So this is my idea of Christmas decorating: clear off two shelves and stick all the Christmas stuff on them. Done.
I have never bought many Christmas decorations besides ornaments. The only things in this photo that were chosen by me are the fabric for the pillow cover I made, the tree, and that candy cane candle up on the shelf. The rest were gifts or hand-me downs. They are all fun things, and somehow they sorta all go together. Kind of.
Sometimes I get the urge to go all color-coordinated and modern with the decorations, but I know my kids have already developed sentimental attachments to the things we have. And so have I. Maybe I’ll add in some more things once we’ve gotten past the point where every decoration is a toy. I hate to invest my time in something that will just be destroyed (you can also apply this phrase to everything in my house).
Actually, half of this stuff is probably going to be broken in ten years’ time anyway! My children will inherit a pile of sentiment-laden, glued-together holiday decor — just as it should be.
The one new thing I may add this year is a pretty centerpiece for a family dinner. Something shiny. Something not breakable. Metal maybe? Brass. That sounds sturdy.
My first sale is one week from today! And I have the sleepy eyes to prove it. I think I’ll send one more partial load into the kiln, and call it good.
We’re starting to get into the holiday season here, and my kids are begging me to put out more Christmas decorations. The decorations are coming out of the boxes at a very slow trickle. I’ll be done just in time for them to go back in the basement!
I did manage to get our advent calendar filled and on the shelf before bed last night (at uh, 2 a.m.?). I call it advent, but it’s really just a countdown calendar. The boxes are filled with either slips of paper suggesting various activities or little wooden letters that spell out *CHEERS* on top of the box. We do the same sorts of activities every year: wearing PJs to drive around and see lights, having a picnic under the Christmas tree, doing a craft project, buying gifts for children in need, giving red & green manicures, etc.
Good times, but tired mama.
My etsy shop has been re-opened for business! I’ll keep it up through December 5, and then I’ll put it on vacation for the KC Clay Guild holiday sale. Right now I only have ornaments, but I’ll post pots after the holiday sale. Thanks for looking!
Mere hours before we set off for Thanksgiving in Virginia, I was able to peek into the kiln and see my ornaments. I’m happy to report that my kiln is functioning as usual once again. I added some gold detail to the ornaments when we got back.
We had a busy, somewhat worrisome (some health issues for my niece), but also wonderful Thanksgiving. How was yours?
I’ll be listing these ornaments on etsy later this week. Catch me on facebook or twitter if you want to get a special friendly discount code. I’ll let you all know as soon as they are listed. Until then, here are a few more photos.
I’ve been working hard to get ready for the holiday sale, but I had a bit of a hiccup last week. My kiln stopped working. I had glazed all the ornaments in the photo above, and they were loaded in the kiln. Then I turned it on, and it would either give me an error message or tell me it was -20 degrees in there. I figured it was the thermocouple on my kiln, and that is what it was. I had a new one installed today, and I’m back on track. I’m not sure how practical it will be to list ornaments on etsy at this point, but I’ll do my best, and I’ll have them at the sale.
Trying to get ready for this sale has been maybe a little too much for me. My days are already full to the brim with three small children, and this has pushed me into exhausted/weepy territory. So I expect this small business to stay super small until I can get all the littles into elementary school. That will at least lead me into a realm somewhere between part-time and full-time. Right now it’s more like wee-hours-time. Or during-The-Little-Mermaid-time. Or please-for-the-love-of-pete-stop-yelling-at-me-for-snacks-time.
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.
I’ve been working on Christmas ornaments to sell, uh, soon. (Too soon! I’m running out of time!) Creating the templates for these geometric designs really stretched my dormant spatial reasoning skills. I also dusted off what little Illustrator skill I have. I swear, every time I start a new Illustrator project it is like starting from square one. Use it or lose it, I guess.
I’ve been calling these Gem Ornaments, but really they are a mix of cut gem designs and crystal formations. These are in the greenware stage, so the colors will be more jewel-toned after firing. I considered making them neon, but I hate to make Christmas decorations overly trendy, color-wise. In my mind, Christmas colors fall into one of these categories: traditional red/green/jewel tones, candy colors (turquoise, pink, red, etc.), metallics, white/neutral, and crystal/sparkle/glass. I think those groupings have stood the test of time, and I don’t want to make one-year ornaments! But neon would indeed have looked pretty cool.
Now that I’ve done a practice round of these, I’ll be working assembly-line style, one color per batch. In my factory of one.
This weekend we took advantage of a rainy day and set up a much-needed bunk bed. My youngest has been climbing out of the crib for at least a month, and my middle child barely fit in the toddler bed anymore. So it was time for the big switch. I was a little sad to see the crib go after more than seven years. No more babies. Which is fine. And good. And best. But still.
The children are thrilled with the bunk bed. They were out-of-control monkeys in the mattress store. Thankfully we were the only customers in there, so we got out of there in record time. Then Chris assembled the bed with what he calls his “twice-as-long crew” of three girls, a dog and three American Girl dolls. They were so helpful.
So far, the bunk bed excitement has not necessitated any trips to the emergency room. Yet. Knock on wood. The rule is: you horse around, you sleep on the floor.
The rain cleared out for Sunday so we could take our annual trip to the Louisburg Cider Mill. I got my yearly watchin’-the-doughnuts photo of the kids. I think next year we need to start buying 1.5 dozen cider doughnuts. One dozen doesn’t do it for this family anymore. We need to be able to eat until we’re sick, you see. That’s what cider day is for: too many doughnuts.
I don’t think that’s what Cool Whip is supposed to look like.
Actually, this is my first attempt at mold-making! I have never worked with plaster before, so I decided to start with something small, like this little sprig mold. With the help of this page, it was a pretty easy process. I don’t have cottle boards, so I just used this chopped up Cool Whip container instead, and it worked just fine.
There is some wasted space on the mold. More jewels! But I didn’t have any others to stick in there. Also, the lumpiness of the top of the mold is bothering me. I can’t think of a reason why the mold needs to be smooth around the depressions. But I can’t control my crazy sometimes. Must. leave. it. alone.
Now I can make lots of little jewels to encrust my pots with fanciness. Jewels, JEWELS!