Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Anatomy of a Package

Today I find myself putting together two, not just one, but two packages to mail from sales on my Etsy supply shop. How exciting! What I had forgotten was that I haven't really concentrated on my packaging for this particular shop so I had to go back through and re-design some of my media. Firstly, I believe everything you receive should be like getting a gift, wrapped and tied, and always accompanied by a handwritten note.
Wrapped twice, light bubble wrap & tissue.
just so!
Now the sticker fits!
And voila! Wrapped,  bowed, stickered, and sent with a note plus card with my little button on it as a present. The secret additive is a coupon for free shipping on the next order! Both orders today were for some of my vast charm collection. Thanks to both of you! 
Finished package.
Until next time,

Thursday, September 15, 2011


goofy dog photos
Just to be clear, here are all the different places you can find me on the web:
My main blog happens to be where you're at!

Good Lord...! Do you think that's enough already!?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Three Years in the Making...

Today was day two of the never ending tile project at my son's elementary school. (sigh) This is the third year that we've tried to finish one wall of hand tiles for the kids. The first year the school had hired an outside shop to do the project. Unfortunately after many a day when the gal that ran the ceramic place showed up late, she closed her business. That left us with unfinished tiles. Then we hired a guy to install the ones we had, he charged us a pretty penny then when asked about coming back he no showed...! Later the following year our school PTA came apart so from December to June we had no group at all! Some where in there the school acquired a kiln.
starting to load
In collaboration with one of our fabulous fifth grade teachers, who offered to teach me how to use it, I offered to fire all the tiles myself. Early this year we sold 102 hand tiles to finish the wall and printed up red, orange, black, and grey hands! What I didn't realize at the time was that my involvement with another group, our site council, would mess up the time I had to fire the tiles!  This year  was my second year on our council and, low and behold, there was extra money to be had! (unheard of at schools) As a group we voted to use it to further our art program and elected two of our artsy teachers to do a ceramics class with the entire school! Well, guess what went in the kiln? (this was starting to feel like a Shakespearean comedy of errors at this point) The week after school let out in June I finally got a load of the tiles into the kiln. But only 60 of the 102. The other 42 waited until the first week of this year, or so I thought. Happily I loaded the kiln once we went back to school and it didn't fire correctly. What now you ask? (you can't make this stuff up) There were black widow spiders in the 220 outlet disrupting the electricity! When and how does this happen? And to add insult to injury the room we use for storing all our ceramic supplies was completely infested with the spiders too! Yuck! It took several days but after the electrician came out to clean the outlet, the exterminator sprayed our storage room (a lovely pesticide mint scent) we tried again! And it worked! Yay!
it's really a giant jigsaw puzzle
So, if you're still with me you're thinking, finally, she's about finished. Oh no, no so fast! One more turn as the weather here went into the triple digits. With no real "man" (is there such a thing?) for the install my bevy of women helpers weren't keen on climbing ladders and making mud pies in the heat. So, once more we put it off another week. That week was up day before yesterday! We did it, well, most of it. Once we installed everything we had fired we realized that we (read I) counted incorrectly or we were punch drunk or who knows...but we needed more tiles! This afternoon I fired another 28 of those buggers and next Tuesday it will be finished or I'll be jumping from the top of the 16 foot ladder! Please wish me no kiln explosions, no more spiders or other wildlife and no injuries until after next Tuesday!! 
The moral of the story is never volunteer for anything unless you are sure you can be flexible no matter what the situation, keep a sense of humor because there is truly something comical about everything, and make sure you can stay the course! (no matter how long it takes!)
Stay tuned for pictures of the "completed" project!
Until next time,

Monday, September 5, 2011

Houston, We Have A Problem...

In the midst of everything I finally managed to do some actual creative work. It only took a couple weeks, two frantic phone calls to tell me I had class samples due two weeks ago (!!!), and a fellow flyer who's kind words of "JUST DO IT!" have been resonating with me for several days. (her advice was actually to get me to write a blog post so I'm multi-tasking...Thanks Lori!)

So, yesterday, all day, I played in my resin.

It's a myriad of things from some wholesale ideas (Parisian Eiffel's), to family photo's (class samples), and a new class I'm working on. That's the most fun (and a little stressful)! See the girlies on the left...?! I'm going to teach you how to make them! Yes, yes! All of you in San Diego county need to swing by Stamping Details in Poway later in the week. I will be dropping off all the details and samples sometime during the day on Wednesday for an October 23rd class. Since it's new and the first time I'll be teaching it I've limited students to a maximum of 8. That's gives me an opportunity to have time to work with everyone one on one. and that's what taking a class is all on one interaction!

Wouldn't this be fun as a self portrait?! I think we need to bring some photos of ourselves for the class! I should also shout out a thank you to Marsha of Tumble Fish Studios for giving me permission to use her extraordinary digital images for this class! Thanks Marsha! 

Okay, so the not so hot but fixable thing that happened was I got carried away with some of the resin and over poured some of my pieces. It's a teaching moment and not anything reaching critical mass. Resin is more forgivable than one might think. Here's what happened...

Yes, they are stuck to the cardboard.

Very stuck, I had to cut the cardboard around the trays to get it loose. But alas! It can be fixed!
Rubbing alcohol is your friend, so are Q-tips. Remove as much of the cardboard as you can. I cut a slight slit along the side to get at the paper but be careful NOT to scratch up your lovely metal!
Try not to carve the metal!
Saturate the Q-tip with the alcohol and soak the cardboard.
You can see I have completely soaked the paper and after that it's really a waiting game. Just give it enough time to weaken the resin. Careful not to let the alcohol drip over the the front of your piece.
 See! The alcohol will let you get an edge of the paper up...
 then all you have to do is peel, slowly and maybe re-apply the alcohol under neath if necessary.
 Voila! Good as new!
Aren't they cute! They're mine. He's ten and she's twelve (counting the days to thirteen!)

Until next time I'll be in my studio mainlining coffee...

Be creative!