Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mid-Summer Checklist

We've had a complete heat-wave hit our normally mild West-Coast climate and it's really taken a hit on my energy level this past week! I think it's normally pretty hard to work during the summer; when the weather is so balmy and beautiful, all I want to do is hang out with the boys at the beach or the river.
I've started keeping seasonal checklists for myself to attempt to keep some balance in my life. I've put a list on the sidebar of this blog (just scroll down) to remind myself to enjoy each season and to make goals that aren't just 'work related'. This week I was able to check a few things off that list- namely going to the Theatre with the boys, and making strawberry jam! I had high hopes for those apricots (photo above), to make some sort of apricot tart or something, but they all just got eaten fresh!
On the studio front I was finally able to list a few of my tile frames (photo #1) on Etsy this week, only to have 8 of the 9 sell within 2 days of listing them. Wow! I had no idea they would be such a hit. Etsy gave me a little love this past week (photo #2) and my ginko leaf mugs got on the front page so that was nice. And my Ginko Teapot made it to Poppytalk's front page with some wonderful reasons to buy hand-made! The 70 reasons to buy hand made has been a great list, not only as incentive for me to further buy hand-made, but also as more reasons to keep making handmade!
I'm off to the Island this weekend to visit with my sister and then it's back here for another week until we are off on vacation. I'm on my own with the boys this week as Dean is leaving tomorrow on his big Roadrage Skateboard tour across the Okanagan with 150 teenage skaters. I'm always extremely thankful when they all get home in one piece!
Have a great BC Day long weekend everyone!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rebecca's Bench

It's been 2 years since the passing of a friend and fellow Vancouver ceramicist, Rebecca Robbins to cancer. Her ceramics is a glimpse of what a warm and life-giving person she was during her lifetime. I knew Rebecca through Art school, but her impact as a working artist and mom left a strong impression on me when I had my own boys. I really admired her work, and was struck with the amazing connections she had with her family and friends when they spoke so genuinely of her at her memorial. Her husband just sent some of us an up-date on the bench they were raising funds for in honour of her life. The bench is at Trout Lake Park, in between the swimming spot and playground. There are still funds to be raised in hopes that the park bench will be maintained for perpetuity.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I heart BC & Lucky Troll

BC Day, our Provincial August 1st long weekend holiday is coming up and in honour of this beautiful province of ours, I thought I'd highlight another great Vancouver Etsy shop: Lucky Troll! Since Canadians are notoriously provincially-minded, I thought the 'Home is Where the Heart is' Pendants were extremely clever and sweet. Each one is hand cut by jewelry designer Katty, out of silver in the shape of provinces or states, even Islands or continents for custom orders! I love the abstract, yet familiar shape of these pendants and with a cut out heart... well home really is where the heart is! I was really smitten with many other things from the shop and will certainly be back!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer in the City

It's been a great month to catch up on city life as there is so much going on and surprisingly, so many free or budget-conscious events around town to take part in. We were able to get out to Cates Park for their Concert in the Park series, especially to see the Hermit play! It was a great show and the boys loved seeing the bands play while they kicked a soccer ball around and played tag! (I forgot my camera for this one so no great pics of the band playing with the ocean in behind them, and the lightning storm that was so spectacular right afterwards.. too bad.)
While there, a few of us got free Theatre Under the Stars tickets to go to see Annie! I haven't been to an out-door music theatre since I was a kid so this was a real treat! We went with our neighbours last night and saw a pretty amazing performance of a 9 year old girl acting and singing the part of 11 year old Annie. The boys were really engaged with the story line- a little worried after about the whole idea of being an orphan and orphanages afterwards. I guess Miss Hanigan left enough of an impression on them;)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

SUPER SALE: 25% off on the 25th!

The Gallery of BC Ceramics is having their semi-annual 25% off on the 25th of July this Saturday and I wanted to remind all those Vancouverites out there that this includes my recent work from my solo show! There are some larger pieces that would certainly be significantly lower in price: for instance, these square plates at $58 (a steal to begin with) are now only going to be $43.50 at 25%off! The best part is that I still get my 50%, it's the gallery that takes the discount off! It's a serious sale that you won't want to miss! I'll also be by the gallery for part of the day so come on by and say hi! My solo show closes July 27th!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thinking ahead...

Fall-winter has been on my brain since May for some reason- possibly registering my youngest son for Kindergarten had something to do with it, or maybe it's that I've had to apply for all my Christmas shows in spring and was able to get word back regarding which ones I got into. Anyways, for all those reasons and more, I've been planning the fall and wanted to share with you some news!
The first thing that's on my radar is that my work is moving East! The Gardiner Museum Shop in Toronto has requested my work and I'm working out an order to send to them in time for mid-September! This is really exciting for me- The Gardiner Museum is a ceramic museum mostly specializing in historic ceramics, but they often have contemporary ceramic shows there as well. Since they showcase ceramics from all across Canada, it feels quite an honour to be included!
I have a few more things in the works that I'm waiting to hear back on, but until then, I'm really excited to be part of the Shiny Fuzzy Muddy Show and Sale for their 10th edition December 12 & 13 at Heritage Hall on Main st.! This is a really great group of artists and designers who have been organizing this invitation-only Christmas show for the past 9 years. I'm super excited to be included and I'll be sure to post more later on in the year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Poppytalk Home Sweet Home Market Launch!

If you're a regular over at Poppytalk, you might have noticed my poppy vases highlighted the other day with a lovely little plug regarding my new photos! Well, this week opens the new Poppytalk Handmade Home Sweet Home Market and there really are some great things to check out this time around! I'm especially smitten with Bliss in a Teacup's new clocks, the really sweet poppy pillow by Olive, the garden markers by Just Work, and the great vintage items over at Ladies and Gentlemen, just to name a few! Of course, you might want to swing by my dahlhaus shop to see what's new over there!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Paintbrush Garden

My weekend photos... I'll get back to work tomorrow:)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Summer of sunshine, birthdays and more...

This is my birthday weekend coming up and I'm looking forward to seeing our family out in the Valley over the weekend. I'm counting on summer skies, hopefully a little more berry picking, some good eats from the garden, and generally a couple of lazy summer days.
There's a couple of cool things coming up next week, including a great sale next weekend over at the Gallery of BC Ceramics where my solo show is still currently going on! Their bi-annual 25% off on the 25th of July means some great savings including everything in my solo show! (The bonus is that the 25% off only effects the gallery's percentage, and not the artists!) Anyways, I'll be reminding everyone next week! Have an awesome weekend!

A Plate a Day

I recently found the blog, A Plate a Day, and A Cup a Week, and really love the premise for the site! If you've ever seen the Lark books - 500 Teapots, or 500 Bowls, this is kind of like a coffee table book online with something new everyday. The blog is having a little 100 post competition to send them the URL to your favourite plate online, and while I can think of many a favourite plates by other potters out there, this is my own most favourite plate of my own as of late. I may have to do a few submissions by tomorrow, but I'm certainly interested in what will actually make the 100th Post!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Etsy comes to Vancouver

It felt as though the Etsy Meet-up in Vancouver yesterday night was like a little bit of history in the making! Etsy certainly has taken the on-line handmade global community by storm in the mere 4 years it's been up and running, and I can't help but think that it's effect will be long-lasting. From their 'Quit your Dayjob' series which inspires so many makers to take the plunge, the featured Seller interviews which have the potential to plunge your etsy shop into a shopping frenzy, the Blog that includes 'trendspotting', spotlights on designer's and makers, videos of artist and makers at work- really the options on etsy could keep you screen-gazing for hours. CEO of Etsy, Maria, had a lot to say about what's going on 'behind the scenes' to create a viable and long-lasting entity called Etsy. Their list of 'To Do's' over the next few years sounds a little daunting, however, the room they are creating to grow, develop, and be better sounds pretty fantastic to me! It was really nice to meet the marketing director, Matt, and Anda - a few of us, invited by Jan from Poppytalk, were able to sit down with Anda and Maria at JJ Bean for casual introductions before the evening started, and, well, they were all so friendly and nice! Their concept of 'going on tour' and meeting people personally will certainly have long-standing effects on the growth and sincerety of this company- I truly do wish them all the best as they continue on!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

dahlhaus eye candy in Red & Peach

A little eye candy today from my poppy series with red and peach poppies. Familiar work of mine, but re-photographed to up-date my shop, apply for shows, etc. I'm hoping this last photoshoot can keep me going for another 6 months or so before I start itching to do another one! Whenever I see the photos, I fall 'in love' with my work all over again! My work is extremely tedious and labour-intensive to make, and sometimes, when I'm in the midst of glazing, I wonder if it's going to be worth it in the end. Definitely worth it when I see the photos.

In other news, I was reminded about the ETSY MEET-UP tonight, with admin staff from Etsy here in Vancouver for the evening. Starts at 7pm at the Cambrian Hall- should be a good get-together!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekend Fun

A backyard camp-out, complete with a pit fire and some smores, good company and a sleep-over in the tent to boot!
And some vintage camera finds at the local Salvation Army. For a sweet deal too!
This week I'm spending my mornings helping out with a kids club that my boys are attending, so I'll be a little slow on the studio front.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Photo Session, Summer 09

I just got the photos from my last photo session and wanted to post one of those 'oops' shots that I thought was really lovely. I'm working on some formatting/ editing and sorting for my online shop and for the website, so I'll post more this week and they will be on my flickr site soon as well. My photographer, Curtis Hildebrand, just launched his new wedding website that is really lovely called Studio de Luxe Photography, do check it out!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Handmade Nation Film Premiere!

Well I didn't want to be cheesy and ask for a photo op with Faythe Levine so here's a picture of my table for the craft showcase part of Handmade Nation coming to town! It was a really great evening, with the theatre nearly full, the people from all over the greater Vancouver area and even into Seattle! The people behind Got Craft put the event on, which included the craft showcase, a photo-booth, some sweet swag bags (by the look of it) and the much anticipated FILM!
I really thought the film was great on many different levels. I appreciated following a crafter throughout the film as she heads out and sets up her wares at a Craft fair. I thought the story line on her, in-between interviews of other crafters, artisans, store owners, and then the more academic crowd talking about the movement surrounding craft and diy, tied the whole film together. I appreciated how authentic the people were, it was them in their studios and homes, being real about how they got started and what they do and why. It was empowering to see all those women and oftentimes their families, using their hands to reinvent craft. Certainly there were some real characters and excentricities that were fascinating to watch!
Thank you to those of you who came by and checked out my work- the lovely comments were great! Again, it was great to chat with Faythe Levine over my work! She even bought a vase for a wedding gift, so that was kind of cool! Also one of my big highlights was meeting Jan from Poppytalk! I think I am convinced more than ever that the 'industry' of craft is much broader than just the maker. There are so many levels to that maker being able to sustain their craft professionally, and people who promote, educate, and enlighten the general public on craft play such a significant role in enabling the maker to keep at it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lemon Bars & Honeysuckle

Signs of summer in action: honeysuckle and lemon bars! Since I needed to bring something to a little pre-film premiere party with Faythe Levine, lemon bars seemed like the perfect Summer treat to make yesterday! I used the ol' Best of the Bridge recipe book (although this one is similar and online), and since I was doubling the recipe, I changed the crust to include 1 cup ground oatmeal and 1 cup flour. I found the crust a wee bit on the buttery side and was wondering if I could lessen the amount of butter and add a couple of teaspoons of water or something- maybe egg whites to hold the crust together, since there are no other binding agents besides butter for the crust on this recipe. I might also consider a little less sugar, although, lemon bars are supposed to be sweet, chewy and a little 'melt in your mouth' all at the same time. I was glad there were lots of treats at the party and I was able to bring a few home for the family!
Speaking of the party- it was a great little gathering with a really nice mix of local people within the design and craft community that I hadn't met before. It was nice to see some of the faces behind emails and other online contacts and hopefully there will be more of these little gatherings to come!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another little Reminder...

The Handmade Nation Film premiere is happening tomorrow, Thursday, July 9th at the Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway at Commercial with a Craft Showcase at 7 and the film premiere starting at 8pm. Details and purchasing tickets can happen right here! My original post with more details, here! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Organelle Design

Your in for a real treat today in my 'local etsy finds series'! Organelle Design is the collaboration of Vancouver environmental and architectural designers Alexander Witko and Courtney Hunt, who have a flair for re-inventing the everyday object. I'm feeling some Brian Jungen in this work, but love that it's practical, clever, and environmentally conscious! A combination of discarded bike rims and hangers or waterbottles make up the materials for their 'Hangelier' series of Chandeliers. While the concept for construction remains the same, various bike wheel sizes create small changes between each individual 'Hangelier'. Their interest in salvaging material to re-use has also led them to community-minded approaches including some non-profit projects in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Check out their etsy site and their website for more purchasing info!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Show Pics!

So here it is, my solo show at the Gallery of BC Ceramics, on Granville Island!
A little bit about the background to the show: A show is often dictated to artists in terms of the space and the gallery's expectation for the artist. The premise for this show was more or less given to me when I was asked to exhibit. Since I am fairly new at the gallery, they wanted me to showcase the work I've already been making, not to attempt to come up with entirely new work, but to make the work that I usually make, just more of it. So, I titled the show after the collection of work, which is 'dahlhaus'.
The amount of work I needed to produce and the sales expectations of the gallery certainly made me consider what and how much of my work to produce for the show. Knowing that my mugs sell really well at the gallery meant that I was making a lot of mugs for the show, but I did manage to pull together some special work for the show. The large plates and platters are more one-of-a kind pieces, and little tile frames were new to the show (although you may remember I did a little proto-typing with those tiles this past spring). I was losing sleep over some of my installation ideas, as I wanted to try something a little different to display the tiles, so you'll notice that I drew, with water soluble graphite, the same little frame that I often draw onto my bottle vases, right onto the wall in the gallery to 'frame in the frames'. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, although I'm already back in the studio this week to glaze some more frames so the space will always be filled up (I only had 4 extra tile frames...).
So there you have it, Dean did a little videoing of the show, which I'll put up at some point when I get to it, but we just have to edit out some of the scenes with my boys goofing off in front of the camera:).

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Solo Show Opens today!

My solo show is opening today at the Gallery of BC Ceramics! I'll post pictures of the show later so you can see how it looks in the gallery, but here are a couple of the new photos that Curtis did this past monday for our photo shoot! A new very large thrown plate that, after 3 glaze firings, finally turned out! And some of my flower vases with the cut-outs- here with some peach Dahlias! The opening is a small window of time between 1-3pm, but it will be up for the month of July!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! These photos were taken from last-year's Canada Day parade and this year my camera is up in Yellowknife with Dean, who happens to be in the Canada Day Parade up there LOL! He's up their setting up youth work with skateboarders along with a crew of guys from all over and they got invited to be part of the parade! So, 'from far and wide, Oh Canada'!