Tag Archives: Etsy

2015 Holiday Gift Guide

If you’re like me, you pride yourself in finding the perfect gift for your friends and family! You’re on a quest to find something that is both unique and a great match for their personality and interests and sometimes that’s really hard!  I’m here to help you make a match!

My Etsy shop is well stocked for all of your holiday gift needs.  Use coupon code: STAR2015 for 20% off of your purchase. Please note: all orders placed between Dec 3-12 will be shipped on Dec 14-15.  Orders on other dates will ship, as usual, in 1-3 business days.  

Here are a roundup of ideas if you’re stumped on what to get some folks on your holiday list!


For your favorite knitter:
This mug has a rich surface both visually and physically.  The dots feel great in your hands when you’re cupping the bottom of this mug. Available in my Etsy shop and at Lillstreet Gallery in Chicago.  Emily Murphy Pottery knit mug


For households with (or without!) kids:
These foaming soap dispensers are great for anyone who uses soap (which is everyone!), and they are especially great for households with kids.  The foam is really easy for them to spread on their hands, and the heft of the dispenser means it’ll stay put and not get knocked over easily.  I also have a selection of non-foaming dispensers in my shop. Both are available at Gallery 360 in Minneapolis.Emily Murphy Pottery porcelain foam soap dispensers


For folks with kids or with pets:
Travel mugs / lidded cups are great when you have little beings (kids or furry friends) running around and running the risk of knocking over your precious, and much needed cup of coffee.  These lids will help minimize the spillage and keep your drink hot! They can be used with or without the lid and are microwave/ dishwasher safe.  They come in a variety of sizes of styles/ sizes/ shapes. Emily Murphy Pottery porcelain travel mug


For those on the go:
These travel tumblers with silicone lids are perfect for that special someone who is always on the go- commuting to work, heading off to a pottery class or hanging out in the back yard and want to keep the bees out of their beverage! They come in a rainbow of colors and the texture of the dots keep this handle-less mug from slipping in your hand.Emily Murphy Pottery porcelain travel tumblers


For the special kid in your life:
Kids love using real pots and I love making special pots just for them!  As adults, we try to limit the exposure kids have to plastic and what is a better alternative to our plastic saturated world than one of a kind, handmade porcelain mugs!  These mini-mugs sell out quickly and I’m continually making more, so be sure to check back regularly for more colors and designs!
Emily Murphy Pottery kid sized cups


For your favorite gardener:
These vintage seed packet mugs are generous in size (they hold a whole pint!).  Fill the mug with a selection of actual packets of seeds or some hand tools  and help your favorite gardener dream of spring! 
IMG_1353


For a graphic designer:
This thrown and altered “cut and paste” plate is the perfect gift for the graphic designer in your life!
Emily Murphy Pottery porcelain squared plate


For the host(ess) with the mostess:
It can be hard to find a small, inexpensive AND handmade gift! You might need one for your kid’s teacher, for a host(ess), for a neighbor that brings in your mail when you’re away or to have on hand in case someone unexpectedly gives you a thoughtful gift and you want to have one to be able to reciprocate! These little dishes  are just $20 (plus 20% off that with coupon code STAR2015). They’re perfect for dipping dishes, spoon rest + teabag holder, jewelry holders or an infinite number of other uses! Chopsticks not included – but you could add a couple of pairs or a box of tea to make a sweet little gift! Emily Murphy Pottery dipping dishes


For the new homeowner (or apartment dweller):
My porcelain honey pots are the perfect gift for someone who has just moved into a new home.  Or maybe you know that they LOVE honey. Pair with a jar of local honey to make a thoughtful wedding gift or housewarming gift!
Emily Murphy Pottery porcelain honey pots with dots
Emily Murphy Pottery porcelain honey pots


For the coffee lover:
And of course the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life is a handmade porcelain mug! Everyone has a preference for the perfect type of mug.  Some like a BIG mug.  Others like a smaller, americano sized cup.  Some prefer mugs with a narrow opening to keep their beverage extra hot.  And some like a mug with a tactile surface that they can feel while quietly enjoying their morning tea.

You can pair a handmade mug with a bag of your favorite coffee. Mine is Terra Nova which is my brother’s coffee roasting company located in Surry, NH.  You can buy some here
Emily Murphy Pottery curvy mugs
Emily Murphy Pottery americano cups

Or you can pair it with a print of this this and include it with their new mug.  I include the ounces that each cup holds in the descriptions in my Etsy shop so if you know someone’s favorite beverage, you can use this chart to be sure you’re getting a mug that fits their favorite espresso drink (you just have to convert ML to OZ).
espresso


*Don’t forget that orders placed between Dec 3-12 will ship on Dec 14-15.  All other orders will ship in the usual 1-3 business days.  Plenty of time to arrive before Christmas!

Emily Murphy Pottery sale

Thank you so much for supporting me throughout the years! It brings me so much joy to be able to do what I love and send my pots out into the world!

If there is something that you’re wishing that you could find, but don’t see in my shop, just ask.  My full inventory is not listed online and I still have 1 decal firing to go before Christmas!

Imaginary blogger

In my head, I’ve been writing/ blogging all along. Months have not passed since my last post. Throughout the week, I compose many posts in my head.  But then when the kids are in bed, the dishes are done and I sit down at the end of the day, I realize that my brain is not running on full power and I just don’t have it in me to write.  Instead I tend to post on Instagram and Facebook. I can complete my thoughts in those formats and enjoy some instant conversations.  But I miss the longer format of blogging. And I’m going to work on getting into the habit again.  For now, some updates!

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Even though I haven’t been blogging about it, I have been making pots steadily.  I have two little ones (1 and 4) but I have managed to arrange a pretty consistent schedule of making. I’m in the midst right now of a cycle of glazing/ firing/ decals/ firing.  My studio is a mess and I’m excited to see some new work coming through the kiln and wishing that I had just a little more time to follow through on new ideas that are flowing.  I need to clear out some space in my studio for my new work so I’m having a flash sale in my Etsy shop.  Until October 15th, you’ll get 30% off your whole purchase with coupon code: COFFEE30 (in honor of International Coffee Day too).  Mugs (regular and travel!), kid cups, soap dispensers (foam and regular!), vases, plates and platters.   Get ahead with your holiday shopping or get yourself a little something!

Emily Murphy Pottery Etsy
When I brought some mugs up to the backyard to photograph, my daughter was playing out there and really wanted to be in the photo.  So here she is, sampling one of her favorite kid sized cups!

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Although I do miss the more in depth discussions that happen on a blog, I have been having so much fun on Instagram.  This is a photo that someone sent me of a honey pot of mine they had given to their mom for Christmas and this is it filled with honey from her own hives! So exciting to see my pots being used like this.  Emily Murphy Porcelain honey pot local honey

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I recently got to spend a fully immersed clay weekend at the Northern Clay Center at the American Pottery Festival (mark your calendars for the 2nd weekend of September for next year’s conference, seriously!!).  My head is still trying to process all of the amazing pots, inspiring talks and demonstrations and connections with friends new and old.  One of the pots that made it home with me was this awesome alphabet plate from Jason Bige Burnett.  Here is my youngest hanging out with it – alternating signing “eat” and  tapping on the plate.

Jason Burnett alphabet plate

At the American Pottery Festival, I had a great conversation with Mary Barringer about getting back into the habit of writing (as I referenced above). So here I go… getting my toes used to the water.

Happy Holidays!

The business side of my holiday season is winding down now, and the personal side of the holiday season is revving up for me!  I’m giving my self a little more time this year to prepare for all of our family festivities. I really want to thank you all for your support this season! It’s been really wonderful.

My online holiday Etsy Sale has just 3 more days to go… ending on Wednesday, December 18th at midnight. Then my shop will be closed up until early January. So if you have some gifts left to get, now is the time to order! And if you have one of my pots on your wish list, remind the gift givers in your life to order in the next couple of days. Get 20% off using coupon code JINGLE at checkout! Plus $5 shipping/ address! If you’re looking for some creative ideas, check out my Gift Guide.  Emily Murphy Pottery Gift Guide We have had a pretty harsh start to winter here in Minnesota (yes, worse than usual!). I delivered some work to a gallery here last week and it was -6°F (actual temperature).  And the windchill was -27°F. Lots of folks still came out and shopped during my recent Studio Sale.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy! 

I had a lot of requests to post some of my soda fired work on Etsy this season, so I just posted some of my favorite pieces! Also available for the 20% JINGLE discount. Emily Murphy soda fired potteryI’ve been replenishing my “Etsy Shelves” in my studio (and online, of course!) regularly.  And just added a whole new slew of pots over the weekend.  There are some really wonderful pots available for immediate shipping!Pots from Emily Murphy Pottery available on Etsy

I haven’t actually been making any pots over the last month…. instead my time in the studio looks like this:IMG_7204

I feel like one of Santa’s elves.  There is nothing I love more than having my pottery used.  And sending pots out into the world is what makes that happen!

And as I wind down with selling pots this season, I can focus on making the holidays magical for my family! Ada got to visit with Santa a few weeks ago.  She was totally enchanted and now keeps telling us how much she loves Santa.  She shared her wish list with.  It was nice and simple… a baby doll and a backpack.  A backpack “for stuff” specifically! On Christmas morning, I’m not sure who is more excited, me or the kids.  I really love the magic of this time of the year!

Ada and Santa Claus 2013
photo by Amy Wurdock Photography, Minneapolis, MN

 I hope your holiday season is merry and bright! All the best to you and yours! 

Gift Guide for Emily Murphy Pottery

I love giving gifts! I love trying to figure out the perfect gift for someone.  It has to be unique, thoughtful and personal.  Sometimes I get a little stuck and I find that looking at online “gift guides” will help give me a spark of an idea! I’ve been doing most of my Christmas shopping on Etsy and at craft fairs.  Etsy’s gift guides are a great starting point if you’re looking for inspiration.  I thought I’d make my own gift guide for my Etsy Shop to help you out!

Don’t forget that your whole purchase is 20% off (except custom orders) in my Etsy Shop using coupon code JINGLE through December 18th, 2013.  Plus $5 shipping/ address.

For the gardener:
Pair one of my vintage seed packet mugs with a pair of gardening gloves or your favorite gardening book for a perfect gift for the avid gardener in your life!  I love reading gardening books in the middle of winter… dreaming of digging into the dirt, while drinking a toasty cup of tea.Vintage Seed Packet Mugs Emily Murphy Pottery

For the cook:
Looking for something for someone who love to cook? A little dish / spoon rest  and a handmade wooden spoon would be something that would be used all the time! Look on Etsy for a wooden spoon (like this one) or a local gourmet kitchen shop for one.
Spoon rest small dish

For the locavore:
Do you have a locavore that you love? Pair one of my handmade porcelain honey pots along with some local honey for a sweet gift! You can look on Etsy for local honey (search for your state plus honey). Or if you have a gourmet shop or food co-op, you’ll find several choices there!  honey pots, travel mugs and soap dispensers7

For the kids:
Kids love having something that is just for them… and just their size! Start them off early loving and appreciating handmade pottery!  Package it with some tasty hot cocoa (from Etsy or a local food shop) and maybe some amazing homemade marshmallows (from Etsy or make your own!)

Etsy kid mugs

For the kid at heart:
Nostagia in a cup! These are grown-up (or big kid!) sized mugs that have the same imagery of the kid sized mugs. You can do the cocoa and marshmallow pairing like above! Or of course, you could always pair it with coffee for the grown-up recipient!

Big wheel and tricycle mugs emily murphy pottery

For the tea lover:
A unique porcelain mug, a tea infuser and some loose tea would make any tea lover full of warmth! Etsy has some wonderful tea infusers. And an amazing selection of teas, like this sampler! And of course, you can find both at a gourmet kitchen or food shop, or at most coffee shops.

Handmade porcelain mugs emily murphy pottery

For the hostess with the mostess:
For someone who loves to entertain, something that is both practical and beautiful is perfect.  These berry bowls are totally practical – you can wash your berries (or grapes…) in them, and then serve directly from the dish! You could even give the colander full of some colorful berries at a holiday party for a one of a kind hostess gift! handmade porcelain berry bowl colander emily murphy pottery

For the mom or dad:
I mentioned this in a previous post, these foaming soap dispensers are fantastic for kids! And as a parent, you really want more beauty in your home and less plastic in your life, but it can feel like a losing battle! The foam is great for really getting soap everywhere you need it to be without messy drips.  I wrote a blog post with suggestions on where to buy and how to make your own foaming soap!

handmade foaming soap dispenser emily murphy pottery

For the new homeowner / apartment dweller:
Do you know someone who recently moved into a new house or maybe their first apartment? Get them a couple of matching plates or mugs for make it feel even homier! 

Emily Murphy Porcelain pottery

For the coffee lover:
Of course the obvious choice for someone who loves coffee is to give them a mug.  But these handmade porcelain travel mugs are even better than the standard mug! They can be used with or without the lid.  The lid is great to use at home if you like to keep your drink piping hot.  Or if you have kids or pets that might knock over your hot coffee next to your computer (yikes!).  And it also works as a travel mug ;). Pick up some coffee from your favorite roaster.  Etsy has a ton of roasted coffee bean options! handmade porcelain travel mug with silicone lid emily murphy pottery

For the person who has everything:
And then there is always the person who has everything that you can’t figure out what to get for them.  A beautiful porcelain oil lamp would be a wonderful gift. It’s unique, practical (we always light ours when the power goes out!) and is small enough to not worry about where they will put it! Plus, it’s more interesting and than another gift of a candle.  And can be used as a small bud vase too.  Complete the gift by giving it with a bottle of lamp oil. You can purchase smokeless paraffin lamp oil at most hardware, grocery and big box stores. You can also purchase it online, including through Amazon. There are many brands, you just want to look for 99% pure paraffin; sootless, smokeless, odorless. It’s quite easy to find!

handmade porcelain oil lamp

I hope my little gift guide gave you some ideas for some of the folks on your holiday shopping list!  And if you buy something from my Etsy Shop, don’t forget to use the coupon code: JINGLE to get 20% off your purchase through December 18th, 2013!

Behind the scenes…

*Just a reminder that my Etsy Holiday Sale is LIVE through Dec. 18th! Get 20% off your whole purchase by using coupon code JINGLE at checkout.  Plus, $5 shipping per address. Not including custom orders.*

I had a shop open on Etsy for years before really adding anything to it. (Sound familiar to anyone else?) I was intimidated by the process and overwhelmed at where to even begin tackling it.  I knew that I really needed to have my whole process figured out before really diving into it.  I wanted to make sure that all my customers would have the very best experience shopping for pottery online.  I know that buying pottery online is hard.  It’s 3 dimensional, tactile and really personal.  Part of selling one of a kind items online is that you not only want to represent them in the best light, you want to represent them accurately! You don’t want someone to receive their box of pottery and be surprised at what they find inside (unless it’s a happy surprise)!

I thought I’d share a bit of my behind the scenes part of the process. It might help you if you’re starting to think about opening a shop.  Or if you like to shop on Etsy, you might find it interesting to know what an independent artist goes through to sell online! No matter how organized you are, it is a lot of work! But by doing a bunch of work up front, you’ll save yourself a lot of time later.

Before I even think about listing anything, I make sure I have a good supply of boxes, bubble wrap and other shipping supplies.  More on that later.

  • I pick out work to list after a firing. Mostly limited to what ships easily and what photographs easily.
  • I measure work (HxWxD, plus volume when helpful) and write on note card; place with each piece.
  • Using my DIY photo booth, I photograph work in order that the pots are on my “Etsy shelves.” I aim for no fewer than 3 images, and up to 5.  Which can easily mean 10 or 15 photos of each pot.  I try to get as many angles as possible of a piece, use a ‘prop’ if it helps, and perhaps a group shot.

What is my Etsy Wall, you ask? They are a set of shelves that I keep almost all of the pots that are either listed, or about to be listed on Etsy.  These pots have been photographed, measured and are ready to go out into the world! It’s conveniently located next to my photography area and across from my desk.   
Emily Murphy Porcelain Pottery - Etsy wall of pots

  • After photographing the work, I upload the photos to my computer and edit them in Picasa (free photo editing/ management software from Google). I crop into squares which work best on Etsy because nothing gets cut off when the photos are made into thumbnails on the site.

Editing photos in Picasa for Etsy
This next part is really important!

  • I write/ edit descriptions for each type of piece and keep in one (long) Google Drive doc that I aptly titled Etsy Descriptions. Descriptions are both personal, descriptive and specific. I include care instructions, measurements, key words, etc… A new description for each piece and its variations.
  • I then piece everything together to make an Etsy listing. Etsy has a great tutorial on making listings.
  • Once listed, I mark everything that is up on Etsy with a piece of blue masking tape to note that it is live. It’s an simple low tech way for me to keep track of what’s listed. I also want to be sure when I have customers in my studio to shop, that I double check anything that has blue tape on it to see if it has just sold if they want to buy it.
  • Then I post the new listings on social network sites- Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc… I don’t think you can really rely on Etsy alone for people to find your work, you really need to assume that you’ll only get traffic from your advertising via social networking and blogging.  That’s my approach. I use it as a shopping cart system for my website, blog and Facebook page.  Anything else is a bonus.
  • And again, I make sure I have everything I need to quickly ship before I post anything. I ship in 1-3 business days- but I try to ship the day I get the order whenever possible. I use the USPS and free Carrier Pickup to ship.

About a year ago I started using double walled corrugated boxes.  They are incredibly strong.  I don’t have to double box with them.  I don’t worry at all about pieces surviving the rough and tumble shipping journey anymore! Here is a photo of my pieces bundled up before going into their boxes. I’m going to do a separate post about packing for shipping another day.Emily Murphy Porcelain Pottery Etsy2

So that is my process in a nutshell. The key, for me, has been keeping all the parts organized. My descriptions are very looong. I’d rather be too wordy than leave a customer with lots of questions.  I want to create a really full “image” of each piece for everyone viewing my work online. It’s hard to buy tactile, 3-D work from a 2-D computer…. but I try to make it as good of an experience as possible!

Emily Murphy Porcelain Pottery travel mugs

Do you have any tips to share about posting on Etsy? Or do you have any things that you particularly like to see/read when you’re shopping on Etsy? I’d love to hear from others!

New! foam soap dispensers

I have been working on a new item this fall… foam soap dispensers. I’ve been using (plastic… eek!) foam soap dispensers for a while at home.  Guiltily, I admit. They sit next to my regular handmade pumps. I have been looking for the foam pumps for a while so I can make my own and just recycle the plastic pumps!  Finally I found them!  Foam soap dispensers are so great for kids.  It’s super easy for little ones to get the soap all over when hand washing with foam.  That’s why I started using them at home. But I love them for myself too!

Emily Murphy Pottery Handmade Porcelain Foam Soap Dispenser-001

You can purchase foam soap refills in many stores and online.  And you can also make your own! Here is a list of places to purchase foam soap refills:

  • Method foam soap refills form Target (in stores) and Amazon
  • Dial foam soap on Amazon
  • Kiss my Face foaming soap on Amazon
  • Vermont Organics Unscented foaming soap on Amazon also available in a gallon refill here.

A Google search will help you find many more options.  Below the next image are some links to recipes to make your own foaming soap.

Emily Murphy Pottery Handmade Porcelain Foam Soap Dispenser-002

Here’s a link to make your own foaming soap by watering down regular liquid soap. And here is one to make your own by using castille soap like Dr. Bronner’s.  You can find tons of variations on these recipes through a Google search.

Emily Murphy Pottery Handmade Porcelain Foam Soap Dispenser-0021 

This one is using one of my new glazes:

Emily Murphy Pottery Handmade Porcelain Foam Soap Dispenser-0011Emily Murphy Pottery Handmade Porcelain Foam Soap Dispenser2

Here is the pump in action!  A special thanks to my favorite hand model :)

Emily Murphy Pottery Handmade Porcelain Foam Soap Dispenser

A quick reminder that Saturday, November 30 starts Etsy Holiday Sale.  20% off your whole purchase (except custom orders), plus $5 shipping in the US.  Enter coupon code: JINGLE at checkout to get the discount. honey pots, travel mugs and soap dispensers1If you’re in Minneapolis/ St. Paul, I’ll be having a Holiday Studio Sale next week, December 5, 7-8, 2013. More to come on that!

It’s holiday sale time! 20% off on Etsy starting Nov 30… and studio sale the following week!

It’s that time of the year again! Starting this Saturday, November 30th, using coupon code, JINGLE, you can get 20% off your whole purchase in my Etsy shop.  Plus, $5 shipping per address.  If you want it shipped to multiple recipients, it’ll be $5/ per shipment.honey pots, travel mugs and soap dispensers1Much of the work is posted up in my Etsy shop already, so you can “pre-shop” and pick out your favorite pieces so you’re ready to snag a great deal when the sale goes live!

Here are some pieces that are listed (or soon to be!).  A new design of honey pots! Comes with a 6″ honey dipper.  You could substitute a spoon for the dipper and use it as a chutney jar.
Blue glazed porcelain honey pot with slip trailed dots by Emily Murphy Pottery

Blue glazed porcelain honey pot

And here are some new pieces.  Travel mugs with silicone lids.  The great thing about the design of these mugs is that they are great to drink from with or without the lid!
Creamy yellow glazed porcelain travel mug with circle pattern and silicone lid

Creamy yellow glazed porcelain travel mug with circle pattern and brown silicone lid
Aquamarine glazed porcelain travel mug with branch pattern
Aquamarine glazed porcelain travel mug with flowering branch pattern

And here is another new item… a foam soap dispenser! I love using foam soap, and it took me a long time to find pumps that I could use with my pieces.  The foam is so great to use with kids because they can coat their hands easily when washing by themselves.

Tomato red foam soap dispenser with butterflies and brushed nickel pump
Tomato red foam soap dispenser with butterflies and brushed nickel pump

And these honey pots have been flying off the virtual shelves. Luck for you, I made lots of them for the holiday season!Celadon glazed porcelain honey pot with bees buzzing and honey comb

Celadon glazed porcelain honey pot with bees buzzing and honey comb

And here are couple of my favorite mugs! Aquamarine glazed porcelain mugs with floral pattern

Pair of aquamarine glazed porcelain mugs with floral pattern

I love the brushed copper soap pumps! Amber glazed porcelain soap dispenser with leaves falling and brushed copper pump

Amber glazed porcelain soap dispenser with leaves falling and brushed copper pump.

So there is a little sneak peak of my Etsy sale! Saturday is Small Business Saturday.  I hope you’ll swing by between November 30th – December 18th and do some shopping!

If you’re local to the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area, you can shop via Etsy and use coupon code: LOCAL PICKUP to make arrangements with me to pick up your items from my studio!

Also, I’ll be having a Studio Sale next week for anyone who is local.

If you’re in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area, I hope you’ll stop by my studio sale! 20% off of everything in my studio, including my seconds and samples that are already marked down!
Emily Murphy Pottery Studio Sale

Thursday :: December 5 :: 5pm – 7pm
Saturday :: December 7 :: 10am – 5pm
Sunday :: December 8 :: 12 noon – 4pm

3015 10th Avenue South. Follow the “Pottery” signs to the back of the house to my basement studio. More information to come!

Sending pots out into the world!

I love making pots. I make them so they will be used. I don’t want them to sit on a shelf- whether it’s in my studio, a shop or gallery. I want them to find homes. I hope to have one of my mugs be your favorite.  The one that you have to wash even though every other mug in the cupboard is clean because that’s the one you have to have your coffee from. To have one of my bowls be your morning oatmeal bowl. I would be honored if you had a slice of birthday cake off of one of my plates. Or if you washed your hands daily with soap from one of my soap dispensers.

Here are a few places that you can find my pots!

My brother, Jeff, and his wife, Eliza own an awesome coffee shop/ cafe on Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire (our hometown), Brewbakers. They roast their own coffee, have amazing soups, sandwiches and baked goods. They have live music, art exhibits and a great vibe. And now they have mugs for sale that I made! One side has the Brewbakers logo, and the other side has a word such as: percolate, energize, caffeine… No two are the same!

For the next month, my father, Jim Murphy, and I will be featured artists at Vermont Artisan Designs on Main Street in Brattleboro, Vermont. It’s a really wonderful gallery that I have frequented over the years and I am so happy to be part of. Tonight, Friday, Dec 7th, is their gallery walk.

I am really excited to be part of Lillstreet Art Center’s holiday show, Let There be Light, once again this year! Lillstreet was where my studio and where I taught for 10 years. I always feel like I’m sending my pots home when I ship them to Lillstreet. It’s always a wonderful place to shop during the holidays- in the artists’ studios on the 2nd and 3rd floors and in the gallery!

Last weekend’s studio sale was a great success! I really do love opening up my studio and spending the weekend seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I even got to meet quite a few folks who read my blog- but I hadn’t met before. That was such a treat! I will definitely be having a spring studio sale!

If you’re not in one of the places I listed above, you can get some great pots! Below are just a few of the pots that you’ll find in my Etsy shop! I’m having a $5 shipping sale right now! I’m stocked up with boxes and bubble wrap and ready to ship!


In between shipping pots this weekend and playing in the snow that is forecasted… I’m hoping to get my hands back in wet clay! Enjoy your weekend too!

Picasa 3 for all your imaging needs

There has been a little program that I’ve been using for years: Picasa. This last week I downloaded an update, Picasa 3, and it’s fantastic! This is a program that will change your life… or at least your computing life. Picasa is a photo management program from Google. It finds all of the images on your computer (even the long lost hidden pics) and allows you to view, edit, organize, print, etc… all through the Picasa interface. And the best part is because it’s from Google, it free! Unfortunately for Mac users, it’s not available yet. It’s just for Windows and Linux currently.

Here is a little overview of what you can do with Picasa:

  • Resize pictures for email: You can select images to email and Picasa will automatically resize them to a reasonable size for emailing. No more overloading other people’s inboxes.
  • I’m Feeling Lucky: One of the cool editing buttons is I’m Feeling Lucky. It automatically adjusts the light and contrast and can balance out the colors from a flash photo.Below is a photo that I took on a piece of white poster board with natural light from a window and no flash. Then on the right is the same photo after using the I’m Feeling Lucky button. If you’re an Etsy user and uploading 5 pictures per piece, think about the time this will save you.

  • The Straighten Tool: I’m not sure if you can see this on the screenshot below, but another cool editing tool from Picasa is the Straighten Tool. It puts a little grid over your image and you can adjust the picture to go from crooked to straight with a click of the mouse. Think of all the askew images that you can fix!
  • Print Screen: You might also notice all of the nice screen shots I have to illustrate what Picasa can do. Well, it’s one of the new tricks that came with the update. If you click the Print Screen button on your keyboard, the screenshot will automatically pop up in Picasa. I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to easily to do screen shots for years! There are so many times on this blog that I want to illustrate something with a screen shot – and now it’s easy!
  • Print Photos: You can upload directly from Picasa to pretty much any of the online printing companies (Snapfish, Shutterfly, etc…), but you can also print using your printer. You’re given options for sizing and if you want the images cropped or shrink to fit. And it lays them out so you can cut them easily with a paper cutter.

  • Low Resolution Warning: This might be hard to tell from the image below, but when you’re printing images and the resolution is too low for printing, it’ll warn you so you don’t waste ink of pixelated images.

  • Create Collages: There are many collage options. Too many to go through. You can change the way the pictures are lined up, add borders of different sizes and colors, pivit or shrink or enlarge the images in the collage.
  • Mosaic Grid: Another collage option is to create a mosaic. I forsee creating a lot of these collages in my future! There is a Shuffle Pictures option so you can mix up the images in the collage without having to start over from scratch.

  • Text on Pictures: I had a show application a few months ago that required putting text on the digital images and it wasn’t an easy task. The Picasa 3 update now allows you to add text onto your image. You can change the font, size, color, etc… and make a spiffy show announcement.

  • Slideshow: I’m not sure if I need to explain all of the cool uses of the slideshow feature, but here’s a sample of one for you: (Update: as of 2012 this seems to be broken)

  • Web Albums: With Picasa you get some free online storage for uploading your digital images to share.
  • Movie Editing: The Picasa update now includes movie editing. I haven’t used this yet, but I’ve been waiting for this feature! I have tons of little movies that I’ve taken with my camera but haven’t had a way to edit them yet.
This isn’t a complete list of what Picasa does, but I tried to point out some of the tools that aren’t easily found elseware and are hard to live without. Download Picasa and give it a try. I think you’ll like it!