The September List
My favorite time of year is upon us, when the late summer weeks blend into fall. That said, I can't believe that it's September. 2020 really felt like a lost year due to the pandemic, and the world wasn't all that different in 2021 (in some ways, it's worse). The news of late has been bleak (Afghanistan, Hurricane Ida, the Texas anti-abortion law), and my worries and plans feel so small in comparison. It took me some time to feel hopeful about September, but I'm here today with a few little things I can do this month to create joy.
At the end of August, I made a few vases that really inspired and surprised me. These new silhouettes have been exciting to bring to life. I know that I’m already behind in terms of restocking inventory for Holiday 2021, but I’m very interested in exploring new shapes and ideas right now, and I’m going to follow that feeling. This summer I've leaned into sculpting rather than wheel-throwing. I find myself exploring more using this technique whereas my time on the wheel is usually spent making existing designs for orders. I think it's a good balance of practice and growth, and I'm happy to settle into this groove for a while.
Dead stock crystal earrings
I’ve been getting some love in my Etsy shop with a pair of crystal and freshwater pearl earrings that got featured on the Etsy homepage during the month of August. This was a nice surprise and I've been so happy to send a few pairs of these out into the world. They are fun to make; I get to indulge in colors and glitz, neither of which are a big part of my ceramics practice. They're made using Swarovski crystals that I received years ago from Kev’s aunt. She works in the Garment District and is always trying to offload trims and embellishments. (I’ve taken plenty of ribbon from her for use when packaging orders.) I have a substantial assortment, just not very many of any given shape/color. Therefore I can make a few of a kind of several different designs. Essentially, these styles are dead stock and end when my supplies run out. I think it would be fun to make a collection out of the remainder of the crystals and display them all together at a flea market some day, all of them swinging and sparkling in the sun. However, I don’t think I’ll continue to pursue this particular line to add to my shop on a long term basis. While I do harbor an interest in jewelry in general, I’m currently more drawn to other types of jewelry making techniques that have echoes of sculpture work.
Start & finish my 2nd knit project of the year
I finished a sweater vest today and I'm super proud that I completed this project. At one point near the end I was very discouraged because I'd bound off one of the arm holes way more tightly than the other, and after taking the time to redo it, realized that I'd redone the wrong side. It can get dicey when I set a project down because the longer I go without picking it back up, the less likely it is to get finished, but finish it I did. I've actually started a second version of the same vest in a different color with a different yarn, so we'll see how this one turns out. I'm hoping to avoid the tension problems when finishing this one and if all goes well, I'll have two sweater vests before the end of the month.
Order bulbs for the front yard
I’ve had a virtual cart full of tulips from dutchgrown.com (not an ad) since mid August but I haven’t been able to bring myself to check out because I’m afraid. What if my novice gardening skills will somehow mess up fall planting and waste the money I spent to procure them in the first place? On the other hand, I don't want to be kicking myself in the springtime. By then, I'll have missed the window for bulb planting. I should at least try, right?
Keep supporting the farmer's market
Because of the pandemic, we haven't taken Jazzy out as much as we'd like. Visiting our local farmer's market on Sundays is really the only chance that we have to use our stroller, but we've missed weeks here and there during the summer when the weather was too hot or when there's been rain. Now that we're headed for fall, I'm hoping to be able to do this outing every week. We like to support the farms that come down (mostly from upstate NY) and to see what's in season that we can introduce to Jazzy as a new food. Most times, I'll also come home with a bunch of very well priced market flowers to use in product pictures for my vases.
It's also an opportunity for us to taking Sunday out and spend some quality time with her. Huxley gets too hot in the heat and Fitz has bad knees so we don't like to make him walk too much. Sunday is great on leash and very sweet to other dogs we encounter so she's the perfect market buddy for us while the other two hang out together at home.
Tomorrow is Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer. To me, it's actually the unofficial start to Late Summer. There are plenty of hours of sunshine left to enjoy, and I'm looking forward to that in the coming weeks.