Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Just a little note to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  We had a fresh blanket of snow fall on our friends' cozy place on Silver Star Mountain and have been enjoying great food, some sledding, ice skating on frozen lakes and ponds, and even seeing a play on a horse drawn carriage!  Tonight there will be fireworks to bring in the New Year!  I'll be back at it next week with some photos, but for now I'm basking in some much needed family time and time off!  

Thanks for all your support and encouragement this year! I truly enjoyed meeting and connecting with so many creative people and am looking forward to more of that this next year!  All the best and have a safe New Year's Eve! (I guess we are one of the last ones in the world to bring in the New Year over here in the Pacific Northwest!)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Dreaming of a White Christmas

We are going to have to do  a whole lot of dreaming this year for a white Christmas.  Here is our yard last Christmastime- lots and lots of snow! 
Wishing you all a 'White Christmas' and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Learning to knit

I've been wanting to learn to knit for a  while now- it's been on the mental to do list, and I finally got to it this week.  I picked up the yarn (and borrowed really thick knitting needles size 17- thanks Megan) from Room6.  It's an Alpaca/wool mix, super thick, super soft and I loved the midnight blue colour!  Then at home I looked up the directions with drawings on the Learn to Knit website.  I got a wee bit confused when the second row came along though and headed over to a U-tube for the 'How to knit' video, which was golden as far as I'm concerned! Super easy folks, really! It only took me one evening to get a ball of yarn into this super cute neck warmer.  I did happen to have a porcelain button I had made a while ago with the midnight blue ovals on it.  And for some reason it felt more relaxing to me than reading a book, although that's also on my to-do list during the holidays too.  Any good reads anyone? 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spraygraphic feature!

There's a little interview on my work on the Sprayblog today!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas cheer!

The Christmas tree finally got put up on Friday, just in time for Dean's Birthday party on Saturday. The boys had their school Christmas concert- the little angels singing and doing actions were soooo sweet!  There is a little post I wrote over on Stephanie Levy's blog for her advent Calender series that you should check out. I've been loving all the posts from various artists all over the world!  
I've delivered all the Christmas gifts I made for people and today the boys and I will be making some Christmas gifts for my sister's new baby (due in March).  Hope you are enjoying some time off to make presents and put your feet up too!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!

It's been an incredibly busy couple of weeks and I am nearly done with the Christmas rush!  The magazine shoot at the studio this week went really well and all the orders for Christmas are finished, most of them have been delivered, just a few left.  I'm so glad to be nearly done for the year! The studio is so close to being empty of work and I'm really looking forward to starting fresh in the new year!
Thank you for coming by my blog this year! I may blog here and there in the next week but I'm excited to be spending some good time with my family over the next 2 weeks and want to devote all my time and attention to them.  So until the new year, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

shiny fuzzy muddy, Muddy edition

I'm doing a quick post before returning to day 2 of the shiny fuzzy muddy show.  It's been a great experience so far- the show has such amazing work, it's not an overwhelming show (as in not too much stuff) and the response from the public has been amazing! Thank you everyone who came by yesterday to support local artists!  I nearly sold out of a lot of what I had brought, so I'm off to the studio this morning to replenish the stock! A good sign!
So here is a look at the Muddy portion of the show-  hey day designs, dahlhaus, cul de sac (aka Laura McKibbon), and Jasnart.  All of us do such different work, but it's a great mix to put together. A little slipcast porcelain, wheel-thrown Porcelain Cone 6, and hand-built lowfire with screenprinted designs, and Jasna's beautiful sculpture and wall art.  I'm being a little lazy with the links today, due to time constraints, but will be back tomorrow with more work to look at!
PS my Etsy shop is currently on vacation!  I'm gearing down in a big way this week and any left over work will be at the BC Gallery of Ceramics come thursday!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

One more plug

Here's another 30 reasons to buy local and handmade this weekend!  The shiny fuzzy muddy show is back for it's annual Holiday show!

shiny fuzzy muddy members
astrosatchel, kari woo, laura mckibbon & arleigh wood

are pleased to invite guest artists
atomos, anat basanta, bpa metalcraft, cielo kids, holly cruise, dahlhaus, erin dolman, fiveleft, flightpath, funk shui, heyday design, luprints, caroline miller, morena, audra neil, olie, bronsino, jasna sokolovic, studio-oodio & thousand flowers

for our 10th holiday show & sale
join us for our opening celebration...
saturday, december 12, 2009 - 7-9 pm

sale hours:
saturday, december 12, 2009 - 11am - 9 pm
sunday, december 13, 2009 -11am - 7 pm
this year at Heritage Hall
3102 main street, vancouver, bc

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sycamore Street Press in person

I had a lovely lunch with Eva and Kirk from Sycamore Street Press! It was great to meet them in person and lovely to receive their Thank You cards that I had ordered in the mail when I got home today!  What great timing!  

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

No snow on the ground but it's a little brisk out there these days!  We are listening to Johnny Cash, making Ginger bread cookies and houses with sheds, writing Christmas wish lists and starting to get very excited!
I had my interview for a great magazine article yesterday, and I'm starting to make the studio ready for the photo-shoot, next week.  I got a little worked up about what to wear for the shoot, whether to pluck my eyebrows or not- you know, silly stuff.
I'm also excited to have lunch with Eva and Kirk from Sycamore Street Press this week! They are in Vancouver to visit friends on their show tour and were kind enough to want to have lunch or tea with me! So nice to meet internet friends for reals!

Monday, December 7, 2009

This week

Hello everyone- I hope you had a great weekend! We have unusually dry, cold and sunny weather here in Vancouver, making the morning views through in our bedroom window misty and magical!

I've got another busy weekend coming up with a couple of glaze firings in time for the Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Show this coming weekend!  A few other things are in the works that I'm excited to share with you as the week goes along...
In the meantime, you can check out this little post on the musing about mud blog, where they have a clay artist of the day feature going on for the month of December!  Happy Monday!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pictures from the Past

We recently found this great photograph of my dad pulling a sled, back from the 70's.  It really could have been taken yesterday with all the facial hair that's been grazing the streets these days.  I have lots of good memories of my dad being part of my child-hood.  He's always been there for me and lately, it's neat to see how he's now 'taking care' of his dad and mom, making sure they are living to the fullest in their late 80's and 90's.  I should clarify that my grandparents are pretty perky at their age, they still live on their own in a duplex without assistance, and they even insist on butchering their own chickens on other people's farms, like they used to do back at their old farm.  They are quite a pair, and sometimes I even find it hard to keep up with the likes of them:)

P.S. My blog posts have been a little tardy and slow this week due to a little down time with the kids, making gingerbread cookies and houses, going to parent/teacher interviews, and enjoying the sunshine outside since December 1st.  Also lots to do at the studio and lots of work getting shipped off for Christmas! Thanks for hanging in their with me.  I have some very exciting news to announce coming up, but won't 'open my presents before Christmas' quite yet:)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

starting to look like Christmas

With the boys getting excited about Christmas I pulled out their little Christmas Tree and all the little ornaments that they've made over the years to get us all in the spirit.  It's a real menagerie of stuff, but it makes the house feel cozy when it gets dark and cold by 4:30pm.  Along with a few of our Christmas Records from the Vinyl collection, we are starting to listen to Christmas music too.  Also been checking out Bliss in a Teacups Christmas playlist she has on her blog these days! Worth checking in on daily:)
My Etsy Shop might look a little bare, but I do have a fair bit at the studio and am taking last calls for Christmas orders by December 10th. This really only works best for local people as shipping just gets more dicey and expensive after the 15th of December.  I've still got Shiny Fuzzy Muddy coming up on the 12th and 13th with some new work coming out by next week!  Busy Elf!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

artists advent calender starts today!

Here's a little winter photo from last year to get us in the holiday spirit!  Also, I'm looking forward to the Artist Advent Calender that Stephanie Levy is hosting on her blog this monthNina Van de Goor from the Netherlands is the first one with photos of her lovely ceramics and small holiday decorations during the season!  I'm working on a post myself, so stay tuned!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last day of November

A big thank you to those of you who came by Portobello Market this weekend!  It was a good weekend for me so thanks to all the new and familiar faces who came by to buy my pots!  In the meantime, on the last day of November, I leave you with the very dreary and wet day that it started out as.  We had sun later in the day, but poor Sasha (my 5 year old) and I got wet to the bones taking the bus and seabus over to the studio today to tie up loose ends:(  It was pretty miserable and left me ready for some Christmas cheer! More on that in the coming days... Hope you had a better monday!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Expecting good things at Portobello this weekend!

Ok so I'm a part of the Portobello Holiday Market this coming weekend and after browsing the list of other folks there, I'm really excited to check out this work in person (instead of just online)!
Above- don't you just adore this hand-knitted sweater?? Ok so I'm saving up for a new pair of glasses and must remember that when I dearly want that sweater... Deer Love Sweater and Toque by Granted Knitwear

I've been meaning to get my passport up-dated, with one of these and a ticket to a tropical island I'd certainly have the incentive to stand in line: Petit Ecole Friends Passport by Noei

A beauty of a bag by fiveleft -while we (Dean) already own a lap-top bag and wallet by fiveleft, I'm thinking a Christmas wallet for my brother-in-law...

I think I saw these on Poppytalk a while back and am really looking forward to taking a gander by the Henderson Dry Goods table... again, will try to restrain myself from spending everything that I sell:)

And of course, I'll be there with some new work out of the kiln, some of my tile frames, and my new photoprints on bamboo frames:)
Oh, and check out this little link while you're at it! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Charming Phaulet

I first met Paula Gonzalez from Phaulet this past March at a 2-day show that we were in together and right away noticed her warm smile and her beautiful jewelry.  We keep bumping into each other around town, and then I found her on Etsy the other day and asked if I could feature her on my blog! Her resin pendants and earrings with collaged images from old books are different and lovely- I think the pairing of the modern format and the classical or vintage imagery is really feminine and playful.  There are two sides to each pendant, with two different images that seem to tell a story when put together.  Phaulet recently got featured in the Georgia Straight in an article that describes how her concept and background from Columbia play an important role in her designs!

shop Phaulet

Ornament Winner

Ok, so while there weren't hoards of Ornament give-a-way comments to draw from a hat, I'm still pleased to give-a-way 2 of my new ornaments to Heather who wrote this: "My favorite ornament is a Playdoh/Playdough sculpture I made when I was three. I made it into the shape of my cat and my mother baked it in the microwave. I think it is a bit more special to me now (as opposed to ten years ago) because I'm a ceramics student and it's awesome how something you enjoyed when you were three can somehow influence your choices in studies nineteen years later."  Love it!  Please email me with your mailing address so I can ship my new ornaments to you (

I've been getting ornaments from my great-aunt since I was 14; she gives me an ornament or two each Christmas and usually they are either an instrument or an angel- most often an angel playing an instrument.  I must say that when I moved out on my own, it was really nice to have ornaments that meant something to me to hang on a few branches at Christmas time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bedside Inspiration

The ideas are starting to form regarding some Christmas presents of the non-ceramic variety.  I can't quite commit to do anything until the middle of December, until after all my shows are finished, but in the meantime, it doesn't hurt to think and plan what I might make and for who...
P.S. I've been trying to work on my photography today and re-took some photos (sans darkness and rain) of my Tree Ornaments and the give-a-way which I will announce tomorrow...  be sure to sign up:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Culture Crawl 2009 Pictures!

Thank you to everyone who made it out to this year's annual Culture Crawl!  Despite the bad weather Friday night and Saturday, it was great to see the crowds come out in full force, especially on Sunday. People were able to find me in my 'new' studio building and it was great to see some familiar faces and reconnect with friends! Here are some pictures of the studio transformed for the event...  now it's time to put everything back in it's place and to get back at it for Portobello West next weekend!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Eastside Culture Crawl starts Friday!

Please come on out to the Eastside Culture Crawl this weekend if you are in the Greater Vancouver area- you won't be disappointed!  So many studios to visit, so many artists to chat with, and so much to see!  My building is the Mergatroid Building and I'm on the ground floor (965 Vernon Drive) so don't forget to swing by and say 'hello'!  It's going to be a busy one and I'll try to post pictures of the studio in it's completion.  (Today I had our building landlord up on a ladder fixing my lights and putting up a track lighting system for me- which I'm so glad and grateful for, but which put me behind in my set-up a bit:)

Out my window

I'm doing a little work from home before heading back to the studio to get ready for the Studio Crawl this weekend, and I wanted to share the photos I took this fall of my lovely Japanese Maple Tree transformed over the past 3 months. So beautiful in each state- from the green leaves with yellow tips in September, to the bare, red bark now in November, it's my favourite tree in my yard these days. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Ornaments and Give-a-way!

Every year I try to make a new tree ornament- last year it was a pear and a cardinal, this year my ornaments have been inspired by winter conifers and shrubs, namely Pine trees and Holly shrubs. I first made a stamp that I carved my original design into, then pressed it onto translucent porcelain and cut each one out. They have been glazed with a pale blue glaze that pools into the carved areas of the design. I really wanted to add something special to these ornaments and so this year, these went back into the kiln with gold lustre painted on the 'frame' of the design. They look simple and elegant with the golden brown ribbon I found to hang them onto your tree! They can be bought at my shop on Etsy!

The give-a-way: I would love to give a way one of each design to a lucky reader as a great start to the Holiday season!  The give-a-way will run until next week and I will announce the winner on Wednesday morning! Please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite Tree ornament on your tree!

Monday, November 16, 2009

What would I do without you?

There are so many people that make my life really full and wonderful! The past couple of weeks has really proved that for me once again, that I'm not just a solo show, but that my work is inspired and made better by the people around me. Here are just a few of the people I need to thank this week...
First things first, my studio is part of a co-op, so I share 2 kilns with 5 other ceramic artists. Our glaze kiln has been kaput for about a week now and, what can I say, but that we've all been panicking considering THE STUDIO CRAWL IS ONLY 4 DAYS AWAY- Yikes! The week previous, I had enlisted the help of my dear friend Disa, who I went to Art school with, who knows me so well, and who is extremely qualified in the area of ceramics, to come and help me out at the studio for a couple of days. We plowed through glazing 2 kiln-loads of work- some of which got out of the kiln without a hitch, and then some of it, was left waiting for the kiln to be fixed.
Today, the dear Claire from heyday designs in the studio upstairs came by to offer me the use of her kiln while ours was being fixed! Huge! And while all this was happening, Jacqueline, the trooper, was re-wiring and fixing our kiln (a 4 hour job!) so that those who need the kiln this week can actually use it. It's been a team effort- everyone has been attempting to pitch in and help out and what can I say but THANK YOU! Needless to say, thank you gifts are in order. I'm not sure what yet, but this pie from Uprising Breads that Disa and I shared on our lunch break the other day was mighty good tasting...

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Please, before watching this old film footage of a ceramic factory making their wares from start to finish, please turn off the volume (I think I might have for you, but just be warned). Who ever put this together with the gaggy music almost makes the film cheezy. It's not- it's quite remarkable how this ceramics gets made! Talk about man-power and crazy machines that made the process somewhat simple and fast-looking.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Cafe in Town

We found a new cafe close by called the Cafe for Contemporary Art (down on Esplanade, on the East side of Lonsdale in North Vancouver) and have been spending the past couple of Thursday nights there, while our boys attend a kids club for 1.5 hours. It's got really good locally roasted coffee and a large exhibition space with new exhibits rotating monthly. The owner is a contemporary/conceptual artist/curator himself, and it was great to find some common experiences with him, one being that we both were at the 2001 Venice Biennale the same year. The Biennale is the most prestigious by-annual Contemporary Exhibition world-wide and it was a long-held dream of mine to go to Venice to see it! Reminiscing with someone else (other than Dean:) brought me back to how art can transform your experience, create memories and change perceptions, beyond what you would ever expect!
Speaking of transforming your experiences, Dean was engaging in one of the installation pieces which made him a little bug-eyed for a good 10 minutes afterward. Ahh Art.