On one of my drying racks sit three dogs. I don't usually make dogs because there are so many breeds. I will, however, make dogs on special request. And, just by coincidence I had a few special requests for dogs. Over the past few days I hunkered down and constructed three dogs. One's a dog mug (I've never made a dog mug before), one is a dog bell and one is a large dog figurine with bits of clay inside so he'll kind of be like a rattle dog. These three requests have made me step out of my comfort zone a bit. I tend to get on a roll sometimes and stick to my main themes of mugs, cats and fish. I'm grateful for the opportunity to get my creative juices flowing and if all goes well with drying and firing, I'll have three new dogs going to three happy families. And that makes me happy.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Festive Friday comes a few hours late this week. Too much work in the garagio to sit down at the computer. But with the weekend comes some time to play catch up. And this week's Festive Friday offering is from the Etsy shop of Katherine Mathisen, also known as Mudgoddess. Her shop can be found at http://www.mudgoddess.etsy.com/
Katherine does some pretty amazing things with clay. I've had the pleasure to see Katherine's work in person, since she's a Floridian and has work in local Tampa Bay galleries. So in honor of the upcoming holiday I'm sharing some of Katherine's wonderful hearts.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
For the second installment of Teapot Tuesday I present another one of the three teapots that I submitted to the Mad Hatter's Teaparty in West Palm. I have to give the girls a little face time.
This teapot is inspired by the Crescent Wrasse. I have a wonderful reference book that I use for inspiration, it's "Coral Reef Fishes" by Edwald Lieske and Robert Myers. It's covered with glaze and bookmarked to the hilt, but continues to be my all time favorite book. I've collected several other books, but this one provides the most comprehensive examples of reef fishes. This was one of the best gifts that my dear husband has surprised me with.
Anyway, this fish teapot is special for a couple of reasons: her beads that are wired and adorn her dorsal fin are handmade versus store-bought. Her earrings are the same, handmade stamped ceramic beads. I'm starting to say to myself, "why not?" It's a little extra work to glaze and set them up for the firing but in the long run I think it makes her a more cohesive piece. Her head is slightly turned as if trying to keep up with the conversation. She's not a party girl, no rhinestone studded sunglasses and no traveling companion in the form of a pelican. Just sweet and simple. I was a bit selective for this one because I really think the fish markings are so outstanding, I didn't want to create any distractions.
So, hopefully this sweety will be swimming her way down to West Palm for the Teaparty. I live vicariously through the travels of my creations.
Monday, January 24, 2011
It's week two of Marvelous Muggy Monday and today's mugs are brought to you by the fantastic Clay Lick Creek Pottery. Karen's fantastic whimsical, majolica pottery has become a big favorite of mine. She is a powerhouse and thankfully creates non-stop. You can check out Karen's Etsy shop at:
I've snagged a few examples of Karen's fantastic mugs to share. I hope that they help to brighten your day!!! Enjoy.
Friday, January 21, 2011
So many people celebrate when Friday comes. It's the end of the traditional work-week, start of the weekend that so many people work so hard to finally get some down time. However you spend your Fridays I wanted to share one of the happiest shops on Etsy. This artist is Charity Elise and her Etsy shop is jam packed with things that are sure to make you smile. So for Festive Friday, check out Charity's shop!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I skipped Wednesday, but came up with an idea for Thursday. I know that Thanksgiving comes once a year, but I just felt like it was necessary today to give thanks.
♥Thanks to all of the co-op galleries that have agreed to include my "stuff" in their shops.
♥Thanks to all of the volunteers that sit and mind the shop, making it possible for the co-ops to stay open.
♥Thanks especially to the wonderful volunteers and staff of Florida Craftsmen and A Little Room for Art, two of my all time favorites.
♥Thanks to those of you out there that have faith that someone that you've never met (namely me) will ship your order when I say that I will. It's a giant leap of faith buying on the internet and I'm grateful to those of you that have taken that leap.
♥Thanks to the EtsyMudTeam for organizing the first annual mug-swap. I hadn't really made too many mugs before the swap and was always a bit scared of making mugs. The swap forced me to move outside of my comfort zone and also spurred me on to continue to make mugs. Over the past few years I've discovered the joy of mug-making.
♥Thanks to my friends and family for your support. It's great to have people cheering you on and you all are great cheerleaders.
♥Thanks to the developers of Etsy.com. I had no idea back in 2007 that it would turn into such a wonderful platform to sell my pottery.
♥ Thanks to my art buddies at the Westchase Artists Society. It's great to have an art club that's in the neighborhood and the incredibly talented members make it a real treat to be a member.
And now it's time to go out and make more mugs!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Only time will tell if the alliterations take over and I come up with something for every day of the week. But it just seemed too perfect for Tuesday to be Teapot day. So I have a few new teapots on the shelf waiting for word on whether they made the cut for my favorite teapot show of the year, the Mad Hatter's Teaparty over in West Palm at the Armory Art Center. I've had teapots accepted in this annual event for several years now. The cool thing that's started to happen is that some of the attendees of the Teaparty have started to collect my teapots and look for them year after year, or at least that's what I've been told. Because of my New Year's resolution to shed my procrastinating ways, I was able to submit my CD well in advance of the deadline. This is a first for me! I entered the max, three teapots. And I really like these latest three. Today, on Teapot Tuesday, I'm going to share with you one of the three that was submitted.
I can't promise that I'll have another brainstorm and come up with something for Wednesday, but you just never know when the old brain synapses get to firing.
Monday, January 17, 2011
As I sit drinking my morning tea out my of really wonderful mug made by Charan Sacher, I realize that I'd like to share some of his wonderful mugs and start a new series called Marvelous Muggy Monday. Since it's raining outside, what better way to spend the chilly morning than with a warm beverage, be it coffee, tea or hot chocolate. So here are a few of my favorites from Charan's Etsy shop, at http://www.creativewithclay.etsy.com/
Monday, January 10, 2011
As I make it through the first month of the new year, I'm happy to report that my efforts to be less of a procrastinator are holding strong. Proof of this fact can be found in my workspace area that I fondly call the Garagio. Today I cleared out and threw out a bunch of "stuff" that I've been holding onto for years. There was always the thought, "well maybe I can use it... someday." I can see how the act of hoarding can take over for some people. Luckily, I'm not a full-fledged hoarder, I just have slight tendancies in that direction. Mostly because of my artistic endeavors and truly the thought that some day I can use that something in a project. Luckily, now I'm starting to realize that the project will never come so why not get rid of that special something that I've been hanging onto for years?
I continue on my quest to weed out my problem inventory items, smash and sell as a USPS Flat Rate box of pottery shards. Week two's pots have been smashed, the box is packed and photos taken and the listing is up on Etsy. It's such a feeling of acomplishment when I finish up with a box, especially when a mosaic maker buys the listing. Knowing that these ceramic pieces, that either would have continued to take up inventory space or eventually ended up on the trash pile, are going to be given a new life is such a marvelous lift for me. So as I slowly work my way through my inventory I may just make every Monday my pot smashing day. As long as there are mosaic makers that can use my shards I'll keep smashing and listing.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I'm not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions, mostly because when the dust settles and the resolutions are left by the wayside, I don't like carrying the guilt around. So most years I skip the resolutions. But this year, for unknown reasons, I felt compelled to resolve. And, my big, huge, amazing resolution for 2011 is to try to be less of a procrastinator. When I dusted off the cobwebs on my blog, I realized that I have a serious case of procrastinatoritis. I can't believe that I haven't touched my blog since July. Granted the last post about my cowboy boots is pretty spectacular and I love pulling up the blog and seeing the photo of the boots. But seriously... July?!
Anyway, one of my first self-imposed assignments was to get to work on pulling my receipts and invoices to get prepped for tax filing. Mission accomplished! I'm happy to report that when the W-2's and 1099's come in I'll be ready for filing. This opens up new worlds for me in January. What an incredible feeling. One thing that really helped me this past year was to update Quick Books as I made sales so that I was able to use the data for my quarterly state sales tax filings and as a result I had alot less to input at year end. I was also able to work during the year at plugging in my purchase receipts so the task of finishing up was a lot less than it would have been if I had to plug in the whole entire year all at once.
Next, I've been putting off and putting off going through my really, really old inventory as well as pieces that I've been hanging on to that had glaze problems. I like to smash them up and put them up for sale for the mosaic makers on Etsy. I sell them for a price that covers the shipping and listing fees. It's cool for me because I know that they're going to be put to good use and it's certainly better than adding them to the landfill. So this week I had a smash-fest and put together my first Flat Rate USPS Priority Mail box, I listed the box on Etsy and pretty soon after it sold and I was able to send it on it's way to a new life as mosaic pieces. Now my challenge will be to continue the momentum and get another Flat Rate box smashed and listed.
Another major accomplishment - I usually wait until the last day, last hour, last minute to send off submissions for my favorite teapot shows. One show in particular is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party over in West Palm at the Armory Art Center. It looks like this year I'll actually be sending off my entries early!!! I ran a glaze firing a couple of days ago and was able to finish up the embellishments today on two of the teapots. I'm sharing photos of one of the finished teapots in this post. I have a third teapot in today's glaze load and I'll be adding her wire, beads and earrings tomorrow. Even though this is the first week of January in the new year, I'm really liking the feeling of accomplishment and I'm also enjoying the new less frenzied pace. I don't want to set myself up for failure, but it sure would be nice to turn over a new leaf and shed my procrastinatoritis.