Saturday, February 21, 2009

Double Booked

Yikes, I have double booked myself. In the same weekend I am supposed to be at a show, I am also supposed to be on a retreat. I wonder how I do these things. You may think I am just a total space case, but there may a reason to my madness.

In addition to being a mom, wife, animal care taker, potter, house maintainer, vehicle maintainer, and child chauffeur, I am also the mom of a child with special needs. This is a development which has come into focus in just last few years.

All those times I have looked at moms who have kids that have "special needs", I always felt for them, but never understood. Unfortunately, I am now walking in those shoes. While my child is wonderful, and surprises me frequently, it has added to our everyday life "schedule" which is the least of the places this has impacted our family. But in case you might be curious, I will share that in addition to school, after school activities, community commitments, friends, family, and church, my special needs child also has a minimum of 5-7 scheduled appointments every week with various specialists that are on our "team".

Creating this "team" could be the subject of its own separate text book.

So, not to be looking for sympathy, for those who have been on the receiving end of our cancellations, realize that lives can be more complicated than they appear on the outside.

So, I double booked in a big way. I feel really awful, again. The show I committed to is actually one I encouraged and requested through a local organization. They adopted the idea and have run with it. For my part, I was to attend and I wanted to donate my proceeds to their organization. While I have other shows that I could attend and then donate to this organization from them, I really wanted to be there in person.

Now, the tough part. Deciding what to do. Back out, but out of which commitment? I cannot tell you how many times I have had to say "backing out" "sorry we can't make it after all" "we really wanted to come, but just can't this time around" "thanks so much for thinking of us, it sounded so fun, but we just have to pass".

Between illness, scheduling, and just sheer exhaustion, this has become a mantra lately. So has "sucks to be me".

No, I am not feeling sorry for myself, or am I looking for sympathy, I just wish the stars would align correctly for a period of time so I can at least focus to keep my schedule straight!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ping Pang, Ding Dang WHAT???

Ping or not to ping, that is my question. Well, I am trying it, we will see where it goes. Being new to the blogging sphere, it is hard to know which way to go in all of this. But we are trying....

This is a test......PING......?????

The Slow Lane...

Well, both kids were sick this week which slowed my progress down quite a bit. After finally becoming healthy myself, it has been hard to get back to the studio and then have to walk back into the slow lane with sick kids. One project I worked on over the winter was to create a sort of photo book of pieces I have liked. I have been reviewing the "book" and am remembering that some of these pieces really did turn out well. I am going to try and recreate them again. Recreating is always problematic, with clay, you NEVER get the same result twice, NEVER. But at least I have some ideas to go with.

The big kiln is loaded with several shelves of underglazed pieces. LOTS of flowers and light colors which is lovely to see as the temperature is steady at 33 degrees with a stiff wind chill.

As I walk my property, I am beginning to see the coming of Spring. My rose bushes have begun to sprout small red shoots off the branches signaling what is to come. I cut my first flower this week, a crocus. It was nice to have it inside at the kitchen sink.

Well, I have enough ideas to keep things going for a while.

Even if I only get out there for an hour a day, I am certain I will get that kiln loaded soon!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Danger Will Robinson!!!

Mechanical failure or human "space case"? That is the question for today. I promised to post some photos of pieces in process....yes, I remember I did. WELL, in my need for CLEAN, I disposed of my camera USB. SO, I can not download at the moment. Luckily, I have one of those - everyone has one- cameras, so I will hopefully be receiving my new plug soon.

Otherwise, I have been underglazing with some interesting results. Yes, I will post later. I have been interrupted in my desire to create with a child who has been sick. But hopefully, tomorrow will bring real alone time, and time to create!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

SHAZAM...there it is...

Well, we are back from the near west. The mountains were mostly grey and snow covered, the trees bare, but there was a soothing, quiet feeling to the area. While enjoying my ride to the top of the tube slide, I began to look up to the sky and there it new idea....trying to create the bare branch look on pottery pieces. I have seen something like this done before, but I am going to give it a try. I already know how I am going to do it, but who knows if it will turn out well, we will see.

Otherwise, the trip was short, but fun. The kids enjoyed skating, swimming, tubing, skiing and snow boarding. I mainly served as logistics coordinator this time around. Even though we are out of that "I need Mommy" stage, my youngest still cannot be left alone, and when her mind changes about an activity, well, let's just say we need to be flexible and have a patient and happy demeanor.

I try my best. This trip in particular was pretty funny. Every activity I said I would participate. Every activity I showed up, was outfitted for the occasion, was on time and ready for action. Every activity was either cut short, never started, or I was requested to take off the equipment and "just walk beside me"!

At some point, I will be able to just strap on skis again and take off for the day, but not quite yet.

Now, you may wonder, well what about the husband? Well, I was really proud of him. He has been a skier all his life. This weekend, he tried snowboarding. He did quite well, and was able to keep up with our son who has been doing it for a few years now. So, I had to let the "men" go and do their thing, while my daughter and I bonded, more!

It was a nice break, but I am glad to be back in the comfort of my own home. I always enjoy coming home again.

Tomorrow, I get back to the studio. I have managed to fill 1/2 of my large kiln with some projects I have done over the past 3 weeks. Hopefully, by the end of this week the kiln will be full and the bisque run will be complete. My first show for the year is March 28th. It is feeling like it will be here before I know it, and then I have 3 more that follow quickly thereafter, so I am feeling the pressure of getting things going. So, off I go... to the mud!

I am looking forward to underglazing some floral pieces that are already in the kiln. They take a long time to make, and need an extra kiln run to complete the process, but they are very popular, and I really love the end result. I will post the pieces as I take them through the process so you can see what goes into making one.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inspiration Through Exploration

Don't know about you, but I am a country girl. I grew up in the regular old "suburbs", but over my lifetime have gravitated toward rural, uninhabited areas. I have spent time living in cities, and metropolitan areas, but never felt like I could breathe in those places. I was always wondering "when can I get out of here and back to a more peaceful place"?

I know many people are stimulated and find city living quite fulfilling and could never even consider an alternate lifestyle, it just has never been for me.

Many of my pottery pieces are inspired by the colors and textures found in the nature that surround my home. A number of my pieces have been imprinted with leaves, flowers, and shrubbery stems found locally. People who live in these parts recognize their favorite flowers or plants and many purchase items that are made with them. It is a fun thing to walk outside the studio and just hunt and find the items I use to create my pieces. The tray above was created from a local sycamore tree. The tray measured about 14-20 inches, really turned out well, I thought.

It is also interesting that when my husband and I go on "vacations" we tend toward less crowded areas of the world, in general. We also seek out areas of natural beauty. Lucky for me, my husband also tolerates cities, but just doesn't like being there too long. So we are a great match in that area.

This weekend we are headed a little west from our place into an even more remote and uninhabited area. We have not been to this exact spot, but I spent summers in the area as a child at a summer camp. So, it will feel familiar, but still be "new".

We are going skiing and the resort just got a foot of fresh snow earlier this week. So with the temperatures rising a bit, we may just luck out with a nice little break!

Should be fun! I will let you know.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Here in Poor House Hollow.....

Here in Poor House Hollow we are getting through another winter. We have had snow, ice, and wind. Now we are having bone chilling cold! It has been great to get into the studio and think SPRING! I have been working on some new items, and doing some things again that seem to be favorites that customers liked from last year.

So there are lots of florals, and Spring colors, and lighter shades. All of these things help to pass the cold winter days.

I was happy to return to the studio after almost 3 months. I had been sick, but am well on the road to recovery. Don't know about you, but I would much rather wait in my studio for clay to dry then to wait in another doctor's office waiting room! Well, I am thankful to be doing things other than carting myself to appointments.

So, now, I can begin to concentrate on the task at hand.....MUD!!