The August List
Summer in NYC is a quieter season. It's for the locals, the ones without 2nd homes. Last Friday, we had dinner with cousins who were visiting from Boston with their 11 month old baby, and got to spend the evening in Chinatown. I hadn't been in the area in a while and it was nice to go back to familiar stomping grounds. After dinner at Wayla, Kev and I enjoyed a glass of rose at The Flower Shop before heading home to relieve my dad from babysitting. While sitting on the sidewalk outside of The Flower Shop, I noticed the tops of a couple of trees on Grand St. swaying in the wind, sideways evening sun shining directly through the leaves. So calm, so peaceful.
Last month was a really good one for me in that I held quite a productive pace making pottery. The humidity has been a challenge, slowing drying times, but at least I'm building my pipeline of finished goods. A lot of the work is going towards fulfilling existing orders. Still, I was able to list a new one-off piece in my shop (the Pomelo Vase) and finish sculpting two more that are currently in line to be glaze fired. I'm hoping to keep that pace this month, having found a nice rhythm for our weekdays. I've also gotten to a place where I can manage working on a greater number of sculpted items at a time; there are 8 in-progress pieces downstairs at the moment.
My August to-do list includes both doing and thinking (ever the planner) when I'm not working on pottery, as well as plans to cross more items off of my Summer Bucket List.
When I began drafting my list for this month, I'd originally jotted down "all the outdoor dining" but I've since tempered that outlook based on the latest information about the Delta variant. Kev and I will still dine out this month when we have childcare and enjoy the summer afternoons and evenings, though perhaps not with the "go anywhere" zeal that I was ready to unleash. Starting this Thursday: we've got reservations at Dame.
Plan & prioritize my next business investments
My Quark Wheel is finally getting ready to ship (I know, I've mentioned many times this past year how it was close to arriving, but the pandemic had other plans) and I'm really excited. It also has me thinking about what my next investments should be for Mammoth & minnow. I've been checking Craigslist every so often for a second-hand kiln, mostly just for fun, but I'm wondering if I might be truly ready to pull the trigger if a suitable one presents itself.
I also have been thinking about whether expanding my branded materials would be good for the business. In particular, because I often reuse boxes (including branded ones such as those from Amazon), I think it would make for a more enjoyable unboxing experience if I were to find a way to clearly indicate to my customers that a package is from Mammoth & minnow before they open it up.
Two completely different types of expenditures, both nice-to-haves rather than musts, and both investments that may bring positive returns for M&m. What other purchases/projects should I invest my time and money in to help M&m grow?
Decide on additions to my fall garden
Gardening will be a hobby of mine for a long long time. My spring garden has had its successes and failures, and even many surprise tomato plants that sprouted from the compost we mixed into our soil. I'm excited to start thinking about my fall garden this month. This year, I'll maybe add some bulbs that will remain dormant until next spring. I’ll count a big accomplishment when I can finally get flowers to bloom (that weren't planted by the previous owner of this house).
Bake 2 birthday cakes
August brings 2 special birthdays: my mom‘s on the 9th and Kevin’s on the 14th. I look forward to baking layered cakes for both of these occasions. Our fig tree has yielded fruit beginning earlier this summer, and there's another crop of baby figs that's ripening on it now. I'm considering using these for one of the birthday cakes, and have found an interesting recipe that has a touch of savoriness.
For the other, I'm thinking of incorporating stone fruit to take advantage of some summer produce. We'll see if I get inspired the next time we go to the Sunday market.
Begin a knitting project
I always itch for a yarn project in the fall. The thing is, I take forever to finish them, if they get finished at all, which means I'm not able to use the items in the correct season. This year, my first planned project is a knitted vest top, and I'm going to start early so that I have a better shot at actually wearing it while it's weather-appropriate. Maybe now that I commute to the studio twice a week I'll get a good amount of knitting done on those subway rides.