Saturday, December 6, 2008

passionate poet

I made this shadow box because I revere the poems of Gerald Manley Hopkins. Faith and doubt in God is what he's known for, but I've always seen almost a holy reverence for nature in his words. When you read him, you can almost hear him breathing in the room, winded from one of his lengthy trapses in the wood. This stanza is from 'Insvernaid' written about 1880.

What would the world be, once bereft of wildness and wet?
Let them be left, oh let them be left,
Wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

This outdoor loving woman is standing on a rock while the river rushes by her. A speckled trout has jumped into her arms. Birds fly overhead and water rats hold everything aloft.

Gerald, who suffered from depression, but fought it bravely died of typhoid fever in 1875. His last words "I am happy, so happy."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cranberry Sauce

I think there should be three kinds of cranberry sauce at the Thanksgiving table. Plain,which is clear and tart, then the whole cranberry style,which looks like a dish full of jewels, and finally ground cranberries and oranges. If I were to make a list of what I'm grateful for at Thanksgiving, it might begin with husband, friends and family, our dogs and Joe the Cat, but it wouldn't be complete until it included cranberries. Hope you have a loving, happy Thanksgiving.xx Julie

Monday, November 17, 2008

Song Thrush nest

The shearwater lays her egg in a bare hole dug in the peat; The kingfisher gradually ammases fish bones for a bed for a tiny fist sized cave in a riverbank; the song thrush builds its nest in a thick hedge or ivy growing against a wall, and it's as tightly woven as a teacup. My bird books list song thrush along with the wood thrush. One book even shows its song in musical notes! The eggs are beach rocks I've collected from Otter Cove. Bird eggs are full of promise, like Robert Louis Stevenson says
Younger than we are
Oh children and frailer;
Soon in blue air
They'll be singer and sailor.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Winged Suitor

A hermit thrush peers in my bedroom window each morning, as soon as I wake up, then he dashes up and down on the tree branch, batting his wings. I've painted his portrait on the scalloped soap dish, and there's a few other bird pieces in honor of birds in general. Did you know when you find a feather on the ground that you've received a letter from a bird?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

needle and thread

Blue day cuff .
The blue button below was grandmas. Every time I look at it I remember how her closet smelled. Cedar, lavender and tussy powder.
When we unpacked our things in this house, I realized the moving gods took my sewing basket, threads and even a silver thimble that fit my finger as snugly as my wedding ring. It's taken awhile, but I've amassed almost everything I need to make myself a few new pieces of clothing. I've ordered Irish Linen for a blouse, and made buttons too. I started with a cuff . See? Flying things appliqued in blues of Liberty of London, and old American cottons. The blouse will be all linen with a few bits of blue too. The other cuff, in reds, shows one of my new poem buttons. I was going for a piece of paper from an old letter kind of look.

The old buttons are mostly from Bonnie's, at Birds of a Feather, here in Cambria. I visited her yesterday, and not only found these wonderful buttons, but a new basket for my embroidery thread, needles and pins. I'm still looking for the thimble!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Staffordshire Rules

Does Anyone else out there tingle when they see Staffordshire pottery? I especially like the 1790-1820 period when they started to make pieces that reflected current events, and customs. These pieces are a part of what I'm working on for an upcoming Rabbits in Love grouping. Not exactly like the eighteenth century, but in the spirit of that tradition.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

About Flowers

Mid-August and I might as well admit it, my garden is a dud. Its a forest of green: Rosemary, leggy lavender, mile high juniper and fir, and geraniums which have been denuded of thier bloom by the herds of deer that chew their way through the neighborhood every night.

So I long for blooms, especially when my friend from Mass., Liz, (Hi, Liz) sent me photos of her vibrant flowers, including heavenly blue morning glories slithering up and over a birdhouse.

All this leads me to painting flowers in the all over pattern , then when I open my kiln its sort of like a little greenhouse...........

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Forest Visitor

Company coming from the woods. I hope he likes pizza, because that's whats on the menu tonight.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Smoke and Ash

Its been smoky and ashy here. Up the road about forty miles is Big Sur, where a fires been raging for weeks, and a couple hours south there's another one in the mountains above Goleta. Some wonderful firefighters have come to help us in California, so we can kill the dragon.

We live right up the street from Otter Cove. It's the funkiest and oldest house in the neighborhood, and you can barely see it for the trees I've planted. I'd dig a moat too, if only the town would allow it.......My stepfather and uncle were telling me one day they counted 124 otters in the water. I didn't have the heart to tell them those were the top bulbs of seaweed, which appear each summer and do look remarkably like otter heads! You can see them in the photo. The otters do like to feed in the kelp beds, sometimes you can hear them hitting shellfish open with a sea stone.
The other pic is the fruit stand on Santa Rosa Creek, where we buy our oranges and avacados. An honesty stand, where you take what you want and leave your money in the piggy. Its good to mosey out there after being in the studio for hours. But as soon as I put the fruit in bowls and check the animals, I remember there's just one more thing I have to do out there. I see that the front orange box in the picture is empty, that's cuz we cleaned them out!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pass the salt, please

I'm sort of smitten with salt and peppers lately. Everything I see becomes a potential candidate for them. I keep one on my stove for salt and red pepper flakes, and a couple on the dining room table. I'm thinking a salmon next, a standing pig? There's no reason you couldn't put chopped herbs or onions in one either, or parmesan. I put most of these on my new Etsy site.
More in the works.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A New Venture

In case I don't have your home address, this is my invite to you to visit my new Etsy shop.

Hope you stop by to see my wares!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Special Delivery

Two new card designs. Sidesaddle for a bon voyage, and Be still my heart, because its almost June and you know what that means. Love is in the air.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Blueberry Moon

The first (and only) time I visited Paris, my husband and I were on a finite budget. My only purchase was a card I found on a rotating rack right on the Rue de Nord. I only have to look at that card again to see wide streets, smell the bread baking from the boulongeries and remember gawking at Pissaros and Sisleys while it rained outside the Impressionist Museum.

Now I make cards. Each one is assembled by hand, signed and dated. I like being a small part of the long tradition of this affordable craft.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Freshly Sprouted

I think I've found the perfect bowl slump mold. It's from the forties, and at 8 1/2 ", it's low and wide enough for cereal and fruit, chicken and dumplings or can be used to serve a side of spring green peas. Since its molded, that means the bowls are pretty much uniform and stackable. The pitcher is slab-made too, and scalloped at the rim with an added spout to make for better pouring. I'm making two deliveries this week, one to Bonnie at Birds, and one to Hands Gallery in San Luis Obispo. More on Hands Gallery in my next blog entry. For now, would you please pass the peas?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Here Comes Spring

Sleeper Awaken. There's an entire extra hour each day now to plant out vegetable seeds, bake an indulgent dessert for your paramour or watch the birds zip around your garden. Every year I have a pair of bluebirds inspect a birdhouse under a pine tree, hoping they'll set up house. They are a true harbinger of spring and besides, they bring fierce good luck. Hope one visits you soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spring Show in Cambria

On March 1st, my pottery will be included in an annual show at Birds of A Feather in Cambria, California, right here in my home town. Bonnie finds wonderful things, homey, farmy and charming and there are homemade snacks too. She is celebrating Spring, and the anniversary of the opening of her delightful shop. Hope to see you there. In case you can't make it, Bonnies' Web site is