Friday, April 04, 2014

Studio Tour

I spent most of yesterday cleaning in my studio, so I thought now is the perfect time to give you all a little tour!

My studio is a little sunroom under our porch. I think the previous owners used it for potting and feeding their cat. (Caleb found a few cat food pieces in one of the cupboards.)

It has windows on three sides so the light is fantastic in here. That little blue table is where I do all of my stenciling and sgraffito work. The rosemary on the counter is a seasonal occupant and soon it will be headed back outside for the summer. Along the wall to the right I have two big industrial shelving units.

This is where I keep most of my things. My shop inventory is on the top left. Below that are finished greenware pieces that I've left out to dry. Down from there is a lino cut that I have been working on sporadically. And below that are all the pieces to my light setup for taking photos of my work. The right self holds things that I made that are interesting but didn't quite work out, tools, clay, and on the bottom, plaster molds for slip casting and a bucket of slip.

Off in the corner, I have my wheel, a bucket for clay scraps to recycle, and a mop. Right now I'm using the matching chair to my little blue table but I need to get comfortable stool instead. The seat on that mosaic chair is tilted the wrong way and it's very much not ergonomic.

I keep pieces that I'm working on in these cupboards. I wrap them in plastic to slow the drying time. I also store underglazes, stencil, newspaper, sheets of plastic, and a few tools in the cupboards and drawers.

Pencils, brushes, and decorating tools live in cups, making it easy for me to grab the whole thing when I'm working.

I have a couple bulletin boards set up for sketches and printouts and random insprirational things. That gray thing is the top of my space heater. This room doesn't have heat and it can get really cold in the winter!

And over here by the backdoor is Caleb's favorite spot.

*In case you're wondering about kilns, I also rent space at a local pottery studio. So when I'm finished making and decorating my pottery, I load the pieces into boxes with lots of foam and packing peanuts to protect them and drive them over to Mighty Mud to be fired. It's also where I do my glazing.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Little Plates and Other New Things In The Shop

It's been a busy week for me! On Monday and Tuesday I repainted my living room. Wednesday through today (Friday) I'm been photographing and listing items for the shop and working on some new items. And I am pooped. It's 5:00 and I am ready to call it a day. So instead of trying to come up with something interesting to say, I'm just going to show you photos. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

I'm so flattered! chose me for their Best of 2013!

Craftster Best of 2013 Winner

I'm so flattered and excited!

They featured my yarn bowls and black and white lace animal mugs. How cool is that!

 Thanks, Craftster!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I'm back!

I'm back from my annual holiday vacation from blogging! It seems that whether I plan to or not, I always take a break around the holidays. And then it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things. So how about some bullet points to bring everyone up to speed?

- I had the opportunity to make some neat custom mugs in November/December! That was a great experience. I love working with customers to create something I may have never thought of doing on my own.
- I went to California in December. It was simultaneously trying and wonderful in the way that only visiting family can be. I also saw those two rather elegant deer in the blurry photo above.
- I've picked up my knitting needles again! I'm making some wool socks for my husband to keep his toes warm in the cold.
- Speaking of cold, the "polar vortexes" have hit Tennessee and we've been getting single digit temperatures and even some snow. The dog loves it of course. Me, not so much.
- I bought the dog a new bed for Christmas. It's great! It's made from hemp and the filling is made from recycled plastic bottles. And it's completely washable. Which is so important when your dog spontaneously decides to pee on his bed.
- I'm really excited about my garden. It's too cold to do anything with it right now, but I've been picking out seeds and drawing up plans. 
- I'm working on some new things for the shop! I'm experimenting with more colors and I have some new ideas that I'm excited about! I can't wait to show you!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, November 04, 2013

Easy Dark Chocolate Pudding From Scratch

This is my favorite pudding to make. It's very rich and almost mousse like in texture. Plus it's fairly quick and easy, so it makes a great dessert when you have unexpected guests.

*Use good quality chocolate and thank me later! 

Easy Dark Chocolate Pudding
original recipe at Epicurious

Serves 4

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (I like 70%)
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 large egg yolk

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch salt, in a medium saucepan. Chop the chocolate (it's super easy to do in a food processor) and add to sugar mixture. Whisk together the milk and egg yolk (make sure not to add the icky, rubbery white thing that likes to stick to the yolk) and gradually stir it into chocolate mixture. Bring mixture just to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, and bring it to a boil. Continue mixing for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in a small splash of vanilla (1/4-1/2 teaspoon).
Spoon the pudding into small ramekins (teacups also work, in a pinch). Eat it warm or chill puddings in the refrigerator. In a pinch, you can pop them in the freezer, surfaces covered with plastic wrap, until cooled, about 30 minutes.

For a yummy variation, add a pinch of cinnamon to the dry ingredients!

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Ornaments and Giveaway Winner!

New in the shop this week: Snowflake Christmas Ornaments!

My sister makes fantastic paper snowflakes, so I asked her to collaborate with me on this project. She mailed me a big envelope full of snowflakes that I used to create these ornaments.

Also, my Mug Giveaway has ended and Connie has been randomly selected as the winner! Congratulations, Connie!!