Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer style

My newly traded natural dyed silk scarf by Janna & shirt by Modaspia.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

gone camping

It hasn't exactly been the ideal summer to go camping.  It's rained and has been cold 90% of the time on the westcoast of BC (I know all those heat-wave folks are probably envious, but I guess the grass is always greener...).  So when the weather turned nice this past weekend, we headed out with the Boler up to Hick's Lake, about 2 hours outside of Vancouver, to go camping with our neighbours and their 2 younger boys.  Arriving on a balmy warm day seemed a little too good to be true, and despite the weather forecasting sunny and warm, it quickly turned cold and nearly raining on us.  While I'm not too keen on the bug bites, the outhouses, lack of showers, or camping in the rain (despite us having Dean's folk's Boler to keep us dry at night), it was good to be out of cell range, stoke a campfire in the evenings and camp with the neighbours.  We feel so fortunate to live on a street where we can connect with people beyond a little wave while getting the mail!

**We came back to the sad news about Norway, including news through friends that one of their family members was at the camp where the shootings took place.  Apparently she found a place to hide and was safe, however I can only imagine the shock, horror and tragedy that is affecting so many people who were involved or had family involved.  My heart goes out...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Snow Cone Magic

For the first time this summer we went to the Lonsdale Night Market.   Not too far from where we live, the weather out here has just not exhibited quite enough summer for us to really take advantage of these Markets until this past weekend.  The whole idea of Farmer's Markets and night markets with food vendors, live music and some artisan tables is really just starting to take hold out here.  I think it's a tough sell, if you are trying to sell handmade items at these events, since it seemed to me that most people were putting their money on a snow cone, fresh lemonade and a taco.  
So yes, we were all about the snow cones.  Oh, they were good.  I don't think I'd really had one with shaved ice before, especially considering the woman came down from Whistler and was using (by my prediction) fresh spring water for her ice.  Seriously, these were yummy.  And I'll be back for more, most likely also checking out the taco stand or the forno pizza (oh yes, street pizza- and I bet it was good!).

Monday, July 25, 2011

The colour purple

showed up as I was digging up a few potatoes for our dinner.  Last year it was purple beans, this year, purple potatoes. 
**I am just realizing that I've used this burlap coffee sack in the past number of photos as a background. I got it from our local roasters who gave me a stack of them for free when I inquired what they do with all the empty coffee sacks.  I'm still sorting out what to do with them, but for now it's been the perfect covering on an old table that we keep on the porch.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Custom Orders

As much as things are a little busy in the studio these days with one order of one item, I have been doing a wee bit of custom work for people to shake things up a bit for myself. 
Custom work is tricky- I always have to make an extra set or item because something generally goes wrong.  I also only take on custom orders if the work is in line with what I'm already making so I'm not having to re-invent the wheel (no pun intended;).  When the order turns out well, it's a refreshing change from what usually happens, which is that it takes me twice as long to complete an order.  I know a lot of people charge double for custom work, (because of the extra time involved), and I sometimes charge more because it might be a new glaze I've got to test or new forms I have to develop for the order, however most often I use the opportunity to experiment within my regular body of work.  And often I end up liking how things turn out.
How do you feel about custom orders if you get requests?  Do you feel that you have to charge a lot extra for them?
I hope you have a great weekend! I'm hoping to finally up-date my online shops to include some of the work that made it home from Renegade.  And hopefully we'll start feeling like summer in our neck of the woods:)!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keeping motivated

 It's my birthday this week and things are being kept pretty low-key around here.  My boys are at my folk's place all week while work continues on the largest order I've ever filled.  It's not for the faint of heart these large orders.  It's a whole lot of intensely physical work and I've been going to bed with sore muscles from all the lifting and pouring of molds in my little studio. I'm so grateful to have Sarah with me in the studio this summer- her energy and enthusiasm is certainly helping me stay motivated to keep at it.  At the rate we are going, we'll only have 1 more week of slip-casting, and the rest of the summer will be glazing, glazing and more glazing.  If all goes as planned, the bulk of the order will be finished by the end of the summer (and by the time Sarah has to go back to school), so I'm just finishing up the last bits in time to send it off early October.  By then I'll be full-on in Holiday mode.  Phew, what a year!!

photos:  The waterlilies at the studio are blooming again!
I remembered I had this photo kicking around- circa 1981 or 82.  Love the wallpaper, and clearly, I am ready to party!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BBQ's & Back-alley walks

We are trying to make the most of summer, despite the rain.  We are almost finished with the salmon we bought last fall during the record Sockeye Salmon run.  My brother-in-law cut it up for us (he used to work at a Fishing Lodge) and we vac-packed and froze all 200lbs of it.  For our family, it's allowed us to eat the most wonderful Salmon each week all year, and I'm going to miss it when it's gone. Paired with potatoes and herbs from the garden, along with some grilled zuchini and snap peas (garden too!!) I'm so glad to reap the benefits of summer!
And our walks after dinner down the back alley... check out the face in the tree!
Have a happy day!   

Monday, July 18, 2011

SF Wrapped up

I'm just wrapping up my time at the Renegade Craft Fair in San Fransisco today- I had a few more photos to share, along with my highs and lows.  

Highlights: the Farmer's Market at Fort Mason Pier- such pretty salad, amazing fresh squeezed orange juice and peaches! 
Lowlights: the mad rush to attempt to get the work 7 blocks to the post office in time for us to leave for our flight, (no taxi's wanting to pick us up with our boxes, me running with a hotel dolly with 2 of the largest boxes to the post office, being late for our shuttle etc. etc.) and then finding out at the airport that our flight was 2 hours delayed.  Definitely the hardest part of this adventure was not being able to ship anything from or to the actual venue. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I never promised you a rose garden

Happy Sunday from me to you.  I've been loving this song by Shad who spent some time in Vancouver and clearly understood about the rain gettin' a person down...
the lyrics of the original version:
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live,
Or let go.
I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.

Been raining all week, folks, so much for summer...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

SF day 3 & 4

Highlight: Probably the biggest highlight and reason for my whole trip down to Renegade were meeting such great people:  Janine from Uppercase (who wrote a lovely post re: her Canadians that included yours truly!), Diana Fayt, Rae Dunn, and Sara Paloma.  All these women were so warm and friendly- and of course, seeing their work in person was so amazing! Really, the show was so well curated- I could have bought everything in that building and didn't leave empty handed!  A few trades, and some purchases were made!
Lowlights: It was tough to step away from the booth and see more of the show or meet more vendors.   It also seems like times are tougher and people weren't as ready to make purchases.  Since I shipped my best work out, and had a very limited amount of table space (the 8 ft table we had ordered ended up only being 6 ft), I didn't offer any 'seconds' or 'sales' as an incentive for people looking for less expensive items.  I also chose the items most sold off my Etsy site, which meant if someone was in the market for a bowl, platter or large vase of mine, I didn't have any available at the show.  It's so tricky to sort out what to ship, how much to ship, and a table display for ceramics when your shipping the work and relying on a friend's car and taxi's to transport it to and from the show...and then having to pack it up and ship it back home at the end of the show.  Amazingly enough, I had no breakages in transport- fingers crossed I'll have none on the way home too!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SF day 2

Highlights: finding the Curiosity Shoppe and Paxton Gate (they didn't allow photos but you can find a few on this blog post from 2009), shopping and having drinks and lunch with Claire and Grace, my lovely Vancouver studio buddies, checking out the view as we rode a bus up to Haight-Ashbury.

Lowlights: both Grace and I feeling unwell- me in the morning, Grace in the afternoon (the water?  wacky eating schedules? catching a chill the night before?), waiting 2 hours longer then expected for our boxes of ceramics to arrive at our hotel, a really inebriated and rude man that came and sat beside us while we were having dinner...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SF day 1

 Highlights: having a yummy lunch at Bread & Cocoa, finding a sale at the Camper store, riding the Trolley Cable Car to Fisherman's Wharf with Grace,  and eating the most amazing seafood pasta at a little Italian restaurant that we found in an alley.
Lowlights: being incredibly cold and realizing we hadn't packed for how cold and windy it was going to get, and the long cue for the trolley to head back, while being hungry and cold! brr

Monday, July 11, 2011

back from San Fransisco

Hello there! I just got back from SF and will need a day or two to get things organized here, but wanted to touch base and say 'thanks' for the warm reception I received while doing Renegade!  I had a lot of reasons to want to make this trip happen this year and I'm so glad that it worked out for me to go.  While it wasn't the best show for me sales-wise (considering my expenses to go to the show/shipping work/accommodations etc. were so high), it was an amazing show to be part of!  There was so many amazing people to meet and connect with!
If you are curious about what the show was like, check out Renegade's flickr site right here.  They'll be updating it during the week as well!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Renegade SF

 Please come by and visit if you are in the neighborhood- we are booth #100!  My lovely studio neighbor  (and booth sharer) and I have arrived and are taking in all the great sights this city has to offer!  I'll be back with photos soon, in the meantime, hope you are having a lovely week!

Monday, July 4, 2011

red, white & blue

Happy Independence Day to my US neighbours! These were taken at the family farm this last weekend, where we ate local strawberries and admired the garden! 
I'm now on 'summer time' which means that I'm at the studio at odd hours- late on Sundays, early on Mondays, and so on, so that Dean and I can still work while the other is looking after the boys.  So I'll be popping by here at random times to say hello! Hope you all are having a great start to your week!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! I saw this Canada Flag in lace at North Vancouver's History Fair about a month ago and, besides being blown away by it's intricate design, thought it would be perfect for today!  I hope you have a great weekend- Happy Independence Weekend to those of you across the line as well!  I know we Canadian's aren't often quite as outwardly patriotic, however I do think there's a lot my country has to offer and I'm proud to live here.