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!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holiday Trees

New ceramic creations completed 

just in time to decorate for the holidays.



My personal favorite!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Glitter and garden clippings

Snippets of branches, leaves and berries are clipped from the garden

then twisted and intertwined...

and a few more added in, to create a holiday wreath.

These are the products that happened to be handy 
and what I chose to experiment with.

I'm certain the intended use is not for plants, ha ha!

First I did a light spray of the white primer,  
followed by the metallic aluminum paint

 and quickly, before it could dry 
I sprinkled silver glitter on top of everything!

Then for the pièce de résistance....

I happened to have a few sparkley items 

that called out to be part of the merry mayhem.

"Creativity is contagious. Pass it on."

Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

“I am grateful for what I am and have. 

My thanksgiving is perpetual."

 Henry David Thoreau

{a snapshot of the little mantle above the fireplace in the breakfast room}


Thursday, October 31, 2013

One thing leads to another…

I was still on a creative roll playing with vintage doilies and clay,

 and was using a large ruffled doily on another vase design.

The center of the doily needed to be cut away before firing,

so I clipped the threads away and set the lace scrap on the edge of my work space,

and continued shaping the lace and attaching it to the vase.

Then glazed the inside and cut holes to insert the satin ribbon bow into after firing.

As I was cleaning up, I discovered at the edge of the sink, 

a small pillow shaped vase I had previously wrapped in plastic
 to keep it from drying out.

To my surprise and delight I realized it was the perfect size 

and shape for the bit of doily remnant from the vase I had just completed!

It instantly read spider web to my imagination, 

so I glazed the little vase with a black background

before attaching the snippet of crochet and putting it in to be fired.

A. A. Milne's quote comes to mind…

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly

 making exciting discoveries."

It certainly worked in my favor here!



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tea time at the seashore

Created for a special occasion…

 then used for every day.

The woman's club in my little seaside town was celebrating it's 90th year
 with a high tea luncheon.

I was asked to participate and bring a favorite teapot.

Four of the women attending were in their 90's
and had some amazing life stories to share.

As Margret Meade said, 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vintage doilies and clay creations

I've been collecting vintage doilies for some time now and love using them for embellishing clothingtablecloths and yes, even ceramic creations.

When they are covered in liquid clay and attached to a clay form the cotton burns away in firing and you are left with the beautiful  lace pattern. 

before firing

Here is an example of how I am using the doily as the pattern to cut varying size holes in the clay forming a flower frog.

This is a great way to repurpose damaged doilies.

These pieces had stains and the two small ones were ripped in the center.

When it came out of firing,
 I liked the white matte finish so well that I chose to leave it and only glazed the insides and bottom to make the pieces water tight.

This is a creative way for repurposing someones handcrafted pieces beautifully 
and preserving the past.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just out of firing...

my latest creation
inspired by where I live 

   and by the William Morris quote,

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”

It measures 10" X 3" and is replacing my old colander 
that is seriously dented and rather unattractive.

Creative fun, using barbecue skewers, chopsticks and drinking straws 
to create the holes in the clay form before firing!

And another one created to donate to this worthy cause

World Hunger Bowl

Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's a girly girl thing,

a sweet little tussie-mussie
created with eyelet lace and clay.

This tussie-mussie was fashioned as a bottle stopper for a small bud vase,

so when there are no fresh flowers, it is still filled beautifully.

And since several friends that were with me 
when I was fashioning it, had never heard the term before,
here is a brief description.

A tussie-mussie is a small flower bouquet, 
typically given as a gift.

The term tussie-mussie comes from the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901),
when the small bouquets became a popular fashion accessory.
Often they would include floral symbolism from the language of flowers,
and be used to send a message.

Sending floral fun your way…

Friday, August 30, 2013

Margarita salt dish design

Here is one of my fun ceramic creations, 
just in time to celebrate the end of summer
and the holiday weekend with friends!

I created this little number because I couldn't find anything on the market to hold the margarita salt that was both beautiful and useful.

I created the lime mold and used it to attach a half lime shape to the center of a simple plate design to keep the salt in place.

I had help creating the rhyme.

original margarita recipe

Here is my version...

Pour the Diamond Crystal kosher salt into the cool dish with the lime in the center.

Rub the lime wedge on the outside of the cocktail glass.

Holding the glass at a 45 degree angle, dip the outside rim in the salt, rotating as you do.

Fill the glass with crushed ice and place it in the freezer to chill.

Add the tequila, triple sec, a splash of Grand Marnier with the lime juice to a cocktail shaker and fill the shaker 1/2 way with ice. 

Shake well until the outside turns frosty.

Strain the margarita into the chilled glass and garnish with a lime slice.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Seahorse Vase

Celebrating summer at the seashore with another hand built clay vase.


Layering seashells on top of seashells and the seahorse as the focal point, 

and adding a little luster glaze for interest.