Tag: handmade

Christmas Craft: Baby’s First Ornament

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November 12th, 2015 my sweet baby boy was born. Between the visitors, nurses, doctors, and mentally processing my new baby and title as mom, I barely remember our hospital stay. I do remember the excitement of packing up our things, trying to figure out how to put Cooper in his carseat the first time, and the mounting anxiety as we got closer to home. I walked in the door, sat down, looked at Nick and my creation, and felt terrified. We had a tiny human to look after.

Four and a half weeks later I still feel moments of terror thinking about the responsibility we took on. However, the fear is now mixed in with laughter, excitement for each new day and new thing he does, and unconditional love for this little man.

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Once things began settling down Nick and I realized Christmas was just around the corner. Coop’s first big outing was to our local Lowe’s to pick out our Christmas tree. The next few days were spent unpacking Christmas boxes and transforming our house into our own Christmas wonderland.

As I set out the stockings I came to the sudden realization that this was Cooper’s first Christmas and he needed Christmas things. He needed presents, a stocking, and of course, baby’s first ornament. I immediately went to my favorite shopping website, Etsy, to see what I could find.

After much research I fell in love with a polar bear stocking, handmade in Ireland, from Santa’s Sock Central. Despite being December already, the stocking was shipped out quickly and arrived in plenty of time. My first item was checked off the list.

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Next, I began the hunt for the perfect ornament. I searched through page after page on Etsy and found nothing that peaked my interest. I felt the majority of the ornaments aired on the side of cheesy. I wanted something sentimental, traditional, and interesting. I wanted an ornament Cooper would gladly take and put on his own tree one day.

After coming up empty handed I decided it was time for another craft project. I would find a way to personalize an ornament for him. I ended up finding a beautiful hand blown glass ornament from Grow Gallery, and knew it would make the perfect base. I decided to use glass paint to put Cooper’s handprint and his birth date on the ornament. It would be quick, easy, and exactly what I was looking for.

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To personalize the ornament all I needed was the ornament, glass paint (non-toxic), a paint brush, and paper towels for clean up.

We waited until Cooper was good and tired until Nick and I attempted the first hand print. We quickly painted his hand and tried to immediately press it to the ornament. However, as soon as the paint hit his hand, his little fingers curl into a fist that was difficult to uncurl. By the time we had his hand flat the paint was smeared on everything. By the time his hand made contact with the ornament half the paint had dried. It was a complete failure.

Three attempts later I decided the hand was too much, a footprint would have to do. Once again I waited until he was fast asleep and carefully pulled his foot from his onsie footie.

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At every stretch, groan, and deep breath I froze for a moment, hoping he wouldn’t wake up. Next, I applied the paint, and held my breath as I waited for him to wake from his slumber.

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Surprisingly, he stayed fast asleep through the foot painting, and didn’t wake up until his foot made contact with the ornament. The first try I got a clean print that only needed light cleaning up around the edges. I used a thinner paintbrush to add his birth date under this heel.

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After air drying for four days I baked the ornament in the oven for 20 minutes at 325 degrees to set the paint. I love the end product and how personal it is. Once I gave up on the hand print and opted for the “mistletoes” print, the printing process only took a few minutes from start to finish.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about my arts and crafts by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you! Merry Christmas, happy holidays![subscribe2]

Ceramics: Watermelon Themed Tea Set

Watermelon Tea Set

It is amazing how time flies. It seemed like just yesterday my sister and I were at home, playing with our American Dolls and Barbies, dreaming of our future weddings and husbands. In the blink of an eye we were both graduated, married, and Christy was pregnant.

The nine months it took for us to meet Payton Grace was incredibly fast and painfully slow, all at the same time. I couldn’t wait to meet my third niece, the first for my side of the family. The day she finally decided to come into this world, she was perfect. I was thrilled to be an aunt once again.

My sister and I live in the same city, which means I get a good amount of Payton contact time. I love making her laugh, chasing her around, and giving her snuggles, when she allows. I was shocked when summer returned once again, July 21st hit, and Payton turned one.

When my first niece, Rylie, turned one, I made her a tea set that matched her first birthday theme, Rylie in One-derland. I loved having the opportunity to make her something special, that she could treasure later in life. After Rylie, came Kyla and Payton. I realized I couldn’t favor one niece, they all deserved their own special teapots.

Payton’s first birthday was watermelon themed, and came and went before I had a chance to get hers complete for her first. However, her watermelon tea set came just six months late, for Christmas.

As soon as Christy shared the theme I knew I wanted to create a teapot with a slice taken out of it, showing the bright red and dark seeds on the inside. When I finally got started, I allowed the body of the teapot to dry out slightly, before cutting the triangle shape out. I added clay slabs into the area, creating the watermelon slice. I added a stem like handle, leaves, vines, and the easy to recognize watermelon striping.

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After the body of the teapot was complete, I made small teacups, with corresponding colors and patterns to match. I used black glaze to splatter the interior of the cups, to reference the black seeds of a watermelon.

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After completing the set, I decided it still wasn’t finished. I took the cut out section from the teapot, added slabs to it, and turned the watermelon slice into a creamer pitcher. A small vine was added for the handle, and a section was cut out of the top, to create a lid.

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I was excited to finally hand Payton’s teapot over to her. I hope she will cherish it for years to come.

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Kyla’s teapot is currently in the works, hers will be Carnivale themed for her second birthday. Check back for an update in the coming months. Check out Rylie’s Alice and Wonderland teapot here.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about arts and crafts by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by.

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T.G.I. Friday’s Summer of Fridays Tour: Artists and Crafters Feature

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I am so excited to share a recent feature of mine in T.G.I. Friday’s new campaign, local and handmade.

In an effort to rebrand their company, T.G.I. Friday’s has been busy meeting artists, crafters, musicians, and all people artsy across the US. To keep with the theme they recruited photographers from Instagram to document these “makers of America.”

Through the Atlanta based, all things handmade shop, Crafted Westside, I was brought to the attention of the tour and photographer, Daniel Davis. I meet with him one morning at Crafted, and enjoyed talking about his last 3 month adventure traveling down the East Coast, meeting a variety of crafters. He took amazing photographs of my work, and included a wonderful write up on the TGIF, “Summer of Fridays,” blog.

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Thank you to Daniel Davis and TGIF for giving me this amazing opportunity! The stories and photographs are art in themselves. Thanks for checking out my blog. Help me spread the word about it by sharing with others! I couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by.tumblr_nav6yrtlkJ1tx0d9wo2_1280

Craft Fair: 16th Annual Wesleyan Artist Market

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It’s the week I have been preparing for, for the last few months, it is Artist Market week!

I’m so lucky to work at a school that offers opportunities to promote my artwork, like the Wesleyan Artist Market. Last year I felt very accomplished as I packed up my booth, a good 30 pieces shy of what I came in with. I hope to be just as successful as I was last year, and since then I have added a lot to my inventory.

Here is a sneak peak of what I will be offering this year. Prices range from $5.00-$750.oo, offering a lot of options for all size and depths of wallets. With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching, and Father’s Day in the not too distant future, this market is a great opportunity to pick up gifts and plan ahead. Support local and handmade and come visit!

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Last year my biggest seller were my encaustic letter paintings. A collage of pattern paper, a layer of encaustic wax, and an oil painted letter come together to create these personalized works of art. Unfortunately, due to time constraints I was limited on how many letters I was able to bring in. On the first night all my vowels sold, which meant I could no longer display cleverly spelled out words.

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This year I started letter painting in advanced, and have the entire alphabet created. In addition, I have also scanned every single letter I made, and had high quality prints made. The prints are the same size as the original, 6″x6″, and are matted in either 8″x10″ or 8″x8″. I hope these prints will help meet the demand for the letters. The $10.00 price per letter will also allow people to more easily buy a few, spell out words, or hang an initial for each member of their family. These prints will also make an appearance on my Etsy shop soon!

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In addition to the re-appearance of my letter paintings, I also have my 6″x6″ silhouette paintings, at $35.00 each. These were my second biggest sellers, and I hope the range of images I have picked will appeal to the crowd once again. I love to focus on old and vintage in these pieces. The encaustic wax inherently creates a hazy, dreamlike surface to my paintings, and the vintage items pair well with the wax.

Antique Photo Collages

A new item I am offering this year are my re-purposed antique photographs. While at an estate sale I discovered an entire table full of 1920’s photographs. Something about the antique cars and stiff looking portraits appealed to me, and I decided to use them as part of a new encaustic series.

To create these pieces I layer paper, the photograph, and add a thick layer of wax on top. The hazy wax blends the layers of photographs and paper together, creating a cohesive look. In the future I envision the original photographs hanging next to silhouette transfers of the originals, with bright colors popping behind them. It will be a comparison of old and new, breathing new life into old photos. Be on the look out for these in the future!

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I will also have larger encaustic paintings, a few from last year and a few new ones. The new encaustic pieces I am working on focus on sketching. Lines are carved into the wax, and filled with oil paint. These range in subject matter from chickens to chairs, and range in price from $250.00 to $450.00.

Birch Tree Encaustics

In addition to my sketch encaustics I also have antique silverware paintings, ginkgo leaf collages, and lots of birch trees!

Fused Glass

Like last year I will once again put out a handful of my fused glass pieces. I have my traditional geometric style as well as my new pieces, which incorporate my new obsession, glass paint. I have nest and birch tree themed plates and bowls using the paint to add the details. Whatever doesn’t sell this weekend will make its way to my Etsy shop, Sweet Celadon.

I hope to see a nice crowd this weekend, I hope you stop by! Thanks for checking out my blog, help me spread the word by sharing with others! Check out the line up of entertainment and food trucks at the Artist Market here.

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Handmade Ceramics: Alphabet Mugs, Nursery Rhyme Teapots, and Flower Bowls


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These last few weeks have been a blur of late afternoons, clay, pottery wheels, handmade ceramic pieces, glaze, encaustic wax, and glass.

My recent decision to join the newest addition to the Atlanta retail scene, Crafted Westside, meant I needed to produce pottery. My long afternoons began, my second job as working artist started as soon as my first job, art teacher, ended for the day. Every day I stay pumping out decorative bowls, teapots, pitchers, and mugs. I love seeing the similar glaze colors coating each pot create a unified, body of work.

I don’t think I have ever made so much pottery.

As I begin each creation I try to think like a consumer. Who will buy my products? What is their taste? What will compliment the overall look of the shop? Generally the consumer I visualize is me, shopping for my Mom on Mother’s Day, my sister for Christmas. When it came time to create my “c” alphabet mug, I couldn’t help but include a coral shade, after all my sister Christy is a bright, pink personality.

My goal in the coming weeks is to complete the entire alphabet in mug form. I am currently up to letter m, with letters n-u waiting to be fired and glazed, and letters v-z waiting to come into reality via my B mix clay and pottery wheel.

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In addition to the many mugs I have created in the past few weeks, I have also been hard at work creating more decorative bowls. My house is scattered with ceramic bowls. If a tabletop looks empty, I plop a bowl down to jazz it up. I love crisp white contrasting with a bright interior. Over the years I have developed a knack for making flowers out of clay. A pinch here, a pinch there, a score and a slip, and out comes a hydrangea, rose, or camellia. Just this week I added a dot bowl and a hydrangea to the mix at Crafted Westside.

Dot Bowl

Hydrangea Bowl

My absolute favorite thing to make on the pottery wheel has to be teapots. There is something about seeing the spout, lid, and handle come together that makes me smile.

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I knew I wanted to add a couple of teapots to the shelves of Crafted. Luckily, at the time I was also about to begin a teapot lesson in my 3D II class. It was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; demonstrate how to make a teapot to my students, and create a teapot I could turn around and sell.

First came my bird teapot. I want to create a small bird to serve as the handle of my teapot lid. After some brainstorming I decided to go a more abstract route when glazing, and drew lines to represent telephone lines, and glazed in between the lines. The end result almost looked like a plaid shirt wrapped around my little teapot. When you first take a glance at it, it looks like a random pattern. But, when you give it a closer look the telephone lines and bird silhouette begin to emerge.

For the second teapot I opted to stick with a stamped letter design, which was already incorporated into a handful of mugs and bowls at the shop. ¬†I put my teapot together, and thought about what to stamp into it. After looking at my small little pot, I decided the perfect quote is from the childhood song, “I’m a little teapot, short and stout.” It was perfect, it was nostalgic, and fit with the short and stout nature of my teapot.

There is something about teapots. They each have their own personality. As I put them together I feel like I get to know them.

The final addition to my space at Crafted Westside is my brand new business card holder. With the creation of my new identity, Sweet Celadon, came a need for advertisement and contact information in the form of business cards. While I waited for my order to arrive I decided I needed a handmade ceramic item to hold my new cards. Out came this simple, flower and hand stamped card holder.

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I can’t wait to see my table at Crafted Westside continue to fill up. I hope in the coming weeks I continue to move items through the door and create new items to replace them. In addition to the handmade ceramics I have focused on for the shop, I have also been prepping for my next craft fair, the annual Wesleyan Artist Market, coming up May 1st-3rd. More information will come soon!

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about the brand new shop, Crafted Westside, and my blog my sharing this post with others.