Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Ceramic Buttons, Fundraisers & an Interview

Cynthia Guajardo Porcelain Buttons
Porcelain Buttons

This past weekend was a busy one! In addition to running on an ING Marathon Relay team, I participated in a small craft fair at my daughter's school on Sunday afternoon. It was the school's annual Fall Carnival - one of several annual school fund raising events and the kid's favorite. It's normally held outside; however, this year we awoke to freezing rain and temps in the high 30's. Needless to say the event was held inside which was actually quite fun - though noisy.

I brought my ceramic jewelry and buttons to the event. After running that morning, I had no desire to lug my pottery over to the school. As it turns out, the jewelry was the perfect choice. I sold a little bit, with 20% of the proceeds going back to the school. There were other Moms/crafters selling a variety of items including handmade balms, felted purses, sewn purses and belts, jewelry, cards, kid's art smocks and little dolls. I sold the buttons (above) to the woman making sewn purses and belts and she ordered 5 more custom buttons to use in her creations. I purchased some organic lip balm from Tulip's Balms who began making organic creams and balms for her son. It's fabulous and a product I highly recommend.

Meanwhile, did I mention that I ran the first leg of the Denver Marathon - 6 miles in the freezing rain and cold? I wouldn't have chosen to run in the rain, but you get what you get on race day. I ran strong (for me), 6 miles in 1:05. While that is a sub 11 minute mile, it's much faster than my leisurely 12-13 minute miles I run with the ladies in my training group! We're a chatty group and very social - not hard core running machines. Instead of talking about fartleks, interval training, carbo-loading, favorite sports gels etc., we talk about the newest cupcake shop or Italian restaurant to open. We share stories about work, family, and favorite recipes. It makes those 2 hours Saturday training runs go so much faster! My training season is over now, and I now go into maintenance mode - solo runs 4 days a week. I plug in my iPod and veg out to the latest Craftcast.

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos to share right now. I did feel special, however, because I was running with 3 ING executives and got to go in the VIP tent - I even saw some of the elite runners! That's always amazing. ING is the title sponsor for the next 5 years, so there was quite an ING presence. Our team finished the marathon in 4:03 - not too bad for 3 execs and a middle aged woman. I was the slowest person on the team. Since I was running with the big guys, I had company from the ING New York employee, Chris Solarz and his fiancee, who doubled as official ING marathon photographer. There should be a slide show coming soon to the ING website. I'll post a link when it becomes available.

Oh, I almost forgot, Nancy Van Blaricom asked if she could interview lil' ole me for her blog a few weeks ago and you can read about what we talked about on her site. Thanks Nancy!

That's it for today - I must go tend to my glaze firing now,



Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Double Walled Salt Shaker and Good News!

Double walled salt shaker with no holes

Double walled holeless salt shaker
Bottom of double walled salt shaker

A couple of weeks ago, the Etsy Mud Team, (an Etsy group that I belong to) was discussing double walled holeless salt shakers. I really couldn't fathom how they were made or worked, but gave it a good shot after seeing Keith's tutorial. I didn't do any before, during and after photos and instead, opted to wait and see if my creation even survived the bisque fire.

It did. I ended up adding the decorative knob, because without it, frankly the salt shaker looked like a female body part. Please use your imagination here.... As to the mechanics of the piece, one basically fills the salt or pepper into the hole in the bottom. To use, the salt sits within the "walls" until shaken, then sprinkles from the hollow center. Makes sense, right? I'm a visual person, and didn't get it until I made one myself. I think it needs a pepper partner now.

Bisqued porcelain bottle with handmade ginkgo lino-cut stamps - not yet glazed

Then, I water etched another vase, but decided to use my ginkgo stamp on the bottle. The fat juicy body of the piece, just begged for some kind of adornment. I still need to glaze these pieces, and was going to do so tonight, but one of my favorite shows is on in 5 minutes. I have another true confession - I love the medical drama, House.

Oh yah, I almost forgot about the good news. Before the new school year began, I proposed an after school clay class at my daughter's school. It's finally wound it's way through the ranks and has formally been approved. I begin teaching the last week in October. I can't wait!

Happy Wednesday everyone,