Taking a Look Back at 2014

We had a new addition to our family!

Our granddaughter Grace was born on February 5, 2014

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I can’t believe my beautiful blue-eyed grand baby is almost a year old already!

We had a lot of first’s this year!

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I took the very first photos of Grace. I love this one!

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The first photo of Grace and Mommy, my beautiful daughter Jayme!

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Grace and Daddy, my son-in-law Max!

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My beautiful blonde, blue-green eyed granddaughter Paige started school for the first time this year. I can’t believe she’s in school already! 

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What a cutie pie!

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Awww…so beautiful!

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Paige’s first symphony…love her dress!

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My beautiful brown-eyed granddaughter Faith started middle school this year.

OMG…I can’t believe it! Where did the time go?

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Faith got her first cell phone. I love this photo, they’re so excited and I love how Paige has her arm around Faith…that is so cute!

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Faith’s first selfie. It came out great!

ice cream

On September 4th, I became dairy free for the first time in my life. I’ve been gluten-free for almost 4 years now, which really hasn’t bothered me. I must admit, I really don’t have a choice…I have Celiac Disease. I’ve also been 90% grain free for almost a year now. Dairy was harder for me to give up. I love ice cream, especially rocky road, or any other chocolate ice cream with nuts.

And I love cheese!

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I have to say that cheese is the thing I miss the most, and that really surprises me! I thought it would have been ice cream or sugar, but no…it’s cheese! I’m not sure if I have to be dairy free forever? Maybe when we move to a drier climate, I might be able to eat it again? Right now…living in Florida (swampville), I can’t eat it because of my sinuses.

sugar

I also cute down on sugar this year. I’m about 90% sugar-free on a good day!

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Except for when I need a little more chocolate!

NaNoWriMo

Like when I participated in National Novel Writing Month. This year was my first time participating, and I definitely wasn’t prepared for it. It was very intense and I needed lots of chocolate to get me through it!

#NaNoWriMo was the hardest thing I did this year! But it was worth it. I feel like I’ve grown as a writer. I’ve learned that I have to make time for writing…everyday, not just when I have time and next year…I will definitely be more prepared! 

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My greatest accomplishment this year was…being a #NaNoWriMo winner!

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This year, Faith became a big sister for the first time!

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They’re first photo shoot! How cute is this!

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Baby in a basket! This is too cute!

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I love this one!

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OMG…look at the way they’re looking at each other!

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Awww…so cute!

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Awww…

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Awww…my beautiful girls!

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I love this one!

These photos came out great!

I’m so glad I have three granddaughters! After having four boys and just one girl, it’s so nice to have more girls around. Jayme and I have been out number for years! I think we need a few more though!

What I loved most about 2014, other than having a new grand baby…was all the hugs I got from my husband. He gives the best hugs ever! It’s my favorite place to be…in his arms!

So…even though 2014 was a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs and twists and turns, it was a good year. I can never say my life is boring!

I‘m looking forward to 2015…being an even better year!!!

Time to clean up!

Since National Novel Writing Month #NaNoWriMo is over and the Christmas rush is slowing down…it’s time to clean up my workshop!

I’ve been using every flat surface in my workshop as a table. My slab roller was covered with unfinished items, tools that needed cleaning, there’s even a bowl of slip that I forgot to finish working on, and put away in a plastic container, it dried up! My potter’s wheel is covered with sketch books that I didn’t put away, napkins for photo taking and other stuff I don’t even know or remember.

Sorry, I didn’t take any photos of the mess. I’m a little OCD about messes. I think it’s because my mother is a Virgo, or maybe it’s just me…because my bedroom was always neat and clean growing up. Everything was in its place and my mother never had to tell me to put anything away. I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned to deal with messes…especially raising 5 children (four boys…need I say more) who wasn’t as clean as I was, that’s for sure. I’ve had to bite my tongue a lot and just leave the room. But, I can only take it for so long…then it needs to be cleaned.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Ahh…my worktable is clean!

And ready to start working. I have water, my spray bottle, paper towels, buckets, sponges, tools, brushes, clay…I’m all set!

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My canvas-covered workbench is clean!

I’m sure it won’t look like this for long…once I start working on something. Then I’ll just have to clean it again. It’s a never-ending process for me. Make a mess and clean it up! I could really use a cleaning lady but, I’m not sure I would let her in my workshop? Yeah, I don’t think I could let her clean my workshop, she can clean the house and I’ll clean my workshop, that sounds good!

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Oh…Yay! My slab roller is clean!

I love my slab roller! Now I can get to work. I was planning on making some mugs first, but then yesterday I remembered something I’ve been wanting to make and didn’t have a chance to yet. You’ll have to wait and see what it is. I’ll post photos once I make them. Then I’ll make some mugs, or maybe I’ll just make both…we’ll see.

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I can’t wait to roll out a slab and make something new!

I haven’t finished the slip yet, I just added water and stirred. I’ll get to it later. And I haven’t even attempted to clean my potter’s wheel. But, that’s okay! I can hand build and clean my wheel later. I’m anxious to start working with clay again. I can’t wait to get my hands dirty. I can’t wait to feel the clay squish through my fingers again.

I’m going to try some new glaze combinations too, so I’m excited!

Do you have any ideas about what I should make? I’d love to hear from you!

#NaNoWriMo 2014 Participant

I’m participating in this years #NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month

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So, I don’t think I’ll have time for my pottery blog this month!

I’ll try and update you on my progress though.

Check out my #NaNoWriMo Emergency Survival Kit on my other blog

http://melindamariealexander.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/my-nanowrimo-emergency-survival-kit/

So far…as of November 8th my word count is 11,806

Not bad for my first year and being a pantser – headlighter!

This is intense!

I’m exhausted!!!

 

Shades Of Blue

I’ve added some new photos to my Etsy Shop!

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Blue Rain

I must admit, I’m not fond of rain anymore…not since I moved to Florida. It rains way too much here! I use to love playing in it when I was a kid. I still love the smell of wet earth and wet sidewalks though. When it just starts to rain, and the sidewalks and the ground gets wet…I love that smell. My glazes smell like that…wet earth.

This photo is so beautiful, it makes me want to jump inside it and play in the rain!

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Haunted Hollow   

I love this one! It’s so hauntingly eerie and spooky looking.

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Moonlight

I love how this typography print came out! I love the color combinations of black, gray, several shades of blue and white…with glittery little stars here and there. I love how the darkness is around the outside edges and the light is shining in the middle.

I think I’ll list one without the typography also.

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Star Dust

I absolutely love this one! The different shades of blue, go from dark and vibrant to soft and subtle…with twinkling little stars shining all over the place. Love it!

Branding My Pottery

which dinnerware design with text

I’m working on branding my pottery. I don’t feel like I’ve done that yet!

I’m a designer.

I love to design and I’m always thinking of new ideas, new designs and new items. I don’t like making the same thing over and over again. I like to make different things, all the time…which is not good for branding. At least that’s what I’ve been led to believe.

I’m going to try, and focus on one or two designs. Fingers crossed…because I’m not sure how long that will last!

So, which design do you think I should focus on?

#1 Backwater Bay

#2 Brooklawn Park

#3 Tropical Breeze

#4 Vintage Cottage.

I think I’ll do a blog series about branding. Hopefully, I’ll figure it out and make it easier for people to understand. Because it’s been giving me a headache!

Thanks so much!

Raven Hill Pottery is re-opening!

Midnight…October 22

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Don’t mind the mess, I’ll be busy re-listing expired items and updating my shop!

Come on by and have a look around.

http://www.ravenhillpottery.etsy.com

See you there!

Potters Choice – Deep Sienna Speckle

 

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This is the perfect time of year to do a blog post about another one of my favorite Potters Choice glazes…

Deep Sienna Speckle

I’m not very patient when it comes to trying out a new glaze. I don’t like waiting to try it out on some test tiles, so I use small items like these leaf pendants. Test tiles are not only a waste of my time, they also take up much-needed space in my workshop, and then I can’t do anything with them. When I use something small to test a glaze and it comes out great, I can sell it! If not…no big deal!

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Then I try it out on something a little bit larger, like my super cute bird ornaments. I love these birds!

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And these really cute mittens! This glaze is always consistent. I’ve never had a problem with it. I love glazes like this!

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Then I try it out on something a little larger with a bowl like shape to it, so I can see how the glaze works on something that’s not flat. Like my little heart dishes. It came out great! And because it’s a transparent glaze, it’s great with texture.  

Oh, before I forget…everything so far has been glazed on B-Mix 5 clay.

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These heart dishes are so cute!

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Now I’m ready to try it out on some of my maple leaves.

This glaze looks great on my leaves. I love it!

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They were made with B-Mix 5 clay also.

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Now it’s time for some bowls.

These moon bowls were made with #50 stoneware clay. The color is a little darker, but it still looks great! I love the rough rustic look of these bowls.

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These bowls were made with B-Mix 5, and no texture. It looks great with texture and without. It’s easy to brush on, which I really like. And it’s reliable and consistent…what more could you ask for! 

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This bowl came out nice.

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I love the way this flower bowl came out! Doesn’t it look great?

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I used #50 stoneware clay for this bowl. It’s a buff colored clay after firing with speckles in it. The glaze usually comes out a little darker than if it had been glazed on B-Mix.

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Now it’s time to try it out on some plates with no texture.

I love it, I need to make more of these.

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I love how this glaze shows every little detail of this texture. It looks amazing!

*Please note: When firing this glaze, fire it with speckle glazes only, like Deep Firebrick or Deep Olive Speckle. The specks fly around in the kiln atmosphere and will go on your other glazes. I always fire these glazes separate from my other glazes.

Hmmm…what should I try it on next?

Maybe some mugs!