Thursday, March 31, 2011

Craft Fair Preparation

Tonight, from 7-9, I have my very first craft show at the Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland, MA.  I've been working on new pieces, trying to make sure I have enough stock for the masses of women who will be attending this "Pamper Yourself" event.  Beside crafts, there will also be chair massages and manicures available.

Since this is my first show, how do I figure out how much of which stuff to stock?  Very good question!  My Etsy site is still in the "taking off" stage, so I can't judge based on that.  A friend who used to do craft shows suggested I focus on less expensive items.  I took that advice and made some extra soy bowls and dishes ($10.)  I also made a couple more expensive items (nesting bowls for $60) just in case anyone is on a shopping bender. Perhaps Lady Luck will smile upon me.

Regardless, this event's being two hours will give me a slight clue about my next craft show.  What sells, what doesn't.  What's picked up and what's put down.  I think if I were to start out at an all-day affair, I might be overwhelmed... maybe....?  Who knows.

I'm nervous, excited, anxious, and ready to get this thing started!  It's quarter-end in real life and I need to focus on my day job.  During the day.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that nothing crazy happens at 5:00, precluding me from getting to the country club in time to set up.  I won't dwell on that that... why am I even thinking those thoughts?!  Everything will be fine.  I'm equipping my booth with two bowls of foil-wrapped Easter candy.  Hopefully their chocolate shininess will attract eager shoppers who like pottery.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

After Photos

I'm back from a brief hiatus, which involved a trip to Florida (details to come.)  I've been feverishly getting ready for my FIRST CRAFT SHOW - TOMORROW NIGHT!

Before I give you a sneak peek of what I've been creating, I wanted to show you the "after" photos of my previously posted "before"s.   The before photos (in my post from February 24) highlighted the pale, almost powdery-looking underglaze.  Once the items are dipped in a clear glaze and fired in a very hot kiln, they become vibrant, colorful and of course, very shiny.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I few posts back, I wrote about picking out my Valentine's Day present at the local craft fair, "Cabin Fever."  After much contemplation, I selected a custom, personalized necklace from jewelry designer, AG Ambroult.  It arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago and I can't stop wearing it!  I asked Amy (A of the AG) if she could make a monogram in the style of her "love" necklace.

I'd been wanting a monogrammed necklace since falling in love with the one my mother had when I was a kid back in the 70s.  Hers was a gold locket, on the large size, with an elaborately cursive monogram that covered one side and hung on a long chain. 

That's my childhood memory, at least.  It probably wasn't that big.  I wonder if she still has it.  Next time I'm at her house, I'll have to raid her jewelry collection.  Hey, that would be fun anyway.  My mom turned me on to jewelry at a young age and I'm still drawn to sparkly things and decorative "accessories."  I think that's what I like so much about painting pottery; I want to add something pretty to someone's room.   Like a great necklace with the perfect top. 

Amy was great to collaborate with, putting together a rough sketch on the fly.  I wanted something classic yet unique and unexpected.  At first we weren't going to have the brackets and then added them in the end.  I love the doodle-y looking design. 

I tried taking a self-portrait wearing the necklace, but I couldn't get the right angle and my arms aren't long enough.  I'd ask the husband, but he's sick in bed.  So... on the desk it is.  Isn't it pretty?  I like that the initials are me & the biz - either way, or both.  Also, it looks especially cute with several of my tops. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

new items! spring designs for the craft fair

At the end of the month, I have my very first craft fair.  Thursday, March 31, 7-9 at the Sandy Burr Country Club in Wayland, MA.  They are calling it a Pamper Party, which means cocktails and manicures are involved.  Hello?  Be there or be square!  I hate that saying, but I mean it.  I really think you should come. 

wave coaster
I've been working on some new items, especially for the event.

vine butter dish
Here are some teasers for you...  I had hoped to write another paragraph, going off on other tangents below the photos, but I'm still having issues with the whole photo-text-formatting-alignment dealio.  It's not jiving for me.  Anyway, I'll post again tomorrow because I still need to tell you about my custom necklace that arrived, my 3rd attempt at Indian (Ram's recipe), and a couple other things I can't remember at this moment.  I hate to admit I'm totally distracted by the Bachelor season finale right now.  Guilty pleasure....  so, enjoy the teasers and I'll see you again real soon now, ya hear?
wave tumbler
ice cream bowls
red & light blue
green & navy

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Around the House

My husband and I bought our condo in January 2009; we signed our lives away as Obama was being sworn into office.  A momentous day for all. 

tray on bedroom bureau
We were lucky that we didn't have to do much to the space when we moved in.  A lot of work had been done by the previous owners - primarily turning the top (third) floor into a master bedroom suite with big closets and sky-lights.  We love it!

soap dish, toothbrush holder and tray
I did change the color in the downstairs bathroom.  Originally it was a Bain de Soleil orange gelee color (remember that gross stuff in a tube from the 80s?)  Thankfully the walls weren't painted orange entirely.  There was a chair rail and beadboard nicely painted cream, which we kept.  The floor is really what won us over on the bathroom - gorgeous square stone tiles of varying colors of grey, orange, cream and light bluish. After spending much time with paint chips next to the floor - should I go grey? light aqua? all cream?  One Saturday, I spent the day painting the orange a calming light blue.  I couldn't believe the difference it made.  No longer was I spending my mornings in a dark, depressing, orange gelee bathroom.  I could now relax on the throne with a catalog in a tranquil early Spring morning blue haven.  My husband thought it was pretty great, too. 

spoon rest!
Once we settled into the condo - our first real place together - we haphazardly decorated, combining our stuff, trying to make it all work.  So far, so good.  I've been able to include some of my original painted items here and there, throughout the house.  I like it - hope you do, too.
tray on dining room table... yes, I like trays
bathroom detail...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cooking Indian at home, attempt #2

Tonight I had big plans for an Indian feast.  This Vegetable & Tofu Korma dish, followed by "Ram's Cilantro Potato & Carrots."  I only made it as far as the first dish, so I'm saving Ram's for tomorrow's dinner.  It should work out well since there wasn't much in the way of leftovers from the Korma.

I got the Korma recipe from my favorite food blog, 101 Cookbooks.  Heidi Swanson creates her own vegetarian recipes tweaked from her favorite cookbooks.  The dishes always take advantage of fresh, local ingredients or interesting spices or both - all very simply.  While some of the ingredients may seem exotic, the techniques are always easy and straightforward.  And not only are the recipes delicious to read, the photographs are mouth-watering.  If you haven't seen the blog before, check it out now!

Because I didn't have all of the exact ingredients, I had to substitute a few things.  Last week I went grocery shopping and I know I bought a hunk of ginger.  Could I find it tonight?  Of course not!  So, I used powdered instead.  I also used cardamom seeds (toasted and ground) instead of ground cardamom.  For the veggies, I used potato, summer squash and carrots.  Since I neglected to pick up tofu at the grocery store, we went without that.

Everything smelled so delicious simmering on the stove.  All the spices are so warm and aromatic.  Next time I'll use less crushed red pepper flakes; they were a little too much for me.  Thankfully my husband had stopped at the Indian restaurant down the street to pick up some naan (flat bread) and raita (yogurt sauce.)  In the recipe there is a yogurt sauce, but the legit raita is something special - a sweet yet tangy and cooling sauce - that really made this dish. 

I served the Korma on top of tri-colored couscous, since it takes only a few minutes to cook, as opposed to rice.  Coincidentally, the couscous was the same color as as the veggies.  Topped with fresh cilantro, this veggie Korma was a great, warm, easy to cook, one-dish meal.  I suggest you give it a try.  It's yumtastic.

Today's smoothie

I was in a sales training class the last two days for my day job.  I don't want to get into details, but I would have rather gotten actual work done.  You know how it goes, I'm sure.  Thankfully I did learn a little bit about a new product offering - it involves social networking!  There really is no escape from it.  I'll admit I'm happy to jump on the wagon with this blog.  It's been fun so far. 
Anywho, onto something more interesting!  Like smoothies.

The one I made for lunch today included frozen blueberries, mangoes and peaches.  I also threw in some vanilla yogurt and carrot juice.  All I can tell you is that it's delicious.

Tonight for dinner I'm going to try a new recipe from my cooking friend, Ram.  I'll be sure to share all of that with you.  It's another vegetarian dish, but I'm not sure if it's Indian or Chinese.... I'm guessing Indian.  You be the judge!  I hope I have you curious. 

PS - If you haven't noticed, I'm still trying to figure out how to space these photos so don't look so awkwardly placed!