Friday, October 31, 2008

A cookie with my whine...

OK, so it's Halloween night, I am alone, sitting in the dark, I just ate an entire block of extra sharp cheddar cheese and I am polishing off a bottle of Zinfandel. For those who have ever questioned my ability to have a good time, question no more! I can rock with the best of them!

I am trying to get ready for the Farmers' Market tomorrow, but I have little will and even less interest at the moment. It has been several weeks since I have done the market and I have enjoyed sleeping past 4am each passing Saturday. I'm only doing the market a handful of time between now and Christmas so I should really just suck it up and deal with it. And I will. But first I will have a cookie with my wine (whine).

The above photo shows part of my work load today. I did a lot of assembling, a lot of photographing and a lot of listing. The images below are of some of the pieces I put in the shop today. Feel free to stop in and say hi. They just love visitors! :)




Link

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A slave to the bracelet...

It feels like I have been making bracelets for a thousand years. All the pieces in the photo above were made last week and now I have to refine them and bisque fire them before I can get to the glazing. My bracelets were one of the first forms of jewelry I made out of porcelain many years ago and they are one of the few styles that have remained basically the same since their inception. I remember being so excited when the first one was completed. And I remember selling them out at my studio's annual holiday sale. And then I remember several people bringing them back to me when the adhesive I used failed and all the pieces fell off. :)

It didn't take me long to find the proper adhesive and since then they have been consistently good sellers for me. My current favorites are the hearts which have seen their ups and downs over the years. Some years hearts are the bee's knees, other years you can't give them away. Right now love seems to be in the air and the hearts are enjoying their time in the sun.

Along with making zillions of bracelets this week I am also testing out some new glazes. This batch of pieces below shows several new colors which I am pretty happy with (though when photographed together they look rather gaudy, but trust me, the colors are lovely:).

I am off to the studio! :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Challenge

Each month the Art Bead Scene has a creative challenge based on a theme. This month the theme is A Dark and Stormy Night. I decided that it might be fun (not to mention a great creative exercise) to come up with something combining my porcelain pieces, natural stones and glass beads. So, here it is!

When I first started making my large circle and oval pendants years ago the purpose was to showcase glaze (see an example here). I simply love glaze and the process of glazing and I wanted a way to really wear it. The large pendants were the perfect "canvas" for my glaze paintings. Now and then one would come out of the kiln that was so spectacular and just drop dead gorgeous that I wanted to hoard it away, keeping it to myself, taking it out now and then to pet it and marvel at the chemistry of it all. The piece featured in this necklace is one of those beauties. And just imagine my squeals of delight when I placed a large bead of snake skin jasper next to it and saw how harmoniously they could live together (above). When I do shows I am often asked what kind of stones I work with. I have always found this a bit amusing to confuse porcelain for gemstones or minerals but now I see that it makes perfect sense. After all, porcelain and all of the components that make up glaze come from the earth. I am just combining them in ways that Mother Nature can't (though she does a smashing job on her own) and speeding up the process with a kiln.

Anyhoo, I am very pleased with the way my necklace came out. It is currently displayed on a necklace form on my mantel as though it were a sculpture and I may just leave it there until my next show. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

mia...

Missing in action. That's me. I have never been a good multitasker and this past week proves that point very well. You would think I had a degree in stress management considering all that I have dealt with in recent years, but unfortunately I failed those classes and never even earned a lousy certificate. I don't know about you but tough times make me sleepy. And it's the kind of sleepy that turns the simplest task into a monumental undertaking. The only thing that comes easily is my work. I love that. For me it is fun and relaxing and I could lose myself in it, but my work can't solve all my problems. (Unless, of course, it made me a boatload of money because, as we all know, money DOES in fact buy happiness, or at least some peace of mind, a lot of chocolate and many cool pairs of shoes.)

So I will bless you once again with a super over-the-top-in-sticky-sweetness photo of Petey and Laurel being all cute and stuff. They make me happy. Why can't I be a bunny?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Scattered brain = scattered hands

The week following a big show is always a little scattered for me. It usually takes me a few days to decompress from the whole traveling/working thing. Unfortunately, this time of year doesn't allow for a leisurely recovery. My next show is in a few weeks, another three day, and my inventory is low. Trying to predict what will sell this season is close to impossible. What sold well last year isn't necessarily a sure bet this year. And what sells online is a whole other story. There isn't any real rhyme or reason to either so I just have to try to cover all the bases - meaning, I have to make a big bunch of everything.

I am trying to spend as much time as possible upstairs in my bedroom with little Finch bunny so that means trying to get some work done while I am there. I have discovered that the bed works great as a workspace (above) - lots of room to spread out and I can take a nap whenever I feel like it. Work a little, nap a little, work a little, nap some more, talk in a high-pitched dork voice to Finch, try to bribe her into liking me with treats, take a nap, nap, nap.

Meanwhile, Petey and Laurel continue to do well. No fights, no nose nips - so far, so good. My only complaint is the complete disintegration of their bathroom habits. I don't know if they are just trying to mark their territory or if this is part of some grand scheme they have hatched together, but these two bunnies have become total slobs. I have litter boxes EVERYWHERE and while for the most part they are using them they also seem to be taking great delight in not using them. Bad bunnies.

Anyhoo... I will be taking a very quick trip down to Long Island for my grandparent's 64th wedding anniversary tomorrow. I have the biggest gift bag full of chocolate(!) and few other little goodies to give them. I plan on eating a ton and drinking like a fish. ;) Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Greetings from Autumn!

It's rainy, yet warm - the perfect Autumn day! I've already been out frolicking in the rain (yes, I really do frolic!) and now I have to make myself do some work. This day will entail photoing, listing some new pieces on Etsy, shipping out orders and then heading out to the studio.

One request that was made by many people at the Letchworth show was for brooches. I used to make pins years ago and they didn't really sell too well. I have started to make them again and now they seem to be in demand. It may be a regional thing, who knows, but my prediction is that big brooches are making a comeback (1980s style, yall!) - so get on it all my jewelry designer friends! Let's start a brooch revolution!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So sleepy...

Home at last. Man, what a busy show and wow, am I tired. The weather could not have been better - it was hot hot hot (maybe a little too hot, but it is the October in upstate NY, I have no right to complain). The show is held in Letchworth State Park which has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. The fall foliage was at peak and the crowds were unreal.

This is the row that my booth was in (somewhere in the middle of this shot), just one of many. When I had the chance to walk around a bit I was amazed by how huge the whole show is. I never did get to see everything.

As much as I enjoy doing shows by the third day I was growing very anxious to get home and get to work. I can't go too many days without making something and I am raring to go!

The great wall of earrings. I tried something different with my black display boxes and covered them with post earrings. It made it very easy for customers to look and compare colors. I am thinking of using all of my boxes to display earrings and then putting all necklaces on top for the next show. But then again, maybe not. I'm thinking of redesigning the whole shebang before then, which is only about three weeks away. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show

Yet again I am running around like freak trying to get ready for a big show that I have this weekend. I will be at the Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show on Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Letchworth State Park in Mt. Morris, NY. This is my last outdoor show for the year - let's all pray for some warmish weather! Those 30 degree mornings can be tough. Thank the lord for my thermal carafe of mint tea!

I'll be in booth #L29. If you are in the area come and visit!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I've been tagged!

I was tagged a few days ago by Linda of MosaicSmith. So now it's my turn to tag some of you and to share some terribly interesting facts about myself. ;) If you've been tagged by me check out the rules below and play along if you so desire.

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.


1. My favorite color is and always has been deep purple.

2. I collect assembly line, mass produced reproduction oil paintings of van Gogh's Starry Night. Like this. I have about 20.

3. I crave tuna fish on a regular basis.

4. I would stalk Henry Rollins if I had more spare time.

5. As a child I spent hours and hours drawing designs that I would send to sticker companies in the hopes that they would use them. I had (and still do) a massive sticker collection that occupied several years of my childhood. I was hardcore.

6. I went to a movie every Friday night, by myself, for four straight months.

7. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life but when I am under stress I envision myself smoking. Go figure...

Ok, so here are the people I am tagging. Be sure to check out all of their great blogs!

Every Heart Crafts
Fab Fibers
Gaea Studio Blog
Highland FairyLorelei's Blog
The BeadedLily's Scetchbook
Thistle Farm Arts



Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's Finch!

Here are some images from Finch's first photo shoot. She's still a bit nervous and shy and wasn't too terribly excited about me and the camera, so I clicked quickly.

She is living in my bedroom for the moment, until she is a little more comfortable with her new freedom and people. She gets a little better each day and is having so much fun eating new things (who knew parsley could bring so much joy!), climbing as high as she can and sprawling out and watching TV. She was particularly amused by the vise presidential debate. I caught her rolling her eyes on more than one occasion.

The pet store told me that she is a purebred Lionhead rabbit, but she is not nearly that fuzzy and her markings are very much like a Dutch (like my Laurel). She must be a marvelous mix. To see her beautiful blue eyes click on the photos for a close-up. :)

Books books everywhere!

For the past two days my driveway has played host to a charity books sale benefiting the Happy Tails No Kill Animal Shelter. This is the second year we've had this sale at our house, which is a pretty dangerous thing for a book junkie such as myself. :)

If you are looking for any titles in particular just leave me a comment and I'll see if it's out there. And if you happen to live in the Owego, (not Oswego) NY area drop on by (on Front Street - across from the river).



Friday, October 3, 2008

Closed thread UPDATE

Ok, so a few days ago I made this post about a shop on Etsy that I have been flagging for over a year and a new shop that is now selling the same non-handmade jewelry. Many of you joined in the fight and flagged both shops, in particular a ring that both sellers had listed. I just checked both shops and the new shop is gone. Etsy has closed it. Good, they did what they should have. The other shop, however, the one that I have been flagging for over a year now IS STILL THERE! Etsy did remove the ring that was flagged but this seller still has 26 of the same rings listed for sale, she is still claiming that they are handmade - SHE IS STILL ALLOWED TO DO BUSINESS ON ETSY!

Yep, I am shouting.

So what does this lead me to believe? What I have believed all along. That Etsy is for some reason protecting this seller and allowing her to remain even though they know that what she sells goes against their own rules. They have even done her the favor of removing her competition which provided clear-cut evidence that what she sells is from China.

All together now: WTF ETSY???

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Tracey! I named my little bunny Finch. Yes, she is a bunny with a bird name, but it suits her perfectly. Originally I wanted the name Atticus but Paul felt that was a bit pretentious (whatever), and then she turned out to be a girl so Finch was the perfect solution.

I'll be in touch with you, Tracey, to see what color bunny you would like. :)
Thanks to everyone for playing, it was fun. (Bird Radley has to be the funniest!)

For the love of hearts & blue-eyed bunnies

I've got hearts on the brain. I've spent years trying to fight off my inherent girlyness but these days I am loosing the battle. I like hearts. So there, I can admit it. I am especially fond of this new necklace I made using my porcelain hearts and three handforged links. I call them abacus links since the beads are free to slide around (extra super clever name, I know;). It's kind of funky, a little quirky and it's copper and green (tiger jasper) and blue. Blue like the eyes of my NEW BUNNY!!!!!!

Yes, I did it. Something I swore I would never do. I purchased the magical blue-eyed bunny from the pet store. Please don't follow my lead. I encourage anyone who might want to have a house rabbit to visit their local chapter of the House Rabbit Society. I was weak and for days I thought about this little bunny. I couldn't take it anymore so on Sunday I went to see if she was still there. She was. I brought her home.

She is a funny little thing, both goofy and beautiful at once. Like most rabbits that come from a bunny-mill she is very timid and nervous around people. She is in my bedroom running around for probably the first time in her life and loving every minute of it. I will have to work hard to earn her trust. She doesn't let me pet her just yet but she is starting to realize that I am the one who brings her yummy treats so it is just a matter of time.

Let's see if anyone can guess what I named her. I'll give you a clue - the name comes from the book To Kill a Mockingbird. It's not super obvious, but it's not very hidden either. If anyone gets it right I'll send them one of my bunny rings, similar to this one. :)