Friday, December 25, 2009


I have been lax about posting lately.
I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. Try not to over eat too much! Enjoy the company of the loved ones around. And if you do not practice a christian religion, I wish you a very happy, safe and enjoyable day. To everyone, a wonderful 2010!
(I hope to be better about posting in the new year!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Please be patient with me...

For those of you who are getting some of the stoneware mugs, I should have them ready by the end of next week, or beginning of the following week. I had some problems with the clear glaze on the inside and am expecting the new glaze to arrive soon. I checked with the 'experts' and they are recommending this new-to-me glaze for this clay. I didn't think anyone wanted to have mugs that leak... or maybe you do... (PS - Phyllis, the problem occurred because I didn't want to have to fire twice like I did yours...)
But, as a result of this set-back, I need to make a BUNCH of new mugs to glaze with the new glaze. The decorative glazes on the rim are no problem, so those of you who have specific orders, I can still do those. I know Rick needs his 2 for guessing the Carolina Wolf Spider with her babies, and Matt wants 6 or so for a gift, Janie wants one for her mug collection, and I need to get some more over to the Arts Center in Clemson for their Holiday Show & Sale.
It was so hard for me to literally throw away a dozen mugs and a sugar/creamer set the other day. But I can't sell them or use them, so I just took a real deep breath and dumped the whole tray into the garbage can...
I am working on finishing up some custom bracelets for a customer to give for Christmas, but I am working on the mugs in-between.
Oh, by the way... where in the world did 2009 go?
(I repaired the link to the Arts Center... typo will mess it up any day...)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hole in The Bead Gang

Last week the Hole in The Bead Gang had their Holiday gathering. It was a nice relaxing afternoon of food, fun and friendship.
One of the activities each year is the surprise gift box. In order to have a turn at opening the box, someone has to roll a 6 on the die. The stipulation is that you must be wearing the work gloves in order to open the box. That person works on it until the next person rolls a 6... The first photo shows Dee working on the outer box, then Phyllis has one of the inner boxes. The last photo shows me with the next to last box (nobody said you cannot use your teeth :~) ). In the end, I was the one to read the note inside the smallest box, so I won some beads. I will post them tomorrow after I take a photo of them.
As always, it was a great gathering of wonderful and talented people.
I hope to post sooner next time... (darn Facebook takes up too much of my computer time...)
Please show thanks for the things in your life and have an enjoyable Thanksgiving day.
I am thankful for my family, my friends, my health and my ability to pursue my creative side.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nature's Beauty

These photos were both taken on Wednesday, October 7th. The photo with the heron in flight was taken around 8:45 in the morning in Clemson while I was out for my walk. The sunset was taken in Anderson, SC after having had dinner that evening (the photo was taken at about 6:45PM or so) at NY Pizza. The buildings silhouetted are K-Mart & Publix...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

And the roses bloom...

These photos are of one of the miniature rose bushes at the house. They are of the same flower... one taken on Thursday morning and the other taken this morning, after all of the rain...
Ahhhh... the beauty of nature!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bead Challenge Sept. '09

Just a few photos of what a few of the members of the Hole in The Bead Gang bead club created for our September 2009 challenge.

Jo went to the ISGB Gathering in Miami and brought back oodles of beads she received in trade from other bead makers... she told us to pick out one or more and the challenge was to make SOMETHING out of them... whatever we wanted...

The copper and beaded necklace is mine... two different glass artists made the beads, but I loved them together... just add some copper, pearls and Swarovski crystals... voila!

The Cat box was made by Donna... she fell in love with the cat bead and didn't want to make jewelry... so she knit a little pillow, added beads and a ball of yarn...

The black and white bead was one of the ones chosen by Phyllis... she made the kumihimo braid bracelet and embellished with seed beads...

The fish is 'Little Jackie Horner' the fish with Horner's Syndrome... and that was Mom's entry... The starfish bead was one that Terri made into a wonderful necklace that has garnered a lot of compliments this past week...

And the one with the gold kumihimo and chain maille is another of the ones Phyllis designed...
Next month we will see what others may have done with the beads they chose...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Pendant for Cheryl

One of our customers was in a couple of weeks ago and saw some of the wire wrapped pendants I have done while teaching classes. She didn't want to take the class, she wanted me to wrap it for her.
I know the name of the stone, but it escapes me at the moment. It has gorgeous shades of light teal and lavender. I finished it on Monday and she picked it up yesterday. I was so happy with how it turned out. I know it sounds strange to some, but the stone let me know what it wanted me to do with the wire.

The top photo is of the front of the pendant, and the bottom is the back. I try very hard to make the back as appealing to the eye as the front.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Fox and the Fish

A little over a week ago, I was test firing a new terra cotta clay. For some reason, I have been wanting to make a fish for a few months now (since Art Camp). I proceeded to roll out a slab and cut out a fish (Bass). When the Bass was completely dry, I prepared to fire it. At the same time, I finally fired the small fox head I had made in Art Camp.
I had been carrying around a small ball of clay while checking on the students' progress. As I walked around, I fiddled with the clay, and the result was a fox head. I finessed it and kept it on my work table here at home for 2 months. It was definitely dry... but for some reason, I was wary. When I loaded the kiln, I put the fox head off to the right and the fish off to the left. What you see in this photo is the remains of the fox head and the bare spot the fish shielded. The photo doesn't show the fine details. It literally vaporized! There is a fine terra cotta clay dust covering the entire shelf except for where the fish was and where some larger pieces of the fox landed. Unfortunately, the heavy debris you see near the fishes tail broke the tail off. But there are creative plans for the remainder of the fish...
The good news is, I am glad I got the new terra cotta clay, it survived the firing, which is why I wanted to stop using the old clay (which the fox was made of)... I had too many things explode on me in firing...
A little more good news, I have found another resource for black porcelain (that is closer to home, so lower shipping costs!). I still have to do the glaze test firing to see how it works with my glazes and also how black it actually gets. Those results will follow in a couple of days...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sandie & Cleo

I went to dinner with some friends last night... it was a nice relaxing end to the day. After dinner, we all sat out on the deck and watched to see if the deer would come to eat the corn. Sandie & Cleo joined the rest of us. They seemed to know that the deer was in the trees before we could see it... their nosed started sniffing the air furiously... unfortunately, the deer got spooked and went back into the woods without eating any of the corn. There had been some gunshots heard back there earlier in the morning... poachers. That could explain the deers hesitation to come out and eat. I was able to get a few good shots of Sandie & Cleo, though a lot had to be deleted because of blurriness.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Our fine feathered friends...

As long as I can remember, Herons have been my very favorite bird... I love other birds as well, but the Heron (Great Blue, Lesser Blue, Green, Black Crowned...) has always been extra special.
When I go walking with my friends near the outdoor track in Clemson, we walk along the old Seneca Riverbed. Most days we see at least one Great Blue Heron, some days more. Today, I saw 8, though my friends had only seen 7 by the time I left, my 8th one was flying overhead as I drove out of the parking lot...

These 2 pyrographic pictures I did several years ago show a Great Blue Heron and a Green Heron.

The photograph of the great Blue Heron was taken by my friend Linda when she was out near the Seneca Riverbed with her grandchildren a few weeks ago.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

testing 1-2-3

Just testing to see if the feed works properly, it says it isn't installed correctly... hmmmmmmmmm

Cindy Earl Higgins - Portrait Photographer

Just playing around with my camera a couple of weeks ago I took this photo of myself... this and about a dozen others... only 2 were worth saving (the pluses of digital photography!)
No, it's not the best, but I thought it was a keeper.
My hair has grown down to my eyebrows already... much too long... gotta get it cut this week! Can you tell I had just recovered from a 'personal heat wave'???

a busy week

This last week was sure a busy one! Mom & Terri both needed time off because they were not feeling well, but we also had lots of customers as well.
This is one of the cards I designed for the class I had Saturday morning. The girls loved it! This is my favorite of the 4 we made. But, Lilies are among my favorite kinds of flowers... (These cards are more for hand-delivery or sending inside a package... the PO would ruin them otherwise!)
I'm looking forward to a quiet Sunday. I plan to get some pottery worked on and some test pieces of the new Terra Cotta trimmed for firing in a day or two.
I'd like to get some photos scanned and saved into the computer. But, we'll see what time and energy allow for today.

I'm focusing my mind's eye on a quiet lakeside cabin with a wonderful workspace, birds singing, water lapping at the shore... a place conducive to creativity... no, I am not at that quiet cabin, but if I imagine hard enough, I can be , in my mind...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Arriving at Art Camp

This photo was just sent to me by Debbie at the Clemson Arts Center... she took it one day as I got to camp, wearing this year's T-shirt.
Along the wall behind me are photos of Clemson taken by all sorts of people. There are some especially wonderful photos, to see Clemson through someone elses lens...
The table has the full day student's lunch bags... me, I have not yet deposited my tote bag nor purse so I am laden with them. Ignore the glasses on the idiot string... I'm not really old enough to need them...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm here!

I have not posted lately because of a lot of things happening. No, nothing serious in nature, just a lot going on... I have not forgotten about posting, I just have not always had the time or energy.
Good news is, we now have DSL here at the house. This should make blogging MUCH easier! (Just uploading the photo of my late kitty Max took WAY less time!)
Now, I just need to get some more photos scanned or taken to be able to post them.
And, I guess I have gotten bitten by the FaceBook bug... it has been nice to re-connect with some old friends from my youth. One even apologized for how he treated me back in Junior High... something I had moved beyond a long time ago. Yet it was still nice that he thought to apologize after all this time. Thanks Scott! Hey, we were teenagers, no apologies necessary, but thanks anyway...
I can keep up with my family and people I don't get to see often enough. Not to mention the oodles of photos I can look at in my friends' profiles! Awesome waves in RI from Hurricane Bill, adorable children, beautiful artwork (painting, quilting, jewelry design...), lots of people, pets and flowers...
But I do need to get back to my blogging. Now that my desktop is able to go online again, I have access (more easily) to a number of photo files I already had. I had problems when my dial-up modem was zapped by lightning... with DSL, I don't have to worry about that anymore! (AND, I have put ALL cords, including the phone line, through the new surge protector!)
I will get more posted soon. (I hope to be able to post some photos of my nephew DragonBen's latest artwork... and he's only 9 1/2!!!)
Thanks for being patient with me.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In memory of Shadow...

When I first moved to Pendleton 10 years ago, I was greeted by our neighbor's cat Shadow. He was a gorgeous long-haired black cat who spent most of his time outside(I'll have to find photos of him to post later...) with the sweetest personality.
At the time, I still had my buddy Max who was an indoor kitty.
Three years ago next month, I lost Max after 18 years. Shadow was there to comfort me.
When Shadow's 'Mom' died a few years back, she had said that Shadow would be ours since he considered our yard his territory as well.
After her family sold the house, a new owner moved in. Shadow quickly adopted Luke as well and Luke took over his care. Shadow still came by our house to check on us and make sure we were doing OK.
About 2 1/2 weeks ago, Shadow started to show signs of being sick. When Luke took him to the vet, they said he was quite sick and his system was shutting down. Luke made the very difficult decision to have Shadow put to sleep.

The vet's office made a polymer clay impression of Shadow's footprint. Luke then brought it in to us to paint it.
These photos show the finished product.
Shadow will be greatly missed. I still look for him multiple times a day...
He is now spending time with his beloved Mrs. Mason...

Friday, July 24, 2009

My friend's doggies

This little gal is Hime, which is Japanese for Princess. She is a 3 month old English bulldog... you cannot see the piece of paper hanging out of the side of her mouth as she naps... sooooooo cute!

...and this big boy is her 3 year old 'brother' Dozer... aptly named for both his napping habits as well as how he plows through his food...

A Mountain Get-Away

About a week and a half ago, we (Mom, Dad, Terri, Rodney, DragonBen and I) went up to the mountains to spend the day with my sister Sue, her husband Jim, their children Bobby & Karen and their respective spouses Shelly and Matthew.
We were in the western NC mountains just north of Cashiers in a place called Lake Glenville.

This first photo is of Matthew, Shelly, DragonBen, Karen & Jim out on the dock fishing... Karen & Ben caught more fish that day with raisins than Jim did...

This is a view from the lower yard looking up at the house...

...and this is the spectacular view of the lake from the back deck of the house...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Regina's lily

As you may hafve noticed, I love flowers. Mind you, I do not have the dedication to nurture them myself, but I admire their beauty.
This gorgeous lily was one my sister Regina had when she lived her in SC. It is planted in the courtyard garden at the base of the fence. Growing lush behind it is the Sweet Autumn Clematis.
The blossom opened about the time the family returned from visiting Regina in Churchville, NY.
With Art Camp and all... I have not had the time (or energy) to post.
I will post photos of the kid's projects from week one. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the kids at work for week 2, but I will photograph their pieces when they are out of the kiln.
Tomorrow we go to the NC mountains for the day to visit sister Sue at the lake house they are renting.
Will post more when my brain isn't so foggy...
Have a wonderful Saturday!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


As I have been on vacation this last week... so has my brain.
I have been finding it difficult to concentrate on the projects I wanted to complete. And needing to go back and forth to Clemson to check on the availability of the kiln and loading the kid's pieces in the heat of a South Carolina June & July has been draining as well...
I got as much loaded as I could, but their mugs would not fit... not enough shelves... I will have to fire those later, or at a higher temperature here at home...
The photo is of a piece I did a couple of weeks ago to show my students that the technique used for the Swarovski Rivoli Pendant can be used for other shapes and sizes as well. This is a beautiful piece of Fossilized Coral in a gorgeous burnt orange color... the stone chips on the fringe near the bail are Carnelian.
This morning I will check my own kiln to see if my pieces are cool enough to unload...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Art Camp Part I

I know... I have been remiss about posting... one of the reasons is that I was teaching clay at Art Camp last week.
It was the 6 - 9 year old group... there were 11 wonderful kids.
The photos were from Day 4... we made slab-built mugs and then glazed some pieces from earlier in the week.
I had a great time. And I give a lot of credit to my trusted assistant/camp counselor - Michael. He sure had a way with the kids...
Tomorrow I go in to load everything into the kiln for firing. With the humidity, thigs were drying slowly. After this week off... I have the 10+ group next week.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Beautiful flowers!

This Orchid was given to Terri and I as a 'thank you' for teaching a class. It was in full bloom when given to us about a year and a half ago (I think). The blooms lasted for months, but eventually faded and fell off...
The Orchid came home and spent last summer outside under the gazebo and continued to thrive and grow... and a few weeks ago... it blossomed again! Mom is so tickled... she used to kill Orchids (not on purpose, mind you).
As beautiful as the first blossoms were when Norma & Judy gave it to us, these have a special beauty all there own...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Is it June already???

I cannot believe how fast the time goes.
I have a batch of stoneware that will be firing the end of this week... I am being extra sure that they are dry from glazing before firing them. I don't have a deadline looming, I just want to get some stock made.
I am getting frustrated with the Ebony Porcelain company... I am looking for updates as to when it will be available again... nothing. I leave messages on the voice mail and send emails but no reply. I think I will mail a hand-written letter this week.
My current goal is to cast Stoneware product until the end of the month of June and then start making a small selection of Terra Cotta product.
I need to make things to fill the void of the Ebonyware...
If anyone out there knows of another source for a cone 6 black casting porcelain... please... let me know... I am having withdrawal symptoms, I have used it for nearly 20 years!!!
Birthday wishes to all of those with June Birthdays... you know who you are... I am trying to be better about sending cards... I make lots of them, but send very few.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hello again...

I tried a new-to-me technique last week and made this card. I love the workability of Washi. It is so fabric-like but without the un-ravelling qualities.
You may be able to see that I used some wire and beads to make the center of the flower... This technique could probably be done with fabric and fusible webbing... but I am all for using Washi... afterall, I am addicted to paper (and pens, and colored pencils, and beads, and... )
Today is a bit rainy, although we are still in a deficit for rainfall... I wish it would hold off until people have enjoyed the long weekend.
I am planning on working on my pottery and hopefully being able to watch some races on TV... but the rain may put a halt to that...
For all of those who fought for our freedoms and sacrificed their lives for us, we created Memorial Day... Thank you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This is a photo of a pendant I made last week. I will be teaching it as a class. It is filled with Swarovski crystals and tiny seed beads.
I am not feeling all that talkative tonight... I'll check in later.
But I said I would post a photo tonight, and I kept my promise... ;-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just checking in...

I'm still here!
I have been creating a lot of cards lately for work. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures to share.
In my free time, when I have enough energy, I have been casting more stoneware as well as working on new ideas for classes at the store.
I have not heard from the porcelain company lately as to whether they have solved the production problem with the Ebony porcelain or not. I am saving what Ebony clay I have left, just in case I need to make something for an order.
I guess that if I make a promise to take some pictures and post them here before next Monday, then I will have to keep my promise. So... the promise has been made. I will post pictures by Sunday night, May 17th, 2009. And my promise is in writing... I can't very well break that promise, can I?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Successful Show!

Oh well, my photo didn't turn out too well... but this is my booth at Celebrate Clayton 2009. My friend Mike and I had booths next to each other and were on an end-cap. SO, we decided to make the most of the space and kind-of have a joint booth 10 x 20. This way I could use his state-of-the-art credit card machine and we could use one cooler for our water.
The new Grape Vine Decanter/Vase sold the first day! Yes, there is another one or two in the works currently.
The weather was warm and a bit of a breeze, but not as bad as last year. Unfortunately, I did not win the Judge's Choice best Pottery this year =(. I had a great time and enjoyed seeing my regular Clayton customers. This is the third year for me to do this show. Oh, and as a side-bar, the Stoneware Collection sold well! I am glad I added it to my line.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Vase!

It is finally finished! I babied this so much, afraid it would crack or something in firing. About 2 1/2 hours of decorating and it fired today...

Now I feel safe enough to proceed with the other ones I have in progress.

PS: Jo - I know the photo's lousy, but it is all I could manage this evening... the vase was still hot from taking it out of the kiln...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another addition to my line...

These are 2 photos of a vase/decanter that is a reproduction of a Victorian Era vase. With the new kiln, I am now also able to make these again. The photos show the first one successfully cast in stoneware. It is still drying to be bisque fired tomorrow evening. After that, I will be adding glazes to the grapes & vines and firing again. I am excited!
Friday I leave for Clayton, GA and Celebrate Clayton 2009. Here's hoping for good weather and lots of sales!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Juried Gallery Show...

My friend Jo insisted that I enter my porcelain in a juried gallery show. "I won't take no for an answer!" were her orders.
The show is at the Anderson Arts Center and starts next Friday evening. The pieces had to be in with a non-refundable entry fee about 2 weeks ago. I entered an Ebony Coffee Set (Coffee pot, 4 Mugs and a Sugar/Creamer set). The notices for the results were to be mailed today... but, they actually arrived yesterday.
Jo and our friend Mike also entered pieces.
WE GOT IN! I am sooo excited!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring Jubilee

OK - so this is a lousy photo - but it shows my small display at my friend Mike's storefront for Spring Jubilee. I still have plenty at The Mercantile also. The photo is lousy partly because of the putrid green wall behind it, as well as the fact that the bright afternoon sun was streaming in through the window. And my simple digital is not equipped with the fancy bells and whistles to filter the sun. (Nothing can filter the green!)
Mike rented the storefront to sell his jewelry and offered me a space for my pottery. You can't see them in this photo but my friend Jo has some of her art quilt wall hangings there also. She has some better photos, as well as pics of her quilts on her blog.
Hope you can join us for Jubilee! It starts officially in 6 hours!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday morning

After a very rainy end to last week and a very windy Sunday, I sure am glad it is suppossed to be nice today.
I went to pick out semi-precious stone and pearl beads yesterday for an upcoming Trunk Show at the store. I had my camera with me and took this photo of one of the many Cherry trees in full bloom.
Think nice weather thoughts for Pendleton for this coming weekend. Spring Jubilee should be wonderful as usual.
I will have my pottery in our store as well as down the street in a storefront being rented for the weekend by another artist.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Stoneware...

This is what was on the top shelf of the kiln this morning... I think it looks fantastic!

Those are the first stoneware coffee pots. I've got lids glazed in the Chocolate and the Kiwi to start... other colors to come...

Opening the kiln is like Christmas morning every time!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Challenged by color

This past month we had a challenge for the Hole in The Bead Gang, it was due today. And, although I had a whole month to come up with something and make it, I did my usual, and made it this afternoon.
The challenge was a color challenge. We had to work with Yellow, Orange and/or Black. Since Yellow and Orange do not fall in my usual color palette, I decided to go the Black route. I had found this bead a friend gave me and I had a strand of 6mm round black beads, to which I added Copper (my Orange) and voila! To set it off, I covered an old jewelry gift box from JCP with yellow and orange paper and ribbon with copper ink accents.
OK, my photo isn't the greatest, but at least I met the challenge and am posting to show you I did it.
For next month the challenge is to make something monochromatic.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rainy Saturday

It is a beautiful rainy Saturday here in Pendleton. Beautiful you ask... yes, we have had drought conditions so long that Lake Hartwell is many feet below full pond. Although rain is a nuisance and makes even running errands a pain, we will not complain that a steady soaking rain is here today.
Enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

mental ramblings

My brain rambles sometimes and I cannot always follow where it is going.
I wanted to post, but cannot remember what it was I wanted to post about. Age, mental exhaustion, whatever...
The photo is of an Art Clay Silver piece I made while teaching a class last Fall. I did not make the dichroic fused glass piece, but I made the silver setting.
I have to set aside my new decorating ideas I had for the pottery and just produce! We have Historic Pendleton's Spring Jubilee coming up in a couple of weeks (the first full weekend of April) and I have Celebrate Clayton coming up the last weekend of April.
I can experiment later...