Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Japan Photos

I don't have a whole lot to say... Life has been busy since returning from Japan. So instead I will just share some photos of our adventure

Friday, October 25, 2013

Japan Adventure Part 1

My boyfriend called me and said casually, "What do you think about going to Japan?" I responded, just as casually, thinking it was a hypothetical conversation, "Japan would be cool."
"Great! I'm so happy you said that. I'm making arrangements."

Traveling overseas was huge for me. I've never been off the continent and I didn't even have a passport. Also I have several jobs that I had to get time off from. But we did it. Brad got tickets, made reservations and travel plans. I applied for my passport and talked to my employers. On Friday, October 18th, we left Denver and traveled about 22 hours (including layovers and trains) and arrived in Tokyo around midnight.

Much of our time there was spent going on big adventures, like staying in a Buddhist monetary, hiking the 10,000 steps of Fushimi Inari Shrine, and eating at this interesting place, but one part of a day was dedicated to looking at ceramics in Kyoto. The bigger museums were closed when we visited (I wouldn't have guessed this but a lot of places were closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. It's the Sunday and Monday of Japan!), but we went in to little shops selling pieces made locally. I got my fill of inspiration! I have a few big ideas brewing...

The past few months I have barely worked on ceramics. I've been working A LOT at my other jobs, dramas and traumas keep arising, and at the end of the day I've just been tired. I haven't been making ceramics a priority. One great thing about traveling is that I come home with so much inspiration, and stepping away from daily life helps to put things in perspective for me. I need to carve out some time to make things- and not for the shop or to fulfill orders. I need some play time.

I don't have ANY photos of Japan at the moment- I am sitting in the airport waiting for my connecting flight home. The lights are starting to look like stars and I am trying not to fall asleep! I will write more when I am not delirious from jet lag and sleep deprivation.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Boulder Floods

Before I launch into the devastations of the Boulder floods, I want everyone to know that we are fine. There was no flooding in my house or studio and the roads around us stayed open enough for us to leave and safely return (not that we went out much!).

The past few days have been nerve wrecking. Flood warnings were constantly going off, sirens consistent, and the rain pounded down. I watched news and checked Boulder's OEM site every 5 minutes. I knew there were so many other things I should be doing but I couldn't take my eyes off of what was happening around my town. I felt so helpless.

My mom, sister, and niece live in Allenspark, a small town between Lyons and Estes Park. Both Lyons and Estes Park are under water. Highway 7, the way I drive to my mom's house, was destroyed by the raging Saint Vrain River. Normally this river is fairly tame, about 8 feet wide and at least 10 feet below the highway.
Highway 7, near mile marker 12
This is the only photo I have seen of the area, which is terrifying. All roads are damaged by rock slides or flooding, and my family is trapped. I received an email from my mom yesterday saying that they are safe, have electricity and water, and her cabin is cozy and dry. The community was pulling together, helping each other, and sharing supplies. 

My dad lives in South Boulder up on a hill. I thought that he would be untouched there, but a creek passes close to his home. The creek overflowed into the road, taking out a footbridge, flooding cars,  and closing the main road to his house. Unfortunately his house flooded. I spent some time there helping to suck up the water soaked into his carpet, and move furniture and belongings upstairs.  It is a big, expensive mess, but they are working hard to clean it up. 

Table Mesa and Broadway, the road to my dad's house
Despite how the floods have affected my family, I know that we are very fortunate. I will write more soon, but wanted to let friends and family know that we are ok. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August Update

I am so ready for Autumn... Cooler days, that cozy feeling, and more time indoors. In June and July I worked like crazy on a handful of custom orders that I received all at once, and finished them in a big flurry. Then I had nothing for a long while~ no orders, barely any clay and very little inspiration. It was a good time for a break. I went on a little road trip, worked my other jobs, and spent time with my daughter. I have barely been in my studio for a few weeks except here and there and when I did visit it was briefly. I began to notice a little structure going up around the perimeter of my garden. First it started on the edge of the siding down to the garden wall. Then it expanded to the watering can that hasn't been used in a month. Then the builder remodeled and popped the top. It became a GIANT spider web! This morning I was watering my garden and saw something out of the corner of my eye. It looked like a spider, though it retreated quickly with the spray of water I gave my tomato plants. Tonight I went out to have a look and the master architect was out, sitting on his (or her) throne.
From far away you can barely see it

As close as I would dare
This spider is about the size of a quarter and the web it has built is bigger every day. So literally, my studio is getting covered with webs... It is time for me to get back in there. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July Update

Here we are, deep in July. I think that Summer's time is on a different spectrum than other seasons. I go to bed in June and wake up in mid-July- which is totally unexplainable since the days are longer! Anyway.

I thought it was about time for an update.

I spent my Fourth of July holiday in my studio. I was so grateful to be there, to be messy-handed, and finally getting some things started. I added a few more commissions to my list, which despite being another thing to do was really the best thing to get me going! I still have to bisque and glaze, but I'm over the creation hump.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

To Do List

Lately I've been overwhelmed with all that I've taken on. I have so much to do that I don't even know where to start! Usually when I have too much to do I start cleaning the house and forget what I was supposed to be doing to begin with. Lists help me. Tremendously. I often put a few small things that can be easily achieved (but have been put off), some big things (that will take avoiding a lot of small things in order for me to do), and a few things that absolutely have to get finished whether they are big or small. Right now my Mud Whimsy list is out of control...

Here it is my List (in no order of priority):
-Remake yarn bowl
-Fire Father's Day orders and deliver them on Sunday (June 16th is Father's Day!)
-Make a surprise platter for a secret person
-Finish more thumb drive covers for these lovely people
-Make civil union gift for a friend
-Finish octopus mug
-Wash studio towels (this has been on the list for MONTHS)
-Make dishes for Clementine Studio

I know I am forgetting a few things. I can feel them churning and looming over me. Not a good feeling!

I found a free printable To Do List at that seems very appropriate. It says, "Do it. You'll feel better. Really."

I am going to print it out, translate my to do list, then cross things off. I think I WILL feel better! After that I will have a much better blog post including new finished projects, a shop update, and I think a coupon for my Etsy shop, just for fun.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Update

I apologize for the crickets around here. I've been so busy with everything that I've been forgetting to eat! Today I am home sick (I suppose the busy-ness has finally caught up to me) and am finally able to catch up. I have SO MANY exciting things to share!

1. Trident Cafe is now carrying teacups made by me! I glazed them, pulled them from the kiln, and immediately brought them to Trident. I've felt so lucky to be creating mugs for them and didn't want my luck to run out! They were very well received. The manager kept saying, "Wow, these turned out REALLY well." He put two out and a woman in line next to me requested one of them for her tea.
I will be having a tea party there soon to help support Trident and to celebrate them carrying my mugs! Please let me know if you'd like to be included and I will make sure you are invited.

2. I was a vendor in the Whole Foods Market Whole Planet Foundation sale! It was a great experience all around. I got myself set up to accept credit cards, I sold about half of the work I brought (and made some money!), and heard so many nice things about my work. I've been hesitant to take part in markets and fairs- I've heard some horror stories, but now I am planning on applying to more sales and markets.

3. I have been making lots of new work! Some of them are custom pieces, but I've also made a few just for fun. They should be in my Etsy shop in a bit, but as always if you can't wait until then let me know and we can make an arrangement. 

Friday, January 25, 2013


When I was in college majoring in ceramics I heard the worst pick up line. I was in a bar, making small talk with some guy and I told him I was studying ceramics. He brought up the Ghost scene and asked if I had ever tried it. I said, "Uh, no."  
"Neither have I. You wanna?" He said raising his eyebrows up and down.
Even though the scene in Ghost was very well done and quite sexy, after working with clay I shudder when I think about it. First of all, a lot of clay is gritty and rough. While my hands have gotten used to the exfoliation, I do not want any other part of my body to endure the constant roughness of throwing. Second, if the clay is good and ready, it stinks. Really, it smells like moldy vinegar. I love the earthy smell, but it is definitely not a turn on! 
So needless to say, that guy in the bar did not reenact the Ghost scene. Not with me, anyway!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Keep Versus Sell

Lately I've been challenged by what to keep versus what to sell.

Exhibit A: A green dotted air plant home. I photographed it, listed it in my Etsy shop, posted it on Facebook- everything I needed to do to sell it. I wanted to sell it!

... But then today I bought a new plant, which fit perfectly in the pot and looks so cute with all of the others. Now it is mine! (The other pottery in the photo below was made by me too).

Exhibit B: Awhile ago I made a mug that was kind of a disaster from the beginning. I mentioned it here.
Despite its flaws I decided to go ahead with glazing it. When it was finished was quite lovely! It has been awhile since I've kept a mug for my own personal use, and cappuccinos would be so nice to drink from it. However, I have a cupboard brimming with mugs. When I asked my daughter if I should sell or keep it she said, "Sell it! And can you sell our other mugs too? Our cupboards are too full." 

I'll probably put it aside for a little bit while I think about it. We'll see what happens with this little mug.... Feel free to comment on your opinion of whether I should keep it or sell it. And just for the record I will not sell my cupboard mugs!

Sometimes I intend to keep things and then the rightful owner emerges. Like my Snigel Mug. I made a bunch of mugs, one of which had a snail on the side and the word 'snigel' (Swedish for snail) carved in. I made it for myself and had no intention to sell it. But then someone fell in love with it and I knew it was meant to be hers. Now I'm making myself a new one- maybe!