Thursday, December 5, 2019

Be Merry!


I spent a few nights last week painting Christmas cards and I had so much fun doing them! I bought some affordable watercolor paper from Arteza and used gouache instead of watercolor. Gouache uses less water, therefore I didn't have the problem of the paper buckling. Yesterday, while the kiln was firing, I took advantage of some down time and assembled them on card stock and gave them their final touches. To save time I stamped the lettering using clear silicone stamps on an acrylic block. The clear stamps are so much easier to use than the traditional rubbers stamp  mounted on wood. The stamp set came with some cute borders, so the bonus was decorating the envelope flaps.

If you recall, I bought the gouache paints in the spring or summer, but really struggled with them. I watched a few youtube videos and decided they would be a good option for card making. Working on multiple small paintings gave me the opportunity to experiment and learn more about the medium.

Now all I have to do get out my card list and get these cuties in the mail!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Goodbye November!

Here it is December, and I welcome it with open arms. November, and the end of October, are months that I would rather forget. We took a road trip to New England at the end of October and had a wonderful visit with family in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Our return trip turned into a nightmare...
Before we left New Hampshire, the master cylinder brake line in our car broke. Not a big deal, a local shop fixed it in a few hours and the next day we were on the road. We spent a night in Connecticut with my girl and headed to North Carolina in the morning. We were in Buchanan, VA, and at around 6:30 pm my SUV overheated. We pulled off to the side of the highway in the pouring rain. Jeff got out of the vehicle when it cooled down some, opened the hood and checked the coolant, which was low. When he opened the driver's side door the handle broke off in his hand!! A DOT truck pulled in behind us, turned on his flashers, and followed us as we limped to the next exit and a convenience store. We added coolant and were able to drive to a nearby motel. It was an old Mom and Pop place, built in the 40's. It was super clean. After a meal of convenience store pizza, Doritos, and beer, we got some sleep. 

The next day a local shop replaced the thermostat and it seemed to do the trick...
25 miles down the highway we overheated again! At least it was daylight still. We checked into a Days Inn, which was totally gross, and the next day we spent the whole day at a shop trying to get a diagnosis.
And I forgot to mention that my "you left your key in the ignition" chime decided to not turn off when you took the key out. It chimed continuously. The second shop fixed the chime but could not find anything wrong with the radiator or the water pump. They suspected it was the head gasket. It was now Friday at 5:30 pm. They couldn't do anymore until Monday and if it was the head gasket it could take many days to repair. UGH. The shop owner was awesome... he didn't charge us for repairing the ignition chime, or the time spent on diagnosis.

We limped to a nicer hotel and Jeff made arrangements for our good friend Paul to rent a car carrier and tow us home.


I have never been so happy to be home in my life! On Monday I was able to drive to my local mechanic. It took over a week to repair, and yes it was the head gasket and the radiator. After lots $$$ my car is now running great. Jeff and I are so thankful for our potter friends that helped us out while we were car-less. Meredith Heywood drove us to the polls to vote, people offered to take us grocery shopping, AND when the car repair was taking forever, our friends Bonnie and David let us borrow their old Toyota for the rest of the week. Having the borrowed car allowed me to get to my dentist appointment... did I mention that the day before we left for New Hampshire one third of my molar broke off while eating a pork chop?

We had our car back in time for the Celebration of Seagrove Potters. The weather on Saturday was rainy and attendance was down, which was reflected in our sales. We made up for some of it on Sunday, but all in all it wasn't great. I was really disappointed. We had a business meeting last week and next year we will make some changes as to what we will make for the show. Despite sales being down, I think our booth looked great...



There was no rest after the show. We had a crowd coming for Thanksgiving and pots that needed to be bisque fired. Jeff fired the gas kiln with a load on Thanksgiving day and another load in the electric kiln the next day.
December will be a busy month and I am certain it will be less stressful than the last five weeks!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Processes


We are celebrating American Craft Week in Seagrove. We have been doing demonstrations in the studio these first two Saturdays in October. This week I am carving some ginkgo bowls. I need to get quite a few of these made in preparation for the Celebration of Seagrove Potters show next month. I feel like it has really crept up on us this year.