Scenes from the last three weeks

Wait, what? Where has February gone? Wasn’t it just turning February? Now it’s the 22nd?

The last few weeks have been pretty busy… you probably know that if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram… but here’s a little run-down.

Coming soon to Aspect in Gainesville.... a selection of HaldeCraft ceramics. Long time locals will recognize this as half of the former location of Hanks Yarn and Fiber! It felt strange and yet not strange to hang out there this morning... like visiting t Long time followers may think this photo looks somewhat, hauntingly familiar. You’re not crazy; this is the amazing little boutique that’s gone into half of our old yarn store, in the Millhopper Shopping Center on the corner of NW 16th Ave and 43rd Aves. It’s called Aspect Beauty, and it’s full of soaps, fragrances, candles, and now, a selection of HaldeCraft ceramics. You can find some of my baby head planters, and a selection of soap dishes… and if you’re interested in anything else? Drop myself, or Amber, a line and we’ll be happy to make that happen!

Fresh from the kiln! #ceramics I had a great kiln firing at the beginning of February. Most of the mugs in the back are for something I’m going to be trying in a couple of weeks with decals. The egg crates have already sold out, but I put more in the kiln today and should be able to fire by the end of the week.

Dry faster! Dry faster! #handdyedyarn The first week of February was spent dyeing yarn, but then we had some damp weather and I couldn’t get it wound until the second week. This is what my back porch looked like until I could get all of it wound… so! much! COLOR! Most of this is my new base yarn, Joy, a sport-weight Superwash Merino. Have you tried it yet?

Thanks, gravity, I didn't want to put those bowls up for sale anyway. #ceramics #broken I am why I can’t have nice things. I discovered that in the chaos of December, I missed listing a number of Grace and Marie bowls. It happened to be a beautiful day, so I took them all – gently, and still in bubble wrap – outside to photograph. I had a wonderful photography session, with no dogs in the background of the photo, and lovely natural light… and as I turned around to bend over and pick up the camera from where I had left it on the ground, a stack of three bowls jumped off the raised gardening bed where I was taking the photographs, and broke. Even with the bubble wrap between them. Sigh.

Another handspun hat on the needles! #handspunyarn #hcstcw15 I’ve been getting a lot of knitting done lately — aren’t all knitters motivated by cold weather? I’ve done some knitting for my new nephew, I’ve done three of these hats now, for the 15 in 2015 (and I might cast on a third tonight), and I’m making a pair of complicated cabled gloves for our super-patient, amazing Realtor.

All my finished pieces from my ceramics class. There are four more still in greenware which I brought home to fire in my own kiln (I hope that doesn't sound too pretentious). #ceramics This is everything I finished in my six-week ceramic class, minus four more that I brought home to fire in my kiln. I had a really fun time in the class – I’m glad I took it, definitely, and I can see where I’d want to take other classes in the future to learn different techniques. For now, I’m content to practice and try to make a series of mugs that all generally appear to be the same size, heh, and work my way up to yarn bowls — the ultimate reason why I took the class and have learned to throw.

What do these 23 bars of soap all have in common? Thanks to you all buying 230 bars of soap from HaldeCraft last quarter, I can donate these 23 to Peaceful Paths, a Domestic Violence network here in Gainesville. For every ten bars of soap you buy, I donat Once a quarter, I add up all the soap I’ve sold in the previous quarter, and for every ten bars of soap that sell, I donate one bar to Peaceful Paths, a local domestic violence network. Thanks to all y’all buying 230 bars of soap last quarter, I was able to make a 23-bar donation. Thank you, so much, for helping me to help others.

And yarn club is outta here! Start stalking your carriers, yarnies! Here’s a picture of the domestic portion of February’s yarn club, about to be mailed. I think I’m going to need a bigger boat! Just a note if you’re still waiting for your club, since this was mailed out Tuesday — there was some sort of crash the week before, when the USPS installed a tracking/scanning update and it crashed their entire computer system. Combine that with the holiday last Monday, and things look wonky. Some people who have tracked their packages and seen that it hasn’t left Jacksonville… get the package the next day. So just be aware!

A little afternoon playtime. #ceramics I haven’t had a lot of time to throw in the last couple of weeks, but I did get some done and trimmed… and then I had fun practicing with stamps. I’m not sure what to do with my practice pieces. Give them to my family for Christmas ? Sell them as one-offs? I’m just not sure! I wouldn’t sell them for much money, if I did — they’re mostly practice pieces and all wonderfully wonky… I’d let them go for pretty much enough to replace the clay.

Fresh from the kiln! Mostly my little practice thrown pots and some slab rolled/hand-built mugs... and one lone little slipcast planter. Who's a lonely little woogie woogie woogie?! #ceramics Another kiln firing in February was packed full of greenware, seen here as bisque after the firing. About half of these are practice pieces, about half are prototype mugs of a new slab-roll design (that I love, even if they’re a little smaller than I’d hoped). I hope to start glazing these in a few days.

Cold studio is cold - it's 41 degrees  (F) in here right now. If my little space heater can get the temp up at least ten degrees so I can take my gloves off, I can do some slipcasting today.... I made some time for slipcasting, which is the first time since last June. JUNE! What have I been doing?! Wednesday or so I poured three yarn cups and five yarn bowls, and earlier today I poured the same again — hopefully they’ll all turn out right (I’ve been having terrible luck with both lately) and I’ll be able to have them in stock in about four to six weeks.

I'd clean those leaves out but it's frozen solid. #birdbath And here’s some proof that while I may not be suffering as much as the rest of you up North, Gainesville has been getting a little cold. My birdbath froze solid! Not just a bit of ice on the top… the entire thing froze. And it’s not much warmer in my house. Have I mentioned how my next house is going to have central heat, and not have jalousie windows? With those, you might as well leave the windows open!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

Scenes from Last Week

Hat by me. Baby by @amycgoose and @sweatyglass. #knitting #newborn By far the biggest and best thing that happened this week was the birth of this little chubster, my new nephew. I promise not to subject you to rolls and rolls of photos, but I do have to show you just this one, in the gnome hat I knit for him (just in time, too, I only knit that last week!). We’re all very glad to meet him, I’m scouring Ravelry for more cute things I can knit for him, and we’re also really looking forward to practically my husband’s entire family coming down to visit in both February and March. They all live too far away to see all the time, but trust me that I’m not just saying this — if we all lived closer, we would see each other all the time. I won the in-law lottery when I married into this family.

IMG_6459I did get some knitting finished up — some old knitting, for some socks that I cast on back in… perhaps May of last year? I don’t even remember — I know we were going to a movie, so I needed some simple stockinette socks to work on, but then we didn’t go to another movie for months and months, so these socks sort of … languished. I finally finished them up because I needed the needles.

Guess which booth is my favorite! #ceramicsLast weekend and this weekend was the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, and guess what I made it a point to see? The Swampfires Pottery booth! Susan and Gwenn are sisters who have so much talent and sense of fun that I’m sort of glad they don’t live close — I would embarrass myself with how much time I would want to spend hanging out with them. I’ve been shopping at their booth for three years now, and I always enjoy Susan’s throwing demonstration. This year, since I’m taking that throwing class, I got even more out of her demo than usual. How she holds her hands compared to how my teacher holds her hands is fascinating to me, and I went to sleep last night dreaming of getting some clay on the wheel in the next couple of days so I can compare the two ways. Oh, and I told myself that I could get either a new yarn bowl *or* a new mug… but I may have come hope with one of each. And a bread bowl for That Poor Man. Oops!

Ok, and I promise not to subject y'all to this *every* week... but this week I tried to throw a little each day on the wheel I bought last weekend. I got five days out of eight. I'm having trouble  (but am getting better with) either centering the clay or Speaking of me getting some clay on the wheel, here’s a sampling of what I’ve done this week. I tried to get some throwing time in each day, and while it didn’t happen each day I did get some throwing done five out of the last eight days. I wouldn’t say I’m anywhere near good yet, but I can see an improvement from the first one through the last one. Now that I’m getting the hang of getting the clay centered correctly, and breaking in on center, I need to start practicing trying to make the same thing each time, to work on my form. Stay tuned…!

And that was my week, in a nutshell. How was your week?