Okay, it’s not exactly NEW, but it is new to ME!
In December, I struggled with what to get my mom for Christmas.
However, my brain kept circling back to how much she enjoys tea and tea parties.
For Mother’s Day last year, since we couldn’t spend the day together in person, we held a virtual tea party with the assistance of our Alexa devices. Both of us dressed up fancy, made our favorite type of tea, and put together a little plate of of cheeses, crackers and fruits, and we just talked and laughed. As if there were no distance, or screens, separating us.
It was nice. REALLY nice.
Therefore, for the holiday, I was thinking of getting her a gift certificate, for two, to the Calabash Garden Tea Room. It looked so quaint, and I knew it would PERFECT for a mother-daughter outing!
With the pandemic still going strong though, and the fact she’d have to travel here, I was scared it’d be awhile before she could visit.
I scratched the idea, for now at least.
Hopefully one day though…when the world’s back to “normal”…if that ever happens…
So, what could I possibly get her???
Hoping for a little inspiration, I turned to the internet. Specifically to my favorite sites, UncommonGoods and Etsy.
After browsing FOREVER, it hit me.
What if I painted a tea set for us? Then, we could use them at our next tea party, whether it’s with the help of technology or face-to-face?
All Fired Up Studio in Pawleys Island, on Da Gullah Way, was just the place to turn my half-baked idea into a beautiful, homemade tea set for my mom!
Have I mentioned I don’t do any type of art well?
These hands? Just not made for drawing or painting.
Thankfully, Carla Minervini, the owner, is THE BEST!
She knows everyone doesn’t have the same abilities. So, she’s made it EASY for ALL customers, no matter their skill level, to relax, let the creative juices flow and paint!
They provide the blank slate. The store’s lined with shelves and shelves of serving dishes of all shapes and sizes, unique decorative ceramics for your home and other miscellaneous pottery. Over 500 pieces!
They provide you with the accessories you need to personalize your bisque, like brushes of all lengths and widths and with varying bristles and a galore of glazes. No limit on the colors!
They provide guidance on how to accomplish your design, and they’ve got tools and materials, such as stamps, stencils and tracing paper, you can utilize to help get the look you want! At no extra cost.
They even provide to-go kits if you’d prefer to create in the comfort of your own home! There’s kits available for painting pottery, as well as for canvas painting and candle making!
I chose the to-go kit because I didn’t want to look like a fumbling, clumsy first-timer.
Plus, I wanted to work on this on my own time, at my own pace. I knew I’d need quite a few hours, over a couple of days, to accomplish what I wanted.
The kit included all the above, except for the extra resources.
However, the owner made sure I was loaded up with nifty tracing tips and tricks to get done what I needed.
It was super helpful!
Over the next couple of days, I slaved over my mom’s present, and I’ve got to say…I had so much fun doing it!
For the first time, in quite a few months, I wasn’t worried about the pandemic, the virus, the death and violence and destruction in the world, or my own personal problems.
I was focused on my mom. Our relationship. The virtual tea party. On capturing that moment and turning it into a physical object. All I could think about was CREATING and the challenges that came with it.
As a non-artist, there were plenty.
All that mattered though was figuring out the solutions, the shapes, the layout, the colors.
The stress and anxiety that had built up over 2020 slipped away while I outlined the design (on parchment paper of everything!), transferred it to my cups, saucers and tea bag holders and preserved it with paint!
After finishing them, I dropped everything back off for the components to be glazed and fired. The turnaround was quick, and within a week, I had my pieces!
I love how they turned out. My only regret is using such short brush strokes.
That’s the beauty of painting your own ceramics though. It’s got that personal, imperfect-perfect, handmade look to it, which makes them all the more special.
I enjoyed it so much, I’m going back to All Fired Up Studio, and I’m enlisting some friends too! Maybe I’ll see you there.
Oh, and my mom? She loved the set.