Sunday, December 19, 2010

$4.95 Etsy Shipping Sale

We still don't have our new modem, so I'm typing at light speed since my connection could drop at any moment. UPS hasn't been able to deliver because of "Emergency Conditions" which I think means the trucks couldn't get around at the beginning of the week, so they are so overloaded and behind schedule that they can't get to us residential customers.

Due to those same weather conditions, which by the way have not been all that bad, local sales have been dreadfully slow. So, I'm having a shipping sale until Tuesday December 21st. It's a win-win-win. I sell some pottery, you save on shipping, and my local Postmaster gets more business which he desperately wants!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

All Systems Down

Ugh...last week we started noticing a lot of static on our phone line. Jay diagnosed the trouble back to our modem. We're still waiting for the new one to arrive.

In the meantime, Jay thought it would be an ideal time to clean up our computer. The speed has been ever-so-slowly decreasing over the past few months. After attempting to reboot upon finding two viruses and various other computer meanies, the old girl refused to boot up.

Jay was able to find another operating system, and so I have temporary and fleeting internet access until the weekend, when we'll have time to recover all of our necessary files and wipe the hard drive. What a pain in the ass.

On the positive side, I received my Generosity Chain box from Tracey (thanks Tracey! I'll thank you properly with photos next week!), and at last night's Clay Club meeting, I got a Michael Kline mug in the holiday swap.

Hopefully, I'll be back online next week. So until then, I'm really not ignoring you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Latest Cone 6 Firing and TRAC Studio Tour

Occasionally I can find myself feeling a bit smug when my carefully laid plans fall into place. I scheduled a cone 6 firing the week of Thanksgiving so that if anything went wrong (or I had too much work), I would have time to refire before the TRAC Studio Tour.

The kiln was packed tight and towards the end of the firing I found cone 7 flat on the bottom, but 6 barely budging on top. I was playing around with the damper when I noticed that my right burner was OUT! I couldn't get the pilot to stay lit, and after realizing that the remaining burner couldn't do the job, I just shut the whole thing down, grateful that I had left myself enough time to refire.

To my delight and surprise, when I opened the kiln the next day (and remember with cone 6 you can open sooner), the pots which I had feared underfired looked quite nice. In fact, my yellow glaze looked marvelous. I believe the kiln gods were sending me a message: you're overfiring!

Jump to this week, home from our annual Thanksgiving trek to the Outer Banks, and it was time to spruce up the gallery for the Studio Tour. I had all these new pots to visit with, shelves to move and, ahem, a bit more glaze clean up to do. Two sick children wiped my smug grin off of my face in a hurry, one kid at the start of the week, the other coming down with the same bug yesterday. Then my phone line is full of static and the internet keeps going out. I had several phone conversations yesterday outside at the phone box. Fortunately, the dryer vent empties right there and kept my feet warm.

All's well that ends well though. I managed most of my "to do" list. I had the good sense to recognize my own limitations though, put away the butter and flour, and called Jay to buy cookies on his way home. They're pretty tasty, too. I did make some Amber Ale Cheese spread.

If you find yourself in the WNC mountains this weekend, plan on visiting with some of the world-class artists who live and work up here. Or come to the artist reception Friday night 5-8 at the Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery.