Friday, February 11, 2011

Love-ly Door Knobs

Since the beginning of February I have been thinking about Valentine's Day.  Those romantic holiday decorations and candies have been stocked on the stores shelves since (or before Christmas), however I can't really look forward to the holiday until the month of February has even begun.

I know it is a Hallmark holiday, but I think it is fun to decorate a little bit, and get a little silly and romantic.

My parents used to have a competition with some good friends of theirs in seeing who could keep their Christmas tree up the longest.  There was never a "prize", just the title of which family had their tree up the longest.  One year it got a little out of hand, and we almost lasted till Valentine's Day.  We considered making new Valentine ornaments to redecorate the tree, but I believe the tree came down before that was possible.

So there is no tree to decorate, but if you have a door knob, doorway, window or a mantle I have a couple ideas for you.

A few years ago, at Christmas, I saw a felt decoration for a door knob. It was really simple, and I thought that the same idea could be applied to any holiday.  Since I already had my Christmas things up, I thought that I would make some hearts for our door knobs.

They are pretty simple.  I just used a red and white felt and a few types of pink and patterned fabric.  I cut out some free formed hearts and sewed them with my machine.  And I used pipe cleaners to hook them on the mantle and  ribbon to tie them to the door knobs.

My sister Colleen McCray of Mountain Pie Press makes beautiful letterpress stationery and cards.  If you haven't purchased a card for that special person in our life, take a look at what she has in her store.  She has a nice variety in her style of cards,  I love all of them!  Colleen also makes fabulous letterpress banners too.  I ordered one and can't wait to get it!  She recently did a commission (of banners) for Mary Dougherty, a photographer in Western NY, for a couple's engagement photo session.  I am excited to see how the photos come out!

I left you with a photo of what turned out to be a beautiful mistake.  I would love to have this enlarged to 30" x 40".

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Return of the Roses

 A long time ago, when I was a senior in college, I made teapots that were covered in clay roses.  I was a studio art major with a concentration in ceramics.  My father, also an artist, had made a clay rose for my mom for Valentine's Day one year.  That being my inspiration, I thought I would try my hand at making them myself.  After hours of making clay roses, I got pretty proficient.

But, once I went to graduate school, I abandoned them, at least for a few years.  Two years ago, as I was getting ready for a show at the Genesee Pottery Fire House Gallery, I started to make them again.  My idea was to make piles of them, and have vases sitting on top of them, like a wreath around the bottom.  It was a pretty high expectation to finish them in time for the opening.  I was also 8 months pregnant, and teaching full time.  I realized that it would be acceptable to only show my pottery for the exhibition and try using the flowers in another way later on.

The flowers have lived in a metal mixing bowl for about a year, and they finally have a home, at least a temporary one on display in our living room.

They are just bisqued, with no color.  I have thought about adding color in some way, but I think they are fine the way they are, at least for now.

There are roses, peonies and carnations all mixed in together, with a few leaves and buds sprinkled in there too.  The antlers were a gift from my brother-in-law.  He and his father found them on their farm years ago, and he gave them to me last year.  I think they are a nice compliment to the plaster work on the mirror and to the natural cream color of the clay. Thanks Tristan!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hope for Hope

This March at NCECA (The National Council on the Education for Ceramic Arts) the ceramics department at The School for American Crafts is putting on a fundraiser to help Hope Rovelto.  Hope was in a very bad car accident last November.  With surmounting medical bills, the arts community is rushing to her side to help alleviate this financial burden.

In our effort to help Hope, the School for American Crafts is assembling a cookbook of pot-luck recipes from the ceramics BFA and MFA students and alumni.  The cookbook will be filled with great recipes and photos of the various artist's work.  The cookbook will be available at the School for American Crafts booth at NCECA this year which will be held in Tampa and St.Petersburg Florida.

Here is the link to Hope's website.

My submission was Ina Garten's Coconut Macaroons.  So delicious!

Please pray for her quick recovery.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Harbingers of Spring

  All of this snow is pretty, I will admit, but the cold weather is not as enjoyable.  Yes, I chose to live in Boston, so I have no room to complain, but winter is not my favorite season.  Spring is!  Growing up in Western New York (up, up state), we were blessed with beautiful parks and a countryside mixed with rolling farm fields and groves of trees.
 When the first buds would appear on the trees, my mom would say, "it looks like the trees were sprayed with a mist of chartreuse green".  Oh, I love that time of year.  One of the reasons I love spring, is because it means months of beautiful weather are ahead of me.
 So, as I dream of warmer days, or at least spring-like days, I will leave you with some images of my work that reflects the upcoming season.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Julia's Plates

  My good friend, Julia Skop of antinomy designs, asked me to make some plates for her.  It was actually a trade. (I got a beautiful glass necklace and bronze bracelet.)
  The plates have been completed for a little over a month now, but I am finally getting around to posting images of them.  (Since our move to Boston, my time has been taken up with unpacking, organizing, and spending time with my little Henri.)
  Typically the palette that I work with is brighter and more "spring-like."  Julia asked me to make her set of plates using more wintery and somber colors.  I really enjoyed the change/challenge, and think that my next body of work will be more of a combination of gray/neutrals, and candy colors.  I can't wait to get back into the studio....ahhhh!

     Here are a few pictures of the plates.  I hope you like them Julia!

The calendar above hangs in my studio and was one of my influences in the designing of these plates.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Bakeries in the South End

  It has been a week since we've moved to the South End of Boston.  My sister and brother-in-law are visiting for the next couple of days to help us unpack.  They have been so helpful, that I have been thanking them with food.  Yesterday I walked to Flour bakery on Washington street for some delicious pastries, and this morning/early afternoon we all took at walk to Blunch, for some blunch, er brunch.  Sarah and I split the Proven├žial and Jake had the Colonial.  I recommend both.  And Henri loved the Proven├žial.  He had some bites of mine.
  Before we left, I bought a few pastries for us to sample at home.  I posted an image above. Their coffee is super yummy too, Mexican House Blend.  The cafe is pretty small, so we didn't linger.  The seating is a wrap around bar with stools, and has a great view of the street. But it would be a great place to sit and chat for a bit and people watch too. 
    From top left: Chocolate chip cookie, coffee cake, chocolate dipped macaroon, brownie, and churro.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cuckoo clocks continued....

It has been a while since I have been able to add another post to the blog.  The main reason for the delay, is that I wanted to wait until I could share a few images of the clocks I was making.  Since I am a full time art professor, and full time mom, my studio time, very often, gets put on the back burner.  But, thankfully I have had a few hours here and there,  to get a couple clocks completed.  The clocks are still in their "green" stage (not bisque fired), so it will be a couple more weeks until they will be ready for the wall.  I will clean them up a bit before they are placed in the kiln.  The finishing detail? I plan on glazing them, or enameling them white.