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Kelly McKibben Ceramics

Kelly McKibben is a ceramic artist completing her MFA this semester at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In her work, Kelly uses a screen-printed slip transfer process mixing wallpaper and fabric patterns with handwritten sayings and illustrations.


As a child, Kelly moved a lot with her parents and the only comfort she had with each box she unpacked was found in her material possessions — those special objects she felt connected to no matter where she lived. She has always placed great value on the items people collect over time, they’re a part of our history and each tells a story and gives us a measure of security. It’s obvious why she turned out to be a ceramic artist, she’s now able to share special objects with others who have a certain affection for them and they are able to become a part of someone else’s journey. Nice to think about, isn’t it?

(images from kelly mckibben)

Posted in ceramics on April 11, 2008

Bon Bon Atelier

Bon Bon Atelier is a darling little business owned by creative sisters Betsy Blodgett and Emily Blodgett-Panos in Kansas City, MO with both a retail storefront and a web shop for the rest of us. Their store looks so charming, doesn’t it? Nice store, ladies. I love seeing young women in business for themselves like this, it inspires me all the more to someday open a shop of my own.


Bon Bon Atelier carries a varied mix of everything from Andrea Yates ceramics to Sheila Blodgett decoupage furniture and doors, wallets by Loop, and Japanese Decole and those iBride trays that are slowly taking over the world right now. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve seen them on!


And Bon Bon Atelier isn’t just a shop ‘n go establishment, these ladies genuinely care about their community of creatives. If you live in Kansas City, they host a monthly get together on the 2nd Wednesday called the Bon Bon Sewing Circle. They set up sewing machines and also stations with glue guns and such for those who do not sew. The goal is to get together and share ideas, gain inspiration, and hopefully finish a project. I love this idea and hope to see mini events like these spread to other cities because we all need a little support and motivation without having to drop a ton of cash on formal classes. Classes are great, but not so much if you’re on a budget and not really in need of learning anything, you just want to be around other creative types for an evening to sew and tell. Ha! Sew and Tell. That would be a cute name for a sewing group wouldn’t it?

Are there are stores in your local area that have small business events, networking events, or free (or really cheap) classes that you’ve attended? How did they benefit you (or not)?

(images from bon bon atelier)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, ceramics, shopping, travel on April 09, 2008

Oscar Has Arrived!

Remember how I told you about Oscar the vintage umbrella stand that I won last week on eBay? He just flew in today. I can’t believe it. Just look at this cuteness.

Oscar is here! (umbrella stand, vintage)

He exceeds my expectations in every way imaginable. He is shown here on my credenza because the wall in my little entryway is white so his details do not show as well in a photo taken there.


Look at his little wings...Ah.

I placed alongside him some owl cups that are the height of standard tea cups to give you an idea of how very large and proud this boy really is. Look at those wings and that little flip in the back. Total cuteness. Some of you asked how much I paid for him, he was $154 shipped and insured. I found something else like it on eBay for those of you interested… Or here at Tonic Home.

(images from holly becker for decor8)

Posted in ceramics, inspiration, vintage on April 07, 2008

All Things Original

With a shop called All Things Original it must be quite a challenge to curate, as the name alone gives hope that you will not only be exposed to designs not seen already a thousand times over, but that everything is handmade by the maker and very, very special. All Things Original does a fantastic job at living up to it’s name…


As I click through their gorgeous product offerings, I’m reminded of how much exists out there that we still have yet to discover and it excites me because I think many worry that all this instant gratification on the web will leave us high and dry at some point with nothing left to blog about. Many readers ask me about this and my reply is always the same, I think we’ll always have plenty of new designs to be exposed to as long as these designers are supported and products are being purchased. Schools are releasing thousands of design-hungry motivated grads each year so as long as they have a place to show their work and others pushing them along to succeed, we’ll continue to have designs to drool for. In addition to the grads, we see growing numbers of men and women who may have missed their earlier calling in the arts to pursue an unrelated field only to return to art and design later in life. The massive following that the indie craft culture has right now is exciting and though I believe it will continue to gain popularity, I think that at some point it will level out a little and growth won’t be quite as aggressive as it is now. But despite all that, there is enough to go around so don’t worry. The well isn’t drying up anytime soon!


The curated collection of wares found over at All Things Original exposes us to some amazing work from homewares to furniture all from independent British designers. Ceramics by Hanna Melin, lighting by Rose Cobb, and Jo Heckett ceramics are a few of my favorites all shown above. Thanks Beverly for writing in about your unique shop!

(images from all things original)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, ceramics, designers, small business on April 07, 2008

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