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Friday, December 28, 2012

We Have Water!

This was my day yesterday. On top of everything else, I have developed a nice chest cold. Well, of course I did! I carried my new little tea pot around everywhere with ginger, honey and lemon. The sweetest child in the world (my daughter) made me tomato soup and I was a sloth. I treated myself to a very pretty cloth from Avalanche Looms and it came in the mail yesterday. It was described in her Etsy shop as a solstice cloth for bathing, but yesterday it was a lovely tea towel for my lunch. So beautiful and cheered me up nicely between coughing and nose blowing.
  Finally the nicest well dude ever showed up around lunch time yesterday and gave us a new pump for our well. What a luxury to lift the faucet and have water pour out, instead of going to the porch and getting a jug of water to boil. We are spoiled, people! On the news last night they did another propaganda feature on how the oil business is booming in Colorado and fracking is the greatest. Yeah right! Just wait until none of us have clean drinking water and see how great fracking is then! Do you know how much water is wasted in this horrid injection process? Here is a quick fact: The water used in the fracking process could serve up to 300,000 homes in Colorado for ONE YEAR. In one week we alone went through 40 one gallon jugs of drinking water and 7 five gallon buckets for flushing the toilet, and we were being conservative. Imagine how much water waste there is in fracking. We DO NOT have an endless supply of water on this planet, yet we are going to inject it in the ground with toxic chemicals. For what? So we can avoid solar and wind energy research? and be the richest oil nation in the world. We all better wake up! What makes me so sick about this is there are people on this planet that don't even have water to drink yet we are just mindlessly injecting millions of gallons of precious water into the ground with toxic chemicals. I just want to shake the brains out of the people that are doing this!!!!!!!
OK, sorry for the little rant. Another day of tea and slothery. I have decided that for once I will let my body get better before I plunge it into activity. Gerry and Wesley are off to have breakfast together, and I am here with my tea and orange pound cake. Yum!
peace and water for all :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Making the best of a bad situation


Christmas Day we still had no water, so we just made the best of it. What can you do....
We dressed up in our Christmas finery, Gerry played some tunes,

Wesley shot the best Christmas photos we have ever had with her new camera.... and we went for a walk in the woods




Instead of the Christmas meal I had planned we had easy cleanup food, salad and edamame, bread and cheese and olives. It was delicious, simple, warm and nourishing
We finally decided we had done all we could to make the best of things, but we were starting to really need baths. So we packed up the car last night and headed to a Marriott about 5 miles from our house. Since Gerry travels so much, he has lots of points, and we got a free night, warm baths and a really good breakfast this morning. Yes, we have friends and relatives that would have been happy to have us, but we were really gross and just needed to get through this together without interrupting everyone else's Christmas. It was actually a lot of fun :)
 Today, we had torrential downpours here, and lucky for us, I am a potter with lots of buckets. We collected all the rain water that poured off of my kiln shed and filled all the empty gallon containers we have been using for drinking water. This water we will use for flushing, and I will spare you the details of this unpleasantness we have been dealing with for the past week.....
The rain and cold called for my favorite orange pound cake from Ina Garten's cookbook. The house smelled like sugar and oranges, I made a pot of soup and cornbread, and then boiled water on the stove to wash up. Just like camping.... still.....

We are hoping the well fixer upper can make it out here tomorrow to get us some water going again. It's not so bad, but a grim reminder of our dependance on electricity and water. Life is pretty easy for us here in the good old USA, even with all the madness. There are so many with so much less than us, we are very blessed, just a little less clean right now.
Peace ya'll, stay tuned, more adventures to come, haha!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas ups and downs, but mostly ups


Hey there everyone, Merry Christmas! I've been checking out everyone's Christmas morning blog posts, so I figured I better join in! It's been a typical emotional roller coaster Christmas for me, but things are fine now, it's just the getting there that does me in most years, ha! We had a wonderful Christmas morning together, great breakfast, beautiful weather, lots of fun gifts, but most of all, Wesley is home and Gerry has some time off work, so we are having some good family time. We have a lot of family visiting to do, sadly we will have to wait and see friends after the new year I'm afraid, we just can't fit everything in. These were my Christmas boots when I was a little girl. I remember wearing them to my grandmother's one Christmas and there was snow. Being a little gril from the beach, this was an amazing thing!
My friend Laura brought me The Snow Child a few weeks ago and I have been catching up on some reading. Blogger Cindy Shake up in Alaska would love this book. It takes place in Alaska and is a fantastical book about a little snow girl that comes to life. It has been a really fun read during the holidays. Going along with the pioneer feel of the book has been our little adventure this week with our well. 
The well pump broke a couple of days ago. Try to get someone to come fix your well pump on the Sunday before Christmas. Not going to happen. Sooo, we have been without water since Sunday. We have been feeling up gallon jugs and using water very sparingly. Really makes you appreciate having water and electricity when you don't have it. We're making the best of it, since we have always been campers and can live without a shower for a couple of days, it's not really that bad. Good thing none of us are really a priss. 
A blogger in California sent me this Santa card. So appropriate since we will be on the beach soon. I love the "sandman". The pie plates in the photo are from Gerry and Wesley and came from Jugtown Pottery. They are simple and plain and brown and I love them. They go well in a house that has no running water right now, haha!

I also got a cast iron tea pot and some loose leaf white tea. Also two cast iron tea bowls to go with it. I have seen these often in tea shops, but it's the sort of thing you never think about buying yourself. We have a new tea shop here and I have a feeling I will be their new frequent customer. What a beautiful thing it is, and it stays hot forever. It will be so nice to have in my cold studio this winter!
There was lots of gift giving this morning and the house is a wreck. Wesley and I gave Gerry a new guitar, since he has recently been teaching himself to play with one of the guitars Wes left here. Wesley got a new camera for school that shoots high def video and she is now joining the rest of the kids at school with an iphone. Poor thing, I think she was probably the only kid in the film program without a decent phone. Hers was a dinosaur.
So we have had a lovely morning, lots of new gifts to enjoy, and will be visiting mom at the beach and just chillin' for awhile.
This week I have been pulling out some old ceramics books and magazines, thinking about getting back on the wheel soon, and doing some ^6 glaze testing. I would like to make some nice bowls and maybe some vases for raku. However, I got a new bobbin winder and a great pattern book for weaving, so I may spend the coldest months in the house weaving and move outside when Spring looks like it's coming.

So that catches you guys up on what's going on around here since my minor little Captain Medic melt down (what an ironic name). All is well, we are happy, we are healthy, maybe a little smelly, haha! but having a great holiday, hope you are doing the same. Thoughts and prayers are with those who might not be having the best time right now, we are very blessed in this house today
xo
peace and love
Merry Merry Christmas everyone!!!!!


ps: Hollis, I enjoyed your post this morning, fun to see those houses again! You got one of the first I ever made :) funny how much they have already changed in just a couple of years......

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Centering



Feeling the need for a little centering. Dark clouds are rising, I want to get back on the wheel and make some bowls. 2013 looks promising, see you then.....

Friday, December 21, 2012

ACOA


The 13 Characteristics of A.C.O.A.
  1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.
  2. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
  3. Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
  4. Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy.
  5. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun.
  6. Adult children of alcoholics take themselves very seriously.
  7. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships.
  8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.
  9. Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation.
  10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people.
  11. Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.
  12. Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
  13. Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.


Today's first post was meant to be a happy one and it was meant to be a break from my blog for a few days but thanks to Captain Medic's (whoever the hell you are), comment on that post,  I am sinking into that black hole that comments like his/hers can trigger. I'll be back later when I get my head together. And.... no, you asshole, I do not treat my mother poorly. We just disagree on everything and I sometimes wish I could have had a really gentle childhood..... most days I am able to forgive a lot......... but my parents were a train wreck most of the time.
There..... just wanted to post this since writing about it makes me feel better, no, I'm not looking for you to "feel sorry for me", it's just how I deal with the chaos in my head right now. 
Thanks to the 99.9% of you that don't judge me too harshly when I have a bitch fest or a melt down
Have a groovy weekend :)
xoxox

Last one...... maybe......

 We are getting ready for a busy week ahead with family happenings, if the world doesn't end today, so I thought I would check in one last time before Christmas, just in case. I'm not sure how much time I will have for blogging, and our family Christmas stuff would bore you anyway, so I may be checking out for the next week. Of course I have said that before and then had something that I wanted to post, so we'll see. This is my stocking from when I was a little girl. I love this thing. The treasures it held on Christmas morning!
 I am planning on watching a lot of silly Christmas movies, eating a lot of good food and catching up with family. I wish I had more time to spend with my friends, but they are busy too, so there is quiet cold January for friends time. Thanks to all of you bloggers for reading this year and commenting and offering words of wisdom and advise (and sympathy). Sometimes I get up the morning after a post and I wonder what in the world was I thinking telling you all the things I do. But you are all so supportive and non judgemental, and you all seem to get it, so thank you! Glad you are reading!!! I sometimes think that I should just stay with a pottery theme like many of you do, but my world doesn't revolve around pottery like it did when I first started this blog, and my blog has sort of evolved into being a source of mind vomit for me. So thanks for sticking around with me!
Don't laugh, but I got these disco ball slippers the other day. My mother in law has a pair of gold loafers, you know the ones, and she loves them. I saw these out shopping and thought they would be perfect for her. I tried them on when I got home and they are really comfy and the Christmas lights look so cool reflected in them, I went back and got myself a pair, and I got my mom a pair. They are to funny, but they make me smile when I put them on. Everyone needs a silly Christmas outfit. Just look at the sweaters out there. 
For example, Wesley and her friend at school. They went to Walmart before school was out and bought themselves Christmas sweaters. I'm so happy she can do things like this without worrying about what people will think, she is a strong confident girl!
I hope all of you are here tomorrow, we have a couple of hours to go until the calendar runs out, haha! If not, I'll see you on the flip side, whatever that may be. Merry Christmas to everyone, have a joyful holiday season. I may or may not check back in next week, we'll see how it goes!
love to all
xoxo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A brighter day

 All of the stars are gone, the little barns are gone, and the last of my raku bowls went to my friend Maureen, who has been such a supporter of my work and a great listener when I whine.  The barns and houses I had left after my shows are either at the NC Crafts Gallery or Saxapahaw Gallery, and there are a few in my Etsy shop. I am done for the year. Baking cookies tomorrow, and then in and out visiting family all over the place during the holidays. Thanks for all the comments on my last post. My mom sent a very sweet email today apologizing for the dust comment. She says what she thinks before she thinks about what she is saying. Sort of like her daughter. We get along fine all year except for Christmas, so I think we are going to pass on it next year so we can continue speaking to each other the rest of the year. Too much baggage comes along with this holiday, pity, it is such a pretty holiday.....
Today was so much better. I spent the day with the two women who have been probably the most influential in my life. My mother in law and my daughter. Two angels. I love both of them dearly. We had a great day laughing, looking at photos, eating, and just being together. We don't do this nearly enough. Gerry's mom is slipping away from us thanks to the drug companies and the docs that are pumping soooo many pills in her, but today she was lucid and funny and very much the woman I have known for over 30 years. It was a very special day......  there are so many awful things going on and I want to scream most of the time, but today was full of peace and joy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pissing match

 I decorated my gumdrop tree today and ate a half a bag of gumdrops, bleh..... pretty though, isn't it?
I have had this tree since I was a little girl. It was my "job" to decorate this tree and my mom sat it on our coffee table in the living room. The gumdrops would stay on this tree until they were rock hard, no one ever ate them, but I always loved it. Some days you couldn't tell from my nearly tacky taste that I have an interior design degree, could you?
My mom and I are in our usual pre Christmas pissing match about gift giving. She sent a check for me to buy gifts for all of us. So, wtf, I go buy gifts for her to give me, Gerry and Wesley since I don't have one other damn thing to do with myself except drive around in this godforsaken Chapel Hill traffic and look all over for gifts we will all like, meanwhile doing my own shopping for everyone. And do I wrap my gifts that I bought that she is giving me? I don't know the protocol here. Grrr....
I sent her an email and told her that I didn't even like to shop and didn't appreciate having to do this. (What I didn't tell her is that the last time I had to do this (I absolutely refused last year but then Wes got that rabbit fur sweater, so we are at it again) I sat in their living room and watched while everyone opened gift after gift that I had gone out and purchased, while I sat there and opened one gift. I didn't buy myself gifts that year and my mom bought me the Ceramics Spectrum book that I asked her to order, like I sent the link and led her there, you know?  and that was it. So, and yes I know this is selfish and childish, but it hurt my feelings that I am an only child and my mother does not have one single thing to do, but she couldn't go out and get me one stinking thoughtful gift. And yes, I left the room and cried. Yes, I also know, grow up, get over it, but I have a very long history of really bad Christmases since my dad seemed to especially like to go out and drink on Christmas Eve with his gang, and other such festive things.)
Anyway.... then she sent an email and said she was just incapable of shopping because she just went blank and they had so much going on. Now keep in mind she has a cleaning lady, (I know, don't get me started) and a husband that cooks most of the meals, and she sits by her pool and reads a lot and she lives a block from the Atlantic ocean. I, on the other hand, have been busting my ass since September trying to make enough work for fall and holiday shows, getting my Etsy store back up, shipping out packages, shopping for Gerry's parents, Gerry, Wesley, my mom, her husband, grocery shopping, cookie baking planning, laundry, Christmas decorating, tree trimming, cooking two or three meals a day,washing fucking dishes every 30 minutes, trying to find time for visiting my friends, I think I had a bath, may have brushed my hair..... and I have something wrong with my left arm, my friend Barbara suggested it is my rotator cuff, oh just great! It hurts like a mother all the time... and I am cooking a pot of soup right now to take down to Charlotte tomorrow because Wes and I are going down to help take care of Gerry's mom for the day...... that will be nice, three hour drive through the country,  but all I want to do right now is sit in a chair and stare at a wall for a minute or two. My insomnia is back and I have had very little sleep, with odd dreams during the two or three hours I dose off. Like I know I am dreaming and I can change what is going on, I am aware of it, lucid dreaming, great......

Anyway, getting back to the other mother.... the reply to my email about not wanting to shop was something like, do it anyway, I will appreciate it and maybe someday you will understand. To which I replied..... I went to Target and bought myself a Dirt Devil hardwood floor vacuum cleaner, would have much preferred opening a gift of a hand made item crafted by an artist, but I needed a vacuum so I got one, woo hoo. 
To which she replied, (this is copied and pasted, I am not making this up)
Just think--the handcrafted  things will someday have to be dusted and find a place for them--Ha!.  Glad you found something you like and can use.  Would like for you to have found something for you personally. 
fuck....
So to continue this stupid spitting contest I replied:
Good thing everyone doesn't think like you, I would be out of business. Some people like to dust their art. I personally just leave the dust there.
Then I went to Stein Mart, her mother ship, and got her a sweater, because she likes to adorn her body, not have the cleaning lady dust hand crafted things, like the barn I was going to give her....
Then I stopped next door at Woman Craft, an odd little gallery co-op here in Chapel Hill. Beautiful work, strange energy. But still, some of my friends have things there, and it's fun to see their beautiful work. And I bought a little tray that my pal Barbara McKenzie made. We share this glaze recipe and I have a cup I made years ago when I was first learning to throw properly that matches. So tonight we had olive tapenade and chiabatta with my newest pottery member. See... why couldn't my mom just go out and buy me a little tray? It takes so little to make me happy, really it does. I would have bought more pottery for myself but I have already done some buying and have pointed out several pieces to Gerry, and really, how much pottery can my little house hold anyway.
What I think would be really nice, is if we could just pause for a moment and remember the reason we are even celebrating Christmas. Jesus, remember? I would be most happy to just sit in a church, listen to some beautiful music, hear little children talking about the shepherds watching their flocks and seeing a heavenly host of angels, and then hear the words frankincense and myrth, I love that phrase! My father in law is a pastor and I couldn't even find any religious themed wrapping paper. 
Everything is so messed up! I'm just going to do my best to enjoy my family and get that mental block survival thing that I do so well going on! Yes I love my mom, and while walking around in Stein Mart, I just had to laugh. She has no clue what she puts me through, it's all about her.... sigh..... 
We are going on a trip next year, no more of this, maybe a cabin in Maine?........

Monday, December 17, 2012

Three Days

In some traditions -- notably Tibetan Buddhism, there is an understanding that the process of dying continues for about three days after breathing has stopped. Some consciousness lingers and disturbing the body during that time could interrupt the natural dying process and influence rebirth.



Last Wednesday, I went out to my studio and a little bird had hit the window on my door and it was laying on the ground, still breathing, not moving. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you will know that I have some weird thing going on with birds, as do others of you out there. Moments before my mom called to tell me my dad had died 19 years ago, a sparrow hit my dining room window and died, then the phone rang. This past summer I had the Lo-wren-zo family living here, nearly dying then finally living and flying from their nest. (by the way, I think they are still hanging out around here screeching). I have had other instances where a bird died, then someone died. It's weird......
Anyway, getting back to the Wednesday bird. I brought it in and asked Gerry if he thought it would be ok. He said it didn't look too good and then brought up the thing about birds dying around me. I ignored him because Wesley was on her way home from school, and I worried until her car pulled in to the driveway.
I figured this bird would die, so I placed it in the nest that the lorwrenzos lived in this past summer, the nest inside the raku bowl I made. If it had to die, at least it would be in a cozy nest that gave other little birds a home. So, yeah, I got up Thursday morning and Gerry told me it had died. And then Friday 20 little children and six adults died in a brutal shooting, as well as a child and his mother.


Wesley told me about the Buddhist belief in the three days of dying, so I left the bird in the nest, to let it's soul find it's path. And then it rained. So maybe tomorrow I will find a place to bury this tiny bird as all of these tiny children are also buried this week.

I'm sad, I'm confused, I'm angry, I'm happy to have my own child safe here with me in our "nest", and I am broken hearted for this world we are living in. I want a better world for my child and your children and your grandchildren.......
I also feel a bit lost right now, I feel a new path coming on and I don't know what it is just yet
So here is to New Paths and a brighter tomorrow.
peace ya'll
xo

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Mr. President, members of congress, we need Drug Control not Gun Control!



I know that all of us are probably numb this weekend watching the news coverage of this latest horrific mass shooting in Connecticut. I am so deeply sorry for all of those families. But I am very skeptical about all the talk I have heard about the need for gun control. I don't like guns, don't want them in my house, yes we need strict regulation, but I question more than the gun. I question the mental state of the user. What is the common link in all of these 20 something young men that are going on these shooting rampages? What is it that is causing them to do this horrible thing?  Is it the use of psychotropic drugs? We have a prescription drug problem in this country of epic proportions and we should all be calling for drug reform, not gun reform. I have watched my mother in law become a shell of her former self due to all of the drug cocktails her doctor prescribes to her for pain. I have seen what drugs did to my mom after my dad died. I have known suicidal kids that were prescribed anti depressants. There needs to be an outcry from all of us to stop these drug pushers and get our country off the dependancy for prescription drugs, stop these TV commercials, stop the magazine ads, stop drugging our children. It's not just about the guns. I urge you to watch this video, it's only 11 minutes but it is very revealing......
last I am going to say on this weekend's events. It's Christmas and I want to enjoy my friends and family and thank God that they are all with me and safe, and I will grieve the loss of those that are no longer with us.
I just pray for some common sense for this world in the coming year....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Say a prayer......

I can't even get my head around the news tonight. Why are our children in this country killing other children........ we need a new moral compass for our world......
my prayers are with all that lost someone today, this year, this lifetime, I feel your loss greatly today......
peace to everyone this holiday season as we are supposed to be celebrating a beautiful child's birth
xo

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thank you Etsy Shoppers!

 WOW! I am so glad I got motivated to open my Etsy shop back up! Thank you bloggers for your orders yesterday, they went out this morning, should be arriving by Monday. I have one star left and yes, Vicki one is on reserve for you :)
 I spent my morning wrapping and packing stars. My pal Laura gave me some hand made papers and I wrapped the stars up in this pretty paper, added a clay raku bead and a little raffia. I think if people are going to take the time to shop in my Etsy shop for the holidays, the least I can do is make it worth opening the package, it is Christmas after all.  I love the experience of opening a pretty package, don't you? Unfortunately that message did NOT get through to my mom again this year. I got a check in the mail today, she suggested I go buy some boots at Belk or Rack Room.............. that's not going to happen...........sigh........
 I bought these natural waxed bags at Weaver St. Market. I borrowed this idea from one of Meredith's friends that makes soaps. I bought some soap from her at the Whynot party and it was packaged in a wax bag. I love that, and she said I could get some too, so I did!
Bye Bye little stars, safe travels.........
I set these on the counter at the Post Office and the clerk said, "anything fragile?"
Really?!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter Work


 Like many of you, I have a very cold studio in the winter time. Unlike many of you I am not going to work in it when it is really cold outside. Today was one of those cold days, and it was gray and sad, so I sat at the kitchen table and made some pendants, drank hot tea and took a bunch of photos while my dog snored under the table at my feet. Much nicer than freezing out there. I forgot how much I like making pendants. I'm no pro and my materials are not the finest, but they are pretty and I sell them for $10 so they are affordable for even kids that come to my studio or shows with the $10 their parents or grandparents gave them. I still see kids at festivals wearing pendants they got from me.

In other news, here I go again with Etsy. You might have noticed that I have a shop over there on my sidebar again. I have to say, I am still not the biggest fan, since it is so crowded in that place, and I'm not a fan of crowds, but compared to the other options, it is the most user friendly, accessible, and most frequented ecommerce site out there as far as I can tell. I gave Big Cartel a try, I like the look of it, much more sophisticated, but they do nothing to help you out. I did have a couple of sales but no thanks to them, they don't help with getting you out there in the public view like Etsy. I also looked into Shopify, because I like the catalog app they have for my ipad and there are some really nice shops in the catalog. But again, you have to do all the getting out there yourself, no one is helping with that like Etsy. I don't like Etsy's way of showing your sales, I really don't think it's anyone's business what your sales history has been, I wish they would give the option to show or not to show that. With that said, I'm going to give it another try. It's easy enough to do in the winter when I have some time, so why not. So after some bead making, I sat at the computer getting to know my Etsy shop again.

I have a few stars left for the season, some of the best I have made, I love these. They are only $24, great for that under $40 Christmas gift and they are in my shop! Have one sent to your mom's house for her to give to you, I'll wrap it up for you, haha!

I read an article the other day that said 43% of retail sales next year are expected to be ecommerce sales. I would much prefer that to the show hell I went through this year, but I want to see my customers once in awhile. I have no idea what the answer is to selling art, I don't even want to sell art. Actually, it just occurred to me, if I call it craft and make items that are more craft like, it might be easier to sell it. Selling my "art" is a painful process some days, but selling craft, that's not so bad. Maybe I will just sell art to those who ask for it..... hmm.... this might keep my sanity in control.
Go check out my "crafts" and tell me what you think! 
PS: FREE shipping on the stars right now!
peace ya'll
xo



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

This gift giving business

 Today I ordered myself this beautiful table scarf from Avalanche Looms. I have been admiring Susan's work for some time on her blog, but never felt like I could spend the money. So, here's the twisted part.
I ordered it, paid for it with my own money and had Susan ship it to my mom's house. She even emailed me and offered to gift wrap it and I said, sure, go ahead!This is not a gift for my mom,  this is what my mom is giving me for Christmas this year.
Every year since I left home (at 19) I have asked her to try and give thoughtful gifts. Every year she either asks me to buy all the gifts for me, Gerry and Wesley and she will send a check, or she just gives us money. She says to me, "I just go blank when I try to shop for ya'll". I say, what else to you have to do all day? sit by the pool and read?!  I don't mean to sound ungrateful, and I love my mom, but I just don't see the point.  example: If I spend let's say $100 on gifts for her and she then sends me a check for $100 to buy myself something, it hardly ever gets spent on me, not to mention, aren't we just basically exchanging $100. So what is the point?!  Also... every year I ask her to please not buy us clothes. Every year we get clothes if it's the year that I am being particularly pissy about this gift business and refusing to do her shopping.
For the past two years poor Wesley got a red leather jacket and then last year a white rabbit fur sweater. My daughter likes to shop in army navy stores and thrift shops, no Liz Claiborne for her! and she asks for things like intangible objects for a gift..... So, to spare Wesley the misery of being kind about these gifts, I did the shopping again this year. And then I said, screw this, I'm getting myself something nice! So, I will unwrap this beautiful woven piece at my mom's and love my gift :)
What I would really like is a nice meal together by the fireplace and then go out and look at Christmas lights, and then maybe stare at a candle, and then not worry about the gift thing. Why can't we give gifts when we feel like it or find something that is meaningful, instead of forced gift giving. I hate it.
 My day went from the gift buying business, and ended with a gazillion Christmas lights. Gerry had an assignment to shoot a package of photos around Raleigh of outrageous Christmas lights. So I tagged along and we sure found some. Thank the good lord for tacky people! I never want this to be my house, but I love riding around during the holidays looking for these houses. We found Candy Cane Lane
 and then we found the Freeman Festival. What a perfect way to start my first week of clay break!
My favorite, a ghost with a pumpkin next to Minnie Mouse, WTF?!
Wouldn't you like to have a job where you take your brand new cameras (yes Gerry got two new Canon 1dx's shipped to him today, I drooled just a tiny bit) and take photos of crazy Christmas explosions on lawns? he does have the best job ever! and sometimes I get to be there for the fun too!
Thanks to those tacky folks in Raleigh for a great night!!!
we even saw an alien

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's the little things....

 Raku might be the potter's equivalent to velvet Elvis paintings (I happen to love both, thank you very much), but it is sure selling in my studio. The tour was good yesterday, traffic seemed off, but every person that came in bought something. I sold a couple of barns, yay! and most all of my raku is gone. I only have two small barn ornaments left. In hindsight, I should have made more small things. Small is selling. Anything under $50. The $325 barns are a tough sell right now. and quite honestly, I have spent enough time with them, time for them to move on, time for me to move on.....
and who would have guessed, jewelry is selling! I don't claim to be a jeweler. My materials are not the finest quality, just a leather string and findings I get at the local bead store. I don't put a whole lot of time into these, but maybe I should. I would say that 90% of the people that came to my studio the past two weekends bought a pendant or beads. I put my beads out in a tray and offered them for $5,  the pendants were all $10 and yesterday I sat in my studio and made more, because I ran out.
Sitting around in my studio the past two weeks, waiting on tour goers, has given me time for contemplation. What do I really love making?

My first job as a designer right out of school was for a furniture company that made really cheap and not very attractive furniture. They sold the crap out of it. I was just out of design school, carrying around the snob factor that you pick up in school and I thought that I should be designing rooms with Louis XI antiquities.
Ha! Boy did my eyes open quickly. Our top salesperson in Chicago drove a Bentley, stayed at the finest hotels when traveling and once bought me a meal in the Pyramid Room at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. He told me something that I have never forgotten. I was bitching to him about how ugly our furniture was and how was I supposed to design around it and he said to me, "I sell to the masses and I eat with the classes, there are way more customers out there for this cheap shit than the expensive stuff."

I had the masses visit these past two weekends. It's not that they don't like or do not understand my barn sculptures. They love them and appreciate them, they can't afford them. Hell, I can't afford my work. So, this has me pondering where to go in the new year. The little pieces are great, they represent my aesthetic well and they are affordable for those who would like a larger piece but can't afford one. So maybe I will just make some small barns for awhile. Under $50.

I love to raku fire, sorry all you traditional wood firing potters, but raku rocks my world when I take the pieces out of reduction. I like making beads, they are always fun to make and fun to see what the fire does to them. I love making my barns, but they are starting to feel like they are coming out of a factory, don't like that so much.  Another artist visited yesterday and said something interesting. He said that when he gets tired of something that he really likes, he puts it away for a year or two and then comes back to it. So I'm thinking that's what I'm going to do. Put the barns away for awhile and try something new. I love weaving too, so I'm going to spend some time with that. Maybe wall hangings with raku accents. Who knows? TIme for change..... time to make little things..... I would also like to get back on my wheel. Maybe raku vases? bowls? lots of possibilities....... lots to look forward to in the new year!
Today is the last day of the tour, come on over!
THANKS SO MUCH to all of you that have come by and supported my work, it's been great talking with all of you!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chatham County Artists Studio Tour, round two

Come on over to Chatham County this weekend, the tour is on again. My doors will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. I still have some great pieces and thanks to proper planing I have enough stars left for a second weekend of sales.
Don't forget barns that are $200 and over will be 20% off this weekend in my studio and at Lark and Key in Charlotte. That's a great bargain! Shop, shop, shop!!!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Morning view

When I woke up this morning, this is the first thing I saw. I like to keep the blinds up so I can see the day as soon as my eyes open and this is why. It was like I was still dreaming, my camera barely captured what it really looked like. The air was so crisp, it felt like the morning was crystal or something. I went out and wandered aimlessly all day, shopping, smiled at everyone that helped me and said something kind to them. Poor things, having to work in retail :(
Everyone was kind right back. I nearly ran over one lady crossing the street and two cars almost backed into me, but everyone seemed happy enough, that was good. I met Gerry for dinner near our tiny but sort of interesting mall here in Chapel Hill, so he left to shoot a Duke ball game and I wandered again through the strange mall. What an odd place. It has this amazing art gallery though and I saw some beautiful paintings that need me and I need $1400 to have one of them. Also some beautiful raku vases and bowls, so Christmasy. The best part was a very flamboyant and I would pretty much guess a gay santa, and he was adorable! I wanted to go tell him what I wanted for Christmas. What a cool guy he was! Then I went into Cameron's, a really interesting store that has a religion shrine upstairs, so I took some pictures of Jesus and texted Wesley. She used to love to visit this shrine when she was younger. I think she might have left a note in there once upon a time.....they have the song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, playing on a loop and it's fun to be in this space. Check it out if you are ever in this weird mall.
I found some interesting things, but people I got things for read this so shhhh.... it's a secret.
I did get my mom and her hubby a fun CD called Winter Wonderland with Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, and more. Sending it out tomorrow so they can have some Christmas memories flood their brains. All the oldies but goodies!
Magical day... I'm off to wrap it up with a little Skyrim
peace ya'll
xoxox

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Time for myself

 All I have been doing for the past few weeks is focusing on making work, pricing work, packing work, unpacking work and selling work. So, Monday I spent a little time with Wesley before she went back to school. Yesterday I spent the day with my friend Barbara, buying good coffee, eating good food, visiting some local shops and galleries and then ended the day with a Highland Winter Ale from the brewers in Asheville. And today, I spent the day with my loom!

 I finished up two scarves and a sort of scarf that ended up being too short, so it's now a table runner, although Gerry took it off the table and wrapped it around his neck to sit on the porch this afternoon. It's too short!
What I'm learning about weaving is that math is important so I have to figure out how to deal with that. And the yarn you choose is important. I need to learn more about yarns. But what I do know is I definitely have a crush on weaving right now, and hope to spend some time between now and Christmas just weaving. This will be the last weekend of the tour and then I am done with clay until the new year. Let me know if you want something, I'll ship it out, but I'm not making any more pieces for awhile. I'm weaving.......