Friday, November 14, 2014

Focussing on free time...

I have had 3 days off work and it felt like I had a 3 week holiday....
Since I decided to scale back my activities in my studio, I feel so much lighter.
No pressure, no work deadlines, no e-mails.
Spend lots of time outside walking with the little one, did some sewing, did some toddler crafting, we made cookies, our weekly thrifting adventure, did some reading and even cleaned the house a bit.
I focussed on my free time and stopped doing bits and bobs in between and it made a world of difference... I think I need more of that!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pathetic drawing skills

When Julie saw the dried penguin she made yesterday, she opened up the folded paper and squeeled excited: 'Mommy, a book!'
But when I asked her what was inside she said: 'nothing, Mommy'.
I told her that the Penguin on the cover looked dirty.
She looked at me like 'You don't like my penguin?'
I said: 'Yes, but I think he played in mud all day.
Let's put him in bath.
She got all excited while I was drawing a bath tub.
I asked her: 'what does the penguin do after his bath?'.
'Watch television, Mommy?'
So I drew a couch and a television.

The next page was full of stains from her previous painting so I told her that the penguin didn't like to watch TV and preferred playing in the mud.
She giggled when I was drawing the penguin in the mud.
Then her good best friend longneck (giraffe) ended up on the page too and she smiled from ear to ear.
After playing in the mud they had to have dinner together.
 And penguin wasn't tired at all since he wanted to jump on the bed before going to sleep.

My drawing skills are pathetic but Julie doesn't mind at all.
She loved making this book together and couldn't stop reading it since she knew exactly what was going on on the pages.
Now I'll go make her color her book...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Still alive

It's been ages since I wrote on my blog. Not that I wanted to neglect this spot but somehow I did. Since I'm back on Facebook I find myself posting more stuff there then here.
I feel bad for neglecting my blog but I will try to take care of it better in future.

As I wrote in my last post, I still find it hard to work in my studio. I can't concentrate on stuff long enough to really get anything done and it's really frustrating. I have a head full of ideas that want to come out but I don't seem to have enough time to make it happen. And while business on Etsy is really slow, I didn't have to think twice when more work hours were available at my current job.
I apllied for them knowing that it would give me less studio time but also less stress and frustration since I don't get anything done and have time nor energy to promote and sell my work on line.

It's a bit of a turning point for me. What once made me happy and changed my life completely is now giving lots of stress. I don't find it easy to cope with the pressure of having to make, create and promote my work anymore. Since Julie came into our lives, lots has changed. Positive changes.
It's hard work raising a child but it is also very rewarding and fun. And we sure do have fun.

I just want to spend as much time as I can with her while she is still little.
I want to giggle, read books, craft, jump in puddles and have teaparties with my little, sweet girl. She is the best that ever happened to me and I don't want to miss this precious time in her life while everything is still new and wonderful. When I look through her eyes, I learn a lot again of what I lost while growing up. It's making me happy and content to spend time with her.
So that's what I do now. Anything else can wait because it's not important for me now.
My studio won't run away and my clay is not going anywhere either. Time will come again that I will get my hands dirty and my ideas into 3D.

Today we got our hands dirty, although that wasn't the plan. But hey, it's more exciting to change plans than to stick to them. I made potato stamps and wanted to make some simple cards but that seemed a bit too hard because Julie liked to stamp all over the card. She just rubbed the potato over the entire card and made a huge mess of them.

Then I changed the plan and drew a large penguin and made her color it.
 First with paintbrushes but that didn't last long: she just decided that fingerpainting is more fun. She's right: making mess is fun!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Special custom order

While the past few months I've been struggling to get back to work in the studio, I was a bit hesitatnt to accept a custom request. After mom passed away, it's just been really difficult to get back into my studio work. The impact of losing a loved one  has proven to be more difficult then I ever anticipated.
And while I did make feelings, anything else failed because I was feeling too tired or just without energy. I do have inspiration and I do want to create but somehow I fail because my mind isn't set on it...

The other day, I got a really sweet e-mail from J.  She told me that she loved my work and was curious if she could have something custom made. I sighed at reading the word 'custom' as anything out of the ordinary feels just too much to handle at the moment. But I read on and I was intrigued and touched by what she wrote me. She and her partner are in a long distance relationship in war-torn countries and she wanted me to portrait two people living apart but also looking forward to that moment when they have a door to share together.

The way J. described how difficult it is to be seperated from her loved one, made me realize that I'm not alone in this and that how hard a situation is, we should never give up loving, hoping, believing. So, with much confidence and pleasure, I was back in my studio. My mom would have been proud for sure.

I do think that it's amazing how Etsy brings people around the globe together and that this can be the result of brainstorming ... Trying to portrait someone else feelings can be daunting and challenging but as long as the person on the other side of the globe is willing to let me have a look into their world, magic things can happen...

J. wanted me to inscribe the quote above. It translates: "Let's go home and close the door, because otherwise, people could hear our happiness"
I think that's such a beautiful quote to finish off this work. I wish them both courage and happiness.
May they live long and happy after...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Feeling victory

Julie loves sticking my pencils in my jar of clay slib. *sigh*

Summer is in full swing here and I have a few weeks of holiday at the moment. It's been busy with a 2 year old around but today I had an entire day that I could play in my studio. Bliss!

It had been a while that I could work non-stop and it feels good to work on new things and also on a custom feeling. A good friend of mine asked me to create the feeling victory. She came up with the idea of using a ladder that came far above the feeling.
There had to be nine steps for all the obstacles that she had to conquer. I immediately loved the idea and couldn't wait to start making it
And the number nine also has a special meaning to me as it represents completion which complements the feeling victory. I hope she will love how it turned out...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mould making factory

I finally get to play myself for a bit in my studio. Anna and I are cooking up some new stuff and I love playing around with my toys again. However, the first part of the playing is making moulds, not exactly what I like most but rather a necessity. But once the 'hard' work of mould making is done, I really get to play. Yeah!

Mould making factory...
To be continued...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Porcelain keys

It's been a while since I posted creative stuff on my blog. This work above was done in between over the past few months and I only now get around making a finished product of it.
I just need to pimp the packaging a bit but hopefully I have time to do so later this week!
I haven't had much time to work on new things lately so I'm actually happy I managed to make at least one new thing...
Next weekend I'll be at the ceramic market in Maaseik (Belgium) and I'll be taking these along.
So if you're in the area, please pop by and say 'hello' to me! :)