Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Inspiration is All Around You

It has been unseasonably warm (hotter than you know what) here in Florida.  I spent the week of Christmas in front of a fan in humid 84 degree weather.  The weatherman stated it was the warmest Christmas in Tampa Bay.... ever.  EVER.  I believe it.  It made it absolutely impossible for me to get into the Christmas Spirit.  Of course the head cold I got 2 days before Christmas didn't help much either.  Christmas came and went.  I slept most of the day.  I was up long enough to see the kids open their gifts while we Skyped with my mom in Ohio.  My husband's sister came over for a bit too.  By the time she arrived, I was lying on the couch with tissues shoved up my nostrils.  :)  Once she left for work I left for the bedroom and didn't come out much thereafter.  The medicine I was taking for the head cold just knocked me out.


What has been nice about the warmer than usual weather is that I took a little trip to the beach with my daughters and my husband in search of inspiration for some pendants.  We all formed a line and walked the beach looking for things that would be awesome molded or that had a nice texture.  Honeymoon Island is perfect for this and it's pretty easy on the eyes too.  :)

We gathered up a small bag full of things and headed back home for some lunch.

Today, I pulled out the stuff we had gathered and made molds of some it.  Here are the items, the molds I made from them and the raw clay pendants:

This one was a really big shell that had pretty deep grooves.  It looks pretty boring at the moment but I'm hoping the grooves will really pool some glaze in them and make a nice effect.

Another shell but this one had some spikey dots along the grooves.

I really liked the swirl design of this piece of a shell.  The mold worked beautifully.

Barnacles anyone?  These were on a huge clam shell.  One of the barnacles popped off when I pulled the molding material off.  Oops. 

This mold was taken from the same clam shell as the barnacles.  I think it might look pretty interesting when glazed.

A little sea shell.

We found half of a sea urchin and I loved the spiny texture.

Last, but not least, is this rock that has tons of craters inside.  I didn't mold this piece.  I just smooshed the clay right onto it.  The pendant reminds me of the moon.

I'm hoping to get these bisque fired tomorrow and glazed by the end of the week.  Stay tuned....


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shaking Off the Bah Hummbugs

Every year I get a little less jolly and a bit more bah hummbug this time of year.  I think it's a combination of things that are causing it.  The warmer weather here in Florida makes it seem impossible that it's Christmas time. My husband being less than enthused every holiday.  The very few things Christmas themed to do here this time of year.  It all adds up to me thinking, "Why bother?"  Then I look at my kids.  Especially the youngest one (age 9), and then I think, "Oh yeah, because they are excited about it."

I used to love Christmas!  Everything about it.  Going to see all of the window displays, the train displays, the light displays.  Everything always seemed so magical in December.  So, instead of becoming more and more Grinch like, I've decided to take back my holidays!  :)

I'm just going to have to figure out how I can make it feel more like Christmas around here, without moving to a state with cold and snow that I absolutely loathe.

So, I finally dragged out our crappy little Christmas tree and the kids had fun putting the ornaments on.  Then I decided to make some ornaments for the upcoming show this weekend too.  So, I turned on the holiday channel on Pandora and made these ornaments while I sang along to my favorite holiday songs.

I know, I know.....

Making some ornaments and dragging out a tree isn't exactly a great effort but I'm working on it.  Next year I've decided to have a real tree for the first time in 18 years.  I'm going to make next Christmas a Christmas to remember for a long time.  Dang it!  This year, I'll do what I can on such short notice.  :)

No really, after I do the show this weekend I'll be focusing on Christmas.  The getting of gifts, wrapping, planning dinner, etc.

Maybe if all of you share what you do for Christmas it will inspire me to get my rear in gear.  Just leave a comment telling me what you HAVE TO HAVE when planning Christmas.  There may be a little somethin' somethin' in it for you too... hint hint.  More on that later.

In the meantime, wish me luck at the show and I'll be back Monday with info from the show and the somethin' somethin'.  ;)


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bodies Suck

I'm not feeling too great today.  Yesterday was worse though.  I'm having some digestion issues and am really not happy about the whole thing.  Apparently my body has decided that it does not like red meat, regardless of what my nose and taste buds think.  Sigh....

I did manage to drag my whiny butt outside for a few minutes to take pictures of some pendants I'll be adding to my etsy shop over the next few minutes though.  I thought I'd share them with you before I head on into the kitchen to warm up some soup.  It's a bit chilly here today (for Florida), which is not helping my whining.  :)

I hope everyone is staying warm and gearing up for the holidays.  I'm dragging my feet big time.  I haven't even put our tree up yet.  Tsk Tsk.  I need to shake off the bah humbug and get a little golly red elf going soon.  Christmas will be here before I know it!  My youngest daughter is already in the mood.  Look at this sweet little gifty that I spied on the end table today....

What a sweet pea!

Okay, better get that soup.  My nose is frozen.


Amber Waves of Gorgeousness

Click on the picture to see the treasury up close and personal.  :)  I'm in love with this color combo at the moment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Broke Out My SEXY Slippers

It's getting pretty chilly here today.  (Northerners, don't groan at me)  We started off near 80 and at 2:46pm we've dropped down to 64.  The temps are supposed to get colder yet.  It's dark and gray out there and it's raining too.

I'm actually thrilled about the whole thing.  It's been in the 80s for weeks and humid.  Anyway, I broke out the sweatshirt and my SEXY boot slippers that I bought at Ikea this weekend.

They are down filled and very comfortable and warm.  Not very sexy though.... lol

Since it's so gloomy around here today I figured I might as well get started on some new items for the Blu Mudd line today.  I've already sketched out my ideas and have a pretty good idea what designs I want to do.

Now I have to make a slump mold, which is where this little bowl is going to come in handy...

I also have a stamp or two that I want to carve.  We've gotten a lot of requests for sea turtles lately so....

sea turtles it is!

In the meantime, I put 4 custom pieces in the test kiln to fire.  They should be ready to ship out tomorrow, provided all goes well with this glaze firing.  You just never know what's going to happen in there.

As far as the show we did this weekend, it was a colossal waste of our time.  We did manage to make our entry fee back and a little profit too but no where near enough to make it worth it.  A friend of mine suggested more than once that I do a Buckler's Show so I told my husband and he was on the phone trying to get a spot at the show they were hosting this weekend.  We got in but man do we wish we hadn't of.  It was a really small show and we had to drive 40 minutes to get there each day so the cost for the gas in my van was a little high.  Once you took out expenses and such, I could have made more money sitting at home listing junk on eBay.  It was disappointing and we will not be doing any of the Buckler shows in the future.  Live and learn.  It's all part of the learning curve, I'm afraid.  Hopefully the show in New Port Richey will be a better experience.

Okay, so I'm off of this computer and heading on over to my work table.  Don't forget, everything in my Blu Mudd Etsy Shop is 20% off today for Cyber Monday.  Just enter CYBER20 at checkout to receive your discount.  Have a great week everyone!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Discount?? Did someone say Discount??


It's time for Blu Mudd's Cyber Monday Sale.  Purchase any items in our Blu Mudd Etsy Store on Monday, November 28th and receive 20% off!  Just enter the coupon code CYBER20 when checking out.

I hope everyone had a great holiday (US peeps) and that you didn't stuff yourselves too much on turkey and all of the fixings.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Front Page! Yeah baby!

We had a very long day at the craft show today but man was I happy to get home and see that I had several Etsy sales and that one of my pendants had made the front page of Etsy today!!  Woot woot!  Pardon me while I dance around and act a fool.  :)  That was awesome.  I only wish I had been here to see it myself.  Here's the treasury:

I'll talk about the show more tomorrow or Monday as it's a two day show and not over yet.  :)  Stay tuned!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WOYWW #129

Hello!  I signed up to participate each week in WOYWW.  Every Wednesday I'll give you a little peek into my studio to see what's going on around here.  If you'd like to participate too you can click on the badge over there on the right side bar to find out all about it.

So, what's on my worktable this Wednesday?  Stamp carving mess, that's what!  I have been commissioned to create 2 custom pendants for a lady in Ohio.  She's giving them as gifts for Christmas.  I drew out the design (mirrored image) on a cheapo pink eraser and then carved it using a stamp carving tool and some wood carving tools.

It came out right on the first try.  I love it when that happens!

Now I'm off to clean up some bone dry pendants waiting for me in the food dehydrator.  For those who celebrate, have a HAPPY TURKEY DAY!

I thought I'd share pics of the rest of my studio real quick before I run...


Ceramic Bracelets Are Sturdier Than You'd Think

I have been wanting to make a ceramic bracelet for myself for a few months now but never got around to it..... until the other day that is.

I made about 12 or so of them as a test run, remember this photo?

When they were dry I cleaned up the edges and went about glazing and firing them.  When I took them out of the kiln I was pretty pleased with how they turned out and quickly started putting the one I made for myself together to wear.

My husband came into the studio and sat down for a chat.  I showed him the bracelets and he said, "Won't they break easy?  Like if you hit them on a desk or table or something?"  I didn't have an answer and then panicked thinking Oh My Gosh, what if they break??

So, I decided I'd be the guinea pig and test mine out before making the others available for sale.  After 3 days of wearing it at all times (except in the shower), I am happy to report that not only has it not broken but it hasn't even chipped.  No scratch, no crack, no nothing.  Whoo hoo!

For the trial I did everything I would normally do.  I cleaned the house, I cooked.  I worked in the studio.  Etc, etc.  So, I'm really confident that they'll hold up really well and will be releasing them to my Etsy store next week.  I'm not saying they won't break, say if you drop it on a tile or concrete floor or if you do a face plant and use your arm to save your face or something.  BUT, normal day-to-day activities shouldn't break it. I have banged it a few times on my desk and it's still in one piece.  Anyway, I'm thrilled to have my new bracelet and am working on my link making skills before I release finished ones.  It's almost there.... just have to tighten up these wraps.