Friday, October 30, 2015

It Begins!

The Christmas plotting, that is!

Christmas is my absolute, total, no question about it, favourite holiday. I love making Christmas ornaments and pottery with a Christmas-y feel and plotting various Christmas enjoyments!

One of my enjoyments is designing my booth at the annual Carp Farmers' Market Christmas Market.

I'm planning a Woodland Christmas theme for this year - lots of natural things like pine and spruce garlands, bowls of pine cones and leaves, even birchbark curls. I already have a lovely big grapevine wreath, with lots of wild vine-y bits to it for the blank wall in the booth. All it needs is a bit of greenery, maybe pine, and a floppy red bow and it will look most fine. Then some strings of tiny red felt hearts... or should they be stars, or bunnies... red pillows on the chairs... now how can I add some trees...

 How I got the grapevine wreath is sort of interesting. The beavers cut down a small tree along the driveway, which I was sorry to see, but beavers will be beavers and I am determined to try to see them as nature's pruning service. Then they couldn't drag it away because it was all tied up by a huge multi-stemmed wild grape vine. The next day I saw that they had very cleverly cut the tree into quite small pieces, and the day after that they dragged most of them into the marsh near their lodge. This left a lot of grapevine sprawled across the driveway. I started rolling it up and realized it would make great wreaths and sure enough, I now have 5 nice wreaths and one large rather wild-looking one. I'm not worried about the vine, it will re-grow, probably bigger and better and it can climb up a nearby pine.

 I've made a list of Christmas stuff to make... too ambitious, of course, but exciting anyway. One of the first things is to make a lot of terracotta mitts which are always popular. Luckily, my (former) Super Helper is coming on Saturdays in November to help and between us we should be able to get a lot done. Mitts will be the first thing. You've seen them here before but just for fun here is one again.
Christmas mitt with greenery
I'm also participating in the West Carleton Arts Society's new "$100 & Under" sale which will be the same weekend as the Christmas Market, so I am plotting ideas for that as well.

For some reason, my plotting seems to involve a Fox - a red Fox, running along... I guess a Woodland needs a Fox, right?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sunnies and Leaves

Here are some of the finished Sunflower design pieces:
sunflower designs pottery stoneware
You remember, last time I was bitching about how long it takes me to paint my pots. I guess it's worth it, at least I hope it is!

Now I'm working on my Leaves design. It is a bit easier because I use stencils for many of the leaves, but it is oddly difficult to keep the designs random. There is a real tendency to start to arrange things in patterns... or to do things all the same. So I have to force them to be different, and then sometimes I get into design trouble! Never mind, the finished pieces are nice:
stoneware pottery autumn leaves design
One thing that doesn't please me much is hearing people say they are buying them because of the red maple leaves, so Canadian, blah de blah. Grrrr. Makes me feel I'm caving in to touristy selling. Maybe I am. Except that I do like leaves.

Hopefully the pieces in the kiln will all be good, so I can take them to the Carp Market tomorrow. The woods all around us are gorgeous right now, bright with yellow, orange and red leaves, so my booth will fit right in! And please don't tell me you are buying my mug because of the red maple leaf, I might snarl!