to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

OPEN HOUSE - Celebrating Creativity + Farming + A Giveaway

This weekend is our First Ever Open House. The house is almost ready and we are awaiting the arrival of Deborah Garner and her textiles and jewelry. Across the street, Alicia is busy spiffing up her art studio and packaging all kinds of artwork. 

I'm still glazing my pottery. I'll load the kiln for the last time this afternoon and unload it early Saturday morning. 

Making pottery is a really long process. First I have to make it out of clay. After the pottery dries - which can take several days - I decorate each piece with underglazes. I paint the motifs on. Each piece is totally different. Here are some things before I have outlined the motifs with black underglaze. 

Here's what the pottery looks like after the black lines are added. They help to define the shapes. As Julia says, the black hand-painted lines give it the "Kristin Nicholas Look". (Gotta love the kid!)  

For some of my dinnerware, I use blanks. This makes them easy to stack and I don't have a lot of interest (nor time) to throw boring plates and bowls. For me, the fun is in the decoration.

As you can see, the pots look very pale before the bisque firing. I load them into the kiln and fire them for several hours. After a couple days of the kiln cooling off, I unload it again.

The colors are beginning to look brighter. The next step is to cover the pots in a gloss glaze. Then it is back into the kiln for the gloss firing.

When they come out they are shiny and much brighter in color. 

I've got lots of other things to sell too. Textiles, pillows, notecards and signed copies of my books will be available. It should be a fun couple of days. 

Mark and Julia will be selling our farm-raised lamb. My neighbor Debbie will have her handmade wreaths for sale. And we are partnering with Deborah and Alicia. You can read about their work here and here

And there will be snacks! 

Whatever is left after the weekend, will be photographed and listed on my Etsy shop next week. 

I hope I see some of you this weekend. But I know that most of you do not live close, so I've got a great giveaway for you all. Here's the story......

This weekend is a celebration of art and creativity and friendship and color. My friend Cynthia gifted me 8 copies of Where Women Create a couple months ago. These magazines are so inspirational. They are filled with women's stories, photos of their studios and their art. I am done with them and I didn't want to just leave them at the library - after all, these magazines cost $15. each when new. 

So, I am going to ship them to one of you! Here's how you enter......
Answer the following question in the comments section. 

Tell us about your favorite space to create. Is it a special chair, a garden bench, an attic studio? 

Contest ends on Sunday December 6th at 11:59. 

US addresses only please. 
And as always, please leave an easy way to get a hold of you - Ravelry id, blogger id, or email address.  

Contest is over. The winner has been notified and her mags are on the way to her. 


Sherryl said...

My favorite place to create? I wish it was someplace awesome, but actually... it's my car! At lunchtime, I leave my little desk at my day job and go out to the parking lot and sit with paper and pen and think and jot and create things that may or may not someday become SOMETHING (most likely a quilt - or maybe a short story). Mostly though, I have to admit, I do a lot of daydreaming! That's creative too, right?

Joan and Kevin said...

I love to sit in my comfy overstuffed rocking chair to create. I quilt and knit
in the chair! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

~ Favorite creative spaces ? (I can't say just one. :)
I love sitting in my swing seat in the sun, under a very large yellow maple tree, or at my little wooden children's table and chair, with a beeswax candle burning & my bunny teapot full of spicy cocoa! Best space this Summer was an outdoor fabric & shawl tent I made for the children I Nanny.
At early evening, I went out with my sketchbook & knitting needles for the best day I'd had all Summer, listening to the crickets sing, while I enjoyed the outdoors, the beautiful light of the fabrics, and working on ideas. Ribbons tied to several corners, blowing in the breezes, made it seem quite magical.
It was bliss. ~
I've since created an indoor orange shawl tent, held up with bamboo poles, over a round flora futon on the floor. Its pretty nice for the colder seasons now. My tabby cat prefers the orange tent as well !
Shell ~

Pat Hensley said...

My favorite place to create is my sun room. It used to be my side porch until we enclosed it with windows. The light during the day is wonderful and I sit in a wicker rocking chair while knitting and spinning. Sometimes I watch podcasts or netflix but it is so relaxing out there. This is my favorite room in our house.

Rav ID: loonyhiker

Ana said...

Hi! My favorite space to create is outside on my patio table underneath a giant Magnolia tree. My backyard is full of mature trees and bushes that fill up with noisy birds. Sometimes, I get the luxury of painting while cardinals splash in the birdbath nearby. Birdsong is my happy place. Thanks for the giveaway! helno14@yahoo.com

Lee said...

My favorite place to knit is on any of our chairs as long as I have have my comfy handmade quilt on my lap and a hot drink with me! If it's sewing, then I am happy to be in my newly organized sewing room! Thanks for the giveaway! Mamagiff on ravelry

Nancy Wilson said...

My favorite space definitely depends on the season & the weather. I have a small front porch that is wonderful for knitting in the summer. In the winter I sit in my overstuffed chair in the sunroom. I am very fortunate that my husband created a beautiful large sewing room in the lower level that accommodates my sewing & other crafty hobbies. It's a big Christmas mess right now! Also serves as my wrapping space! I love your pottery & hope there's some left for the Etsy shop! Good wishes for your sale. Sounds like a real lot of fun & work!

Nanaknits said...

My new favorite space is the result of empty-nest. Finally a whole room, well-lit, with space for sewing, knitting, weaving, reading...It's not finished but already I am so happy in it.

Wise Owl said...

My favorite place to create is my craft desk in the far corner of the schoolhouse room (we live in a former one room schoolhouse dating to 1835.) The desk top is very large, so I have plenty of space to craft my cards and all the other things I like to make. Thank you for this giveaway. :) I hope your open house goes well.


chris goudeau said...

I have a rocker/glider chair and I'm there most often. The motion is very relaxing. Ravelry ID is wagner

Anonymous said...

Hi! No matter how large or small the space I have for "making things"is (we've moved every few years it seems) I always end up using a space no larger than a desk top that is already crowded with pens, scissors, paints, yarn paper and a computer. My ideal space would be a nice sized room in a revolving house so I always had northern light outside my windows! There would be birds singing, breezes blowing and way in the distance the cries of children playing. That is not what I have right now in urban Atlanta. But my creative life still thrives. Thank goodness I still have my mind!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I forgot to leave my e-mail with my comment above. It is tandpgoodman@att.net. Thanks all.

Robin said...

My favorite and best place to be creative is my basement. It feels more like a separate building...there are no stairs leading into the house. I must go outside, down stairs and then re-enter through a separate door. The short walk is just enough to refocus my energy to creativity. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Great give-away, Kristin!

"Where Women Create" is a fabulous inspiration. Unfortunately, I'm forced to skim it at the magazine rack (however, I just HAD to buy the issue which featured you).

My small cottage doesn't provide me with a specific space in which to create so I'm happy when I can turn my office chair from my desk to my little roll-away typing table and knit or bead away.

Creativity can flourish anywhere, anytime!

Good luck with your open house this weekend. Wish I lived closer so I could help.....
Roxanne @ RASmartWay@gmail.com

bookagent said...

In the good weather my favorite spot is out on my deck. I so appreciate that time outdoors. During the winter though my spot is in my overstuffed chair in the main living room. Keeps me in the thick of activity of the house but still busy making.

Anonymous said...

I have a room, too full of supplies, projects, my sewing machines, computer, T.V. Have to say my favorite place was in a previous house that had more space to actually create and had wonderful Windows and light. Sorry Oregon is so far from your weekend sale.

Leigh Wheeler said...

My favorite space is my studio. We tore down an old rickety garage and replaced it with a new garage and my studio is above it. I spin, knit, bead, sew and quilt up there. It's got tons of windows and it is really hard to leave it and go to work.

Trumkle said...

I am awed by the amount of steps involved in the pottery process.

I love thinking about this topic. I have my knitting chair in the family room that no one else uses and is surrounded by lots of crafty items. We recently rearranged the house and I ended up with my first sewing room (not a book or dual purpose room) inside! I have been seeing a bit every day since.
Rav: trumkle

Robin said...

Entry on Dec. 4th at 9:55 forgot to tell you my email address....
Robin. Rjshader@gmail.com

Ettenna said...

I also end up using the car because it is the only place I get to knit. Most days are too full of work, house, grandchild, responsibilities - so when my husband and I go anywhere out comes my knitting. Luckily he likes to drive!
I also have a basement area where my sewing machine is set up, a comfy living room chair and a settee at my kitchen table -- all places I go when I can grab a minute to get my creative juices flowing. The magazines look fun and I would love to then pass them onto someone else...I would be willing to pay the shipping for the next person to receive them! So if I win please pick a second place and I will pass on to that person.
RAV: Ettenna

Michele H. said...

My big, leather easy chair, during the late afternoon, when sunlight streams thru the window, while one of the cats is sleeping in my lap.

adodds said...

I sit at my kitchen table most of the time when I can to knit. I have a lovely view of a meadow and the mountain behind it. The beauty of the changing seasons makes me happy. And it is common to see wildlife: deer and antelope. Last summer there was a fox who must have had a den nearby. Watching him pounce was delightful.
anita, adodds@bresnan.net, skibum on Rav

Anonymous said...

I have for the first time my very own sewing room. I am still in the process of sorting organizing and discovering things that have been stored away for far to long. This process could last for quite some time LOL. I can be contacted at pegmac0728@yahoo.com

mary kate said...

My special place to create is in my living room in front of a fire on a snow day from school. I'm a teacher and those are such great "bonus days" that I always make time for knitting and a fire when they occur.
Mary Kate Witry

Vermont Grand View Farm said...

I love working in my studio in our 150 year old barn. It looks out over the sheep pasture so I have company as I work. You also can not beat knitting by a cozy woodstove!

Barbara Techel said...

I have a wonderful 10 x 12 space separate from my house where I create called my zen writing cottage. I just love it! It will be featured in a book coming out May 2016....I'm so excited!!
Thank you for the chance to win these magazines....I love these!!

Barbara techel

Joanne LaCour said...

My favorite space to create ..wow..at times ideas come as I drive...as I am in a meeting... & meeting with friends. Actually creating happens, most often in my sewing room or while I sit in my chaise.

Thank you for creating...thank you for opening your home today... My holiday shopping is complete! Julie, I just love my Pom-Pom!

Laura Schofield said...

My favorite space to create is at my pottery studio in Somerville. It includes a vibrant community of potters of all ages, interests, backgrounds. The natural light that comes through the floor to ceiling windows and skylights lift my mood. The open space of 3 large studios that all have different energy. The serendipitous conversations I have with fellow creators. When I am here I am in a cocoon to create.

Gerri said...

My favorite spot to create in is the screen porch on our rustic cabin. Only good in summer and I'm only there 3-4 times s summer but it's great.

I hope the open house exceeded expectations!

Gerri greenboatgb@netscape.net

LesleyAnn said...

I sit in my recliner with my two cats and a sketch pad. It's peaceful and quiet and sometimes I'm there for 15 minutes and sometimes more than an hour. I love that time.

Unknown said...

After years of have a corner or half a room, last year we moved into a house where I have one room for my sewing. My sewing machine, material, all my books (crochet and quilting), all my various rulers, needles, hooks. etc. and some yarn (most of the yarn is stored in the basement) are in there.

Anonymous said...

My bedroom is my little "safe haven" of warmth and satisfaction and I hatch ideas in there, usually under a few warm blankets on the weekend. From the possibilities, I make a plan and then I do the actual work in the middle of the living room. Yep, the rug is pretty speckled with different accidents, but I love the beautiful view of the outdoors, some passing cars and the swaying pine trees: all from the center of my home. It just feels so comfortable in contrast to my work week. Creations are all around me in the world but in my living room, I can be productive with my medium.

NotThatKindOfFarmer said...

Great article with excellent artwork.!!
I am delighted to read this article, thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.

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