A piece a week – A couple of totes, teacher gifts, silk scarves and some ceramics

This week was very fruitful considering with the extra holiday events that happened this week. The plan to get the teacher gifts ready in time every year in time never seems to happen!! So in between prepping for a show in San Francisco this weekend I helped the kids with completing the teachers xmas gifts!
Missy wanted to make a stuffed peacock as her teacher loves peacocks, so I left her in my sewing room with spare fabric and she came up with this peacock that I helped to appliqué on a pillow. I was so impressed the way the peacock was laid out on the carpet that it had to be created with design tweaks by my 6 year old as I was laying it out on the background. 
A beautiful purple peacock with its FabMo fabric tail – the purple is hand dyed, such a brilliant colour!
For my sons teacher he has been investigating her favorite animal so I could knit up an animal hat! I overheard on a field trip from our teacher that she collects animal hats. I found this cool looking doggie hat in a knitting book at the library called ‘Animal Hats‘. I have really enjoyed knitting this and I ended up making the eyes and nose out of felt and sewing them on. Hope she likes it! 
Puppy hat with felt detail
Now for a picture from my favorite BFF Siri and the incredible camera on that beautifully designed iPhone 6…
Here is Ms Bella 

I had to increase inventory for a holiday show at the Dogpatch Cafe and Gallery at San Francisco this weekend. So there was some fabric waiting in line to be made into totes and scarves. I had some lovely silk and velvet that was crying out to be made into something useful 🙂
Magnolia tote
Silk patch scarf

Silk patch scarf with paisley details

Such beautiful velvet

This velvet is stunning – a fancy lunch tote

Leaf tote made from linen

I have been taking ceramics class this year and I have thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of clay and creating directly with my hands – no need for my computer or a sewing machine to create. Work created directly through from your imagination to your hands transform clay into such an amazing art medium. I really have enjoyed making succulent pots, fruit bowls, ice cream bowls and now these leaves. I had an idea to make spoon rests from these so I am in the process of testing one out on my stovetop. The first one had yellow underglaze with melted glass beads in the center. After having a chat to my teacher about the glass beads I opted for different underglazes of color tones and rubbed back the glaze before a applying a super gloss – I was so happy with the result. The time this has taken me from the initial idea when the leaves started to fall at the end of October to now the end of December finally coming out of the kiln. One thing ceramics has taught me about art is that it is all about patience… What a beautiful lesson to learn!
Take one – a yellow underglaze with melted glass beads
Take two – a set of autumn leaves ready for some tea lights! 

A piece a Week – More sewing for another show this weekend!

Another week flies by with being as busy as a bee! The week consisted of making, picking up kids, making dinner, cleaning up, reading and then more making. By the end of the week it was time to rest on the weekend catch up on gardening and make more. Oh we managed to catch up with some Aussie friends at a local beer and burger joint and go out to see a light up magic show. The show was a lot of fun with acrobatics, crystals, magic, LEDs and a chinchilla. The kids were out late that night and in for a bit of a treat and came home sleepy with glow bracelets.

Oh Sunday was fun with a ceramic show to visit my friend Pebble and Fire – it was a great show and I love my friends work! I bought a gorgeous necklace in purple and stud earrings. I was checking out everything with the eyes of a ceramic artist (I go to a ceramics class every Wednesday and love it!) so it was an eye pieces that I likeed and how did they do that?

The rest of the weekend was spent making and wrapping up pieces for the Trunk Show this weekend. Come on over to Whisman Station in Mountain View to start your holiday shopping. Here are some pieces for the show. More scarves and some fancy velvet tote bags – just perfect for your lunch! And of course more snakes – they have been popular this year! For more details on the show PM me at trish.peach at gmail dot com.

Check Scarf – brighten up a winter outfit

Stripe scarf with some interesting colors and feels good to touch

Fancy velvet tote!

More snake action

A piece a week – a Dress for the Show, My Collection of Pieces and a Ceramic Birdbath

I cannot believe that the time has come for the show and it is this weekend! I wanted to whip up a tunic for the show and I have used a pattern that I made a favorite summer dress thought this time I added sleeves. The silhouette pattern is from FabMo fabric and the black and gold fabric throughout was a fabric in my stash. I love the way it turned out and it may be a bit short so I think it will be a tunic with some skinny jeans. 
Fabric that inspired the tunic
Back of the dress with brown and white
Here is my collection for the show this year in video…
To other forms of creation that I am exploring this year – ceramics. I made this little bird bath for a garden decoration – I hope they like it!
Sitting in the succulent garden

A piece a Week – In Production Mode and getting totes done!

This week the kids had a half day afternoon camp so we had the morning to hang out together and have some fun. As it turned out I volunteered to water the school garden for this week with my helpers – the kiddos! The school garden is in full summer bloom at the moment and is looking really wonderful with lots of pumpkins growing big and round with splashes of sunflowers up high towards the sky.

A beautiful ombre shaded flower

Find the caterpillar in the sunflower!

One of the many pumpkins in our school garden

We ended up running into some friends from our school at the afternoon summer camp so we had a pizza night together where the kids could make their own pizza at Pizza My Heart. Every Tuesday night the kids have a few toppings to choose from that are bought to their table with a rolled out pizza dough and the kids have the joy of making their own pizza complete their own little flag for when they bake it.

Mr Ash with his tasty Canadian Ham and Pineapple pizza

A rainbow of Lego made by Ash’s Play Well Lego Camp teacher

Mid week was our 8th wedding anniversary and the material for the celebration is pottery so I made this succulent planter in my ceramics class as our gift. I had so much fun making this pot and I had some inspiration from a class mate who makes a lot of garden decor with tonnes of textures. My teacher helped me with the glaze and rubbing back the colours to sink into the texture and I just love how it turned out. We all went out for meal to a local fancy Mexican joint downtown and had some drinks to celebrate later in the evening!

Jalapeno and Guava Margarita

Our new succulent pot made in my ceramics class

These are the totes I have been working on and managed to complete over the week in production and my new patchwork tote bag that I am now road testing. FabMo had another wonderful stock reduction sale this week and they were selling fabric bags for $2 (fabric perfect for lining) now I have a fair amount of fabric to build up a decent inventory for the show in October. I scored a unfinished patchwork quilt for $10 so that will be made into totes for the show – they will certainly be one of a kind and limited edition!

FabMo fabric and a feather turned arrow

Close up of the arrow

A blue version with the arrow

My new patchwork tote ready for road testing

All my goodies inside with pockets for organization
Stitching detail from the patchwork quilt
And to end the week we had a BBQ appreciation for the FabMo volunteers at a local park and I made a fig and strawberry tart with a rosemary cornmeal crust from epicurious. And friends of ours we only met last year who moved here from Portland are moving to Taiwan so they had a pool party farewell late Sunday afternoon – so relaxing to spend it in the pool and hot tub after such a busy week.
Fig and strawberry tart glazed with honey

Find the neon cupcake against Missys swimmers 😀

A piece a Week – Some of my ceramic pieces, at last and something knitted…

In the lead up to the last week of school it has been quite frantic, hence the late posting! I finally fired my set of bowls I have been working on in ceramics class which are slab built into a mould and my pumpkin fruit bowl was finished a while ago and that was my first big piece that I am very happy with! At the moment I am completing a textured succulent container and some other planters for the garden as I want to add a bit of colour to all the green.

The pumpkin fruit bowl and my sunshine yellow bowls with Ms Hollys cat and candle holder from ceramics at her school

At the end of the week we had Market Day at school. This is where each class sells a product related to subjects that they have been studying in class. The kinders have been studying insects so they sold Ants on a log (celery, cream cheese and sultanas) for 2 pony beads and the 3rd grade class have been studying Roald Dahl and they created sock puppets inspired by a character from the Roald Dahl books they have been reading. And the idea was to have your picture taken with a sock puppet in their photo booth. Mr Ash designed the Tiny chicken from George’s Marvelous Medicine. The teachers needed help with this project so I went in and helped with the prep for the sock puppets. Also help was needed on Market Day itself so I helped organize the Kinder kids on their stall duties and helping them earn beads to spend on whatever they wanted to. I absolutely love Market Day and the kids had such a great time as well wandering around the different classrooms looking at their wares.

Bug eyes borrowed from the other kinder class
Mr Ash and his tiny chicken puppet

The weekend was a bit of a blur with some friends over for dinner with a tasty couple of smoked salmon and asparagus tarts, salad, bread, wine and a mango dessert. So with having people over for dinner I went to the Sunnyvale market and enjoyed what is around this time of year and the strawberries are amazing as well as the dates. I found this vendor who had a lot of greens, perfect for my salad and they had these beautiful posies of flowers full of color for the table. I love the market and I really should go a lot more often. It was so much fun that I nearly forgot an appointment with a sewing machine at the local library that morning!!

Flowers that make me happy from the Sunnyvale market – see the sweet peas!
Asparagus, leek and smoked salmon tart fresh from the oven

On the Sunday we went to the Computer History Museum! We have never been there all the time we have been living here and it is only about 10 minutes from our house!! It was community day so it was free to go in and play so we took advantage as a friend of ours has his self driving cars project by Google on display. It was certainly a trip down to old school computer days with the fun toys we had in the 1970’s and showing the kids but they do not care for such things as they would rather have an iPad to play with. The kids favorite area was the computer games and they loved Pac Man – with my son saying, ‘Mum you are such a great player!’ Little did he know that gaming was such a huge part of my child hood growing up. We got to sit in the self driving car and check out the controls, though you had to sign up about a month ago to go for a ride in the car. A couple of friends went on the weekend and enjoyed a trip in a self driving car on the highway – it was very exciting for them! Google Earth was set up on some huge screens and I nearly zoomed in on our house in Australia but the kids got a hold of the control and you can see what happens to the earth then in the picture below…

The kids in the self driving car
Where in the world are they??

Oh and I did manage to create a gift for my son’s math tutor who is having a baby in a couple of weeks something I did make in 1 week! A bunny blanket buddy by Lion Brand Yarn – a super cute baby present in green.

The bunny blanket buddy without a face

A piece a Week – A Bag Design for Rickshaw Bags Design Contest in collaboration with SF Etsy

Yet another week that flew by with many things to do and the completion of the year book for my son’s class I had been working on. That was a huge task but I was thankful that we had a lot of pictures to choose from! It was just like the old days working as a graphic designer to a deadline and sending my work to print – thank goodness for the experience to complete projects and make the deadline.

The cover of the 40 page yearbook – green is a popular colour with the Stingray mascot

I had my ceramics class on Wednesday to have some time to play and with a bit of luck I do hope my planters come out as I planned – ceramics is a very tricky medium and I know that a lot of experience is needed to get things right. A lot of keeping track of what works will add to the success of a piece – experimentation is fun though random! This week it was a lot of hand building and seeing what I could do without slab building and using moulds – I will post some pieces once they are fired and glazed.

The big event this week was the Maker Faire all day on Saturday, starting at 6am! I decided I would volunteer this year for something different and an opportunity through the SF Etsy team to volunteer with Swap O-Rama-Rama came my way. I worked over 5 hours on my shift and it was a very long day but so much fun. There was never too much idle time as there are people coming through the tent all the time – it was very inspiring to see what people were making with discarded clothes. I had read about Swap O-Rama-Rama ages ago in a sewing book and thought ooh it would be fun to be involved and little did I know I could get a gig to be part of it!

I love the Bubble Guy!!
In action at the Swap O-Rama-Rama tent

Sunday was a day of a couple of kids parties with some resting in between. My plans for my next projects are in the works and I found some fabric from FabMo to upcycle into a design for the Rickshaw Bags Design Competition for SF Etsy members. The brief is to design a bag flap for their range of the zero messenger bags – I have seen them on a couple of etsy buddies of mine and they are the perfect size messenger bag. My idea was to do the rail quilt design that I saw recently at a volunteer gig with my hula teacher – she is super crafty and makes loads of toys and quilts for people in need. So I sliced up some fabric at 2.5″ each slice and then pieced it together to see what I could come up with and voila a diamond shape pattern known as on point in the quilting world – who knew that this idea of quilting would translate so well with these fabrics! I am very happy with the design and the look on the bag is certainly very stylish, if I do say so myself 😉

The rail quilt design on point using some stunning FabMo fabric
The Rickshaw Zero Messenger Bag mockup

NaBloPoMo – Day 17 – Some Christmas shopping at a Pottery Show

This morning we went to a pottery show as a friend of mine was exhibiting her gorgeous jewellery that I have been meaning to buy and they also make great Christmas gifts. We ended up finding a couple of pendants as gifts for the family. The funny thing is that Ashwin scored a ceramic cat from one of the artists and we thought he was a bit confused about the payment system but the artist said to him that the first kid she saw at the show she would give a piece of her artwork to them. He was very happy that he got something and it really excited him to work with clay so he came home and did some claymation with some play dough. We are planning on doing a ceramics class together hopefully in the future.

Oh and as the kids were unpacking Holly dropped one of the pieces on the ground and it ended up being a broken heart – hopefully I will be able to fix it.

The pieces of pottery we scored for our kitchen – I love the mugs and the olive oil bottle