decided to try it out. I grabbed Jerald's pick punch and went to work. 

CDs work well, but they are a lot more effort than plastic cards (think expired credit cards, old hotel room keys, gift cards). The makers of the pick punch sell sheets of colored plastic as well. We put labels on our picks to make them QOK, but they can be left alone to highlight the designs of the materials you use.



Personalized Image Items
Since we've been performing more we have been getting more pictures of us doing what we do. I cropped and uploaded pictures to a drug store photo website and created a collage with our main logo. I added our signatures from the website and BAM! A simple memorabilia and promo piece.

For gifts get a set of postcards or other stationery made from an image of their favorite artist, such as an album cover. Photo websites can make just about anything from mugs to calendars to mouse pads. These are all inexpensive, and maybe a little cheesy, but a good meeting point between functional and frivolous. Who wouldn't love stuff with their favorite band on it that they will actually use?



Musical Memories
To round out our merchandise offerings I grabbed a couple other ideas from our Kickstarter. On our website we offer a YouTube song dedication/cover and a digital download of a behind-the-scenes documentary Jerald will be working on. We are also looking into transcribing our music for others to download and enjoy.

If you're looking for a gift for your music lover, learn a song or instrument then play them a little something. When he or she next performs, offer to hop on stage for a duet.  If you know their favorite song transcribe it into sheet music and frame it. Or create your own tour documentary starring your favorite musician! It doesn't have to be perfect, just a little thought out.



All-in-One Swag Bag
Queens Over Kings offers a miniature swag bag, similar to those we gave out for Teacher Appreciation Week. We put some of our offerings together in a bag decorated with a graphic of lyrics from our first original song Lock & Key. 

You can do the same with all the items here and more. Other ideas for DIY gifts for music lovers I've seen include Sharpie-drawn coffee mugs, concept art, underwear (what??), burned CDs or online playlists, buttons/pins, or lyric posters. There are so many options.

Now that the Kickstarter is officially over, the feelings are bittersweet. In some ways the process felt like watching a test flight crash and burn. Yet in other ways it is oddly relieving to see the whole thing go. Overall, we are happy with how things have gone this past month. We have learned a lot about our music, with a current tally of four original songs. Two of those songs will (hopefully) be on Soundcloud later this week. I'm so excited to have music for you guys to listen to! Our online presence is growing. Aside from the band getting notice on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I have a couple guest blogging appearances coming up this month that make me feel pretty cool. Huge shout out to the friends I am making in the blogosphere :) There has been a real creativity boost around here. To see what else we come up with or to get the items you saw here today go to our website and start representing!




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Kristyn here. I'm really good at Googling, dreaming, and thinking outside the box. Someday I'm going to save all the puppies and perform on a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float.

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