Tuesday, 21 January 2014

In which I use the whole jar...

Yesterday, I shared a few branch slice project ideas (you can see the whole list over here).  N walked right in and started rearranging the few letters I had made to make other words, and asked if they were for Carlisle (the August show I will be doing...a kind of pioneer festival).  What a great idea!
I made one full set of the alphabet and then just used up the rest of the slices in my mason jar making duplicates of the most popular letters.  If you are wondering why I have a mason jar full of branch slices, they are left over from the name tags I made for the Earth SmART Art Show at the boys' school two years ago.
At the show last year, everybody with small children walked straight past my booth (I make and sell pottery, by the way) so that their children wouldn't break things.  I have been trying to think of something I could arrange so that the small children could "hang out" while their parents have a quick peek.  So, I have wrapped these up in a little cloth bag to take with me.  I will spread out a blanket near the door of my booth (we are on grass, in a big open field) and have these available to play with.  I will be keeping an eye out for other simple, old-fashioned, natural entertainment I can add to the blanket.

Isn't the boy clever?

Monday, 20 January 2014

Playing around with gift tag ideas

Yesterday I was working on a blog post for the Rural Creators' Collective, and I think I may have come up with this years' gift tags.  You can see the full post on the link above, but the ideas I think I may work with for myself are here.
I picture these strung on a length of yarn and wrapped around the package.  Each package can have a different word, maybe?

 I am really liking the lady bugs for spring gift tags.

And this may be the idea I use throughout the year...the picture is from an old, ripped picture book and is just modge podged onto the branch slice.  I think I will make up a big batch for all seasons, and then a separate batch for Christmas gifts for the teachers.

Did you work on any quick crafts this weekend?


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Planning ahead - Knitting for Christmas

I got myself into a bit of a jackpot this year.  Normally, I have everything all planned out and work on projects throughout the year so that by the time Winter Solstice and Christmas come around, I'm ready without any last minute stress.  Not this past year...nope...this past year I ended up scratching just about everything off the list, and as a result, I feel like we didn't really celebrate "properly".  No homemade cards were sent, no gifts to the staff at the school (other than for N's teachers), a 6 hour trip to the emergency room eliminated our winter solstice celebration...and on and on.
So, in an effort to get a few things done in advance, I am really hoping to finish up one project every month so the same thing doesn't happen again.  First up, is a little knit tie inspired by this one over at The Purl Bee.

The safety pin is to make me feel better.  It's hard to see the progress as I go, so every night I move the safety pin up to where I am starting from and I knit until I can see that I have done a few inches.
Some nights I only manage two inches, sometimes up to four.  I'm using a ball of sock yarn from my stash so that I have an even pattern without doing colourwork.  I am hoping to have this project finished up by the end of the month, and if I do a few inches every day, it should actually happen.  Then hopefully it will actually make it to Christmas!  A little someone I know doesn't own a tie and needs one from time to time, so knowing me, it is quite possible that it will come out of the "gift stash" at some point throughout the year.  We will see how it goes.

If anyone else wants to play along, we can help keep each other inspired.  Feel free to leave a comment on any posts to share what have planned and/or what you are working on.  Happy crafting!

Linking up with: Fiber Arts Friday over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Introducing the Pod Collection

Wow, that was a longer break than I had expected - partly because I kind of felt that I had nothing of note to share.  You see, I was hoping to share the beginning of my Pod Collection, but I've had a few mishaps along the way...so instead of showing the finished products for all of them, some will be photos of the initial stages.  Here we go:

 #1: The Pansy Pod...not sure why I call it that, because really I see it full of violets in the spring.

#2: I call this one William...Mr. William Power - it's a toonie pod (that's our $2 coin, for those of you outside of Canada) that you have to smash to get your savings out.  I estimate it can hold about $1000.00 when full.

#3: The Daffodil Pod:  It seems I always make the vases with spring flowers in mind, but I think this pair would look great with a single large hydrangea in each one.

#4: Luminaria pods...the one on the right sold before it was even glazed (although I did glaze it) and I see many more of these in the future.  There is a whole in the back to slide in a tea light.

#5: The salt pig...unglazed on the inside to absorb moisture, glazed on the outside for easy cleaning.  I think I want to make little tiny clay spoons for the next ones I make, unless I can find some little wooden ones for a reasonable price.

#6: The Pitcher Pods...these two met with disaster.  When test firing my first batch of glazed pieces in my "new to me" kiln, the cone racks on the top two shelves exploded and hunks of clay stuck to all the pieces on those two shelves.  These are now in my "to be smashed for a mosaic" pile.  I will be making more but sometimes it's hard for me to remake something I have already done.  I have to wait for the mood to strike again.

#7: The First Birthday Pod...inspired by river rocks.  I have actually found little beeswax birthday candles to fit these.  I picture this becoming a great tradition in some families...using the birthday pod for every birthday, or really any special event for that matter.

#8: The soup and sandwich pod...this one was in the same glaze load as the pitchers.  There were actually 2 plates and two bowls, of which only one bowl remains unaffected.  It looks lonely by itself, but it's in the Carlisle shop none the less.  By itself it looks like a change bowl.

#9: The pen/pencil pod...As yet these are unglazed because I'm not sure what to do to them.

#10: The Candy Dish Pod...N wants one so so so badly.  I told him I will have to finish these for my next show, but that maybe, just maybe I would try to make another.  The child likes the pods as much as I do.  He already has a toonie pod, and a candle pod.

My plan is to make 52 different pods, hopefully with a good variety by April when my next round of shows start up again.  They are kind of addictive.  Every time I make one, I come up with another.  

So, honestly...I could use some input.  I like them personally (a lot), but are they a little boring for most tastes?  I had originally planned to glaze them all in white, but some of them seem to cry out for colour.  I am trying to imagine them set up all together for a show...mostly white with the occasional pop of colour?  All neutrals, like the river rock inspired candles?  Feel free to leave a comment if you have a suggestion.

And just in case you were wondering...this is what the "explosion" looked like.  Yikes.

                         Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia