Dear Alison

I'm sorry if I spelled your name wrong, I just wanted to tell you... 

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Keep searching, keep trying, keep experimenting, keep working. You've got what it takes. 

>>>CRAFTSANITY<<<

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For anybody who has always strongly disliked me and wanted to hear me flounder for words in front of the whole world, listen to this podcast!! It's a bit of a dream come true to get to speak with Jennifer, and I'm so honored she wanted to talk to ME. I grew as an artist listening to this podcast for years as I worked, or as I drove babies around town to nap in the car to grab a bit of my own peace and Craftsanity. It was always a source of comfort and inspiration to me, so talking to her was a pretty big deal. Be kind to me if you listen! I was nervous! The written interview on her website is all me though, so make sure you read it. If it's bad, I have no excuse because I worked really hard and put a lot of thought into that. It also shows what a Discworld nerd I am. #deathbringterryback

New Love

Knots and necklaces. Tiny handmade beads may be the end of me, but it will be a beautiful one. These three are teacher gifts, but I'm working hard to get more in the shop by next week. 

 

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Slow start

Summer is here, and a very few precious things made it out of the kiln. Few of many, many more new pieces coming from my little basement corner this summer.  

 

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Ceramics

There's been a shift in my focus lately.
My ceramic studio is my dining room table, as was my sewing studio and painting studio. A kiln fell into my lap. It hurt, but it was worth it.

Beware the Ides of March

According to Plutarch, a seer had warned that harm would come to Caesar no later than the Ides of March. On his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The ides of March have come," meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone."

Text taken from Wikipedia.

Autumn Ablaze, Lilla Rogers, and GTS

Here is my entry for Lilla Rogers Global Tallent Search contest. I am one of the top 50 semi-finalists, and our assignment was a design for a Fall themed tote bag. Here's mine! You can vote for it here if you're so inclined. You can actually vote for five of your favorite artisits, and I'd be really REALLY grateful if I'm one :)  

If you click on the image above, you can see it in greater detail, the image on Lilla's website doesn't enlarge at all, and I thought some people may like to take a closer look. All made, sculpted, woven, felted, crocheted, sewn, and painted with my very own little hands. Enjoy! 

bigger, better, more involved

I want to make a world. 
I want this world to be accessible to all. And affordable. And dreamy. And above all, inspiring.

I want to teach. I want to show you that you can do it too. You can make a world. You can make toys. You can inspire. You can feel good. You can make it lovely.

I'm figuring it out...slowly but steadily, after all I am first a Mother. But I am very patient. 

And I know it will happen. 

The kids are in school full time in a month. I will be using all that time to build and create with love and intention. 

 

I should put a plug in here about the class I just took from Lilla Rogers. Here is a link to the course, and I can't recommend it enough. The photos above and below are just a few of my assignments. It was infinitely informative, inspiring, and downright amazing. Lilla is incredibly generous with the information she shares. I followed through with each assignment and it pushed and pulled me in directions I would have never gone in myself. It took me way out of my comfort zone and showed me that my comfort zone was actually a whole lot bigger. It changed the way I think about what I am able to accomplish. It took a good portion of the fear, uncertainty, and anxiety to try new things away. It forced me to show what I'm capable of. It opened up the flood gates and made me a certifiable worker bee. 

This course has really had me thinking. It's no secret that I have no formal training outside of high school. (well, I am a beauty school drop-out...but I don't think that counts towards anything) It is no secret I feel like I have missed out a great deal on going to art school. I have worn that longing on my sleeve since the fall semester after I graduated childhood and was tossed into the cold hard world of bills and taxes, thrown into the deep end to figure it all out. And I am not a very strong swimmer, I feel like I've been flailing wildly for years to keep my head above water. I'm not going to get into the details of what held me back, money, lack of guidance, the same old same old. But I will tell you that I no longer feel this way in the least bit. Is it overly dramatic to say this class completely filled that emptiness? So be it, 'cause it did. It gave me this key. I can't explain it beyond that, but it was a missing key.

Perhaps it just helped me to realize exactly what I have accomplished on my own, skill wise, by pushing me so hard. It made me realize just how I have worked so. damn. hard. on my own to be the best I can, simply because I have LOVED every minute of it, and I am endlessly curious. It made me realize that Yes, this is it. This is who I am. This is who I always will be. I will never stop.

Working really hard on my own to build my talent despite my circumstances(and looking back, it's a miracle I didn't drown) is the purest most beautiful gift I could have ever given myself. I don't know why it was taking this class that forced me to reflect on this all so deeply, but it was. Thanks Lilla, Thanks Beth. And the biggest thanks to my Mom who saw what this meant to me and helped me out big time. And to my dad who helped be in ways throughout this course in ways he didn't even realize. I am the luckiest and richest poor girl in the world.  

The two pouches were designed using my creations, collections, snippets from my vintage postcards(predating the 1920's), trim from my grandmothers hankies, flowers from her apron, and that happy moon face is from The Graphics Fairy. Enjoy!

xoxo,

E

 

Papier Mâché

The process. Amazing paper mâché recipes and advise can be found at ultimatepapermache.com

I used the paper clay recipe from the site, and a gesso recipe she gives if you watch her YouTube video series on making masks. I highly recommend them. The paper clay recipe calls for the use of boiled linseed oil which is toxic, but I use Tried and True Danish oil Finnish, which is a polymerized linseed oil, food safe(!!), and available at Woodcraft stores. My local Woodcraft had it in stock, and for being food safe and worry free, also only needing two tablespoons per recipe, it's well worth the $14 price tag. It will last a looooooooooooong time.

Moms

Here's mine with me in 1981. The anniversary of this picture is in a couple of days. I am so lucky to have her near me and to be so close. I know what she would have given to have her mother with her all these years. About 18 months after this picture was taken, she lost hers. My mother was 21 with a new baby and in a marriage that wouldn't last the next three years. I feel like I'd be lost without my mother, and I'm very soon to be 32 and have it made in the shade, comparatively. My mom is a remarkable woman and everything I am I owe to her.

I love you mom. Thank you for raising me with grandma's memory. Making her stories and memories a daily part of our lives made me always feel close to her, and deeply in tune with our heritage. Happy Mother's Day to both of you.
Thank you for always encouraging me, even though we knew my path wasn't going to be the easiest one. It feels good to be believed in, and that makes the journey all the easier. It makes patience a piece of cake.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. You're not alone. It's not a task for the faint of heart, and you are cherished.

xoxo