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Friday, December 30, 2011

Still chillin'



Here's a little glimpse of what we have been doing over the holidays. Still no clay, I'm just chilling.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What a nice way to start the day

The first email I checked this morning was from a wonderful customer, Bonnie Springer. Here is her mother in law, whose name happens to be Happy, looking rather happy opening her Christmas gift from Bonnie. I think the dog was excited too!
Sorry for the tiny picture, for some reason, it's all blogger would allow. The email photo was just fine though and I could see the big smile on her face, just what I needed after a bumpy week! Thanks Bonnie :)

My lack of blogging this week is due to a lot of things, Gerry has been sick, Wesley has decided to major in drama (figuratively speaking), and I am now an ipad and an Xbox addict. I have to say, who needs facebook when there is Xbox?! I stayed up all by myself until 1am playing Call of Duty and you will be happy to know that I am about to save the president and his daughter!

ps:
How many of you are liking the new blogger layout? not me! I can't see any of the gray parts, grrr.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What to get a clay artist for Christmas


I hope everyone has had a great Christmas with friends and family. Ours got off to a shaky start, but today was good. Gerry was sick last week, uncle fell and broke a hip, daughter was visiting another planet for a few days, but I was quite happy, surprisingly enough. I am really tired now and my digestive system isn't really all that happy. Stress, too much of the wrong kinds of food and waaaay too much chocolate has my stomach feeling a bit unpleasant, but all will be fine as soon as I get this holiday stuff past me. We were on our way to Myrtle Beach yesterday thinking that Gerry was over whatever had been wrong and he started feeling sick again, so we drove 3 1/2 hours to my mom's house, almost there, Gerry very sick, turned around and drove back home. Poor Ger, but doing better today. Wesley came back from planet spacehead today and we had a lovely day together, lunch and some gift card shopping, and then peppermint chocolate chip milkshakes from Chik fila, see why my stomach is messed up?!
I got some very wonderful Christmas gifts from Gerry and Wesley, including an ipad, which is really fun and sucking up a lot of my time, a new teapot, from dare I say it, John Elder (please will the person that emailed me about him just keep those thoughts to yourself, I'm sorry, but I like his work, I can't help how the man chooses to live his life...)




I also got a new glaze book that was being suggested on some of your blogs, and yes it is worth it, a really great book! More on this book later as I get into it.













Gerry and Wesley are the best shoppers and always pick up little things for my stocking that are fun surprises. The little cup below is made from the black clay in Normandy and it's for drinking brandy. It's so tiny, but really cute.

I have been loading apps on the ipad and playing around with lots of the photo apps, so you may get sick of seeing strange pictures for awhile until I get it out of my system! We got Wes some Bose headphones and this is all I have seen of her since she got them! I got Gerry an XBox 360 and we are now pathetic, me with my nose in my ipad, Gerry killing everything that moves and Wes with her headphones transported to her space Odyssey. We are three of the most non material people that I know, and just look at us! Oh well, you gotta escape reality sometimes, and my reality has been intense these past few months! I'll be back to clay blogging soon, still taking a bit of a break.
peace ya'll
xoxo

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Doll's House

 I had planned to take a break from the blog but I forgot to tell you about these dolls. When Meredith from Whynot Pottery came over for brunch last week, she brought me these dolls that had been in a drawer at her house. They were her dolls when she was little girl !!! Can I just hyperventilate right now!?! I can't wait to do something with these and the other ones I received from my new friend down in Key West!
Today Wesley and I took a ride out in the country and ended up down at Seagrove at Meredith's place. I needed a couple of mugs for my mom, and there is a great thai place nearby, so we had lunch there and we went to visit the Pisgah Covered bridge that I used to play in when I was a kid. It was a day for contemplation while riding, a gray day, not too cold, just perfect for a long ride on country roads. We talked a lot, were quiet a lot and just had time to get all the clutter out of our minds.
A few years ago I did the props for a play called The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen. Wesley was in 8th or 9th grade at the time, read the script and then read some of his plays. One that we both remember quite well is A Doll's House. A very strange and disturbing play. I've been sitting here reading it again and I'm thinking about a series of houses with dolls and calling the complete body of work A Doll's House. I have so much to get started on, let's get this holiday over with already!!!

Isn't she amazing?!
I had so many dolls when I was little, and lived in a fantasy land with them. My mom kept them for a long time and then they were all given away when she remarried and moved. Now, I seem to be making a connection once again with dolls. I am interested in exploring how this will all fit together with the barns. My work just continues to move forward, so excited about this!

Monday, December 19, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!


I'm going to take a little break from the blogosphere this week to spend time with family and friends and reflect on what this season is really supposed to be about. We should be celebrating the life of a man that was kind and compassionate to everyone he met. Instead people are getting attacked with pepper spray at Walmart and we are all rushing around in a mad frenzy trying to buy things for people we rarely see and spending money we really need for ourselves. I'm going to give some serious thought to how we approach the holidays in this family next year. We are losing touch with the true meaning of Christmas. I woke up this morning thinking about when Wesley was the angel in the Christmas play at our church, and the evenings we went to hear the Christmas music played by candlelight, and the treat bags that were handed out at my grandmother's church the Sunday before Christmas. Did anyone get these? Everyone got a brown paper bag with apples and oranges and some candy and nuts. I can still smell those bags on Sunday morning as I sat with my grandparents in their pew. I was also thinking about how magical Christmas is for children, waiting with so much anticipation for Santa, how exciting it is for parents, when their kids are small, watching their excitement. I had a little Christmas tree in my room when I was a kid, and I would lay there for hours looking at the lights in the darkness of my room, trying to figure out how Santa really got down our chimney! I finally decided he turned himself into fairy dust to get into the house.
I don't really go to church anymore, and I went into a christian bookstore and was sort of creeped out by the cult feeling I got, but I do want to remember that we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, a man that was crucified for trying to make the world a better place for all of us. Christmas should be a time for family and friends and doing nice things for people. Last night we put up a tree, got out all of our ornaments that all have special memories. We made hot chocolate and popcorn and watched a Charlie Brown Christmas with just the tree and candles lit. Life slowed to a nicer pace and I finally felt calm and peaceful. Life is good!
I spent the last few months selling my work like crazy, spent time with some very special friends this week and now it's time for my family.
Have a wonderful holiday everyone, I'll check in a bit but there are cookies to bake and a nice dinner for Christmas Eve, family to visit, presents to wrap, so I'll be busy with some fun stuff for awhile!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
ps: photo by Laura Farrow from her ipad!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Buy Local Art!



I had such a nice morning. First stop was at the Clay Centre to pick up a few last minute gifts. My pal Charlotte had some great stuff and I came home with a few things from her and a beautiful knit scarf from Carolyn Doyle. Then I stopped by the NC Crafts Gallery, where you could barely walk through the store! YAY! for those folks out buying local art today!!!
Thanks to Sara Gress at the gallery for working so hard for all of her artists, she has been a huge supporter of my work and today she was wrapping up beautiful gifts as fast as she could!
There are a few barns there and some ornaments of mine. If you don't need a barn, although I can't imagine that, she has lots of other wonderful work too. I bought a cute little stocking ornament for fabric inspiration more than anything else, but it did call out to me, there under the tree. tracey, tracey, please take me home and put me on your treeeeeee!
I am trying really hard this year to buy local, support artists, and crafts people, if I can't buy their art because it is out of my budget, I at least can give them a brunch or tell others about their amazing work! (These are my friends I'm talking about!) Thanks to all of you that read this blog and support your local businesses whether they be farmers, artists, craftsmen, or small business owners. We have to do this!!!!
BUY LOCAL!!!!! or buy HANDMADE!!! if you can't get out to shop, go to Etsy and google pottery!
There are no excuses, if you have a budget to shop. I don't even have that, and I found some very affordable things today :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

A brunch for hard working artists



Today I had a few of my artist friends over to celebrate surviving another season of selling our art!  I wanted us to get together because we have all been tucked away in our studios making our work, and then setting up at shows and selling and I thought we needed to celebrate getting through it all in one piece!
These are some hard working, talented, beautiful women and it was fun having them here to share stories of our families, our backgrounds and most important our art. I have a least one piece of art from each of these women. I invited them because they inspire me, they support me, they cheer me on, they teach me, help me, make me laugh, make me cry, give me a reality check when I need one. I can count on their honesty and I am richer for having known each one of them. Some are new friends and some I have known since I first moved here seven years ago. They didn't all know each other although I get together with each of them on a regular basis. It was fun to bring them all together under one roof. Everyone brought great food and drink and gifts,we ate and talked and laughed, and shared a little of ourselves.
The power that was in my house today! Lord Have Mercy! Rock on girls!!! Can't wait to see what all of you do in 2012 :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

White sewing machine

My dad bought me this White sewing machine for Christmas back in 1978.  I wanted this hot pair of very high heeled leather boots, and he got me a sewing machine. I cried when I opened the box on Christmas morning just like a spoiled brat, because this was not that hot pair of boots I wanted. The boots are long gone, but I still have this machine. I tried to use it last year to sew some costumes for a play I was working on, and it wouldn't sew. Gerry has been trying to figure out what to get me, so I went looking at sewing machines today. They are PLASTIC!  ick! Mine is solid, almost feels like cast iron, I'm not really sure what it is, but it's heavy, well built and certainly not plastic. So, this made me think this is probably a much better sewing machine than anything I could buy right now, so I worked on it a bit, and what do you know, it is in perfect shape, and sews just fine. I just needed a new needle :)

There are a lot of you out there sewing and it has me thinking. I used to sew all the time. I made a lot of my clothes in high school, designed them, sewed them. My dad taught me to sew, he ran a furniture plant and made furniture on the side at night in this old run down tobacco barn. I sewed cushions and I sewed yards and yards of welt, just what any teenage girl wants to be doing with her summers off! God, it was so hot! or it was so cold! Never comfortable and there was always cotton and fabric fibers floating around in the air, tickling my nose. There was also the interesting smell of cows and the sound of their mooing. This barn was on a tobacco farm, but they had cows too. There is another barn imprint in my memory I guess.

Anyway..... I have been wanting to sew again. I'm thinking about somehow incorporating fabric with my work. Maybe a tiny quilt hanging on the side of a barn, or something, I don't know yet. After Christmas, I'm going to take the room upstairs that used to be my clay room and turn it into a sewing/jewelry room and see what I can come up with. Maybe nothing, but I'll never try if I don't set up the sewing machine and give it a try..... any ideas?

Melancholia



I have orders for barns and sheep and stars for January, three commissions, and several galleries waiting on work. I should be out in my studio working this week and next, but I decided that I was taking a break as soon as my last show was over and I'm sticking to it. Instead of working, I have been to dinner and a movie with my pal Laura, shopped for Christmas gifts, cleaned the layers of dust in my house (I haven't cleaned this house since before Thanksgiving!) and put out some Christmas decorations. Most days, I would just as soon have this holiday pass without my knowing about it, but I am determined to have fun this year and enjoy it! Wesley will be home Friday and I am planning to enjoy her company for a few weeks!
Laura and I went to see Melancholia, a suggestion from Wesley, who can find the most intense and bizarre movies out there, and this is a good one. Be warned, it is verrrrry slow, but the story is interesting, cinematography exceptional. I usually have to see a movie like this twice, the first time I'm just looking at sets and costumes and forget to pay attention to the film itself. And Kirsten Dunst's cleavage is just a tad distracting, jeez... that dress! and I spent a lot of time wondering why the horse wouldn't cross the bridge.... I get caught up in details, what can I say.
 It will be here for another week, so Wes and I will go see it again. Gerry would have been asleep in the first thirty minutes, but I really liked it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Duke photos














Gerry heads out the door almost every night this time of year to shoot a basketball game or a hockey game, since our society seems to be obsessed with sports. He had a couple of really funny shots last week from Duke basketball. I can't post them
on my blog but here is a link:

Duke baby:

Duke hecklers

enjoy....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just the right fit

I took some work over to the NC Craft gallery yesterday and spent some time looking around at other people's work, since I'm sort of tired of looking at my own. I really didn't go there to shop, and I seriously did not need another cup or mug, but look what decided to come home with me.
This cup is by a potter named John Elder. I don't know him, can anybody tell me more about him? I really like his work. I picked up this cup and it seemed to be just a perfect fit in my hand and I knew it would be a great cup to drink out of.
I remember the Pete Pinnell video that was going around a while back about cups. I love the story he tells of Linda Christianson when someone commented that they didn't like her handle and she said, well it's just not the right cup for you. It's so true, and most of the cups I have are the right cup for me. I have to hold them for awhile before I buy them. Usually the decision is based on the handle. The best handled cups I have are from Whynot Pottery, Dean and Martin(their handles are amazing), and one little cup by Doug Dotson's wife. These are the cups I reach for a lot because of the handle. Others I reach for because of the art on it, or the glaze or just because of who made it. Gerry picks the ones that keep his coffee the warmest, usually the one he has from Hollis Engley and one I bought from Michael Rutkowsky.
Cups are a funny thing, the bread and butter of the functional potter. Not my bread and butter because I can't make a good cup to save my life! I have three that I made, fired at ^10 and they are pretty good cups. Made just after Brandon sent me my own personal video tutorials :)  But they are not something I enjoy making. I am glad that there are those potters out there that do enjoy making them, because I seem to enjoy buying them!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Best day ever (have I said that already?)

 My day started off seeing my sweet child come down the stairs this morning and it just got better and better. My pal Laura showed up with coffee and gifts and her ipad before the tour started, shot this crazy picture of me and got my day off to a rocking start! Then customers steadily came all day.
 Mid day, these two showed up and I cried!!! When I think of how busy these guys are down in Seagrove right now with their own pottery, and yet they got in the car and drove up here to see me, I just feel so blessed. And to think I met Mark and Meredith through this blog! They are just the cutest couple ever!!
 If you are down in Seagrove you have to stop at Whynot and meet them, they have a great place!!! Thanks so much for coming to see me you guys, I love ya!!
 Then these cute girls showed up. Mom, in the middle, bought the barn with the mules on it, she will give it a good home, and she is from Shelby! Guess who she knows?  The one and only Ron Philbeck of course! and they saved me from an odd situation, they know what I'm talking about! Thanks :) what a sweet group of women they were... xoxo
Laura came bringing gifts this morning, coffee that still has me jacked up, a great hippy skirt that you may see on Meredith's blog later, and this painting she did. I LOVE Laura's work so much, I could spend all my money on her art if I had any to spend! Check out her blog at Tossing Ashes. Thanks girl.
Soooo, I am officially done with pottery making for the year, although I would like to get to work in my studio in the morning. If it weren't for this busy holiday that I have to do things for, I could get back to work. Sorry for the folks that are emailing wanting stars, I have no more, I can send you some in January, but this last batch is all gone. I feel bad that I didn't make enough.
Thanks so much to all of you that came to my shows and to my studio to visit and to shop, I appreciate it so much and I am honored that you wanted to buy my work to give as gifts or to own for yourself. Thank you, thankyou, thank you!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let's catch up

 Second weekend of the tour and it was steady as she goes all day. Not the big purchases like last week, but I put out three dozen stars and at the end of the day I have 6 or 7 left. Thanks to those of you that shopped last week and came back again this week. You are the cream in my coffee, the sugar in my tea! (what is that from?) and Maureen and Bonnie, you two are just the best!
I am so humbled by all of this, I had people this week also saying that they had read the article in the N&O and were stopping by to see my work because of the article. I talked to several people today about how hard I have worked to get here. I was telling Bonnie about the days when I made work in my second floor bedroom, a 10X12 space, carried my ware boards down two flights of stairs, loaded everything in my car, drove an hour to Durham, waited for my stuff to get fired at Claymakers, packed it back up, brought it home, repacked it, sat at the Farmers Market on those hot summer nights, lucky if I made $100, one Saturday night I was the top craft seller, and I made $5! I was the only one that sold something that night. Then I moved out onto my deck and fought the cold weather and the rain and the leaves and the mildew..... I have discovered that I have tenacity! As I think back on having to depend on community studio equipment, then trying to work in a cramped bedroom, then outside on the deck, I can't imagine why I stuck with this. It was hard, miserable, frustrating, and I don't understand what made me keep working under such ridiculous circumstances. I think I remember crying a lot and throwing things frequently, definitely cursed a lot.
As I look back on what I have done these past seven years, I realize that success absolutely comes from hard work. It doesn't come easy, it doesn't come overnight (except I suppose for a lucky few). It comes from working every day at your craft and progressing, not standing still and not doing what is easy and familiar, but pushing yourself, challenging yourself to do more than you are capable of doing, and being excited about what you are doing, loving what you complete and taking pride in what you sell to others for them to enjoy. I noticed that every piece I sold today, I sort of said goodbye to it. I held it, looked it over, enjoyed something about the piece that maybe I had not noticed and then sent it off with a happy new owner. How does it possibly get any better than that!
So I guess by now you might be wondering about these photos. Let me tell you about them. but first, because I live in the south and this is what we do, I'll give you the back story, like my mama does :)
Okay, so, Gerry and I had to go to the mall Thursday, it happens, sometimes there is something that can only be found at the mall. I may go to the mall six times a year. Well, as we walked around the mall in Durham (we went to Durham for lunch at a place Gerry has been wanting to try) I noticed this feeling of mediocrity. Everything seemed to have been done in such a half ass way. There was this train ride thing for kids that was the saddest thing I have ever seen. Poorly set up, this pathetic tree there and a sad little man operating it. Really this was a bleak scene. I just stood there staring at all of it, writing a blog post about the mediocrity of our society in my head, wishing I had my camera to illustrate. Anyway, we went in one of those Hallmark stores to see the collectible ornaments. In the 80's I collected these beautiful tin trains they had. They are  little works of art. But the ornaments they have now are, again, the word pathetic comes to mind. Plastic garbage. Football player ornaments, really? Is that what it has come to? Football rich guys hanging on our Christmas trees?! fuck!
I'm going way off topic here, and I could go on for another hour about sports, and plastic store crap. One thing I did think of.... the trains I had were from the 80's, didn't N.A.F.T.A. get a hold on our country about that time, and didn't China soon after that take possession of this country? Just sayin' there could be a connection..... Plastic=China=crap merchandise. Okay, let me get to the point....
Every day that I have gone out shopping this week, I tried to think about the sales person and how they have been dealing with the buying public since bleak Friday and they must be tired, so I made it a point to compliment each person that took my money, smile at them, look them in the eyes and recognize that they are humans, just happy to have a job. I am determined to stay in a good mood through this nasty holiday that I don't particularly care for, think about little baby Jesus and the donkeys in the manger story, and have a good experience this year. On that note, here is the reason for the photos:
After the mall ick, I woke up on Friday with this odd feeling that I had to get to an antique store and reconnect with a time when things were well crafted, look at lovely things from my past and touch metal, glass and wood instead of plastic. So I took myself to a local antique mall, got there at 10am, and, people, you will now decide I am crazy, but I left that mall at 5pm! I went into every stall and looked at everything in each booth. Karen Carpenter was singing Christmas carols and for a while someone found the booth with the antique violins and there was live music playing from an old out of tune violin. This was heaven to me, soothing and healing for the soul. What that other mall did to me!
I honestly think that I have been so enveloped in art lately, looking at all of the beautiful work you bloggers are presenting on your blogs. seeing the work at fine craft shows that I am now a part of, and even being around my own work, that when I went into the mall it was a shock to my system.
NOW! the first photo is a box marked made in Germany, and the accordian folder has different glass lenses in each pocket. This will be included in a 2012 barn in some way. Maybe little notes will be put in the pockets, maybe there will be something behind the lenses, I don't know yet, but I am inspired!
And the little tiny perfume bottles. The barn that is photographed in my header is going to be a great piece for these little bottles, I can just see that Chanel #5 with this barn, maybe with two doors that open to reveal the bottle? I can't wait to make some pieces for all this treasure!!!
And the last exciting things: I have a commission for a barn with the glass door knob I posted a while back. Also, a very nice customer came back to confirm a project we discussed last week. Her grandmother's farm in Illinois is being torn down and the family is collecting salvage materials from her place. She brought a tiny finial and some other things today for me to see. We are going to design barns for the family members and incorporate some of the salvage items. I hope to blog about this more as it unfolds, but this project holds so much promise I am tingling, I can't wait to clear out the studio and get to work!!!!
My sweet daughter showed up this afternoon to go see a band in Chapel Hill tonight. Luckily we live in one of the greatest places in the country to see good music on any given night, so I am guaranteed to see her frequently!
I think that catches me up with all I have been wanting to tell you. It has been such a week, my hard work; blood, sweat and tears, so to speak, has paid off. I have had a very successful month, I have two amazing commissions to work on, lots of new treasures like doll parts and perfume bottles and german camera lenses to inspire me, and I will have work in five galleries so far for 2012. I hope the Mayans weren't right about the end of the earth coming in 2012 because I am just getting started!!!!!!
Sunday is the last day to buy work here and then it's going over to see what Sara would like to have at the NC Craft Gallery.
Peace ya'll xoxo

Round two

 My studio is open today for the second weekend of the Chatham Tour. I still have a few barns, lots of beautiful stars, $15!!! bargain!!! and other fun stuff, come on over!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Girl Crush



Everybody in my house has a crush on Beyonce. I love it when I 'm working in my studio and this song comes on my ipod. When the photographer for the N&O came over, Gin and Juice, Les Claypool's version came on, probably inappropriate...... oh well.... you get what you get when you're around me :)
 Hoping that I will be busy this weekend. I took a few pieces over to the Saxapahaw Gallery. There's a holiday event at the Haw River Ballroom this weekend, check out the gallery if you are over there, it's looking good.

Chatham County Studio Tour round two

The second weekend of the tour is coming up. Come on over and visit if you aren't busy, like that's the case for anyone reading this blog!  I raku fired about two dozen stars this week in the new turquoise, they are beautiful, and I have a couple of new lanterns, lots of pendants in the new turquoise and a few of my more expensive barns.
The one above is $250. I actually think that's cheap and it's one of my favorites. Not sure why it didn't sell. My small ones sell for $125, lucky you if you got one when I didn't have a clue how to price my work! and I only have two of those left. I tried to keep a good record of my sales and overall, I sold 42 barns this month between the two shows I did. I was hoping to get a break in January but I now have five galleries waiting on work, so there will be no January break! I will take off after this weekend, Wesley comes home next week and goes back to school Jan. 9, so that will be my break time. Then it's time to get creative!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The other package

Sonia Robinson is a painter in Key West and her husband bought her one of my barns at the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show, for their anniversary. She came by the next day to tell me she loved it and we talked and talked and had sooo much in common. She was telling me about an auction bid she had just received for porcelain doll parts. They were unearthed from a 150 year old doll factory in Germany and she said, "I'll send you some." I thought this was amazingly generous and hoped that she would, but you know how things go, sometimes you forget what you say, and best intentions get put aside, whatever.
Well, yesterday I got a package with the most exquisite doll parts from Sonia! I literally gasped when I unwrapped each one. 

 Can I just tell you that my head is going to explode if I don't get some work made soon that includes these parts of tiny dolls from Germany!?!?!?  Today I was invited to participate in a show at a beautiful gallery that I have always admired and I am thinking about these little dolls for that show!!!!  I just think that all of the stars that govern my world have lined up in exact perfect order this month, it has been such a crazy time and right now all is well with the universe here in Chapel Hill!

Here is the card that Sonia included with the doll parts. How beautiful is that! I'm very excited to know this artist and it seems she may have plans to move here in the near future. I hope so, we still have tons of things to talk about!
I feel like I am in a giant whirlwind that blew through here around October and I am inside of it, on a really fun ride. and it feels like the party just got started, so hang on! and there is that bourbon thing I just found out about when I was at Laura's studio :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kindness of strangers

 Today I received two gifts in the mail. One was this book from a blogger that did not identify themselves. The note just thanked me for my blog and for being inspiring to others and wonderful things like that and it was signed "a friend, one of many". What a puzzle and what a fun thing to do, an anonymous gift. I love this!!!  Heck my family couldn't even drive 15 minutes down the road to come see my show this weekend!
I commented on this basket weaver a while back on Hatchville Pottery blog. I haven't had time to search for this book and now I don't have to! It is even more fabulous than I could have imagined. I'm saving it for next week when I settle in for time with my family, hot chocolate days, movies, and book reading. No clay, no sales, no shows. Just time for me!
I received another package today, but I'll wait and tell you about that one on my next post.
This is the thing that interests me about these two packages. They are both incredibly meaningful gifts. They were thoughtful gifts and I was thrilled and amazed to get them. They were from strangers, people I have no relationship with at all, except through my art. I'm not going to slam the family here, but I'm just sayin'.......
Anyway, you mysterious gift giver! THANK YOU sooooo much. I was really tired and confused and sort of freaked out from the weekend with the newspaper article about me and the crowd that showed up at my studio. I was doing a quick raku firing when the mail came, and this just made everything ok.
What a special thing to do!!!!
I'll tell you what else came today later. Check back!
xoxoxo

Sunday, December 4, 2011

THANK YOU!

 Where do I start? Thanks to Diane Daniel for writing a great article that brought people here from Raleigh and the triangle all day for two days. Thanks to all of those people for coming by and liking my work enough to buy it. I sold thirty five barns and have commissions for two. I also sold some raku pieces and ornaments and even gave some nice guy a test tile that he loved! haha!
Thanks to my friends that came by and those who were too busy with their own shows and work, but emailed good wishes. Thanks to my neighbors who stopped by that I have never met.
Thanks to Mark Heywood for this mug that kept my hot chocolate warm all day! And I should thank another Mark. I sent an email to Mark and Carol Hewitt to tell them I was thinking about them this weekend. A few years ago I would go and help out washing and sanding and whatever else they needed to get ready for this tour and other kiln openings. There are so many tiny details that Mark and Carol pay close attention to that you wouldn't really think about, and I learned from them, and it helped make my weekend all the more successful. And Mark sent me back a very sweet note wishing me great success, as busy as I know he was this weekend, he took the time to send me good wishes, and I appreciate that!
 Most of all, thanks to Gerry, who has been cheering me on, busting his ass on his days off to help get the yard looking great, sealed up all of the cracks in my studio to keep me warm, brought me food, and listened to all of my mindless chatter, after too much caffeine and adrenaline. It's fun to have such a hot guy for a husband for 27 years that still supports my crazy ways! Also thanks to my beautiful daughter who came home this weekend and gave me a million hugs and told me how proud she was of me. AND watched the first season of 24 with me last night on Netflix! Jack Bauer, I miss you!!
And last, certainly not least, thanks to you bloggers and readers that have sent me so many great notes on the blog and so many nice emails. Especially the last two days, it was so great to come in tired and confused and read your wise words. They lift me up, bring me joy, make me think, kick me in the ass when I need it, and I am very grateful to you. I also support you in your artistic efforts and I am cheering each one of you on as well as all of us work so hard on our craft this holiday season to bring lovers of handmade work a piece of art that we made with love.
and this sweet little girl is going to a very special home, I can't say where, it's a surprise Christmas gift, but I love where she is going to live, and this is why I do what I do!!!!!!
Peace, you rocking bloggers!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I am overwhelmed!

I had no idea that I would have the response I had today to the article in the News and Observer. Almost everyone that showed up today said they had seen the article. I would like to tell you that at times there was a line to get into my studio, that was true, but let me put that into perspective.... if five people are in my tiny space it's crowded, so of course people had to wait to get in:) If there were those of you that I didn't get time to talk to, I am very sorry and regret that I didn't have a chance to give everyone the time they so rightly deserved. So many people share so much of themselves with me that it's difficult to talk with everyone.
I don't even know how many barns I sold today, I haven't had time to sit and take it all in. I am so overwhelmed by all of the smiles and hugs and laughter, the new and old friends that came by, the wonderful conversations I had with people. If my life was like this every day, I would explode from joy overload :)  I kept finding myself shaking my head in disbelief at it all. I just can't thank each one of you enough for coming today and buying my work, and saying all of the very kind things you said.
I spend my time alone in my studio, with my family and with my other artist friends. I sort of live in a bubble. Today was the first time people that I don't really know have come into my very personal space, a space that was well guarded at one point in my life, and it was so interesting.
The barn in the photo went home with a very sweet lady, first thing this morning, the mule barn has a new home, all of those Maine shacks that so many of you liked? One couple bought all of them for Christmas gifts. It was so fun to see them leave with those packages.
I'm still wrapping my head around this and Wesley came home this morning, so it's been a crazy day.
One other cool thing happened today. Duane Hall, a photojournalist that now lives in Siler City came by. Many of you may know him. Duane worked in Chicago and then at the Greensboro News and Record when Gerry started there as a young photographer. He became Gerry's mentor in many ways. Duane was one of the best there was back in the day when newspapers and magazines were the real deal. Anyway, he saw my name in the tour brochure and came by to see us. We haven't seen him in over 20 years. What a great surprise to see him after all these years.
And last, there are so many people I could mention but I just have to send out a special hug to my pals Charlotte and Maureen for being my cheerleaders. You have seen me at my craziest, you were students that put up with my crazy spastic teaching, and risked your skin and clothing to raku with me here, and you show up at so many things I do with your bright smiles, and I just want to tell you how much I deeply appreciate your support. When there are strangers coming by all day and I'm meeting all of these new people, your faces are a warm ray of sunshine, so thanks for coming by and supporting my art. xoxoxo
Thanks to all of you, I hope you enjoy your pieces and I can't wait to get back in the studio and make new work that you have all inspired!!!!!!
Happy Holidays, peace ya'll !

Let's get this party started!


Thanks to Bulldog Pottery for sending me a link to the story in the Raleigh News and Observer. I would have never seen it, and I live with a journalist!
http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/12/03/1683605/potter-shapes-new-forms-from-old.html

Come on over, you can just sit and chat if you forgot your wallet :)
377 Booth Road
Chapel Hill NC 27516

Friday, December 2, 2011

Finishing details

 I finished up some final details in my studio yesterday and I am ready to get this party started!
Gerry helped me pull a huge vine out of a tree and I wound it around the rafters and added white Christmas lights and it looks enchanted. I'm going to keep these up, it makes the studio so cozy and warm. My mom sent me the sweetest email, I thought I would share it, I don't think she would mind:

You are sooo====original!  It looks so pretty.  You make me cry.  Wish I could share it with you.  Who but you would think of pulling a vine out of a tree and making it look so good.  Your hard work will pay off.  Tell Gerry I am so thankful that he helps my baby!!!!! Mom


I didn't always get these kind of notes, and it felt so good. Finally she is happy with someone, and can pass that on to me!


All I need is a little snow to make this a perfect setting, and maybe a wood stove in the studio. My studio is tiny, and sometimes I envy the artists that have large studios, but it suits me well. It feels so warm and welcoming when I go down in the mornings and I look forward to walking through the door. I have worked so hard for the past two years to get here, and every step was worth it!
My friend Susan sent out to her friends and customers these heart chakra yantras announcing her show, so I put mine in the studio for good energy. I think it's working already:) If you can't get to Chatham for the tour, Hillsborough has the artwalk tonight and Susan will be at the Starlight Gallery. So much going on from now until Christmas, I'll never make it around to see all of the artists that are having shows.
Come on over to Chatham County tomorrow and see me, you don't have to buy, just come by and say hello!!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chatham County Studio Tour


We had a nice Thanksgiving break with Wesley and now she is back at school and time for me to get back to the studio. I worked really hard yesterday getting everything ready for the tour. The floor has a fresh coat of paint, and everything is clean and sparkling, well almost everything. I even cleaned my wheel! 

 I still have lots of nice things, prices ranging from $5 to $500, so come on out, there is something for everyone!


I won't have the buffet that some people put out, but I will have teas and hot chocolate and some snacks. I remember the years that Wes and I went on the tour, there were folks that put out quite a spread, but it didn't really make me want to buy anything. I either wanted their work or I didn't. And I seem to remember lots of hummus and carrots. I also remember that some people didn't really know how to make cider and everyone had cider. Well, I'm not a cook, don't want to be a cook, and I don't really like cider, so eat before you come if you are hungry :)  Hope to see you this weekend or next. The tour is December 3-4 and 10-11 and studios are open from 10am-5pm. Come on out, it's a great time and you meet some wonderful artists!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My bestest friends

Amy, Laura, me, Susan and Barbara! My clay pals and best buds came to see me today! I have learned so much from these women, they are always there to answer questions about anything I need help with and there cheering each other on with our individual clay paths. Susan loaned me the booth, Laura has helped with so many things, even convinced me my prices were too low, and introduced me to bourbon, yum! Barbara has been a teacher for the past five years and I know most of what I know because of her generous help, advise and willingness to share what she knows. Amy and I have raku fired together, laughed, complained and shared our love of raku. These are some of the fiercest women I know and I am very honored to be their friend!
Today was another great day. The members of the CDCG are some of the finest artists and kindest people I have ever done a show with.
Many of you know Julie Wiggins and you will hear the story of what happened to her at the show. To make it short, someone knocked over a table full of beautiful work that was a commission, the clients were there looking at the work when suspicious things happened, I won't go into it, but the work crashed to the floor and Julie lost a great deal of money, the engaged couple lost their wedding commission. It was a horrible sound, the night of our preview party and we were all sick when we heard all of that breaking pottery echo through the exposition space. The guild meeting was this morning and the tale was told. A box quickly appeared and got passed around and the guild members raised $900 to help Julie replace her losses. Such a wonderful group!
I have a new gallery that wants my work, really nice women, I'm excited. The very adorable woman that got the barn last night as an anniversary gift from her very adorable husband came by to see me today, and she was so happy, I nearly cried. This has been an amazing show for me in so many ways. I feel like my work has reached a new level, and there is so much that I want to do now, there is another level coming and I can't wait to get to work!!!

Thanks to all of you that came by with your bright smiles, joy for my work, checkbooks, credit cards (haha!). Seriously, though, I absolutely adore you and thank you with all of my heart for your kind words and purchases. It makes all the crazy months that just passed well worth it!!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Special people buy my work

The show is going pretty well, I had strong sales today until 2pm and then it died and I sat there until 6pm, when they announced the doors were being locked and a customer walked in with a last minute purchase. I always love those, it ends my day on a happy note!
So, I'll tell you a little about my day. I am across from a potter from Morehead City, I watched his blue bowls and lamp bases fly out of his booth all day. I don't know him, but he seems like a very nice person, people seemed to like him and his work is nice.
My work does not fly out of the booth, but here is what I have observed for the past two days. This doesn't happen at outdoor shows, which by the way I am done with. Anyway back to my day. People stop in the aisle to read the Deep Water lyrics that Wes wrote on one of the tall barns. I had many many comments on those, they are $500 so I haven't sold one, but that's ok, the right person has not come along yet. Then they come into my booth and they stop at each barn and look at it carefully, they pick it up, they look around and then this smile comes over their face and they look around for me, behind the counter to say something. I have been told they are "evocative", "they touched my heart", they remind me of going to see my grandparents when I was a kid", "they are powerful", whatever, I hear a story from everyone that takes the time to look at them.
And then there are the stories that go along with the folks that purchase them. This is the BEST part. Today, the door knob barns are gone. The first one sold to a beautiful woman named Margot, she is a cancer survivor, still very weak, she had a wheelchair to support her, but this woman came out, as tired as she was to BUY ART! Can you imagine this? And she bought a door knob barn for herself. I love the spirit of this woman and she inspired me so much. Then this other familiar face came in and picked up another door knob barn, the smile is what I recognized and I remembered she bought barns from me last year. In fact she bought one of my very favorites, it was one of the little white houses and it was the first one I put a door on. I got very teary last year when she bought it. So she bought a door knob barn too, it is a gift so I won't tell you her name, in case the person getting the gift reads this somehow! I sold the angel barn to a man from Key West for his wife's anniversary gift, one of the wall hangings with the bee transfer on it to a beekeeper that lost all of his bees, probably to pesticides. It just goes on and on.
My point is, the man across from me did well, sold a bunch of bowls, and that is a fine thing. People will use those bowls just as I use mine and they will love them. But every piece I sold was connected with a story, a memory, and that is what got me started making these in the first place. I love that. And here is the best part too. I mention the woman with cancer and the buyer with the pretty smile, because...... I took part of the money from their purchases and bought the most beautiful handmade scarf you have ever seen for myself as a treat for my hard work! I hardly ever do this, but it felt right, so girls, if you are reading this, your purchases supported two artists today!!!!! Thanks so much, I will wear this scarf every day for awhile, I love it so much and the artist that made it is from Asheville and a really interesting person that I got to know today. Isn't being an artist the very best thing in the world!?!?!?
Can you tell I had an ungodly amount of caffeine today, haha! It was a great day, the most money I have made at a show all year, and I thank all of you very kind people that loved my work and bought it!!!!!! I am so inspired and have a million ideas for new work.... in January!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Today's the day

I heard there were already lines and folks were armed with their pepper spray to get to my booth this afternoon. Come on over, I have a limited supply, when they're gone, they're gone!
Feeling much better this morning, the sun is shining and I am ready to sell some barns!
Carolina Designer Craftsmen Show, Raleigh Fairgrounds, exposition building
Friday preview party 4-6pm doors open to the public 6pm-9pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 11am-5pm

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crap, the holidays are here

It's been six months since something triggered my ACOA issues and today was another trigger. Like the words dinnertime, or 6pm, or Friday night, or seeing car lights through the window late at night, or loud voices, these tiny triggers come at me out of the blue. The only way I know how to deal with this is write about it, so here goes, you can read if you want to or just move on to a more fun place. It was the smallest thing. We had a nice Thanksgiving meal with Gerry's family. He has a great family, although I am an only child from a pretty f'd up family, so I always feel out of place with them, I always feel like I am standing outside looking in the window at them instead of actually being in the room and participating. I spent a good part of the day trying to recall Thanksgiving as a kid, and cannot for the life of me recall one. I remember them after my dad died. My mom didn't cook, she lived in Myrtle Beach and we would go to a local hotel that was doing a buffet. It sucked, I hated the whole thing, so I started having Thanksgiving at our house. I stayed very busy, passed out at night from all the work and never had time to think. This year Gerry's dad wanted to have us over to their house. That gave me a three hour ride there and back to think. Bad, bad, bad. We were talking about memories that traumatize kids, why on earth did we have to go there. And then like a tsunami it came at me. Holiday childhood memories for me are the worst. The unpredictability, the not knowing if dinner would be ruined, if Christmas would be ruined, would there be yelling, would my dad even come home...... all of that bottled up anxiety from childhood floods in with a wave of nausea and a lump in my throat that won't go away and there I sit while everyone is having a perfectly normal time, with all of this shit flooding at me. It's horrible and there is no way I can explain what I'm going through. You only understand it if you have been there. This never goes away. I live with the symptoms of ACOA every day, have to deal with things I learned as a child for coping that I don't really need now, but they won't go away. But the holidays are the very worst. They trigger memories so strongly and it always baffles me that I can't remember things like a Thanksgiving with my parents or what I did in fourth grade (I can't remember one single day of that year, but I do recall third grade and fifth grade, wtf?)
I have Wesley home and I feel like I am scratching and clawing to keep from falling down into that abyss where I go sometimes. So I stayed up after everyone went to bed, to write this, get it out of my system, so that tomorrow I can be happy and go sell some pottery without running off customers with my gloom and I can be a good mom, so that my daughter will remember Thanksgiving and not have some fucked up coping mechanism to have to deal with when she is my age! I just want to go to bed, pull the quilts over my head and get up on New Years day. I love New Year's day, but man, you can have Thanksgiving and Christmas, it's just tooooo much!
This is quite a forlorn post, I know, when everyone is giving thanks and loving their brothers and sisters and families and nearly comatose from the meals they had. But it wasn't that great for me, I was just an unamused observer at another families meal with my own demons pestering me. I'll be fine, I have so much to be thankful for, I have a great family and tomorrow will be fun at the CDCG show. However, I did have butterflies all day on Wednesday setting up. I just don't know how this will go. I know I don't have enough work, but it is the best work I have and I was really proud of it once it was all set up in my booth. I only hope the people that were not there yet to set up on either side of me don't knock my stuff over while they set up. This happened earlier in the day before I was set up. Half the pipe and drape aisle came down. I left my booth set up so if I go in tomorrow and things have been smashed, I'm just getting in my car and coming home! What an emotional week. Do other people go through this, or am I the only one possessed here ?!??!!
peace ya'll, come see me this weekend if you are around!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pricing, packing and last minute details

I'm loving this little girl, how sweet is that face!
My studio looks like Santa's workshop right now, with last minute details to glue and sand and file, and price. My car is all packed and I am ready to head to Raleigh tomorrow for set up. Very tired!
Surprise, look at me, I made the local newspaper!
Surprise, look at me, I got rejected for the Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council. I give up on this fucking thing. I think this is the fourth year I have been turned down and I'm really not sure how long I can be considered "emerging" as an artist!
So just when you start feeling like your shite don't stink, you get a smack down. Probably a good thing, keeps my head on straight!!
and so because I was tired and had an ego up and down kind of day, I had some Reese's Puffs in one of my very favorite bowls. Can you guess who's?
I'm ready for the show, ready to get it over with. I have no earthly idea what to expect. Probably my last post until after Thanksgiving sometime, Wesley comes home tomorrow and then we eat seared animal flesh on Thursday, show starts on Friday. I'll be back!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, have a great time with your families
xoxo

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kudos to you bloggers!!!!!

First of all I wanted to give a big shout out to all of you that expressed your opinions here on my blog, (and emails) and had the balls to say what you thought, whether or not I agree with you, I respect you for voicing your opinion and not telling me that you were unsubscribing to my blog because you didn't agree with me! So I lost a reader, oh well. As long as I don't lose my friends I'll probably get through the day :) Anyway, those of you that I did not agree with, you at least made me think and see things from another point of view and I like that. So, kudos to all of you.

NOW! Let's move on. I'll be in Raleigh Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Carolina Designer Craftsmen show. I have lots of really nice things, the kiln I unloaded today was perfect, only one little tiny crack in a roof but it just gives it a little character. Tonight I made some small wall hangings with recycled barn wood and I used those porcelain insulators that you find on electric fences along with some house profiles. They are so awesome! I'll try to get some photos tomorrow. And I have a fun surprise to show you :)
Thanks again for having very interesting minds, you guys! I love it!!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

But how do you really feel....

This reminds me of the scene from Citizen Kane when they pan over his belongings and at first it looks like NY. I loved that scene! Bye bye my babies, today this all gets priced and packed for the CDCG show next weekend. I hope I have enough, I hope I sell it all, I hope I sell something. My head is about to explode and then I had to start that fuss with my last blog. What is wrong with me. I really appreciate your comments, although it was quite unexpected. I guess I should have known better. What is it with you bloggers, you come over here to say what you really think :)
I really do appreciate that actually and I enjoyed reading your comments, I did get pissed at a few of you for about a minute, but you have a right to your opinion and I respect the fact that you felt open enough here on my blog to say what you think. Thanks for that! I'm not that pissed, but I still don't like that damn pepper spray. Better keep it away from my girl :)
Have a great week everyone, listen for the screams from Chapel Hill if I open my kiln in the morning to blown up barns. I may take the pepper spray to a certain Olympic kiln I know haha!
peace ya'll
be nice to someone tomorrow that you don't know :)