Sunday, March 30, 2014

One step at a time

It is cat & house sitting at the lake time again... it is so peaceful out here.  Especially compared to the festival I had my pottery at today.  The photos are from before the crowds arrived and the group at the food booth featuring foods from Bangladesh was packed (they were right next to our booth.).

I had a very successful firing of the new Red Silk Porcelain pieces.
Red Silk Porcelain Sake Bottles with & without glaze on the shoulder, roly sake cups and a scalloped pin/sauce dish.

Red Silk Porcelain Sake Bottle with clear glaze on the shoulder & neck.

Red Silk Porcelain Sake Bottle and 2 roly Sake Cups with no glaze on the outside.

Scalloped Red Silk Porcelain Pin/Sauce Dish.


It was a breezy & sometimes windy day, luckily, I had nothing break.

My small display at the International Festival at Clemson University.

My new Deep Purple glaze on one of my scalloped Ebonyware Porcelain bowls.
I have had a bit of a creative block lately, working 6 days a week is not allowing me the time to create.  I love my job & my customers and I cannot think of anything I would rather do.  But, the creating of my pottery is something that re-charges my soul.  I am so exhausted in the evenings it is difficult to create then.  My only day with any time at all, is Sunday, my only day off, and the only day I can run errands I cannot get to during the week.  Do I stay home and create?  Do I run the necessary errands?  I only wish that business at the store was strong enough to hire someone two days a week so that my sister and I can each get a day off.  We both work hard.

I think that I got past the creative block for now, which is good, I have a big show in Clayton, GA at the end of April... I need to get a lot produced between now and then!

Next weekend is Spring Jubilee here in town, we will have the store open on Sunday as well... that means no day off until the 2nd Saturday of April.  I can do this, I have been doing this, I will do this... one step at a time...

Thanks for visiting my blog and thanks for listening.  I hope you are all well.

Til next time...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Hopeful for Spring's Warmth

Spring is on it's way, honest!
The Lenten Roses are blooming fervently. The buds on the Tulip Magnolia are getting plump.  The Crocus are blooming.  And the Iris leaves are about 8 - 10" high.  All in our yard.
The daffodils across the street are in full bloom & the Star Magnolia by NY Pizza is just covered in blooms.  Our yard is usually a little behind the times because there are so many old growth trees shading it.
The mosses are growing nicely, I know Mom would be happy, she definitely encouraged them to spread.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Has it really been THAT long???

I guess I have been sucked into the easiness that is facebook and not taken the time to come over here and blog...  that is not good.

In the year and a half that I have been absent from here, I have been still creating my pottery, the most recent addition has been the Crimson Velvet Porcelain.
Crimson Velvet Sake Bottle $85.00

This extraordinary color is quite expensive and I will only do small pieces.  The Sake Bottle pictured here has just a clear glaze inside and on the top portion of the bottle, ending just below the shoulder.

I am still teaching a variety of classes at our store along with my sister and a few talented friends.

We painted the inside of the store this summer...








As well as re-arranging the floor plan a bit.  We are quite pleased with the results, it gives us a more open space and more flexibility.

My ex-husband passed away unexpectedly this past summer and I made a quick trip to Alfred, NY for the funeral and to visit with the Higgins side of my family.  Yes, a divorce severs legal relationships, but it cannot sever the feelings of family.  I wish I could afford the time and money to visit them more often.  I just do not want it to be for such a solemn occasion and I definitely do not want the flight headaches I endured on this trip.  (Another story for another time... maybe.)

Dad retired from the store this past Spring, leaving Terri & I both working 6 days a week.  I am glad he has the time to do the things he wants to do.  It does, however, make it a little harder to get work done on projects that require longer amounts of time than an early morning or an evening.  Our friend Phyllis was so kind to come in and work on Mondays through the Christmas & Holiday shopping season so Terri & I could alternate Mondays off and get some things done.  We are ever so grateful!

Speaking of friends helping out.  We have the most wonderful group of customer/friends who come to our aid when one of us is sick (Terri got hit hard with a stomach bug during the holidays) or needs to be someplace (for me, one of the 2 shows I do each year, or this weekend, Terri was at a retreat.)  Our friends who are like family step in to help man the store.  We can only say that we are blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.  And to all of you, thank you for all you do!

I designed some beaded pieces for classes...
Abstract Narcissus Square Stitch Pendant

Ornament Cover 2013
All in all, It has been a busy year and a half.

I am not going to make any promises about blogging more often.  Let me just say that I will try.

May 2014 be off to a positive start for you and may it continue to the end.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where oh where has Cindy been? She hasn't blogged in AGES!

I haven't been very good about blogging... my apologies.
I haven't even spent the time browsing other bloggers writings... shame on me!
I am busy with work, my sister is just now able to be at the store more hours.  The radiation treatments took a lot of energy away.  The one thing we are the most grateful for is that it was NOT cancer.  If it weren't for Dad and the wonderful friends we have, I would have run myself into the ground!  I am thankful for that every moment of every day.
It is the time of year that we start stocking the shelves with wonderful gift ideas.  Terri had the window of opportunity, after recuperating from the surgery and starting radiation, and went to the Atlanta Gift Market in July with our friend Phyllis.  (I went to Chicago with Mary for the Craft & Hobby Association show)
We also are gearing up for Christmas and the other end-of-the-year holidays with card and gift making classes.  That is where it gets tough for me.  I want to offer everyone lots of classes, but in the evenings, I am the only one who can teach for the time being.  If I were to offer classes every Tuesday & Thursday evening, and throughout the days Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, I would not have a milligram of energy for life.
Next week, Mary & I are headed off to Orlando for a trade show.  The rep group deals with paper arts (rubber stamping, scrapbooking...) and Mary & I will be taking several classes between us to learn new ideas and techniques.  We have a lot of talented & creative people in our lives, it is nice that Mary can be a part of our staff and share her talents with those interested, and share a big smile while she is at it.  And, since Terri is still physically unable to handle a trip like this, I am glad to have Mary as a travelling partner as well as someone whose opinion I can get while shopping for creative goodies for the store.
What do I do in my spare time these day, you ask... and do I even have any spare time?!?!?  Well, I still do occasional house & pet sitting and enjoy these little get-aways so the pet's humans can get away.  I am at my nephew's house this weekend, enjoying the dogs and the peacefulness here at the lake.
When I am at home, I am working on my pottery.  I have my Fall show coming up in November at the Anderson County Museum;  Mistletoe Market.  It is my 6th or 7th year (I lose track of time...).  That is the first weekend of November.
I would post photos, but I am not on my own computer...
I hope to not be such a stranger 'round these parts...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sun & Sea Creative Bead Chat Challenge 2012

I have been part of a group on facebook called Creative Bead Chat.  Bead lovers from all over share their creations and tips and all sorts of things.  They are a wonderful support group, personally as well as creatively.
I was chosen by Random.com to be one of the recipients of the beads for the Sun & Sea challenge.

Here is what I started with.  I pulled together some things I thought would go well with the ceramic, polymer, shell, copper & glass I was provided with.
My own textured & patina'd copper sheet & wire with the challenge goodies.
 The first item I made is this double strand copper necklace & earring set.
I took 1/3 of the sheet of copper & made it into charms.  The bail of the donut is embellished peyote stitch.  The copper ear wires are hand made by me.  The beautiful copper clasp provided is on the back of this piece.
Ocean Breezes

Ocean Breezes Earrings
 This bangle was next.
Shell We Dance

 Adding some pearls, aquamarine & sponge coral helped set-off the beautiful components provided.
On The Boardwalk
 The glass beads were beautiful enough that I wanted to spotlight them on these hoops.
Sunrise
I had so much fun creating with the items supplied by some very talented bead artisans.

My pottery is still my first love, but beads and creating things with them come in a fairly close second.

Thank you to all who organized this challenge!  And thank you to all of the others who have participated.

Feel free to comment below, I won't know what you think (good, ambivalent or bad) unless you do.  And, I don't bite!

Please visit the other blogs that have participated in the challenge.

Most of all, have fun!

http://www.yayjewelry.blogspot.com/

http://cswdesignsbyhehe.blogspot.com/

http://alice-dreaming.blogspot.com/

http://blog.aimeesjewelrytreasures.com/



Friday, June 29, 2012

Come and check out the blog on Sunday July 1, 2012

This Sunday is the reveal for the 
Sun & Sea Challenge 
from the  
Creative Bead Chat 
facebook group.
All of us have created things with a wonderful collection of beads from fabulous bead artisans.  
We then photographed them and are posting to our blogs.

The blogs to check out (besides mine - of course) are:





Have fun!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Home again!

Terri came home (well... to our house) on Thursday.
She is getting plenty of rest & plenty of spoiling from all of the wonderful people that know & love her.
The pathology report is due tomorrow, and her follow-up with the surgeon is late Tuesday morning.  We will know more then, hopefully.
Yesterday she conserved her energy so she could go with us to our usual Saturday night restaurant, New York Pizza, in Anderson, SC.  The owner & staff are like family to us & she wanted to be able to show them she is doing well... (and, enjoy their awesome pizza!).
We sure have good luck, Karma, angels, God, good spirits or what-have-you on our side.  This has been such a whirlwind couple of weeks & our true friends have emerged once again to give us support, love & assistance.  We could not ask for more (well, that she never had the tumor might be one request, but we learn from adversity...and we cannot change what was).
(I guess it makes me feel a bit like a wimp with migraines... LOL)
Friends have offered to help at the store & refuse payment, one thought I should not have given her a discount when she bought her items at the end of the day, another said she would be insulted if we even offered to pay.  But their help is worth a lot to us all. To Terri so she can feel less stress about the coverage at the store, & Dad and I so we can at least take a few hours off each.
Dad is a real trooper, he has worked just about every day (except Sunday) for 2 weeks.  I am grateful to Phyllis for helping me watch the shop yesterday so he could have a break.  I was able to get a couple of hours off Friday morning thanks to Mary for being an extra set of eyes at the store & a real help for anyone looking at the stamping supplies.
I have tried to keep up with updating everyone about Terri's progress, but it is not always easy to find the time when I have the energy.  Please forgive me if I missed anyone, it was not intentional.
Yes, this post will be cross-posted to the store's blog...

If anyone wants to help out at the store, please email the store ( mercantinc@aol.com ) with days & times so we can have a written list.  A few of you have told me days, but I for some reason cannot remember when they are...