Category Archives: hello!

what i did during summer vacation

what i did during summer vacation

0913swim2Summer is over. Where did it go? It wasn’t spent here, as you can tell by the complete lack of posts.

A lot of it was spent in the swimming pool, wearing that same Lands’ End swimsuit that has lasted me three summers and is still going strong.

A tiny bit of it was spent on our fourth night away from children in EIGHT YEARS. Real clothing! Hotel! Being out in the dark!

0913hotelwaveA large part of it was spent driving, and driving, and driving. We drove from Kansas City to Colorado, Utah, California, Arizona and back. We camped a lot. We saw friends and family whom we love and miss every day. We saw mountains and arches and canyons and the OCEAN!

0913arches 0913crystalcoveI managed to fire some platters.

0913dashplatterI finished this custom wall platter. I’m still trying to decide whether I want to do this sort of custom work regularly.

0913houseplatterAnd there was so much more. Family came to visit. Two of my girls learned to ride bicycles. One of them jumped off the high dive! Two had birthdays. I had a birthday. Chris had a birthday. We have another birthday coming in a couple of weeks.

All the girls are in school — preschool for one, elementary for two, and college for me. I am back in school, taking graphic design classes again. I haven’t had time to touch clay in a month, and that makes me sad. It has been kind of insane trying to keep up with the kids, the house, the dog, the cooking, the shopping, the bills, the laundry, the dishes AND go to school. There’s no room for clay. So I don’t know what to do about that.

I should perhaps make some choices, but if I know myself, I’ll just keep trying to choose everything.

from the future!

from the future!


I disappeared there for a bit. Where did I go? I went into the iphone black hole. I got my first smartphone.

Actually, I’ve been around, just not here. I don’t really like sitting at the laptop now that I have this handy from-the-future toy. I bought a used phone and am using a value service, so if we get rid of our land line, I’m on track to actually save us money every month! I didn’t think that would be possible with an iphone, but there you go.

I’ve signed up for instagram and vine, and I’ve been having fun taking little photos and videos. If you would like to follow me, I’m ameliastudio on instagram, and I’m Amy Harding on vine. I suppose I should have made those the same, and actually I thought I did, but I don’t know — I’m new at this.

I’m already starting to get a case of texting thumb, which is apparently possible even if you don’t really text and can only type about two words per minute.

IMG_0015 IMG_0010 IMG_0014 IMG_0011 IMG_0013

checking in

checking in

IMG_3475I don’t have too terribly much to report today. Things have been moving along in the typical fashion for January. I’m digging in to do some preschool auction work. I usually work on decorations, and I’ll be doing that again this year. What else?

  • I’ve been keeping up with my daily sketching.
  • I’ve been hauling things to Goodwill, which is an ongoing process…
  • I have 15 days to go on my cleanse. I’m past the achiness and random rashes and am moving on to the crabbiness, following the same pattern as last time. I’m starting to get a little bit of relief from the headaches that plague me most of the time.
  • We got out of the house last weekend and saw this movie. It was good, but I was surprised when it won the Golden Globe.
  • I bought some boxes so I could start shipping the items in my etsy shop. It was cheaper to buy large quantities. So now I am overrun with boxes. They have nowhere to go.
  • I put up my new calendar. My super ginormous calendar! This year I went with a Stendig, and the sheer size of it tickles me.
  • I’ve been listening to this CD that Santa put in my stocking for Christmas. The sweet title song mentions Kansas City! I like how this review calls it “cozy sweater folk.” That is so spot on. That is the type of music I tend to like in the wintertime.
  • But sometimes I need some pop for waking up or cleaning or snapping out of a funk. Robyn has been fitting the bill lately. Love this one. I heard it on the third episode of “Girls,” which I am slowly working my way through.
  • I finished all the episodes of “Breaking Bad.” No more episodes. Now I have to wait just like everyone else. I resisted this show for so long because it felt so depressing to me. I was wrong. Mea culpa.
  • I read this book, which was really good.
  • I signed my oldest up for piano lessons (Groupon!). I hope practicing doesn’t turn into homework war part 2.
  • I’ve started planning a gigantic road trip for this summer. There will be camping (which the girls have never done before). And Disneyland. And the Grand Canyon. I am scared. And excited.

Finally, I haven’t made a single pot this year. I did get my studio cleaned up and ready to start again, and I will soon. Soon.



IMG_3448Happy New Year!

My sister and her family came from California for a nice long visit with us this year. So we’ve been busy eating, laughing and holding babies (well, baby — singular). And driving to Arkansas to visit my grandmother. And making snowmen. And tiki drinks. And eating too-big burgers at the mall. And now I’m back to piles of laundry and making grocery lists.

But I do plan on doing some new things this year. Resolutions? Goals? Whatever you call them, here they are:

  • I’ll be doing a sketch a day this year. For some reason, it seems like every time I’ve taken an art class, I have purchased a new sketchbook. I never fill them all the way up. So I have at least three mostly unused sketchbooks. I’m set — except for that exploding pen today. A set of Microns is on the way. I’ll be taking photos of the sketches semi-regularly. They will go here. I will be working in pen to keep myself from getting too mired in trying to be perfect with the option to erase. Pens show process, and this is all about process. I’m hoping to become more confident drawing on pots.
  • My ceramics goals: producing multiples (first up: a set of cereal bowls that I might even keep for myself), maintaining an online shop, participating in the Clay Guild sale again, and mixing my own glazes. Even if I’m not consistently using my own glazes this year, I at least want to learn how to mix.
  • I’ll be doing the Clean Program cleanse again. I always feel a little unwell after the richness of the holidays, so I am ready for this. I’ve already started weaning off caffeine and alcohol. Today was my first day without coffee, so I’m a little sleepy.
  • Yoga. I need to start doing this again. When I have a few days where I’ve done a lot of work in the studio, my body hurts. It needs stretching. There was a year or two pre-children when I did yoga 1-2 times a week, and it felt really good. So I hope to get back to that. I’m a little worried about some vertigo I seem to have developed that kicks in when I do downward dog. So I may need to find my own way here … The idea is just to stretch and move a little. Maybe it will end up having to be walks and non-inverted stretches. We’ll see.

Here’s to 2013! Cheers.


all the pretty lights

all the pretty lights


Our yearly Christmas drive through the city in our pajamas always yields some interesting light photos. As I was taking them, I was telling Chris that our children are going to have to dig through all sorts of this nonsense if they ever delve into my photo files after I’m gone. Bloggers have a strange collection of photos: plates of food, raindrops, craft supplies, streaking Christmas lights.

It has felt odd but necessary to continue on with our Christmas traditions this week. I have not told my children about the unthinkable tragedy in Connecticut. There is no reason those children should have had such terror visited upon them, and there is no reason my children should live in fear either. My mind is full of sympathy, grief and worry — mentally composing letters to my representatives and wondering what can be done. But my girls are oblivious and joyful. So we frost sugar cookies and roast marshmallows in the fireplace and watch the pretty lights go by.

whitetwinkles redarrowlights



November came up on me so quickly that when I went to change the calendar, I realized I had never changed it to October! And that is a shame, because I missed a month of looking at Leah Duncan‘s lovely designs. If you want to see all of her 2012 calendar, you can see it here. Or, check out next year’s calendars here. I don’t know what to pick for 2013.

I need to keep an eye out for a calendar for the girls, too. They are always making their own countdown calendars with confusing grids and checkmarks. They’re fun, but I have no idea what to tell them when they ask me to look at it and determine how many days are left until Easter/Halloween/grandma visiting/etc.

This November I decided not to participate in NaBloPoMo, even though I have enjoyed it before. I am having trouble keeping all the plate spinning lately, and I just didn’t need another plate. So, instead, I will be taking a photo here and there for Habit‘s open month. You can see my photos on flickr in my flickr stream or on the Habit group page.

easy fun

easy fun

I’ve been away for a bit. There was a wedding in Wisconsin (my cousin’s), a funeral in Kansas (my great aunt’s) and a baby in California (my sister’s — today!). There was a possibly broken finger (courtesy of that never-ending pile of gravel), a 20-year high school reunion in Indiana (unattended — too much travel), and a power outage (see our long-exposure-fun-without-electricity photos). There were photo backdrops painted. There were La Palomas consumed. There were many, many forms filled out in order for my children to head back to school/preschool. And many checks written.

End-of-summer stuff, good stuff, bad stuff, wonderful stuff, life stuff.

(Note: Our “Easy Fun” dude is a Dick Daniels piece that we love very much.)



So, I’ve finished my cleanse! I ended up doing 16 days of the full Clean cleanse (but 17 days off alcohol and 18 days off coffee — I tapered off of those early). In order to slowly add back in enough foods to eat dinner at my cousin’s upcoming wedding, I ended the cleanse a little early. You can’t not have wedding cake at a wedding, right?

The first 14 days of the cleanse were not great, I must say. The first week was quite painful, with lots of aching in my legs and lower back. I had such bad chills every night that I was sleeping with a heating pad in the middle of July. I kept finding new rashes (my wrist, my inner arm, my ankle). I tried remedies like Epsom salt baths and magnesium supplements (these two are essentially the same thing), but they didn’t really help. The second week, I just felt really foggy. The only mistake I made was accidentally eating some sweet potatoes, which I guess you are not supposed to have despite one of their lists only banning “white potatoes.” (I guess sweet potatoes create mucus?)

But days 15 and 16 were quite good, and I can see how going the full 21 days would be no problem. My constantly stuffy nose cleared up, my skin cleared up, I didn’t wake up completely exhausted like I usually do (even after a full night’s sleep), I wasn’t bloated anymore, I stopped getting daily headaches and I lost 5 pounds. I felt good enough that the idea of adding foods back in was worrisome. But I want to know which foods agree with me and which ones don’t.

So far, alcohol makes me more prone to headaches (which I knew) and dairy makes me tired, stuffy and bloated (which I suspected). Today is coffee. That’s my first macchiato up there — in my itty-bitty-kiddy handmade mug. I’m trying to switch from lattes to macchiatos in order to reduce the amount of dairy/soy I have. I don’t like almond milk in my coffee. I just finished that coffee, and I’m already feeling the tummy rumbles from that little dab of milk.

I’m also now completely wired — hence the wordiness of this post. Maybe I should have made it a single macchiato.