a new tab

This morning, I spent a little time reading about the seven mistakes all new crafters make when they open up an Etsy shop. It has been on my mind this fantasy of having my own little studio but could I really? Would anyone be interested in pottery made by me in an overly saturated market or when a trip to Target could easily yield some cheap and cheerful pieces? My friend, Lyndsay, suggested yesterday that I think about making my pottery and sharing it with the world (or at least with those in the world willing to bring misshapen ceramics into their lives). The mistakes in starting a craft shop are many including: not having enough pieces in the gallery, not utilizing search engine optimization, not having consistent or clear branding, not taking photos that are staged well and, therefore, not allowing the created pieces to shine. I am about to make all of those mistakes.

You might have noticed that there is a new tab at the top of the blog called “pottery shop.” I am about to make all the mistakes here in branding and making my shop a presence in this fast-paced world of social media. BUT I also feel like having been a teacher now for almost ten years (WOW, how is that even possible), has demonstrated countless times  the power of learning by doing. So here we go. I am going to do a lot of changes to that tab’s format, layout, structure, but the heart will always be the same to share these little pieces coming off the wheel.

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what i read and what i thought

The best part of being on break is being able to read for pleasure.  During the school year with grading and lesson planning forever consuming my precious “free time,” I rarely have the opportunity to pick up a book and just read for the sake of expanding my mind, going on an adventure, or indulging in the diversion of a good story.  This winter break, I was lucky to pursue this delightfully.

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This was a recommendation from the blog Eat, Live, Run. It was such a fast read and was truly the perfect book for a road trip. I read it in one day as the language and imagery of the author is beautiful.  Often stopping to reread sentences in order to truly appreciate the author’s depth, I enjoyed this historical fiction piece and the adventure it took me on.

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At school we have been focusing on the role of diversity in the classroom.  In a series of faculty meetings, members of the community presented on the work that is being done and the work that can continue to be done in order to harness and make real valuable space for discussions of diversity.  One of the facilitators recommended Whistling Vivaldi. While not a fast read like Blue Asylum, it did bring light to a serious dilemma facing all of us: stereotype threat. It was fascinating to read how we are consciously and subconsciously affected by our labels and how this can be reversed through significant and important interventions.

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While cozying up in Skye’s apartment the other afternoon, I stumbled across this book and asked to borrow it.  The author of this book is also the writer of one of my favorite blogs, SouleMama. While I do not currently have a brood of children, this book had such GREAT ideas on how to unleash one’s creativity and how to make being creative a part of an individual’s daily routine. I often let the creative side of me wait until the long list of to-dos is complete and by then, tired, I just roll into bed.  After reading through this delightful and warm piece on creativity and projects, I have a long list of ideas for my near-future creative endeavors!

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This last book of the winter break was a gift from an advisee.  Opening this present on the last day of school got me SO excited to go on break.  Clearly, this student (or perhaps his parents) understood that breaks are a perfect time to immerse oneself between the pages of a long novel.  While I am halfway through this story, I am enjoying the journey, mysticism, and strength of this historical fiction set in the time of the fall of Jerusalem.

embroidery

Waking up at 5:45AM was worth it.  After driving David to work, I drove into Boston to pick up my beloved friend, Skye. The plan?  To delight in a full day together and to learn some new crafts.  Starting at our favorite coffee shop, Tatte, we caught up over lattes and cinnamon roses. With sticky fingers, we fogged up the frosty window with warm dialogue. Before long, almost two hours had passed and slightly chilly in the window seat, we bid the barrista adieu and sauntered out into the cold Boston air. Moments later we were ushered into Skye’s cozy attic apartment and settled into our usual affection having broken through any hesitation that might have formed in the absence of seeing the other for some time. Totally free and content, we opened up to one another, challenged each other, and dreamed together of future travels to faraway places. The rest of the city was busy at work, and we had stolen away together in the attic to appreciate each other, to laugh together, and to craft together.  By the end of our full day together, we had tackled an embroidery project.  Ever the encouraging and idealistic teacher, Skye instructed my hands on the embroidery hoops and helped me to feel comfortable with my creativity. At first, I was anxious to draw the design, anxious to thread the needles, and anxious to begin the stitches.  Yet, Skye is not judgmental and taking a deep breath, I began to embroider with a bit more confidence.  Together at her drafting table we hacked our way through pattern cutting and I left this delightful day of reminiscing, creating, and growing with my first homemade project of 2013…a “coaster”!