Saturday, January 25, 2014

Shoutout to Beth & Jen of Parris House Wool Works!

Beth and Jen are bringing back the traditional North American rug hooking techniques and designs...and let me tell you, the rugs are absolutely stunning!  Works of fiber art that I'm not so sure I would be able to wipe my feet on!  

 Name:  Beth Miller

Business Name(s):  Parris House Wool Works

Date Business Was Opened/Created:  2011

Types of Items/Services Offered:  Jen and I offer everything you need for the art of traditional North American rug hooking, including original patterns on linen ( primitive, traditional, and contemporary), the best quality wools (hand dyed by us and also off the bolt), hooks, our own Maine made and personally designed rug hooking frames, hooks, binding tape, you name it. Additionally we consign items from other Maine artisans including frame covers, snip pockets, hand spun and dyed yarns, and knitting bags. We also will be introducing hand made, all natural soaps and vintage hand picked items to our shop in 2014, as well as our own line of custom turned hooks, again, made in Maine. Additionally, we teach our craft in both our Maine and Tennessee studios and offer hooking nights for hookers to share their craft, chat, and have tasty refreshments.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Working Together

I know I talk rather frequently about the Etsy Maine Team, but it is full of some really amazing folks.  The artists and crafts people that are members of the Etsy Maine Team really exhibit what we believe a person from Maine should be like.  Kind, caring, hard working, and willing to help out your neighbor.  This mentality has led to several collaborations between myself and two other very talented women:  Sue from Country Folk Soap, and Alicia from Sally Bateau.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Artist Accessibility

Taking an ocean-side stroll.  Hiking through the woods along a rocky path.  Climbing a flight of stairs.  

Rolling out slabs of clay, sitting in my wheelchair
Do you ever stop to think about these actions...and be thankful these are activities you can perform with little to no thought?  I am envious at times of those who don't have to think a second thought about doing these actions.  There, I said it.  As much as I try to maintain a positive outlook on my situation, there are times when I just want to say, "This shit sucks". 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Crafting Your Creative Space...Almost

Hey there!  I have been looking high and low for a book to help me better set up my home pottery studio.  I have unique needs, and was hoping someone out there had written about how to alter your space to accommodate for a variety of disabilities...Guess what...they haven't!  Crazy, I know...So guess what that means?  I have taken on the project.  


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Shoutout to Kerin of Pipsqueaks!

I know I've said it before...but I'll say it again... I really LOVE the Etsy Maine Team.  Why, you may ask?  Because I have the opportunity to "meet" (even if just virtually for the near future) so many wonderfully talented individuals!  We are all crafty in our own way, and seeing others' artistic/creative expressions has always been an inspiration for me.  We all have our back story.. and if you "listen" closely, you can decipher some of it in by the quality of craftsmanship in our wares.  

 Without further Kerin!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Woman in a Man's World - Part 1

I got a lot of feedback on yesterday's post about my time in Iraq.  After I re-read it, I felt like I rambled... but I'm glad it touched so many people!  One of the common comments left for me on my Facebook page, was that it gave non-military folks some insight on what it was like for a woman in the military.  I feel that I just barely scratched the surface on that topic... so I thought I'd write a few posts about it.  Some of the things I will be talking about are pretty please bare with me.
(NOTE - I don't have many pictures from bootcamp/AIT... a lot of my military pictures come from my time in Iraq.  Just FYI)

Monday, January 13, 2014


When I tell people that I was in the army, the first question is always, "Did you go to Iraq?  Afghanistan?".  When I inform them that I did deploy to Iraq for OIF VII, the question that always follows next is, "What was it like?".  People  may think that it is an easy question to answer, but quite the contrary, it is not.  What part of Iraq do you want to know about?  There are many.  Do you want to do what the social and family ties and the stresses it caused was like?  Do you want to know what war is like?  Or what about the countryside?  The people and the children?  Being a medic?  What part do you want to know about?  The part where I admit it broke me all to hell and I will never be the same again?    Which part?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Shoutout to Katrina of Amphitrite Studio!

Etsy Maine Team members come through yet again!  Meet Katrina, a fiber fashionista, if you will.  LOL  

Name: Katrina Napolitan

Business Name(s): Amphitrite Studio

Date Business Was Opened: 2000

Types of Items Offered: 
I offer natural fiber, one of a kind women's fashions & accessories all handmade by myself in midcoast Maine. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Time is FLYIN'!

 As I sat here drinking my coffee this afternoon (yes...afternoon.  My sleep cycle is flip flopped...days are my nights and nights are my days..)...I realized today was January 10th.  Today marks 5 full months of being married to my amazing hubby...  and it also means that tomorrow is his birthday!  Nothing too extravagant planned.  The hubby just wants to hang out and have a chill day at home.  So that's what we're going to do.  After all...Football starts at 4:30 pm!  haha

As far as realizing I've been married to the most wonderful man in the world for five months...I
couldn't be happier.  You know you have a solid relationship when being married feels no different than it felt to be dating.  Nothing has changed.  The piece of paper and the rings are symbols of our love, not game changers.  And for that, I am truly thankful!  He supports me in my muddy musings, forever encouraging me to pursue my love of sculpting rather than just making stuff that will sell.  He reminds me to take it easy and not be so hard on myself when I'm having bad health days.  He is an amazing step-father to my son, caring for and loving him as his own.  Five months down and a lifetime to go! figure out what to do for him for his birthday tomorrow...I know he doesn't want to do anything but watch football... But c'mon!  I can't let that fly..  :-D  Let the scheming begin..hehe

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Khnum - Ancient Egyptian Kiln God

KhnumI told ya to watch out for a follow up to my Kiln God/Goddess post!!  I have always been fascinated with Egyptian culture, specifically the Ancient Egyptian culture and religion(s).  So while doing some research into the origin of the kiln god/goddess, you can imagine my excitement to see that the Egyptians were one of the first civilizations to adopt one!  Khnum was one of the first/most ancient of all the deities that were worshiped.  There are references to Khnum that date back to the  Predynastic Periods!  How awesome!  See...I knew potters/ceramic artists were special folk.. ;)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Liebster Award Nomination!!

I'm honored!  Natalie from Magic Jewellery nominated me for the Liebster Reward.  What a nice surprise for sure!!  hehe 

What's the Liebster Award:
The word Liebster- a German word- translates to dear, favorite, love .
It's an award for (mostly) up and coming bloggers with 200 -or less-  followers that is given by fellow bloggers.

The rules
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.  check
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you. 
  • Nominate other bloggers for the award who have 200 followers or less.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer. 
  • Notify the nominees of their nomination (of course!)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Making Pottery Textures/Stamps Tutorial

We all have those certain people, whether we know them or not, that we look up to and admire.  As a potter I have many such people who I follow near and far that I do not know personally.  That's the great thing Social Media has done for those of us stuck in solitary confinement..I mean our studios.. hehe  One person who's work I admire is Gary Jackson, of Fire When Ready Pottery.  His work is nearly always full of unique and gorgeous texture.  On a lazy Sunday, I spent the afternoon reading down through his blog and thought I would try my own hand at making some homemade stamps.  They're not pretty (just like my Sgraffito Tools found here), but they work.  :)  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What is a Kiln God/Goddess??

Sitting here in front of our wood stove, staying awake all night (to sleep during the day) to ensure the fire stays stoked... my mind started wandering.  My first pottery instructor and mentor was quite superstitious about the kiln goddess being placed on top of the kiln for every firing.  Staring into the fire tonight..I got to thinking about the origin of the kiln god/goddess...And I'll be damned if I couldn't find anything!  So here is my interpretation based on some background knowledge I have of ancient cultures.  :)  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Shoutout to Cheri of Art By Cheri

Cheri is a fellow Etsy Maine Team member and a very talented artist!  I can attest to her skill as a painter.. her watercolors are gorgeous!  She is also a piano teacher.  So if you're looking to learn how to stroke the ivories... definitely get in touch with her! 

Piano by Cheri
Name:  Cheri Christenson

Business Name(s)
Piano by Cheri 
Art by Cheri

Date Business Was Opened:  October 2013 on Etsy.

Types of Items Offered:  Piano lessons (in person) and on Etsy: watercolor cards, watercolor artwork, watercolor beads, soon to come, hand painted scarves

Why did you decide to open/start your own business?:  I got into watercolor a few years ago and fell in love with it. last year I sold a few of my paintings as cards, so this year I thought I would broaden my horizons.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Always Learning - Ceramic Mug Critique

There has been a lot of talk about how bad Social Media can be for us and our youth...But when used appropriately, it can also be a GREAT help to those that are home bound for a variety of reasons.  I've been lucky enough to have been invited and/or accepted into various pottery/ceramic centered groups on Facebook.  I've mentioned "clay buddies" in the past.  A new group I've been welcomed into is "pottery critiques".  I took a big gulp and submitted one of my mugs for critiquing.  There are some AMAZING potters/ceramic artists that are members of this group. Some of whom I follow through their blogs and other means and truly value/appreciate their opinions.  Anyway..getting off topic. :)  I thought I would share the mug I posted for critique and some of the insights offered by some well respected artists in the ceramic community.  :)
Oak Leaf Camo Mug
 I call this my "camo" mug as inspired by the hubby.  He asked me to make a camo (woodland, not digital) mug and this is what I came up with.  Inside is glazed blaze orange, green/red leaves, and iron ore for the mug itself.  The handle has been carved to try and mimic the natural wood/branch texture.  It's available in my Etsy shop if you're interested.. :) 

Without further is the advice/critiques I was given:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 - New Year's Goals and Resolutions

Home Sweet Home..for now.  Wallagrass, ME  Dec 2013
Today is the beginning of a new year.  A time to reflect on the previous 365 days, and ponder on what the next 365 days have to come.  This year will be a GREAT year, because that's my mind set.  My health WILL get better.  My business WILL become more regular with sales and such.  My family and I WILL find a home closer to family and be moved by the summer.  Life WILL be good.  Positive affirmations and having a positive mental attitude is what it's all about this year.