Friday, July 26, 2013

Life is getting better. And if I see my boyfriend less often, if I can be there for him less often, still, the time we do have together is very good and we cherish it more for its infrequency.

Been making pottery on a fairly regular basis. I made a Gina Fruen inspired teapot, because I had the opportunity to attend a workshop by her while I was at my college ceramics class. While finishing it up, realized I didn't like it. It's chunky, ungainly, no graceful lines, no simpicity or elegance, cluttered up with texture, even though I had substituted botanical textures for her more industrial type textures. Further, realized I didn't like her work that much, either, so why the hell I made anything after her style is beyond me, but by this time, it was almost done, so I gave it a suitably wonky handle and set it on the shelf to dry. :-/

Most of my work is folded, draped sheets of clay that have been impressed with leaves, stems and pine needles. The clay has been handled as if it were soft, heavy cloth, cut only when necessary. The shapes are clean. These are the forms I like best. I used up 25# of stoneware clay (Sea Mix) and now have purchased a block of porcelain (Turner Porcelain), which to my dismay was crumbly, stiff, cracks easily, hard to handle. Not sure if it had dried out a little in the bag or if it's always like this, so I crumbled some of it up, moistened it really well, and wrapped it in plastic. Will try working with it in a day or two and see if it's easier to work with. The plan was to make chess sets with the porcelain, as well as experiemnting with leaf impressions that would then get assembled into vessels. I am missing the cone 10 stoneware I used to work with (Klondike). It was better, in my recollection, for handbuilding...sagged less, held up better...but this studio only fires to cone 5, so I now have to adapt to different clays and find something I can work with.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

And, I am still struggling with the residual unhappiness regarding the guy I got all broken up over 2+ years ago because he wouldn't speak or look at me. No matter how you cut it, it hurts to feel contaminated and anathema, but the fact of the matter is that somehow, it hurts more when I also am living 30 minutes away from the man who stood by me while I was putting the pieces back together. In other words: dealing with the physical distance and reduced facetime with my lover is made less easy by also being confronted with painful memories that still haven't been resolved. Yuck.
Yesterday I ordered some chicks from Sand Hill Preservation Center. I am really excited about this; I love the work they do and their ongoing, successful effort to maintain, preserve and distribute rare breeds of poultry and seed varieties which are nearly impossible to find anywhere else. I really wanted to get Chanteclers, but chicks for this rare breed, which is in danger of being lost altogether, are $6.00 each. I haven't raised chickens from day old chicks before, and while losing chicks of any breed would be really sad, losing rare, expensive chicks that I've dreamed about getting for the past couple years would be heartbreaking. So instead, I ordered the Super Assorted chicks, which will still contain some rare breeds, but cost less than a dollar each. These will be my learning curve chicks, should start laying by late winter, and will be laying while I'm raising the Chantecler chicks next spring.

The corn is doing well in my garden at the blueberry farm. This is flour corn, so I can use it for cornmeal and or feed it to the chickens! Will also plant some winter wheat this fall. And in case you're, I haven't succumbed to getting goats again...yet.

Struggling a little, feeling sad. I love my new house, love that it's in the country, love being right next door to my kids, being able to have my animals again, very nice that I'm friends with the landlord/neighbor...but I really, really miss my boyfriend. Everything I love and want is there, except for him. I can still visit him, of course, but it just isn't as easy as it used to be. Overall, things are good.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Life remains somewhat unsettled. Still moving into my new place and getting situated, trying to establish a workable routine.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I have a place to live now, located such that my children are able to interact with me on a regular, daily basis. Also, I can keep my dog and the cats here, and can get chickens, possibly even goats, although I haven't broached the goat question yet. This is primarily because after my farmsitting escapade, I'm not certain that goats are something I want to deal with every day, although I'd probably have Angora goats, which don't have to be milked twice a day, every 12 hours, 305 days per year. OK, so that's not quite fair. You don't have to milk dairy goats that often or for that much of the year, but the fact remains that if you have dairy animals, you end up being at least as committed to them as you would be to any human spouse, possibly moreso.

I have at long last been able to get my handmade items listed on Etsy, in hopes of generating income. Currently ten items are listed and none of them have sold, but to be fair, most of these items are poorly timed for the season- wool scarves and crocheted cotton hats. Instead of sitting at my laptop, drinking my coffee, trying really hard to wake up, I should be making more merchandise. Hmmm...

So, speaking of Etsy and wool and such stuff, I want to start using only natural, plant based dyes for my products. I don't know if the chemical used in standard dyes are toxic or not, but what I can say is that the directions always say to wear gloves, take precautions, etc... Mostly, I'd just like to be as involved as possible in the products I make, to be able to say for certain what was used and where it came from.

There is a hole in my armor.