October 2022: My Fall Themes
After an extended season of activity and growth, my goal is to slow my roll this fall. Since the spring, I've stretched the limits of my production capabilities, settled into a new job, and adjusted to at least a couple of schedule changes as we incorporated daycare into our weekly routine. I loved the summer, where we carved out time to make memories and show Jazzy new things.
We've been living very fully lately, and I'm so happy about that. In doing so, inevitably there were some little joys, previously a regular part of my life, that fell away as I shifted my energies over the past several months. And by little joys, I mean truly tiny ones, mostly things which I associate with fall and have come to anticipate again. Sitting down to breakfast with a bowl of oatmeal, for example. Getting lost in the repetitive busy work of mise en place for a big batch of soup. Trading a third cup of coffee for a hot chai latte. Pulling on a pair of wool socks and then snuggling onto the couch to knit.
Quiet moments, busy hands, and flavors in which I find familiar comfort - these are the things I'd like to return to this season. Below, some more thoughts, pottery updates, and a few pictures of life lately.
I've been thinking about everyday rituals as a tool for being more present. A ritual can represent the care and attention given when moving from one thing to the next. Something that marks a moment.
For example, I water my mini orchid from Trader Joe's on Saturday mornings. I stand at the sink and look out of our window at our neighbors garden, I watch the water fill up the plastic container, seep down through the planting medium, and then drip out of the bottom, and I place it back in its pot turned around so the leaves grow evenly. Working my way through these actions reminds me that the weekend has begun.
I mark the end of a workday by pouring a glass of cold wine. Recently, we've made an effort to purchase more interesting bottles. Fewer, better is what we say, and that's because the moment of transition from work time to family time should be special, interesting, and delicious.
I've been feeling extra tired lately despite getting a decent amount of sleep. I brought it up at a recent checkup and my doctor isn't concerned, but thinks I may have some vitamin deficiency that's a contributing factor. If I'm examining my diet for areas of improvement, my mind immediately goes to decreasing the amount of sugar I consume. I'm going to pay closer attention to that and see if I feel any difference.
I also realized that my coffee intake has been high for a really long time, with only a short break during pregnancy. Many many years. A decade? Maybe it's time to be more mindful there as well.
And the easiest thing that I've let slip is staying hydrated. There's really no excuse.
On Monday, September 26, my dad turned 64 and the family got together to have an early dinner at our place. Jazzy loved to watch the whole family sing happy birthday and clapped along to the many times we sang it at the top of our lungs.
Earlier that day, the 125 vases I'd been working on since the end of April finally left the nest and got picked up! I'm not sure when I can share this exciting partnership and where they're headed next, but the campaign is for the holiday season so I'm hoping soon.
Along the way, I've been trying to build up my stock of lemon ornaments (and a few pears and mandarins) for the holiday season, and suddenly I have 10 greenware lemons waiting for the kiln. It's a good start, but my target is a couple more dozen before moving on to cactus ring dishes and, if there's time, scoops.
I've begun to swap scents in my home for autumnal ones. I used a coconut scented shampoo throughout the warmer months and now that that's done I'll pick out a different, less summery scent. There will also be an apple scented candle at my doorstep any day now.
I recently finished a book called Water, Wood, and Wild Things that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's about the artisans the writer befriends and spends time with in a Japanese mountain town. Anyone who's been to and/or loves Japan would appreciate this read.
My tulip bulbs for fall planting will arrive sometime this month. I loved watching last year's bulbs sprout this past spring. Each leaf pushing through the soil brought me such excitement, and each bloom was so beautiful and unique. I can't wait to give that joy to my future self again.
There have been a spate of French style wine bars opening up in NYC. Their hours of operation make it slightly difficult for us to get to, but I like knowing that they're there for when we find the time/childcare.
Yesterday, I stopped by the Eataly at 23rd Street near Madison Square Park for groceries on the way home from the office. I used to go there often, pre-Covid, when I was still in my previous role. I like that area, but associated it with work. Returning there made me so grateful all over again to be done with that chapter of my life.
Halloween is around the corner, and my population of light-up pumpkins has doubled from 1 to 2. This will be Jazzy's 2nd Halloween and one that he can experience and understand more than before. On Wednesday, he learned the word pumpkin, which he pronounces as "goo-pa". I'll show him his costume (a bat onesie) soon and start showing him pictures of bats as well in the hopes of getting him excited for wearing it to daycare when the time comes.
Below, my pallet of vases packed and being picked up!
Candle holder design
A Mayi vase in chestnut clay in bisque
Experimenting with low fire clay, which I'll leave unglazed on the exterior