Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Summer Ready Skin

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

Since summer is fast approaching, I wanted to share my must-have for smooth, soft, glowing skin that is ready for the season- sugar scrubs!

I've recently started using a sugar scrub in the shower once a week, and let me tell you, I'm hooked! You just can't get that baby soft skin any other way, and the best part... no more icky ingrown leg hair. Scrub + Shave = Silky Smooth Legs :) Yay!

While there are plenty of good ready-made scrubs out there, it is so simple and much more economical to make your own. Here's how I made mine...




















You will need:
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1/4 base oil (I used coconut oil for a creamier scrub, but jojoba, almond, or
  grapeseed would work well too)
-essential oil(s) (optional)
-a shallow glass/plastic container
-a spoon for mixing

Mix the sugar and oil together until well blended.




















Now, you can stop right here if you want, but I like to add scent to my scrub.
Peppermint Essential Oil + Sweet Orange Essential Oil = Menthe Orange. Mmmm! :) You can make yours any scent you would like, but I totally recommend using essential oils for their aromatherapy benefits, not fragrance oils.

I added about 10 drops of peppermint oil and 10 drops of sweet orange oil, but you can adjust it according to how strong you want the scent to be. It's not an exact science. Mix well.

  


















Ta-Da! You are now one step closer to summer-ready skin!



















You'll want to use your scrub after cleansing but before shaving. It's important to start at your extremities (i.e. your hands and feet) and end at your heart to aid in circulation and detoxification. I scrub feet, up legs, hands, up arms, shoulders, down back, up torso. Don't scrub your face! It is much too abrasive.

One word of advice: Turn the shower off while scrubbing. You don't want those exfoliating sugar granules going down the drain before they've done their duty, AND you don't want water to get into your container.

What are you waiting for?! Get scrubbing!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The More I Seek You

Happy Monday, Friends!

Sunday a week ago, I heard this great new song (well new to me!) at church. Don't you just love new songs?! Music has a way of speaking to me that words alone just can't do.

The more i seek you,
the more i find you

The more i find you,
the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet,
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming

So simple, yet beautiful.

One of the things that I love about my job is the fact that I can listen to music while I work. It's a great way to worship and come into the presence of my loving heavenly Father. 

I found a video of this song (The More I Seek You by Kari Jobe) put to a ballet on YouTube. (I would also secretly love to be a dancer, ha!) You can take a listen below. Enjoy!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

A Look Back: My First Wheel-Thrown Bowl

Hello Friends! It's Friday, and the weekend is almost here! Woohoo!!!!

A few days ago when I went to the cupboard to get a bowl for my morning oatmeal, there weren't any clean ones. Rather than take the time to wash one by hand, I opened the next cupboard that houses a couple of my first handmade bowls. (They're not good enough for the main cupboard, hehe.) I settled on this one, which was my very first wheel-thrown bowl...
















































Lovely, isn't it? (Can you see why it isn't good enough for the main cupboard??!) :)

The bottom is especially atrocious, complete with its terribly trimmed foot and wax-that-went-up-too-high-so-the-glaze-didn't-take area. But, in all its faults, it reminds me where I started from. I'd say I've come along way in the last 4 years!


















Can't wait to see what the next four years will hold!

Hope your weekend (and future!) is filled with great things!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Have Hope

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

It's a rainy/dreary day here in my neck of the woods. It's easy to start feeling a little depressed after a series of these days.

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I remind myself...

Spring showers
bring
May flowers.


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Monday, March 21, 2011

An Unexpected Guest

Happy Monday, Friends! Hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was so not what I planned...

Friday morning when my mom took Buster for a walk, this little pug started following them.




















We found out that there were some lost dog fliers about ten minutes away and sure enough, they were for Stella. Apparently, she was lost for six nights, six long, cold, wet nights. Poor girl.

Her owners are out of town, so she will be staying with us until tomorrow. She is used to sleeping with her owner in bed, so I let her sleep with me.

It's taken some time to get used to all her noises. She truly sounds like a little piglet sometimes with her snorts and grunts, but she is very sweet-natured and for some reason, has become very attached to me, which I love. Who doesn't want to feel needed? She even cried and howled yesterday when I was at church and my dad stayed home with her. ♥ I must say I'm becoming quite attached to her, too.

She loves sitting in my lap and follows me everywhere I go, and Buster is quite enamored with her, so its hard to get anything done when someone has to keep an eye on them, but... I think I'm going to miss her when she leaves.

Stella, you've been an unexpected, if not sometimes crazy, blessing in my life.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Garden Inspiration

Woohoo, it's Friday!

All this herb marker making and warmer weather (yesterday hit 60° and today is similar!) has ignited my gardening bug. (I was starting to think it had died in all this cold and snow we've been having.)

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It doesn't get any better than harvesting your food from your own backyard!

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Homegrown produce is the ultimate in freshness, and you just can't find heirloom veggies with uber-cool long names at the grocery store. Drunken woman frizzy headed lettuce, anyone?

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I have a pretty good stash of seeds from previous years, but you always need to try something new each year, right? I'm making my list and checkin it twice because I need to place my order. Now.

Have a happy weekend, friends!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Coming Soon: Herb Markers

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

Lately, I've been working on these...




































I've been wanting to make herb markers for the garden for some time now, and with spring right around the corner, I'm scrambling to get them done. I've been thinking and playing around with different color ideas, but I know that I want to keep them simple and neutral-toned so that they compliment (and don't compete with) garden plants.









































I'm going to attempt something that I've never tried before. (Yikes!) I'm hoping for a rustic/antiqued vibe, so if that's your cup of tea, stay tuned! I hope to have them in the shop by the beginning of April. (Eeeeeeeekk!) 

Before you head off, I have one quick question: Would you like to see markers for veggie plants, too?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Craving Color

Happy Monday, Friends!

Lately, I have been craving color. (It could be from our long, cold, white winter!) My favorite thing to make (and wear!) right now are these little ceramic post earrings...

























They provide the tiny, but bold and oh-so springy pop of color that I crave. Perfect.


I've uploaded some new ones in the shop over the last few days. Currently, they are available in vintage grape, purple orchid, teal, turquoise, green patina, rustic cream, black, denim blue, light blue shino, and rustic redware. You can see them here.

What's your favorite color this time of year?

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Kiln... vs Christians?

Hellooooo Friends! Can't believe its FRIDAY already! Where does the time go?!

Did you read Wednesday's "studio tour" post? If not, you should check it out! This is kinda part two of the studio tour only... not at my studio. Let me explain.
Remember how very cramped basement = not enough room for kiln? So, my generous uncle allowed me to set my electric kiln up at his cabinet shop, which is a pain not ideal having to transport all my pots back and forth, but I make it work.

So shiny! :) I love it!

Each load of pottery needs to be fired two times. The first firing is the "bisque firing," and basically makes the pots easier to less fragile for glazing. Bisque firing takes approximately 14-16 hours to fire, and then another day to cool. It's a long/slow firing because you risk exploding pots if the temperature increases too rapidly. 

The second firing is the "glaze firing." Glaze firing takes approximately 9-10 hours to fire, and then another 1-2 days to cool. I fire to cone 6, which is the equivalent of approximately 2165° F. During the glaze firing, the dry glaze essentially melts and fuzes to form a layer of glass on the pots, producing durable and functional works of art.
Without the fire from the kiln, pottery would not be durable and functional. It would break easily and could not be used for anything. The kiln burns away the impurities that are present in the clay body. Friends, we are much like pottery. Without the fiery trials of life, we would also be weak and useless. I believe God uses difficult times in our lives to make us strong and complete and to "burn away" our impurities.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work in you so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
James 1:2-4

If you currently find yourself facing "the fire of the kiln," take heart because you will only come out stronger, refined, and more beautiful because of it.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Studio Tour: A behind the scenes look into my work space

I can hardly believe it's Wednesday already! As promised, here is a look into my studio space. Warning: It is far from glamorous!

I'm usually at this table first thing on "throwing" days. It holds my wedging board, where I "wedge" the clay to remove air bubbles and prepare it for throwing. To the right of the wedging board are partially used 25 lb. bags of clay and a scale. The left side of the table is my excruciatingly-small handbuilding area, where I make jewelry, ornaments, trinket dishes, and toad houses (basically anything that uses slabs of clay to create).
The buckets underneath the table are for dry clay scraps and glaze. On glaze days, I pull out the buckets that I need, and glaze pieces right there on the floor.
FYI: You can see our lovely clothes dryer on the right. Pottery studio + laundry room + storage area for tools and food = one very cramped basement.


This is my wheel. As you can see, it is messy from a long day's work. Throwing is not a clean activity, and you can't be afraid to get a little dirty. :)
In front of the wheel is a plaster slab where messed up pots and wet clay scraps find a temporary home.


Buster, aka "studio pet" wishes I would stop snapping pictures and kick his ball already. He. LOVES. balls.
These shelves hold pots that are waiting to be fired. Once they fill up like this, I know I have enough to fill my kiln.

So there you have it! Wait... what about the kiln, you ask?  Very cramped basement = not enough room for kiln. Unfortunately, it has to live in another building. Come back Friday, and I will introduce you to him. :)

Have a happy day, friend!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shop Feature- Allora Handmade

Happy Monday, Friends!

You may have noticed the gorgeous plum-colored rosette necklace that I am wearing over there (in my profile pic)----->
OR if you know me in real life, you've probably seen me sportin it around town.

Today I wanted to introduce you to the creator of these amazing rosettes and one of the sweetest bloggers ever, Jessica of Allora Handmade!















The fabulousness that is Allora doesn't end with rosette necklaces. Oh, no. Jessica also makes bracelets, earrings, brooches, and headbands, including these adorable baby headbands! My, oh my. Love me a baby wearing one of those headbands!

You must go check out her shop. Now.














One. more. thing... Last Friday, Jessica introduced a new spring color in her shop, LEMON! Guess who is pictured in the last photo of the lemon necklace?!! Oh yes... It makes me SO very happy! (Isn't it every girl's dream to be a model? *wink*)

Have a fantastical week, Friends!

p.s. Be sure to come back on Wednesday for a sneek peek around my studio! I'm so excited!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Distractions

Do you ever have those days when you feel so distracted by the world? You know, where it seems that everything is screaming for your attention and affection, and you seem to lose site of what life is really about?

I was definitely having one of those days yesterday... until I read this blog post. Go on. I'll wait for you to come back. ♥

I have to ask myself, "What am I truly living for?"
Is it evident that I care about others more than I care about myself?
Do people see Jesus in my life?


















"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Ephesians 5:1-2

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hello Hawaii!














                                               
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Unfortunately, I'm not the one going to Hawaii... but this little guy is...




















I only wish I could personally deliver it. *wink* 

Could you use a vacation? (I'm sure we all could!!)
If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you want to go?