Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloweens Past...

Halloween has never been as fun for me as it was when I was a kid in the suburbs. We would be wandering the streets all night for miles. Meanwhile hordes of kids would be coming to the house for candy. Since I moved here it's another story. Out here in farmland the houses are so far apart you don't get trick-or-treaters. My first year was such a disappointment. We finally learned to go to the developements. John would fill a truck w/straw and we would get as many kids as we could and off we'd go for a night of trick-or-treat.

Every year we would put up this little display for Halloween and the kids would pose for a picture. Until someone (probably like THIS person) stole my scarecrow and my joy.
Here are some costumes from Halloweens past...

Here's my first little trick-or-treater.

Michael rocked the pirate 2 years in a row.

Little Red Riding Hood made a comeback.

Last year Johnny was Wayne from "Waynes World". Excellent.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Doing what makes you happy?

My first job was babysitting. My motivation was a pair of Levis. I didn't enjoy babysitting but I did what I had to do. At 14 I started working as a waitress at the Asbury Methodist Home. Quite an initiation serving the old folks. I was a gift wrapper one Christmas at Montgomery Wards which was interesting. The long, long, long line snaked through the store and ended at little ole me and bolts of wrapping paper. On weekends another girl was there to help. My gifts to the family looked especially nice that year. Once the mall was built I worked at various stores eventually working my way up to Asst. Manager. After High School the store I worked in went out of business and I got a job at camera store. I really enjoyed this job because National Geographic was around the corner and the professional photographers would come in and get their supplies from us. Very interesting. I learned a lot and slowly built a wonderful Nikon system for myself.

But being young and dumb I got pregnant and got married to someone I should have known better than to be with. On the up side the partnership created my two oldest children. It was over as soon as Michael was born and once again I joined the workforce. I waitressed again as that allowed me to be w/the kids all day. Next I took a job as a store manager. That didn't last too long because it was just too many hours for a mother of very young children. My next job was for an employment agency in DC. Not having a college education I never really had any value in the workforce and certainly not enough to support my babies. Scary times.

Just when things were bleakest John came into my life and I relocated to the Eastern Shore glad to get away from the expensive metropolitan area. Over the years I have worked off and on. I started out working for a builder. I've waitresssed and I even had my real estate license for a while. At some point I was lamenting my lack of career to a friend. She introduced me to a potter who was looking for help. I had no knowledge or experience in this area but my friend was very confident that I was creative and would be perfect. I learned a lot at this job but finally parted ways after 3 years. I began slowly setting up my own studio but never really thought I'd have jobs. I just wanted to do it.

It's been a long road. It certainly has taken me long enough. I am 43 and I am finally doing something I love. Yesterday I got yet another big job. I really never thought this would take off this way. To make yesterday even more unbelievable for me I also had an offer to put my work in one of my favorite shops. Go figure.

So I wonder. Are you doing what you love?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pleasing Results

I took the last of my tiles out of kiln yesterday. It was my second firing this week and I was fairly pleased. I am glazing (applying the glass coating) tiles for the mosaic job that is coming up. I glaze tiles in the colors I need for the mosaic. I will add cut out dragonflies, crabs, fish etc. to the mosaic also. Now I don't just glaze the tile one color. It makes the mosaic more interesting if some of the tiles in a certain color group have a design. It would boring (in my opinion) to have just solid colors. I usually just make random marks on the tile because who cares, it will be broken up. Like this...

But late one night I became completely sick of swirls and dots and lines and said to myself DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! And then I came up w/a few designs that with some refining, I might actually use in bathroom sinks or bathroom countertops. Now I am full of ideas! I just wish it had come when I started the glazing in the morning. Not when I was on my last few tiles and completely exhausted. Oh well. I am making notes and next time I will start fresh. I used to have a watercolor teacher who would say (w/a British accent)"You must make a painting everyday. It's the only way to improve." She's right. Quantity makes quality eventually. I am getting there.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Big Blogger Surprise and more...

I have been some kind of busy which I need right now. Michael (my oldest son) moved out of Kuwait and into Iraq earlier this week and I am putting together a package for him. Anyone who has any experience over there and who might have a few clues for me let me know. I am still working, working, working in the studio everyday and I am grateful to have my mind occupied by my work.

Yesterday I received a very pleasant surprise in the mail. I LOVE surprises. Love 'em! Especially when they make me laugh. Remember the Big Blogger Contest? I received a package from the Follow Spot Big Blogger Prize Department. Look what was in it!

Now if you are like my son Johnny you are saying, "But you didn't win." Well I did make it to the top 3 people so back off and let me enjoy my delightful prize. Thank you Mark Minnick. I love my prize!

Now I have a movie rental to recommend. Rented On a Clear Day .It's a film about a man who decides to swim the English Channel. His determination inspires his friends in their own lives. Brenda Blethyn is in it and I love her. And I love this film. It's not sappy I swear.

Let me end with this (which I am pretty sure came from Glenda)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho....

its off to work I go... Whistle while I work? Nope. This whole time that I've been hunched over my tiles underglazing tedious details for the mosaic I have been craving spicedrops and those vile, fake-ass pringles. Never fear, nary a gumdrop has crossed my lips. Unfortunately half a can of pringles has. WTF? I don't know what it is about but as soon as I cross the threshold of the studio I am craving crap. Anyway I've finished the detail part and tomorrow will just be glazing and splattering and marking (making messes)my color tiles. More fun.

I start our fairly organized though it might not appear so.

Then it gets progressively messier...

This annoys me so I have to stop and clean up.

Then I begin my mess making again. It's a wonder I get anything done.

After that it's in the hands of the kiln gods and anything can happen in there.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Stuff Thats Important.

Put the brakes on, quit your bitching and think about whats really important to you. Then please stop by Dave's and show a fellow blogger some support. This is the important stuff so reach out. There is strength in community so lets pass it on.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Have They Changed?

I've been thinking about the people at my reunion. Did they change? For me and my close friends, some of whom I've known since elementary school, it was like we were never apart. We're older but honestly everyone looks the same to me just a wee bit older. I'm sure a kid would look at us and say "middle-age". But let me tell you. When we got on the dance floor and started tearing it up we felt as young and cool as we ever were.

I will be holing up in the studio for the next couple of days. I bought Bob Woodwards audiobook State of Denial. 6 CD's and 7 hours of listening. Should take me some of the way through the work I have to do.

Sorry, no pics. Blogger would have none of that!

Monday, October 09, 2006

I'm Back...Barely

What a freaking weekend I had. Friday night we partied until 4AM! Saturday night until 3AM! That was food for the soul seeing all my old friends. The best! Yes they still party like it is 1981! I'm exhausted.

Yes we even did the electric slide...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

High School Reunion

There is my senior class picture 25 freaking years ago! Geesh. So I am off for a reunion. I hope everyone is as fun as they were back then. The cool part is my youngest sister (Carla) has her reunion on the same day. We are staying in the same hotel so I get to see her.

Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Free Hugs

Go on over to Godsylla and get yourself some Free Hugs. It will restore your faith in humanity.
She's always got the best You Tubes. Don't miss Heroin and Washington.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Box Tops for Katrina

I have had children in our local school system for something like 18 years straight. In the elementary and intermediate grades they save Box Tops for Education. The program allows schools to get supplies and equipment in exchange for product proofs. Out of habit I still collect them even though I no longer have children in the lower grades (yeah!).

I normally drop them off at one of the kids former schools but I got to thinking (imagine) there are probably schools that were hit by Katrina that could really use these right about now. A search on the computer pointed me to a woman in Utah who is collecting them for her grandkids school in Mississippi. I will place the info below which you will probably have to click on to see bigger. If you are interested or already collect why not send them where they are really needed. If anyone is aware of other schools that were hit by Katrina and they also collect let me know.

Edit: If you click on the picture below it will enlarge. Then if you put the cursor at what SHOULD be the right margin (on the 2nd page thats right below the ziploc icon)it will enlarge to full size. Otherwise I can e-mail the flyers to you.

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