Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Fun - ABC Get to Know ME!

So going along with the theme, I figured Friday would be a free for all.  Gives me leeway to write about my life, family, and miscellaneous items that might not otherwise fit.  Today's Friday Fun tidbit is an "ABC Get To Know Me Quiz" that I found on The Little Owl Shop Blog (THANKS! :) )  So here goes!  Hope you learn something about me and perhaps are inspired to do the same.

A. Age: 29
B. Bed Size:  Queen...and it's not big enough!  With myself, my fiance, my son, and my service dog Kane all trying to pile into one bed can get crowded!  haha
C. Chore that you hate:  scraping/grinding kiln shelves and putting kiln wash back on.  Time consuming and has to be done outside.  Non pottery related... I hate doing the dishes!  Always have... but now, standing that long to wash the dishes is physically painful... but on the good days I still try to help my honey out.  He takes such good care of me. <3
D. Dogs:   2; my service dog Kane, and my fiance's dog Charlotte.  Charlotte stayed down with his parents when we moved up north though.  She has a lot of health issues and needed to be closer to the vet...AND... his mom and gram just didn't want her to go.
E. Essential start to your day:  Coffee!
Kane and I at a restaurant in Virginia.
F. Favorite Color:  Blue and a dark amethyst purple.
G. Gold or Silver: Silver/white gold
H. Height:  5'7"

I. Instruments you play:  In middle school I played the french horn...and taught myself some basic piano back in HS...but that was 10 years ago..
J. Job Title: Retired Disabled Veteran.  AKA Differently-abled Veteran Ceramic Artist in Training.  Only been doing this 1.5 years, but it has fast become my passion.
K. Kids:  I have an 11 year old son from a previous marriage.  Hope to add to that sometime in the future.
Hummingbird perched on our patio chair. May 2013.
L. Live:  Northern Maine, about 10 miles from the border of Canada.
M. Mother's Name: Kathy.  

N. Nicknames: Na-Na.  One of my younger sisters couldn't say "Shawna" when she was she called me "na-na" and it stuck.  Everyone in my family (mom and sisters, dad not so much) calls me by it.  My fiance's pet/nickname for me is "love monkey".  There's a story behind that one as well... Maybe I'll get into that one in a later post.

O. Overnight hospital stays:  Several.  First one was when my son was born, another one about 8 years ago, and 2 in a 1 month time span while deployed to Iraq.  Again, maybe I'll elaborate more on those on a later date.
P. Pet peeve:  Ignorance.  Racism.  People being judgmental in general.  Live and let live.
Q. Quote from a movie:  "Hakuna Matata" = No worries!  Yes, from The Lion King. :)  But it's a great quote/phrase to live by.  Live life for today.  No sense stressing about yesterday or tomorrow.  Yesterday is in the past and you can't do sh*t about it, and you don't know what tomorrow will again, why stress about the unknown??
R. Right or left handed: Right handed!

S. Siblings: 5 by birth, 1 by marriage.  :)  I have 5 younger sisters ranging in age from 27 to 15.  And as of August 10, 2013, I will have an older sister. :)  Sister-in-law by technicality, but she's great and I love her just the same. :)
T. Time you wake up: It really depends on the kind of night I've had.  If it's been a bad night and I'm up with leg pain, it will be closer to noon.  Most of the time I go to bed when I'm tired and wake up on my own.  Recently though, I've been trying to get on a somewhat normal schedule so I can wake up with my son when he starts school in the fall.
U. Underwear:  The comfy kind! :) 
V. Vegetable you hate:  Not a big fan of kale...I like most veggies... thankfully I'm not a picky eater.
W. What makes you run late:  My memory.  Another "side effect" of Iraq.  My short term memory is HORRIBLE.  We have to stop half down the drive way after we leave to go someplace at LEAST once because I forgot something in the house that I need.  
X. X-Rays you've had:  Oh good lord... WAY too many!  Ankle, knee, foot, entire spine/neck... MRI's and CT scans of head and body...
Y. Yummy food that you make:  I can't cook anymore. :(  My left hand has weakness in it, and I have a tendency to forget stuff.  Add on top of that the inability to stand for long periods of time... And my culinary days are limited.  BUT on my good days... I make a mean stuffed porkchops that my fiance LOVES.
Z. Zoo Animal:  I love the beautiful colors on all the exotic fish... and the peacocks.  The peacocks remind me of the mythical phoenix...of which I have a large tattoo of on my arm.

Well there!  Those are some pretty random questions!  I hope you've learned something you didn't know about me and had a good chuckle...or at least smiled!

Working on some fine detail work.  :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

When You Think of Maine...

What do YOU think of?  For any people, my out of state friends and family included, the first thing that comes to mind is probably moose....and then it's lighthouses.  I was contacted by a gift shop in Kennebunk that typically sells beach themed items and asked if I had anything like that.  Well...I didn't.  So I started playing with my new extruder, which led me to play around with sculpting... So of course the first thing I make is a lighthouse sculpture!!  hehe  Better to go big than go home.  Afterwards I made some cute little trinket plates..  

Back to the lighthouse.  I wish I would have taken more photos during the process of me sculpting it... but alas... before and the first after photo will have to do. :)  If you have been following my blog for a bit, you know that there are 3 steps to the handmade/handbuilt ceramics process.  First ya make it....then ya bisque fire it (1900*-ish F.  Cone 04 for the potters out there).  Then it gets glaze fired (2200*-ish F.  Cone 5/6). 
So the photo to the right shows the stage of just having been constructed on the left.  And on the right is the post bisque firing with underglaze/glaze added to it.  The lighthouse itself was extruded (yes, I have a hollow cylinder extruder die.. LOVE IT!! :) ).  Then I added all the little "stones" one by one.  Let me tell you what.  It was a PITA!  haha.  And then the tall grass that you can see around the door?  I used my little handheld extruder and attached each "blade" individually.  Again...a PITA!  haha.  But I love the attention to detail.  I can't wait to see what it looks like when I pull it out of the kiln!  The intention is to put a light in it so that it is an actual lighthouse.  :)  I will either update this post with the finished product, or just write a new one... Haven't decided yet. :)  Here are some more "beachy" themed items that have had a clear glaze coat applied and loaded into the kiln.  Will be happy to see the finished product of these too! 

Switching to Bloglovin

Just found out that the Google Reader app for following blogs is going defunct as with many loggers, I have made the switch to please come find me!

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Tips

In an effort to better streamline my blogging and make it easier for me to keep up with, as well as my followers, I have decided to add various "themed" days.  I already have Mudita Mondays...I thought Tuesday Tips was appropriate.  I'm not sure if I will have something for every single day, but I figured this was a good start!  What do you guys think?  Do you have any other suggestions or things you would like to see on here??

For my first "Tuesday Tips", I'd like to offer something that EVERYONE can relate to.  Regardless of what your profession, hobby, passion, or calling is; there will be times when nothing goes right and you will feel like giving up.  It is during these times when you MUST NOT GIVE UP.  The most rewarding events nearly always come after the most difficult of journeys.  Did you know that Thomas Edison was NOT the first person to invent the lightbulb?  He was the first person to make one commercially practical.  After trying more than 3,000 "theories" of how an incandescent bulb might work, he and his associates finally found the one that DID.  If he had given up at attempt 3,001; he never would have known that theory/attempt 3,002 was the one that would prove successful.  (source:

In more recent times, look at the Soldiers that are coming home with various ailments; physical, emotional, and psychological.  As an example, look at active duty Col. Gregory Gadson.  Have you seen the movie Battleship?  Ya know the double leg amputee that acts in that movie??  YEA...  That's him...  What would have happened if he had given up when he was injured?  He very well could have gotten received medical retirement due to his injuries.  But he did not.  He has continued to train; continued to lead by example; and continued to thrive.  He has continued to be an inspiration to all who see him and know his story.  I encourage you to do your research and find out all about him in addition to watching the movie.  It was pretty good.  Do a search on "Col. Gregory Gadson" and see what comes up.  It's pretty amazing.

A couple hundred years separates these two men, but there is one thing that unites them.  They never gave up.  Regardless of what you're going through; what hurdles you face; stand tall in the face of adversity.  Continue to climb the mountain in front of you one foot in front of the other.  Most of "Tuesday Tips" will be geared towards pottery/ceramics, but I can't help it if a few of these motivational ones slip in there too. :)

What hurdle have you overcome?  How did you do it?  Let me know how you succeeded despite the odds!  I love to hear how others refuse to let hurdles get in their way!!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Mudita Monday - Asha Fenn

As a fairly new ceramic artist/potter, I have been VERY lucky and blessed to have made acquaintance with some amazing fellow artisans who have been more than happy to share their tips of the trade with me.  So periodically, I will be sharing their successes as part of Mudita Mondays.  Many other occupations/people would consider this odd and would see them as direct competition.  For the most part, ceramicists and potters are a VERY jovial and sharing group of people.  We do what we do because we want to and because we LOVE it.  Having our hand in clay is as much of who we are as the clothes we are and the air we breathe. 

I would not have found this hidden part of who I am without the amazing Asha Fenn.  She started off as my instructor, transitioned into my mentor, and has since become a very good friend.  She has the Pottery, Art & Writing Studio & Showroom off of US Route 1 in Stockton Springs, Maine.  Here, she primarily teaches pottery, but is able to teach a wide variety of painting skills and writing prowess.  She now has her pottery pieces in 11 galleries across the state of Maine.  She was the master-mind behind Maine Artists Group and continues to run the group as well as the online store/website.  She has shared glaze recipes with me, tips and tricks when I am having issues with my throwing.  In the last year, her outreach has grown exponentially and I could not be more proud of her as my mentor, and more happy for her as my friend.  Congratulations Asha!!!  I am sooo happy for your growth in the last 12 months!!!  OH!!  I almost forgot to mention...she is also a member of the prestigious Maine Made organization! 

Namaste my friend!!  Mudita!!

To find Asha please click on the links above.  She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, her business website and blog.  The links listed below are those for her Pottery, Art & Writing Studio & Showroom business:


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Apple Valley Bookstore

Thanks to my Kickstarter project, I was contacted by Eric of Apple Valley Books in Winthrop, Maine.  He expressed an interest in having some of my items there on consignment, and of course, I jumped on that opportunity!!  :)  Took me a little while but I got some items sent down to Winthrop (which is roughly 5 hours from where I live in Wallagrass) and they have it put up on display.

Taken from their Facebook page: 

We're an independent bookshop on Main Street in Winthrop selling new (upstairs) and used (downstairs) books. We want to be your personal booksellers!
We are happy to special order books for you! Give us a call or stop on by!
We offer 20% discount on most books and can often find out-of-print books, as well. Please support your local bookseller...:)

"We vote with our wallets. And if you care about the unique character of your community, if you believe in rewarding the rugged independence of small businesses, then your local independent bookstore deserves your support, now more than ever. This is an admittedly counter-cultural effort—but that is part of its appeal and sense of purpose.

Bookstores are different than other stores—they reflect the soul of a community. They are a place for meeting, browsing and reflecting. You bump into friends and neighbors, and see a book on the shelf you might have never crossed paths with before. They offer time for contemplation and conversation."

- John Avlon of Book Beast

You can find them on Facebook HERE

They're website is:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mudita Monday - 10 June 2013

My Mudita Monday...a day late.  My apologies!

Today, I want to recognize an Etsy seller, who has become a very good friend.  We've never met face to face, though we have conversations as if we've been friends forever and are meeting for a cup of coffee.  We are both planning our weddings, and I am soo happy for her success in her Etsy shop, as well as in her life.  She is kind hearted, friendly, caring, and always goes the extra mile; not only in business relations, but in personal as well.  She is always sending me ideas for my ceramics and offering me inspiration; letting me know that I am on her mind, even if we haven't chatted in the last few days. 

Today, I want to celebrate Mei Ho, of Myoga Craft Cave & Etchy Things.  You can find her Etsy shop HERE.
She is also on Facebook.  You can find her business page HERE.
You can find her website HERE.

THANK YOU Mei, for your friendship, our business partnership, and helping to spread the idea/concept of mudita.  I am blessed to have you as a friend, and wish you nothing but prosperity, happiness, and much success!!