Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Making Your Own Pottery Tools Tutorial

Do you ever sit at your work table/wheel, WISHING you had a certain tool...but not having it??  Or needing a specific size/shape for sculptural work and there's NOTHING available that will work for your needs?  Well...why not make it yourself?!?  I've seen several different tutorials put together by other potters/ceramic artists and took ideas/suggestions from each one to create my OWN way of doing things.  Keep in mind this is my FIRST attempt at making my own tools...  Still a long ways to go before they look pretty...but I'm pretty sure they'll be functional. :)

SO without further adieu...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

USPS Changing Their Rates

Heads up everyone!  I've copied and pasted the new shipping rates going into effect for the USPS.  These new rates will start on 26 JANUARY 2014.

You can find the detailed information about all the proposed price increases HERE.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Shoutout to JustinCredible Pottery!

I don't know Justin in person... but we potters are crazy.. and make close connections via a variety of online groups and communities.  I met Justin through one such group, "Clay Buddies" on Facebook.  (Side note...I REALLY LOVE THAT GROUP! :) )

Name: Justin DeWitt

Business Name(s): JustinCredible Pottery

Date Business Was Opened: June 2013

Types of Items Offered: Oddball one of a kind functional pottery

Why did you decide to open/start your own business?: I needed someplace to put my excess pottery, so why not sell it and get paid

What is your inspiration?: Still working on that…….. :P   My family, to constantly better myself

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shoutout to Oberleigh Images

I had the opportunity to speak to Karen of Oberleigh Images recently.  She is a fellow Etsy Maine Team member and one helluva photographer!  I love the triptychs she has compiled!!  Below are her answers to some of the questions.  There are some serious inquiries... but also some silly/fun ones as well!  

Pelican Halo
Name: Karen Anderson 

Business Name:  Oberleigh Images 

Date Business Was Opened: October 1, 2013 on Etsy

Types of Items Offered: Nature & Floral Photo Wall Art – mounted, ready to hang in sets of three /triptychs

Monday, December 16, 2013

First Solo Art/Craft Fair

  So.. the weekend after Thanksgiving this year was my very first SOLO arts/craft fair.  I've done a few in the past, but it was always with a fellow potter, or other Maine artisans.  With the type of ceramics I make.. nearly ALL of them are personalized, so I make the orders as they come in.  That being said...I had virtually NO inventory to speak of.  So for the end of October and all of November, I was busting my @$$ trying to make sure I had inventory for the Christmas show.  I made a bunch of earrings and ornaments, thinking those would be big sellers.  Lower price points, great gifts for the holidays, etc.  Needless to say, they weren't!  I had a smorgasbord of sales.  My goal, was to bring in enough profits so I could replace my iPad that I got two years ago. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

I know it's been a while... please forgive me!  It's been a busy few months!!  I plan on streamlining my ceramic lines.  I hope that by doing this I can actually create inventory to keep on hand and have readily accessible/quick to ship items.  I'm thinking a dragonfly line... hummingbirds... and I already offer a somewhat exclusive ocean inspired line to two shops; one in Kennebunkport, Maine, and one in Florida...  I'll be writing more about that later!  :)

For now, I really wanted to share a poem with you that my husband wrote shortly after we met.  Grab your hanky or a box of tissues... I bawled my eyes out the first time I read it.  I still can't read it without shedding a tear. :)  Here is the link to the original on Facebook : Military - Twas The Night Before Christmas; by J.A. Barnes

Military Twas The Night Before Christmas - J.A.Barnes



Twas’ the Night before Christmas, And out in the sand,
A soldier was on guard duty, weapon safely in hand.
The dune was completely still, not even the wind stirred.
His eyes scanned the horizon, a plan of action inferred.

His team was in slumber, dreaming of their loved ones miles away.
Seeing the faces of their children ,and the smiles they’d wear later that day.
The soldier remained on alert, as he continued to scan into the black.
Occasionaley sipping coffee, and pulling out his MRE for a snack.

When from out of the darkness there arose a loud sound,
The soldier snapped the safety off his weapon and prepared to throw down.
He sighted down the barrel, and steadied his hands.
Prepared to lay down his own life, prepared to make his last stand.

At first it was just sounds, those that sounded of bells.
But from which direction they were coming, the soldier could not yet tell.
When out from the clouds, the moon did appear.
Lighting up the sand as though daytime and revealing eight tinny reindeer.

With a white bearded driver, dressed head to toe in red.
The soldier still unsure, put the sights to his head.
As he hollered and laughed and called out each name,
The soldier wanted to believe his eyes, but held his target just the same.

“Now Dasher, now Dancer, Now Prancer, and Vixen.  On Comit, On Cupid, On Doner and Blitzen!
There are men and women about, who sacrifice themselves for the free!
We’re going to thank them all tonight, before any presents go under the trees!”

He reached behind him, and slowly pulled from his sack,
A large wooden pole, with a white flag on the back.
Standing from his sleigh, he began to wave his hands,
Signaling his good intentions, to alert the soldier man.

The soldier waved him forward while remaining at the ready,
He radioed to his command, his hands never unsteady.
As St. Nick approached, he did exactly as he was told.
Holding his hands within sight, he wasn’t there to be bold.

The soldier could hear the deer breathing, and see the smile on Santa’s face.
As the sleight came to a stop, and he stepped out with grace.
“Good evening my dear boy, and Merry Christmas to you all.
We have a special gift for you, soldiers one and all.

Backup arrived and Santa accepted his search without a sound,
He completely understood their caution, for many brothers and sisters had gone down.
As they completed their job, even checking the bag in the sleigh.
They gave the thumbs up, Santa was ok.

As he stepped back a bit, his hands began to shake and his knees became weak.
A tear dropped from his eye, as he slowly began to speak.
“My list of nice and naughty is very hard to compile.
But the men and women of the military are at the top by a mile.”

“You ask for nothing in return, but your life your ready to give.
You sacrifice your body, your hearts, so that others may live.
You may only require a thank you once in awhile but you see that just won’t do.
I’m here to bring the magic of Christmas to each and every one of you.”

He stepped to the sleigh and removed his toy sack.
It was a velvety red, with a gold stripe down the back.
And as he moved in close, his suit began to change color,
It became a combination off all the services BDU’s, a suit unlike any other.

“You may not have known this, but I’ve been in battle myself.
I wasn’t always Santa, and my workers not always Elf’s.”
As he spoke with a grin, and a twinkle in his eye,
He reached into his bag and let out a large sigh.

“I’m sorry to say I can’t end this war, and I can’t send you home.
It wouldn’t matter anyways, as you wouldn’t leave your unit alone.
So what I have here, is just a little treat of Christmas spirit,
Take a moment to relax, as you get to see and to hear it.”

With his final word, the bag began to glow.
It levitated above the ground, and began a picture show.
There were children with smiles, and families left back home,
Playful pets and Christmas trees, and even a saluting Gnome.

There was laughing and a few tears as moments were remembered.
And a few silent prayers for those lives who had been surrendered.
As Santa stood back and took in the sight,
He knew the country would always be ok as long as there were these brave men and women to fight.

As the show shed its final light, and everyone returned to order.
Santa began to shake hands, and to thank each soldier.
He made his way back to the sled, before resetting his sack and stepping in.
His shoulders slumped forward for a moment, as he ran his finger through the hair on his chin.

“As much as I’d like to stay, it is my duty to go.
So many stops to make tonight, at each station throughout the world.
But as you're celebrating here, with your family number two.
Don’t ever forget those people at home that love and appreciate you.”

“Back in the states, there are people you’ll never know.
Who love and appreciate, the continuous courage that you show.
The men and women of the services are the bravest in the world.
And make it safe for me to bring joy to every little boy and girl.”

As the sleigh began to move and started to lift to the air.
He dropped down a package to each soldier standing there.
It wasn’t a gift that could be heard or for that matter even seen.
It was instead the thanks and feeling, the knowledge of what they really mean.

With the sleigh going up and pulling out of sight,
Santa hollered back to them, “Merry Christmas and Thank you, because of you we sleep safe tonight.”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to the men and women abroad who serve our country every day.  Your sacrifice and courage do not go unnoticed.  God bless the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Maine Corps, and Coast Guard!!


Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Happy Kwanza, Happy New Year, and any/every holiday I may be missing!  

Please feel free to share the blog post, share the poem.. it deserves to go viral!  Not just because he's my husband...but because it's an amazing, heartfelt poem that rings true to so many...