Tuesday, December 9, 2014

mov'n slow and recap……

I found myself eating butter pecan ice cream for breakfast….. it's happened, the line of sanity has been crossed.  It happens every December.  I find myself in a chair on a dark morning, the darkest of dark that only cold wet December can deliver, shoveling something in my pie hole.  Today was the day.  We were out of eggs, damn those chickens, bread, oatmeal and everything except frozen peas and coffee. 
I don't even remember how I bent over to look in the freezer, I don't even remember what I was in the freezer for in the first place.  The line in the snow has been crossed and it's time to reel in, slog to the store and buy lettuce.  Do you know how badly I miss my hoop house this year?!  Even with knee surgery over and still sore I would get on my knees for a piece of fresh green anything.  But noooooo….. I found butter pecan ice cream at 6:30 a.m.  even the cat looked at me funny. 

The latest run down on the life of a potter is pretty nuts this time of the year.  It's like eating prunes, is one show enough or is three gonna send me into uncontrollable grippers or straight to the nut house?  I'm on my way to the nut house. 

I did a small show I have not done in years.  There were crafters there I have not seen in years so it was going to be fun.  Catch up on everybody's kids and what they have been up too.  The first day I sold out of $20 mugs….. don't get excited, I took 3. Visited with everybody and at the end of the day a woman bought a nice carved jar for $60.  The hours were short 10 am - 3 pm, unloading was a breeze and I had a few sales. Packed up and rolled to the ceramics lab to load two kilns and scrape shelves.  Long day but good.   The second day things kind of went to hell in a hand basket.  I had no sales and the Army Recruiters set up a table across from my booth.  One word, LOUD.  HELLO, HOW ARE YOU TODAY AND HERE IS FINE PEN WITH THE NUMBER OF OUR RECRUITING OFFICE.  AND BAGDAD IS THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH!  Yes, he really said that…. to me.  Why?  Honestly, I love these guys but nothing says buy pottery like an army recruiting team.  As their voices boomed through the facility I heard an ocarina in the background.  The artist directly across from my booth played an ocarina all day as a way to sell them.  I get it and she sold so many $10 ocarinas I stopped counting. I did a show back in my basket weaving days at the fairgrounds, they put me next to Laughing Sal, a life size rubber woman who maniacally laughed from morning to night… I had a flash back.  At one point I thought I was standing in a bus stop in Peru waiting for llamas to show up.  The guy next to me was just the nicest guy ever but he came for the cafeteria specials, the first day it was spaghetti and meatballs, the second day it was chili.  At least 80% of my booth was dinnerware, I thought I should offer him a dish.  Then the lady who sews shopping bags out of feed sacks came over and started to rearrange my table to "help" my sales.  I'm fine I muttered, stop touching my stuff.  Well, I think you'd sell more if you put this over here and that over there.  Oh look there is some one at your table trying to buy a sack.   There were the cutest screen printed tee shirts with googlie eyes on cats.  They made me laugh and as I sat there descending into craft mania I thought if my youngest kid had worn one of those darling shirts, she would have peeled the eyes off the cats and swallowed them before the cats saw anything.  And did I really want to see googlie eyes staring back at me in a diaper?   All in all Tracey Broome's  posts on shows kept circulating through my head and I bow down to the all knowing TB…. I can't do this anymore, I just can't.  If I want to see old friends maybe we should do lunch?   It's me, it's not you and I love you all but ……. 

First on my list;  Love my new job!  I worked two weeks and after Thursday we are on Christmas break until January 12, I love that!  

Second on the list;  so I have these new dishes that have taken about three months to take from concept to reality.  They are holding up pretty well in the kitchen on their maiden voyage.  I test all functional stuff on myself and family.  It has worked pretty well.  I used to make and sell a lot of honey pots.  I thought this new line would be perfect for honey pots.  I made 12.  I brought one in the house to use and darn if I didn't design the lid right.  Turns out they are a pain in the butt and they will hammered. 
Yup, they sure are cute though.  
Loving the sheep!  Especially dancing around a bowl of navy bean soup!  This was breakfast three days ago.  

And then I watched Nan Rothwell do a quick video on these cute little sushi dishes for Ceramics Arts Daily.  You can watch the video here at:   Nan's you tubes.
They could also be soap dishes, two or three after dinner chocolates served with port, ring holder or just about anything else.  Lose the bees and slap some bells on and you've got a Santa cookie plate.  Yup, I am in my pottery hooker mind….. it's the butter pecan ice cream for breakfast talking…

and about those bees and sheep, I'm slapping them on everything. 
I need chickens, cows and a pig….. my farm will be complete. 

 Ran a few new tests through too.  
What's the point of firing a kiln if you don't have few tests. 

My mind set this time of year is just make pots, make more pots, make many pots, just keep making pots, and I have.  The pots are now stacking up on the floor and they need to be displayed for this weeks show at the gallery.  I don't think buyers want to rifle through stacks of dishes sitting on the floor.  I need shelves.  I searched the internet for affordable wood shelves.  I found the perfect set for $29.99 at Walmart.  Thought I would order on line and pick them up at the store as it is Christmas. The order form asked me for some weird postal code over and over.  Read the fine print…. only available in Canada, not sold in the US.  After realizing I would need to assemble anything shipped I went to the lumber section of my favorite store, Home Depot.  Pulled enough lumber for 8' shelves, 5 deep.  
Pulled out the tools and used the spray booth for an exhaust fan, worked great.  

Finished up around 10 pm last night.  Headed down today to assemble and get ready for the mother of all shows… Bizarre Bazaar
Do you see the hours of this show?  I'm going to die!  I did not sign up for this show but it is in the building where the gallery is located.  Last year they had 3K people show up.  I will be in studio 225, clutching a table and babbling.  It's part of my lease that the gallery should be open during the event.  

The day I walked in the building other artists said:  Oh you're going to be here for the Bazaar, museum putty all your stuff down.  Ok, whatever….. now the time is here and the stories I am hearing are like the coming apocalypse.  I can hardly wait!  There are promises of hand sewn doggie duds, knitters, organic pet treats, a vast array of bead stringers and tinsel tossers.  Oh I am just a twitter with jingle delight.  

In the meantime, Sunday the temps hit 41 degrees and the sun made a rare appearance.  I did my fall pruning.  Pretty late and we will see what survives.  I heard a wonderful woman horticulturist lecture at an arboretum years ago.  Someone in the audience asked about the best time to prune hydrangea particulata.  She said;  Well if I were a man I would give you exact dates but since I am not, do it when you get the kids off to school, the dog vomit cleaned up on the carpet, the 20th load of laundry done and dinner on the table at a reasonable hour….. whenever you get to it!  Permission granted to prune whenever……. thank you! 

and what do you think, hand model for Dove skin care?  


  1. I had pumpkin pie for breakfast but that was just cause it was there ... you know, the 'see'food diet;) You work very hard my, friend ... I, on the other hand, am enjoying my no pressure Fall into Christmas season this year. I haven't cracked the door on the studio gallery except for friends and family. I might throw my sign up on the highway the last weekend before Christmas and see how many on their way 'home for the holiday' folks I can bring in.

  2. Next year, do the Holden Arb craft show. It's a month long and you just drop stuff off. It's a $$good$$ one.

  3. I had three chocolate chip cookies and a glass of almond milk for breakfast, then a Dove dark chocolate cube.
    God love you, I have done too many of these stupid shows to count. There was my favorite of all, the woman beside me at a fall festival a few years ago that glued Walmart teacups and pots together and made some sort of flower stands with them, damnedest thing I ever saw.... All of those folks came for the funnel cakes!
    Glad you love your job, getting a paycheck that doesn't require out of pocket expense is the best!

  4. I feel your pain. At my most recent show (invited by a "friend" of course) my competitors were: Tupperware, Mary Kay, and Sparkle Jewelry. AARRRGGGGHHHHH! I really should know better...

  5. Story of my life! Only studio sales for me. At least I won't have to listen to an army recruiter. Keep the faith.

  6. Get me a spoon,I can help you with that.
    I'm keeping my job. I don't know how to sell pots any more.

  7. I think I am figuring this ice cream for breakfast thing.... The garden is gone! When dinner time or even on my way back in from the chicken coop I grabbed a handful of berries or tomatoes or anything! The gardens is gone and I am time strapped, my next snack might be the linoleum off the floor! And coffee goes with everything!

    Argh! Shows.... If Brandon Phillips can be employee of the month at Home Depot ...... Well I can figure out another way to sell pots!

    LOL! Sue Cline..... I don't even know what to say?!

    Tracy Shea, that is so funny because someone just told me about Holden..... A gardener! Go figure!

    LOL! Tracey Broom ..... I'm on way out the door to buy dove cubes! Yum!

    C'mon Brenda, throw that sign up on the highway!! Do it!

    Meredith, I got your spoon right here LOL! I hear ya on the day job! I just can't make ocarinas..... And if I did they probably wouldn't be $10 :)

  8. Oh Carol! This year has been a trudge.... Repeat after me, Next year will be sooooo much better! And I have a lovely piece of property in the Everglades you will love :)

  9. Shows can be so painful. Tough to compete with food, under-priced items, and junk. Even the juried shows with expensive booth fees can be a crap shoot.
    Glad you are enjoying your job... and that you are already getting a break!

  10. Hi Michèle! After so many years on the road I think I have hit a wall..... In a nice way :). Have great holidays! My next adventure........ Etsy! This may take me awhile.....