Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mushrooms and toadstools.

A few weeks ago, I was playing around with some leftover clay and made this little collection of mushrooms.
None of them modeled after anything in particular, except the morel in the middle.

 And then when we went camping, I came across these interesting specimens...
...and these bright red ones!
And these wavy ones.

So back home again, I made a couple more...

 And kept discovering them.
 All over the place.
 This one was huge.


I would love to learn more about them and find out which ones we can eat.
And of course, now I want to make some fairly realistic copies in clay.  
I'm just trying to figure out how the stem can support the heavy top.  
Stay tuned.

Linking up with:



Wednesday, 15 July 2015

A knitting post...finally.

So I started a pair of socks way back in February that were supposed to be a pair of birthday socks for my son who ONLY wears ankle socks any more. I gave up on the idea of surprise socks because I just couldn't "sneak" the size of his foot.  So here is the first pair.  They fit.  He says they are comfortable (that says a lot coming from the pickiest person I know, clothes wise).
 I really wish I could share the pattern with you, but I printed it off in February and there is no title anywhere, and it's not saved to my Pinterest board, or my Ravelry favourites.  Go figure.  I know I first came across the idea for them here on the purl bee.

 Started on my first day of holidays, and finished two days after we got back....my new cowl.  In "not-grey"!
It's just a super simple garter stitch.  I think 30 stitches. Every sixth row is a pattern row, with Yarn ver, K2tog, knit 2 stitches, repeat.  I spaced them out so they alternate, but it looks equally pretty when they line up perfectly.  I used exactly one ball of yarn, and may end up ripping out the seam to add a couple extra inches if I can get another ball of the same colour.  It's a wee bit snug for my taste.

And what's a knitting post without a yarn bowl?  The mate to this one has already been delivered.  They were a prototype, and I love them, and I will be making many many more.  And that's my sock yarn in "acceptable boy colours" waiting to be turned in to more ankle socks.

Reading:  Edible Wild Plants, Build your Own Earth Oven, and going to the library tonight for some fiction.


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

When you just can't find what you are looking for.

One of my favourite things about what I do is helping someone get EXACTLY what they are looking for, especially when there is no way they would be able to find it anywhere else.  

 Seriously, other than a custom order, where does one find something as specific as dog bone shaped beads with a martini glass carved into them (the martini glass is my customer's logo) and coloured in blue?

 And orange?

 A close up.

For scale.

 Mass quantities...

 Packaged up.

And ready to ship.

I kept telling myself I would take "in progress" pictures with the next batch I worked on, so I would have a nice set of "how to" pictures, but I always worked on these in the evening when the lighting was too poor.

Basically the process was:  roll some coils, cut them to size, sculpt the bone shape, put in the hole with pin tool, expand the hole with a drill bit, carve the martini glass, bisque fire, paint on the underglaze, wash off extra underglaze, wax the holes, glaze, and fire again.  Followed by quality control check in bright sunlight.  Phee-ouf.

I loved it!

If you are looking for something VERY particular...I just might be able to help you too.  
A cookie stamp, buttons or gift tags with your own logo, a set of beads custom made for you, an image carved into some dishes.  The sky is the limit.

Linking up with my friends at:
Keep Calm Craft On over at Frontier Dreams

Monday, 22 June 2015

Inspiration

For as long as I can remember, my aunt has had a rather large patch of feverfew in her front yard flower bed.  Years ago, she let me take home a seed head, and I have had it growing in my yard ever since.
 It is one of my all time favourite early summer flowers.
 I decided to capture their essence in clay so that I can enjoy them year round. 
 At some point, I discovered a "double" feverfew flower in my yard, and both kinds have now been growing in harmony ever since...although they migrate all around the yard and I never really know where they will turn up.

 I've got a few extras listed over here in my etsy shop if you want to have a closer peek.

What garden flowers are you ejoying this year?

Linking up with:
Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On

Monday, 15 June 2015

Leaves

When I was a child, I would collect leaves from spring to fall, iron them between sheets of wax paper and collect them in scrapbooks.  Buttercups and other small flowers were included in there too.
I'm starting to think that many of my latest projects are in fact just a throwback to my childhood.
 I'm still preserving leaves, trying to capture a moment in time.  The only difference is the medium.
  My children collected rocks (they still do), and nice leaves in the fall, but they never preserved them.
I remember having a flower press too.
I have to wonder if kids still do this, or if it's a thing of the past.

I'd love to hear from you if you remember doing it, or if your children/grandchildren did.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mason Jar Frogs

It's summer time.  
Time to gather a few flowers from your garden and bring them indoors to brighten things up.  
Time for displaying the wildflowers your children bring in from their walk. 
And time to share your bounty with family and friends.
 I love putting flowers in my many (MANY) mason jars, but I always found that I needed so so many to make a nice arrangement that didn't flop all over the place.
 So I made myself some frogs that fit over any standard mason jar...and then I made a whole bunch more!  See how well they hold up just a few little stems?
They fit all of the sizes, so I can cut violets in the early spring and put them in the teeny ones, lily of the valley in the pint jars a few weeks ago, and I'm looking to putting such a variety of wildflowers in the quart jars all summer long.
If you want to play along, I have them listed in 6-packs in my etsy shop under the "vases" section.

They can also be custom ordered for wedding centerpieces and bouquets for a DIY wedding.

Linking up with:
Keep Calm Craft on over at Frontier Dreams - cuz making your own bouquets is crafty, right?

Monday, 25 May 2015

Wedding Bouquet Charms

It's getting to be that time of year again.  The time of year filled with weddings, wedding showers, and special events.  
If you are getting married this summer...if you are doing your own bouquet with flowers you pick from your garden or a nearby field...if you want to add a little something extra to a bouquet to make it really your own...I have about a dozen of these hand stamped heart shaped pottery charms to add just that something extra. 
 They are glazed on both sides so they are nice and smooth.


If your wedding is still a while away, you can even custom order them to match your colour scheme.

They're over on my etsy shop if you want to have a peek.

Linking up with:

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Work in progress...

Sometimes it takes me so long to fill a kiln that it feels like months go by with out new pictures to share.  I thought I would take a minute to share some of the works in progress that have been occupying my time.  Even though they are not completed projects, they may give you a little peek into my world...

Rolling out lots of clay for serving dishes of all sizes.  Some with Juniper, Cedar, 
the first Ferns of the season...

 Reclaiming about a year's worth of clay trimmings.  I've reclaimed about a third so far. Without a pug mill, it's a hard job and I can only do a little bit at a time...maybe 10 pounds?  Max.
Playing with texture in different serving dishes...
...like this one.  I'm having a terrible time with these cracking though, so there aren't a lot of finished products for the number of them made.

 
  A little bit of wheel throwing.  I find I'm throwing pots only to replace the ones that I have sold.  All of my newer items seem to be hand built.

I've found I can make the tube vases without the extruder (I don't have one at home...only at the college studio, and no access to that one until September).  Added bonus - I can make them in small batches so I don't end up tired of them before the pile is done.

 A whole-lotta rolling out of clay.  I'll share this in the next couple of weeks, but over a period of a couple of weeks, I made 7 dozen of a particular item for Sarnia Artwalk.  LOTS of rolling.

And one finished piece... I've made myself a necklace to wear at Sarnia Artwalk out of some of the beads I made.  I haven't had any beads at a show yet, so I thought I would introduce them with an example or two of how to use them.

I apologize for the quality of the photos.  They are all from my instagram feed, and somehow the quality deteriorated trying to add them into this post. I'll try to rememdy that.


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Of Flowers and Vases

I love bringing fresh flowers into my home.  From the first bloom of the year (daffodils at my house) all the way through to the last greens of winter, I usually have a little snippet of something fresh in at least one room in my house.  
I've been working on some new vases so that other people can have that luxury too...vases that I hope are lovely enough to stand on their own, but not so intricate that they detract from the flowers that I add. 
 Especially since I tend to just grab a few simple blooms without ever doing anything fancy with them.
I'm finding that I really like grey vases with flowers.  For years, I made all my vases white, but I think I see a lot more grey vases in the near future.
 See how the flowers just pop against it?

 And although these aren't vases, I think the flowers on them give me permission to add them here.
I made them as spoon rests, but people have been buying them for ring dishes, soap dishes, for business cards...that's one of the things I love best about doing shows in person...you get to talk to the customers and see just how they are going to use the pieces in their every day lives.

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