Pottery Bowl

Pottery Bowl
Archies' Base & Pam's Green glazes

Pottery Bowl

Pottery Bowl
with tree appliques

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees

Johnny's Trees
Woodburning on plank

All That Jazz

All That Jazz
Fused glass

All Polished UP

All Polished UP
Canvas/nail polish

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our first ever Holiday Glow Art Sale and Show the first weekend of December was very successful. Here are some tips on hosting open houses to sell handmade art:

  • Put out yard signs several weeks in advance.

  • Serve food/drinks that people will enjoy and appreciate…and tell their friends about. We want Friday guests talking up our event on Saturday, perhaps coming back with other friends the next night! Have enough food so you don’t run out, please. We are all dependent on each other – we need to do a nice job.

  • Have someone as a greeter at your door if you worry about people walking out with unpaid items. Your greeter can say hello, hang coats and remind people to remove their shoes.

  • Be organized with your cash box, bags and boxes, tissue, etc. Also, people love on-the-spot gift wrapping!

  • Have holiday music playing and festive d├ęcor to set the mood and encourage purchasing gifts.

  • Make your business cards/brochures readily available.

  • Be sure your door prize (if you are offering one) is attractively presented and the slips/deposit box/pencils are user-friendly. Have a form people can sign to be on your mailing or emailing list.

  • Wear your nametag, smile & introduce yourself, invite questions about your work and then back off so guests can browse.

  • Email or send out ‘hint cards’. People fill out the card with gifts that they’d like to be given, from your selection of inventory. They return the card/email to you. You pass along the hints to their spouse/significant other.

  • Call and personally invite as many of your friends and acquaintances as you can. Don’t forget about people at your church, your neighbors and at your work place. People are much more likely to show up if they’ve had a phone call. We can expect a turnout of ¼ of the people who find out about our sale.

  • Be sure you have distributed all your postcards (hand out personally or mail). Please hang up your flyers in public places. Many businesses will allow flyers/postcards in their break rooms, even if they don’t allow them in the lobby, etc. Our signs and printed material will be wasted investments if we don’t get them out into our community.

  • If you know people in the smaller outlying communities, please be sure they know about our event. Ask them to put out flyers/postcards in their towns. Lots of people in these communities will come to GF for a special night out like this.

Use your email contacts and any social networking sites you belong to (such as Facebook, Plaxo, etc.) to tell people now about our event. And remind them again a day or two before our event.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Visual art sale & show, Grand Forks, ND, December 4 & 5

Curious about the artists who are participating in the Holiday Glow Art Sale & Show? Fifteen artists at twelve open houses, Dec. 4 & 5, from 5-9pm, both Friday and Saturday nights. Besides myself (I like to make fused glass art; pottery (functional and sculptural); giant painted and woodburned gourds lamps and mini-gourd clocks; weavings and tapestries, and table/lamp combos that I call "lamples". I will have a variety of work to show and sell for holiday gift giving during the Holiday Glow event.

Also participating in the Holiday Glow event are: Dyan Rey, Connie Hodgson, Marian Gates, Carolyn Meisel, Pat Danielson, Terry Kuntz, Laura Look, Karla Nelson, Sheila Dalgleish, Tessa Hiney, Pirjo Berg, Paula Kallinen and Tom Perdue. These artists specialize in oil painting, water color, wood carving, mixed media, sculptural garden art and jewelry. Go to: www.jackiesart.com to see photos of artists' work as well as to obtain a printable map so you know who is participating and where the various open houses are located. Each artist will have some sort of holiday treat to share and many will give away a door prize, too! (Each home will have a yard sign and their lights on so you will know you are at the right places.)

This Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9am - 5pm I will be at the C'Mon Inn on 32nd Ave. S. in Grand Forks participating in a Holiday Art Sale. A different group of wonderful artists - come see!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Holiday Art Sale & Show (visual art) in Grand Forks,

The Holiday Glow Art Sale & Show is storming ahead, full blast! It has been a lot of work so far, but I'm learning new things every day about logos, yard signs, advertising, etc. And I'm learning that a contribution of $25 per artist doesn't buy much! Next year, we'll each have to chip in more. I have enough to buy post cards, yard signs and about thirty 8 x 11 colored flyers. I was hoping to have a bit of money left for an ad in the newspaper but we'll all have to do our best to get the word out and about through our big mouths instead!

Artists will have their homes open and show their work, with holiday treats to share with those who stop by to browse and buy art for holiday gifts. I chose a weekend when the UND hockey team is out of town - otherwise too many people would be at "the Ralph"! Now if only the weather cooperates, we'll be in great shape. We don't usually have big blizzards that early in December, but we do live in North Dakota and blizzards are a definite possibility any time after mid-October.

Put Friday, Dec. 4 & Saturday, Dec. 5 from 5-9pm, on your calendar and plan to attend the Holiday Glow Art Sale & Show...no admission charged!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Holiday Art Show (visual art) in Grand Forks

Holiday Glow Art Sale & Show. It's a new event I've organized for Grand Forks. Friday and Saturday evenings, Dec. 4 & 5, 5pm-9pm. Artists will open their homes (or an alternative site) and display their creative art...in time for holiday shopping! Nothing says "I care" like a gift that is hand crafted and one of a kind, not run of the mill. I'm super excited about it, as are the artists that I invited to participate. We will all serve treats, like wine & cheese, or hot chocolate or hot cider and Christmas goodies. I'm looking for an inexpensive yard sign (like political signs) that I can put the Holiday Glow logo on for the artists to put in their yards a few weeks before the event.

I've ordered a bunch of fusable glass. I'm letting my 33 art kids make their own Christmas gift this year. I'll cut blanks for them and small shapes out of various colors. They will design their own glass work, and I'll fire their pieces and have them out right before Christmas. They are super excited about it. And so am I!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fused glass, Jackie's Art

YAY! My fused glass projects came out of the kiln and I really like how they turned out! I'm hanging them this afternoon at the Dakota Harvest Bakery downtown Grand Forks. I hope to get photos taken and list them on my website shop and etsy shop.

My art kids are doing an Eric Carle unit - their stories turned out well and the cut paper collage is also going better than I expected!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fused Glass, Eric Carle

Time just races by! We are planning a June wedding for our middle daughter - fun and exciting! In between calls to DJ's and reception places, etc., I'm lesson planning and making art.

I made some fused glass plates last weekend. It has been too long since I did any fused glass work so it took me about an hour or two to sort of get into the right mind set. However, I finished 5 plates and got them in the kiln. Two need to be fired to a higher temp but the others I like. I'll try to get photos up here, and get them listed on etsy and my website.

I started a unit on Eric Carle with most of my art students this week. They painted beautiful, textured papers and came up with characters and a plot for an original story. I'll flesh their story ideas out onto paper, write the text and get the stories ready for cut paper illustrations, in the Eric Carle style. Next week the kids can each do a page or two. I hope the books turn out well! I'll try to post some photos of their work here, too.

Hope you and yours are well blessed in this beautiful autumn season!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pottery Pets and Flower Beds

Pottery pets and flower beds...my newest ceramic creations are for sale in two local gift shops. I've been so busy that I haven't had time to take photos and get them posted here. I'm starting my weekly art kids next week and have lots of ideas that I want to explore with them this year, including fused glass.

Today we are getting company for the weekend. Our daughter, Jennifer and her little girls, Taylor and Haley, are coming for a slumber party, according to Taylor. My birthday is Monday so they will celebrate early with us. A couple of my sisters will visit this weekend, too. One of them on her way to a wedding and the other is coming for the Brittany Spears concert. That is a big event our city is geared up for this weekend.

Our middle daughter, Sara, is engaged! They have set June12 next summer as the day they say their vows. It is fun to be planning a wedding again!

Soon I hope my life slows down a bit and I can get some pictures taken, my website updated and write about more interesting things in my blog!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Abortion, Visual Art, Weaving Coasters

Some babies die by accident, none should die by choice. Wake up, abortion supporters in this country...let's not kill our youngest! Life is a miraculous gift and there are so many couples who cannot concieve. Let's encourage and support pregnant women so they follow through, carry their babies to term and give them up for adoption...bless the lives of couples who are suffering heartbreak and heartache and emptiness for want of a child. Give the gift of live to them!

Another topic: school starts soon and that means new art will be created by lots of kids. I'm excited to get my students started! We will start on Sept. 14 - I just can't decide if I want to start with some basic color theory or the principles of design. Actually, we'll probably review the art elements first and then go from there. I have lots of returning students and a few new ones, too. It is always fun to have new students as the group dynamics change and that is fun for all.

I've got a set of coasters on my table top loom...plan to get those off the loom this week and knot up or sew the edges, depending on how my time goes the rest of the week...my 'list' is long! I really want to get a denim rug woven on my floor loom, too but it needs warping first and that is SUCH a big job! I almost feel too old to get down on my hands and knees to get it done. I wonder if I can pay someone to warp it?

Last night when I was walking the ice cream truck came down the street. It had the music blaring to alert the kids that it was in their neighborhood. The not-so-seasonally appropriate song it was playing? Silent Night!

Our rabbit trap has not been successful all summer...but our window well was. Eric found the fur and skeleton of a dead rabbit in the window well last week. One down, 10,000+ to go!

Monday, August 17, 2009

How to travel 3,600+ miles in 9 days, Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright, Pennsylvania's attractions

How can you travel over 3,600 miles in 9 days? Sit in your vehicle and drive like madmen for over 12 hours every day for 3 days! Stop to pee, grab a DQ blizzard and burger and get right back in your car. Drop lots of money at the toll booths. Arrive at your destination. Take 3 days off (go shopping, head to the beach). Drop off your Uhaul trailer - if you've had the non-joy of pulling one for the first 1,800 miles. Then get up and head back towards home, repeating the process. This whole business is easier if you have made hotel reservations each day before arriving at your rest stop. It is definitely not fun to drive around looking for a hotel after you've already been in the car for 12 hours. Have GPS or a AAA TripTik so you know where you are going. Have a bottle of Ibuprofen handy because your head and back and butt will ache like never before. Carry a TENS (muscle stimulator) unit with you so you can use it at night in your hotel room. Carry lots of Butterfingers to satisfy your sweet tooth and lots of sunflower seeds to help you stay awake!

We just returned home from a grueling drive out to the East coast to move our youngest daughter to New Bedford, MA for graduate school in ceramics. The U of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, has a good program that she will begin this fall. It was fun to get her settled and acquainted in this former whaling town...now in a large metro area, including Fall River and Taunton.

On our way home we took a detour south and stopped for an afternoon in Gettysburg to do a Battlefield Tour and to see Eisenhower's farm, situated right next to the Gettysburg battlefield. Both were well worth the extra driving time... The next day we stopped at the Kaufman vacation home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Kaufmans founded a department store chain, headquartered in Pittsburgh. This home was almost unbelievable. I'm still marveling at the beauty of the home in its natural setting over the water falls, as well as the cool design features that Wright included. All the furniture was built in as the home was built. There are multiple decks, in the sun or the shade, so everyone could be happy!

We loved Pennsylvania - there is so much to see and do, that we'd love to go back for a 2 week vacation some time. We had no time to see Amish land, Hershey, Pittsburgh or any of the historical attractions in Philadelphia. Driving through the tree covered mountains, in misty fog, and crossing multiple bridges was relaxing and so picturesque! We want to go back!

We had a painter working inside our home while we were gone so it was fun to get home and see the changes...now new flooring and some new furniture and this old home will be spiffed up and ready for a new school year.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Kiln motor blows, kids' pottery, Bismarck art show and rabbits avoid the trap!

I can't believe we already needed to replace the blower motor on our kiln vent. It only lasted 3 years. The amount of rust and junk inside where the vent hose connects to the motor was crazy! I wonder if it is normal? I fire to cone 05 most of the time, with occasional firings to cone 5 and 6. I was shocked to find out that a new motor would be $85, plus the gas to drive 144 miles to pick it up and bring it home. When I told the guy I thought it would cost about $15- $20 he looked flabbergasted. I don't shop for motors very often...

Anyway, the kiln is full of really precious pottery - made by kids age 3-1/2 to 13 years. I can't wait to see how it turns out. Hopefully, nothing will come out cracked. I always tell the kids cracks are possible and to not fall in love with their pieces until the pots are out of the final firing.

I've made a lot of new pieces for the Bismarck (ND) Art Affair on the Capital Grounds next weekend. I hope the weather is great, not too hot because then the shoppers stay home and not too windy because then stuff gets dirty and blows over. I also hope the mosquitoes are under control - last year they were FEROCIOUS! Check out my new work - we'll get it posted to my shop (www.jackiesart.com) the middle of August.

We haven't trapped a single rabbit, despite my husband's best efforts. Someone in our neighborhood told us it is impossible to trap them in the summer because there is so much for them to eat that they aren't the least bit interested in the bait (even though it has been delicious spinach and peanut butter!) in the trap. Eric dug up 48 feet of zinnias that the rabbits chewed down to nothing. I miss the flowers that are usually so colorful by this time of year. Darn rabbits!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visual Art, Pottery, Oil Painting, Virtual Visits, Google Street View

I got this info from my art teacher exchange site. This site has ideas and help for teachers in the visual art field. I thought it was really interesting and fun and am passing it along.

"Need some inspiration for your summer art and travels? Or are you having a
"staycation" this year? Here is an interesting site to rev you up:

http://virtualpaintout.blogspot.com/ This is a network of artists who
virtually visit predetermined cities all over the world each month and paint
or draw from city views that appear on Google's Street View. They then post
their work on the blog. Interestingly, Google has given its okay for the
artists to use screen shots of the views and sell their work if Google is
credited in the labels or descriptions."

I went to the site to check it out and it's worth a look. I may use it with my students this year.

I'm working in my pottery studio today making 'garden guests' or 'patio pals'...I can't decide what to call them. They are little creatures like slugs and lady bugs and cats and puppies that hold terra cots pots. Which name do you like best?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How to catch a rabbit, new pottery design, other random thoughts

How to catch a rabbit? We don't know! Two nights in a row we have tried and each morning the trap was empty. Tonight will be the night, though! There are lots of hints on the internet, like wash the trap and get rid of any human smell and then handle it with gloved hands, use apples and peanut butter for bait - cut the pieces small and make a line of bait leading into the trap, and set it in the path where you know they run. We have your number, neighborhood rabbits!

I've been working on pottery for the garden this week - new designs that I will have for sale soon on my website and etsy and also at the Capitol Art Fair in Bismarck, ND the first weekend in August. The first of them are in the bisque kiln right now - hopefully, I've figured the size correctly and they will indeed hold flower pots after firing. I hate doing the math to figure out the shrinkage, so I always just guess...dumb, I know.

I'll be in the kitchen tomorrow preparing a lot of food for a family reunion we are having this weekend in honor of my dad's 80th birthday. He is still working every day, even though he is retired...taking care of property and other investments, doing the yard work and vacuuming since my mom can't manage that any longer. I hope I'm still as blessed when I'm 80!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Visual Art and Wedding Gifts

Visual art and weddings - do they go together? Yes, of course! What bride and groom would not love handmade, one of a kind art for a wedding gift? So many times wedding gifts are chosen from 'big box' stores where the couple has registered. Sure, these gifts are needed and wanted. But if you really want to give a special twosome a gift they will remember, think about choosing a gift made by one of your local artists, or shop online.

The Internet has made this sort of gift giving practical. There are virtually no restraints because of distance - gifts can be chosen from nearly any where and shipped to almost any where else because of secure Internet shopping. And more and more artists are finding that it is almost necessary to have a presence online...so the selection of 'handmade' has never been better.

I have lots of handmade items that are perfect gifts for bridal showers and weddings. Some items, like my sculptures, weavings and tapestries, would be perfect for decorating a new space and other items, like wine charms and pottery, are functional, handmade pieces! Check out my online shops at www.jackiesart.etsy.com and www. jackiesart.com. I will be adding more items to both shops in about 10 days - everything I make is handmade from start to finish so you can be assured that your gift will be treasured and appreciated in the years to come! Happy shopping!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pekin Art Show, Walter Piehl, Art and Wine Walk, How to Clean a Gourd

I'm excited for tomorrow - Pekin, North Dakota, a small town in the eastern part of the state, is hosting an artists reception. They are hosting their BIG art show and sale this weekend and the reception is a nice preview event. Wine and snacks will be served and Walter Piehl, premier cowboy artist, will be there. He is the judge for the art show. I wish he'd want to do a little art trading!!!

The June Art and Wine Walk was last Saturday - I had good success selling at River City Jewelers so that was awesome. I said goodbye to my grain bin piggy bank - the one with the skunk skulking nearby! It went to a good home - the editor of our local newspaper and his wife bought it. They live in the country and it seems they have a real life quonset, complete with a skunk family, on their property. Now they have one for inside the house, too!

Our daughter, Jennifer and two granddaughters were here for a long weekend. We LOVE having them and miss them dearly when they go home. They provide us with lots of fond and fun memories!

Since I've had some inquiries on my gourd art, I thought I'd share my best tips for cleaning the hard shell variety, once they are completely dried out. I take a large plastic tub, fill it half way with hot water and detergent. Add a bunch of gourds and lay old wet towels on top to try to weight them down so they stay in the water. Add more water till the tub is full. Put the lid on and wait overnight.

The next day, take the gourds out, one at a time so they stay wet. Use a copper scrubbie to remove the white and black molds, under running water. I wear rubber gloves because I think it is sort of a gross job. If some mold is stubborn, I use a butter knife to scrape it. Rinse. Set aside on a towel to air dry. Be sure there are no holes, where birds have pecked at them, or mice have nibbled, before you put them in the water to soak.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tea Party, Visual Art Fest, Art and Wine Walk

I'm just waiting for the kids who are signed up for my class: Fancy Hats and a Tea Party, too. Five little princesses will be here to decorate hats with ribbons, bows, beads and glitter. We'll feast on cookies, mints, chocolate and lemonade. I am skipping the cucumber sandwiches because I think they'd suffer rejection!

This afternoon a group is coming to learn how to draw faces. We are going to work on white boards first and then do a final drawing on art board with conte' crayon or charcoal...their choice.

This past weekend was the annual art fest here in Grand Forks. There was a wonderful turnout to celebrate the great weather and admire and buy the work of the talented artists who participated. Our daughter, Amy, had a vendor booth and was a demonstrating artist. I was a proud mother! You can check out her work at www.amyuthus.com!

Next weekend I will show and sell my art at River City Jewelers downtown...part of downtown's Art and Wine Walk. I hope we are blessed with crowds of people and good weather, too!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Art at New York City's MOMA, and the Lion King, too!

Tired but energized - that is the end result of four days in New York City. Such fun at the MOMA - seeing the great paintings and sculptures, taking crazy photos! The Lion King is absolutely THE best - worth a trip to NYC just for that show! Now I'm trying to get caught up on art registrations, email, laundry and other mundane things you get to forget about while on vacation!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New York City Art Visit

I'm soon off to NYC with our daughters - we are seeing some of the sights, the Lion King and hopefully, some famous art, too. We are tying in a visit to New Bedford, MA to apartment hunt for one of our daughters. Hubbie is staying home to work so we have money to spend on our trip!

We had a great week with our granddaughter, Taylor. We played Wii bowling and she got 171. Pretty good for a 3 year old! She beat me by 20+ pins! We traveled to Minneapolis over the weekend to celebrate our nephew, Brandt's wedding. It was beautiful and we were thankful we could share time with them.

Gotta pack - hoping to get back to art making when I get home! God bless you and yours!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day, Abortion, Photographic Equipment, Ceramic & Wood Table: Visual Art for the Living Room

We purchased a SLR camera, gray background paper and a set of lights and filters...a huge investment but hopefully, it will enable us to step up the quality of images we use on my website, etsy and my blog. Also, hubbie wants to be able to do some astrophotography!

The kiln is running with the last of the kids' pottery being glaze fired...always sort of sad to have a school year end and know when they come back in the fall they'll be a little more grown up. And too soon they'll be gone.

I'm dreaming about my next big ceramic project. I'm using a beautiful cross section wood plank, with ceramic puzzle-type pieces around it and diamond willow legs, bluish glazes, I think. Haven't quite decided on that. I may go with more natural earth colors. I can't wait to get started on it!

Housecleaning and grocery shopping today - company coming for the Memorial Day weekend. It is always fun to have family here. Random thoughts while cleaning: remembering the veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces, with thanksgiving for their bravery, sacrifices and patriotism. Also, remembering little babies killed by abortion because no one is protecting their right to life. How can we protect unborn eagles, nesting bird environments, whales and other living creatures and kill our own babies???

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to Create a Sculpture Project Using Wire and a Sock: Visual Art That is Abstract and Easy to Make

My art kids were really curious about how we would turn pantyhose into sculpture (most of them didn't even know what pantyhose are - I asked them to check with their moms and bring in any old pantyhose with runs!).

We used a 3 foot length of strong yet bendable wire (it has to be able to hold its shape), one leg of pantyhose, white glue, Gorilla Glue, one inch foam brushes, a small block of pine wood (about 5 x 5 x 1), dried split peas, white rice, chow mein noodles and black eyed peas, big wood beads (you could use big bright colors ones, instead, and glue them on after spray painting) and spray paint (I favor gold and silver because they are so 'showy' for the kids). You'll also need a drill for drilling two holes in each wood base.

Before the kids arrived (actually the night before) I used gorilla glue to secure a wire (each end of it) into each wood base. Be sure to moisten the drilled hole in the wood with a drop or two of water before you apply the glue to the wire end and push it into the wood base. I pushed it all the way through the wood and bent it back underneath to secure it well.

Each student put the sock on their wire, pulling it over the top of the wire, down the length of the wire, and stretching it to pull it over the edge of the wood base all the way around. Then they pulled on the wire to bend and curve it - until they were pleased with the shape of the sculpture.

Next step: paint the whole thing with white glue. Let it dry and paint it again. Let it dry and paint it again! Lastly paint areas of it and place or throw (the most fun!) peas, beans, chow mein noodles and rice at the gluey areas. Some of it will stick. If you have too much glue some of the dried 'textures' will slide with the glue as it runs down, creating a nice line! Glue big wood beads for feet on the bottom corners - or all the way around - of the wood base. Let the sculpture dry again.

Take it outside and spray paint - voila! An wonderful abstract sculpture that was easy, messy and fun and inexpensive to make!

Monday, May 11, 2009

How to Add Interest to a Visual Art Blog? Art Surveys, Art News and Art Prints

I've been reading articles on how to gain readership on visual art blogs. Some of the advice seems worthwhile and I thought I'd give it a try. After going to the "Add a Gadget" section for customizing a blog I was overwhelmed with the thousands of gadgets available. I don't want gadgets that are not visual art related or related to kids' art. So I searched for art gadgets - and guess what? There were only 25, not 25,000! So I picked a few (rotating famous art prints, the survey - which I added a few days ago, and a feed for art news), added them and we'll see how it goes. I'd love a comment or two from you, to let me know what you think of my additions. There are at least 17 other art gadgets to choose from so I'll change it up now and then.

I'm thinking I'll have an early summer contest - the prize will be a set of 6 pottery 'word' wine charms. Watch for the start of the contest coming soon. If you leave me a comment or become one of my 'followers' I will put your name in the drawing.

Now, about the new LONG list of labels on my blog...I didn't really understand until today what the labeling process was all about. Now that I do, I'll categorize my posts into several more common ones, so that someone who is looking for a particular subject won't have to scroll through so many labels. My understanding is there isn't a way to get rid of them once they've been used. I'm going to do some more checking on that! I guess they don't hurt anything just by existing!

I'm getting started on some new pottery this week and I'm 'itchin' to start a new weaving, too! I only have two times left with my weekly art students - the year has gone by too quickly! We have a nice day for the kids to work outside - hooray, because we are making a mess!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Yay! New listings on my website shop!

Oh, what a relief! New listings are up on my website. I still have a couple of stoneware bowl sets to list, but I'm thankful for the new items that are up! Take a peek and let me know what you think.

Mother's Day we are celebrating with our daughter and her family. Her youngest has been sick with throwing up and diarrhea all week so we are praying she'll feel better soon. Maybe she needs Grandma to rock and sing the ABC song to her (even though my singing voice is atrocious, she hasn't ever looked at me and asked me to stop!).

I've been having some fun on Facebook - mostly shocking the younger people who wonder if FB is being taken over by the 50' something crowd! One of my daughters has blocked me from seeing her 'wall'...hmm, is there something I should know that I don't? Or maybe mothers don't need to know everything! I remember that was my attitude when I was 20' something.

Have a wonderful weekend.

PS I've been posting new items on my etsy shop, too!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sunshine is energizing!

The sun is shining! And it is energizing me! Today I listed a lot of new items to my etsy shop and have more to get done tonight. Then I'll be adding new items to my own website shop, too. And I placed new items at the Canad Inn, Third Street Gallery, Forks Frame Up and Dakota Harvest Bakers. It feels so good to have those tasks taken care of for a short while, anyway.

I've been researching artfulhome.com as a possible place to list my tables, lamps and lamples. It is a juried online shop and print catalog so I've been working on my application. The need for professional photos are creating a quandry for me. Should I invest in a better camera, lights and some backdrops and 'set up' a photography studio for myself? Or should I bite the bullet several times a year and pay a professional to take the photos for me? Anyone have advice for me?

I'm excited to get to work, now that it is spring, on some new tables. I want to use the diamond willow branches that my brother-in-law kindly hauled 350 miles east for me. And I want to do some new ceramic table tops to go with them...lots of ideas.

I'm really missing our little granddaughters. We had so much fun - I just finished putting together a photo album that will help them remember their visit with Grandma!

I sold 5 tatami mats this morning that have been taking up space in my closet for over 5 years. The buyers were thrilled to have them and I was thrilled they will store them instead of me!

I only have 3 times left with my weekly students before we take summer break. We are finishing up with sculpture and I'm really looking forward to that. I love three dimensional work with kids - it is something they usually don't experience!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yes, a sculpture sale!

The glaze kiln is unloaded and a sale is made! I sold an abstract sculpture of two people 'connecting' to a local guy. He purchased it as a wedding gift for his niece. I personalized it with a design using the date of their wedding and their first names. It seemed he was happy with it so that made me happy!

I'll be taking photos of the new pottery today. I had some sculptural pieces in this kiln as well as some functional work. A few of the pieces need to go into the pottery graveyard as the glazes ran too much - not all over the kiln shelves, thankfully, but enough so that I want to trash a few of the pieces instead of keep them. The old saying, 'Don't love your work until it is out of the last firing' certainly holds true. I am trying to get the hang of a few new glaze combinations so I'm sure I'll add more pots to the graveyard in the future!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Glaze kiln loaded

I just fired up a glaze kiln - its almost 2am and I had a hurry-up glaze session going tonight. I taught a kids' pottery class today so as soon as they finished I cleaned up that mess and started glazing. One of the sculptural pieces in this kiln is sold - pending approval of the final appearance - and it is needed as a wedding gift. The purchaser is flying out on Wednesday so I need this sculpture out of the kiln on Tuesday, hence the rush job.

My daughter, Amy, came down at midnight and helped me finish up so that was awesome. She also made homemade chicken dumpling soup for supper! I have several styles of flower vases/centerpieces in the kiln, pasta dishes, dipping bowls for salsa, flavored oils, wasabi, etc., larger bowls, some madonnas and a couple other sculptures. I hope things turn out - glazing always makes me nervous. I'd so much rather just make the pieces and let someone else worry about glazing them!

We are missing our granddaughters - it was SO fun having them for a week. I'm putting together a photo album of our time together and will send it along with some things I forgot to pack and a few little gifts I got on sale.

I'll post photos here of my new pottery - be sure to come back and check it out!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Locked out!

We were about to leave on a shopping trip for new pj's, shoes and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back when I decided I needed to bring along some Kleenex for my granddaughters. But as I turned the knob on the door, I realized it was locked. Taylor, age 3, locked the door as we went out. The key was in the house. Another memory made!

I have a lot to get done in a day and a half, after our granddaughters leave tomorrow. I need to get a bunch of bisqueware glazed and fired so I can open the kiln by Tuesday. One of the sculptural pieces is sold - to be a wedding gift next weekend! I hope it turns out!

I finished my final report today for the North Dakota Council on the Arts. They gave me a Professional Development grant to attend the NCECA conference last week. Thank you to them!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Granddaughters visit!

Taylor and Haley are here visiting for the week. My kids' art and pottery classes are canceled because of Easter and spring break so this was an ideal time to have the little visitors. They are age 3 and 1. We've been outside to play, although it is still chilly most of the snow is gone, and to the indoor playground. Taylor went with me to the dentist today and thought that was great...she was really good while we were there. Yesterday we went to the library for story time. The story teller noticed we were new and asked Taylor, "What is your name?" "Hannah," Taylor answered. For whatever reason she always tells people her name is Hannah!

She has enjoyed making birthday cakes in my pottery studio - she takes a wad of clay and lays on it with her belly to flatten it. Then she adds a bunch of buttons for candles, we sing 'Happy Birthday' and have a pretend party. She went into the bathroom to wash her hands later as I was putting the clay and tools away. After a while she yells in a sing-song voice, "Grandma Jackie, water is going everywhere!". I rushed in to find she had plugged the sink drain and water was indeed going everywhere, and had been for quite some time! Grand Forks hasn't been flooded this spring but my basement has!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

NCECA in Phoenix

I laid awake all last night in our hotel room in Phoenix thinking over my experiences at the NCECA conference the last three days.  Besides being lucky enough to win a couple of nice door prizes, I met up with a friend I met at Anderson Ranch a few years ago and had lots of shared experiences with our daughter, Amy.  We met quite a few new potters, listened to some interesting lectures and discusssions, watched demonstrations by other ceramicists and potters, and learned about new tools from vendors.  All in all it was a wonderful time - I hope to make good use of some or all of the new information in my work and with my young students.  Hopefully, they will benefit from my time here, too.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Winter won't leave!

Winter won't leave! So I'm taking off instead. Headed next week for Phoenix and NCECA, a gathering of potters/ceramicists from around the country and around the world. It is my first NCECA time, but hopefully not my last. I was lucky enough to attend a few national gatherings of art educators when I was teaching for our local school district. I expect this to be just as exciting and rejunvenating!

I'm headed to my pottery studio in a few minutes to do some cleaning and make a few pottery flower bowls. I didn't get enough pottery made before NCECA to fire the kiln so my cup for the cup exhibit/auction won't be ready. I'm kind of disappointed because it is unique, some may say weird, but I like it. It is one of a kind and big enough to be a soup cup, with a handle and some nice texture. I'll post a photo after it is out of the glaze kiln.

I have a kiln full of kids' glazed pottery, but am going to let them help unload it on Monday. It is always fun to lift off the shelves and see how things have turned out. I really encouraged them to use enough underglaze this time around. They are usually in such a hurry that the colors are spotty and not even. Maybe they did a better job this time? We'll see.

The Red River level is falling here after the third highest crest in history. Not a drop of water escaped our new levee/dike system - awesome! Prayers were answered!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fargo flood video

If you are curious about the Fargo flood:


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Flood Fight

The Red River is on a rampage again this spring. We have been flooded twice by this normally placid river. In '79 it unexpectedly filled our basement while we were gone. We had gone out to my sister's, 350 miles west of here, for the weekend. One of my other sisters called on Saturday morning and said, "I have really bad news for you...your house is flooded." We thought she was joking. She wasn't. We came home - the water was within 1" of our main floor. We threw everything into junk piles for the trash trucks to pick up.

In '97 the Red rose again to unprecedented, 100 year levels. This time we hauled everything out of our basement dry, much to the disgust of our teenage daughters who were enlisted to help. ("This is so crazy - we are miles from the river - it'll never flood our house.") It did...dikes broke and all the water gushed across our flat city. We threw only one bed that somehow we had forgotten about after setting it up against the wall to get it later. And we threw carpet and sheetrock and insulation.

Now our city has a dike protection system. We are counting on it this year...everything is staying in place in our homes. This will be the first time the system is tested...so we are nervous but hopeful.

We are praying for everyone in Fargo, North Dakota who are in the flood fight of their lives. Two of my sisters live there and they have been working 'round the clock to build sandbag dikes in their neighborhoods. I can feel their aching bodies and know what is going through their minds. It is an emotional roller coaster of fear and hope. Several of my art students live next to the Red in Grand Forks. They, too, are fighting the waters, as they are outside the protection of the new dike system. Please keep the communities along the Red River in your thoughts and prayers for the next several weeks until the river crests and subsides.

On another note, there are a few days left of my grand opening sale. My website now has an online store! Go to www.jackiesart.com and click on my gallery. Everything is 20% off through the last day of March.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday musings

We are heading to our daughter, Jennifer's, shortly to meet up with them and our middle daughter, Sara, who is on spring break from teaching math in Wichita. I feel so blessed to have our family! I got to thinking about something I'd read a couple weeks ago about abortion, the killing of our unborn and how crazy our thinking has become.

Excerpts from another's writing: "We have become desensitized as a nation. The crime of killing an eagle is punishable by a fine of $100,000 or a year in jail. There are laws against harming an unborn eagle, but we allow the killing of unborn human babies. We save the owls, whales and trees but not our children."

I just don't get it. How can we, as a society, condone this? Let's save and protect our babies and place them in loving adoptive homes. Let them bless the lives of couples who cannot have their own children. Let's stop using abortion as birth control, support and help the women who are pregnant and don't want to be. Let's enable them, emotionally, medically and financially, to carry their babies full-term. Let's use some of the billions and billions of economic recovery dollars to develop programs for these mothers.

Praying for the baby killing to stop...and appreciating so much our family and the young people who come to me for art in their lives. May your Saturday be blessed!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Blizzard

Oh, my gosh! We are having ANOTHER blizzard! I cancelled all my kids' classes today and school is cancelled all over the region. I decided to work in my pottery studio and have been throwing a large bowl and matching small bowls for my nephew. He is getting married the end of May. I hope he and his fiance' like chips and salsa! My hands are cold from being in water and working with the clay. My clay is sort of hard so it is being difficult and has a mind of its own.

I'm hoping to make a bisque mold today, too, so it is quicker for me to make small mother and child figurines. I'll be able to press clay into the mold, so each one will still be individually made. But because it should be a quicker process, I'll be able to price them for less. I'm looking to price them right under $30...we'll see!

The yarn I ordered a week ago finally arrived...after I called the company yesterday and complained about the lack of service. I was disappointed because last time I ordered from them, I had the yarn the following day. I'm making clog slippers for everyone in our family. I've made one pair but haven't felted them so I hope the size will be OK. We don't have a top loading washer so I'm waiting to felt them at our daughter's house this weekend.

Stay warm and if you are in a sunny place, enjoy and appreciate it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yay! My online shop is OPEN!

My online shop is up and running! It is 3 months later than I hoped, not in time for Christmas shopping or even Valentine's Day gifts, but just in time for getting something special for St. Patrick's Day. Hmmm, I guess I do have a few green items!

Check it out at www.jackiesart.com. Go to my shop and check it out, OK? I'm offering a "It's Finally Up & Running" coupon, good for 20% off anything in the shop! You'll need to use coupon code JArt2009 when you check out (put it in the 'redemption code' box). The discount will be figured in for you. The celebration sale is on for purchases through March 31 only.

I haven't had time to list everything, like my gourd clocks and Lamples. I hope to get those in the shop in the next week or two. And I'm making a new kiln full of pottery so look for those pieces in the future, too.

Please let me know if you feel the shop is not user friendly - I'd love your feedback as I'm new to this and would like to get it right! Thanks!

PS I donate 1/2 of my sales to our local homeless shelter to help them in the good work they do in our community.

Friday, February 27, 2009

back to ceramics

I made it to my pottery studio with time for myself today! It seems like ages since I've had several hours to myself - just me and my clay. I worked on sculptures today - both are of couples, kindred spirits, simplified forms. One sculpture is high and lanky, the other is short and squat. I like how they are both turning out. I covered them as they both need more work. It is good to leave them and come back at it with fresh eyes. Tomorrow I hope to throw some pots on the wheel, and then I can trim them up on Sunday.

I'm trying each day to remember how the Florida sunshine warmed body and spirit - it is so cold here, -24 degrees (F) today, with a forecast of 0 degrees tomorrow...a real warm up! Spring is coming, right?

Our daughter was accepted to graduate school in Dartmouth, Mass - in ceramics. I look forward to learning a lot from her in the future. We are going to the big ceramics conference, NCECA, in Phoenix in April. That should be fun - I can't wait to see all the exhibits/galleries/demonstrations.

Stay warm!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Florida sunshine

We're back from sunny Fort Lauderdale - and trying to pretend the snow is white sand! We loved the city, the beaches, the sun and the people. What a fun place to visit. We even took in three art museums and were impressed by all three. The art museum in Fort Lauderdale, tucked away near the public library, had a special exhibit of Picasso's ceramics. That was fun to see, even though most of it didn't look like it took much time to throw together! The Bonnet House, near the ocean in Fort Lauderdale, had beautiful grounds and lots of eclectic art that the owner and his wife had created, including murals on the ceiling, a la Michaelangelo. My favorite museum was the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale. What a gem - they had a wonderful representation of art, including impressionists, contemporary, Chinese and lots of other artists. Don't miss it if you are in the area!

My students are all starting a pottery unit today - we'll be throwing on the wheel (attempting it, anyway), and some handbuilding. They are so excited - I think every one of them loves working with clay!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

'catching up'

My shop on my website is finally close to getting up and running. I thought it would be done the beginning of November! Do any of you have internet shops, beside etsy or one of those similar hosting sites? We are using the service Zen Cart and there has been so much to learn. I can't even say I'm doing most of it. We hired a computer expert to do most of it, then my husband got involved, too. He's been spending hours and hours on it. Finally, it was my turn. I've been taking photos, writing descriptions, weighing and measuring everything. I think I've revisited each item about 4 times. When I need to put up a new product from here on out, I'll be a lot smarter about info gathering - and get it all in one shot! It is exciting nevertheless and I look forward to having a 'Grand Opening'!

My art students finished our cartoon unit this week - they've worked hard and did an awesome job. I learned a lot, too, so that's been fun. Some of my students seem to have a real talent for cartooning, so maybe we'll see their work on the comic page when they are older. How fun would that be??? For me, anyway!

Take care and may God bless you and yours!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mini gourd clock photos

I'm posting more photos of my mini gourd clocks today. I'm hoping to start soon on a new idea I have that will combine my love for felting with ceramics and the images I like of mothers with their children or baby. I'm excited about it, and have been mulling over ideas about how to 'put it all together' for a couple weeks. We'll see how it goes.

We may have our two little granddaughters here for a week or so. That would be fun! We love having them at our house, except it is so quiet and picked up after they leave.

Our Valentine Art Show went well, although none of us sold a thing to anyone who intended it as a gift for their sweetheart. It was really cold that afternoon/early evening, like 20 below zero (F). Maybe we would've had even more traffic had the weather cooperated a bit. We're thinking of trying the same sort of 4-7pm show just before Mother's Day. We had wine leftover so we each took home a bottle!

I picked up my clocks -they'd been showing at the same place since Oct. All my ceramic clocks have sold. Two of the polymer clay clock faces had cracked so that was disappointing. I don't know if I did something wrong when I baked the faces or if the wood base I glued them to shrunk and caused the cracking. I thought the wood was really dry as we'd had it for a couple years. Disappointing but there's a lesson to be learned if I can just figure it out!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gourd clock photos

I finally got a few photos taken *actually my hubbie did it* of two of my mini gourd clocks. We had a busy weekend with our oldest daughter home, with her two little girls. They are one and three years old and both of them are happy, joyous toddlers. We LOVE having them here!

Today I'm continuing my cartooning unit with my art kids. We learned about Charles Schulz and Roy Lichtenstein the previous two weeks. Today our artist is Keith Haring. After learning about an artist we are sketching in note books. Each student will have a collection of cartoons by the end of our unit. They will then pick and choose features that they like and put together their own, unique cartoon character. Hopefully, they will use the character in a short 3 or 4 panel comic strip. It has been really fun for me to learn about cartooning and some of the artists who are famous because of the cartoon or comic strip look of their work.

I hope to get the mini-gourd clocks listed on etsy after the Valentine Art Show on Thursday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gourd clocks, Valentine's Day Sweetheart Show and Sale

I've finished almost all the mini-gourd clocks...just haven't had time to photograph them. I'm generally really pleased with how they turned out. The one I like best, I just finished. I took the thin skin that usually holds the seeds inside the gourd out, stained it with some thin oil paint and let it dry.

Then I attached a gourd piece to the back of a small round gourd and paper mach'ed the outside of the gourd with the skin. I'm in the process of coating it with poly-acrylic, satin. It is cool, if I may say so myself! I need a few more of the mini-clocks, though. Our only outlet doesn't have any in stock (and hasn't for several weeks). I ordered 15 from Klockit, but should've ordered 20.

I'm helping organize an Art Show and Sale especially for people to shop for their Valentines. A local jewelry store is hosting - we'll serve some wine and snacks from 4-7pm and be there to mingle about. Eight artists are involved and a couple of other retails spots are going to be especially for the event, too. Hopefully, it'll be fun and a rousing success!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gourds are next on my agenda

Wow, it seems like I've been gone for a long time. I visited our daughter's family in Minnesota, helped her in her classroom with an art project (she teaches 3rd grade - we did plaster masks on our faces) and came home sick. Then it was Christmas with my parents and a couple siblings and off to Mexico for a family vacation, beach-side. How fun to ditch the winter gear, wear sandals and soak up the warm Mazatlan sun!

Now back to teaching, trying to get my online shop up and running and sewing doll clothes for our grand daughter. I finished that project this afternoon(without a pattern or measurements - I wonder how good my memory will be?), and called her to tell her the clothes are on the way to her house. She was so engrossed in telling me something or other about Cinderella and her cousins, that I don't think she ever caught on that I sent a present her way. She is three and cute as can be!

I am excited about creating a new 'batch' of gourd mini-clocks. I ordered the clock inserts tonight and hope to start cleaning the gourds and leveling the bottoms a bit so they stand without going bottoms up! I can't decide whether to stain or paint them, maybe I'll do some of each. I'm going to add some naturals, like long pine needles, twine, copper and leather lacing to some of them. I love gourds; I think they are beautiful little sculptures. I'll post some photos when I get one finished up.

I hope the new year is off to a wonderful start for you and yours!
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My Favorites

  • books by Harlan Coben
  • Chagall's I and the Village
  • Our three daughters
  • Touring in Japan, Australia and New Zealand
  • Floating in the Dead Sea
  • My wonderful husband for 33+ years
  • "I love you, too, Grandma" by Taylor
  • Viewing the sunrise from Mount Sinai
  • Van Gogh's Irises
  • Monet's Water Lillies
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
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About Me

My photo
North Dakota, United States
Born and raised in Williston, North Dakota. Degrees in Occupational Therapy (never chose to work in the field) and Visual Arts. Married for 33 years to a super wonderful guy, three daughters - all three are talented, educated, contributing, beautiful members of our great big world. I am so proud of them...they are my best accomplishment to date! I love to make art and teach about it, too. An etsy friend recently shared this quote with me from St. Francis of Assisi: "He who works with his hands is a laborer, he who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman, he who works with his hands, his head and his heart is an artist." I think it is a wonderful statement!


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