Thursday, December 17, 2009


So I've actually done quite a bit of baking this year, mostly due to craft related responsibilities (like baking 100 chocolate chip cookies for the vendor lunches at Pile of Craft). I also did a bit of pie baking for Thanksgiving. Yesterday I had to make something to bring for a holiday potluck with the Charm City Craft Mafia so I decided on "Snowballs", which were (and still maybe are) my favorite holiday cookie. I had all the ingredients on hand so they were a snap to make up. My only rule for baking is that I a only allowed to do it when the baked goods will be leaving my house within 24 hours! Bring on the butter!!

Snowballs (or Russian Teacakes or Mexican Wedding Cookies)
1 cup of butter, room temp.
1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar (plus more for rolling)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup finely chopped nuts (I put mine through a mini food processor)

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Mix the flour and salt, add to the butter mixture. Mix in nuts. Chill the dough for 1/2-1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place about an inch apart on a baking sheet. Cookies don't spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes. While the cookies are still warm, roll in powdered sugar. Let the cookies cool and roll them in the sugar once more. Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Check out my super famous hubby!

This Monday I was given the job of photographer at M's book signing at a local Barnes and Nobel. It was a total mad house! M does a wonderful job of speaking to the kids and interacting with them to explain how he comes up with his characters. He even draws some of the kids as space creatures or evil monsters! It's so fun to watch and the kids really get into shouting ideas out and watching M turn their words into crazy drawings. Monday he wound up selling out of books and the line was around the store! I actually left to do a little shopping in the middle of it all and when I came back there was still a line! So I just had to share some of my favorite pictures of the night and brag about what a super star my husband is.
If you want to see what all the commotion is about you can check out his new book for kids Adam Wreck by Michael S. Bracco or his more adult series (rated PG-13) Birth and NOVO. They would make really great stocking stuffers and he will even sign and draw on the inside cover!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Last Chance for Snowflakes!

Tomorrow I will be unloading the last batch of snowflake dishes for the holiday season. If you missed out on the last batch now is your chance to grab one up! They will be ready to ship by the end of the week, which is the last day to order to ensure christmas delivery. Three sizes are available in my etsy shop.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shop is being Stocked!

I just finished my last Holiday craft show and am now restocking the etsy shop! It's pretty much the last week to order in time for Christmas so be sure to stop in and check it out:) I also have some more snowflake dishes just listed! This lovely new flower brick is also now available in the shop.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Heap is this weekend!!

If you are in the Baltimore 'hood make sure you don't miss this years Holiday Heap Craft Show put on by our own Charm City Craft Mafia. It's gonna be THE place to get your holiday shopping done this year. I will be there bright and early on Saturday (like really early 'cause it's our job to set up!) selling my wares so be sure to stop in and say "Hello"!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Adam Wreck! A great gift for the children in your life...

I don't know if you all know this but M recently came out with his first all ages graphic novel. He's been on the book fair circuit and signing books like crazy! Of course I'm majorly proud of him and can't tell you how cool it is to see a line of kids waiting to talk to him and get a book signed. This would make such a cool gift for any children in your life, if you get it from him he will send a signed copy but you can of course buy from your local Barnes and Noble or Amazon.
Click Here to go to the website and Here to go to Michael's shop. While your shopping for the kids in your life, M just added children's T's to his line hand illustrated apparel so make sure to check that out too, available here.
Adam Wreck is trapped in the deep cosmos of space…with his parents!!!
For two years Adam has traveled through the universe with his genius parents - on a ship they invented called EARTH 1. This may sound like every kid’s wildest dream, but what fun is being the first kid in space if there’s nothing cool to see like comets, planets, or giant cyborg space aliens? Well, life for Adam is about to take an exciting turn when his family's ship is attacked and his parents are taken captive! Shipwrecked on a strange planet filled with even stranger alien creatures, Adam must find a way to save his parents from the diabolical and dastardly, Kalosian Space Pirates!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

I can't believe it's December already! Where did the time go? Sorry to have left everyone after my rant about grad school, I didn't mean to leave things that way. I did decide to put it off for now. It's not the right time and if M and I are ever going to start a family that would put a major shift in our plans. So it's on the back burner for now.
Otherwise, I have been totally lost in my own little world of Holiday Prep for a show at the end of November (yes, I know that's over), Thanksgiving with the in-laws (and 2 days of baking to prep for that) followed by a weekend of back to back craft shows until December 13th. Then I will be getting ready for a trip to Savannah to see my brother and his lovely family. Is it January yet?? I will try to keep up with blogging throughout this crazy Holiday Mayhem to keep you posted on events and work in the studio. I have had this itch to dive back into the white mid-range body that I had used before but am fighting the urge until after the holidays. M seems to think I get my greatest ideas that I have to try right before a major deadline or swam of shows. Then I'm really cranky when things don't turn out the way I had imagined and I am left with no work for said major event. So I will save him at least one headache this year and contain myself until slower times.
Click here to go to read my post on the Lillyella blog and get the recipe for the Rosemary Walnut Shortbread Cookies!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The MFA factor

So I have recently been looking into getting my MFA. Well, ok....I've been thinking about it for a a few years now. My dilemma is this....I have a degree from MICA ( a very good art school) and a teaching certification. I have always dreamed of going to one of the big ceramic programs for my masters but the truth of it is, I don't live near any of them and we are not in a position to move any time soon. Plus, we own our house and I have worked really hard to get my studio set up and everything. I have been looking into the program at Towson, which is very close to me, and they are about to get a new program director in ceramics (don't know who yet). I can start taking classes there as a non-degree seeking grad student until they have the ceramics program in place and then transfer over. I need to do something by next semester (it's a job thing). Does anyone have any experience with grad school or opinion about where to go? Does it matter where you get your degree from? My head is pretty much spinning. I'm not sure how I'll handle going to grad school and keeping the business up but it's really important for me to keep that going. Any thoughts....advice?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Place Settings

I don't have too much time to post right now as I am about to head out the door for my class this morning but I wanted to share a quick picture of these place settings I just started working on. they include an appetizer plate, a salad plate and a dinner plate. They all have themes as well. This one follows science/ natural history. I'll share more new stuff later when I have a little more time:)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My new postal scale!

I decided to invest in a postal scale a couple of weeks ago and today was the first day I tried it out. I packed my pots, weighed the boxes and printed my postage, set the packages out to be picked up and they were!! I was checking the door every hour or so, nervous that they would remain on my step but sometime between 3 and 4 they magically vanished leaving me post office free. YAY! Not that I don't love the lovely people at my neighborhood city post office or standing in line forever, or showing up during the hour in the middle of the day when the post office closes for lunch (??)....I'm really going to miss all of that. Don't get me wrong, I have lots of love for the postal workers (some of them anyway), I even brought cookies to my last post ofice just 'cause they were so nice. My father-in-law is a mail man (is that PC?). It's just that Baltimore city post offices are generally not nice places to be. At least not in my neighborhood. So farewell to that daily errand, postal scale ...I think this is the start to a beautiful friendship!
Oh and by the mugs are coming soon, no really....see them in the picture? Just waiting to be fired and glazed and then off to the etsy shop, I promise!

Monday, November 2, 2009

New batch of tiny vases, just out!

Today I'm listing a new batch of tiny vases that I just pulled from the kiln. Get 'em while their hot!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Halloween #25
Originally uploaded by stevechasmar
Have a great Halloween weekend everyone! I think my brother was a pumpkin on a table for Halloween one year, if I remember correctly he got his head stuck and there was a bit of drama to get him out. This photo from steve chasmar on flicker reminds me of that Halloween.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Slow food in a Modern Kitchen

Hey guys, make sure to check out my new monthly feature "Slow Food in a Modern Kitchen" on the Lillyella blog! On the last Wednesday of each month I will be sharing some of my favorite kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, recipes and decor. Click on over to check out my first post on bread baking.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spoon rests in progress...

Bisque kiln is cooling....cups are drying....belt buckle design is waiting for decoration and I think I have my new spoon rest design. I had a request for some round spoon rests from one of my wholesale shops and I thought it would be fun to come up with a new, larger, spoon rest design. Here are some drying, all they need is to be cleaned up and decorated. I think I am going to keep one for my own stove:)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DIY Magazine

This totally made my rainy day:) Check out the winter edition of DIY magazine by Better Homes and Gardens in your local bookstore, you might just see a familiar dish on page 35.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pea Soup with Shredded Pork

This weekend left me stuck in the house with a head cold. Whenever I have a cold all I want to eat is soup, bread with butter and ginger ale. I happened to be left with half a large pork roast from a dinner I made earlier in the week so on Saturday morning I made a big pot of pea soup. I'll tell you about the sandwich later this week....

Split Pea Soup with Shredded Pork

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 lb of dried split peas, rinsed and soaked
6 cups of water
2-3 Lb. pork roast, trimmed of fat
2 Tbs. fresh thyme, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups of Chicken or Vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot heat the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until translucent, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the rest of the ingredients through the broth. Cook, covered until the veggies are soft and pork is cooked through. Remove the roast and shred the meat using two forks. Take the soup off of the heat, remove the bay leaf and puree using an immersion blender or regular blender (if using a regular blender, let the soup cool a bit and leave room for steam. Cover the hole with a towel to avoid a mess). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup ladled in a shallow bowl with a mound of pork in the center.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Dream Dinner Party

Ok. I admit it. I get way too excited about the food network, I read Martha Stewart Magazine and Real Simple while I wait in line at the grocery store and I tear out pages from cooking magazines and paste them in my sketchbook with little notes next to them like "great pot" or "love the colors". I'm a domestic junkie. There, I said it. I also dream of how I will decorate for my (completely fictional because really who has the time for this kind of thing anyway?) fabulous fall themed diner party. I would invite all my closest friends and we would nibble on goat cheese appetizers and sip crisp red wine while the fragrance of sauteed mushrooms mixed with rosemary and garlic wafted from the kitchen. My tiny dinning room would magically expand to fit everyone comfortably and they would find their seats by way of the beautifully hand lettered place settings. My house would be covered in arrangements fall flowers, branches and berries which the cats would not eat them and throw up on the rug later. A delicious apple pie with homemade caramel ice cream for dessert and then we would say farewell to our friends and fall drowsily on the couch, sipping the last glass of wine while the dishes helped themselves into the dishwasher. If I were to host a dinner party like this one here are some things that I would decorate my table with.
1. PopMat paper placemats by Publique Shop
2.Vintage Milk Glass Bowl by Full Circle Retro
3.Felted Wool Acorns by Lilfish Studios
4. Vintage Bird Salt and Pepper Shakers by High Street Market
5. Vintage McCoy Green Bowl and Pitcher by Lil Thrifty Girl
6.White Ironstone Ceramic Gravy Boat by High Street Market

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Check out this interview I did with Purple Lemon Designs! She was so sweet to interview me for her blog...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

8 Years

Today is the 8 year anniversary of when Michael and I met. We celebrated by stopping by the farmers market so I could stock up on my favorite Pear and Cardamom jam (I bought 4 jars since I may not see them until next summer!) and then to Clementine for Taco night! Finish it off with a mug of steamy Chocolate Bar Chai tea topped with a cardamom marshmallow *sigh* how perfect:)
Image by Ashley G

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to restock!

This week I will be busy restocking my etsy shop so make sure to check it out! I will have some new tiny vases as well as some great gift ideas. It's not too early to start thinking about picking up some sweet little gifts for those you love! The cold weather has me thinking of toasty dinners with friends and what better way to say thank you than with a crisp bottle of wine adorned with a peace dove they can later hang around their home? Also keep an eye out for new bowls and cups to serve up hot beverages and comfort food as the weather continues to cool off.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Come see me tomorrow in Philly!

Come check out all the new work! I'll have new tiny vases and the new hot air balloon design:)

SquidFire's 2009 Philly Art Mart
Saturday October 17, 11-6pm
Old Pine Community Center
Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tools of the trade.

Throwing and trimming tools. I actually trim my hand built pots on the wheel.
My pounding and rolling tools.

This morning it's back to work, break over! I will spend my day glazing the pots I took out of the kiln last night and hopefully will be putting back in this evening. The mad rush to get everythign ready for this weekend is on! If you are going to be in the Philly area you can come see me at the Squidfire Philly Art Mart, it will be held on Saturday October 17, from 11-6pm in the neighborhood of Society Hill. More info coming later. Until then here are some more studio of the trade!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the studio

A close up shot of a plate waiting to be glazed.
Stacks of bowls waiting for glazing.
More tiny vases (and a cup) since the first batch sold out already!

Ok so it's been a little quite around the blog lately...don't fret, it's not at all quiet around here! I have somehow managed to produce 2 kiln loads in less than a week and the first of the glaze firings is on as we speak. I have decided that with all that work done for now I am taking the night off! I am 2 glasses of wine in and it would be a bad idea for me to work with breakables right now:) I thought I would have some fun with my camera instead. That will give you a sneak peek at what I have been working so hard on. I don't know how many of you know this but I started my artistic life wanting to be a photographer. I have quite the background in it and love that doing what I do lets me play with my camera and call it work! Now that I said that, pay no attention to the yellowish hue that comes from shooting in my studio under IKEA lights.... I haven't the energy to edit right now. I will share more throughout the week, until I have some finished work to show for myself!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The pots they fly!

Currently I am slumped on my couch in an almost dark den after a 13 hour day of making pots. I am so happy that my work is going over so well but I never expected to have this many orders so fast! I feel like as soon as I make them they are photographed and out the door. To be clear I am NOT complaining. It's really nice, to be able to say I'm a working artist, how many people have that opportunity? Anyway, I hope to post some work in progress shots this, I guess this week is almost over so maybe next week:) Until then enjoy this new bowl that celebrates the journey of flight!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An art opening, Baltimore style.

Tonight Michael and I went to an opening put on by our friend Bovie (pictured above) who puts together a Halloween show every year at a local Baltimore Dive Bar. Baltimore has some really awesome dive bars and most of the time they are the best place to find great art. I know, it sounds weird but you gotta love the dive bars and the art support they show. Michael's piece is the funky orange chicken:)

Monday, October 5, 2009

A quick trip to Booklyn

This weekend was so incredibly crazy busy, we went from Crafty Bastards in DC (which was an amazing show, thank you to everyone who came out!) back home to Baltimore to restock Mikey and then hit the road to Brooklyn NY where we crashed on a friends floor to wake up early and show at Atlantic Antic street fair. Then we drove back home that night. I was so excited to see Brooklyn for the first time and was super excited to see that Whimsey and Spice was located just a few vendors down from us! Needless to say we had Pumpkin and Ginger cookies for breakfast, Earl Grey cookies for dessert and Mikey and I are now enjoying one of their Cardamom Marshmallows in our morning coffee. I just love their treats! The photography on their site is just lovely and the treats are just the right amount of sweet. Yum all around. Now that I am back we have 2 weeks until our next show and I have lots of work to do until then. I'll keep you posted on my etsy updates and a new design I've been cooking up in the studio.....stay tuned!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Come see me tomorrow at Crafty Bastard's in DC!

If your in the DC area tomorrow make sure to stop by Crafty Bastard in Adam's Morgan. It's always a great show! Also, vote for "Spaghetti Kiss" for the Craftiest Bastard! My husband and I are sharing a tent so if you vote for us it's a 2 for 1! Yay!! Click here to vote. Thank you:)

Now in it's 6th glorious year, Crafty Bastards is a marketplace of handmade alternative arts and crafts from independent artists countrywide. The show is presented by the Washington City Paper and is all-day, outdoors, free to attend, and will offer goods for sale, DIY craft projects & activities, food, music, prizes, and more! In past years, the breakdancing contests have been a huge hit. Crafty Bastards will take place Saturday, October 3, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Saturday, October 3. 10am-5pm.
Marie Reed Learning Center
Washington, DC.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tiny Vases

First of all thank you so much to everyone for their kind words and a really big thanks to all my new and returning customers:) I have almost finished packaging and sending out the orders that were in stock so yours should be on the way soon. I had been so busy trying to catch up from Chicago that I really haven't been blogging that often. Now we have to catch up! I'll start by saying that last week I went to a workshop with Jenny Mendes who I have been a big fan of for several years now. I love love her work and I think you will too so be sure to click on her link and check out her stuff. She is a really sweet person as well as a great artists. She taught us a method of coil building which I just had to come home and try. She simply took a long coil and wound it around a dowl then worked the coils together. Here is a picture of some tiny vases I made using her technique. You will be seeing the set of them show up in my etsy shop real soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thank you etsy!

Thank you etsy for making me a featured seller this week! Check out my interview here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Planters and the end of the Sale

New in the shop! I made these hanging planters to decorate my porch and I love them so much I'm made some for the etsy shop! Great for growing herbs or feeding birds:)
Due to a really really great show in Chicago this past weekend I have to end my free shipping sale a bit early. I am just about out of snack pates! I will let you know when I make some more and when the next sale will be. Thanks to those who participated and I'm sorry to those who didn't get a chance!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Antler Magazine!

Just out today! This is a really cool FREE online magazine. I'm really honored that they asked me to do an interview for the September issue. So go check it out:)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A moment to relax.

Something I enjoy about working from home now is the freedom to cook at any point in the day. I'm not too tired and since I am only working down stairs from the kitchen I am able to bake or simmer while I work. My kitchen has been quite full the last few weeks. Today I needed to use up a banana that was about to turn so I whipped up a loaf of cranberry walnut banana bread while I was working on some computer stuff. It made the house smell so home-y and now we will have a healthy snack for our trip to Chicago this weekend. This is just a little slice I had to know to make sure it was good:) Just one of my new found perks of working from home.

Low Fat Banana Bread (a Weight Watches recipe that I put my own spin to)
1 3/4 cups of four
3 Tbs packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of dried cranberries ( you can sub any fruit or nuts here. The original recipe called for 8 chopped dried dates and 6 chopped dried apricot halves. This is just what I had on hand.)
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
1 egg
1 very ripe banana
1/3 cup fat free milk

Preheat oven to 350, spray a 8x4 (I used 9x5 because that's what I had) loaf pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon; stir in the fruit and nuts. In a small bowl, beat the egg; add the banana and milk. Pour over the flour mixture, stir until combined. You may have to get in there with your hands as this makes more of a dough than a batter. It will seem dry at first but mix with your hands and it should come together, if not add a little more milk. Transfer to the loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about an hour ( check on it after 30 minutes because mine was done in about 40.) Cool completely on a rack. Makes 12 (small) servings at 111 calories, 1 g. of fat and 3 g. of fiber. Not bad for a breakfast on the go!
(Nutritional info is based on the original recipe, I can't imagine my version is very far off though.)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Little Art

I started making these little tags a few weeks ago. They were originally meant to be garden stakes but since the season is almost over it seemed silly to start making them now. Next year. Some of them became these little tags. I put them up in my shop to see how they do. I'm very hesitant now of putting smaller things out at shows because the last 2 or 3 shows we have done, as I packed up I noticed that at least one of my mini salt and pepper's had walked off. (I can tell because I will have a random S or P without a mate.) I have to re-think how I display smaller items, which is a shame because who steals from artists? That's just not ok. Not that it's ok to steal from anyone but it's just really wrong to steal from an artist at a street fair who is standing right there! Anyway, got off track there for a minute, sorry. I made the tags thinking that they could be hung on the wall as mini art or as a holiday ornament if you liked. I'm sure you could even put them on a chain as a necklace. Let me know what you think. Does anyone make small items?
p.s. I will be back later this week with some new glaze tests....