Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ceramic Jewelry

I have been keeping one of my new goals - Keeping that kiln loaded and running!!!

I am loving the new pieces that keep coming out. I had to share a few with you all. I am loving opening the kiln lately. It is such a fun surprise to see what happens.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

My family loves Thanksgiving. We start talking about it the day after Halloween, discussing what we want on the menu.

We don't live near family so we invite our neighbor and anyone else who doesn't have a place to go for the holiday. I hadn't realized how important it was to my children that we invite others to our meal until this past week when they were drawing pictures of Thanksgiving. They had drawn pictures with all these extra people around our table!

Don't get me wrong...I don't have a fancy Martha Stewart table, rather, a simple table with mismatching plates, silverware, and a well-worn tablecloth. I have always wanted to do a Martha Stewart table, but with three of my children still very young I think it is more important they learn to set the table and help with the meal.

I shopped yesterday for all the fixings and we will begin our preparations today. Each of the children get to help make a part of the meal. It is so cute watching them beam with pride when their part of the meal is passed around the table. Even my 13 year is proud of himself. LOL!!

On the big day my husband's job is to keep the children who are not helping at the moment entertained (I have a very small kitchen and cannot fit more then 2 people at a time), keep the holiday music playing, and of course he is official taste tester!

Here are a few of my favorite table settings for that year when I do go all out. I love the colors and natural look to them all.

I might have to do this with the candles. I love candles on the table!

What do some of your favorite table settings look like? Post them here!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

This is one of the amazing little letters and cards I got from my children this morning. They all brought tears to my eyes.

This is the present I made for myself!!! I finally stopped blowing up things in my kiln and have had so much fun creating ceramic pendants.

The color is so hard to photograph. The glaze on this pieces has golds, greens, and blues in it with a little crackling to it. It really picks up the colors of what you are wearing.

I fell in love with the Kazuri ceramic beads several years ago and have been wanting to create my own ceramic beads for so long. My husband likes this ideas much better then the 1.5 hour drive to a store in CT that sells the Kazuri beads. It is only a 40 minute drive to the ceramic warehouse for more glazes. They are truly addicting.

They take almost a week to make from beginning to end but so worth it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recycled Sweater Project

I found this amazing sweater at our local thrift store. It is all wool and I put it in the washing machine and felted it down to a nice thick soft sweater. Don't you just love those cute sheep????

Then I decided to make a pillow out of the main body of the sweater.

I made mittens out of the sleeves. They are really are nice and long and go well over my wrists. I am trying to tell myself not to keep them and give them as a gift. But when I walked the dog they were the only thing keeping my hands from freezing.

Then I took more sweater scraps and made some cute purple mittens. I think they will be adorable for my daughter for Christmas.

And because I was avoiding housework I found more things to do. I have been wanting to make homemade marshmallows forever. I bought the gelatin months ago and never got around to making them. I used this video on to for my recipe.


They turned out wonderful.

Can you see those small dried up things next to the plate??? I don't think I can eat those store ones ever again.

They taste so amazing. My oldest son usually makes goodies for all his teachers at Christmas (last year he made orange marmalade) and he was thinking of doing hot chocolate kits. These would be perfect to go with his kits. And they really were simple.

I do have to try a recipe that uses egg whites. My curious mind just has to see if they taste better or not. I will let you all know what I think. I am off to unload my kiln and see if anything I put in there yesterday turned out. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Handmade Holidays!

I am a little behind in my handmade holidays pledge but with no job to worry about I have more time then ever!! Of course that means I have no money to spend. I am looking forward to where my imagination takes me on this journey.

I may have to take a few hours off each week to stand in line at the "soup kitchen" for dinner though. Just teasing!!

While working I didn't have much time for creating with all spare time being taken up with housework, cub scouts, homework, soccer practice, and all that jazz. But in the evenings I would work on my binder of inspiration. I went through all those magazines I have been hoarding and started cutting out things that inspired me or I wanted to try. It is sitting in the middle of my craft room table right now just calling my name.

For those of you that don't have a binder of inspiration you have got to see all the amazing ideas I have run across on the internet.

First check out this site. http://www.oneprettything.com/

One Pretty Thing is a daily website dedicated to bringing you inspiring projects for a handmade life. Rachel is so good at finding the most amazing ideas. Make sure you make yourself a large cup of your favorite seasonal beverage (mine is tea with lemon right now) because you are going to be there for a loooonnnggg time looking at her site.

And after you have recovered from her site don't forget to check out Sew Mama Sew's blog for their daily handmade gift ideas. It started on November 1st and they have some great ideas all with tutorials.

I am off to work on some projects while the washing machine is going. My goal is to show post something tomorrow. If I put it in writing then I have to do it. That is the idea anyway.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I am BACK!!!!!

I was laid-off from my job last week and decided I could be bummed or look at this as something positive. This is the beginning of new doors opening for me I can just feel it!

There are many positives right now about not working and I intend to only focus on them right now.
  • My dirty laundry will be tamed. It has become a beast with a mind of its own taking over every room of the house.
  • I will find my pie and cake pans and start baking more. I have really missed baking.
  • My craft room will be organized at least for a day, then it will be cluttered with all the wonderful projects that have been lurking in my head.
  • My kiln is going to be used every week firing all my creations. My poor head hurts trying to hold them all inside.
  • My children will have all their homework done, checked, and turned in. We had a few weeks where someone was missing something.
  • Holiday gifts are going to be started and wrapped up. We hand make all our gifts to each other, friends, and teachers. I have usually started with each of the children by now. We have a meeting with hot chocolate, mom's secret holiday notebook, and discuss all their ideas and what we need to do to complete them. Every year I am so amazed at their creativity.
  • New blog look. I learned some cool graphic stuff at my job. I can't wait to apply it to my blog.
That is the beginning of my list of positives. I have many more that I will post later.