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Friday, February 3, 2017

Ring And Trinket Dishes

I have noticed that other potters make cute little dishes to set your rings, spare change or other trinkets on. 

Last year we cleaned my husband's step-mother's house, who passed away.  In the basement in an old dresser drawer was a cardboard box.  Inside this box was an assortment of cotton doilies. I brought the box home, along with several other items from the house. 

I like a few doilies to set on my dresser tops, but one can only have so many doilies.  Then I remembered that I had made designs on some of my pottery by pressing a piece of webbing into the wet clay, like on this juice pitcher. 

I rolled out clay then rolled a doily into it.  I took off the doily and cut out a shape for this new dish I was designing.  I liked this effect.

It wasn't long before I was pressing these doilies into clay for my toothbrush holder and Christmas ornaments. 

There are many decorative pottery pieces I can make. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What A Year

I just posted a blog that I wrote just after Easter last year 2015. It had been sitting in my drafts for almost a year. My last post was May 2015. Easter is coming so now is the time for it.

 I have a very good reason why I have been absent for almost a year.  I actually had forgotten I had a blog, until today when I read someone else's blog. The distant memory of writing a blog came back to me. I even started a bible reading blog and totally forgot that too.

Without further a-due let me tell you about last year.

Summer was fantastic.  It was one of the best summers we have had in a long time.  The weather was hot and sunny just what I like.

I took advantage of the dry weather to almost finish the landscaping. 

We started the summer by purchasing a travel trailer.  We take our utility trailer, full of motorcycle to weekend motorcycle events. in Ontario. We pull into the event,unload the trailer and set up bed for the nights.  Meals are either at a restaurant or a food canteen on the site or something like chilli that I heat up on a Coleman stove. 

I enjoy camping, but as I get older and my bladder no longer last the night. Getting out of the trailer and hiking across the damp lawn, in the dark to either an outhouse or an indoor washroom had become something I did not enjoy. One time there was only a bush to go into as they had locked the public washroom door for the night. 

Not having a shower for the weekend, something else I wasn't fond of.

Now with trailer I can bring my food and cook it on the gas stove. We can even keep ice cream in our freezer.  The cooler was good for keeping food almost cold.  And the shower, need I say more.

We took the trailer to 3 camping/ motorcycle events and had so much fun hanging out with old and new friends. 

In June Angela, Hasan and the kids were able to come to the cottage.  Everyone was there except Rich.

The middle of July we traveled on our BMW bike to friends in Quebec.  Then hopped in their van for a world round motorcycle event and holiday to Rhode Island.

In my spare time I sold pottery at the Huntsville 100k Market.  It was the second year for me and a good year.  I have signed up for this year too. I did enter a new market in Gravenhurst, unfortunately it wasn't that great.  In August I decided to cut my losses leave that event.  Apparently half of the vendors had also left.

Some time during our busy summer Liz's Mother-In-Law, Nancy had a family gathering so their family could meet Nathan, born in March. Another fun time with friends and family. This Saturday we are celebrating his first birthday, time flies.

August 6, our sixth grandchild, Hatcher was born to Angela and Hasan who live in New Brunswick.  Hatcher became the little brother to Amir, Hope and Athaiah.  In September we drove out east to meet our grandson.Of course enjoyed the other grandkids too.

While we were out east Angela and Hasan put an offer on a house.  They lived in a small apartment and with 4 kids so we were stayed at a motel.

What is that saying about 'best laid plans'?  When we came home from our daughter's I went to a Christian conference. at the end of September. 

My plan was to get back to making pottery and slow down in October.

While at the cottage, Monday September 28, Dave got a phone call that change the course of the following 6 months.  His step mother called, barley able to breathe and said the ambulance was taking her to the hospital.  She lived 3 hours south of us, near Niagara Falls. 

We went to her place Monday evening.  Tuesday morning we high-tailed to the hospital where we got a shock. 

We had not seen her since May. Dave had called her occasionally during the summer.  She had some health issues and we knew she was worried, but she never let on how bad it was. 

She had terminal lung cancer, and more.  At first we thought she might die before Christmas, then, would she last two weeks, then would she last long enough for Angela to be able to see her.  Liz and Rich came on Tuesday.  Angela couldn't come until Friday as they were getting the keys to their home on Thursday.

On Thursday morning we weren't sure she'd last the day, but she did.  Angela got a new home, next day, with Hatcher she hopped on a plane and got to see her grandmother Friday morning. Friday afternoon Doreen went to sleep and never woke up.  Saturday morning she had passed away.  She waited long enough to see Angela and meet her newest great grandson.  Doreen married Dave's father when our daughters were 6 and 8, so she was their grandmother.

We had the funeral on Tuesday and Angela flew home Tuesday afternoon to get her new house in order. 

As funerals go it was a great one.  Instead of flowers we decided to display Doreen's quilted wall hangings.  Even her friends had no idea how many she had and the quality of them.

During this stressful week we escaped and took the kids to my Dad's, now my brothers farm.  In October my brother transforms into a busy pumpkin fun farm.

Nathan and sister Sarah

Since October Dave and been traveling  the three hours south to clean out Doreen's house and get it ready for sale.  Doreen was an awesome quilter and a great shopper.  Coming from the depression time she never threw anything out. It was a busy time cleaning out her place. I found 4 unfinished bed quilts of hers.  She had made quilt for our daughter's when they got married, but died before she had one for Micheal, Dave's nephew. I finished this quilt for Micheal in time for Dave's sister to take it when she came back from Tokyo to pack her things. 

We were able to go back out east for Christmas and our entire family came.

Next week we are taking the last load of furniture out east to fill Angela's big house.  Last month I finished this quilt for Angela. Doreen had done the quilting part, I only had to put them together and put on a back. 
 The quilts I found for Liz and me will have to wait until next year.

In February Dad had another stroke, as usual he is bouncing, this time crawling back. He is 93.

Nancy and I with Nathan and Hatcher after Doreen's funeral.

We are hoping to have a relaxing next few months, but I don't count my chickens before they are hatched.  I did grow up on a chicken farm.

And make the pottery I normally make in the winter.

Jesus' Love Saves

I was reading Psalms 135 and 136 which is all about thanking our Lord.  Psalm 136 verses 1 and 2 are
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His loving kindness is everlasting. Give thanks to the God of gods, for His loving kindness is everlasting. 
The entire chapter is give thanks for God for something, followed by For His loving kindness if everlasting.  His love never ends, for ever and ever.
As I read this I wondered why am I not always thankful.  I really have no reason to not be thankful but I am at times. I think that I am not thankful because I really don't grasp the power that Jesus has and that he died on the cross to save us all and that his love does endure forever.  
I wrote this poem some time ago about how we need to realize Jesus came to save us and we do need to keep our eyes on Him.
 Keep my eyes on Jesus
And he will fly me
 Above the storms that I endure
His strength is all I need

 Why do I not call upon
My savoir for every need
Am I too busy, too proud
 Too independent for his mercy

To know how I must
Rely on the one who saves
Who came to this earth
And develops my faith

 Why do I slap You in the face
And ignore You, Lord help me
Let me come to You
And climb upon your knee

 Let me know Your power
The one who feeds 5000
With 5 loaves and 2 fish
And walks on water like sand

 From Satan’s wicked grasp
From the enemy who steels
You came into my storm
You who rescued and healed

 The almighty one who has
Come to save and raise us all
From our sins and guilt
Nothings for You’s too small

 Saved from our past
And from ourselves
This savoir of ours
We do not deserve

 But with your nail scared hands
You did it all for love
Why? How could you?
Because you are love

We have just celebrated the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection, the purpose of why he came to this earth.
 My pray is that we will not forget that Jesus came to save this world for He loves us so and that we will be thankful always. That we will allow God to raise us up out of our troubles to focus on Him and not ourselves. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Animal Egg Cups

It has been a while since my last blog.

I planned to write regularly, but life got in the way,  a good life and I forget. Oh well, best laid plans......

As a child I would eat a boiled egg in an egg cup, which I thought was mine.  It looked like a chick.  My sister's was Mickey Mouse pulling a wagon.  They had always been there and where old.  When I moved out of my parents house, many years ago, I went to pack it and Dad said, "no, that is mine".  I never knew that.  After Mom died, 21 years ago, and Dad remarried, he let me have 'my' chick egg cup.

A few years ago I made an elephant egg cup, which sold.  Then I made an R2-D2 and a chick for my two oldest grandchildren.  Three more grandchildren have arrived since then. Last winter my daughter informed me her soon to be 3 year old daughter needed one.  I made her a turtle.

I was on a roll. I made two turtles, one lion, one elephant, one chicken laying and egg and a duck, who's tip of her beak got nicked. She'll need another dip in the kiln.
The other grandchildren will have to wait until they are old enough for them.  

I posted them on my facebook and Etsy, and received a custom  order for four Holstein cows.  Despite the gorgeous spring weather, after a long cold winter, I stayed inside and made 6 cows and 2 pigs. They are drying, waiting to be fired. 

Clay must be bone dry to fire or the trapped moisture boils and the piece explodes. 

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did making them. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pottery Studio Clean Up Time

I was in my pottery studio and could smell clay dust.  Clay dust is has silica which can lead to lung damage. 

It was time to clean up my studio.  I started by cleaning my tools.  The interesting thing is when I use my tools I clean them after each use.  I was amazed at how much clay dust was in the bottom of my containers.  Despite my best effort to keep my clay tools and brushes clean the clay was there. 

I wondered how it got there.  Then I remembered. 

When I turn pottery I start by gathering all the tools I need.  Occasionally I forget one.  With clay coated hands I rummage through my tool box for that missed tool.  Clay from my hands easily makes its way to the bottom of the container and stays there until I clean it.

My brushes and stir sticks are a different story.  My hands aren't covered in clay when I use them.  Of course the container wasn't as dirty and my wheel turning tools.  I assume the dust gets in the bottom over time. 

I was even tracking the dust onto the carpet in our family room.  I have to go through this room to go upstairs. 

Today I wanted to make pottery but resisted. I did some clean up yesterday.  If I get it done today, instead of making pottery, I can start fresh and not have the cleaning job on my mind. 

I'm glad I made the right decision.  My After two days of washing a cleaning I now have a clean pottery studio.  I should do this more often. 

Tomorrow I can make more pottery and begin the process of spreading clay dust again.

Monday, January 19, 2015

By Faith

Chapter 11 of Hebrews tells us about people who by faith followed God. 

Following God is not easy. We can't see him. He's not in front of us telling us what to do. How do we know we are following him? 

Some one once told me that it's in my knower that I know I am following him.  He pointed to his gut. 

I get a warm peiceful feeling when I know I've done good by God.  Other times I get very agitated and I know God wants me to stop doing what I am I doing even to stop going to a natural path and a bible study. 

I rarely get these strong feelings.  How do I know that I am following God the rest of the time? I don't know 100% for sure.  I follow the same way the people in Hebrews 11 did, by faith. 

By faith I trusted God to diagnose the bipolar I had, then by faith I trusted him for 8 years that he would heal me.

By faith we followed God from Sudbury to Bracebridge. 

By faith I put my short leg out for prayer and God grew it. 

By faith while at a healing retreat when the leader asked if someone had dilexial I went forward and by faith he prayed and I was healed.

By faith I took a folk art painting course which began my adventure into the art world.

By faith I bought a box of clay, glazes and a kiln which began my adventure into pottery.

By faith I took drum lessons and found I have rythim.

I could keep listing the things I've done by faith, but you get the idea. 

By faith we follow God or by faith we follow the world or ourselves. 

My life is a joyful one instead of a depressed one because I choose to follow God by faith.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Enjoying What God Has Called Me To Do

I am very thankful that I follow Jesus. 

I took the general course in school.   The only subjects I liked were history, without the dates, just tell me the story, math, music and drafting.  I didn't have to work at these subjects.   The other subjects I skimmed through and didn't apply myself.  My sister studied hard and I floated through. 

I wasn't used to working hard at something to learn a new task until I started to make pottery.    Now I enjoy it, but many times in the first few years I wanted to quit.   I also wanted to quit selling on my Etsy site.  I opened the shop 4 months before we moved to Bracebridge.  and did not have time to learn Etsy or promote it. I was only selling a few items a year.   I wanted to quit so many times.  I  wondered if I was wasting my time.   The same thing happened when I started to play drums.  It was frustrating.   I was learning all sorts of rhythms but I wasn't using them in the music. I played the same beat over and over.  Was this also a waste of time?   You can see efficiency of my time is important to me.

I knew God had called me to make pottery so I persevered and kept running the race until I got better at it.  I am still improving but now when I sit at my wheel, what I want to make turns out instead of a simple bowl.  The same thing with the drums.  I know God has called me to play drums so I persevere.  I am improving and one day it will become as easy and joyful as my pottery.  I don't think it will take as long as the pottery did,  as the joy is beginning to come. 

Staying on Etsy was different.  I don't know I if I was called to sell on line.  When I began my pottery journey someone told me my pottery would reach the world.  Online makes this happen.  I kept praying and asking God if I should stay online.  I kept hearing 'Keep at it, stay the course', so I did.  Two years ago I had time to devote to it and this year I rejoined the Etsy Mud Team.  This team and my promoting has increased my sales a lot.  

I am thankful that not only do I follow Jesus, but that He guides me in the paths He wants me to go.  Doing what Jesus has called me to do is way more fun  and easier than following my own path.