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  • Writer's pictureMary

The September List

Already we're coming to the end of summer, how quickly and quietly it passed. In this new world, the few outings we've had: the socially distant barbecues at my in-laws', the one outdoor dinner by the Brooklyn Bridge, the trip to a farmers market, were all the more memorable. I'm reminded that the season hasn't changed just yet by the heat that lingers in the city, the fresh green scent of our cherry tomato vines stirred into the backyard air by our sprinkler, the corn, watermelon, and nectarines still filling the fridge, the cicada calls outside our window when we work.

There's a part of me that's ready though, for fall and even for winter. Although a fear of the unknown future which brings with it the next flu season crosses my mind often, I'm ready for the coziness and the comfort that comes with the chill of autumn. I'm ready for the presidential election, and hopeful for its outcome.

Until then, here's what I've got going on this month.

Hand-build with porcelain

In August I finished the last of the 50 pounds of speckle clay that I’d ordered at the beginning of the shutdown.

I thought that for fall, I could begin work on a new set of porcelain vases. I’m trying two new types of porcelain clay bodies this time around, including paper porcelain, and I’m looking forward to testing them out.

I've also finally upgraded my work surface from one small piece of flimsy fabric to heavy duty canvas. Working on fabric helps ensure that pieces don't stick in place. Fabric doesn't wick moisture away from in-progress pieces as much as other surfaces, such as wood or plaster, would. A heavyweight one is preferable so that the work surface stays in place and does not get picked up by clay, something I often had to be careful about when rolling coils on my old fabric, which was a lightweight muslin.

Studio goals: mugs, bowls, and bells

I've been busy making mugs during each week's visit, working toward fulfilling pre-orders. This month, I'll have completed that backlog and I can move onto building inventory. While I won't need to be as frantic about the pace and volume, I'm planning to keep maybe 80% of that momentum. My goal is to make another 20 mugs this month (even if I don't get to glaze them all in September), 6 bell ornaments, and 1 raised fruit bowl.

Sow kale and broccoli seedlings, harvest cherry tomatoes

A quick google search revealed that there’s still planting that we can do in the veggie garden area in our backyard. In zone 7, where we live, there are veggies that you can sow right around now, so I picked kale and broccoli and ordered seeds on Etsy. I've started a handful of each indoors, and they're ready to be transplanted outside next week.

Our three cherry tomato plants will be ready for harvest this month. This year, we started them a month and a half later than we should have, so we didn't have tomatoes to pick throughout the summer. Lesson learned, and we'll be starting new seedlings in March of next year.

Get back to some sort of daytime skincare activity

I've developed a nighttime skincare regimen that works really well for me right now. It's easy to stick to and my skin seems pretty happy with it. On the other hand, over the past several months, my morning routine has been limited to a splash of cold water on my face. I'd like to balance that out starting this month, so hopefully it becomes routine by the time the drying winter months come.

One element of my night regimen that I've found works well for me is using a facial oil, or sometimes a hydrating gel cream, as the last step. I think it's the key to sealing in moisture and product. So for daytime, I'm going to anchor my routine around the French pharmacy cult favorite, Embroylisse face cream. I began using it recently for the first time and I like it a lot. It leaves my skin dewy without making it greasy. It's used by makeup artists as a primer, but I've found it works just as well as a skincare seal even if I don't go on to apply any makeup.

My planned morning routine consists of the following, in order of application:

Make plum jam with the last of summer's stone fruit

I'm so excited for this one! We've never tried canning before so it'll be a fun new project for both Kev and me. We'll be following this guide from Serious Eats.

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