Monday, September 22, 2014

a pottery play date

I mentioned a couple weeks back that I am busy working on a series of pottery posts and I am excited to begin sharing them! In weeks and months ahead I have some fun pottery tutorials and clay inspiration coming your way.

For those of you new to my blog (or my background), my parents are potters and I've spent my entire life around clay.  I was introduced to clay long before painting and spent a great deal of time dabbling in pottery as a kid. Growing up my mom and dad ran a successful pottery business from their home studio- I spent my childhood watching my dad throw pots on the wheel and my mom run a wholesale tile business. My brother and I spent weekends and summers at craft shows and art galleries so it's really no surprise I grew up to be an artist!



While my dad taught me how to throw on the wheel, it never really stuck, I always preferred sculpting and hand building and then I fell in love with painting and it was all over for me! But now that Lucy is getting older we've wanted to get her playing on the wheel or at least witness the process. Recently we planned a family play date where we all took turns, with my dad's help, playing on the wheel. Throwing on the wheel is hard and it take tons of time and patience to actually make something but the process is exhilarating! Needless to say we had a BLAST! It took a while for Lucy to warm up to it all (ironic that the kid who loves dirt, mud, sand and paint wasn't excited about getting clay on her hands) but with a little encouragement she finally jumped right in. Here is a peek into our creative session:


                                               pottery from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.


Normally I don't laugh at my crying child but the fact that she was so upset by the clay on her hands was just hilarious- especially because she spent the previous day painting with her hands. 

Much better :)


Friday, September 19, 2014

fashion friday- transition a maxi dress into fall

During the summer I practically live in maxi dresses- they are cool, flowy and SO comfy! Just because fall is coming doesn't mean I pack away my dresses. Instead I like to find ways to transition them for cooler weather. 

I like to layer a fitted sweater or long sleeve t-shirt over the top of my dresses, throw on a knitted beanie, some boots and a maxi dress can work for fall!

maxi dress: Ross last year, long sleeve shirt: thifted, bag: Billabong, boots: Frye, jacket: Hurley



Thursday, September 18, 2014

exploring we will go- a trip to the oregon coast aquarium

A while back we made the promise to each other to always make time to seek adventure as a family (you can read about it here). Exploring new places and going outside is a big part of our daily lives and once in a while I like to share a little peek into our adventures.

Now that summer (and all the crowds) are gone and my work schedule is a little more flexible, we have a bunch of little adventures on our to do list. Something we have been planning for the last few months is a trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Lucy has all kinds of little obsessions and interests that seem to come and go and one of her latest is all things from the sea- jellyfish, starfish, sea anemones and her favorite... sharks. She talks nonstop about sharks, has a tiny shark toy that she takes everywhere, we watch videos on sharks and spend a lot of time researching and learning about them. The Oregon Coast Aquarium seemed like a perfect day trip for the entire family (we all love the ocean) and a perfect place for Lucy to see some of her favorite sea creatures up close and personal!

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is located in Newport, Oregon which is about 3 hours away from us. It sits along Yaquina Bay next to the Yaquina Bay Bridge and adjacent to the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

The facility is a non profit aquatic and marine science facility that sits on 23 acres and has both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

My favorite part and the real reason we wanted to visit the aquarium is the Passages of the Deep exhibit- a 1.32 million gallon tank that is home to 5,000 marine animals with giant tanks and tunnels that give visitors 360 degree view of rockfish, halibut, ling cod, rays and many species of sharks. I've seen a lot of cool things but these underwater tunnels are one of the coolest experiences I've had- it was AMAZING

But for Lucy, not so much! All that hype and excitement she had to see a real shark, all came crashing down when those sharks swam over her head. After a few tears and lots of coaxing, we finally convinced her to come into the tunnel and with more coaxing she finally opened her eyes. Andy captured the entire episode (like tons of photos) on camera and I have a feeling we will have fun looking at the photos when Lucy gets older!


While Andy and I could have watched the sharks all day, at Lucy's request we moved on to see all the "cute" creatures!


Needless to say, the trip (while it had a few unexpected challenges) was a huge hit and totally worth the 3 hour drive! We will definitely be going back.






Wednesday, September 17, 2014

updates from the studio and a GIVEAWAY!

It's been a while since I've posted an update about the goings on over here so today I've put together a few things that need to be shared! 

First I am honored to be featured (and on the cover) in the fall 2014 Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazine! I talk all about juggling my business, art and family. These types of opportunities are always really fun and super humbling- I still pinch myself thinking is this real?!? Included in this issue are some amazing artists like Leslie Riley, Damon Robinson, Jennifer Paganello, Pauline Lim and more!  For info on this issue or to purchase your own copy head on over HERE.

I am finishing up my latest online class- Redefine Creativity. I have been filming and creating classes back to back for the last 9 months and I will be taking a little break to plan and create more classes for the beginning of the new year (I've got some fun stuff up my sleeve). But for now I need a little break this fall to actually get into the studio to do what I love most- making art and craft.

This means I will have more time to create more fun goodies for the shop (I've got some cool stuff coming soon!) so stay tuned- in the next couple of weeks I will be announcing when new batches of pouches (accessories and more) will hit the shop.




And last, I am SUPER excited to announce that I will be teaching for Life Book 2015! Life Book 2015 is a year- long online course featuring 26 different teachers with 26 different perspectives on the creative process. Life Book is packed with lessons, inspiration and a vibrant community of artists from all over the world.


Registration opens on October 6th and the course begins on January 1st, 2015 and today I am giving away one FREE SPOT!  
To enter, leave me a comment below tell me one thing (anything) creative that you are interested in learning or want to try!
I will randomly select a winner and announce on the blog on Saturday.
All the Life Book teachers are giving away spots on their blogs (see the schedule below), so head on over to check them all out!
8th September 2014 – Tamara Laporte –  http://www.willowing.org/

9th September 2014 – Jane Davenport – http://janedavenport.com/
10th September 2014 – Joanne Sharpe – http://joannezsharpe.blogspot.co.uk/
11th September 2014 –  Jenny Lee Wentworth – http://jennyleewentworth.blogspot.co.uk/
12th September 2014 –  Violette Clark – http://www.violette.ca/
13th September 2014 –  Chris Zydel – http://creativejuicesarts.com/
14th September 2014 –  Danielle Donaldson – http://danielledonaldson.com/
15th September 2014 –  Effy Wild – http://effywild.com/
16th September 2014 –  Flora Bowley – http://florabowley.com 
17th September 2014 –  Alisa Burke – http://http://alisaburke.com
<— YOU ARE HERE
18th September 2014 –  Rachael Rice – http://rachaelrice.com/
19th September 2014 –  Jeanne Oliver – http://www.jeanneoliverdesigns.com/
20th September 2014 –  Andrea Gomoll – http://andrea-gomoll.de/
21st September 2014 –  Kristin van Valkenburgh – http://www.kristinvanvalkenburgh.com/
22nd September 2014 –  Jill K. Berry – http://jillberrydesign.com/
23rd September 2014 –  Alena Hennessy – http://www.alenahennessy.com/
24th September 2014 –  Juliette Crane – http://www.juliettecrane.com/
25th September 2014 –  Jenny Doh – http://blog.crescendoh.com/crescendoh/
26th September 2014 –  Mati Rose McDonough – http://www.matirose.com/
27th September 2014 –  Patti Ballard – http://www.pbsartstudio.com
28th September 2014 –  Lynzee Lynx – http://lynzeelynx.com/
29th September 2014 –  Roben Marie Smith – http://www.robenmarie.com/
30th September 2014 –  Andrea Schroeder – http://www.creativedreamincubator.com/
1st October 2014 –  Lynn Whipple – http://www.lynnwhipple.com/
2nd October 2014 –  Donna Downey – http://www.donnadowney.com/


UPDATE!
THE WINNER IS....







Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DIY toddler chair

Lucy is growing like a weed and while she has outgrown her high chair, she is still too small for an adult chair so it was time for us to figure out a solution that works for her and our table. Andy got busy designing a toddler chair that is tall enough for her to sit up to the table and safe for her to climb up and down by herself (the kid loves to climb). We are not experts on kid's furniture (or kid's safety when it comes to furniture) but Andy came up with something that works really great for Lucy. Here is a peek at his design drawings-

His inspiration came from a life guard chair- Andy spent a couple summers working as a beach lifeguard and liked the idea of a wide chair with steps that are easy to climb. As a former structural engineer he knows how to make something sturdy and his goal was to create a chair that is strong enough for a toddler but could transition into a chair/step stool that we all could use in the future.

Of course I had to paint the chair! I added colorful triangles to the seat and painted the steps and arms in different colors.

Then we sanded the paint for a bit of a distressed look.

Needless to say the chair is a HUGE hit! Not only have we been using it at the dining room table but it also works great at our art table in the garage and per Lucy's request, we have been moving it around the house to random locations where she can sit on her perch and play.



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