Monday, January 30, 2012

Pipers Lagoon on a Stormy Day

Here's the lagoon I had been hoping to see on our next visit to the Island.  When the tide is out, people can walk across to get a closer look at these 1930's fishing shacks, although you would have to be careful not to get stuck on that side when the tide comes in. With all the sea lions barking in the water and seals poking their heads out to check out who was on shore, I'm sure it's a popular spot when the weather is a little nicer.  Our visit was a little windy, to say the least, and between my very expectant sister, a toddler, and my 2 boys climbing all the cliffs, it got a bit crazy and cold!  
Hope you had a good weekend! Back to the studio for me:)!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Inspiration was needed

It's soggy outside.  Cold, wet, gray and dark.  It's no wonder I need a little colour and pattern injection in my life!  I've been a little slow on the blog front, partly because this light is so horrible to take photos in, and partly because life is just humming along with nothing too new to report (lots in the works though!) Nonetheless here's the latest:

+On a recent excursion on Commercial I popped by the vintage shop to admire all the ceramics.

+At home the boys are knee deep in class projects, math tests and snowboarding.  Naturally all of this takes some effort so we've been busy.  Who knew kids could be this much work?!?

+Our 'new' to us arborite table and chairs passed on from Dean's brother and wife this past weekend.  Dean helped them move and we got first dibs- not too shabby!  It looks rediculously cute in our yellow vintage kitchen.  Now if I could only move that light switch so I could hang artwork properly...

+At the studio I started on my first glaze firing for the new year!  I'd love to be filling it with new designs and all sorts of fun, but I'm going to have to settle on a finishing up a bunch of orders to start off with. 

That's pretty much it.  All the really exciting stuff is still in the works and can't quite be let out of the bag yet.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The wonderful world of colour

I'm a big fan of colour grouping and pairing.  In painting class my favourite thing was colour theory class where we would place colours side by side and see what would happen.  Does the colour recede or come forward?  Does it change it's tone depending on what's beside it? With that in mind, we had a little fun at my last photo-shoot with grouping my striped bottle vases together.  Putting all the Turquoise shades together, the cool colours, the bright colours, the summer colours.  It was kind of fun.
As many glazes as I have in the studio these days there are some new colours I want to work on this year.  Thankfully I seem to have the colour of the year already working for me: Tangerine Tango, a great bright orange (the orange stripes in the photo above) with red undertones.  This year, I'd like to delve into the greens a bit more.  Finding a good 'Kelly Green' stain is hard to come by, but I'm looking forward to trying.  I think I've got yellow down, my turquoise selection is quite extensive, along with the blues.  I'm not a big purple and pink fan, but perhaps I need to work on that a little more- you know, broaden my horizons a bit.  (Wouldn't a soft purple look good with the vases below?)

What colours would you like to see me use next? Any suggestions?
photos by Curtis Hildebrand

Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow Day

 I ended up with a snow day/pro-d day at home with the boys.  It was a good thing I had no expectations of getting any work done, because my boys seem to require a lot of attention these days.  There's been an increase of homework and school-projects that take extra motivation and assistance and the sibling squables start from the moment they get up and are loudest in the car. Because I'm not a big fan of too much screen-time, extra activities needed planning so we had 2 visits with mom-friends and their kids to break up the day a bit.  Despite this, I'm feeling a little stir-crazy and very ready to get back to the studio for a little peace and quiet, space to breath, think and be creative without someone asking me for a snack. 
With work in mind, I have a few exciting things coming up for me - all in the planning stages.  It's great to have sudden waves of inspiration (they are all such good ideas!!), although I admit that the day-to-day of life sometimes deflates my ability to move beyond the initial stages of planning.  It's difficult to wrap my head around all the things in the studio needing to be done when lunches need to be made and homework needs to get done.  Is it just me or is the work/home/life balancing act getting you down too? Maybe it's the January blues that make me feel like just crawling back into bed and leaving it for another day.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Have a lovely weekend

Well, my first week back in the studio for the new year started off with a rush of shop orders, but has ended on a nice quiet note.  As much as I'm so grateful (so thankful, really!!) to start the year off with this kind of business, I must admit that last year kind of tired me out and I was kind of hoping to ease into things at a bit of a slower pace.  I like to leave room in the new year for doing some planning and for other creative work too, not just ceramic orders all the time.  It's just me working on it all- I'm the maker, the shipper, the supplies picker-upper, the customer service person, the blogger, the designer, the book-keeper, the marketer, the wholesale liason, etc. etc.  Sometimes wearing all those hats, plus being at the school in time to pick up my kids 3 days out of 5 is a little overwhelming.  Nonetheless, I did make it to both pottery supplies stores yesterday to pick up all the clay I should need until summer.  The studio is stocked up with supplies and so far 12 teapots and 6 jugs got wheel-thrown and over the next couple of days they will be trimmed and assembled to then slowly dry out over a good week and a half before they can be fired.  I'll start slip-casting again next week, even though my new molds for the season won't be ready for a couple of weeks.  It's always nice to start out the season with new production molds.  Everything comes out so smooth with very little to clean up. 

Ok, time to get the kids off to school and me off to the studio.  Thanks for stopping by this week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

As seen on Rachael Ray

I finally saw one of the vases I sent over to the Rachael Ray Show this summer on the show yesterday. My sister-in-law phoned to give me the heads up- I had kind of forgotten about it, partly because I'd looked over the set list companies and saw that both Jonathan Adler and Pottery Barn were on the list and assumed they had heaps of ceramics to choose from.  Seems my Turquoise Stem Vase is beside the sink filled with flowers on a few episodes- so nice to see it in action!
I'm hoping to have another Turquoise Stem Vase available in the shop soon, but in the meantime, here's a recent photo (Curtis Hildebrand Photography).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

the friendly goat

 Hard to resist a smile like this. 
Or those ears.  Pretty cute for a billy goat!

Monday, January 9, 2012

We went in search of snow

Ok so I didn't catch Nicole Kidman on the slopes like some people did this weekend up at Silver Star Ski Resort, but we did have some much needed 'snow time', family time and time spent with our friends up in Vernon.   Here's me at the summit after a serious climb X-country skiing.  Yes, I was sore the next day, but the view was so worth it!
My holidays have come to a close and I'm officially back to the studio this week making new work and starting on some exciting orders that have kick-started the new year for me.  It's good to have a bit of focus even though I know I have a million things to work on this January to make the rest of the year run smooth.  That said, I am feeling the clay itch again, like my hands need to get back into it after this lovely break. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shop up-date

There are a few new things for sale in my Etsy shop and my online shop. Some for regular price, some on sale! More to come next week...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Does anyone know who made this?

Occasionally I'll find an amazing handmade treasure in a thrift store.  This sweet celadon lidded vessel was one of them- it's perfect for holding some jewelry in it, and is something I'll pick up every once in a while, wondering who made it.  Do you have anything around your place with a similar story? I need a contemporary version of the show 'Antiques Roadshow' to figure this one out...

Hope you are having a good day getting back to usual.  I'm still at home today- still getting over a bit of a flu bug (the aches and tired kind).  It feels good to have a quiet house to do some chores in too.  I still have to finish up all my receipt recording from last year, so there's always something!

Monday, January 2, 2012


I seem to find New Year's Day a good day to clean up all the Christmas stuff, get the tree out of the house and purge my cupboards to make way for some new things that we got over the holidays.  Not that I've taken off my new 'Major Tom/ Lifetime' sweater long enough to need the cupboard space to put it in, but it felt as though clothing purge was in order. It's been a while since the kitty has been able to sit up and see herself in the mirror on my dressing cupboard. Christmas can seem so excessive: why is it that we always end up with more in our car on the way home from family gatherings then when we left the house?  

So, a new year! For some reason, I'm not ready to get back to the studio this year with full steam ahead.  Something inside of me (plus my low energy level from this cold that's hanging on) is telling me to sit back, take stock, and to think things through before getting back into the grind of the making cycle.  I've decided not to do one of the shows I had been considering for Spring because the dates conflicted with NCECA, a National Clay conference that is happening in Seattle this year.  I've been meaning to go to this conference for years, but either I couldn't afford it or it was happening in the eastern US.  I was hoping to do some sort of residency this year, but my family is still not quite ready for me to leave them for a month or 2.  With that in mind, a weekend conference in Seattle geeking out on clay ought to be a good substitution for the time being.  So that's about as far as my planning for the new year has gone.   

I hope you are having a restful day off- I'm baking bread and have started to clean out the kitchen cupboards now.  It's so nice to be at home.