Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Butter dish

When I was a kid I remember my grandmother always having her butter in a butter dish, always. Me, mine gets tossed in the fridge and stays in the paper it came in until it's gone, shame on me, I was raised better ;o)
The butter dish is done and currently drying on my drying rack.
I added handles to the bottom of it as well to make it easy to pick up and I accented the outer rim of the lid with a cute flower stamp. These dishes are a bit of a trick to make and pretty time consuming but I really enjoyed it. I'll be working on making more of these.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Sunday

Hey there's me! I had a pretty good day today. Sorry for the dreadful self portrait. I didn't even bother cleaning up for it ;o)

I finally started working on something that I've been wanting to do for a while, a butter dish. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me awake at night. How to make it, what style, should it have a handle, what kind of handle. So finally I started on it today. Part of it is wheel thrown and then part hand built. I'm using clay that I'm not familiar with, I saw a sample at the store and thought I needed to give it a try. I really love the dark chocolaty color. I'll show the dish when it's complete.
Notice my overalls strap :o( 
It broke... I'm using a hair tie to hold my britches up.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Flying the coop

3 of my birdie cups were purchase by someone in CA a few days ago.  While packing them up for shipping to their new homes I got tickled with myself and thought it would be cute if they showed up with a baby.
So I wrapped the baby up and sent him off with a note and the other 3 birdies. I sure hope they like their new home. I really like these cups. Each one is different and each has it's own personality, honestly they are one of my favorite things.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm letting the cat out of the bag...meooooow!

Ok I don't really have a cat in a bag, that would just be mean. I'm going to tell you the secret I've been keeping that I hinted to a few posts ago. About a month ago a local gift shop in downtown Chattanooga contacted me and expressed interest in carrying my pottery. I went down and met with the owner and took samples with me. Today I am happy to say that you can walk into The Plum Nelly gift shop on Frazier Ave and purchase stuff made by me.
Yay me! 

New mug?

I've been experimenting with a new mug design. I've not been real happy with anything I've come up with until now. I think this might be close to what I want my final product to be.
I used a new signature stamp too, this is one that a friend made for me a while back (Thanks Pam!). I went with my initials raised instead of pressed into the clay. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Busy and very productive day.

Well today is the 3rd straight day of firing pottery. The weather in Georgia has been hot and humid and my kiln just adds to the misery of it by heating up my studio even more. I started sweating this morning by 8:30am and didn't stop, it was not a pretty sight.  This evening Mike and I planted 2 blueberry bushes and I watered everything in the gardens while he grilled dinner. After dinner, I made soap. I have a homemade soap addiction. I love it, it's so much better then store bought. My soap is a goats milk base, I'll be in homemade soapy heaven for months at a fraction of the cost of what I was spending. 

After I made soap, I made my favorite homemade candy called  "potato candy"
The ingredients are simple:
1 small potato (golf ball size)
confectioners sugar (about 2 lbs) 
Creamy peanut butter
(wax paper too!)
and that's all.... whats not to love there? 

Boil your small potato until done and mash it up really good with a fork. Add confectioners sugar about a half cup at a time is good. At first it will make this weird liquid goo. Keep adding sugar until you have dough, like cookie dough. Flatten the dough out flat with a rolling pin or glass onto waxed paper. Use sugar to flour the surface if needed so the dough doesn't stick. Once you've got the dough rolled out thin (not too thin) spread a thin layer of peanut butter all over it 
 and then roll it up like a jelly roll. It's a good idea to chill this in the refrigerator for about an hour then slice it into 1/2 inch slices. I made mine with not as much peanut butter this time, it's really your preference.

Custom dog treat jar

I was asked to make a custom dog treat jar for my friend Karen's new dog. This jar wheel thrown with a hand built dog bone handle. I decided to stain the appliqued bone to give it a real dog cookie touch. His name is painted dark blue to match the dark blue dots that circle the jar and the lid.
The little dog bones that decorate the side of the jar are all individually hand painted.
 I hope she loves it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

kiln opening

I opened my kiln this morning and yay! everything was wonderful.  
These are my some of my chicken bakers fresh from the kiln. Same concept as the beer can chicken only for the oven. The wonderful thing about these bakers is you can save the stock and make your own gravy.

These are the 3 vases I showed a few weeks ago.
I think the middle one is my personal favorite.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I didn't even know we were pregnant

I've been spending a lot of time in my studio, playing catch up mostly. Plus I'm getting ready for the thing this week that I can't tell you about yet. Here's a sneak peek at one of my cornbread bakers, I just put the handles on these.

Temperatures the past week have been 95+ and the humidity is awful. After working all day in my studio with my kiln going, it got a bit too hot on me, so when I grabbed the garden hose to hose the glaze off of my feet and legs (I'm messy). I took it to my head too.

  Mosquitoes attacked my elbow!

Here I look like "Cousin It" (from the Adams Family).

Oh yeah... the pregnant part, I almost forgot.  I have a fondness for spiders. I don't like or want them in my house. I do let one live in a window in my studio. This morning I went over to see if she had caught anything in her web, I usually check in on her daily. This morning I was in for a surprise. We have babies! So  now I'm kinda sad, doesn't this mean that she will die? or is that just Charlotte's Web and me watching too many cartoons? I really like this spider, she stays in her little corner and I never have to wonder or worry about where she is or if she's gonna get me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My stalker and the duck...

I was sitting on the sofa quietly trying to watch tv. 
Every once in a while I would hear a faint noise,
I didn't pay much attention to it. 
My eyes left the tv screen 
and fell upon the eyes of another.
At that moment 
I knew for certain
that I was being watched.
 I tried to ignore her at first... 
She grew more impatient with me and finally, 
she came and threw her duck on me.
Play time!!!

Abby hadn't been feeling well, age and the heat have been getting to her, even though she only goes out for a few minutes at a time to go potty. I was really concerned about her last week, thinking her time was starting to run out. But I babied her and begged her not to break my heart and it must have worked because she's back to feeling better. So we played one of our games, "Kill that duck!" and had some snuggle time. 

The last picture of her, the settings were off on my camera and in order to salvage the shot I had to process it pretty heavily in lightroom, it was almost completely black. I kind of like how it turned out. 
My sofa has a built in recliner /foot rest, I had my legs propped up when she threw her duck up on me. She props her chin on the duck like that, ready for you to try an take it from her. As soon as you reach out for the duck she snaps it up in her mouth and when I holler "kill that duck!!", she shakes it like mad. 
Silly ole girl.

Friday, June 18, 2010

At my door

 Come on in!!!
 The face jug at the front door is smaller then it appears, the front door is actually the front door to my dollhouse. Fooled ya? My door knob fell off, I have to re-glue it. This is a 1 inch scale house and jug.
 I've collected miniatures for as long as I can remember.
This is the actual size of the jug. 
I made this jug on my wheel one day just to see if I could. I used a stick pin to shape the clay as I was puling it up to form the shape of the jug. The features of the face and the handle where all hand built as a normal face jug would be. It was a little tedious but a fun challenge.

Take time to smell the roses
I usually don't buy roses, but these were so pretty I had to have them. 
I've always loved having fresh cut flowers in my home.

The line up
A new batch of piggy's heading for the market. 
I finished these guys up today.

Incident /accident report:
Now I have to whine a little. I slammed my own arm in my car door a few days ago and it still hurts. Yeah I know.... I don't know how I did it either. I have a greenish purple bruise on my right arm with a lump and it hurts so bad when you touch it. It's about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long and hurts like the dickens.
The very next day (yesterday), I went to the Sams club and I while I was pulling the box with my new shelving unit onto the flat bed buggy, my shin bone got in the way and WHAM!  So now I have this big ugly bruise there too.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Secrets and drying racks

I've been keeping a secret for the past 3-4 weeks,  I'll tell you about it next week, sorry I'm not ready to share yet.
I'll give you a hint, I've had to add more drying racks for my pottery.

I picked them up today and assembled them. It was suppose to be 1 unit 6' tall x 4'wide, with 6 shelves. I didn't have the celing space for them once I added the casters. So, I broke the unit down and made 2 units with 3 shelves each and I think it's as close to perfect as I can get right now.
May and June have been very busy for me, being the "do everything" person can really take it's toll on you. I think people for the most part don't really understand the time involved in making something simple like a bowl.

Well, I have to get to bed, busy day tomorrow. I have a load of pottery to glaze. I'll try to get some pictures of the process.

"Liquid Ass"

I went for a drive tonight with my son Levi (age 18), we went to the Game Stop to get a video game and then we went driving through a neighborhood that I photographed for the developer a few years ago. While we're driving along he starts to tell me...well here's how it went:
Levi: I know what I'm gonna buy as soon as I get a job.
Me: What?
Levi: Well first I'm gonna open up a paypal account so I can buy some liquid ass.
Me: Do what?
Levi: Liquid ass
Levi: Liquid ass, it's this liquid that comes in a spray and it smells like straight up butt hole.
Levi: I'm serious, it just takes a little bit and omg it stinks horrible. There was some people that used some in a store like wal-mart and people walking by were looking down at the floor and checking their shoes because it smelled just like a turd was near them.
Me: Levi...
Levi: I'm serious mom, and these other people sprayed some on paper towels in a public restroom so when people washed their hands, they then dried em with paper towels that smelled like butt *uncontrollable laughter*.
Me: Levi that's disgusting.
Levi: It's only 5 dollars and I'm gonna get some.
So I looked up "Liquid Ass" just for the heck of it and it's prankplace's top seller.

Do boys ever out grow this stuff?

Oh we did attempt to take pictures of the sunset with our cell phones also, it was gorgeous tonight.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rainbows, barefeet & cupboards! oh my...

I caught the rainbow! Now who wants to taste it? :o)
We went to the Chattanooga Market today, it was a great time dispite the horrible humidity. We watched a band called "The Barefoot Movement" that was playing there. They were really good, they have a good sound, I could have listened to them for the entire day.

I met a woodworker / cabinet maker who's work I've been stalking for over a year. Funny thing was, once we got to talking I discovered he's from Maryland, just about an hour or so from my hometown. I need to buy everything he makes so keep your fingers crossed that I win the lottery. Check their website out, his shop is called Kountry Kupboards. His sideboards are one of my favorite things. I can't even pick a favorite, because I like them all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Drink more wine?

I save, collect and sometimes beg for wine bottles from my friends. I have a pretty good stash of them at the moment. I make things out of them which keeps them out of the landfill. Well, I discovered a particular wine from a local winery that I love, thanks to a friend, (thanks Matt!).
It comes in a red bottle, well if I fire this red bottle in my kiln, the red burns off and I'm left with a clear bottle,  so melting it is not an option. I've been looking for another use for my empty wine bottles and I found it!
I made this today and I love it.
I'm going to end up being a wine-o 

Should I decorate it or leave it plain? I'm leaning towards plain, what do you think? I'll have these listed in my Etsy shop this evening.  What a great way to feed the birds and be environmentally friendly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A serious case of the heebeegeebees!!!

I went down to my studio (basementio)  a few moments ago to check on my kiln, I'm doing a bisque fire tonight. I bent over to peek in the peephole at my witness cone (firing gauge) and I saw a large black beetle on my shoulder, no biggie, I just flicked him off. No sooner then I flicked  him off of me, I felt something on the back on my leg.... inside my pants *gulp*. I think no, it couldn't be and I reach my hand around and  gently touch what is a rather large bulge on the back of my leg!!!
OMG!!!! *heebeegeebees*
I have no idea what it is but it's pulling at my skin and is probably eating me alive!!!! I grab it through my jeans and I squish it and can hear it crunch and I feel pinching on my skin. I AM GOING TO DIE. I hobble my way over to my chair and pull my jeans down still holding on to the intruder who is nothing more but guts and legs mushed all over the inside of my pants. I knew those legs as soon as I saw them.
A damn cave cricket was in my britches!!!! 
So of course I can't put them back on, there's guts and legs all over the inside of them. Well... I had no choice but to walk back across my yard with half of my pants on. Thank goodness it was dark outside or my neighbors who already think I'm a wacko, would have really gotten an eye full. 
I then come into the house and have to explain why I'm flustered, out of breath and only have 1 leg inside my jeans with the rest wadded up while I'm walking half hunched over with my big ole butt and my undies shining for the world to see. Then... I'm told that I am a nutcase! Really? I mean what would you do if you had a unknown large grabby bug in your britches????

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drying time

Humidity is not my friend! It's taking forever for my clay to dry. I set some things outside today for a little drying time in the sun. I've been playing around with making some vases. These are all hand made on my pottery wheel and I added flowers when the vases were leather hard.

Cornbread bakers and Chicken bakers. I love cooking chicken in my chicken bakers, it's like having rotisserie chicken from the oven.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kiln drama continued...

Ok so, to continue my kiln drama from yesterday.
I  woke up and headed  straight down to my studio (in my basement) to check my kiln.
Of course the top shelf was perfectly fine, it was the bottom shelf that I was worried about. I unloaded the top and removed the top shelf and this is what I saw. I took the pictures as I was seeing it for the first time.

I completely forgot I put that little plaque in there and it saved my shelf!!!! *sigh of relief*

And... those 2 mugs that look like they are touching...
I'm so, so lucky!!! This could have been bad enough to put me out of business for a while. 
I'm breathing much easier this morning and I may have let out a little squeal when I saw the outcome.
Dumb luck or the kiln gods were watching over me, either way I'm so thankful.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yay for the storque!!

YAY!!! I was featured today by Etsy on their blog for father's day gifts! woohoo!
The picture is click-able if you'd like to see some great ideas for Father's Day shopping.

I may be close to a full blown freak out

I stayed home today and skipped my usual market visit so that I could work. I fired my kiln and as I was flipping on the final switch and closing a peep hole, I heard a noise. Trying not to panic I calmly opened the peep hole back up so that I could peek inside and yes, it was just as I had feared, I had a tip over.
On the bottom shelf I have some travel mugs stilted so that they don't stick to the kiln shelf and evidently the stilt wasn't as stable as I thought it was and a mug has flipped over on it's side *ugh!!!!*.
Usually when something like this happens it's like domino's. I've never had it happen during a firing.  I can only imagine that when it flipped, it probably hit another mug. It's almost impossible not to hit another mug actually and I'm thinking the mug it hit may be laying against the wall of the kiln *ugh!!!! x10*
So I'm pretty well just sick at the thought of opening my kiln to see what damage there could be. I may be looking at side wall and element damage. The shelf that it's laying on will be a mess, the mug will adhere to it and will have to be chiseled off if the kiln wash isn't thick enough. Kiln wash is a chalky wash that you brush onto your shelves to help prevent glaze drips from sticking, not sure how it will holdup against a mug sticking. So... I may be using a grinder to clean the shelf. The more I think about all the ugliness that could be waiting for me the worse I feel. I'm seriously stressed out, this could not be happening at a worse time.
 I have to wait until tomorrow when it's cooled down before I can open my kiln to have a look.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

new and improved!

I stayed up late last night designing a new banner for my Esty shop. It was long over due and I think I'm pleased with the outcome. I used a picture of me working at my pottery wheel and one of my travel mugs, mixed together with a little photoshop, bake at 350 and waalaaa!! Here it is.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Canons, clay and family stuff

The past 2 weeks have been pretty crazy with family stuff. This past weekend my dad, my step mom and my aunt came to visit for the weekend, it was wonderful to see them. It was the first time my aunt had been to Georgia. It was wonderful having her down to visit.

Me & My aunt Yvonne

I'm trying to get back on track, I have a pretty large work load going right now and my Etsy shop has been pretty busy with sales. I just reached one of my goals with 500 sales this weekend! yay me!
This morning I was back to work, my salt pigs have become a big hit, here's a quicky picture of me working on the latest batch this morning.