Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Show Season Preparations

The spring show season is here and I am really enjoying it.  I just had a wonderful show in Shelbyville, Indiana, where I used to live and raised my kids.  It was busy non stop and I got to see so many of my friends!  It always helps to get the first one under my belt so I can see what people like.  These bunnies were the first to go, better make more!

My next show is a new one for me.  It is called the Indie Arts Vintage Marketplace and will be held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds April 6th.  Here are a couple of links with some more information:


I am sculpting more new items for this show, great ideas that I got at the last minute and just didn't have time to make.   Ben is making lots of dogs, too, and I can't wait to see them!

The Fairy Garden Collection has grown also.  Lots of new animals, birds and fun, tiny, little pieces that will add color and interest to your miniature landscapes.   There are even wee little owls that sit on a pic overseeing all that happens in these tiny forests.

The booth I use is getting a spring overhaul as well.  Living in this cottage has given me lots of ideas about room like presentation.  I can't wait!

New Pins, new ritabunnies...new life!  It is spring after all.

Yep, it has been very busy here in the cottage on Taft Street!  And that is how I like it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Wren's Nest

Can you see the little nest in the wheel?
A wren can live anywhere.  I had a very determined one on Rabbitville Road, who kept building her nest in my gas grill.  I finally gave up, and didn't cook out that summer.  One also built a nest in a pile of sticks on the patio by my studio.  She often perched on the fence outside the windows and sang and, I thought, peeked in to see what I was doing in my nest.  We had lovely conversations, but I was frequently scolded for coming too near her territory when I came and went. Now miles away, and shaking off the cold,  I opened the back door of my car the other day and realized the reason for some of those scoldings...she had built a nest in the spare wheel that is attached to the back of my car!   Nesting season was over and the nest had been empty, but here was a sweet little remembrance of my old place and my little wren companion.   Bits of sticks and that lovely moss that carpeted my woods were carefully patched into a nursery and a sweet memory.   What a lovely going away present...

Wren on a Pansy Nest
I take inspiration from my surroundings when I sculpt.  I draw on my experiences and interpret them in clay.  That's what artists do I guess.  I have been sculpting these rust colored little bits of energy for a few years now. They completely fascinate me and they let me be familiar, share their lives.   I love the color and the movement, and I love their adaptability.   I see that there is a wren bird house on the garden fence here, so I will be looking forward to making new friends and hearing their songs.  A woman I met up here has asked me several times what I am naming my cottage and I have decided.  No surprise at all...Wren's Nest.  A wren can live anywhere, and so can I.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Morning and Spring is in the Air

It's morning on Taft Street.  I start my day in this sunny kitchen and prepare myself for sculpting.  I do my morning marketing and drink that important cup of coffee.  Then it's off to the studio to work in the clay.

Spring is in the air and I feel it.  The blackbirds are here and singing and the other birds are joining right in with their own spring songs.  The itch to be outside in my yard pulls at me.  This spring will be delightful, watching all these mystery plants come up and learning what is planted in my new yard.  The cottage is delightfully landscaped, and the former owners sent me a list of a some of what is planted.  Roses!  It has been years since I had cultivated ones.  Can't wait.

Taking the dogs out for a break, I see that I have Snowdrops up and blooming already!  And they are right in the fairy garden.  It must be fairy magic.  My grandson and I are going to do a lot of playing in that little spot this spring and summer.

Spring is coming in the studio too.  I am sculpting the Spring Collection for my upcoming shows.  Since I love rabbits there will lots of those, but also wrens and chickens.   New pins and earrings, pigs and foxes...it promises to be a great season.  These bunnies with their bright, cheery flowers remind me that warm weather is coming, and soon.

This wren perched on a teacup has been tossing around in my mind for some time.  I love wrens and the fact that they will build their nests anywhere, even in a discarded cup.  There's a lesson about happiness there I am sure.

This time of seasonal anticipation fills me with delight.  It's morning, and I am so ready for spring!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Cottage on Taft Street

I'm settling in.  It took me about a year to make it happen, but I moved up near my daughter and her small family this past August.  I now live in a 1939 Cape Cod cottage near Lake Michigan and I love it.  I can tell you it has been a remarkable undertaking, exhausting, monumental and rewarding.  It took me 3 months to find the box with my socks in it and there are still things I can't find.   But I am in, becoming a part of my new community and loving each and every minute of watching my grandson grow and explore.  "Tanks Gaga..." that's all it takes.

But how does this old crabby basement become a studio?  With memories of my lovely tucked in Rabbitville Road work area still tangled in my mind, and a lot of help from my friends, I started in.  Two heavy coats of bright white Dryloc worked wonders.  This past Christmas season, my busiest time of the year, I worked out of boxes, finding each new color of glaze as I needed it.  I had a simple work table and a glazing station.  Shipping happened on another banquet table.  Boxes everywhere but it worked.

Thank you Kathryn for that lovely set of purple shelves.   This is that same corner before hurricane Rita happened.  And I mean this little sculptor, not the weather kind.  (I am sure I did more damage.)  After Christmas shelves were placed and jars of glaze found their homes.  
Those months of intense holiday working gave me a good idea of what to put where.

Scary, isn't it?  I have made a lot of progress in the last few months.  I want to give a big shout out to Brandt and Allyson, Mike and Kim, Lexie, Ben and of course, my little cutie pie Asher.  Obviously there is a long way to go, but wonderful things are coming out of this studio.  I like it.   Asher made his first sculptures here, his first owl.  And I am only 5 miles from Lake Michigan...good decision.  Now I had better get back to work.