Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stu Stu Studio

Grouting is coming along in the studio. You can see the difference between the tiles that do and don't have the grout yet in the picture below. The closet is still left as well. Pay no attention to the dog mattress on the floor.
The closet shelves have been painted. They look like they've always been there, right?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Potting Progress

Yesterday I brought home a bunch of glazed pots. In the interest of sharing my progress, here's my loot.
A stamped bowl in warm brown with a golden matte glaze.
A bowl with smokey brown and bermuda jade glaze.
A tall, wonky, striped tumbler with smokey brown and satin white glazes overlapping.
A striped honey pot.
A casserole dish and lid with handles. A small speck of clay must have broken off another piece in the kiln, and unfortunately embedded itself inside the dish.
A bowl with matching lid, glazed with black lapis and satin white - with the overlapping area a mottled sky blue.

In other news, the studio is progressing. Grouting the floor is a painstaking process, but it is looking really great. The shelves in the closet are painted, too. Several months of work will turn into decades of utility and enjoyment, though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Team

The Design Style Guide (Etsy's interior design team) is organizing its artist members into state-based groups to better market ourselves to interior designers. So far, 5 members of DSG have joined the Virginia group.
JKA Designs, where you can find wonderful fused glass items.
Glynt Pottery, a shop and blog run by a potter whose studio is at Manassas Clay, where I take classes.
WhimsicalXpressions, a shop featuring cute home and office decor items.
LauraTrevey's shop and blog showcase her fabulous watercolors.

[If you are looking for the 5th member, it's me!]

Friday, March 20, 2009

Be Still My Beating Heart

There is a super cool website out there that Etsy sellers should know about - http://www.craftcult.com/. They have developed an application called the Heart-o-matic, where you can enter your shop's name and see how many views and hearts your shop is getting. They also recently added a tab that tells you when your items are featured on the front page or in the gift guides. This is brilliant, especially for the front page, because those golden moments are fleeting. I intend to check this function frequently (though in vain more often than not, I suppose). Apparently, this morning at around 9:00, one of my slate trivets made it to the front page.
Thanks to the lovely members of the Design Style Guide team who are dedicated to obtaining treasury slots and creating beautiful collections of the team's items!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


After my pottery class on Sunday, I brought home my new pottery wheel. We have been working hard on getting the studio ready, and while the slate tiles are all down and individually sponge mopped, grouting and sealing remains before I can set up the wheel. I thought I might get flame decals for the sides of my wheel, and stick them flowing in the direction the wheel turns (therefore in opposite directions, since the wheel turns counterclockwise). Funny, right?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Personal Style Quiz

Through the joys of internet surfing, I found and took a Personal Style quiz on sproost.com (spruce your roost?). Interesting results. I'll have to do some introspection to see if I feel like it came out right, since I was a little surprised.
Take the quiz to see what your personal style is, and let me know if your results are accurate! It's quick, and all you do is look at a series of room pictures and decide on a Likert scale if you love it through hate it.
My results (the first time around):
40% Mountain Lodge
40% Southwestern Style
20% Cottage Chic
Mountain Lodge You love nature! And really, how could you not? The more exposed wood (be it in log form or paneling) the better. And having natural stone in your home is a must! Especially at the fireplace, but stone top tables work too. If you could clad all the furniture in wood and stone you would, but splinters aren't fun and stone is cold! So when you need a place to sit (or recline in!), it should be comfortable and warm. Bigger is better when it comes to your favorite chair for watching TV or reading the newspaper. Leather is great (go natural!), but soft fabrics in warm tones also suit you well.
Southwestern Style Though the new frontier may no longer be so new, the styles design that evolved in those regions are making a comeback. The Southwestern home has Spanish and Mexican as well as Native American influences. Earthy textures and tones and vibrant colors create warm and inviting spaces. When you hear Southwestern you most likely think of desert landscapes and hot, dry environments. The rugged nature of the exterior translates literally and the pieces in the home have a similar sturdy and rustic feel. Neutral backgrounds mimicking sand and earth are livened up with handmade pottery in bright colors and woven rugs and baskets.
Cottage Chic Who says that cottages can't be modern and chic? Who says that they have to be floral and cheesy? Not you! You love the carefree spirit that the cottage interior inspires, but you are also serious about your appreciation for modern art and hip treasures. You love old and new alike, and love to highlight them all to expose the uniqueness of each. What better way to show off these treasures than with a light background?

Of course, I took it several more times, and the results were slightly different. I also hit on Traditional Country and Rustic Revival.

Traditional Country Even if your backyard isn't acres of farmland and you don't actually have a cow out in the barn, your house sure brings you back to a time when that was the case for many. You love spaces that feel casual and lived in. Furniture is practical and comfortable, and yet at the same time its very stylish. The best part of country style is how much it highlights collection and found objects. Antiques here, garage sale finds there and Aunt Milly's hand-me-downs throughout. Unique items that used to serve very practical purposes are now on display, and their history seems to permeate the home. Each space in the home seems to invite friends and family to come in and stay a while. There is a true sense of home felt throughout.

Rustic Revival You can take kid out of the country but you can't take the country out of the kid... or is your theme "you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid?". Either way you play it, you are one of the unique individuals who loves a mix of modern and country. The clean lines of the modern softened by rustic/vintage elements is the perfect mix in your mind. And can we blame you? You've taken the best aspects of two popular designs and mixed them in a manner that appeals to young and old alike. A subtle background of white or light colors provides a nice canvas for all the wonderful flea market, eBay, or garage sale finds as well as the classic modern pieces that you love.
None of these are spot on, but all of them contain elements that I recognize in my preferences. Each also has elements that I do not tend towards, but this is still a thought provoking quiz. Besides, it is fun to look at all the rooms.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Potting Inspiration

As I get closer and closer to finishing my studio, and picking up my pottery wheel, I am getting more and more excited about developing my skills.
Check out these Design Style Guide artists to see what has been inspiring me:
LomaPrietaPottery's vase -
Damask Dinnerware by justmare -

This Lively Lidded Vessel by barbdunshee -

DKPottery's mug -

I love the Birds On A Wire Jar by LaPellaPottery -

Wyndbrookdesign's Peachy Lotus Tile -
patspottery has this fantastic tea set -
I can't go without mentioning frannewquist and her Raku vase (she is my pottery teacher at Manassas Clay) - And for something completely different, how about slavko's absolutely fantastic sink -

Friday, March 6, 2009

Two Guys Antiques

I love antique shopping. I don't buy expensive, fancy, nice antiques. I prefer "junk." It doesn't need to be valuable or collectible for me to be interested, but it does need to be beautiful or useful - with very broad definitions of beautiful and useful. Two weekends ago I stopped by an antique store that is actually very close to my home. I had never been there before, which is strange, because I'll drive 45 minutes across the county to get to others. But somehow I had never gone down the street to peek in this "new" shop (it has probably been in business for a year or two). 17682 Main St Dumfries, VA 22026 (703) 221-9669 Happily, Two Guys Antiques is a really wonderful shop. It is a lot larger than it appears from the frontage on the road, and I was quite successful in finding things that fit my hopes.
I thought this book, "Wife for Sale," was perfect, especially since I recently brought home a puppy despite my husband's expressed non-authorization. It has since found a home on my bookshelf, paired with another red antique book, "Ex-Husband."
I bought this wooden level to use in my studio.
This is a safety deposit box - super cool, right?
Even better, for the local government wonk I am, was the slip of paper inside - tax receipt from Mississippi.
This is a gauge that will find a perch on a bookshelf or a new life as a paperweight on my desk.
I couldn't resist this scoop.
This is a French porcelain number 3 that would have showed an address.
A little school chalkboard, which will hang in my studio for notes to self and Etsy to-do lists.
This copper pot will sit in the kitchen, where I have copper accents.
Finally, this wooden artist's case opens up to reveal compartments that will help me organize my supplies once I am able to move everything back into the studio.

This last weekend, I went to a giant flea market called the Big Flea. It comes to town a few times a year, and I hate to miss it. I came away with a bunch of excellent finds - three printers drawers (21 dollars for the 3!), a kitchen scale from the 30s or 40s (for weighing clay in the studio), a number of stone switchplate covers, some vintage copper architectural details, wooden architectural pieces, sheet music from 1913 (written by W.C. Handy, father of the blues), and more. I am doing my best to keep the economy afloat, but I was heartened to see the crowds at the Dulles Expo center - assuring that I didn't have to do so alone.