Gold Mine

The past month has been a blur!

I've been out of town for three of the past four weekends now and I am so glad to be home. It was all wonderful fun; family and sun all over Florida.

One of those weekends was spent down in Tequesta with my dear friend Megan. The show, Next Wave, was a hit and the opening night party was packed with guests. I met some superb new artists and re-met another Gainesville local who happened to win best in show!

The best part of those three days though, aside from just hanging out and catching up with Megan, was driving to the Lighthouse Art Center classrooms and packing my car full to the brim with enamel and supplies.

This isn't even all of the boxes full of enamels gifted to me by Megan and the art center. The family of a local enamelist donated every last bit of her studio to the center when she died, but her supplies were older and every last one of her enamels is leaded. This meant that keeping them at a children's art school wasn't an option, but having them at my house is just fine!

This is the new kiln. I'm pretty sure my old one can fit inside the chamber of this one.

I'm excited to get working, even if I now have to fire outside on our screened porch. See, the old-school kiln requires a 240v outlet, which we have for our dryer on the porch. The leaded enamels also carry a bit of a risk as far as our pets are concerned. I can wear a mask and wash my hands, but they can't avoid getting the fine residue dust on their feet and fur ingesting it when they groom.

So, now I wait for the heat to dial it back a few notches. Working outside at a 1500 degree kiln when it's already 100+ outside isn't very motivating. I think for now I'll try to organize and catalog the couple hundred jars of enamel that are sitting in my spare bedroom, dreaming while I do of all the new creations they'll create.


Next Wave

My sweet friend Megan moved back home to South Florida after college here at UF a few years ago. She landed the perfect job for her not long after that and has become the Assistant Director of Education at the lovely Lighthouse Art Center, a gallery and school located in her home town of Tequesta.

'Galaxy' dish in blue

Recently Megan sent me the call-to-artists information for a new show that will open at the end of June that features artists under 35. I stalled on it since we were headed to the big cities (Boston and NYC) on vacation just a couple days later. When I returned, I was surprised to find out that the deadline for submission was two days later and got myself in gear to photograph the pieces I planned on submitting. Well, good thing I wasn't relying on creating new work for the show because I would have never had the time, and then would have never had the opportunity to be a part of this exciting exhibit.
The board of directors quickly made their decisions and I was officially notified that all three of my submitted pieces were accepted! The large galaxy dish, sea glass pendant, and sand dollar pendant will be on display from June 24 through September 1.

Collin and I are making the drive down for a two-day stop so that we can visit with Megan and also attend the opening reception for the show on the 24th. The night boasts a micro-brew tasting and an awards ceremony for the artwork in the show. It's been a long, long time since my work was exhibited in a gallery and even longer since I submitted it to a juried show with the potential for an award. I'll be crossing my fingers they fall in love with one of them and that I can go home with a new feather for my cap.


Big Red

Thanks Amber!



An Atomic Holiday 2011

Last year's Atomic Holiday Bazaar was a blast and I am flattered to have been accepted once again into Sarasota's finest indie craft fair!
Adrian Lucas is the lady behind the scenes and she's fine company to be in with this crowd. She puts in tremendous effort every year to make this event happen and when she announced applications would become available mid April I was mo-ti-vated!

I spent a few afternoons taking photographs of items that didn't sell at last year's shows (I know, major slacking right?) and listing items in my etsy shop and linking to them through Facebook. Then, I sent off my application and hoped that I made a good enough impression last year for her to have me back.

Well what do you know? I did!

I'll be starting to work earlier than I did last year (hello stressball) and will hopefully be able to crank out lots of inventory to keep my shop and my shows full through the end of 2011. I have a big order list to fill with raw copper shapes, enamels, and tools I need to make sure I have plenty of supplies for the season.

I'm excited to get started soon and I'm even more excited that the room I enamel in this time, has its own air conditioner. So, in my spare time you'll probably be able to find me working at the kiln, AC on 65.


Pink Elephants on Parade

Collin's sister Meggan posted this photo on my facebook page today and I had to share it. I made this custom necklace for her as a Christmas gift and I'm thrilled she is smitten with it. I never took the time (had the time/made the time/was so busy I cried) to photograph it before I sent it off to her but it was definitely one of my favorite animal necklaces I've made.

The inspiration came from the pink elephants of the Disney classic Dumbo. The mix of stripes and dots were really fun to put together, and making custom items for someone who can't find what they're looking for anywhere else is so satisfying.


Happy St. Paddy's Day

We'll be spending the day hosting friends for Irish deliciousness and beer cocktails. It's the third annual Teague/McLeod St. Patrick's Day Potluck (has it been three years already?) Check out the party from 2009 and forgive me for being such a slacker last year in 2010, where I didn't take photos.

On the menu this time is guinness slow-cooked brisket, scalloped potatoes, roasted carrots, steamed cabbage with vinegars, and herb bread with Irish butter and herbed cheese. I know friends will be bringing carbomb cupcakes, banoffee pie, colcannon, and lots of beer.

Sláinte my friends!
May your home always be too small to hold all your friends.



Retro Bold

The matching peace dove necklace sold at the last minute of the Atomic Holiday Bazaar this past year. One of my favorites, I was just a little sad to see it go.

Although, I do still have these fun and funky earrings for sale now at the etsy shop! I'll be sad to see them go too - good thing I can make more!



Valentine's Love

Thanks, Catherine!



It's a New Day.

It's a new Year.

December flew right by and left in its wake a mess of stress, plenty of tears, more fun than I can handle, and precious time with family and friends.
Then just when you're starting to get into it, they're gone.

After GLAM in Gainesville, we traveled down to SRQ for the Atomic Holiday Bazaar. It was fun and profitable (even if not as much as GLAM) and I was so happy to share my craft with our loved ones in the area. I don't know if it would have even been a money making situation if not for so many wonderfully supportive family friends who came down and purchased gifts for the holidays. Lessons were learned and the biggest was that stress does not help anything, and that even if not 100% done to my satisfaction things will turn out great. What matters is your attitude and your grace.
Then we came back to Gainesville for another couple weeks where work ramped up (as usual) and the obligations of the holidays hit me. I worried, worked too late, didn't eat enough and came home exhausted every day. Next xmas, it will be different. I realize now that I just have to have no shame in starting projects far in advance and be strong in saying 'no' when I need a break.
We made it through though, and traveled down to SRQ again just in time for Festivus and Christmas. Friday to Sunday were blocked solidly by family. By the end of it all we were both really really tired of talking about our jobs (which we did with everyone at Thanksgiving, when we were down for GLAM, and then again at Christmas!) and when Collin is going to do grad school. Ask him enough and he won't, okay? But Monday and Tuesday relaxation, friends, and hanging out recharged our batteries enough to get home, work one day and then enjoy our New Year's.

We invited friends over to celebrate with way too much tasty food, champagne punch, beers, and fun. Some came over and hung out while others were no-shows and still more were out of town. I was a little disappointed that so few people came, but those who did had fun and I got to end the night watching 200 Cigarettes on TV in my pj's. We were even able to break out the leftovers during the football game (which we won!) on Saturday.
Good times.

And now another year is over, and the new one begun. I've made a few resolutions that are casual and constant (budgeting/saving, eating more healthfully, walking the dog) and a few that are bigger and more unfamiliar (eating lunch every day, drinking more water, reducing stress and my reactions to stress, cutting back on bad habits around June). Many of my tasks on the life list are not yet done and I am certain that by September when my 1001 days are up won't be finished either. Can I edit it this late in the game?? Maybe I'll outline the new resolutions later, maybe I'll keep them to myself as to reduce the pressure. Maybe we have a big resolution/goal that the two of us want to accomplish in the Fall that we're not ready to tell people about yet.

Either way,
Cheers to 2011