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Etsy Update


Hi all, Yes, here I am.  The Insomniac Potter is alive and well. Storms are moving through my neck of the woods with lots of thunder and lighting.  I love storms and so couldn’t pass this one up.

I also wanted to give you a look at my newest Etsy shop update.  Hop on over to  ClayDreamsPottery, my Etsy shop and see what’s new!

You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.  Bob Dylan

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Christmas in Bangkok


Hi all!

So, what did you think of the changes in my About Me page? It took me a long time to get the new content from my head to WordPress!  As for my 2020 Intentions, one of my main one is to start and stick to a blogging schedule.  I haven’t quite gotten that one settled in my mind but just getting started feels like a big step in the right direction! 👟👟

I hope you had a great holiday!  Mr. iknead and I went to Bangkok for Christmas with the Bangkok Bunch.  So good to see them…..even with Facetime, etc., sometimes I crave being able to hug them in person, hold their hands and hear their voices in person. Unfortunately, I was sick the. whole. time. with bronchitis. I went to the doctor and he gave me antibiotics and cough medicine.  They helped a little and at least got me through the long, long flight home.😷🤒👨‍⚕️💊

Best gift ever?  The Bangkok bunch is coming home! 🏠🏠🏠 The excitement and the relief of having them close by again is overwhelming!  🎇🎇🎇🤸‍♂️😍

 

I’m still plugging away at Gray Day.  I’ve had to rip the entire cable pattern out and start it again twice.🤬but it’s progressing slowly!

I plan to do an  update of my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery, in the next day or so, keep an eye on it – you don’t want to miss a thing!  Here’s a preview –

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Blog Revamp


Hey all!

I’ve been out of pocket for a while – lots of things happening in not much time and my blogging has suffered.  Things have settled down again and I’m doing some much needed blog updating, starting with a new and improved About Me page.

Come see what’s new and stay tuned – it’s a work in progress!

If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself. Norman Peale

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pottery

The Insomniac Potter Rides Again!


OK, so it’s not exactly insomnia that rolled me out of bed this morning  but a commitment to play bells this morning with my Trinity Episcopal group.  And, of course, me being me, always sure that I’ll oversleep or forget that I’m supposed to ring, I calculate when I need to be up and out of bed getting ready, then set the alarm back at least 30 minutes to have a bit of a cushion and hang my vestments next to the coffee pot as a reminder.🛌⏰💤🎶

I’ve a couple of pots to show you all this morning, I apologize if these are a rerun.

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Rim Experiment

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Not the same pot, but similar.  The first of the rim experiments.

Glazed outside with Amaco Arctic Blue, outer portion of inside glazed with Deep Firebrick, middle portion with Rutile Blue, bottom with Arctic Blue, all Amaco Potter’s Choice glazes.  I’m on the fence regarding my glaze choices, I may need to fire a hair lower, like cone 5 instead of 6.  It’s growing on me.

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My current fave.  Glazed with Amaco Firebrick to cone 6.

These are currently in the damp box, slowly becoming ready for the bisque kiln.  Our weather has finally cooled, slowing the process, but making it much more pleasant in my garage studio.🙂

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Someday, I’m going to have a studio with running water.  The heat I can deal with — turn on a fan and work after the sun goes down.  I can handle the winter cold as well with a space heater and a sweater but carrying buckets of water back and forth is tiresome. Someday.

This has been a jam packed few weeks but I plan to take a breather after tomorrow and get caught up on listing pots on Etsy.  My shop is ClayDreamsPottery and I’d love to have you stop by!

Never put off till to tomorrow what you can do today.  Thomas Jefferson

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Knitting · pottery

Picking It Up Again


 

That’s right,  the Insomniac Potter is back. It’s been a busy month, both craftwise and familywise.  My gray sweater is growing, but slowly, as expected.  I’ve started and and abandoned several pairs of socks and a scarf or two, but I think I’ve found THE sock pattern – at least for now. Have a look-

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This is the book-

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My Gray Day Gansey

Like I said, this sweater is slow going, but is totally worth it, I really love cables. It’s definitely not portable or what I call cruise control knitting, though. It requires my full attention sort of like a toddler — take your eyes off it for one second and you’re in the weeds, at least I am! 😋

Then there’s the pottery. Here’s one of my newest pots –

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This one’s a do over. The original glazing turned out to be so ugly, I immediately reglazed it.  I’m much much happier this time around!  It’ll be going up on ClayDreamsPottery on Etsy in the next few days.  If it floats your boat, let me know!

I have several pieces that are in that limbo between just thrown and dry enough to  trim and bisque. I learned the hard way not to fire anything I’m not totally sure is bone dry.  Nothing more discouraging than opening a kiln full of busted pots, but I’m also waiting for a couple of new glazes to come in before getting started on finishing them.

I always pass on good advice.  It is the only thing to do with it.  It is never of any use to oneself.  Oscar Wilde

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pottery

Fired Up


FIRED

I had a great kiln firing this weekend – for a change.  I usually have a couple of successful pots out of each firing, but all of them turning out well feels like, well, a miracle.  One of the things I love about working with clay is that I’m constantly stretching myself creatively, either by learning new techniques or experimenting with different glazes and clays. I plan to list these new pots in my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery, but wanted to flash a sneak peek beforehand.

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That dark stripe there on the front isn’t really there, it’s a reflection.  The glaze, Amaco seaweed, just comes out super smooth and shiny – perfect except for the occasional pesky persistent reflection.

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Working on my lid making skills

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Not sister pots but maybe cousins

We must not say every mistake is a foolish one.  Cicero

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Busy, But Not Too Busy to Knit and Throw


ON MY NEEDLES

My Gray Day sweater marches onward.  I was super glad to finally be finished with the almost 12 inches of stockinette that had to be done before the cable portion began. I got down to business on the cabling and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I caught on to the order of the cables and how clear and concise the directions were.  If you look closely, you can see the beginning cables. 🔍🔎🔍🔎

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The camera really doesn’t do this yarn justice.  It’s not brown, but a soft, grayish purple. You can check out my pattern notes here.

After putting myself on a rather severe yarn diet I ran across these lovelies on Zulily. Both are from Zen Yarn Garden.

 

Anyone know about these? They were a bargain, but I’m not familiar with the brand.

FROM MY WHEEL

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Working hard on getting the shape just right.

Still, sometimes accidents happen and the perfect pot loaded into the kiln……..

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isn’t the perfect pot when unloaded. ☹️

The mind is everything.  What you think you become. Buddha

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Overnight Fan


I tried something different today — I ordered groceries online and picked them up later this afternoon.  I may never enter the grocery store again!  Truthfully, though, Mr. iknead does most of the grocery shopping and excels at it.  But, today, Mr. iknead was otherwise occupied and my insomnia was making me feel like an extra from Night of the Living Dead so I decided to try it.

Wow.  Why haven’t I done this before???  I went online, picked out what I wanted and chose a time for pick up.  When it was time, I drove to the store, parked, let them know I was there and a nice person brought out my stuff, put it in the car and handed me my receipt.  Oh, I almost forgot the next best thing – my groceries were in real brown paper bags. 😮 I despise  those plastic things but can’t remember to take the reusable cloth ones.  What makes me sound more like an old lady—loving paper bags or my inability to remember about the reusable kind?

The first three online orders are free, after that, there’s a $5.00 charge.  Totally worth it in my book!  Yep, I’m a fan!

I believe the true function of age is memory. I’m recording as fast as I can. Rita Mae Brown

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pottery

Go Big or Go Home


Anyone else ever have kiln envy?  Not me…..at least not until about 30 minutes ago or so.

So.  Here I am, at home, minding my own business (sort of) and remembering that another potter friend told me about her new kiln that she bought off Craigslist.  I go to Craigslist – just to scope out if there are any kilns listed, mind you and find this:

 


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No, I’m not Memphis bound with a wad of cash, but someday I’ll want need a bigger, fancier, shinier kiln and you can just bet I’ll be looking at Craigslist more often from now on! 🙂

He who talks more is sooner exhausted. Lao Tzu

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Knitting · pottery

The Insomniac Potter Rides Again


Good morning everyone! As you can see, my sleep pattern seems to have reverted into the good old 2 a.m. internal alarm setting.  (heavy sigh)  One good thing about starting my day in the wee hours is that it’s a great time to run the kiln, long before the sun comes up, and the heat and humidity start to build.

Here’s a look at a few things I’ve been working on:

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The start of a series of small bottles, all different

Glazes L to R

Blue Rutile, Textured Turquoise and Blue Rutile, Blueberry Spice, Textured Turquoise, Ancient Jasper

A pot I started yesterday waiting to dry enough to trim.

A bean pot that has been washed and reglazed several times. (I’m not usually this indecisive.) Final glaze is Textured Turquoise. (Probably)🤔

ON MY NEEDLES

The first five inches of the Gray Days sweater. Six more inches of stockinette to go then on to the best part – CABLES!  I absolutely LOVE cables!

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My Gray Days

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Haze Heather

Project notes can be found here.

There is no great genius without some touch of madness. Seneca

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PS I’ve added some new pots to my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery.  I’d love to have you pay a visit!

Knitting · pottery

Woo-Hoo! I Have a FO!


 

Off My Needles

It’s official!  My Leksak Lady is finished, with ends woven, a nice Eucalan soak and ending with a good blocking and drying.  My project notes can be found here.

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My Leksak Lady

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Tweed Barn Door Heather

I’m ready for fall and cooler temps, could someone please get in touch with Mother Nature and pass that on?

In the hope that yes, fall is coming, I started a new sweater yesterday, Gray Days, a Knitpicks pattern.  I wish I could show you a photo, but nothing larger than a postage stamp will load. You can get a better look at it on the cover of the latest Knitpicks catalog.

Out of the Kiln

I’ve been working on a small bottle series and got the first bunch bisqued yesterday. Now comes the hard part – what glazes should I use?  Decisions, decisions. Here’s a photo –

 The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. Eden Phillpotts

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