Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thank you Etsy!

Today was all about packing peanuts, bubble wrap, tape, boxes and invoices.

I am so grateful to all my customers new and old!

And to Etsy.  So nice to have a platform I don't have to create myself.

I also made fudge for the workers at my favorite little post office.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tile Order.

I loved making these.  AND they all came out flat!  If you are a clay artist you know how special that is.  Wonder if the person who ordered a "variety of tiles" will take all of them?  If not they will end up on Etsy!  

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Taking a Break!

We leave for home tomorrow.  I will fill the kiln on Thursday and glaze fire on Saturday.  That means more pots in Etsy by Tuesday and Wednesday!

There WILL be mugs!

See you then!

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's That Time of Year!

My body (and my head) can't seem to work 8+ hour days anymore.  But that gets thrown out the window this time of year!

I had to be careful how I took pictures...there are lots of commissioned Christmas surprises on these shelves!

My goal is to have all the pots made, slipped and decorated by Tuesday of next week.  (And I just threw another assorted board of pots today.)  I need to pack and cook on Wednesday.  Thursday is Thanksgiving at my brother's and Friday we leave for a long needed break...We haven't actually vacationed in over 15 years.  We are heading to the beach for 5 days!!  But don't worry everyone, the alarm system will be on and my eagle eye neighbors will be on duty!  (For all of you that worry when it is announced on the internet that someone is going out of town...)

On our return the pots will be dry and waiting for firing the following day.  

Now if I can just find time to start loading my Etsy shop....Maybe tomorrow???

Monday, November 17, 2014

Where did October go?

Don't blink because November is right behind it!

Busy, busy.

We finally laid Dad to rest at Arlington.

Followed by my Mom's detached retina....

She had to spend two hours in this position (you can't see the kindle on the floor, she is watching Doc Hollywood...) and three days on her left side as much as possible.  (I hope you don't mind the picture Mom.  I know I wasn't allowed to post the OTHER ONE.)  I am happy to report that her vision is slowly improving.

Now I am finally back decorating pots!  I know I have a few anxious clients waiting to hear from me.  I'll be emailing you in the next day or two!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Fiber Festival Weekend!

This weekend is show number 2 for me.  Fall Fiber Festival near Montpelier (James Madison's home) outside Orange, VA.

Dog Trials!
Organic Donuts!
Shearing Demos!
Lots of woolly goodness,

And my pots of course.

I'll be in tent II  (4-II when you look at the map below) space #8.  The same tent as usual but I have moved across to the other side to make way for a vendor that wanted a double space.

The weather has actually begun to look promising.  Cooler temperatures and some clouds but no rain!

See you there!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Shenandoah Fiber Festival 2014

All set up and ready to go!

The weekend could not have been prettier.  Since my booth is in an outdoor pavilion, I have lots of good light, a nice level concrete floor and the ability to tarp off the outer edges (I am set up on a corner) if necessary.

This guy (I didn't get his name) was shopping with a friend at the booth next door when I saw his awesome shirt.  Get it?

And despite how crazy busy I was I managed to do a little shopping.  This is polwarth/tussah silk from Hobbledehoy Yarn and Fiber out of Pennsylvania.  Yummy!  I can't wait to spin it up.

As I was packing up to leave I met a woman who, along with her own homegrown yarns, was selling a few pots for her son.  He married a young Italian woman and moved to Italy where he makes pots.  I fell in love with this mug.  It was rather pricey but I couldn't leave with out it.  (Very reminiscent of the frechen, beardman or Bartmann jugs.)

Yesterday (Monday) I did all the necessary accounting and went to the bank.  More cash sales then usual this year I think, but credit is still where it is at.  Thank goodness for Square!  Then I relaxed the rest of the day.  I am still bushed!

The week is calling for dreary weather here.  I have my fingers crossed that this coming weekend and Fall Fiber Festival will be graced with weather similar to last weekend!

I love these festivals.  They are a ton of work and I am always exhausted afterwards, but it is worth it. Not only are they very successful shows for me, I also enjoy seeing old friends and customers and  meeting so many wonderful people.  Fiber lovers are awesome.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What do you put in your Essentials Bin?

When you are packing up for a craft show...what do you put in your Essentials Bin?

Of course you know that you will pack your goods (in my case finished pottery and woven items) your display furniture (for me it's folding tables, folding shelves, folding chairs, wooden boxes, a dressmaker dummy, ikea "valet" rack and cloths to cover the tables.) signage and a cooler of water and  snacks.  Because I never have time to grab lunch and find snacking through the day keeps the headache away.  Keeping yourself hydrated is important!  Even when the weather is cool water is important.

Oh. And of course you don't want to forget bags and wrapping for purchases.  I have been lucky the last several years.  With all of our moves I have had a TON of packing paper.  JUST this year I was in danger of running low.  But a friend moved to her new house and gifted me with ALL of her household packing paper.  Yay!

And I nearly forgot to mention painters plastic.  My shows are often under a big tent.  The condensation that gathers on the underside of the tent will drip, drip, drip!  So I always cover my work for the night with 2 or 3 $2.99 plastic sheets.  We always seem to have painting projects planned at home so they will be reused at least a few times after the shows...

My Essentials Box is the thing I pack up after day one and take to the hotel with me, while leaving my booth set up for the next day.

For me I include, the money box (of course) with my Square, for the credit card shoppers and $180 worth of change.  I'm sure that seems like a lot of cash.  But my husband is an accountant that believes in being prepared.  And you don't want to lose a sale because you can't break a $20 (or $50 or $100 for that matter!).  I will say the tides have turned and the majority of my sales are by credit card.  But I agree with Greg that I should be prepared.  (AND I have come to the rescue of fellow artists more then once when THEY were not prepared with change...)  I also bring 2 receipt books (I think positive) and extra pens and batteries for the adding machine.

Plenty of business cards.

Book for emails and or addresses for the one day mailing list.

Commission book.  I finally have realized that that slip of paper that I scrawl a commission request on is not good business smarts.  So I always enter any request in my book with all the pertinent information (request, address, deadline etc.)

Package of Wet Ones.  (We are talking porta john territory.) Antiseptic hand wash (see prior note).

Hammer, all in one tool, rope and various clips, clamps and pins (for holding down the previously mentioned plastic) and shims (in  case my tables don't sit level.)

Scissors! (As I hop up to add them right now before I forget.)

Besides this box of essentials there is usually an extra bag of last minute extra pair of socks (my shows are usually in a field and morning set up can mean wet wet feet.) A roll of TP, a towel or two and a bag for garbage.

Is there something I haven't mentioned that YOU never leave home without???

Friday, September 19, 2014


Coterie is a fun little store in Sperryville Virginia.  She has carried some of my pots for a year now.  And it was time for me to take a new batch!

The Rappahannock County Farm Tour is next weekend (I will be busy at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival) and Coterie will be open for all those curious to see the area farms.

It's a gorgeous area.  Why not make a weekend of it...Farm Tour on Saturday....Fiber Festival on Sunday?!

Friday, September 12, 2014

What a Summer

I can't believe how quickly this Summer has just flown by.  There were even very few unbearable days.  And this is Virginia!  So I can't blame the heat on my lethargy.  I tried my best to get into the studio (or update this blog), but a good book, or our spartan garden or the couch seemed to continually call my name.  While Greg has worked like a dog every day both at work and still healing from his January knee injury (thank goodness for physical therapy he is now doing stairs again!) I have been busy trying to heal my heart.  You see, I lost my dear Dad to lung cancer in May.  For some people heart break raises a need to sink into clay, or paint, or paper or whatever creative outlet does the trick.  I have now, unfortunately, discovered that my creativity abandons me all together.

(My Dad working at the archaeological field school in Popham, Maine)

But.  Life continues to swirl and race around me.  Our old dog Layla nudges me to take her for her short walk every morning...(and she sheds like crazy so vacuuming has to happen) the farmers market calls me to buy all the luscious greens and veggies of summer (so healthier cooking is happening) and finally the tears are less and the paralysis has given way to a push to get stocked up for my two big Fall shows.

So despite the lack of posting I have slowly begun weaving again.

And getting my hands dirty in clay.

Two weekend shows in a row, where I sell quite a few pots requires a lot of preparation.  So the shelves are full of  pots in all stages.  And just yesterday was my last "wet day" of work.  All I have left to do is draw and fire.  And maybe warp another loom to squeeze in one more project?

If you are near by....Shenandoah Fiber Festival is September 27 and 28 in Berryville, VA.  Fall Fiber Festival (which includes the not to be missed opportunity to see competitive sheep dog trials) is the following weekend near Orange VA October 4 and 5.

Stop by and say hi!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Special Bowls!

As many of you know from reading my blog I am a potter who loves to spin!  Last Fall I wrote about my trip north to Vermont to visit my friend Kristen and her little piece of heaven, Gilead Fiber Farm.

Kristen works hard at a 9-5 job, comes home and works her second job caring for her animals; Angora and Cashmere goats, Finn and Shetland sheep, Leah the guard llama (Astrid will join her soon),  new piebald bottle babies, the kitties Fred and Ginger and her constant companions pups Max and young Rufus.

She has a loyal group of fans (I am definitely one of those) who follow her ups and downs through her Ravelry group devoted to the Gilead.  We hear about worm and parasite issues, read about her ram's unfortunate forays into the burdock patch, drool over pictures of the fleeces as they grow and see pictures of the lambs, quadruplets this year!

When shearing time comes and Kristen is able to see what her harvest looks like for the year she plans the year's "Harvest Shares."  Rather then a traditional CSA model she waits until she can inspect the quality and quantity of fiber, decides on yummy blends (often she blends her own wool with other breeds found locally to her farm in Vermont) and which will be sold as roving (wool ready to spin) and which will be processed into yarn. Then she announces what her products will be for the season! While we all scarf up the shares online, she drives the fiber to the mill for processing.  And then we patiently (!?) wait!  Good mills are notoriously overbusy.  But the good mills are worth waiting on.

Each year Kristen and I come up with a piece of pottery special to the farm.  The first year I made extra special tumblers.  Remember these?

This year I made these sweet ice cream or snack sized bowls.

The black sheep is in honor of Atlas, born two years ago, and Kristen's first lamb at the farm.  And a black one at that!  (And the wool in the background is some of the luscious roving I received in my share box on Saturday.)

Atlas in the front all grown up!

Because not everyone can afford to buy a share, or might have missed out when they went on sale.....I once again made extra bowls to post in my Etsy shop.  Kristen will get a percentage of each sale, so you are helping her feed these fine animals so they can provide us with more of their yummy wool!

If you are interested, don't wait too long as I would not be surprised to see these snapped up quickly.  And thank you so much for supporting Kristen!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait...

My one Spring show is a week from today (Powhatan Festival of Fiber a one day event).  The kiln is firing away with the last bisque.  I have learned to fire during the day...that way the kiln cools at night without me standing there tapping my toes in impatience!

But here are a few pictures of things waiting to be picked up by Serendipity Quilt Shop in Delaware.  You may remember that she has requested chickens, quilts and the beach!  With a few sheep thrown in for good measure.

I had a special request for a chicken yarn bowl.  What do you think?

And then of course there is the rest of the livestock....

And a sheep of a different breed.  Jacob Sheep have FOUR horns.  There are a few vendors at these festivals that sell their wonderful wool.

While I waiting for the pots to dry (remember that are currently slowly heating to 1888 degrees in my kiln as I write this) I helped celebrate Earth Day with my local Spinners and Weavers Guild.  It was a beautiful day after such a long cold winter!

That's yours truly working on the Earth Loom.

Fingers crossed that NEXT Saturday will be as beautiful!