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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On the eve of the new year

Good Morning everyone!

I feel like I haven't posted in forever. This is the first morning in three days I haven't had to shower to open my eyes. I can breath pretty well and there is more productive coughing and less painful coughing. This is a good sign.

ahh you've noticed I am sick! I rarely get sick, when I do it's usually something pretty strong. This feels like a pnuemonia but is clearing up on it's own.5-7 days later. I actually went to the doctor this time because somehow in the middle of this cold my eyes started burning and oozing. I didn't think of pinkeye because I haven't been around a bunch of kids, but it was!

It was my first visit to a doctor in a couple of years. I was expecting to have some kind of antibiotic handed to me for the cold..since it was certainly bacterial..I was coughing up obscene colonies of bacterial life, and after the diagnosis of pinkeye I thought I would have one for it too.

but it turns out that pinkeye is viral. The doc told me they used to prescribe antibiotics primarily because employers and parents demanded it. He suggested I get some kind of anti itch eye drops and use that for symptom relief and let it run it's worked!

He did give me a prescription for the chest cold, but strongly suggested I wait it out too. and while I am sure it would be over by now with the antibiotics, it is almost gone..and that's the way I like to do it anyway. I was upset about the excessive antibiotic use by medicine 10 years ago.. my mother used far too many until she needed the strong ones for even a mild cold. There were times she'd no sooner finish a round than have to start another. she had some highly resistant bacteria in her system.

I have the prescription in case this just lingers or flares up again..but I'd rather not use it.

So this illness couldn't have hit at a worse time. We're finishing all the pots to send to Florida, and I have plans to make more. I guess not. We're supposed to deliver pottery and go to Jessa's New Years party this weekend, but I am not sure if we'll be done with the pots or if we'll be feeling well enough. Ro is just starting to get sick, with what I assume is the same thing I am finishing.

We fired a kiln last night. I am heading down to glaze in a few minutes..We need to glaze a lot.

3 more kilns I think.

Really all I want to do is lay around.and catch up on movies.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Travel, Appliances, Gifts and Pottery

Travel. Tomorrow Ro, Cath and I leave for NJ. On Christmas, Morgan leaves for WI.

*sigh* I was so hoping he'd be here this year.

So we did our little gift exchange tonight.. After a lovely meal of Ice Cream at DQ, we came home and opened our little prezzies. Not a terribly big pile of gifts this year.

With two new appliances in our lives, the gifts were not so big this year. As Ro said..."kids, this year for Christmas you're getting hot food and cold food" But in addition we filled their stockings with necessities..razors, toothbrushes, deodorant, a little cash in hand and a promise for something bigger later.

I gave Ro some lovely amber earrings and she gave me a really cool teabowl, powdered green tea, a bamboo wisk and a tea scoop. The best part was she found it all at Wegmans..and for you potters on the list..let me tell you..this is not industrial. it is obviously hand trimmmed, glazed, has a wibbley wobbley rim a rough trimmed foot and a thoroughly interresting and engaging glaze. Wegmans..who could guess?It's an amazing and awesome present!

And the last bit is..I have about 300+ pieces to glaze next week... So Tired

we also have a kiln cooling now.. I took a quick picture..I can see my experimental ask glaze has stuck at least one piece to the shelves...grind grind grind.

And I just noticed..Ro's Bday present is visible too! YAY appliances!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Goblets

Thought I'd post these new goblet pictures..I've also added clips of me assembling them at

Might be fun for any potters on the list to check out. I have a unique process that tends to freak other potters out a little, but it works well and is actually easier than it looks..and the best part..automatically leveled.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Sales on Etsy are improving, we now have 6 official sales and a possibility of a couple others before the holidays. I am glad we got involved, every bit is helping to offset some of the bigger expenses, like new appliances and mortgages.. Stove is coming in the will appear after the gas company installs on Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mixed Blessings

ah 1 AM, my favorite time to reflect...shadows are darker and light seems so far away...

First..isn't that the cutest thing you ever saw? Damn Cats...

Today I bought a new range to go with the new refrigerator. I got a was an older model gas range, but it came with a 3 year warranty and had a simmer burner as well as a power burner, which the model nearly twice it's price did we went for it. Gas company is coming on Tuesday to install the line and hook it up, the new range will be delivered on Monday morning. YAY problem solved. Both appliances were much lower priced than anticipated and I feel like I got a 1/2 price or 2 for 1 deal.

AND we've received several orders on Etsy now and are thinking it might just work out for us :) Ro's hard work taking good pictures and posting all day is paying off.

That's the brightest part of the day..

The kiln firing with retro glazes..ones I used to use was very mixed... some gorgeous, some ugly and some so ugly they damaged the kiln shelves..I have included pictures the unloading, layer by layer...some of it's gorgeous..some not so much...2 of the crocks on the bottom shelf are still stuck..I need a hammer to get them off. It's ugly folks..really ugly.

BUT the good stuff is really good..and I think the plates will sell well and I think the pie bakers will go tomorrow (special order)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

looks like new oven time too just fell out while Ro was getting out a loaf of bread. Morgan watched it fall.


Friday, December 12, 2008

The New Refrigerator

I thought we had it all wrapped up last night... we shopped, we paid, we arranged for delivery in time that we could cool it and use it in time for this weekends sale...we were even pretty happy we managed to find a 30" wide one that was a wee bit taller and would give us a little more freezer room. AND it was a great price to start with and an additional 10% off.

We were wrong.

I got the call it was arriving, and shortly after that I got the call it wasn't going to fit... ' the door was fine, the space for it was fine..the problem was in getting it between the counter and the basement door. No go. *sigh*

We rushed back to Lowe's, got the next smallest one, and this time in black, still an energy star (yay for us) ... they got it immediately onto a truck and we rushed back home to receive it about 1/2 hour later. YAY. Disaster averted.

I'm pleased to have one so fast that's not the best one available, but until we can make more kitchen, that's just not going to happen. I think it actually may be the best one that does fit :)

The first delivery crew we had were really on top of things...the second not so much..I had to coach them to remove the door of the fridge and on the house...*sigh* but it got done. It's a cold box for our food. YAY!

Next is the range...the door handle fell off the oven two days ago..and we want to upgrade to gas from electric..maybe once the ren faire season starts up again in January

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A blog of many subjects

Interesting week... as always there are a lot of things going on and somehow it all seems like chaos in my mind. Here's the recap..I'm going to save judgements for later...

First order of business is that after much soul searching I am adding some matte glazes back into my palette. A yellow-beige that I used to use a lot called yellow frog. I used it in combination with black copper oxide and wood-ash..very nice pots..perhaps the last series of work I felt I really explored fully and had a complete sense of artistic achievement with... not to say my current work is deficient in any way, but there's a certain amount of wow factor involved with the glazes

Another glaze I am adding is called Twila Green..a lovely soft green based on the same recipe as the yellow frog.

And finally I am adding a faux ash will be matte with glossy rivulets of color, most likely green and blue.

I'll be posting some examples later.

Additionally, I've made some big bowls and a giant pitcher-vase that I was looking forward to finishing, but I've managed to kill one of the big bowls and the handle on the giant pitcher-vase cracked. UGH. Frustrating.

This was offset by the joy I had in having Morgan share the studio with me for a few hours this week. He made some more of his wibbley-swirly tumblers and I talked him into doing some bowls. Very nice work. I think we'll be doing the handles tonight or tomorrow morning.

Now we're getting down to it...last night our refrigerator died... now it was old when we moved in here, not in the best of shape so I can't be too upset, but I really didn't want to have to buy one now..but we found a good deal after shopping around, it's small enough to fit into the limited space we have in the kitchen, but is modern enough that we no longer have wire racks and the super narrow door racks. It's nice, and energy star rated, so it's a greener choice. YAY for us!

Today, like most Thursdays was spent in The Creative Oasis. Ro came in with me today and cleaned up the gallery and made a new display at the entryway. There's a picture..ain't it purty?

and finally, I have a 10 or 11 year old student who has been working very hard on a snake sculpture...I've included a "before" shot..a snake head as he imagined it, then a shot of the finished work after instruction and teaching him how to use reference material and measure for proportion. I'm very proud, he learned a lot in just a few weeks.

And of course we have to clean up tomorrow for the sale again this weekend... *sigh*

Monday, December 8, 2008

A fresh new week

We slept in today. I slept in longer than Ro did. It was a delight, but I was sad to find out when I awoke that Ro was not feeling any better. Apparently some kind of winter germ got her. I tried to make it as nice as possible..I kept a fairly roaring fire going most of the day, but sick is sick and no matter how nice it is around you, you're still sick.

So I finally got back into the studio this evening and the best part was I had company! Morgan decided he'd better make some work and came down and threw a board full of his swirly wibbley cups. I decided to throw big..I was initially going to make vases, and threw one bottom vase, but eventually decided to go for big flat bottom bowls...about 15" across. They're made from 12.5 lbs of clay each..I made 7 tonight. Tomorrow I'll trim and I think I might add strap handles to the sides to help with the moving of the oversized monsters when serving in them.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Sale

It's Sunday Morning, day 2 of the Holiday sale. Despite being open at 9AM we typically don't see any visitors until 11 or 12, which is a little disappointing, but ultimately OK. I had a lovely day yesterday visiting with friends and customers. I spent some good chat time with Brendan and with Jennifer Dowlin-Kelly, Emily Schmalstieg and her husband William. Emily was the real estate agent that sold me the house, and for my generation in State Collage Area School District, she was also a music teacher for many of us. She's a very nice lady. She's come to nearly every event we've had here and called to let us know if she couldn't make it for any reason. Also stopping by was Dana from Dragonfly Spa..the lady with pokey little fingers that hurt and help me once a month. I'm so glad for Dana..between her and Dr. Casteel the Chiropractor, I am kept mostly functional.

In review, yesterday was a little slow for us, about 1/2 of what we did the previous year. It's hard not to worry about it, but I know there are many reasons why it could be slow like this. The winter craft market, a PA Guild of Craftsmen show was this weekend, there was a heavily advertised show at the Historical Society. We're having our sale a week earlier..and of course we're having two our mailing list folk and the people who saw the fliers might not have any sense of urgency to be here. So long as it all balances out over a couple weekends we'll be OK.

We sent out about 80 postcards and posted fliers downtown, distributed extra postcards to business associates..such as the dental office and even took out 3 ads in the newspaper. One in each Weekender, a publication by the local paper that highlights activities and things to do for entertainment. Almost everyone has sited seeing the ad, even those who initially heard about it elsewhere. I'm glad of that. Weekend 2 will have a lot more of our advertising focus. We'll have the Weekender ad again next week, and we'll also be in a Holiday Gift Guide that will come out next Friday.

So we'll see how it all turns out.

As of tomorrow I plan on being back in the studio producing more for our next bunch of Renaissance Faires that will start in January in sunny warm Florida. Actually the first couple are often a bit chilly...down in the 40's at night sometimes. BRRRR. I'm so grateful for Elliot and her School bus and RV. I loved going on the Florida trips, but I am loving being able to stay home and tend to pottery making better.

Friday, December 5, 2008

and one more thing!

I forgot this shelf...and I shouldn't have, it's loaded!

Holiday Sale-a preview

For those of you coming to visit us over the next two is what you can expect to see...of course I haven't taken pictures of EVERYTHING...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

This Weekend, Holiday Studio Sale Week 1

I am very excited about what we have prepared for the folks who will be coming to our home. I have a nice selection of work available, perhaps the largest assembled display in one place at any time. Plates, crocks, bowls, pie bakers, large serving bowls, soup mugs, small coffee cups, large coffee cups, goblets, large vases and of course a variety of 2nd quality work and old stock that simply needs to find a good home now and will be priced to go.

Rowan has prepared some delicious foods, several varieties of cookie, all above and beyond the average cookie. She's making chocolate bark with cinnamon, chipoltle, cayenne and ancho pepper. Very much like the "chocolate crack" she made for the Erie wedding...when people were snatching chunks of the chocolate off of the devils food wedding-cupcakes. For those of you who have not experienced the magical combination of pepper and is amazing... it's like hot chocolate without the hot liquid..a gentle, soothing warmth, the best of comfort, cozy and food in a small confection. It'll be just the thing to nibble on in front of our stone hearth fireplace. If chocolate doesn't do it for you, we'll also have carrot ginger soup and fresh baked artisan bread with a variety of toppings including jams, jellies, butter and honeybutter.