Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blueberry - Part ll

One look at the background of the photo above and you will see why I love where I live. Just a short ten minute drive out of my little town and this is the scene. (Actually, this is the scene within my little town as well :)
We went blueberry picking a few days ago. The berries where so abundant that it was nearly an effortless task. Aside from the four pounds that I ate, Paul and I picked over 12 pounds in a short amount of time. We quit just as the heat was kicking in and the bugs were forming battalions.
Quote of the day by a little boy overheard at the farm: "Mommy, my tummy hurts from picking blueberries."

I froze 32 cups of berries. We will be picking again next week. Must have more berries to survive the Winter!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blueberry - Part l...

Yesterday I started to paint a room upstairs that will become my home studio. Last year I relinquished the room that was my studio to Paul and since then I have managed to spread my mess absolutely everywhere. I have reached the point of saturation and need to get this new studio space in order pronto. You know it's got to be bad if I can't stand my own clutter. I am bit like a pig in mud - usually quite content to roll around in my own disorder - but now I am ready to contain it all in one place.

In order to get up and running I have to do a quick renovation. My house is an 1870's Stick Style Victorian in need of more than a little attention. This room is actually in pretty good shape only needing some fresh paint, a little floor refurbishing and some ceiling work. I have two things working against me: No time and very little money. What's a girl to do? Well, I started with this lovely grayish blueish purplish wall color (above) and I am thrilled thus far. I have the first coat almost done, the second should go much faster. It's a little dark for a studio but it makes me happy. So there.

The next challenge will be the floor and just what to do to it. It's wood and worn and doesn't look all that great, but then again, it doesn't need to look great. When I paint (as in on a canvas) I paint on the floor so I don't want to put a lot of energy into a floor that will take a beating. I was thinking of stenciling a subtle pattern all over, keeping it kind of faded and worn. It would unify the uneven look of the floor and provide a little design interest in the room. But I don't know. Any ideas??

Monday, July 28, 2008

Saturday in pictures...

Driving through Syracuse, NY on the way to the Farmers' Market - 6:15 am.

It is sunflower season!

Darn tasty Pappardelle's pasta - and check out those sexy sneeze guards!

Driving home after a windy but worthwhile day. My friend Mustard Greens is sitting in the passenger seat. He refused to wear his seatbelt.

A gorgeous old barn. One of many along this back road route.

Home by 3:00 pm.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wise words from a wise bunny...

I have known for years that rabbits are way more intelligent than most people will give them credit for. Take Laurel for example. This morning I found her sitting under her favorite chair reading a fortune that came out of a cookie. She looked up at me with knowing eyes and tilted her head towards the piece of paper. "This one's for you" she said just seconds before she picked up the fortune and ate it. It must have still smelled like cookies.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Porcelain meet copper, copper meet porcelain...

I am very excited to introduce the first necklace featuring my own handmade copper and glass bead chain. (clap clap clap)
This is the first of many pieces which will feature some metal work, including sterling silver. As I continue to move my work forward I become more obsessed with each aspect of a piece being made entirely by me (though I don't see myself making glass beads any time soon - not for a lack of interest, more for a lack of time:).

This necklace can be found in my shop.

Monday, July 21, 2008


And once again...

I will be giving old Ebay a try with this batch of lovely vintage inspired necklaces. Last month I put up a variety of Steampunk themed jewelry. Two out of five pieces sold which doesn't sound too exciting, however... I had placed a link to my blog in the listings that brought a ton of traffic to both here and, in turn, my Etsy shop. As a result I had several sales in my shop and even a special order. So, even if Ebay doesn't appear to be a great place to sell handmade if you work it properly it can certainly be a great form of advertising. (just think of those ridiculously high fees as part of your advertising budget)

I have even lower expectations this time around since internet selling is so veeeery slow during the Summer months. But hey, it can't hurt, right?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

You know you should have stayed home from the market when...

  1. It is so hot outside that the simple act of standing up causes the sweat to pour and the need to sit back down.
  2. You discover that you have been wearing your skirt sideways (nearly backwards) the entire day. The fact that your zipper is at the side and that your pockets are dead center in front and in back doesn't seem to have phased you in the slightest.
  3. After catching a glimpse of yourself in a mirror you discover that not one but two(!) poppy seeds from your morning bagel have taken up residence in between several of your front teeth. This discovery being made hours after said bagel was ingested.
  4. The skirt and poppy seed issues combined with some serious Medusa hair (caused by infrequent though cyclonic winds) cause people to look at you with amused sympathy. You, of course, mistake those looks to be from empathetic fellow heat sufferers, never realizing that you are, in fact, the freak show they are watching.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Scrap happy...

A few weeks ago I was playing around with clay, making pendants and whatnot. Left with a pile of scraps in various shapes and not wanting to recycle them (read that as "lazy") I pieced them together. This funny little eye design took shape and I glazed it with low expectations.
I was thrilled (and a bit surprised) when I took it out of the kiln and saw how beautiful it was! I immediately set off to make a zillion more. I am the queen of "make it 'till you hate it."

But I don't hate this. I love it so much I want to drink it. :)
It can be found in my shop.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend update

I took this photo (above) on Saturday just moments before a much needed nap. Saturdays are always tough days. Getting up at 4am, driving the one and a half hours to Syracuse to work the Farmers' Market, unpacking-setting-up-tearing-down, lunching at Paul's mother's house and then driving the one and a half hours back home - "ugh" would be an understatement. I usually take a short nap before we eat late in the afternoon and this week I decided to capture my overjoyed look in the mirror before passing out.

The market berry of the day: Currants!

Sunday, as usual, was spent in the studio. I worked like a freak but didn't even get close to getting everything done. I was on duty as an assistant for open workshop hours so that cut into my own work time quite a bit. But I can't complain. I am a lucky lucky girl to work in such an awesome studio. I will happily mix up truck loads of smelly yellow salt glaze, proceed to dump half of it all over my feet and even manage to get it in my hair just to gain experience in the studio.

I glazed my faceted bottles (below) and will fire them tomorrow. They looked so lovely in their naked state that I hesitated to glaze them at all. But color won out (as it always does) so I glazed them in my favorite matte aqua. It is a great glaze that doesn't clobber fine details so I am hoping that the facets will still look like facets after the firing. :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Post it...

Today has been a busy day finishing up special orders and getting ready for the market tomorrow. And, I made a nice little pile of post earrings. I rarely wear posts myself so I tend to forget about them, that is, until I get about five requests within one week for them. Then I think "oh yeah, posts."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vintage bunny!

Paul found this spectacular photo last week. It has become the shinning star in my ever growing vintage bunny photograph collection. My guess is that the Sperry Flour Company held a contest to find a rabbit that looked like the one on their "Surerabbit" feed bag. Click on the photo for the close-up and notice the rabbit trophy and ribbon. I wish I could read what they say!

A better view...

My brother did a little photoshop action to the pottery studio/cheese factory photo from my last post. It looks much better and now we can all enjoy the pottery/cheese a little more. Thanks Jake!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A case of mistaken identity...

Isn't this a fantastic old photo of a young woman in a pottery studio? I mean, how often do we get to see such an early image of a production pottery studio with filled shelves and a proud potter displaying her wares? Just imagine how excited I was when I found this photo on Ebay a few years ago. I bid like a freak and I won.

I won a fantastic photo of a cheese factory. Yep. Cheese. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Weekend update

This Fourth of July weekend proved to be a rather exhausting yet pretty darn good time. Friday I had a show and Saturday I did the Farmers' Market. Sunday was spent in the studio and today I have crashed and burned.

The two photos above show my tent set-up and a close-up of one of my tables. The set-up was a slightly beefed up version of my usual Market display. I usually set up four tables when I do shows but this time I slacked a bit and stuck with three. I was pretty happy with the solution I came up with for displaying my new barrettes. I took an earring display that I wasn't using and simply hung the barrettes over the bars. It wasn't rocket science but it did the trick.

The Market on Saturday was bustling as always. The highlight: The raspberries shown above from Wake Robin Farm. The best I have ever tasted. They were gone in a flash.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

New stuff!!

I've been working on some new designs and I am super excited to share them with you! First off, I made BARRETTES!! Yes! I have been working on them for a little while now and let me tell you - they were not easy. I tend to get an idea in my head as to how something should be made and if I can't do it that way it makes me crazy. For these hair clips I really wanted to have the perfect curve so that they would fit on the finding like a glove. After some experimenting I finally did it and they actually held their perfect shape throughout the firing. Oh yeah!

The next exciting development is my STACKING PORCELAIN RINGS! Can I get a hell yea?
(sorry, I'm excited)
This is the first set I have glazed (below) and I have many more sets in many sizes on the way.

And lastly, check out this new asymmetrical porcelain ring (below). How cool is that, I ask? It has a real 1980s flavor going on. I think I actually had a belt that looked like this, circa 1986. :)

All of these pretties can be found in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My little friend...

This cute little mouse has been romping around the studio for the past several days, freaking out my friend Terri, but generally just being super darn adorable. Today I heard rustling on Terri's shelf. Lo and behold there was tiny mousy crawling around her pots. Had she been there to see it screams would have been heard in the next county.

I grabbed Maryanne's supply of doggy treats, opened the lid and in hopped the mouse. He though he had hit the jackpot as he chowed down on heart-shaped treats. I let him nibble until he was full and then I released him down by the river.

I wanted to keep him.


Yesterday I sanded porcelain for so long that my hands are now in a permanent claw formation.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I love my job!

I spent all day Sunday in the studio. And by all day I mean I went in at 10 am and left at 8 pm. It was excellent! I am working on many projects at once so I jumped around from handbuilding bottles (above), to glazing, to handbuilding pendants (below), to sanding and refining, to recycling clay, and everything else in between. It was one of those days when I am so happy and content to do what I do. Creating full time is like a 24/7 sugar high.

As I was leaving the studio Maryanne (she runs the studio and teaches nearly all of the classes) was getting ready to glaze literally hundreds of pieces of her pottery (below). She does craft shows regularly (for 25+ years) and this continual cycle of making, glazing and firing is the norm for her. Inspiring, the say the least.