Monday, February 22, 2010

i am feeling very lucky today as i entered more
deeply into the world of metal clay by going to the 1st of 6 metal clay open studio sessions taught by certified metal clay artist mary neuer lee. open studio offers the opportunity to play with metal clay in the perfect flexible environment. all levels of students from beginning to advanced coexisting in one classroom means you get to learn through others questions, tools and experience as well as your own. so good.
today feels like wishes coming true as i plunge forward, with guidance, via my imaginings of raw-er earth inspired rings made out of bronze clay. more updates on that in weeks to come as i refine and find ways to add delicacy and intricacy and test the parameters of this happy medium : )

Sunday, February 7, 2010

i have been using beeswax a lot in the last few years, (lotions, salves, wood finishes, candles, paper flowers) and i have gotten to learn a lot of it's properties. did you know that unfiltered beeswax has too much of a resinous substance called propolis (with beautiful anti-microbal properties) which will clog the wick if used in candle making and extinguish the flame no matter the size of the wick? i have found this to be the case and have begun to buy beeswax with little propolis for candlemaking from Beekind in Sebastopol Ca. who shared this candlemaking tip with me. the smell is much more earthy perfumy and less honey-like but my candles are much more successful and it is a blonder version of beeswax which keeps the pinks and whites truer on my tiny paper blooms.
hmmm...what to do with all my unfiltered beeswax scraps...? i decide to make my own floral tape (a waxy tape hidden in the construction of my crowns), adding another greener layer to my work. my handmade version is messy and not as workable as the ready made floral tapes (which uses some unknown sticky parafin ingredient) but the scent and natural properties make my heart sing forward with this new experiment. and we shall see if this new invention becomes a workable permenant feature in miss teapot's future collections.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

arriving home from my recent vacation i was surprised to find my home strongly scented in mildew, not the warm welcome i was looking forward to.

i love the charm of older homes ( rental of 1954) and their mysterious past lives and residents, winter experience in older homes is often dank and musty. our north facing closet walls always mildew in a wet year and the morning glisten of condensation on all our single pane windows is an everyday affair... as is the mildew that erupts on and around them.

i feel so mad about it that i think..."to bleach or not to bleach? bring me the harsh chemicals"!

i sleep. when i awake i come to my senses and consult my favorite and only reference for concoctions for the care of home and me. "Better Basics for the Home" always guiding me back to my poison free ways. "Simple solutions for less toxic living" wins again. Hugely empowering, engaging and an informative reference for cleaning green. So good.
tea tree oil, vinegar, borax, water and good old fashioned elbow grease is currently winning the fight over "essence du la mildew" until drier days arrive.
ah.... housekeeping, just the thing to center myself back into winter's nest
after time away.