our tree!

This year we're experimenting with a real tree. I'm allergic to coniferous trees, so it's been years since I've vacuumed up needles. Mark and Megan brought home a "free range" tree, one that was cut from the forest, not intensely pruned for years. I sat beside it and my lips went numb and I was itchy all over. I thought "Oh boy, here we go, we're going to have to toss this tree out, or me." The next day was better, and now it doesn't bother me at all. I think the trick is that the branches are open and airy and the what-ever-it-is that makes me sick, dispersed quickly, and it really is a very small tree.

I especially love that you can hang the ornaments deep into the tree and still see them. It's like they're framed by the branches.

Handmade ornaments only on this 3 feet of wild tree.

 

 

Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

pinata

You're never too old for a pinata. When Megan turned 21 we hung a pinata full of tootsie pops from a tree branch, in the park. Megan was blindfolded and bravely swinging at the pinata that her brother was controlling (just imagine!). We heard a voice from the street, call out "Use the force". We spun around to see that a car full of young men had stopped to enjoy the moment. It was wonderful. Thank you guys!

fog

The beach is even more magical in the fog.

In 8 minutes it went from a faint haze of fog to where we were barely able to see the lobster boat racing into harbour (very centre of the photo). That was eery.

Ellen

On the same day that I last had lunch at Rick's Fish & Chips, I stopped in to visit my friend Ellen Burge at the Clay Impressions Studio. I found Ellen and her dogs in the studio and watched her put the handles on a rack of mugs. It was very relaxing and it was wonderful to get caught up and the share ideas. thumb rests...

handles and thumb rests...

attaching the handle and thumb rest...

Ellen, the potter.

Seventeen!

Morgan's 17 today!!!  Time flies when you're having FUN. Morgan does some studio work for me on weekends. Thank you Morgan!

the Christmas scarf

On Christmas morning, my husband handed me a present. A light, soft, squishy package. It was address to me, from him, with love. I peeled off the tape and folded back the paper, very slowly, as usual, because I really enjoy savouring the moment of suspense.

When I finally revealed the contents I turned to my daughter and exclaimed (I really did) "Did you make this?!?!!!" She replied "NO! Dad did!" I turned to Mark and he confirmed that he had, indeed, knitted me a scarf for Christmas! I cried, and I cried. I was so touched.

Mark and Megan had been spending an awful lot of time in the tv room, with the door closed, the week before Christmas. I had felt a bit left out.

Megan sat with Mark and taught him how to knit. He started on smaller needles, but quickly switched to very large ones. She says he's a great student, and that he insisted that the scarf have tassels.

drawer pulls

When I saw Sandy and Fiona's new kitchen I gasped as I ran my hands over the doors and then said "Oooooh! I want to make glass pulls for your cabinets!" What a gorgeous kitchen! The cabinets are wood, the colour of bleached driftwood, and the countertop is granite, the colour of the red Island clay.

I call this colour mermaid and it's perfect for their kitchen that looks out over the dunes and then the ocean.

Juliet

Caroline gave me this delightful and useful little fish. We call her Juliet, and she keeps the wine fresh.

magical

Last evening, at Canoe Cove, was magical. The sunset was deeply rich with colour. The stars were twinkling in a clear sky and we launched 50 Sky Lanterns out over the Northumberland Strait.

We had whites ones and coloured ones. The consensus is that the red ones sailed the best.

I don't have any photos at the moment, but I think Lionel does. If he does, I'll add them soon.

birthday flowers

Gorgeous flowers from my dear friend, Brenda! I LOVE roses! Can you smell them?

I carry them around the studio with me. If I'm working at the table, they're on the table. If I'm at the counter, they're on the counter. I'll be at home tomorrow, working on Ruby's dress for the wedding, so they'll be moving around the sewing room with me.

THANK YOU Brenda!

Steph waiting for The Royals

This is our dear neighbour, Stephanie, waiting for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to pass our corner. I learned a valuable lesson that evening. When you put a camer between you and what you want to see, it acts as a barricade. Catherine, smiled and waved to us, but all I got was a blur, and all she got was another camera pointed at her. VERY IMPERSONAL moment. Lesson learned!

beach bracelet

This is the best photo I've ever taken!

Lionel Stevenson made a print of it, which I've hung in the display window.

While I was taking photos my beach buddy was flying a stunt kite. A joyful experience!

Studio Fairy

Oh BOY, I was LUCKY!!! I staggered blindly into Timothy's for a cappuccino one  Sunday morning and ran into Stacey Leunes. Stacey has just finished the Jewellery program at George Brown College, in Toronto. Last summer she worked for master goldsmith, Jeanette Walker, my friend, colleague and neighbour. Stacey is from PEI, but she is living in Toronto, for the moment. She wasn't in a big hurry to get back to Toronto, and she happily agreed to work with me for 2 weeks.

OH! I am blessed! Instantly, I called her "the Studio Fairy". Customers, friends and colleagues now know her as "the Studio Fairy".

Complete with WINGS!

Making a bead.

Modeling a Stacey Leunes ORIGINAL!

THANK YOU Stacey! You saved my life. xobj

reflecting, on my 50th birthday

I'm finding this one to be a more emotional birthday than usual. My brilliant, hilarious, courageous brother, Ron, died from Cancer when he was 36. I was 34 and pregnant with Morgan when he passed.

We gave Morgan, "Ron" as a middle name, and it bothered him to have the name of a dead uncle, until he was about 14 and saw this picture of Ron, dancing on his houseboat. Morgan asked "WHO's that?" I answered "Dead Uncle Ron." "Oh, cooool!" was his reaction. Now Morgan is proud to be named for this uncredibly spirited man.

Ron's photos sit on my torch bench. His spirit lives in the studio. I ask his opinion and I get it, usually what I want or need to hear.

The GREATEST gift Ron gave me, was The Beatles.

In Grade 7 I was crowned the "Second Runner Up Snow Princess" at Connaught Public School's Winter Carnival. Russ Jackson, the quarterback for the Ottawa Rough Riders, kissed my right cheek and presented me with a dozen, pink, sweetheart roses and a $10 gift certificate to" Treble Clef", the record store.

My reaction was "What do I do with this?" Ron said "Don't worry, I'll take you." Well, as good as his word. When we walked into "Treble Clef" I followed him directly to the back, lefthand corner of the shop. By the time I caught up with him he had pulled out a copy of "The Red Album" and he said "You should start with this one."

THANK YOU RONNIE!

I have had a lifelong love of, and enjoyment from The Beatles!!!

We listen to The Beatles a lot, in the studio. So much so that when Megan went to her first party she came home rather pleased with herself. She said, "The guys brought out some guitars and I knew 4 songs!" ALL BEATLES!

I'm paying it forward Ron. Thank you!

Cavendish Beach

Megan and Mark and I went to Cavendish Beach for a stroll, on Canada Day weekend. We're lucky, and we know it! Mark noticed this "location" for doing product photography. Mark's a film maker, so he's got a good eye. This was a small section of dune that had separated from the major dune. To me, it has a Grand Canyon look to it.

The beach is always my favorite place to photograph Happy Glass.

It looks like they're thanking the sun goddess but they're actually shaking out their swollen hands.

Airplane!

My beach buddy.

After a wonderful beach walk we came upon these kids, who's parents either don't care about the fragility of the dunes or can't read. I took loads of photos of these brothers sliding down the dunes, and a couple of photos of their parents,with their backs turned sheepishly towards me.

This car lightened my mood, when I got back to the parking lot!

Happy Canada Day Weekend to you!

silver rings

My dear friend Jeanette is a master goldsmith. She is extremely generous with her skills and her time. Jeanette would like me to put more silver elements in my jewellery pieces. To encourage me on my way she has taught me how to clean castings. After a carved wax has been cast in metal it has a rough, dull finish. In order to give it a mirror finish, you need to remove the rough bits and make the surface as smooth as possible using a variety of hand and power tools. I started with a coarse file and worked down to a fine file, then coarse emery paper to fine emery paper, then I used a polishing compound and finally rouge, to give these 6 rings their mirror finish.

Can you see the thin ring in the fore ground reflected in the surface of the wavy ring? That means I did an excellent job. The ring in the front, on the left, and the 2 in the background are meant to have matt finishes. Their insides gleam though.

I am very, very pleased with what I've learned, and I have started thinking about ways to incorporate silver elements in the Artisan Collection. Stay tuned...