Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I decided that everyone who posted on Saturday would win! So, If I haven't contacted you yet, and you posted, please give your address to me! You can convo me privately on Etsy.com. Just go to my shop, antb.etsy.com, and click "contact this seller."


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Freebieness Times Six

Last week was bonkers.
Seriously bonkers.

I had a two day sale in Chicago (it was very fun, and I met the nicest folks!)
We were trying to finish up our move (didn't quite finish, but getting closer!)
I wanted to fire another kiln full, but needed to make some more to fill it (didn't get that done at all)
The holidays are here (Solstice, Eid, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Yule, Christmas) and I haven't done anything for that that I want to (like shopping!)
And I was trying to keep up with sales in the shop. (Whew, I did that).

Anyway, there was no giveaway last week, nor a Monday Miniature, so as an apology, and as a sign of the giving Season, today I will be giving away several things:

A porcelain and glass pendant in blue.
A porcelain and glass pendant in green.
A porcelain and glass pendant in blue and black.
A dark blue chalice ornament.
A dark brown potion bottle with a cork.
A little hanging pot.

Leave a comment about the holidays, and I will choose commenters at random and send them one of the items pictured today. If you have a preference of what you would like to try to win, just mention your top couple of picks, and I will do my best to accomodate that.
Also, leave a way for me to contact you, so I can get your address if you win!

Happy Holidays!


(PS, sorry about the photos! That is one thing I have not gotten set up at the new house yet!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

OUt of Town, Sorry!

I am out of town for this weekend! I will be having my giveaway on Tuesday, rather than today!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Winners, and other Business

The winner from Saturday's giveaway was MARS.

Her candle holder will arrive soon!

My moving is going well, but I feel tired. I promise I will blog more and better tomorrow. Or maybe Wednesday... or Friday....:D

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday Freebieness and Thrifting in Chicago

My family spent Thanksgiving with my very dear friend, who lives on Chicago's Gold Coast.
While the rest of the family went home late Thursday night, my oldest daughter and I spent the night, and then the three of us went thrift store shopping.

Then darling daughter and I had to come back to town on the bus with our thrifty loot. Here we are with all of it in the train station, waiting for the bus.

I very much want to support Buy Nothing Day, but the chance to shop with daughter and friend was too tempting. So we compromised by buying only second hand goods and eating at home, wonderful Thanksgiving leftovers!

So to comment for today's freebie giveaway, why not let me know how you recycle, economize, or your favorite thrift store find?

And here is a photo of my giveaway pottery for today: It is a little votive holder, thrown by me, and carved by my younger daughter. It is made from stoneware, and glazed in Toasty Marshmallow. It is shown here with a tealight, but it would be big enough for most votives, even ones in glass.

I will choose a commenter at random. Be sure to let me know how to contact you in case you win!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Miniature Monday - Something Ain't Reitz

Grandma and Grandpa Doll got a big box in the mail. It was from a grumpy middle aged potter lady they know. They were very excited to see what it was, because they like to collect pottery.

But when they opened the bowl they were disappointed.

It was a big, big bowl with crusty things on it. The note said it was a platter miniature done in a visceral style similar to Don Reitz.

"Who the heck is Don Reitz?" asked Grandpa.

"Well, he is kinda messy, I am guessing, " replied Grandma. "What does visceral mean?"

They didn't know, so they looked it up.

"It means 'having to do with the viscera, or intestines,' " Grandpa read.

"Guts? She sent us a Guts Platter??? What the hell was she thinking?"
Grandma sometimes says bad words when she is confused.

They discussed it and decided to sell the bowl. Having a big guts platter hanging on the wall is not their idea of art.

Grandpa said, "It's too bad that potter lady spends her time trying to make things like that. If she just used her feelings and intuition when she made her stuff, it would turn out better. "

"Yes," answered Grandma, "I wish she would just make pottery that gave you an immediate emotional reaction rather than trying to get all fancy. "

If you want to buy this miniature, it is available in my shop on Etsy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winners, Movers and Shakers

The winner of my Saturday giveaway was Maritzia. She has her choice of the little bowl or the teapot ornament!

I am crazy busy, but wanted to give the winner a heads up! Tune in tomorrow for Miniature Monday!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday Giveaway and Un-Thankful Freebiness

Yup, unThankfulness.

In this season of Thanksgiving, we are encouraged to say out loud the things we are grateful for. And I do have a very long list: My family, friends, my pets, a warm place to live, plenty of food, my ability to see, hear, think, reason, and the list could cover many pages.

But there are some things I am just not thankful for. And I do want to mention them, so that if someone is thinking of re-doing all of creation anytime soon, they will have a handy list of things that they can edit out of the program next time.

The first think I am not thankful for is mosquitoes. Mosquitoes kill so many people worldwide due to malaria that I think we could do without them. Yes, I know they are a main source of food for many birds, but I think that whole system needs an overhaul.

The urge to pee when one sneezes. Why the heck should that happen? That cause and effect thing could stop anytime and I wouldn't miss it.

Rap music. Sorry, I just don't get it.

McDonald's and Walmart. Too easy, too cheap, too hard on the community, and too addictive. My life would be better if Walmart and McDonald's had never existed. Most of the world would be better if they didn't exist.

Prejudice. It sucks.

Ok, so those are a few of my Unthankful things.

Now, there is one thing that I am very, very thankful for, and that is my ability to make pottery. I have a wheel, I have a kiln, and I have the skill. And I also love to make both ritual items and regular ware, so my giveaway for today the winner will have their choice of either the little porcelain bowl with 'So Mote It Be' on it, or the teapot ornament.

For a chance to win, leave me a comment of something you are NOT thankful for, and I will choose a commenter at random to win. If you win, I will ask which item you would rather have. Since I am late getting my blog up, I will take comments until noon tomorrow (Sunday).

BTW, Ya wanna know another thing I am thankful for? You!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pottery, Shells and Ash

Last summer I went to Cambridge Wisconsin for the Clay Games and the huge pottery sale they have there each year.

As always, I never have nearly enough time to see all I want to. This summer was even more special, because I met some of the people in my online pottery guild, the Etsy Mud Team there! What fun to put faces to names!

One of the potters that was selling his ware at Cambridge had wonderful, earthy pots that begged to be touched. They were barely glazed, and the clay shone through the light glaze. There were the telltale shell impressions on the feet and some rims that told me he stilted with shells in his kiln. It looked like some of the other lovely salt or wood fired ware that I lust after.

Imagine my surprise when he told me his work was fired in a gas kiln similar to mine! It seems he too loves the tactile, minimalist look of wood fired ware, so he set out to mimic it in his kiln. He shared a very simple wood ash glaze recipe with me, and told me how to use the shells. I very much wish I could remember his name so I could credit him here!

I had put his ideas on a back burner, since my summer and fall have been crazy busy. But last week I decided to play a little. I had made some small luncheon plates. I wanted to fire them all, but plates take up sooo much room in the kiln that I kept putting off firing them. I was looking at them, thinking how nice it would if you could stack them in the kiln, when I remembered the shell trick.

Shells, in a high fired kiln, act like something like kiln wash. They don't stick to the glaze as it melts, but do leave their impressions in the work. They also give off their own natural 'glaze' all around them.
(Look at the feet of the plates to see the ring of glaze where each shell sat. )

So, I stacked the plates using three shells between each plate. On the top plate I laid three shells, so that it, too, would have the shell marks. When I took the plates out of the kiln, I washed off the shells (they soften into mush) and used my dremel tool to get off any of the sharp bits, while leaving as much of the natural pattern as possible. I really love the effect!

I also fired a mixing bowl set with shells as spacers. For this set, however, I used one of the potter's recipes for a simple wood ash glaze, using ashes from the trimmings of my plum and apple trees. I applied it thinly to the inside of the bowl, but more on the rim. The outside I left bare. Since I fire my work to cone 10 (2400 degrees F) and it is fully vitrified, (it is completely non-porous, and stone-like) my pottery is food safe without glaze. (In Japan, unglazed "nanban" pottery is popular, and is prized for its ability to get better with age. ) So I decided to barely brush the glaze on the inside of the bowls to keep the very natural feeling of the pottery, which I wanted the shells to accent.

I think both the plates and the bowls turned out beautifully! I will definitely be firing with shells more often now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Miniature Monday - A Real Dish!

Grandma overheard Grandpa telling a friend that Grandma was a Real Dish when they met.

This confused Grandma, but she wasn't surprised. Her memories the 70's are a bit fuzzy. She says that during that time she was doing personal medical research with herbal and fungal remedies and they caused her all sorts of problems. She does remember some things, though.

She remembers having the munchies quite often, and for a short time being able to hear colors. She also remembers feeling like she was made of stone sometimes too.

So maybe she was a Real Dish when she met Grandpa. Maybe the memories of munchies was really the sense of emptiness of being a vessel? A bowl maybe? Maybe something stone-like?

So she looked at her old pottery and found a blue bowl that looked pretty familiar. Was this the dish she was?

She is not sure, but just in case she is selling the bowl. She says it all just really freaks her out, man.

The bowl is made from porcelain. It is one inch wide and about 1/2 inch tall. You can see it in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Congratulations, Salutations and Movement


Guess what I am doing for the Holidays? Moving! We are moving from our huge 8 bedroom house to a smaller (but still big) home a few blocks away. I can't wait. Well, I mean, I can't wait to be moved in, but I am not thrilled about packing and hefting and sorting...

But, still, it is all very exciting! The only downside is that I will need all new window treatments, as the windows in the new house are HUGE while the ones in this house are tall and skinny. So, any ideas for cheap but classy window treatments? I also am looking for gently used living room furniture, since I hadn't realized how shabby my couch had become over the last 15 (!) years of use. There is nothing like moving to bring out the materialist in me!

The winner of last week's giveaway is Larrikin's lurch. She should be receiving her little bottle this week!

I will be posting photos of the house and interior all this week, and I would LOVE advice on decorating on a shoestring. Think, window treatments, (the view is pretty urban, but the light is terrific!) storage, room arrangement, and holiday decoration. I prefer DIY and recycled, since I really don't want my move to negatively impact the world!

and I am cheap!

Congrats to Larrikin's Lurch and to Me!

Oooh, look at the attic! :

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Giveaway and Freebieness!

I know I disappointed a few of you by not making it clear that it was not the teapot I was giving away. I am so sorry! (Though, I do have lots of teapots, and it might be a great giveaway sometime!)

But no, it is the small turquoise bottle that is the freebie this week. To one lucky person who is picked at random from all the blog comments this week will go this pretty little stoneware bottle with rope design.
If you don't have a blog associated with your username, leave me your etsy shop name, your twitter name or some way to let you know that you won so I can get your address.

Next week, my family will be spending Thanksgiving with a friend who lives in Chicago. I can't wait! She is an amazing cook, and I hope to get to take home leftovers! I will be baking the pies, and maybe the bread for the dinner, so that I don't appear too unhelpful.

What plans do you have?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mamas and Dadaists

I have many favorite artists, many favorite paintings, and I enjoy many styles of work. But if you ask me what painting comes to mind first, it is Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending A Staircase No. 2.

The reason is pretty silly.
In sixth grade, the local college sent a student over every month to present art to our class. One week the presenter said she was going to show us "Nude descending a staircase". The teacher, Miss Keller, stopped her. (The teacher was an elderly woman whose previous teaching job had been in the very strict Catholic school in town). Miss Keller took the presenter to the hall and told her there was NO way she could show us that painting. When the presenter protested, the teacher said, "I am not allowing my class to be tainted by filth from a filthy man. He had many lovers both male and female. He thought urinals were art. Never bring anything dada into my classroom again!"

Of course, we all heard that and we were soo disappointed when the presenter left without showing us the painting. It must be really graphic if Miss Keller got that upset about it!

Imagine my voyeuristic disappointment when I actually SAW the painting in an art book. But Miss Keller's words made Duchamp be forever wonderful forbidden fruit in my mind. Maybe her association with Duchamp is one reason I love the work of a quirky potter-ess named Beatrice Wood, too!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Miniature Monday - What a Crock!

Sometimes Grandma Doll can't sleep. When that happens, she stays up late and watches infomercials. Last week Grandma watched an infomercial about a wonderful pot that every person needs. She tried to order one, but found that the company had gone out of business.

So, she contacted a certain grumpy, middle aged potter she knew and asked her to make one for the advertised price of three easy payments of 19.99 each.

The potter agreed.

But, when it arrived, Grandma Doll was disappointed. While it looked just right - dark blue and green, made of porcelain on a potter's wheel, .75 inches tall and .5 inches wide, with lid - it just wasn't right.

It wasn't right, because, unlike the one in the commercial, this pot did not magically fill with 'nourishing and delicious' food when left-overs were slow-cooked in it. In reality, when it was filled with left-overs and slow cooked all you got was a disgusting mess!

It was a defective crock! And Grandma should know, since she has been serving crock to her family for years. Why, the whole family knows crock when they see it, and that ain't it!

So they are selling this pot, at a discount. But, if you are a connoisseur of crock, this one may not be what you are looking for.

(Side Note: If you have no idea who Grandma and Grandpa Doll are, then you might want to read more about them here, in the miniature section of my shop. They get into all sorts things there!
(Other side Note, about yesterday's blog. The teapot is not the freebie. Sorry. Look for the LITTLE picture in the corner. Yeah, not as exciting. Sorry. :P)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winners and Cracked Pots (um...that came out wrong...)

Cracked Pots...
I am working frantically to fill a kiln. I have a teapot show that I need to send some teapots to, and I really wanted to send my newest work. I have some really lovely teapots I made this summer that will go if I don't get these done, but I hope at least one of these turn out!
Here is one I made that won't be going:

It turned out looking something like an egg with an erection. I don't have anything against well-endowed, happy eggs, but it cracked a bit too.

The funny thing is that I just thought it was gorgeous when I made it. But after taking it out of the kiln, I realized it looked...odd.
Odd and phallic.

Oh, well.

And Winners...
Athena's Armoury
is the winner from yesterday's giveaway! Thanks to all who shared thoughts and memories of their loved ones!
My giveaway for NEXT Saturday will actually run all week. If you comment on any of my blog entries this week (November 16 to November 22) you will be entered to win. You will have one chance to win per entry comment. (For instance, if you comment on all three entries this week, you get three chances to win! - But I will only count one comment per person per blog entry. If you comment 104 times today, that is still only one chance. But I will feel so LOVED reading all 104 entries!)

What will the prize be, you ask? Well, there is a *tiny* hint here on this blog. Up in the corner. No, it is not the excited egg teapot. Sorry. Look for the TINY picture. Click it if you wanna see it bigger.

So, thanks to all who commented, and please check back tomorrow for Miniature Monday. See what Grandpa and Grandma Doll are up to now! (and don't forget to comment for your chance to win on Saturday!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Giveaway

Today's freebie is a rock box. I make these from stoneware, iron oxide, and glass. They are usually small- this one is 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches.

They can be used to store a tiny thing - like a pair of earrings, a

baby tooth, a charm, a four leaf clover- but mostly they are just fun to have. They look very much like a rock until you open them, then, inside is shiny glass with lots of sparkle hidden in the center.

They remind me of some people I know. People who are plain, run of the mill, hardly notice 'em types but who have hearts of gold, secret passions, great humor, and generosity of spirit.

This is your task today. To win this rock box, just think of someone you know or knew with hidden depths. Leave their initials as a comment to this blog, and, if they are still living, think well of them, or maybe visit them, call, or drop a (handmade) card to them in the mail.

I will pick a commenter at random and they win this little rock box. If you don't have a blog associated with your username, leave me your etsy shop name, your twitter name or some way to let you know that you won so I can get your address.

So, get to commenting! The contest is over at midnight Central time, so comments after that are not able to win the little box.

And for me, the person I knew with hidden depths, but an unassuming exterior, was my grandmother. Her initials were IMG. I miss her!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sinus Infections Suck

I have a sinus infection.

I get sinus infections pretty often. I have lupus, and it can't decide if my sinuses are part of my body or not. Sometimes it thinks they are strange, vicious aliens and will try to burn them out while they are sleeping. Other times Mr. Lupus thinks that the sinuses are just fine on their own, so why patrol them, why send out T cells? I know there are worse things that deranged Mr. Lupus could do, so on the whole, wavering between sinus apathy and paranoia is not so bad.

But my head really hurts when my sinuses are sick. Light hurts, sound hurts, thinking hurts.
I should get the surgery, but I am allergic to many pain meds and the meds they use to knock you out. I don't like the idea of going into a coma to cure this. I also don't respond well to antibiotics, and steroids can kill you, so I have a system for fighting sinus infections that works for me some of the time.

And since my head is just killing me, and I really can't think of anything else, this seems like a good time to talk about it.

For me, taking allergy pills daily has helped. A LOT. It cuts my infections down from once a month to once every other month. I have tried an anti-malarial for the lupus, but the side effects were dreadful. Allergy pills don't have bad side effects for me, but do help.

Step 1: Know the early warning signals.
Sinuses only have nerve endings at the openings, so by the time your head hurts, the infection has traveled from the cavity to the opening.By that time, sinus cavity is probably just raging with infection and then it takes forever to cure.

However, there is a nerve that branches into the sinuses, but it is from the back of your neck. So, if it is stimulated from a sinus infection, you don't feel pain in your face or forehead, instead you feel it as a stiff or sore gland in your neck. Because I often get infections where this nerve branches, my very first warning sign is a slight neck stiffness. I will move my head like I am 'cracking' my neck, and if I can catch myself doing this, and start the next steps right away, I can usually avoid a LOT of pain.

Irritability is another early warning. Just because I don't feel the pain yet doesn't mean my body isn't aware of the infection. For me, my grouchiness is my body telling me something is wrong. I tend to be in a good mood most of the time, and when I am not, I take precautions, because for me, bitchiness can mean I am getting sick. If you are bitchy all the time, well, maybe you have a low-grade infection, and following these steps could sweeten your life a bit? Then again, you could just be bitchy. :D

Step 2 : Know what herbs work for you.
Along with the immune boosters like Lemon Balm and Echinacea, I also will add an alterative (or 'blood cleanser') like Oregon grape root or Goldenseal. This helps my body fight the infection on a large scale. You can find Echinacea and Goldenseal blends at many grocery stores, but I prefer to buy them separately, so I can take more of the Goldenseal. If you can get Oregon Grape Root you may like it. It tends to be cheaper than Goldenseal, and generally works the same. Lemon balm has the happy side effect of mood lifting, which increases your body's ability to handle pain. Unlike Echinacea, Lemon Balm can be taken daily for extended periods of time. Taking Echinacea that way lessens its effect drastically.

To my general infection fighter blend of Echinecea and Grape root, I add aromatic herbs that have a disinfecting or antibiotic action. Aromatics are perfect for sinus infections because, if you take enough of them, your body will exude the aromatic oils from your mucous membranes. My favorite cleansing aromatics are Hyssop and Garlic.

Hyssop seems to work faster for me than garlic, and I find it much more pleasant to take. I like to take hyssop capsules, just to get a lot of it down quickly, since pain relief is what I am going for, but drinking the tea is good too. To make Hyssop tea, I pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tsp of dried hyssop. I cover and let it steep until it is just warm, about 15 minutes. I strain it, add some sweetener, and drink it down.
I can also drink it before it has finished steeping IF I drink the dregs (the herb bits) too. This can be nice, because the warmth and the steam feel nice. When I get to the mucky bit at the end, I just chug it, if I possibly can, to get all the medicinal value of the herbs.

Garlic can be eaten raw (ick) or sauted or roasted.
If you have ever eaten a lot of garlic, you know how you smell everything with a garlic tinge until it is out of your system? That is the blessing, and the curse of aromatics. the blessing is that the oils are very healing, and your body concentrates them in the mucous membranes (like your sinuses) which is great for healing sinus infections. The curse is that your breath smells and your world become garlic tinged for a while.

When I have a sinus infection, if my inner ears are involved, I get a little puky, and raw garlic is not great on a blechy stomach. But if this doesn't bother you, you can cut up raw garlic and swallow it like little pills. Don't take a whole clove at one time, because your body will not digest it whole. Instead, cut it up so the oil is released during digestion.

Garlic soup is a great boon for those who are fighting infections, so I always ask my loved ones to make it for me. And if I can get some spiciness to it, that can release endorphins, which also makes me feel better. Yummy, warm, spicy garlic soup is much pleasanter for me than taking garlic raw. (Below is a recipe for Spicy Garlic Tomato Soup. It is easy enough that I can make it myself when I am sick, if I have the stuff on hand. )

I used to drink a tea made from a drop or two of oil of oregano in hot water for my sinus infections. It worked, but was so very strong that it caused my kidneys to hurt and made the inside of my mouth peel! Now I use a bit of oregano in my garlic soup, but save the oil as a last ditch effort before going to get antibiotics. If you try it, just start with a tiny bit to see how it effects you.

Tea Tree oil:
I have tried taking this internally like oregano oil, but I find it works best topically. I use it this way: I rub a bit of protective oil on my face where my sinuses hurt. I will use almond oil usually, but I have also used olive oil in a pinch. I also will rub some oil in front of my ear, and some on the side of my nose. Then I put a few drops of tea tree oil on my fingers and apply it over the protective oil, on my cheeks, forehead, in front of my ears. The almond oil keeps the tea tree oil from causing a rash.

The tea tree oil is very penetrating and antiseptic and also acts as a counter irritant, bringing blood (with your herbal medicines in it) to your sinuses, which will also help the healing. Breathing in the scent of tea tree oil can bring pain relief for a few minutes too, so I often will dab a tiny bit under my nose.

Step 3: Get the neti ready.
If you don't know what neti is, here is a good wiki article on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation
And here is a youtube demo of one:

You can get neti pots at healthfood stores, or if you are a potter, you can make your own. (or buy one from me!) But, in a pinch, a single serving teapot will also work. (I will tell you how I figured that out some other time...). The amount of salt I put in varies.

I fill the neti pot with water that is slightly warmer than body temperature. Then I add enough salt to make it just slightly salty to the taste (if I add to much, or too little, it will cause a small amount of discomfort and I adjust it before going on). A little saltier is recommended for infections.

Sometimes I add a drop or two of vinegar. This would be good if you are prone to yeast or fungal infections. (During one terrible infection where I could not get to the doctor, I added a drop or two of tea tree oil and I got better! I don't recommend it, however, since it hurt like hell, and that can't be good.)

I use my neti pot twice or three times a day while the infection is raging, and then once a day for a week after. If I suspect I am getting an infection, I will do neti once or twice a day until I think I am out of danger.

Neti is also great for when you have a lot of irritants that you are breathing in. I neti after I raku, while I am camping or when I have been around cigarette smoke. High allergen or pollen days are another great time to neti.

Step 4: Move around, sit up.
For me, the more I move around and sit up, the better I feel. I take some allergy pills and do a bit of easy housework or play with clay. I get someone to take me for a drive. The vibrations help clear my head. I sleep with more pillows and don't sleep more than I have to. I keep hydrated so my mucosa can heal.

Other things I have tried with mixed success:
Ear Candles (It was soothing, but didn't help my sinuses much)
Heating packs
Cold packs (OUCH)

Step 5:
If the herbs and neti don't work. I GO TO A DOCTOR. Sometimes I just can't get ahead of an infection. I get some antibiotics and know that I did your best to avoid it. Then, I take my antibiotics, eat some live culture yogurt and sleep. And then next time...well, I always hope there won't be a next time!

Super Easy Garlic Soup
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped or smashed.
1/4 tsp oregano, finely ground
1 tsp butter or olive oil
1 cup broth or salted water
3 cups spicy V-8 or tomato juice
Pepper and chili powder to taste

Saute the garlic in the oil or butter for a minute or two, brown it if you like. Add the oregano, stir and add the broth or salted water. Heat until it just starts to boil. Add the V-8, and pepper and chili until it is pleasantly spicy, then add a tiny bit more. Heat but don't boil it. Serve it, sipping and breathing in the steam. If you are feeling up to it, you can add veggies or tofu or meat. I particularly like some corn stirred in, and chopped green onions added on top before serving.

This soup is good for cold and flu fighting, or for whenever your immune system needs a boost.

Feel free to comment with YOUR techniques! I would love to hear, and try them!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Winners, Inspiration, and General Freebieness

The winner of the ornament yesterday is Mel from worldofmoments.etsy.com. Her shop is full of lovely photos, aceo's, cards and general visual goodness. Check it out!

And a big shout out to Mrs.B, who got me thinking about giveaways. If you haven't seen her blog, Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, you need to get right over there! She did an amazing giveaway for October, and I am just in awe of her blogging skills.

So, I am thinking that, for a while at least, I will do a giveaway every Saturday. I definitely have enough to give! My pots runneth over!

What do you think?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Post a Joke to win a Witchy Ornament

Wanna have a chance to win this ornament? It is made from porcelain, and is about 2 inches tall, and 2 inches wide at the brim. It is strung with natural hemp cord.

Want it?
Well, read on dear ones, read on!

I just love silly things. I love dumb jokes, knock knocks and puns!
I just came across this joke and had to share: A rabbi, a UU minister, and a Wiccan priestess decide to go on a fishing trip together. They go down to their local lake, rent a boat, and go out on to the lake for a day of fishing. As the afternoon approached, the trio became hungry - and realized that they had left their lunches on the shore of the lake. The UU minister got out of the boat, walked across the lake, got his lunch, walked back, and sat down and began to eat his lunch. "You should have gotten all of our lunches!" scolds the priestess. She then gets up, walks across the lake, picks up her lunch as well as the Rabbi's, walks back across the lake, and sits down, handing the rabbi his afternoon meal. The rabbi at this point is almost out of his mind, his eyes wide with shock. Finally, he manages to sputter.. "Wha.. what... how did you...?" The UU minister grins at the priestess, nudges her, and asks "Do you think we should tell him about the rocks?" The priestess looks at the minister, raises an eyebrow, and replies "... what rocks?"

Anyhow, if you would like a chance to win this nifty, witchy ornament, just leave me a joke, pun, riddle, or pithy statement and I will choose a commenter at random to send this to. After I choose I will need your address to mail it off, so leave your email address or some way to contact you (Etsy name will work too, and I can convo you there, if you have an account) if you don't have a blog associated with your username. The contest is over tonight at midnight, central time.

Yay for silliness and free things!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Miniature Mondays

I am not good at self motivation sometimes. Just look at my blog! I went almost five months without blogging. FIVE! And why? I just love writing, I love to tell others about my family, I love to talk pottery. I should be addicted to blogging! Yet, without outside motivation, I don't do it!
Weird, eh?

Miniatures are another thing I just really enjoy. I enjoy making them, I enjoy photoing them, and I really, really enjoy writing the listings about them for my Etsy shop. But how long has it been since I listed any new ones? Far, far too long.

So, while I was writing this listing, I was thinking, "What can I do to create outside motivation for me to blog, on a regular basis, AND to get me to list my miniatures?"

Well, here is my Big Idea!

Miniature Mondays! I will list a miniature, and then blog about it. And if I commit, in writing (here) to my hordes (three) faithful blog followers, then I am sure to do it.

Yeah, yeah, I know today is Friday, not Monday. But the mini I listed is too great to wait the weekend. So this one is for priming the pump, and a new one will be on Monday.
Here goes! You will find this listing in my Etsy shop, here. And on Monday will be the next Chapter in the Doll family story! Brilliant, huh?

Green Spiral Dish Miniature

Grandpa just admitted that for a long time now, he has had a dish on the side.

Grandma had been cleaning out the closet in the bedroom when she came across a box that was marked "Private, Do Not Open". So, of course she opened it, and inside was a low, porcelain bowl or deep plate, glazed jade green and high fired. There was a pretty spiral in the middle and some lovely red flashing along one side. It was about 1.25 inches wide. She didn't remember ever seeing it before. Along with the bowl were letters, tied with a ribbon. The letters were in Grandpa's handwriting, and they were full of intimate side dish recipes, written with obvious passion.

Grandma was understandably upset. For years she had served meals, warm and willing, right there in her kitchen, so what was this all about??

When confronted, Grandpa admitted that, while he still loved Grandma's cooking, lately he had found her meals boring. "Just main course, potatoes and a microwaved veg every day! Meal after meal after meal. I need some spice. I need adventure. I need creative side dishes!"

Grandpa said he would be willing to sell his dish on the side if Grandma was willing to spice up her side dishes some. He even offered to let her read the intimate recipes he had written for his side dish, but Grandma refused. She said that she would get out her old Joy of Cooking book and figure out things on her own, but she refused to try the sordid ideas he had fantasized with his "porcelain hussy".

So the dish on the side is up for sale, and Grandma is trying to add some spice to her life. What will happen next?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gracie's First Play

Grace is growing up so quickly! She started high school this year, and though she doesn't look it, she is 15! We were thrilled to find the high school has a community training program where the kids volunteer for the first two hours of the day at various stores and organizations around town. Then the store or organization supplies a treat of some kind for the kids. So far the class has taken paper out of new shoes at Target (and gotten pop and a bagel in return), cleaned the parking lot at a bowling alley and then bowled for free, cleaned tables at Chuck E. Cheese and gotten tokens for the play area (She came home with 15 photos of herself from the photo booth.) She just applied to be a volunteer at the a children's petting park, and got accepted, so now that will be one of the places she goes to work.

This high school encourages the kids in Special Ed to try out for sports, clubs and plays. So Grace did try out for the play and she got a part! The play was A Taste of Sunrise, and her line was "That poor unfortunate boy." She also played a student in a deaf school, and a member of the town, so she was on stage quite a bit.

The play was quite good, and Grace stole the show, at least in my eyes. Congratulations Gracie!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pots destined for the Smashing Bin!

Since this week had Friday the 13th in it, I decided to clean my studio and list all the pots that I felt were just cluttering up the shelves. Some are a bit heavy, some have small flaws, and some I just haven't gotten around to photographing yet!

Anyway, all these pots are getting listed this weekend in my shop, (antb.etsy.com) for only the materials cost of each one. I am not charging for my labor or time on any of them. Then, on Monday morning, all the ones that haven't sold I will unlist and put into a bin for breaking and sending to mosaic artists!

Here is my shop announcement for this weekend:

And to celebrate Unlucky Friday, I am going to be listing Unlucky Pots all weekend. Some will be PIF's (they will cost only the listing fee plus shipping) and some will be for only the cost of my materials (clay, glaze, firing, but no charge for my time, labor, or skill) and shipping. Some will be seconds also priced only for my materials cost.

All of this weekend's listings will be at incredibly low prices. I want these poor unlucky pots to find good homes. After this weekend- bright and early Monday morning- any Unlucky Pots that are left will go into the Smashing Bin, get broken into pieces and then be sold to mosaic artists.

Please, rescue these poor Unlucky Pots from my Evil Smashing Bin! Buy them today and then they will be Lucky Pots! (They are all on the first page of my shop.)
Have a lucky day!

Due to storms taking my power out, I am behind with my listings today, and won't get them all listed. So I will keep going tonight and tomorrow until they are done. BUT Monday, they all still go into The Smashing Bin!

No more Mrs. Nice Potter!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Gracie Makes Contact

IMG_0085, originally uploaded by antfiresbetter.

Jens and Tasha are house sitting in Chicago, so for Mother's Day, they invited Grace and I for a weekend of sight seeing. The highlight for me was an amazing vegan restaurant on Broadway called "Alice and Friends". I have never had such wonderful food ! I had the "Runaway Potato" and would highly recommend it!!

The high point for Gracie was a full day at the zoo. She took her Playschool Digital Camera and snapped it full of photos!

In the Primate House, there is a fake log, that goes into one of the cages. A child can sit in the log. There is plexiglass, and a gorilla can sit in the other half.
When Gracie climbed into the log, a baby gorrilla ambled over and sat and looked at her. We got a photo on Gracie's camera for her.

I don't know who enjoyed the encounter more, Grace, or the baby gorilla!