Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Proud Potter

So for the past couple of months, I've been signed up in a pottery class at the local cultural center (happens to be the same place we are getting married - small world).  By pottery, I don't mean ceramics where you handpaint a premade sculpture or form.  Ceramics is all fine and good, but I'm gettin dirty.  Think the movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore - only less sensual.  Anywho, so this class is once a week for 2.5 hours and is a really great stress reliever.  Cool people, nice conversation, and a chance to really create something.  Well, that creating has turned out quite a few cool pieces (most of which I have zero room for and end up stacking in empty corners, much to Dan's dismay).  But I thought I would share a few that I've made so far - beware of picture overload!....

One of my very first dishes

These are a trio of bowls/plates that I made using a fabric doily

I found a giant leaf and made a platter out of it :)

Cute little flower dish on my end table

Pinch pot with floral imprint in the bottom - I use it to hold hairties, bobby pins, and other random bathroom stuff

My very first pot on the wheel! Made with two colors of clay blended together to get the "swirl" effect

Another doily project - this time imprinted onto a large platter

I absolutely love this little wavy-edged plate

A doily coaster

Three little vases on the kitchen window sill.  I love the blue one in the middle

A set ot coffee mugs with fancy little handles :)

My second pot on the wheel :)  Bigger and better than the last (although slightly lopsided!)

Since my throwing skills aren't perfected yet, I really wanted a large food bowl.  So I molded this one around a plastic bowl - one of my best projects yet!

Another molded bowl - beautiful colors!

A cute little tray with handpainted flowers

Another pinch pot - the purple color was completely random, but I like it

An abstract bowl made with dark and white clay

Another leaf project - this time used to hold my random jewelry before I make it upstairs

My spoonrest :) Although, I've recently made a new one since this picture was taken due to the fact that this one was awkward and didn't actually ever hold a spoon correctly- plus I broke the handle

So that's it....for now....until I get around to snapping some more shots of all the new stuff.
Stay tuned :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

What a Card(box)

Just a small, quick post about a small, quick project I recently finished....

So you show up to a party (a high school graduation party to be exact) and you are expected to bring a card with cash, of course.  You go through the line of tables that Mom painstakingly covered with pictures of little Suzie or Mikey in the bathtub, or with spaghetti on his face, or sitting on Santa's lap, etc, etc.  You get to the end and there it is....a plain boring box wrapped in gift wrap with a slit in the top.  You drop your card in it and that's it.  Boring.

Now it may seem like an odd thing to consider "decking out", and most people probably don't even pay attention.  But hear me out...

Many many years ago when I was just a girl (haha) I had a graduation party myself.  My mom got all creative and made a GIANT graduation cap for a cardbox.  It was pretty awesome.  Shortly after that, party stores started renting out boxes that were similar, but nowhere NEAR as big.

Flash forward a couple years and my younger cousin was graduating.  He played an acoustic guitar as a hobby and I was enlisted to make a cardbox in the shape of a guitar.  Now looking back, I should have snapped a photo (because it was pretty badass) but you live and you learn.

Then my best friend got married.  She had me make a box in the shape of a wedding cake complete with her wedding colors.

Then a friend of a friend was getting married and the wedding was a beach theme.  So I made a giant sandcastle cardbox (again no pictures).

Then my little sister graduated high school.  Her party was a beach-ish theme too so I made a giant flip flop (I actually got a pic of this one!)

All I can say is...rave reviews! Plus, it's still hanging on her bedroom wall.

Two of her friends that year wanted one too.  So I made a giant Nintendo controller and a basketball going into a hoop.

Just a month or so ago, a family friend asked me to make one for her son's graduation.  He was big into discus throwing for the track team and had won some state metals.  So she sent me some pics and I got to work.

I found the perfect ribbon at the craft store that looked exactly like the metal's actual ribbon.  I freehanded the writing and the little drawing at the bottom and TaDa!

Along with the help of this guy (courtesy of Dan for my birthday!)

I built an Ohio-shaped box and wrapped it in gold wrapping paper.

There's a hole cut in the top and a flap in the back so you can get the cards out.

Now, I know this may seem like a silly idea, but I think it's cool to find something personal and play off of it.  It is something they can keep forever and is just really fun.  I equate it to the big fancy personalized cakes they make on TV that everyone loves, but you hate to eat because they are so cool and pretty.  These are like that, only inedible!

Just wait till you see what I have come up with for my wedding :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Polka Dottie

So I'm always lookin for a good chair to redo, right?  And I've got just about everyone I know keeping a look out for me whenever they are out n about.  My future sister-in-law noticed this guy (and by "guy" I'm referring to the chair) on the street across from her house.  She emailed me a pic asking if I thought it was worth it for her to grab it.  "Uh, of course!" 
Now, given the look of the house across from them, I gave her a heads up to keep it in the garage for a few days and test its "smelliest".  Happy to report it is smell free :)  So we trucked it from Erie to home and I got to work. 

The idea was to (slowly) revamp the living room furniture which currently housed a sloppy sofa and uncomfortable loveseat that both looked like they belonged in a frat house.  A recent curtain gig yielded me enough leverage to convince Dan to buy a new couch - nevermind the fact that we've only gone to two stores and I'm relatively picky.  Also, for being such an awesome interior designer at work, I won 30 square yards of free carpet which is exactly enough to do our whole living room.  In replace of the loveseat - which created an awkward walkaround area from the kitchen to the living room - we decided to use some of the chairs I fix up instead,  which brings me back to the chair. Whew, that took a bit.

Anywho, I stripped it down to the stuffing...
There were no stains or smells or gross stuff (which automatically stops any further work on my part) so I was free and clear to press on.  And press on I did.  I needed to buy a new seat cushion since the original one was in sad shape.  I also found really great material at Joann's that worked with our living room color scheme (and was a really fabulous pattern).

Piece by piece, I put the chair back together - I took plenty to photos of the disassembly to know how things were supposed to go.  And my cute little bug served as just the right prop to work.

Me workin hard on the last piece of the puzzle
What, you don't have a glass of wine while you work?? ;)

No, these aren't medieval torture devices, they're just some guys who help me out on some tough projects - a rubber mallet and webbing/upholstery stretcher.

The Big Reveal



At one point, I considered searching for another chair similar to the first to sit beside it.  But now that the first one is finished and that ugly loveseat is outta the way, I like not having to walk around anything to get from the kitchen to the living room.  Plus, we're only two people and I have plenty of small chairs in other rooms to pull out for company.

Sad old loveseat by the side of the road...hopefully someone will take him home...