Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chic Throw

This weekend, I finished the throw blanket I started earlier in the month and I’m really happy with the way it turned out! Its sooo soft and cozy and will make the perfect lap blanket on cold winter nights. I may put this one aside as a possible product to sell on Etsy when I finally launch my shop! Let me know what you think of it!

Stay Chic! xo…Alane

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Wheel Throwing Update

Tonight will be our fifth wheel throwing class, weather permitting (it’s currently snowing here!), which means that we only have two classes left! (If you missed my first post about the class, you can read it here) Last week, the pieces we glazed were out of the kiln and ready to take home! Here are some photos of our final pieces:

My Dad’s cup – he used two different glazes

Red glaze on the inside, blue on the outside

My Dad’s teacup – again, he used two different glazes

It’s so cute!

My dish – this was the very first piece I threw

I also did a two-tone theme

My bowl with handles

I went a bit too heavy on the white glaze, but I really like the way it ran together with the red

After marveling at the work we did, it was time to trim the pieces that we threw the previous week. I didn’t get any shots of my dad’s (he wanted me to wait until they were complete!), but I did snap a few photos of mine. I trimmed two bowls and both were happy mistakes! On the first bowl, the rim was really uneven when I pulled the clay up so we fixed it by creating a wavy edge. Then, last week, after I finished trimming it, I decided to add little buttons on the waves. I like the way it turned out!

Originally, the second piece I threw with the intention of making a mug, but it turned into a bowl instead. Then, last week, when I went to trim it, I saw a huge dent in the side. The bowl was actually a really nice shape, so I was upset that this dent ruined it. But, of course, we came up with a solution as to how to fix it…add some designs on the bowl and cover up the dent! I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I think this is my best piece yet!

I hope that my bowls are ready to glaze tonight. I’m not sure how I will do either one yet. As you can see from the first pieces I glazed, I went with a two-tone color theme, but I don’t know if that will work on my latest pieces. The glaze is somewhat tricky because it’s the kind that you don’t paint on. You have to dip the pieces into the glaze and try to get a nice thin layer. I wish it was the kind you paint on, especially for my flower bowl, but oh well! We’ll just wait and see how it all turns out!

Stay Curious! xo…Alane

Hand Printed Christmas Cards

Hello everyone! I hope you all have had a nice little vacation and have recovered from the holiday’s many feasts! Today, I thought I would share some of my latest creations with you.

As you know, after my Surface Printing Workshop with Lotta Jansdotter, I went out and bought all of the supplies I needed to continue printing at home. One of the recent goals I set for myself is to hand print my own Christmas cards (and if I open an Etsy shop in time, to then sell them on Etsy!). So this past week, I have been a busy bee sketching ideas on paper and then carving the designs into rubber and linoleum blocks.

My first design consists of simple trees, all of which are different shapes and sizes. I knew I wanted to make a card using three colors – red, green and gold – so I thought something simple and geometric would work best. Here are some photos of the rubber stamps and the printing process:

Carving trees out of rubber blocks

Ready to stamp

Printing 4 cards at once – starting with the green trees

Second round of printing – red trees

Third round of printing – 2 types of gold trees

Final product – time to dry!

My second design is a reindeer. He was a bit trickier because he’s more detailed, but I’m really pleased with the way he came out. I am going to write “Merry Christmas” in the bottom left-hand corner of the cards, but I have to wait for them to dry first.

Started with a drawing, copied it and colored with black marker, transferred to a lino block with transfer paper

Starting to carve

Test prints

While waiting for the green trees to dry, I printed the reindeer cards

Final product – just to have write “Merry Christmas”!

I love how each print is different than the previous one and that there are imperfections, like the texture of the paper showing through the ink, because it shows that an actual person made the cards, not a machine. Because of these slight imperfections, no two prints will ever be exactly the same, which means that each card will be entirely unique!

I’m really excited to continue printing by hand. I love everything about the process of block printing, from the planning, drawing and carving to the actual stamping. And what’s great about these rubber stamps is that I can use them over and over again to print on cards, gift tags, or even my own wrapping paper! The possibilities are endless and I will continue to share my creations with you!

Stay Curious! xo…Alane

Society6 Throw Pillows & Free Shipping

Society6 just released a new product for their artists: throw pillows! I’m really excited about this one because I love decorative pillows and how awesome is it that I can now have some pillows with my own photography on them?! The pillows come in three different sizes – 16” x 16”, 18” x 18” and 20” x 20” – and you can order just the cover or the entire pillow. Prices range from $20 to $35, which is pretty affordable. You can check out all of my available pillows here.

Here are some of my favorites:

These pillows will make really great, original Christmas gifts. And best of all, Society6 is offering free shipping now through Monday (offer excludes Framed Art Prints, Stretched Canvases and Throw Pillows with inserts)! You can find all of my available products (art prints, iPhone cases, iPad skins, stationary cards) here, so start shopping!

Stay Chic! xo…Alane

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

I love baking and every fall I look forward to making my favorite recipe: Spice Pumpkin Bread. I usually bake my first batch around Halloween and continue making it all the way through the New Year. I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe, but it is pretty simple and it’s always a hit at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table! So today, I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

3 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 16 oz. can solid pack pumpkin (I can never find a 16 oz. can, so I buy the 15 oz.)

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 9 x 5 x 3 in. loaf pans.

Beat sugar and oil in a large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin.

In another large bowl, sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder (Here, I add an extra sprinkle of cinnamon).

Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans and bake for 1 hr. 10 min. (I always start with 45 min. and then add time in 5 or 10 min. increments from there).

Let cool and enjoy!

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think!

Stay Curious! xo…Alane