Let's crafty!

Let's crafty!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shopping and inspiration: Antiques in Hancock, MD

On the drive back from a weekend in Cleveland, I got the urge to stop along the way and do a little antiquing...and found some great stuff at Hancock Antique Mall in Hancock, MD.

My favorite spot was definitely the Lill booth--the owner had set it up super cute, with all kinds of teapots and china and glass trays and lovely tea things. I also considered getting a shabby chic sort of carved wood frame mirror but it looked like it needed some repair...and there were some pink goblets to match the bird bowl that I wish I had picked up too. Might require a return trip!

From top:
Dep pink bowl with birds on side: Lill
Popegosser china dessert plates: Lill
Kentucky Cardinal apples sign: Lois
Nippon handpainted dip plate: Lill
Blue marble trinket box (with cockatiels on it!!!): Lill
Vintage hankies: Lill
Micro floral tapestry vintage pin: Val
Metal coaster set: Lill
Car coasters: Lill

Omg I was SO excited to find the cockatiel box especially. I happened to go back to the Lill booth after my round of the entire antique mall...I was really looking for vintage hankies and teacups so I overlooked it on the shelf somehow the first time! This is definitely my favorite new piece.

In other news, welcome to fall! I was half-surprised to see the leaves on the sidewalk yesterday, even though the weather is getting noticeably cooler.
Might be time for a road trip to enjoy all the pretty fall leaves :) Or more apple picking!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Craft projects in the works: PYOP and felt fruit ornaments

Yay! Now that I have passed my exam and am done studying, I was able to spend some time on crafty things this weekend.

I had been wanting to try making felt fruit ornaments for a long time so yesterday I started with apples and pears. I think they are pretty darn cute!

I really enjoyed stitching these and they are much faster to make than my owl ornaments!
Today I went back to The Pottery Stop to finish my last PYOP coaster and work on my other wax resist pieces (the plates for my brother). My elephant coaster from last time was done!
The plates are going kind of slowly...I finished one side of each plate. I think I will finish them this week. Love the toucan! And I did something a little different on the back of my whale plate (instead of the usual bees). Here are the "before" pictures...neither piece has been fired in the kiln yet, the colors will be darker after that. What do you think?

I totally love the ducky and umbrella!  :) 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

PYOP (Paint Your Own Pottery) Coasters (well...half of them)

I finished two of the four PYOP coasters I started...then last week I went back to finish the other two but forgot to bring them with me! So I ended up working on some plates instead. But here are the two finished coasters!

On the backs I decided to put the little bees again with my initials...with a slightly different configuration on each coaster. The little white dots I painted worked out surprisingly well, they nicely camouflage the three little marks from when they put the pieces in the kiln.
Here are the "before" pictures--after I painted but before the pieces were fired. I used the same wax resist technique I enjoy so much. It's fun to paint the picture, and then color it in like a coloring book :)

As you can see we usually accompany our pottery painting with a fine meal at Qdoba...mmm quesadillas with extra queso...

Here are the other two coasters...a ship and an elephant! Totally random but that's what I felt like painting.

 And here are the two plates I started last time...

Lots of painting to do! Can't wait to see how these turn out. The whale and/or toucan plates are for my brother...we'll see which one of them he prefers.

Back to The Pottery Stop later this week to finish!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

PYOP (Paint Your Own Pottery) ladybug jewelry box

Things have been pretty busy--I'm studying for an exam, switching to a new office at work, and how does the laundry keep piling up? In between all the craziness I did find some time to go paint pottery with Juli at The Pottery Stop. Thursday is ladies night so gals get 20% off the price of the pottery, and you can bring your own wine or beer.

I wanted to make another jewelry box since the last one with the butterfly turned out so good...I wanted a similar look and feel like they were part of a set. I used my usual wax resist technique to give it that stained glass look. On this one I did a ladybug with some leaves and flowers. It turned out so pretty!

On the bottom I don't like to just put my initials (boring!) so I painted a little bee picture with them...get it...bzzzzz...




Next time: PYOP coasters!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Custom owl orders

I recently had two fun custom orders of my embroidered felt owl ornaments!

The first was an etsy order for 10 pink and brown owls for a baby shower--what a cute idea! The owls are great for decorating, and can then be given as favors to attendees after the party.

I did a bunch of color variations. I actually cut out 19 owls to give the customer a chance to pick which combinations she liked best.
Here are the finished owls in the color combinations she selected.

So cute!
The second order was a set of blue owls for my friend Mary (they were a gift for her daughter who goes to UNC). It was Mary's idea to do them in her daughter's college colors...also very cute!

I love doing custom orders! Sometimes customers have great ideas for color combinations or uses I hadn't thought of yet :) Plus I love making these owls, they are a lot of fun to sew.

materials: DMC, eco felt, grosgrain ribbon, thread, polyester quilt batting

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

PYOP (Paint Your Own Pottery) Part 4

My friend Angie was in town this week and she is also crafty so we spent an afternoon at The Pottery Stop. I finished two pieces that came out pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself! Angie had never tried PYOP before and she had a great time and may be hooked on it too :) And her piece came out amazing!

Angie painted this lovely bowl (as part of a vertical spoon rest) with a Tuscan countryside scene.

I just love the koi on the inside of the bowl, what a beautiful touch! Angie has really meticulous attention to detail which paid off here, especially since the bowl is actually quite small (about 4 inches in diameter). It looks awesome.
This time I thought to take "before" photos of my pieces...partly to show the difference, and partly to remember what paint colors I used and how they looked before they were fired. I tend to use blues that are too dark and hide the black outlines and don't want to make that mistake on my next one.
Here's my three-section tray, with a ladybug, bird, and dragonfly. Before:
And after:

The ladybug was my favorite section on this one once it was fired. See what I mean about the overly dark blue sky in the other sections?
I also decided to paint a cute little design on the back.

After I finished this piece, I had some extra time while waiting for Angie to paint her tiny trees, etc. So I started a new tray (wavy sushi plate) with one of my favorite little scenes that I've painted in watercolor and other media before...whaley!

My little whale scene before:
And after being fired:
I love how bright all the colors turned out! And I did a little bit of a dotted texture detail in the coral, which came out better than expected. I added a silly little chicken legs box signature design on the back for fun:
We really had a great, relaxing day painting our pottery! What a nice way to spend the day with a friend :) And then picking up our pottery pieces was like a surprise present all over again, to see how they turned out!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

PYOP (Paint Your Own Pottery) Part 3

I went back to pick up my latest pottery piece from The Pottery Stop and was sort of surprised with the results. The vase turned out great on some sides...on others the design did not come out quite as I intended...but overall it was a pretty successful experiment!

The side with the red bird is the one I'm happiest with. Even though the branch near the top didn't come out quite as visible as I would have liked (I underestimated the darkness of the dark blue I used for the top), it looks pretty close to what I had in mind. The birdie is so fat and cute!
Here are some of the other views...

I'm not thrilled with how the side with the monarch butterfly below turned out...I think I was rushing to finish on the leaves and they didn't come out quite right.

The colors on the leaf were not what I was expecting for some reason! Haha. Otherwise I am happy with the dragonfly panel though. 
This side has a bird on it but you can barely see the top because I used too dark of a background, unfortunately. Otherwise it looks really pretty...sigh.

Vase bottom...I guess it got a little scratched in transit to the kiln?

Overall the vase was sort of an ambitious project for a beginner at PYOP so I'm fairly pleased with it...and ok with the slightly imperfect results. Hey, I can always go back and do it again! It was lots of fun to work on :) What a great crafty activity to do with friends!
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