Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Color

I've fired three loads of pots in the last couple of weeks, and have spent lots of time sorting, packing, shipping, and delivering. There's fresh pots at Toe River Crafts, both TRAC galleries, Deep Water Pottery in Ocracoke, Gallery of the Mountains at the Grove Park Inn, and as of yesterday Boone's Creek Pottery in Johnson City. Whew

I've been working on a new glaze combination. It's the same base as my dark blue glaze with a cobalt accent. I haven't managed to take any 'good' pictures of it. And it's the hardest color I've ever encountered to get accurate. So I hope you'll excuse these quick snap shots.

For now I'm not planning to put this in any of the shops, so you'll have to get in touch with me if you'd like to add this color to your collection. Maybe in the spring if I can get enough in inventory it will show up at Toe River Crafts.


We were all standing in the yard a few minutes ago and happened to look up. This rainbow was directly over our heads! I've never seen anything like it. There was a little haze beside it, but for the most part the sky is clear this afternoon.

I actually got a few shots of the boy since there was other things to pay attention to other than grabbing for the camera.

And I finally got a shot of my latest finished knit. Top down without a pattern, I just tried it on a million times as I went. It's made of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. My hands didn't like the cotton yarn at all, and I would have finished it a month sooner if it didn't make my hurt for a week any time I worked on it for more than 20 minutes at a time.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fall in the Air

It's gotten quite cool this week here in the mountains. It's nice, but I'm not sure I'm ready for summer to be over. With all the rain we haven't had nearly as much time in the river that we did last year. One afternoon we made do with the hose and a leaky swimming pool.

Since he was climbing out 10 times a day we converted the crib to a bed. It went ok for a couple of weeks, but now we're having nightly battles to get him to sleep. Nap time isn't great either, but I just let him play in his room until he falls asleep in the floor most days.
Preschool started back this week and with the extra activity and routine we're hoping that things get settled soon.

We did add a rail after the picture was taken, he fell out twice the first night!

I forgot to take a picture of this baby knit until after it was unwrapped at the shower. But at least it's been documented.

And the recipient arrived last week
Congratulations to high school friends Beth and Corey

And also to Celo friends Annie and Jared who had a very stubborn little girl on Tuesday over a week overdue!

In the pottery world I'm fighting the looming deadlines. I have a large gallery order and lots of smaller special pieces due in a couple of weeks, not to mention no inventory here or at my consignment galleries. But with the boy back at school, it finally looks possible that I will meet my goals. Off to get started for the day.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


The boy had his second birthday this week. We had a party with most of his grandparents, and all of his aunts, uncles, and cousins. He really enjoyed the frosting, but neglected the carrot cake after that.

He got his own table and chairs, giving him yet another way to be higher. So far it hasn't occurred to him to move the chairs to other locations for climbing. We're not mentioning it!

I can finally reveal some baby knitting since the shower is in a few hours.

Sarah, if you happen to be reading blogs instead of playing with your family, move on now.

Oliver will be the best dressed baby in NC!

My own combination of the Child's Placket Neck Pullover and Barbara Walkers Top Down Raglan. Yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy in an unknown colorway.
Most fabulous yarn ever!

And every baby deserves some hand knit socks right from the beginning. Yarn on the left is my own hand dyed in Koi, on the right Interlacements Tiny Toes.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Studio Tour Time Again!

Toe River Studio Tour
Spring '09 edition

June 12, 12-4pm
June 13-14, 10am-6pm

In the last two weeks, I've fired off three loads of pots. A new record for me! Most of the first load is already out the door for orders, but for once I really feel like I have enough for the tour. Usually I have a few mugs in each color, this time I fired 90 in all! Yikes! I also have three nesting bowl sets, another batch of soup mugs and plenty of ice cream bowls.

The tour is always lots of fun, I love seeing friends and returning customers as well as new faces. Mom and I have collaborated on a handful of new pieces, Lucas will be joining us with his iron, and Matt Willig is coming again with his fabulous jewelry.

And if there's anything left, the next weekend I'll be exhibiting at the 4th annual
Mountain Farm Lavender Festival
June 20-21, 10am-5pm
Visit their site for all the details.
I volunteered in their shop last year and had a great time. I couldn't believe how many people came, so I decided I needed to dust off the traveling booth and take pots for this year.

His favorite cup this week made by my friend Claudia

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baby Knits- One Down....

I've got several babies to knit for all arriving late this summer. I had never made the famous Baby Surprise Jacket, so this was my chance. This is yarn I dyed myself last year and have never gotten around to making socks from it. I love how it worked for this. Every time I hit an orange spot it made me smile.

I started before anyone knew the gender thinking it could go either way, but now that it's finished, I'm leaning toward girl with some flowery buttons.
That was confirmed when the smallest member of the household offered to model it this morning. He's only about 20 months and 15 lbs too big.

Swatching now for the next sweater. It's Oliver's turn next!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Little of everything!

Someone's been enjoying the second generation toys this week. My Grandpa made this bank for me. The date on the bottom is 1985, and he made one for each of my cousins that year. The boy managed to get it off the top of the dresser and has been pushing it around the house all week.

A family record for most food on one's face and head in one meal.

I finished a pair of socks. These were the second round of the Sock Madness competition. Some pairs were done in a day, mine took a month. But they will be so warm next winter!

Tokena socks
Purple is Knitpicks Essential
Blue is my own hand dyed

There's also been some cooking. We found strawberries this weekend on a visit to Marion, so we made three batches of strawberry jelly. We also had a batch of grape juice in the freezer from last fall so while we were at it we did a batch of grape too.

And finally, I made Chocolate Eclairs for this month's Java Jam. Looks like I'll have to make them again in July, they were popular. They were pretty amazing, we each had to sample of course.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Some New Pots

I've spent some time this winter working on a few new forms. One of the most requested items is soup mugs. I have a few in my cabinet that are 10 years old and we use them all the time, so it was time to try them again.

I have 10 of these large ones. They are about 20 oz
There is also a batch that are not glazed and fired yet that are just a bit smaller,
I'm guessing they will end up around 16 oz.

The next thing is tumblers. I had a request for some large tumblers and I tried out a few shapes. Here are a couple. These are also around 20 oz.

These Brown and Green ones are slightly flared and drink well and though they are too big for my small hands Kevin likes them.

And the dark blue ones with a bit of a curve.

I'm planning to keep working on these forms and have even more before the studio tour. If you are interested in any of these shown here or in the yet unglazed soup mugs let me know and I can set them aside for you.

I also have a dinnerware set ready to be glazed! If you've been thinking about dinnerware here's your chance with no wait list. Get in touch for more details.

Fire on the Mountain

Spruce Pine's annual Blacksmith Festival is this Saturday from 10-4.
Lucas will be exhibiting and demonstrating.
The rest of us should be there around lunch time.

There is an exhibit of iron work at the TRAC Gallery on Upper Street as well.
Reception is Friday night 5-8.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wheel with a view

We had a couple of crazy weather days with sun to rain in a matter of seconds. Made for a great rainbow. I just wish you could see the lilacs in the foreground.

Kevin and I celebrated our 9th anniversary last week with blueberry pancakes. The smallest member of our family really loves blueberries.

I got knocked out in the second round of the Sock Madness competition. This is the Tokena pattern. It took a full two weeks for all the brackets to fill, but this is as far as I got on both socks. I have since turned the heel and added about an inch on one. I'm skipping round 3, but maybe I'll be done with these and ready to knit along with round 4.

Friday, March 27, 2009

But Wait, Wait there's more!

I finished up a long overdue pair of socks last week. These are the Slippin Stripping socks from last year's Sock Madness competition. They are the third round socks and of course the round I got knocked out on. They are knit with double strands of laceweight yarn from Tess' Designer Yarns. No self stripping for us.

Slippin' Strippin socks

I was anxious to finish them up and free up some needles since Sock Madness 3 was beginning. Last Thursday morning the round 1 pattern arrived in my email. I finished the pair this Thursday evening. One week and half a day. Not bad around here since I spend much of my knitting time standing at the dining room table watching to be sure the kid doesn't jump off something.

Tropical Mer-tini socks
Mama E C*eye*ber Fiber Sock

And finally-
But Wait, Wait there's more!
I'll be a contestant on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on NPR this weekend!
I'm only a little nervous.
OK since it was taped last night I'm only a little nervous to hear it on air, last night I was a lot nervous.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

6 Week Sweater

It only took 6 weeks to knit, but then it took another 3 to actually get around to taking a photo. I have a sweater idea in my head, I've searched for the right pattern for a few months without finding just the right one. Then Christi posted a finished sweater at the beginning of the year that seemed to fit the bill. It's more of a theory than a pattern, and it has it's own book. Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top. I ordered it the day I saw Christi's sweater and started my sweater the day the book arrived.

I did the V neck version with a seed stitch border around neck, cuffs and hem.
Yarn is Karabella Aurora 8 Space Dyed
bought on sale last summer at Yummi Yarns.

It's not quite THE sweater I've been thinking of, but it's a good start and I've already worn it many times. Next up, I'm going to refine the pattern a bit and try again.
This time in Cascade 220 Heathers, the color is Mystic Purple.
I got this in the mail from The Loopy Ewe yesterday. It was so hard to choose a color, they sell all 200+ colors of Cascade!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


We had our first swimming lesson today. It was fun! The boy woke up cranky and didn't get over it until the class was almost over, but after it was over we did hang around and splash a while.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Before and ....



Individual shots later, I've got my 'photo studio' all set up, but I will have to wait until after dark to actually take the shots. There's just too many windows in my showroom.
It was a good load over all. And I've got another ready to go as soon as I can get a few more pots glazed.

Monday, March 02, 2009


We finally got some real snow around here, around 4 inches here at our house, though amounts vary widely around the area. It got warm enough in the afternoon to melt off the sunny spots on the driveway and completely melt off our cars before freezing solid again by 4:00.

Helping gather the snow for snowcream

Boys in Blue

The snowcream was a little cold for him. He made this face for every bite then begged for more.

What is snow cream? you ask

I started to describe it in detail before remembering that in fact I've done it before. Check this old post for all the details.

Friday, February 27, 2009


When most people say that they work is piling up, they don't mean it literally. Most years after the tour in December I have taken a break for the rest of the month and I get back to work refreshed in January.
This year I didn't take that break since my work time is so scarce anyway. I started throwing again and I haven't stopped. I had lots on my to-do list and more keep coming up. Also the transition from throwing to glazing and firing takes some time for me both mentally and actually. And there are kiln issues and glaze tests that I've been putting off. It's much easier to just keep throwing. After two months of that, the pots are piling up!

Serving bowls and dinnerware

Everything else, mugs, bowls, pump bottles, baking dishes

Tubs of glaze tests and a bowl of bisqued tiles to put them on

Soup mugs and more bowls

And of course there's been knitting! There seems to be another baby boom this spring and again in September, so I always have a pair of baby socks in progress.

This is a pair I've been working on since last fall. They were my travel and tv knitting, so they've been slow going. The pattern is Jaywalker and the yarn is Lorna's Laces in the Grumperina colorway.

Enjoying breakfast right down to the bowl

And of course I can't quit without a kid picture! We spent a couple of days in Charlotte visiting the Grandparents. It was lots of fun, but none of us got enough sleep since one of us decided to get up at 5:30 am.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Riding Lesson

I think by the time I was this old I was probably steering by myself, but we got a late start.
He was not very comfortable and didn't want to let go and turn to face front, but he did relax enough to smile.

And he really enjoyed patting the horses, he wasn't scared at all from the ground. He also took advantage of all the other great things at the barn, a cat that didn't run when he wanted to pet it, the boot scraper to clean off the mud, and maybe his favorite, of course, the 4-wheeler.


I made these new slippers for him this week, his old ones were starting to be too tight in the toes. These are a bit huge and should last a while.

They are the Alpine Boots from Fiber Trends made with Cascade 220 left over from Kevin's clogs.
A little puff paint on the bottoms to keep them from being too slippery in the kitchen.