Saturday, December 7, 2013

It's the Weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?

We have a busy weekend of Christmas decorating planned.  I will also be watching my son play basketball, doing a ton of painting and participating in an exciting event at the Sears Store in the Woodfield Mall.
Eeek, wish me luck!

I will fill you in on all the deets next week. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Are you aware of this? 

Sheared Alpacas!  
Seriously, I almost can not stand the cuteness!
I want one.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Factory 506 is humming along like a well oiled machine, I mean it is screeching, clanking and tumbling into the holiday season!
Here is a little update of things happening at the Factory!

I painted some leaves for the Thanksgiving table.

I had a little kiln trouble!

A turkey was cooked!

The kiln doctor worked his magic the day after Thanksgiving

More pitchers got "LaTasca-cized"

I painted some Christmas cards, but I probably won't get them mailed out in time!

My friend Lissa just sent this pin to me and now I am obsessed with the cat teepee!  I think her cats need one and I know my parents cat needs one!!!
Stay tuned :)

I have also been working on a project for an awesome event this weekend!!!
I will keep you posted on that as soon as it is complete!

What's been going on with you?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Santa Sticks!

Christmas crafting has begun!  I am so excited to be working on Christmas crafts.  I will be honest and tell you that I start up with the Christmas stuff much earlier than I really should.  If you are one of those people who does not like the stores to put up decorations until after Thanksgiving, then you don't want to be involved with me.  I like to start early!

Which brings me to these Santa Sticks that I made, ahem, right after Halloween.  It has taken great restraint not to post them until now!

Do you remember these sticks from early in the year?  The Santa Sticks are my "holiday sticks"!  Ha Ha, who knew I would need seasonal sticks for my backyard.  Good thing trees always need to be pruned because my son's stick "collection" is dwindling very quickly!  Once I get the evergreen branches in the urn I think they will look a little more at home.  They are a little lonely right now!

These were so easy to make.  I just whittled the tops a little bit to look like Santa's hat, and I carved a little bark off for the face.  Then I painted them up to look like Santa.   For the face I just put two tiny black eyes, I'm not sure you can see that in the photos.  I had a hard time getting these bad photos, sorry.

Have you painted any sticks for your yard yet?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's the Weekend!

Hope you have a great weekend and can get involved in a little bit of nonsense!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sketch Book

There has been a LOT going on at Factory 506.  

There is chaos and delay in the glazing department, and I have a ton of painting to do.  So guess how I unwind and put it out of my mind in the evening?  Happy Hour naturally, and then, you guessed it, more painting!

Some recent pages from my sketch book, if you are interested.

I am currently a little bit obsessed with owls!  I want to see one "in the wild" in the worst way!   I am sure that if I ever actually get to see one, it will be all pink and purple like the two above!

Have you ever seen an owl? 
 Mark's cousin Arnold sees them in Central Park!  Totally jealous!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

It's the Weekend!

What are you up to this weekend?
  I will be doing some painting, some planning, watching my son's basketball games, trying a new recipe in the crock pot and hopefully loading and unloading the kiln!

Speaking of watching my son play basketball, have you seen this great article about the six words you should say to your child?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hand Print Season Opener!

I warned you that hand print season was coming!  Yesterday was the "Official Season Opening" as I loaded my first victim's prints into the kiln.

My friend Meg graciously offered up her adorable daughter, Kay, to be my test printer.  We did two salad sized plates to make sure I had not forgotten how to do them, paint, load the kiln, etc…

This is how they started, just a plain brown hand and a plain green hand.

Then I dolled them up and turned them into a turkey and a tree and painted a simple border.  When the paint was dry, I glazed them and popped them into the kiln.  Eight hours later…

A little turkey!

And a sweet little tree!

If you don't want them painted, then hide your children when you see me coming!!!

Thank you Kay for being such a fabulous hand model!

More hand prints here!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What to do with old stuff...

I am one of those people who is always cold, and in the cold weather I LOVE having some sort of fluffy scarf or shrug on at ALL times.  

So last week I was digging getting all of the winter stuff out and I found this old fur collar that I bought at a flea market a year or so ago.  (Hoarder) 

I think I paid a whopping $5 for it and I had no idea what I would do with it.  Honestly, I probably felt sorry for it laying around a booth with a sad $5 tag on it.  Look at it, it is stupid!  But it is so soft and I liked the color.

Over the weekend, I decided I had to do something with it.  I took it apart because it was sewn shut and  it had this weird stuffing inside.  I flattened it out and wore it over my shoulders while I was making dinner.  To say it did not get a good review from my husband and son would be an understatement.  It looked like something crawled onto my shoulders and died!  So sad…

So on Saturday morning I woke up with a plan!  Mark helped me rein in all of my ideas and I started sewing, and I don't even know how to sew!  But look what I managed to whip up, despite my lack of sewing skills!!!

It is a little fur shrug…with POMPOMS!  

I sewed a belt that I bought in Argentina onto one side of it and then I lined the whole thing in hot pink fabric.  The belt already had pompoms, but as you can imagine, I am busy making a few more to add to the mix.

Honestly, it took me almost the entire day, because of the previously mentioned lack of sewing skills.  And I didn't have any thread, but luckily I had embroidery floss.  Same thing, right?

I love it and it keeps my shoulders so toasty warm!

Would you ever sew a belt to a piece of something fluffy and actually wear it out in public?  That is a rhetorical question!!!

PS.  My stand on fur if you are interested...  I am not usually a fan of fur, but I am a fan of recycling.  I would never buy fur that is new.  I think it is mean, but this collar died a long time ago, and I felt sorry for it.  I know I am a walking, talking contradiction, but I've gotta be me!  I make no judgements about people who buy and wear fur, everyone gets to make their own decisions, and I am a BIG fan of that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Birthday!

Someone at Factory 506 had a Halloween Birthday, and a lot of Birthday Donuts were eaten!!!

And I was very busy at the wood shop making a present for him!  
Check it out…

It looks kind of creepy like this, but it is a holder for some of his pencils.  I cut a piece of a branch, chiseled the bark off, sanded it, then drilled a bunch of holes in the top, and sanded again.  Then I added a ribbon, I couldn't help my self, it needed it!

After I gave it to Mark, he filled it up right away with a bunch of his drawing pencils, and it looks much  better!

I made the card too!

And look at my sweet baby working on his present for Mark!
(He painted a picture frame and put his school picture in it!  It is so stinkin' cute!!!

Happy Birthday Mark!
 It was a great birthday weekend!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Hope your Halloween is just scary enough and includes tons of candy!

We carved our pumpkins on Sunday and my son's pumpkin took a hatchet to my pumpkin to cover up the spot where the squirrels had eaten it!!!  They are such ANIMALS!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Driftwood Garland

I just LOVE driftwood!

The texture, the interesting shapes, but mostly, the colors.  My partner in crime  husband and I have gotten a little hooked on collecting driftwood.  We have been going to a nearby Lake Michigan beach and collecting tons driftwood.  We have a big idea for a Christmas project, so we think we need a lot of it. 

 But, I have been getting antsy to use some of it, so I took a bunch of small pieces and made this cute hanging garland, which now lives in our vestibule!

Cute, right?  I just drilled a small hole in each piece, then strung them up on wire.  Do you remember this project?  It's the same idea and it could not be any easier!

Would you ever collect driftwood for a project?  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Squirrel Update, etc...

This is not my baby squirrel, just a random squirrel that I found on Pinterest, but he is just as cute!

The squirrel lived through the night!!!  So, my sweet husband took the baby squirrel (named Francisco) to the Wildlife Refuge.  I had to do something at my son's school and so Mark got roped into the "squirrel of 2013" project.  We have been married 21 years so he is totally used to my "animal emergencies" and general nonsense.  
Anyway, he drove Francisco to this awesome refuge.  The woman there estimated that he was about 6 weeks old, she said he never would have survived the night, it was just too cold.  He was still a little cold even though we cranked the heat up in the garage and filled his cage with towels.  She said it sounded like he might have a little respiratory infection so she gave him antibiotics.  She thought that as long as he responded to the antibiotics, he would be fine.  Yea!  
She also had 3 or 4 other baby squirrels about his age that he would live with at this refuge until spring when they would be released.  
How sweet!  A happy weekend can be had by all!

In other news I spent a couple of mornings at my son's school painting a backdrop for the Third Grade Worlds' Fair, which apparently, was a huge success.  They had all different kinds of food and activities.  

Ferris Wheel

Part of the skyline.

And finally, it's the weekend!!!

I will be doing some painting, hopefully some hand printing, some kiln loading, and of course...

What are you doing this weekend?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bouncing Baby...


Let me back up a step.  First we found a totally DEAD opossum in our yard.  It was so foul, it just dropped dead by the back fence.  It didn't miraculously disappear by itself, so today, with the help of our son and his friend, we...ahem...disposed of the dearly departed.  It was sad, and disgusting,  but mostly disgusting.

Then, in what can only be interpreted as the universe trying to correct itself, we saw the cutest baby squirrel in our yard.  I had the most fun watching it and having it follow me around the yard, until it finally occurred to me that I was not in a Disney movie, it was not going to talk to me and something wasn't right with the situation.

What was this baby doing out alone, it was tiny!  And it was cold out, and getting dark soon!  We watched for a mama to come and get him, but it didn't happen, so I panicked!

I walked over the tiny little guy with gloves on, in case it freaked  I freaked.  I sort of crouched in front of it and it walked right over to me and as I put my hands down, he crawled into them, shaking and shivering!  It was just the cutest and tiniest little guy.

We put him in a cage in the garage with a bunch of towels and left a message for the Wildlife Rescue.  They called back, assured us that we did the right thing, and made an appointment for us to take him to the refuge tomorrow morning.

So fingers crossed that this little cutie makes it through the night.  

I am a crazy squirrel lady!!!
Do you remember this?  Obviously we have issues at Factory 506!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hand Print Season

I know it is not even Halloween yet, but do you know what is fast approaching?  Hand Print Season!!!  I love hand print season and I don't care that my son is 10 years old and probably won't want to do it this year, we are totally doing it!  I never get tired of them!!!

 I mean seriously, look at that cute turkey hand print!  My son painted the hand print and I did the finishing.  I love turning hand prints into things.  I must have gone temporarily insane on this one because I didn't do any lettering on the front.   

This one is from the year my son would only paint things if they were blue.  We still refer to it as his blue period, you know, like Picasso!  :)  But who am I to argue with his artistic vision, so we rocked that blue turkey like it was our job!!!  It is still one of my favorites!

PS.  Since I am firing that beast of a kiln up for those LaTasca pitchers anyway, I have room in the kiln to fire hand prints on plates again!

 Who's with me on this one?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Squirrel Holder

I thought we made a teepee, but really, it is a fancy squirrel holder.  

I mean really, the nerve!

 But it explains what is happening to all of the toast crust around here.  But who is the toast thrower??? I know it is not me, because I am the crazy squirrel lady who feeds them acorns!  :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Hand Painted!

Guess what I did this afternoon?  I painted sangria pitchers and may I just tell you, it was one of the most fun afternoons I have had in a while!  So, I mentioned yesterday that I have been hired to paint pitchers for a restaurant, and I worked on them for about two hours this afternoon and I just had the best time.

 I actually painted these same pitchers, for the same restaurant, for about 10 years.  Then...I became burned out on the design (which I always loved) but after painting it about 1,500 times, I had had enough.  So I walked away from these pitchers and never looked back.

Then, earlier this summer, I ran into the owner of the restaurant.  He told me how much they missed the pitchers, the replacements were not as pretty, nobody liked them, they broke too easily, etc...  And for some reason, I was ready to paint them again!

So here I am in the early stages of the LaTasca Sangria pitcher.  I am so excited to be painting them again!

The first load will be going into the kiln on Wednesday!

By the way, pitcher aside, LaTasca has fantastic sangria, red and white!