Friday, September 7, 2012

Ring Me Up!

I had the day off today and decided to spend it getting things done, which is how I usually spend my days off. John makes fun of me for how much enjoyment I get out of checking things off my to do list... it's how I wanted to spend my birthday and our anniversary. I just can't help myself.

After going around getting things done, last on my list was to drop off a few save the dates to be mailed. Right before I got out of the car I got a text from Paul, our mortgage lender, saying we have all the documents that we need and that we need to start thinking about "locking in" a rate for the mortgage. The rates fluctuate daily, and today the best one we can get is 3.625%. I decided to call him, and after talking it over, we decided to go ahead and lock this rate in because it's been holding pretty steady for the past few weeks and he thinks we're not going to do any better. So woo hoo! We're one step closer to home ownership!!

What's crazy to me is that my mom and dad got their first house back in the 80's with a 13.5% rate which was after some deal they got which brought them down from 15.5%! I can't imagine! So, thank you economy for being bad enough to give me a great rate but good enough to keep me fed and sheltered (and a good amount on top of that).

After we got off the phone, I dropped off the save the dates and decided to go in this paint-your-own ceramics store that I've been eyeing for a few weeks. I've been thinking it could be cute to paint some numbers for the outside of our condo, so I wanted to see if they had any. Turns out they didn't have much that was already made because they're actually also a pottery place! They have classes for different skill levels and then you can come back and paint what you made.

I'm really excited to have found this place. My aunt Stacey used to do a lot of pottery and whenever I'd go visit her in Florida we'd make things together. I still have some of my not very attractive 7-year-old-self's pieces around the house. I never got rid of them because they have such sweet memories attached to them! Anyway, as I was walking around the store I saw this little ring stand.

I was really excited because the first thing on my "at home" to do list for the day was to go on Etsy and find a cute little ring stand! I've never been someone that switches jewelry out every day... I tend to pick pieces and wear them for a year or two until I find something else I like better. One of my new goals is to switch it up more, so I figured having a ring stand where I can actually see what I have would be helpful.

As fate would have it, this little blank canvas was only $9 and I had an hour and a half to kill before John got home from work, so I decided to go for it. The girl explained the process and showed me all of their glazes.

Each of those little tiles is a different glaze, and as you move from left to right they have one, two, or three coats on them. The more coats, the more vibrant the color. I knew I wanted something colorful and fun, but I started getting a little nervous because I had no idea where to start. First I picked out the colors I liked most, mainly blues and greens but also a little yellow to warm it up.

Then I decided to find some inspiration. Anthropologie doesn't have many ceramics right now, so their website was a flop. Next I just Google imaged "colorful ceramic vase" and surprisingly got a lot of really drab, ugly vases. A few pages over, though, was this gem:

I didn't want to replicate it exactly, but I liked that it was colorful and had an almost Spanish flare. Another thing the lady had told me was that if you use a pencil to draw something as a guide, the pencil lead will "burn out" when the piece is fired, and you won't be able to tell it was ever there. I was a little skeptical about this, but I decided that they'd have a lot of unhappy customers if this info was wrong. So, I went for it. I didn't do a literal replica, but I took some of the bottom half of the inspiration picture and put it around the bowl of the stand three times.

I started to add more (you can see some erased parts on the top flower) but I decided it might make it too busy. Next was choosing where to put each color. I wanted to put the golden-yellow I had chosen on the outside/edges of the bowl so it would be cheerful, which meant that I had only one warm color left--bright yellow. I decided to put it in the center of the flowers to balance the warm and cool, took a deeeeep breath, and dove in.

I put different colors on every petal, keeping things symmetrical. After things dried I went back and did a second and third coat so things would be nice and vibrant.

After about an hour I was done!

Once it's fired they'll be much more saturated and shiny instead of being so dull and chalky. I have to wait 10 days to pick it up and I can't wait!

Edit: check out the finished product here!

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