I love joining in with the #urbanjunglebloggers community, founded by Igor and Judith, who are both passionate about having plants in their home and outdoor spaces. Every month they pick a topic where you can focus on your beloved green plants, so that they really get a chance to get centre stage.
This month the theme is some beautiful green styling for Easter.
I'm guessing that I have been influenced by toasttravels and their pop-up succulent shop this month, which was too far for me to travel to, but I purchased some mini cacti from my local garden centre, Notcutts, which I think work pretty well.
For this project I carefully transferred them into some temporary homes, being careful to stay away from the spikes. As a ceramic maker and lover I chose some white simple egg-cups which I had bought from Sainsbury's a couple of years ago.
Here are my little cuties... I then added some other Spring foliage. I love the simplicity of white tulips which matched the egg cups and of course pussy willow twigs are synonymous with Easter too. I happened to have made my own 'egg vase' which is a second, which provide a nice splash of colour. The other vase was one I bought a couple of years ago from Habitat. And of course, my Easter scene needed a little egg in there too.
This simple and pretty Easter table sits below this gorgeous floral print from print artist and designer, Emma Hardicker, that was a Christmas present several years ago. So the only things I bought for this were the little cacti £1.99 each and the bunch of tulips.
I've purposefully not looked at any other blogs as I didn't want to be influenced, but will enjoy looking at everyone's Easter interpretations of this month's #urbanjunglebloggers.
And, I think my next job is to make some 'forever' homes for my cacti - they can't stay in egg-cups for ever - especially with Easter coming up. If you are interested in seeing my porcelain creations have a look in my shop.
I'm pretty happy to be joining in with a Styling The Seasons post this March. Such a lot has been happening this month with the beginning of Spring, that it feels really meaningful for me to be talking about a fresh start in my ceramics studio, especially as I have only just moved in.
I must admit that this post has been inspired by fellow blogger and Instagrammer Claireabellemakes who gave her pegboard a recent makeover.
I had already decided that I wanted my pegboard to be inspirational as well as functional. I think every studio needs a bit of prettiness and order, as when I start to make things can get a little chaotic. By the way this pegboard is from Block Design.
So, it was important for me to have something living on my board, especially as nature is very important in my work, and has a big influence. So it's not quite a green wall, but has its organic influences... I bought these cute succulents and their Fintorp containers from Ikea. Last month I posted about how to make these hanging jam jars to display plants - and as I'm currently in love with daffodils those got added to the board too.
Of course, it's good to have some motivational quotes in a working environment to keep you on your toes. I bought these from a local indie, The People Shop in Kings Heath, but they have just set up a great on-line shop too, selling clothes and accessories for the home and assorted craft items.
I bought these cute baskets from John Lewis, but I spyed they have them in The People shop too. They are great for storing my photo props and white fabric that I use to roll the porcelain out onto. The plastic containers just peeping out of the above shot were from Ikea - they really do have some excellent storage ideas...
And finally, my 'Instagram' scissors if you don't have yours yet are from the lovely Workshop Living who are passionate about simple design for everyday living.
If you are interested in seeing the first stages of when the studio was constructed I wrote a blog a couple of months ago. Things are still pretty new, and its such an exciting time to have my own personal space and separation from my home life... But more of that in the future.
Enjoy the last few days of March... Can't wait till next month's special #stylingtheseasons.
As a child I remember loving those little transfers you could get for instant colour and pattern. As a grown-up it's great to re-ignite those youthful passions. For those who work with clay, I'm talking about decals...
I made some floral brooches as a Christmas present idea last year and they were really popular, and have just finished a very-last-minute mother's day one too. So I thought I'd show you some step-by-steps.
For the full 'how to' guide, have a look here at Bailey Decal Ltd. where I bought my transfer sheets.
First of all you need to cut out your shape carefully. I used a protractor to get a nice round circle for the brooch.
Allow the decal section to soak (one at a time) until it starts to uncurl and relaxes slightly.
Pick up the decal with the backing paper and slide from the decal onto the ware (make sure the ware is clean first).
Position the decal in the correct position and hold one edge with a finger. I then use a rubber kidney to remove all water and air bubbles from under the decal. This bit is so important to really take your time over - be meticulous! Finally wipe carefully with a clean cloth and allow it to dry for 4-8 hours before a final firing.
I then glue on a backing with epoxy resin and this is the final result. I have a couple of these available in my etsy store.
You can make decals of almost anything - sketches or illustrations. I took a photograph of an image that I had made with coloured clay and have used that on some of my vessels, like on my bird vase below. The company I used is called Fotoceramic.
A ceramicist I met 'on-line' first pointed me in the direction of Bailey Decal Ltd. Her name is Jemma Millen and she makes fabulous hearts with floral decals on them too; check her out if you have the chance.