2020 · Family

What A Difference A Day Makes ppl p


OK. It’s time. Actually, it’s past time I’m finally admitting how besieged I’ve felt for, oh, I don’t know, the past three months. The first weeks were fun. After all, what knitter/crafter hasn’t fantasized about unlimited time to indulge in whatever our (my) current obsession is. Even better, with the internet, it takes only seconds to replenish whatever supplies – including food – run low. Until……

It finally hits home that Covid 19 means people everywhere and anywhere can sicken, and die, overloading what we (I) always took for granted, quick and easy access to healthcare, medication and, when needed, a nice clean, cool and private hospital room to rest and recover in. Then, there were none and wherever there was space for a bed became a room. ERs, hallways, tents, athletic fields. There’s no room for pickiness when Covid 19 comes to town and my list of things I always took for granted gets shorter.

Then there’s social distancing and quarantine. Not a problem until it means that the new grandbaby so long awaited can only be worshipped from afar and a healthy loved one can only wave and mouth words of encouragement and love or helpless and disbelieving goodbyes. My family has been so blessed. Me and mine have stayed healthy so far. We’ve been super careful and tried as hard as we can to follow the rules. Masks, gloves, wipes, handwashing, sanitizer – we do them and will continue to do so for as long as it takes because it has worked, so far. The list of things I’ve always taken for granted continues to shrink.

Then, on the last day of March at (naturally) midnight I fall and break my right arm, my first broken bone and the first time the idea of an ER visit scares me enough that I wait four more hours, in pain and fear before I cave and let Mr. iknead drive me there ONLY after he calls the ER first. Four freakin’ hours before yours truly admits that having my right hand totally pointing the wrong way probably should be checked out and we arrive to an empty ER and I mean empty. I was the only patient and had my own personal nurse, doctor and techs. The missing piece? I was alone. My spouse and ultimate support person could not enter the ER and was advised that he could sit in the car while I was there or could go home and wait for a call telling him I was being released. I asked (told) him to go on home and kept him updated via cell phone. Again, the list of things taken for granted shrinks.

If you missed the posts with the gory details, you can find it here.

Just when I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I start seeing an unfamiliar name across social media. George Floyd. I learn that another Black man has died in police custody, all caught on camera and three words become a personal nightmare. I. Can’t. Breathe. I am a white female. I have never had to have The Talk with my children about their behavior when dealing with law enforcement because I was raised with the certainty that policemen are my friends. This is not a lie in my reality. The lie is that we all live the SAME reality. We don’t. Let me say up front that a family member is law enforcement and I would trust him with my life or anyone elses. Thank God that the vast majority of people that we trust with our lives are totally worthy of that trust but tragically, there is a small, unworthy minority and even one untrustworthy, out of control, power tripping and just plain mean authority figure is WAY too many. Ever. My reality is changing. Old attitudes are hard to change but I can hear mine groaning and cracking under the weight of my changed reality. I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. I am angry. I am learning. Most of all, I am changing. More shrinkage of the list.

Yesterday, though, at least a bit of my soul started to heal. Our second oldest grand girl received her first Holy Communion. I was so proud of her, so self possessed at such a young age, making a lifetime commitment. For once, I was glad to be wearing a face mask so my happy tears were hidden. (Happy tears or not, the ugly cry was front and center 😭). I felt truly calm for the first time in months, reassured that no matter what, God is in control, he knows me and loves me anyway. Life is tough at the moment for so many, and tougher for some than others, but it goes on, hopefully leaving a kinder, gentler nation in its wake.

Harper Elizabeth

First Communion

June 7, 2020

Know what I learned today? The shorter my Take It For Granted list becomes, the longer my Gratitude List grows. Sure didn’t see that one coming.

In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers. Mr. Rogers

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Everything Else

I’m Back!


Hey everyone! Remember me? Well, here I am, still an insomniac and getting over a back issue.  Actually, I developed back pain about a week ago that kept me from wheel and kiln until yesterday. Anyhow, I’m much better and eager to get back in the studio. 🙂

Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of things I was able to finish before my back turned on me.

First up is a  medium sized sized, textured vase –

Next, a sweet little ring bowl –

I especially love the green shades inside this little bowl!

These will be going up in my Etsy shop,ClayDreamsPottery in the next few days, as soon as I can take a breather from playing pottery catch up!

Knowledge is addictive. Keep it up.  Teresa Sjoquist

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Everything Else

Meyer’s Shino Try Out


A few weeks ago I was poking around in the glazes at the Art Center pottery studio and came across one that I wasn’t familiar with – Meyer’s Shino.  In keeping with my “I’ll try anything once” personality type, I grabbed one of my bowls that was glaze ready and gave it a dip.  I had no expectations, I hadn’t used it and neither had anyone else in the studio that day.  So, to satisfy my curiosity, I dipped.

LOVE!!!

B clay no grog

One dip Meyer’s Shino

Fired to cone 10

Looks a lot like a soda firing, doesn’t it?  All who saw it in the studio yesterday asked me the same question: Soda?  Nope.  Just glazed and fired as usual. I love it when the clay gods smile down upon me!

The years teach much which the days never know.  Ralph Emerson

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Everything Else

Hoosier Facelift


I’ve been very neglectful this past week of just about everything while dismantling, cleaning, painting and reassembling this old hoosier cabinet –

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the colors Henrietta on doors and drawers and Emile on the rest.  Oh, and see those yucky brownish hinges?  Those are the original hinges, I couldn’t find any new ones that fit.  Those old hinges?  That’s what color the whole thing was before the new paint job. Gross.  This is my workspace and storage for my pottery.

After the cabinet was squared away I was able to think about clay again and finally ran a glaze kiln today.  Here’s a first look –

Way too hot to get close, but they look like a success so far!

Be sure to look for these in my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery!

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate. Thornton Wilder

Everything Else

Rain and then more rain


Last post, I mentioned wanting to do an Etsy shop update last weekend, which obviously did  not happen.  I grossly underestimated how busy Mother’s Day was going to be and then there was the rain. Nothing dried enough to even think about running the kiln, leaving me champing at the bit, frustrated and  more than a little bit impatient.  I finally just went ahead and candled most of the still wet pots in my kitchen oven so when the rain finally quit they’d be ready to fire.  Guess what…… it’s raining again and it doesn’t look like it’s going let up anytime soon. 😩🌂⛈☔️ But I have bisqued and glazed pots ready  for the kiln so I’m good. 🙂  On the bright side, I’ve gotten a lot of knitting done while waiting for the sun to come out. ☀️

Ninilchik Swoncho

Caitlin Hunter, Designer

NEWS FLASH ……

My partial Etsy shop update is live, with the remainder to be listed this evening, as soon as it’s cool enough to handle.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

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Everything Else

Rain and then more rain


Last post, I mentioned wanting to do an Etsy shop update last weekend, which obviously did  not happen.  I grossly underestimated how busy Mother’s Day was going to be and then there was the rain. Nothing dried enough to even think about running the kiln, leaving me champing at the bit, frustrated and  more than a little bit impatient.  I finally just went ahead and candled most of the still wet pots in my kitchen oven so when the rain finally quit they’d be ready to fire.  Guess what…… it’s raining again and it doesn’t look like it’s going let up anytime soon. 😩🌂⛈☔️ But I have bisqued and glazed pots ready  for the kiln so I’m good. 🙂  On the bright side, I’ve gotten a lot of knitting done while waiting for the sun to come out. ☀️

Ninilchik Swoncho

Caitlin Hunter, Designer

NEWS FLASH ……

My partial Etsy shop update is live, with the remainder to be listed this evening, as soon as it’s cool enough to handle.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

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Everything Else

Well, It Held Together


WHAT I DID TODAY

Quite a while ago, think years, I came into possession of an old Hoosier cabinet which was just sort of pushed back against the wall and forgotten about. When I decided to set up my studio and started cleaning, guess what I found!!!!  That’s right, the old Hoosier came out of hiding.  It was a bit dirtier than before – it’s been in the garage after all and the evidence of a failed attempt to antique it was still there.  Whoever painted it painted EVERYTHING, the hinges, the latches, everything within reach.  Anyhow, I’ve decided to clean it up, repaint it and use it in my studio.  It has at least 50 years of grime built up – seriously – that has to go before I can start it on it’s road to recovery.  First things first…..knock as much gunk off as I can.  So, out comes the pressure washer, off come the doors, out come the drawers and off come what looks like 20 years of kitchen grease and grime.  Yay!  My biggest fear that it would explode into a million toothpicks didn’t happen.  Everything withstood the pressure washing with no problem.   Great – half the first step – done.  One more wash with a bit of Mean Green detergent should do the trick and I’ll be on to the second step – paint – soon.

Here’s a before photo –

Sorry for the bad focus,  but you can see the shape it’s in. Yuck!

After first pressure wash.

ON THE WHEEL

This week I threw a couple test batter bowls, one of which I promptly broke off the handle, I tried something new I saw in  Pottery Making Illustrated, Throwing in Two Parts and threw a sweet little rounded pitcher.

Crap

I threw a flashlight!!🔦🤨

Sweet

Be a good listener.  Your ears will never get you into trouble. Frank Tyger

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Everything Else

Lather Rinse Repeat/4 a.m. Is Better Than 2 a.m.


THURSDAY MORNING

So – it’s been a busy few weeks. I set up an Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery and have been putting a lot of hours writing and rewriting, tweaking and retweaking my shop stuff, working at getting more pots photographed and listed.  This is much harder than it should be since I’m a bit technophobic, computer illiterate and way out of my comfort zone when I encounter something unfamiliar computer wise. I have to reinvent the wheel over and over again. I’m figuring it out slowly but surely.

Today, I’m running a full bisque kiln this morning, then tomorrow or Saturday go into a glazing frenzy, then finally run a glaze kiln. I guess one good thing about insomnia is that I can start all this  2 a.m.

I’m anxious to see how the spiny things turn out.  I plan to stain them, fire them and then lace them back together with a thin leather thong.  I hope it’s going to match the picture I’ve been carrying around in my head for a long time.

FYI – The spiny things behaved exactly how I’d hoped (for once)!  The toothpicks burned away, leaving perfectly shaped holes for lacing them together later. I LOVE it when a plan comes together!

SATURDAY

Wow, I slept late this morning – til a whole 4 a.m.! If you guessed this week wasn’t exactly a good one sleepwise, in other ways it absolutely rocked. Let’s see. What happened this week? OK, got it.

  • Mr. Insomniac had cataract surgery on his right eye on Wednesday morning and is doing great! He is seeing better than he’s ever seen, 20/30 on the right about 24 hours after surgery.
  • I sold a pot in my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery
  • I’ve had time to work on several knitting projects that have been languishing for what seems like forever. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I also have a knitting blog.  You can check out this particular alter ego at http://iknead2knit.net.
  • Filled a pew at Mass last Sunday with nearly the entire fam, three grands, a son, a daughter in law that I love, my bestie, who happens to be dear d-i- l’s mother, me and Mr. Insomniac.
  • Successful glaze firing of pots to restock my Etsy shop.  Shop update is tentatively scheduled for April 22.

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on man unless they act. G. K. Chesterton

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Everything Else

When Good Pots Go Bad


I’m back after being under the weather for the last week or so – nothing serious, just a lot of sneezing and coughing, nose blowing and just generalized crankiness.  But I’m back!

Ran a combined glaze/bisque kiln today with a so-so result.  One of the bisque pots was perfect.

The other pot, well,  not so much as you can see.

 

I take full credit for this mishap, I can see that I left the bottom thicker than it should have been, hiding just enough moisture for a blow out. 😩

When the bottom blew out, I guess the small bowl wanted to get into the act and ended up with a few stray shards fused to its inside.

Better luck next time, I guess.

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.  John F. Kennedy

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FYI – I’m slowly but surely stocking my Etsy shop, Potshards. Come have a look around! 👀