Tuesday, July 27, 2010

off to the island

I'll be away at my sister's place on Vancouver Island for the long weekend.  It's the start of a series of vacations that we've planned to do over the course of August. I've very much looked forward to some R&R, connecting with friends and family, and just some time alone with my own family.  I'll be taking along a book to read, an Indigo tie dye kit and Solar print paper for some summer crafts and my camera.  As long as no one gets sick, we are going to have a great time!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why I do what I do

I've had my head to the grindstone the past few weeks, madly working away on a number of large wholesale orders for Galleries before we go on holidays.  It hasn't been the easiest of weeks- long hours, glazing problems with my one and only commercial glaze (the red glaze on my poppies has been crawling), re-firing and re-making in order to fill the large orders for my galleries.  Ceramics is such a labour-intensive and often frustrating process- pulling out 'almost perfect but not quite' pots from the kiln time and time again can really get to a person after a while. 
In between the wholesale orders, I've had some smaller orders from clients who came to me with special requests- a 13th birthday gift for a budding young artist, a custom order from a bride for her wedding party, a wedding gift for a repeat customer, and a special birthday gift for a daughter who is generally hard to buy for.  In the midst of the wholesale orders that I feel pretty bogged down about, I feel like the whole reason I do what I do and I make what I make is for these customers that come my way, tell me their story, and ask me to make something beautiful for them to give to someone special in their life.  What a huge honour it is to be able to use my hands every day to create something that someone out there will use everyday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mid Thirties.

Well, my 35th birthday has come and gone and I'm slowly absorbing the thought that I'm officially in my mid- thirties.  I realize it's not so bad, but I keep asking myself 'where did the last 5 years go?'.  And if this is an indicator of how fast the time flies, in 5 years I'll be turning 40 and my older son will be entering his teens, turning 13.  CRAZY!  Let's slow down here... time doesn't have to move that fast, my kids don't have to grow up that quickly and can't we add an extra hour or two on a day so I can finally get it all done so I can really enjoy my summer???
So there you have it, photos of me, innocently at age 4 and last year at age 34, somehow wanting to hold all those years in between in my memory long enough to slow the world down, if even for just a second.   

(If I'm a little slow on the blogging front this week, please bear with me... I have 3 kiln-loads of work going in and out of the studio this week so that I can take some holidays with my kids in the month of August.  The boys are being lovingly cared for at Grandma/Grandpa 'camp' so I can plow through the work...it's amazing how much I end up missing them when they are gone despite all the extra studio time I get in...)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Market at Eugene Choo!

For the past 10 years Eugene Choo is a Vancouver shop that has become well-known for it's great sense of style and design! To celebrate, they decided to host a summer market, on day a month between June and September, inviting like-minded artists, craftspeople, designers and indie businesses to participate in the parking lot behind their shop.  I'm really honoured to be included in two of their markets- one happening this coming Saturday, July 17 from 10-3 at 3683 Main St and the other one taking place in September.
More info and photos from the last market here and here.
Please come by and say hello!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Fun: Candy Stand

Inspired by our recent visit to an old fashioned Candy Shop, our boys decided to set up a roadside candy shop this evening for the neighborhood.  Our kitten was the first to come by, and eventually a few cars stopped, some of the neighbor kids came by and some of their parents picked up a few treats. $3 later and my boys were beaming with pride!  We'll be out there again sometime soon, perhaps adding some freezies or lemonade to make it fun!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Designer Gallery on House & Home

House & Home online has recently created a 'Designers to Watch' Gallery that includes yours truly (me!) along with other amazing and talented artists and designers with links to their sites and work! 


I'm back after taking a few days of an un-announced 'blog break'.  We had a busy weekend- going to a wedding, finding a new Candy shop, cheering for Spain at the World cup, and me spending more time in the studio on a weekend than I would like. (That's what I get for letting my galleries know that I will be away for most of the month of August.) I did get to enjoy a couple of home-made Mojitos with fresh mint from the garden. Mmmm.
July is complicated- Dean runs his huge Skateboard 'amazing race' style camp late July/early August, so he is knee deep in Skate Camp prep.  And the boys are home full-time.  They are in a morning camp this week- it's a community camp that I've often helped out with a little girl who has special needs (my former career).  I really enjoy helping out and this year didn't have the heart to not do it because things were too busy at the studio, so that's where I am this week in the mornings. Needless to say I'm spending every evening at the studio until around midnight finishing off all the orders that will have to go out before we leave on August 6th for holidays.  We'll be doing the usual for holidays this year- heading to Vernon and the Island, but this year, to celebrate a big wedding anniversary, Dean and I are planning a train trip to Portland.  So I'll be in and out here this week with some news and links - thanks for hanging in there with me:)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm off to the beach today with the boys and friends to beat the heat, find crabs and make mini rock sculptures in the driftwood.  It finally feels like summer in Vancouver and it's suppose to stay like this for a while now. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ceramic love on Etsy


Here are a few of my recent ceramic finds on Etsy.  In a sea of the good, the bad and the ugly in the ceramics category, it's so great when I actually find something I love:  great and unique design, amazing craftsmanship, and glazing that is so suited to the choice of material, method and design. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stacks of stuff

Scenes from the 'Garden House' at the Hobby Farm, containing a veritable treasure trove of stuff all stacked up and hanging from the rafters.  Little glimpses into eras gone by, reminders of things that were once useful, but are no longer needed.
P.S. unfortunately those roller-skates are a size 10 and my feet are a size 8 otherwise those would have come home with me to try out for a while!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Country Fun at the Hobby Farm

Dean grew up on a 5 acre plot of land about 1 hour from Vancouver in Langley.  We go and visit my in-laws hobby farm quite frequently, especially on long weekends.  In summer, the boys sometimes get to stay over for a couple of days, allowing me to get a little more work done. Garden gates leading into wild gardens, saskatoon berries, tire swings and a trampoline are just a few things that take us far away from our city life and make us feel like we've just taken a trip to the country.  See last year's pics from the farm here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day

I snapped a few photos in the garden the other day and thought I'd put them up to remind myself to spend a little time gardening today on Canada Day.  The potatoes are coming up nicely, so is the zucchini, the tomatoes have absolutely gone nuts (my neighbour was asking me what kind of 'crack' my tomatoes are on, lol! It's sea soil actually...) and the strawberries obviously need a little more sun.  I have been sheltering the tomatoes- they've been on my half covered porch in pots and I'll pull them out when it's sunny, and keep them sheltered in the rain.  I have lots and lots of blooms but no little tomatoes yet, so I may need to act like a bee today and get a little paintbrush going from flower to flower to help that out.  (I may also need to find a section of my garden that has more bees in it and move them over there.)  We are off to see the parade; unfortunately the weather is once again gray and cool, but we'll try to meet up with our friends and make a morning out of it anyways!  Have a great day!