Sunday, December 21, 2014

A perfect Winter Solstice……..

 Today is the day December 21st, winter solstice, shortest day of the year.  I try to do something every year, as from this day forward we move back into the light.  By this time of the year I am noticing flaps of thin skin growing under my upper arms and the desire to hang from the ceiling in my bat cave.  This is a day to celebrate if ever there was one.  Depending on the weather I will light a fire outside or inside, make soup, go for a walk and just be quiet.  

After a late start to my morning and too many cups of coffee I laced up my new hiking boots and decided to head for my favorite park.  Taking the camera and my bitter half who insisted on going, we hit the park.  

Damp, chilly and grey….. hello Ohio morning.

This park is at a higher elevation and away from the warmth of Lake Erie, surprised to see it frozen….. I had packed the rod and reel.   The lake was alarmingly quiet this morning.  Not a bird to be heard. 
No wind…… still, so very still.  No talking either…. just the crunch of frosty gravel under foot.

My idea of christmas trees….. (golden rod heads)

Suspended and thought of a perfect glaze…… 
so much of this year I felt suspended….. 

my favorite picture of the morning…. 

thoughts of throwing rings on the bottom of a platter or……
 topography maps

What a year….. even the old oaks were blown over this year.
This family certainly weathered a few storms.

it was a prickly year….. I was pretty prickly this year! 

luckily we were protected ……. 

The joys of summer past are but a memory…… 

but new growth…. God, I love nature; at the bleakest times I can always find
new growth, hope for what might come and desire to grow bigger and greener….

On the way home we detoured to my second favorite place…
Paine Falls….. yes, there really is a Paine Falls :) 

the power of water……. the sound, well it can't be explained only experienced. 
I always walk away feeling very good from this place. 

and the small community of hemlocks….. it's how they survive in this 
water and wind washed place. 

Seems there is always a drive through close by…… 

is there anything better then the first dirt on new hiking boots? 

and new inside shoes too…… it's good to have a job! 

Came home, made coffee, ate cookies leftover from the opening last weekend.  
It's the solstice and the weather for Dec. 21st was pretty nice, 32 and cloudy with no wind.  
I planted 85 garlic bulbs in fresh turned earth, it was heaven.  My knee was great!  Indeed, so great I dug the last few of potatoes…… almost 50 pounds!  I dug the last of the carrots and leeks too, so sweet after a good frost.  I cleaned all the leaves off the tree lawn….. and it was dark.  Today was a gift, pure and simple.  Hiking, gardening, planting and harvesting…… a grand day to move into the light of the year……. 

And now for the other lessons in my pottery life…… 
I can't remember what genius said; Location, Location, Location but I have once again……
learned the hard way.  
I love my gallery space; huge windows, north light, big space and the best part; I am only limited by my very own self.  It's all mine and I can do anything I have a vision to do…… 
The crappy part of this gallery…… location.  I am down a long dark winding hall on the second floor of the old American Greeting Card building.  
One friend stopped by last weekend and said;  Wow, this place is great for your ego!  Like I have an ego…… of course it was a male friend!  

Since moving in the space so many other artists warned of the show last weekend, Bizarre Bazaar and it was the 10th anniversary.  150 craftsmen would be setting up booths over the four floors of the building.  Somehow they forgot about the west wing of the second floor.  There might be 2,000 people wandering the building.  Don't worry they will find their way to your place.  
Well, I was stocked!  Every shelf was filled.  A few folks did find their way down the hall to my place but they had been over come with glitter dust and glue gun fumes.   I made pecan bars, toffee bars, coconut dream bars, scottish shortbread cookies and ginger snaps.  The cookies were a hit and one woman suggest I package the pecan bars in cellophane sleeves and sell them for $5 a bag.  She tasted all the cookies, had a glass of wine and left $5 on the wrap table.  The next opening I am putting a tip jar on the counter, writing a recipe book and putting pecan bars in cellophane sleeves.  Awesome! 

 In fact the Wednesday before the Saturday opening I built shelves!  Shelves that are 8 feet tall, 10 feet long and 16"wide.  They hold a lot of pots!  

and the big day came…… cars as far as the eye can see…… 

and two food trucks to feed the masses….. 

but alas…….

well it wasn't cancelled and by Sunday night I made my rent for the month but not enough for the electric bill…… do you have any idea how many times I said under my breath….. I am so thankful I have a job!  

I am supposed to be moving by the end of the month to a space more in the swim of building traffic but for now…… well it has been suggested I add lights in the hallway, more signage, a person wearing a sandwich board walking the halls, billboards on the outside of the building…… maybe dancing waters but then I am by the bathrooms and there are always those cookies….. 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night…… 
May Santa be good to all who read this blog……. :)


  1. Sandy, I think the pottery buying drought is widespread. My best show has been going downhill for 3 years now and this year it was hardly worth the effort. To add insult to injury the shop that buys my work outright didn't call after the show. I usually bring pots in 3 times a year and that's how we work it, after the show they call and I bring it in. I don't know if I'm trying to make you feel better or if misery just loves company.
    Have a Merry Christmas I have really enjoyed reading your blog this year.
    ps, that's a really weird picture of the dog !

  2. I bought pottery for gifts this year from local friends. I know what it's like trying to sell all that hard work! I too am grateful for a new job, I can't wait to get there, I even went in yesterday on my day off to visit, Yep I got it bad, haha!
    You sound as if you are indeed moving toward the light, what has been missing is the earth and your knees deep in it. Get back out to that garden! Soon!
    Merry Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. As you know, I can commiserate with you. I am just thankful that sales came earlier and steadier this year, at our gallery this season. What I did learn is that I won't go out of my way to bake, clean, and decorate, for one "special" day. The real pottery buyers don't need that one day and why should I bake cookies for strangers?
    ... there is something very motivating about new hiking boots or running shoes. I think I should go out and buy some.

  4. Hi Sandy .... Hang in there ... give the new location some time. Things may turn around quicker than you think. I am now where you were awhile back. Trying to decide how/where to sell my pots. Do I go back to the co-op gallery (not fond of the politics), open my own home gallery again (not enough traffic) or go to a twice a year open studio sale plus local and/or not so local arts and craft shows. Good thing I have a pension or I'd be back at work as well. But hey, we must love doing this or we'd have packed it in long ago. Have a wonderful Christmas! Looking forward to more blog adventures in 2015.

  5. Morning fellow potters and chicken farmer Tracey! Sure has been an interesting year for potters as I read so many other blogs and yet we endure! Heard a rumor the economy is picking up, how about you Brenda, up in the wicked Canadian winter?
    Well bottom line …… I think this was a good move to get my work out in Cleveland. After last Friday it has been agreed my space would move to another part of the building between Feb. and March, after all I signed a one year lease.
    The other part of this story….. I watched all those crafters packing up after the shows, while I turned off the lights and closed the door. I don't think I want to do shows again for love or money! Definitely thinking a sale at the homestead may be in order if I can get the gardens going again.
    Glad it's Christmas, Solstice and time to take a breath and just "BE".
    Happy Merry Holidays to all us dirt kickers :)

    LOL Colleen…….. that is a creepy dog picture!! Who does that stuff to their dog???? Who has that much time?

  6. Merry Christmas Ingeborg!! Have a lovely day :)

  7. Hi Sandy,
    Those are beautiful photos of winter and ice, with all the subtle grey colours, with green and orange quietly giving the grey a "lift". I have never seen frozen puddles with "topography map" rings like the ones you have photographed.

    I feel for you with the difficulty selling, and the problems with location... it is something we have in common. I do hope that things work out better for you when you move. Ha, people always have suggestions for improving sales.... I occasionally joke (almost....) about wearing silk stockings and assuming suggestive poses beside our welcoming studio door!!!

    Anyway, I wish you the very best for 2015. You do really lovely work, and deserve to do fantastically well.

    Kind Thoughts, P x