formspring

did you know that there's a new service (? website?) called formspring*? you can ask any question of participating individuals, bloggers, whathaveyou and they'll answer them. Anonymously or not. So, if you feel like it, fire away.

*my addled mind keeps turning this into spring form, and I catch myself wondering why they'd name it after a cheesecake pan.

holiday shopping

While I realize that I just said that we aren't doing a lot of holiday shopping around here, it occurred to me that YOU might still have some purchases to make. As I mentioned the other day, I am fortunate to be friends with lots of creative and artistic people, both locally and nationally. When I do shop, my preference is to support locally-owned businesses. After that, I want to support creative people who've struck out on their own. Here are a few of my favorites (and I may make another list of favorite creative friends in another day or so!)

My sweet friend Sarah just put together a little holiday gift guide featuring several of her friends and was so kind to include me. She makes lovely felted items- from unique jewelry, like the necklace above, to beautiful bags. You can find her over at Smashing Darling, a really cool indie fashion boutique site.



This lady, Thomasin Durgin, used to be my boss. We both quit our jobs this spring to focus on our own creative pursuits. Some of my favorite jewelry comes from this little shop. I have these, these (which I wear almost daily and have given as a gift, as well), and am planning to give these as Christmas gifts. She's also made some lovely etched earrings with a monarch butterfly wing pattern- I have those stashed away to give as a very special birthday gift later this winter.

This is one of my very favorite things. Erin makes these wonderful fun patchwork camera straps for dslr or old-school slr cameras. Her shop should be stocked with straps on Monday, Dec 7. You'll want to get there quickly, though, because she sells out within hours. She usually has several colorways to choose from. I think they're so unique and would be a great gift for any camera buff.

Lastly, my friend Grace just opened (really, like, yesterday) a new shop filled with wonderful waldorf-style dolls and some lovely totes. I'm crazy about the fern-printed one (go figure. me? ferns?).

friendships

These butter crocks are a tangible representation of friendship for me. I wrapped them carefully and carried them on my lap as we flew to Washington (because I've had pottery break in my suitcase. It is disappointing to arrive and find gifts in shards). They are gifts for friends- three women I feel like I know well, two of whom I've never met. One is directly responsible for so many of my sales online- she pushed me a tiny bit and gave me a start. I feel like I owe her so, so much. All three are fabulous mothers and inspiring in their dedication to their creative output, their homes, their families. I'm lucky to get to see them and hug their necks today. Email is wonderful, blogs are great, but in person- that's just bliss. I am so, so happy that it is happening.

I've made about a dozen butter crocks now and feel like I have the form down. I should have plenty of these available for the holidays. I try to make a few of these and a few berry bowls every time I throw. I really like them in this speckled glaze.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend!

site maintenance

we're doing a little work of the url for the sole reason that I'm out of business cards, need more, and we may as well get the right url on the cards as not. Right? So if things are funny for you, as in, you get directed to a google reader feed, drop me a line and I'll put my PR guy on it.
Happy week.

honey pot season

Can you believe it's Thursday already? The week's been a whirlwind. We are full in the throws of spring in Memphis- azaleas are blooming, the spring wildflowers are cropping up in everyone's lawn, bees are flitting around the neighborhood gathering pollen- Which brings me to our title. Honeypots. Right now I'm all honeypots all the time. And berry bowls. And tiny vases, and herb markers. Really, I'm all pottery all the time. I am eating, sleeping, breathing pottery. And ditigal cameras, because I'm looking to upgrade from my point and shoot to a digital SLR. I have my eye on a Nikon d70. But alas, that is not pottery, not a honeypot, not the subject of this post. . . .

Sometime today or tomorrow my good friend Molly will be giving away one of my honeypots. This honeypot, actually. She is responsible for my venture into etsy, blogging, and the successful sales year I had last year. She is also responsible for what I call the year of the berry bowl. A little later (again, today or tomorrow), I'll have 3-4 honeypots in my shop with more to come. No berry bowls yet, but they're coming. I'm stocking up for the farmers market, the shop, and my annual summer sale. Busy, busy time.

I won't be back in this space until next week- have a wonderful Easter weekend, beautiful Passover, lovely spring. Enjoy this time of renewal, friends.

sewing, not potting

Tuesday was our first day of real summer weather. It was ghastly hot-so hot that I had to flee the studio. So hot that pottery (specifically a large gift platter) dried too fast, warped, and had to be remade. A couple of weeks (a month, even?) ago, Angry Chicken posted a picture of a simple little blouse that got me craving some sewing machine time. It seems like EVERY crafty blogger has made the Built By Wendy 3835 pattern. It looks super cute and super comfortable, but I was willing neither to shell out the cash for the pattern at a fabric store nor drive 12+ miles to said fabric store to get it. And it was hot. Too hot for a tee shirt. I needed a linen/cotton loose top NOW. So I took another pattern* and altered it until it worked. This is my first one- I may make five. Or ten- made out of a very thin red chambray that I've had for ages. There's some liberty cotton that was once a very full 80s skirt, and some thin handkerchief linen calling out to become this little top, too. All in all (hemming excepted) it took about an hour to cut out, alter, sew up, alter again, sew again. I think now that I know what I'm doing, it will take even less time. And I will LIVE in these. End of sewing talk. Back to pottery now.

*New Look #6678, which I bought at (ahem) Walmart when I was out of town and killing time while others shopped at our 4th trip to Walmart that weekend. Long story. Altering: cut out front and back on the fold (ignoring the buttons, using the centerline for fold placement), ignored the collar and all facings, using 1/4" elastic to gather the front and sleeves (I left the back plain because I wanted a lower neckline that what I could get if I gathered the back, too), and finishing it all with a bias strip from the same fabric.

seven things

Amy of happythings tagged me with a random things meme, but I'm going to follow her lead and show you seven things I've made, pottery and not, so there's still that element of random.

1. I knit. Obsessively but slowly, as in it's all I think about, but actually sit to do it rarely. Mostly socks. Also mittens, hats, shawls, like this one. This lovely lady is Nadia Price Bates Strid, the first professional female photographer in Memphis.

2. This is the first thing that I made (in 2000) that I kept. I keep it in my medicine cabinet- it only holds cotton balls. Next to it is my favorite scent- Azzaro's Pure Lavender- a woodsy/herbaly lavender- not soft and powdery. It's men's cologne, but I wear it daily. Next to that is my friend Elia's lavender/rose hydrosol. She makes the most wonderful bath products.

3.I like kids' crafty, too. Little boy and I made these for our Easter dinner table.

4.I've been known to pull things out of people's trash, like the year's worth of Everyday Food I pulled out of someone's curbside recycling bin. This mirror is my most recent score, found on the sidewalk the day it snowed. I also have two LARGE (really, 8ft long) mid-century sliding door consoles that came out of a demolition/rehab job on my street, and a 1920s built-in butler's pantry with original wavy glass that needs to be stripped and repainted and installed in my kitchen.

5.I used to (and still would, if asked again) teach children's pottery workshops. This is one of the first projects that we make- a tile based on the first letter of our name. B= bee (does that surprise anyone?)
6. When I was in college I painted in oils, but I took all of my studio classes pass/fail, much to my instructor's chagrin, because I was a rebellious prissy/preppy girl and didn't want to complete an assignment if it just didn't "work"for me. These classes were a break from more rigorous history and American Studies coursework, I think I (erroneously) thought they were fluff. My son found this painting and "needed" it in his room. I was influenced by how stained glass looks both flat and sculpted at the same time.


7. I also did a lot of printmaking, but never took a class in it. Should have, learned the basics of lino prints in high school, but didn't follow up on it at Salem. I did learn and teach some children's printmaking, using dick blick erasers and leaves, as an intern at Reynolda House in Winston-Salem, which was my first art education experience. But oh, to do real etchings on copper! Someday. This piece is in my den. They are leaf prints (from real leaves from my garden) on antique book pages that I took out of my great-grandparents junk room when we cleared out their house. I think I made this in 2001- inspired by a Martha Stewart "good thing." It now covers a redundant door in our den.

I'm going to tag Molly of Mollycoddle, another Molly at Read it and Wheeze, and Beth at Write, Mama. Write. Same thing- I think ya'll have done the randoms- how 'bout we all follow Amy's lead and show random creativity?