This time last month I was in London in floral heaven with a group of Instagrammers. I had been lucky enough to be have been selected as one of the #StylingSpringatMine finalists; you can read more about everyone's experience over on Katy's (from @aptapothecary) and Charlotte's (from @Lottsandlots) blogs.
Each month these two beautiful ladies ask people to blog about what the month means to you and your home using the #stylingtheseasons hashtag.
Having just seen their reviews of the event, I was reminded what an amazing experience I had. I felt so privileged and happy to be there that I wanted to share a few personal ones from the event as well as talk about my styling choices for May.
Under the guidance of Caroline from @wildrubus we made wreaths and May Day flower posies. I really didn't know that I was capable of producing such floral loveliness.
I was also inspired by Lou, from @littlegreenshed, to make my own May Day posie just for me!
The company that supplied the flowers also supply blooms through the post and I was so impressed by the quality of the flowers from @BloomandWild at the event that I ordered my own this month. It was a tad decadent, but I used one of those nice voucher codes.
As you see, they come amazingly packaged.
May for me, is the promise of summer, with its warmth, but still has the pastels and soft colours associated with spring. So mint and pinks are my key colour combinations. I had been having serious peony envy and when I saw that Bloom and Wild had a special bouquet featuring these, as well as atlantic roses, Eucalyptus and limonium I knew I had to have one.
I do love my ceramics, and chose a mediteranean style vase, which was gifted to m,e to display them in. And to keep them good company I sneaked a few of my new minty green porcelain pieces into the shot too and floated some Hawthorn blossom in the little cups. Here's what I did with my #Eliza bouquet.
And I happen to know (as I had previously entered it) that the @bloomandwild are running a giveaway to win the Eliza bouquet and other flower-related goodies. Hop over to their blog to find out. They haven't sponsored this, I just loved their product!
I think I am going to explore the mint and sorbet colour combinations in my ceramics and have just started a board over on pinterest for inspiration. Come say hi, so that I can follow you back.
That was fun! My house is looking so pretty. Just need to get started on some other corners for next month now!
This month Judith and Igor have asked us to get our plant gangs together for our monthly blog. I can't help wanting to call mine my plant family, as all my little succulents feel like my babies - so sweet and little, though less maintenance than their human counterparts!
So I got together some of my ceramics and succulents - which go together so nicely in my studio. I was particularly excited with a new purchase - my string of beads succulent from Grace and Thorn as it had been so difficult to find locally; and it complements my sea-foam vases too with its tendrils of pearls. I love my little crocheted hanging planted that I bought from Carolyn Carter too.
My string of beads/pearls did take my breath away, and I took a couple of close-ups of that one!
In this 'family' portrait you can also see the cutest little terrarium with my smallest 'baby' bought from Marimo Adrift.
There was a bit of rearranging which went on as more 'forever homes' / porcelain pots came out of the kiln. I particulary love the soft glow from this candle from Honest, the scent of which is heavenly.
My foraged cow parsley, in my glazed cup was so dainty, that I had to take a close-up of that too.
I also did a couple of shots of the extended family in my studio...
...as well as in my kitchen - where the vibe is a bit more colourful!
So loved putting this little blog together. And my love of plants is making me more creative with my ceramics - I have almost finished a hanging planter, but need to glaze it first and I am desperate to do some macrame too - have the perfect porcelain beads to add a pretty finishing touch.
If you are interested in my work and live in Birmingham I am exhibiting at the Botanical Gardens from 6-14 June, and I will also be at Moseley Arts Market on Saturday June 27. I also have an etsy shop so if you have seen something which I haven't listed just let me know and I can pop it on for you.
Do have a look at Happy Interior Blog and Joelix.com as well as the #urbanjunglebloggers hashtag for more gangs, families and plant inspiration.
The inspiration for creating my own handmade time piece originally came from reading Teri's The Lovely Drawer's blog, where she made a clock with a redundant bread board. Do check it out as it even has the links on where to buy the hands.
If you have been following me you will know that I recently moved into my new ceramics studio - and I'm not kidding, it is so easy to loose track of time, so once I had seen Teri's blog I knew that I had to make my own porcelain clock.
It turned out so well, that I'm so happy. Here it is hanging up in my studio with my beautiful kilner light from Jam-Jar lights (who are offering 10% off before May 11th).
I thought you might be interested to know how I made it... This tutorial is aimed at those who already have a working knowledge of clay. I know not many people have access to porcelain (but am fairly sure similar principles can be applied to air-drying clay?). I've tried to suggest alternatives if you don't have access to the same tools that I have.
These measurements are approximate as it depends how big you want your clock to be, and its best to have too much as you can always use it for other projects as long as you wrap it up well. My finished clock was 22cm across.
Take a chunk of white porcelain - I took about 2.5 inches off a roll, and then I took about a third of this in black porcelain. There are different ways to marble clay. I squidged the two together then separate them twisting them apart and put them back together with the opposite ends. (might need to do another tutorial on this with an extra pair of hands!).
Pat the clay into a ball - the pattern might not look that interesting yet - but roll out the clay with two wooden slats on either side. I actually have a pastry rolling pin which measures the thickness of the clay as you roll it out. You will need to do this between layers of fabric so that you can keep turning it ove. Then leave the clay to harden slightly. (It is easier to put the hole in now - which you can do with a pen-lid so you know where the centre is).
I then drew a template with a compass to 26cm on card (but if you have a plate you can cut round that). Porcelain shrinks by a third so the finished measurement is 22cm across. The next part is quite tricky - I drew round the circle very carefully with a sharp knife. I then used a hole piercer to create the hole. (again bigger than it needed to be; but if its not quite the right size don't worry as you can sand it down once it is fired and the clock fitting has a generous centre piece to hide the workings).
I then left the clay to slow dry for about two weeks - keeping it compressed under a board and turning it occasionally. Then it was ready to first fire. After first-firing I sanded down the sides to make it smooth and the clock-face to bring out the marbling. It was then ready for the second-firing.
The clock fittings have the instructions of how to fit them, I had to cut mine down slightly to fit my clock-face as I had made it as a big as possible for my kiln already. The clock part even as a hook space so I didn't need to worry about how to put the clock on the wall.
This understated design fits in with my studio so well and its so nice to have made it myself. Do you have any DIY projects happening that you've done recently that you're proud of? Go on... Share away.
If you don't fancy making your own, then then I am accepting commissions on etsy to make a similar item. Click on the link to go directly to my shop.
Hi! I'm a ceramicist, based in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Combining beauty and function my porcelain vessels are everyday objects you'll want to treasure. My work is slip-cast and wheel-thrown.