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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Random

Show and Tell, More Proactive Changes and What’s On My Needles


SHOW AND TELL

My sweet son in law has been requesting a pitcher for I don’t know how long.  Being a pastor, he wanted something he could use for baptisms and communion. After many unsuccessful attempts, I finally came  up with one that passed muster.

Clefton’s Pitcher

Inside glazed with Spectrum Cinnamon Ripple

Outside glazed with Amaco Seaweed

 

Test Bowl

Outside glaze Amaco Seaweed PC-51

Inside glazed with Mayco Stoneware Glaze

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Galaxy

Here’s a better look at the inside –

 

TODAY’S PROACTIVE CHANGE

This one is turning out to be the most difficult – putting all my devices aside 30 minutes  before bedtime. Yep, this one is by far the most difficult.  There’s always just one more thing I want to  check on, which leads to another page, then one more site and then just one more peek at Facebook. Putting it all aside 30 minutes before bedtime gives my brain enough time to calm down and I fall asleep faster and stay asleep. 🥱😴

ON  MY NEEDLES

 

Shibui Sock

Colorway unknown

100% Merino

Petty Harbour by Rayna Curtis

 

We are limited,  not by our abilities,  but by our vision. Anonymous

 

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Random

Positive Changes


Without going into detail, I’ve been dealing with some health issues over the past few months, mainly insomnia and restless leg syndrome.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had more than just a few hours of uninterrupted sleep a night, but I’m working on some positive lifestyle changes that seem to be helping.  Just being proactive makes me feel better mentally and physically and I intend to keep it up.

One of the things I’m doing is making a bullet journal to record things like sleep time, diet, exercise, etc. because all these things tie into my physical and mental wellbeing.

Tsuki Bullet Journal

Pastel Edition

Notebook Therapy

Another positive change I’m working on is intermittent fasting, trying as hard as I can to go low carb,  high protein, cutting out sugar and caffeine.  Do I always succeed?  Nope, but it’s getting easier. 🙂

I’ll keep you posted.

One faces the future with ones past. Pearl Buck

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PS – I put a couple of new pots in the kiln this morning with some new glazes.  Hopefully, I’ll have something to Show and Tell in my next post. 🤞

Random

Could the End Be In Sight??


You’d think that with the quarantine/social distancing/mask wearing and sheltering in place I’d be throwing pots and knitting like a maniac, but my orthopedic adventures brought these things to a screeching halt. The backstory is here if you missed it the first time around.

Anyhow, besides just the couple of weeks being bored out of my mind because I couldn’t do much of anything – when you break your dominant arm you’re pretty much out of luck for a while – being housebound hasn’t been too bad. You can bet, though, as soon as I got my cast off I was knitting, even if it was a super slow process. I got my hands back into the clay, finally able to finish what I’d started before I broke my arm and every day is a  little bit better than the day before. Here’s three very patient pots that waited for me to heal.

 

Word on the street is that life is starting to normalize.  Mr. iknead said there was toilet paper on the grocery shelves, no hand sanitizer or gloves, but at least it’s a move in the right direction.

 

From error to error one discovers the entire truth. Sigmund Freud

 

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p.s. Don’t forget to visit my Etsy shop, ClayDreamsPottery.  I’m always adding new pots and you don’t want to miss out on the perfect one!

 

Random

Cooler Heads


Thank heaven for cooler heads!!! I took ya’lls advice and put Gray Days in timeout for about a week, during which I calmed down a bit, enough for an attitude adjustment. . I picked it up again Monday morning and Gray Days is knitting up well and once again, all is well at Casa Coleman. 🙂 Here’s a look at my new, improved Gray Days Gansey:

Things are also going well in the pottery studio also.  I’ve had a couple of kiln unloads that I’m  very pleased with and want to share with you all.  Both pieces are made of the same clay, Speckled Brownstone.

 

Thanks to all who sent me good advice when I was ready to relegate Gray Days to my personal limbo — the back of my closet.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit my etsy shop for more pottery love!

And we are put on this earth a little space that we might learn to bear the beams of love.

William Blake

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Random

Surprise!


Ever glazed a bowl or knitted/sewn a project that you had such high hopes for that, on completion, was so ugly it was a real challenge to NOT throw it in the trash or banish it to the recesses of
of your darkest closet?  Let me tell you about my latest bowl of shame………

There was nothing wrong with the naked bowl, one of my better ones IMO.  Sorry guys, I took no photos of the first glazing. Too painful. 😜

The first glaze consisted of Toasted Sage poured into the bowl and swirled to cover, followed  by Oatmeal brushed on the rim x3.  I laid a band of Textured Turquoise below the Oatmeal rim inside.  I then brushed the outside with Spectrum Cinnamon Ripple x3.  When the glaze was dry, I fired this bad boy to cone 5. All I can say about the final result was YUCK and double YUCK.  I tried to console myself by saying we can’t all be beautiful and made up my mind to keep it around for a little while; sometimes a glaze combination will grow on me. Not this time.

I decided to refire it, using a new glaze I got for Christmas, a Hot Pink by Spectrum.  So, I just sort of slapped a few coats of this pink on it all over and fired it again.  BTW – all glazes are Amaco Potter’s Choice unless specified otherwise.  This glaze was a cone 9/10 and since I like to live dangerously, I fired to cone 10. 🥵

Here’s the surprise:

 

 

Love this!!

I’m so glad I gave this pot a second chance!  Forrest Gump’s mama was right:

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

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Knitting · pottery

Score!


After a try out of Kollage Square Circular Knitting Needles I’ve fallen deeply in love with these babies and want one of every size and length.  The rub? Kollage has quit making them.😢 My LYS does carry them, but with very limited choices.  I spent way too much time last night trying to track some down – a rollercoaster of emotion, let me tell you. I was ultimately successful, finding a nice selection of needle sizes and cord lengths at Paradise Fibers and bought three new circs, sizes 1,1.5 and 2 with 60” cables, my favorite! I’ll start stalking our mailman in the next day or so.

ON MY NEEDLES

I’m back on track  with my Gray Day Gansey and am about an inch away from separating for the sleeves.

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Gray Day Gansey

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes

Haze

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Petty Harbour

First Light Handicrafts

Manos del Uruguay Fino

Turkish Delight

JUST OUT OF THE KILN

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ClayDreamsPottery

Buncombe White Clay

Glazed w/ Blue Rutile on exterior and Arctic Blue interior

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. Robert Kennedy

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Knitting · pottery

Monday


Hi ya’ll!  Here it’s come around Monday again and I have a couple of things to show you. I hope everyone’s weekend was a good one, mine was super busy which is a good thing in my case.  When I’m bored, I tend to get into trouble – think shopping, think junk food, think hours of Pinterest or Facebook. Does this sound familiar?  OK, enough of that.  Here are a few things I played around with over the weekend.

My Gray Day Gansey is STILL on my needles, due to a mistake (dropped stitch) that I was unable to make peace with.  So, I put in a lifeline and ripped  back a good six inches of cabling and fixed it. Much happier!E16E9B0A-C169-4D92-A5C4-7D9900950992

I also managed to finally get ClayDreamsPottery, my Etsy shop, updated.  Hit the link and see what’s new. I also got a bisque kiln fired, which unfortunately did not go as smoothly as I’d hoped. One of the pots exploded early on but luckily, nothing else in the kiln was damaged. 😨

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Monday’s child is fair of face.  Anonymous Nursery Rhymes

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Random

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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Random

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 –

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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