Monday, July 14, 2014

Beach time...

A mini vacation, just across the street from the cottage, 
and down a few steps...

Some days it is just the life guard, seashells, 

large stretches of blue sky, warm sand and the sparkling sea.

I usually bring my tattered sketchbook along with me.

And my favorite pencil, a fat stump for shading and an eraser.

On this day the straw bag and flip flops were more interesting than my pink painted toes.

Surprisingly, Sunday afternoon I seemed to have my favorite little cove all to myself.

Other days I have unsuspecting subject matter all about.

 I had just begun sketching 
when this guy jumped up and ran after his toddler.

So I spy someone else and begin again.

I am hidden under a large straw hat with dark glasses 
with the sketch book in my lap.

Most people have no idea what I am up to.

This gal made it so much easier, she was dozing and not moving about.

Mostly it is just for fun and practice 
but every once in a while I like a piece well enough to frame.

This one ended up in the guest house at Summerland Cottage.

This guy was so engrossed in his Clive Cussler novel 
that he made a perfect model.

(Reminder to self, do this more often!)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Butterfly bowls in sherbet colors

I was playing with a lace butterfly appliqué and clay,

and created these charming ceramic bowls in sherbet colors.

This pale turquoise color is my favorite!

Perfect for serving summertime fresh fruits and desserts.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gate and Garden Tour

I was thrilled to be included in the 

Laguna Beach Gate and Garden Tour this year!

(The photo above is from the souvenir book for this years tour.)

This is my largest ever, creative endeavor. 

Here are a few close ups of my higgledy piggledy

vintage brick wall with ceramic seashells.

    . T Here is a before photo, 

As you can see, there was zero curb appeal when I purchased the property.

It's a good thing I was gifted with this amazing imagination and could visualize 

how charming this would become over time with some creativity. 

I hired a contractor to attach metal screen to the unattractive gunite

 for a base to work off of and to mix the cement.

Then we worked together building a mosaic style facade with

 vintage bricks pulled up from the over grown pathways in the back yard.

 I created ceramic seashells to embellish with along with river rocks

 collected about the property.

(It is an ongoing project as there is another 100 feet to go.)

It's been fun sharing the transformation with the neighborhood.

For a peek at what is on the other side of the wall click here.

And I am sincerely honored to receive the Award of Merit 
from the Laguna Beach Beautification Council
for an outstanding contribution to beautifying Laguna Beach 
with my creative wall.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Inspired by Anthropologies new ceramic dish designs,

       shown here...

I pull out a piece of bisque and some glazes to create

my own version in a turquoise color scheme.

I begin with a quick pencil sketch then begin mixing

 and layering colors and use a darker blue for the outline

 on the fish before putting it in for the final firing.

My fish has his own little personality and was fun to create! 

How cool is that to make your own dishware?

...and the creative roll continues!



Sunday, May 11, 2014

Doily collection

This post came about as my dear friend Meryl and I were talking about her upcoming issue of Romantic Homes, featuring flea markets.

We were discussing how her readers display their treasured collections, and I shared with her some of my ideas and a simple project that I had done using my vintage doily collection that is super easy and fun!

This is what you will need...

a collection of miscellaneous sized doilies 

a solid colored table cloth

thread to match the doily color

sewing needle (optional)



Dress your table with a freshly ironed table cloth.

Beginning in the center and working your way out to each 
end of the table, lay your doilies out so that their edges are just touching.

This is much like working on a jigsaw puzzle.

For this look, you want it to be long and narrow.

When you have them laid out to your satisfaction,

using a needle and thread tie them together with a simple 

double knot.


This keeps them from moving about.

Continue adding until you are satisfied with the result.

I like it, just spilling off the tables edge.

This doily runner could be laid down the center of a solid 

colored  bedspread for added interest, 

when not in use on the dining room table.

Happy Mother's Day!

And for another vintage doily tablecloth idea click here.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Creative furniture makeover

I've been working on a fun makeover for LOCA's fun funky furnishings fundraiser

being held next Sunday May 4th, here in Laguna Beach.

My girlfriend Trudy, had this dresser she was willing to donate to the cause

and she even offered to prime and paint it white.

Then she dropped it of for me to play with!

I created new ceramic seashell drawer pulls for it,

and went with an ombré effect using a Tiffany blue color scheme on the drawers.

Then I chose to edge the drawers with a white border and add 

a trim of the blue along the bottom wavy edge to show off the detail

and a small border on the top 

to accent the little hand painted sea creatures,

that will be embellishing the top of the dresser.

If you're in the area try to make it by, and bring your friends,
 it's for a great cause, so bid generously!

(hand painted detail on the top)


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter Greetings

with a few of my latest lovelies out of firing...

a ceramic lace covered bunny,

a yellow striped bowl,

a tiny bunny box 

and my favorite,

a yellow lustered flower frog with vintage doily embellishment!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blue bird of happiness

Creating with a watercolor effect on bisque 

 and inspired by my surroundings...

In the 1908 play by Belgian author Maurice Maeterlinck,
the children of a woodcutter are sent to look for the Bluebird 
of happiness aided by the good fairy Berylune.
The children search through out different lands
until they find the bird in its cage.

The moral of the story,
true happiness can be found close to home.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Garden inspiration

I love spring !

New growth, new beginnings...

lovely surprises to find popping their heads up in the garden!

I am in awe of natures beauty,

and enjoy capturing it with my art.

"Just living is not enough...
One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
Hans Christian Andersen


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Celebrating Teatime

with my latest crochet lace doily and clay creation....

Beginning with a basic teapot and teacup shape in clay,

then cutting, draping, dipping in slip 
and shaping the doily over the teapot
and creating a vintage button look handle for the lid.

Lastly, glazing it all in white, then putting it in to be fired.

I'm happy with the end result,
and I like using the doily on top the teapot instead of under it.

A very romantic look,

both beautiful and useful!

Come and share a pot of tea,
my home is warm and my friendship's free.
Emilie Barnes

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Romantic gifts

Thank you to Meryl and Jacqueline at Romantic Homes Magazine for asking me to share the creativity with their readers in their Valentine's issue!

Create truly unique and romantic gifts with this simple clay project.
Whether it is for your Valentine or a special gift, or just because...
These small treasures are sure to please and super easy to make 
using clay and simple tools found about the house.

Rolled out clay and a few supplies are all it takes to create one of a kind gifts.
Use your decorated pieces as an ornament to attach to a gift card 
or enclose with a letter or use as gift tags.
Or attach a ribbon and hang it on your loved ones door.

What you'll need:

Paint sticks
Rolling pin
Scissors or knife
Paint or glaze
Lace (optional)
Stamps (optional)
Ribbon (optional)


Roll out clay ⅛ th of an inch thick
Cut into desired shapes
Fire or bake according to manufacturers instructions
Decorate with color
Add embellishments


Roll your clay between 2 paint sticks to make it even
Use varying size straws to cut holes for a lacy look
Roll lace over clay for a fun texture
Use your decorative scissors for unusual cut edges
Cookie cutters are great for cutting shapes
A dull pencil works beautifully for drawing borders or writing
Stamps are great fun to use with this project, pressing them into the clay for the impression
Attach ribbons or weave in and out through the holes

I see endless possibilities...

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

We must use time wisely and forever realize that time is always ripe to do right.
  Nelson Mandel


to contemplate where I've been,
             and where I am headed.

Time to sit back, recognize and appreciate all the positives in my life.

Time to reconnect with dear friends.

Time for creating, experimenting and playing with new mediums.

Time to spend on new dreams and goals.

Time to have new adventures,
meet new people,
make new friends,
learn new things,
and share life's simple joys.

May your new year be filled with joy,
and may all your dreams come true!