2020

Clay Today


I’ve working hard these past two weeks getting my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery, updated. This is a multistep process and pretty tedious. Way tedious really, but I’m taking part in this year’s Arkansas Art Center Museum Sale, a once a year sale when the Art Center students get to show off all they’ve learned and hopefully make enough money to support their various art/craft habits – at least until the next visit to the art store. This year, it’s going to be different. This year, instead of an in-person sale, it’s gone virtual. SURPRISE!!!!! AM I RIGHT???? Here’s the progression of my emotions since, oh, I don’t know, like 2020 happened and everything changed.🤞🙏😟☹️😭😤😠😡🤬😡😠☹️😕😮🙂😀

I’m not the only one on this rollercoaster, making the best of a bad situation. My mama used to tell me that it’s just as easy to smile as to frown. She was right. I must have gotten my optimistic mindset from her. ❤️ But I digress.

Here’s what came off the wheel today –

In a week or so they will be ready for their first firing

Stay tuned, I hope to follow these guys until their final, most exciting, nailbiting firing. Every potter I know, though, keeps their fingers crossed throughout. 🤞 I sure miss my pottery peeps!

To practice art, no matter how well or badly is a way to make your soul grow. So do it. Kurt Vonnegut

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2021

11:50 p.m. and I’m Not the Least Bit Sleepy – A Great Time to Blog


My projects are chugging right along as far as I can tell. I picked up counted cross stitch after about a 20 year hiatus and found that I love it just as much now as I did back then. The pattern I picked out is a doozy called Thistle – Cross Stitched Quilt Blocks from Carolyn Manning Designs

Almost to the halfway point. I’ll have to make a run to The Shepherd’s Needle for more DMC before we leave for spring break.
The Catnip Socks are coming along.

What worries you masters you. Haddon Robinson

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2021 · Knitting

Lowering My Standards or Giving Myself A Break


I’ll take the latter, thank you very much. 🙂

When I was a worker bee, I published a post three times a week on average, usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since retirement, I MIGHT get a blog post in once a week or so, all the while making promises to myself that “next week I’m getting back to three times a week”. Now, if you are a regular reader, you know that three posts a week has yet to happen.

Why was I a more productive blogger back then when I worked 40 hours a week than I currently am as a happy retiree? Seems counterintuitive (am I using that word correctly?) doesn’t it?

I think I know the answer. I’m still working, but at knitting, working with clay, throwing pots, doing a bit of sewing, painting a bit and having a go at whatever catches my curiosity at any particular time.

All this leads to full happy days and these full happy days tend to squeeze out my blogging time.

So, I’m cutting myself some slack and instead of beating myself up for what I haven’t done, from now on my goal is one post a week and actually enjoying sharing thoughts and projects.

This is what I’ve been working on this past week –

I started these yesterday. Sadly, this photo doesn’t do this yarn justice and doesn’t show off its sparkle.

I rediscovered my love for counted cross stitch, which has been back burnered for about 20 years and went all in with this gargantuan project.

Go big or go home!

I can tell how long I’ve been away from cross stitch by just how much my close vision has gone downhill. My new bifocals are supposed to arrive today and none too soon. I expect they’ll make a HUGE difference! 🤓

Cookie A’s Pomatomus Socks are off my needles!

These make me particularly proud since this pattern has defeated me at least three times in the past. Yay me!!!!

Details on all these projects can be found here, and here.

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability. Harry F. Banks.

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2021 · Knitting

If You Find…


If you guys are artists/crafters and I know most of you are, a lot of the time your FOs tend to pile up faster than you can gift/donate/sell them. I mean,you can only foist gift so many things to friends and family before the eyerolls and less than enthusiastic thank yous begin. 🙄😑

With this in mind, I googled what to do with art overflow and found a great Facebook group called Art Abandonment. In a nutshell, members place their creations (with an explanatory note) in various spots for others to find, take a photo of the abandoned art and post it. I’m loving seeing other posters photos, so many amazing pieces that absolutely reinforce the idea that art is everywhere and isn’t always in a frame or on a pedestal in a museum. Check it out!

ON MY NEEDLES

Cookie A’s Pomatomus Socks

This particular pattern has defeated me several times in the past. Today, though, everything clicked and I have high hopes of seeing it through. 🤞🤞🤞

My project notes can be found here.

Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths. © Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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2020

I Suppose


I suppose it’s time to show you guys a couple of things that I’ve been obsessed with these last few weeks. After all, Christmas knitting is behind me, at least for the moment and I promised myself a few selfish projects as a reward for finishing my gifted projects in time for the actual gift giving.

ON MY NEEDLES

Remember the Gray Days sweater project? Well, after putting it aside in favor of the Christmas projects, when I decided it was Gray Days’ turn to be worked on again I quickly realized that I had no idea where I left off. I usually note on the pattern where to pick it up again but slipped up this time. After a day of guessing and frogging and guessing and frogging I just frogged the entire cable panel and started it over.😩

Before

After and nearly back to where I was.

 But wait! There’s  more!

Colonial Rib Socks

 Not sure about yarn, may be Knitpicks Stroll, but unless the lost ball band reveals itself, it will remain a mystery. 

My last WIP is this sweater –

Winter Blues Sweater

http://happyloveco.com

This is my first experience with super bulky yarn and size 17 needles and while I enjoyed knitting it, I’ll probably stick mostly with fingering yarn and socks as usual. I do love Happy Love Co sweater patterns thought!

True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. © William Penn

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2020

Post Holiday Happy


I hope everyone had as great a holiday as we did! In fact we had such a great time together that we stretched our Christmas over three days of fun, food, presents, games, grandkids, cousins, and the chaos that springs from six kids from 10 to 2 years old and seven adults who threw adulting aside for a couple of days.

CHRISTMAS REVEAL!

Giant Arm Knit Scarf/Throw

 

Trieste Hat

Trieste Hat and Mitts

 

Green Gable Socks

 

Leaf Face Cloths and Fancy Soaps

How was your holiday?

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. Buddha

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2020

Christmas Countdown


Ten days until Christmas and while I’m definitely in hurry up and get these projects finished mode, I’m not panicking. I am, however, hyperfocused and am determined to be finished by Christmas Eve. No photos as these projects are destined to be gifts, but here is a photo of the grandkids to ooooh and ahhhh over.

Susannah, Harper, Annabelle, Charlee and Emma

Shepherd

After a long dry knitting spell I think I’ve gotten my knitting mojo back and have finished several projects that were started pre-covid. I keep forgetting that one of the biggest reasons my knitting/pottery projects were in limbo was because I broke my arm in March. It’s impossible to knit with a casted arm!

My First Go at Arm Knitting

Trieste Hat

These two FOs aren’t gifts so I decided to go ahead and show them off. The arm knitting experiment was interesting and easy so I ordered 12 skeins of jumbo yarn to knit up into one of those ginormous squishy throws that keep showing up in my Pinterest feed. The Trieste hat is for me to wear when I walk Dixie. My ball cap just hasn’t cut it warmth-wise on our last couple of walks!

Details on these projects can be found here and here.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. Epictetus

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2020

First FO of December


OFF MY NEEDLES

First Christmas FO 2020

Trieste Hat and Mitts

No real details as this is a gift, but this pattern knitted up so easily and quickly it will definitely be in the gift rotation for a long time. Pattern details can be found here.

NEW HOUSE NEWS

Mr. iknead and I had our last meeting today with our builder to finalize our house plan and tie up the few loose ends. We’ll sign our contract the first of next week and by the first week in January, the slab will be poured and our new house adventure will have truly started. I’ve pinned and pinned and pinned on Pinterest and started project idea boards for each room. So what if I have champagne tastes on a beer budget—a girl can dream can’t she?? 🍾🥂🍺🍻

Everything you can imagine can be real. Pablo Picasso

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2020

As Promised


Every potter loves a successful firing! I get a little anticipatory rush when it’s time to open my kiln and see whether or not the kiln gods have smiled upon me. This time, they smiled. 🙂🙂🙂🙂

Before Firing

Starting with the lower left pot, here are the glazes I used: Copper Red, the pot above it is wearing June Bug, the middle pot is glazed with Blue Stone and its neighbor wears Blue Spark. The upper left, black pot’s glaze is Vintage Gold.

After Firing

Not what you expected – am I right? Here’s an up close and personal look at each one….

All glazes are from the Amaco Potter’s Choice line. I’ll be adding these to my rapidly expanding glaze collection without a doubt!

All perceiving is also thinking, all reasoning is also intuition, observation is also invention. Rudolf Arnheim

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2020 · Arkansas Art Center Sale · Knitting · pottery

Five Roses Finish!


OFF MY NEEDLES

My Five Roses Shawl is finally finished and I think it turned out really well. There were a few moments when I seriously considered frogging and starting over but I’m glad I didn’t. My project notes are here.

My Five Roses Shawl

Christmas knitting continues. With My Five Roses completed, some of my self imposed pressure has eased and I plan to focus on my Christmas projects for the next few weeks. No new projects until 2021 is my mantra for the time being. 🧘‍♀️

In the kiln

I have high hopes for these little bowls. I got a sample pack of brand new Amaco glazes and can’t wait to see how they turn out.🤞

We see things not as they are, but as we are. Our perception is shaped by our previous experiences. Dennis Kimbro

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2020

Three Rows and A Sale


I’ve been trying to finish this shawl all week. I worked literally all day yesterday on three rows, trying to get it right. I think I tinked three rows and reknitted them five times before figuring out that my mistake was one more row down. Did I mention that there were 226 stitches per row? How my head didn’t explode I’ll never know. 🤯🤯🤯 But today was a new day, I got it fixed and Casa Coleman is a happier place. The next time you see My Five Roses it will be washed and blocking.

My Five Roses

My project notes are here.

One more thing……

The Art Center Museum School Sale goes live Monday, 11/23/20. There’s something for everyone, all student and instructor made and crazy awesome. Check it out and see what we’ve been working on this long, long year. One of the best things about it? No mask required!

As soon as it goes live I’ll post a link that will take you to the sale so keep an eye out and prepare to be amazed at all the talent all in one place. You won’t be disappointed!

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. Lou Holtz

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2020

Finally A FO!


 

Not only one, but two FOs and, unfortunately, two fails.  Let’s start with the successes.

First up – Flower Cloche

Day before yesterday, I decided that I couldn’t live another day without a Downton Abbey style hat. This happens to me a lot. A quick trip through patterns on Ravelry was rewarded with this, a shallow (for once) stash dive yielded suitable yarn so I cast on yet another project. Never mind the 4+ UFOs begging for attention.

                                                            Before Felting

After Felting and Adding Crochet Flower

Quick, Cute and Easy!

Second FO

Tiny Pumpkin Box

That’s my knee it’s balanced on. Don’t try this at home! 🙂

I  made this using leftover clay – waste not want not – and it turned out well. Another cutie!

On to the fails…..

Bummer…..

It just goes to show that when working with clay and glazes, in the end they have the last word. Good thing we potters are an optimistic bunch! Am I right????

Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. Epictetus

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My project notes can be found here.