Tuesday, December 31, 2013

La La Land

If you have a policy of monitoring your screen time or your children's screen time, or you have an aversion to TV and video games in general, you would have had a seizure this week in our house.
Wesley got a WII U for Christmas, Halo 4 for our XBox, I got the entire book manual for Skyrim, we have hours and hours of video tape from Wesley's birth through childhood to watch, and we got the final season DVD set of Breaking Bad. Then Corky came to visit and brought Portal.

Gerry also got a new interface and mic for recording music, so he has been in front of his computer writing music since Christmas Day.

We did manage to look up every now and then to eat or visit with friends, but it has been a long marathon of couch sitting around here and eating sweets. Here we are with Corky making s'mores.
At least this isn't how we always behave, but it's Christmas! So we are in sloth mode.

We have had a great Christmas this year. Gerry did a huge job making sure I kept my sanity, which included not cooking some extravagant meal on Christmas Eve and not going to my mom's this year. This was the first time in over five years that one of us wasn't sick on Christmas day, or one of us wasn't mad and not speaking. We didn't rush through Christmas so that we could pile in the car and ride for four hours. Nothing broke. Remember last year, our well pump broke on Christmas day and we had no water for a week.

 It was good! I discovered last year that I have an allergy to the mold spores that release from the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree people will tell you that this is not proven and is a myth, but it's very real to me. Last year I got a really bad attack and as I sat looking at the tree with water pouring from my eyes, I realized the tree was making me sick. Saturday I woke up with a major sinus attack and knew right away the mold spores were out. I started getting all stopped up, we took the tree down immediately and in an hour all the sinus blockage had gone away. I will never give up having a live tree, but now I know it has to come down soon after Christmas day.

Yesterday, we had enough of our zombie state of mind so we drove up to Hanging Rock State Park, hiked up to the top of the mountain and just enjoyed the cold air and the views. I packed a healthy lunch of veggie wraps, fruit, cheese, nuts and got back on a healthy eating plan. There have been a lot of sweets in the house this month. Amazingly, my Weight Watchers mind set has stayed with me and I have not gained any weight back over the holidays. I sure burned a few calories yesterday, quite a hike!

Gerry is a happy man when he can step to the edge of the rocks and look down a 1000 feet or so. I am not happy when he does this, but he will never stop being on the edge of anything, so I just don't look.
Yesterday as we were talking about how something could happen and he could fall and die, he said, "well at least I would die doing something I love".....  how can you argue with that?!

It was a nice day to celebrate nature and family and think about a new year to come. We gave Wesley an aquarium for her house at school, so today we go get a new family member. I will introduce you when we get back with our new fish!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Art for Christmas

I am now officially a Shannon Bueker collector! Thanks Gerry and Wesley sooooo much for the best Christmas EVER! This has been the most relaxing Christmas Eve and day I can ever remember having. Gerry took us out last night for an incredible Turkish dinner at Tallulah's, he set up a Sony 8mm camera that he ordered from ebay and loaded up video from Wesley's first Christmas. I have not seen this video probably since that first Christmas, which was 20 years ago. Last night we went back 20 years and I cried and cried. Wesley got to meet herself, which was very strange, but in a good way.

Lots of wonderful gifts for us all, but the best gift was watching me and Gerry as young parents with our baby on her first Christmas, and then sharing it with her 20 years later. What an amazing journey we have been on.

And of course, getting art for Christmas is always a good thing. Shannon, I love this painting so much, it's ME! (my future self perhaps?)  and the card you sent is with us today to honor our missing Tyler, who I dreamed about last night, and Wesley still hears breathing beside her bed as she sleeps.

I hope all of you have as joyous a holiday as we are having and are with loved ones today.
Peace and love, ya'll

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the morning before Christmas, and all through the house.....

......not a creature was stirring except me, at 3am. Ugh, insomnia is back and I have been roaming around the house since 3am. I checked in on my email and found a pleasant surprise. My little Frozen Charlotte barn has sold. I am so happy to see this going to a nice new home, although I will miss it a lot. The shelves in my studio are nearly bare, I have sold almost everything. Thanks so much to everyone that has purchased from me this year. It feeds my soul, you know!

Saying goodbye to a few old friends. Along with Frozen Charlotte these other pieces sold this week.
I think these barns have been waiting for me to be ready to let them go, and I am, and they went.

I woke up with my head full of ideas for clay! I can't tell you how long its been since that happened. I think realizing how my friend Susan set an intention and made it happen has sparked a new excitement for clay. I looked up some shows that are coming up for spring and I have a tiny spark of an idea for a gallery show..... I'm thinking about some wall pieces and some new smoke fired works, and adding some hearts and angels that were given to me during the tour to a few pieces. Too cold to work in my studio for a little while yet, so maybe I'll spend some time thinking while I'm on the loom or making bracelets. Winter hibernation and planning for a new year sounds mighty fine to me right now!

Wishing all of you the happiest of holidays this year. We have lots of presents under the tree, friends promising to come by, Christmas cards coming in from family and friends we don't often see, Christmas tins filled with candies and cookies, candles burning brightly, Christmas lights twinkling, my cat curled up here in the chair beside me as I sip a hot cider and say a quick hello before tomorrow. So, a very Merry Christmas to all of you, hope all your wishes come true!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mary and Susan and a Christmas gathering

There was a gathering of the Marys last night for the Solstice. And a gathering of other women too- me, Wesley, Susan, Laura, and a bunch of other girls whose names I unfortunately can't recall, because I'm old that way :) It was a beautiful night, and after Susan's show we were able to go downstairs to Antonia's and sit outside and drink wine and eat amazing food and enjoy the winter evening, not that it really felt like winter. Some of those who purchased sculptures took them out and set them on the table around the candles, it was the coolest energy. Now isn't this what art should be about?
It was a great evening and so special to share that time with Wesley, my now very grown up daughter. We moved into a different kind of relationship this weekend, and I am liking it.

My good friend Susan Wells had an exhibition of her recent kiln firing last night in Hillsborough and it was a great success. Many came and purchased Mary sculptures and Susan gave a very inspirational talk briefly about her work and the energy and prayer she puts into each piece. I cried. I'm so proud of her and what she has been able to accomplish. Susan sets her intention and then she makes things happen. When I first came to Chapel Hill I signed up for a pottery class at the Artscenter in Carrboro so I could meet some potters. Susan was my teacher and she still continues to teach me things. I remember when we first met, she talked about building a wood kiln on her own and I thought she was nuts. Then she roped me into helping along with a bunch of other people that wanted to help, and with the hands of many, she got a kiln built. My very first blog post was about firing that kiln for the first time, it seems like ions ago....

Last winter I sat in a coffee shop with Susan and sipped a warm latte while she told me about this intention to do a sculpture show with Mary. Sometimes people speak of ideas or dreams for their work and it stays just that, an idea. But when Susan says it, you know it will happen. And her idea last winter became a reality this winter. It is inspiring to me to see someone set an intention and then complete it. I don't do enough of that. I think that is why this past year was such a pause for me. I had no intention, I just got up in the morning and waited to see what would happen. Maybe sometimes if something is going to happen you have to set an intention for it and then make it happen. I made very little happen this past year. I rested from the past few years of making shit happen. But I'm fine with that. It was good for me. But going to Susan's show last night inspired me to think about what I want to make happen next. I'm still not sure, but I feel some tiny flicker in the recesses of my art brain, just waiting to see what the flame will become.

Wesley chose one of Susan's Mary cups an early Christmas gift. Last night we filled it with red wine (the blood of Christ?) and drank from it together. I could get all metaphorical here, but mostly we got a nice buzz and giggled together through our entire meal. It was kinda funny to see my little girl all giggly from red wine. My mother would have a coronary just reading this!

This morning I got up early and made some orange poppy seed muffins and some fresh apple, orange, pear juice and we had a nice breakfast. Looks like bad weather is coming today. Poor Gerry was going to go climbing up at Saurtown, our old home crag that just reopened, but the weather is doing to him what it did to me during the studio tour. Twenty two or so years ago on Christmas eve, Gerry and I went up to Saurtown with our climbing mates and we had our first lead on a new route. Our friends had picked out this route and gave it to us for  a Christmas present. It was sprinkling rain and I was scared to climb it because it had an overhang that I had to get over. I had never done an overhang before, but they said I could do it, and so I did. We got to name the route and we called it Clean Sweep. It's in the NC Climbers guide, but only Gerry's name is on it since he was leading and I just cleaned the gear following him. It's fun to think back on that day. It was a good one. Except for the hike out. I had my hood on because it was raining and I walked right into a low hanging rock face and knocked myself out. Go figure, I had just climbed lead on a 5.8 route that had never been climbed, pulled an overhang, and couldn't even walk out on the trail! Luckily, our two climbing mates were both EMT's at the time, and they checked me out good. There was rain running down my face, and I remember not wanting to reach up and touch my face there, thinking it was blood pouring down my cheeks! The weird thing was the impact made my jaws hurt more than anything and then later I had a nasty bump on my forehead. Ahhh the good old days! haha.

Happy Sunday to all of you. Today, I am going to bake cookies, Gerry is sitting out on the front porch in the swing playing his guitar, our front door is open, I can hear his conversation with Wesley as he plays. I am having a nice warm cup of caramel oolong tea and writing about last night so I won't forget what a special time it was. I have to strike A Civil War Christmas tonight, another play comes to a bittersweet end. I will pack up all the props and when everything has been taken down I will stand on the empty stage and smell that familiar smell of the theater and sigh with contentment. It's a good life here in Chapel Hill today!

peace ya'll

Friday, December 20, 2013

Five more days.....

Are you counting the days? Looking up the chimney, trying to figure out how a jolly old elf gets down it?
I am! When I was little, I would open up the fireplace screen, look up the chimney and try my best to work it out in my mind how Santa got through that tiny flue with a bike! Now, I just count the days until Wesley gets home :-)

It's been a busy week, getting some last minute shopping done, wrapping presents before Wesley gets home, wrapping up sales from the studio tour, I had a few shoppers in my studio during the week, which is a first for me, I kinda liked it. I even had time to get away for a wonderful lunch with my potter pal, Meredith from Whynot Pottery, you know the place, right?! We had a great time catching up on kids/grandkids and of course what would time with Meredith be without some enlightening words of wisdom! This is a wise woman, I tell ya.

Wesley is coming home today, my other potter pal Susan Wells is having a show and artist talk on Saturday and I am going to try to get by there. Looks like it will be a quiet little Christmas for us here in the Broome house. My mom declared that she didn't want to do any shopping and so she is getting her wish, we are not participating in the usual Christmas drama there, in fact we haven't talked since the first of November, no surprises there, I could probably go back through this blog and read this same thing every year. Gerry's family doesn't seem to have time to get together with us, so this promises to be a stress free and joyful year!

Gone are the days of tummy butterflies waiting for Santa, piling in the car on Christmas day to go see grandparents, ripping presents open with my cousins, eating my grandmothers sweet potato pie, standing at the department store gift wrap counter watching the wrappers crease the paper so expertly (I always wanted to do that). sitting on Santa's lap, shyly telling him what I wanted. But also gone are the days, waiting to see if my dad would come home on Christmas eve, waiting to see if my parents were going to fight in the driveway, asking for a specific gift and then acting like a spoiled brat when I didn't get what I wanted, taking down that nasty ass fake tree from the attic, because a real one was just "too much trouble", then putting it up and decorating it by myself because it was just "too much trouble" for some.

Gone are a lot of things, some I long for, some I'm glad for the loss. Ugh, Christmas..... I'm slowly changing what this holiday does to me. I got a letter from my mom, which Gerry intercepted and read first, just in case it would cause me to go into a mental coma. That eased the absurdity of it quite a bit. I have typed a reply, it is sitting on my desktop, simmering. It doesn't seem right to send these kinds of letters a week before Christmas, it might not get sent at all. Why would it matter, some people will never change, even when you ask them to for your own sanity......

I'm looking forward to a little more last minute shopping with Wes, baking some cookies, having friends drop by, listening to Christmas music, drinking warm tea, and just spending time with the two people I most like being with. I bought a Bing Crosby CD yesterday and rode around all day listening to it. What a great singer he was. When I was a kid, I would put his White Christmas album on our little turn table in the living room, pour myself a cup of tea in our "fine china" and sit by the tree, dreaming away in la la land. I lived in my own little weird world and I liked it there, I still like it there!

Blogger Judi Tavill will have this little barn with the blue roof living with her now. Thanks Judi for giving it a nice new home. I'm so happy you will have it. This is the last one and really one of the nicest I have made. It never got displayed very prominently because I think subconsciously I wasn't ready to give it up. The pieces I am not ready to part with never sell until it's time for them to go. Funny how that happens, but it happens a lot with my work. There were pieces that I sold during the studio tour that I had brought into the house, wanting to spend time with them, and then I was ready to say goodbye. I'm looking forward to making some new work that I can live with for a bit and then send out to the world. Wondering what that will be.......

I hope all of you have a really happy holiday, I may be checking in, we'll see how busy things get!

peace ya'll

Monday, December 16, 2013

Barn Sale

I have added a few barns to my Etsy shop or you can buy them here on my blog if you click on the Buy Now tab.

These barns are all from 2012 and I am ready to move on to some new things, so they are priced at $125 and ready to go to new homes. Don't you need to give yourself a nice gift this year!?

These are all some of my favorite pieces and they deserve to have a lovely new owner. They are all one of a kind and there will be no more, so get 'em while you can!


Thank you AGAIN!

Thank you again to everyone that braved the cold and the rain the past two weekends to come out and support the Chatham County artists. If only every weekend of the year could be like the past two! Then I wouldn't be questioning my existence, haha.
Thanks to my friend Maureen for bringing me flowers, aren't they pretty? Maureen was a student of mine, now a collector of my work and a special friend. She has started making the most incredible paper flowers. One of these days I'm going to make some vases for them and get some from her.

I am truly grateful to all of you for liking my work and taking it home with you and giving me validation that what I am doing is good and people will like it and want it as much as I do! I have new inspiration and new energy thanks to all of you.

There are still some very nice pieces left in my studio, and I am offering them at a very good price, since most everything is from 2012 and I want to make room for some new 2014 work.
I have added a buy now button and a page for shopping up at the top of my blog. Click on the BUY  NOW tab and see if there is anything yo might have to have for your very own gift this year!  I have to run out for a bit, but I may add more later today.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone that came out this weekend, I had SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Art is good

This is Mr. Louis St. Louis in a black velvet suit and fur coat, that was previously draped around his shoulders. We introduced ourselves at Frank Gallery where I was tending the bar for our Chatham Artists studio tour reception. When you are a bartender you just know something interesting is going to happen. And in walked Mr. St. Louis and he dubbed me Ms. Velvet, and because I had on a velvet dress that has not fit me in four years and because he had on a velvet suit that matched, we needed to have a photo made of us! Thanks to Lyndell Dodge (is that not the greatest name ever?!) for taking this photo and sending it to me. Now Lyndell is a whole other story and of course someone with this amazing name should be taking this photo! She and I were the wine and beer servers and I just know we could get into some silly trouble together. What a fun night. It started off with a fantastic dinner at Vimela's Indian Restaurant with my art pals and then we moved on to the gallery reception. Much fun!

The fun continued last night. Gerry and I went to the opening of A Civil War Christmas. I am so proud of everyone that worked on this show, and I was emotional through the entire performance. It was a very difficult play, such intricate music and stage management and stuff going on, and everyone got weary and edgy and so ready for it to be over. But last night they all did what actors do, they presented a brilliant show!

Today was the start of the second weekend of the studio tour. And because I am trying to sell some work, it rained, it poured, why wouldn't it?!  But there were brave art lovers who came out in the cold and the rain and they purchased gifts and things for themselves, we had wonderful conversations, I drank hot tea and listened to Johnny Cash and Shooter Jennings and the Cowboy Junkies, and life was good and cozy in my tiny studio. Thanks to all of you that were not afraid of a little rain!!! I loved seeing you. And a special friend dropped off some porcelain angels and some hearts and that has my own heart singing and inspiration flowing through my entire being and I want to put everything up in my studio and get out some clay! I'll try to shoot some pics tomorrow and show you.

The best thing about this tour is how relaxed I feel. I put no pressure on myself, no expectations. I didn't bust my ass to make new and improved work. I kept it simple and I only made what I loved and enjoyed making and put zero thought into whether or not it would sell. I didn't worry that there were pieces dated 2012. I made those pieces during a time when I had more love for these barns than I knew what to do with and I made a lot of work. They are still great and timeless and I still had a hard time parting with each one.

I wasn't trying to compete and keep up with the rock star artists that surround me this year. I am still, I am content, I am satisfied with what I am making, and if you love my work and want to own it, I thank you and I consider you a dear passenger on my life's journey. Thank you for wanting something I have created from joy and the love of making and exploring the recesses in my mind and my heart. The business of art sucked the life out of me last year, but with this tour and the visits from all of the great folks that came to my studio, I feel new energy flowing, new ideas and inspiration, and most especially a new desire to make something new!

Thanks everyone, last chance to come out on the tour tomorrow, See ya!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Civil War Christmas

A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel from The ArtsCenter on Vimeo.

I have been in tech all week getting this show ready for opening night tomorrow night.
The actors are beyond wonderful and the music is so great. The show runs this weekend and next, if you are around you should come see it.

I sort of wish I could have designed the set and costumes, I haven't been sleeping much at night thinking about how I would have done it, there are so many possibilities for creativity with this show. Guess I'll just have to be satisfied with the props. I did find two of the coolest purses for Mrs. Lincoln and her Mrs. Keckley yesterday. Wesley went prop shopping with me and we just made a fun day of it.

The final weekend of the studio tour is this weekend. I sold one of my barns yesterday through an email, and some gallery checks are coming in, so there will be some Christmas shopping going on this week too. What a busy month, wish there was some spring/summer holiday gift giving event!

The Chatham Artists reception will be tonight, I'm bartending to work off my guild hours, come on by, I'll pour you a cold one!

Are you staying warm? It's been a cold December week here, brrrr......

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Thank you sooooo much to everyone that bundled up and braved the drizzle and cold on Saturday to tour the Chatham County artists studios. It was great to see everyone and really great to see my work finding such lovely new homes. Almost all of the visitors yesterday were repeat customers, now becoming tour friends. We catch up on the year and spend time talking and it is the most fun thing! It makes me realize how important selling work this way truly is. I love the galleries that represent me, but there is nothing like the personal connection you make with someone that loves something you created. Maybe that piece was created during a time of grief or happiness or loss or joy, whatever it was, it comes from some emotional place, and it is nice to have a personal experience with the buyer. They practically have to pry the work out of my hands, I get so attached to each piece.

Remember these chairs? I love them and I knew when I made them they may have to wait on someone that understood. And last night just as the tour was wrapping up for the day some wonderful folks came in and took these chairs back to Virginia. Fingers crossed they make the trip. I was hesitant to put them out, just because of having to wrap and transport them!  FRA-Gee_LAY!

 Also goodbye to this one. I had it in the house for awhile, wasn't ready to say goodbye to it either. This is one of my most favorite pieces, reminding me of my grandmother's house, her skeleton keys to unlock the kitchen door and the glass knob on even the closet doors. Why don't we have glass doorknobs on all of the houses built anymore? or these beautiful keys to unlock our homes.... sigh.

Here is a collection of my barns in their new home with Michele, who is a delightful person. I know they will be happy in this home! Thanks Michele for sending me the photo, it made my day, made me smile! Michele is one of my collectors that will stay in my memory.

I met her in Saxapahaw over the summer when I was set up at the Farmer's Market. She bought three of my Randolph County barns and mentioned she had Cavalier spaniels and could she commission a piece to include one. I have looked for a little figurine every time I go to antique shops with no luck finding one. Yesterday, Michele showed up with the most beautiful little dog figurine, and I just so happened to have a barn with a niche that he fit quite nicely in. So the doggy and the barn have a new home. I love when things like this happen!

Thanks to all of you for shopping at my studio, there are so many wonderful artists on the tour and I am honored every time someone chooses to visit my place. Several barns have new homes, lots of ladies will be adorned with pretty raku pendants, trees will be trimmed with stars and doves, a secret santa gift is going to one of the tour artists! and lots of other wonderful things are in new places. The shelves are thinning out.

I also had a chance to have a long and very nice visit with blogger Amy Huacani, who was visiting from Pinehurst. It's always great to meet a blogger, Amy has shared many words of wisdom with me over the years and she has a fun blog to read. Thanks Amy, for stopping by!

So, today is another day, it is very cold and cloudy, but that's ok, the candles and the twinkly lights look especially festive on days like this, and I have lots of warm clothes. If I can camp out in the mountains during snow, I suppose I can survive a cold day selling my work out in the studio!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Chatham Artists Studio Tour

The Chatham County Artists Studio Tour begins tomorrow, Saturday, at 10am. Come on over! I have my studio all cleaned up and full of treasures just waiting to be gifted to someone, or even to yourself!
Would love to see you, but bundle up, it's supposed to be cold, brrrrrr!

I dusted and even cleaned the windows.

I have a selection of barns for $125, they are ready to find new homes and they are priced for holiday shopping.  People complained last year that none of the studios had affordable work. the comment I kept to myself was maybe you should not be shopping with artists, there is a Walmart up the street.....
But I do sympathize, I can't afford art either, can barely afford to BE an artist. But I have sucked it up and made many things affordable, so there should be a little something for everyone, and you can drive on past the new Walmart they built a mile from our house, ick!

I will have a few wrap bracelets for sale, testing the waters on these at $48. Quite a bargain considering the cost of the workshop I took to learn how to make them and the time and materials.... oh art, why can't we ever get back what we put into it when we sell our work.....
I wrote a bit about each one to tell you the inspiration behind the piece and the materials used and where they were found. This was fun!

I will say I did get back from these wrap pieces in pleasure value. I have enjoyed making them so much and last night in the wee hours, I had an epiphany. I am making something for the shear enjoyment and I don't give a rip if anyone likes them or wants to buy them. I will keep them all and wear them happily if they don't sell. These have been my art salvation at the end of this year!

Lots of stars, come get one, these are all I am making for the year....

Look Cindy, a fairy sat herself up on the studio sign you made for me! Good omen, I do believe!!
Get out this weekend if you can and come say hello!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Whips and guns and drums, oh my!

This week I have been shopping, but not like the normal folks out there, shopping for their Christmas treasures. I have been shopping for props for A Civil War Christmas. I have also been getting my studio ready for the Chatham Artists Studio Tour that starts this coming Saturday. And I've been unpacking all the Christmas decorations, cleaning the house and making things look pretty. As my grandmother used to say, "I am plum wore out" from it all. I laid down on the bed yesterday afternoon and got up two hours later. I never do that.....

Tuesday I went over to my favorite antique mall looking for a whip, a revolver and a drum, all 1800's era. I love this work, how fun to roam around in an antique mall all day and get paid for doing it!
No luck at the mall, so I went across the street to the nearly abandoned outlet mall. Most of the store fronts stand empty, thanks to the newer better outlet mall they built a couple of miles away, but there are a few random oddities still surviving.

First I went into a shop called Southern Heritage. Now I knew just from the name and the rebel flag outside that this was going to be an offensive store, and I was right. It was really difficult for me to keep my mouth shut and just ask the very large, "I will kick your ass"  woman working there if they sold whips. She was nice, they didn't have whips, but they did have a lot of anti Obama stickers, hateful slogans on t-shirts and a LOT of really ignorant merchandise that can sometimes make you embarrassed to be a part of the southern white race.

The large redneck woman sent me over to the western store, surely they will have a leather whip. No, but they did have a really nasty sign on their front door telling parents that they are responsible for their children and they need to make them behave while in the store, the store smelled good, leather and cowboy stuff makes me swoon.

The also redneck woman working at this store sent me across the street to Adam and Eve. This was my first experience in a sex shop, I promise, I've never really considered going into one before. MY! What an interesting place to shop. Yes they did have whips, but not the kind I was looking for. Do people really beat each other like that?! While I was there, I figured I might as well make the best of it and have a look around. There was a time when I would have been mortified to be in this store, but age has a way of making things not matter so much. There was a very beautiful very voluptuous african american woman working in the store, so kind and helpful and professional. I must say, there are some really creative things going on in bedrooms....... hmmmm.... I sent Wesley a text and told her I was in a sex shop looking for a whip, that was a fun text to send to my college daughter, haha!

The sex shop sent me next door to Steve's Leather. This was basically a biker shop/head shop. Had I been shopping for a pipe or a bong, this would have been a really great place to stop. But, wait, what was that hanging up behind the register?! A whip! The kind I need, and it was $3.00. Sold! and how do you think the biker chick (maybe crack girl)  recorded the sale of this whip? She got out her spiral bound notebook and wrote it down. I love it!

So, I'm not making pottery right now. I have plenty, my shop is full, just waiting on the tour goers to come and love everything and take it all home with them. Instead of making, I am shopping in western stores, head shops and sex toy stores. What a life! I did find an old toy cap gun that makes a nice prop revolver, I found a beautiful early american drum, navy blue with a rust red band on top and bottom. The lady at the antique store just let me borrow it, no charge, how amazing is that!? There is still kindness in the world and good Karma helps too I think. The house manager at the Artscenter is just by chance a drummer, and he put new heads on it and tuned it up for me. This is the thing that is so great about being a prop designer. I get to go into bizarre stores and I meet the most interesting folks and someone always knows how to do something that I don't and is willing to help me out. So great!

peace ya'll

Friday, November 29, 2013

Let Us Give Thanks

I have so many blessings and so many things to be thankful for, like most of you that read my blog.... family, friends, good health, a nice place to live. Good food and music surround me. Life is good.

One more Hope Floats quote, "my cup runneth over"!!

Its been a very lovely Thanksgiving here in Broomeville. Gerry had a brilliant idea for us to have Thanksgiving dinner here on Wednesday. We usually host his family on Thanksgiving day, but this year his brother did the hosting and was "keeping it simple". This meant no traditional Thanksgiving foods for us, no frig stuffed with leftovers, no turkey coma, travel for four hours.....

So the Wednesday idea was perfect. I cooked all day, healthy food, used some Weight Watchers recipes, tried in vain to stick to my points (which I did until we cut the pecan pie). Wesley got home early, just in time for a few snowflakes to fall. I got out my old oil lamps and lit candles, and the world was a cozy place. The house smelled wonderful, we were warm, the lamplight was soft and glowing, and we had a long peaceful dinner, catching up with school stuff and telling stories. I was so relaxed, not stressed about having fifteen people in my house and getting it all right. Just us three, sitting in the warm glow of my great grandmother's lantern...... sigh.....

I thought about my ancestors as we ate. Did my grandmother sit by this very lamp at night doing her school work, did her mother light this lamp at night and eat by it just as we were doing? I am so thankful to have these pieces of my past to hold on to and to remember.....

I'm also so very thankful to have this sweet child in my life. She brings absolute joy with her when she walks through the door!

Here is my version of Thanksgiving turkey. Wesley has been a vegetarian since conception. As soon as I got pregnant with her, meat became a problem for me. She has never eaten meat, and going places for the holidays can be problematic since most people's meals center around some sort of meat product. This is what I brought along to the family hoedown. In my WW meeting last week, a photo of this veggie tray got passed around and we all agreed to do one. It's so funny, but healthy!

When we first found out we were doing Thanksgiving at Gerry's brother's house, I balked a bit. The main reason I do it here is because I live with the two pickiest eaters on the planet. When we do family gatherings somewhere else, I usually end up bringing a trunk full of food for them. Plus, I am doing Weight Watchers, and that can be a problem too. However, this turned out to be a really good meal. Brother and wife obviously worked very hard putting the day together. Their house was lovely, warm and festive, the food was healthy and good. There was salad and veggies and plenty for us all. The best part was I just showed up with my veggie turkey and ate, no dishes to deal with, no stress, just a nice time with family.

Wesley got out her keyboard when she got home, and music is creeping back into her busy film life. Wednesday night after a wonderful dinner, she went down to Franklin St. to jam with some of her old band mates at a local bar. I absolutely love that she did this. Reuniting with her music friends, food for the soul!

Even after going a bit overboard with food for two days, I can still fit into jeans I haven't worn in a very long time! I was very careful to eat mostly veggies that were in salad form or lightly steamed. There might have been some excess on the gravy, I love savory way more than sweets. I stuck with my WW leaders suggestion to have three bites of a dessert, one bite for taste, one bite for texture and one bite just because. It works, that's all I had and all I needed.

My brother in law always brings this hateful thing called "Cherry Yum Yum". It's basically cherry pie filling, whipped cream and graham crackers. It's really basically a diabetic coma just waiting to happen. Last year I ate one half of the serving dish, yes I did. This year I ate three spoonfuls! and I enjoyed every tiny crumb of it! It's a ridiculous dessert and thank goodness it only rolls around once a year!

We got home around 4pm, yesterday, the sky was glowing with the setting sun, and I had to get out there in it. Wesley and I bundled up and went for a long walk. We saw the neighborhood deer family, the crows called to us, and there was peace on Earth, at least here on our little patch of it.

I hope everyone had a lovely day of giving thanks. As one of Wesley's friends so wisely put it on Facebook:

We spend Thanksgiving day giving thanks and then go out the next day and trample each other and pepper spray our fellow humans all for a better price on an electronic device at Walmart. It's a sad reality isn't it?

I am most thankful for the fact that this is not my reality!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Now That's Happy

Hey Ya'll! Just want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'll be off cooking and eating for a few days, so I though I would just say a quick hello and then get busy!

Yesterday Gerry had an assignment up near Stokes County, the land we love, so I rode along with him. It's not often I have a chance to go along on a fun assignment so I take advantage when I can. Now tell me truthfully, have you ever seen a happier girl :) This is the life for me!

This was a fun assignment.  The AP is doing a story about a goat dairy up in Germanton that is participating in small business Saturday shopping, to counteract the horrible Black Friday (aptly named I think) and Cyber Monday. Go small business!

I think the goats really liked me, don't you? I know I liked them. This place was so great. Goats and chickens and turkeys and llamas, and sheep and dogs and cats. What more could anyone want!?
Heaven right here on Earth. Some days the world seems just right, doesn't it?
This was one of those days.....

Johnny and Robin are two of the sweetest people and they actually talk more than I do. So fun! I loved her insulated pink overalls, they would be perfect for a cold pottery studio or kiln firing outside, like my pal Susan just did, brrrr.....

They run a great little business up there at Buffalo Creek Farm. I bought some goat cheese, of course. Garlic and chive, feta, and they gave me a small gift of date and honey. This is some of the best cheese I have tasted and they had the medals from the state fair to prove it. They entered the fair for the first time this year and came home with four medals. Not bad!

The shop is very quaint with a country store feel to it. They sell crafts made by their daughter and several other artisans in the area. I also bought the cutest chicken ornament made from recycled sweaters. I'll show you later. I love that they are not only supporting a wonderful lifestyle for themselves, but supporting other craftspeople as well. There were even some french butter crocks made by a potter up in Boone.  If you aren't working in your own small business this Saturday, try to get out and support some local folks who work hard and love what they do!

This is not the most flattering photo of me, but who knew, I have a mouth like a goat! haha! ugh, those wide angle shots.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Hope you have a lovely week

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It's a wrap

I've been working on a few wrap bracelets, trying out the new techniques and ideas I learned in the Nina Bagley workshop. I love making these bracelets, but the challenge is keeping Nina's voice out and  my voice in. It's so hard to learn something new from someone and keep them out of your own creativity. This first bracelet has parts of a turtle bracelet my friend Laura gave me, some sea glass from Maine, a really cool belt buckle I found at a thrift store, buttons from my mom's old sewing supplies, and some old pearls I picked up in an antique store. I really like the ability to reuse items and give them a new and pretty life.

This one, a bird's nest that Nina demonstrated and I have become obsessed with making. When Wesley left for college it seemed like everything I made had something to do with nests.

I'm getting there, making is becoming easier as I figure out what not to do, what works, what I like, what will say me and not say "Nina".

I still have this miserable cold, making pots of soup and pots of chili, trying to stay warm and hydrated.
Starting to feel the stress of the holidays upon me more and more. The days before Christmas seem to get more and more compressed every year, and just rush up on me and then rush past before I know it.
I'm trying to work out how to make this a pleasant time instead of getting annoyed with it all.

I got a text from Wesley saying that she went to church this morning and how lovely it was and how she feels like a better person today.  She is certainly a better person than me. She lives near Old Salem and the Moravian church and from time to time she goes. She gets up by herself on these very cold mornings and goes alone. I love this child and her love for life. Yesterday I got a text from her saying she was alone all day and typed out a story on her typewriter about Jesus and Aliens. Ha! Yin and Yang....... :-)

Have a great week of Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks for these folks I live with!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Blog Brag

Mom brag alert! I know many of you out there have kids and are damn proud of them, just like me. I share the joys and sorrows right along with you, because I too am a proud mom!  I shared an email this morning with one of my newer bog pals, whose child has similar  film related things going on.

Wesley has bee nominated by the UNCSA faculty recently for several amazing opportunities, and we have fingers crossed while we wait to hear if she is accepted. I'll let you know!

One of them I can share. The faculty selected 50 students from all disci[lines at the school to participate in the Kenan Institute's Cirkus project. She is the one of two film students participating, the rest are dancers, musicians, and production and design students. She is on a team of five and will work this year to create a performance for submission to the Cirque du Soliell jury. WGBH in Boston is also collaborating on this and documenting the entire process. I am so excited for Wes, these are such great experiences to learn and grow from and I am so proud of her for being chosen by this very amazing faculty that teaches at UNCSA.
Please send up some prayers to the Universe for her other submissions!!!!! Hopefully she will get some good news soooooo!

Very proud of you, Wesley, xoxo

Cirkus Theatre Project at UNCSA
A collaboration with the UNCSA School of Design and Production and Cirque du Soleil to develop student-driven creative performances for jury by representatives of Cirque du Soleil. Several small teams of final-year UNCSA students will each create an 'act' of original creative work. In the summer following graduation, these students become Cirkus Theatre Resident Artists employed by UNCSA to rehearse and stage the acts for an invited audience and for a jury from Cirque du Soleil.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rosary.... for me

I never make myself anything. The things I make are always with the thoughts of selling it or giving it to someone. So yesterday I sat down at my worktable and made myself a necklace. I have all these charms and crosses and beads that I like and have saved for a someday, and so I put it all together in a necklace for myself. The first little cross on the right is a cross I got when I was "confirmed" in the Methodist church, probably 8th grade, still have it. The tiny black beads are from a rosary I found in an antique store, the peace sign from a favorite pair of earrings, bone from my pal Laura, stick from Linville Gorge last month, sea glass from a blogger friend, rock from Maine, pearls from a junk shop, ribbon from Nina Bagley. Lots of little mementos and treasures all in one necklace. I have some other things I haven't attached yet, it's a work in progress and the fun part is that I can add to it as I get new things.

and here I am at my 10% Weight Watchers goal weight! 
145 as of today, YEAH! 5 more pounds to go to get to my final goal of 140.
I started at 161 on July 5 this year, and I have literally worked my ass off to get here.
Feels really good! This belt I have on is in the last loop and it's too big, ha! 
Not too shabby for a 53 year old, of course it helps that I am a 10 year old mentally :-)