As December ticks by, while most everyone is out decorating for the holiday, baking sweet yummies and buying gifts, I have been reflecting on the past year as well as where I hope to go in the new year. It seems the older I less I have to stress over Christmas. At first I thought the magic of Christmas disappeared from my life but finally realized it has just changed a bit.

Ben and I don’t exchange gifts anymore. Truth is we really don’t need to. Our lives are simple enough and we are in want of nothing. When we need something we get it for ourselves when we are able to. All we crave now is a calm existence and the time and energy to devote to our crafts.

2017 ushered in retirement for both of us. We finally screwed up the nerve to let go of our e-commerce tool business that lovingly supported us for the past 18 years. What a hard decision that was to make but we do not regret it. With the money we received from the sale of the assets and inventory we were able to pay off all debt! Oh, what a wonderful feeling that was.

I now completely own my studio.

That took a huge weight off of my shoulders! With monthly bills at a minimum, I can now look forward to experimenting in the pottery and that is exactly what I plan to do in 2018!

So watch out world! Things are changing!

I look around my gallery right now and I see almost empty shelves. This past year my pieces sold almost as fast as I could make them which made my artistic heart soar. You have blessed me by liking, wanting and gifting my pottery. As I usually do this time of year I think about all the pieces I have sold in the last 30 days that are now wrapped up in pretty paper with someone’s name written on it. I try to envision the delight I hope they feel when they open their gift and see it’s something special, handcrafted and purchased with love.

What’s in store for 2018

As you know, I started playing with a technique called sgraffito which I love. I love carving in clay and I will be working more and more in this technique. I also plan on experimenting with glazes more, coming up with new colors. I will be treating 2018 like a year in school, reading books on glazes, watching YouTube until I am blind, making test tiles, expecting to fail and then finding success.

Last January I set a goal to purchase a new kiln by the end of the year. My kilns were old manual kilns and they worked but so many of today’s glazes work so much better when temperatures get held at a certain degree for a certain amount of time. This is almost impossible with a manual kiln. So my goal was to get one with all the bells and whistles and computer programmable.

I am so excited to tell you that…

L&L Kiln I hit my goal and I ordered my new kiln yesterday! It should arrive mid-January. That ties in with experimenting with new techniques, and new glazes. I will be learning it all with a new programmable kiln. I feel like I am almost starting over in a way.

Oh my goodness, I feel like a kid again.

My life is blessed and although things can happen, at this moment I am enjoying every second of every day and loving my life. Retirement fits me well. My studio is my happy space.

Thank you all for your support, for loving my work enough to buy it, for following me on Facebook and Instagram and for all the encouragment you have given me throughout the year.