This poor fellow with arms open wide is waiting to be brought home from The Mud Oven, a charming paint-it-yourself-functional-ceramics shop on Bank Street. We were there on Sunday afternoon working on a "surprise" birthday present for my husband, but as my sons are young, a surprise doesn't remain that way for long! Nonetheless, we had a delightful time in the cheerful studio! The idea is that you choose from a variety of bisqueware – ranging from mugs and platters to picture frames and vases and more. Then you select your paint colours and drum up your creativity. Once you've finished painting, the friendly artists at the shop will glaze and fire your piece, which you then arrange to pick up a week or so later. I love the fact that people of all ages can create a ceramic masterpiece in a fresh environment, a medium so completely different from the ordinary paint and paper crafts normally produced at home. What a whimsical idea and low-stress way to spend a weekend afternoon!